02 April, 2010


I have a domain name! Where my blog will now be hosted!


Please update your links accordingly; I am working on getting everyone's blog up on the blogroll, which may take a while (so do not worry if you do not see your name on the blogroll!)

26 March, 2010

Have You Seen My Sister "Edginess"?

White privilege means that you can say shit like this "ironically" when "discussing" Lady Gaga on Twitter:

[From Amanda Palmer's Twitter feed. Text reads: "@JoanArkham ironic product placement is only ok if you take no money & beyond that give all the income to something ironic. like the Klan."]

Yes, because giving money to a group that perpetuates domestic terrorism (warning for very graphic content) toward black people is IRONIC and totally comparable to...product placement in a music video.

I look forward to people defending this ridiculousness with any number of derailing techniques and/or trying to school me in why it's not harmful and is, like, TOTALLY HILARIOUS, why can't you take a joke? It's just hip(ster) racism.

I'm not laughing.

15 March, 2010

Ending the hiatus, for now...with a cross-post!

I am back, at least for now! I have some thoughts on the whole "Victorientalism" thing, mainly because I just cannot shut up about fannish issues where people are just "having a bit of fun" or using some other redonk justification for proudly flaunting their unearned privilege at the expense of others, but I will save those thoughts for a time when I am less tired. But, to sum things up: Today has been just one of many days in the past few weeks where I have exclaimed out loud, to no one in particular, "JEESUM CROW, PEOPLE, DID WE LEARN NOTHING FROM RACEFAIL '09?"

Also, here is an important post by meloukhia that you should read if you are at all active in online social justice communities--and, come to think of it, fandom could probably stand to have a similar discussion. Because, yeah, this is a conversation that needs to happen, and it needs to happen sooner rather than later or not at all.

NOW: Tori Amos.

03 March, 2010


I am kind of out of ideas at this point, if the level of discourse we're talking about has now been brought down to going on Australian TV and saying that you've been "crucified" by a bunch of disabled feminists--while playing the "disabled feminists" part for laughs.

I can't do this "civility" and "politeness" thing anymore, at least with certain people who, quite clearly, do not give a rat's ass about displaying either of those things themselves and yet demand that I hold their hands while they continue to rationalize their own (and others') privileged behavior. I've had to explain, over and over again, in various corners of the internet, that I and my fellow feminists with disabilities--and others who have committed to discussing these issues in a mature manner--have the right to not be personally attacked, threatened, and, now, have our very existence so cavalierly made into a joke. I really can't. Apparently, to Amanda Palmer and some of her supporters, neither I nor other disabled feminists are human beings who are worthy of any respect whatsoever (or having our concerns taken seriously, heaven forbid).

I am exhausted.

ETA: I will be on an indefinite blogging HIATUS starting today. I will see you all soon, hopefully.

22 February, 2010

Just a link

Who Killed Civil Discourse? Evelyn Evelyn, Marginalization, and Internet Discussion

Please comment over at FWD, as I can't really deal with multiple comment threads right now.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post; I don't have the spoons to respond to you all individually, but please know that your thoughts are appreciated!

17 February, 2010

Imbroglio a Go-Go

I have a rather Zen riddle for you guys: What is the sound of a fan being told off by someone she admires?

Yeah, I don’t quite know, either. But how perfect is it that having to address this latest go-round marks my return to blogging (especially after my last post on here)? A lengthy and sordid tale, shortened: I recently posted on FWD about Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley’s side project, the musical conjoined twin-duo Evelyn Evelyn, and things happened. Some folks showed up to tell me that I should focus on more important things, some broke out tone arguments, plus some other fun stuff. Which is sort of expected in the blogosphere—and some of which I expected, since Amanda’s fans tend to be pretty loyal--but I digress.

Here’s the thing: I attempted to be extremely careful about what I included in that post and how I wrote it. And yet, I keep having this nagging feeling that people either did not read or chose to ignore my numerous mentions of my affection for Palmer’s music, preferring instead to go into all-out defense mode. As if the definition of being a fan is entirely dependent on not critiquing and/or not questioning things that you take issue with. Ultimately, if I didn’t have the love that I do for Amanda’s music, and the desire to see her do better in the whole not-appropriating-disabled-peoples’-experiences department, I would not have written the post. I would not have raised these questions. I certainly would not have alluded to the fact that she can, and has, written some great songs about people with disabilities and/or mental health conditions (“Ultima Esperanza” and “Bad Habit,” to name just two). I probably would have just ignored Evelyn Evelyn as some eccentric side-project (that I am clearly not artistic enough to understand) and continued on my little bloggerly ways.

