Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability

Accessing Rhetoric

Even though Crip Theorywas published before Disability Theory, it was really useful for me to read them in the reverse order. It helped to read some strictly disability theory prior to diving into how it intersects with queer theory, which is admittedly not my field. My reading of this book was also aided by McRuer’s ability to relate complex theory to popular media and political events and to very clearly define the different concepts and theories he introduces.

Crip Theory begins from the observation that though queer theory and disability often intersect and are interconnected, the connections between heterosexuality and able-bodied identity have been overlooked (1). This is just the beginning of a book-length discussion of compulsory able-bodiedness. This system, which produces disability (because, as he explains, the introduction of the “normalcy” of able-bodiedness creates compulsion), is similar to the way the system of compulsory heterosexuality produces…

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