Feminist Aspie

If the New Year sexual assaults were made up, it reveals ugly truths about what white men believe

(I’m not going to manage the usual Friday evening blog this week, so instead here’s a great analysis by Stavvers of how white men are trying to have their cake and eat it over the New Year mass sexual assaults. See you next week!)

Another angry woman

Content note: this post discusses sexual violence, rape apologism and racism

News has emerged that the New Year mass sexual assaults by Arab men may have been made up or colossally overstated. If this is true, it’s a rare occurrence of sexual assault allegations proving to be false, and it’s utterly disgusting and unhelpful to everyone.

Except white men. Remember the frothing glee with which white men seized upon similar attacks, a year before. Remember how Nigel Farage, practically hard, threatened that this was why Migration Is Bad. Remember how the police rounded up brown men, ostensibly for the safety of women. Remember the wild-eyed excitement from the right, literally saying “told you so“.

And compare and contrast this with the reaction when an allegation is made against a white man’s idol. Donald Trump, Roman Polanski, Julian Assange… the endless list of beloved white men…

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Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was autistic – so why is this being erased?

It seems like a tiny thing, I know, but it’s really bugging me.

The late Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, who died this week aged 45, was diagnosed as autistic in 2014. It did make news at the time, but apparently not as much as I thought, because in all the articles I read through about her death and describing her life, not a single one gave this as much as a passing reference. With all the coverage she’s had over the last few days, most people I’ve mentioned this to (including autistic people) didn’t even know.

And honestly, it feels a lot like erasure – of autistic adults, of autistic women, of late-diagnosed autistic people, of autistic people in general who don’t fit the rigid stereotypes. It feels strange that, alongside a couple of other autistic women I’ve seen on social media, I seem to be the only one who’s noticed.

Of course, a late autism diagnosis is hardly the most important thing about Palmer-Tomkinson’s life, and we can’t really know how she would have wanted it to be dealt with anyway. But leaving it out across the board is particularly interesting when we consider what the media have been more than happy to leave in.  More specifically, the meltdowns – here’s a more sensitive take on the Heathrow incident, written at the time by another autistic woman. Given that many of the obituaries eagerly discuss this and similar incidents in great detail, sometimes in a critical and almost mocking tone, it’s difficult to see why autism would be deemed irrelvant. And in prioritising this unwanted attention on a vulnerable moment in her life over the autism revelation given willingly in an interview, it’s incredibly difficult to frame this omission as a matter of respect. On a more positive note, several articles noted her charity work with autistic children – but still, despite the obvious relevance, leaving out the autistic adult in the picture.

In the interests of honesty, I had another quick Google before I started writing this up this morning, and I did find this clip from Good Morning Britain on the OK! website; Carrie Grant does note the autism diagnosis, and that quote is included in OK!’s write-up. It’s worth noting at this point that Grant has autistic children herself and is involved in campaigning around autism; it’s sad that this one mention has come from someone already in the wider “~autism community~” because nobody else seems to want to bring it up!

Representation matters – for combating stereotypes, and for ensuring everyone knows that they’re not alone, that there are others like them. Erasure prevents this. Stop erasing autistic people.

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Everything is the worst – and we shouldn’t have to just put up with it

By the time this post goes up, Donald Trump will be President. Yep. Really. Remember how ridiculous and impossible that was three months ago? I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you why this is terrible and dangerous, but I do worry about how easy it is to normalise it, to buy into all the awful “marginalised groups provoked this by asking for basic human rights” rhetoric when it’s everywhere. So, for the record:

  • You don’t have to “just learn to live with” the fact that someone who openly admitted to sexual assault has been allowed to reach one of the most powerful positions in the world.
  • You don’t have to engage in “respectful debate” over the “controversial” views that climate change isn’t real or that vaccines cause autism. Those views aren’t controversial. They are objectively, scientifically, wrong.
  • You don’t have to “just get over” your healthcare, even your means of survival, being taken away.
  • It’s not “demonising” to point out that people in power think conversion therapy is okay and to point out that it really, really isn’t.
  • You don’t have to “get along with” people who think you and people like you are an acceptable target for open mockery.
  • And you DEFINITELY don’t have to “unite as a country” with people who support literally actually really building an actual fucking wall to keep you and people like you out. (Or with people who put their own economy at risk to keep you and people like you out, for that matter… and they say WE “want to stay in our own echo chambers”?)

