Saturday, 27 May 2006

In which I go from Blog Explosion Tenants, to Gender, to Carers, to Sexual Harrassment and Abuse.

I decided it was time to dip back into Rent My Blog after a week off from the programme. And this week's tenant is Winsome Gunning Art Walk. An artist who posts images of their work and an explaination of what it's all about... their inspiration.

The art work is amazing to look at and the explanations are informative and make you think too! Check it out!

This entry is my attempt at not using any gender specific words to describe my tenant after my mess up with thinking that Battlerocker, my first tenant, was a woman when in fact, he's a man. Let's hope I'm successful.

OK, random question. Do you think Gender really matters? Or are the ideas of "girls stuff" and "boys stuff" so to speak nothing more than baseless stereotypes of our society?

Obviously in olden days there was more of a need for clear definition between the sexes and their tasks/expectations. But in the technological age we are at now can we really still define things are "boys toys" and "girls toys" as a job that's only suitable for a man etc. etc.

I think we can, but only because society has conditioned us to make us believe that nothing other than that is acceptable.

For example, I have always been told that male carers cannot do anything along the lines of personal care for me because as a woman it would put me in danger. So when I was at uni my male carers were not allowed to shower me, help me in the loo or help me put on socks and shoes. I did used to get them to do my clothes washing for me but I have a friend who refused to allow guys to do that for her as it made her uncomfortable.

We do have a male volunteer at swimming who often helps me with my shoes and manuevering around the shower - I sit in a showerchair and he gets me sat in the shower and puts it on and off for me and turns me so i can rinse off different parts. He often ends up washing my hair for me too as he sees bits I've missed. I'm completely fine with that. But if I still had help with showering (most of the time I don't) at home I would not be fine with a man helping in that situation. I know a few people who would accept that help but for me the fact is I've always been taught or conditioned always that it is TOO DANGEROUS to get a man to do that, that is a woman's job is too much to overcome.

It's a bit screwed up though because I have had personal care done by carers who were openly lesbian and been fine with that and surely if my care agency at the time couldn't allow my male carers to do personal care because of the risk, the risk should have been acknowledged with my lesbian carers too?

Yet women are allowed to shower and to do other personal care for male clients... I've even heard talk from some agencies about considering only allowing male carers to do personal care on male clients with a female carer in attendance as well for the protection of the client.

It's madness. I realise that these rules are put into place to protect the carer from untrue accusations of sexual harrassment/abuse as well as to protect the client, but sexual abuse and harrassment are not solely the acts of men. Male rape isn't talked about often and I'd like to think that the CRB checks that all carers undergo means that NO client would be in that situation, but the fact of the matter is a man is just as likely to be raped as a woman. Plus same gender sexual harrassment happens too.

So basically I have no idea where the hell this entry came from but I think society's idea of gender roles/constructs are worthless.

And everyone reading this should go visit my tenant whilst I shut up (and maybe go get subway for dinner now the rain has stopped).


Chana said...

Well i sure hope that your Subway supper was delicious! What did you have? Do you like spicy stuff? i can't touch anything stomach is more sensitive than my heart, and tha says alot ;0 .

I absolutely loved this post. I love all your post but in this one your brillian mind shines and it shines bright my dear. You are totally cool and totally smart. You said in your last comment that you are glad that i'm in your life...Emma if you knew how grateful i feel to have you in mine. I have found so much of what i am and want to be and strive for in you.

Now, i think all this gender restrictions are silly too but having said that i am going to contradict myself for i too would agree that maybe a male take carer would be spooky to tend to a females more personal needs. And see i realize that i feel this way because of how society trains our thoughts...and i fell for it...I have needed help and have been terribly embarrased on anyone's help to be honest...I guess Playboy will never be in my future (as if, lol) but at least i can live through a female nurse or female carer.... And yes of course, what if she was a lesbian and see this is where i know i am totally full of contradictions because i know i wouldn't care if she was...Oh well...there is a tiny bit of an insight of how my brain works. Run Emma, run!

Love you. Hugs.

Chana said...

Sweetheart i know i'm not dreaming now..this is another palet for your blog...Right? I am thinking that either you are trying different ones or just change them often...Either way, they are all beautiful. Some are soft and soothing. Some are cute and loving...and then there is that one that screamed hot, hot...It's nice to kind of wonder what you will have next....or which one you will end up with...

Sweet dreams my friend.

The Artist said...

Hi, just popping in to say it's great to be the tenant on such an interesting blog. Thanks for the great writeup. and look forward to staying in touch, best wishes, The Artist

Galen said...

Thanks for this post, as a transgender person who has spent at least half of my working life as a carer (or PCA as we say in the US) I have a unique understanding for the role that gender plays in the human service world. I was born a girl and lived as a woman for most of my life. A few years ago I started openly identifying as transgender and transitioned to living as male. Soon after transitioning I started working in a group home for adults with mental and physical disabilities. I soon realized that it was dangerous for me to be alone in a back bedroom with a female consumer who tended to get crushes and make up stories. Now, I am all signed up to be a Personal Assistant at the local Independent Living agency but I can't get any hours. There are no rules about male aides working for female consumers but nobody wants a male PCA. All of the available positions specifically ask for females only - even the male clients! Recently I found out about a woman with CP who just wanted to hire someone on her own for a few hours a week to help out with things like mopping the floors and putting away clothes so I went over to her place to interview. Before we even started she told me she was sorry but she was really looking for a woman, because my name is uncommon she hadn't realized that Galen was a guys name when we exchanged e-mails.


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