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There's currently a small dispute over the use of specific wording on this article. Please use this section to resolve the dispute. The article will remain protected for a minimum of one week to dissuade any further edit warring attempts so that this can be resolved peacefully. --Sajuuk 15:59, April 29, 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Sajuuk. I apologise for the back and forth editing, I'm rather new to wikia, (in fact I made an account specifically to change this one thing) and don't yet know how to converse without, as you said, edit warring.
Anyway, as probably noticed, I am a wheelchair user and the way that disability is being talked about on this page (Steven Hawking) is outdated and is now considered offensive to wheelchair users. The phrasing "confined to a wheelchair" implies that we are bound by our chairs, as if they are an unremovable part of us. They are actually a tool, used to get around the world. We're not chained to them, the idea that we are is just inaccurate and slightly silly.
One of the counters to this was that Steven needs his wheelchair, therefore he is confined to it. This is inaccurate. Just because someone needs something it does not mean that they are bound by it. Some people might need walking sticks, but we do not say that they are "stick bound" or "confined to a cane". We say they use a walking stick or cane.
Here's some resources on the matter, as written by wheelchair users and other disabled people. Also some by non-disabled language professors:
- I suggest removing the fanon info. There is no canon for Hawkings or ALS.
- Professor Stephen William Hawking (b. 8 January, 1942) was a Muggle theoretical physicist. One of his works, A Brief History of Time, was read by a wizard interested in Muggle views on Physics. HGuser3 (talk) 04:51, April 30, 2016 (UTC)
- We have a somewhat unwritten policy that basic biographical information (full names, birthdates, etc.) about real people mentioned in canon sources can be carried over to the Harry Potter universe. Unless, of course, the information about a real person found in a canon source differs from reality. Then we treat the information found in the canon source, however fictitious or erroneous, as "real" for the purpose of writing our in-universe article on the person, and note the true facts in the "Behind the scenes" section.
- Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time (featuring a photography of him on the cover) is prominently featured in a scene in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Under our canon policy, the films are considered canon, so long as they don't contradict the books or JKR. Stephen Hawking and A Brief History of Time can thus be considered part of canon for our purposes.
- The blurb on the back cover of the edition of A Brief History of Time featured in Prisoner of Azkaban includes the following description: "From the vantage point of the wheelchair in which he has spent more than twenty years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Stephen Hawking has transformed our view of the universe." Since the back cover blurb is visible in the film, we can consider his ALS diagnosis canonical.
- I imagine that the "confined to a wheelchair" wording was based on the back cover blurb from A Brief History of Time. But the edition of the book in question was apparently published in 1990. Describing someone as "confined to/trapped in a wheelchair" may have been acceptable back then, but it's considered problematic by today's standards, and thus I have no issue with changing the current wording. ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 06:10, April 30, 2016 (UTC)
This is much better, I hope it pleases all. Yes, the language used in the 90's was much different to what's considered acceptable now.