There is an odd little “Frankenword” getting around the disability community blogosphere.
It’s short for Inspiration Pornography. This (mostly derogatory) term refers to the concept that, in an effort to turn the tables on negative stereotypes around disability, proud, advocating parents thrust their kids forward as being somehow other-wordly, divine or more special than the average kid because of their disability. Think: memes about our kids or “feel good” stories about people with Down syndrome doing things like getting married and so on. It’s a concept that comes from a place of love but critics claim that this stuff sells our kids short and that stories of people with Down syndrome doing things that everyone else does should not warrant a spot on the nightly news.
I have umm-ed and ah-ed about weighing in on this debate for the best part of a year.
Partly because I’m not great at drawing a line in the sand on any issue. I am always ready to throw out a working hypothesis in the face of new evidence to the contrary.
Partly because I do not like holding up another writer/parent’s opinion or work and encouraging others to pick holes in it and publicly berating them for their approach.
But mostly because I am certain that any stance I take will probably be proven to be totally hypocritical in more than one of my future or past posts! Lets face it, I’m sure there are several critics out there who would consider my entire blog to be Inspiraporn.
As a result, I have always opted for the vague, non-committal approach to controversial topics. I find it really hard to have a definite opinion on any issue. I can always see the pros and cons to both sides and I don’t like having to pick sides!! I always reserve the right to pick a little from column A and a little from column B.
However I can’t really let this one go through to the keeper….. Continue reading