Saturday, February 10, 2007

This just keeps happening. Again and again.

Couple carry out campaign of sadistic abuse

"A sadistic couple who 'tortured' their disabled toddler during a horrific campaign of sustained abuse just weeks after social services returned the youngster to them were caged for a total of 22 years. [...] When the child, who cannot be named, was taken in by foster carers they referred to her as a "sunny child" who was physically capable despite her disability.

Following the abuse she was left physically incapable of walking."

Just something else to echo in my brain when I have to listen to some dipshit tell me that "No one would ever hurt a child with a disability", or, "But their (your) parents must love them (you)". Denial like that enables horrors like this to happen. It's ironic, or just fucking infuriating, when you think about it. Able-bodied people are automatically assumed as being capable of good parenting, and the saccarhine crap that gets spouted about how `amazing' they are if they do have a child with a disability is endless, even if there is evidence to the contrary. But have a disability and have a child and you're automatically assumed to be incompetent in a parenting role, often with no evidence of incompetence. I've heard story upon story from other women with disabilities I know who've been questioned and attacked for having children, simply because people won't get past their prejudices about what people with disabilities should or shouldn't do.

It is some very small comfort to notice that nobody who is commenting on the story has so far trotted out the usual justification of abuse that many stories about the abuse and/or murder of people with disabilities get. The one where the supposed difficulty of having or taking care of a child with a disability justifies the murder or abuse. That was one I heard personally applied to my own story, too many times told, "But you don't understand, it's so difficult to have a child with a disability."

Meanwhile, the difficulty of actually being subjected to abuse is something that they will not acknowledge. Believe me, there is nothing in the world that is harder than living with the knowledge that your own parents abused you, that they didn't see you as human or worth protecting. The little girl in that story will go through hell dealing with the afteraffects of what was done to her. Living with cerebral palsy is a walk in the park, in comparison.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Disability History and Disability in the Arts

The Seventh Disability Blog Carnival has been up at The Disability Studies blog for a week or two. As usual, it is full of fabulous writing on disability issues.

In the absence of any real writing from me lately, I'd like to point you toward two of my favourite new blogs, Chewing The Fat - gloriously well-written meditations and stories about disability, and Women of Colour Blog, passionate, committed and thoughtful writing about race, women, feminism, and poverty and many more topics. It is one of the few `mainstream' blogs out there that gives time and space to disability issues in a respectful and mature manner.

I seem to have lost the ability to write about anything in a coherent manner at the moment. It's very ironic that this has happened at a time when I have more opportunities to express myself. Some sort of subconscious self-censoring and silencing thing. I'm pulling back from the world more and more these days. It's not a bad thing, and I'm happy to see so many people who are able to write brilliantly and eloquently about issues that are important to me.