Anonymous asked: Why is giving a disabled character powers a no-no?
As a disabled writer, I wanted to write a story in which the disabled character doesn’t have an ability that negates his disability. I wanted to reflect the reality of my own experience as a disabled woman in a way that I don’t often get to see in media, because most portrayals of disabled characters are by able-bodied people and seen through their perspective. This is why tropes like the disability superpower, or any of the other noxious tropes I write about exist in the first place. We don’t control the narrative. I’ve written before about how painful it is not to have anyone who looks like you in the media you consume and how affirming it is to have someone who is like you with whom to identify in fiction. This essay isn’t about that, but instead about the way these portrayals of people with disabilities teach people without disabilities to view us.
Why the disability superpower matters. It talks about fanfiction, but it’s a nice read nonetheless.
Depending on the day of the week, I see these stories in one of three ways: Either the creator is thinking “I really want to include disability in my storyline, but I don’t think disabled people are interesting on their own. I better come up with something to make them more interesting to the storyline.” Or “You know what’s Special? Disability! Let’s do a disability special, and make that person have special powers!”.
(The third way is “Damn it, I’m irritated as all get out. Why am I even watching this?” Which is why I’ve never seen past the the radar-rain scene in Daredevil.)
I get frustrated with these stories not because there’s something deeply wrong with Disability Superpowers, but because there’s very little to counter-balance them in pop culture. It feels like, outside of the news (where people with disabilities are either tragedies or Very Special Lessons), television, books, and movies go for Super Powered, Special Lessons, or Not At All.
If you have any articles on the matter that could illustrate the issue further, link me.