Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blog Post # 12 in response to Question L

The video Gimp shows that disabled people may have physical disabilities, but that does not mean that they cannot actively participate in society. In fact, according to Susan Wendell’s The Social Construction of Disability, it is society itself that can “damage people’s bodies in ways that are disabling in their environment” and “the availability of basic resources, or lack thereof, can also have major effects on disability” (Wendell, 477).
When watching Gimp, when the performers were dancing including those with disabilities, it was as if their bodies were transformed into something greater than the human body. The way they moved, how strong they were, and how they used their bodies shows how far the human body can go. The title explains all the different definitions of gimp, such as “a lame person”, “a halting lame walk”, or “to turn or tremble”. Yet, this film proved that those with disabilities, those who are considered to have a gimp, can still do miraculous things which allow them to overcome their physical disabilities. They proved that even though “disability is socially constructed through the failure or unwillingness to create ability among people who do not fit the physical and mental profile of “paradigm” citizens” that that unwillingness can still be defeated (Wendell, 479).
I believe that performances like this can truly help address issues of disability in a progressive manner. These performers, who have disabilities, prove that they are more than capable to be successful in society, and more than that they can be successful in an area that demands they use their bodies each and every day. I think Gimp, and other performances like it, will inspire others with disabilities to strive to do whatever they want in life even if it seems impossible for them to reach their goals. It is clear from Gimp that nothing is impossible. I also believe that those are not disabled can learn a lot from Gimp. They can see that being disabled doesn’t mean that it affects every aspect of a disabled person’s life.  Yes, “much of the public world is structured as though everyone were physically strong, as though all bodies were shaped the same, as though everyone cold walk, hear and see well” but I hope those who are not disabled can learn to see how strong those who are disabled actually are to deal with all the obstacles that are thrown at them because of the way our society is constructed (Wendell, 479).


  1. I agree with you, I believe that performances like Gimp are very important to show people who are not disabled that they are just the same. If anything they are stronger as they have to overcome obstacles that people without disabilities may never even imagine.

  2. I agree, in regards to how non disabled people could learn a lot from the video. I think it is powerul to see disabled people do something that is difficult for a non disabled person to do. It is an encouraging sign that shows the clear issues surrounding ableism.

  3. I also read Susan Wendell's article, The Social Construction of Disability, and I also agree with what you said. The video was so empowering and it took the art of the human body and expanded it beyond the 'paradign', giving power and determination to people with disabilities to fight and overcome these societal constructions.