July 29, 2014

Bitch Magazine: Examining Blindness in “The Fault in Our Stars”

Published at Bitch Magazine, July 2014. 

It was a strange choice for a summer blockbuster. A weepy film about a girl dying of thyroid cancer who meets her boyfriend in a support group and then travels to Amsterdam so she can meet the author she idolizes before experiencing the ultimate heartbreak. The film’s distributor handed out tissues at advance screenings, counting on audiences to break down even if they included some of the most hardened and jaded film fans. Without a single explosion, spy versus spy showdown, or car chase, the opening box office of The Fault in Our Stars was $48 million, handily beating the latest Tom Cruise flick.

Read more at Bitch Magazine

July 28, 2014

The Daily Dot: Inside the real world of Teach for America

Published at The Daily Dot, July 2014. 

Is Teach for America (TFA) a neo-liberal disaster contributing to the utter destruction of U.S. public schools, or is it an innovative program providing new opportunities to children growing up in underprivileged communities? Can the students of the Internet age help fix education? It’s one of the most controversial education reform initiatives in the United States, with passionate advocates on both sides of this question. As the 2014-2015 school year approaches, TFA graduates are completing their training and getting into classrooms, and this debate is becoming even more acute.

Read more at The Daily Dot.

April 10, 2014

xoJane: What Happened In Oklahoma Last Night Was Disgusting and Shameful

Published at xoJane, April 2014. 

What happened in Oklahoma on Tuesday night was disgusting. Watching it unfold was horrifying and shameful, and it reminded me of why I am so ferociously against the death penalty. It’s cruel and unusual punishment, it’s wrong, and it’s a fundamental human rights violation. Worldwide, 51 percent of countries have already stopped using it, and we’re in the company of human rights trailblazers like Syria, Iran, and Iraq. 

Read more at xoJane.

April 27, 2013

ThinkProgress: Why Aren’t Mentally Ill Americans Invited To This Week’s Hearing On Their Own Privacy Rights?

Published at ThinkProgress, April 2013. 

This Friday, House Republican Tim Murphy is holding a hearing on whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) “helps or hinders patient care and public safety” in the context of mentally ill patients. The hearing, a followup to his hearing last month in which he reiterated false claims about mental illness and violence, will notably not include a single mentally ill witness. Why not? Because, according to Tim Murphy, mentally ill people are not “competent” to testify about how a relaxation of HIPAA rules would affect their own lives.

Read more at ThinkProgress.

March 28, 2013

California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom: Reproductive Freedom Week 2013: Disability and Reproductive Justice

Published at CCRF, March 2013. 

As we think about reproductive freedoms this week, we must consider all their permutations, and the importance of a world in which the right to parent is protected just as fiercely as the right not to parent, or to choose to wait to become a parent. Disabled people need the full force and support of the reproductive rights movement, and so do their children; freedom for some is justice for none, and no loving, competent parent should have to live in daily fear that her child will be taken from her simply because of who she is, how she lives her life, the fact that she lives interdependently rather than independently.

Read more at CCRF.

October 3, 2012

The Guardian: Comment is free: Pinkification: how breast cancer awareness got commodified for profit

Published at The Guardian, October 2012. 

The gradual commodification of breast cancer reflected a failure of the movement, in that it wasn’t able to adapt quickly enough to fight the commercialisation of breast cancer awareness. Now, groups like Breast Cancer Action are having to fight cancer on two fronts: battling for patients, as well as fighting the rise of pinkification.

Read more at The Guardian

August 23, 2012

Alternet: Are Police in Schools Making Students Safer, or Putting Them at Greater Risk for Abuse?

Published at AlterNet, August 2012.

Increasingly, young people in America are getting caught in the collision of “zero tolerance” laws and growing concerns about school safety – and paying an irrationally high price for it. A series of school shootings and threats in the 1990s, including the Columbine massacre in 1999, radically changed the concept of “school safety” in the United States, and as administrators and law enforcement officers determined that campuses were no longer safe places, a new, more militarized approach to monitoring schools began to take hold. It may be hard to recall but this wasn’t always so; 40 years ago, it was sometimes difficult to get police to arrive on campus at all. Now, they are everywhere.

Read more at AlterNet

May 23, 2012

Salon: Disabled — and handcuffed at school

Published at Salon, May 2012

Cases like these, of students trapped by school policies rarely designed to deal with the nuances of their diagnoses, are growing – and the situation is further clouded by race, class and social factors. These factors can determine what kinds of evaluations, interventions and treatments are provided to students with disabilities or suspected disabilities, and they ultimately decide whether children are able to successfully complete their educations or fall by the wayside.

Read more at Salon.

April 13, 2012

The Guardian: Comment is free America: California’s mentally ill people need early diagnosis, not forced treatment

Published at The Guardian, April 2012. 

Rather than enacting Laura’s Law and extending state authority over mentally ill people, the state should strongly consider improving funding for early diagnosis, intervention and treatment. If mentally ill people are provided with evaluation and treatment before the onset of severe mental illness, they have a much higher likelihood of success in treatment, including adherence to treatment programmes. This is particularly important for mentally ill youth, who have few resources available to them, sometimes forcing parents to give children up to the foster care system in order to access treatment.

Read more at The Guardian.

March 21, 2012

Bitch Magazine: Disability at the Digital Frontier

Cowritten with Anna Hamilton, published in Bitch Magazine, Spring 2012.

the cover of the Frontier issue

The first page of our article, featuring an illustration by Anna Hamilton

Buy the Frontier Issue (#54) here.

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