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Don't Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back


Don't Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

 For psychotherapist, painter, feminist, filmmaker, writer, and disability activist Harilyn Rousso, hearing well-intentioned people tell her, "You're so inspirational!" is patronizing, not complimentary.In her empowering and at times confrontational memoir, Don't Call Me Inspirational, Rousso, who has cerebral palsy, describes overcoming the prejudice against disability--not overcoming disability. She addresses the often absurd and ignorant attitudes of strangers, friends, and family. 

Rousso also examines her own prejudice toward her disabled body, and portrays the healing effects of intimacy and creativity, as well as her involvement with the disability rights community. She intimately reveals herself with honesty and humor and measures her personal growth as she goes from "passing" to embracing and claiming her disability as a source of pride, positive identity, and rebellion. 

A collage of images about her life, rather than a formal portrait, Don't Call Me Inspirational celebrates Rousso's wise, witty, productive, outrageous life, disability and all.


A disabled woman confronts body image, sexuality, bias, discrimination, and condescension as she fashions an independent and fulfilling life

About the Author

Harilyn Rousso is a disability activist, feminist, psychotherapist, writer, and painter. She is the President of Disabilities Unlimited Consulting Services, founder of the Networking Project for Disabled Women and Girls, coeditor of Double Jeopardy: Addressing Gender Equity in Special Education and author of Disabled, Female and Proud!

Table of Contents




I  Close Encounters with the Clueless

1 Who’s Harilyn?

2 Birth, Mine

3 Close Encounters with the Clueless

4 The Beggar and the Cripple

5 The Stare

6 Always the Other

7 Why I am Not Inspirational

8 Home

II On Leaving Home

9 Wedding Day, 1933

10 Dancing

11 Exploding Beans

12 My Sister

13 Adolescent Conversation

14 On Leaving Home

15 Hideous Shoes

16 Driving High

17 Eli

18 My Father, Myself

19 Driving away from Home

III On Not Looking in the Mirror

20 Walk Straight!

21 On Not Looking in the Mirror

22 Facing My Face

23 Meditations on Speech and Silence

24 Daring Digits

25 Right-Hand Painting

26 Being Only One: Some Meditations on Solitude

IV What's a Woman?

27 What’s a Woman?

28 He Was the One

29 Blank Page

30 Buying the Wedding Dress

31 First Date

32 First Night

33 Mixed Couple

34 Sylvester

35 Faces of Eve

36 Tough Bird

37 Hand in Hand

V Why Claim Disability?

38 Finding My Way

39 Keeping the Distance

40 That “Inspirational” Label

41 Token of Approval

42 Disabled Women’s Community

43 The Story of Betty, Revisited

44 Listening to Myself

45 Activist Sisters

46 Toilet Troubles

47 My Mentoring Project

48 Why Claim Disability?

49 Broken Silences

50 Eulogy for My Nondisabled Self

51 Eulogy for My Freakish Self

52 Ode to My Disabled Self

Product Details

Rousso, Harilyn
Temple University Press
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
9 x 5.25 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Women
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Disability
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Body Image

Don't Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back New Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Temple University Press - English 9781439909379 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A disabled woman confronts body image, sexuality, bias, discrimination, and condescension as she fashions an independent and fulfilling life

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