Financially, studying or living abroad remains the purview of the economically privileged, which I was at the time and still kind of am. We were informed during orientation at Oxford that our identification cards represented thousands of dollars in tuition money and that we needed to respect the access that this gave us. We were considered students of the university, with access to the various faculty (subject-specific) libraries, the famous Bodleian, and lectures. We could tour almost every college for free (some charged a couple of pounds if you weren’t a student of that specific college) and we got student discounts at the local shops. We were given stipends for food each month and had food groups that ate dinner together every night of the week, with “family meal” on Wednesdays when the entire house ate together. Our stipend didn’t need to be used for just food, and I used mine to pay for tickets to plays and local improv shows and books required for my tutorials (though many of those books were accessible from the libraries).Read More
These sorts of essays and articles, wherein a member of a privileged group lectures people of an oppressed group on how to live life, are less about the oppressed group and more about assuaging the discomfort of the privileged. Particularly on the topic of sexuality and persons with disabilities, the privileged person doesn’t like to think of that wheelchair-using woman or that mentally handicapped man as having the capacity to make a decision to have sex, to understand their bodies, and to find ways to satisfy that need. This is the foul compost pile from which rotten entitlement springs – a desire to soothe one’s own discomfort with people’s lived differences and experiences.