Recommended Reading, July 1

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.

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A Stitch in Time Can Sometimes Cost You Nine

My friend was curious about Disability Living Allowance. ‘Why’, he asked, ‘in a time of such financial crisis are we paying people just because they are disabled?’ ‘Surely there’s no need for that payment when we have an NHS to provide medical care and local authorities to provide social care?’

Why indeed?

Disability Living Allowance is one of the most misunderstood and yet most practical and vital benefits we have in the welfare state. It is NON means tested, so it can be claimed by anyone who meets the required standards for needing assistance with either a care component or a mobility component.

Inkstone: I Guess I Still Have A Post In Me

I guess we should glad they didn’t slap a blue-eyed, blond-haired white girl on the covers, huh?

But make no mistake; this is insulting. At least with a symbolic motif cover (a la the Twilight covers), you can pretend race is not a factor. Instead, here, we’re given a girl whose face is obscured by shadow. That way, the publisher can say, But she could be Asian. It’s ambiguous!

Except it’s not ambiguous. We know what they’re doing. It’s a flimsy attempt to put a person on the cover while also masking any identifying features that could “scare” away potential buyers. Do you know what message that sends? Not only are we taught that our stories aren’t worth telling, not only are we taught never to expect to see our faces represented, we’re now being told that if we are represented, we should be ashamed of our features. That our eyes, our cheekbones, most of our faces scare away potential readers. That to reach a different and wider audience, we must be sacrificed because no one would want to read one of our stories if they knew ahead of time what they were getting.

When Aspergers Becomes Cool

So is Asperger’s “cool” now, as Moby seems to think? Is it merely geek chic, the undiagnosed condition that may have afflicted Mozart and Einstein? Not if you ask the thousands of people who struggle every day to function at work and school in a society that may view them as quirky, but doesn’t really understand how difficult it is to exist when you are, essentially, always speaking a foreign language. Or is it more likely that people share (even in some small way) the suspicion that this is all just a trendy camouflage, and agree with stand-up Denis Leary’s allegedly comic observation that “your kid is NOT autistic. He’s just stupid. Or lazy. Or both.”

January 23 to be designated Ed Roberts Day in California?

Now, naming a day for Ed Roberts won’t enforce any neglected accessibility laws, or improve Medi-Cal coverage, or keep anyone from using ableist language. But maybe schools will invite disabled performers to lead the celebration; maybe scout troops will learn to build good ramps or install clear signage on the day; maybe newspapers will seek out community activists for soundbites or more; maybe maybe maybe.

Dear My Dentist

When you then do some manipulation for TMJ, and I explain to you that I’m willing to try TMJ treatment for migraine, although I have tried it before in the 1980s (see: “tried everything”), and that my reaction to the TMJ manipulation may be exaggerated because I have skin sensitivity so severe that I cannot wear glasses, this would be a really bad moment to press on my forehead to see. My leaping back and screaming “OhmyGodpleaseDON’T” should indicate to you as much. An abject apology here would have been good. Because I warned you of my medical condition, and you, being NOT A NEUROLOGIST, ignored it.

Xbox 360 Kinect: Good for Disabled Gamers, But Not for Gaming, Yet

I don’t have to tell you that most of the Kinect will be largely useless to most of you reading this article. The entire point of Kinect is to get you and your friends off of the couch and more active while playing video games.

That is an impressive idea in theory; unfortunately it really hurts your average disabled gamer who can’t get out of the wheelchair, let alone the couch. In order to know whether to be excited about this device, you’re going to have to take an inventory of your disability.

If you have use of everything but one arm or one hand, like most one-handed gamers, Kinect will still be playable for you just as is the Wii. But if you are unable to play the Wii or have a more severe disability – this new system is going to be rough.


United Kingdom: Mayor failed to consult DPOs over new Routemaster design “But when asked what consultation had taken place with disabled people, the mayor of London’s transport advisor, Kulveer Ranger, said: “Consultation has already taken place with London TravelWatch [the watchdog representing all transport users] and later this year a full mock-up of the bus will arrive in the capital, which will provide a good opportunity for groups representing disabled people to see the bus for themselves and feed back their opinions.” [Via Arbitrary Constant]

Canada: Ombudsman ‘distressed’ by treatment of children “Dozens of Ontario families are still being asked to give up custody of their special needs children in order to get the care they need, Ontario’s ombudsman said Tuesday.”


Future Sex Panel at BFI in London

The BFI is hosting a panel on “science fiction as a playground for feminist and queer artists” on 2 July at 6.30pm

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

About Ouyang Dan

is an extremely proggy-liberal, formerly single mommy, Native American, invisibly disabled, U.S. Navy Veteran, social justice activist and aspiring freelance writer currently living in South Korea on Uncle Sam's dime. She has a super human tolerance for caffeine and chocolate and believes she should use those powers for good. She said should. She is not a concise person, and sometimes comes on a little aggressively in comments. Sometimes her right arm still twitches when military brass walks past her, but she would rather be reading YA Lit or pwning n00bs. She can be found being cliche about music, overthinking pop culture, and grumbling about whatever else suits her fancy at her personal website, random babble.... She also writes about military issues for's Women's Rights blog. If you have something interesting to say email her at ouyangdan [at] disabledfeminists [dot] com. Lawyers in Italy looking to hold lottery winnings in her bank account may wait longer for reply.

One thought on “Recommended Reading, July 1

  1. Christ on a bike. I did a quite literal headdesk when I read that thing about Moby pretending to have AS. Dude, I’m all for autistic folk themselves showing the world that their diagnoses are not only NOT DISEASES (sorry, caps were needed there since my rage against “autism cure” organizations is always boiling) but also showing that it has perks, believe it or not, but NTs like Moby don’t have the right to do that. That’s mad-drag, pure and simple.

    Although I quite liked that guy’s quote, “I think autism is doing the same thing as other people, differently. It’s just the way you do it, the processes involved. It’s kind of like the difference between a Mac and a Windows PC.” That’s pretty similar to what I like to say about myself, that AS is my OS. 🙂

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