Super and eloquent post.
That story of fruitlessly seeking employment is SO the experience of so many disabled women. It is a collective shame for all of the employers/ people on interview panels/recruitment consultants who continue to shut talented and keen disabled women out. It is their responsibility that they discriminate, but that doesn't take away from the way we experience the toxicity of what they do.
One of the most hurtful things said to me by a dear friend, who even when I explained why it was hurtful still didn't get it, was "oh just imagine what you could be capable of if you weren't sick". I do. All the fucking time. And then try my best to appreciate all the things I can do and that I've shaped a meaningful life within those limits. And remind myself that everything and everyone in the universe has limits. I am also immensely grateful to two woman who value me for what I'm able to do and have allowed me to carve out a career that has kept me meaningfully employed through good times and bad. I do my best to pay that forward.
How great would it be to have more women with disabilities working with youth, mentoring them, making it known that we can help each other?
How great? Very great. Sharing this one.
Discrimination is much more tricksy these days than it ever was. People have learnt that it is not ok to discriminate, so they are much more clever about it. Now, we all know it’s happening but it is done behind closed doors and out of earshot of anyone who might be able to corroborate our stories and experiences.
God, it lightens my day to read words like this. Cool breeze of truth.
Thank you Chelle.
I’ve been on the other end of a phone call from a woman who wanted to give me a job in the intersecting disability and education sectors. She had to explain to me that the two men on a panel of three had decided to award the job to a young able-bodied white man who personified exactly the person I had fantasised myself as being when I was a child. She offered congratulations and implied that it was progress that I had got so far.
Seems trite to say that it's their loss Chelle...but it is.
Thank you for this, Chelle. I hope you do not need to write the same post in 2027. I do hope there will be some progress before then.