Sexual Harassment and Disability A post inspired by Girl on the Net

The first thing I want to say is that her experiences are very valid and she has all my empathy. None of what I have to say is meant to minimise or invalidate her post. In fact, it is what inspired me. I am so happy that she wrote what she did because when I read it, it reminded me of experiences I have had like she has but slightly different.

Sexism is probably sometimes there but I have trouble recognising it unless it’s really blatent. usually, it will be either about my weight or my disability.

The number of times when I have had to go, been busy, and people have either grabbed me, talked to me when I was concentrating, tried to make me their teachable moment when all I wanted to do was to get to where I had to go. The scarier thing for me though is when it’s disability based.

I kid you not, I’ve experienced two taxi drivers who knew that I was under their power and they sexually harassed me while I was in their taxis. Yes it was sexual but it was also about being disabled and unable to leave the taxi. This was before the taxis had apps or even Braille numbers so you could complain. You had to rely on them putting their number onto your taxi voucher and hope to all the deities that it was the right one. They played up the blind angle and it was awful to deal with and yes, I kept cool and calm while I would have loved to rage. Maybe they would have done it if I had been able to see, maybe not, but it sure made me angry either way.

GOTN asks, why did I not tell him off? The answer is spoons. You only have so many reserves sometimes and you need those for everyday life stuff. The show goes on after incidents like this and the world doesn’t care so you have to do your daily thing and then you can go home to cry or rage or do self-care things.

That feeling of “Why didn’t I say/do something?” Yeah, I know it way too well. I’ve been there so many times and I’m with all of you who have had these incidents happen in their lives and I say sometimes, you can advocate and sometimes, it’s just not possible. Neither of these things makes you a bad person, bad advocate, bad feminist, bad anything. It just means you have to count your spoons that day.

2 Replies to “Sexual Harassment and Disability A post inspired by Girl on the Net”

  1. As you so rightly put it, there is a time to advocate for oneself and there’s a time where it’s a waste of time. sometimes we are told that if we speak up we’re only making more of a fuss than we really need to and as for harassment or sexual harassment as the case may be, there are some behaviours that some people don’t think are harassment and it’s often in their nature. if you’re going to touch it’s not a bad idea to give warning before you do as many people don’t like to be touched or they scare easily.

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