Recommended Reading for September 1, 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.

Diary of a disabled trans person – silence and disability

I don’t like telling people about my disabilities. When I do, I get one of four responses: … What people don’t seem to realise is that, not only are each of these responses insulting my understand of my own pain and experience, they take away from the power I have to treat and live through my own disabilities.

Wall Street Journal – Disabled Face Sharply Higher Jobless Rate

The [United States] government’s first detailed look at disabled workers’ employment shows they are far more likely than the overall work force to be older, working part-time or jobless. The average unemployment rate for disabled workers was 14.5% last year, the Labor Department said Wednesday, well above the 9% rate for those without disabilities. By the Labor Department’s count, there were roughly 27 million Americans 16 years or older with a disability last year. The employment situation doesn’t appear to have improved this year: The unemployment rate for those with disabilities had risen to 16.4% as of July.

Southpaw – The Problem With Pop Diagnoses is That There Are Un-Popular Diagnoses

WHY is Autism the “pop diagnosis” of the moment? Why- when so many more people suffer from depression or eating disorders? My friend responded: “Because no one ever wants to talk about EDs…and depression doesn’t make for good TV.” Maybe she’s latched on to something there. I can’t really imagine a TV sitcom based on a character with depression (though somehow Autism and OCD are acceptable disorders to poke fun at?).

NPR – Autism Gives Woman An ‘Alien View’ of Social Brains

[Autistic] people like [Lisa] Daxer have taught scientists a lot about how typical humans interact socially, says Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. “We didn’t really focus on how complex social development is until people with autism pointed out to us that this is something that doesn’t always just develop naturally,” Baron-Cohen says.

Reports from a Resident Alien (authored by Lisa Daxer, mentioned in the NPR piece above) – Our Own World

The idea that we’ve got our “own world” and have to be pulled out of it really irks me. Everybody has their own world, not just autistics. Everybody sees things through their own eyes, listens with their own ears, understands with their own brains. You will never be in anybody else’s world; only your own.

The Washington Post – Administrative law judges face more threats over disability, immigration cases

According to information released Monday by the Association of Administrative Law Judges and the National Association of Immigration Judges, federal employees who handle Social Security disability claims and immigration hearings have been the target of a “wave of threats.” Citing data collected by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, “between March and August of last year, 28 violent threats were reported on Social Security offices that handle disability hearings and in the same period nine individual judges who hear disability claims were threatened,” the judges’ organizations reported.

UN News Centre – Meeting on UN disability treaty to focus on impact of conflicts and disasters

The needs of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies will be the focus of a meeting set to begin tomorrow in New York that will bring together State parties to the landmark United Nations disability convention. “Incidence of disability increases during conflicts and disasters. Conversely, disability increases vulnerability to emergency situations,” said Akiko Ito, Chief of the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and UN Focal Point on Disability, in advance of the event.

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 at disabledfeminists dot com. Please note if you would like to be credited, and under what name/site.

2 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for September 1, 2010

  1. uh no, the problem with pop diagnoses is not that there are unpopular diagnoses, it’s that pop diagnoses suck. Movies and TV shows about autism do not ever make me feel good, they make me feel scared because people are going to watch them and think they’re true. I don’t want to have to listen to another person say they’re “really interested in autism” or recite a list of all the weird things ASD people do. I’m not saying it’s not shitty to have a condition that isn’t being portrayed in mainstream media, but I don’t feel like I get anything out of having a pop disability.

    A few years ago there was a short-lived show called Starved which was a sitcom about people with eating disorders. I only watched it once, so I don’t know whether it was good or not–the idea of a humorous show about a mental illness is something that I think could be good for humanizing/normalizing mental illness and showing that it’s not All Tragedy All The Time. But it could just as easily have been done badly. (I remember being frustrated that most of the main characters were men, since that’s not a realistic representation of ED. I thought it wasn’t fair that tragic representations of ED always had female characters, but a more naturalistic/humorous portrayal had mainly male characters.) I’m curious if Southpaw has seen this show and what he/she/zie thinks about it.

  2. I have to say, as someone on the autism spectrum, the “Pop Diagnoses” article bothered me. The author makes it sound like autistic people benefit from having autism portrayed in popular media, when really these portrayals often spread harmful stereotypes about us. I understand that representation is, in theory, a good thing, but surely people with less “popular” diagnoses would want to see their disabilities represented well, not poorly as ours have been.

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