Saturday, June 11, 2011
Here is an encouraging post about Peter Dinklage from a social media site called "Gather." A few days ago, the post popped up on my google alerts for the word dwarfism. I was concerned at first because the alert indicated that the article might focus on negative opinions about people with dwarfism parenting children. The sentence within the alert that concerned me was, "some fans are wondering if Peter Dinklage's dwarfism may be inherited by his soon-to-be bundle of joy." This sentence reminded me of an opinion piece about "Little People, Big World" I read a few years ago. In the piece, the writer accused the Roloff parents of being selfish for giving birth to children, knowing full well the high probability that some or all of their children would inherit dwarfism. The writer thought the Roloffs should not have had children. I am guessing the writer expressed this opinion because she assumed that either a child with dwarfism would be a burden on society or that the child would not have the same quality of life as a child without dwarfism.
The writer of the Gather post didn't express the same opinion. In fact the short post ended with what I thought to be an empowering paragraph. The paragraph sends a message that disability or dwarfism has little to do with how good a parent one is, and perhaps that dwarfism has little to do with the quality of one's life.
But if their first child does end up carrying the gene, it shouldn't matter. Not only will Dinklage and Schmidt make wonderful parents, but Peter Dinklage has proved time and time again that by embracing who you are, you can be a star.
Who knows if the difference between the Gather piece and the piece about the Roloffs is indicative of a world that is better at embracing difference, the difference between Dinklage and the Roloffs, or the difference between the two writers. But I am curious to know what the writer of the Roloff piece would have to say about Dinklage's impending parenthood.