Wrap Your Arms Around Me - Amy L.
This artwork created by an artist that goes by the name Inkdevil, has drawn the image of a couple one of which has a disability having an intimate moment. The artist drew this image to challenge stereotypes and change some of the stigma surrounding disability and sexuality.
I chose this artifact because to me its summaries disability and sexuality. It challenges stereotypes and stigma surrounding people with a disability being sexual humans. The art shows the beauty of a sexual act between two people, one of which happen to have a disability. This artifact also challenged me to think about disability and sexuality as a normal thing and has therefore made me consider why I may not have thought this beforehand. Claire 2003 talks about privilege, explaining that there is so much that has been folded into the word privilege, she goes onto to explore the idea that part of privilege is a basic human right, rights that some individuals do not have and to create a world of justice these rights need to be shared by all. Looking at this idea of privilege for a many of us we consider the idea that not having a disability a privilege, but rather it should be looked at that those of us who do not have a disability or only considered privilege because we are able to explore who we are without society condensing our ability to be sexual beings. When I saw this artifact and read why the artist drew it, I knew that this image would allow me to explore these concepts further.
When having to choose a unit to do this semester, disability and sex stuck out to me as it was something I had never considered doing before. The combination of the two topics is a new concept to me and this encouraged me to investigate it further. As a future social worker, it may be my job to challenge norms and advocate for individuals who face inequality in society, this subjected appeared to do this in a different but a very interesting way, making it not only beneficial to my career but also my personal life. Lee 2020, pp. 474, states that often “sex can be a sensitive topic and an aspect of social work practice which faces multi-layered barriers ranging from social taboos around sex and disability to personal values and experience. This is something I want to challenge in the future which is why I am interested in disability and sex. I also wanted to explore how society has created barriers for people with disabilities. Sliverberg 2011, explains that many of the barriers’ people with disabilities experience to sexual expression can be related to ableism. Knowing that I may have to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities one day, this idea of ableism presented by Sliverberg, really stuck with me. Overall, it interested me as I felt I would be able to challenge my own beliefs and expand on my knowledge of myself, challenging me to think deeper and explore parts of myself I have never.
This project and subject have challenged my thinking, my values, my beliefs and my knowledge on the topics. I have been able to express my understanding and my opinions in a safe environment where I have been able to not only grow as a learner but also as a person. This project has impacted me by encouraging me to deepen my research skills and challenge me to pick an image that I would not normally consider looking at for an assessment. The Spoon theory is one concept that impacted me when discovering the importance of disability and sexuality. Miserandio 2003, explains that they use the spoon theory to describe to their friends and families what it is like to live with a disability. By using spoons Miserandio 2003, highlights that the difference between being sick and being healthy is having to make decisions or consciously thing about things that people who don’t have a disability font have to. They were able to do this by using spoons and having a spoon represent an activity or a decision and how the spoons can run out quickly. The spoon theory reading was one of the first readings that really challenged me to think about my life and the free choice I have every day. Overall, this subject has impacted me by constantly encouraging me expand outside of my comfort zones.
This image can be considered rather proactive, I wish for my audience to understand that the purpose of this image is to challenge stereotypes and stigma surrounding disability and sex. People with disabilities, have the same sexual health needs as the rest of society, yet they often face barriers due to the ignorance and attitudes of society, (World Health Organisation 2009). I hope that my artifact conveys my ideas of challenging societal norms and stereotypes and that my audience understand and respect this while also being able to appreciate the art that is being put before them. I wish for my audience to look at this image and consider why they may be feeling certain way about it and where their feelings come from. The world health organisation 2009 also explains that a-lot can be accomplished through increasing awareness, and by presenting and image like the artifact I have chosen I am doing that. I want my audience to not be uncomfortable by my image but rather confronted enough, to make them think and engage with my presentation.
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