Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Unnecessary Roughness


Do we really need this? At left, a print ad for the 2006 Canadian Wheelchair Rugby Championship. (Visual description: black lettering on the face of what appears to be a seriously play-worn wheelchair-rugby wheel, reading "TO PLAY WHEELCHAIR RUGBY YOU HAVE TO BE PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED AND MENTALLY INSANE.")

The other two ads in the campaign were okay, but this one plays into the cliched idea that being "mentally insane" is all about being heedless of danger, spectacularly self-destructive, and ... entertaining to watch? Busting cliches about one disability group by reinforcing cliches about another disability group just isn't helpful, in the bigger picture.

5 comments:

Moggy said...

Oddly, the ad brought a totally different negative stereotype to my mind... What I thought of was the longstanding belief that many "insane" people don't feel pain or care if they're hurt/abused by others -- hence being more likely to play a violent sport. I've seen the reference made in a lot of sports before.

Is the link to the person that created it, an employee of the agency, or just a copy of the ads?

If it's the artist or employee, perhaps an advocacy group (as well as a handful of individuals like us) should give them a bit of education, as well as doing the same with the rugby association that hired them & approved their work.

Penny L. Richards said...

Good catch, Moggy, you're right, that's another harmful stereotype about "insane" people that they're reinforcing.

The ad is credited to an ad agency named Colour, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Jacqui said...

No. We don't need it.

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