Or, “sorry no cookies for you, insincere able-person.”
[Image description: A pink “your ecards” that depicts a black and white drawing of a man and a woman standing side by side on the right hand side. On the left black text reads: “P.S. I’ll tolerate you”.]
I paid $26 to renew this domain so I may as well use it to vent my spleen (because why else do we blog?).
My ire this morning was drawn to this article. The tl;dr version is “Professor condescend to a student asking for accommodations so hard she scares the student from ever contacting her again. She takes this as a victory for some reason.”
[Image description: A gif of Jim Carrey in “Liar Liar” slamming his head on a desk in a courtroom as his stunned client sits next to him.]
Austin Anderson was murdered by his mother last week. If you want to read an article that paints a pretty, sad, objectifying picture of the events and poises his mother as sad and repentant (while …
Source: There is Blood on your Aware Hands
[Image description: A bingo card entitled “Cripple Trope Bingo” with boxes filled with the following from the top left corner to right and then down each row: “Dumped after disability”, “Disability as excuse for jerkassery”, “ablesplaining”, “Caregiver uncomfortable with tasks”, Free space, “Disability is miserable with no regard of ableism”, “ableist speculation”, “Disabled person pushes away friends because of shame”, and finally “The disabled don’t have sex”.]
Moyes was trying very hard to fill out her “Cripple Trope” bingo card with this chapter. I want to say it’s impossible that she could jampack another chapter with so many clichés, but I may be surprised.
This review is very long. It’s over 2,700 words because Chapter Four was long with a lot to unpack.
Again, if you’re new please check out the intro and check out the tag for earlier installments.
Trigger warning: towards the end of this review (it’s marked there too) there is a very upsetting conversation about wishing to die over being disabled.
Chapter Four starts off with a description of Lou and Will falling into a routine as two weeks have passed since the last chapter. Except even after all this time Lou is still an ableist asshat.
Or everyone in this is an ableist asshat.
[Image description: A person in a suit with their body bent to literally stick their head up their ass.]
[Trigger warning: I could be this on the entire series really as Me Before You is a hot ableist mess but in particular I will talk about suicide in this installment. Tread carefully.]
In light of what happened in Orlando, I’ve decided in this installment I will address why Me Before You is a disingenuous portrayal of disability in terms of representation (also). I believe representation is the greatest way to fight bigotry. Despite all the strides forward we’ve made there is still a deep-rooted fear of homosexuality in my country and many countries. We need more visibility if we are to ever overcome.
And that includes portraying disabled queer people and disabled people of color who are queer or not.
[Image description: A picture of a waving red flag with the text over it:Red Flag Warning Issued]
This entire chapter was pretty much red flag after red flag.
Thank god these chapters are so short, because my energy is limited. I can’t guarantee any sort of schedule however because of my health. I have good days and bad days, and good weeks and bad weeks. Unfortunately you’ll just have to keep tuning back in to see when I post updates. You can follow my twitter or tumblr too for updates. (/plug)
If you’re new please consult my intro.
The first chapter starts two years after the prologue and focuses on Lou, the female lead. It takes the book six pages to say what I can in one sentence: Lou lost her job at a café that she really enjoyed working at because the owner sold it. There, and no need for a two page interlude re-playing the lay-off for no needed reason. This book is already 405 pages in my edition, why is there so much superfluous information? There was clearly no need to pad the word count.
Nevertheless the point of this review is to address the ableism, not my armchair editing (I am literally sitting in an armchair; it’s the only kind of chair I can really sit comfortably in). Apparently Lou’s grandfather lives with the family and appears to have dementia though it hasn’t been said yet (and may never be) why he exactly needs care. He doesn’t appear verbal and apparently needs Lou’s mother to care for him. The family is apparently treading water financially so Lou losing her job does have a significant economic consequence.
So you think she be a little bit more cooperative with the job center.
[Image description: Cover of “Me Before You”; movie tie-in edition. It features Lou sitting in Will’s lap.]
As the prologue of the book is so short (in my edition it’s not even four pages) I decided I would use this first post to also introduce myself and my motivations for this analysis.
First, I am physically disabled and neurodivergent. When I was still in highschool I was diagnosed with clinical depression and had suicide idealization. I was eventually stabilized though I still had anxiety and I also developed a proclivity for sleep paralysis and auditory hallucinations in my mid-twenties. Recently I’ve gone back into counseling for depression with the stress of my chronic illness.
My physical disability started when about fifteen months ago with a simple backache. I have desiccated disc disease and I am being investigated for Multiple Sclerosis and Fibromyalgia. My right leg is perpetually numb and I have terrible, terrible chronic back pain. I also have balance issues, general malaise, and chronic exhaustion. Because of all of the above I use a wheelchair and cane to get around.
In short I am somewhat similar to Will, the male lead in “Me Before You”. I’m not quadriplegic and for now I can perform all my basic care by myself. Nevertheless I do use a wheelchair and I have had suicide idealization. I also know very well what it feels like to have your will ground down by ableism and an inaccessible world.
[Image description: A rocky path surrounded by cliffs.] Image originally by Petura.
Ronda and Tonya are young women locked away so their noisome hallucinations don’t “bother” society. Ronda is determined to summon a selkie from the sea and become immortal; all so she and Tonya can live somewhere where no one will bother them.
But fairy gifts always require a sacrifice.
Chapter One | Warning: This chapter contains fat and ableist slurs
Inevitably books were the comfort of the lonely and marginalized. In time Ronda made friends with Tonya, a girl a year younger with auditory delusions that manifested in two ways. When she was stable they could be tiny instruments playing soft music around her person. When she was stressed, that small orchestra became critical mouths. They would comment on her dark skin color, her curly hair and weight. When she was in a very bad way they became a cacophony of shrieking.
The two girls shared their books between them. They enjoyed the escapism of fantasy and science fiction especially. Though there was little in the way of representation of themselves. In time Ronda set aside conjured fairy tales and fables for the thread of truth within the lore. She had never forgotten what she had seen in the waves on the day of her arrival.
“We can escape.” She decided three years after her imprisonment.