this entry is in response to: http://cochlearimplantonline.com/blog/?p=52
your blog is a personal blog – u have and continue to share a great deal about your personal life in your blog. just want to make that clear. but i totally agree u should not share more than u want to or are ready to. we must always ask ourselves about the things we choose to share and the things we choose to withhold – sometimes the things unsaid are the most important
when u listed ur identity characteristics u wrote:
I’m an artist, a writer, an editor, Jewish, American, a French speaker, outgoing, happy, motivated, and determined.
It is interesting that you have not listed that you are d/Deaf or a Cochlear Implant user
I think this is the contradiction that is kinda puzzling – how u often seem to be broadcasting about ur CI and its HUGE role in your life but then in the next breath u say – its no big deal having a CI, its not a big deal being deaf etc
this pull and push – to glorify and minimize the CI is confusing to me
u also at times have a very harsh tone towards “those deaf people” in your mainstream school and their “isolated” lives and the poor girl who was left in the rain by the bus driver because SHE could not speak like you can speak and “communicate with the wider population”
u often regulate ASL as a remedial tool for those who dont have CI or dont fully benefit from CI (u have lots of reasons why sometimes CI dont meet with the same succes as yours)
and sometimes you write things like “don’t tell this or that or anything …”
i do believe u when u write u know who u are and u are happy with with who u are. i am happy for u. i believe u when u say u have no need or desire to learn ASL. That is your right and i would rather u dont learn it if u only see it as an AID for the mute and “oral failures.” It is a language that to me is more brighter than the sun. It is a gorgeous, vibrant, rich, undervalued, underdeveloped, underexplored, underappreciated, and constantly under fire language. U r passionate about ur CI. DeafRead is passionate about ASL. It shall not be degraded and devalued in this space/place.
i did not need to learn ASL – i DESIRED to and WANTED to. u don’t – that is fine with me. Just dont trample all over the language in the process of stating ur desire not to learn it cuz ur “too busy”
Just as you have chosen not to practice Judaism – u can hold that position while still respecting those who do.
u seem to appreciate other cultures and languages and people but have formulated a very negative view of ASL and Deaf culture
u shared that u got ur introduction to “those deaf people…” from reading ur mom’s articles and those articles were in REACTION to some misconceptions ur mom felt Deaf ASL folks were saying about CI
u seem to be telling us u were introduced to Deaf culture and ASL as the opposite of what u r and in conflict of what u r – a deaf person with a CI. They were the FOE for you – they tried to make u feel bad about who u r. I am very sorry for this introduction to Deaf culture and ASL.
u also shared the impact of the film Sound and Fury had on you
“It was one of the most emotional films I’ve ever seen, and since I saw that I film, I began to appreciate my parents even more. Plus, I think, from my memories, that’s when I began to form opinions about the deaf community. That’s when I began to really think that the deaf community was full of selfish people.”
“full of selfish people” ?????
Have you watched part 2 of the Sound and Fury – the young girl and her two Deaf brothers have all been implanted since the filming of the first movie and this is covered in the second movie.
You reaction to the first film is very interesting – this film is a powerful work because it can act as a geiger counter almost – u can point it at any audience member and based on their reaction see which end of the spectrum they fall at – a Strong DEAF Center or a Strong HEARING center.
For example – when my mom who is a hearing person saw this film her reaction was “that grandmother is a #$%&*. Would she just butt out already and let that family raise their children as they see fit?”
Now my mom does not sign and when i began to learn ASL at the age of 20 she never tried to stop me from signing. She is way cool about Deaf culture, ASL and Deaf rights. She GETS IT because to her it is a different culture, language and community. Because she knows that in no way shape or form is being an ASL user an “isolating” condition
she also understands prejudice. she also understands the drive to make everyone the same is not the same as making everyone equal.
So when u saw the film – u were upset by the father – when i saw the film i was upset by the grandmother and the grandfather.
While u r upset by folks accusing parents who implant their kids as “child abuse” (i do not support folks saying this) – i was upset when the grandfather told his adult son “you are abusing your kid by not getting her an implant”
The bottom line is that parents make choices for their kids out of love, respect and hope. Just as u dont want ur folks to be judged wrongly by the Deaf community – i hope in turn u will not judge other parents who do not choose to implant their kids
parents who feel the medical risk of the surgery is too great for a non-life threatening “condition,” parents who want to fully accept their child for who they r naturally regardless of whether or not the CI is working that day or whether or not their speech is clear or whether …
CI does not = perfect, normal and automatically happy
ASL does not = perfect, normal and automatically happy
u have been blessed with many many many things. if u choose not to want to learn ASL – i wish it was because u r not drawn to that particular language instead of the fact that u seem to have a strong dislike for the language and its “selfish” people
I have seen comments that u and ur mom have made that very much upset me and frankly they exemplify language bigotry and audism. I know you can justify why you have this mindset
I have seen coments that have been directed to your mom and u that have made me very upset and frankly they exemplify Deafism. I hknow folks can justify their mindset
I can not condone or support either.
I have refrained from responding to many of your blog entries because i did not want to come off the wrong way. Because i did not want to contribute to any of the harm u have already experienced. Because i do not want to exemplify its open season on Rachel and Melissa.
it is not and it should not be. However, i have to ask you to give yourself some time to go back over some of your blog entries and try to read them with a different set of lens – try reading them from a Deaf person’s gaze. Maybe a Deaf person who was implanted at a very young age but did not meet the “success” that you have met and still experiences more treatments and pursuits of the answer by her/his parents. Try reading it from the perspective of someone who loves ASL, Deaf culture, and themselves. Who is incredibly happy that her/his parents gave them the language of ASL and have enabled her/him to reach this day in the full glory of who they are.
You must know that Deaf ASL people are as “successful” if not more than you are. Their success is not tied to a devise implanted in their skull. And with this statement i am not trying to minimize all the incredible work u and ur mother put into all of your successes – i am just trying to help you see that the ability to speak and hear is not EVERYTHING.
One of the most important things my parents have taught me is to be a “good” person
this is more important to them than how many languages i know, how many countries i have visited, how many films i have made, how many websites i have created, how many students i have taught, how many children i have raised, how many articles i have published
they raised each of us to be “good” human beings. I hope in turn i am doing a decent job in passing this on to our children.
In Judaism, Tikkun Olam is a very important principle – one i cherish dearly. It guides my way and i falter often. I am not always a “good” person. I often have to re-read my writings and my actions and my calls for advocacy to make sure – i am contributing to “healing the world” rather than harming it
i do think that ur experiences and ur POV are very important
i do feel u are my sister (though i am twice your age) and i care for you
i do think that you are a beautiful person
i do ask you in the future when u blog to re-read your post before clicking “publish” to see if you are contributing to healing the world
and i promise u i will do the same
lastly – i apologize for this lengthy comment