I have this personal theory that I'd like people to consider: Spending 30 minutes trying to eat in a pitch-black room doesn't really tell you much about being blind. It just tells you how difficult it is to eat a meal in the dark.
This seems to be a pretty controversial thing to say, since "disability simulations" like the one the Washington Post wrote about are seen as a "good" way for the able-bodied to learn about the "challenges" that people with disabilities face every day. The theory seems to be that able-bodied folks (like me!) can learn what it's like to be blind by being blindfolded and led around for a couple of hours, what it's like to be deaf by having earplugs for the afternoon, and what it's like to be a full-time wheelchair user by using a wheelchair for three hours a day for a week.
Strangely enough, spending a couple of hours in an unfamiliar situation is pretty darn difficult!
Yesterday, one of hip-hop's rising stars, Nicki Minaj Tweeted something that caught my eye:
A rumored lesbian (or bisexual, depending on who you ask), Nicki is not "out," but took to Twitter for this random piece of knowledge, which only furthered my curiosity about her and how it relates to closeted women in the hip-hop community. As the "First Lady" of Lil' Wayne's Young Money record label, she recently admitted to feeling a lot of pressure, being a new artist.
Balancing Act is a newly published work of fiction by architect and author Meera Godbole Krishnamurthy that demonstrates the challenge many stay-at-home-mothers – particularly ones with feminist sensibilities – face when reconciling their identities with the conflicting demands and desires of motherhood and working outside of the home. Although the topic being explored is not a new one, Meera uses her professional training to craft a work that offers a distinct vantage point through which to view this particular struggle. Building the self isn't so different than building a literal, physical structure, and everything constructed needs a solid foundation from which to grow.
This cold and flu season, don't take vitamins or stay home from work if you're sick – Get Mommed instead! The new campaign from Kleenex offers the nurturing comfort that only a virtual mother can provide. (And the stereotypes are included!)
What's wrong with this picture? (Hint: it's not the competing fonts).
This still, taken from the trailer of the film South Dakota: A Woman's Right to Choose might be the first time I've seen "a woman's right to choose" accompanying an in utero photo. Those are both articles of rhetoric from opposing sides of the abortion debate. Could this be a movie aiming to "edify, inform and not take sides?" Yes, according to director Bruce Isacson. But after reading Robin Acabin's assessment of the movie in the L.A. Times ("Creators of abortion film say they want honest debate"), I'm going to go ahead and say that it's not only unbalanced, but entirely pro-life.
I often wonder if fans of Michelle Tea are familiar with the work of Sarah Schulman. The lesbian novelist, playwright, journalist and professor has written several works since the 1980s, including Rat Bohemia, Empathy and Girls, Visions and Everything. The stories revolve around young, queer women, their lives in the city in an era when AIDS was prevalent and fringe art and theater was a common link in the LGBTQI community.
Schulman just released two new books: The novel The Mere Future and Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences. Publisher's Weekly talked with the author today, inquiring about the ideas in the book, and why homophobia that hits close to home is bigger than a personal problem:
"Be sustainable - Don't buy sex!" exhorts a postcard that is being distributed to guests of 160 hotels in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Summit. The proprietors of the lodging establishments received the postcards along with a letter from Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard requesting they not facilitate transactions between the COP15 guests and the city's prostitutes. In response to their local representatives' attempt to thwart a potential bump in business, the Sex Workers Interest Group (SIO) has co-opted the postcards as a marketing tool by announcing that anyone who brings one to the group along with their COP15 ID badge will get to indulge in the sex workers' services for free!
I am just so proud that the Academy Awards gave the man who said "if you don't want to be pitied for being a cripple in a wheelchair, don't come out of the house" a humanitarian award for being so good and giving to those wretched disabled children! I do hope that everyone gives money to a man who said "You might as well put a gun in your mouth" after you find out you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (that's ALS- Lou Gehrig's Disease). And heaven knows that money goes to really important stuff - like a CURE! - because things like wheelchairs and accessible transportation and helping families get their homes renovated to be fully accessible would be a total waste of that money, right? Why help people with disabilities now when in the future, they may have a CURE!