Ironically on the day I’ve chosen to write this post, my iron levels feel low and I’m overall exhausted and experiencing chronic pain. But I’ve decided to try to push through and even if I keep this short and sweet, hopefully, I would have given you something to think about.
There are so many big issues for us to be concerned about in the Caribbean that I think we often forget about the difficulties disabled women experience within our culture. I think about the women who experience “hidden” illnesses like fibromyalgia — a chronic illness I only learned about a couple years ago despite the fact that it has an impact on so many women. I think about the women who experience physical disabilities, blindness, deafness and all these other things that change one’s experiences in the Caribbean.
Our countries tend to have little support for any disabilities and there are unique challenges that every woman faces when she is not able-bodied. I’m not an expert on any of these issues by any means and the challenges that I face are not the challenges of others. I’m quite privileged. However, we need to ensure that a Caribbean feminist movement is not centered around able-bodied people and their experiences. Currently, I’m not sure that this is the case.
Those of us who are able-bodied and neurotypical should extend an empathetic and listening ear to the women who do not share our experiences and realize that a movement that isn’t for all women, isn’t for women at all.