Aidan Comerford

Why Disabled Women Requesting Female Only Intimate Care is Not ‘Disgusting’.

Dr Em responds to Aidan Comerford calling her ‘disgusting’. Dr Em has been banned from Medium. We are rehosting her articles here.

I’m going to respond to Mr Comerford. Even with my broken brain I think I have a better grasp on this ideology and its implications than he does. He has had me blocked for a long time, I’m the wrong kind of woman as I am sans penis. My ‘disgusting’ writing about my disability is available here:Dr Em and Brain Damage, A Full Disclosure.

If me speaking about what it is like to live with a severe disability is ‘disgusting’ to you because I required female only care I don’t think the problem is with my outlook but yours. I had no knowledge or say in who was caring for me, being in a coma. When I was awake I did have male and female nurses change my tubes, feed me, look after me. The NHS is staffed by super heroes. What I was talking about was the need for female only intimate care. I described how as a schoolgirl I was stripped naked and washed by strangers, for months. How I hated it and couldn’t communicate my distress nor move my body away and how it has had a lasting impact. The term ‘intimate care’ obscures what we are talking about. I still get a sense of deep shame and hurt to tell people this. It is not just one’s back,legs and other limbs which are washed, it is your vulva, your breasts. Strangers are touching these parts of you. What about my humanity? My last shred of dignity? This was distressing enough with same-sex nurses, can you imagine what it would have been like having an unknown male do this to me?

Although I was still a teenager, like a staggering number of women and girls, by this stage of my life I had already experienced violence and sexual abuse at the hands of men. It had already made me weird about bathrooms. I lost a lot of long term memory in the accident, like a scrap book having clumps of pages ripped out, but for my eternal punishment some of the memories I would rather loose have remained. Time has not dimmed them, nor my reaction to male bodies.

If we discard all of this and focus on the males (like you like to do), it is not safe to have mixed sex care of the vulnerable. 98% of sex offenders are male, and sex offenders will move to positions where they have access to victims. This is why sex offenders tend to work in certain professions and not on oil rigs. The research showing that disabled women are more vulnerable to abuse has been dug out and provided by @torpidferret.

One commentator on my original thread, @Minnie_kinn, has raised how ‘A disabled woman who gave birth at an Arizona care facility had been raped repeatedly. Her parents had requested that she be cared for by females [and] was assured of it. Instead, unsupervised males were allowed to go into her room’. The news report is here.

American research shows that ‘people with intellectual disabilities — women and men — are the victims of sexual assaults at rates more than seven times those for people without disabilities’.

With this in mind, if one in four women are sexually assaulted in their life-time then think what sentence having a disability places on a woman? Indeed, ‘Eighty-three percent of disabled women experience rape or abuse, often at the hands of caretakers‘.

This is not about trans, I couldn’t give a tinkle what they are wearing, it is sex which is important here. Not one rape is acceptable to me in order to please men and accommodate their feelings. I will not take the risk with women and girls’ safety. You clearly do not think that women have full humanity as you wish to subjugate their safety and happiness to appease male feelings. Women and girls deserve kindness, dignity and their full humanity to be recognised and respected. We are not just fetish fodder for men. That these men propose to force themselves on me and other women and into our spaces for their own pleasure at women’s clear discomfort tells me everything I need to know about them.

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