Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reminder! Deadline for Submissions to the September Disability Blog Carnival is Tuesday night!

I am totally cheating and just reposting what Ouyang Dan said earlier!

Astrid, of Astrid’s Journal, has agreed after much consideration to host the September edition of the Disability Blog Carnival, and we at FWD/Forward are enthusiastic to support that decision!

Astrid has chosen the theme “Identity”:

Think of it as broadly as you want. Posts relating to transforming identities, are of course especially welcome, as they honor both themes. Just a reminder that, even though this is a disability blog carnival, we honor intersectionality, so racial, ethnic, gender, sexual and any other type of identities also count, as long as the post is somewhat relevant to disability.

Comments can be submitted preferably here or else at the Disability Studies, Temple U. blog. The deadline for submissions will be Tuesday night, September 21 – Tuesday night your time, so don’t worry about my living in Europe. I hope to post the carnival on Friday, September 24 – whenever it suits me, my time.

We hope you will consider submitting something for the Carnival. Remember, the theme is a way to get you started, and we hope that you will interpret it to how it applies to your own situation, keeping the general spirit of intersectionality in mind.

Again, thanks to Astrid for taking this on, because without volunteers, there would be no Carnival!

Be sure, if you haven’t already, to check out the August edition of The Disability Carnival at Brilliant Mind, Broken Body, hosted by Kali.

Weekly Job Round-Up: APPLICATION WINDOW CLOSING SOON!

As always, these jobs are not endorsed by us in any way, and we cannot answer any questions about them.

Canada:

Accessibility Program Manager Please Endorse the AODA Alliance’s Brief to Elections Ontario on Proposed Polling Station and Returning Office Site Accessibility Standard (Ontario)

18-Month Temporary Assignment/Secondment
OPEN

The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Chief Electoral Office Division, is seeking an energetic and motivated individual to provide specialized program management and consulting expertise in the management, coordination and delivery of accessibility programs/initiatives for Elections Ontario.

Selective Mutism

“To choke”, used as a metaphor in performance, means to freeze up, to fail to perform, to be overcome with stage fright or other emotions and simply stop moving. To become “choked up” with emotion, a phrase familiar to many of us, means to feel emotion so strongly that it is difficult to speak. It is a feeling of the throat tightening and words stopping.

These are natural, normal phenomena that most people feel once in a while.

I have Selective mutism (link goes to Wikipedia) which I classify as a disability and also believe to be a natural and normal phenomenon, albeit a rare one, affecting an estimated 7 in 1,000 people. I am currently seeking treatment for it which has me thinking about selective mutism more than I usually do, and its impact upon my life.

Selective mutism is mostly seen in children and adolescents, and it is important to understand that it is a failure to speak, not a choice not to speak. It is not a reflection upon the child’s parents; it is a disability. The child would like to speak but cannot, in certain environments, to specific people, or about certain topics, due to extreme anxiety. This disorder can extend into adulthood, which is the case with me. I was never formally diagnosed or treated as a child.

There are specific instances from childhood and adolescence that stand out in my memory, and others that my family still talk about, that are good examples of selective mutism in my life:
I did not speak to my preschool teacher the entire year (but talked freely at home)
I did not talk to store clerks
I went to junior prom and did not talk to anyone due to anxiety
I did not talk much in church/Sunday school and did not make friends there; although I made friends freely in other venues

What I have trouble talking about now: Basically anything that is associated with a lot of emotion. Here are some examples:
Sexuality, being queer
My chronic pain and illness
Conflict with friends or family
I have trouble calling people I don’t know or knocking on doors, although I don’t think this is uncommon for shy people
I am sometimes uncomfortable being asked to keep secrets or not to talk about things because it reinforces this anxiety

One article I read recently said: “You can’t get a kid verbal until you have social comfort” (http://www.selectivemutism.org/news/people-magazine-spotlights-dr-elisa-shipon-blum-director-emeritus). This resonated quite strongly for me, because as a queer person in society, who was closeted (to myself) for a very long time, it is rare that I am socially comfortable. I have certainly learned many coping techniques. But it is hard to speak when you are not comfortable with yourself, and when society makes you feel unsafe. I cannot talk about selective mutism without talking about my experience of being queer, and being closeted. They are tied together. Activist Mia Mingus says, “intersectionality is a big fancy word for our lives.”

