Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Skepticism's ableism problem again: Skepchick et cetera.

I'm a bit late to the blogging party on this one, which is ironic because it's all my fault that the Skepchicks are sadpants because their ableism was called as much.

I am not linking to their fuckups or to the posts that are followup fuckups because I don't give traffic to ableists. It is not a thing I do. Especially as it requires looking shit up again and I am tired and, well, late to my own party.

I don't always go to war with organizations, but when I do it's on accident because I mistakenly thought they gave a shit about being better people.

So. Skepchick authors (multiple!) collaborated on a sarcastic valentine to the jackasses who DDOS'd their site. Great! I love sarcasm directed at asshats!

Oh wait except their message had nothing to do whatsoever with how people who shout and holler about FREE SPEECH are big fucking hypocrites when they DDOS a site to shut them up. It was all "stupidest motherfucker" and "fucking idiot" and "I am truly impressed you remember to breathe".


"You are so cognitively impaired it is amazing that you can even handle autonomic functions" is one of the most revolting things I have heard in a while. And from people who pretend to be for equality it is even worse. They're oh so for social justice, except their go to insult is...still people like me.

So I message Surly Amy on twitter (because she illustrated it. Also I met her at the first geek girl con, and bought several surlyramics, which I can't even look at without gagging now) and also at the whole collective. Enter the white able tears! Like, right from the get go. My favorite was the "well you did it too!" when I called it an astonishing lack of thought.

Except saying someone didn't think isn't at all disparaging their ability. It's commenting on their action (lack of action). Their entire damn collective's lack of action, because that should not have gotten past all of them.

White able woman tears got more dramatic from this point. Rebecca Watson, who caught enormous amounts of hate for pointing out that cornering a woman in an elevator at 3AM when she had said she didn't want to be hit on is not cool, went full out double triple down ablesplainer nightmare. And she made it about the word "stupid". Now, the word "stupid" is ableist. However, that is not what I initially most strenuously objected to.

This is disingenuous as fuck, Ms Watson. I know that people like me are your go to insult, but your tactic is transparent: make it about the most pervasive word so that your critics look ridiculous to the majority, and ignore the entirety of your heinous behavior.

And then of course skeptics, being oh so skeptical, decided it was a false flag operation from various nasty corners of the internet. Never mind that the initial callout was from my personal twitter (with a picture and years of history, and a link to this blog with more years of history, also my name...which also, um, years of history). Obviously trolls.

No skepticism at all there, folks. Occam's Razor apparently clearly dictates that I set up this blog, my twitter, my speaking, authoring, et cetera solely to troll Amy, Elyse, Rebecca, etc. I've done all my activism, clearly, just so that the day would come when I could persecute them (for things they actually did! that actually suck!) as a troll. Yep. Or at least that's what they and their syncophants came up with.

Damn, if that is doing skepticism correctly, I am glad to be doing it wrong, since it is completely fucking nonsensical. They aren't worth that kind of effort, frankly, and it's really quite bullshit to suggest that my positions are anything but sincere. I have dealt with phenomenal amounts of shit for my positions.

So. Yeah. Skepticism fail. Research fail. Too busy crying privileged tears to think outside themselves.

So. That was a problem. But there was also a problem from someone who tries to get things usually, LousyCanuck/Jason Thibeault. It wasn't as vile as the Skepchicks going out of their way to be oppressive, and I've been trying to word it since we conversed on twitter (a truly exhausting exchange).

Ok, so part the first. "I don't think stupid is always a slur but I don't use it because it's imprecise" is doing the better thing for not exactly great reasons. Disabled people say that stupid is a slur. So you should believe the folks who say that. Yes, it is imprecise (much as 'nice' is) but I should hope that not hurting people is a high priority.

Also, um, citation needed for not always a slur. Disabled people are held to ridiculously high standards of evidence regarding things being hurtful where folks--the same folks--will take the word of other marginalized people. So this is not exactly ok.

The thing I really take issue with, though, happened in the twitter conversation itself. It was truly infuriating, in that Jason said it and that he seemed to think it was a reasonable explanation for people being intentionally oppressive assholes and that he didn't seem to be understanding why it's not.

He told me that anti SJ people will take ridiculous positions of made up outrage to try to make social justice look ridiculous, & so the Skepchicks clearly thought that's what was happening, and therefore they doubled down.



This is not ok.

Firstly, this says that y'all think disability rights is ridiculous. That no one would actually sincerely be against ableism. This is especially problematic in skeptic spaces, where "but having cognitive problems is objectively bad!" is such a common excuse for ableism. Fucking own your ableism, folks, say "yeah I am a bigot". But don't expect disabled people to be ok with you thinking our quest for rights is so absurd that mistaking us for trolls is the Occam's Razor Solution.

That's bigotry and it is wrong and you are not for social justice if that's your deal.

Secondly, this is again holding us to a much higher standard than it is them. See the section, above, with how very difficult it is to find my over a decade of holding strong disability rights positions. Why the hell do they not have to do research, but we're expected to be ok with them being flagrantly nasty because they came to the wrong conclusion?

Also it's excusing their behavior. Don't do that guys. If someone fucks up, hold them accountable. Consistently people have been feeling sooo bad for them because I publicly said I'm probably getting rid of my surlies. Oh. No. The. Humanity. But no one cares about the people actually hurt by their attitude. It's all about how sadpants they are that a few people called them on it.

There is no excuse. None. It doesn't matter if they thought we were...I can't even think of something more ridiculous than what they actually think, actually. This is indefensible.

This was not ok.

So, yet another disappointing organization that I thought I could respect. People who, it turns out, don't think I am a person. Who think I am their go to insult. Who think that we are so much non-people that their upset at being called out for being oppressive matters more than the dehumanization and such they are actually inflicting on us.

Feminism & skepticism need to clean their damn houses. I don't see this happening. Have fun with your able woman tears, y'all. I'm taking my ball & going to movements that think I'm a person.


Vlad Drăculea said...

Beautifully said, K! I'm so grateful to finally have *found* this movement (well, it was a year ago, but yeah), because of people like you. <3 (heart)

Liz Beedub said...

I'm sure that I'll never be perfect at deleting ableist slurs from my vocabulary but your writing has and continues to compell me to work at it.

All the best.

Anonymous said...

We who are privelidged need to realize it, or if we don't but we say we care, then we need to stop/breathe/think. I've stuck my foot in my mouth before, by accident - but I'll apologize and ask what to say instead/ask for help based on what I was trying to say.
Sorry that happened.

Unknown said...

Please go here and explain to them why having parents have a voice on a blog that is supposed to be for disabled people is wrong. I tried to explain it to them, and they said I was illogical. I don't think they should be creating a disability site, if they think dismissing the lived experience of a person with a form of Autism by calling them illogical is okay.

Unknown said...

I tried speaking up against an article that insinuated Autism is devastating. I was attacked and told my backing down and attempting to be compliant was a form of manipulation.

Those people at Skepchick have no business running a disability site if they think they can post that. Apparently I'm speaking for everyone by suggesting Autism shouldn't be associated with devastation. If they have a community that wants to punish people with mental disabilities for standing up for themselves, that's what they have.

I don't know why so many people without a form of Autism say I'm manipulative by surrendering and acting docile. Isn't that what they want for me? To know my place is beneath them?