Recommended Reading for Monday, June 14

A tall slender woman wearing a slip dress and an awesome hat.  She's got tattoos on one arm, and is using crutches.  She's grinning.
A tall slender woman wearing a slip dress and an awesome hat. She's got tattoos on one arm, and is using crutches. She's grinning.

Reminder! Helen Keller Mythbusting Blogswarm!

Adoption, Race, Disability and the Vaule of People

You see, my parents got a discount on my adoption for two reasons. The first one was that I am black. Black babies weren’t as popular in 1990, so I was in foster care for a while. The other reason they got a discount was due to the fact that I was supposed to be intellectually challenged, and had a few physical issues. Not being a white, healthy infant lowered my price.

I think this says something interesting about whose bodies we value. We don’t value black bodies or disabled bodies. Thus, in order to encourage potential adoptive parent to look at children like me involved lowering my adoption fees, my cost. This feels wrong. I will say that my parents didn’t put any preference for race on their application and there were only a few disabilities they didn’t feel able to handle.

In Which Everything Takes Rather Longer Than I Thought

How this fails to work in Open Source is that Open Source is a community. A reputation economy, as the nerds are so fond of talking about, but also a group of likeminded people who chat and bond and stuff. You know what they bond over, in large part? Women’s bodies. Tits, how much they like them. Bitches and how crazy they are. You know, locker room stuff. Guy culture. The sort of male homosocial bonding that is how guys grease the social gears (in the US, anyway). You know something? People with tits can’t be a part of that conversation! Because they are being talked ABOUT. They are not the ones doing the talking! They are the thing that is being used to prove how well we all get along. This is where women have to decide whether or not they want to try to be “one of the guys” too. Some groups are gracious enough to let their token female do that, as long as she is willing to join in the girl-bashing. Some groups are not that gracious but are still kind enough to let their token female become the hackysack in the girl-bashing party. They’re willing to let her demonstrate her loyalty to the group by putting up with being kicked around! It’s very nice of them. But should she ever try to say that This Shit! It is Not Okay! Well then she is a killjoy, a frigid bitch, ruining everyone’s fun, girls have no SENSE OF HUMOR and guys are SO PUT UPON and ZOMG PC POLICE!!1! What is this world COMING TO when no one can have a FRIENDLY CONVERSATION without someone telling them they are offending puppies or something!

Creating Collective Access – Check it out!

Are you a crip and/or someone with a chronic illness that is going to be in Detroit this summer for the Allied Media Conference and/or the US Social Forum?

We know that for many of us, access is on our minds when it comes to traveling, navigating the city, movement spaces, buildings, sidewalks, public transportation, rides, the air, the bathrooms, the places to stay, the pace, the language,the cost, the crowds, the doors, the people who will be there and so so so much more.

Would you like to be connected to a network of crips and our allies/comrades who are working together to create collective access?

Fact is a feminist issue

When reading a lot of scientific dissection of bad science, I’d get outraged but I’d also want to go further – WHY are these stories being written in the way they are? Why is so much scientific reporting in the mainstream press so piss-poor? A lot of the above writers list deadline-pressures, budget-slashes at national newspapers, lack of specialist journalists etc. But as journalists churn out health and science stories under undeniable pressure, they are all too often also resorting to and replicating tired and lazy stereotypes.

Borderline Personality Disorder: A Feminist Critique

Borderline Personality Disorder – a feminist critique
By Anji Capes | 11 June 2010, 14:32

Among my many diagnoses, I have what is known in the UK as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (Of The Borderline Type), known elsewhere as Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD is described by Wikipedia as “a prolonged disturbance of personality function … characterized by depth and variability of moods.” It manifests in many ways, including rapid cycling mood swings, ‘self-destructive behaviour’, black and white thinking, disassociation and extreme fear of abandonment.

BPD is a serious mental illness and is difficult to diagnose. Unfortunately it is also well-known as being used by psychiatrists and mental health professionals as a way of labelling ‘difficult’ or ‘problem’ patients – I know at least one woman who was threatened with a diagnosis of BPD by a mental health professional because she wouldn’t do as she was told.

Three-quarters of patients diagnosed with BPD are female. I’ve spent some time since my diagnosis wondering why that is, when one would expect the split to be roughly 50/50.

Marches & Training in Sweden

The March for accessibility was conducted in Sweden on Saturday 29 May 2010. Despite bad luck with the weather, almost 3,000 people joined the marches at 31 locations around the country.

Only a few days after the march, the ministry of Integration and Gender Equality announced a proposal that the Swedish discrimination act should include a new provision prohibiting discrimination in the form of lack of accessibility for persons with disabilities. The act is proposed to take effect in 2012. But first, all concerned should have the opportunity to have their say.

European Surf Week For Persons with a Disability, Belgium

There are still some places available for European surf week from 22-28 of August in Willebroek, Belgium. The event is held by the Belgian organisation Recreas and personal assistants are welcome so that you can learn to surf with your personal assistant.

Double Dare

If I could, I would dare them too look in her eyes. There is hurt there. Deep, deep hurt. I would challenge them to look deep in those eyes, oh trust me, I would if I could.

She is reaching out from behind others. Her staff has stopped to speak to me, thank me for my lecture. I had just spoken about the teasing and bullying of people with disabilities. About the pain that that damn word ‘ret@rd’ causes. About the need for people with disabilities to have skills to understand teasing and the need for us all to rise in protest at the use of hateful words used with the intention of hurt.

US: Boy with special needs misses graduation ceremony because of clothing “The Vance County mother of an 11-year-old boy with special needs says her son was forced to miss his fifth-grade graduation because of the clothes he was wearing.”

Canada: CNIB Pondering Human Rights Complaint Over Transit Service “Duncan Williams of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind says his organization has been working with transit officials to improve service for partially sighted or blind riders.” [Halifax, NS]

African Doctor Fights Eye Disease “The physician who leads a Calgary charity’s work in Africa hopes to open the public’s eyes to a nasty, but treatable, disease that’s stealing the eyesight of millions of people in the developing world.”

5 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for Monday, June 14

  1. It’s hard to single out just one link of importance in any of the link roundups here, but the BPD one is really aces. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. this might be off-topic, but is there a reason you all don’t usually mention race in your descriptions of images with people in them?

  3. We don’t make assumptions about people’s races based on their appearance. Several of our contributors are regularly read as one race when they are another, as our many of our commenters.

  4. *points at the story about the disabled child who was made to miss his graduation ceremony*

    Oh my god, did I actually read what I think I did? Was that a story about a disabled child that actually quoted the child and not just his caregivers?

    It’s almost like we’re people!

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