Word Count: 503 (TW: Full Nudity)
For my project, I chose to create a piece of artwork that shows four disabled persons and their bodies to talk about the subject of Sex and Disability. Each body is in a different color to talk about in an easier manner for this write up. I will start with the Red. Red is a feminine body that is displayed in lingerie and is sitting “provocatively” in their wheelchair (their legs are spread apart further than normal). Yellow is a feminine body this is displayed wearing only underwear with their breasts visible but also slightly covered. Yellow is also a person that uses a colostomy bag (the lighter color blob located in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen, left for the viewer). Green is a feminine body that is standing and wearing lingerie and is an amputee (amputated right arm, visible from our left side). Blue is a feminine body but could also be a nonbinary body, the display is of their backside and also with a view of their prosthetic leg.
I wanted to try to express further knowledge on Sex and Disability with these paintings. In the introduction of Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow’s Sex and Disability, there is a section called Lives and this introduces the three chapters that will be talking on the analysis of the writers’ experience with sex and disability as well as the ableist viewpoint of sex and disability. The specific sentence from the introduction that my project was produced on is, “If there’s disability, according to ableist logic, then there can’t be sex (hence, the “tragedy” of a “beautiful woman in a wheelchair”); and conversely, if there’s sex (a casual encounter initiated in a park), then presumably there is not the insertion or removal of a pair of hearing aids…,” (McRuer and Mollow). I interpreted this sentence as from the ableist viewpoint and then came up with my counter argument. The ableist way, which is something I have heard more times than enough is “You’re too beautiful to be in a wheelchair” or one that I and Anna, one of the writers, have heard personally “You’re don’t look disabled so why would you park in this designated spot?” I oppose this way of thinking and think it is very belittling and deprecating of the person being attacked.
My counter argument was to show that you can be pretty or sexy and disabled. Each person in each piece is expressing their sexuality and sexual desires along with their disability. Each persona that was created in my artwork would, in my views and opinions, be able to have sexual desires and sexy time with people if they wanted to. The ableist way to say it would be Sexy or Disabled however the way I’m portraying it is Sexy and Disabled. I purposefully chose visible disabilities as a way to show my vision but it is known that you can also have invisible disabilities and be/feel sexy or beautiful or whatever adjective you would want to use.
Mollow, Anna, McRuer, Robert. “Introduction.” Sex and Disability. dis/lit fall 2021, http://dislitfall21.chris-foss.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Mollow-and-McRuer.pdf. Accessed 2021.
“I hereby declare upon my word of honor that I have neither given nor received unauthorized help on this work.” –Chy’Nia Johnson