BADD to the Boner.

30 Apr

Hardhat anyone?

I was reading a well-known author’s blog a few weeks ago.  The author had recently tweeted about having a miscarriage at work.  Sure there were the usual comments from the Netiquette Gestapo, and debate from the readers who felt that it’s a common life event and why not bring it out into discussion because it does impact both parties (well technically all three parties… just didn’t want to upset the folks who may happen onto this blog that are pro-life, at least not at this point in the discussion).

Then the discussion took one of the two turns that open-for-comments spaces can take on the internet these days.  No, silly, it didn’t turn into a debate sparked by someone making an out of place and rude comment about our President.  It turned into the Manic Merry Go Round of Abortion Debates.

As it turns out the author had spoken previously about health conditions and how it would be dangerous to carry a child.  It was also revealed that she had previous pregnancies that did not result in a live birth.

Then it was rapidly revealed that many pro-lifers commenting not only don’t believe in abortion to save the life of the mother, but that people with health conditions and disabilities who cannot safely carry a child should not be having sex in the first place (because blah blah blah abstinence is the only thing that is 100%, as our friend Rose Nyland found out on The Golden Girls when she sat on a public toilet by accident and worried and worried until those truly so-golden-they-shine-like-the-sun girlfriends of hers gave her a little modern (compared to current policy, the 80’s was modern) reproductive health lesson).

So disabled women (as clearly a disabled man would not be in the market for an abortion for his own person) should not have sex. Ever. Even within the constraints of holy matrimony. Oh and god doesn’t make mistakes, so a woman who has a pregnancy putting her life at risk, or having an extreme risk of making that woman unable to care for the child, should carry the child as close to term and then let the wonders of the NICU take over and if the woman really finally admits that she didn’t want the child to begin with and was just a nasty whore, then yay! Adoption! The cure to all conundrums!

Gag.

It’s disablism at it’s worse.  It’s all fine and good to teach kids about abstinence knowing they are going to go screw each other without protection, because Yay! Adoption!  But disabled people.  Ewwww. Disabled people don’t have sex.

I mean, how would we. Being all disabledy and all.

On a similar blog, someone said that if disabled folks who have been certified disabled, and receive benefits (to keep them from being more undesirable to society), can have sex they should be working. As what?  Hookers?  Temps so the Farmer’s Daughter can go on vaca?  What the fruck?!?!?

So here’s the deal folks.  Disabled people do have sex. And not just to gross out and confuse the heck out of non-disabled folks and make Google’s search trends that much more hilarious.

We have sex just like regular people. Well, depending on the disability there might be some modification involved.  Depending on the disability there is probably a little creativity involved.  And it’s not gross, it’s not obscene (well, that depends on the individual… we have as many microbrews of sexual adventure as regular folks), and it’s certainly not always for procreation.  It may even be for pleasure. GASP. Did I just say that? What if the world finds out? What if disabled people find out they can do things for pleasure? The demand on pleasure enhancing stuffs will make those stuffs skyrocket in price and send all of the normal-bodied folks to ebay and then everyone will know and Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh!  And any pro-lifer that insists they only have a screw with their one partner for procreation probably is pulling a Pinnochio (get it?  Has wood and tells lies? Bah dum dum tczhhhhh).

And it’s not just a gross out factor for some folks, it’s the whole Madonna-Whore thing, but in the way that they demand we be the Madonna, and they can’t comprehend that we could even function as a sex pot.  People with disabilities are often assumed to be kind, and sweet, and because we have lived through or with illness and/or injury and have all these challenges that haven’t killed us (yet) we could only be stronger and better and much more wise than able bodied folks… Occasionally we get all spicy and tell it like it is to teach an important lesson with street wise sass to the wholesome healthy cheerleader type who takes everything for granted on an afterschool special.

We are not that person.  We don’t fit that ideal (or most others, for that matter). We are regular people who remind able bodied folks that they could be in our shoes, chair, modified mortality rate group, or handicapped spot at the store.  Because we are, mostly, kind of boring like the rest of you.  Sorry to burst that bubble. Guess what else? We don’t want your money or pity.