The far-right and its supporters want you to think that it’s irrational, unreasonable or childish (cleverly playing on the insecurities of many millenials who haven’t had the same socio-economic opportunities to reach “adult” milestones as in the past) to stand up for yourself and your rights. It is NOT irrational, unreasonable or childish to stand up for yourself and your rights. It is NOT irrational, unreasonable or childish to resist.

 

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Some Twitter threads on transphobia

CONTENT NOTE: This post discusses transphobia and conversion therapy, and also mentions anti-vaxxers. The first linked thread mentions transphobia, healthcare gatekeeping, ableism and sexism. The second linked thread mentions transphobia, healthcare gatekeeping, gaslighting, suicide and ableism.

Three weeks into the whole “new post every Friday at 7pm” thing, and I’m already messing it up – a lot’s happened this week and I have a few deadlines coming up, so here I am with an imminent Blog Time and virtually zero Blog Ability.

Instead I’m going to link to two Twitter threads by two autistic trans people, Harry Giles and @Scattermoon, broadly about the BBC’s decision to broadcast a documentary entertaining the idea that cis adults know what’s best for trans children better than trans children do, framing abuse of trans children as a ~~debate~~, and suggesting that autism is a valid reason to disregard gender identity, amongst other things.

You’d have thought media organisations would have learned lessons from the whole Andrew-Wakefield-claiming-MMR-causes-autism thing, but apparently not.

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Blogversary/The Annual Resolution To Post More

This blog is officially four years old! *raining confetti*

On a related note, this blog still exists. I kind of dropped the ball again, so this is my first post since Autistics Speaking Day on 1st November, and of course since then the world has gone even more to shit than it already was, which is maybe part of the reason I feel like the gap between posts is longer than it really is.

I feel like it’s usually around the same time of year when my blogging lapses, and I think that’s because for me autumn still means a new year at university (and this year, a new university!), so routines take time to change and the blog gets lost along the way. My other excuse this time round is that I’ve been focusing on my own Twitter rather than hiding away under the FeministAspie alias, which I guess is a good thing, but I think I still find the more anonymous space beneficial and I don’t intend to completely abandon it!

Evidently, my blogversary coincides almost exactly with New Year, which means I always end up making and re-making the same resolution: Post on FeministAspie once a week. To be fair, this usually lasts at least a couple of months, but this time I’ve had the idea of giving myself a weekly deadline so that a blogging routine is incorporated into my existing routine. So, from now on, I aim for posts to be scheduled for publication on Fridays at 7pm (UK time). This will be the official FeministAspie timeslot. We’ll see how long it lasts!

Finally, given that it’s also the end of 2016 (which sounds reassuring, until you remember that Brexit and Trump haven’t even really happened yet and 2016 was basically just laying the foundations for the awfulness to start…), here are my five most-viewed posts of the year:

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Cheese and O(pi)nion

(CONTENT NOTE: This post mentions racism and xenophobia, media sexualisation of children, sexist and racist harassment and sexual assault.)

This week, the 2016 Weird Awful News Machine has heavily featured Match of the Day presenter and crisp-advert-man Gary Lineker. Front-page tabloid headlines calling for him to be sacked, politicians attacking and defending him, debate still raging all over the internet… What on earth did Lineker say that was so huge and controversial it created this massive media storm?

“The treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless. What’s happening to our country?”

 

…Oh.

