So tonight I watched the latest episode of BBC’s Casualty, wherein the clinical lead Connie is currently having to undergo treatment for cancer of the heart and (spoiler alert) makes an unexpected/unwanted (?) pass at Ethan: her colleague who has been helping her through it. For some reason this stuck in my throat. At the time I couldn’t think why, so I proceeded to watch another film that gave me a similar feeling, Me Before You, and having done so, I believe I have found the root of the vine of irritation entangling many media portrayals of disability, for me.
Quite simply: television and film seem to imply that in order for disabled character to be valid, the afflicted must be, a) extremely attractive, b) wealthy/successful proffessionally, or c) able to overcome ‘normal expectations’. Any characters who do not meet these requirements simply don’t exist, on the whole: I believe Eastenders has a non-remarkable disabled character, but that’s the exception not the regular.
Look, I don’t wanna become known as the woman always ‘having a go’ at media portrayals of disability, but, like everyone else, I’d like to see a normal character ‘a bit like me’ pop up on my tele sometime!
DISCLAIMER: Now let me just say, I am disabled, however I’m not stupid or arrogant enough to suggest myself as some sort of expert on quadraplegia or any disability really. Not even my own. All I know is my own experience and my own views, so, I’m not telling you how to feel about this film, or the actions/reactions of any of the characters. The worlds full of a variety of wonderful personalities and the great thing about it is we can all form our own unique opinions on things.
Oh, and SPOILERS!
The Brotherhood of Mutants as seen in XMen: The Last Stand
Okay, so, first of all I watched XMen: First Class for the first time last week, having avoided it like the plague up until then (for reasons I shall delve into in due course) and now I find myself in the slightly awkward social position of sympathising with the ‘wrong side’ here, or at least, the generally promoted ‘baddies’ of the film: The Brotherhood of Mutants. I admit this is probably a strange statement, as ‘The Brotherhood’ claim to want to end humankind as it stands (or at least the non mutant/further evolved portion thereof) – harsh! Why then, do I sympathise with these people? Let me explain.
(NOTE: BEFORE YOU READ FURTHER I SHOULD WARN YOU THAT THE PROCEEDING BLOG WILL, UNDOUBTEDLY CONTAIN SEVERAL SPOILERS!)