take it out! throw it away!
steal it if you have to…
don’t you know this is what she wants?
(because i can read her mind)
that girl in america
ashley was her name
doesn’t our little katie deserve the same?
cause she’ll never be a woman
she’ll never need a period
isn’t that’s all women are anyways,
sweet motherly baby-making machines?
we do this to her because we love her
we want to keep her close
what happens when she gets older
tell me, where will she go?
you raise a good point, mother
that is a true concern
but is that all she is– an appliance that doesn’t work any more?
the issue is with society who would rather institutionalize katie
or force people to provide free care until she winds up mutilated, abused, murdered…
with adequate supports, katie could be free
instead you condemn disabled people
making us the burden, the enemy,
i think you folks do this to take your mind off of things like ableism, sexism, racism, classism,
the fact that this wouldn’t be an issue if she was a boy,
and the reality that women still don’t have ownership over their body
katie is not the problem.
i’m not the problem.
could it be you?

it’s so frusterating to read “big” FEMINIST blogs and see them casually complating whether disabled women should have rights to their body…. isn’t this a basic element of feminism?? how can you discuss the value of our life so passively? why isn’t the Katie case making your blood boil? it’s been a really long process for me to identify as a Feminist and it’s because of shit like this.


Filed under ableism, abolishing medical and charity models of thinking, disability, writing/poetry

8 responses to “katie

  1. Ryan aka your biggest fan

    I love how you have summed up the many complicated layers of injustice in your poem.
    This Katie debate is anti-woman and anti-disability. Its essentially saying that mutilating her would be saving her from the burden of womanhood since the burden of disability is already too much. As a feminist and disability activist by blood IS boiling.

  2. Yeah, I’m afraid I got nasty after the “crippled” remark. I don’t think the word “faggot” or the n-word would have made it through moderation.

    Obviously, different standards for different people.

  3. Lisa Harney

    As a feminist, this stuff really frustrates me. You can see feminists outline oppression and privilege, describe how they work in relation to her experiences, and then turn around and be completely oblivious to their own able-bodied, white, cisgendered, economic privilege and what that means in relation to women who lack any of those privileges.

    Yes, it boils my blood too.

  4. i was shocked to see those blogs covering it at all. to my knowledge no mainstream feminist organization spoke out about ashley x, and i only recall reading about her in the disabled and women of color blogospheres (not the mainstream white feminist -sphere).

    the question “how can you look at the way these girls are being treated and NOT see a feminist issue?” should provoke these narrow-minded feminists into asking themselves some serious questions about what they really think of people with disabilities…but unfortunately they have the luxury of refusing to do that basic self-examination.

  5. mic

    good question. really good question.

  6. i hear you on the feminist thing, but keep in mind that feminism has many definitions. make your own! one that will makes us proud to use the word.

    thanks for this info. hadn’t seen it elsewhere.

  7. Andrea Smith

    I think it’s important to keep in mind the pro-choice versus pro-life framework that defines much of “feminist” analysis on these issues was actually the result of groups like Narral and Planned Parenthood consciously choosing to reject a feminist framework in favor of a libertarian one. Individuals should have the right to “choose” to do what they want. Thus it’s not a surprise that we end up with a white supremacist, ableist, pro-capitalist response to issues like these from such groups because they all look at individual lifestyle choices without a larger analysis of the conditions under which so-called choices arise.

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