how can you not see ableism as a feminist issue
autistic girls, especially black autistic girls, are misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed because of the focus on white cis boys and how they present as autistic
disabled girls and women often have their consent violated, both in medical procedures and otherwise, our bodies and minds are often not considered are own and we are dismissed as not having the capacity to make our own decisions
on top of that many disabled girls are seen as delusional and their speaking out about the abuse they have face, by whatever communication method, is often seen as them making things up and over reacting
many disabled women are fetishised and seen as an outrageous ‘thing’ to fuck, but are not seen as human
disabled girls, especially physically disabled girls, do not live up to ideas of beauty in our society and often have extreme self esteem issues
disabled women and girls face more shit than you could ever know and I need you to understand
Ableism. Is. A. Feminist. Issue.
As an adult Korean adoptee, I knew first hand how it felt to grow up divorced from the language, culture and people of my birth country. The undeniable question for me involved whether I could reconcile my political beliefs with participation in international adoption. Could I call myself a feminist and social justice advocate and still adopt? I realized that for me, the answer was no.
I am part of a growing number of adult adoptees who view adoption as a feminist issue, part of a continuum of reproductive rights. This perspective extends to the right to raise one’s child the same importance as the right to choose whether or not to bear one.
In her book “Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States,” feminist historian Rickie Solinger examines adoption through this lens of reproductive rights. She states, “I believe it is crucial to consider the degree to which one woman’s possession of reproductive choice may actually depend on or deepen another woman’s reproductive vulnerability.” In other words, how might an individual woman’s right to choose adoption actually exploit another woman’s lack of rights?
Myths of the legitimate mother
Conventional language around child relinquishment has often fixed birthmothers in a position that simultaneously acknowledges and negates them. As an example, here is the story I was told about myself when I was a young girl: You were abandoned on the doorstep of an orphanage with a note that read “Please take care of my child.” Your mother loved you very much, but since she was probably a prostitute, a very young (probably teenaged) girl, or a single woman, she couldn’t take care of you. So, she did the most loving thing a mother could do, she gave you up for adoption so that you could have a better life.
I accepted and retold-indeed, even took pride in-this story for years. This narrative, conveyed by my parents who first heard it from the adoption agency, illustrates the sort of manufactured positioning that Kim describes. It marks my birthmother with a presumed status, and this status ranks her on a social scale, at an inferior placement that highlights her lack of resources and defines her as therefore illegitimate for motherhood. Her economic and social vulnerability is an unquestioned given.
The story further implies certain suppositions about what “a better life” means. In this scenario, “better” clearly means American, but it also suggests wealthier, Caucasian, and most important, not with my birthmother. This notion of “a better life” has permeated adoption narratives since the practice began, often used as justification for its existence.
Over the years the social justice argument for adoption has proved increasingly problematic for many. In her article “Birth Mothers from South Korea Since the Korean War,” scholar Hosu Kim states, "Although it often has been understood historically as a humanitarian effort … I argue the practice of intercountry adoption is a radical example of global inequality played out at the site of actual woman’s bodies and often pits two women-the birth mother and the adoptive mother-against each other in a struggle to claim a legitimate motherhood."
As a woman dealing with the pain of my own infertility, I did not want to think through all these questions when I first considered adopting a child. Frankly, I just wanted to be a mother. My decision not to adopt after realizing that adoption was in conflict with my political beliefs is my personal choice. I do not condemn all adoptive parents, my own included, whom I love profoundly. Nor do I condemn adoption across the board. I do think, however, that we need to reframe our discussion of adoption. And though this story is about international adoption, I believe this discussion should include domestic adoption and foster care.
I believe that if the spirit of feminism creates solidarity between women across social, economic and racial barriers, feminists should work to remove the obstacles that render women around the globe so powerless, rather than using their situations as a reason to take their children from them. We should also question adoption language that carries implicit judgments of who makes a legitimate mother. Other issues to address are using children as a commodity, and racial coding of mothers and children. And we should work toward the extension of reproductive rights to include the rights of women to raise their children.
