Transability and the Downfall of Society

A collection of disability related toys

The social web has been all aflutter for the past week, stirred up by a viral National Post article focused on the concept transability — people who believe they should be disabled and, in extreme cases, disable themselves to live out their preferred identity. Transability, more appropriately (in my opinion) known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), is not new — some studies on the topic go back well into the 1980s. BIID is also not new to the media either, as there’s a fascinating documentary about the subject from over a decade ago titled Whole (2003) which loosely inspired the odd Nick Stahl film, Quid Pro Quo (2008). The rise of BIID to mainstream frame, however, seems tethered to the transgendered movement, with many conservatives deploying this article as some sort of slippery slope warning that if you start letting people reassign their gender than logically the next step is people will begin demanding disabilities. The horror! Of course, things are not quite as simple as they might seem and this blog post hopes to explore some random thoughts I’ve been trying to gather in my head for the past few years. Continue reading “Transability and the Downfall of Society”

Theory of Everything (2014)

Theory of Everything: the incredible story of Jane and Stephen Hawking

With Oscar season upon us, I felt it was my duty as a disability studies & media scholar to sit through the latest Stephen Hawking bio-pic, Theory of Everything. What follows is my review of a wholly mediocre movie that likely only got nominated because it featured a nondisabled guy pretending to be a disabled guy. As with most reviews, the following may (read: likely does) contain spoilers – consider yourself adequately warned. Continue reading “Theory of Everything (2014)”