Went to hospital on Wednesday and had my cast removed. Have to wear unwieldy moon boot thingy instead. Do some light physio exercises and try not to kill anyone because I’m still house bound. They wont let me drive yet. Which is killing me, hence the need to pass on the deathly sentiments to any and all who head my way. Which doesn’t augur well for the 40th birthday I will be emc-ing tomorrow night.
It is also an irony filled situation (not lost on me, just mildly despised) wherein I am suffering not just the indignity of having to be in a wheelchair (which sucks because everywhere I wanted to go is really steep and uneven when faced in a chair) and ask friends for help, which I am no good at doing. The irony is that I can’t drive and yet I have espoused the virtues of vehicular mobility loudly and often, both publicly and privately, including academically. I have spoken at several conferences on the issue of driving and tino rangatiratanga (Māori self determination) for wāhine Māori (Māori women). Now this Māori woman is stuck in the house and is not allowed to drive her car….
I talk about the importance of wāhine being able to leave the house, not only because they and their children may be facing domestic violence situations, but also just to strengthen their ties to the community in which they live. They are able to become full and rounded citizens, participate in normal activities for leisure and social purposes such as weekend sports, hobbies and visiting family. These strong ties help prevent isolation which enables many unhealthy situations such as mental health issues and susceptibility to domestic violence.
Having a car also enables wāhine to be able to apply for and maintain a job. Particularly in rural areas, which are ubiquitous in New Zealand. Having a job or career strengthens these community ties and also gives women an outlet for social interaction, friendship networks and money to provide better lives for their families.
I currently have no car and no job. However I have friends who visit and I have lots of writing to get done, so I probably don’t have time for a job. Once I’m mobile again, I’m sure I will reassess the situation. Some people may think driving isn’t really that important. I usually reply “Tell that to a lady in Saudi Arabia’. Nothing subtle about me