Tag Archives: disabled

Frisky Mail Bag: How To Write About Disabilities

Last week in Today’s Lady News, I posted about a man in Connecticut who had his sexual assault conviction overturned by a court. Richard Fourtin, Jr. had raped a woman with severe cerebral palsy; she cannot speak and has little body movement. The sexual assault conviction was overturned on the grounds that it could not be proven she refused consent. You can read more about the specifics of the case here and here.

After the post ran, I received an email from a reader, who asked to go by the name Les, regarding the language I used in reference to people with disabilities. For example, I wrote “mental disability” instead of “intellectual disability,” which Les explained in the preferred phrasing.  I was unaware of the language disability rights advocates suggest us journalists/bloggers use, so I found the email to be really educational. I asked her permission to print her email as a “Letter To The Editor.” You can read it after the jump! Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Girl Scouts Help Develop A Prosthetic Hand For 3-Year-Old Girl

  • A Girl Scout troop in Iowa, who calls themselves the Flying Monkeys, helped develop a prosthetic hand for a disabled three-year-old girl named Danielle. Geez, I wonder what kind of badge they earned for that! [The Mary Sue]
  • A straight Republican by the name of Madeleine Koch, age 24, spoke out on against Minnesota’s impending gay marriage ban in this touching video. [Buzzfeed]
  • Osama bin Laden hid behind women — i.e. a female body shield — in the firefight that eventually took his life because he’s classy like that. Really, why not newborn babies? [Reuters]

Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: Woman With No Arms Earns Her Black Belt In Taekwondo

  • Sheila Radziewicz, 32, of Salem, Massachusetts, does not have either one of her arms, but that hasn’t stopped her from earning her black belt in taekwondo! For her black belt test, she had to break wood, kick, punch, and spar. Watch out: she’s also got nunchucks. [Boston Globe]
  • In the wake of gossip blog Gawker’s exposés that American Apparel allegedly hires its employees primarily on looks, the company is allegedly issuing new hires a crazy-strict “confidentiality agreement” that punishes blabbermouth employees with a $1 million fine if they discuss their jobs or Dov Charney’s precious reputation with the media. [Gawker]
  • Finland’s president has appointed Mari Kiviniemi as the country’s second female prime minister. In other news, the United States still hasn’t had a female president or vice president. [AFP]

Keep reading »

American Able Photo Series Spoofs Hypersexual American Apparel Ads Using A Disabled Model

Photographer Holly Norris says on her website, “Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’” To combat that perception, Norris has chosen to spoof the highly identifiable American Apparel ads, which the company claims feature “real women,” though only real women who fit a very specific look — young, thin, and uber-sexual. In her series “American Able,” Norris has photographed Jes, a disabled woman, in American Apparel clothes and in the style of AA ads, in order to “reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are invisibilized in advertising and mass media.” Norris’ photographs are beautiful and I love the positive and forward-thinking mission of the work, which doesn’t just criticize mass market thinking but also presents an alternative. As for Jes? Her photographs have more personality than all the AA ads I’ve ever seen put together. Take that, Dov Charney.

Check out a few more photos after the jump and then check out the entire series on Norris’ website. [Holly Norris] Keep reading »

Today’s Lady News: VA Lawmaker Says Disabled Kids Are Punishment For Abortion

  • Disabled children are God’s punishment to women who have aborted their first pregnancy, Virginia Assemblyman Bob Marshall said in a press conference on Thursday. “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically,” Marshall told reporters. “Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children.” We’re not even going to dignify that with a response. [WTOP]
  • A new law in Saudi Arabia will allow women lawyers to argue court cases for the first time. Women will only be able to argue family law-related cases, like divorce and child custody, however. [BBC]
  • Kathryn Bigelow took home Best Film and Best Director awards for “The Hurt Locker” at the BAFTAs this weekend, beating out her ex-husband James Cameron and his flick, “Avatar.” [MTV]

Keep reading »

Here She Comes, Miss Land Mine Cambodia 2009

Cambodia put the kibosh on a “Miss Land Mine” beauty pageant today, forbidding women who have been injured by land mines to strut their stuff.

According to the Miss Landmine Cambodia 2009 web site, 20 women, ages 18 to 48, who had been disabled by a land mine sometime since 1979, had hoped to compete. Pageant officials say the Miss Land Mine pageant, which took place in Angola last year, not only raises awareness about land mines, but it gives disabled women with prosthetic arms and legs a once-in-a-lifetime chance to vie for a beauty queen crown. Keep reading »

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