Sexual Harassment 101 For Women with Disabilities

Dear Readers,

What is sexual harassment? For a woman, it can be pretty intimidating, but it is basically, unwated sexual advances, jokes, comments, etc. Even if they’re made online, sexual harassment is sexual harassment.

I’ve seen some firsthand accounts of women with disabilities who were on the receiving end of the sexual harassment issue, though not by a man of honor or higher power, only by disabled men themselves. There was a man in Georgia everybody knows, and he’s sexually harassed women online, including myself, a friend in South Carolina, and several friends in Texas, Ohio, and possibly some other states like Virginia or Wisconsin. WHo knows how many victims this guy has, and I hate seeing I was one of those. There is a difference between harassment and preying on women, and for us with disabilities, it can be difficult to talk about in conversation.

Sarah, a staunch supporter of women with disabilities, inspired me to write this because she brought up many valid points. Since we women carry the baby in the whole biological scheme of humanity, it is important that women be kept safe, even if cognitive impairment is present. For these women, sexual harassment may be viewed as a predator-prey relationship attempt. However, even cognitively impaired women should be taught the basics of sex and pregnancy and the stages of life and so on. Call it a family life discussion, but women with disabilities are capable of expressing sex, no matter what cognition they possess.

Sarah herself lives alone with her pets, her guide dog included. She’s hard to get through to in some people’s eyes because of past happenings, and I could tell because perhaps she was either sick, not present on my FB page, or chose to unfriend or block me on Facebook due to a comment I posted which has inspired this blog post. I was only trying to add to the conversation and tell her that I as a disabled woman have been on both ends of the spectrum from the accused to the accuser of sexual harassment. My parents accused a friend of mine of sexual harassment, and he was 51, which was scary. I get it, some people could forbid young people from hanging out with older people. However, this friendship was not sexual in nature, and it served my parents well in their guardianship case, though no longer valid.

As a disabled woman, the difference between sexual preying on and sexual harassment could be no more distinct. As a woman, I expect men to leave my baby making tools alone because I’ve already got someone. I expect the men in the world to keep their hands off, and putting their hands on me between my legs, below the waist, etc., that could be classified as sexual harassment. Groping is a form of harassment, plain and simple. I’m also very serious because of experience. I’ve never been raped, and I’ve seen eyewitness accounts of such, but sexual preying on to me is when the woman is purely violated beyond belief. IN this case, the man will have used grooming, a technique in which isolation, secrecy, and finally, unwanted intercourse or groping of sexual spare parts, is used to silence and denigrade the woman, especially if she has a disability. Grooming can occur if the balance of power is off by a lot, especially if an intellectually able man is groping a woman with Down’s in the case of Law and Order Special Victims Unit’s Katie Talbert. She was taken advantage of by her boss, an able guy who later needed to pay her back, and had to anyway because he was sleeping with Katie and other intellectually disabled women in his store. He operated this outfit for his own benefit, and groomed the girls to secrecy, and to the detriment of Katie’s mom, got her pregnant. However, blindness is not an intellectual disability, it is a physically known disability that does not affect the balance of power between sexual partners. There are many times disabled women don’t feel safe in ridesharing situations with men, and some Uber drivers have been convicted of either burglary or sexual harassment, which can make any woman, able or not, feel uneasy. When a woman is not able to drive, however, she can easily be preyed upon or harassed by a man if she doesn’t have the solutions and tools to stop it.

