Thursday, January 12, 2012

Intersecting Privileges and Oppressions on Facebook

It's true: the first thing I do when I get going on the computer is open up Facebook.  This morning was pretty interesting in terms of intersections of privilege.

The first thing I saw was a photo NPR had posted of amputee and runner Aimee Mullins, captioned "Inspiration, in On Photograph."  Mullins, a white, thin woman, is pictured in a bikini running on a beach, with the aid of prosthetic lower legs.  The comments turned into a little bit of a fight about how hard it would be for someone who wasn't so sexy to be called inspirational.  Mullins is a really attractive woman - it's true.  The thing that started to bother me in the comments were a lot of negativity about wheelchairs; Mullins had the good fortune to access the prosthetic technology she did.  Not everyone is so lucky.  Mullins works with organizations that seek to let everyone access this  tech, and educate people in general about disability, so she's no slouch when it comes to, well, anything.

Next up was an item from the Courage Campaign about Pat Buchannan's complaints that he's being forced out of MSNBC by "militant gay groups" and "people of color."  What stood out to me about this is the implication that people of color and gay groups (there's likely to be some crossover in the membership here) shouldn't have sway over what goes on at MSNBC.  Buchannan has been an embarrassment in American culture for too long, and he knows this was long overdue.

Oh, and what the hell.  I wrote a bit yesterday that would not have made a whole post on its own, so I'll just add it here:

Unfortunately, I am not in the regular habit of giving money to causes that need it.  In the past year or so, I've run into a few really absurd societal failures (like Topeka, KS stopping prosecution of domestic violence) that have prompted me to find a local program and send a few bucks in.  Today, it's transitional housing in Pennsylvania, since  if you have enough money on-hand to pay first and last-month's rent (ish, $2,000 in savings is the cutoff), you will no longer be able to get food stamps.  
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