Post #8 Kafer on Feminist Queer Crip

Choose four favorite quotations, one each from chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7, and explain why you like them. They may all relate to each other, but they need not. Remember also to post any questions you have about the book and suggest discussion topics for Tuesday’s class if you some.


Alison Kafer

What I want to suggest is that the predominance of disability billboards. . . . makes it easier. . . . to read this kind of decontextualized paean to personal responsibility as apolitical and benign. Queer theorists Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman suggest that the figure of the child is used to render certain positions as extrapolitical, as beyond the realm of politics, and I suggest that the disabled body performs a similar function within the logic of the FBL. . . . The “unquestioned because so obviously unquestionable” position is that of praising disabled people for overcoming their disabilities (96-7)

I like this quotation because it underlines the relation Kafer wants to make between the oppressions of the crips and of the queers. In this passage, Kafer also speaks about the political depoliticization of the crip’s and the queer’s issues. I like that idea which may also be applied to the class and racial segregation of the space in the urban area. This extract also relates to the idea of a negated crip future which is negated by society. Kafer wants to praise it.

The “cyborg” concept thus serves to perpetuate binaries of pure/impure, natural/unnatural, and natural/technological; rather than breaking down boundaries, it buttresses them (109)

I like this quotation because I never really thought about the cyborg as a possible means of oppression toward crips. I’ve always seen it as a possible means of enhancement of the body.

On the contrary, the natural environment is also “built”: literally so in the case of trails and dams, metaphorically so in the sense of cultural constructions and deployments of “nature,” “natural,” and “the environment.” (129)

I like the idea of a natural environment also built and the implications of that constatation that underlines the discriminations that exist against crips in the common discourse. Nature is not seen as a place for crips.

Such a reading, and the expansive approach to disability politics it entails, means locating the subject of disability studies not just in bodies identified as disabled but in minds and bodies surviving inaccessible spaces, with both “access” and “spaces” de ned broadly. It means recognizing contestations over whiteness, or economic disparity, or heteronormativity as part of disability studies and disability activism, not merely side projects or subdisciplines. It means challenging the homophobia and transphobia that lurk within the disability rights movement, marginalizing the experiences of queer- and trans-identified people with disabilities. It requires a continued examination of the whiteness and ethnocentrism of disability studies and disability activism in the United States, as well as committed engagement with the work of dis- ability rights, antiglobalization, and antipoverty activists around the globe.

I like this passage because Kafer defines how she thinks that the feminist, queer and crip coalitions would have to be in order to include everyone and create some inclusive, not to say collective, spaces that would be safe for the oppressed people. I like that because it tends to reflect on political and intellectual issues of those coalition (what do they miss? what should have to be transformed? etc.).


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