disabled women of color are capable and deserve to be recognized and respected
I no longer believe in the human race.
This is the laziest shit ever
How lazy can humans get?
Have you never met white ppl?
yh but if you look outside your own personal reasons for using this, laziness, it actually looks a really great and practical way to put on your socks if you have a disability that hinders you from otherwise being able so without someone there to help you
you do realise that there are people out there who literally have to travel door to door helping elderly people, disabled people and people with chronic illnesses to put on their socks? people are paid to help put on pressure socks to help with oedema? don’t you realise that if these people could have one of these tools, these caregivers could be doing something else and that this therefore is an incredible tool designed to cater for some of the most healthcare dependent people in our society? do you guys even realise there are other people living other lives?
i really wish i had this when my spine was broken and i had to wear a medical metal corset which made bending down impossible. i had to ask my mom to help me with socks and it was kinda humiliating.
My dad spends an hour in the morning getting dressed because he has no one to help him to get his socks on because his ankle is fused. If he had this it would literally save him an hour.
“Oh but people are so lazy!”
fuck off you ableist pieces of shit
Honestly I don’t even get how you could look at this and think “lazy”. This looks like more work for an otherwise able-bodied person than just putting their sock on the regular way. It’s pretty obvious this is meant for people who have trouble bending over, like come on.
You know how people go straight to “lazy” on this? Because we’re trained to think of most accessibility modifications as lazy. The disabled = lazy message is deeply embedded in our culture.
Does anyone know what this is called/where I could get it?
My mom has incesingly bad arthritis and the process of bending to put her socks on is getting harder for her. My dad could totally put the socks on it for her at night and then in the morning she could just slip them on.
It appears to be the Pratiflex PR001. They claim that the Pratiflex PR002 is more versatile, though. They’re Brazilian products, and my Portuguese is not so hot (nor is Google Translate’s). However, the website is here and you can apparently order them online for the equivalent of approximately US$20 (not including shipping, etc.) for the PR001 or US$34 for the PR002.
The site says that they’re widely used in the States and Europe, but that they’re finally making them available in Brazil, so presumably you could find similar products from different companies elsewhere. A search for “sock applicator” turned up this Amazon.com category with several similar products, for example. From that page, this appears to be a good product, available for shipping in the U.S., for about $30.
So this is a teeny bit off topic, but there’s a group called the Tetra Society of North America, and if someone needs an assistive device and it isn’t commercially available yet, they have volunteers that are retired engineers and other design/handy types that will work together on solving a challenge you may have. They help make all kinds of things from adapted Wii remotes to specialized coffee pot handles to medical product adaptations. They are SO cool. This is their website: http://www.tetrasociety.org/
That’s not off-topic at all; I thought of this discussion immediately when I saw you post the link elsewhere.
This is also relevant to some of the discussions on your blog overnight, pardonmewhileipanic.
I really think advertisements and product infomercials should just go on ahead and cast people with disabilities in these adverts so abled folks don’t have to get dragged for not understanding context and not wanting to consider all possible uses of a product or that they may not be a products target demographic. It’s a legit win-win.
The idea that to be beautiful means to be good and to be disfigured means to be evil is not new. It’s a really tired, unoriginal trend in the movie industry, and only perpetuates damaging beliefs about individuals with facial differences.
I know this is going to be dismissed as some fucking snowflake nonsense but I work in a paediatric burns unit and the effects of this trope are gut wrenching and so, so damaging.
Blind people must save a lot on electricity.
They do actually!
I had a blind professor, last semester, and I swung through his office to make up an exam. It was a while before I knew he was in there because he was sitting with the lights off. I finally went in, apologized, and took the exam by the light of a nearby window (which was fine). Forty-five minutes into dead silence he panicked and yelled in this booming voiced, “WAIT, YOU CAN SEE!!!” before diving across his desk to turn on the lights. I’m sure he was embarrassed but I thought it was endearing and it highlighted a large aspect of disabled life that I hadn’t previously considered.
Sort of relatedly I once had professor who was deaf, but she had learned to read lips and speak so she could communicate easily with hearing people who didn’t know sign language. One day she had gotten off topic and was talking a little about her personal life, so that one of the students said “Oh, I know, I grew up in Brooklyn too.”
She stared at him for a long time and then said “How do you know I’m from Brooklyn?”
