“Confessions of a Bitter Cripple”

Some personal reflections on working in the feminist philosophy of disability from Elizabeth Barnes (University of Virginia):

I have sat in philosophy seminars where it was asserted that I should be left to die on a desert island if the choice was between saving me and saving an arbitrary non-disabled person. I have been told it would be wrong for me to have my biological children because of my disability. I have been told that, while it isn’t bad for me to exist, it would’ve been better if my mother could’ve had a non-disabled child instead. I’ve even been told that it would’ve been better, had she known, for my mother to have an abortion and try again in hopes of conceiving a non-disabled child. I have been told that it is obvious that my life is less valuable when compared to the lives of arbitrary non-disabled people. And these things weren’t said as the conclusions of careful, extended argument. They were casual assertions. They were the kind of thing you skip over without pause because it’s the uncontroversial part of your talk.

Read the full essay at Philosop-hera blog run by Meena Krishnamurthy (University of Manitoba) devoted to showcasing the excellent work being done in philosophy by women. It’s new on my radar, but looks to have a lot of great content. Do check it out!

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