YES! finally found this link again, i’ve been searching for it again for ages (too many links in my resource list). this is a PERFECT commentary on how i feel about the fundamental problems of adoption and the right to parent.
just because i need to have this on my blog periodically. still one of my favorite pieces on adoption.
Laverne Cox, keeping it real (via mansplainedmarxist)
I looked this up because Laverne Cox talking about materialist feminism, so on is just.. A feminist in the mainstream that’s THIS radical AND a trans woman. I love her so much.
In retrospect, the first women’s studies class I took — in August 2007— was a steaming pile of horseshit. We covered the first and second white, Euro-American “waves,” we were forced to watch Iron Jawed Angels, we learned about birth control and masturbation, and the instructor taught us how to use condoms and dental dams and showed us how to journal about our menstrual cycles. The second women’s studies class I took was a little bit better because it actually covered the racialized histories of the U.S. feminist movement, but then our professor left and the class was in the hands of some assistant who sugarcoated everything. The first upper-division women’s studies class that I took — in August 2010, when I’d finally switched my major from some bullshit film thing to WGSS — changed my entire life. The class was called Beyond Borders: Feminism and Globalization and our professor was a queer Muslim WOC. This class grappled with everything — with white supremacy, with neoliberalism, with racialized misogyny, with heterosexism, with Islamophobia, with colonization and neoimperialism. If it weren’t for this class, I wouldn’t have met my best friend, JB, and I wouldn’t have realized that there was actually a place for my friends and I in this field. I remember doing a presentation on Iranian women and I remember how emotional I was, ‘cause Middle Eastern women and Islamic feminisms rarely get discussed in women’s studies departments and, if they are, they’re seen as Oppressed or Other or, alternatively, Unveiled and Americanized and Whitened and Liberated. After I took this class, I was fortunate enough to connect with more (queer) professors of color and they taught me so much about the field, about the theorists and movements which have been conveniently erased from our hearts, our minds, our classrooms. JB and I took this transformative class called Sexing Chicana Literature and our professor warned us about the academy, about the reproduction of discourses of domination that the academy so deceptively pursues. When your department’s women’s studies 101 class doesn’t cover WOC, that is a symbolic act of violence, that is a fucking oppressive gesture. When your department’s senior-level feminist theory professor skips the only article on the syllabus that examines Islamic feminism, that is a fucking political move. This tactlessness will appear vague, understated, even elusive, but it becomes a fucking pandemic of subtlety that threatens the entire foundation of your existence. I have learned the hard way that in these moments it is the duty of all the people in this field — folks of all backgrounds — to call bullshit and challenge those who remain embalmed in a state of complete denial.
the problems with liberal feminism are ultimately the problems with liberalism. liberalism insists that people operate independent from not only each other but any sort of social influence or ramifications thereof
liberal feminism states that any decision made by a woman can be empowering without any sort of critical analysis of that decision. for instance, liberal feminism insists that it is advantageous for women to be in high positions of political power, but it does not acknowledge that in order to acquire and maintain said power, other women have to suffer. how can women truly be free if women are being employed to oppress other women?
liberal feminism engages in egalitarian practices insofar as they insist that we are all “equal” and the equality is something that women should seek. this equality, however, is a patriarchal model that requires violent power dynamics, rigid capitalism, and subordination. liberal feminism does not seek to dismantle the patriarchy but to work within it. it posits patriarchal structures as something that women should seek to control and partake in rather than something that is ultimately detrimental to all, such as government, capitalism, and the military.
liberal feminism is divisive. it positions the liberation of women to be the responsibility and the success of the ruling capitalist class. liberal feminism invokes white supremacy, heterosexism, cissexism, and ableism in order to acheive it’s goals. liberal feminism believes that the freedom of women comes from politicians and business owners, and that oppressed women can find liberation within the success of others. it makes liberation a privilege.
in essence, liberal feminism creates a sort of subpatriarchal hierarchy that puts the most privileged women at the top in order to maintain inequality among the less privileged women. it maintains a hegemony of women in which women oppress other women through means of patriarchal power.
