Ableism is the most important identity marker.

Without Ritual, Autonomous Negotiations

At least once each semester, I’ll usually ask my students at some point, “What is the most important identity factor? You have to narrow it down to one thing.”

They’ll usually say race, gender, class, or something similar. These are all good answers. As they give their answer and justify it, I’ll challenge what they say by saying, “What about….”, regardless of what they say. They also resist this becase we put so much emphasis on intersectionality. 

This semester when we were discussing this question in my Queer Studies class–within the context of a lesson about masculinity, gender, and sexuality as described here–this time I found myself spontaneously saying, “What about ableism?!”

My interests have specifically grown to include ableism lately, and I have several such projects in-progress. I probably would have been interested soon given my own medical experiences, but I didn’t really know about the field…

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