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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You Are Being Unruly

Our latest forum in RDS is titled, "Unruly Salon", and hails from a series of presentations at the University of British Columbia. The forum includes poetry, artwork, interviews, and general reflections on disability studies and "coming to pride."

The inclusion of the word "unruly" intrigues me. The word is used with pride (I believe) but it brings to my mind times when I am "unruly" because I am standing up for myself. And times when I am "unruly" because my perspective on disability diverges from the so-called mainstream of academics. And times when I am "unruly" because I am interupting by asking people to use my assistive listening device or asking them to describe something visual. The "you are being unruly" look (what my husband also terms "Troublemaker!") brings shivers to my spine, in fact it makes my spine shrink and my shoulders hunch. Until I remember I am not being unruly - I am just being me.

Perhaps it is the Obama-Rama, or just a certain time in my life (40 is just around the corner and my little child is growing up fast - no, not my inner child, my actual child), but I've had a hunger lately for readings, especially biographical, about other "unruly" people: women, Native Hawaiians, gays, African-Americans, techno-phobics, you name it. People who know what the spine shrinking thing looks like and who have had to stand up extra - tall as a result. Maybe that's what brings the pride to "unruly" - knowing about all those others who are so different from you and yet who are all the same.