Posts Tagged ‘disability’

by Julia

Amanda Marcotte on the history of prayer politics. An excerpt:

The 1979 Energy crisis. Instead of responding to the energy crisis through international political pressure and conservationist policies, President Jimmy Carter prayed in a national address that Jesus redo that trick with the water into wine, but this time to create oil. While it didn’t work in 1979, some suggest that the current transition of the Gulf of Mexico into a big bucket of oil indicates that God finally came around to answering that prayer.”

A visual history of the American Presidency. I wish I could have a 10 foot print out of this on my wall.

“Is Sarah Palin a feminist?” I am beyond sick of this “news” story, but this piece (h/t Johnny) clarifies the phenomenon of pro-life women running for (and winning) elected office by focusing on California’s senatorial race between University of Maryland MBA program grad (ew) Carly Fiorina and 3-term incumbent Barbara Boxer.

The loneliness of modern life through real magazine photos of architecture inhabited by yuppies. Very dystopian, very funny.

Do anti-depressants actually make us more capable of acting and feeling politically, as opposed to the common narrative that medicated folks are the real zombies? (Warning: this piece is the intersection of a lot of things I’m interested in (disability rights, activism, anarchism, anti-capitalism, theory, postmodernism, mental health, etc) – it is theory-heavy, but a really interesting read if even a few of the above items interest you. At any rate, thought I’d warn you ­čÖé )

19 of the world’s most ┬ácomplex and dangerous roads. Not tryna drive in Norway. Or Russia. (h/t Paul)

This is a gorgeous cover of Sufjan Stevens’s “Chicago” by Katsby. The ending with the guitar is especially beautiful.

I’ve been late to jump on the Robyn bandwagon, but I’m such a fan of her new(ish) album, Body Talk Pt. 1. Swedish feminist robo-pop? Yes, please. Here is ‘Dance Hall Queen’ with Diplo, but also check out ‘Fembot‘, ‘Dancing on My Own‘, and ‘The Girl and the Robot‘ with Royksopp. Just do yourself a favor and grab the whole album.

Have a lovely weekend, and go USA!


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by Julia

A Massachusetts mother, thirty-five-year-old Tessa Savicki, is suing a hospital for forced sterilization. Savicki went into the hospital in 2006 to give birth to her ninth child via Cesarean section. She brought an IUD with her and asked the doctors and nurses present to insert it for her. Instead, Savicki claims, the doctors performed a tubal ligation, an irreversible form of sterilization.

While the hospital is claiming that Savicki signed a now-missing consent form at the time of the procedure, she denies any consent. The Boston Herald adds:

Savicki has nine children from several men, is unemployed and relies on public assistance for two of the four children who live with her. She receives supplemental security income, or SSI, for a disability, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she said. Her mother has custody of three of her children. Two of her children are no longer minors.

Additionally, “Savicki previously sued CVS and the manufacturers of a spermicide that failed because, she claims, she was sold an expired product.”

While the courts figure out the details of the case, the public has been quick to judge the hell out of Tessa Savicki. They point to a number of reasons that would somehow negate Savicki’s right to control her reproductive choices:

  • She already has nine children – she doesn’t need any more!
  • She is poor and relying on the government for assistance – I don’t want to pay for her kids!
  • She’s disabled…obviously, unfit!
  • She’s unemployed! (read: lazy)
  • She isn’t married! Horror!
  • She has slept with more than one man!
  • She’s litigious and just looking for $$!

I’ve spoken to a few feminist friends today about this and have had some surprising reactions to the story. Many of them, when confronted with my statement, “no matter the circumstances, someone else shouldn’t be able to sterilize you without your consent…” get a little iffy, pointing to the reasons above for fodder.┬áHow can these women who so staunchly defend a woman’s right to choice in NOT having a child suddenly contradict themselves when faced with a less-than-ideal (meaning not middle-class) mother figure? We’ve seen this kind of mother-shaming before, with both disabled women and women with many children.┬áThis article, written in February 2009 about Nadya “Octomom” Suleman, is completely applicable to Savicki’s case:

“Choice does not only involve abortion, it also extends to actively seeking to reproduce. While we may feel dismay at the number of children [a woman] has conceived, the moment we begin to question whether she had the right to make this decision, we invalidate the argument that reproduction is a private issue and that a woman’s body should at all times be under her control.”

Kate Harding┬ápoints out that Tessa Savicki makes perhaps one of the least sympathetic plaintiffs. It’d be one thing, she writes, if this woman had not had any children – then this would be a┬átrue tragedy. But the facts of Savicki’s case should make her the perfect rallying cry for feminists everywhere. Savicki’s case forces us to “set aside classism, ableism, disdain for women who have sex with more men than we might think appropriate, and scorn for “bad mommies” to declare unequivocally” that sterilization of┬áanyone without their consent is wrong.

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