Cripple punk

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The cripple punk movement, also known as cpunk,[1] crippunk or cr*pple punk, is a social movement regarding disability rights that rejects inspirational portrayals of those with physical disabilities on the sole basis of their disability[2] Started by Tyler Trewhella in 2014 on their blog,[3] the movement draws inspiration from ideas and values of the punk subculture. The movement challenges the idea that people with physical disabilities need to appear morally good to deserve the conditional support of able-bodied people, and instead advocates for the solidarity of physically disabled people who appear not to conform to normative standards through their appearance, body size, dress, use of a mobility aid, drug use, or physical deformity.[4]


The tag started in 2014 by a Tumblr user, Tyler Trewhella, posting a picture of them standing with their cane and a cigarette in their mouth, with the caption "cripple punk" layered over the top, and the description "i'm starting a movement." The post would go on to be liked and reblogged by over forty thousand people, with the caption being used as a tag to boost other posts and images of physically disabled people going against the typical perception of people with disabilities.[5]


Cripple punk ideology centers and prioritizes the lived experiences of disabled people over the pressure to conform to the standards that able-bodied people uphold. It is also made explicitly by and for people with physical disabilities, and how they navigate the world, as opposed to able-bodied people and those exclusively with mental disorders and disabilities. Participation is not contingent on people being comfortable with using the word "cripple", and alternative spellings or censoring is accepted. The movement tries to change ideas that people with physical disabilities need to be entirely unproblematic, without fault, and give all of their energy to trying to act or look less disabled; or that of physically disabled people being either a source of inspiration or that of pity.[5] Instead, it focuses on basic survival and quality of life improvement for physically disabled people through the support and solidarity of other disabled people.[1] It also supports unlearning forms of internalized ableism, and those who are going through the process of doing so.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "'Cripple Punk', Disability Related Internet Movement". Cerebral Palsy News Today. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  2. ^ Niedzviecki, Hal. "Up the Disabled Punx – Broken Pencil Magazine". Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  3. ^ "disgaybled, i'm starting a movement". 2017-06-28. Archived from the original on 2017-06-28. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  4. ^ chivomengro (2017-10-23). "Cripple Punk". CHIVOMENGRO. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  5. ^ a b "BBC Scotland - BBC Scotland - Cripple Punk: the disability movement taking on 'inspiration porn'". BBC. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  6. ^ "Cripple Punk: The hashtag that helped me wear my disability with pride". Topics. Retrieved 2019-11-11.