>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).

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