Recommended Reading for May 10, 2010
I’m sorry this is much later than usual. Today was the beginning of Don’s Radioactive Iodine Treatment, and I’ve not been myself. The folks at the hospital are being awesome, though, so everything should be fine.
I like this article (it’s from 2005); it’s got some really lovely ideas, about creating your own paths, and educating and design through what people choose and it’s a nice ‘think outside the box’ sort of article.
I just wish it didn’t start with this:
In the park where we play, there are nicely laid out concrete paths, leading from the swings to the picnic tables, from the castle to the soccer field, from the water fountain to the bridge, from here to there, from A to B.
And then there are the real paths, the dirt ones, the ones that shoot out from the concrete to connect where people really go, to memorialize the real actions of children playing, to acknowledge the real patterns of living, of human purpose, of some honest destination.
Forced sterilisation: a western issue too [Comments are a mess, I strongly recommend avoiding them]
A systemic devaluation of disability still exists, which allows the continual questioning of not only reproductive rights, but also the humanity of differently abled people. Because some of the conditions are deemed to be inheritable, sterilisation has historically been considered a viable social option – and though not enforced, many states still have coercive sterilisation laws on the books. The eugenicist approach to the disabled can be evidenced by the 186 deaths at “state facilities for the retarded over 18 months” in Austin, Texas.
I sometimes get a little embarassed for these people who, although they identify as progressive or radical, seem to have just begun grappling with the problem that a given marginalized population is made up of individual people.
There are many more subtle forces that demand silence. Sometimes every time you try to address a topic, people swoop in to derail and distract. Fans of politicians or institutions will shout you down for daring to speak against their hero. People with their own agendas will demand those of the marginalised be put on hold – perhaps indefinitely. People will decide that equality is a lower priority. People will demand you put your agenda on hold and get behind issues that affect the populace as a whole – which is fine, but the populace as a whole won’t be there when the marginalised issues rise again – if they ever do. No end of people – even within our own orgs – will hit us with tone arguments – telling us to calm down, to stop criticising, to be patient, to, ultimately, shut up and wait to be noticed. Wait until the powers that be have time for you – if they ever do. Accept the crumbs they give you, the gestures, the tokens and shut up and be grateful for them. They will chide us for our impatience, our selfishness. They will insult our fight for justice as “selfish” “whining” and “sensitive.” They will belittle our pain and our losses and our anger.
Why I find your rhetoric about parenting so disturbing [Trigger Warning for disablist language and violent language]
I’m familiar with the argument that what they are truly concerned about is the safety of the children. But this is a fallacy rooted in the myth that only wealthy, neurotypical, able-bodied white couples are “capable” of raising children “properly”. What is usually meant by “properly” is being able to afford the best schools, the finest organic food, a house in a neighborhood with a lovely playground. But swiping motherhood away from women like me is not a solution. Truly, if they were concerned about the welfare of children, more effort would be made towards an end to environmental racism that forces poor women of colour into neighborhoods that are overcrowded, dangerous, and devoid of parks, green spaces and grocery stores. Or an effort to support poor families through reevaluation of wealth distribution in this country. Instead, we get rhetoric about how people like me aren’t fit to have children, based solely on a neurotypical’s notion of who is a good parent.
“The Shuttle” by Frances Hodgson Burnet The book is available free from Girl E-Books. I include it because the book deals with PTSD as caused by a violent relationship.
Down Under Feminist Carnival has many awesome links to check out.
Science Reporting Smell-Test of the Week [About the bad science in the reporting of the “link” between depression and/or drug abuse and abortion]