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

You are here

Connections to this week

brisakane's picture

I really appreciated the videos and readings for class this week. I first learned more about stimming from an autistic creator on Tik Tok and other social media that I have come to really love. I wanted to share some of her work with you all: She makes videos explaining stimming and showing some of the tools that she uses for self-reassurance and I would suggest looking into her work!  These are some of the ones that I really love: 

My other main connection from this week was from the text we read called "Throw Away the Masters Tools". I really appreciated their connection to Audre Lorde's piece, and I was drawn to this quote: 

The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. To work within a system, to play by its rules, inevitably reinforces that system, whether or not that’s what you intend. Not only do the master’s tools never serve to dismantle the master’s house, but any time you try to use the master’s tools for anything, you somehow end up building another extension of that darned house.

In part, this quote challenged my thinking from our last class. I'm interested to discuss further how we can apply this to our thinking of ableism at Haverford college. What does it mean to throw away the masters tools on a college campus? And more exactly, is that even possible? My initial interpretation is that I don't believe it is. A system like Haverford college is founded on ableist and white supremacist beliefs, and is it possible to change the college and make it more accessible while still within this system? I understand that's a big question, and I'd be interested in thinking about it further in class. In addition, I learned recently that Audre Lorde was also disabled, which is something I'm not sure if the author made clear. Lorde was considered legally blind and wrote frequently about her cancer diagnosis later in her life. While she wrote the essay on Masters Tools about the patriarchy, knowing her disabled identity, makes it even more striking to me that the essay could easily be about disabled communities as well. In most of my conversations on Audre Lorde, we've discussed her race, sexuality, and womanhood, but not her disability. In academic contexts, it seems hard for people to acknowledge that these overlapping identites can exist. This makes me think further about other historical figures that were disabled, but their disability is not talked about in our current society. 

If you want to read more on Lorde and her writing on disability, I found this quick resource helpful: