I watched Special on Netflix last week. It stars Ryan Connell, an actor who has cerebral palsy. I only watched a few episodes mind you. It was recommended to me. It is about a guy with “MILD” cerebral palsy. He is also gay. Might have been Jewish as well. Reminded me of the old Sammi Davis Jnr joke when asked his golf handicap, “.. I’ve got three – I’m blind, I’m black and I’m Jewish.”
But Special was a bit twee for me. A wee bit Brady Bunchish. That’s despite the rather explicit sex scenes and the swearing. That said it was an interesting examination of society and its attitudes towards people with a disability. It was also an interesting examination of how people with a disability view themselves. The awkwardness, the worry of what the Ablebods will think of us. What’s gonna happen when we have sex? Our own inherent Abelism, Says the star of the show, and often, ” … I’ve got CP but it is only mild though.”, as if by saying so the Ablebods will see him as more normal and accept him.
The exploration of sex interested me most. It was a very explicit examination of how the physical disability can “get in the way” of sex. The lack of coordination, perhaps the inability to control saliva, limited mobility and so on. Naturally this makes the disabled person extremely self conscious. I well recall when I started to explore sex. The worries of what people would think of my hearing aids and whether the hearing aids would whistle and so on. Looking back, absolutely trivial compared to the challenges of a person with severe (for want of a better word) physical disabilities.
Using a sex worker is something a person with a disability might do to satisfy their sexual needs. Completely understandable. The show did not shy away from this. Then there was the compassion and patience shown by the sex worker to our star as he loses his virginity.
Yeah it was man to man anal sex and our star proclaims something like “Anal sex is divine…” or words to that effect. It was confronting because our stars limited mobility meant that adjustments needed to be made. I am sure this is hellishly embarrassing for the person with a physical disability, but thats life. This is part of the reason the show is so great. It provides us with an insight and understanding of these challenges in a human and empathetic way. But yeah, the show was a bit twee, little bit too wholesome and mushy for me. 😀
But you know the star of our show wasn’t a person with a disability. Well he actually was but in today’s brave new world he isn’t.
You see there is a new train of thought that believes that being disabled is offensive. The word disabled is now up there with words like Nigger as being offensive and needs to be done away with. No more using the word disabled please … Those days are over, finished. DO NOT INSULT US – for we are Access Inclusion Seekers. Don’t believe me well click on the link below –
Yup, we are now either Aised or we are Seekered. I kind of like Seekered. You know there is too much to play with on Aised. Can you imagine. “Im not Aised” or ” I cant be Aised”. It would get way too silly.
Seekered has a lovely ring to it. I am Seekered. It makes me feel real, like people are looking out for me. I feel really accepted being Seekered. Way, way better than that old negative DISABLED. That term DISABLED and all of its negativity, I want no more to do with it. Out with the old and in with the new for I am Seekered.
Think about it. With this new term we will need to change the name of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It won’t make sense now that we are Access Inclusion Seekers. No siree! The new name will be a mouthful. Think about it, The National Access Inclusion Seekers Insurance Scheme. Yup, NAISIS. That looks kind of wrong. Something that Fraser Anning would be all over. It’s either that or we come up with a complete new name and brand for the NDIS that incorporates Access, Inclusion and Seeking. Cannot be too hard, I am sure.
But yes, I jest. Regular readers of The Rebuttal will know my pet hate is the never ending quest to find a nice way to label us Disableds. The Height Challenged, Voice Impaired, the Differently Abled and so on and so on.
I always hope, beyond hope, that we are over it. But sadly not. That people will actually come up with a tongue twister like Access Inclusion Seekers and others will take it seriously tells us that society has such a long, long way to go before it’s comfortable and accepting of people with a disability.
For me I prefer the message of Special. It just tells it as it is. It accepts that disability is there. It sees the disability and the person. It sees the challenges and the adjustments and just accepts them for what they are. In recognising the different way that a person with a disability lives their life society can then design itself so that the world is better designed for people with a disability. In short.
Will people please get over it and focus on what matters. An Access Inclusion World – Make the world take responsibility instead of just us the Seekered. Sorry, I mean the disabled. One can but dream.
In the mean time the fools that come up with these ridiculous terms. Well, they can go and get SEEKERED … Make of that what you will.