Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Health and Reproductive Rights

This last topic was on health and reproductive rights, so that's what the response is about. Comments in brackets are me adding later- maybe I thought of it later, maybe it's an aside that I do want to make but that I didn't really think fit in the response for class.

Trigger Warning: Lack of Bodily Autonomy (context of abortion and healthcare,) references to ableism.

Issues of healthcare and reproductive rights contribute significantly to feminst thought and to feminism by way of being significant issues discussed and acted upon. Healthcare and reproductive rights are also huge areas for intersectionality, as classism, racism, heterosexism, and ableism all have the ability to act on issues surrounding healthcare and reproductive rights, tending to do so in gendered ways. When ableism is used as a tool of racism in gendered ways, as in the sterlization of women of color on the basis of their being "mentally deficient" (Carastathis,) this is one of the things that feminism must fight, just as it must when classism means that poor people are seen as unfit and sterilized (Lee and Shaw 296.) [Yes, I know feminists often fail at this, especially white feminists. It's still a fail.] This still continues as a subtler pressure, with Medicaid paying for sterilization but not all birth control options (Lee and Shaw 290,) but it is now illegal to forcibly sterilize someone in almost all cases*. [Yes, mental disability is the exception, the whole "three generations of imbeciles is enough" ruling never actually got overturned. Individual orders for this sort of thing sometimes are, but that's not enough. More on this at the bottom.]
It also contributes indirectly in that it is extremely difficult to work outside the home or to spend time advocating for other rights if one is constantly pregnant and/or lactating. The resulting loss for women in terms of autonomy, identity, and development as the primary caregivers (Lee and Shaw 293) is just one more way in which reproductive rights and healthcare contribute to feminism.
Finally, healthcare and reproductive issues can and have served as initial issues which get people involved in feminsm or as the main feminist issues people engage with. The Boston Women's Health Collective is one example of this (Rosen qtd. in Lee and Shaw 291,) as is the fight for birth control Sanger describes. It was the death of a woman from a botched abortion, one who had wanted to prevent getting pregnant again, that galvanized her into action (Sanger 311.)
I think that feminism has made positive progress in these areas for much of its history, between getting abortions back and making contraception more widely available. However, the increasing restrictions on abortion including the ban on partial-birth abortions that only left provision for life of the pregnant person, not health (Cooney 313,) is a significant step backwards. [Yeah... that's a problem. Seriously, you can't legally take use the organs from a corpse to keep another person alive without the consent of the person the corpse used to be. But there are cases where a pregnant person can be forced to do so. Major bodily autonomy issue. Also, WOW Texas. There were a lot of impressively bad things being tried to get SB5 through, and a lot of impressively awesome things done by people trying to fillibuster it. Wendy Davis and Leticia van de Putte are names I think everyone should know.]
[So now we get to part of the discussion question where I go: wait, what? I really don't get how people think feminism would cause the increase in STDs, but I do see how feminism could lead to more people knowing about and getting checked for them.]
In terms of sexually transmitted infections, I am not sure that feminism is either a contributing factor or an inherent part of the solution, but it is important to think about while finding solutions. It was noted that some women change their communication about condoms based on peer norms and their partner's attitude towards condoms (Lewis, Miguez-Burbano, and Malow 323,) while partner attitudes was not mentioned as a major factor in men's choices regarding communication about condoms. With a gendered issue that includes women choosing not to bring something up when they feel the man may not react well, we see a point for feminism to enter into the conversation. It is not so much a way that the issue of sexually transmitted infections can be talked about itself as one thing to think about while searching for solutions.

*Forced sterilization does still get ordered- it was ordered for a woman with learning difficulties (UK term for intellectual disability) in 2011 (Ross), a US murder case in 2005 (Associated Press), and a Massachusetts woman with bipolar and schizophrenia in 2012(Cook.) The 2012 order was overturned, but the fact that Buck vs. Bell itself was never overturned means that such orders can still be given to those who have mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. It's only illegal in most situations, not all. It's still a feminist issue, too, since it's specifically happening to women. [Should be, anyways- I know that many feminists fail at the whole intersectionality thing, which is a fail. And, you know, pro-choice folks should be yelling about this sort of thing because it's still taking away choice.]

Associated Press. "Judge Orders Woman to Undergo Sterilization." Fox News. FOX News Network, 9 Feb. 2005. Web. 19 June 2013.
Cook, Michael. "Massachusetts Judge Ordered Forced Abortion and Sterilization of Mentally Ill Woman." BioEdge. New Media Foundation, 21 Jan. 2012. Web. 20 June 2013.
Cooney, Elanor. "The Way It Was." 2004. Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. By Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 312-319. Print.
Lewish, Josh E; Maria-Jose Miguez-Burbano; and Robert M. Malow. "HIV Risk Behavior Among College Students in the United States." 2009. Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. By Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 319-326. Print.Ross, Tim. "Woman with Learning Difficulties Could Be Forcibly Sterilised." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 14 Feb. 2011. Web. 18 June 2013.
Sanger, Margaret. "My Fight for Birth Control." 1931. Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. By Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 310-312. Print.
Shaw, Susan M., and Janet Lee. "Health and Reproductive Rights" 
Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 279-309. Print.

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