Recommended Reading for 18 June, 2010

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language and ideas of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post and links are provided as topics of interest and exploration only. I attempt to provide extra warnings for material like extreme violence/rape; however, your triggers/issues may vary, so please read with care.

A GI Joe, a male plastic doll with a crewcut, posed to form the American Sign Language Sign for 'friend.'

(Photo by kiddharma, Creative Commons License)

Alice Dreger and Ellen K. Feder at Bioethics Forum: Bad Vibrations (Content warning: child sexual assault, forced genital surgery, medical experimentation)

What is Poppas thinking? So far as we can tell, from published articles, presentations to parents, and his communications with Feder, he thinks he is responding to critics of genital surgery, like us, and thus reassuring parents that everything is going to be fine. Notably, though, there is a lack of control data for most of the patients described, meaning that we don’t know what sensation these girls might have had without the surgeries, nor do we know what a “normal” level of sensation is at these ages. (We can’t imagine any sane parent giving up his or her daughter to be the control.) We also don’t know that what the surgically altered girls feel in childhood will map onto their adult sexual lives. And we don’t know how Poppas’s tests are going to affect their psychosocial development.

Wheelchair Dancer: Super Movement

I wonder if, as the company has over the years got “better”, the price of that has been a series of expectations for ever more complicated and daring moves. I wonder if we will be able to keep up and, even, keep our reputation/ following as dance audiences, influenced by the tv shows with their own kinds of extreme movement, turn to art dance. Will simple speak alongside flashy?

Most of our work has been created by non disabled choreographers. I know that as we strive, for example, to move in unison, that I feel a lot of pressure on the disabled dancers to “keep up.” The rhetorical and movement dynamics are almost without exception focused on translation/adaptation. And, as part of being able to dance in these ways, we have become ever more adept at making the extraordinary look like “ordinary dance.”

Katja at 2010 Longmont Triathlon

Based on last year’s experience, one of the other wheelchair athletes and I met with the race director a week before the race to talk about the logistics of including wheelchair athletes and especially to deal with some of the problems in the run course. It was mostly on a bike path with a lot of bad pavement and thorns. There was some very tight turns, difficult to do with a 5-6 foot long racing wheelchair. And there were portions over grass and curbs. We walked (rolled, biked) the course, and came up with some alternatives. We also had to alter the way the wheelchair athletes exited to the pool to go the transition area as the existing route included steps and grass.

Andrew Seidman at the Miami Herald: House panel: FEMA unready to help the disabled in a disaster

Almost five years after Hurricane Katrina, the federal government remains woefully unprepared to rescue at-risk groups of people in the path of a catastrophe, a congressional panel charged on Tuesday.

A House Homeland Security subcommittee challenged the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination to explain how its budget of $150,000 and its staff of four people could possibly execute an effective rescue plan for the aged, disabled and institutionalized.

Elizabeth at Student-built app allows disabled transit riders to get help from smartphones

Research from tech-savvy students at Ryerson University is helping disabled passengers navigate a subway line halfway around the world.

Their work, part of a push by the Toronto campus to tap student know-how to create new digital products, is allowing riders on one line of the Paris Metro to use their smartphones to get directions, plan their trip and ask for assistance from transit staff. Closer to home, the group is hoping to test the student-developed application on the GO train’s Lakeshore and Richmond Hill lines this fall.

taniada at Cynical Idealism: Untitled (Video with transcription)

Throughout history, people with physical and mental disabilities have been abandoned at birth, banished from society used as court jesters, drowned and burned during the Inquisition, gassed in Nazi Germany, and still continue to be segregated, institutionalized, tortured in the name of behavior management, abused, raped, euthanized, and murdered. Now, for the first time, people with disabilities are taking their rightful place as fully contributing citizens. The danger is that we will respond with remediation and benevolence rather then equity and respect. And so, we offer you a credo for support.

If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading[@]disabledfeminists[.]com

About s.e. smith

s.e. smith is a recalcitrant, grumpy person with disabilities who enjoys riling people up, talking about language, tearing apart poor science reporting, and chasing cats around the house with squeaky mice in hand. Ou personal website can be found at this ain't livin'.

2 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for 18 June, 2010

  1. I’m glad you mentioned the article about Dix Poppas. I’m not a medical student, but I go to Cornell and it is an utter disgrace to hear about such monstrous practices occurring under the auspices of my university. A friend had already linked me to the article (when Dan Savage had written about it) and I subsequently fired off an angry letter to the medical college about it. Then my boyfriend, who also goes to Cornell, picked up on it and posted it on Facebook, and I was glad to see that other fellow students were getting outraged about it as well—that’s pretty much the only good thing that can come out of this tragedy. I want Mr. (I cannot in good faith call him Dr.) Poppas not only to be immediately fired and have criminal charges of child molestation pressed against him, I also want him to publicly apologize to these poor girls and their families.

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