An interview on Rabble podcast about the sexuality and disability project I’m working on, ACSEXE+. Take a listen if you’re inclined!
Here in Quebec, the ‘week of handicapped people’ organized by the provincial ‘office for handicapped people’ has just ended. The week is complete with movie screenings, accessibility audits of commercial areas, and a picnic in the park. No talk of criticism of inaccessible transit or cuts in homecare, or political action of any sort. Here is my article for the RAPLIQ journal (an awesome Montreal-based disability justice organization).
*Please note, my use of the word handicap is a translation of the French word for what we in English generally refer to as disability now. Don’t be turned off. Or maybe do be turned off. I know I am.
As many know, not all voting stations are accessible in Quebec.
People with diverse mobility are being fucked in their voting rights. The anglos and newcomers will understand the unjustness of having to prepare to vote, the need to take precautions to avoid barriers to voting. What if someone wants to vote strategically after hearing the results of the latest poll rather than vote a week in advance? What if people don’t have the energy to research if their polling station is accessible? What if they’re disorganized and show up on the day expecting to have their right to vote and find out that it got thrown down a flight of stairs and smashed at the foot of their wheelchair?
A message from the chief electoral officer:
“Please note that… on polling day, polling stations should be easily accessible but it is possible that some of them aren’t. As a result, people with difficulty moving about should check in advance with their returning officer or by contacting our Information Centre…
If it turns out that your poll is not available on April 7, you still have the possibility to exercise your right to vote at the office of the returning officer on April 1 and 2 from 9 am to 9 pm and on April 3 from 9 am to 2 pm. Locations used for this vote are accessible to people with reduced mobility.”
The fact that they refer to people as ‘having difficulty moving’ is insulting. The difficulty is posed by their choice to place voting stations up a flight of stairs. Having wheels is fucking liberating, the electoral office is the oppressive thing in this equation.
They say ‘you still have the right to vote,’ like aren’t we benevolent in offering you a shitty alternative and making you feel like it is your defective bodies that are responsible for a restriction of your rights.
I’m angry about this. It makes me either want to say fuck your election or vote really hard even if it is a pain in my ass.