Recommended Reading for February 5th
Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.
Assiya at For a Fairer Today: “But I don’t see disableism very often”
A couple of months ago I tried talking to my best friend about why I find “Glee” ableist, which turned into a conversation about disableism in society. My best friend is a sociology major who always seems better at me at noticing failure around -isms. So I was shocked when she said she rarely sees disableism.
Amanda Forest Vivian at I’m Somewhere Else: The harder fallacy [spoilers for Precious]
I keep thinking about something my friend said after we watched Precious and I was talking about how the portrayal of the child with Down Syndrome was offensive. (I’m going to refer to the character as Quishay, which is the name of the little girl who played her.) My friend kept saying, “Well, it IS harder to raise a kid with Down Syndrome.” I said “Do you actually know any people with Down Syndrome, because if you did, I think you’d feel differently.” My friend was like, “What do you mean, do you think I wouldn’t think it’s harder to have Down Syndrome? It’s a DISABILITY. It’s not a good thing.
jackandahat in accessibility_fail: When the people who claim to help are the problem. [warning: violence wish expressed]
Right now I’m looking for work, and I’ve just been sent to an agency – Remploy – who deal with getting disabled people into work. […]
The other advisor – I don’t know his name, call him Stupid Fuck – picked up my cane and put it behind his back, and started giving a speech about how now no-one would know I was disabled, and I had to think of it like that.
lightgetsin at the light’s how they find you: So it turns out there are people with disabilities in fandom [warning: description of residential care neglect]
Except those three times I bit my tongue? Not a single one was actually about the content of what people were saying in response to the post. Every single time it was because people were responding to the post with the clear, unthinking default assumption that there were no people with disabilities in the comment thread.
It’s not about hate or disgust or any active form of discrimination. It’s about the silent, reflexive belief that you are all like me.
chaoticidealism: Baby Expectations
When baby-doll advertising doesn’t stick to just describing the doll’s features, it usually reflects the ideas that the general public seems to have about what raising a baby should ideally be like; and practically all of that is focused straight on what the baby will do for you. […]
What if, instead of babbling and cooing, Baby stares in fascination at the play of light on the dust motes in the air? What if, instead of kissing Mommy, Baby pulls back from the overwhelming touch and cries inconsolably? What if, instead of saying, “I love you, Mommy,” Baby recites the full script of her favorite Sesame Street episodes?
Nafisa Khanbhai: Dear Diary: The Story of a Disabled Asian Woman, Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol 29, No 4 (2009)
Having personally experienced a lot of discrimination from friends in the Asian community and at times from the extended family, I decided that it was time to prove my capabilities and create awareness about disability in my community. I went to work at the Rotaract Club for eight years. Rotaract is an organization that assists the needy in society and that includes the physically and mentally challenged. However, I noticed that the organization did not create awareness about those with special needs in society. Instead the organization runs on a simplistic, easy charity model — food, clothes, sometimes cash — a token approach that salves the giver’s conscience. Even though this approach might serve immediate needs, I knew that we needed to and could do more. And then that old problem cropped up again; persons with disabilities have no voice in my community, and being the only such member in the club made it difficult to express my views, and when I did they were not appreciated. I did not blame the other members since I understood that either they are different or I am, and naturally our views would also be different.
These encounters emboldened me in my yearning to create awareness for disability issues generally in Mombasa.
Stephanie Lyn Keil at A Grand Illusion: Is Neurodiversity Economically Feasible? How to Help
I agree with much of Neurodiversity’s philosophy but in their idealism they fail to grasp a couple of realities: the economic impact of their idealism being one of them […] If Neurodiversity wants their idealism to be a reality than they need to begin cutting costs in as many areas as possible.