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Calderon's picture

Martes' Class!!!!

CalderonAnn started the discussion on Tuesday by highlighting some people who have done remarkable things by speaking out about their physical disabilities. Ann named a couple: Aimee Mullins (one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People), and Ellen Stohl, (a paraplegic actress who appeared as the nude centerfold of Playboy Magazine).  After opening with a positive view of disabilities, we read the poem, “A Women with Juice,” by Cheryl Marie Wade. We began to discuss the poem, and attempted to understand what she meant by her many different descriptions of herself, according to both her own, and society’s views on disabilities.

Alexander suggested that “the way we categorize disabilities is very different from what the medical field categorizes them from.” Tamarinda suggested that the poem was a personal testimony; to describe oneself was so hard because you see yourself so abstract, to be disable in any way is an inaccuracy because it would be what other people tell you. Others were  more concerned about the last sentence: “I’m the women with juice,” and tried to understand what Wade meant. There were many interpretations: energy, electricity, and the flowering fruit, of which juice is made. Now that I am writing about this, I notice that all of these critiques on this specific line are positive. We also thought that Wade chose to give so many vivid images of herself because she didn’t want to be labeled or identified as she often is by society.

After we talked about the poem for a while, Ann decided to separate the class into three different groups: abortion, cosmetic surgery, and beauty. The group discussing beauty said: Having a disability is a disadvantage because…

  • The lengths of disability got them thinking beauty is something valued culturally, but it is not necessarily an enabling quality or disabling quality.
  • The idea of women are twice disabled because we are women and also physically disabled.



  • Class issues: genetic testing is not available to everybody.


  • Consider how beauty and disability are parallel.
  • The challenge that reconstruction is not feminist?
  • There are two different cosmetics: reconstruction, and self-esteem.


The last comment was Alexander’s (which I hope she writes or talks about) on how having a child is a selfish act.


2 weeks have a six-page draft for the research paper!!!!




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