First, FWD/Forward, an awesome new blog that deserves lots of attention, has been running a series of posts on ableism in language. Each post in the series deals with one word or phrase, like "lame," "vegetable," "retarded," "cretin," or "hysterical."
Also at FWD/Forward, Amanda W. of Three Rivers Fog has enlarged on this older post of AnneC's, "Conceptualizing Autism," to show how it can be applied to all disabilities.
I also discovered FWD/Forward contributor Meloukhia's blog, This Ain't Livin', and really liked these two posts: "Default Settings," about the gender binary, cissexism and compulsory heterosexuality, and "How to Evaluate a Source of Information."
Elesia Ashkenazy of Aspitude! has a very interesting interview on her site, with an anonymous former behavior analyst who voices some problems ze has with ABA:
One day, I was sitting with one of my favorite clients. He was the sweetest nonverbal foodie (he ate everything) who smiled often, and listened well. We had just gone through his set of verbal training programs, and we were having a relaxing break. He was stimming [ex.: finger flicking/rippling, humming, rocking, spinning] on a musical toy and he began hyper hand-flapping. My job was to click each hand flap and *reset* his hands every time. I sat back in realization and wondered to myself: is this treatment truly helping him to become independent? Will he be institutionalized for his entire life? Why does it matter if he hand flaps? Will he find love in his life?How, indeed. (Though I would argue that animals, too, should be free to engage in whatever odd behaviors they like as long as they aren't hurting anyone!)
During this rush of emotions, it was like I saw a film reel pass my eyes, and I could see my client sitting in a home twenty years into the future, having never been given an opportunity to grow into his full potential. He had been stunted by diagnosis after diagnosis, prescription after prescription, and treatment after treatment.
How do we expect to *socialize* someone if we never give them a chance to interact socially, and we treat them as if they are rehabilitated animals at a nature center of some sort?
Finally, via Shakesville, a wonderful article from Newsweek.com about Dr. Marci Bowers, who does reconstructive surgery, free of charge, for women who've had their genitals mutilated.
Dr. Bowers is transgendered, and she brings up her experiences with transitioning in the video clip, when she's talking about what led her to start doing this work.
"...[Y]ou cannot charge a fee to reverse a crime against humanity," she said. "Sexuality is a right."
EDIT: There's one more awesome thing I read recently, that I forgot to include: IOZ has a thought-provoking response to this New York Times editorial, in which he raises some really important, hardly-ever-asked questions about the nature of the American economy:
... [N]o one seems much interested in the fact that an industrial economy is necessarily pyramidal, that not everyone can be an inventor (or innovator, as goes the preferred neologism) or CEO. You know, even in the Imaginarium of Doctress Rand, it is taken as given that the Atlases of the world must at some point employ and direct the debased lumpenproletariat: there are no illusions that every man is a genius. ...(IOZ is also probably among my favorite prose stylists in the blogosphere, after the inimitable Twisty Faster).
You cannot run a society of three hundred million people by requiring that each either invent the iPod or remain broke forever. Which rather brings up a tangential but dearly held point for the whole gang here at Who Is IOZ? Namely:
You cannot run a society of three hundred million people.