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Please Use Pesron First Language


kkatzy
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I really love that TCM is doing this film festival on how disability is portrayed in the films. What a great idea and I would like to commend TCM for that.

 

The problem that I have which may seem minor but it is actually a HUGE concern is that every time Ben Mankiewicz spoke he placed the label before the person. When speaking of an individual who just happens to have a disability and in the case, the character, it is correct to say, a person with a physical, intellectual or emotional challenged. Last night Ben continually placed the disability before the person. This sends the wrong message to your viewers and this is important to correct since you know how influential movies are over society.

 

Please see the link below for examples of how to refer to persons with disabilities.

 

http://www.disabilityisnatural.com/explore/pfl

 

I am confident that TCM will make the necessary corrections immediately.

 

 

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Judging by the title of this thread, you seem to be dyslexic. :)

 

I am dyslexic too. :)

 

I am going to continue to look for the Handicapped Parking places in front of Wal-Mart. I don't know what Accessible Parking is. I think the whole parking lot is accessible, but the Handicapped Parking spaces are closest to the door, and that's what I need. :)

 

Whenever I say to someone on the phone that I am "disabled" or "handicapped", I get a lot better service.

 

Sometimes, when I have trouble understanding complicated instructions over the telephone, I tell the other person that they will need to repeat it slowly because I am stupid. Then they repeat it slowly for me and that helps. :)

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> {quote:title=SonOfUniversalHorror wrote:}{quote}

> I don't understand...why is it a "HUGE" concern, and why does it "send the wrong message"?

> I see it as drawing awareness to the disability...I don't get your point on this. ?:|

 

Some people feel that saying the disability first places more emphasis on the disability than is warranted. It becomes an ersatz title which categorizes the person in the same manner as calling a person "WASP John Smith" or the same manner as "Mrs. John Smith" is seen as robbing a woman of all identity except that of being a wife.

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*"I don't understand...why is it a "HUGE" concern, and why does it "send the wrong message"?"* - SOUH

 

It is my understanding that for some in the disabled community, there is an important distinction to be made in how one describes a person with a disability. For some (many?), to write "deaf actress Marlee Matlin" is less acceptable/polite than writing "actress Marlee Matlin who is deaf." Apparently placing the trait before the name "burdens" the person with an unnecessarily negative description or label of who the person is.

 

I think the term "deaf" is neutral and without any positive or negative connotation. To me, its use is no more problematic than writing "blonde Marlee Matlin", "left-handed Marlee Matlin" or "Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin". But I will defer to the perceptions of those that are affected by the choice of language.

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> {quote:title=kkatzy wrote:

> }{quote}I really love that TCM is doing this film festival on how disability is portrayed in the films. What a great idea and I would like to commend TCM for that...

 

 

One issue I've been having with some parts of TCM's promos for this series is the people (I have to assume they're actors and actresses) talking about various disabilities while clips are being shown, but we don't know who they are or what their relation is to the clips, movies or the actors being shown.

For example, one guy is talking about how well a certain actor (I think it was Kenneth More) did in a role of a man who lost his legs. Does he have that same "disability"? Or, if he's an actor, did he play a role of someone with that disability? And another guy talks about "little people" and a scene from FREAKS is shown. Are we supposed to know who he is or what his interest is in the topic? Sure, names are given while these people are talking, but that doesn't help much if we don't know who they are or why they've been chosen to talk about this subject? I think it may make their comments more meaningful if we are aware of their connection to the topic. I do know who Marlee Matlin is, but not any of those others. (But I do admit I have little interest in new and current films, TV and the current entertainment scene in general and rarely care to follow or see any of it, so that may explain my unfamiliarity with those people.)

 

Still, the promos are all interesting and well-done and some excellent and worthy points are made.

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I know the one guy who talks about "little people" is one and had a recurring role on Seinfeld, and while I don't know the actor who talks about Kenneth More, he does mention being an amputee in one of the segments. The girl who talks about the film Gaby has CP and was in at least one season of The Facts of Life.

 

 

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> {quote:title=kkatzy wrote:}{quote}I

>

> Mankiewicz placed the label before the person. When speaking of an individual who just happens to have a disability and in the case, the character, it is correct to say, a person with a physical, intellectual or emotional challenge.

>

>

Well, then, there's something of a problem with this whole "Festival of Disabilities" then, isn't there? It's not about "films that feature the disabled", or "films with actors who happen to be disabled", or "films that feature characters with physical, intellectual or emotional challenges" it's *DISABILITY IN FILM* with the *focus shining entirely on the disability*.

