me before you (additional material)

Hi, all! It’s been a while, and while I’ve published more articles than just this one in the past several months, I really wanted to put out some additional material for the article that came out in June:

Why the Message of ‘Me Before You’ is So Dangerous

It’s been shared around 30,000 times now, and I’m so glad the word is getting out about how awful this film is – but here are the bits that I had to cut from the article for space. Let’s go.

  • “Do you know the video game Life is Strange?” Madeleine asks me. I don’t. “There are two characters that attempt suicide in the game. One of them is an able-bodied sexual assault survivor and the other is a quadriplegic woman. In the former situation, the game puts stress on the player to save the able-bodied character. In the latter, there’s all this emphasis put on how much money the disabled character is costing her family. After each chapter of the game, they show you what percentage of players chose which option. The majority chose to assist in the suicide [of the disabled character]. I was absolutely shocked at how different their morals were when applied to a disabled body.”
    Madeleine on Life is Strange
  • “This is about the complete devaluation of disabled lives,” says Alice Hewitt (silversarcasm.tumblr.com). “I feel so deeply uncomfortable and disgusted with how abled people are focusing on their own tears and emotions, how disabled people are just like f***ing tragedy vessels. I get so many people sending me messages like, ‘No, you don’t understand! The true message of the film is to live boldly and fulfill your potential!’ No, it’s not! That’s the message for abled people. The message for disabled people is ‘kill yourself so that abled people around you can profit from your death’.”
  • “I really, really do not make Nazi comparisons lightly,” says Hewitt, “but creating propaganda videos encouraging the idea that disabled people are burdens, and it’s better for everyone for us to die, is absolutely something that happened in the Third Reich.”
  • ^ She’s right. In the film, Will doesn’t want to “hold back” the people who love him. “I don’t want to become a burden” was a pull-quote from a New York Times article on assisted suicide. And in a Nazi propaganda photo from the 1930s, photos of disabled individuals are captioned “life only as a burden” the20existence20of20the20patients20in20the20ward20is20described20as20life20only20as20a20burden
  • …and “life without hope.”film02
  • In reality, wheelchair use is an adjustment, but it’s not hopeless. “Many disabled people have a wildly different way of appreciating life and defining a life worth living,” says Shannon F. “I was so weirded out when Kylie Jenner did that photoshoot and used a wheelchair to represent being ‘trapped’ or ‘limited’ or whatever. I’ve always associated wheelchairs with liberation.”

I’m going to start trying to post more on this blog, including more “extras” (aka, I consistently send in articles that are hundreds of words over limit, so I feel compelled to stick those somewhere…).

Thanks, friends.

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