Event Title

The Absence of Disability in Intersectional Feminism

Faculty Mentor

Jennifer Disney, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Location

West Center, Room 221

Start Date

21-4-2017 3:45 PM

Description

Intersectionality has been an incredibly important concept to feminism since it was first introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. Crenshaw used the term to describe the experiences of black women, who are often discriminated against based simultaneously on both their race and their gender. Since then, feminists have used intersectionality to point out that all people lie at the intersection of multiple social identities – race, gender, social class, religion, etc. – and that each of these identities is inseparable from the others. However, when discussing feminism in an intersectional way, the issue of ableism is often forgotten. According to the Institute on Disability, people with disabilities make up 19% of the population. This would make them the largest minority group in the United States, and yet we rarely, if ever, include them in conversations of intersectionality. I argue that we must put forth an effort to make our discussions as inclusive and accessible as possible, to ensure that we do not continue to erase the experiences of people with disabilities. In conclusion, this project, by closely examining feminist literature, sheds new light on the rarely acknowledged issue of the representation of disabled women

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Women's Studies Association (SEWSA) Conference, Winthrop University, March 2016

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Apr 21st, 3:45 PM

The Absence of Disability in Intersectional Feminism

West Center, Room 221

Intersectionality has been an incredibly important concept to feminism since it was first introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. Crenshaw used the term to describe the experiences of black women, who are often discriminated against based simultaneously on both their race and their gender. Since then, feminists have used intersectionality to point out that all people lie at the intersection of multiple social identities – race, gender, social class, religion, etc. – and that each of these identities is inseparable from the others. However, when discussing feminism in an intersectional way, the issue of ableism is often forgotten. According to the Institute on Disability, people with disabilities make up 19% of the population. This would make them the largest minority group in the United States, and yet we rarely, if ever, include them in conversations of intersectionality. I argue that we must put forth an effort to make our discussions as inclusive and accessible as possible, to ensure that we do not continue to erase the experiences of people with disabilities. In conclusion, this project, by closely examining feminist literature, sheds new light on the rarely acknowledged issue of the representation of disabled women