If the fact I’m calling it porn bothers you….

If I say the words inspiration porn, what offends you more? Does the fact that disabled people are objectified bother you, or does the fact I call it porn?

Porn is a deliberate word choice. The late Stella Young addresses it here, and you can also read it about here, here, and here. That should cover the bases quite well and give you plenty to think of. So why am I writing my own post when there are so many out there?

Because lately, I have seen a lot of comments that we shouldn’t call it porn. That is what’s offensive. People aren’t upset about disabled people being objectified.

Want to know things that have gotten me called inspirational, so-high-functioning, etc? Well, you’re in for a treat!

 

You see, the AMAZING AND INCREDIBLE NORA, who is SO TALENTED, once got a Dr Pepper from the freezer at Walgreens. I know. You are kneeled over with shock. That is, my friends, inspiration for a young lady with crutches to get a Dr. Pepper. No, I’m not inspirational. I just haven’t had my daily caffeine and the true inspiration is me not going kung fu crutch on your butt.

I’m called inspirational because I graduated high school despite major disabilities.

I’m called inspirational because I attempted college. No one seems to realize I’m a drop out…

Inspiration porn is a problem. We are treated as objects. Like we’re just here to stroke your good feelings. It doesn’t matter that it’s day to day life for us – walking to the library to pay a fine (I really have no excuse for my library fines considering the library is literally a block away, but you know, so high functioning) is inspirational. Brushing my teeth? Wow, you’re so inspirational, Nora!

People (general) treat us like objects. The things they do? Oh, they’re just day in and day out. But because I’m autistic, because I’m physically disabled, it takes a whole new spin.

I have been told, to my face, that the point of being disabled is to inspire others.

That I shouldn’t complain about my disabilities, because others have it worse.

That I should be grateful I just have pain, and not tumors.

This is ableism and this is inspiration porn.

The single biggest problem with inspiration porn though? So often, the voices of the ACTUALLY DISABLED PERSON are left out. They are silenced. We hear about how much they inspired others. About all the good things someone else did for them.

BOY TAKES AUTISTIC SISTER TO PROM!

GIRL WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME SHOOTS WINNING BASKET!

PHYSICALLY DISABLED TEEN RUNS MARATHON!

AUTISTIC WOMEN DECORATES CAKE!

It goes on. And on. And on. But.

We hear the voices of their friends. Their parents. Their doctors. The people who did the “good thing” for them out of “pity”.

And our voices are left silent. If we protest, we’re told to “shut the fuck up”, because we should be living to inspire.

Look, I happen to personally think I’m a pretty badass person. I’m sarcastic, cynical, snarky, but also a loyal Hufflepuff badger. I’m stubborn as hell and don’t you dare tell me I cannot do the thing, or I will do the thing simply to prove you wrong. Even if I wind up hurting myself in the process, I will do the goddamn thing because it has been hammered into me to not let me disabilities hold me back. Even when it is not feasible for me to do the thing. It’s dangerous, but I do it because it’s what’s expected of me. And that’s fucked up.

But I’ve been taught from a young age that it’s my job to be an inspiration. That if I choose to do things, I can. And that the only disability in life is a bad attitude.

Let me break it down to you.

I can smile all I want at the stack of dirty dishes, but it won’t change the fact the hot water will cause me to pass out, the soap will cause my hands to break out, my hands won’t be strong enough to hold the dishes and I will drop them. I can kick your ass at Super Smash Brothers, and I can play Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars with my eyes closed, but dishes? Nope.

 

Frankly, expecting disabled people like me to be happy-go-lucky all the time is pretty messed up. We don’t expect able bodied people to be happy all the time. While I am a pretty bubbly, happy go lucky person often, I also have a wicked bad attitude. And you know what? That’s okay. Stop objectifying me and expecting me to be happy all the time despite my disabilities. My disabilities fucking suck. It sucks living in pain 24/7. It sucks having CVS and throwing up constantly. It sucks having POTS and suddenly being a Nora-puddle on the kitchen floor.

What are you the most upset about?

Are you upset that I called it porn or are you upset that I’m being objectified? Perhaps if my word choice is what is upsetting you the most, you’ve got something to learn.

2 thoughts on “If the fact I’m calling it porn bothers you….

  1. Pingback: Don’t “Friend” Me For Pity’s Sake . . . | Autistic in Southwest Virginia

  2. I needed to hear this. Thank you. I have cerebral palsy, think I’m autistic and hopefully will get a diagnosis soon. I have been considered inspirational a lot, but I’ve also been mistreated because of my disability and verbally abused. I honestly don’t care if people see me as an inspiration if what I’m doing is hard for me, but for the small things like yes, getting a soda out of the fridge it drives me nuts. Being objectified bothers me. But not as much as being told I’m useless and worthless and it wouldn’t matter if I died because I’m disabled and good for nothing. I’ve told my friends and teachers that if they find the will to do something good, because they saw me accomplish something that is really difficult, good for them, I’m glad and all. Just remember I’m a person with feelings. Actually I learned most of my friends aren’t my friends. As soon as I need them poof! I wish people would try to understand how life really is for us, help us when we need it, and acknowledge that we’ll return the favor if we can. I’m rambling sorry…

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