The Critique of Ableism Question • What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a person with a disability? Myths about People With Disabilities • They are not intelligent and/or not able to reason • They can not contribute productively to society • They are asexual--they can not or should not reproduce • They are not desirable and/or do not desire Refuting the Disability/Ability Binary Being disabled is a fact of human life • Infancy, young adulthood, old age • People often experience “disability” while functioning in society. • Examples? Compulsory Ableness • Maintenance of a non-disabled identity is considered normative (ideal). • Equality is achieved by trying to make the case that all human are ultimately the “same.” • Denies any value in human diversity. • Disability remains a pathology (negative) The Ideology of Ableism • The ideology (set of beliefs) that the able body is the ideal body. • The able body is the only body that is able to produce value in society. • Disability is something that has to be: • • • • Transformed Hidden Contained Managed Internalized Ableism • Is it possible to embrace disability as an intrinsic level of one’s being-ness? • What are the inherent social costs of ableism? • How are the similar/un-similiar to heterosexism, racism, homophobia? • What happens if we can envisioned the world through the lens of disablement? Does impairment cause harm? • Or do the actions, beliefs, and practices of ablelism cause harm? • Messages that a disability is negative or less than • Inability to recognize the whole person, not just the disability • Ableism is “business as usual,” disability is something that has to be tolerated or accommodated. • History is recounted through the lens of ablebodied, heterosexuality • Being socialized into disavowing disability—internalized shame and self-loathing History of Disability • A set of assumptions and practices that promote differential or unequal treatment of people because of actual or presumed disability. • The disabled person emerges as the “other” • Disability emerges a “problem” that society must attend to by: • Assimilation • Accommodation • Safety Net History of disability in the U.S. • Disability has been used to justify discrimination, as well as mark people as inferior, monstrous, or subhuman (Baynton 2001). • Disability has been tied up with racist discourses, including eugenics and slavery. • Down’s syndrome used to be called, “Mongolism” because doctor’s believed that Caucasions were reverting back to “Mongolian” racial types. • Dr. Samuel Cartwright identified the disease of “Drapetonia” to describe the conditions that made slaves run away. • Citizenship: Only “able-bodied” immigrants were permitted to enter the U.S. People considered “defective,” “frail,” “dwarf,” “lack of physical development” were not considered fit for citizenship—used to stigmatize dark skinned Europeans DISABLITY IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT • Difference is transformed into a disability by inaccessible environments, discrimination, and deprivation of equal rights (Wilson 2011). • Disability can be thought of as the limitations imposed on people by the attitudes of others and the barriers constructed by society (Wilson 2011). Disability as socially constructed • Between 7 to 10 percent of the world’s population (about 650 million) • Disability increases as a result of poverty • • • • HIV/AIDS Poor prenatal care, poor maternal health (Fistula) Unsanitary living conditions (Tuberculosis) Lack of access to safe and accessible drinking water (Scoliosis) • Environmental toxins, poisons and pesticides (Cancer, learning disabilities) Disability and War • Landmines • Bombings • Amputations of political opponents in ethnic and religious conflicts • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder from war, forced migration, and dislocations man-made or “unnatural” disasters. • PTSD from torture, unlawful detainment, and stigmatization/demonization of racial-ethnic and/or religious groups Disability as gendered: “Deadly and Deadening” (Wilson 2011) • According to the World Health Organization: • 80% of girls with disabilities are born into poverty • Excluded from civic events and community gatherings • Less likely to be married, • Higher risk for physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Crip theory • Able-bodiedness and heterosexuality masquerade as an “non-identity,” or “the natural order of things” (McRuer 2006). • Both reify structures and ideologies of race, gender, and gender oppression. • Compulsory able-bodiedness produces “disability,” the same way that compulsory heterosexuality produces “queerness.” Is possible to imagine disability outside of the context of tragedy or catastrophe?