disability

Adventures in Feministory: Juliette Gordon Low, Founder of Girl Scouts, Disabled Activist

In honor of the recent wave of support for transgender inclusion in the Girl Scouts, let’s delve into the history of Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low. You might know her for leading a life... Read more »

Double Rainbow: A Quick Look at the Savant

In popular fiction, savant skills and autism are almost synonymous. Portraying a character as a savant has become a way of driving home the fact that the character is autistic. The savant archetype is glaringly problematic because of the cultural baggage associated with idea of the “savant,”... Read more »

Bechdel Test Canon: An Angel At My Table

Jane Campion’s biopic An Angel At My Table feels far more epic in its devotion to writer Janet Frame’s small moments than courtroom scenes that turn history into playacting and battle sequences that turn soldiers into figurines. These are the films women should be making.... Read more »

Double Rainbow: Mattie Ross

Mattie Ross, the young protagonist of the Coen brothers’ acclaimed 2010 film True Grit, is so compelling and memorable because she is so odd. Her eccentricities are characterized by what I would call “autistic difference” but, given the nature of the film, my aim is not read... Read more »

Double Rainbow: Finding Autism in Popular Fiction

Of course one doesn’t have to go finding autism in popular fiction—it’s the subject of intense cultural fascination right now, so it’s just there, everywhere. In novels like Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and Jodi Picoult... Read more »

Double Rainbow: Autism and Horror

In mainstream film, autistic characters seem to appear most frequently in two types of movies: award-grubbing dramas and horror films. Both genres stick to a disappointingly narrow range of tropes. Read more »

Double Rainbow: A Peek at Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is an easy, easy target. And a literally huge one—it’s the largest and best-funded autism “awareness” and “advocacy” (I kind of want to just call it “autism-themed”) organization in the world. Autistic self-advocates rip into Autism Speaks every day because of the organization... Read more »

Double Rainbow: Adam: "More like a child than anything else"

The 2009 romantic drama Adam features a relationship between a non-autistic woman and a man with Asperger syndrome. Any portrayal of autistic sexuality has the potential to be subversive, but unfortunately this particular movie squanders that potential and reinforces existing tropes about... Read more »

Double Rainbow: Stepping Back

This blog series is rapidly closing in on its second week and I have only just gotten started. I have a lot in mind to cover—autistic gender and sexuality in parents’ guides, autism and sex ed, the pathologization of gender non-normative behavior—and I have barely scratched the surface of... Read more »

Double Rainbow: Sweet, Sweet "Chocolate"

I’m about to wax rhapsodic about a cheesy, transparently manipulative martial arts film. But seriously: Prachya Pinkaew’s 2008 movie Chocolate is the best film I’ve ever seen that features an autistic protagonist. And it’s the only piece of media I’ve... Read more »

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