There are many misconceptions and assumptions about disability in society. Some people believe that disabled people are unable to be parents and be in relationships let alone have a partner who is able bodied.
In this blog post I wanted to write about the misconceptions and assumptions disabled women can face. Disabled women may do things differently but this should not prevent us from embracing all aspects of womanhood if we want to.
Below are 5 misconceptions about disabled women that stand out to me, from my own experience and what I’ve heard and seen.
I often get surprising comments and looks when people see that I’m wearing makeup. I have gotten comments in the past which are along the lines of “ I didn’t know disabled women wear makeup”. Just because I’m disabled that doesn’t make me not want to dress up and experiment with looks. A lot of disabled women also love fashion. However for many women the clothing out in mainstream fashion houses are not accessible for us and we may need to shop else wear or make our own clothes. But this doesn’t mean we’re not into fashion in fact a lot of us love it but want the industry to be more diverse which I believe is starting to happen slowly. A big dream of mine is to model for high street clothing brands. Our differences need to be celebrated not hidden . Life would be boring if we were all the same! Disabled women should be able to feel sexy and on trend just like everyone else.
It is sometimes assumed that disabled women can’t have relationships. Dating is the chance to get to know another person, see what you have in common, maybe find love. Being disabled doesn’t stop a person from experiencing this. Sometimes disabled women who have partners others often assumed that their partner is also disabled or the women’s carer.
Disabled people are often seen as needing to dependent on others. Therefore not able to care or be in a motherly role. Their is no rule book on how a family should look. Families come in all different shapes and sizes which is filled with love.
Disabled women still need to be part of the conversation around the topic of women’s rights just as much as able bodied women. We still face the same challenges, stigmas and inequalities that mainstream women face. This is often harder to see as the disability is seen first. All women need to come together regardless of the label’s society gives us.
Their are certain disabilities that are perceived as ones women can’t have. This means these disabilities get undiagnosed, leaving some women unsupported. An example of a disability like this is Autism . Autism is more diagnosed in men than in women. Many women find it hard to get their autism recognised. The National Autistic Society says a possible reason for this is because women “ are often better at masking or camouflaging their difficulties”. However it did say that diagnosing the disability is getting better!
Down Syndrome is another disability which is more common in men than women, Source- disability scoop.