Yep. That’s really it. Very non-confrontational, doesn’t blame anyone or anything directly, he even includes the phrase “by some” which you’d think would combat the usual not-all-white-people-not-all-Brexiters-not-me-not-me-not-me brigade.

Here, Lineker was criticising people and publications who responded to the arrival in the UK of fourteen – yes, fourteen – teenage refugees from Calais by scrutinising their photos, declaring them to “not look like children”, and then being all furious and hateful because they must be lying about their age. (Heavy sarcasm incoming…) It can’t be because people grow and age at different rates and adolescence is a particularly awkward time, with some children barely in secondary school being deemed fully grown (usually by those who want to sexualise them – the Daily Mail is particularly familiar with the “all grown up” trope) while some young adults are told they don’t look old enough to have left school. It can’t be because these refugees have seen horrors and devastation that no child should have to go through. Nope, apparently they have to be liars, because we as a society assume all refugees are lying about their situation (which conveniently means not having to feel guilty about the UK’s part in creating and maintaining their situation) and secretly after “our” money, “our” jobs, “our” resources… wait, who is this “our”? There’s the racism. I would then say the heartlessness is the fact that *fourteen* refugees arrive and the immediate response is anger over the fairly slim chance that a few of them are adults, because heaven forbid we help an 18-year-old get a roof over their head and the chance of a fresh start rather than a 17-year-old, right?

This leads us nicely into the often overlooked distinction between offence and harm. If Lineker is wrong (which he isn’t) then what are the consequences? At worst, an adult refugee gets the assistance they need. You could make the argument that a child refugee would be missing out on that assistance, but frankly the problem there is how limited the numbers are in the first place because immigration even to escape war and persecution is so demonised. As for the people who are angry at Lineker’s statement, I’m not sure the arrival of f o u r t e e n refugees, whatever their age, affects them or the “general public” they claim to represent much at all. It’s not about the risk of harm. It’s about offence.

I’ll make that clear: The Sun (which, as awful as it is, does for some reason hold a lot of sway over public opinion and, in turn, political opinion)  called for a man who talks about people kicking a ball around to be sacked from that job because they’re offended that he had a completely unrelated opinion different from their own. That’s the situation. So where the heck are the free speech brigade?

They were out in force when Richard Keys and Andy Gray, who also talked about people kicking a ball around, were dismissed for making sexually derogatory remarks about women and stating a female linesman was not fit for the role due to her gender – remarks that reinforce prevalent sexual harassment of women and existing barriers to women in male-dominated careers, i.e. causing harm rather than just offence, but were still seen by many as just “banter”. They were out in force when alt-right pundit Milo Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter for repeatedly violating its terms of service, culminating in sustained racial abuse and harassment against actress Leslie Jones – such harassment and abuse can and does cause long-lasting psychological harm, but as the tweets in the link show, that was seen as suppression of free speech over offence. And, of course, a couple of weeks ago *actual US presidential candidate* Donald Trump pretty much admitted to sexually assaulting women – I hope I don’t need to tell you that sexual assault is harmful, but Trump and his supporters dismissed this as “locker room banter”, and he’s still running for President even though I could continue this “harmful statements defended as free speech” paragraph forever just on the Trump campaign alone.

As the above incidents and many more show, there are a lot of people around who apparently care about nothing more than freedom of expression, no matter how much these views can cause real harm to the rights and freedoms of others (or “special snowflakes looking for offence” as they’d put it). These people use their (mistaken) conception of free speech to attack everything from combating harassment to using trigger warnings. So in comparison to that, you’d think a football presenter and crisp enthusiast who just said refugees are people and should be treated as such would be an easy case, right? But nope, just silence.

Apparently “some people are being racist and heartless towards these refugees” is just too radical a statement.

It’s almost as if those who criticise taking hate speech seriously don’t actually care about freedom of speech; only freedom to hate.

