08 March 2012

♫...I'm sitting down here, But hey you can't see me...♫

I don't often do angry. I'm quite lazy and anger is a very energy-intensive emotion. But International Women's Day today is making me really fucking angry. Why? Because I've been erased from it. Or that's what it feels like.

I've read so many posts talking about how women are hardest hit by the current government cuts. Which isn't entirely true. It's something I've ranted about a bit before. Yes, non-disabled women are more affected by cuts than non-disabled men. But then disabled men are harder hit than non-disabled women, leaving disabled women right at the bottom of the shit heap. No-one is talking about this despite the fact that around 18% of the population have some kind of impairment. Roughly one in 5 women are being blanked by today's discussions.

I read a piece about how feminism doesn't represent working class women because all feminists are intelligent and articulate and working class women aren't. So does that mean I'm not intelligent or that I'm not working class? Which part of me must be erased so I fit neatly into what I'm supposed to be? My only pretension to being middle class is that I occasionally eat houmous.

My class and my intelligence are both affected by my impairments. I've always had impaired mobility but until I was 26 I was perfectly healthy; I just had a crappy skeleton. Had I not become chronically ill I'd probably have socially mobilised my way into middle classedness by now. Instead I live on benefits, in a council flat, and buy my clothes in supermarkets because that's all I can afford. And people with OI are usually above average IQ. Though AFAIK it's not known if that's a quirk of genetics or just because we spend our childhoods so bored at spending so much time waiting for x-rays that we can spell "danger" and "radiation" from repeatedly reading the sign on the door at about the same age our peers are getting to grips with "cat".

I also read a piece about how offensive it is to women that the language of mental illness is quite women-centric. "Lunatic" has connotations of the menstrual cycle, while "hysterical" pertains to the uterus (think hysterectomy). As a woman with depression I'm pissed off that women without mental health problems are supposed to be offended at being compared to me.

There are calls for women to rise up and challenge the patriarchy. Would the revolution be accessible to me? I doubt it considering I'm not even allowed to be part of the debate.

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  1. I'd say 'good blog!', but 'good' isn't really applicable. 'Sadly necessary blog'?

  2. I remember being told about the origins of the term "lunatic" while visiting Stratford in the early 1990s (along with a whole load of other expressions like "things that go bump in the night" and "cubby hole", which were drawers that kids, then called cubs, were put to sleep in), and it has to do with "howling at the moon", nothing to do with the menstrual cycle at all.

    1. Yes. It comes from the lunar cycle / menstrual cycle thing.