Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Rethinking Homogeny

charlie's picture

Here is the link to the story about baby Storm, who is being raised gender-less. Sorry it took me a week to post.


The articles and books that we have read thus far, and will continue to read, in this course have not just been interesting to me, but experience and thought-changers for me as well. I come from a very homogenous community - white, upper-middle class, mostly Jewish, suburban town. Our next biggest subgroups of people are Asians and Indians. Gay people are rarities - maybe one per grade (at least one "out of the closet" per grade). Transsexuals and transgenders do not exist. Those with disabilities are taken out of mainstream schools early on or never mainstreamed at all.


I had never really thought about the homogeny of my community in terms of sexuality or gender before this class. And now, with adding in Clare’s book, I am also looking through the lens of disability. First of all, the word “mainstream”, as in “mainstream schools” seems like a poor word-choice. Having a disability, like Cerebral Palsy, does not necessarily mean that one wouldn’t be able to handle “regular” school. It just means that one might need a little bit of extra accommodations to make life easier. For example, ramps should be easily accessible to make a campus more wheelchair-friendly. My high school had five buildings with breezeways connecting them, and stairs all over the place. It was a nightmare for any kid on crutches, but at least that is temporary. If we ever had a kid in a wheelchair, I don’t know how they would have gotten around. I guess that’s why we never had anyone in that predicament. Instead of taking kids out of school systems because they require slightly more attention, steps should be made to accommodate them. The same can be said for grown-ups. How many public restrooms have you used with no handicap stalls? Or parked in a parking lot with very few handicap spaces? I realize that Clare is not in a wheelchair, but the obstacles that arise from being seen as “impaired” or “handicapped” or “disabled” are similar.