I lied about the final word. Just skimming the Executive Summary of this research points to what I'm saying. It even talks of the status quo, silencing and systemic failures.
But if anyone has challenged the status quo, surely it’s David?
Well, that's the $1m question isn't it?! After reading about the likes of Parklands and the other support person recently convicted, I'd say no. I'd say he's shone a light on the tip of a very large iceberg - which is that there are a hell of a lot of disabled people living in situations of neglect and abuse, disguised as caring and do-gooding.
He may well have illuminated an awkward status quo that most people would prefer not to acknowledge. I don't think he's challenging it.
In case anyone is mistaken, I'm totally for disabled people having sex. I've written sexuality policies and done training for residential services that have had staff walking out in disgust. I've advocated for the MoH to fund sex workers, which they do.
I'm all for people having much, much more respectful, consenting, safe sexual expression and experiences, disabled or not.
Look, I could be completely wrong and Paul could be sweet as with his sex life. I'm simply responding to cues in David's story that, due to my professional background in counselling, social work and human rights, ring alarm bells.
Finally – and this is my final word because it's giving me OOS – I don't think David's story of his interaction with Paul is a good blueprint for "The Future of Befriending Disabled People."
I’m unclear what you’re trying to achieve by bagging all of us here.
I’m not “bagging” individuals, just refering to a societal norm that has left disabled people disadvantaged and lacking control over their lives and resources, just like women, people of colour, religious minorities, sexual minorities etc etc have and still do experience.
Of course, societies and their norms are made up of individuals’ values and acts, so you could say we are all complicit in some way. That would deny differences in power, authority etc, though…
Power and authority are primarily at stake in this post and thread, ironically. These can be seen from different lenses. It’s often easy to take the neo-liberal view that each individual is equal in and of themselves. That’s true, theoretically, but it discounts inequities in class, status, opportunity and so on.
I don’t think you get to “change the conversation”.
Sorry, too late, I already have! People are engaging. It’s a difficult conversation and people are feeling uncomfortable, but that’s not “mowing the rest of you down.” I’m simply articulating a point of view that makes people think differently. I’m worthy of that as much as anyone is worthy of disagreeing. But I won’t stop presenting my view simply because people don’t like what I’m saying.
If history had been full of people who stopped challenging the status quo because it was unpopular, slavery would still be thriving, women wouldn’t have the vote, homosexuality would be illegal and gay marriage – well, we wouldn’t even have thought about it, would we?!
It sounds like sexual exploration to me.
Well, that's the easier belief to choose to sit with.
Sorry to have misunderstood where you were coming from, although I didn’t actually accuse you of not having to do it.
All good. Just thinking ahead :-)
“Can Paul legally have sex with people of his choosing”? It would seem to me that he can, he has enough agency to make that decision. Just enough. He was, after all, placing the advertisements himself, repeatedly.
If placing flatmate ads is “having sex with people of his choosing”, then that indicates to me someone who hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to choose who they have sex with. I’m disabled and gay and I’ve never had sex with random people replying to flatmate ads. That’s not choosing who to have sex with. That’s having sex with people who choose to be exploitative.
I don’t think that’s what Ben was saying.
I don't think Ben realised that's what he was saying ;-)
Ben & David have made really good points. You’ve made a narky unhelpful one.
I beg to differ, with respect. Ben & David have made the same points that have been made for centuries and have led you to feeling grateful for something less than you deserve. I'm changing the conversation. I expect, like most changes in civil conversations, for it to be met with howls of protest.
So, really, flawed help is a lot better than no help.
LOL. Nice one Ben. You’ve described, in 11 words, the entire disability support ethos in NZ.
And before you say that I don’t have “to actually do it,” I recruit, induct and manage my support crew every day of every year. I also train, advise and help set up services in an attempt to improve the attitude of people who think disabled people are lucky to get what they’re given.
You may as well say, “Bad driving is better than no driving.” Or, “Drunk driving is better than no driving.”
It’s the “crap support is good enough” idea that causes the situations “people like Paul”, as you so generalise, end up in.
"People like Paul" are as worthy of good friendship as anyone else. Someone, having put a story about their relationship with another person (not that person’s story) in the public arena, could be humble enough to realise they could make things better by reflecting and putting in a little more effort.
"The debate over copyright is really a battle between the innate interests of two of Hermes’ works; communications and commerce."
And then, as if that battle weren't fraught enough, he added the complex contradiction of Creative Commons...
Great post Russell — here's mine in response.