My proposed line-up of disability-themed movies:
- A group of crip sisters sharing stories of their struggles through the years, and how their crip sisterhood helped them through it.
- Maybe those crip sisters are on a spaceship, as part of a rebellion.
- Two young disabled people from divided houses fall in love. In an act of rebellion against family pressure, they don’t kill themselves, but instead start a family of their own.
- A disability activist searches for meaning in their own life while fighting for safeguards in assisted suicide laws.
- A group of disabled/Mad friends go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. They wake up the next morning to discover one of their friends is missing, and encounter various shenanigans while looking for them.
Ok so maybe I should stick with writing blogs, but I still think these films would be better than what’s on the table. See this review of Me Before You if you’re not sure what I’m referring to here.
We know why ableist films and messages continue to spread, as do sexism, racism, and homophobia.
We have a responsibility to call out these stories, so that their toxic messages do not spread.
I’ve been seeing posts and messages that “it’s just one story” or “they don’t mean you”, but I think those posts miss the point.
I grew up in an area without many other disabled people. I had no disabled role models until I left home. Despite the privileges of being a white, middle class kid, I grew up with a lot of discrimination, but I didn’t know that’s what it was. I thought it was me, that I was broken. I was surrounded by sometimes well-meaning able-bodied people who saw my disabledness as something to mourn, or to mould into something more acceptable. They didn’t have better stories either.
Ableist stories were all I had until my twenties. Yes, I’m still here, but they’re woven into my formation, that’s just how it is.
Growing up in that environment still impacts me, some days I still feel broken. Some days ableist attitudes from others convince me for a time that I don’t belong, that I am less of a person.
I am fortunate now, that I have a strong community of disabled folks around me, but not everyone does.
Ableist stories and messages might not impact all of us equally, but they do cause harm.
We need to tell our own stories. We need less suicide and more solidarity.
Preferably with rebel forces on space cruisers.