29 October, 2009

Guess What?

Dear Certain Able-Bodied Bloggers Who Are Trying Soooo Hard to Stop Fucking Up,

I and other people with disabilities are not your Very Special Learning experience, no matter how much you may want to put us in that box.

As one of the original PWD blogger participants in the chat, furthermore, I'd really like it if the person who apparently believes that we are her Very Special Learning Experiences would a.) Apologize to Amandaw for breaking out the tone argument during the course of the chat (full transcript is here), and b.) attribute sources properly for the suggestions at the end of said Very Special Learning post. Part of the post makes it sound like the Feministing editors came up with the suggestions for improvement. Observe:

"The full summary of the suggestions from the group we engaged with appear after the jump. You can also see the transcript of our chat here.

And here's a quick recap of our substantive suggestions:

* A concrete statement of the site's commitment to intersectionality issues, to address what seems to be a popular feeling among commenters that the site is "Feministing, not SocialJusticeing." Whether a joint post for site authors or another mechanism turns out to be the best way to make this statement was undecided during the chat.

* Guest posts from people with disabilities focusing on a wide range of disability issues. Talks with Patty Berne had begun before these issues were raised and she may do more guest posts or potentially contribute to the site. We clarified our desire to see a wider range of issues addressed than have been in the past 2 years or so, when the only explicit focus on people with disabilities has been about performance art groups. Other potential areas to cover include political issues, health issues, employment issues, etc.

* Increased accessibility of the site itself. Miriam mentioned a current site redesign is in process, so it would be an excellent time to incorporate some increased accessibility. We suggested using this site to identify accessibility barriers and suggestions for fixes: http://wave.webaim.org/

* A clear and reliable mechanism for user flagging abusive comments and getting a response - currently it's unclear where those go, what criteria is used to determine whether it stays or not, with no feedback on criteria. We have noticed that the "report abuse" button now seems to direct emails to the author of the original post, rather than a general email. Miriam also mentioned plans to focus more on comment moderation, including creating a community editor/moderator position and incorporating community members in comment moderation.

* Current and updated contact information for all authors."

You call these YOUR substantive suggestions? These were OUR suggestions, and were not properly attributed to an email sent to the group by abbyjean, who was the organizer/official organizational muscle on our side of the chat.

The mis-attribution could have been a (big) typo, but on the other hand, given what went down in the chat, I am strongly adverse to giving certain folks the benefit of the doubt for any longer.

Oh, one more thing, Certain Able-Bodied Bloggers: IT'S. NOT. ALL. ABOUT. YOU.

Take from this statement what you will.

[I am speaking for myself here, and not as a representative of FWD//Feminists With Disabilities.]

ETA: The irony is killing me. The mere fact that a certain someone can break out the "tone" argument and then, in all seriousness, post something like the above--emotions for me, but not for thee--is truly stunning.


Anonymous said...

When I first read the transcript, I nearly cried when I got to the tone comment because it was just so blatantly hurtful and silencing (especially since I'd been reading a post lambasting Amandaw for her use of personal narrative recently (in particular, lambasting the incredibly powerful post from Feministe this summer)). I barely finished reading the conversation, because everything else the Feministing crew said lost all my respect and trust (what little of that there was) after that.

And then Courtney publishes something about emotion being discounted, and how that's a bad thing which is used to silence women? I didn't realize that much cognitive dissonance was possible - not from a group I associate with critical thinking (which, probably faultily, I do associate feminists with).

On top of that, breaking the generally accepted rules of polite internet communications by citing your damn sources? Which, even if they weren't one of the larger feminist blogs they should know about, considering how many of their bloggers are college-educated (and therefore have almost definitely been taught a thing or two about plagiarism)? *fumes*

Anonymous said...

Sadly, plagiarism is not a new thing. Remember the whole BFP thing with immigration? Or how she had been writing about Radical Love forever, and then Jessica Valenti co-opted the exact same concept for an article to talk about her wedding?

And some of those commenters brought up a good point...how long has the boycott been going on over trans* issues? Why do we get the attention? Is it because they thought we would be easy to deal with b/c we are weak and easy to dismiss and steal from?

I give up. This is a fucking pattern w/ Courtney, and I am fucking sick of it. We don't have the time or resources to keep doing this shit for free (if we were Feministing, we would be getting paid for all of this fancy advice we are giving out, huh? Like a college tour, ya know!). You, and Amandaw and Abby and Anna gave actual time, too, on top of all the other work.

They are not worth it any more.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that was pretty gross. :/

randombitchez: ...how long has the boycott been going on over trans* issues? Why do we get the attention?

I wondered that too! All the PWD they've talked to are cis, right? Maybe trans people are even scarier and more foreign than cis PWD. *sigh*

lauredhel said...

"I wondered that too! All the PWD they've talked to are cis, right?"


annaham said...

All the PWD they've talked to are cis, right?

That is incorrect.