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.

By 5 February, 2010.    recommended reading   



10 Comments

  1. With all due respect, but what mad eyou include Stephanie Lynn Keil’s post in recommended reading? I know that inclusion in RR doesn’t constitute agreement, but it is rally rahter offensive to suggest that accepting autistics (which is what neurodiversity is about) is not “economically feasible”.

  2. Astrid: Absolutely it’s offensive. The implications are horrific. The RR isn’t a list of anti-ableist stuff, or stuff I agree with; not in any way.

  3. Astrid, I put the link up for inclusion in the recommended reading. With the comment that “apparently genocide is the economically feasible solution to disability.” It is enormously offensive and dangerous. I vehemently disagree with Kiel and the comments that had been left the last time I checked; I just felt more people should be aware that this was out there.

  4. I must admit, I was also confused as to why SLK was included, not least because – barring the opening sentence – her post has very little to do with the purported subject.

    Funding issues in health and social care pre-exist and are independant of ND. She seems to think the ND requires that each and every service be supplied to each and every person with autism. I’m not convinced she has understood the difference between the ideal of accepting differences and the arguement that all services must be fully funded with a 100% uptake. The problems with funding that she mentions would aslo exist if the reasoning behind those services was to ‘normalise’ the client base.

    She’s effectively making the arguement that ND is a ‘do everything’ movement. I’m in no doubt that we will see her make the exact opposite arguement at some point.

    I’m aware of her being corrected on this multiple times by multiple sources, including nationally and internationally known figures of the ND movement. As with many people who seem anti-ND, correction seems to merely act as confirmation.

    I can only assume it has been a slow week this week.

  5. Once again, sometimes we link to stuff because it’s objectionable. This isn’t a “stuff we agree with” roundup.

    Sarky remarks about it being a “slow week” really aren’t appreciated.

    ETA: Wait, Dedj, that’s your first comment on this blog? A really bloody rude remark about it being a “slow week”? On a roundup that takes a shitload of work every day? Please go away.

  6. I have no problem with the concept of linking to ‘objectionable’ content, nor did I state or imply that I did so. I was under the impression from the comment at #2 that ‘objectionable’ refers to offensive, rather than just disagreeable content.

    I do apologise for my ‘slow week’ comment, although it has been interpreted completely differently to what was intended, through no fault of the reader. I can see how it was taken as a ‘sarky’ dig at the effort of authour of this article, when it was intended as a ‘dig’ at the quality of the article linked to.

    I do have to admit, however, that I’ve probably seen the “services/adaptations/building work would cost too much” arguement far too many times over, both in relation to my own disability and those of family, friends, individual clients and client groups, and so may not be as offended by the content as others.

    SLK can talk about funding issues for as long as she likes, but it is not a ND specific problem.

  7. Incidentally, related to that last link– one misconception that irritates me to no end is when people treat neurodiversity as if it were some sort of organized movement.

    From personal experience, neurodiversity is primarily a philosophy, with its primary idea being “there are different types of brains and that’s OK”. Beyond that, its proponents have a wide variety of views. I’ve seen infighting among neurodiversity-supporting bloggers on issues of, for example, what types of treatment are acceptable, whether behaviorism is helpful or harmful, etc.

    If there is anything even resembling a movement in neurodiversity, it’s the least-organized movement I’ve ever seen in my life.

  8. I wonder how she proposes we “cure” variation in the human brain. All the millions already being poured into trying to do so seem to be doing approximately jackshit.
    .-= Shiyiya´s last blog ..I have dreams. =-.

  9. Codeman, actually the biggest misconception is that Neurodiversity is the same thing as the autism rights movement. There are bloggers with a gazillion different conditions who identify with Neurodiversity, I really wished more people in the autism world were aware of this.

    Kaninchenzero,
    “I just felt more people should be aware that this was out there.”
    Huh? But the mainstream media is full of that kind of crap! Every online press article about pre-natal testing has a comment section full of hate, how we are a burden on society and how we should not be born, etc, what disabled person is not aware of this? Or am I missing something?
    .-= Kowalski´s last blog ..James Saft is a fucking tool! =-.

  10. since that link was included in the feb 5 link roundup, there have been several more link roundups posted, as well as new substantive posts here at FWD. i don’t understand the desire to continue engaging on the one link that was considered irrelevant or people wished had been excluded, rather than shifting to conversation on the myriad of other topics available for discussion.