Recommended Reading for October 26

Linkblurt: We Are Immobilised

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. is “here to help you access information about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and related mental health information.” They have a list of resources available.

6 thoughts on “Recommended Reading for October 26

  1. Oh my stars, I just read the “When two cakes…” post and I am SPITTING MAD. Who on Earth does that sort of thing? Well, I guess we know the answer to that, but still, I am all kinds of pissed off and horrified.

    And I am ESPECIALLY pissed at the bystander who did nothing while a woman and her service animal were assaulted in public.
    .-= meloukhia´s last blog ..The Vamps, They Are A-Changin’ =-.

  2. Thanks for the kudos on the site Adelaide – I just launched the it a few days ago and I haven’t built up a community around it yet, so I’m still pondering if I should add a forums section or what would really be most helpful and useful to the user.

    I’m thinking of adding a survey to see what sort of services are really helpful for users.

    I welcome any advice, thoughts and links for the site 🙂

  3. Ah, one of my least favorite parts of being partnered with a service dog is the drive by petting. People assume that I’m blind or Deaf, and there is no way a blind or Deaf person would notice what they are doing. At least, that’s what they think.

    You ask them to not touch your working dog and sometimes people get psychically or verbally abusive.

    The help my Figaro gives me is worth it, but I wish people weren’t such asshats.
    .-= thetroubleis´s last blog ..On work. =-.

  4. I’ve never trained/worked with a service animal before, but I have partnered with/trained/worked with working animals, and I’ve noted that most people have no respect for working animals and their handlers at all. I don’t know if that’s just the way people are, or if people are so separated from the very *idea* of working animals that they don’t know how to act around them.

    Fortunately, I’ve always worked with really scary, although very well trained, animals, so when I’ve politely asked people not to touch them, they tend to back off. I don’t understand why people think it’s appropriate to try and handle a working or service animal when it’s identified as working, and when the handler makes a polite request. It’s assault, pure and simple.
    .-= meloukhia´s last blog ..I Hate Prescriptive Feminism =-.

  5. Meloukhia, I often hear, “But I love dogs!” and folks act like it’s unfair that they can’t get their dog fix with my dog. This is a major issue, as Figaro is still in training and is a very people orientated dog and I don’t want him to get distracted and not alert. If he doesn’t alert I can miss out on telling him to do the things needed to keep me safe. One of the things he is learning is to find bathrooms when I have an anxiety attack, and it’s harder to ask him to do that all the way into an attack rather than before or in the start, which is what happens when he alerts.

    My safety depends on people not inferring with him, as does the success of his training. Not all of it, depends on other folks, but it’s easier and quicker to train things without interference.
    .-= thetroubleis´s last blog ..On work. =-.

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