women

I hate falling. It serves as reminder to me that no matter what I do or what I accomplish, my body will at some point let me down, and that pisses me off.

If you`re reading this and thinking there`s a lot of internalized ableism in there, you`d be right.

So why do I feel so crappy about falling? I would never shame anyone else when they fall.

I know the answer to this. There was a time in my life when falling meant somebody was going to get upset with me, roll their eyes at me, yell at me, accusingly ask me “What’s wrong with you?” etc.

So naturally, when I fell in a movie theater the other day, and the staff had to come unlock the door so my partner could help me back up I expected some kind of negative response, or at least embarrassment.

All he said was “Why would I be embarrassed? People fall.”

And in that moment three things came to mind: 1) I wish I had a time machine to go back and say that to my childhood self. 2) I have an awesome partner (I knew that already), and 3) I still have a lot of internalized ableism to get rid of.

Falling is good, it teaches us it’s ok to fail, and you will get back up. Metaphorical falling anyway, real falling can hurt, so we should still avoid it, but the feelings of shame don’t have to be there.

I’m reminded of a quote I posted on facebook the other day:聽“Feminism doesn鈥檛 know WTF to do with disability, because disability throws a huge monkey wrench into the gears of the feminist notion that we鈥檙e supposed to be strong, independent, and accomplished beings, healthy and full of power.” from聽http://www.disabilityandrepresentation.com/2013/07/30/why-this-disabled-woman/

On that note, I’ve decided to write an article for an anthology on the conflicts between feminism and disability, and would welcome any suggestions. 馃檪

Earlier this month I spoke at a reproductive justice rally, and as much as I was honoured to be there, it聽wasn’t聽something I ever thought I would do. For a long time I stayed out of the pro-choice conversation. I have always been pro-choice, but I聽didn’t聽always feel included in the movement. My concerns about reproductive justice were a little different than most feminists, while most women I knew were fighting for the choice of whether or not to have children; most women with disabilities were fighting for the choice to have children at all.
Like many fights in the disability movement this one goes on silently and often behind closed doors. It happens in subtle ways, the dead quiet after a little girl with a disability suggests that she is going to be a mommy someday, the doctor who asks a teenager with a disability why she wants birth control, to the barrage of comments a pregnant woman with a disability is subjected to in public. It also happens in more overt ways, like when a woman with a disability is not allowed to have her child in the maternity ward, the many unwarranted calls to the Children鈥檚 Aid Society, and even in some cases forced sterilization.

There are 300 million women with disabilities around the world, each one of them are impacted by issues like these, compounded by the same lack of reproductive justice facing other women in their communities. But how do these women organize if they are too afraid to tell their stories? How can we expect them to join the movement if they do not feel included?

While these women are feeling excluded from discussion of choice and reproductive justice, the anti-choice movement has been freely exploiting us for years. One day they tell women that children with disabilities are their punishment for having abortions, and the next time they are telling women that they should risk giving birth to a potentially disabled child, even at the risk of their own lives. We did not ask to be used this way, and I for one refuse to be used this way.

What we need is a reproductive justice movement that welcomes women with disabilities in the way we want to be included. The rising of women is the rising of us all, but only if women with disabilities rise too.

Human Rights & Equity Services in collaboration with Anti-Violence Network presents:

“Women with DisAbilities’ Experiences of Violence and its Prevention on University and College Campuses”

Speaker: Terri-Lynn Langdon, MSW, RSW, (Thrive Counselling)

Date: Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Time: 12 noon – 1:30 PM

Location: room 201, Institute of Applied Health Science, McMaster University Campus, Hamilton Ontario Canada

This presentation discusses the findings of a qualitative mixed methods research project which was funded by Springtide Resources. It will explore how anti-violence measures on campuses can have a more critical lens for disAbled bodies as well as other interlocking identities. Principles of the self-reflective researcher and the usefulness of anti-oppressive practices and approaches will also be explored.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. For additional accessibility requirements please email聽khalfan@mcmaster.ca聽or call聽905-525-9140 ext. 24644

Twenty-two years ago today, a gunman entered a university in Montreal and killed 14 women – simply because they were women.
During this same 20 years, over 700 Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or been murdered across Canada.


 In Canada there are approximately 1,900,000 women aged 15 and over who have
disabilities. It is estimated that approximately 40% of these women with disabilities will
be assaulted, sexually assaulted or abused throughout their lifetime.
 Depending on whether they reside within an institutional or community setting, women
with disabilities are 1.5 to 10 times more likely to be victimized than women who are not
disabled.

Approximately 83% of women with disabilities will be sexually abused in their lifetime.
 The rate of sexual abuse of girls with disabilities is four times greater than the national
average.  Approximately 40% to 70% of girls with intellectual disabilities will be sexually victimized before the age of 18.
 It is estimated that only 20% of cases of sexual abuse perpetrated against women with
disabilities are ever reported to the police, community service agencies, or other
authorities.

 Women with disabilities most frequently experience victimization from an intimate
partner or spouse, family member or caregiver.

 Women with disabilities are often more vulnerable to abuse than women without
disabilities for the following reasons:聽

  •  Dependence upon a caregiver;
  •  Lack of access to support services;
  •  Due to mobility, cognitive or communication impairments unable flee or聽call for aid;
  •  Low self-esteem stemming from societal myth and social attitudes.

But let us also remember there is hope…

For more information Please check out the Disabled Woman’s Network Ontario聽and the White Ribbon Campaign

What: A project exploring experiences of violence and violence prevention on
university and college campuses in Canada.

