Fast-forward to today, when, especially during October, everything from toilet paper to buckets of fried chicken to the chin straps of N.F.L. players look as if they have been steeped in Pepto. If the goal was “awareness,” that has surely been met — largely, you could argue, because corporations recognized that with virtually no effort (and often minimal monetary contribution), going pink made them a lot of green.
But a funny thing happened on the way to destigmatization. The experience of actual women with cancer, women like Rollin, Black, Ford and Rockefeller — women like me — got lost. Rather than truly breaking silences, acceptable narratives of coping emerged, each tied up with a pretty pink bow.
Ally at Every Crooked Step Forward: Where I Write About (Not) Coming Out
I could have lied. But I couldn’t lie. I didn’t know asexual was anything, then, so I just said no, and then was forced to sit through all the speculation. They didn’t know, and I didn’t know enough to argue with them. People assumed I was undesirable, because of the CP, and I didn’t argue with them, though I wanted to because the assumption hurt, but the hurt was hard to explain, under the circumstances. People assumed I was too brain damaged to understand sex, and I couldn’t explain otherwise, because simply having no desire was enough to tell sexuals I didn’t understand.
Lisa at Sociological Images: Illustrating a “Normal” Life Course
By organizing birth control needs according to age, the slide show teaches viewers a socially-approved timeline for our sexual, marital, and reproductive lives. Teen sex is invisible, having children in your 30s is ideal, and the end of a relationship is an option but, as Corina points out, not having children is not.
Wheelchair Dancer at cripwheels: Broken
Regardless of the state of Tommy’s mind and body, it is we who are broken. It is we who drink in glorifications of war and heroism in the movies and kill the political systemic message of such poetry by treating it as individual expression. It is we who refuse to provide support and systems of support to help our veterans; it is we who shame and silence them into a stiff upper lip. We are the ones who both stare and look away. Homelessness doesn’t respond to swelling music and huge parades. PTSD isn’t best treated by ignoring it.
Crazy Mermaid at Bipolar: Crazy Mermaid’s Blog: NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Unlike Breast Cancer with their irascible pink color, and Heart Disease with their “wearing red” campaign, Mental Illness doesn’t have the awareness in the public eye that those campaigns and others such as Multiple Sclerosis or other equivalent organizations. Why is that?
David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine: Homeopathy for fibromyalgia: The Huffington Post bombs again
As you might be able to guess, because fibromyalgia is a syndrome of unclear etiology with a wide variety of physical complaints, widely varying severity, and a clinical course that waxes and wanes, it is a woo magnet. Indeed, many conditions that scientists do not yet understand well and/or for which we do not yet have particularly good treatments are woo magnets.
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.
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At Jezebel, Jessica writes: Is Having A Baby A Traumatic Event?
A new survey says that 9% of postpartum women suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. You know, the same disorder that Iraq vets and plane crash survivors get. Something does not compute here,[...]
Have we become so precious and hyper-conscious that something women have been doing for time immemorial is now ranked alongside war as a painful event?[...]
Certainly, having a bowling ball of a baby shooting out your vag isn’t a picnic for anyone, but the hysteria surrounding something so matter-of-fact is troubling.
“Hysteria”. Yes, “hysteria”. She went there. She used the prime misogynist slam against women, blaming wandering uteruses. Unbefuckingllievable.
I’m only surprised there wasn’t a “princess” or a “delicate flower” thrown in there too. Or maybe a few accusations of insurance fraud, hm? That would just put the icing on the hateful cake.
Get back to me when you’ve been stripped, dehumanised, isolated, forcibly starved, and strapped to a table for 12 or more hours during the hardest work of your life. Get back to me when you’ve been subjected to a series of non-emergency procedures on your body with neither consent nor medical justification. Get back to me when you’ve been imprisoned in hospital.
Get back to me when you’ve been held down by two or three people while someone – or more than one someone – pushes their fingers into your vagina while you say “No”. Get back to me when you’ve been screaming “NOOOO! STOP!!!” and been ignored while someone cuts your body open and shoves metal forceps into you. Get back to me when you’ve been strapped to a table and operated on and had your protestations about the anaesthetic not working being ignored. Get back to me when you’re left bleeding and vomiting on a table, without access to help, wondering if you’re bleeding to death, and you’ve had your newborn baby taken away from you without explanation or good reason except an over-the-shoulder “we don’t have enough staff right now”.
