Could you give any advice to authors who want to write disabled characters without Unfortunate Implications? The story I’m working on has a few — but they’re busy having an adventure and most of their drama comes from personal issues that don’t have much to do with them being disabled. (for example, one character is injured in an accident and is an amputee as a result, but their angst comes entirely from the fact that they made a bad decision that got some of their friends killed and now have to live with the guilt. I just realized that realistically, there would be no way they could survive without losing some body parts)
At the same time, their disability isn’t a facet of their character that can be ignored, and I want to strike a good balance between showing how it affects their characterization and not having it be the be-all, end-all of their character.
You seem to be doing a very good job so far, you’re aware and asking questions and that’s great. I’m not sure if you already have, but there are other tumblrs centered around disability education as well and having multiple opinions is great.
My biggest suggestion is that pwd don’t have to be cured. It’s not a realistic stand point, even though many pwd presented in the media are cured or ‘fixed’. A character can be full and well developed without being cured of their condition. However, it seems like you understand all of that. You’re very right in saying that the disability can’t be ignored but it also shouldn’t be their entirety.
If you’re going to show your characters interacting with normal society, and you decide to show some of the hardships they face as a result of their disability just make sure that the people who discriminate against them are displayed in a negative light. They don’t have to be an evil character or even a significant character, but I would just try to make it clear to the reader that this is an inappropriate action. Although, since it sounds like your characters are more on their own and on an adventure this might not be applicable.
Do any of my followers have any suggestions or opinions on this?
** Signal boosting here - reply at source if you have info as requested **
I also think it’s important to build particular aesthetic walls around black art to stop whiteness from seeping in and making attacks.
because we already have to deal with enough of the bullshit we’ve internalized, we shouldn’t have to deal with shit-flinging as well.
which is one of the reasons I always side-eye when non-black people start making sweeping aesthetic declarations on art created by black folks.
Ahh my tumblr famous followers (and my not so famous followers)
Ajam Media Collective launched its tumblr a couple weeks ago—can y’all help me get the word out? Follow them, reblog them, anything! Just so that people can learn about this really awesome resource on the net.
The Ajam Media Collective is an online space devoted to documenting and analyzing cultural, social, and political trends in the diverse Iranian, Central Asian, and diaspora communities. We unite authors from various backgrounds and disciplines to promote diverse critical views of the region and seek to emphasize the region’s importance as a thriving cultural center whose multiple realities are too often obscured by the popular Western and global media.Soooooooo…can you all follow AjamMC? Please pretty please thanks!
Introductory Post: What is This Blog All About?
Well mainly I am targeting journalists who have written, are writing, or might in the future write about trans* people and/or gender diversity. Journalists who, we might say, are lost when it comes to issues of gender transition.
It is rare that a trans*-focused (or even trans*-related) story or article is published in mainstream media without inaccuracies, reporting errors, misunderstandings about gender identities, offensive terminology/phrasing, poor pronoun use, and other missteps. Almost always this is out of ignorance on the part of the reporter and almost always it is a serious disappointment.
As trans* people and issues get increasing amounts of coverage in mainstream and popular press, society is gaining exposure to gender diversity. It is through these news stories and reports that journalists have the opportunity to really provide accurate and respectful information to people who would otherwise know nothing about the topic. However the increased amount of coverage has not been coupled with an increased amount of effort by journalists to meet this accuracy and respect standard, and many articles that could have been beneficial to the trans* community have been detrimental. Even seemingly positive articles have the harmful effect of othering or marginalizing trans* people when common mistakes (such as incorrect pronouns and use of words like “feel” when speaking about gender identity - more on all this later) are made, so that even as non-trans* people start to accept trans* people it is not in a true understanding of trans* people and identities nor in an understanding of the greater issue of gender diversity, and instead is set up as the “normal” people being okay with the “abnormal” people.
And often when these mistakes are made, those of us “in the know” react with anger or condemnation and a YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT approach, taking to comments sections or social media.
What I’d like to do is have a space to dissect mainstream and popular coverage of trans* people and issues, breaking down where they went wrong, and suggesting how they could have done better. I will supplement specific critiques with occasional posts explaining why some of the common mistakes are mistakes - e.g. why a reporter (especially a non-trans reporter) should never explain trans people as a person born one way who feels another. My hope is that eventually this will expand to be a guide so that journalists can no longer claim ignorance and will use their medium to accurately reflect the lives and issues of trans* people.