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October 09 , 2007

Don't Call Me Inspirational

A Disabled Feminist Talks Back


 For psychotherapist, painter, feminist, filmmaker, writer, and disability activist Harilyn Rousso, hearing well-intentioned people tell her, "You're so inspirational!" is patronizing, not complimentary.

In her empowering and at times confrontational memoir, Don't Call Me Inspirational, Rousso, who has cerebral palsy, describes overcoming the prejudice against disability – not overcoming disability. She addresses the often absurd and ignorant attitudes of strangers, friends, and family. 

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Rousso also examines her own prejudice toward her disabled body, and portrays the healing effects of intimacy and creativity, as well as her involvement with the disability rights community. She intimately reveals herself with honesty and humor and measures her personal growth as she goes from "passing" to embracing and claiming her disability as a source of pride, positive identity, and rebellion. 

A collage of images about her life, rather than a formal portrait, Don't Call Me Inspirational celebrates Rousso's wise, witty, productive, outrageous life, disability and all.

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