Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Don't Do This

Has anyone called Carolyn Bourne (a.k.a Carolyn Whetman) an ableist bitch yet?

They haven't? Well, good. Because that would be BAD and WRONG.

For those of you lucky enough to have escaped the media for the last week, Carolyn Bourne is the tolerant and reasonable individual who wrote a long email to her future daughter-in-law, Heidi Withers, about how awful she was.

An email which then went viral. Whoops!

Heidi's crimes--aside from the obvious "being less upper-middle class than Carolyn" and "going near Carolyn's son whilst in possession of a uterus"--include not hand-writing a thank you note to Carolyn for the privelige of being patronised by her for a weekend, asking for more food at the dinner table, and having diabetes.

Yep, you heard that last one right. A detail which, strangely, seems to have eluded mention in most British newspapers (although it has been mentioned on the New York Times website, above). Without it, Carolyn's comments about food, below, make Heidi seem like an innocuous fussy eater type at worst. Add in the fact Heidi is diabetic, and the comments speak for themselves in a way I'm sure Carolyn never intended them to.

When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless you are positively allergic to something.

You do not remark that you do not have enough food.

You do not start before everyone else.

You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.

When a guest in another’s house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early – you fall in line with house norms.

No prizes for guessing that Carolyn Bourne is probably the kind of person who thinks women who eat more than half a fucking spoonful a day are crass and unladylike. Factor in a stubborn refusal to cater to the needs of a diabetic in your house (presumably "I will go into a diabetic coma if I eat your shitty home-made raspberry compote" doesn't count as an allergy), and, well, I can see why the term "ableist bitch" might be deemed appropriate. You might even be tempted to add "ignorant" to "ableist bitch", but that would be very very rude indeed.

Even ruder would be to send her letters and emails calling her an ableist bitch. Even though her company postal address and telephone number are available on her website. And also here:

telephone +44 (0) 1626 863328 or
fax +44 (0) 1626 888911

Whetman Pinks Ltd
Houndspool Ashcombe
Dawlish
EX7 0QP
Phone: 01626 863328
Fax: 01626 888911
Web Site (URL): www.whetmanpinks.com

While I'm sure there are a lot of angry diabetics out there who would like to tell her exactly what they think of her shit, those individuals absolutely should not call up her company and pretend to be ordering flowers in order to shout obscenities at her, especially since the phone is probably being answered by someone other than Carolyn at the moment. So you'd either have to go to all the trouble of asking for her specifically, and everything, or just stick to writing letters and emails.

But don't do that. Because that would be very rude. And as we've all seen, Carolyn Bourne hates rudeness almost as much as she hates people who won't eat her shitty food because it might kill them. You all ought to be ashamed of yourselves for even thinking about it.

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