Quoted from Sarah Kendzior’s “Surviving the Post-Employment Economy"
“In the United States, nine percent of computer science majors are unemployed, and 14.7 percent of those who hold degrees in information systems have no job. Graduates with degrees in STEM - science, technology, engineering and medicine - are facing record joblessness, with unemployment at more than twice pre-recession levels. The job market for law degree holders continues to erode, with only 55 percent of 2011 law graduates in full-time jobs. Even in the military, that behemoth of the national budget, positions are being eliminated or becoming contingent due to the sequester.
It is not skills or majors that are being devalued. It is people.”
Her work is frank, speaking of a reality I hope that will never be mine. At the same time, it gives me a strange comfort to know that I am not alone.
If a woman is sexually overt is she still feminist? It’s a question that…obviously for me, the answer is yes. But also in a larger sense, I’m not interested in policing feminism either. I have such a problem with the idea of people saying things like, ‘Oh she’s not feminist because of blah blah blah.’
Whoever says they’re feminist is bloody feminist. And I just feel like we live in a world where more people need to be saying it and we shouldn’t be looking to pull people out of the feminist party. And I think the reason I find myself reacting so strongly to questions of female sexuality is…there’s something very disturbing to me about the idea that a woman’s sexuality somehow is not hers. So when certain feminists who will say, it’s about the male gaze, it’s for the man, there a kind of a self-censoring about that that’s similar to what they’re fighting.
So as long as women have the choice…why shouldn’t women own their sexuality? Why shouldn’t a woman who does whatever with her sexuality identify as feminist?
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Quote is from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Defends Beyoncé: ‘Whoever Says They’re Feminist is Bloody Feminist’ on Clutch Magazine, referring to Chimamanda’s defense of Beyoncé and feminism itself, especially for Black women.
Some White women are using racism and unfortunately some fellow Black women are using the politics of respectability (which connects to performing acceptability for the White Gaze anyway) to determine who is feminist or not, where more than anything, sexuality is the rubric. Feminism is not a club where some women get to approve the membership of others, especially when this approval is based on the very same type of oppression that a feminist should seek to dismantle. This doesn’t make Beyoncé’s or even Chimamanda’s feminism perfect. But this right off the bat "X is not a feminist because they are Black or because they are not "respectable" thing is utter crap. Even Black female artists deemed “respectable” like Janelle Monáe reject the politics of respectability altogether and have womanist messages in their music.
Owning sexuality means that presentation, experience, desire, and sexual orientation (including asexual as a sexual orientation) is acceptable to that person and expressed or not expressed however they choose. It is not one-sided where whatever is deemed “respectable” is “feminist” or whatever is overtly sexual only in response to what is deemed “respectable” is “feminist.” It is rejecting reacting to binaries and a clear anti-oppressive stance on sexuality.
Now, I know the quote itself appears ”generic" so many Whites will be eager to erase my commentary so that Chimamanda’s words can center White women since "women" is always read as "White." Of course doing so will once again prove my point about racism and feminism. Such is the irony. Race cannot be erased from intersectionality.(via wocinsolidarity)
I’m a disability activist and it’s part of my day job, too so I actually have a fair bit, I think.
For some pretty interesting but mostly text-based scholarship on disabled people in history, Disability Studies Quarterly offers full text online (EE!), and I *think* they have PDFs that include images and/or artworks.
This issue in particular has some great articles on Disabled Shakespearean characters and themes.
Here is a post about a deaf man who greatly confused some Americans in the late 1800s. Here is a painting of the Virgin and Child appearing to a “lame” noblewoman from the 1750s. I have some paintings of Billy Waters and some disabled Black sailors in the British Navy from the 1800s here:
Here is a PDF excerpt from Stumbling Blocks Before the Blind: Medieval Constructions of Disability that includes at least one image from an illuminated manuscript.
Greg Carrier, a graduate student in Medieval Studies at the intersection of disability wrote a series of guest posts for the Medieval Middle, has a blog here that you can look through to find images and writing about the depiction of disabled people in Medieval Art as well as evidence from writing and I *think* surviving objects as well. For example:
Here’s a pretty cool resource on a disability/representation exhibit that has a lot of images, including The Beggars by Pieter Brueghel:
There’s a LOT out there, and anyone who tells you otherwise is full of it.