In the past week or so, there's been an unusual density of jaw-droppingly awesome posts on other people's blogs.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Ettina has written a long, potentially triggering post on the patterns of behavior that emerge in people who've been institutionalized, and the way these survival strategies have been historically misinterpreted as innate personality characteristics within "feeble-minded" people. She quotes liberally from this engrossing dialogue between Amanda Baggs and Laura Tisoncik on the subject of institutionalization.
Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon has a thoughtful post up about evangelical Christianity and wife-beating, and the extent to which this religious sect (and those aspects of it that color mainstream American discourse and social norms --- particularly the valorization of marriage and the patriarchal nuclear family, and the idea that "salvaging" a broken relationship --- however awful or dangerous --- is somehow nobler than giving up and leaving) plays into the cyclical nature of abuse.
Joel's most recent post is also a must-read. He talks about the two complementary ways in which (NT) people dismiss autistic people's pain (and, I would argue, the pain of all sorts of other "invisibly disabled" people): either we can't be in pain because we aren't expressing it, or, when we do send unmistakable distress signals, we're "whining," "faking it" or "having a tantrum."
There's also this post from Michelle Dawson at The Autism Crisis, discussing an early paper on classical conditioning. She summarizes the "training" regime that was used --- apparently the author saw nothing wrong with starving the developmentally disabled man he was trying to teach, so that his chosen reinforcing stimulus (sugar water) might seem appropriately irresistible to his subject. Dawson compares the attitude evinced toward this poor man (who is described as a "vegetative idiot," "lower in the scale [of trainability] than the majority of infra-human organisms used in conditioning experiments," and occupying "the bottom of the human scale") with later comments by Lovaas and other behavior analysts describing the autistic children they studied.
With these two posts, Arthur Silber begins his series on "The Ravages of Tribalism."
Finally, at A Room of Our Own, Kitty Glendower and Margaret Jamison have wrapped up their series of posts on Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. In her "Last Thoughts" on the book, Glendower criticizes Morrison for writing a story in which "once again women/girls come last" --- she read the novel as being overly sympathetic to the men who mistreat the women and children in their lives out of frustrated anger at white racism.
Go forth and read 'em!