Kiwi woman with one leg 'tired' of sick trolls sexualising her disability

A Kiwi woman with one leg is "tired" of being trolled for her disability, particularly by men leaving offensive and graphic comments online.

Cherie, who lost her leg to bone cancer when she was six, received an onslaught of vulgar and violent comments after taking part in a game on Twitter.

The game asked people to share something they can't do. Cherie, 27, posted a photo of herself posing with crutches, saying: "I can't cross my legs". 

After sharing her response, the Melbourne resident was targeted by predominantly male "clowns" saying she could have their "third leg" and it would take "less effort" to rape her.

"I wasn't upset - more tired," Cherie told 7 News.

"It's just disappointing that I couldn't make a lighthearted joke without it turning into a barrage of men commenting [on] whether or not they'd have sex with me.

"Some think it's a compliment that they would still be interested in me even though I'm disabled - as though that should be some kind of dealbreaker."

Comments included men rating her face and chest out of 10 before scoring her legs "one out of two". Another Twitter user suggested Cherie should have expected the reaction after posting "something sexy".

Cherie called out a number of the offending users by sharing a collection of screenshots to her account, captioning the post: "Men are so funny and original and smart".

"Me: clothed," she wrote in another tweet last week.

"Men: 'What do you expect from men when post [sic] something sexy or half-naked'."

The 27-year-old also shared a man's response that roughly translated to: "Rape her 2x less effort to do I do not think that with one leg she can do much [sic]."

Cherie told 7 News that none of the abuse is new.

"I've had comments like these all my life," she said.

"Not just on the internet. Men on the streets have come up to me and said all of these things before. We can't pretend this behaviour only exists online."

Although the comments no longer upset her, Cherie said that shouldn't be a reason to normalise or trivialise the behaviour.

"Just because I'm used to it and don't get upset about it, doesn't mean I understand it or that it's okay," she explained.

The young woman now works to change attitudes towards people with disabilities.

"I think the more we push for representation of disabled people in the media, fashion and Hollywood, the more accurate our portrayals will be.

"I am trying to help this by making myself visible and being in the public eye... although I understand the more public I am, the more negative attention I will garner, I think it does more good than bad."