31 May, 2009

Stuff You Should Read

Lauredhel has a fantastic post up about the specter of "parking permit abuse" and why it's overblown; also, be sure to check out her post about some extremely problematic legislation in Australia that would further limit who gets said parking permits.

Anna covers several nations' resistance to a treaty that would allow those who have reading-related disabilities to have more access to reading materials.

Dr. George Tiller, who was one of the few late-term abortion providers in the U.S., was shot this morning as he walked into church.

26 May, 2009

Link Love: bfp!

A must-read post from bfp.

Go read it if you haven't already.

24 May, 2009

Yay, Arrested Development!

The quality is awful, but this clip makes me laugh every time I see it:

Of course, I highly recommend the show if you haven't seen it already!

22 May, 2009

This is Not My Type of Feminism

There are days when I question whether feminism, as a whole, is welcoming to people like me. Or to people who are not *exactly* like me, but are still part of groups that have historically been ignored, erased, marginalized, or plundered by "mainstream" feminism.

This absolute trainwreck of a "discussion"--on mental illness--happened over two weeks ago at Feministe, and I'm still thinking about it. Many (though not all) of the comments on that post are horrific displays of ableist tripe.

I do not understand why some find it so haaaaaard to grasp that disability and ableism are feminist issues, or that disability rights and women's rights are connected; I find it equally difficult to understand why some are so dedicated to holding on to the last vestiges of their privilege, even as they give lip service to things like "inclusion" and "diversity." Neither term holds meaning when used by a certain type "good" mainstream liberal/feminist/et al to describe just how awesome and progressive they themselves are; oftentimes, these words are used to make those in the mainstream feel better about themselves, their privilege(s), and their biases--some of which they just cannot let go.

Again and again, I see comments in several places online that suggest that disabled and other marginalized people, and their experiences, are only good for two things: enabling the "growth and development" of mainstream feminists, and providing abstract (at least to those who have that privilege) discussion fodder that allows various "concerned" fems to do their thing without questioning their own privilege. Both of these have the effect of depoliticizing any radical potential that those who are NOT het white cis upper-middle class able-bodied mentally "healthy" feminists may bring to the table. In a way, it's kind of like using the ideas of radical women of color--without referencing where these ideas come from!--to make a point about your wedding, of all things.

It fucking hurts.

12 May, 2009


Since when is the claim "ableism is not feminist" a controversial one?

05 May, 2009

Disability 101!

I've started a series of Disability 101 posts over at FoF, and I'd be thrilled to have you all check out the first entry!

Many thanks to Tigtog for brilliantly starting and keeping up the excellent Finally Feminism 101 blog, which inspired me to start a Dis101 series.

03 May, 2009

The Drug Thing

Recently, I have been thinking about how I was pretty harsh to one particular commenter on IIB I. In retrospect, I realize that my comparison of smoking pot to gambling was unfair, and am working on a version of IIB I that both shifts the wording a bit and is a bit “neater” graphic-wise (yes, I have finally figured out how to make straight lines in Photoshop!).

However, there is still something that I have an issue with as far as the whole “pot has been tested by science and you should [do something] to keep an open mind/reflect this in your post!” argument goes: Many of the people from whom I have heard this argument from are not dealing with disability or chronic illness. In my rather limited experience, this tactic seems like the whole abled-bodied-people knowing what is “best” for PWDs in every circumstance thing yet again—-particularly when the ABs' “well-meaning” advice has to do with exactly which treatments the PWD should or should not be pursuing.

I am aware that pot does work for many people with chronic pain, and I am not opposed to people using it if it works for them. What I do take exception to is the insinuation—again, mostly from able-bodied people who are unaware of my family history of addiction (this is what has made me personally uncomfortable with the use of illegal substances for my own pain relief)—that I, as a person with a disability, do not know what is best for me when it comes to pain management. As I have said before, there is no substance that is miraculous for everyone who tries it—not booze, not pot, not the medicines that I myself take (Cymbalta and, on occasion, Vicodin). When people imply that I should just keep an open mind about this treatment, or think about trying that one because it has worked for someone they know, or that my personal experiences with people who are “just trying to help” by suggesting all kinds of things somehow renders my other points moot, I tend to get angry. My patience runs out, because I deal with these “well-meaning” suggestions quite often, and find that I must also manage some folks’ feelings when they are hurt that I don’t throw myself at their feet with gratitude for every single suggestion, whether that suggestion relates to the use of vitamins, recreational drugs or “positive” thinking.

