why i can't predict the weather past the storm

Try telling the boy who’s just had his girlfriend’s name
cut into his arm that there’s slippage between the signifier
and the signified. Or better yet explain to the girl
who watched in the mirror as the tattoo artist stitched
the word for her father’s name (on earth as in heaven)
across her back that words aren’t made of flesh and blood,
that they don’t bite the skin. Language is the animal
we’ve trained to pick up the scent of meaning. It’s why
when the boy hears his father yelling at the door
he sends the dog that he’s kept hungry, that he’s kicked,
then loved, to attack the man, to show him that every word
has a consequence, that language, when used right, hurts.

— "Tattoo" by Todd Davis, from Rattle #23, Summer 2005


The “romantic-sexual/platonic” love dichotomy leaves no room for the real emotional nuances people experience in their attachments, and I think that it often causes us to live with simplified relationships not because we want to or because we have simple desires and feelings but because we have no experience, cultural context, or language to accommodate a complex social life or set of relationships. This is why language is so important. This is why words and labels matter. How can you have the kind of relationships you want with anyone, if you don’t even have the words to accurately express how you feel? Hell, half the time, people don’t even understand their own feelings and relationship desires because what they feel is not simple at all, but the only relationship framework they know makes everything seem simple and clear cut: romance and sex go together, friendship is separate from both of those things, couplehood/primary partnership is exclusive to romance and sex, etc.

But if we are to accept the possibilities and realities of asexual romance, primary nonsexual/nonromantic love, nonromantic sex and sexual friendship, romantic (nonsexual) friendship, queerplatonic nonsexual relationships and sexual relationships, etc…. we have to drop this way of thinking and speaking about relationships and love in a romantic-sexual/platonic dichotomous way. None of those “complex” relationships fit into that model

“Platonic love” is a problematic term. | The Thinking Asexual (via ace-muslim)


In Rome a vagina is una fica, a term deriving from the fig, a great thing, a delightful gift, a ribboned fruit. Among young Romans, the expression fica is a way to convey something extraordinarily good, akin to “cool.” They even make it into a superlative—fichissimo, meaning that something is the “cuntest” and very good indeed. Una fica is not only a sexually attractive woman, it is anything worthy of possession or experience. Imagine an American guy saying: “Wow, that is so vagina!” You can’t.

Pubic hair as public space (via nodicesoldier)

Did you also know that many biblical scholars think that the apple tree in the Garden of Eden myth was likely actually a fig tree, originally?

(via thedisgruntledgradstudent)

I love it.

(via golden-notebook)

That’s…pretty hot, actually. Una fica.

(via likeproust)

Into it. 

(via glossylalia)

the cuntest!

(via rubiksboob)

I WANT TO MAKE “THE CUNTEST” A THING RIGHT NOW.

(via alsoyesalso)

Let’s start working it into conversation, and see what happens!

(via marcelle42)

(Source: boysenberrybenz)


[Image: Instead of: stupid, dumb, retarded, insane, crazy, lame; Try: naive, irrational, illogical, unreasonable, asinine, inane, unsatisfactory.]
iliketodisco:

paleopostmodernism:

fuckyeahwomenprotesting2

it is so hard for me to get crazy out of my vocab because sometimes i am legit reclaiming it for myself, but sometimes i fall into the same trap as everyone else. keepin’ on keepin’ on though

my new go-tos are “ridiculous,” “absurd,” and “unfortunate.” Also sometimes “sub-optimal.”

[Image: Instead of: stupid, dumb, retarded, insane, crazy, lame; Try: naive, irrational, illogical, unreasonable, asinine, inane, unsatisfactory.]

iliketodisco:

paleopostmodernism:

fuckyeahwomenprotesting2

it is so hard for me to get crazy out of my vocab because sometimes i am legit reclaiming it for myself, but sometimes i fall into the same trap as everyone else. keepin’ on keepin’ on though

my new go-tos are “ridiculous,” “absurd,” and “unfortunate.” Also sometimes “sub-optimal.”


