Friday Musings About the Exclusions of Feminist Philosophers

BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY blogger Élaina Gauthier-Mamaril posted a few Twitter threads a couple of days ago that highlight some of the detrimental statements and assumptions that Elizabeth Barnes makes in The Minority Body, including a thread that draws attention to (as I point out in Foucault and Feminist Philosophy of Disability) the way that Barnes draws a distinction between “physical disability” and “cognitive and mental disability” in order to exclude the latter from the theory that she advances in the book. For Barnes, as Gauthier-Mamaril points out, the people who “have” the latter do not provide “reliable testimony” and thus it would be too complicated to articulate a philosophy of disability that encompasses them. You can find one of Gauthier-Mamaril’s threads here.

Gauthier-Mamaril’s discussions of Barnes’s book got me thinking about the unsatisfactory attention paid to disability and ableism on the Feminist Philosophers blog where Barnes posted under the pseudonym of magicalersatz; which got me thinking about how disabled feminist philosophers and theorists who raised objections in comments on the FP blog—about (for instance) Barnes’s claims with respect to disability or the ableist language used and permitted on that blog—were either attacked or blocked; which got me thinking about how the introduction to Jennifer Saul’s forthcoming book contains ableism and ableist language; which got me thinking about how neither Saul, nor Carrie Jenkins, nor Samantha Brennan seems inclined to respond to my call for accountability with respect to their lack of tangible support for disabled (feminist) philosophers; which got me thinking about how so many men in philosophy showed political and professional accountability when they were called out in the Gendered Conference Campaign on the FP blog for organizing conferences of (white) men; which got me thinking about the ableist and racist motivational assumptions of the GC Campaign; which got me thinking again about how analytic feminist philosophers have venerated gender in their conceptions of feminism (for instance, this); and have thus kept feminist philosophy white and nondisabled since they (invariably and often without warrant) get the jobs and are published in high-profile journals and other prestigious venues.

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