60th Disability Blog Carnival: Intersectionality
Welcome to the 60th Disability Blog Carnival! Thank you to Penny at Disability Studies, Temple U for continuing to host the Disability Blog Carnival.
The 61st Blog Carnival will be hosted by Alison Bergblom Johnson at her blog, Writing Mental Illness, on December 13th (she requests submissions by December 4). Here’s her official call for submissions.
First, a personal comment from me: If you’re a regular reader of FWD/Forward, you probably know that I like to quote two or so paragraphs from everything I link, so that if people are just wanting to skim quickly over them and figure out what they want to read fast, they have that option.
I’ve tried to limit that here today, for two reasons. First, there are a lot more posts (I limit my recommended reading to five links). Second, it’s really hard to find just one or two paragraphs in most of these posts to link. “Is this the best paragraph? No, wait, look, later on, this paragraph is even better!” So, shorter excerpts because otherwise I’ll be quoting whole posts because they are very powerfully written, and need to be read as a whole, I think.
First Section: Intersectionality
So I will continue to move through the world (and the bits of the world that are around me will affect me, and I will affect them) and write (when I can) about specific aspects of my life, all of which have something to do with this thing they call intersectionality, whether that’s the topic of the day or not. Because I don’t stop being all these different sorts of person, when I stop specifically naming them.
At Urocyon’s Meanderings, Urocyon writes Intersectionality: It’s a way of life!, about the various identities that make up her life:
This has run long and personal, but it should give a pretty good idea of how I’ve been seeing intersectionality play out. Nobody and nothing exists in a vacuum. Everyone and everything is interconnected and interdependent. If you try to look at the world through a filter of “good” vs. “bad” oppositional dualism, all kinds of categories of people are going to be “bad”–and many of the “bad” people will fit into more than one category of badness.
Internet feminisms are not so much representative of the scholarly field as a whole, but localized to individual websites and specific groups of people. At first glance, these sites are seemingly able to take on a diversity of perspectives; they have a large audience and multiple contributors. Despite this variation, however, internet feminism is not so much a set of philosophical perspectives, carefully worked out in conversation with other scholars, but a group of outlooks pulled together by friends and people who hold congruent (if not similar/the same) takes on stuff. Each website — each example of internet feminism — is thus a projection of the people who run, post on, and read a given site. They are examples — exemplifications, even — of feminism but they aren’t necessarily reference points to which one can go if you need to understand feminism.
But it is not niceness. It is You don’t belong here, dressed up in the prettiest Emperor’s clothes. Your kind belong somewhere else. And I am lucky as hell to get this form, this quiet suggestion that I am in the wrong place instead of disgust or gossip or a punch in the face or attempted murder or a refusal to acknowledge me at all.
I don’t quite know what being female means to me. I don’t quite know what being dyspraxic means to me. But I think they’re quite capable of being parts of me that don’t undermine the validity of the other.
Bri at Fat Lot Of Good writes fat and depressed? or just fat? or maybe just depressed?, which is about being both fat and depressed, and the assumptions people make about both:
Like just because I am have depression (even when it is under control) I need someone else to tell me what is best for me, and the fact that I am fat and depressed…well, isn’t it obvious that if I lost weight I would no longer be depressed?
No, no and NO.
pgdudda, at Warp and Weft writes Hospitals: the Intersection of GLBT and Disabled Significant Others:
My partner of 13 years was recently hospitalized. His gall bladder was removed, and he had complications that extended his stay significantly. This was a very stressful time for both of us. The stress was compounded by the fact that (a) we are a homosexual couple, and (b) I have a significant hearing impairment. I have some thoughts for hospital personnel to consider when dealing with this particular intersection of queer-and-disabled.
While this piece is inspired by the personal, my hope is that it generalizes well to the experience of chronic pain, and also the experience of being a woman, and perhaps even the experience of being human: specifically portraying the conflict between the need for physical connection and the need for physical safety.
Kaz wrote a guest post for us here at FWD/Forward, Disability and Asexuality, about her experiences being both asexual and being on the autism spectrum:
Talking about the intersection of asexuality and disability is pretty difficult, because “asexuality” gets another meaning in disability rights discourse: it’s used to refer to the various stereotypes about disabled people’s sexualities. People do often seem to realise that this is problematic when it’s pointed out to them. However, what not so many people realise off the bat is that it goes beyond just “problematic”.
