A piece like “Disability” by Nancy Mairs, who is “a self-described radical feminist, pacifist, and cripple,” would resonate greatly today because in today’s age, many are opening themselves and talking about things that weren’t normally talked about in the past. By giving out facts and including her personal experiences, Mairs examines the media’s depiction of disability and argues that disabilities should be seen as normal part of life in the media. As Mairs talks about her desire to find someone who looks like her in TV, she uses the word “cripple.” She chooses to continue using this word instead of any other to make the word, the stigma behind it, and all the bad connotations disappear, which would make this word a normal word to use. Mairs is open about her disability and even calls herself a “cripple” multiple times so that no one feels bad for saying that word. She accepts her disability as a part of her and she wants everyone else to do the same. Self-acceptance is something that has been talked about throughout the years, but hasn’t been in the foreground of conversations until recent years. In today’s age, people are accepting themselves for who they are and therefore making them want to be represented in any kind of media. Although differently-abled people are beginning to be represented a lot more in TV shows and movies as well as other things like advertisements and social media, Mairs argues that there is still much more that media can do. Mairs work is very relevant today because she shows how disabled people are excluded from everyday life, something that many other people, not only disabled people, have lived through and have just started to stand up against. In “Disability,” Mairs also argues that when TV shows actually represent disabled people, in this case someone with multiple sclerosis, they focus more on the disability itself rather than the character and the experiences they could have in spite of their disability. She also talks about how anyone can become disabled and if disability was seen as a normal thing, no one would be scared of the transition.
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