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Of Gloria, Angela, and Vilissa: Feminism, Race, Disability

Of Gloria, Angela, and Vilissa: Feminism, Race, Disability

Sitting in a room full of women, I decided to engage in conversation with the other women.  The subject eventually turned to motherhood.  Of the 20 or so women present, I was only one of five who did not have children.  I was the only one of the attendees with a visible disability.  The women asked the childless attendees whether they planned to have children some day.  This question was not posed to me.  Instead, I was asked whether she can have children.

Over the next few days, it occurred to me that this question was asked a lot.  When I answered in the affirmative, it was only then that I was usually asked whether I planned to have any.  On one occasion, a “yes” answer was quickly followed up with a hypothetical: What would you do if your child came out disabled?  These questions not only revealed that Disabled People are not viewed as able to engage in sex, but also that Disabled People are not generally viewed as parent material.  These questions did not sound like what the author expected to hear at a meeting of women declaring themselves feminists.

Simmons – Feminism, Race and Disability (PDF).

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