It is definitely a huge issue for disabled women but it’s also an issue
for anyone with a disability. Men are infantilized often as much as women,
though women do get more of the sexual type of unwanted touching in my
I have been grabbed, both from behind and to the side, pushed, pulled along and otherwise manipulated to show me direction rather than someone using words to direct me.
The most uncomfortable incident happened though while I was waiting at a bus stop. I had reached one foot forward to check my position relative to the curb. A young woman behind me ran up and grabbed my right elbow in what she thought was her attempt to keep me from going into the street.
I have been physically attacked by someone who used that ploy and my instinctive reaction when grabbed is to give a hard elbow check to the person. I did this to the young woman and yelled something I don’t recall.
We were both horribly embarrassed but she did not understand why doing this was not a good idea and that I actually did know exactly where I was and what I was doing.
Criminologist and Co-Director of Centre for Gender Studies at University of Sussex