Why I don’t feel bad for Benedict Lambert
Ok, so I am a little apprehensive about posting this, as it reveals how truly insensitive I must be. But reading through all of the recent blog posts, especially Laura’s “Who Would Love a Freak,” I feel that I should share my position on one aspect of the so-called “freaks.”
I can’t help but remain unimpressed by Benedict Lambert’s supposed quest for love in Mendel’s Dwarf. Yes, I know that his life has been hard, and I have certainly never been through that kind of ever-present self-consciousness, the range of responses to my physical presence, and the social abuse.
But if Lambert wants my sympathy – or more appropriately, if he wants my respect – he can’t use Dwarfism as an excuse. What I mean to say, as harsh as it may sound, is that if Lambert wants to be seen as a human, he needs to act human. You can certainly make the argument that being treated as a monster has turned him into that monster. And ok, I’ll grant him plenty of room to make mistakes (humans make mistakes after all, don’t they?). But this moral ambiguity that he delights in is maddening. Have a conscience, Benedict! I would feel bad for the guy if he was truly “searching for love” rather than breaching moral boundaries right and left – sexual, professional, social, what have you, Benedict Lambert has an array of disturbing habits and episodes to choose from. Lambert rarely, if ever, expresses guilt; instead he continually justifies his decisions.
My feelings are generally the same in most of the “monster stories” – for example, Phantom of the Opera: I’m sorry for the immense challenges in your life due to your physical appearance, Erik, but do you really think that makes it ok to stalk and kidnap aspiring young opera singers?
In summary, my point is this: No, I’ve never been there. I hope that I am not grossly diminishing the daily struggle that the “freaks” must face. But is it too much to ask that, as humans, everyone, regardless of their physical appearance, take responsibility for their actions?