Disability Inspiration Porn -- Crippling Political Consciousness

Occasionally I need reminders like that sad old pun, "De Nile is more than a river in Egypt" or the unintentional irony of this photo:

Doorbell in the Shop.jpg

I need them because I (increasingly) run into images like this - which I am tempted to re-title as, "The Empire Strikes Back!"

The Moral Model.jpg

In English it says, "[The truly] 'Disabled' is the one who doesn't succeed in modifying their life, accepting the demands of others or of the society in which they live, without being conscious of being master of their own destiny."

The core truth claim seems to be that only by accepting complete responsibility for your own life are you in a position to adjust your life to meet the demands of your social environment. We're on fairly sound psychological ground here: "Know yourself. Take responsibility. Exercise resilience. Strive for excellence."

We can pass over the fact, to allow the argument some benefit of the doubt, that the claim ignores the physical environment -- while using photos of those with mobility impairments to make its point visually.

Even limited to the social level the implied "disability identity" subverts the message's superficial optimism. The message devolves to be only a repackaging of the Moral Model of Disability.

In Milan and again in Quito we reviewed the meaning and dynamic of "spoiled identity" and stigma. Fundamentally they are corporate (enculturated) strategies. The appropriately robust and sustainable response to a social assault on one's identity as disabled is not personal and private but corporate and public. The point of leverage is not radical "independence" but discerning "interdependence." It involves a political analysis - which in turn requires the very confident self-identity this poster seeks to inspire (sic.)

However, the formulation expressed in the poster above is simply one of accommodation to the external forces "the other" as individual or "the society in which [you] live."

Where are the concepts of equality of access, reciprocal rights, social justice, conscientização, solidarity, critical theory, or any political awareness whatever to be found in this poster?

Perhaps some answer to their absence lies in the name of the organization circulating the image -- Amor Supera Deficiências -- Love Overcomes Disabilities.

Stumbling block truisms such as in this poster in turn supply building blocks for the critique raised by "Crip Porn"/"Disability Inspiration Porn" writers.



Related Reading - Disability Inspiration Porn:

Not Your Inspiration

Crip With a Gun

Disability Terminology

Inspiration Porn

Positively Disabled

A Spank Bnk of Inspiration Porn


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