What I wanted to get across in the post, and what I want to reiterate here, is that some of us do not have the luxury of removing certain things, or certain people, from our mental peripheries. This is a hugely important principle in many segments of social justice work. For some of us, “suffering” is part of the messy reality of life; when you have chronic pain (as I do), that’s just the way it is sometimes. I cannot choose how, when or where my pain will affect me, and “suffering” is often part of the experience of living with pain, chronic illness or disability. And you cannot separate that suffering and that pain from the legacies of ableism, privilege and exclusion that continue to affect how people with disabilities are treated by many non-disabled people. As I’ve said before, dealing with my own physical pain is often easier than dealing with peoples’ opinions, attitudes and preconceived notions about my pain or about people with disabilities as a whole. But those things still affect and reinforce each other regardless.

How great for Amanda Palmer that she can so easily remove me--and my fellow disabled feminists--from her mental periphery. She would do well to remember, however, that many of us cannot do that. That she misunderstands my and others' critiques as just "anonymous hate" is, frankly, disappointing.

Also: Lauredhel has a great post here which further expands upon why all of this is so problematic.

Note: Comments on this thread, as usual, will be moderated with an iron fist. Them's the rules. If you don't like it, you can leave, because I am done arguing with people about supposedly infringing on their precious First Amendment rights by not letting them say bigoted shit.

11 January, 2010


I will be taking a break from Tumblr/Twitter/public blogging for a while. CONGRATULATIONS, CERTAIN PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. You’ve gotten rid of me, at least temporarily. I am not referring to some sort of internet-wide conspiracy to Get Rid of Annaham; that would be ridiculous and maybe a little bit narcissistic. I am, however, referring to some stuff that went down this weekend, particularly in regards to the fallout in and around this post and comment thread.

At least on my friends-locked LJ/DW, people cannot twist the words of my friends, of my community--or, ahem, twist the words that I have written, either here or on another site--in order to spread outright lies in order to advance some sort of agenda in the name of calling folks out? Or some shit? Or whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish?

Hint: Your strategy is not working.

My new strategy is to not engage with you, since y’all think personal attacks, spurious accusations of friends of mine faking their disability, erasing the identities of some of my friends, et cetera are FAIR. How would you feel if I accused you of faking your disability, or, for that matter, erased parts of your identity to fit my agenda? You’d get upset, and rightfully so.

But, you know, since the policy among some folks lately seems to be “understanding for me but not for thee,” I guess I’ll just have to bow out for now.

Please note that I am speaking for myself here and not the whole of FWD, since some people seem to have trouble distinguishing individual contributors from the whole of the site, and seem to want to hold me personally accountable for the ENTIRE site.

ETA: Modding this comments thread with an iron fist, just like most of my other comment threads.

09 January, 2010

Lines in the Sand: Daly, Showalter and Tactics of Exclusion

The second-wave radical feminist theologian and professor Mary Daly died earlier this month, and there has been a veritable outpouring of eulogies from various feminist blogs.

Few of these eulogies have acknowledged Daly's transphobia and racism.

I do not deny that Daly was an important figure in second-wave feminism, but to mourn her passing without a nod to her work's more problematic aspects, or explorations of these aspects, are, to put it mildly, not good. In particular, the intense, hateful transphobia found in some of her writing, and her issues with unexamined white privilege and racism--which both QueenEmily at Questioning Transphobia and Sungold at Kittywampus cover very well in recent posts--strikes many as both deeply disturbing and an old pattern that has, and continues to, rear its grotesque head in certain segments of contemporary feminism. I include myself among those who are deeply troubled by Daly's transphobic sentiments and her questionable record when it came to examining the entrenched racism and issues surrounding white privilege in the second-wave feminist movement.

I should probably mention at this point that I do not mean to appropriate or co-opt the struggles of trans* folks in any way, although my cis privilege will most likely be unintentionally reflected at points in this piece. Though the struggles of trans* people, trans feminists and PWDs and disabled feminists are not the exact same, some exclusionary tactics of certain cisgendered feminists and those of abled feminists sometimes take similar forms, especially within the mainstream feminist movement. The oppression of trans* folks and PWDs in cis, abled culture intersect in a number of ways; this post, however, barely scratches that surface. I believe that the many issues present in Daly's work--as well as the reaction to her death around the blogosphere--can serve as just one entry point to discussions of the similarities in oppression(s) that trans* people and PWDs face. There are also clear differences, among them the fact Daly used language that can only be called genocidal, while many other feminists of her generation did not advocate such an extreme path when it came to keeping certain individuals out of feminism. I will be focusing on feminism's exclusion of trans* and PWDs as reflected in the work of two very influential second-wave feminists here, but there is, of course, much more to these stories.

