In our mid-month issue, Mahika Banerji describing herself as being ‘massively function-less’ and as having ‘no mobility’, takes us into her world, not a world of sob stories but one that holds promise of fulfillment...
People make assumptions about both mobility and sexuality and quite often reduce them to a few simple, unidimensional concepts. Sexuality is reduced to sex, marriage and the gender binary. Mobility is reduced to ableist concepts of body and capacity, and access to, or the possession of, a vehicle to get from point A to B.
It is this camaraderie with sexualness that made my mother uncomfortable about my comfort with lipsticks. Stains become metonyms for the woman herself, and her sexuality. It is possible that this stain might stay on someone’s mind as they encounter a stained cup. It is possible that even if they never have seen the person, they would now be compelled to imagine them.
Our sexuality is often in flux – being manoeuvred (sometimes in ways we cannot control) by the crashing waves of societal expectations, circumstances, and our own choices and experiences. But the world continues to uphold a fixed, rigid idea of sexuality, and continues to confine us within this idea, and therein lies the conflict.
Jeeja Ghosh is a disability rights researcher and activist, feminist, parent, writer, scholar and trainer. Her lived experience of disability, and of standing up against discrimination and injustice, is at the core of her work and insights. Shikha Aleya interviews Jeeja about mobility across divides other than the physical.
The patriarchal system strictly enforces gender roles and social norms that privilege men over women. This sense of male entitlement over women and girls' bodies have insured their confinement to spaces where they are stripped of power, threatened by harassment and discrimination, and extremely vulnerable so that men get to play the role of protectors.