Tag: disability justice
Hi Community! In order to continue the rich and important dialogue about self care and community care, here is another heartfelt and loving response to B Loewe’s article, “An End to Self Care”.
What questions and thoughts does this conversation raise for you? Write to us in the comments below or at email@example.com
I wanted to think about what you wrote for a few days, because I try to make a practice of remembering that when I am totally confused about something, it’s worth considering that I’m not thinking about it fully. Because the first thing I thought when I read what you wrote was: whatever this movement is, it’s not one that includes my body. That’s not really a new feeling, but it’s one that I didn’t expect to get provoked from you.
As someone that’s had to fight (because of abuse, survivorship, assimilation/racism/cultural erasure, queerness, femmeness, and recently because of degenerative illness) for the notion that I have a self (I mean really. It took until I was…20 or so before I could think about myself as anything but some thoughts floating in space, and it’s not as if that one is resolved), much less that it was valuable beyond what I do and provide for other people (Shira Hassan blew my mind when I was about 24 and she started talking about how ‘you’re worth more than what you provide’—I mean, I had not thought about that, and about how hierarchy and history taught me the exact opposite), and then again that this self I had was worth taking care of—these things were and are huge for me. And all of that is not nearly done unless I am really lying to myself that day.
I know other people have remarked on the knitting thing, but I think it’s probably worth saying that no one says ‘we’re not going to screen print and graffiti and spoken word our way to a revolution’—I mean, maybe people do, but I know the organization you work for uses media stuff (rightly, powerfully, and effectively) to get its message across. When I knit (or make any of the other stuff I make) I am sending messages.
I do it to use my body in ways that are important for me to try to preserve, to connect with the beautiful artist parts of my abusive bitch of a grandmother, to wrap my friends and loved ones in warmth, to let them know that I care about them. And that I care about them looking as fabulous as I know they are. To try to be the way I want to in the world. And really, I know you and I both want to live in a world where creating and making art (insert Emma Goldman about revolution and dancing) is important and central—I know for sure you believe this, so what are you attacking, exactly?
And maybe because we’re not in the same city any more, and what we’re doing is so different, maybe you didn’t address this article to me and mine, because the people in my communities will break their faces open to help their own people, but spending a moment on themselves is usually last on the list. This notion that we should be assisting people with whatever their struggles are so that they can do whatever they need to do? I feel like that’s what I do (and all my people do) all the time, and always have done. I can think of four examples in my personal life this week. I think that’s what community care is? I’m committed to that because our lives depend on it…but, I also need to do stuff that’s not for other people.
I’ve chosen to focus on cardiovascular strength so that if I wake up tomorrow and my legs aren’t working in the way I’m accustomed to, I can have a head start on rehab. I’m seriously focused on managing stress better because right now the MRI of my brain looks fucked the fuck up, and I want to do whatever the hell I can to help my body stop attacking itself, because isn’t the whole point of having a movement so that we can all work less, have our needs met, and have the right to our own lives and bodies? And yes—I have access to medical care, I can attempt to make these kinds of plans, that is for sure a privileged position relative to lots of my people, but I don’t see how ignoring my own body does anyone but abusers any good.
But just to reiterate, I don’t want any part of any movement, any job, any life that involves a single pursuit to which everything is devoted. Certainly I don’t want endless work, I don’t care what the work is. If that’s what the vision is, let me officially turn in my card.
Do you really want everyone to be doing the same thing? Working in the same way? Do we all have to reach a level of movement purity before we count as doing it right? That can’t be what you meant, but it sure as hell feels like what you said.
A must read article from Mia Mingus that breaks down the intersections of gender, disability justice, and healing justice. So well written we had to share! Enjoy!
Come join body-positive folks in creating a body-positive space on Lake Michigan. Swimming! Fun! Fierceness! Beach is accessible. Event is free, fun, and open to the public.
Sunday, July 31st, 12-4 pm
5800 N Lakeshore Dr
Hollywood Beach — also known as Kathy Osterman Beach or Gay Beach — is located in the Edgewater Neighborhood of North Chicago.
The group is a fierce, fun, informative body positive group started by queers thinking how fat phobia, classism, racism, ableism, homo/transphobia, and sexism intersect and overlap…and how we gotta get LIBERATED from them all!