Yo I have a PROBLEM with this hella offensive book & its movie and EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD, TOO. This book preaches the message that a disabled life is NOT WORTH LIVING. That disabled people are a burden to their friends, families, and caregivers. I don't know why more people aren't talking about this.
  1. Sometime last year someone told me to read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, so I did! She said she loved it and she cried her eyes out and hey, who doesn't love a good cathartic cry every once in awhile?
  2. The book is about a woman named Louisa who takes on a new, well-paid job that she doesn't get a lot of information about.
    She's hired by a wealthy family, who explain that her job is to be a companion to their son, Will, who was once an adventurous, successful, happy man — before the spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
  3. Will is severely depressed, but Louisa's job is to cheer him up. As they get closer and (spoiler!!) fall in love, Louisa learns that Will wanted to go to an assisted suicide place. His mother begged him not to so he tried to commit suicide himself. He then promised his mother that he'd give her six more months attempting to find happiness in life.
    And he does! Because of his charmingly clumsy, bright-eyed new companion, Louisa! I mean, it's Daenerys Targaryen, for pete's sake! What's not to love!!!
  4. Now in love with Will, Lou makes it her mission to prove to him that he can be happy — they can be happy, together. They go on extraordinary adventures and fall deeper in love and everything is sunshine and rainbows!!!
  5. Except that at the end of the grand trip that's supposed to prove to Will how amazing their life together can be, he tells her, no, sorry, I love you and all but I WOULD RATHER BE DEAD THAN BE IN THIS WHEELCHAIR.
    So he goes to the assisted suicide place anyway. And dies. And leaves Louisa a grand old pile of money and the freedom to live her life well, explore, go adventuring, now that she's FREED FROM THE SHACKLES OF HAVING TO CARE FOR HIM.
  6. I don't understand how this book was written
  7. I don't understand how this book was published
  8. I don't understand how this book has become a bestseller
  9. I don't understand how this book got a movie deal
  10. I don't understand how thousands of people are going to see this movie and coming home and saying "omg SO SAD literally I cried my EYES out ahhhhh SO ROMANTIC ahhhh Sam Claflin is so handsome omg I love Emilia Clarke omg go see this movie u will love it I swear!!!" and seeing NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE
  11. Every life is worth living. Yes, EVEN disabled ones (shocker!!!!!)!!!
  12. Is life more difficult? Absolutely
  13. Is it hard to adjust to a life totally unlike the one you had before an accident that left you paralyzed? Tremendously. More than any of us can imagine
  14. Does it affect the people in your life who help you make it through every day? Of course
  15. Is it okay to make a book or movie that reveals some of the harsh realities of life with a disability, and ultimately decides that such a life is so terrible, you should kill yourself instead? NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. THAT IS TELLING SOMEONE THAT EVEN IF THEY HAVE MONEY! FIND LOVE! IT IS NOT WORTH IT. IT'S A LIFE NOT WORTH LIVING.
  16. Why am I explaining this
  17. Why don't people get this
  18. There is so little representation of disabilities of ANY AND ALL kinds in popular media
  19. A child with cerebral palsy is unlikely to see a character like them on the tv shows they watch
  20. A hard-of-hearing teen would need to search for a long time for a YA book with a deaf protagonist
  21. A person with a spinal cord injury would be hard pressed to see a paralyzed character in a movie without it being some kind of gimmick. Some minor character who teaches Our Hero about the Important Things In Life
  22. So for a disability like spinal cord injury to finally have a place in popular media? To have a spotlight on life in a wheelchair and all the things an able-bodied person takes for granted? To have people's eyes glued to them onscreen for two hours instead of averted on a plane when a disabled person needs to be carried to their seat? That's HUGE.
  23. And they blew it.
  24. Jojo Moyes blew it. The people who made this project a reality blew it. The production company that made the film blew it. The actors that signed onto it blew it — yes, even our dear Daenerys Targaryen.
  25. I do not personally have a disability, and my knowledge is limited, so if I have said something insensitive during this rant, I apologize. Please point it out to me and I will fix it.
  26. But I have very personal experience with disability — specifically spinal cord injury similar to Will's — and the idea that this movie's message is being broadcasted in theaters across the country? It's just heartbreaking. It's just wrong.
  27. Do better.