At Play In Her Clearing: Centering The Personal Experience Of Disability Within Irigarayan Philsophy
Wallis, Katherine Elaine
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From a theoretical perspective, the disabled woman can be seen as `doubly othered' within patriarchal culture. Because the disabled woman faces this dual otherness, she is barred from both masculine language and able-bodied culture. By looking at the memoirs of three women who became disabled in adulthood: Nancy Mairs', Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled, Simi Linton's My Body Politic, and finally Janet Price and Margrit Shildrick's critical article "Bodies Together: Touch, Ethics and Disability," I will ask the question: How can the disabled woman gain a new sense of embodiment and move beyond the able/disabled binary? To answer this question I will engage in a close reading of all three of the memoirs, providing examples that showcase the woman's new becoming which can be understood in light of Luce Irigaray's theories of `writing the body' and ethics. To this end, in writing their memoirs, these women successfully come into language through their bodies; thus, achieving their goal of constructing a fully realized notion of embodiment for the disabled woman.