It would be nice to be accepted.  It would be nice for people to accept us as human beings.  It would be nice for people to offer to help when we need it and then actually help when we do ask for it.  It would be pretty sweet if we could ask for accommodations that we need to do our jobs, to travel, to be a part of families and groups of friends, without being treated like a burden  or worse, having our differences outwardly ignored to the point of zero accommodation and being shut out of more parts of the world.  It would be great if asking for accommodation wouldn’t be one of the most stressful things ever for those of us that live with disabilities that are not obvious with a glance (I have scars! Anyone want to see the one on my back!  It looks like a foot long zipper on my human suit!).  It would be perfect if we could live in a world where we could be ourselves and not be held to different standards because of our disabilities.   I find that living with multiple disabilities is hard, parenting with multiple disabilities is challenging (not the parenting and raising an awesome kid part, but the physical challenges and managing with my level of fatigue and pain and no supports since before our son was born), but really the most daunting challenge I face is the shitty attitudes and stereotypes applied by able bodied folks.  And it isn’t just in workplaces, or on blog comments, it also exists in families.  Ablebodied folks don’t often believe that disablism exists in families, but it does. And it is the worst kind of disablism.  Many of us are happy to educate and I will forgive minor moments of ignorance (with stern correction, of course), out in the world.  But in the supposedly safe havens of our extended families, many of us folks that are living with disabilites (of all kinds) find that we are not quite tolerated in our own families if we require accommodation.  Sure it’s easier to ignore our differences, but ignoring them and ignoring our pleas for assistance (directed at folks that are supposed to love us and not judge us harshly and without explanation) destroys families more than an accident, or an illness, or a botched surgery.

So please, remember that we are people.  We have sex. We have children.  We have hearts and feelings.  Being disabled doesn’t make us saints, or sinners, it makes us human.  Treat us as such. And maybe we will pretend we don’t see you staring when you think we aren’t looking.  Because guess what? Some of us are smokin’ hot too.

xo

B
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PS. Some friends have heard the following comments when people realize they are not only disabled but also have pleasure-seeking sex.

Q: But how do you get an erection?
A: Um, I’m not paralyzed and I’m not a dude.

Q: It’s selfish of you to have a child, what if that child is born with one limb like you?
A: I lost my leg in an industrial accident, you were there when it happened… I wasn’t born this way… *head desk*

Note: I am participating in BADD: Blogging Against Disablism Day!  For more blog entries by some very talented people, please head over to Diary of a Goldfish

pps. I will be covering Disablism and the side effects of sex, mainly parenthood and women’s rights soon. Promise.

5 Responses to “BADD to the Boner.”

  1. Kelly May 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    This is fantastic. I mean, not fantastic in the “I’m glad people are raging dumbasses” way but fantastic in a “Preach it sister!” way. So … preach it sister!

  2. Overflowing Brain (Katie) May 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    YES.

    What I find to be equally odd is people who tell me I shouldn’t go on vacations. Like somehow it’s not a smart idea to try to relax somewhere besides my house because I have chronic pain. I don’t know.

    People amaze me. Just not always in a good way.

  3. Leopold October 2, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    I think it’s part of the general “disabled people aren’t people” meme. The brave, inspiring wheelchair user is a pet – cute, but not people. This triggers a “gross” reaction to the idea of disabled people having sex. And then there’s an extra layer of stupidity that doesn’t think “People thought a white man and a black woman having sex was gross but it’s not wrong, people thought two men having sex was gross but it’s not wrong, why is my leap from ‘ gross’ to ‘wrong’ valid?”.

    I have to correct this, though: “clearly a disabled man would not be in the market for an abortion for his own person”. A disabled cis man wouldn’t, but some men can and do get pregnant, e.g. Thomas Beatie (admittedly a wanted child, but unwanted pregnancies just aren’t publicized).

    • Bek January 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

      Thank you for your post, Leopold.
      The argument about Thomas Beatie though doesn’t quite work as he is legally a man, he is female-to-male transgender and still had, at the time of conception and carrying his two pregnancies, the ovaries and uterus from the body he was born with, which makes him, I believe, biologically female in regards to reproduction, even though to carry the pregnancies hormone therapies had to be changed and even though his identity and most of his characteristics are male… In reading the page on wikipedia I found it interesting that, theoretically, a biologically complete male (non-transgendered) could carry a fetus in their body, without a uterus, however it would more likely than not prove deadly to the host and possibly the fetus… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_pregnancy

      I guess he could, theoretically, seek out an abortion, but I don’t know that I would consider the abortion or any gynecological or obstetric procedure on a trans male as a procedure done on a man, as the organs in question are undoubtedly female….

      Interesting to think about though, I can’t imagine all of the nuances of life and how to use the various gender associated words gracefully when juggling both genders. I’m sure it comes more naturally for someone who has been living as a transgender individual, but I imagine that when making a doctors appointment with a new doctor it could become a game of Who’s on First of sorts.

  4. Sophie Ddg May 4, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Bek, I love you.

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