Recommended Reading for Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I am sure we have all seen this one in its many guises, but I thought it was a particularly spectacular example given that nobody of historically recorded human height could have reached this pull cord. It’s about 10 feet up.
I visited a cafeteria and store at a venue along Hadrian’s Wall. Let us for the moment overlook that they had a gravel path leading to their disabled toilet facility, which then had a step on the door and look at this win for service dogs with a yen for an adrenaline rush.
Things quickly went downhill from there. Without a break in my mania I took LSD. Everything becomes a blur at this point. I ended up in the psych ward and was immediately diagnosed bipolar. They wanted to hold me past the 72 hours they could hold me without a legal hearing. They strongly encouraged me to stay and not go to the hearing. I went to the hearing and appeared before the judge completely lucid in my presentation. I was released. I threw away the medications they had given me.
It’s Easy [Trigger warning for violent imagery]
When you assume that something that’s simple for you is going to be simple for me, you’re making many assumptions about my ability level. Just because I look like you doesn’t mean I am like you. When you belittle the struggle the making a phone call or looking you in the eye is, it’s like a slap in the face. Just because you can’t see the fight doesn’t make it not real.
The Tories want to destroy the welfare state and the NHS. As a disabled person reliant on disability benefits and the care system, and pleased to live in a country that offers these things to its citizens, I am terrified that the Tories will leave me destitute and without care or medical support. Please stand up for the welfare state.
Nick Clegg himself has been outspoken on the Tory ‘marriage tax allowance’ policy, which privileges marriage over alternative families, including my own LGBT partnership, and the many single parent families and extended families of all shapes and sizes that make up the UK. Please stand up for alternative families.
While reading this deeply engaging work, I was thinking of women wearing the niqab and the recently introduced Bill C-94 in Quebec that allows many government funded institutions to refuse basic services to these women. These include government departments, crown corporations, hospitals, daycares, schools and universities which receive funding from the province. The Bill is being promoted on the premises of gender equality, requirement for integration, and security concerns. Jaques Charest has characterized the Bill as being necessary to “draw the line” in religious accomodation. Quebec Immigration Minister Yolande James further explains, “If you want to integrate into Quebec society, here are our values. We want to see your face.”
And it’s not that books by women and non-white and non-heterosexual cis-gendered people haven’t been nominated before. They have. I’ve even nominated them myself. A select few have made the final short list, but for whatever reason, they don’t get picked. I have a theory about why this keeps happening, and it is not that my department is run by smelly old white dudes (the chair is a dude, but his hygiene seems fine, also young, and the co-chair is a lady). I think it’s just risk averseness. These texts keep getting picked because they are “safe.” We live in a world in which the voices and perspectives of non-white/straight/cis/male people just seem, well, inherently more “political” and therefore more likely to piss off the conservative state legislature, students, parents, and confirm that our school and department are, in fact, the stuff of David Horowitz’s fevered nightmares.