What is Fairness?

Fairness is equity. It is a state in which one is free from discrimination and injustice. Not everyone experiences fairness. For those who seek fairness, may not experience it in the same way. In Ellen Samuels essay, “My Body, My Closet: Invisible Disability and the Limits of Coming-Out Discussion,” she describes the discrimination and that nonvisible disabled individuals face on a daily basis. Coming to terms with “disability as a valid social identity,” (237) is certainly difficult, especially when the disability is not visible. The unfairness that derives from this situation reoccurs every time a disabled person must “construct a specific narrative explaining her body to a skeptical ignorant, and somewhat hostile audience” (238).  That is not fair. Fairness exists when an audience or a society does not discriminate against one’s abilities or disabilities, visible or invisible. A fair-minded society, moreover, is one in which a nonvisible disabled individual can live without having to “pass,” or show exterior signs of his or her disability (Samuels 240).

Samuels, Ellen. “My Body, My Closet: Invisible Disability and the Limits of Coming-Out Discourse.” Project Muse. (2003): 233-255. Print.

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