You know when maybe when you feel frustrated at having to change fucked up language…

riotsnotdiets:

technicolortimecoat:

eateroftrees:

[or other problematic habits] …you should direct your rage at society for telling you that this shit is okay.

I mean really.  The problem is not that say, people are telling you to stop calling things “stupid” because it’s ableist, the problem is that society told you it was okay in the first place.

this.

I AGREE WITH THIS SO MUCH.

BUT.

(And I am totally open to being told I’m wrong, or I haven’t thought about the issue in a nuanced-enough way, here)…

I don’t think ‘stupid’ is ableist in the same way that words like ‘retarded’, ‘lame’, and ‘dumb’ are ableist.

From what I understand of the etymology of the word, stupid (from the word for “stupor”) was not a medical term used to describe/pathologize/oppress people with cognitive/intellectual disabilities. Its opposite, “wise” is a word to describe a type of intelligence based on life experience and general knowledge, NOT ability.

Here’s what you get from etymonline.com:

M.Fr. stupide, from L. stupidus “amazed, confounded,” lit. “struck senseless,” from stupere “be stunned, amazed, confounded,” from PIE *(s)tupe- “hit,” from base *(s)teu- (see steep (adj.)). Native words for this idea include negative compounds with words for “wise” (cf. O.E. unwis, unsnotor, ungleaw), also dol (see dull), and dysig (see dizzy). Stupid retained its association with stupor and its overtones of “stunned by surprise, grief, etc.” into mid-18c. The difference between stupid and the less opprobrious foolish roughly parallels that of Ger. töricht vs. dumm but does not exist in most European languages.

So, while calling a PERSON stupid is certainly MEAN (and, if you are commenting on their lack of intelligence based on ability, definitely ableist), calling SOMETHING stupid (aka “this stupid exam”) doesn’t seem ableist to me.

Of course, I’m all for the eradication of meanness, as I think we should treat everyone with kindness, so I’m willing to say that we should probably not call people stupid. I’m just not sure that ‘stupid’ is (always, or even primarily) a comment on one’s cognitive ability.

But again, I’m definitely open to dialogue on this issue, and definitely open to the possibility that my thought process is clouded by my privilege, etc.

The amazeballs feminists at FWD/Forward [RIP forever in my heart] consider “stupid” to be ableist not because it has been used oppressively specifically, but because it implicitly uses the concept of “intelligence," which has been used oppressively. This is not to say that the idea of intelligence, which I would loosely define as cognitive ability, is inherently oppressive, but the dominant way of thinking about intelligence privileges certain types of intelligences over others. I subscribe to the school of thought that posits there are different kinds of intelligence (spatial, verbal, emotional, etc) and of course some people are going to be more intelligent in a particular way than others. But there’s a systematic privileging of people who have lots of the intelligences that let them do well in school (“smart people”) and concomitant oppression of people who don’t necessarily have ‘book smarts’ but might have really good spatial skills or whatever.

So calling an exam ‘stupid,’ to use your example, I would consider to be moderately ableist because it legitimates the concept of “stupid” as it has been applied to people and assigns it inherently negative characteristics. Probably what you really mean is that the exam is “pointless” or “annoying,” and it might be better just to say that? I’m thinking of this example as the ableism-equivalent of saying “this party is crazy” when you might mean it’s “fun” or “out of control.”

And to echo your disclaimer, Margitte, I’m also open to dialogue and definitely not an expert.

(Source: thenameoftheworms)


Yes, calling every murderer “crazy” is ignorant, damaging behaviour.

shobogan:

Yes, it is. It’s equating mental illness with horrific violence, and that’s the last thing society needs more of. It’s accepting the idea that one equates to the other when it’s profoundly false, when people with a mental illness are for more likely to be the victims of violence than to cause it. 

