As I’m writing this, I’m still on my trip, so again – very quick! [The conference has been awesome, y’all. Seriously – I met so many great people and had so many great conversations. And people liked my presentation!]
So, I have been thinking (ahahaha, I know, right? I NEVER do that). And it was because of the Jezebel post about the MTV True Life episode, which I just watched, on Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
And, you know, it’s MTV, so it’s not the most tasteful or thoughtful show, but: I don’t really want to talk about reality TV. I was thinking about how being feminist and being aware of privilege makes me really struggle with my own BDD.
I was diagnosed four years ago. It’s definitely gotten worse as time as gone by, and exponentially worse after the rape. It’s also not a disorder that stands alone; it ties in to my bipolar disorder, my anxiety problems.
Via Terri over at Barriers, Brigdes and Books comes news that an autistic teen was charged with assault and disorderly conduct a few weeks ago, after he became physically aggressive when there were four fire drills in one morning at his school. We do not know whether an appropriate behavior intervention plan was in place, as should have been the case.
I have written a manifesto. It’s short as manifestos go… and I think fairly low on scary ramblings (edit, edit, edit!!! 🙂
Here it is:
I believe in the Disability Rights Community.
That is to say, I believe that disability is a natural part of the human experience that is often misunderstood by our culture and I believe in the people with disabilities and their allies who recognize that human beings are undiminished by disability. I support these people who strive for respect, recognition and rights.
I came here to study at a university. I took a job from approximately 299 Americans who, presumably, could have done it as well as I did. (Interestingly, the other person on the shortlist told me that he believed hiring me was an act of discrimination and that I had “dogged” him.) I have brown skin. I married an American. I was told I was only into him for the visa. (Almost 20 years later, I still worry about whether I have to prove our relationship is genuine.) I use the health care system. I have paid my speeding ticket and been to traffic school. I pay my taxes. I very definitely pay my taxes; I have been audited and found to owe nothing. And a little while ago, I began the process to naturalize myself as a citizen.
If you live with a disability, I encourage you to speak up about your experiences. Make a YouTube video, start a blog, participate in a message board. And let me know about it.
I look forward to spending a moment with you.