Daly's penchant for exclusion and outright hatred (particularly of trans* individuals) couched in oddly phrased academic rhetoric unfortunately brings to mind another famous second-waver's similar issues with people (particularly women) with disabilities. Princeton scholar Elaine Showalter--best known for bringing feminist literary theory to the fore in the academy at a time when such a discipline was, for the most part, inconceivable--dismissed disabling conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome and mental health issues such as Dissociative Identity Disorder (referred to in the text as Multiple Personality Disorder) in her 1997 book Hystories.

In Hystories, Showalter attempted to debunk "modern media epidemics" such as the aforementioned disabilities as well as more traditionally disproven phenomena such as alien abduction and satanic ritual abuse. In the book's chapter on Chronic Fatigue, Showalter rather disingenuously declared that she did not want to “disparage the suffering” of people with such conditions only a few pages before she called CFS an extension of Western “fin de siecle [end of the century] anxiety.” She followed this stunning assertion with the claim that the Western news media was primarily responsible for making CFS into an escalating “psychogenic epidemic” (117, 131).

Like Daly's severe opinion of trans* people as dupes of the medical industry (which Kittywampus cites in her post), Showalter also seemed to be taken with the idea that people with CFS are somehow being duped into thinking that they are ill because of the media focus on their condition. She wrote that many CFS patients and their defenders are “hostile to psychiatric or social explanations” of the condition, and that many of them react in a way that is not friendly to the labeling of CFS as “psychiatric” (128). However, the reactions of these same patients make sense if considered from a non-abled perspective. Showalter also seemed completely mystified by these "hostile" reactions. If CFS is just a manifestation of "fin seicle anxiety," as she contended (adding that "emotions have tremendous power over the body") she seemed to push the conclusion--without any scientific or medical proof--that many people with CFS have somehow been brainwashed into believing they have it; thus, the media-driven "hysterical epidemic" has worked.

Nowhere are feminists with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or related conditions consulted; the not-so-feminist implication here is that feminists with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome either do not exist or are just victims of a "hysterical" media-led epidemic and therefore cannot be "real" feminists. This is similar to how trans* feminists were erased, excluded and castigated by Daly as somehow not "real" women or feminists, and as benefiting from patriarchy in a way that "real" women and feminists could not. To put it crudely: This is exclusionary bullcrap, and it does not do trans* people, people with disabilities, feminists who fit either (or both) of these categories, or the feminist movement as a whole any favors whatsoever.

Exclusion is not radical. It has never been radical. It is, in fact, extraordinarily status-quo. No one should be able to arbitrarily pick and choose who "belongs" in the feminist movement and who does not, especially if those who are being excluded because of their gender identity, sexual identity or disability actively identify as feminist. Feminism should be for a wide variety of people; exclusion, however, is something that is not--and has never been--very feminist.

Author's note: I will be moderating this thread with an iron fist; please have the courtesy to not try to tell me how Daly really was an ally to trans* folks, or how Showalter didn't mean what she said about CFS *that* way, or that either author's influence on the feminist movement somehow excuses their hatred and bigotry. Thank you.

[Originally posted at FWD//Feminists With Disabilities]

04 January, 2010

Mainstream Feminism's "Deep Thoughts" Space is My Chamber of Horrors

Hello, hepkittens! I am taking a break from my self-imposed blogging hiatus (but really, when am I ever not on some sort of hiatus?) to ponder something that has been alternately confusing the crap out of me and making me pound out some half-baked ideas on Tumblr.

What is with all of the defense of the "mainstream" in the guise of contrarianism and/or special snowflake-ness that people keep popping up with as of late? I am not trying to go after any one person in particular, but it seems to me that when you're working within a social justice framework that is meant to be radical, there are things to address other than how you want to, like, listen to certain music and still call yourself a feminist. I mean, not that that is not important, but having the "courage to be cliche" is not exactly the rock that social justice movements were founded upon.

I do not mean to tell people what their feminism should be like, but it strikes me as sort of odd that some folks can write posts like this--on the "courage" that it takes to admit that you like mainstream stuff, OMG--and be apparently straight-faced about it.

Seriously: It is okay to like mainstream stuff. But don't pretend that doing so--and "reclaiming" it--is the very crux of radical, or that your justification for being "cliche" qualifies as "deep thoughts." One's "courage" in being "cliche" is a choice; some people do not have the option to, you know, fit so easily into the mainstream and call it radical.

ETA: OuyangDan has more on this.

23 December, 2009

Guest Blogging 4: This Time, It's Personal

My Glass Menagerie post is up on the Bitch blog! (Lol at misspelling in the link title; I had to go back and edit the title since I hilariously spelled "blue" as "bue.")

Yes, it is basically a mash note to Laura Wingfield.

On an unrelated note, I hope everyone has a happy holiday/solstice/New Year!