Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture, and Politics

By Michelle Fine; Adrienne Asch | Go to book overview

woman with a disability cannot fit into the traditional female roles of wife and mother.

As women explore an ever wider range of options, we need more characters, disabled or non-disabled, whose lives reflect the array of choices open to us. In order to feel that we can choose to carve out new roles in this changing world, we must know that the option to follow tradition is ours as well. Non-disabled women may, together, be outgrowing the marriage plot; but I, for one, would still warm to the story of a blind woman or a woman with cerebral palsy who falls in love, gets married, and lives happily ever after.

Ironically, of all of the plays and novels I read for this chapter, none was written by a woman who is herself disabled. Though a number of disabled women have written autobiographies, few, if any, have ventured to translate their experiences into fiction and drama. As the struggles of disabled women draw increasing attention through scholarly studies and autobiographical accounts, perhaps women with impairments will feel more free to express themselves in literary forms accessible to the general public. It is my hope that in the decades ahead we will create our own heroines: women whose lives hold meaning not merely for those of us who are disabled, but strike a universal chord with the joys and heartbreaks of women everywhere.


References

Besier, R. 1930. The Barretts of Wimpole Street. Boston: Little, Brown.

Brownstein, R. 1982. Becoming a heroine: Reading about women in novels. New York: Viking.

Davies, R. 1970. Fifth business. New York: Viking.

-----. 1972. The manticore. New York: Penguin.

-----. 1975. World of wonders. Middlesex, England: Penguin.

de la W. Mare 1941 ( 1922). Memoirs of a midget. New York: A. Knopf, The Reader's Club.

Dickens, C. 1971 ( 1845). Cricket on the hearth, in Christmas Books. New York: Collins.

French, M. 1980. The bleeding heart. New York: Ballantine.

Gide, A. 1959 ( 1931). Pastoral symphony. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Greenberg, J. 1970. In this sign. New York: Holt, Rinehart.

Hathaway, K. B. 1943. The little locksmith. New York: Coward-McCann.

Kata, E. 1961. A patch of blue. New York: Popular Library.

Kennedy, M. 1964. Not in the calendar. New York: Macmillan.

Medoff, M. 1980. Children of a lesser god. Clifton, N.J.: James T. White and Co.

Sontag, S. 1967. Death kit. New York: New American Library.

Trevor, W. 1973. Elizabeth alone. New York: Viking.

Trollope, A. 1963 ( 1857). Barchester towers. New York: New American Library.

Twersky, J. 1953. The face of the deep. New York, Cleveland: World.

Wharton, E. 1970. Ethan Frome. New York: Scribners.

Williams, T. 1945. The glass menagerie. New York: New Classics.

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Women with Disabilities: Essays in Psychology, Culture, and Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction: Beyond Pedestals 1
  • Notes 31
  • References 32
  • I: Bodies and Images 39
  • Notes 40
  • 1. on Embodiment: A Case Study of Congenital LImb Deficiency in American Culture 41
  • Notes 68
  • References 70
  • 2.Sex Roles and Culture: Social and Personal Reactions to Breast Cancer 72
  • Notes 85
  • 3. in Search of A Heroine: Images of Women with Disabilities in Fiction and Drama 90
  • References 110
  • Ii: Disabled Women in Relationships 111
  • Notes 112
  • 4. the Construction of Gender and Disability in Early Attachment 115
  • References 136
  • 5. Daughters with Disabilities: Defective Women Or Minority Women? 139
  • References 170
  • 6. Friendship and Fairness: How Disability Affects Friendship Between Women 172
  • Notes 192
  • References 192
  • 7. Disability and Ethnicity in Conflict: A Study in Transformation 195
  • Notes 213
  • 8. Never-Married Old Women and Disability: A Majority Experience 215
  • Note 224
  • References 224
  • Iii:Policy and Politics 227
  • 9. Women, Work, and Disability: Opportunities and Challenges 229
  • References 243
  • 10. Disabled Women and Public Policies for Income Support 245
  • References 267
  • 11. Autonomy as A Different Voice: Women, Disabilities, and Decisions 269
  • Notes 292
  • 12. Shared Dreams: A Left Perspective on Disability Rights and Reproductive Rights 297
  • Notes 305
  • 13. Smashing ICons: Disabled Women and the Disability and Women's Movements 306
  • Notes 329
  • References 331
  • Epilogue: Research and Politics to Come 333
  • Notes 336
  • About the Contributors and Index 337
  • About the Contributors 339
  • Index 343
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