No, I don’t give a fuck about how “political correctness” oppresses you. You know what “political correctness” is? It’s considering your words and the effect they have. I’m sorry that’s such a chore for you. I’m sorry you’re too self-absorbed to examine your problematic vocabulary. I’m sorry being expected to be respectful is so very taxing.

Oh, no, wait, I’m really not.


First of all, the term “losing your virginity” is problematic, as it suggests that something is inherently lost as a result of sex and therefore engages in slut shaming.

10 Myths About Sex and Virginity- Debunked

This is exactly why I hate the term “losing your virginity”. There are so many things misleading, inaccurate, and just plain wrong with it.

(via sexisbeautiful)

I always use the most aggressive of scare quotes when I talk about the time I “lost” my “virginity.”


tiaramerchgirl:

pastthestorm:

Sedentary Meanderings: The Merch Girl :: Tiara the Merch Girl- ~ I usually agree with your…

[snip]

A few thoughts:

First, I’d like you to consider that you may be seeing these arguments against ableist language more on Tumblr than in your offline life because it’s easier to discuss these things via the Internet than it is to call someone out offline. If I’m having a hard time articulating myself online, I can click into another tab, check my email, take a couple of minutes, reference a couple of other blog posts, and pause to think basically indefinitely because of the nature of the Internet. It’s much harder and much more intimidating to talk about these things offline, in real time, looking at someone’s face.

It’s also much, much lower-risk to try to explain this over the Internet to someone I don’t really know than to try explaining it to an acquaintance I’m fairly friendly with, who I take classes with and socialize with, because the ramifications of failure are so much greater. I run the risk of disrupting my social circles, of enduring prolonged hostility from this individual, of maybe even being raped because I’m a college student in America and that’s what happens here, a lot. If I fail with you, I unfollow you and that’s the end of it. I don’t know, maybe if I really enrage you, you’ll send me some mean messages. But you’re in Australia and I’m in the USA; you cannot physically harm me. That’s a big difference.

My understanding of the ableism inherent in “crazy”/”insane”/etc came primarily from posts at the now-defunct FWD/Forward, written by feminist/social justice bloggers who primarily <i>do</i> have a stake in these words because they experience mental illness or another type of disability. This is a really good post explaining why writing about and calling out ableist language is important; here’s one about their Ableist Word Profiles; and here are two about the word “crazy.”

The main thrust of the arguments against “crazy” (etc) are that: 1. these words are used against people with mental illness as a means of silencing or de-legitimating them, regardless of however else they’re used; and 2. regardless of whether you believe that these words are oppressive, marginalizing, and/or ableist, people who have had “crazy” used against them in this way are probably reading your posts on social justice, and by using those you are probably alienating a segment of your audience.

Firstly: I’m someone who has had the word “Crazy” used against them in a negative way, and in some cases could be legitimately considered as “crazy”, so it’s not like I don’t have a stake in the word or on perceptions of mentally ill people.

I get you that it’s a lot easier to call out people online then it is offline. But that just adds to my cynicism - it becomes “OK I’ve done my SOCIAL JUSTICE WOO!” but nothing happens offline to back that up. Picking on the words instead of actually working on changing those attitudes in the first place.

And it still doesn’t help people who are being alienated despite having a stake in those terms. Hell I got a “YES YES YES!” from my original post alone, which leads me to feel that there are many MANY people who are being alienated from this that shouldn’t be, and that we’re not paying any attention to them in the interest of language policing - which has now just become a badge of Look What A Good Internet Activist I Am. It’s not like any of the language policers were especially interested in helping me go through my deepest darkest times of depression…

My understanding is that many people believe that the language we use shapes the way we perceive the world; therefore, by challenging the language that people use, by asking people to reconsider the way they use words, they are challenging the underlying attitudes.