And he said “You have a Brooklyn accent.”
She said “I do?” and the whole class nodded, and then she burst out laughing and said “I had no idea! The school where I learned to speak was in Brooklyn. I learned by moving my mouth and tongue the way my teachers did. So I guess it makes sense that I have their accent, I just never thought about it.”
These are cool things to maybe consider when writing a character with these disabilities!!
I’ll try to explain and articulate.
Disability being treated as a plot device, a ‘wow’ moment, a ‘shocker’, a plot twist or a way to manipulate the audience into making an event even more ‘tragic’ has long and short term consequences. It absolutely misrepresents what its like to live with an actual disability- it’s not ‘caused’ by magical events. When you make the origins of someone’s disability- the ‘event’ that caused it, you are effectively splitting up that person’s story in two parts: before said disability, and after said disability. Before said disability: the person’s life is full and worth living. Then, after the ‘event’ it’s not worth living and its dreadful and toxic.
Essentially, the narrative is asking us to change our perception of a person because of a disability. Saying “isn’t it sad how normal this person used to be” is incredibly bigoted and unhelpful. The ‘hold the door’ story encourages this way of thinking- because its not sad enough that Hodor is dying as he is torn apart by wights, the story needs to be sadder. Hence the whole Bran-warging-into-Hodor situation. The death of a disabled person simply isn’t sad enough for our small screens and books, so the writers add the ultimate tragedy- a “disability” that is “someone else’s fault”
For characters such as Tyrion, life isn’t split into two groups. He was born a dwarf. But Tyrion’s ‘birth’ is juxtaposed with the death of Joanna Lannister. I can’t state how many times I’ve seen disgusting posts about how if Tyrion wasn’t a dwarf, Joanna would’ve lived. Don’t get me wrong: I think Tyrion is a well written, and complex character. However, GRRM is not perfect. I hope Tyrion gets an epic, heroic conclusion to his story and that Penny lives. I think the show’s writing for Tyrion is terrible, effectively reducing a great character to a couple of dot points and traits, and the problematic depiction of Tywin as a ‘tough but reasonable’ man in a peculiar way justifies the horrendous treatment Tyrion gets.
When disability ‘happens for a reason’- for example: Bran’s fall being part of a way to gain powers, you are basing it on several things:
- that to make a character disabled, you need a reason why and have to justify the narrative decision to make a character disabled
- disabled characters are useless by themselves
- the cause of someone’s disability is more worthy of our attention than actually showing decency and understanding
- ‘magical’ disabilities are more interesting than ‘actual’ disabilities
Really, I hope there is no reveal of Bloodraven being an evil master who caused Bran to fall. I’d think a writer with poise and sophistication would write Bran’s disability separate to his magical quest. Some kind of coexistence. By making the ‘origin’ completely magical, disabled fans who see themselves within Bran may feel a disconnect. That doesn’t seem fair or right.
I’m excited for the War For Dawn because we’re going to see characters such as Tyrion (dragon rider) and Bran (master warg) in action- smashing stereotypes that they can’t. Give me those kind of stories, we need them especially in the fantasy genre. However, that doesn’t mean the process which GRRM goes about it is okay. It’s frankly irresponsible for an author to use disability to spread misconceptions.
It’s definitely a toxic mix of ‘othering’, and failure to encourage compassion from the reader’s side (and in the context of the show, the audience). I hope I articulated well what I think. As a disabled person who wrestles with questions and misconceptions daily- the ‘hold the door’ sequence was just terrible and crass. I want more of Tyrion and Bran being awesome, less conspiracy ‘theories’ about Bran’s fall. And I think that’s a fair thing to ask for.
As a disabled person I appreciate this post, but I think you’re missing a crucial point in your analysis: magic in fantasy is merely a logical extreme of “ordinary” life or circumstances. Like visions and time travel seem possible under the effects of some drugs, and words have the ability to alter events in a nearly unrecognizable way (a convict can be sentenced to the death penalty because of a certain ordering of words that prove his guilt). I relate to hodors story. There is a part of me that feels like it’s someone else’s fault (though I’m fully aware most of it is not unlike hodor). My best friend also has a much more serious disability that affects his thinking, and many time’s he argues that is the fault of other people. I don’t think that it is in either of our cases actually unless you consider genetics another person’s fault, then we could say we appreciate hodors plight more.