 

I'm not sure how wise it is to quibble over semantics, but I still say the whole thing was a bad idea in the first place- nothing more than a way to reheat some leftovers- and the problems in its execution (and wording) are only facets to the whole issue.

 

ps- what films *don't* feature "characters with physical, intellectual or emotional challenges" of some kind?

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> {quote:title=SonOfUniversalHorror wrote:}{quote}I don't understand...why is it a "HUGE" concern, and why does it "send the wrong message"?

> I see it as drawing awareness to the disability...I don't get your point on this. ?:|

 

 

I think it might help you to view this website: http://www.disabilityisnatural.com/explore/pfl

 

De Witless and others discussed this all in another thread that's devoted to the movies being aired on TCM this month.

 

And I did post there that many people with "disabilities" don't see themselves as "normal" people do.

People with "disabilities" regard themselves as people first. Or they regard themselves as different but not "disabled." The word "disability" has very negative connotations and ignores that many people with "disabilities" can get along just fine, despite their differences.

Everybody is different and that includes "other-abled" people. Some are more independent than others, just like the rest of us... And that's the point - they're people just like the rest of us.

 

Anyway, doesn't hurt to listen and try and understand what kkatzy is trying to say...

 

As for Young Ben, I have no idea what he said? Anybody know exactly what he said and can quote it for the rest of us?? Lzcutter???

 

In any case, everybody makes mistakes and they can be regarded as a learning experience.

I'm sure if Young Ben was made aware of it, he wouldn't repeat the same mistake in future.

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> {quote:title=musicalnovelty wrote:}{quote}

>

> One issue I've been having with some parts of TCM's promos for this series is the people (I have to assume they're actors and actresses) talking about various disabilities while clips are being shown, but we don't know who they are or what their relation is to the clips, movies or the actors being shown.

>

 

 

This is a good point. Maybe they figure people can search Google and find out themselves if they are unaware of who the people are? I don't know??

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> {quote:title=RMeingast wrote:}{quote}

>

> As for Young Ben, I have no idea what he said? Anybody know exactly what he said and can quote it for the rest of us?? Lzcutter???

> I'm sure if Young Ben was made aware of it, he wouldn't repeat the same mistake in future.

>

I love this new sobriquet.

(He is 45, you know.)

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Two *positive* things about this "Festival" though:

 

1. There are *premieres,* yes? (most) any time that happens the programmers *deserve a hand*.

 

2. I *really like* that Johnny Belinda promo. Period.

 

 

Now, I like Jane Wyman and I think the film has some strong points (the cinematography, the locations, the fact that it deals with issues of rape and single motherhood in a pretty straightforward and open manner, the characters are real, *I think it is a feminist film*, Lew Ayres is terrific and j'adore Agnes Moorehead and Jan Sterling in pretty much anything ever.)

 

 

That said, I don't think Wyman even merited a nomination for the work- in fact HER character (and subsequently, her work) is the one big problem with the whole thing- and this is likely the fault of the director Jean Negulesco, I don't know, maybe Jack Warner was heavily invovled too: *but she's not right*. Now, I definitely think Wyman had the chops to do it the right way, but she's not allowed to do it the right way and the end result is a woman who looks as if someone has just stomped quite hard on her foot right before they started filming every single scene.

 

 

The fact that Wyman's Oscar speech was simply "*I won this for keeping my mouth shut, I think I'll do it again"* and that's all belies the chance that p'raps Wyman herself knew she wasn't allowed to do it "*the right way*."

 

 

As it is, and I respect the cajones of TCM to take a deeper, critical look at a film that a lot of people see the last word on as "Box Office Hit, Best Actress Winner, Great Movie" and say "hey, wait a second, what about this? "

 

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Oct 8, 2012 10:28 AM

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Oct 8, 2012 10:29 AM

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> {quote:title=AddisonDeWitless wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=RMeingast wrote:}{quote}

> >

> > As for Young Ben, I have no idea what he said? Anybody know exactly what he said and can quote it for the rest of us?? Lzcutter???

> > I'm sure if Young Ben was made aware of it, he wouldn't repeat the same mistake in future.

> >

> I love this new sobriquet.

> (He is 45, you know.)

 

 

Just a baby...

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> {quote:title=clore wrote:}{quote}As for Young Ben, I have no idea what he said?

>

> Kindly refer to him as "Ben who is young" lest others consider that you are using "young" as a pejorative. ;)

>

Har, har... Who considers being young a bad thing or pejorative in some way?? ;)

But Kkatzy does make a good point below...

 

But your point taken... Touche... I was thinking of "Young Winston" as my inspiration, I guess...

And that's bound to cause more trouble comparing WC to BM...

I guess us "allegedly" "normal" people can poke fun at ourselves...

