“Do we need to make it look good?”: Form, function, and femininity for women with disabilities

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Book Chapter

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"This way," said the café hostess, leading through the maze of tables filled nearly to capacity with a boisterous lunch crowd. Meredith crutched awkwardly through the narrow spaces, still learning to balance following the surgery that had amputated her right leg several inches above the knee. She watched with interest as her companion Judy walked smoothly and without hesitation. They settled at a table against the wall and perused the menu.

A week earlier, Judy had introduced herself to Meredith in the waiting room of the dentist they shared. She remembered those first words: "I hate to be presumptuous, but my name's Judy, and I have been an amputee for more than 20 years. When I saw you come in, you still seemed pretty slow and deliberate on your crutches. If you don't mind me asking, was your amputation recent? Far from being offended, Meredith had been excited to meet another woman amputee - the vast majority of amputees are men - and had eagerly accepted Judith's invitation to meet for lunch today.

Chapter of

Gender actualized: Cases in communicatively constructing realities


E. Kirby
C. McBride

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