16 September, 2010

I really like this Retard Theory post but I don't think that's an acceptable word for the poster to be using. Maybe more on this later. But I know that some trans women really don't like for transmasculine and genderqueer people to try to "reclaim" the word tranny--there's a web page in fact trying to collect evidence that the slur is mainly used against trans women and therefore doesn't belong to other trans/gender-variant people. I think this is important.

I like the word queer a lot and sometimes use it about myself. But when I was growing up, no one ever used that word as a slur, so it's funny--I feel like nowadays people who call themselves queer are not really reclaiming it, we're just using it because it's a cool word or it feels less constricting than another description. On the other hand, I fucking hate the word dyke, and I was really angry when someone I knew who had never been openly lesbian would throw the word around and use it about me. She said, "Well, I'm a dyke so I can use it." But I mean...I've actually been called that, so it's actually painful for me to hear it, and I don't see how someone can "reclaim" it when it was never used against them in the first place.

The SpeEdChange guy is implying in the comments of his "Retard Theory" post that he was labeled MR at some point and that's why he feels he can use it? Eh, I don't know. I just haven't ever heard of a person with an intellectual disability identifying that way, and I'm leery of absolutely anyone in the world who doesn't 100% for sure have that exact disability using it...I know this all seems very nitpicky, but I just am always against the idea of people saying things like "we're all the same, we all go through the same things." No, we don't.

I do think his intentions are very admirable though, and I certainly don't feel included in the terms crip or gimp (I may not be supposed to). I like the idea of saying Failure Theory, but YMMV.


  1. [1]By everyone except kids, that is. Kids who have to wear glasses get quite a bit of shit from those who don't. I speak from personal experience.

  2. What is YMMV?

    I think the author is dyslexic, and people have called him the r-word because of this in the past. So he probably hasn't suffered from this as much as people with ID have, but I think he has been called "retarded" in a harmful way.

    I feel personally insulted, categorically, when people use the r-word as a pejorative, though no one has ever called me that to my face. I always felt like I could fall into that category if I wasn't careful to pass. That's not the same thing, though. I mean, I haven't dealt with the same stuff. When I ask my friends not to say it I tell them it's insulting to me, but maybe I shouldn't.

  3. no, I feel exactly the same, but I still feel like it's not okay for me to try to "reclaim" it.

  4. Yeah, I wouldn't try to reclaim that word either.

    Also the bit at the end where he tells people to go out and harrass people using assistive technology bothers me. I mean, FWD is full of articles about how it's actually a horrible thing to do to demand someone's reason for using the elevator, for example. I think the author's point is that non-disabled people don't know what it's like to be asked to "prove" their need for the things they use. But his idea that you can go out and challenge anyone using assistive tech, on the assumption that they're not disabled? Bothered me.

    Unless it was a joke... do you think it was a joke?

  5. I think it was maybe kind of a joke since it doesn't seem like it would really be possible to do that. but I did think "but how do you know if someone needs an elevator..."

    the whole students with disabilities setup really infuriates me so I just really needed to see that post. I don't need accommodations right now, which is good because I'm pretty sure that if I tried to get accommodations through the disability services office at this point they wouldn't give them to me because I haven't gotten an ASD diagnosis in seven years. But actually even if I did have a more recent diagnosis I still wouldn't be able to get accommodations for overload or anxiety around speaking (which were things that I got under-the-table accommodations for last term) because those things probably wouldn't be considered legit related to my disability.

    I looked up disability services at Vassar but I just woke up and didn't do such a good job reading it. It looks like they didn't list ASD at all though, I assume it would fit into either the Psychological Disabilities or Learning Disabilities section, but well it's not.

    hey how is your ASAN stuff going?

  6. I actually get some pretty helpful things out of my accomodations here -- academic coaching, staggered deadlines, and advance reading list. It makes me really conscious of my class privilege, though, because I literally got diagnosed 4 times to get to this point. If my parents hadn't had the money for that I wouldn't get the neat accomodations I do.

    Also a kind of sad thing about accomodations for executive function stuff is that you have to plan them -- like you have to set up staggered deadlines at the beginning of the semester, meaning you have to be organizing your calendars the way people with executive dysfunction do ALL THE TIME. It's kind of like that joke about an advertisement that says "Illiterate? Write to us today for free help!" However, if you can get over the initial planning the staggered dealines and things can be helpful. The academic coaching is the best bit really.

    ASAN stuff goes... more slowly than I'd like. I'm trying to establish it as a sister organization with ACCESS, the disabled students group here, but ACCESS is just starting out and I don't want to overwhelm the membership. Also I'm kind of struggling to get my homework done/get enough sleep. But I have managed to do some concrete things about ASAN like recruit some interested people and find places to advertise. Right now I'm trying to secure us a place to meet.