Who: Women ages 18-29 who have attended a Canadian University or College
program within the last 5 years AND who self-identify as:
* Having a disability (physical/intellectual disabilities/sensory
disAbilities)
* Persons with mental health histories or have experienced the mental
health system
* Deaf or hard of hearing
Women who are interested are asked to attend one of the focus groups
throughout the city (see below):

Monday, July 25, 2011
Springtide Resources
215 Spadina, Suite 220, Toronto, 6-8pm

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The Centre for Women and Trans People at York University Student Centre,
Room 322, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, 6-8pm

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The 519 Community Centre
519 Church Street, Meeting Room 204, Toronto, 6-8pm

Wednesday, August, 3, 2011
Scarborough Women’s Centre
2100 Ellesmere Road, Suite 245, Scarborough
Boardroom: 4-6pm

Friday, August 5, 2011
Springtide Resources
215 Spadina, Suite 220, Toronto, 2-4pm

A diverse group of women with DisAbilities who feel comfortable sharing 聽their experiences of violence and violence prevention on university or聽college are encouraged to participate.
Every effort will be made to meet the diverse needs of sister participants聽including disability accommodation, interpreter services, dietary and聽cultural considerations. All equity seeking groups will be valued in this聽work.

Unofficial tentative list of organizations whose funding has been cut or
ended by the Harper government, including government agencies that supported
civil society groups. *

*Organizations/ watchdogs whose staff have been fired, forced out,
publically maligned, or who have resigned in protest: *

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canada Firearms Program (Chief Supt. Marty Cheliak, Director
General)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Wheat Board (Adran Measner, President and CEO)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (Linda Keen, chair)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Foreign Affairs (Richard Colvin, diplomat)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Military Police Complaints Commission (head, Peter Tinsley)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian
Forces (Yves Cot茅)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Parliamentary Budget Officer (Kevin Page) (funding cut)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽RCMP Police Complaints Commission (Paul Kennedy, chair)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Rights & Democracy 聽(International Centre for Human Rights and
Democratic Development 鈥 R茅my Beauregard, President)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Statistics Canada (Munir Sheikh, Deputy Minister)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Veterans Ombudsman (Col. Pat Stogran)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Victims of Crime, Ombudsman (Steve Sullivan)

* Community organizations, NGOs and research bodies reported to have been
cut
or defunded*

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Action travail des femmes

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Afghan Association of Ontario, Canada Toronto

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Alberta Network of Immigrant Women

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Alternatives (Quebec)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Association f茅minine d鈥櫭ヾucation et d鈥檃ction sociale (AFEAS)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Bloor Information and Life Skills聽Centre

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Brampton Neighbourhood Services (Ontario)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Arab Federation

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Child Care Federation

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Council for International Cooperation

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Council on Learning

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Council on Social Development

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Heritage Centre for Research and Information on Canada

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian International Development Agency, Office of Democratic聽Governance

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Labour Business Centre

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canada Policy Research Networks

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canada School of Public Service

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian Teachers’ Federation International porgram

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Canadian 聽 Volunteerism 聽 Initiative

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Centre de documentation sur l鈥櫭ヾucation des adultes et la聽condition feminine

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA.)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (Toronto)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Specialink

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Climate Action Network

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Community Access Program, internet access for communities at聽libraries, post offices, community centers

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Community Action Resource Centre (CARC)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Conseil d鈥檌ntervention pour l鈥檃cc猫s des femmes au travail (CIAFT)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Court Challenges Program (except language rights cases and legacy聽cases)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC聽in December 2010).

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Democracy Council

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Department of Foreign Affairs, Democracy聽Unit

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in聽December 2010).

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Environment: Youth International Internship Program

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Eritrean Canadian Community Centre of Metropolitan Toronto聽(Funding cut by CIC in December 2010)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova聽Scotia

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Program

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Forum of Federations

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Global Environmental Monitoring System

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽HRD Adult Learning and Literacy programs

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽HRD Youth Employment Programs

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Hamilton鈥檚 Settlement and Integration Services Organization聽(Ontario)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Immigrant settlement programs

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services聽(Peel)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽International Planned Parenthood Federation

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Kairos

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Law Reform Commission of Canada

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Mada Al-Carmel Arab Centre

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Marie Stopes International, a maternal health agency — has聽received only 聽a promise of “conditional funding IF it avoids any & all聽connection with abortion.

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽MATCH International

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽National association of Women and the Law (NAWL)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Native Women鈥檚 Association of Canada

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Northwood Neighbourhood Services (Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in聽December 2010).

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Ontario Association of Transitional Housing (OAITH)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Pride Toronto

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽R茅seau des Tables r茅gionales de groupes de femmes du Qu茅bec

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Riverdale Women鈥檚 Centre in Toronto

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Sierra Club of BC

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Sisters in Spirit

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽South Asian Women鈥檚 Centre

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Status of Women (mandate also changed to exclude “gender equality聽and political justice” and to ban all advocacy, policy research and lobbying)

Tropicana Community Services

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Women鈥檚 Innovative Justice Initiative 鈥 Nova Scotia

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program

路 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽York-Weston Community Services Centre Toronto

Compiled primarily by Judith Szabo and by Pearl Eliadis for 鈥淰oices鈥, a
coalition of organizations and individuals 鈥渦nited in defence of democracy,
free speech and transparency in Canada鈥.