As to the rest of that—you’re definitely making valid points. I do think it’s the responsibility of the language-checker to examine their motives and making sure they’re not doing it in an oppressive way. There are definitely times that other concerns are more important. At the same time, language is also very important.


Sedentary Meanderings: The Merch Girl :: Tiara the Merch Girl- ~ I usually agree with your... →

tiaramerchgirl:

ardhra:

The Merch Girl :: Tiara the Merch Girl- ~ I usually agree with your opinions, but perhaps this could open dialogue.

hm, why did I have to go and choose a meme that will already tax my overly lethargic brain?

It seems to me that a lot of the most recent wave of “ableist!” claims - I’m thinking here specifically of words like “Crazy”, “insane”, and “colourblind” - have come solely from Tumblr, mostly perpetuated by people who do not have a stake in those words either way, and do not reflect non-Tumblr reality, the concerns of disabled people outside the Anglo-centric bubble of Tumblr (hell in Malaysia there are still “spastic homes” but that’s not taken as a slur, that’s an acceptable community term) nor the fact that words evolve (I’m inclined to take BFP’s position on how language itself comes with its own structural history and that in a way every word has a problematic history). It goes back to my cynicism about people who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk and my general distrust of people who take great pains to get the language right (in my experience people who do that don’t back it up with action, but calling them out on it just gets them defensive).

No.

Maybe your primary engagement with these issues about ableist language is on Tumblr, but that doesn’t make Tumblr the only space it comes up, or the origin of that line of criticism. That’s an issue of fact, not opinion.

It hasn’t come up in the disabled communities here in this city or back in Malaysia, and hasn’t been quite as tightly policed to the point of oblivion. When I made my last cynical-of-language-policing post I got quite a few responses from people who aren’t tight with the Tumblr social justice sphere but who were feeling alienated or afraid to talk about their own experiences because someone may jump on them for using an Unapproved Word. Some got quite angry, even. When it comes to the point of alienating people with direct experience just so you can get Call-out Cred, something’s messed up.

And my cynicism still stands - I’ve had more care and tolerance extended to me (as a minority multiple times over) from people who would get called out into shreds for the way they speak and talk than I’ve had the other way.

A few thoughts:

First, I’d like you to consider that you may be seeing these arguments against ableist language more on Tumblr than in your offline life because it’s easier to discuss these things via the Internet than it is to call someone out offline. If I’m having a hard time articulating myself online, I can click into another tab, check my email, take a couple of minutes, reference a couple of other blog posts, and pause to think basically indefinitely because of the nature of the Internet. It’s much harder and much more intimidating to talk about these things offline, in real time, looking at someone’s face.

It’s also much, much lower-risk to try to explain this over the Internet to someone I don’t really know than to try explaining it to an acquaintance I’m fairly friendly with, who I take classes with and socialize with, because the ramifications of failure are so much greater. I run the risk of disrupting my social circles, of enduring prolonged hostility from this individual, of maybe even being raped because I’m a college student in America and that’s what happens here, a lot. If I fail with you, I unfollow you and that’s the end of it. I don’t know, maybe if I really enrage you, you’ll send me some mean messages. But you’re in Australia and I’m in the USA; you cannot physically harm me. That’s a big difference.

My understanding of the ableism inherent in “crazy”/”insane”/etc came primarily from posts at the now-defunct FWD/Forward, written by feminist/social justice bloggers who primarily <i>do</i> have a stake in these words because they experience mental illness or another type of disability. This is a really good post explaining why writing about and calling out ableist language is important; here’s one about their Ableist Word Profiles; and here are two about the word “crazy.”

The main thrust of the arguments against “crazy” (etc) are that: 1. these words are used against people with mental illness as a means of silencing or de-legitimating them, regardless of however else they’re used; and 2. regardless of whether you believe that these words are oppressive, marginalizing, and/or ableist, people who have had “crazy” used against them in this way are probably reading your posts on social justice, and by using those you are probably alienating a segment of your audience.