As Amandaw so gracefully puts it:

I don’t know what the hell is going on in the life of the next chronic pain patient you might meet. That’s the point. You just don’t know. You don’t have the slightest concept of what their background is or how their body works or what they’ve tried before. So why do you assume it’s totally benign to throw this in their face? Why are you acting as though you know their body, their history, their experiences better than they do?

Do I have the time to detail everything above every time someone “helpfully” informs me that marijuana can be good for pain relief? Should I have to reveal all this stuff to total strangers, or even acquaintances, coworkers, casual friends? Even if all this stuff wasn’t there, and I just didn’t feel like using it: why can’t I have that decision respected?

Not everyone will relate to all of the spaces on the Bingo cards; though I have tried to construct them so that as many of the spaces as possible are (in general) applicable to the experiences of people with invisible disabilities and chronic illnesses, this does not mean that I will radically change them based on the opinions of apparently able-bodied people who are, of course, only trying to help.

02 May, 2009

Macro: Concerned Cat

Via commenter Tionista at FFJ comes this amazing cat macro:


01 May, 2009

Invisible Illness Bingo 2: Back For Revenge

Hey, it's Blogging Against Disablism Day!

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009

My contribution is Invisible Illness Bingo 2 (IIB 1 is here); click for a larger version:

Something to remember if you're going to comment on this post: This blog is a SAFE SPACE for people with disabilities. If you're going to leave a comment about how one of my posts/points/bingo squares makes my entire blog/opinion/bingo card moot, or how my bingo card is not properly formatted, or how people with disabilities need to accommodate non-disabled people in attitude, openness, or helping ABs process their feelings (like we don't do enough of those things already), or that I'm too angry/emotional or not "objective" enough, or that you, as an able-bodied person, can totally relate and here's a long comment detailing exactly how, or that you are concerned about the tone of my post, please remember that such a comment might not be taken in good faith, and that I might be a jackass to you in return. [Edit: Yes, I know I'm an asshole.]

Other than that, feedback is welcome. Also, be sure to go check out the other BADD 2009 posts at Diary of a Goldfish.

ETA The Third: Via Rachel at Metalsunflower, here is the plaintext version:

Description: Card is made up of white squares on a black background. Underneath the squares, the title (in white) reads "annaham presents invisible illness & disability bingo" followed by "2" in red.

First row, Square #1: I had a really bad migraine once, so I know how you feel

First row, Square # 2: Your anger is alienating all potential able-bodied allies

First row, Square #3: I had that and I got over it. I did it, and so can you!

First row, Square #4: You should use [X dubious "cure"], because it's safer than the drugs that Big Pharma has sold to you

Second row, Square #1: VISUALIZE your pain away! It totally works!

Second row, Square #2: Taking pills for your pain means that you are just a Big Pharma zombie

Second row, Square #3: That sounds like something you just made up/ that sounds fake

Second row, Square #4: My personal experience invalidates yours! I know people with disabilities, so I know what I am talking about.

Third row, Square #1: You can still walk, so you aren't really disabled.

Third row, Square #2: I'm able-bodied. Let's talk about me and how I deal with pain/ illness

Third row, Square #3: I don't agree with one thing you said in your post, so your entire experience/ point is moot.

Third row, Square #4: I don't have a disability, but let me tell you what would make your point(s) more digestible to "normal" folks

Fourth row, Square #1: A person with a disability was mean to me once, so all PWDs are mean and secretly jealous of able-bodied people!

Fourth row, Square #2: You already have the best parking spaces! What "special rights" will you demand next?!

Fourth row, Square #3: How do we know that you're not just a drug seeker/ drug abuser?

Fourth row, Square #4: Wow! You are so inspirational. I don't know how I would cope if I were in your situation.

Daughter of ETA: Rachel over at Metalsunflower has awesomely transcribed a text version of IIB 2, viewable at the bottom of this page. She has also text-scribed many other fantastic bingo cards from around the 'net, and kindly provided the plaintext version above. Thanks, Rachel!

ETA, 11/7/09: I completely forgot to include a text translation, which has kindly been pointed out by a commenter. I'm sorry; this was an inexcusable oversight and rather ironic, given that this was created for BADD. I am working on a text translation and will get it on the page as soon as possible.