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review 2014-07-04 14:56
DarkShip Thieves - Sarah A. Hoyt

This is the second science fiction book I've had to DNF in less than a week due to stomach-turning ableism. 


I mean, not that that's the only problem. There's some misogyny vaguely disguised as pseudo-feminism, fucktons of gender essentialism, some mind-boggling Libertarian-esque politics that make no sense at all (a society that has survived 250 years with no laws, just contracts? How are those contracts even reinforced?), an anti-polyamory attitude (loving more than one person? how weird!), and a heroine with a supposed--and inexplicable--knack for making trouble and having people hate her wherever she goes (no in text evidence of this is ever really presented) and an even more inexplicable name of Athena Hera Sinistra. 


Early on in the book, however, I found myself flinching as the main character thought, basically, why be born with a disability if you don't have to. This is an atrociously ableist attitude, especially since most things that are disabilities are disabling due more than anything else to societies inflexibility. It's basically saying entire groups of people should cease to exist so that "normal" people can continue to always be catered to. I winced and tried to move on.


Then this happens:


The parking attendant made me flinch, because she was obviously mentally deficient. I'd seen mentally deficient people on Earth before, of course, but none with six arms [...]

(The arms, for clarification, are part of a freaking suit that assists her with her work, not part of her body. Athena is just ignorant of this.) Okay, first of all, fuck you. Second of all, FUCK YOU. Mentally deficient? Mentally deficient!? Just how fucking gross can you be? Athena literally flinches because OMG a person with a different brain than hers! Noes! You wouldn't think it could get more disgusting, but it does:


As we walked out of the garage I was silent, filled with horror at what had been done to this poor woman. Given the ability to bioengineer your children in the bio-womb, why have a deficient one at all? And if you chose to have one, why have her so grotesquely...dehumanized?


I reiterate: FUCK YOU. Excuse me? Her having extra arms (which again, she in fact does not) is "grotesquely dehumanized" but calling her mentally deficient and questioning her right to exist isn't? Just...just...



Nothing is more dehumanizing than this attitude. It's horrible. And then it turns out that the reason this woman is "mentally deficient" is because she wasn't bioengineered, which is spoken of much in the same way sensible people would criticize parents who won't vaccinate their children or refuse to get them medical care due to religious reasons. Like it's irresponsible to allow neuroatypical people to exist in the world. Like it's worse to let people be themselves than to completely eradicate entire swathes of neurotypes.


Of course, the suit with all the arms is there to assist the disabled woman in her job, which "allows the poor thing to earn a living." Because let's devalue her further by insisting her life is utterly worthless if she can't make money.


Joy, a society that eradicates disabled people and treats them like shit when they do exist. Fun fun. Did I mention there are no people of color in this society, because all the bioed people who escaped Earth 250 years ago were apparently white? 


Excuse me, I have to figure out whether I want to puke or cry. 

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url 2014-06-24 21:37
A Brief Word on Colleen Hoover and Our Society’s Prevailing Ableism

Having negative opinions is not a "personality flaw". We need to move beyond this ableist rubbish in all aspects of our society.


Let's think about the words we use and the impact we have. 

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review 2014-04-30 19:08
Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila
Interior Castle - Teresa of Ávila,Susan Denaker

Teresa of Avila wrote Interior Castle as a way to explain her theory about the soul. I have to admit, the idea of the soul being a castle shaped crystal housing seven mansions inside is pretty cool. The imagery of the soul-crystal darkening after being touched by Lucifer was striking as well. As a person who never fully understood the mystic branches of the Abrahamic faiths, I found the mysticism offered here is fairly accessible. However, the multiple comparisons of disabled individuals to a sinner or a person not reaching their full spiritual potential was beyond gross. Yes, I am fully aware this text was written in the sixteenth century, but that doesn't excuse the ableist language (or dashes of internalized misogyny). It never ceases to amaze me how many Christian works blatantly go against the tolerance Christ preached. 1.5 out of 5 stars

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text 2014-01-03 13:24
Reading progress update: I've read 20%
Avalon - Mindee Arnett

Ugh, 16% in and we come across "retarded" to mean "silly" or "stupid".


Unacceptable ableism drags this book's rating down half a star instantly. Any further use and that rating will keep sliding down.

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url 2013-10-03 13:11
P.C. Cast, The R Word and That Big Hole She Keeps Digging.

"Ableism should be stamped out of our culture. There's no excuse for using a term like the R word to shame someone. Yes, the meanings of words change but the R word has not changed meanings. No matter how many times you try to justify your use of the word, claiming you didn't mean to be offensive or ableist so it doesn't count, or crying censorship when you're asked not to use it, that word is still a disgusting slur against the disabled.




If P.C. Cast is too immature and selfish to understand the hurt she causes with use of the R word (and "fucktard" because the suffix -tard clearly has the same implications), she really shouldn't be writing. Her editors need to step in and tell her to get a grip."


Read more at The Book Lantern and spread the word! Stamp out ableism in YA!

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