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Remain Calm…

Even yesterday, I saw posts and heard IRL conversations from people still undecided as to how to vote in today’s EU referendum, in some cases physical anxiety over whether their view might be the wrong one, in some cases saying they shouldn’t be voting at all because they don’t feel knowledgeable enough or confident enough. I’ve heard this stuff mostly (though not exclusively) from women, and in particular the anxiety/mental health side of things is really affecting a lot of people in a group I’m in for autistic women, and that makes me really sad given that marginalised groups such as these are likely to be hardest hit by any negative consequences of the referendum.

First things first – this isn’t really why I wanted to write this post, but for the record. I will be voting Remain. I’m not going to go into all the ins and outs of why – there are some brilliant summaries available elsewhere – but I’ll attempt a quick summary. Firstly, because of the many and varied protections and benefits the EU provides, ranging from legislation protecting workers’ rights to funding schemes such as Erasmus (my year studying abroad taught me things I could never have learned from textbooks) – sure, technically we could participate in some of that stuff without being in the EU, but given the current government is relentlessly cutting funding and disregarding  the rights of everyone but themselves, in reality we wouldn’t. Secondly, the immediate economic effect would hit the poorest, most vulnerable people hardest and would probably be used to justify further austerity – not everyone can afford to take the risk of just waiting for eventual recovery. Thirdly, and most importantly, regardless of individual reasons for voting Leave, I think a win for Leave would be taken as a win for the toxic racist rhetoric of the likes of UKIP and Britain First, and that is absolutely not the route I want this (or any) country to go down.

Having said that, why I really wanted to write this post is that the majority of official and unofficial campaigning tends not to consider some of the people I spoke about above – it assumes an abled, neurotypical audience, it assumes people are able to jump right on board and share views on command, it assumes people aren’t already overwhelmed by the conflicting and often judgmental and aggressive things bombarding them from all sides. On that note:

  • Please vote if you can – young people in particular are often underrepresented, marginalised groups generally are often underrepresented,  it’s okay to not feel completely confident in your choice (see below) and, unlike general elections where you vote within a particular constituency where the result may already be certain, your vote in the referendum counts as much as anyone else’s. BUT do not shame people who can’t – some people are disabled, some cannot physically access a polling station, some may try to leave the house and then have a debilitating panic attack, some people cannot register to vote due to their immigration status or because their details on the electoral roll would leave them at risk of abuse, not everyone has an available proxy and not all of these issues are predictable enough for “just get a postal vote” to be the solution. Politics goes beyond the ballot box, and those who cannot contribute today might still be able to contribute in other ways tomorrow and beyond.
  • It’s important to do some research, not least because both sides have used misleading “facts” and newspapers have been biased as ever – BUT (and I’m particularly talking to women here, although this does apply to everyone) it’s okay not to know everything. I don’t think anybody does. Seriously, three weeks ago I sat a university final exam in EU law and part of me still feels like I’m not quite qualified enough to be writing this. I find it so frustrating that some people have expressly asked around for unbiased sources and have clearly done their research but still feel an overpowering surge of panic and self-doubt about going to vote, whilst other people have made up their minds very confidently on the basis of a couple of newspaper headlines and Facebook memes. To be honest, if you’re even worrying “what if I’m wrong?” you’ve probably put a lot more thought into this than some people who will be voting today, and you have just as much of a right to express your view in the ballot box as anybody else.
  • As mentioned above, this isn’t like a general election and every vote really does count, so do speak up where you can – BUT it’s okay not to be constantly on the defence in situations you don’t feel safe or comfortable in. If you’re not normally someone who can get through difficult interactions without panicking or shutting down or maintaining coherent speech and so on, that isn’t going to change just because there’s a referendum. If you’re in a situation where abuse is a factor, your safety is the most important thing to consider. And at the end of the day, everyone has their own free will – campaigning and persuading does make a huge difference, but at the same time, if this doesn’t go the way you want it to, it’s not solely your fault for not confronting that one person who shared a horribly inaccurate Facebook post the other day.
  • It’s okay to feel anxious. Believe me, I do, and there are so many people who would be affected far more badly than me. At the very least, in just a few hours, all the campaigning and arguing and the pressure will be over. As I’ve said, I hope the result will be Remain and we can put this whole chaotic mess behind us tomorrow. If the result is Leave, as bad as the consequences may be, it’s not necessarily the end of the world – we can still fight austerity, we can still fight oppression, we can still fight the hatred that has been stirred up, we can still fight for fundamental rights. Again, politics goes beyond the ballot box.
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An Unexpected Knock

(TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses harassment in the context of an abusive relationship)

Part One

I’m at home, in the dining room, with my family – maybe I’m eating, maybe I’m studying, it depends – when there’s an unexpected knock at the door. Silence. We all look at each other furtively, nobody knowing quite how to react. Dad gets up to answer the door, slowly, without disturbing the tension, closing the dining room door behind him. Meanwhile, I tense up, fighting the urge to run into the kitchen like I used to.

Whoever it is, it isn’t you. However much my brain goes into overdrive at the sound of that knock, I know rationally that it’s never actually you anymore. It’s been years since I left, and since I eventually stopped responding out of fear. It’s been months since I’ve had any contact from you at all. Conversation gradually resumes, and nobody says anything more about it, because nobody needs to. I try and push you out of my mind, with varying degrees of success, at least until next time. Still, I can’t help but notice when there’s movement outside the downstairs windows; it’s always just shadows, always just leaves in the breeze, but you never know, next time that might not be the case.

Part Two

I’m at uni, in my room, finishing off the revision notes I’d been working on that morning. I put the notes away, move the folder to one side and open Facebook. There’s a message request – a system probably intended to protect people like me from people like you, but which also “protects” me from group chats with friends, and honestly, I can’t ignore that “(1)” without knowing whether or not it’s you lurking behind there.

Sure enough, it’s you. Nothing new in the content. You swear you only want to talk – why can’t we just have a civilised conversation? And if I still don’t want to talk to you, could I please let you know either way? Eye roll. Ignore. Go for a walk. I don’t let you get to me anymore. What happened with you has become simply a part of my past.

Except it hasn’t, because you won’t let it. Every time, just as I think it’s over, you’re back, and it dredges up years of old thoughts and feelings. I fixate – perseverate, I guess. I bring up old messages, old articles I’d sent to friends which reminded me of my own experiences, old blog posts, old memories. It hurts, more than I can describe, but I feel compelled. I guess I have quite an analytical mind. I want to understand. More than anything, I want to understand how it’s come to this, how someone who loved me and who I loved so deeply could cause me such terror. It’s my fault. I’m over-reacting. Or it didn’t really happen. The only logical explanations according to this illogical society as internalised by my own thoughts.

A couple of days later, I’m online in between revision topics and I hear an ~oh so romantic~ story about a man who got his girlfriend back by writing to her constantly for months until she “caved” and it feels like a punch in the stomach. I feel like I’m back at square one again. You never give the wound enough time to heal. They seem really happy now though, so maybe that really is just normal romance, maybe it’s all my fault, I’m over-reacting, or it didn’t really happen.

I realise that the fact I’ve reacted so badly demonstrates that you, in some small way, still have power over me. I then realise that this is also demonstrated by the fact that I’m spending all this time and energy thinking about you at all, especially at this crucial time in my degree. It’s all in my head though. I should be able to just stop doing that. But I can’t, and it’s my own fault. I spend the evening writing and deleting several walls of text, intending to post in a Facebook support group, and when I eventually force myself to post something I take it down the next day because, for a reason I don’t even know, I’m the one who feels ashamed.

Part Three

I’m walking to the town centre back home, and I see you behind me, running after me, shouting about how you only want one more chance.

I’m in the dining room, and you’ve just come in. You’ve got my phone. I didn’t see you take it, but somehow you have it, and you’ll only give it back if I do what you’re asking.