So how do you stop sexual preying upon or harassment from happening if you’re a lady? Men also experience this, but since women have a much more painful consequence, forgive me but that is who I usually address first. First, rape aggression defense classes for girls 12 and older are offered by local police officials in their respective departments. Officers teach girls things like how to keep a boundary bubble around them, when and how to gauge comfort with a stranger standing in said bubble, how to defend themselves in cases of rape or being touched in an unwanted way. Women and girls 12 and up are welcome to take the classes, and some small organizations like the Denver Muslim community or the Tallahassee Florida Catholic Student Union have offered ladies’ self defense classes, but what about including women with disabilities? Blind women should especially try reading the book Safe Without Sight, which was written years ago, but still has many valid points and debunks many myths and facts about rape. I took the Hadley self defense class, but never got the physical practice doing it. One RAD trick I was told would work is if I had a key, which I happened to own two keys for my dwelling, I would take said key or keys and stab the attacker in the eye. Combined with a technique recommended in self defense class called holding the universal reference point, located between neck and head on either shoulder, I may be able to execute a strong blow to a guy whose intent is to violate me. THat is, of course, a last resort. We were also taught parries and thrusts and punches and how to scream at every move we made. Our voices are the most powerful weapon we possess, and if a woman screams loud enough, a man might just have to run for his life. There’s many tricks that ancient Somali women have played on men before, stuff that involves a squeeze to the groin, which is another self defense technique. WHen a man’s groin is squeezed, he gets into a lot of pain and faints. Again, a last resort. The very first line of defense we learn in RAD or any self defense course, able or not, is setting boundaries and using safety tricks and tips that can potentially keep our baby makers clear of any unwanted guests.

The best line of defense, especially for a woman who is cognitively disabled, is to be sure that her care professionals are female with very few exceptions. IF a woman must be lifted by, say, a power lifter, a man may be hired, but not to do things like dressing and bathing a woman. Females are generally care driven beings, believe me I’m one of those. Women can use this role to care for others, to serve as many different things in many different capacities, but should be caring for females in positions where bathing, dressing, and medicating are required. I’ve seen a male ER nurse before, Bill, a guy from Parrish Medical Centre, but he was great. Bill gave me a shot of adavan, an IV drug that subdued my seizure in 2007. However, he did not have to see me undressed, and that’s where my boundaries are ccrossed. No male nurse should be bathing or showering a female with a disability, cogniscent or not. Even if the woman has an aggressive form of MS, and if she can’t speak in words, guys should never be left alone with her. Here’s another SVU scenario: a disabled lady is found beaten up and bloodied in a dress, an adult diaper beneath it. She is totally paralyzed, can’t move, can only blink or groan, etc. HEr sister beats her and steals her money. A male bus driver is later found to be raping her, and thinks she is comfortable with it because she didn’t say anything. THis is preying upon. Just because a woman with a cognitive or physical disability doesn’t say anything doesn’t mean it’s okay for a male caregiver or professional to do whatever with her. And the sad thing is that family in this vignette can’t care for her because her sister is aggressive with her, but as long as there is blood attachment such as a nephew in the case of the woman in SVU, a male caregiver may be assigned. However, as a precaution, the male should NEVER under any circumstance look at her undressed. A female nurse may be hired, and with good background, to change, feed, or bathe said member of the family.

Sexual advances on females with disabilities could lead to tragedy as well. I remember one woman who was probably the victim of sexual abuse by her own family, as another friend described. This woman, Kelly M. Bond, died of an apparent misuse of her medications. The family should have known better than to make illicit advances and devalue her or denigrade her character. Kelly is now in Heaven with God, where the pain can no longer be felt, and she shed her disabled body in the worst possible way, but as God always does, he delivered her.

