This week: #HandsOffMyADA, making positive change, autism meltdown videos, and the ongoing public debate about the #MeToo movement.
This Week in Disability
From Rooted In Rights:
Congress is about to vote on H.R. 620 – a bill designed to weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Your representative in Congress needs to know that they can’t get away with watering down the most powerful civil rights legislation of the last 30 years.
Visit rootedinrights.org/HandsOffMyADA to print out the sign and use the hashtag #HandsOffMyADA to share your story about what you can do because of the ADA. Justice delayed is justice denied.
#HR620 #StopHR620 #ADA #PublicAccommodations #Accommodations
This Week in ADHD
This story from The Silent Wave really made an impression on me because I was recently forced to do much the same thing with similar challenges.
I’m back in the gym groove but the eating more (I have very limited options in terms of food I can eat, long story) part has been so tricky. Yesterday, my pre-cooked (and only three minutes to microwave) meals arrived. I am trying them and working with my picky palate and severe food restrictions and hoping these will work for both me and my husband.
Change is hard when both partners need to change. We finally realized despite great intentions, meals weren’t cooking themselves and we were not our best selves while hangry.
This Week in Autism
The story of the weekend in my view is the latest unnecessary autistic meltdown video (link to story by Neurodivergent Rebel, not video).
On one hand, I understand from the parents’ point of view, their daughter should be able to attend school and access services. It sounds like they are going through a tough time given that the husband in this story needs surgery and is unable to have it. They probably aren’t getting much sleep since one of them must be up 24/7. They both cop to being depressed. So their judgment may not be at its high point. In fact, they are probably at the end of their rope.
But from the neurodivergent/ADHD point of view, what in the world are they thinking? Just write a post describing your situation. The video was so wholly unnecessary. And now that this ploy seems to have paid off, it’s only reinforcing their decision.
Things like this are so upsetting. I can’t imagine if my parents had the choice to post one of my childhood tantrums on social media, let alone an autistic meltdown. That is so private. This girl is a child. This could follow her through her whole life. People on social media carefully curate what they show to the world, and it is only the sizzle reel. Being “authentic” is fine if you make the choice to show the warts in your own life. But please, let’s all respect our kids’ privacy.
Society is having a long overdue conversation about consent lately, focusing rightly on a woman giving consent for physical intimacy. But this situation, where a child has not given and is probably too young to give consent, should be part of the larger conversation.
This Week in Women
Excellent Rebecca Traister article: No One is Silencing Katie Roiphe.
What Roiphe is doing here is a tic of the powerful, the one that Tortorici has noted coming from men: mistaking the right to speech for the right to unquestioned authority. Roiphe’s friends may be whispering to her that they have qualms about #MeToo and are too scared to voice them without fear of angry retort. But that’s simply not the same as being unable to speak; it’s electing not to enter the fray, not to risk facing challenge or disagreement, not to start a fight they might not win.
Inside the article, Traister links to a number of great articles, some of which I will share below. See the whole list of links in Traister’s article. Every single one is a must-read.
Roxane Gay: Dear Men, It’s You Too.
What this reasoning does not grapple with — and it is a perennial rejoinder to discussions of sexual assault and women’s vulnerability — is that no one escapes unwanted male attention because they don’t meet certain beauty standards or because they don’t dress a certain way. They escape because they are lucky.
As the list circulated, there was a lot of hand-wringing about libel and the ethics of anonymous disclosure. There was so much concern for the “good men,” who, I guess we’re supposed to believe, would be harmed by the mere existence of an accounting of alleged bad men. There was concern that the “milder” infractions would be conflated with the more serious ones, as if women lack the capacity for critical thinking and discernment about behaviors that are or are not appropriate in professional contexts. More energy was spent worrying about how men were affected than worrying about the pain women have suffered. Women were not trusted to create a tangible artifact of their experiences so that they might have more to rely upon than the whisper networks women have long cultivated to warn one another about the bad men they encounter.
Lindy West: Men Need to Fix This.
How about Matt Damon refuses to show up to work until his female co-stars are paid as much as he is? How about Jimmy Fallon refuses to interview anyone who has been credibly accused of sexual assault or domestic violence? How about Robert Downey Jr. relentlessly points out microaggressions against female contemporaries until he develops a reputation for being “difficult” and every day on Twitter 4,000 eighth graders call him an “SJW cuck”? How about Harvey Weinstein anonymously donates $100 million to that legal defense fund and then melts into the fog as though he never existed?
How about hundreds of male movie stars spend months developing a large-scale action plan to help female farmworkers battle systemic gender inequality? How about men boycott Twitter? How about men strike for International Women’s Day? How about men take on the economic and social burdens of calling out toxic patterns of gendered socialization? How about anyone but the oppressed and John Oliver lifts a finger to change anything at all?
Jia Tolentino: The #MeToo Backlash.
I have been confused by the tone of all of these pieces, which seem far more inflamed, over-generalized, and fatalistic than the relentlessly nuancedand self-interrogativeessays that have actually delineated #MeToo. At the center of this discussion about discussion, there is a question: What are the parameters in which we should hold people responsible for more extreme versions of their behavior? Just as I resented my doctor for asking me to answer for the hypothetical woman crying rape after a joke at an office party, I resented these writers for asking “the movement” to answer for the obviously inexperienced and strategically brazen reporter who wrote the Ansari story at the previously unheard-of Web site babe.net.
Ijeoma Oluo: Due Process for Whom?
“She’ll never get promoted because she’s all tits and ass,” he said. “All the guys talk about it. People can’t take her seriously. You, you prefer to be known for your brain. That’s why you get promoted.”
I started to become excited about the opportunity to write this piece for USA Today. To shift the focus of this conversation on a large national platform back to the women who’ve been harmed. To be able to directly counter the efforts of so many news panels and op-eds to stop women from coming forward before too many men are held accountable for their actions.
But yesterday, I was asked to write that I do not believe in due process. I was asked to write that I believe we should just immediately fire all men accused of sexual harassment. I was asked to write that if a few men are harmed to protect women, it’s worth it. As if that’s a real threat. As if that’s a valid fear. As if, in this world, a power shift of that magnitude is even within the realm of possibility. As if a lack of due process wouldn’t first come for women, trans people, and people of color. As if due process isn’t the one thing so many men and their enablers in this society are working so hard to avoid.
Rebecca Carroll: My Experience at Charlie Rose Went Beyond Sexism.
Six months into my position at Charlie Rose, Charlie promoted me from writer to producer. The environment, though, felt increasingly toxic and degrading. Nearly everyone on staff was publicly berated almost once a week, taking us to task on our journalism skills or sensibility about what does and doesn’t make a good show. We witnessed his lecherous behavior toward female staff and guests. Charlie openly objectified the women on the show, talked about their sex appeal with male guests, and derided more than one female staffer about who she was sleeping with in front of the entire staff.
If I pushed back on anything race-related, I was silenced or punished. In one particular interaction, Charlie asked me to produce a panel on the Steven Spielberg film, Amistad. He wanted Spielberg and the stars of the film to talk about the movie in a straightforward way, which I found problematic and contrived. Instead, I suggested a different approach: to discuss the exploitation of slave history, black bodies, and black culture through a white lens—and whether that can be done successfully, or at all. The opposing idea made Charlie so irate that he cancelled the whole segment and didn’t assign me anything else for days.