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women and sn/disability

(21 Posts)
sparky246 Thu 30-Jun-11 21:02:58

im not sure how to word this-so please bare with me.
ok-from a feminist point of view-how do you see youre "role"as a woman regarding sn/disability regarding looking after others/having sn/disability youreselfes?[if this is relivent]
and for those who it is not relivent but are involved proffessionally-
how do you see youre role from a feminist point of view?

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 30-Jun-11 21:09:14

what do you mean?

my son has SN. i dont see myself as anything other than me, i did whatever i had to do to ensure his needs were met. i never analysed this from a feminist point of view....i did and do what i had to do because i love my son.

can you explain what it is youre after exactly? because im not sure i understand the question.

sparky246 Thu 30-Jun-11 22:07:39

sorry Vicarinatutu-ill try and explain again.
ok-we live in a partriarchic society.
this impacts in how we are as women and sometimes as women with dc with sn/disability[how we are seen by others sometimes/the fighting we have to do]
as a woman with disability/conditions i know im seen as "less of a woman"by others often.
people are often shocked if i say something like"i "fancy"her"-
because disability can mean-sexuelly dead-by others.
as a woman with a disability im often "invisable"in many other ways.
i was also asking the question to the proffessionals as since we live in a partriartric society-how does this impact on you as a feminist in youre job?
eg-if you try to "stick up for women"are you shut up?

Goblinchild Thu 30-Jun-11 22:19:52

Those without first-hand experience of having, or living with a disability are often disconcerted by the idea of a person having a sexual identity, or being challenging in other ways.
Many are happy with the idea of a person with a disability being someone to pity, or as something to gawp at in horrified fascination. Anything more complicated taxes their brains and frightens or offends them.
Rather in the way that some prefer women in clearly-defined and understandable categories, and panic when they step out of the whore/wife/elderly/child box.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 30-Jun-11 22:29:12

oh i see....

....i turn into a bit of a tigress where my kids are concerned.
dh is the quieter one in our partnership. i guess our roles are not defined.

DS has special needs but is still very much a young every sense!
i have no experience of women with SN....
but i have never fit particular "role profiles" as such....i am quite "girly" but in a very male dominated profession....i tend not to think in terms of what others think i should be. i am just me!

Goblinchild Thu 30-Jun-11 22:58:51

It is a bit of a muddled question TBH, how can you answer it as a mother of a child who may be either a boy or a girl?
Are you only thinking of females with a disability and discounting the males?
As Vicar said, you care as a human being, relating to another human being. How does that link to your views on being a feminist OP?

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 01-Jul-11 00:04:45

oooo fancy seeing you here goblin! grin

snowmama Fri 01-Jul-11 08:05:01

I am not sure it is that muddled question, I hear it as a question about how women with en/disability treated, how is it recognised that they have needs including sexual needs...indeed is it recognised and addressed at all? We have heard of men with disability having sexual needs being institutionally catered are women treated or are they simply invisible in this context?

Sparky shout if I have misrepresented your thoughts at all.

snowmama Fri 01-Jul-11 08:05:42

en = en ....sorry

sparky246 Fri 01-Jul-11 10:03:32

yes-thankyou very much Snowmama-this is partly exactly it.
im failing miserably trying to explain what i mean but i shall keep on trying.
ok-apart from what youve just said-also-
how we are seen as women[less of a woman]
how we are not heard or listened to.
disability is not the worse thing in the world-in fact i feel there is good aspects of having a disability-this is not seen but if you try and express this you are seen as "putting youre head in the sand/denying youre disability]
if you are a woman with a child with sn-you are often not heard/listened to-
if you put youre foot down/pull others up-you are then seen as "troublesome"
if you get upset and frustrated with the "system"you are then seen as "depressed or not well"and then youre parenting is questioned!!
if you try and fight "too much"-you could find youreself with a label of "muncheusens"!![so sometimes women are afraid to say too much]
i feel that as a parent with a dc with sn-i have less "rights"as a parent than others-as a woman with a disability and a parent-i feel i have even more less "rights"-than others.
i feel it is a partriarchic system and it keeps us down.
on one hand we are not heard/listened to-on the other hand its a bit like"big brothers watching us"!!
having a disability/conditions and having a dc with sn is not a big problem but being in a partriarchic system is-its been the bane of my life.
or to put it another way-fuck youre luck if you are a woman with a disability or a parent of a child with sn[or both]-in our system!!
the system also coulours the way others see us!!