So what should be done with a disabled female who has no cognitive skills to tell you she’s been abused? By taking the precautions in the previous paragraph, I feel about 80% of that risk can be diminished. However, a bus driver can still have access to handicapped women. One can tell when even the most cognitively disabled lady has been violated. For example, in the previous vignette, the police found a girl who cringed at the picture of the rapist. SHe saw the suspect’s photo and made a sound like she wanted help or like an anxious puppy wanting to get away from an abusive master. That’s a clue that she could have been denigraded or violated, even if the lady can’t speak for herself. In Katie’s case, she knew something weird was going on, and was high functioning. She worked at a grocery store, a boss taking advantage of her. HEr mom forbade her from taking dating and sex ed classes, and she was later abandoned by her mother, but not without the help of SVU detectives. Katie was found to be carrying a baby son, but would she be able to understand what is happening to her? HEr mother successfully hid all the knowledge Katie must need for her to understand sex and pregnancy. When I was young, my parents hid a book around the house, Asking About Sex and Growing Up. They wanted to show me stuff, sure, but they decided to let me read a good book by the author and creator of the Magic Schoolbus series. Joanna Cole also had a bunch of resources for books and videos geared toward kids and adults alike. Sex and pregnancy are important subjects that ALL kids, whether disabled or not, should be talking about. FAmily life discussions can happen anywhere, and I suggest having a good private discussion with a disabled child especially with a qualified female healthcare educator. If I have a daughter with disabilities, and she’s thirteen, for instance, I’m going to give her “The Talk”, as Mia would call it in the Princess Diaries series. So what if Mia and Tina decide on this, and what if the matter is beneath me, I still need to know how to do this. Even if my child is blind, I’m still going to tell her what the period feels like, what pregnancy can do, how to put on a pad, what to do if a boy approaches you inappropriately, what is inappropriate touch, etc. Women with disabilities are often left out of the conversation because we are devalued, but if we didn’t have ovaries, we couldn’t  be pregnant. That would mean we could still do something, but with no results. However, about 90%, factoring in those who had ovarian issues or cancer, can get pregnant. We don’t have freemartins, as in Brave New World’s view of the factory assembly of a person. We have just about every female as a fertile female, so I’m assuming about 90% of young women have able ovaries. PCOS women should always consult a doctor before going on drugs to calm the cysts in their ovaries, but there is a growing number of those women who are having children, but that is a story for another day.

Women with the more physical disabilities can have sexual desires, so why are men taking advantage of this? IF a girl asks, why is he making eyes at me?, why not explain not that he “likes” her, but that she has to feel safe in order for him to actually “like” her. Even if my future daughter had no disability, I would still do “the Talk”, keep your baby maker out of the way of the boys, don’t let them do a thing down there, and don’t show your breasts or buttocks in public period. Then, I would apply the necessaries: how to put on a pad, and if a boyfriend should show up at my house, I’m going to say the three words he may hate, but may save me from being Grandma too early: use a condom. Use a condom or I’m putting this girl on the Pill. I happen to think of the Pill as a lifeline, a safety net and not an excuse to make taxpayers pay for sex as Rush likes to emphatically joke. It is awful, absolutely awful, when a woman with a disability is totally left out of the conversation of sexual stuff because we are the very pinnacle of relationships, we carry the good and the bad guys in to this dirty planetary mess, so why aren’t we being given better status?

The answer is something Dr. George Wong would say in SVU, because so many of us are devalued. Dr. Wong tells the detectives why the sister was aggressive with the paralyzed lady, and the sister made excuses for hitting the lady with soap. Dr. wong saw the same pattern of abuse in the suspected rapist, who said he felt sorry, so preyed on the porr woman with what could have been a deadly weapon.

SHeltering doesn’t cure the disabled’s being prone to being sexually joked about. Believe me, I know firsthand. The best proposed solutions for keeping women with disabilities involved involves the knowledge of sex, pregnancy, and prevention.

Sarah, I hope this doesn’t ramble down Memory Lane too much, but see where I stand.

A Proposal, Albeit Not a Modest One: Resolution for Dealing with Corrupt Probate, ABusive Guardianships, and the GOP Tax Plan

Dear Readers,

Imagine you are disabled in the United States right now. WHat is your life like? What is your aspiration for life? Have you been forced to drop out of college twice? Has the DVR system failed you not once, but three times over? Well, that’s my life for you. And that’s the lives of millions of blind and low vision folks here.

I am a bit envious of those blind folks in Britain, Canada, and other places, but not so when I feel what pain they go through. But in the United States, we have a system that corrupts our courts and is hurting our disabled. WE disposed of Anastasia Adams, a precious young woman whose life was “not worth saving” according to Innova Fairfax Hospital and the guardians in charge of her. Yolanda Bell repeatedly called for her sister’s stay of “execution.” HOnestly, our culture has gone to death, no longer pro life, and we welcome only able bodied folks who are pale as ghosts. WHat do you suppose we do about it?

