Not Fair

Sometimes you just have to say things simply.  I feel everybody gets acknowledgement in feminist scholarship but those with disabilities.  Further, I feel the response to the concerns I raised to the humanities department about some of their courses, although there was some progress, could be said to be hypocritical.  This is because, notwithstanding revisions began because of my advocacy about this issue, I cannot be completely sure it is happening.

Why?  Because the women and gender department does not feel it necessary to post the announcement that they are doing this on the AU website.  To be clear, I’m not saying that they’re not doing it.  I’m saying they gave themselves a loophole so it may not become a top priority, like it has been for other minority groups in recent years.

To those groups I am very happy for you that people acknowledge your pain and I simply feel left out, and a nuisance; it’s not fair.

I feel like the spoiled toddler who pulled my hair because I was using a walker and so getting all the attention when he was visiting.  I don’t mean to be like this, but I just wanted a turn to be seen as a dynamic being with empowering stories, to be told “Yes, I’m sorry.  There’s been a mistake; it was our problem.”  Or “Thank you for trying to ask the student union to get funding for a critical disability theory expert as that is what we need to get more courses and perhaps a degree program in this area, but we have it under control, and here’s how.”  I received the last part, but it was without the plan of action, really, and they closed the file.

Yes, it’s a success that they actually see me as a nuisance and not someone easily deterred by vague promises and reassurances.  It is a success that, because of my paper, revision is taking place.

That’s nothing to sneeze at, but I still feel sick and tired of being presented as sick and tired in course material.  Then when I try to mention something to the very people who say that typecasting someone is discriminatory, they tell me to F off, in a professional fashion, of course.  And then I find myself going over how, in 1991, lesbianism was unfairly invisible in one of my classes.  You’re right, it is unfair, and unfortunately, it’s happening in 2023 in Athabasca University.  Except, this time, it’s disability.

I know I’m just one person, so I understand I can’t ask for apology, but announcement would be nice.

But then again, isn’t this such an announcement?  Maybe in a way.  However, for me, public announcement means accountability.  Fortunately, I was able to join a council meeting in August where this issue was brought forward and discussed as to the steps we can take collectively as fellow students.