It took years to get someone to hear my pleas for safety.
Blogger Tara K. Reed explains why she struggles with the term feminist as a woman with a disability and why she would like to see a change in how the term is used among millennials and in pop culture.
We, the disability family, have been an afterthought -- for governments, service agencies and organizations -- for far too long. Our opinions have been sidelined, our emotions trivialized, our needs prescribed and our resources shuttered.
Earlier this week, I received an email that offered me the chance to attend one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's town halls. I am hard of hearing. I rely on lipreading. Normally, I shy away from any kind of talk or presentation. But the opportunity to see a sitting prime minister in person, and potentially ask him a question, spurred me to find out more.
If, after hearing her speech, you dedicated more of your able body and mind to railing against those thirty words than you did to meaningfully advocating for the safety of particularly vulnerable people, your lack of empathy only highlights how right she was to contrast the cultural impact of "The Arts" and that of televised sports.
"Stop invalidating people, stop telling people that they're lying, stop saying what they have isn't real."
Activists take pride in the fact that their movements are inclusive, but it appears that unless women and girls with disabilities and deaf women and girls make our way to the table then, over and over again, our needs are forgotten. There are but a handful of women with disabilities and Deaf women in Canada who are fortunate enough to be at those tables, and I am one of them.
There are still no resources to speak of for girls with disabilities facing violence, even though they experience violence at higher rates and more frequently than any other group of young women and girls in Canada. The rates of sexual, physical, verbal and systemic violence are at least three times higher.
After the U.S. election, I wanted to call myself a feminist. Especially as friends wept about the uncertain (and certain) future of a Trump America. Still, I can't. Because feminism is hiding too many racists and bigots. People who hear "Be your own kind of feminist" and place emphasis on "your own kind."