Monday, September 29, 2008

Disability & Poetry

Here is an entry on Belladodie on a disability & aesthetics discussion. Apparently Joyelle and I are not the only ones thinking along these lines. And this is why it would be nice to live in a city like San Francisco.


Blogger Jennifer Bartlett said...


It's Jennifer Bartlett, Joyelle's friend. I read Dodie's piece and having a hard time making heads or tales of it. She doesn't explain why Amber's speech was so disturbing. Here, people seem to be equating disability to trama. Am I right in this reading?

5:04 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...

There's a bunch of stuff linked from that blog and I'm having some difficulty piecing it all together.In fact on the very basic level of being able to read the entries. But I will try.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Bartlett said...

Hi, I put this on Dodie's blog today.

'You're right that disability should not only been seen through the lens of trauma.' This comment confuses me. It implies that disability is sometimes seen as trama, but I think we get into dangerous territory. I was born with cerebral palsy. I have never considered my disability to be a 'trama' which implies that I had the potenial for a 'normal' body, and something went wtrong.

I am attempting to get people to see disabilities in one of two ways.

1. Disability must be regarded as identity -- like feminism, race, gender, and so. "Disabled," for me is neither negative nor positive rather it is who I 'am.' Along wtih poet, fag-hag, wife, mother, woman, instructor, thinker, Catholic, and so.

2. Conversely, and this is WAY over the top, I philosophically argue that 'disability' is a social construction that does not have any accurate truth. Every 'body' has different capabilities. Some ice hockey players can't play basketball and vice versa. So how can we hold any one body to a certain litmus test?

I have to say that it makes me nervous when so-called able bodied people discuss people with disabilities. I think, while the topic in so new, most people still have ableist viewpoints even if they are trying. But, I can't have it both ways. Before I complained that 'they' ingored 'us.' The solution is to have both sides be part of the dialog.

12:03 PM  

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