What does selective mutism feel like? People talk about a flight or fight response to danger. This is a third response, a “freeze” response. The body senses danger, although the source is unclear, and the body freezes. Talking is impossible. Even thinking becomes different, slowed, unclear. “How can I get myself out of this situation?” is usually what my brain is focusing on, but often that thought is in conflict with some other need or desire like wanting to be at a party or needing to answer a question directed at me. It is a terrible feeling, a deer-in-headlights feeling. I want to escape, but I can’t figure out how, I can’t figure out what is even going on. As I have learned more and more about this I have learned to simply feel the anxiety, feel it in my body and my throat, and not try to think so hard, try not to focus on words, which often do not work well for me in times of high anxiety.

What helps? Getting away from words and looking at images helps. Doing things that root me in my body helps, such as holding my hands under hot water. Writing out whatever is bothering me helps tremendously. And, importantly, I need to notice when it is happening. I have had this all my life; it’s my normal, after all, so I don’t always notice when I’m being anxiously quiet or peacefully quiet. I don’t always notice if there is something important in my life that I am not talking about. I don’t think this is just a selective mute thing: in a repressive culture, there are plenty of important things we just don’t talk about, for all sorts of reasons. This might be because to speak about them makes the thing more real; to speak might make other people uncomfortable or angry or bored; to speak might make myself vulnerable, because someone could use my words against me. Speaking is dangerous, and silence is a naturally protective stance. The body knows this, the throat closes.

Thankfully, the fingers don’t, the fingers can still type. Writing about my life is practice for talking about my life. It is worlds easier.

Speaking is a political and personal act. I want to get better at it, I want to value my own voice and what I have to say. I am taking baby steps in this direction. I am, strangely enough, good at public speaking as long as I don’t have to talk about myself, or something too personally connected to myself. I do better at speaking when my role is defined, such as in academic or club environments. I have read interviews of actors and other performers saying similar things, that the stage or screen is the only place they are comfortable speaking, because they are playing someone else, not themselves.

In all the reading I have done about selective mutism, on blogs, in scientific articles, on awareness websites, all the focus is on diagnosis, treatment, therapy. Don’t get me wrong, I think these things are great. But what I don’t understand is the lack of discussion on how to live well with the disorder. The social justice model of disability has taught me many things, and one of those things is that I don’t necessarily need to be cured. I can seek accommodation for my disabilities and live well with them. Why not teach kids with SM sign language? Why not let them type or write their responses to questions? Why do we privilege speech so highly? Other forms of communication are just as useful, and sometimes better. There are many forms of self expression. Words are just one kind, and speech is just one iteration.

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.

Things That Make My Life Easier, An Invitation (Part 3 of 3)

Cross-posted: three rivers fog, FWD/Forward, Feministe.

Part 1Part 2Part 3

This is a series I always hoped would catch on. Because hey, I can write about stuff that helps me live my life, but that’s only one experience. I would love to see a community full of people writing resource posts for other folks who are living our different sorts of lives. I know we all negotiate shortcuts in the process of getting through our days. I know we all have well-trusted tips and tricks for dealing with society’s demands of us — fair or not. And I think we can all share them — writing about our own experience, and letting it apply where it might, and not where it doesn’t — and not creating expectations of individuals to respond to individually-shared recommendations, with all the problems that can cause.

Anyway, there is a great range of experience within the world of disability, much more than is let on by mainstream narratives, and another reason I appreciate the chance for us to talk about it is that it exposes the nondisabled world to all the things that go into living with a disability, the way that disability can make life very different, and appreciating that in a more-than-superficial way. While knowledge of certain experiences doesn’t eradicate prejudice against them, ignorance certainly makes it more likely, and is one of the easier issues to address — we talk about our experience (among ourselves and for all listeners); they catch parts of it and get curious and start listening.

