Feminist Discourses of Sexual Citizenship: Creating Spaces for Women with Intellectual Disabilities
Moras, Rebekah J.
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Feminism is essentially a movement of social justice for all women. However, women with disabilities in general, and women with intellectual disabilities (ID) in particular, are often invisible in feminist discourses. Traditionally, women and many other minority groups, including women with disabilities, have been excluded from citizenship and sexual citizenship. This thesis examines the invisibility of women with ID in third wave feminist textual citizenship and sexual citizenship discourses, and explores ways of creating spaces for women with ID within such discourses. This research uses a critical discourse analysis methodology to examine key arguments made by third wave western feminist theorists around citizenship, sexual citizenship and “rape culture”. Specifically, this thesis explores themes such as: the deconstruction of the public/private divide; the challenging of the independence/dependence and equality/difference binaries; the privileging of wage work over care work; and feminist alternatives to traditional notions of universal citizenship. Additionally, themes of “rape culture” in third wave feminist anthologies are examined, including: sexual violence; the commodity model of sex; sex negativity; victim blaming; sexual consent capacity; and problematizing an emphasis on sexual vulnerability. While largely invisible in the works examined, this thesis attempts to situate women with ID as citizens and sexual citizens within third wave feminist discourse. This research proposes the support of women with ID as citizens and sexual citizens via individualized, comprehensive, and life long sexuality education that incorporates feminist awareness of gendered oppression and an emphasis on sexual self-advocacy.
third wave feminism