I found the concept of ability vs. disability to be very interesting. Being someone who does not have any physical disabilities, I have not often thought about the discrimination of those who are “disabled.” I enjoyed learning and thinking about what is seen as a normal body and what is not.Excel-K1-Wheelchair-w-Removable-Arms-and-Detachab-d073b1b8-b424-2d10-1f94-88e6f00ca30e

I also enjoyed gaining knowledge on the philosophy behind such a topic. Questioning whether or not what we see as a normal body is really norm, why it is seen as the norm, and how the media affects our views on such a topic was also quite interesting. Learning about feminist disability theory, in particular, was quite memorable and stimulating for myself. “Feminist disability theory augments the terms and confronts the limits of the ways we understand human diversity, the materiality of the body, multiculturalism, and the social formations that interpret bodily differences (Garland-Thompson 2).”[1]

To further elaborate on the theory of feminist disability, I would like to define disability for you. “Disability is a culturally fabricated narrative of the body, similar to what we understand as the fiction of race and gender. The disability/ability system produces subjects by differentiating and marking bodies (Garland-Thompson 6).”1 I find this definition quite interesting, particularly from a philosophical standpoint. It is quite alluring; at least in my opinion it is, to think of something as being “culturally fabricated.” It is such a freeing thought that my body may be what is the “actual norm,” and that my society is just incorrect in it’s assumptions.

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I also found it interesting to learn about “intersex genital mutilation.” This is another topic that relates to feminist disability theory. It is argued that “intersex genital mutilation” is part of the issue of certain bodies being seen as “normal” or “abnormal.” I think that I drifted toward topics such as these due to its philosophical aspects. Surina Khan stated that “intersex genital mutilation” was caused due to “doctors’ quest for normalcy (Karkazis 3).”[2]

To further my knowledge on what is seen as a “normal” or “abnormal” body in my society today I was directed to look at the fashion industry, surprisingly. I learned that, “part of the function of fashion is to produce bodies that are easily distinguishable by sex, race, and class (Connell 210).”[3] Fashion is defined by Entwistle as a “situated bodily practice (Connell 210).”3 I think this probably is, and will most likely remain, my favorite definition of the term “fashion” ever. Even more simply put, fashion is “styled bodies (Connell 210).”3 I have never thought of fashion in such a way before but I completely understand why it would be thought of this way, in terms of bodies in fashion.

Overall, I very much enjoyed learning about bodies. I gained knowledge on bodies’ disabilities and abilities. In addition, I got to look at it from a fashion standpoint, which peaked my interest and gave me a new outlook on such a topic. I developed a well –informed opinion on what is right and wrong (and fair) when it comes to bodies and the media in my society today.

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[1] Garland-Thomson, Rosemarie. 2002. “Integrating Disability, Transforming Feminist Theory.” NWSA Journal 14(3):1-32.

[2] Karkazis, Katrina. 2003. “Introduction.” Pp. 1-27 in Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience. Durham: Duke University Press.

[3] Connell, Catherine. 2012. “Fashionable Resistance: Queer ‘Fa(t)shion’ Blogging as Counterdiscourse.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 41(1/12):209-24.

 

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