IF I, for example, have to go to a group home because I can’t afford to live on my own, if I have to live with parents or family on either side because I don’t live on my own, I propose that Trenton and myself leave the north American continent behind and investigate countries who are welcoming to disabled immigrants. WE need to be nomads at this point, according to my proposal, and suppose we move to Britain.

If we do, then we’d have to give up freedoms, but who cares? THis country is bunk, is not providing a life for me and Trenton that includes something more normal, only surprise wrongs that I have yet to right. I am not a policymaker or a government/parliament speaker at all. Because of my low status in America, I am more prone to becoming the next Anastasia Adams, but worse. Trenton may not be able to say goodbye to me if I’m an old lady, and a public guardian could stow me away in Florida against my wishes. I hope the Attorneys GEneral of both Florida and Colorado read this carefully. We have a choice: abolish all guardianships that punish and/or hinder the lives of disabled people and abolish the practice of probate abuse altogether or we leave for England or someplace else that will not tolerate guardianship. Yes, the NFB and ACB are seen as radical, but we need to show the Brits how it’s done. They might learn a few tools and techniques, jot down notes, and think twice before deporting us back to the U.S., back to the corrupt court system. And we do have a choice. We shouldn’t have elected a narcissistic con artist called Donald Trump, but it gets worse. The government wants to end net neutrality and hurt the poor with a new tax policy. IF we disabled people face group homes and guardianship because of the GOP, we’re outa here. WE won’t put up with our independence lost because of slashing benefits and Medicaid and SSI and all that stuff. Even the pensions in Britain and Australia are higher in value than the SSI in the U.S. In this country, there is a danger greater than anyone can stand. We want to change the courts and attorneys, to change the policies the government may put in place, but we disabled people have no influence and no power unless we get elected, which we won’t because the world seems unfit for us. I’m sorry to report that the choices here are the only ones we disabled independent citizens have in order to keep our dignity! If we don’t act now, we could be put under public guardianship and placed in a home with cognitively impaired people who really need the services other than us. Trenton and I are blind primarily and use adaptive techniques and tools for our cooking, household tasks, and soon, we want to use adaptive techniques for childcare and childrearing. We don’t want the older kids looking out for the younger kids or playing a distorted parental role because of us. We want our children of the future to know that we’re the boss, we’re the parents, and to wake up every morning in our house, not in the house of someone else. WE’re lucky that the grandmother is supportive, and so is the mother, who will become a grandmother if a child is born to us. But we could face discrimination in the adoption application process, so having a child is crucial to us doing what we want to do with our lives, start a family. I’m already 31 years old, unemployed, no job prospeects, and I have had no dating prospects for the longest time. Not till Trenton came through, and all the others left where he just stuck around. We’re hoping to have a safe wedding including support from friends and relatives, but the friends are questionable because I don’t have enough in Colorado except a few from the Islamic community who are begging to take me to a mosque. I cannot go in a religious organization because of the exclusion of disabled patrons and members I witnessed as a firsthand member of a church in Westminster, Colorado.

So what is the solution? We have two choices: either change your thoughts and beliefs about disabled people, you rich Republicans, or we disabled people could exodus out of here and emigrate to Canada, when it becomes open, or Britain, if it becomes more open.

Reference To a Previous Post on Net Neutrality, Plus Other Stuff

Dear Readers,

What do you use the Internet for? If you use the Internet for preying on young women and defenseless children, that should be scratched off the list. But do you use the Internet for banking? Do you use it for applying for jobs? Filling out doctor forms? Securing appointments? Adding to a google calendar? If you don’t stand with us and demand that the FCC end its proposed slashing of net neutrality rules, Trenton and I and countless other poor and disenfranchised individuals, homes with poorer couples living there, etc., could be thrown off the information age. It is a step backward to the 1800s, when print was the norm and blind people were excluded. Braille was invented so the BLind could read, but Comcast and other ISP’s could block WebBraille and Bard as well as other blindness related sites such as RS Games, Quetin C.’s Playroom, and many other sites related to the disabled community from viewing if net neutrality is thrown away. If I have to cut my Comcast internet and stay with cable and phone, I will. And even more, we will fly to D.C. and make an appointment to meet with someone in Congress who can demand the FCC reverse its ruling, override the policy, or tell the FCC to either back off our internets or risk losing their own. We need to teach the FCC a lesson about what it’s like not to have the Internet free and open.