AliceWhirledSupportsTheStrike Fri 01-Jul-11 11:26:53

I get you Sparky, I think.

Disabled women getting the double whammy of disability and being a woman?
And patriarchy using their disability as a way of shutting them up? Bit like the mental health thread, where if women don't do as they're told they're given a medical condition? And in this case they might also use the thread of your children?
And rather than listening to what you have to say, people pat you on the head and say 'there, there. Must be really hard for you'?

Am I on the right lines?

(I feel like the question marks look like an interrogation! They're so I'm not putting the wrong words in your mouth Sparky)

sparky246 Fri 01-Jul-11 11:40:58

yep-thankyou Alice.
you are very on the right lines.

Riveninside Fri 01-Jul-11 15:19:41

I am disabled and have a disabled chikd. The only time i have really thought about it in feminist terms is when i cannot join the city's feminist group as they meet down stairs i. An inaccessible venue and u til recently were not up for dialogue about this.
I often feel non disabled feminists dont acknowledge their privilage and leave disabled women out of the picture. The Green movement is just as bad.

Peachy Fri 01-Jul-11 15:25:05

WRt to the sexual needs this is something increasingly being addressed I think, but only becuase of people shouting about it.

The issue I personally struggle with is people who think by becoming a carer I have signed up to some invisiable female apct, more so as I am gobby about the boy's needs and lack of provision.

Now with the labelling thing I can see what you mean but it doesn;t seem to work like that, more the oppsoite: as well as being a parent my field is ASD and females seem to be massively under diagnosed. More likely that they get picked up later on when they develop an eating disorder or depression. it's being addressed but as a similar piucture seems to exist in the USA with black kids I am fascinated by it.

Peachy Fri 01-Jul-11 15:26:13

Oh and yes agree with Riven.

And wopuld wish to quote a femnist who once told me my severely autistic son ahd it easy as at elast he wasn't a female. I mean, he will spend his life being cared for and open to abuse without the ability to say anything: wtf?

Riveninside Fri 01-Jul-11 15:27:52

Feminists are not immune from disablism, prejudice and ignorant thoughts about disability.

Peachy Fri 01-Jul-11 15:36:54

So very true again.

Which is why I prefer to be an egalitarian. Becuase I recognise many forms of discrimnation exist, and do not want to only address one.

tethersend Fri 01-Jul-11 15:44:09

I think this is a very interesting topic.

On the more SLD end of the spectrum, many people (professionals included) believe unquestioningly that people with severe learning difficulties/ASD, particularly women, should be sterilised as they could not cope with a baby.

Non-verbal women (and men) are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, and this is often cited as a justification for sterilisation. I have an issue with this for two reasons:

1. It seems to accept that sexual abuse is part and parcel of the life of a person with SLD, and leaves that unchallenged.

2. It assumes that people with SLD's only sexual relationship will be exploitative.

Very little research has been done into ways of bringing up children when you have SLD, the kinds of support you may need etc.

The notion that people with SLD may be capable of healthy sexual relationships, with or without procreation still seems unacceptable, and needs to be challenged IMO.

There was a case recently where the parents of a very severely disabled girl stopped her menstruating (through drugs?) as she had hit puberty early. I can't remember the details, but will look. I can see both sides of the argument, but think that it is an issue which should be explored from a feminist perspective.

tethersend Fri 01-Jul-11 15:46:08

"Very little research has been done into ways of bringing up children when you have SLD, the kinds of support you may need etc. "

This is a nonsense, I mean that this rarely happens in practice, not research.

Peachy Fri 01-Jul-11 15:53:15

Many years ago now (20 almost) I worked in a unit for young people (they weren;t, nowhere to move them to,, stayed until 60's) with LD and we ahd a young man with PD placedwith us. He had no LD but could not communicate using speech.

The unit did strerling work with him on sexuality: there's a fair amount acknowledged, esp. with people who acquire their PD later on in life.

Gradually the university is starting to talk about LD too; I know that there was a related workshop at the international ASD conference last week. I just hope they speed up and use the information.

sparky246 Fri 01-Jul-11 21:40:17

i hear what youre saying-but dont you feel that the "plight"of carers is a feminist issue?
im sorry youve had this experiance-ive been more fortunate-my localish feminist group has asked me if they can be of help getting me there.
Peachy-[my field is asd.........]can i ask you please?what do you mean by this?

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