Inspiration Pørn | Deaf Awareness Month

Video: https://youtu.be/wesJHH6NRAQ

Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to the last video of Deaf Awareness Month. Today, I want to discuss something that is a big problem everywhere. Today, I want to talk about inspiration porn. A lot of people in the disability community know what this means. This term was coined in 2012 by Stella Young, a disabled activist.

What does inspiration porn mean? Being inspired by disabled people just by the fact that they exist. Why is this is a problem? It objectifies disabled people and looks at them as something to be inspired by, when they’re not doing anything except living their daily lives. I will link the TEDTalk by Stella Young, she explains why she coined that word, and how she feels about it. Also, a few other videos about inspiration porn (here and here). Now, this is not saying you can’t be inspired by disabled people who are doing activist work, doing great things in the world, for their work. But this is saying that you should not be inspired by a disabled person who is just living their everyday life. Stella coined this word because of two experiences, several experiences really, but two main ones she mentions.

The first one: she went to a school and was giving a presentation about law. And one student asked, “So when will you start your inspirational speech?” What are you talking about? “You know, disabled people in wheelchairs usually come here and give inspirational speeches. It’s usually in the big room.” Ah. That kid had never seen a disabled person as anything other than as an object of inspiration. That’s a problem.

Second: when she was fifteen, a woman wanted to nominate her for a community achievement award. And her parents responded, “That’s great, but she hasn’t actually done anything.” The woman wanted to nominate her because, wow, a wheelchair, she still gets up every day and goes live her life, blah blah. No. If she had actually done some big contribution to the community, like, I don’t know, host a food drive or donated something, then great! That’s fine. But… It’s kind of creepy when you think about it.

It happens with deaf people too. People will be, “Oh, wow, you’ve really persevered through life, blah blah.” Like. I’m just living my life. You know, people look at me and be inspired that I get along even without hearing. You need to understand this. Many of us grew up being deaf. This is what we know. We know being deaf. But that’s not anything to be inspired by. Yeah sure, we have to figure out ways around it, but that’s not something to be inspired by.

I don’t think I can really say anything in addition to Stella’s TEDTalk so I will let you watch that and end here today. Short, I know. But… I just wanted to mention this if you didn’t know about this. So I guess that’s the end of Deaf Awareness Month. I have a theme for next month too. I will do the same thing as this month, some videos will be connected to that theme. Some videos will be whatever I feel like.

The theme for next month is… LGBTQ+ History Month! I will be making various videos. I already have a list of things that I want to make videos about. However, if you know of any specific event/person/whatever in LGBTQ+ history that you want to see me talk about, let me know. Leave it in the comments below.

If you want to support my content financially, I would really appreciate it if you joined my Patreon or made an one-time donation to my ko-fi tip jar. Subscribe to my channel. Follow me on my socials – FacebookTwitterInstagram. Thanks for reading, see you next time.

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