In her recently released memoir, Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back, Harilyn Rousso offers a genuine reflection on growing up in a society that struggles to recognize the value of people with disabilities. Raised by a devoted family in the 1950s, Rousso describes her own coming of age, from the heartbreaking experience of leaving her home to go to college, to learning to drive with her mother as her teacher. She simultaneously grants readers an in-depth analysis of the feminist movement and its relationship with the disability rights movement, while questioning society’s views of sex and sexuality. A series of non-linear, inter-connected chapters, the story reads as a window into the diary of Rousso, with no limits to what Rousso is willing to offer her readers. Both hilarious and solemn at times, this novel offers an intriguing perspective on our society’s structure and the varying roles of people with disabilities, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.