Suppose Comcast says they don’t like the NFB Net sites. If Net Neutrality were put in place as is now, they can’t block it. Most websites would have to pay ISP’s to get in the fast lane, and I’m not one who can pay an ISP for a tiny website like mine. My blog could be blocked by government buttheads who want to regulate it, sure, but Comcast? I’ve been a loyal customer for years. I don’t appreciate when things go wrong. The slow lane and fast lane approach is a bad idea.

So what can we do about it? If you haven’t already, make an appointment or call your Congresswoman or Congressperson at all. I went through many voicemails, most of them full, and called my local decision maker. I’m happy Diana DeGette still does her job. She’s the best!

Anyway, if you use the Internet as a low income blind person, you need to contact your Congressman or person in authority and tell the FCC to abandon their plan. If they don’t, they will lose themselves a loyal Comcast customer, and I’ll be screaming from the tops of Capitol Hill, worse of all, maybe even yodeling, and I will have to say I’m a little old lady who … wants her Internet never to slow down and be heavily controlled by the buttheads in ISP’s. Thank you for your support of Net Neutrality. We must win, at all.

Thanksgiving 2017: What Are We as a Country Thankful For?

Dear Readers,

It is with a disturbed mindset that the FCC could allow ISP providers to block me from blogging, stop me from Facebooking, and slow me down immensely because they want to turn a profit. However, I’m thankful that I can even write this blog, but I will say this: the FCC should be thankful they have jobs, have wives, and have lives. They shouldn’t deny us that because we’re low income or blind or disabled. The Internet should be open and free, no profits. The Comcast company should think about who they’re hurting, and the FCC should think first before they cast a vote. GOP candidate campaign guys who’ve been arrested get to have Thanksgiving with their families, yet there are conflicts of interest in allowing convicts to have at least a turkey and dressing. Even in America, we have still a lot to be thankful for.

For one, I’m thankful I can wear clothes I like, blue jeans included. In North Korea, that is forbidden.

I’m thankful I can wear my hair short or long, curly or straight, and in North Korea, government has to approve your hairstyle. Ugh.

I’m also grateful that we can at least consume seafood and use iron products, for in North Korea, guess what? Sanctioned by the Trump administration. And food is plenty here, but there, it’s rationed and you have to use your shit for the farming community instead of simply flushing it down the toilet. I’m not kidding.

I’m thankful we have clean water in Denver, but even in Puerto Rico, some people don’t have power or clean water this Thanksgiving. Ridiculous, right?

But let’s not forget that the CEO’s of big companies should be celebrating tonight without thinking, “I have a mansion, maids, a cook, a butler, all the computer crap I want because I’m rich. Haha you’re not.” These guys should pause a moment, be thankful they can even have these things. They should also be thankful their wives or maids don’t. have to hand make cheese and beer, two things Puritan New Englanders absolutely had to do. I’m thankful myself that cooking is nearly automated but in my apartment, we have a NuWav Pic Gold, a gift from Trenton’s mom. I’m thankful we can use the pic for browning meats, making skillet meals for two, etc etc. Thanksgiving is a particularly honorable moment for me as I’ve been asked to say grace for the family, which to me is a great honor and blessing I can’t ignore and I am again thankful for. For now, this blog will be published, so be careful what you say in it.

Another thing I’d love to do right now is clean house. For one, JDO’s friends and associates will be detected and not allowed to comment on this blog. I can’t have my Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holidays ruined by this monster. Don’t think this is a lie, it wouldn’t shock me if he did the things he supposedly did. Disabled men are just as capable of abuse as non disabled men. And JDO isn’t the only one..

