every time i talk about eugenics abortion being bad, people assume i want to legally ban or restrict abortion of disabled fetuses, instead of noticing that sex-selective abortion is a similar issue with similar solutions that have nothing to do with legal anything.
disability activists generally want the following things, in order to reduce eugenics abortion:
- no more pressuring pregnant people to abort disabled fetuses or shaming them for choosing to carry the pregnancy to term (in case you’re wondering, doctors absolutely do this)
- no more pressuring disabled and/or mentally ill pregnant people to have abortions or shaming them for choosing to stay pregnant (doctors do this too)
- no more devaluing disabled people’s lives in pro choice rhetoric, such as by bringing up disabled fetuses as an argument or “gotcha” when arguing with people who think all abortion should be illegal
- active valorization of disabled people and involving us in the leadership of pro-choice organizations
- pro-choice organizations addressing the prevalence of doctors and society pressuring people into eugenics abortions
- pro-choice organizations actively challenging and critiquing ableism in their movements, historically and currently
- establishment of better support systems for disabled parents and parents with disabled children
- better health care and better access to it
disabled people who criticize the eugenics abortion are not your enemies. we don’t want to force or pressure anyone to stay pregnant or to terminate. please acknowledge that it’s frankly terrifying for us when a fellow pro choice person directly defends the ethics of eugenics abortion to us.
Anyone else with a mental illness really get down on themselves about how it affects their activism? (I’m sure aaalllll kinds of disabilities have a similar experience, please comment if you do, I’m just specifying mental illness in relation to myself because it’s something I personally have, but not other disabilities or conditions.)
Like all I want is for my support and #resistance to be practical and NOT performative but on bad days sometimes reading articles and sharing and showing support to other activists is all I can do and it makes me feel really fake to be honest.
Like… no matter what disability or illness related-reasons causes it…
What if sometimes you can’t go out and march because your bones feel like they’ll collapse or being around so many people sends your PTSD/stress through the roof?
What if sometimes you can’t donate any more money to your favourite causes or ANY causes because having below a certain amount in your account gives you panic attacks and 24/7 anxiety?
What if sometimes you dodge the political society people on campus (the ones you love and agree with) because you’re so overloaded or manic that you can’t even bear the thought of a conversation?
What if sometimes you are totally taken down by the intellectual, physical and emotional labour of calling and messaging politicians and representatives to give us rights we should already have?
What if sometimes you have to disconnect from any awareness of worldwide tragedy and injustice for hours or days at a time because the level of catastrophic depression in your mind LITERALLY puts your life in danger if you don’t wallpaper yourself in peace and hope for a while?
What if sometimes you get sick to death of the ableism in activist circles (or ANY circles), from the tiny microaggressions to the huge inequalities and it makes you drown in negativity?
What if your condition means all these things apply all the time, not just sometimes?
And how do you tell the difference between your genuine issues and you making excuses, to hold yourself accountable for doing what you want others to do, even though it’s never easy?
All I want is a better world but holy hell does all this get me down. It feels like I almost only ever have the energy, means, money, time or literal mental ability to talk the talk and not walk the walk. I hate it.
But I survive because I know I’m not alone, and that my struggles are part of my fight, not the end of it. Mad love to you all.
One of the main characters on HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones, is paralyzed. Another has lost his right hand. We’ve met an important character with a severe skin disorder and another with an intellectual disability.
And Peter Dinklage, the actor who comes first in the credits, is a little person. So is Rebecca Cokley, executive director of the National Council on Disability. She’s a fan of the show — in part because it’s given average-sized viewers a new set of references for people who look like her.
[Tweet by Twitter user Samanticka. Caption: “Arrests continue. #ADAPTandRESIST #SaveMedicaid”. Photo: A woman with short hair in a green shirt using an electric wheelchair and oxygen support holding a sign that says “Medicaid = LIFE + LIBERTY 4 Disabled Americans”]
So if you follow me, you’ve probably already heard that the ~new and improved AHCA~ is, shocker, completely barbaric.
A disabled activist group called ADAPT is staging a protest at Mitch McConnell’s offices right now. (I’ve marched with them in the past, they do good work.) There are videos coming out of the ensuing arrests right now, and I will warn you right now, they’re horrifying. I won’t lie to you, I cried my eyes out watching some of them. But these people aren’t being dragged screaming from their wheelchairs so no one will watch, so here are a few twitter links.
Disabled protestors are often barred from public demonstrations, like marches, and fall under the radar when they do large-scale protests like this. Please see us and hear us when we demand our human rights.
tbh when we learned about Helen Keller in school, we never saw her as a revolutionary disabled rights activist. she was portrayed as a lady who managed to overcome her crushing disability in order to make something of herself despite overwhelming odds, and we were told all about “how she even learned to write!!!! and speak!!! amazing!!!!!” like that was her greatest accomplishment in life, and honestly it’s a toxic view that reflects everything wrong with the way that liberals see disability
I want to talk about disability and be an activist and write articles about disability and ableism. I feel like my illnesses have messed up my brain too much now and I’m not intelligent or coherent enough to be a part of the conversation and it kills me.
hi, have you got any recs for what to do and what not to do if you were to write a daredevil fanfic?
DO I EVER
firstly, do listen to actual blind/vi people and what they have said about writing blind characters. i know a lot about daredevil, and i know about disability studies and media analysis, but i’m sighted. i should not be the extent of who you listen to on this. some potential resources for information and perspectives:
blogs/etc about blindness specifically by b/vi people
if you’re doing fight scenes, maybe read up on some b/vi fighters and athletes
i tried to go through who i follow on tumblr but i forgot that all i follow here now are my friends and blogs that post photos of jellyfish
on twitter i apparently exclusively follow disability activists and comic creators, which is pretty on brand for me
i have a lot of specific articles and stuff so hmu for those i guess
do include tech, tools, etc that matt might use.
do research how that tech/those resources/tools/etc work before you try to include it. if i have to read one more fic where someone uses a ballpoint pen to make colored dots in a page and then matt reads it as braille, i will cry. like at least do some basic googling.
do check your work to make sure it doesn’t play into common ableist tropes, particularly
do have matt’s senses be more than just “”compensation”” for his blindness, and that’s in double quotes because that whole idea is fucked up. i think a much stronger reading is similar to — or in fact actually — sensory processing disorder. (one of many posts i’ve written on SPD matt)
i’m also real suspicious of the number of fics where matt is made completely helpless and must get “rescued,” and of the amount of matt!whump out there. i get that having matt get rescued flips the superhero narrative of matt rescuing others in the canon, but, like, all you’re doing is flipping it right back to disabled people being helpless, which is not as creative or original as you maybe think it is (an ask on fandom making matt “learn his place”)
do not have matt say “god, i wish i could see you” or otherwise emphasize how much he must absolutely want nothing more than to be nondisabled (post on this exact thing)
do not write Matt Temporarily or Permanently Goes Deaf and It’s The Worst Thing Ever fic. there’s plenty, and it’s always audist, and it nearly always forgets that d/Deafblind people actually exist.
similarly, do not write bodyswap AUs where matt bodyswaps with a nondisabled character unless you’re incredibly 100% sure you know what you’re doing.
i will actually destroy whole buildings if you write a no-longer-disabled AU. i will just tear everything to shreds. everything else aside, there is no sighted daredevil. that does not exist. (here is a post on that)
do not forget that matt murdock is blind — actually blind. not “fake blind” or “not real-world blind” or “basically sighted”, but actually blind. he did not read that sign off the wall from 20 feet away, he is not disarming that bomb by identifying each colored wire, he’s not looking up into her beautiful hazel eyes. (post explaining that matt’s actually blind)
some of this is people fudging how far is powers go (please. he cannot radar sense the television screen. do not do this to me again.) and writing him as “fake blind,” and some of it is people literally forgetting that they’re writing a blind character. like i often read fic where the writer clearly just genuinely have forgotten that he’s not just a slightly gorier spider-man
honestly it would be the absolute coolest if we could get to the point where “remember that matt’s disabled” can become more than just “don’t have him literally do things that he cannot do” and extends into, like, “have matt think about the world like a disabled person does, and interact with nondisabled people like disabled people do, and think about disability activism and ableism”. (here’s a post i wrote about matt manipulating ableist attitudes for his own survival, but like, it’d be cool if that kind of stuff was, y’no, intentional)
do not act like matt uses certain tech or aids because he has to “play” at being blind. no matter what d.g. chichester says, he cannot read a computer screen by touch, and his cane is not just a secret identity prop, or he wouldn’t use it in volume 4 even after his identity has been revealed
look, if you’re going to run a website dedicated to civil rights and liberties (and especially if your website deals with disability issues) …
… then you have to make sure your website is accessible for people who use devices like screen readers, adapted keyboards, speech-to-text, etc..
the big one I’m thinking of here is image captions.
If you’re going to put an image in a post, caption it in plain, screen-reader accessible text.
If there’s a link to a reader-accessible version or transcript, put it in the body of the post near the image.
but this is also for things like closed captioning.
Of the many YouTube channels I watch, I can think of only two that have regular, high-quality closed captioning (Tom Scott* and @annieelainey**, if anyone is wondering).
The rest are a sort of piecemeal, hit-and-miss fashion.
Including channels like John Oliver and Samantha Bee – these channels feature clips from network comedy news shows! They have network backing; surely they can assign someone to make sure the YouTube videos have closed captions.
Gah, and understanding that not everyone is able to use a mouse and hardware keyboard at all times.
Some people use tablets (think iPad) because of a disability. Some use a drawing tablet and pen (think what Wacom makes) because those are easier. Some people use voice-controlled mouse and speech-to-text software.
