Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Sound, hearing, and strange reactions

Two things I've noticed:

- When faced with a hearing-impaired individual, people are often
irritated.  They/We feel at some level that the individual is just being
difficult, that he could hear if he really tried.  But with other
handicaps, there is no irritation.  Do we feel irritated by the blind?  By
the crippled? By the physically deformed?  No. But the deaf and hard of
hearing seem to irritate other humans at a visceral level. 

- People who aren't bothered by noise seem to feel contemptuous or scornful
of those who are. As if we're weak or slightly crazy. There's a resistance
to being aware of noise and acknowledging it. As if becoming aware would
mean becoming vulnerable.

Maybe there's a connection between these two types of reaction?

Kathleen Hamilton
Victoria BC

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