Admired and Censored - Peter T.
This artifact is the famous representation of the ‘Statue of David’ by famous Renaissance sculptor Michaelangelo. The genitals of the statue have been hidden away by an eggplant which would be considered an alternative in today’s social media age.
I chose this artifact because it validates what would be considered art and what also could be considered a form of pornography or a form of sexualisation. The artifact also encompasses the perspective when seeing through the lens of people with a disability as to what is considered the perfect body or ideal figure to have and to engage in sexual activities. Turner (2020) expands on the idea that society is filled with sexual imagery and easier access to sex, but it doesn’t mean that society has learned to be sex-positive. We are still learning as a society to be accepting of what could be different from the ‘perfect’ or ‘preferred’ when someone with a physical disability, for example, is still capable of engaging in sex and also learning that not everything has to be sexualized, especially when genitals are showing.
I understand that the Statue of David during its time was a masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance era and still is to this day, but it was a time of having perfect proportion and was idealised as the perfect human being when society is made up of individuals of different physicality’s and are unique to the individual.
I am interested in Disability and Sex because I am currently working as a support worker within the NDIS system, especially working with an adolescent who has an intellectual disability where I have to be open and prepared for if questions of sex do arise. I do consider sex should not be a scary or sensitive topic to engage with as it’s within our genetics and social adaptation to normalise sex for it is what makes us social beings, to create connections, to share love and to procreate.
I do believe it’s important as a society to desensitise and not create taboos about sex and sex education, especially with anyone who has a disability where their sexual experience may be different or they had to adapt to engage in sex when an individual that does not have a disability may not face as many challenges.
The “gem” I’m taking away from this unit is that there’s nothing scary to talk about sex if I were to engage it in a safe, consensual, and sex-positive manner. Another gem that I would take away from this unit is that individuals who engage in sexual activities shouldn’t be hindered or protected from doing so, they are just another human being indulging in their lust and desire just like any individual in society who wishes to connect with another person in one of the most beautiful, intimate ways.
I hope my artifact inspires viewers to consider the following: as human beings, we shouldn’t discriminate against or belittle another individual if they have a disability or are considered ‘different’; and we are able to normalise sex within our vocabulary and learn to be sex-positive. As human beings, we shouldn’t be ashamed of what is natural for us when it comes to sex and talking about sex, we are to learn that sex can be a good thing for everyone, even for individuals with a disability.