My friend Jisun wrote a post on a new movie by Pixar called Inside Out.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but that doesn’t matter in this post at all. What does matter is what she is talking about in her post – did you read it? No? Here it is: Dear Pixar: Inside Out and Papercut Deaths – come back when you are done (I’ll wait).
This is the thing: it’s not about being anal over every.single.word. It’s not about jumping up and slamming a movie, a company, a person or whatever or the use of a word that is not PC.
It’s about the choices that a company like Pixar makes. It’s about how that particular scene could have been played differently. It’s about THINKING before you write jokes that (even minutely) mock those an intellectual disability in an enormously popular movie that will reside in the growing collective culture that our children will build.
Mark wrote a follow up post to Jisun’s, reminding us of the use of “mongo” and “moron” in Toy Story 3, used in direct context to someone having an intellectual disability like Down syndrome. (Check that post out too – it’s good)
Which is just stupid. Jumping on her for her post,because her post – which you did read, right? – isn’t about that At.All.
It’s about papercuts
The papercuts are real. They exist. I feel them too, of course I do! I feel these both as a person with a disability and as a mother of a person with a disability. I’m covered with little papercut scars.
But the thing that I most want people to understand about these papercuts is not that they hurt, but that they SHAPE. I want people to understand that these types of small wounds actually shape culture. They are the bits that mold the collective understanding of what having a disability is about, they are the undertone upon which other big cuts are built.
It’s not about saying the perfect PC thing all the time.
It is about being thoughtful with choices.
Particularly if you are a company like Pixar that will actually influence how children will grow up thinking.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.