If you’ve followed me for long enough, you’ll know how much of a social media fan I am. And
it’s not because I finally have an avenue to show off my incredible dance moves* – because it’s finally given a voice to so many people who have been shouting to be heard.
You’ve probably heard of the term ‘Cancel Culture’. While it’s been widely reported in the media in recent
times, it isn’t necessarily a new concept.
Cancel culture refers to the practice of withdrawing support for public figures and companies after they
have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Think of examples like the #MeToo
movement, Sam Newman, or even the argument around the re-branding of Coon cheese.
These examples of public uproar – often loudest online via forums or social media – were all derived
from the fact people are sick and tired of what they consider unacceptable behaviour being consistently
overlooked. As a result, they used the internet to garner massive support of condemnation.
That herd mentality can have a devastating effect, particularly when it’s negatively swayed towards
brands, which is why we’ve become so wary of Cancel Culture’s unwielding power.
For many, Cancel Culture is just another example of the world gone mad: the ‘PC Brigade’ has gone too
far! You’ll often hear rebuttle arguments that complain nothing you say or do is safe these days.
But whatever side of the fence you sit on, you have to admit that there’s so many positives to the everyday person having a voice.
If you look at my own minority group, people living with a disability have often felt we are being spoken
about rather than to. For so long, abled body people have been making decisions that have a direct
influence on our lives – from the way we receive care, the amount of money we can earn, to even what
school we’re allowed to attend.
And look, not to dump on everyone: I know there were (and still are!) plenty of abled body people who are honestly trying to help. But therein lies the problem – why can’t we be trusted to look after ourselves?
Representation is one of the many sticking points the vast majority of minority groups argue for. We just
want a seat at the table. There’s such power in seeing someone like you in the media...and not just as a
car crash victim. Someone living out a normal life, doing normal things, ‘normalising’ life as a person with
a disability (should I say normal again?).
For too long abled body people have been cast in disabled roles to tell our story. Do you know what that
says to us? That we’re not good enough; we’re not worthy to tell our own stories.
But thanks to Cancel Culture, now we have a voice to say enough is enough. Look at my man Dylan Alcott
(Warning: fan boy moment!). He’s flying the flag for people living with a disability, showing young kids that your life isn’t less valuable, less fun, less ‘full of life’ than those around you.
And THAT’S what I really love about social media. Everyday people now have a voice and, more than ever,
and being heard. As a result, we’re seeing that shift in the community. People are becoming more aware
of what they’re saying and how they’re saying it. They’re becoming more aware of their neighbours, their
behaviours and actions. To me it’s a beautiful thing and gives me great hope for the future.
Because I look at my boy Dylan and think what kind of adult world he will be living in, and I think there’s
a lot to be hopeful for if we continue to work together to stamp out unacceptable behaviours of the past.
That climate on the other hand, well, that’s another rant for another day...
*Much to your excitement, I can confirm I have NOT joined TikTok. My dancing is exclusively reserved for
weddings, parties, and when the Dockers finally win a Premiership...
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