Good Kings Bad Kings By Susan Nussbaum

1245 Words5 Pages
Women with disabilities are seldom represented in popular culture. Movies, television shows ,and novels that attempt to represent people within the disability community fall short because people that are not disabled are writing the stories. Susan Nussbaum has a disability. She advocates for people with disabilities and writes stories about characters with disabilities . She works to debunk some of the stereotypes about women with disabilities in popular culture. Women with disabilities are stereotyped as being sexually undesirable individuals , that are not capable of living normal lives, that can only be burdens to mainstream society, and often sacrifice themselves.Through examining different female characters with disabilities, Nussbaum 's novel Good Kings Bad Kings illustrates how the stereotypes in popular culture about women with disabilities are not true. Popular culture does not showcase the intimate lives of people with disabilities because society does not acknowledge that people with disabilities can participate in sexual activities. Nussbaum explores this common misconception in her novel, through the characters of Yessenia Lopez.and Joanne Madsen.Yessenia seems more comfortable with her sexauality than most teenagers with disabilities.She starts an online relationship with a guy that she has never met before. At the end of the novel she chooses to give up her virginity to him after she has her first sexual encounter she states, “{t}hank Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I am not a virgin no more”(Nussbaum,260).The fact that Yessenia chooses to lose her virginity demonstrates that women with disabilities can make choices about their sexuality . Nussbaum 's character Joanne seems more reluctant to explore ... ... middle of paper ... ...d to write about women with disabilities. She states, ...it 's about letting the disabled characters speak for themselves” (298). Nussbaum’s female characters reflect the strength of women with disabilities instead of focusing on their disabilities. Most of the the stories that pop culture produces about women with disabilities do not showcase the lives of actual women with disabilities. I think that Nussbaum’s novel, Good Kings Bad Kings mocks some of the stereotypes about women with disabilities. popular culture does not show how women with disabilities be sexually desirable, independent, and self sufficient. Women with disabilities live full and complicated lives. Both Yessenia and Joanne illustrate how women with disabilities are not like how popular culture portrays them. Nussbaum novel, portrays women with disabilities as they are in real life.

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