Linkalectable #1: Radfem Carnival, prison in Uganda, the medico-rehabilitatio-industrial complex, the Australian Budget, and women go to bat against foreign multinationals in the Philippines

Linkalectable.

1. The First Carnival of Radical Feminists at Women’s Space. Heart grounds current-day radical feminism in the history of the movement, recalls the many achievements of radical feminism, and smacks down the dismissive dysperception that radfems are immersed in theory at the expense of action – and that theory isn’t action.

Headings include Women As a Colonized People; Immigrant Women as Colonized Women; Taking Our Bodies Back from Our Colonizers: Pornography, Prostitution, Rape and Sexual Violence; Colonizing of Our Bodies By Patriarchal Medicine; Mothers, Colonized; Partial Birth Abortion Ban; Radical Feminist Process; Radical Feminist Spirituality; Building a New and Woman-Centered World: “Comin a Time, Woman Ain’t Goin’ to Need No Man”; Government; and Beautiful. I’m not going to pick out highlights; it’s all worth reading. Bring coffee, a hanky, and your righteous fire.

2. A detained protester in Uganda speaks of conditions in prison for women and children.

The toilet of this cell has a door that’s half covered and the rest open to view. So the male inmates are always gazing at the goings on in the female toilet.
[…]
One of the ladies was pregnant and bleeding profusely. She said she was beaten before being brought in there and had not been taken to any court in three weeks. The other was a breast-feeding mother whose child was taken away, so her breasts were swollen and she spent the whole night crying.
[…]
in the night one of the babies began to cry, it was very hungry but because prisoners eat only one meal a day, the mother did not have enough milk to suckle her child.
[…]
In the morning there were over twenty children in here, imprisoned with the mothers. Children here go hungry because they have to eat one meal a day. I met another under age girl Shamim Nabagereka, she is 17 years, was brought to prison by her former master accusing her of stealing his things.

When she pleaded with the authorities that she was not 18 yet, the authorities just scoffed at her saying in Uganda once a girl if over 15, she is a grown up.

3. “The Stairs Don’t Go Anywhere!”: A Self-Advocate’s Reflections on Specialized Services and Their Impact on People with Disabilities: an Interview with Norman Kunc. Kunc, a music fan with two university degrees, gives a confronting account of his childhood experiences with “therapy” and the ableism of the medico-rehabilitatio-industrial complex.

Highlights:

Receiving physical and occupational therapy were important contributors in terms of seeing myself as abnormal.

I think the field of rehabilitation is to people with disabilities what the diet industry is to women. We live in a society that idolizes a full and completely artificial conception of bodily perfection. This view of the “normal” body tyrannizes most, if not all, women so that far too many women in our culture grow up believing that their bodies are inadequate in some way.

If you think about it, nondisabled people often don’t equate the quality of their own lives with their ability to function in a certain way, so why apply it differently to people with disabilities? Rather than functioning level, I think most people would agree that the quality of life has to do with important personal experiences, feelings, and events, like relationships, having fun, and making contributions to the lives of other people.

Read on to his experiences with therapy as a child, his lack of agency in the therapy process, the ways in which he experienced his therapy as painful and threatening, and the way this has affected his adult relationship with his body and with touch.

Final words of advice to those with able-bodied (or any other) privilege:

Listen well. Try to keep your mind still, long enough to appreciate the complexity of what is being said. […] Just listen.

4. The Australian Budget fails to deliver for the shameful Aboriginal health care crisis and dental care crisis for people in poverty, while upping woefully inefficient individual solar power handouts for the wealthy middle class. Costello declares this a win “for families”.

5. Philippines mothers go for mass breastfeeding record. The World Health Organisation Code for the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes has been fought tooth and nail by the pharmanutrition industry who are committed to lies and exploitation for profit in the Philippines. Wyeth, Abbott, and Mead Johnson have all declared legal war on Filipinos trying to defend their country from corporate evil. And women are fighting back.

From the latter link:

The WHO in the Philippines estimates that 16,000 babies die every year because they are not adequately breastfed, with the marketing activities of companies like Wyeth, Abbott, and Mead Johnson contribute to this extreme level of infant mortality.

From the former:

“Unfortunately, through advertising, most Filipino mothers now believe that artificial forms of foods for babies are actually better than breast milk…”



Categories: culture wars, gender & feminism, health, indigenous, Politics, social justice

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1 reply

  1. I haven’t read the original work you reference, but just from what you’ve said here I would think I can certainly say my experience of rehabilitation is completely different from Mr. Kunc’s. I cannot praise rehabilitation medicine highly enough. I think it is the way of medicine, and all medical professionals should be made to take rehab medicine philosophy courses at the very least. They have it right in my opinion, instead of handing your health future to physicians, with their drugs and surgeries, they taught me to use my body to make my body more able; able to enhance my “quality of life {which} has to do with important personal experiences, feelings, and events, like relationships, having fun, and making contributions to the lives of other people.” None of which would have been possible without rehab medicine. I learned what to do to make myself able (you know? enable? empower? haha). I don’t need to keep going back to the doctor and handing my health over to him/her. My health and ability is in my power, as much as it is in anyone’s. I will forever be grateful to the physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, occupational therapists, doctors of rehab medicine (physiatrists) and nurse case managers who were my therapists. I think I owe them my life. I suspect Mr. Kunc had a very old-fashioned and now defunct style of rehabilitation (which is quite possible considering the date of his writing). It sounds like it was totally different from mine, and by that I mean, coming from a totally different philosophy.

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