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Comments on The Gimp Parade: Andrea Dworkin on disability





Updated: 2013-04-13T03:08:48.680-05:00

 



I hadn't read about Reeve's true cause of death be...

2006-09-27T22:17:00.000-05:00

I hadn't read about Reeve's true cause of death before, which is rather shocking. What an interesting decision that infected bedsores was somehow better than reaction to antibiotics.

The article you linked to was fascinating. I would add that this is an important issue to others with disabilities too. My husband's cousin has spina bifida and no feeling below her waist. Because she is an adult woman who can live pretty independently, her parents don't invade her privacy. But sometimes she does develop sores that become quite serious (occasionally requiring hospitalization) before she notices them.

Hearing that Reeve, a celebrity who had seemingly unlimited funds and 'round-the-clock care at his disposal, died of something so "simple" was scary. I worried that if it could happen to him with no one noticing before the infections became life threatening, what chance does Paul's cousin have of living another decade?

I always thought that the story about the surprise sudden death from infected bed sores cast his caregivers in a pretty poor light. Such an infection shouldn't have been a surprise. Such infections can be life-threatening, of course, but with regular care, it seems to me that death from such a cause would at least not be shocking and sudden, but rather a possible result of a long battle involving surgeons and antibiotics.



Thanks everyone.Brooklynite, I second that wow.Pin...

2006-09-24T22:49:00.000-05:00

Thanks everyone.

Brooklynite, I second that wow.

Piny, I look forward to it.



...Wow. I suddenly understand why Raven Kaldera i...

2006-09-23T23:59:00.000-05:00

...Wow. I suddenly understand why Raven Kaldera irritates the living fuck out of me sometimes.

Thanks, Brooklynite.

Um, Blue, I appreciated this post, and I'm sorry you're getting so much crap from Pony over at Alas. I'm about halfway through a response at feministe.



My expectation that Dworkin would stir the pot for...

2006-09-23T11:16:00.000-05:00

My expectation that Dworkin would stir the pot for disability rights was unrealistic and bound to disappoint. Disability isn't an identity anyone embraces overnight, and some obviously impaired people never accept it.

There's more to it than that, though, I think. This piece and the essay she wrote about being drugged and raped in 1999 share a common worldview --- "this is a thing that happened to me that I was powerless to do anything about." In both pieces, she describes her friends, her doctors --- even her partner --- dismissing her and maltreating her. There's no sense in either piece that she found much support in communities of activists or fellow-sufferers, or even that she looked particularly hard for such support. There's no indication that her prominence, or her experience, or her money offered her any protection at all against the humiliations she suffered.

Both pieces are ultimately defeatist. Both pieces deprecate, mostly by omission, the idea that oppressed people can act together to change society for the better, or even to improve each others' prospects for survival within it. Both depict Dworkin as passive, victimized, defeated --- railing against oppression, but railing ineffectually --- and both depict that state as essentially inescapable.



There *will* be someone of her notoriety who *will...

2006-09-22T23:42:00.000-05:00

There *will* be someone of her notoriety who *will* write about this type of experience in a less shocked way, I think...

It's a good thing to hope for.



Great post. Dworkin is, of course, as Dworkin is:...

2006-09-22T23:20:00.000-05:00

Great post.

Dworkin is, of course, as Dworkin is: controversial, radical, disappointing, interesting, provocative, out there....

For me, however, this story brims with the shock of unpleasant discovery ...the discovery of what it is like on the other side.

WCD



Delurking to say that yours is one of the first bl...

2006-09-22T10:53:00.000-05:00

Delurking to say that yours is one of the first blogs I read each morning. I love the topics you choose to write about and your viewpoint on these issues. This Dworkin post especially stuck with me.



Dworkin is serious business for all feminists, mys...

2006-09-21T22:37:00.000-05:00

Dworkin is serious business for all feminists, myself included, because she's contributed so much to the perception of what feminism is. Even that's an understatement.

I expected some controversy since I was writing with the self-realization that I don't speak for everyone and every movement has its difficulties and flaws. Dworkin's experiences are not mine and vice versa.

If she wasn't a public figure and there wasn't such a frighteningly limited media presentation of disability issues, it'd be rather unfair to pick apart her personal story. But it's not so simple as that.

I agree completely with this: I think someone can be disappointing and still be perfectly normal and reasonable; our expectations are just sometimes too high.



Wow. They're really harshing all over you on Alas...

2006-09-21T21:42:00.000-05:00

Wow. They're really harshing all over you on Alas, aren't they? I'm coming over here to comment. Maybe they're disappointed in you in a similar way to how you were disappointed in Dworkin?

Anyway, I enjoyed your take on her article, and I tend to agree with your disappointment (but then, I was never a huge Dworkin fan either). I think someone can be disappointing and still be perfectly normal and reasonable; our expectations are just sometimes too high. I wonder, is that a compliment that you expected more from her?



Very true. And as colleges and universities contin...

2006-09-21T15:30:00.000-05:00

Very true. And as colleges and universities continue to improve access, disabled students may attend and live together. That happened for me.



There's reason to hope: the togetherness that sha...

2006-09-21T11:40:00.000-05:00

There's reason to hope: the togetherness that sharpens perceptions of collective mistreatment, which once happened in rehab hospitals and institutions, now may be happening online instead. Anytime, day or night, it's possible now to go online and find peers who can offer news, practical solutions, encouragement, or space to vent frustration. People who would never attend a "support group" (with all the baggage that entails), or those with new diagnoses, or those whose geographic or family situation precludes real-life meetings, can still be in community. I have to believe this is good for speeding the process of political awareness.