Sunday, 9 November 2014

Sunday Surf

Linkage for interesting reads~ enjoy!

Adoption and Parenting
It is damaging to tell a child that God called you to adopt her. This sets you up as a God-ordained savior to your child. It tells your child that she needed saving and that God did not choose her family of origin to do that saving. If your child comes from poverty or oppression, the message that God called you, an outsider, to adopt her, says that God didn’t care enough about her family or country to solve its problems so that families could stay alive and stay together. Instead, God played favorites and called you to swoop in and get her out of there, leaving her family and people to suffer while God figures out who to call for the next adoption.
Our stories vary. Some of us are in reunion; some are not. Some of us are birth parents; some are adoptive parents. But all our stories are valid and celebrated by all members of our group. When I need support, I know I can turn to my sisters here.

Adoptee spaces and communities are special places, and yet, many of us want to see our voices emerge in the mainstream media where struggling adoptees can feel validated. Our founder, Amanda, said it best recently in this video clip, “I think we need to flip that script,” as she introduced a new adoptee-focused project, Dear Wonderful You. This anthology of letters from adult adoptees to tween and teen adoptees begins the dialogue where no adoptee should feel alone.

It is time for the #NationalAdoptionMonth tag to include ours. If you tweet, please consider tweeting the adoptee voice once a day, and tag it with #FliptheScript and #NationalAdoptionMonth. Let’s elevate the adoptee voice!
In the horrible situation of these twin girls’ separation, I think the most ethical thing to do would have been to perform the DNA tests as soon as possible instead of waiting six months when they were already settled, and unfortunately one of the families would have had to “make the ultimate sacrifice.” I’m sure this comment will not be well-received, but if we expect first parents to do it, I think we can expect one of these sets of parents could have done it as well, because it was in the best interest of both of the children. Of course the family would still love their daughter, but there were other options.
(I share this link with a note to register my disappointment at her use of the adjective "broken". I guess it means something specific to her she hasn't bothered to define, but it bothers me enormously. Autistic people are not broken.)
Stop apologizing. 
That was the first rule I made when my doctor told me the diagnosis.  No more “I’m sorries”.  I’ve spent the last 5 years apologizing for my son…how horrible is that?!
I’m sorry he isn’t sharing. I’m sorry he didn’t say thank you. I’m sorry he won’t sit still. I’m sorry he’s having trouble waiting in line. I’m sorry he’s being so loud. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
I cringe when I think of the shame I projected onto him in an effort to help him fit better into a mold I had created in my mind of what my quintessential child would most certainly be like. A few weeks after our doctor gave us the news, I felt that mold shatter into a million tiny pieces. And I remember feeling relief.  Screw the mold.

It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.
But after spending many years mourning the two babies she lost, my mother had other advice too: “Tell as many people as you like. Tell them now.”
“If something does go wrong,” she told me, “you’re going to need your friends. You’re not going to want to lie about how you’re feeling to everyone in your life.”

Philosophy and Science
In the event, the new law has left some intersex campaigners unsatisfied. For them, the main issue remains the practice of surgical intervention to definitively assign gender and thus "correct" the apparent mistakes of nature. Intersex activists accuse doctors of interfering with nature, of making arbitrary judgements based on aesthetics or to fit cultural norms, of calling it wrong (in some cases, surgically-corrected "girls" grow up to identify as male, or vice versa) and of indulging in practices equivalent to the genital mutilation widely condemned when performed for religious or tribal reasons. Silvan Agius, for example, writes that "Surgical or hormonal treatment for cosmetic, non-medically necessary reasons must be deferred to an age when intersex people are able to provide their own free, prior and fully informed consent... The right to bodily integrity and self-determination should be ensured and past abuses acknowledged."
his is quite a nice talk by Daphna Joel on male brains and female brains — she’s making the point that there are no such things. There are differential responses by developing brains to the environment that lead to different structures…but because it is a property of interactions between sexual factors and the environment, it’s inappropriate to call the differences simply “male” or “female”.
If you look at the graphs above, you may notice that Muslim Americans are less likely to support individual or state violence against civilians than are other Americans. In fact, as you may recall from the first graph in this post, Indonesian and Pakistani Muslims are more likely than Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, and nonreligious Americans to believe that violence against civilians is never justified. In other words, it appears that Americans are more ready to justify targeting civilians than are many of the world’s Muslims.
Rather, my purpose is to explore how the very concept of religion — the belief in a higher power, in whatever form it may take — is antithetical to liberating nonhumans from the human perception that other species are ours to do with as we please. Of course, some religions are considerably kinder to animals than others, but there is not one that claims nonhuman animals and human animals have an equal claim to personhood or parity. Similarly, the secular community has been slow to acknowledge what a lack of human exceptionalism means to how we treat other animals. When that association is made by atheist luminaries such as Richard Dawkins (see his essay “Gaps in the Mind,” to which I will later refer), they do not follow up with appropriate action such as going vegan or vegetarian, or becoming advocates for nonhuman animals. Thus, a further purpose of this book is to explore the lack of interest in animal concerns within the secular world and to inspire freethinkers to think more seriously about the other animals with whom we share the Earth.

Amy Chavez’s “Women in Japan” series, first offering 5 “powerful reasons” to be a woman (?) in Japan–you know, if your only aspiration is to be a mother and you are in a heterogamous marriage to a man who earns enough and you have no fertility issues.
As for Okinawa, there's also little doubt that Japan's militarization in response to Perry contributed to its impetus to force the weaponless Ryukyu monarchy to accept its annexation to Japan. In that way too, America helped lower the quality of Okinawan life because most Japanese treated the racially mixed people a little like American whites of the time treated American blacks. However, the Battle of Okinawa was incomparably worse for them than anything they'd previously suffered. In the way that combat stress causes so much mental and emotional disorder, those three months of horror that Okinawans spent in the lowest level of battle hell ripped their society, which had been uncommonly healthy by any standard, to shreds in some respects. The beautiful sub-tropical landscape had become, as an Okinawan survivor put it, a vast field of mud, lead, decay and maggots. The tombs of their ancestors, on which their religious life had centered, were among the ninety percent of structures that had been blasted to rubble and dust. Crime and suicide, which had been virtually unknown before the battle, became, and remain, serious problems.
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