From The Mind Campaign, Mental Health Services for Refugees and Asylum Seekers: A Messy Picture, which is about … well, mental health services for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK:
But it is the plight of people who are seeking refuge in our country which has been highlighted by two new Mind reports which were launched yesterday. The product of two years of research seeking to understand the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers who experience mental health problems, the results make for interesting reading.
Jo Tamar, at Wallaby writes about the intersectionality between caregivers and disability:
So that’s intersectionality in one sense between being a carer and being a person with a disability: it is entirely possible (and based on the statistics above, maybe even likely) to be both.
But there’s intersectionality in another sense, too. The adverse effects of caring on a carer’s health and well-being has the potential to impact the person zie cares for. So the more difficult life is for the carer, perhaps the more difficult life may be for the person zie cares for.
Second Section: “General Posts” written by people with disabilities
I would not be exaggerating if I said I have to deal with the hijacking of my ownership almost every day. There are few people who I feel completely comfortable around and who I know will not and do not take any power away from me unintentionally or intentionally. It’s a scary world for me, for us, but this world and my happiness is something I am willing to fight for.
I’m talking about ableism. Ableism in the simplest meaning are societal prejudices about people with disabilities. It takes the assumption that being able-body, having a neurotypical mindset, boundless physical and mental endurance, etc. are normal. People that don’t fall into this category are abnormal.
See, the thing is, all of my life, the message I always got was that you’ve got to be twice as good at something to even be looked at the same way, or taken as seriously as, a sighted person. Being “just good enough” well, there was no such thing, because being “just good enough” for a blind person was “not good enough” for the sighted world.
hkfreeman writes on deafness, which is about the experience of being hard of hearing:
It can be difficult to imagine what life is like with a disability. For me, it is difficult to imagine what life would be like if I had normal hearing, but I am perpetually bombarded with reminders and barbs of how I experience the world in a different way, and how that difference is seen as a lack and a burden.
Views on abortion seem to fall into two broad camps: It’s always unacceptable and morally wrong (usually because people believe that a fetus has personhood) or it’s always acceptable (and the jury seems a bit mixed on morals). That doesn’t leave room for a lot of nuance, something I note in particular whenever discussions about abortion and disability crop up.
The next few posts are all posts from FWD/Forward Contributors and were on our blog:
By Laurdhel, Law & Order: “Dignity”, Worth, and the Medical Model of Disability, which talks about abortion and disability, and challenges the view presented both in Law & Order, and in feminist responses to the L&O episode she discusses:
As a feminist, I believe that we can have the abortion-rights conversation without marginalising, othering, and disparaging people with disabilities. I believe we can talk about abortion within that broader framework of reproductive justice, and that we can confront the ableism that creeps into some abortion-rights conversations head-on. This takes effort; we must think clearly, write carefully, read closely.
By kaninchenzero, Ill, which is about perceptions of mental illness, and about assumptions we make about violence and mental health:
Thing is, we’ll never know if Sodini was mentally ill or not. We can’t tell from what he left behind, and he’s no longer around to ask. The things he wrote aren’t all that unhinged; he just took the workaday hatred of black people and women that is everywhere in our society and picked up a gun and went hunting. And the mentally ill means violent narrative is false anyway
By Annaham, The Negative Side of Positive Thinking:
You’ve probably heard of positive thinking and its (supposed) benefits. You’ve also probably heard of things like The Secret, which is a self-help book and DVD (and they have other products, too, including a daily planner and something called an “affirmation journal”). For those of you who have had the good fortune to not have come into contact with The Secret, the basic premise is something that sounds pretty innocuous at first, if you don’t examine it too closely or think about it too hard: there is something called “the Law of Attraction,” which posits that the individual can attract their own good or bad circumstances in life just by thinking about them.
Oh gosh. Next time someone gives me the advice to add posts as they come in, I’m taking that advice!
I’ve really enjoyed reading all the posts at this Disability Carnival! If I had planned ahead, I could end with some way of saying “posts are great, and there’s lots of posts about disability all over the internet”, but I’ve just been kicked out of the lab I’m in and it is past my bedtime anyway. Thanks for all participants, and again to Penny for letting us host this time.