peace claws

Catching up on the news this morning, I saw this headline on truthout: Cindy Sheehan Sells Protest Site to LA Radio Host. When I clicked, the name of the purchaser jumped out at me: Bree Walker! Walker is a smart, strong feminist and disability-rights activist. I lost track of her career over the years, and was thrilled to see that's she still working and successful.

Walker has a condition called ectrodactyly, which fuses her fingers and toes together, making her hands appear somewhat claw-like. When she was younger, she used to hide her hands under prosthetics, but later decided to be proudly herself. When she first "came out," I noticed that in interviews she would fix her hair or otherwise make her hands visible where she could have easily hidden them from view.

Walker's success in front of the camera was hailed by people with disabilities everywhere. It doesn't hurt that she is conventionally beautiful, but then, her disability is thought of as a "deformity". She's not a beautiful woman sitting poised in a wheelchair that you can't see. She's a beautiful woman with lobster hands.

Wouldn't you know it, Walker was publicly criticized for having children - ectrodactyly is genetic - then further criticized for getting her children surgery to help alleviate the condition! File that under one my favourite truisms: if you're a woman, your reproductive choices will be condemned no matter what you do, so you damn well better do what you want.

And guess what? Walker's buying Camp Casey from Cindy Sheehan and turning it into a peace memorial.

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