Term Paper: Mirror" by Connie Panzarino

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[. . .] This becomes a social issue not only in Connie's point-of-view but with mine as well, and her book tells us of the difficult situation that Connie and people like her experience; in fact, Connie's physical, psychological, and mental problems that her disability caused her are good studies of the life of most disabled individuals. Connie's ascent from childhood to young adulthood illustrates the development of Connie from an individual who doesn't seem to gain control over the anger that she feels for herself to an individual who finally seeks proper control and finally accepts and finds a way to let herself become a better individual than she ever was. Given with extraordinary intelligence, despite her unfortunate physical condition, Connie faced her disability as a challenge and brilliantly fought the unequal treatment that she and other disabled people get from others -- the stereotype that they are helpless people, emotionally, physically, and mentally; that they are incapable of controlling their lives independently, that they are dependent in other people, and that their lived is worthless to live in because of the difficulty that their conditions have over their bodies.

The continuing degradation of the society towards disabled people is the primary motivation of Connie Panzarino that made her become an activist and advocate for various social causes that benefits most marginalized sectors in the American society -- the disabled, the women, and the gay sector. Perhaps one of the most important contributions that she gave in the society is the profound information and programs that she helped organize for the disabled people. One of the most revolutionary causes that she sought for is the compensation and privileges that a disabled person must receive whether she or he is employed or not. The section in her book, "A Night in the Chair," tells us of Connie's experience where she slept on her wheelchair one night since she had no personal assistant to help her out, and she was unable to sleep in her bed, and spent the whole night in agony and tiredness because of her inability to put herself in bed physically. The main reason why she does not have a personal assistant during that time is because she can't afford to have a personal assistant financially, and her status as an employed disabled individual prevented her from receiving the compensation a disabled individual should have. This policy that seemed so unfair for Connie (she should know that, she even reasoned out that there is no logic in giving compensation to a non-working disabled individual when a working, disabled individual couldn't also have it?) prompted her to call various government agencies in her move to help create and enforcing a policy that will benefit all disabled individuals with compensation for health care services and personal assistant privileges (financial compensation for payment of personal assistants). Her active participation in the legislation in providing appropriate health care service and personal assistant compensation resulted to the establishment of the Disabled in Action, an organization that calls for legal policies and regulation that will help the disabled receive compensation and financial aids for providing themselves with the essential personal assistants. The organization under Connie's leadership became the primary mover that helped federal and legislative bills about the said issue be considered by the legislation of the U.S. government. Aside from these legal policies, Connie helped build and organize the Beechtree, which served as home to disabled lesbians, wherein they could live freely without any prejudice by their society because of their disability and different sexual orientation. More importantly, Connie coined the term "ableism," wherein this concept means that in the society, there exists "disability oppression," and this important concept that she introduced in her autobiographical book became the primary thought that remains with me until today. Not only did Connie sought for the human understanding on the everyday life of a disabled individual, she also sought for the eradication of the sympathetic (which, to Connie's viewpoint, is unheeded), yet unequal treatment of people and the society to the disabled ("We need to stop committing ableism from our community... ableism is related to racism, sexism, homophobia... when society is built around ableism, all of us are also stuck in a competition for value" (259)).

In conclusion, the book "The Me in the Mirror" portrays the experience that Connie had as a child until she reached adulthood. Her autobiography is a reflection of her life, made vividly descriptive because of the struggles and pain that she illustrated that comes along with her sickness, and she also extends to her readers the message that despite her physical disability, she was able to overcome this obstacle and make herself an individual that contributes profoundly in a functional way to the people and the society. Connie's book also invites her readers to look into our "illness," the sickness that plagues the society and us physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. "The Me in the Mirror" is a good study of the lives of disabled people, the social and individual relevance of Connie and other disabled people's lives, and a true-to-life narrative of an individual who dared to change the way society looked at the marginalized… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Mirror" by Connie Panzarino.  (2002, October 19).  Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mirror-connie-panzarino/7384336

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"Mirror" by Connie Panzarino."  19 October 2002.  Web.  22 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/mirror-connie-panzarino/7384336>.

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"Mirror" by Connie Panzarino."  Essaytown.com.  October 19, 2002.  Accessed July 22, 2019.