The Woman in Purple (rainbow_goddess) wrote in no_pity,
The Woman in Purple
rainbow_goddess
no_pity

Rewarding able-bodied people for being nice to disabled people

A common feature of inspiration porn is praising a non-disabled person for being nice to a disabled person. This might include a TAB (temporarily able-bodied) person inviting a disabled person to a dance, a star athlete eating lunch at the same table as a disabled classmate at school, or a high school wrestler deliberately losing a wrestling match so that his opponent, who has Down Syndrome, can win.

When these stories go viral, those of us who object to this kind of inspiration porn will point out what are, to us, the obvious problems with these stories. For example, won't the wrestler with Down Syndrome notice that all these news stories mention the fact that his able-bodied opponent LET him win? How about the fact that the able-bodied person is asking the disabled person to the high school dance out of pity, not out of friendship? But some people say, "But as long as the disabled person enjoys the dance/is happy because he won the wrestling match, why is it a bad thing?"

Well, maybe because it gets the disabled person's hopes up? Maybe they think this person is really their friend, and then they get disappointed when the TAB person ignores them after the dance/wrestling match is over. Maybe they get misguided ideas about what friends are, and they think it must be okay for this person to ignore them, because everybody around them is saying how wonderful this person is for being nice to the disabled person. Heaven forbid the disabled person not be grateful to be thrown some crumbs from the able person's table.
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