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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Writer/Curator/Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project. Contributing Author to Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood, and Concepts of Normality by Wendy Lawson, and soon to be published Gravity Pulls You In. Writing my own book. Lecturer on autism and the media and parenting. Current graduate student Critical Disability Studies and most importantly, mother of Adam -- a new and emerging writer.

“There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” -- Baruch Spinoza

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Brief Thoughts on the Body

Lorde gives voice to her "feelings and thoughts about the travesty of prosthesis, the pain of amputation, the function of cancer in a profit economy, confrontation with mortality, the strength of women loving, and the power and rewards of self-conscious living." Lorde powerfully weaves together the three literary forms, allowing her to leap from raw expressions of pain to her inimitably astute social observations.

Guess what I'm reading? Sure, I'm a little scarred, but like Lordes, and after attending some of lectures today for the graduate program I am beginning in Critical Disability Studies, I do believe that cancer is just as much an industry as autism (moreso, actually) and the way we conceptualize the body as "doing and being done to." I'm not saying that industries and economies are inherently bad, but we can't just move through this blindly without realizing what influences the way we think and feel and HOW it does that. In this sense, I refuse to be yet another "victim." You likely won't find me running for the cure, but instead, talking honestly about experience.

This is just a beginning. I am thinking about the body, the social body, the "transgressive" body and how we choose to encounter it and how disability exists as an interpretation between bodies.

As for me, I have been amputated once and will be amputated again soon. I will be either temporarily or permanently disabled in some way. So, I also struggle to view disability/ability in a "corporeal normalcy binary" (Eliza Chandler, "Transgressive and Transformative Bodies: A Proposal for Evoking New Imaginations of Disabled Bodies for Disabled Youths") because we are never constantly one or the other. We are all sometimes disabled, and sometimes abled.

It's time aggressively destabilize current notions of disability. Contrary to what Harold Doherty wrote about me in a recent post about Reverent Wright and his speech Difference is Not Deficiency, for which I mistakenly wrote "deviance," disability writer Tom Shakespeare notes that normalcy reinforces deviance, so I extend this to ideas of abnormality, illness (as autism is often described) and so forth.

Instead, there exists diverse embodiment in our world. We are always shifting, and never resting in the binary.

I can say so myself. I can say so for Adam.


Blogger laurentius rex said...

Are you of the body?

and so I have to post xctyhbz to enter in this blogosphere newspeak conspiracy, ever seen the ministry of truth? I know where it is. Senate House UCL :)

3:26 PM  
Blogger laurentius rex said...

Oh and I might add, welcome to the world of disability politics and awareness, the one that the crypto fascist aspergian rejects to the ultimate insult of all of us who have 'imperfect' bodies and minds.

3:29 PM  
Blogger laurentius rex said...

And do you know Tom Shakespeare? he is somewhat of a pariah in the wider disability movement although to be fair we give him rope enough to hang himself.

Tom Shakespeare that normalistic Baronet (he is you can check wikipedia) doesn't even know the language of his namesake but defers to the hegemonic US variant, cos normalcy in my language is normality, but never mind the French introduced the concept anyway.

Tom Shakespeare does not support the social model of disability, hey Tom if you are vanity googling this, here is another critical post for you.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...


Well, maybe not if it means absorption...

As for Tom, to be honest, I've just started reading him and maybe we can discuss more. Yes, you are right, he does not support the social model of disability. He believes, for those of you unfamiliar with him, that the social model alone "has now become an obstacle to the further development of the disability movement."

I am not at a point where I can critique his work, not having finished reading it, but I do thank you for critiquing his work here as no one has of course as of yet. And it should be discussed. I mean, how many parents out there are even aware of the discourse?

4:35 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

P.S. Yes, I'm of my own body. I can't transcend it. We are entwined.

4:43 PM  
Blogger laurentius rex said...

Tom has a low opinion of autism advocacy, you can read that in his latest book "disability rights and wrongs"

He just does not get it.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Estee Klar-Wolfond said...

I literally just started that book today. I had it in my pile of "to read" disability books. (Books lay in piles on my floor and on my shelves and by my much to read and learn)...

Thanks for alerting me to this point and I will be aware of it as I read, or as you say, it may be apparent.

6:11 PM  

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