From the Davis article the strongest points seemed to be near the end of the article. “Impairment is the rule, and normalcy is the fantasy. Dependency is the reality, and independence grandiose thinking.” Disability amplifies the point that none of us are really independent and that we exist by leaning on one another and are indeed very much connected. What follows is the “notion of expanding the protected class to the entire population; a commitment to removing barriers and creating access for all.” This is a move to a serious opening up of the pathways of compassion and understanding, though this undertaking would need keen eyes in order to see and then remove the hindering barriers. People, disability or not, have a certain level of pride about them, and don’t want to be viewed as complainers, and hence might not want to stand up for their rights in some situations. It’s up to everyone to take action against, and remove, the various barriers and injustices that are being acted upon us all, though obviously this is easier said than done.
In the Identity Politics chapter the use of Susan Sontag was most relevant to my application of Beckett’s Molloy. “The rebellious forces of the body and the physical nature of disease represent a reality untouched by metaphor, Sontag insists, and ‘that reality has to be explained’.” I feel like Molloy is a great example of a disabled reality being portrayed, and hence explained. By Beckett going inside the mind of a very disabled subject and painting the picture as such, the reader is taken off their hinges and placed in a jarringly disabled position. This position opens the door to an experience whereby the reader is allowed to sympathize with disability and find it utterly human, as its reality is explained.
McRuver’s idea of disability being haunted, at first glance, might seem absurd. But isn’t the disabled subject haunted by the various mechanisms that have put him or her in their place? Most people with disabilities are not born as such and rather experience the world around them as it morphs into a world which has them at a disadvantage. Experiencing these social constructs and the power that they exercise over the disabled person is tragic in nature. As a result the disabled person is haunted by the world, a world that can change for the worse and subject them to pain whose locus is everywhere and nowhere.
Donna Haraway’s article was surprisingly on point, given that it was written in 1983 and written with technology and science in mind. Her explorations in the realm of genetic engineering were worth being re-awakened to. “Genetic engineering implies the end of pain, the end of ‘mistakes’ at the origin the birth of only perfect children (and only perfect commodities) in a utopia of complete self possession.” This conception of genetic engineering leaves me cold. If anything mistakes and imperfections are the essence of life. This type of genetic engineering might be one in which the faculties of our imagination are shut down as we enter an entirely new way of being. Yet Haraway embraces the cyborg existence, and urges us to do the same.