Get back to me when you’ve spent months of your life – the months you thought would be a joyful, perhaps sleep-deprived, milky daze – having violent flashbacks and nightmares. Shambling through the day barely able to function, unable to bond with your newborn. Bursting into tears and panic attacks many times a day. Avoiding public places lest you suddenly start sobbing and need to run. Not able to have anyone touch you.
Get back to me when you’re hunched in a corner, unable to work, unable to care for yourself, unable to speak, and all anyone can say to you is “All that matters is a live baby”.
I hope you never experience these things. Because they can be horrifying, life-changing, deeply traumatic events. The only promise I can make you is that I won’t call you “precious” or “hysterical” if you’re ever in this terrible position.
Medical assault is assault. Obstetric rape is rape. Trauma is trauma. Some people who have experienced these things get PTSD.
And it’s not up to you, or anyone else, to instruct them that they haven’t – especially in explicitly woman-hating terms.
You don’t get to judge.
No, no, no, no, no.
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A disabled college student is having trouble getting around campus, after someone stole his motorized wheelchair. [...] Horus had locked it up and left it charging overnight. When he returned to campus, it was gone – all that was left was the charger. [...] Horus’ wheelchair cost about $5,000 and that means whoever stole it faces grand theft charges.
“It’s really difficult for me to replace it. To replace it, it would take me like a year,” Horus said.
Health Care is an anti-racist issue [US]:
See, I’m one of the 25 million Americans who are underinsured. I have health insurance — pay $350/month for it — as part of a new policy that I switched to back in January when I quit my 9 to 5 to become a freelancer/fulltime writer for awhile. I’m pretty healthy and only in my thirties, but I have a family history of fibroids (like 50% of black women). So every year when I get my annual physical, I also get an ultrasound to check for those. This year the test showed small fibroids — too small to worry about, really, not even requiring treatment, though I need to keep an eye on them in case they grow. No biggie, I thought; my doctor’s efforts at preventative care had done what they were supposed to do, and detected a potential problem early enough that I can fix it easily if necessary. Health care at its best.
When two whole cakes ain’t enough arsenal…
I was leaning against a sign that read “Bus Stops Here” and jamming to some Dresden Dolls, my trusty guide dog sitting politely at my left leg. He laid down impatiently as the minute hands ticked and still no bus in sight. Then, out of what most docs wouldn’t call peripheral vision I spotted a figure stooping for a pet-by.
What is a pet-by, you ask? It’s when a knowing pedestrian sneaks in a pet or smooch or otherwise grossly boundaries-crossing form of affection at an unsuspecting service animal. Not to be mistaken with human grabbings or other forms of harassment but nonetheless devious and irritating for both animal and human handler.
Without missing a beat and sans usual snark I said loud enough for passerby to hear that “that was a shitty thing to do.” There, I said it. That was a shitty thing for person to do. Ask first, respect my answer, move on. Clearly knowing petting wasn’t allowed, ze sneaked on by, hoping I wouldn’t notice. Too bad my dog alerts me, not liking unknown human touch too much.
Where Neurodiversity Meets Feminist Theory: Part I, Part II, Part III:
Another area I see feminism and disability-rights perspectives reinforcing each other is on the question of caregiving. This might not seem like an obvious choice, since you often see feminists and disabled self-advocates at odds over this issue: when disabled people assert our right to adequate care in our own homes (or wherever we choose), feminists argue that we are also claiming entitlement to the underpaid or unpaid labor of women. (See the feminist blogswarm over Ashley X for ample evidence of this conflict).
But when you think about it, modern industrial capitalist society’s way of dealing with children, disabled people, elderly adults and every other group that needs help with daily tasks is exactly what you’d expect from a society in which women are invisible second-class citizens. When women are not valued as highly as men, women’s work is not regarded as real work, and obligations that fall under the umbrella of “women’s work” (say, care for the old, the sick and the disabled) will be more likely to be dismissed as “family responsibilities” in which government meddling is unwarranted.
Post-Trauma.net is “here to help you access information about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and related mental health information.” They have a list of resources available.
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