Bill? I want you to release me.
Here are some dogs enjoying Popsicles.
who wants to give up on society and go live in a treehouse with me
As long as that Tree House has wifi, I’m game
Then and now
I think about what, and who, I love, and I think about them in danger, and I could tear this bloody house down with my teeth! You have n o i d e a how strong I am.
Independence is precious
This is a VERY INTENSE 1-minute video, and it needs a domestic violence tw. If you do watch it, it’s a powerful ode to independence, dignity of risk, and the fact that the lives of women with intellectual and developmental disabilities should reside at the heart of feminism. Self determination, autonomy, bodily sovereignty. These things matter for everyone.
(I want to add a caveat about even very direct support being possible to give and receive in a respectful, self-directed way, and that independence includes directing your supports, but I don’t think the movie argues against that at all, it’s just a misconception I could see forming.)
I don’t understand what happens in this video. Can someone explain it to me?
The first part is (presumably) a woman without a disability, who looks to be about 30, who is manually helped with every task in her life. She is not allowed to independently talk on the phone to the office (Bureau, could be interpreted as her workplace or as a social services office), to prepare her own food, fill out her forms how she would like, drink coffee without help, or even brush her teeth. This is shown by a masculine hand doing each of these tasks “for” her in a physically invasive manner. Her affect grows frustrated and sad (I think?) by the end of the video. During the paperwork scene you could interpret her as bored.
There are a lot of cultural codings in this.
This for many people replicates the feeling of an abusive relationship where the abuser controls every aspect of the person they are abusing’s life. This technique is one used in order to isolate and induce feelings of worthlessness and neediness in the person who is target of the abuse, so that they will not report or leave the abuser.
The being overly helpful part in particular makes the person feel as though if they were to tell anyone how it makes them feel, that it might be brushed aside. In fact, complaining about someone helping you in an MH treatment setting can get you a Borderline Personality Disorder DX, especially if you have other behaviors- sadly, many of those other behaviors are ones that are ALSO common in people living in abusive situations long term.
Because of the level of “helpfulness” involved, it can also make articulating the potentially abusive nature of the abuser’s activities hard. Sometimes it can be hard to explain how someone “helping” you in the kitchen is bad or harmful, or how someone “helping” you with papers is harmful. It can be difficult to have the wherewithal and language to describe, in detail, exactly how much this is done and how it is used to disempower you. (I was abused in a way that was much more explicit than this, but it took me a decade to be able to articulate why it was abusive; this kind of abuse would be even harder to talk about why it is abuse.)
The second part of the video shows a young woman with down syndrome. It is on the same kitchen set as the above scenario, but she is alone filling out a worksheet. It gives her name and an age of 30. Additionally she has similar coloring to the woman in the initial scenario. In this case, though, the masculine “help” is not present, and it tells us that she is successfully living independently in her community.
Here it makes a connection between how the viewer presumably felt negative about the level of unneeded support the non-disabled actress had, and the way that many people act when supporting people with intellectual disabilities.
It implies that often people over estimates the level of assistance a person needs, or acts in an overly protective manner when adulthood activities (preparing food, taking responsibility of personal hygiene, dealing with office calls, etc) come up. This can feel uncomfortable, invasive, and so on when there aren’t opportunities to safely self direct or to take responsibility at the level that the individual decides. Many people don’t make this connection if shown a person with disabilities receiving “help,” instead assuming that if the person is being given that level of “help” that they must need it.
The goal is to promote the possibility of independent living for people with intellectual disabilities. This would be rather than insisting someone has to choose between living with their parents or a group home, or even just round the clock care if they don’t need that level of support.
It also allows people the option of considering how they view people with ID- it makes them able to think about how they react when they see someone upset about the help they get. Sometimes people assume the upset that is actually about a lack of control in a person’s life is actually just another part of their disability.
But this shows them someone without a disability having those same exact responses they might have seen from someone. Because it waits until the viewer would be uncomfortable with the actress being treated that way gets them emotionally invested before the subject of disabilitity is broached, it can be an “oh” moment. They haven’t been allowed to brush it off by contextualizing it as “they are disabled, that must be the problem.”
So it really is doing a lot of things in a non-explicit fashion. It is using a lot of knowledge we have about how people think that is used in marketing.
Weed’s comment about someone trying to dismiss/misunderstand it as being against personal care when it isn’t is very important in light of all it is doing. After you (not you as in you, patterns, but you as in whoever is reading this) read my blurb here, I suggest scrolling back up to reread weed’s comments.
The men and women of Ferguson who are writing the future. Please promote their faces