What Happened to Equality?
by L.C. D. Marco

Image and Representation
I can't remember a time when I wasn't aware that I was different from most other people, and that my differentness was a judgment against me. By the dawn of adolescence I had absorbed enough innuendoes to suspect that, no matter what social graces I managed to cultivate, no matter how I dressed or wore my hair, I would never be the kind of girl boys wanted to flirt with or to ask on dates. My reading heightened my apprehensions about the future. In books, it seemed, the only way a woman could be fulfilled was through. the love of a man; and the only women worthy of that love were lithe and lovely, unblemished, physically perfect. The smallest flaw-an uneven gait, a malformed hand-was enough to disqualify a woman from romance, from ail hope for happiness. If even a trifling imperfection could loom as such an insurmountable obstacle to fulfillment, what chance was there for a girl who was totally blind, as I was?

It is a daunting task to live in a society that insists it is impossible to be functional if we are women, let alone disabled.

It is a daunting task to live in a society that insists it is impossible to be functional if we are women, let alone disabled. Self-representation and the body are areas that have become much emphasized by those campaigning for the. rights of disabled people. Material in The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, for example, states "Magazine covers, films, TV shows, billboards surround us with images which fail to reflect the tremendous diversity among us. Never before have there been hundreds of profitable businesses set up to convince us we don't look good enough. Whole industries depend on selling us products through slick ads depicting 'beautiful' women, playing on our insecurities and fears of imperfection. ... If we are passably close to the current media images of beauty we may not be aware of the intense pressures working on us. But if we are: more obviously 'different'-fat, old, women of color or physically disabled, for instance-we encounter the pressures more openly and every day. ... As one woman said, 'we are not disabled: it is society which disables us by being so unsupportive'2.

In the general media, however, people with disabilities continue to be invisible or marginalized by stereotyping constructions. "Disabled women are not only subjected to the generalized stereotypes that define people with disabilities as helpless victims and inadequate individuals, but are also defined in gendered terms, as deviations from particular sets of feminine norms."3 It makes no difference what television program or commercial one observes: women's bodies are portrayed in an objectified manner.

Qu'est-il arrivé à l'équité?
par L. C. Di Marco

Il est peut-être extrêmement intimidant de vivre dans une société qui insiste sur l'impossibilité des femmes, sans parler des personnes handicapées, d'être fonctionnelles. Bien entendu, les hommes ne sont pas les seuls responsables de la situation. Des femmes, souvent féministes, sont tout autant coupables de ne pas prêter attention à certaines questions qui ne les concerne pas personnellement.

Les femmes handicapées se heurtent à une double discrimination, et que dire si elles sont en plus de couleur, lesbiennes, mères célibataires ou pauvres. Les femmes handicapées sont victimes de l'attitude de femmes et d'hommes robustes qui .les considèrent comme ne formant pas un tout. Grâce à l'éducation, les femmes handicapées sont quelque peu en mesure de garder quelque dignité et indépendance, mais la société semble constamment ignorer que tout. Le monde détient juridiquement .le droit de recevoir une éducation. Nulle part dans la Charte des droits et libertés ou dans la Déclaration des droits de la personne un membre de la société est exclu du processus éducatif, comme il n'y est jamais mentionné non plus les carrières que les individus doivent poursuivre. Pourquoi donc ces droits et libertés ne s'appliquent-ils pas aux femmes handicapées?

Les femmes handicapées, toutefois, innovent dans certains domaines, en particulier dans les arts où elles font une percée entant qu'écrivains, artistes de spectacle, musiciennes ou visualistes. Mais, si nous voulons atteindre à l'égalité dans tous les secteurs, nous devons rappeler la communauté d'éléments de nos divers féminismes. Nous devons mettre en oeuvre une théorie féministe pour formuler des changements

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