Inspirational porn

A term coined by disability right activist Stella Young, a comedian, writer, and journalist who died at the age of 32. Stella who also happened to be in a wheelchair, automatically turning her into an inspiration for all of the humanity. As the society has a habit of labeling people with disability especially visible disability into “inspiration”.

There is hardly a day that passes without seeing an “inspirational post” on social media whether it be a person on stilts running, someone painting with no hands, surfing without legs or any of its variations with words like, “if he can do it so can you or the only disability in life is a bad attitude”.
Would you be inspired by a convicted murderer or by an image of a Paralympics champion certainly the second option sounds more tempting but what would you do when they are the same person, Oscar Pistorius a Paralympics champion and a convicted murderer? To celebrate and call someone an inspiration just for breathing and staying alive since they are living with a disability is wrong on so many levels without actually knowing about the person. Implying that disability is a sorry state to be in, teaching the already marginalized group that only mediocrity is expected of them they need no achievements to be celebrated for their image already is.

The society has reserved a role for the person with a disability, of inspiring humankind and has unknown to us enforcing it with every passing day. One of the evilest man to have lived Dr. Joseph Goebbels has said, “Repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth”. Unfortunately for us, there is more truth in the statement than what we would like to be, we live in a world whereby different means of diffusion of thought exists and it has become ok to objectify one group of people for the benefit of another group. “You are inspiration” a person with the disability has heard this several times young or old all because we believe in a lie that living with the disability makes you exceptional, it does not.
Inspiration porn is when people with disability are called inspirational or brave for doing all the things that the majority of the world does, objectifying disabled people. It’s a problem because it assumes that anyone with a disability must have it so much worse. Using the image of a person with a disability to make the ‘able’ feel good about them, to motivate to work hard, exercise or whatever, except disabled people aren’t objects; they are people. Normalizing disability through greater inclusion and repetition of the positive image in the media may be the answer to be seen as equal but different. Learn to celebrate accomplishments and talent because life revolves around living, not around disability.

 

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22 thoughts on “Inspirational porn

  1. Harbans says:

    Wonderful reading. There are the physically challenged persons and there are persons who are physically not challenged still they are drag on the society. The physically challenged conduct themselves well in the society but some amongst us challenge the very norms set by the society. I term such persons mentally deranged.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aude inK a.k.a. Pearl Stone says:

    I spent many years hiding mine because I didn’t want people to look at me differently, and yes, those “inspiration” quotes…. But it also meant losing loved ones while I suffered in pain unknowing. It’s funny that now that I am working on being more open – I’ve found, as you’ve stated beautifully, we all need the same things. But we cannot all do the same things. And unfortunately, most people cannot hold the truth. Just believe in yourself, to which I reply, jump off the roof of your house and believe you can fly.
    Much love.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. D. Wallace Peach says:

    Interesting post. I have to say I’m inspired every day by people of all kinds simply because they are more determined, courageous, loving, sacrificing, brilliant, talented, joyful, creative, etc. than I am. In each case, they are living in a way that seems exceptional – beyond my capabilities and those of most people I know. I want to continue to admire and applaud disabled people when they do something inspiring, just like I admire and am inspired by abled people.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. albert says:

    Hi Srijana, this got me thinking about the word “inspiration,” and the inadvertantly misleading way people sometimes use it. No question,  we are influenced by those we live with, or work with, or for any other reason see on on a regular basis. It happens; we change each other and are changed by relationships. But being influenced is different from being inspired–which I think means to have a kind of new life breathed into you, so that you actually do something you might not have done before.
     Of course it is easy to “feel” inspired, but to me that’s closer to porn than to tell a person that what she has done moves you to a similar action. On the other hand, to simply say that a friend or acquaintance is inspiring (without any follow up effect) that would be downright dishonest at worst or a self-deception at best.
     Sadly, I have been guilty of that, but never about disabilities in general. So I agree with you that public expressions or social media happiness-notes about the blessings of being around persons who can’t see, or can’t walk, etc., are unfortunate, especially if they mask an attitude of self-centered sympathy (“so glad I’m not disabled) that results in marginalizing these persons or making them feel inferior. And you are absolutely right that persons with severe limitations should be accepted and appreciated as individuals and not categorized or patronized.
    But here’s the thing. It would be just as wrong to say that we are all “disabled” in certain ways, even though there may be more truth time it than is easily seen.
    So maybe the problem is in unreflective attitudes that seem to make it easier to deal with the complexities and contradictions in life. And since we can’t just eliminate words like “disabled,” which no doubt caught on as an improvement over some of the crude expressions in the past, I suppose it comes back to honest relationships with those we know
    (e.g., i told my friend Charlie whose fall from a tree left him paralysed for his last 15 years that he was a inspiration–but only once or twice, and that was after he had learned about inner strength and determination from another friend who walked bent over with a aid of crutches all his life)
    and respectful, polite, reserved dealings with persons we meet, all persons, all abled/disabled in their own individual unique lives.
    Sorry to carry on so. 🎙  But you started it. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • Srijana says:

      You are right on viewpoint and all the best to Charlie for everything he thinks to do and thank you Albert for making me think on so many ways and why sorry I love to read 😜

      Like

  5. Doctor Jonathan says:

    Although many people mean well in their intentions, our inability to to view and understand the truth about “disability” remains a mystery. We have learned to label and compartmentalize life to make it “fit” our perceptions. All this does in reality is limit our options.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Srijana says:

      It is .if I didn’t have a disability I would be scolded for not getting good marks, it would as the elders say “bring shame to the family” ,and because I do now with disability I m suddenly am inspiration.what doublestandard

      Liked by 1 person

  6. simplyfunmi says:

    I like the world we are in now, we don’t gratify disabilities, we pass by disabled people like we don’t see nothing, and walk on them like they are normal. While this might look like a cruel thing to do, it actually has become an incentive for these special humans to work a way around their disabilities and leave mouths agape, droopy salivas making muffled remarks as to the power of the mind. That’s what I call inspirational porn.

    Like

    • Srijana says:

      The world everywhere is not the same ,huge difference exists inn how the people with disabilities are treated in the developed countries and the developing ones

      Like

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