No one is required to educate those who hold privilege over them, but most of us do practice the art of education every single day, as our lives play out in front of those around us. We are used to explaining things. It is tiring, and it is wrong when people demand or expect it of us. But when we give it freely — that can do a whole world of good. What makes it bad is not the act of an unprivileged person explaining pieces of their life to a privileged person — what makes it bad is the privileged party’s expectation that we will explain. That is what sours the entire experience.

But sharing what helps us with our lives — hopefully helping other people in similar positions who might be able to use the knowledge we gain from our day-to-day struggles — there is room for great good in that.

There is no shame in doing things differently. There is no shame in taking a different route to reach the same end point. There is no shame in reaching a different end point, even! If it works for you, if it makes your life easier, that is what matters. Not your conformity to expected methods of doing things, but the fact that it accomplishes your starting goal or gets you closer to accomplishing it.

And, hey, part of disability is to learn to compromise, and change goals altogether. To realize that all the milestones you are “supposed” to reach aren’t necessary to a successful, enjoyable life. You don’t have to have a career, or even a job; you don’t have to complete or even begin higher education; you don’t have to find a heteronormative partner, get married and have kids. You don’t have to fulfill all the responsibilities heaped on you by a society built around the particular qualities of nondisabled people. You don’t have to shower every day. You don’t have to appear “normal.” You don’t have to have a huge local social circle. What you have to do is whatever makes the struggles of your life easier on you. That is all.

There is no shame in that. There is no moral value attached to a method of doing something. It’s a method, that’s all. Just a method. One method. Not the only option.

In that spirit, I’m going to try to pick this series back up, and I’m hoping that maybe other folks will pick it up too. Because I really do believe it has great potential for the disabled community. We already come together and share resources; maybe we can do that while communicating our fundamental humanity to the outside world as well. And they need to listen.

They’ve gotta learn at some point – they never know when we’re going to spring a pop quiz!

So please, listen and read, and write or speak your own experience. Let me know if this is something you’d like to do, and if you end up writing anything! I don’t want this to be my series. I want it to be everyone’s.

Here’s what I’ve written on so far:

intro post / shower chair, shower chair redux / Tempurpedic Symphony pillow / cute pill case / TENS unit

Readers — what can you add to that?

Things That Make My Life Easier, A Reintroduction (Part 2 of 3)

Part 1 Part 2 — Part 3

In the realm of disability, there is a lot of terminology like: assistive device, accommodation, care services, mobility aid, various sorts of therapy/treatment (physical/behavioral/occupational/speech/etc.); and so forth, about things/people/services which fill various common needs that people with disabilities share. The unfortunate thing about these terms is that they imply particularity to disability. But in truth, these things are not special to disabled people.

What are the needs being met? Things like: mobility and transportation, mental function, physical wellness, self-care. But we do not name the things abled people use to fill those needs as being special to abled people. This is because ability is an unmarked identity. That is, ability is seen as normal. The needs and behaviors surrounding ability fade into invisibility; they are not about ability, they just are. But disability is marked — it is special, notable. It can never just be; it is always about something, always representing and signifying something particular.

Along those lines, consider these examples:

  • When an abled person wears shoes, they are not called “mobility aids.” Shoes are just things that normal people wear to do normal things. But canes, wheelchairs, and braces are special “mobility aids,” rather than just being things that normal people use to do normal things.
  • When an abled person rides in a car, bicycle, or public transportation, they are not using “mobility aids.” They are just using transportation.
  • When an abled person gets their hair cut, the stylist is not called their “personal care assistant.” Only disabled people need assistance with personal care tasks.
  • When an abled person eats a meal cooked for them by someone else — a spouse or parent, a cafeteria or food court, a restaurant — the person preparing the food is not their “personal care assistant,” despite doing for the abled person the same thing PAs do for PWD every day.
  • When an abled person uses a remote control on their television, this is not called an “assistive device.”
  • When an abled person types out words on a plastic board with small key blocks indicating letters of the alphabet while staring at a screen, or speaks words into the bottom area of a plastic-and-metal hand-held electronic device while holding the top to their ear, this is not called “facilitated communication.”
  • When an abled person is put through training at their place of work so that they can learn the tasks  they will be performing for pay, this is not called “occupational therapy” or “vocational therapy.”
  • When an abled person wears a bra, or a jock strap, or any clothing at all, this is not considered in the same category as slings or braces.
  • When an abled person climbs the stairs, they are not considered to be a special device thought up just for abled mobility.
  • When an abled person takes the escalator, they are not considered in the same category as the elevator or wheelchair ramp.

