Blogging Against Disablism

by Cara on May 2, 2008

in blogswarm, disability, discrimination, feminism, reproductive justice, violence against women and girls

I’m very sorry that I missed Blogging Against Disablism Day, yesterday. I’m even more sorry that I don’t have much of anything to say on the subject right now.

I would like to note that less than a year ago, I didn’t know a damn thing about the disability rights movement. I was only vaguely aware of its existence. Blogs — and this is perhaps the thing that I love most about the blogosphere and what it can do when at its best — opened my eyes. I’m exceedingly far from being an expert on disability rights now. But I have done some research. I read more than one disability rights blog regularly. I’ve struggled to overcome a lot of my own prejudices in that time. Which is precisely why it amazes me that I wrote this post last year — Disability Rights Are a Feminist Issue — and still agree with it now. I’m glad and a bit relieved to say that I can recommend your reading it.

A few things I didn’t note in that post that I would like to note now:

If feminists believe in reproductive justice, disabled or not, we must be particularly concerned for the rights of people with disabilities. Their reproductive rights are in some of the greatest danger, and we really need to work to overcome our own prejudices on that matter and recognize that reproductive justice is for everyone, not just some. The problems with the pro-choice movement are precisely why the term reproductive justice was coined, and if we’re going to use it in a way that is more than mere appropriation, we need to recognize that attitudes towards the reproductive rights of those with disabilities was and still is one of those problems.

We also must be particularly concerned for the rights of people with disabilities if we care about violence against women. Women with disabilities are much more likely than women without disabilities to be sexually assaulted. Women with disabilities also have a much higher rate of being victims of intimate partner violence.

And really, if we just care about women, if we care about feminism, we should care about the rights of those with disabilities. Women are a large part of the disabled community, and they face discrimination on a daily basis in terms of medical care, housing, employment, the right to make personal decisions and much more. Women with disabilities are women. We are feminists, and may have disabilities ourselves. It is our job to fight legal and social systems that prevent women from the opportunity to live happy, safe and free lives. The argument for why disability rights are a feminist issue really is that simple.

Diary of a Goldfish has the roundup from the blogswarm. It’s holds a huge amount of posts and is full of great bloggers, so I strongly encourage you to read through it. For more on the intersection of feminism and disability activism, I couldn’t more strongly recommend F.R.I.D.A. as a source to add to your blog readers.

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{ 1 comment }

1 angryyoungwoman May 3, 2008 at 3:38 am

As a woman with a disability and a feminist, thanks. It’s nice to hear people speak up on this.

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