(Kristen Cashore, author of the Graceling trilogy, has written before about how she writes all her novels with pen and paper and then uses speech-to-text software to transcribe them into a computer.)
Some people can only use a keyboard, no mouse or tablet or pen at all.
my point is here that if you want to strive for progress and make that clear in your website, you must make it accessible to disabled people who use adaptive computers.
Do not leave us out of your activism because we can’t access your sites. Many of us already can’t be involved in activism offline because of our disabilities.
Don’t make the internet even more hostile to us. Please.
(I realize that I am leaving a lot of adaptive systems out of this post. If you have more examples of ways people can make websites accessible, please add them.)
*Tom Scott makes videos about science, interesting “Things You Might Not Know,” travelogues, and general British buffoonery.
**Annie Elainey is a disability activist who makes videos about her experiences with disability, race, gender, sexuality, and a number of other issues.
Edited to add: @spooniestrong has brought to my attention that expecting individual disabled people to keep their blogs completely accessible is ableist because not everyone has the capability/energy to do so. I apologize for sounding like I expected everyone who runs an activism site to make their sites completely accessible, because that simply isn’t capable for many people running blogs on their own.
This post was aimed much more towards big sites (e.g.: micdotcom and its splinter sites) that sometimes feature pieces on disabled people without making their content accessible to those people. (A piece on blind activists that has no image captioned, for instance.) I will absolutely hold those and all other large sites accountable – they have the people power to make sure their articles are accessible.
Again, I apologize for making it sound like I expected every single person ever who runs an activism site to make their site accessible. Not everyone can and individual people running small blogs for them and their peers should get more slack than big sites who have the resources to do so.
|| For the sake of the kids, names have been changed
I was hanging out with the kids I babysit. The 12 yr old, Marcus, has autism and the 10 yr old, Alice, is already a feminist, disability activist, giant nerd, you name it. She is literally the perfect child.
So at the end of the night of playing Star Wars and X-Men and whatnot with the coolest kids the planet has to offer I’m getting my paycheck and I’m chatting with their mom. And Alice heard her mom call me “Miss Whitney.” I’m fairly used to pronoun misuse due to the extreme lack of any diversity in my home town, so I really didn’t expect this child to tell her mom:
“That’s not a Miss… That’s a they them… A non-binary pal. Like Thomas Sanders says. They told me at dinner. Boy and a girl. Right Whitney?“
So yeah, we spent another half an hour after I was supposed to leave bonding over your videos and she also had me sing her Warrior Girl before she went to sleep (I only know a vague amount but Alice said it was good enough).
Thomas: This story… warms my heart SO much. I don’t even know what to say other than… I’m so SO happy these kids are being provided an environment of open-mindedness and I am able, in some small way, to contribute to that. And you are too!! And this mom! This made me… so happy. Tell them I said hi. I’m so glad she likes the song, cause she indeed sounds like a little warrior girl, herself.
It’s very interesting looking at the coverage of the ADAPT protests and seeing the amount of commenters suggesting the disabled activists are just faking for publicity
Accusing disabled people of faking is incredibly common and harmful but also I think the idea of disabled people as angry, as having agency, as having voices, as people who fight is so completely removed from people’s ideas of us that a lot of these commenters literally cannot process disabled protestors
We have always fought, we have always protested, we have always tried to hold onto our agency, our voices and our lives, but we are so desperately kept from the public eye and only allowed to be peered at through the window of infantilisation, inspiration and demonisation that we have become nonexistant and nonhuman to so many
These people are not faking, these people are fighting and I can only thank them for this action
Anyway the canon is wrong, what actually happened was that Reba and Francis met about a year earlier and like, there were some ups and downs because Francis had a lot of demons that he needed to face and some of that he could only do by and for himself.
But things are pretty great now and the two of them are like the fiercest and most militant disability rights activists you have ever seen, they are ride or die for each other and for every other disabled person out there.
They love each other and they support each other and they are both doing really good.
D’s learning to love himself too, he’s recovering, it’s great.
Self-diagnosis is to essentially seek out what medical conditions you might have by looking up your symptoms online. It has become widespread and popular on Tumblr- especially among disability activists- as a way to identify and claim medical conditions without having to go to the doctors. However, it is an extremely flawed concept and is actually potentially dangerous and generally inadvisable!
Instead, Self-Advocacy is generally encouraged; To research one’s symptoms and what potential conditions they connect to, without latching onto or declaring any of the conditions, and rather providing a clean list of symptoms for discussion and providing to the doctor when possible.
Now, let’s elaborate on the problems with self-diagnosis…
When you make a big deal out of replacing the word “disabled” with something else, what you’re really saying is that there’s something wrong with being disabled. That it’s bad. That it’s something you shouldn’t call someone, which means it’s something we shouldn’t be.