I noticed a lot of people wrote their blogs on Native American rape during colonialism. This is a tragedy, but the real tragedy is that nothing has really changed. I recently read an article about Native American rape in modern day. In most Native American reservations, the rape statistics are up to 12 times as high as in cities. One woman in the Navajo tribe stated that out of all the women on her reservation, she only knows of 1 or 2 that were NOT raped. What makes this into a double edged sword is the fact that the rapists are very rarely caught and sentenced. Just like with boarder rape, Americans are raping minority women and getting away with it. Why is it that this is ok? We need to do something to make rapists pay for their crime. Violating another person's body should never be an acceptable act.
As we have discussed in class, it is unfortunate that I often times feel that my being a student parent gives me a certain disability to function as a "typical" student. In fact I'm even considering taking my two year old son to my evening final just to prove a point. Unfortunately, I have a class which is held during the morning hours, but every exam is held at night, 7pm to be specific. I have also even heard other students complain about the test scheduling even though they don't have children, because they also commute. Given the fact that this very campus is always alerting us about its high crime rates, just imagine the stress someone like myself would encounter if I had to travel back and fourth to campus via Metro Transit, after having had to find ALTERNATIVE child care for my son, who's day care closes at 5:30pm.
Although our class is almost over, I came across this article tonight and thought it was worth posting on here. Take a look if you decide to take a quick study break!
So as I mentioned in our presentation, when we picked our subject of ableism, I spent a day pretending like I was in a wheelchair. I didn't use stairs for a whole day and always used handicapped entrances. What I found is that my day was totally different. Trying to find an entrance into Folwell Hall that was accessible to someone who had a physical disability was difficult.
Most areas around campus, such as ramps or entryways, that were made for those who are disabled seemed almost to be thrown in as an after thought. It seemed like the buildings were built for those who were able bodied, and people who disabled were only thought of after.
Not completely sure what to make this. Maybe our acceptance of all levels of ability has increased over time, so our buildings have changed as well. Whatever the case, hopefully in the near future all levels of ability can be accepted equally.
The above link is a trailer for the Hofesh Shechter Dance Company's performance of Political Mother. Please watch, so you'll know vaguely what I am talking about. :)
I attended this performance at the Orpheum Theater on November 13, and I must say it was one of the most phenomenal things I have ever seen preformed on stage. I felt as though I had seen something that had been written just for me. The subject matter so rich with thematic motifs alluding to the history of a people and the power relations surrounding civilization. An entire spectrum of passion ranging from love to rage was expressed without words, and I firmly believe that an attempt to describe performances like these with words dilutes the message. However words, although sometimes inaccurate and empty, are a completely necessary tool to describe to others.
I felt a personal connection to the piece as it described the motivations behind political movements, war, religion, and other arrangements of power. Aside from being very personally interested in this topic, I felt it had a lot of intrinsic value that applied very directly to this class.
So as not to give too much away (I invite you to watch videos of the full performance online) I'll connect one core motif from the performance to the class. Many times throughout the performance, in a drone of electric guitars and steady drums, there was a person placed above the mass of floor dancers. This was repeated often under different contexts, usually involving the exalted figure who would appear wearing Abraham-era priest garb, a cliche commander get-up, or one one occasion a gorilla mask. This character was always doing the same thing on stage, violently- or passionately, depending on your view- jerking about and speaking gibberish into a microphone addressing both the audience and the crowd of dancers beneath him. Now, where the connection can be made is in the relationship the dancers beneath him have with him. Several times the dancers would raise their hands in his direction, which can be read in a number of ways. When there were guns in the faces of the dancers, coercion. When there were bright lights and relativity calm music, worship/trust/respect. Within the context of the folk music that plays and the ethnicity of the dancer, I was led to believe that a narrative of the Jewish people was being told. This narrative is a rich one full of oppression, violence, passion, and energy that is the perfect mold for a commentary on the "mother of politics". I want to connect this scene of the exalted with our readings on "The Five Faces of Oppression". Although a relatively simple concept, it is this rudimentary understanding that flows with the context of all the readings we have done this far.
When I was viewing this play I believed I was playing spectator to a history of peoples, and when I realized that I could critically engage the piece by analysis on power relations I saw a greatly different piece than I would have just a year or two ago.
"Insteaqd of asking 'how do you manage not being like (the non-stated) us?' (the negation argument), disability imaginareies think/speak/gesture and feel different landscapes not just for being -in-the-world, but on the conduction of perception, mobilities and temporalities Linton (1998a, p. 530) points out that the 'kin-aesthetic, proprioceptive, sensory and cognitive experiences' of disabled people as they go about their daily life have received limited attention. Nancy Mairs (1996) notes that a disability gaze is imbricated in every aspect of action, perception, occurrence and knowing." The Project of Ableism, by Fiona Cambell.
I chose this excerpt from the reading The Project of Ableism because I believe it points out just how out of mind the world view of the disabled is for able-bodied people, or at least myself.
This blog is about the University of Minnesota and the services the University provides for those with disabilities, both mental and physical.
Many are quick to criticize this University on it's presumed stance on accomodation of people with disabilities. For example, check out this article published in the Minnesota Daily in September.
Although this article is pretty useful in presenting a new perspective on the physical boudaries that are rampant at the University for people with disabilities, it is my opinion that the writer missed out on a better aspect of this University. Since the passage of the Americans With Disabilites Act in 1990 their has a been a substantial paradigm shift all across the nation, due in part to feminists, activists, and academics in the United States.
There is no doubt that the United States has one of the best stances on disability in the world. And this University is a great example of the change that is happening.
I invite anyone interested in this topic to check out this link to the videos posted on the University's Disability Services website, as I believe they really explain just how well this University is engaged with current discourse surrounding disability.
I would like to end this blog on a story. When I was at a hearing on the Disability Services, I talked with a retentive who told me about when the TCF Bank Stadium was under development. She had a somewhat humorous tone in her voice when she told me that there was much frustration on behalf of the developers because many plans were sent back to them because they do not accommodate the many body types that are at the University. She said time after time we argued on behalf of the students that this project needs to be a shining example of the University's acceptance of all students, arguing that it truly needs to be if the University is concerned about its image. For where else is the University's image better represented than on the football field. I liked her last remark for its tongue-in-check overtone, but I appreciate even more that the this University was able to make one of the most accessible stadiums in the Big 10 (see final link).
Translocal Analysis of Human Trafficking
Images of disabled people doing ordinary things are often circulated on social media websites for the purpose of inspiring able-bodied people. These images, also known as inspiration porn, reinforce ableist norms and objectify disabled people. Able-bodied people can look at inspiration porn and think, "If they can do it, so can I!" and "At least I don't have it that bad." This is damaging for people of all abilities. Those who are unable to pull themselves up by their bootstraps (disabled or not) are victim-blamed. Inspiration porn allows able-bodied people to celebrate the achievements of disabled people without being critical of society's willingness to accommodate for different bodies.