In “Loneliness And Its Opposite,” authors Kulick and Rydstrom observe how Denmark and Sweden, similar states in regards to welfare and attitudes, differ greatly in dealing with the sexuality of its disabled citizens. In Sweden, the sexuality of the disabled is viewed as a problematic issue, yet in Denmark, is considered a basic right. However, Denmark has very little diversity in race compared to the United States, and racial injustice plays no part in Kulick and Rydstrom studies. These divergent points of view highlight a social justice issue best addressed by Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach. This framework for justice drawls upon John Rawls’s theory of “justice as fairness,” yet expands the idea to include those with disabilities to “ensure fundamental human entitlements (for all)” (Kulick 277). This theory grants every individual the opportunity for pleasurable, safe sex and love.
Sexual norms are felt strongly in societies, but even more so, by those who differ from the dominant culture, including disabled individuals. In our society, sexual norms dictate that “‘Disability = helplessness’ which encourages people to associate disabled adults ...
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...en as unfit for mother hood but for very different reasons. Thousands of middle class white women who were unwed were “diagnosed as psychologically disturbed” and therefore, unfit to be mothers (Solinger 69). Identifying a women as ill, instead of holding her to the same social and political standards as other women, is simply unjust. Moreover, these descrepancies highlight Solinger’s declaration that a women should have the right to control her reproductive system, free from government interfernce, and, regardless of race or class.
Loneliness and Its Opposite, My Dangerous Desires and Beggars and Choosers examine the difficulties of embodied life. All three books demonstrate how normative powers shape embodied life. Whether it’s through bodily capacity norms, sexual norms, racial norms, sexuality norms, or class norms; all these norms are present and oppressive.
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