discarded lies: saturday, november 18, 2017 1:19 am zst
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daily archive: 12/06/2006
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The cancer culture, the diabetes culture, the herpes culture, we got it all
I read this article, about parents who want their children to be like themselves so they choose genetic defects, and the deaf couple who wanted a deaf child reminded me of another couple I had seen on the news a few years ago who did not want their deaf child to have a cochlear transplant because they wanted her to be part of "the deaf culture."

I think it's selfish of parents to want their child to be a dwarf or to be deaf because they see their disability as part of a "culture". I've spent a few years in the "deaf culture", I enjoyed taking courses in American Sign Language, I enjoyed attending plays and events, but deaf people really got on my nerves. Most of the deaf people I have met in the States have been rude, obnoxious, resentful and mistrustful of hearing people or even people who have partial hearing or use their voice to speak. Like the students at Gallaudet have demonstrated repeatedly, to be part of the "deaf culture" means you are not allowed to have a voice.

How did deafness become a culture? And how did dwarfism become a culture? Were these people so isolated from society, so rejected, that they had to form their own world? If that's so, why isn't there a blind culture or a paraplegic culture? And what does culture mean in this case, anyway? I read this book, In the Little World: A True Story of Dwarfs, Love, and Trouble, and I didn't see anything different in the "little people" culture than in the big people culture. So what is it that makes them a different culture? I understand the disability part, I understand the feeling different part, that's something that many people have to deal with. I don't understand the "culture" part, at least not to the extent that I would want my child to never be able to enjoy Mozart so that she and I can have something in common.

Anyway, the coolest ASL speaker I've met (and the only one whom I sincerely liked) was my teacher's german shepherd. He was the best student in our class but he probably would be rejected by the Gallaudet snobs too, since he used his voice to bark. Dogs are so uncultured sometimes.
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