Magazine article Herizons

Toward Intimacy: Self-Esteem, Sexuality & Love in the Lives of Women with Disabilities

Magazine article Herizons

Toward Intimacy: Self-Esteem, Sexuality & Love in the Lives of Women with Disabilities

Article excerpt


Toward Intimacy is not a sex story. It's a film that provides the opportunity to see and hear Canadian women with disabilities going about their daily lives. Their stories are made accessible to all viewers through the use of open captions. Each of the featured women discusses self-esteem, relationships, parenting and sexuality. Myths about women with disabilities as non-sexual beings are quickly dispelled, as each woman describes how she has been able to establish a satisfy, intimate relationship. Each woman also speaks of obstacles which she has experienced, and the coping skills needed to overcome them. By exposing their lives and feelings, these women demonstrate that they must continually confront physical and emotional barriers imposed on them by mainstream society's ignorance about their realities and potential as women who happen to have disabilities.

This film profiles four women from across Canada, who each has a different disability. If effectively captures the women's diverse experience and issued: a single mother; a married couple; a lesbian and her partner; and a woman who lives with her fiance who also has a disability. All speak from personal experience, and are shown in their actual living situations and relationships.

Gail described her hopes to have and raise her own children with the man she lives with. She speaks emotionally, and vows that she will provide better parenting for her children than the inadequate care she received growing up as a child with cerebral palsy. Her own sexual and physical abuse resulted in many years of bitterness and lack of trust. But her low self-esteem seems to be a thing of the past, because she has worked with friends, counsellors and support groups to achieve a visible state of confidence. Gail's fiance also has a mobility impairment, and they live together, providing mutual support.

Barbara, a legally blind woman, appears with her children, and speaks of the difficulties in securing support for her family in her choice of settings. Barbara is Aboriginal and wanted to raise her children close to nature. She pursued higher education to gain personal fulfilment and a better career. She tells of many parenting problems and difficulties related to her blindness - none of which was avoided by her acquisition of a Master's degree.

Helen has a rare disorder which results in her bones being so brittle that, in her words, they could "break like twigs. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.