Recommended Reading for 16 August 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.

NPR: FDA OKs Five-Day Emergency Contraceptive

The pill ella from HRA Pharma reduces the chance of pregnancy up to five days after sex. Plan B, the most widely used emergency contraceptive pill, begins losing its ability to prevent pregnancy within three days of sex.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Friday as a prescription-only birth control option. The ruling clears the way for U.S. sales of the drug, which is already approved in Europe.

Houston Chronicle: Inmates train dogs to help disabled veterans

Eighteen dogs have been placed with owners since the Rockwall-based nonprofit, headed by veteran canine coach Lori Stevens, was chartered four years ago. Selected inmates at Gatesville prison units joined the effort as trainers in early 2008. Last year, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals crowned one of the program’s graduates, Archie, a Labrador retriever, “Dog of the Year.”

Melodye Nelson, Crain Unit’s assistant warden, praised the program for giving incarcerated women a sense of self-worth.

Thus Spake Zuska: Comtemplating Ability and Disability (Thanks to Penny with Disability Studies, Temple U, for the link!)

I think people just expect disability to look a certain way.  When I’m talking with people, and they find out I’ve had a stroke, and they say “you don’t LOOK like you’ve had a stroke” I hear that.  I hear, “I have an image in my mind of the drooling limping stroke victim, and you don’t fit that”.  I hear that people with disabilities need to look really disabled in the way that the currently-not-disabled are comfortable with understanding people with disabilities,  in part so that we (and I include myself in this) who are currently mostly abled can go on dreaming that we will never LOOK LIKE those freak show disabled folk.

BBC News: How do blind people play football so well? (Thanks to Miriam Heddy for the link!)

Mesmeric footwork, accurate passing and the ever-present rattling of the ball gives the game a hypnotic quality that makes it easy to forget that the players can’t see what they’re kicking.

There are occasional reminders – perhaps a misplaced pass allows the ball to roll away, or the action stops – and the spectator’s gaze lifts from the players’ feet to the unfamiliar sight of footballers wearing eye patches.

The Awl: The Dementia Bonus: Football as Black Servitude

Life-changing injuries are what precipitated the poster in the first place. According to a study from last year, NFL players develop dementia and Alzheimer’s at a rate more than five times that of average Americans. The same study showed that “players ages 30 through 49 reported dementia-related diagnoses at a rate of 1.9 percent—19 times the national average of 0.1 percent….”

In others words, many professional football players–almost 70 percent of whom are black–are literally killing their brains, and that’s just the numbers on players in their 30s and 40s. For players over 50, it’s more than 1 in 20.

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 Ouyang Dan

is an extremely proggy-liberal, formerly single mommy, Native American, invisibly disabled, U.S. Navy Veteran, social justice activist and aspiring freelance writer currently living in South Korea on Uncle Sam's dime. She has a super human tolerance for caffeine and chocolate and believes she should use those powers for good. She said should. She is not a concise person, and sometimes comes on a little aggressively in comments. Sometimes her right arm still twitches when military brass walks past her, but she would rather be reading YA Lit or pwning n00bs. She can be found being cliche about music, overthinking pop culture, and grumbling about whatever else suits her fancy at her personal website, random babble.... She also writes about military issues for's Women's Rights blog. If you have something interesting to say email her at ouyangdan [at] disabledfeminists [dot] com. Lawyers in Italy looking to hold lottery winnings in her bank account may wait longer for reply.