 

 

 

 

 

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I was thinking earlier about that reference somewhere in the thread about saying "Actress Marlee Matlin, a person who is deaf..." (I may be paraphrasing here).

 

There was a time when actors were considered second-class citizens and refused lodging in many situations. If we are to consider that one is a person first, then "actress" should also follow the name as to do otherwise grants the term a sense of superiority.

 

That is for those who wish to carry things that far.

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There is a peculiar sensitivity in the United States within some segments of the disability community who prefer to use "people first" language. This stems from notion that many folks with disabilities feel they have been defined, almost solely, by their conditions and wish to emphasize other aspects of who they are, in this case their personhood. Understandable given disability history. That said, there is no consensus among the disability community about use of that particular phrasing. It dates back to the 1970's and is showing its age. Others within the disability community feel the "person with" construction of the phrase is a clunky, awkward distancing mechanism used by no other identity group (as in "a person with ovaries"). As an assertion of pride many in the community would rather put disabilty first to show solidarity with a community rather than attempting to seperate themselves from their conditions -- or others who similarly identify. These folks assert that in 2012 we're no longer limited to the antiquated medical model of disability -- there are social, cultural and economic models of disability to consider as well -- and, as such, we no longer have to beat people over the head with the idea that we are actually -- **gasp** -- people. Most folks know that. We no longer feel shame about our disabilities either and that is reflected in the language preferences used. With regard to the intros Ben and I recognized this division and tried to use a variety of phrases to simply mix it up. Strike a balance.

 

More on the topic here:

http://aapdinterns.blogspot.com/2012/08/disability-first.html

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You make a good point, Carter. A lot would depend on the individual. To me, the word "disability" has always been somewhat of a misnomer, due to the fact that many, if not most, people considered "disabled" still function( refer to your PC's "Enable/disable" choices and what they mean). They simply don't function at some level that others do.

 

 

I'm considered "disabled" by my employer, therefore I'm retired on a "disability" pension. My difficulty is that due to a venal problem, I can't stand or walk for extended periods of time, and there were no jobs in the plant that allowed for my physical restrictions.

 

 

Physical restrictions. Hmmm...sounds as if General Motors had it right all along! What IS what we've long commonly referred to as a "disability" but a restriction of some kind. One's legs might not work, but their hands still do. One's hands might not work, but their MIND'S still do. And so on and so forth. It just needs to be done to find what someone isn't restricted physically from doing.

 

 

Depending on just what it is, people with certain "disabilities" will always be thought of as that first. It is up to THAT person to go about daily life in a way that makes others realize that such disability is irrelevent to who they really are. For me, if I were restricted to a wheelchair, I'd be more insulted by people who pretend NOT to notice it than by those who point it out. But I couldn't pretend either. I mean, if I refuse to be honest with myself, then how can I demand honesty from others? There ARE those who might honestly not pay it any mind, and really don't pay it any attention. But those I know who've long been restricted to a chair say it doesn't take long to learn to tell the difference.

 

 

Sepiatone PS: "Personhood"? Yeccch! Why not just "humanity"? Or "dignity"?

 

 

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> {quote:title=LCarterLong wrote:}{quote}There is a peculiar sensitivity in the United States within some segments of the disability community who prefer to use "people first" language. Strike a balance.

>

> More on the topic here:

> http://aapdinterns.blogspot.com/2012/08/disability-first.html

 

 

 

Same in Canada too. And I was careful to use the word "many" and not "all" in my posts below and elsewhere as there are differences and not everybody agrees on things...

 

We can't even agree on movies on this message board, for example. Nevermind what you write about below...

 

Oh well, striking a balance is all you can do... Obviously you're aware of things...

 

 

And the blog looks good...

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Oct 8, 2012 12:13 PM

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Mr. Carter-Long -

 

Thank you for dropping by and adding to the discussion. It will help with understanding the feelings/attitude of some members in the larger, disabled community.

 

I've heard of the "anti-surgery" movement for the deaf but this is my first encounter with the "person first" movement.

 

I hope this series is being well-received in the community. You and Ben are doing a great job.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

 

Edited by: hlywdkjk on Oct 8, 2012 9:19 AM

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Ha! Great to see disTHIS! referenced. Thank you! disTHIS! was a six month experiment that ended up lasting four years -- 2006-2010. Was one of the indicators that people (disabled and non-disabled alike) are hungry and eager to review and examine disability in film and media in new, interesting ways.

 

Here's one of my favorite write ups on disTHIS! to give folks a flavor of what we were doing back then from Disability Studies Quarterly: http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/34/34

 

All best, Lawrence

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