Beautyism as Ableist Eugenics… and the Mystique of “Choice Feminism” 

Introduction I recently came across this article on Vice.com asking filmmakers to “stop making hot actors play normal people.” The author indicts filmmakers for casting too few “normal” people. I think that this is a much-needed critique, but it lacks philosophical nuance, which I intend to provide here. My analysis will explore the harms of mainstream beauty […]

Nondisabled People Always Win the “Hunger Games” of Academic Publishing and Tenure

This year, only one department lists “disability studies” amongst its desired areas of specialization; namely, California Polytechnic State University’s AOS is “Technology Ethics, as related to Feminist Ethics and/or Disability Studies.” No department is looking for a specialist in critical disability theory or crip theory. Based on a keyword search, the word “disability” appears in […]

The Tragedy of Nondisability: A Sad and Boring Life

1. Introduction Philosophers tend to focus on the ‘tragedy of disability,’ the oppressions and exclusions faced by disabled people. There is good reason for this, inasmuch as disabled people must deal with systemic bullying, harassment, and discrimination. But if this is the only story that we tell about disability, then we are missing a big part of […]

Online Symposium on An Intersectional Feminist Theory of Moral Responsibility 

Readers of BIOPOLITICAL PHILOSOPHY may be interested in the online symposium of my book, An Intersectional Feminist Theory of Moral Responsibility. This week’s exchange between me and fellow disabled philosopher Sofia Jeppsson focuses on the relationship between responsibility, disability, and oppression. What follows is a brief summary of my book by Ryan Lake, followed by highlights of my conversation with […]

Academic Gatekeeping Is Killing Me

“In graduate school the classroom became a place I hated, yet a place where I struggled to claim and maintain the right to be an independent thinker. The university and the classroom began to feel more like a prison, a place of punishment and confinement rather than a place of promise and possibility” (bell hooks, Teaching […]

Philosophy Has a Body-shaming Problem

1. “Diet Culture is Unhealthy. It’s Also Immoral.” In a recent New York Times article, Kate Manne pointed out that philosophy has a body-shaming problem. She focused on fat-shaming, but one can extend her arguments to disability-shaming. Just as fat bodies are stigmatized, disciplined, and marginalized in philosophy, so are disabled bodies. Indeed, many of Manne’s claims […]

A Tale of Two Resiliences: The Emergence of Neoliberal Resilience and Radical Resilience

1. Neoliberal Resilience: A Genealogy Resilience is a popular but controversial and undertheorized concept. The best-known modern conceptualization of resilience emerged from child psychiatry and developmental psychology (John Bowlby’s 1960s attachment studies), but came to involve social psychology, counseling, clinical psychology, epidemiology, and other sciences (Vernon 2004). Still, there is no consensus on the definition […]

Children as an Oppressed Class

I am grateful for comments from Adam Kobler (a law professor) and Martine Shelley-Piccinini (an 11-year-old). Skip to the bottom for a summary of the main points, written for a general audience.  In this post, I’m going to argue that children are an oppressed class, in a position similar to 20th Century housewives, working mothers, and […]