In this short video, Judith Butler explores the lived experience and some of the social and political dimensions of disability with Sanaura Taylor in a walk through the streets of San Francisco. During the walk they challenge the normative definition of the idea of walking and talk about how disability is often projected on to people by our stereotypical attitudes.
One of the things that really moved me was their discussion of the normality of obtaining help from people. This feeds into one of the growing critiques of Western culture – and we see it coming through really strongly in health care, particularly when funding cuts are being made – and that is that we should not be looking for autonomy and independence, but rather mutual support and community. At one point Butler comments that “maybe we have a false idea that the able-bodied person is self-sufficient.”
An interesting paper that looks at some of the complexities of autonomy in the context of physical illness is Dekkers, W. J. (2001). Autonomy and dependence: Chronic physical illness and decision-making capacity. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 4(2), 185-192.
Link courtesy of Thomas Abrams