Disability funding is no indulgence - Stella Young
Are you willing, along with your promised stint in remote Indigenous communities (where you’ll also come across a great many people with disabilities and their families, mind you) to spend a week every year living as people with disabilities live in Australia? Not one of those silly simulation exercises, where you go out and about in a rented wheelchair or with a blindfold on, but a week where you live the real life of someone with a disability.
For that week, your ancient wheelchair will be broken and you won’t be able to afford to fix it. A stranger will come to your house and shower you. Not daily, of course, because many people who require that kind of personal support are only entitled to two showers a week under the current system. For the other days you’ll feel grotty and reluctant to leave the house, even if you had the equipment and support to do so. You might even be living in a nursing home where you are the youngest resident by 50 years, because you can’t access any support to live in your own home. Perhaps for that week you’ll be unable to speak to or interact with anyone, because you’re still waiting for funding for a communication aid. You won’t have a job, despite being a highly capable employee not just willing but desperate to participate in the workforce.
And during that week you might hear a speech from a leader who wants to take charge of the nation, to make the economy strong and to guide the future of the country. But they’ll tell you, as a person already living in poverty and desperation that you have to wait to live in that country as anything but a second-class citizen until the budget is in surplus.
They’ll tell you that your life and your potential to be a contributing member of society are not as important as money.
“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. - Steve Jobs”—http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html
“In any case, shaming teh fatties for being “unhealthy” doesn’t fucking help. If shame made people thin, there wouldn’t be a fat person in this country, trust me. I wish I could remember who said this, ’cause it’s one of my favorite quotes of all time: “You cannot hate people for their own good.”—Kate Harding http://kateharding.net/faq/but-dont-you-realize-fat-is-unhealthy/
Our new paper on obesity stigma in Australia is now online here.
Lewis, S. Thomas, S.L. Blood, W.R. Hyde, J. Komesaroff, P. (in press) How do obese individuals perceive and respond to the different types of obesity stigma that they encounter in their daily lives? A qualitative study. Social Science and Medicine
This paper qualitatively explored the different types of obesity stigma (direct, environmental, and indirect) that participants experienced - and how these different types of stigma impacted on their lives in different ways.
Participants described that more subtle forms of stigma had the most impact on their health and social wellbeing. However, it was the interaction between direct, environmental and indirect stigma that created a barrier to participation in health-promoting activities. Participants rarely challenged stigma and often blamed themselves for stigmatising experiences. They also avoided situations where they perceived they would be stigmatised and constantly thought about how they could find a solution to their obesity.
You may have seen the news about a new study of 772 Adults in Australia, Germany and the UK, which has shown that Weight Watchers + support from a family physician is more effective than just support from a family care physician in helping people to lose weight over 12 months.
What hasn’t been reported extensively is the conflict of interest statement, which I share here for your information.
This does not cast doubt on the study findings, but I do think that the media should have systematically reported the last sentence in particular.
"Financial support to their institutions for the submitted work from Weight Watchers, SAJ has received research grants for other clinical trials from Sanofi Aventis and Coca Cola. ICD, NSL, AES, NRF have received research grants for other clinical trials funded by Sanofi Aventis, Allergan, Roche products, MSD, GSK. NRF has received conference travel expenses from Allergan and HH has received a travel grant from Roche. SAJ is a member of the Tanita Medical Advisory Board and receives a fee for nutrition articles and lectures for Rosemary Conley Enterprises. HH is on the Advisory Board for Weight Watchers International and has received payment for lectures from Sara Lee, Lilly, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, and BMS. IDC was a board member for the SCOUT trial and has received payment for lectures from iNova Pharmaceuticals, Eisai Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Australia, Servier Laboratories (Australia).
This trial was funded by Weight Watchers International but run as an investigator-led trial, with protocol development, all data collection and analysis undertaken by the research team with no input from Weight Watchers.”
Bigotry doesn’t always announce itself. Indeed, it rarely does. Lots of bigots out there like to flatter themselves with justifications and explanations for why their calls for discrimination, stigmatization, and disempowerment aren’t actually bigotry. It’s an example of the entitlement that comes with privilege. They feel entitled to not have their hate labeled as such.
Today in the Age Magazine segment ‘What I Know About Women’, Australian TV Breakfast Host Karl Stefanovic stated about his wife:
Cass has been an enormous support and has put her career on hold to be a mum.
I always find this kind of statement quite problematic. For me, this creates an expectation that you can be one or the other - have a career, or be a mum.
I work full time and I am a mum. I don’t feel any less of a mum to my kids because I have a career. Is it tricky to balance sometimes? Yep. But I love my kids dearly and I don’t think I would necessarily be a better mum if I didn’t work.
Many mums don’t have the choice to give up working.
Many have to work.
For some mums, their ‘career’ is slogging it out in a factory 12 hours a day to provide for their kids. Or working double shifts to make ends meet.
Many mums would love the chance to stay at home but can’t. Others are staying at home, but would rather be at work.
All mums are different, and all have different circumstances.
Some mums are crap. Others are great. Some are just struggling to do the best they can.
We all might make different decisions for different reasons, but it doesn’t necessarily make us any more or less of a mum to our kids.