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A few links and a lot more commentary 04/11/10

November 4, 2010

I’m doing better with responding to other people’s writing at a distance, than at putting together posts of my own right now. So here are some more links and mushrooming commentary. 😉

Via das_dingsi at Dreamwidth: transfinite‘s deviantART, binarism, and transphobia

I can’t come up with any reasonable summarizing quote there, the whole series of interactions with deviantART staff was so chock full of fail. Another instance of trying to mentally edit people out of existence, which seems to be quite the theme today.

And I wondered a bit why I hesitated so much to mark my gender as “Other”, when signing up for a hair forum which offered that choice (among other clueful ones). *sigh*

In the huge freaking surprises file, ISTR via FWD/Forward: World of hurt: Minorities get less treatment for their pain

A recent study by Green of 200 chronic pain patients in the University of Michigan health system found that black patients were prescribed fewer pain medications than whites and that women were given weaker pain medications than men were given. The research published in the Journal of Pain showed that, on average, a minority pain patient would be prescribed 1.8 pain medications compared to 2.6 drugs for non-minority sufferers.

And once they do get a prescription, they have a harder time getting it filled, Green found in an earlier study, also in the Journal of Pain. Only 54 percent of pharmacies in minority neighborhoods had the most common painkillers in stock; in majority-white neighborhoods, 87 percent of pharmacies did.

If you are deemed not very believable in general, you can’t be believed when you say you’re in pain. And I am appalled enough at the 87% figure for stocking the “most common painkillers”, BTW. These are both basic and important medications for people’s health; you may as well not stock beta blockers, and try to ‘splain that one away.

“Green said the best thing that any pain patient can do, regardless of race, is to keep searching until they find a doctor who will listen and take their pain seriously.” This is after it’s sapped your energy, medical professionals have already given you huge loads of shit, you’re depressed from dealing with the pain, you very possibly don’t have enough money for essentials (especially if you’re a member of a minority group), etc. Privilege? Nah. I am reminded of amandaw’s Second Shift for the Sick.

See also Gender and pain management. On a personal level, it had already occurred to me that apparently giving the impression of a certain kind of rude health, even when I’m not healthy at all, has probably led to some problems. I wouldn’t have thought of the “healthy is beautiful” stereotype as applied to women the doctor in question finds attractive, but it makes a certain twisted sense.

One I ran across more or less at random, through WordPress: Nerdy Apple Bottom’s My son is gay

If you think that me allowing my son to be a female character for Halloween is somehow going to ‘make’ him gay then you are an idiot. Firstly, what a ridiculous concept. Secondly, if my son is gay, OK. I will love him no less. Thirdly, I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off…

But it also was heartbreaking to me that my sweet, kind-hearted five year old was right to be worried. He knew that there were people like A, B, and C. And he, at 5, was concerned about how they would perceive him and what would happen to him.

Just as it was heartbreaking to those parents that have lost their children recently due to bullying. IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY. Even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it ‘concern.’ Those women were trying to bully me. And my son. MY son.

This whole post is an excellent illustration of why kids can be so cruel: their parents will honest-to-goodness bully a 5-year-old over perceived deviation from their precious social delusions. While claiming the behavior produced by their meddling is the natural order of things–and scapegoating their own children for their cruelty. It honestly boggles the mind. Again, see also Neurononsense, and the status quo.

I continue to be amazed at adults who could possibly feel that the foundations of their reality are threatened by–and become very hostile toward–a little kid in a costume. That’s kinda tacit admission that they’re living inside a mental house of cards. When I have the energy, I will write more about this, and the perceived need to edit other human beings out of this “reality”. And some of the ways that the concept of “believing” gets used. From one comment, and not to pick on the commenter, you get a sentence like this: “I strongly believe everyone should be treated equal not matter what you believe in.” (As a scary experiment, search on “believe in” on that page, in the huge mess of comments. I made that mistake to try to find the one below again, since it got overwhelmed by the flood of new ones–actually, don’t even try searching! And how often do all these different usages get confused?!)

Which reminds me of one comment reply on that post, which I could not track down after all, as fast as the new comments were pouring in (as in, a page full within two minutes’ time). The previous commenter had trotted out the tired old “I don’t believe in homosexuality, but you should still treat people decently” (to paraphrase)–and someone just stated, in a delightfully succinct way, that this is the same as not believing in, say, African-Americans. They exist, whether you “believe in” them or not. The original comment was a lot more incisive than my paraphrase here. 😉

From Tiger Beatdown: The Problem With Policing Someone Else’s Mental Health

For marginalized people, it is in our best interest to defend ourselves from the blunt, unstudied ‘splaining of people for whom Psychology is a weapon. You say we’re irrational, we’re unhealthy, we’re sick, we’re hysterical. I, for one, would like a second opinion.

Besides, it’s none of your business unless you care about someone and honestly want to try to help–respectfully.

One comment there that pretty well sums up my attitude:

Betina, I totally agree that it’s kind of a fine line to tread. Really it’s about basic respect, which shouldn’t be that elusive but consistently seems to be. It’s not respectful to negate other people’s suffering, but it’s not respectful to treat them like they’re fucking less than you because they have a diagnosis. Which is what I myself have experienced from many doctors, although I’ve had/have fantastic doctors, too. I think treatment saved my life too, but the idea of “treatment” is different than a “cure,” you know? It’s not something you eradicate from your life experience for me- it’s something I try to integrate.

And there is abundant research that indicates that the mentally ill in the US do poorer than in countries where they don’t stop and end at a medicalized model of integration. I’m the last person to say that means treatment isn’t valuable, but I do think that it’s incredibly important to acknowledge that it’s fundamentally inadequate in of itself. There are people that treatment is never going to “cure,” people like my cousin who only respond so much to the available drugs. And if “curing” the mentally ill is the only goal on the table, then those people have to be seen as failures. Which upsets the hell out of me because I care about a bunch of those people, and they make my life a lot better just the way they are.

What it boils down to: I want people to suffer less, period. And throwing a bunch of any kind of rigid ideology into the pot doesn’t help with that goal. More bullshit false dichotomies thrown up there.

This entry was originally posted at DreamWidth and has comment count unavailable comments.

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