It’s been an awful past 12 months, I don’t need to tell anyone that. For disabled people it’s not just been the threat of the pandemic that’s been weighing on our minds. Ever since lockdown was announced last year, disabled people were the first to be thrown under the bus and it hasn’t stopped.
Trigger warnings: Violence, Ableism, Suicide
The subject of disability representation on the silver screen is a conversation that’s been brewing for decades, bubbling in response to contentious releases such as Rain Man, My Left Foot, and Me Before You. Films like Come As You Are and Sia’s Music have brought this conversation to a boiling point, with the disability community demanding “nothing about us without us” in the face of systematic ableism within the wider film industry.
You may think that a film about a neurodiverse character being nominated for a Golden Globe is an incredible leap forward in terms of equality and diversity in the entertainment industry and you’d be correct, but Sia’s film ‘Music’ is rather the opposite.
TW: This post mentions institutional abuse of disabled people.
Recently, it was announced that the Mental Health Act would be facing some landmark reforms in order to tackle its discriminatory overuse against some of the most vulnerable groups in society.
TW: Medical fatphobia, medical neglect, eating disorder mention.
Note about language: The author of this piece uses the word “fat” to describe herself – reclaiming the word as it has been used against her in the past.
I get a free NHS flu jab. Which is apparently because my BMI (a bull measurement that was never meant to measure individuals but populations, and says nothing about your worth) is above a certain number – one which apparently makes eyes water and a nurse practitioner offer weekly weigh-ins to patients with eating disorder histories. But that’s a whole different article.
‘My body is betraying me’
This was the thought that flitted across my mind the first day the post-Covid fatigue took me down. It wasn’t, and still isn’t, actually betraying me, but I was upset and felt helpless and needed to be melodramatic for a moment.
As we start a new year there is always buzz of energy around new possibilities, goals to be met and changes to make, but as a disabled person I am acutely aware that I’m going into 2021 fighting the same issues I have been all my life.
And I am tired.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been the idea that the way to fight Covid-19 is to lock down all of those who are vulnerable and have life continue as normal for all that are healthy.
Brexit has been wedged into the folds of our brain for years now, the term sending a slight shiver down the spine of everyone who happens to hear it for the thousandth time.
There’s been a lot of talk about the new vaccines popping up for covid, and rightly so. This disease is running our lives at the moment – those lives that it’s spared. But there’s something else you should be vaccinated against – the flu.