Feminism, Disability & Activism Zine: call for submissions

// 29 November 2008

The Feminist Activist Forum is calling for submissions for a zine on feminism, disability and activism:

Disability has been treated as an unglamorous side-issue within feminist activism.

We are looking for writing and artwork that addresses attitudes to disability within the UK feminist movement.

  • Have you experienced exclusion from feminist groups and events because you have a disability?
  • Are there any areas of feminist rhetoric that you find dis-ableist and alienating?
  • Do you have ideas about how feminist groups and events can be made more accessible and inclusive?
  • Can you tell us about positive experiences of access and inclusion?

Anything else on the subject also welcome!

We are interested in personal accounts, poetry, art, research and practical tips.

Please email drafts, abstracts, ideas, or questions to disability@feministactivistforum.org.uk

Deadline for drafts: 30th January 2009

Comments From You

Rosa // Posted 2 December 2008 at 5:38 pm

Oh my god, I am so excited about this! I’ve been an avid reader and listener of feminist and anti-racist blogs and podcasts for a long time now, but as someone who is also disabled I’ve been very disheartened that there isn’t a space for disabled social justice issues and discussion about discrimination against non-abled people.

I’ve seen a lot of activists make fleeting comments in writing or in podcasts that being able-bodied is a privilege… and then promptly go on to not talk about it whatsoever. It’s very frustrating when this happens, especially as disabled people don’t have much of a voice out there as “able” people do. We need them to pick up that thread, follow it through and speak!

I truly believe it’s not *just* physical limitations that make disabled people disabled. It’s the limiting perceptions and actions of the culture too. My friend Po-Han once asked me if I ever experienced “something like racism” for being disabled. I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to be an ethnic minority in a white majority culture, but to me it’s clear that being “disabled” often means that you, as a person, are seen as being disabled in a more-than-just-physical way. Your views are disabled; your access to places you want to go to are disabled; your visibility, voice and opinions are disabled; your beauty and sex appeal is disabled; you’re disabled from society by society. Your personality and personhood can be outright disabled too.

I want to make this clear: there’s nothing wrong with disabled people – they can be just as funny, serious and sensuous as anyone else – but just as women are oppressed by patriarchy, disabled people are “disabled” by the majority able-culture.

Maybe I’ve just had some really bad experiences (the man who, for no reason, grabbed and wheeled me out of the line I was waiting in to pay for food while saying “for god’s sake” comes to mind) but as someone who’s gone from being healthy to chronically ill I know this issue has long been on the shelf.

ANYWAY.

Sheesh, I didn’t mean to go on when I started writing this. I’m excited and I can’t wait to see the zine :)

Winter // Posted 3 December 2008 at 3:51 pm

Hi Rosa,

Would you mind if we used your comment in the zine? You sum up the issues really well here, but don’t worry if not.

We’re hoping it’ll be a good resource and we’re going to make sure we send copies to all the feminist groups.

Rosa // Posted 10 December 2008 at 12:51 am

YES!

I’m flattered you want to quote me. Feel free to use what I said, I’m happy to let you have it :)

janet // Posted 24 February 2009 at 5:04 pm

Are there any groups or individuals with learning difficulties on here?

Just asking!

Rosa // Posted 13 April 2009 at 1:59 am

Is this zine up yet? I keep thinking about it but don’t know where to find it. Thanks!

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