Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Random thoughts.

*I think it says something about my priorities that I spent all my downtime over the last few days reading the entire archive of Liliane.

*I somehow managed to climb three flights of stairs without spilling Bean's lemonade from Chuck E. Cheese, which was riding on top of the take-out box of pizza. But as soon as I tried to open the apartment door, I dumped it all over the carpet.

*You know that commercial for some t.v. network that involved people calling some phone answering bank that will help them determine if a real-life situation is indeed funny and if it's ok to laugh? I want there to be such a place that I can call to report people who say things - in public - like: "You know that white people NEVER would name their kids Jesus. But Hispanics do that all the time." (said with evident disgust in her voice, like what's WRONG with these people, anyway?!) and then: "Shaniqua...what the hell kinda name is THAT?" Yup - I want a call-in number for the hopelessly stupid and insensitive so that I can ask if it would be ok to thwack them with a big stick or something.

*For some reason, everyone else's kid manages to get out of gymnastics class without having to first run back out onto the floor to hug the stuffed lion by the bar, get a drink of water, run upstairs and come back down again, run over to say "hi" again to the teachers, get another drink of water, check the gumball machine for errant gumballs, fall on the floor in a pretend faint when I threaten that he must put his shoes on NOW, have a silly attack in which I must put his coat on him...and his socks...and his shoes...while he is kicking and trying to run around in circles. Just once I'd like to leave without whispering threats through gritted teeth. Just once.

*I haven't posted about the Ashley thing because it, like many other issues recently in the news, just makes me sick to my stomach. But I will say that no matter how difficult her parents feel caring for her would have eventually been, no matter how much they think they are motivated by what is best for her, the doctors and the hospital should have put a stop to this insanity immediately. At best, they have no understanding of disability and no respect for people with disabilities. At worst they do not see people with disabilities as people. I am just disgusted and nauseated by this. The crazy Terry Schiavo people made such a fuss over prolonging the life of a woman who was braindead, but it's ok to grossly surgically alter a little girl - who is NOT braindead, no matter what people think about her capabilities - so that she can continue to be a "pillow angel"? Or, maybe now that I think about it, it's all the same thing: people making decisions about other people's bodies and assuming that what *they* want is what those they are making decisions for want / would want. (Sound familiar?)

*Thanks to CHAD for posting this link to more abortion craziness, this time in Georgia. I have to say, the comments include what are probably the wittiest responses to trolls I've yet seen. (I am very disappointed that the comments have been closed.)


Anonymous said...

The Ashley thing bothered me, too. I think the parents are selfish.

Kelsey said...

I can't imagine raising a child who was that severly disabled. I don't think I could do it. The last thing I would call people who make the kind of sacrifices those parents have to make is selfish.

Plain(s)feminist said...

I do think it's selfish to subject a child to radical, unnecessary surgery in order to make her easier to care for. I do, at the same time, have a great deal of empathy and respect for caregivers for people with such profound disabilities because it is hard work. But the people with disabilities do not cease to be people.

Also, there is such a long history of parents making decisions about children with disabilities that do not benefit the children. Chillingly, many parents choose to keep their children from participating in programs that could teach them to be independent or at least give them some small amount of independence. These parents see their children as playthings. One such man was the subject of a POV special several years ago, and it wasn't until he'd attempted suicide a few times that authorites stepped in and helped him escape.

I think I *can* imagine raising a child who is that severely disabled, and surgery would never even occur to me. Perhaps this is because I have some familiarity with disability and so it doesn't scare the bejesus out of me the way it obviously scared those parents.

But I will add that, I don't know if it's selfishness directly as much as ignorance and fear that caused their decision. I'm sure they think they were doing the best they could for their kid. I don't think that excuses their actions, but it does make me sigh and feel like there's a shitload of educating that needs to be done.

Anonymous said...

What plainsfeminist said.

I'm sure we're tough to parent. I don't know where the hell my folks got the money for some of the things I needed as a child.

But they did.

Mutilating me was never ever an option.

Not that I think it would have been necessary to do so to me... but there was never emphasis on me as a burden, a sacrifice. My parents wanted to make sure I had what I needed, and that was that.

So I'm not all that sympathetic to people saying "This is so hard for me that I have to take the price of it out of her body."