Gimpy Media

Tryion in A Song of Ice and Fire

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Those of you who are show watchers only may be a little confused.   You are probably saying to yourself “Peter Dinklage isn’t disabled.  He’s just little.”  This is true, but book Tryion is much more impaired.   As a point of view character we witness his pain both physically and emotionally.   He is described as a misshapen dwarf with one red eye and one black who waddles instead of walking.  After his nose is cut off in battle he becomes even more grotesque.   He is often referred to as a monster and unfairly compared to his beautiful,  perfect siblings.

He is in pain most of the time and even made it a condition of his contract with his mistress that she must rub his aching legs after a day of riding.   Despite his physical shortcomings, he has a keen mind and pushes himself to complete the grueling journey so he can see the wall with his own eyes.  His sadness and anger at his situation is always present in his mind, but he only shows the world his witty, nonchalant attitude.   For example,  his siblings were discussing Bran falling from a tower and breaking his back.  His brother says that someone should mercy kill the child because he would live a horrible grotesque existence.  Tryiion answers “speaking for the grotesque,  I hope the boy lives.  Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities”.  He refers to the angry and bitter Jon Snow as simply “Bastard”.  He says “never forget what you are.   The world will not.  Wear it like honor and it can never be used to hurt you”.   He also explains his duty to his house as “I have a realistic grasp of my own strengths and weaknesses. My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

He has proven himself as Hand of the King and even led troops when the young king ran off to his mommy.  So does this mean that Tryion is the happy,  well adjusted and successful gimpy role model that we have been craving?  Not exactly.   Just like now, wealthy people who are disabled in Westeros live a much better quality of life,  but he is actually more crippled by his emotional pain than his physical shortcomings.   Being told over and over again since birth that he is a monster and no one wants him has warped his mind.  If you hear something often enough you start to believe it even if you know intellectually that it isn’t true.  His family even blamed him for killing his mother in childbirth.   Even though he parties hard, has power and money,  he is incredibly lonely on the inside.   I think he is the perfect example of why it is important to surround yourself with people who love and respect you as you are.  As for the rest of the world, never give them the power to hurt you with hateful words.

#Disability Discrimination means Son is removed from Home?

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This is reblogged from another awesome site that you should check out. It is a constant fear of mine that N will be taken away because of my disability. I constantly have people say that I am selfish to have him because I can’t possibly be as good of a mom as an AB person. Asking me how I do certain things from a wheelchair is one thing, but assuming that everyone hates the cripples, even their own kids, is just plain wrong. Why is it still happening? This isn’t the stone age when I would have to wrestle a bear to feed my kid. Love goes a long way in parenting. You will find a way to take care of those you love.

JESUS GOD, LEAH!

ali-simms

Teen Mom 2

I have been avoiding this one partly because it involves real people instead of actors and partly because it is infuriating.   In case you have been living under a rock and have no idea what Teen Mom is I will give you a brief overview.   It all began with 16 And Pregnant,  a reality show on MTV that focuses on pregnant teens and tries to promote safe sex.  Each girl is only in one episode and makes a small amount of money so the overwhelming cost of parenting is a huge deal for their entire family.  This concept goes out the window with Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 because everyone who is on film on a regular basis makes an insane amount of money.   Money certainly helps, but it doesn’t fix everything.

One of the girls, Leah, had twins and one of them has a rare form of muscular dystrophy.   From the beginning,  the parents were told that Ali may never walk and will not lead a “normal” life.  Thankfully they have a lot of family support,  but they add to the ableism.   Ali has a Dr who is at the top of his field and has said multiple times that she must use a power wheelchair and a helmet when she is out of the chair.   He has warned them that she needs to conserve her energy for breathing because eventually her heart and lungs are going to fail.  Hearing all of this is enough to break anyone’s heart.  As a mom , my worst fear is losing a child.

This is devastating to any mom, but to a very young mother it is understandable that Leah has a hard time coping.  The father and extended family are deeply in denial.   In fact when the Dr said she would have to use a wheelchair and would most likely die before reaching adulthood,  they only focused on the chair.  They constantly sat that they don’t want her to be lazy and be dependent on the wheelchair.   They say that she is a miracle because she can walk some, but admit that she falls 20 times a day.

I am not trying to knock religion because I find comfort in prayer as a way to release negative feelings and for comfort.  However,  these people really do believe that she is going to be healed because of it.   If I am to believe in a just God then I also have to believe that either He wants me to be disabled because it is part of His grand design or that it is all random and He has nothing to do with my health.  I just can’t believe that He punishes people with illness and heals people that He likes.  This line of thinking has led them to basically ignore everything her Dr says.

Let’s not forget that she has access to the best Drs and assistive technology.   Sadly, her parents are so in denial about the reality of her situation to actually give her what she needs.  She was so excited about her pink wheelchair and the independence it gave her.   It was amazing to see her racing with her sisters.  This was short lived. Most of the time she doesn’t even have access to it because they have broken it over and over again.   Let that sink in for a second — they destroyed 3 power chairs worth over 20 grand.  I have a huge list of amazing things that would make me nearly able bodied if I had enough money.

I understand why it is hard to face the truth with Ali because her prognosis seems so bleek but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of trying to force her to be just like her sister, they could embrace her as she is. Instead of saying that they don’t want her to be lazy like a lot of wheelchair users, they could try to give her all of the assistive technology available to make her as productive as possible. Instead of saying that helmets are embarrassing, they could bedazzle the crap out of it until it was the coolest thing ever. Instead of saying that they don’t want her to be dependent on the wheelchair, they could do some research and learn that it will actually improve her mobility and overall health. They act as if she is going to become an addict and start snort wheelchairs.

Part of the reason that they see her problems as failures and her medical equipment as embarrassing is society’s view of disability. We are constantly bombarded with inspiration porn that shows sad cripples that find their inner strength and overcome their illness. Maybe that does happen, but it certainly not the norm. I still hear on a regular basis “I would rather die than be crippled ” and “I would never be able to keep a kid with so many problems”. But the joke’s on them because I love my life. I have an amazing husband and a wonderfully weird, creative child. I didn’t deserve the hard parts of my life, but I didn’t deserve the good parts either. Leah and company have the ability to not only change how their family sees her disability, but also to put forth a better story on tv. My wheelchair has glow in the dark wheels, light up fairy wings and a sidecar on occasion. My son’s classroom thinks wheelchairs are awesome now because we changed their minds. This was long winded, but I believe that if more people spoke up about how much damage , both physically and emotionally, is being done to Ali then maybe someone will intervene.

Disability in the Media

Push Girls

 

Push Girls

I loved Push Girls and I was so sorry to see it go off the air. As a wheelchair user, I feel that we are woefully underrepresented in the media and when we are, we are shown as victims. These women are anything but. They have relationships, jobs, friendships, families, hobbies, and ……sometimes they fight like the real Housewives. It’s a very authentic look at life as a paraplegic or quadriplegic without feeling like a documentary.  I personally couldn’t relate to the Hollywood vibe or the abundance of assistive technology because of their money.  However,  I think we can all relate to the newly injured girl who still believes that it is temporary and that her parents will find the magic cure.  My heart broke when one of the ladies said she got pregnant right after her injury and that she will always regret her abortion.   I was so happy when the only quad who requires 24hr care got a sweet boyfriend who isn’t scared of her problems and actually enjoys taking care of her.  It takes a special man to change a catheter.  It’s still reality t.v. so there is still a lot of drama,  but I like that it is there.  It shows that we are not inspiration porn and can be capable of backstabbing,  drama, and have sex with strangers just like able bodied people.