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

By Michelle Fine; Adrienne Asch | Go to book overview

6. Friendship and Fairness: How Disability Affects Friendship between Women

BERENICE FISHER and ROEERTA GALLER

A group of women sit around a low table drinking tea, eating cheese and crackers. We talk about friendship. Each of us views it somewhat differently. Judy defines a friend as "someone who is there for me around important things." Sara sees her friends as "people I do nice things for." Barbara emphasizes her own desire to be recognized: a friend is "someone who knows you from the inside." Karen reminds us that we need our friends to "celebrate" our accomplishments and our joys. Ruth and Diane begin to talk about the quality of their own friendship. Diane stresses reciprocity and notes that friendship also involves many everyday considerations -- such as whether the other person lives close enough for the two to get together easily. Ruth speaks warmly of the interests that have drawn her and Diane together as good friends:

Having a lot of shared activities and things in our background that are similar helps a lot. There's a common vocabulary that we share, a minimum of explaining to do. When we talk about all sorts of things -- especially having to do with our love for music or our work as therapists, or being Jewish -- I know I'm being understood and that I'm understanding someone else.

Although we sometimes grasp for words to describe what friendship means in our lives, the women at this gathering enjoy telling each other of its importance. Our friendships are a testimony to our capacity to love and be loved, to our ability to share our passions and interests, our disappointments and difficulties. But at moments we are ill at case. We have come together not only to talk about the meaning of our friendships, but about how the fact that some of us are disabled affects the quality of our friendships. Our caring and empathy and common interests have brought us together as friends. But a difference such as disability could, potentially, divide us.

-172-

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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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