As partner of the It's On UChicago campaign and Sexual Assault Awareness Week, Axis UChicago held a screening of The Last Taboo, a documentary written and directed by Alexander Freeman, an award-winning filmmaker and graduate of Emerson College who was born with cerebral palsy.
The Last Taboo tells the story of six people with various physical disabilities and an able-bodied partner who was in a relationship with one of them. They share their perspectives on intimacy, relationships, and what their experiences have taught them about themselves. (Learn more about the film here).
Following the screening was a discussion moderated by Margaret Fink, co-founder of Organization of Students with Disabilities. She led a conversation on the intersections of love, abuse, and intimacy, as well as other issues regarding sex, sexuality, and consent.
One point of discussion was the motto of the movie: "In bed, everybody's able." Fink and students discussed how such a line could be viewed a problematic, as the phrase itself affirms the dichotomy between the able and disabled body.
The phrase could also be interpreted to promote the idea that in bed, a person's disability "disappears." On the other hand, the movie demonstrates the opposite philosophy when one speaker discusses her disability and how she accounts for it during sexual activity.
Ultimately, The Last Taboo pushes us as a society to challenge subconscious assumptions regarding relationships, sex, intimacy, and beauty. Axis hopes to continue to provide platforms in which members of this university can discuss such assumptions, and work together toward building a more honest and open community on this campus.
Alita is a second year student majoring in Political Science. She is co-founder and current co-president of Axis UChicago.