Save the Baby!

The Importance of Inspiring and Removing Division in Advocacy Work

When I was preparing for a rewrite on a recent proposal, one of the articles I found claimed that when able-bodied people feel inspired by someone like me it is discriminatory and is a form of “inspiration porn” (Dunn, 2019.  pp.  672).  To say that I was insulted is gross understatement.  My dream job as a child: an inspiring hero.

I mean, I can’t push away the fact that I’ve had friends who have made me feel like talking with me is the good deed of the day that they can get off on in the eyes of their own friends and family.  That’s just objectification!  That’s using my body for personal gratification.  Not using my story so that you might be able to change your life for the better.

But, after thinking about it, and getting a hug from my dad, I realize that my true feelings really consist of a broken heart.  You have no idea how many times I run in to this pessimism that creates this toxic us versus them mentality.  Not only with my friends, as I’ve explained in that it’s personal, but mainly academia.  Yes, they give recommendations, but only after destroying any possibility that able-bodied people have common decency.  Myself included!

Call me Bourgeois, call me subservient if you want, but demonizing the other side never works.  Therefore, I must agree that I get tired of people making me feel like I’m suffering just by looking at me (670-671).  People assuming that I can’t do anything myself is frustrating (666).  And I do feel like I let people down, especially myself, when I wake up and I wish I could just say that CP is a lot to handle without feeling guilty (672).  However, those people who are over eager to assist, give advice, feel sympathy, or—God please allow for this—are inspired, and then subsequently cheer me on and give me strength to keep going, who try and, more often than not, succeed in trying to help?  That’s nothing that needs to be compared with me objectification of individuals in sexual acts.

In my view it’s rather the first draft of a paper; maybe it needs constructive criticism and revision so that we see people as people, but that doesn’t make it dirty and contaminated by discrimination.  If we keep throwing out the baby with the bathwater, nothing will change or grow into a society that is truly without prejudice.

As you can see, I have no problem with constructive anger.  But the bitterness must stop.  For myself, that means being happy that I can be a source of hope and, yes, inspiration.  If that means personal gratification and reaching the climax of life for someone else, I have one thing to say.

The pleasure’s mine.

References
Dunn, S.  D.  (2019).  Outsider privileges can lead to insider disadvantages: Some psychosocial aspects of ableism.  Journal Of Social Issues, 75 (3), 665 -682.  http/doi.org/10.1111/josi.12331
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