I’m at a pub with friends, and you’re there with your arm around me, acting like we’re a couple, nobody knowing how terrified I am that this is happening again.

…I’m in bed, in my room at uni, the radio blaring on my alarm clock. I sigh, get up, and wonder if I did anything to give myself nightmares. I don’t remember dreams much. But I know that you’re a regular feature.

Part Four

I’m at uni, in my room, finishing off the revision notes I’d been working on that morning. I put the notes away, move the folder to one side and open Facebook. Again.

This time there’s a friend request. I never expected it to be you. Shit, I forgot to block when I ignored the message request. Or rather, I felt too guilty to block. I do it this time though; and when I do, I’m redirected to a whole list of my blocked accounts, all under the same name. Your name.

The self-doubt I’d worked so hard on getting over this week comes rushing back in. The rational part of me realises this, remembers that I’d even planned out a blog post last night and set time aside this afternoon to write it, but still, for the next hour or so, I barely recognise any of that narrative. Because it’s all my fault really. Or I’m over-reacting. Or it didn’t really happen.

I take a deep breath, think “business as usual” and get back to revision, trying to drown you out, trying not to let you have that power over me again. It’s too early to tell whether I’ve been successful in that regard.

But I don’t think I’ll be comfortable with unexpected knocks any time soon.

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Think Before You Food-Police

(I’m really sorry that this is only my second post this year – I promise I haven’t abandoned the blog totally, just that I’m basically in finals mode now, so I don’t expect to get back to any sort of regular posting until summer. TRIGGER WARNING: This post discusses food, food-policing and disordered eating.)

Food is hard.

Considering that it’s literally necessary for survival, food is really, really hard. For many of us, for different reasons, in different ways. To top it off, food and diet seems to come with a particular stigma, with individual morality attached to it: the idea that if you don’t eat this, if you don’t cut out that, if you don’t have a perfectly balanced/perfectly ethical/perfectly “normal” diet, you’re a bad person. In that sort of atmosphere, we can’t talk about it – and if we can’t talk about it, we can’t ask for help or share advice about the subsection of these varied issues which can be resolved, so we’re less likely to ever be able to meet whichever standards are being asked of us. Food-policing helps no-one.

When people think of food-policing they tend to think of dieting, fatphobia, forcing people (especially, but not exclusively, women) into starving themselves to meet impossible beauty standards and so on; sadly, this remains a huge issue. But food-policing has many other faces. You may have noticed that I included “perfectly ethical” above, and – in the interests of honesty – this blog post is inspired by a thread in which people were claiming veganism is necessary for feminism and dismissing all the various obstacles to veganism that were brought up, so that’s the particular strand of “if you don’t do XYZ with your diet then you’re a bad person” I had in mind with this post. Having said that, cutting meat and/or animal products out of your diet is also subject to pretty relentless food-policing, whether by outright mockery or concern trolling and telling vegetarians/vegans that they can’t possibly be healthy when they know they are. People with certain food allergies or intolerances are routinely mocked for those too, even though they have absolutely zero choice in the matter.

So, before you judge, you may want to consider the following:

