Recommended Reading for 30 July 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.
Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the most giftedly bad book I have read in the past year and possibly ever, and if you fail to acknowledge its disastrous triumph, I will punch you in the speen.
After 600 Aboriginal women and girls go missing or are found murdered in Canada, the federal government decides to throw-a-bone and give $10 million dollars. In March, the Canadian Minister of Justice budgeted $10 million over two years to address the issue of murdered and missing women in Canada, however, they have yet to figure out how to use the money.
I was talking (separately) to both sartorias and faithhopetricks about a peculiar YA and middle-grade genre which proliferated in the 70s, 80s, and to some extent 90s, which I think of as the “friendship is pointless” novel. This may overlap with the dog/horse/falcon/best friend/sibling/ALL the dogs die genre, but death is not essential in this genre, and many dead hamster/etc novels don’t belong to it.
In this story, a young person meets a Person with a Problem: they are mentally ill, developmentally disabled, physically disabled, dying, very old, or being abused. The young person befriends them. Catastrophe ensues. The young person, sadder but wiser, learns the valuable lesson that you can’t ever help anyone, and people with problems are doomed.
“I asked them how many women from Vietnam they had treated, and he said I was the first,” said Evans, who now lives in Helena. “The first thing I saw, hanging on the wall, was a naked woman wearing only Harley chaps and a helmet. It was a place for the guys, very unwelcoming for women.”
So last August, Evans set out to establish a group specifically for military women, whether in active duty, the National Guard or the Reserve, where they could confide in one another and share their fears, their symptoms, their triumphs and their pain in a safe setting.
She knew the need existed for a women-specific program, since nationwide, 1.8 million women are military veterans, which includes almost 8,000 women in Montana. They make up 14 percent of those in active duty, and 15 percent in the Reserve and National Guard.
Serotek hopes wholeheartedly that in 2015 we can say the screen reader space has vanished. This change will be brought about through our efforts as a company, and through advocacy by consumers, to encourage universal accessibility in all mainstream products. When screen readers were invented in the early 1980’s they were essential tools to make an inaccessible digital world accessible. They were never meant to be a business, only a means to an end. They were developed by private companies aided by government funding to correct an inequity and make it possible for blind people to use digital tools to become economically viable again. They were for vocational rehab, helping us get off the dole and back to work as contributing members of society. Unfortunately this wonderful leg up soon became a barrier for blind people. Digital technology raced ahead but without universal accessibility built in. Screen readers lagged behind and rather than leveling the playing field, they tended to add extra cost and training while restricting access to the most advanced mainstream software features. Companies producing screen readers were more concerned with preserving the government funding cash cow than with helping the blind community achieve total equality. Fortunately that business model is finally disintegrating. We’ve been a part of the push to change the model from day one of our existence, but truthfully it didn’t really start to shift until mainstream companies like Apple embraced universal accessibility in their core product design.
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