Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Miss You-Can-Do-It Pageant. So, why can't I?

Abbey Curran, Miss Iowa 2008 and a contender for Miss USA
I know I'm playing catch up again.

Nevertheless, here's a link to a documentary the Hubby and I watched together a few days ago. It's about the US "Miss You Can Do It" pageant for girls with disabilities, launched eight years ago by Miss Iowa 2008, Abbey Curran, the first woman with disabilities to compete in the Miss USA pageant. She's a generous, articulate, intelligent  role model - studying to become a nurse practitioner - who also happens to walk with great difficulty due to CP.

Click to see the documentary video via HBO. There's a background video about the pageant here via YouTube. And a brief trailer from HBO on YouTube here.

As with most documentaries, the children's disabilities didn't even approach the severity of C.'s. Nevertheless, as usual, I pretended that C. belongs to the same "club"; by the end I was moved to tears. (The Hubby was also deeply moved but he doesn't do tears).

My repeatedly-rejected article about institutionalization (mentioned here) was finally published and generated two irate comments. (and a positive one). While my critics are certifiably bird brains, they still threw me for a loop. Here's an excerpt from one:
People who need to be institutionalized are done so by the state only because there are family members are unable to take responsibility or a foster family
And when the person's medical condition is to (sic) severe for home care. But to use an article such as this one to dis credit Institutions takes away from [your] sincerity... .
[This country] is forced many times to put the disabled in an institution because there no other options exist. But to call them cruel and archaic is self servicing....
The second critic claims to have a child who has lived for 11 years in the very institution my article attacked. She was somewhat less verbose than the first:
This piece is a complete fraud! It is a lie!
I have informed my country's largest NGO advocating for people with disabilities of the article. This organization, a vocal opponent of institutions until 2008, has since kept mum on the topic. So, once again, I asked its director along with a couple of his underlings, basically, "What gives?". In the past, the answers I've gotten to that same question have been "It's a slow process", "Be patient", "We can't rock the boat too much", "Where are the parents of children with disabilities?Why don't they support us?" and "We can't afford to anger one of our major donors."

I sent that email to the NGO three days ago and, while one underling did respond -  the same old inanities as in the past - the director has written nothing.

It's awfully lonely on this side of the fence. I think I need some Abbey Curran gumption.

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