Women with disabilities are women first, sharing the dreams and disappointments common to women in a male-dominated society. But because society persists in viewing disability as an emblem of passivity and incompetence, disabled women occupy a devalued status in the social hierarchy. This book represents the intersection of the feminist and disability rights perspectives; it analyzes the forces that push disabled women towards the margins of social life, and it considers the resources that enable these women to resist the stereotype.
Drawing on law, social science, folklore, literature, psychoanalytic theory, and political activism, this book describes the experience of women with disabilities. The essays consider the impact of social class, race, the age at which disability occurs, and sexual orientation on the disabled woman's self esteem as well as on her life options. The contributors focus their inquiry on the self perceptions of disabled women and ask: From what sources do these women draw positive self images? How do they resist the culture's power to label them as deviant? The essays describe the ways in which disabled women face discrimination in the workplace and the failure of the mainstream women's movement to address their concerns.
In the series Health, Society, and Policy
, edited by Sheryl Ruzek and Irving Kenneth Zola.