The Pioneer of Physics Stephen William Hawking, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, and Director of Research for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge passed away at the age of 76 on 14 March 2018 in his home Cambridge, England. He is best known for his works in Black Hole Thermodynamics, Hawking Radiation, etc. The man was highly indulged in cosmic particles.
Though most of us know that he suffered from ALS, a neuromuscular wasting disease aka Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The disease paralyzed him from all body movements leaving just a flex of a finger. But even then, his marvelous brain and thinking were left untouched, he never let the illness stopped him from doing what he does best. He is a true inspiration.
When the news of his death surfaced everywhere, people from all corners were quick in sharing their condolences on social media.
From Politicians to literary professors, and Celebrities, everyone poured out their heartfelt respect towards the genius Physicist. And Israeli actress Gal Gadot who played the role of Wonder Woman also joined in to pay the tribute.
And here’s the Tweet she posted on 14 March, the same day.
Well, what the incredible actress didn’t see coming was the backlash her tweet would receive, what she typed and posted was, “Rest in peace, Dr. Hawking. Now you’re free of any physical constraints.. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever”.
People got offended by her choice of words, “Free of any physical constraint”. Because a disability or any kind of physical deformity doesn’t make the person want to die or to be free from life.
Rest in peace Dr. Hawking. Now you're free of any physical constraints.. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever ✨ pic.twitter.com/EQzSxqNTuN
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) March 14, 2018
Here are the tweets from the people that raised voices against the Actress’s tweet.
I think you’re fantastic Gal but this tweet is very ableist. His physical constraints didn’t stop him from changing the world. People with disabilities don’t wish for death to be free of their challenges. We wish to be valued for what we CAN do, not pitied for we can’t.
— Adam B. Zimmerman (@ABZimm) March 14, 2018
So what we're NOT gonna do is talk about Stephen Hawking's disability like it was a tragedy. Because it wasn't. Disabilities are not tragedies. Abled people can go away. https://t.co/e1PB6TB79F
— Ophelia Brown (@bandaidknees) March 14, 2018
This person gives a direct slam to Gal saying bigotry is shameful and disability is entirely the opposite.
Gal I am chronically ill. Can't shower or even get myself out of bed. Lost 18 years thus far. But I ran a charity funding research for my illness #ME and advocate for Change. All from my bed. Is my life not important? Disablement is not shameful, bigotry is. Watch @unrestfilm pls
— amara campbell (@amaracampbell) March 14, 2018
No, I understood her point perfectly. And I don’t believe there was any maliciousness intended. But as a disability advocate it is my responsibility to call out ableist language and educate others.
— Adam B. Zimmerman (@ABZimm) March 15, 2018
Stop what? One would never say someone is freed by death from being a certain race, or gender or religion so why is it acceptable to imply death frees someone who achieved greatness while happening to have a disability?
— Adam B. Zimmerman (@ABZimm) March 14, 2018
In a press conference with The Guardian in 2011, Hawking said:
“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark”.
But there were also some who were on defense for Gal Gadot.
This world is way too politically correct! It's a beautiful tweet, Gal. If we choose to argue about everything people say, no one will say anything at all for fear of exactly this.
— Dorian Louis (@DorianLouis1847) March 15, 2018
How on earth do you interpret this tweet as her saying that one‘s life is not important if you‘re disabled ? I‘m sorry, it is common belief that one of is free of pain and illness after death, that’s what her tweet said
— Rachel @LBM18 (@Livenitup_DE) March 14, 2018
That’s what I thought too, personally!
I don't see this as ableism hmmm 🤔 https://t.co/VUiB0bI0CF
— ᴬᵃʳᵒⁿ ᴿᵒᵈʳⁱᵍᵘᵉᶻ (@TheIronPat) March 15, 2018
In a world where people get offended on anything, I mean even if you watered a plant and post a picture about it, there’d be people who say “Why are you watering it, the ants living in the soil will die, this is madness”. So, no matter what a person says or not there is always an opinion that will either love or hate the things we say. The best is to accept the fact that this will always happen and ignore it like a pro.