Guest Blogger: Link Love

by Laura

I asked PBW for the chance to tell you about a blog I’ve been really enjoying reading. Disability Studies, Temple U has been doing a series on disability and N. American politics. They have two great pieces up about suffragettes and disability that some may not know anything about:

  1. Victoria Woodhull, the first female candidate for president, who ran with VP Fredrick Douglass, was both a eugenicist and the mother of a differently-abled son who she took campaigning with her.
  2. Jane Adams – who did not run but was an important feminist and suffragette was differently-abled and managed to do considerable community organizing throughout her adult life

These posts remind us that women’s issues and disability issues have been a part of American politics from the founding of the nation and that we have had both presidential candidates and president’s with disabilities before. It is an important counter-narrative to Palin as somehow unique in her discussion or desire to focus on disability issues.

I also think that the language Woodhull and her contemporaries use to describe her son echo a more modern day version of embracing one’s differently-abled child as “overly special” or a “special burden” or any other language that consistently draws attention to difference.

FYI – the blog does more than American politics but I thought this was timely and fitting with the discussions that are going on here lately. 😀


2 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Link Love

  1. Glad you liked them! It just happens that Addams and Woodhull were both born in early September, giving me an excuse to put their stories back-to-back in a week that seemed like it needed them. Some past posts on the suffrage movement, Woodhull, and Addams at our blog:

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