I’ve discovered something that makes me uncomfortable.
It’s the idea of disability as tragedy. Because that’s always the reaction abled people have, isn’t it? I sort of realized that when writing something today. It’s an AU, branching off a possibility of one event in a story that could have left one of the characters with a disability. I attempted writing it as such.
And I think this was something I suspected would happen even before I started writing, but… for me, it wasn’t upsetting. It wasn’t depressing or terrible to write this character waking up with this disability. It was… almost normal, to me.
But then I showed it to someone (who knew and loved the characters well). And the response I got was along the lines of, “no no no no this is not okay WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT”
And that makes me uncomfortable. I’m trying to verbalize why, but I don’t know if I really can…? I think it has something to do with automatically associating disability with tragedy. I don’t like the implication that because a character is now disabled, their life is inherently more tragic. Or that there’s something extra upsetting about a character becoming disabled. It’s a change, yes, but I don’t like the implication that it’s one of the worst things you can do to a character.
I don’t know. I think it’s perfectly fine for a disabled person to personally consider THEIR disability to be a tragedy… it just makes me uncomfortable for an abled person to treat someone else’s disability as inherently tragic and something to be very upset about. And I realize that that’s something ingrained in our culture and hard to separate from, so I don’t exactly blame people for thinking like that… it just makes me uncomfortable and I’d like it if we could examine that and start moving away from it.
(P.S. Aforementioned person who is most likely going to run and apologize to me after seeing this post: shooooooosh it’s okayyyy -pap pap pap-)Posted on September 27, 2012 at 12:09 AM
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- aknightlight said: Haha I feel like it’s pretty fucking tragic for me personally, but I do see your point. :)
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