Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What's it all about? -- Thomas Hudspeth

Rev. Thomas Hudspeth, president of the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries, and Pastor of Congregational Care and Deaf Ministries at Lovers’ Lane UMC in Dallas, offers the following comments on the Rebecca Traister’s article “This Moment Isn’t (Just) About Sex.It’s Really about Work” which recently appeared online at The Cut. The article states that “we’re missing the bigger picture …. What it’s really about is work, and women’s equality in the workplace … the rot at the core of our power structures….”

“An excellent analysis of workplace power dynamics that is not being discussed much in current news coverage of the sexual harassment related resignations. If a workplace environment is not set up for women, and thus limits opportunities for women to exercise their gifts, a similar argument can be applied to workplace environments where those with disabilities or who are Deaf are screened out from working (which is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities act).

“In other words, when reading this article replace the noun ‘women’ with ‘those with disabilities, or Deaf,’ and the noun ‘male’ with ‘ableist or audist,’ then one could begin to see how our workplace and educational systems are not set up for those with disabilities or those who are Deaf. I think we as a society have to ask the question, where there is an absence of those with disabilities or those who are Deaf in any workplace, places of worship, or educational settings, ‘Why are we not seeing those with disabilities here? Why are we not seeing those who are Deaf here? And if so, what are we then doing to develop participation and leadership by those who are Deaf and those who have disabilities?’”

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