John (name has been changed) had a threesome with two girls and is not smart with women. There are many John Dohs in the world who don’t know how to behave. Blind men in particular need to learn about consent and respect for women. So there you go. Anyway, comments and authors will be monitored closely, and any author of a comment associated with JDO has been clearly blacklisted. Happy Thanksgiving everybody, and stay safe.


In Memoriam: AOL Instant Messenger and Other AOL Products

Dear Readers,

Once upon a time, there was a bunch of nerds who came up with this glorious and blushy service called America Online. On the instant messaging service, people could chat with their friends, chat with family, and hit up a predator? Oh, did I forget to mention that AIM chat rooms were the most dangerous for kids and teens? And did I forget to mention that Chris Hansen did dateline specials on catching predators on the AOL and Yahoo chat sites? Yes, I didn’t forget that.

But let me tell you my story of AIM, my story of total drama and intrigue that is AOL instant messenger.

I first started using the messaging software when I moved to Tallahassee, Florida in 2008. I had several AIM screen names, but then I moved on to chatting in no time. The software worked with my adaptive screen reading software, worked like a charm. I chatted with my cousin, set identifiers for my buddies, and had a fun time chatting with people I knew. But there were people who hated me who chatted with me on AOL for a short time, and AOL had no clue what went on. WHen Facebook and Facebook messenger came along, AIM lost its charm. I began using the AOL messenger to chat on Facebook, but then Facebook was pulled from it. Therefore, I decided to stop using the software because of what was the dramatic moment for a while. I was told later on to not contact certain entities whose names I will not reveal here on AOL. I have completely left AOL, even though I do have an email address there, but the millennium started with a bang thanks to this drama-filled messenger. Now, it’s Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. AIM, to be honest, I will not miss you. I will not miss the times I was told to either allow someone to flirt with me on AIM or rot in Hell. I will not miss the screenname kf4yfa messaging me for the last time telling me that I was a slut or that I wouldn’t be hearing from that entity. I will not miss anything about AIM and the people who perceived me as evil or slutty at all. Most of all, AIM, I will not miss all the predators who flocked to teenagers’ chatrooms trying to get some. I hope the predators rot where they should but the use of AOL’s messenger software to enable such scrupulous adults will not surely be missed. AOL, if only you hadn’t merged with Time Warner and tried so hard to charge us for Internet service in the new millennium. We will miss the time stamps, the instant chat logs, though not slimy ones, and the AOL phone calls that range from funny ones to sad ones to happy ones. Goodbye, AOL instant messenger.

FYI: No memorial or funeral services will be done in AOL instant messenger’s name, but we will hit the nail in the tech coffin and write the following epitaph on the gravestone of a chat service that once ruled the beginning of a new era of computing softwares: “AOL Instant messenger: 1999-2017, from the strangers to a strange land, you will be never forgotten, but soon hard to remember.”

God Bless the Children

Dear Readers,

It’s kind of a smog in the wall to learn that one of my friends, Arik, is being heavily mistreated by his father, who called his roommate a “fat” person, and he used a word I would not dare write here. Arik has been harassed and mistreated by his father, who also called me a moron. His mother’s worried, and this is just one instance of suffering I’m bound to report.

Another instance of suffering is occurring in Georgia. A young girl is on life support because of an ex, JDO, the infamous blind and disabled abuser who almost killed Bree Searles, who has revealed to me the worst news about the young baby girl and a thirteen-year-old older brother.

God in Heaven, I pray for the safety of the children under the abuse and control of JDO, aside from other things. I also pray for the safety and security of Bree and other girls who’ve been abused and isolated by this man. And I also pray for the safety and security of Arik and others like him whose facebook page is littered with harassing and bad comments about people such as his BFF’s and myself. He is terminally ill and I’m planning to donate $10 in memory of him should he end his life in a way that isn’t so pleasant. Please pray for all the children and adults who suffer at the hands of perpetrators like JDO and many more who are slipping through the justice system. We must put abusers in their place, and their place is in jail. Nobody deserves abuse or mistreatment at anyone’s hands. AS Shania Twain would sing, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, god bless the child who suffers.”