Saturday, November 22, 2014

Freak Show and Shockumentary Are Not Inspiration Porn

The online magazine, TakePart, recently published an article addressing what has come to be known as "inspiration porn" which, objectifies people with disabilities - as if by simply having a disability and being seen in public is 'inspirational'. Hollywood was rightfully scolded by TakePart for perpetuating this erroneous and condescending notion. 

Fortunately, there is new media available that portrays people with disabilities in a more realistic fashion. Viewers may find these disabled characters inspiring, and that's ok because it will be for all the right reasons. Plain Jane The SHOCKUMENTARY and American Horror Story: Freak Show were used as positive, stereotype shattering examples. To read the full article, click on the quote below.

Hash made a conscious choice to avoid having the film “feel like science class,” as she puts it, or position her as a hero. When she’s buying bread, she’s just buying bread. And if some scenes seem unusual—she’s at a drum circle, say, or a clothing-optional festival—the joke is on the viewer for surmising she belongs anywhere else. “People should see the reality, not us being put on some pedestal just because we got dressed and got out of bed,” Hash says.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Prisoners find inspiration without objectification

Jane Hash
photo by: Alternative Noise Productions
One goal of making Plain Jane The SHOCKUMENTARY is to provide audiences with a source of inspiration. Few people need and appreciate inspiration more than those who are spending a portion or the entirety of their lives incarcerated.

When the Executive Director of Re-Entry Bridge Network contacted me and asked if I would be interested in speaking to her students within the Richland Correctional Institution, I was shocked. How’s that for irony?

I had hoped this film would open up opportunities to do SHOCKUMENTARY Q&A presentations. Universities and disability related groups are where I imagined this objective would take me. Doing a presentation at a men’s prison was the furthest thing from my mind. After pondering this unique proposal though, the feelings of gratitude and excitement made it impossible for me to decline.

There are situations that I face daily, when someone tells me inappropriately that I am an inspiration. When able-bodied people tell me that I’m an inspiration simply because I am in a public place, that is an insult. Those perpetrators are objectifying me to make him/herself feel better.

Not once did I experience this sickening scenario while I was within the prison walls. Few populations have treated me with more respect and dignity than the Inmates at the Richland Correctional Institution for men. In fact, the only times I ever got nervous during the presentation is when the guards would pop into the room.

Until writing this post, right at this moment, I didn’t realize why the guards would randomly run into the room. It was the laughter. There is so much laughter in my life that I have taken it for granted. Every time the Inmates would roar with laughter, the guards would run in to see what was wrong. Then their observation would mesmerize them. The silly, shocked look on their faces was priceless.

Throughout the SHOCKUMENTARY Q&A presentation, we covered an array of thought provoking, intellectual, and fun topics. Of the numerous questions I was asked, none of them were about my disability. Not one! It would not have offended me. I’m just shocked once again! The Inmates were so appropriately inspired by the whole experience that they volunteered their limited resources and abundance of time to support a new project I am involved in.

It’s a good thing I wear a seatbelt all the time because this adventurous life I lead is rapidly gaining momentum!

The old Mansfield Reformatory that is situated next to Richland Correctional Facility

Monday, July 7, 2014

Jane says, "I don't have a degree in sitting on my ass."

Hello fans, friends, and supporters! Recently, I had LOADS of fun being interviewed by Melissa Both Heisler for The Empowerment Show. We covered lots of ground in a short time. 

Guaranteed to pique your interest in finding out more about Plain Jane The SHOCKUMENTARY! See complete interview below.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

SURPRISE! Important Announcement!

Dear Friends, Fans, and Supporters.  

We are so overwhelmed by your endless support and interest in 
Plain Jane The SHOCKUMENTARY that we just can't make you wait any longer.  

You can go right now and either rent or buy 
You can still purchase it on DVD as well.

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Home on Vimeo

While you are anxiously awaiting the streaming debut of Plain Jane The SHOCKUMENTARY on May 6th, you can start getting acquainted with our Vimeo channel today!  If our videos make you laugh or even leave you SHOCKED, please 'like' and leave comments!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Streaming Worldwide on Vimeo

Hi there, Fans, Friends, and Supporters!  Mark your calendars because on May 6th, 2014 Plain Jane The SHOCKUMENTARY goes worldwide!  Pre-order is also available.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Filmmaker Cheryl Green - Shockumentary Review

Dear Fans, Friends, and Supporters. All your wonderful comments and reviews are received with love and gratitude.  We are exceptionally pleased to share the following outstanding review of Plain Jane The SHOCKUMENTARY by Filmmaker, Cheryl Green.
Cheryl Green 
Co-Director, Co-Producer of
 “Who Am I To Stop It”

A documentary film is a gift to the viewers. You get to sit back and relax while the subject of the film bears all. That said, rarely do you find one so rousing, engaging, and so bearing-it-all with such great spirits as "Plain Jane: The Shockumentary."
Jane Hash has done an incredible service to the disability community by making and starring in a documentary that shows her just as she is: a complete, complex, well-rounded, sexy, sexual person with a full life and a disability. 
This film blatantly rejects the dehumanizing tropes so often saved up for disability documentaries: disabled person as pitiful help object, as subject of ceaseless inspiration, or as hero at overcoming personal obstacles. You see each one of those limiting stereotypes torn to bits in this film, though she is never heavy-handed. She accomplishes this by letting you observe her day-to-day world and by explaining when explanation is needed. For instance, how many people who criticize Social Security benefits recipients for not working know about financial injustices such as this scourge: go to work and earn a living, or keep your health insurance, which would allow you to keep on living.

Don't let that last sentence turn you off from jumping in, though, because you will be roaring with laughter and delight throughout the movie. Whether she perches serenely upon a rock in the middle of a rushing river, rides her power wheelchair like a chariot, complete with goat-costumed men with harnesses, or yells in frantic rage from the backseat of her car that she should be the one driving (she is 2 foot 7), the movie is nothing if not an absolute blast. 
"Plain Jane" is groundbreaking, bringing together so many pieces of the disability experience that are typically silenced, such as sexuality, self-advocacy, abuse and injustice, and humor. I have the DVD, which I am promptly sending to a friend to watch. So I'm counting the seconds until this movie is available streaming. Because it simply must be watched and discussed sooner than we can get DVDs around in the mail.
- Cheryl Green