Oi feminism, don’t tell me how to have sex and where’s the accessible toilet?
I’m afraid of losing my famous sharp humour whilst trying to get academically serious to understand what is the deal with feminism and sex these days? Usually I go with appropriately sexualised humour and near enough academic perspectives. This time I felt it’s kind of too important, so I went for trying to properly research it. Oh my gosh these academic words, this is way worse than my GP, when I was trying to talk to her about sex she said ‘well don’t worry, you can’t shock me, I’ve heard it all’ so I said ‘yeah but I haven’t said it all!’
I was a bit shy, medically desperate but cheeky and full of my own importance so we got by!
Staying true to my insouciance and starting with some tales of the medical model and my some would say inappropriate, level of linguistic charm with my gp here we go..
In advising me on sexual practices to stay healthy in a changing body, how does she know which lube is the best or which latex gloves? Hmm..
Let’s start with a bit of othering, what am I feminism? The disabled, person with a disability, disabled person, long term disabled, sick, chronologically challenged? dying? well we’re all dying for fucks sake! I don’t know, lately I think I’m a person with a disability, and for speed, disabled. Describing the full range of my intersectionalities, which I’m not sure I’m allowed, because I am not black and it was a black women who first named the term specifically in the context of oppression of people of colour, as a northern minority world white person, do I have to linguistically watch my step?
I am economically impoverished, dependant on the state, born in Wales, raised in Yorkshire by a middle class mother who was herself born in Wales, but if you are middle class that sort of doesn’t count. And my father, well if you see him you could ask him because I’m not sure, he did run away to sea at 16 to escape a violent father but the rest is another story..
Anyway back to the issue at hand.
I’m one of those butch dykes who battled patriarchy to the point of being allowed to study woodwork and not wear a skirt to school in my teens. I skimmed my mother’s ‘Spare Rib’ had a decade of political activism once I hit 25 and ‘came out’ to become the stunning butch dyke I am now, and then we all thought it would be getting better.
Well I’m not speaking about the bigger picture of how feminism is getting on with ‘smashing the patriarchy’ but in my 30’s I was diagnosed with a shitty disease so here I am in my 50’s, a lesbian with a disability.
It has been bumpy coming to terms with the lived experience of personal change which means there is loads I can’t do any more. Physically the world is the disabling factor, along with able-bodied people’s attitudes, assumptions, fears and ignorance. I did used to think it’s ok feminism has got my back, but the thing is, it hasn’t.