We need allies who care enough to shift their thinking, so the onus isn’t always on disabled people to point out problems
It has been an exhausting summer to be disabled. Every day there seems to be a news story. The Lizzo ableist slur, followed by the Beyoncé ableist slur – the exact same one – mere weeks later. The model whose prosthetic leg was edited out of a celebratory “beach bodies” advert. The virulent bullying of the deaf Love Island contestant Tasha Ghouri, both on social media and in the villa.
Some of the slights have been more subtle, woven into the fabric of the work surrounding them so seamlessly that they could, and probably will, be explained to me by able-bodied people as being perfectly fine, actually. But it was disappointing to see the final episode of Derry Girls – lauded as “a triumph” by reviewers – using a disabled cast member as shorthand for a party not being as cool as it first appeared. The Oscar-winning film Coda, although well-meaning, centres on the struggles of an able-bodied person overcoming the great impediment of having a disabled family. In her medieval fable Lapvona, Ottessa Moshfegh, usually an incredible and fearless [...]