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Girls with Disabilities: Beware of Emotional Exploitation

Alokita | May 11, 2017 (Last update: November 2, 2017)

Alokita is a Polio Survivor. She overcame her disability and went on to become a commerce graduate. Alokita writes about disability issues and her appetite for learning new things is far from satiated.

Perverts of the society are the biggest challenge for any girl. But if a girl has one or the other kind of visible disability then this challenge comes in its most hideous forms. Girls with disabilities are vulnerable physically as well as emotionally to fall prey to these perverts. But the irony of situation is that nobody talks to them about this issue of their lives. We have all kinds of articles and videos on web that talks about counseling, relationships and dating etc. But there’s a serious dearth of resources guiding a girl with disability to tackle the perverts coming her way. Parents too are more often than not ignorant about their daughter with disability and the societal challenges she may face.

Parents need to be a strong emotional support for their daughter with disability

The first emotional attacker is most probably a relative or a teacher who is seen by the girl as a person who understands her emotionally. A society where being a girl with disability is a serious offense like double murder; lack of emotional support for a disabled girl is a very common issue. Parents keep on ignoring their child’s emotional needs without realizing someone may take advantage of their daughter’s situation. Although perverts disguised as sympathizers try to emotionally exploit — but a girl with her parents’ emotional support is less vulnerable than a girl who lacks the feeling of love.

As a human tendency, a girl with disability is easily drawn towards a teacher or a relative who makes her feel that he understands her emotions. These people try their best to brain wash the girl that she is not loved or wanted by anyone in her family. He tells her that she is not at par with other girls but still he loves her. The love at this point is always pretended to be a guardian’s love. As soon as the girl is taken into confidence molestation becomes a very easy task for the sympathizer. Unless a girl grows into a mature adult it’s the duty of parents to keep her emotionally sound so that she doesn’t falls prey to a pervert disguised as sympathizer.

Showing a girl with disability. A wheelchair user.

Girls should know how to confidently stop someone from crossing their limit

I remember an incident when I was 16 or maybe 17; one of my male relative (neither too close nor too distant) started taking too much interest in me. His wife made us exchange number during a family function. She was more than happy that her husband agreed with her that I was a perfect (sarvgun sampann) girl if only God was not cruel enough to inflict disability on me. Whenever his wife called me he would ask her to give him the mobile and she would happily ask me to talk to him. He himself called two or three times in front of his wife and then started calling in her absence. The basic theme of his talks was that I deserved a good husband but I won’t get one because of my disability. He would keep on telling me how beautiful, smart and good-hearted person I am.

Although I knew the difference between ‘you have a beautiful smile‘ and ‘your lips are hot‘ but I was not confident enough to tell him his limits.

I kept on ignoring him and his talks. I actually pretended not to understand his indirect approaches. And this ignorance gave his guts a boost. Now he started talking more openly about his intent. He told me that he understands everybody has their physical (sexual to be precise) needs and doesn’t want me to suppress mine. He wanted to be a partner for my loneliness. This was too much for me. I decided to confront him. I told him confidently that I don’t need father of 2 to fulfill any of my desires. And the day I start feeling lonely I’ll certainly find someone better (than him) to be my partner.

That day I realized that ignoring someone’s perverted talks is not an option. We need to decline their unfair advances outright and that too very confidently. That was the first experience and I realized later that there are many who are too keen to take advantage of a girl’s natural desire that they think won’t be fulfilled due to her disability. These persons have a mindset that a girl with disability does not have any boyfriend and will not get a husband and so they will be desperate enough to share bed with anybody. We girls need to break our silence and tell all such men around us that there is a limit which we won’t allow them to cross.

Girls with disabilities too have their choices

A few years ago, I was suggested by a friend, who herself is a polio-survivor and a wheelchair user like me, that I should accept a proposal if a boy says he loves me. She was actually telling me about the practical aspect of life. She was concerned because I said I never want a guy to come into my life. She told me that I should not vow anything like that in such a young age. She was right in her approach and I agree to whatever she told me. But she forgot to tell me a very important thing. She told me to hold the hands that comes lovingly towards me; but forgot to tell me how to know which hand is approaching lovingly and which is approaching lustfully. She didn’t tell me that I have choices too. She said I should accept a proposal but she never said I’ve a right to decline it too.

Today I wish to tell all the girls with disability who are reading this article that you have the right to choose and you should use your right. You don’t need to say yes to a proposal if you don’t feel like. Other people, along with the girl herself, think that they should fall in love with the guy who proposes her as he is being so kind by proposing to a girl with disability. But if any of the party takes it as a favor the relation cannot go a long way.

Not only should the girls with disability have knowledge of her right to choose but should also possess the insight as to who should she choose. Well, every girl need to know this but girls with disabilities have to face more complex situations and so it’s more complicated for them.

There was a guy who sent me a friend request on Facebook and started messaging me. I visited his profile as we had more than 10 mutual friends (all girls with disabilities). His profile picture had a girl sitting on wheelchair and the photos was labeled ‘lovable’. His cover photo had a girl on wheelchair being kissed on her lips sensually by a man who looked perfectly able-bodied. Even in the about section of his profile he had written that he was a ‘normal’ boy who wished to marry ‘handicapped’ girl and that he has no interest in ‘normal’ girls. I was seriously getting very negative vibes while scanning his profile. I ignored his friend request but he was continuously bombarding my inbox with long messages. After a week or so I read his messages out of curiosity. He had expressed his deep love for me with so many vows to keep me like a queen. He had praised me  (especially my ‘character‘) a lot in his messages. I asked him ‘how do you know I’m so good without even talking to me?‘ Instead of answering my question he started pleading me to accept his proposal; if not marriage he was ready to accept me as girlfriend.

I said answer my questions if you want to talk to me any further. I wanted to know what was going onto his mind. My threat worked and he started typing without a break. He wanted to marry any handicapped girl because according to him normal girls these days are all characterless who get ****ed by their various boyfriends before marriage. Marrying a handicapped girl was a sure shot way for him to get a virgin. He also wanted to rest assured for future that no one else touches his wife.

I was enraged by his sick mentality. But I calmly asked him ‘so in reality you don’t have the guts to ask a normal girl because you’ll have to compete with other boys? And so you are searching a girl where you don’t have any competition?‘ I suggested him if I can become his girlfriend I could have some other boyfriend too. My answer frustrated him and in his frustration he said if only I wasn’t a handicapped girl I would have been a slut. I’m mentally a slut because I’m dreaming of other boyfriend when he is proposing me. He continued that God did justice by making me handicapped so no one wishes to touch me. I told him that I don’t need to get up from my wheelchair to be a slut if I wished to.

There are many out there with the same set of thoughts. Girls with disabilities need to stay away from such mentally sick people who only focus on her disability. There are other sets of people who simply propose a girl with disability and want her to respond positively because they too have some disability. Disability can be one of the considerations but the whole decision cannot rely on just this one single aspect.

So, girls think before entering any relationship. Even if you have lesser options or proposals than your friends you are not supposed to ruin your life by accepting any person who sees you as ‘disabled’ rather than a ‘person’.

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