"One of the privileges of being an outsider is that you are not expected to play by the insiders’ rules. I watch men on the street. I will watch a man visually or verbally harass women who pass him. I am invisible enough to do this. Sometimes men look at me, but the reaction is different. There seems to be some level of shame or confusion mixed with the lust in their eyes. Does this mean that I am lucky? Am I blessed to be sexually invisible and given a reprieve from something that has troubled women for centuries? Is there a freedom in not having to be privy to the struggles of the typical woman? It certainly does not feel that way.... I... would much rather have a man make an inappropriate sexual comment.... I like it when men look at me. It feels empowering, not disempowering. Frankly, it makes me feel like I’m not being excluded."
Writes Jennifer Bartlett, who has cerebral palsy, and who has — in her own words — "also always been beautiful."