also annoyed whenever i see white feminist think pieces or poetry or documentaries about how “i’ll never call my daughter pretty cos she’s more than her looks!” and “i’m never buying her princess stuff” like ok you have fun with that keep being white cos if i ever have a daughter u best believe that little girl is gonna hear how fucking beautiful she is every minute every day and if she wants to be a princess i’ma buy her a castle cos i’m sick of girls of color growing up wanting to look white cos white = beautiful in our world but ok keep talking about how ~revolutionary~ it is to not call ur daughter pretty when she is the walking standard of prettiness used to tyrannize our daughters
for those of you who have issues with what I have to say about the current state of popular feminism, for those of you who think I am divisive, unrefined, difficult, and anti-white: please please acquaint yourselves with some of the posts I’ve written. I am sick and tired of these reactionary reblogs. stop being so selfish. this isn’t about you — this is about a system that prioritizes specific epistemologies and approaches to “liberation.” I invite feminists, womanists, folks with no attachment to any sociopolitical identity whatsoever, people of all backgrounds to join me in the imperative project of dissecting and dismantling what I refer to as “white feminism.”
I have spent far too many years of my life in silence. I have spent far too many years of my life practicing the obligatory absorption of theories/histories/movements which really weren’t mine or my foremothers. in fact, I have spent far too many years of my life accepting what wasn’t good enough — accepting a department that conveniently skimmed over or altogether neglected MY histories, MY movements, MY foremothers’ struggles.
I think I know why Allah put me on this Earth. I think I’m going to reclaim and resurrect the feminisms that I’ve been denied, that all my friends have been denied.
Okay so Melonie Diaz is adorable and Jenny Shimizu is Jenny Shimizu but other than that the rest of the women in this movie are White Fauxminists whose activism involves spraypainting plastic surgery clinics and clothing stores’ window displays with things like “free your clit and your mind” and “women of all sizes are beautiful.”
I wish I had known that before starting it. At this point I’m watching solely for Melonie and Jenny.
Hill Collins, Patricia. 1990. “Defining Black Feminist Thought” from Black Feminist Thought:
Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Boston: Unwin Hyman. pp. 19-40.
Normally, I find the whole “Mrs. X” cuteness annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I support a woman’s right to call herself whatever the hell ever, but, let’s face it, married women giving up their names is a vestige of patriarchy. We choose our choices, but not in a vacuum.
I got no beef with Bey and The Mrs. Carter Tour. Again, most of the people all het up about it are not taking into account sexism as it relates to black women and images of family as they relate to the black community.
Bey ain’t giving in to any patriarchal view on marriage; the patriarchy is pretty insistent that black women are unmarriageable, unloving and unloved. And no way you can argue that Beyonce has given up her identity for Jay-Z’s. She’s Bey-fucking-once. No one forgets that. And it’s interesting that, at the same time folks are complaining about the endangered black family and off-the-chain single, black women, they also want to come for a black woman who “did it right” by Judeo-Christian, middle-class, heteronormative, white standards, and is celebrating her love for her husband and child.
Example eleventybillion that as black women we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
Tami Winfrey Harris quoted by Racialicious
Side note: Both Jay-Z and Beyonce legally share the name “Knowles-Carter”. He hyphenated his as well.
Most of us rejected the white women’s movement. Miss ann was still Miss ann to us whether she burned her bras or not. We could not muster sympathy for the fact that she was trapped in her mansion and oppressed by her husband. We were, and still are, in a much more terrible jail. We knew that our experiences as black women were completely different from those of our sisters in the white women’s movement. And we had no desire to sit in some consciousness raising group with white women and bare our souls.
But it is imperative to our struggle that we build a strong black women’s movement. It is imperative that we, as black women, talk about the experiences that shaped us; that we assess our strengths and weaknesses and define our own history. It is imperative that we discuss positive ways to teach and socialize our children.
Taken from her book “Assata: In Her Own Words” (pages 64-65)