1. I assigned Gattaca in my bioethics class & I don't regret it. One of the premises of the film is that everyone is miserable. The "invalids" are unhappy because they're oppressed, but the "valids" are also unhappy because they can never live up to the culture's eugenics ideal..
2. or even fulfil their supposed potential as "valids." Jude Law's character, a "valid," can't accept that he came in second in swimming competition in spite of his "superior genes." He becomes paralysed after trying to kill himself...
3. Uma Therman's character, another "valid," is unhappy because she has a cardiovascular disability in spite of being "enhanced" in vitro, and she's popping pills to deal with the stress. "Newgenics" has created a culture of fear, loneliness, and misery...
4. How far is this dystopian reality from our own ableist culture? ...
5. In a society that medicalises, oppresses, and devalues disability, a society in which eugenicists like Savulescu and Singer want to eliminate disability via reproductive technologies and infanticide, how happy are even the most able-bodied people?...
6. How secure are able-bodied people in their status and privilege, knowing that they will age and become disabled? ...
7. In "The Capacity Contract," Stacy Simplican says that we live in a culture of fear and insecurity created by a social contract that makes political enfranchisement and personhood status contingent on able-bodiedness...
8. As a result of this contract, no one feels "able" enough, everyone worries about losing status and power due to the real or perceived loss of "ability." So how far are we from Gattaca, really? ...
9. The film doesn't just raise questions about the future but shines a light on the role that ableist eugenics ALREADY plays in our culture, in our personal thoughts and feelings, in the structure of our social institutions.

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More from @CiurriaMichelle

Dec 4
1. Is it wrong to let students use AI to generate essays instead of doing their own work? My colleague Gabriele Contessa wrote an excellent response to this question, which goes something like this:
2. (1) University students are adults and it's up to them whether to waste their time and money on a specious degree or actually learn something; (2) If AI can write better than most people, then maybe what students need to learn is how to use AI.
3. I want to add one more response to this question: (3) Academia was always a rigged game. The fact that we force students to use Standard English is a political choice that reinforces the elite status of the group that predominantly uses this vernacular - wealthy white people.
Read 9 tweets
Dec 3
1. A thread on mainstream theories of incarceration - retribution, rehabilitation, deterrence, restoration, incapacitation - which are gaslighting narratives that provide a smokescreen for racial capitalism:
2. Many critics say the American carceral system is based on retribution but I disagree. It's based on racial capitalism. All of the above principles - not just retribution - are in fact utilised to enforce a system of racial capitalism...
3. If you look at actual court cases, sometimes judges sentence someone to punish them; other times, they sentence someone "for their own good," because they "can't take care of themselves"...
Read 10 tweets
Oct 23
1. Thread on the ableist fetishization of so-called intelligence in academia. I just read yet another article that glorifies so-called intelligence, which is a social construct rooted in eugenics.
2. In an ableist culture (such as ours) in which so-called intelligence is so idolized that it’s a condition of citizenship & personhood, everyone will have anxieties about whether they’re ‘intelligent enough.’
3. Intelligence is a disciplinary apparatus that mobilizes people into a regime of compulsory (able-minded) intelligence, which conveniently justifies capitalism as a ‘meritocracy’ that both produces and rewards the most ‘intelligent’ (nondisabled) citizens.
Read 14 tweets
Jul 26
Philosophy is a love of wisdom, which cannot be quantified by grading rubrics or systematized by learning outcomes. Why are philosophy professors addicted to academic metrics that commodify learning? (A thread on #ungrading).
@Jessifer says that "grades (and institutional rankings) are currency for a capitalist system that reduces teaching and learning to a mere transaction. Grading is a massive co-ordinated effort to take humans out of the educational process"...
@Jessifer also says that learning outcomes presuppose what is to be determined in the course of collaborative inquiry, & should be replaced by "emergent outcomes" that "are co-created by teachers and students and revised on the fly"...
Read 10 tweets
Jul 24
Are lesbians women?
Monique Wittig (1992) says no. Jaboc Hale (1996) says sometimes.
Let’s break it down.
Wittig believes that lesbians are not women because to be a woman means to be in a binary relationship (paradigmatically, marriage) with a man:
“what makes a woman is a specific social relation to a man, a relation that we have previously called servitude, a relation which implies personal and physical obligation as well as economic obligation ("forced residence”)…, conjugal duties, unlimited production of children...
Read 9 tweets

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