Also in both our cases we actually had these events happen in our young adult lives (he was 19 when he was diagnosed, and I had just turned 21 when I went to the ER), so we both have the experience of pre-disability firmly in our memories. Those memories of course are tinted with nostalgia, both for what we experienced, and for the things we thought we were capable of. High school can be a time of invincibility for 2 young white boys.
However we weren’t invincible, and our disabilities made us aware. I had an event similar to a stroke, and several seizures. He legitimately lost his mind. We are still trying to cope with these events, and they have dramatically impacted us since. I had a brain surgery that removed a lot of functionality and especially a lot of my identity as a person since I relied so heavily on those functions (I was a classically trained guitarist of some skill). I am aware or feel like I should be over that, especially because I feel like I rely on it as an excuse to do nothing. I suppose you could say I’m being torn apart by the wights of my own mind while constantly trying to, or saying I’m trying to hold the door open for optimism, and against the overwhelming negativity I’m trying to suppress.
Bah idk, this was supposed to be all in relation to the hodor example, but I think it has just devolved into a tangent of depressed ranting. I will say this much, the concept of a plot device being used merely as a “plot device” makes no sense to me because books are only viable entertainment because of their plot. A plot requires devices to function, all of human experience rests on this use of devices or tools. The goal of those tools may be simple or lazy, but I’ve always thought the value of a tool is because of its efficacy, not its goal. I suppose that has more to do with my own philosophy then necessarily a well reasoned point. However I like to think myself open to new ideas.
Thank you for your reply. I’d like to clarify a couple of things first
I didn’t mean to compare the plight of characters to each other, my intention was to compare the narrative structures that GRRM employs, and compare. And by ‘plot device’ I mean simply a badly written plot device- like a ‘wow’ factor, and using disability to do so. And with Hodor- the narrative framing is that Bran’s time travel caused it. That’s where my issue lies. And for Bran to fall, for the fault to lie at anyone but Jaime Lannister rubs me the wrong way.
There is nothing wrong with making a character disabled via a plot in the books. It’s about the ‘how’ than the ‘what’. So I have no problem with GRRM writing Bran’s fall, for instance. I do, however have a problem when the writing falls into the traps of perceptions that are harmful.
You make some very good points. I hope I didn’t make a huge generalization about ‘two parts’. That doesn’t necessarily apply to a disabled person. I was more talking about what happens in A Song Of Ice And Fire. The human life is utterly complex and remarkable, but for disabled characters it often seems that they aren’t developed enough.
You’re right that fantasy can be seen as taking life to extreme and fantastic ways (one of the many reasons why I love the genre, and I think its important that disabled characters excel in it). I like what you have to say about plot. I guess my point is that by morphing disability into something that exists to provoke reactions in the readers, then I have a problem. I’d like to quote my friend @secretlyatargaryen who also replied to the post (and has excellent tags on ableism):
Caveat: I am not an expert nor professional regarding representation of disabilities, and I’m not drawing from personal experience, so if you have written or know of more articulate and informed explanations RE “Hold the Door” and representation of disabilities, and want to share, please feel free to respond or send me an ask.
To me, it felt like a contribution to the “othering” of people with disabilities by casting the disability as this strange, otherworldly thing that’s not part of everyday human experience but rather the result of metaphysical intervention.
A lot of people think of disabled people (especially nonverbal people like Hodor) as not really human. Making the disability have a magical and not human origin emphasizes this. It reinforces the belief that disability is this strange thing that cannot happen to normal people. It reinforces the idea that there must be a reason someone is disabled, that disability is a mystery rather than just a thing that happens (this is also why secret Targ Tyrion theories are ableist, the idea that there must be a reason Tyrion is a dwarf, that disability cannot occur in a normal family as a result of the human experience. We didn’t need a reason why Hodor is disabled, we don’t need a reason Tyrion is a dwarf.
It also feeds into the idea that disability is something to be feared. Historically people with disabilities were regarded to be of supernatural origin, touched by the devil or fairies. This was used to justify murdering them.
That articulates the discussion very well, imo,
How about this
How about instead of “recovery arcs” for disabled characters
We have self-actualization arcs
How about we let a character discover self-love, self-care, identity, and pride in being disabled
Instead of the purpose of a disabled character’s story to always be to become non-disabled in the end
Honestly, fuck recovery arcs