The trend evident here is that there are all sorts of things that help people live their lives. Having help to accomplish things — basic or beyond — is not special to disability. It is a fundamental part of humanity. Our society would not exist without all the little things we do, from products and tools to techniques and tricks to other people and relationships, to help us get through this world a little bit easier.

I want to emphasize this for a reason. A common trope in mainstream discussion on disability is that disabled people are helpless, and abled folk must take on the noble burden of keeping them alive, afloat. Disabled people need help with doing things, and it’s such a pitiable condition to be in, dependent on other people and things to get through life. Abled people pat each other on the back for the strength and courage and sacrifice they make in helping disabled people in their family or community. They often lament that would kill themselves before living as a person who needs help with things! And some of them take their considerable platforms to argue that because disabled people need help with doing things, their lives must not be good-enough-as-they-are, therefore their lives are not worth living at all, and we (the abled world) should withdraw all help and let them all die like they should have done as infants. (No, seriously, if your name is Peter Singer and/or you are the New York Times, this is what you say in all seriousness.)

In short, this idea of help-as-special-to-disability can be dangerous.

This is why I’ve come to like Things That Make My Life Easier: because that’s what they are. They aren’t super-special things that only people with disabilities can use. They aren’t super-special things that only people with disabilities need. They also aren’t things to be ashamed of. It shouldn’t be a hit to anybody’s pride to take shortcuts or to do things in an unconventional way. It shouldn’t be a possible insult to disabled people to associate themselves with icky, pitiable disability, and it also shouldn’t be a point of anxiety for disabled people who have concerns about admitting any sort of dependence or need for help. We can admit that we need things — or even just that those things are nice to have around — without it having to be a referendum on our identity, on our worth as a human being.

Or at least, I’d like it if we were able to!

So some of the things I post about are silly little things. Because they help me. Some of them are things that are particular to my disability — things that an abled person will likely not have to ever deal with, and may not be able to relate to — but that’s part of the human experience. I am a human being; there are other people like me who share these concerns, and they are human too. Part of the human experience is our experience. Because we are human. It shouldn’t have to be repeated like that, but it does. Disabled people have claim on the human experience. We can talk about our experience as disabled people, and it is not only about disability-in-particular, but about humanity itself. No matter how much it flames the insecurities of abled people, this is truth.

Next: An Invitation

Cross-posted: three rivers fog, FWD/Forward, Feministe.

Dear Imprudence: How terrible when blind people are seen and heard

I read this letter to Dear Abby and Abby’s awesomely ableist response. I wonder how she would have responded to a different letter. One that was more like this:

Dear Abby,

I was really looking forward to the opportunity to go out with my friend the other night and enjoy a good movie. I don’t get to go out to many of the popular films when they’re playing and everyone is buzzing about them, because very few theatres have descriptive audio available in them, and even when they do, not all films come packaged with such things. I should probably mention that I’m blind.

For example, if I go through the Regal Entertainment Group’s website, I see they have 605 screenings of movies with Descriptive Audio. This may seem like a lot, but counting up all their movie theaters across the US and guessing an average of 10 screens per theater, they have 4400 screens! That’s about 14% of all their showings! And I know from experience that dealing with staff at these theaters can be difficult: When I called a theater in my neighbourhood about descriptive audio, they told me where I could go to see movies that are captioned, which is not exactly helpful.

