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Archive for the ‘normal bodies’ Category

At the beginning of the semester, I came across an article titled The Deaf Body in Public Space on my Facebook news feed that was posted by one of my deaf friends. As I read through the article, I found myself nodding in agreement with many of the observations that the author, Rachel Kolb, voiced. (more…)

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Having been around various forms of sex work I have become quite used to cosmetic surgery. I spent a lot of time drawing parallels while reading Susan Stryker’s “Frankenstein” piece. I think about the times in which we allow ‘unnatural’ bodies to coexist peacefully and when we view them as threats. (more…)

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There is nothing I dread more than the confused, shocked, horrified look on people’s faces after I open my mouth and say something incomprehensible to their untrained ears. I feel like I am exposed for the freak of nature that I am. Despite my years and years of preparation in the form of weekly speech therapy sessions and high-tech cochlear implant, I still clumsily navigate the hearing world, where sound reigns supreme, constantly tripping over tasks that seem mundane to most people.

My body, and more specifically, my ears and voice, are seen as something out of the ordinary and freakish that must be covered up as efficiently as possible or put somewhere else where there are “people like me”.

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I know what you’re thinking.

“Oh my god, how could to title your post that?” (more…)

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One of my favorite things to talk about is gyms. Not because I’m a hardcore “gym rat” or that I consider it a hobby (more…)

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Our last class discussion really had me thinking about how un-accessible schools really are. Not only in physical lay out but also in policies and attitudes and I wanted to talk about it a little more. For students with mental disabilities there’s the issue of “proving” that you have an issue that could affect you in class, going to the doctor’s, reporting it with the school where it is then on file, then outing yourself to your professors which can be very stressful for someone. Also once you talk with a professor it is a guessing game on whether they will be accommodating or act like you are taking away from others. For those with physical disabilities our campus is not designed for easy access while getting around, our desks are small and uncomfortable and overall there is just so many obstacles to overcome.

Class also made me think about things we don’t often attribute to this issue. Bigger individuals, whether it be height or weight, have a hard time fitting into the desks and yet it is not thought of as an issue. The same goes for pregnant women who are not given appropriate accommodations, they face a variety of issues such as discomfort/ pain, fatigue, doctor’s appointments, sickness etc. and teachers often don’t think of them as needing any help.

The school as a whole is often set up to work best for someone who can afford tuition, is young, able bodied, can live on campus, doesn’t have to work, and takes the classes their adviser tells them to. But what about the people who don’t fit into this. I’m young and luckily I’ve gotten through college without much trouble but thinking about it critically I can find times where I was seen as a nuisance because I didn’t fit into the appropriate mode. I am on scholarship so I have to take a certain amount of credits and get a certain GPA, also I take more than the needed amount of credits because my scholarship only lasts until the end of this year. I also have to work in order to get through college and I’ve been told many times I should quit my job, or I need to just stay in school longer and take more classes even though that’s not a possibility for me. Commuting also opens up problems that students face. There’s only a small number of students who fit into the accepted form and yet nothing is being done to change how we deal with all of the others.

I don’t know if we have one already but if not I think we should have a group or panel that discusses these topics and try to make change.

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Our class discussion from the other day has me thinking. How do we talk about the US’s responsibility in producing disabilities through wars abroad (both in our own veterans and in residents of the countries that serve as the battlegrounds) without implying that disabled people are undesirable or useless?

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