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 LGBTI consultant, writer, spoken-word performer, public speaker, disability sexuality educator and workshop designer and facilitator. She is a graduate of Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies and Communication, where she focused on disability and LGBTI studies, providing a sound academic framework to affirm and explore her commitment to disability and social justice issues.
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 Melbourne based feminist, writer, poet and artist. She won a Creative Partnerships grant in 2014. She is the author of a book of poetry called Tongue Between Teeth. Her writing has been published in The Victorian Writer, and her artwork was shown in 2014 in a group exhibition at D11 Docklands, called Paper Dolls.
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.