The F Word: Disability
Feminism and disability rights are both about questioning social norms and removing obstacles to equal access. They look at social constructions of the body, identity and public space. What does ‘normal’ look like – and is there such a thing, or have we subconsciously agreed on an ideal that doesn’t actually fit the majority? To what extent should individuals change to fit with society, and in what ways should society itself evolve to meet different needs? What does an inclusive society look like?
We look at how feminist analysis has helped illuminate some of the social institutions and cultural obstacles that impede the rights of people with a disability, just as disability activism has informed feminism. And we find out how feminists with a disability express their identities, fight for their rights, and envisage a society that works for us all.
This discussion is Auslan interpreted and captioned.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of six books, including the ABIA and Indie award-winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil (2014), and the critically acclaimed memoir The Hate Race (2016), which is currently being adapted for the Australian stage. Her poetry collection Carrying The World won the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry.
Jax Jacki Brown is a disability and LGBTIQ rights activist, writer and educator. She is a member of the Victorian Ministerial Council on Women's Equality, the Victorian governments' LGBTI taskforce Health and Human Services Working Group and the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Disability Reference Group.
Naomi Chainey is a freelance writer and filmmaker with a focus on feminism and disability rights. She has a degree in media studies.
Jessica Knight is a writer, performer and comedian based in Melbourne. She has appeared in The Emerging Writers Festival, Red Dirt Poetry Festival. Her writing has appeared in Meanjin and Scum Mag. Jessica is a 2018 recipient of a Creative Victoria grant that will help fund her one woman show, Mormon Girl, about growing up Mormon and how she disentangled herself from that belief system to became the unapologetic feminist she is today. Jess won this November's MOTH story slam by telling a five minute version of her Mormon Girl show.
Kath Duncan is a 50-something writer, activist and raconteur with many decades of feminist and disability pride under her belt. Kath works in social media, and has a background in journalism and teaching communications.