chapter  5
19 Pages

Disabled women’s narratives

ByTulasi Acharya

This chapter examines the writings of five disabled women authors from Nepal: Radhika Dahal, Jhamak Ghimire, Sabitri Karki, Parijaat (Bishnu Kumari Waiba), and Mira Sahi. In this chapter, main themes and common themes are generated through the narratives of disabled women using NVivo software. The disabled writers are introduced with their backgrounds and the contexts in which they wrote about their bodies. Their autobiographical writings are analyzed using critical sexual theory and postcolonial studies frameworks and reflected how their writings dispel the idea that disabled people are asexual and therefore not fit for sex or marriage. This chapter discusses love, life, sex, and motherhood, among others, as these are the common themes of the narratives. Text from some of the writers’ autobiographies and poems that dispel the perception that women with disabilities are asexual is also included. The chapter discovers that narratives confront Foucault’s (1990) biopower by challenging the social and cultural disciplinary discourse that tends to put its power over the bodies of women with disabilities. These narratives also deconstruct a social understanding of disabled women’s abilities and explore some of the societal injustices they face. The chapter defines three dominant themes in assessing the narratives of disabled women: 1) the medical gaze on disabled bodies, 2) desire for love and marriage, and 3) gendered and sexist culture.