Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Inspiration Porn"

"Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society's habit of turning disabled people into 'inspiration porn'."

I know some of you have an aversion to TED Talks, but please trust me on this one. If you pay full attention to only one thing I have posted recently, let it be this brilliant monologue.

Without transcribing the entire thing:

In our society, "(Disabled people are) not real people - we are there to inspire."

"I'm not here to inspire you, I'm here to tell you that we have been lied to about disability. We've been sold the lie that disability is a bad thing - capital B capital T...and to live with disability makes you exceptional. It's not a Bad Thing and it doesn't make you exceptional."

Regarding "inspirational" images like this one:

"They objectify disabled people for the benefit of non-disabled people. 'Well, however bad my life is, it could be worse. I could be that person.' But, what if you are that person?"

"They're not doing anything out of the ordinary. They are just using their bodies to the best of their capacity. So, is it really fair to objectify them in the way that we do? To share those images?"

"I use the term "disabled people" quite deliberately because I subscribe to what's called the social model of disability, which tells us that we are more disabled by the society that we live in than by our bodies and our diagnoses.'"

"That quote, 'The only disability in life is a bad attitude'", the reason that that's bullshit, is that it's just not true, because of the social model of disability. No amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it turn into a ramp. Ever."

"Disability doesn't make you exceptional, but questioning what you know about it does."

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