Love’s labours lost? Feminism, the disabled people’s movement and an ethic of care

Bill Hughes, Linda McKie, Debra Hopkins, Nick Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Disabled People’s Movement (DPM) and the Feminist Movement appeal to incompatible meanings of ‘care’. For the DPM the word ‘care’ is to be resisted. The emotional connotations implicit in the concept and experience of care inhibit the emancipatory project for independence and self-determination. Feminist theorists value the concept of care, and the emotional aspect of ‘caring about’ in ‘caring for’. Given that independence can be interpreted as an ideological distortion of ‘malestream’ public policy, feminists argue that it should be replaced by the concept of interdependence. Furthermore, feminists express concern that the DPM’s pragmatic solution to the problem of ‘care’ is a form of discursive alignment with ‘malestream’ public policy that constitutes both disabled people and women as ‘other’ subjects of modern welfare state economies.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005



  • disabled people's movement
  • care
  • feminism

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