Wheelchair Dancer kicks off the discussion with her commentary on an Observer piece. She's conflicted:
On the one hand, I think it is important for PWD to be recognised as fully sexual beings. Ellen Stohl accomplished some of this work when she appeared in Playboy in 1987. And wasn't there a fuss! From the disability community -- everything from exploitation to not enough wheelchair -- and from those who oppose porn on principle. On the other hand, while I usually maintain a fairly sex positive attitude and I can understand, even sympathize with the arguments that interpret sex work as a positive choice for some women, I know that sex work is not always positive, that the viewer cannot tell from looking at the image, and that in every day life not every sex worker's rights are protected.
She's also concerned about something I've never thought much about before:
The disability perspective is what bugs me: journalism like this and perhaps even the film itself provides fodder for a rather large community of wheelchair pretenders and wheelchair fetishizers.
This brings us to Blue, at The Gimp Parade. She is also conflicted:
I remember being conflicted about Ellen Stohl 20 years ago too. Of course, porn is an extreme example but I'm skeptical when disabled women stoop to objectifying themselves anywhere in order to participate fully in society as females...
From bookgirlwa, Women, sex and disablity - a triple taboo:
From the Accra Daily Mail comes this article on attitudes towards sexuality and women with disabilities in African countries. Most of these attitudes and discriminatory behaviours are common to women with disabilities in every country in the world, though. And even though as a woman with a disability and an advocate and activist none of this is surprising to me, it still stabs me in the guts to be reminded yet again how horrifically we are treated, how little we are valued, because we are women and because we have disabilities.
Some times it feels like Iâ€™m bailing out a sinking ship with a teaspoon trying to combat these sorts of attitudes. :-(
Here's a little bonus link; sex positive, disabled positive, Bent, where disability and queerness meet head on (for gay men)...
BENTdiscriminates. It's by and for cripgay men.
Men who stand in solidarity with disabled women, but who believe that the "problem" of sex, as part of the problem of our larger selves, is too difficult a challenge to confuse with gender politics. At least right nowâ€”in a culture that insists on playing up differences in order to divide us.
But discrimination does not imply parochialism. Not every BENT feature will be written by a man who is disabled and gay.
Writers of different identities and allegiancesâ€”women, straight writers, non-disabled writers, transgendered cripsâ€”may have important things to say to us. When they do, you'll find that there's space for their ideas here.
Let's talk about this - PWD and porn, PWD and sex. How do you feel? What do you think? I bet you have questions to ask.
Image Credit: Healthy NJ