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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Malini Chib Talks Unblushingly About The Sexual Desires Of Women With Disabilities

  • IWB Post
  •  July 19, 2019

“I am a disabled, heterosexual, and Asian upper-middle-class woman. My disability is only one part of my identity, yet sadly, that is the only part that society decides to see or even acknowledge,” Malini Chib writes in Disability, Gender and the Trajectories of Power.

A disability rights activist and author, Malini suffers from cerebral palsy. But wait, let me rephrase that – a disability rights activist and author of the much-appreciated book ‘One Little Finger,’ Malini is an enigmatic woman who was the inspiration behind the film Margarita with a Straw.

Why do we have a tendency of merging the identities of people with disabilities with their disabilities and just that? The irony lies in the fact that we stamp it on their faces, like the watermarks of their existence and then debate about the discrimination faced by them on a daily basis.

The only way to normalise their existence and giving them agency is by understanding and facing that the internal makeup of people with disabilities is no different from ours and just like us, they too have needs, dreams, and desires.

When it comes to the sexuality and sexual desires of people with disabilities, they mostly remain unaddressed and unacknowledged. The acknowledgment gets even more diminished when the person in question is a woman.

But isn’t it high time we acknowledge it? We thus got into a conversation with Malini and tried gaining a fair perspective on the sexual desires of women with disabilities.

Here are excerpts from the conversation: 

In your opinion, what direction should awareness/education take about the social acceptability of sexual needs and desires of a person with disabilities?

There should be more awareness and education but at the moment there is none. The needs of disabled women are huge but our sexual needs are invisible.

Elaborate on the sexual needs of women with disabilities?

Like me, for e.g., I have needs but they go unmet because people don’t care a fuck. They listen but no action is taken.

So what can one do to create and raise awareness about them?

Awareness can be created if people see disabled couples together. Having a marriage bureau, clubs, and meetings can help a lot.

 What is the usual reaction of people when you discuss your sexual desires?

They say things like “What, you? No way, he’s like your brother” and then dismiss it.

Have you ever used the services of a dating site?

No, I do not generally date online but once giving in to curiosity, I gave it a try. The boy was nonexistent.

Is there any myth or typical story that you wish to clear about the sexual desires of women with disabilities?

I think disabled people are humans too and should be given equal rights.

How can feminism help in the sexual rights and awareness of women with disabilities?

By being instrumental in organizing more meetings and conferences.


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