  • Class is a thing. Poverty is a thing. Not everyone can afford to implement whatever you’re advocating. If something has saved you money personally, that’s great, but options that are cheaper long-term often require higher costs initially, which can mean it’s not an option at all.
  • Whilst money has a big part to play itself, financial difficulty brings other difficulties too. After long working days, many don’t have the time or energy to cook in a certain way, or teach their children to do so. Poverty can also be linked to mental health problems, which make food harder in their own right.
  • Disability is a thing – or rather, it can be many things. Some people need to eat certain things. Some people cannot eat certain things – at least not without really messing up their health – and this often eliminates lots of food from the options pool from the start. Adding additional restrictions on top of that can be expensive at best and downright dangerous at worst.
  • It isn’t always just about the actual eating of the food – planning, buying, and preparing food requires spoons and energy and executive function and not everyone can take those things for granted. Personally, it’s this stage which is often the giant hurdle for me. At the moment I rely quite heavily on the fact that my university offers meals during the week, and things really went a bit pear-shaped for a while on my year abroad, which also scares me for the future. And again, the constant feeling of being judged that comes with food adds so much to that – the more I’m worrying about what other people in the kitchen will think if I make a “silly” mistake, the less likely I am to make it into the kitchen at all, which means I’m even less confident about it, and so on.
  • I feel like this shouldn’t need saying, but eating disorders are a thing, and constant bombardment with moral judgments about what you as an individual should and shouldn’t eat can be particularly damaging for those affected.
  • If you fit into one of the above categories and you’ve made it work (or know someone who is/has), that’s fantastic, but remember you (or they) are not everyone. Even the same disability can affect different people very differently – autism is just one example of that. My main issue here is executive function and anxiety as mentioned above; for others like me, the main issue here is sensory overload, with some tastes and textures being physically painful; for others still, the main issue might be diverging from a long-established, safe routine.
  • “I can’t” does not always mean “I can’t yet. For example, even if I did want to cure my autism (which I don’t) it wouldn’t be possible to do so. The idea that if we’re not where you want us to be with food then we’re just not there yet is incredibly damaging. As mentioned above, sometimes food-policing can start from a place of good, and of course increasing accessibility is generally better than assuming accessibility cannot be achieved (although it’s funny how this is only considered when accessibility means doing what abled people want), but no amount of shouting at people because something may be possible for them in future does anything to actually help them do it.
  • Any sort of rhetoric revolving around ” well, if you genuinely really can’t…” plays right into the hands of an overarching ableist society in which disabled people are constantly being told we’re not disabled enough for accomodations. Too often, nobody is considered genuine in this narrative. Given this context, I imagine very few disabled people would respond by thinking “Oh, that includes me” even if you intend to include them – it’s more likely that, like me, they’ll think “well maybe if I ~just tried harder~…”
  • Don’t assume what people are or are not dealing with. Evidently, there’s a huge stigma around food, and this means the people you’re stepping over are less likely to speak out about it at all, never mind openly identify as one of the people you’re stepping over. In the case of disability, not everyone with a relevant disability will even know they have it (for instance, autism is hugely underdiagnosed in adults, people of colour, and women).
  • Unless you’re a doctor, don’t assume you know what’s healthy for a person better than they do. Contrary to popular belief, weight isn’t always an accurate indicator of health at all. And yes, vegetarians/vegans who are able to access sufficient non-animal sources of nutrients can and do live healthy and active lives, sometimes more so than some omnivores. Mockery out of ~concern~ is still mockery.
  • “But some people do use their disability as an excuse-“ NOPE. Stop. This is often just another version of “just try harder” in practice. This isn’t just fun for us, and it definitely isn’t convenient to have to carefully navigate that thing that’s literally necessary to survive and face everyone else’s scrutiny on top of that. Stop.

Food is necessary. Yet, food is hard. Think before you make it harder.

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The 3rd obligatory blogversary post!

My blogversary is 30th December, so these posts always end up basically being New Year posts. To that end, I’ve made my 2015 WordPress report public; you can see it here. The first thing I noticed about this is that recent posts have been few and far between! Final year of university is now officially a thing, and will become even more of a thing over the next six months, so I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d ideally like and I’ll probably disappear altogether as exams approach, but hopefully I’ll at least vaguely keep the blog ticking over for 2016.

I’ve noticed that as New Year approaches, a few people have linked back to some of the posts they’ve made over 2015, so in case anyone reading this happens to be really, really bored:

A huge huge huge thank you to everyone who’s read/liked/commented on/shared/etc my posts – this started out as me rambling into a digital void when I couldn’t face IRL confrontation, and the idea that other actual human beings pay attention to said rambling is still a very odd concept to me.

Happy New Year everyone!

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