Anyway, my friend gracious agreed to not only go to a movie with me, but take the time and effort to let me know what was going on on the screen, so I could enjoy the movie too – at least, if the theater we went to didn’t have a descriptive audio option. Blind people are well aware of the various options they have to enjoy movies and other visual art – they certainly don’t need sighted people scolding them over such things!

So, you can imagine my dismay that, at this opportunity to enjoy a movie together, and be able to enjoy a movie while everyone else was talking about it, people were rudely “shushing” my friend, telling her to shut up. I know that it can be difficult and frustrating to have noise when you’re enjoying a movie, but I wonder why these people couldn’t find a less rude way of asking my friend to keep her voice down, or even just move a bit further away so that we, too, could enjoy the movie.

I know you’ll understand my frustration, Abby. I hope that you’ll remind sighted people that blind people have social lives and like to go out and enjoy things just as much as they do. I believe in my heart you’d never tell a blind person to just stay home and watch DVDs rather than risk bothering the sighted public.

Yours,

A Blind Person Who Wishes the ADA Meant Actual Accessible Content For All

P.S. Abby, surely you have statistics on the number of DVDs that are packaged with descriptive audio, right? According to Wikipedia, such DVDs are pretty rare. I bet you already know that the number of DVDs released with descriptive audio in the US in 2009 was 11.

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

Recommended Reading For 12 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.

Dancing With Pain: Practice entitlement. Because disability access is more than a physical issue (Thanks to livingartist for the link!)

I glared as I passed. I continued glaring as they served us. I also stopped eating, having lost my appetite (which seriously never, ever happens). My mom knew something was pissing me off, but I didn’t want to tell her what it was, so as to spare her feelings.

When I saw the bread assistant standing by himself on the other end of the patio, I got up and walked over to him. “What’s your name?” I asked. He told me. “It is in bad taste to mock disability and age,” I said evenly. “Yes ma’am,” he replied solemnly. I was impressed that he neither tried to deny his actions nor defend them. I walked back to the table.

WEEI: An Expert’s Guide to Telling When Players Fake Injuries

Look, I’m no medical expert. But I can spot a guy who’s faking an injury a mile away. I can tell a goldbricking slacker when I see one because… well, because I am one. You know that expression, “It takes a thief”? Well when it comes to stealing the company’s paid sick leave, I’m D.B. Cooper.

Alternet: Army Chaplain Tries to Cure PTSD With Jesus

In a nearly 11,000 word essay, “Spiritual Resiliency: Helping Troops Recover from Combat,” Command Chaplain Col. Donald W. Holdridge of the 200th Military Police Command at Fort Meade, Maryland, argues belief in Jesus Christ and Bible reading, particularly King David’s Psalms, can help cure a soldiers’ PTSD. “Combat vets need to know that most of these [PTSD symptoms] do fade in time, like scars,” writes Holdridge, a professor at the Baptist Bible College, as the Army Reserves banner hangs from the top of the Webpage. “They will always be there to some degree, but their intensity will fade. What will help them fade is the application of the principles of Scripture.”

Change.org’s Women’s Rights Blog: BPA in Plastic Blamed for Sparking Puberty in Seven-Year-Old Girls (Possible Trigger Warning for body shaming)

You’ve probably heard of BPA, or bisphenol-A, a chemical used in most plastics. BPA is synthetic estrogen, and since I’ve already mentioned that increased estrogen triggers early puberty, I think you can connect the dots here. So how much plastic do you use everyday? What food, hair products, drinks, make-up, or other items come in plastic containers? See how this might be a problem?

Philadelphia Daily News: Our famed forensic sculptor wryly reflects on a fading life

Thirty-three years after Bender, 69, sculpted his first bust of an unknown murder victim – a woman found near the airport in 1977 – he would seem to be at the top of his game: He fields calls daily relating to his work and is the subject of “The Murder Room,” a book that goes on sale next week, and an “America’s Most Wanted” tribute scheduled to air on Fox at 9 tonight.

But he’s dying of pleural mesothelioma; he lost his longtime wife, Jan, to nonsmoker’s lung cancer in April, and he has been forbidden to practice his craft by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is overseeing his care.

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