Blub/gush, or You Guys Rule

Hi! We at FWD/Forward just wanted to take a second to express our appreciation and gratitude to the already robust community of readers and commenters on this site.  We’d had a feeling that there was a group of feminists with disabilities in the blogosphere, but we weren’t sure how many, or if a dedicated space to engage with issues of intersectionality would appeal to people.

You guys have, frankly, overwhelmed us with your enthusiastic response. We’re seeing amazingly insightful discussions going on in comments threads and already have regular commenters. We’ve received countless offers to guest post, to contribute, to help with back end tech issues, to participate in this site and this space. (And would love to hear from you about these things if we haven’t already!)  To see this outpouring of enthusiasm so early in the life of the site has amazed and astounded us.

We’re not vain enough to think this is solely due to our content (although we are definitely proud of our content thus far!). This demonstrates what we suspected – there is a vibrant community of feminists with disabilities on the internet who needed a space for their specific issues and discussions. We are thrilled and honored to be able to connect with you and are excited to continue being challenged and inspired by your words and experiences.

In simpler words: almost every time I (abbyjean) sit down to review the comment queue, I find myself crying, because I feel so much less alone in being a feminist with a disability, in struggling with these interlocking systems of oppression. Because there are so many other amazing people who feel the way I do and are fighting the same fight. It actually makes me feel like we have a chance of winning these fights.

So to all of you — thank you. And keep it up! 🙂

By 20 October, 2009.    administrivia, happy posts   



17 Comments

  1. ah, yes, i use ‘guys’ as a collective noun for groups of people regardless of gender, but thanks for the clarification. i’ve just never been able to adopt ‘y’all’ which is nice and gender-neutral.

  2. I know, “y’all” feels pretty forced to me too. Any commenters have a suggestion for a gender neutral collective pronoun?

  3. No, YOU keep it up being awesome 🙂

    I’ve *always* parsed ‘guys’ as gender-neutral, despite ‘guy’ being male. *shrugs* Societal conditioning I suppose. ‘People’ is the only gender-neutral thing I cna think of that fits in that context.
    .-= Shiyiya´s last blog ..Livejournal =-.

  4. No, YOU! 🙂

    Like Shiyiya, I’ve always read “guys” as gender-neutral. “Folks” may be another alternative.
    .-= Tera´s last blog ..Rosemary =-.

  5. I’ve been trying to oust ‘you guys’ for mixed groups from my vocabulary lately myself. I usually go with ‘y’all/all y’all’ (but that comes more naturally to me because I have lots of relatives from North Carolina) or ‘you folks’.

    I haven’t gotten the energy up to offer to help or even to comment before now, I think, but I’m loving having a community of bloggers writing about feminism and disability to read as I am coming to terms with having a disability. Especially with some of my favorite bloggers from elsewhere coming together for this project.

  6. Just wanted to chime in as a temporarily able-bodied reader–I’m So grateful y’all created this space. I’ve been passing along a Lot of your posts on Twitter labeled required reading, which I think they should be.

    Keep up the fantastic work!
    .-= mk´s last blog ..Sir? =-.

  7. I use ‘they’, ‘you people’, or, alternately, everyone/everybody”. A lot of people seem to think it looks odd, though, with the ‘they’. I read to much, apparently, as it looks and sounds just fine to me. Sie and hir are gender neutral, but I’m not iffy on pronunciation. Tried to clarify it auditorally in various spots, but it sounds so much like she and her it makes me nervous, at least from the way others pronounce it. Maybe if it was a hard ‘s’ like in ‘sea’ combined with a and ‘i’ like in the personal capital use. Visually it works wonderful, though. Unless someone makes a plural of sie/hir, we’re pretty much stuck with ‘they’ and ‘hey, you’.

  8. Actually, I’m overly fond of ‘they’. Linguistically that would be grand, since it would group sie/hir under the general pronoun umbrella, instead of putting gender neutral pronouns out of bounds. For the record, not fond of how she and he is pronounced either, too damned similar. I figure if people must make distinctions, at least have ’em easily discernible. I mean, “You people are awesome…” seem just fine to me. Someone up there said folks, that would work too.

  9. I absolutely concur with the sentiment. I’m still stunned that there’s so much excellent discussion here after having been open for so not long at all. Y’all are amazing.

    Disclaimer: The following is just me laying out my opinion as an activist and a woman, not as an authority because my name is on some of the posts here. The views expressed are mine alone.

    But maybe it’s my age showing or just that I’m a southerner and “y’all” has been part of my vocabulary my whole life. I’m going to join meloukhia on the gender-neutrality of “guys.” It’s unfeminist (not necessarily antifeminist — there isn’t an excluded middle here) for the same reasons using “he” as the pronoun for a person whose gender is unknown, indeterminate, or irrelevant — and especially for persons whose gender is known to be not male: it makes people who aren’t men disappear. And, unlike with the third person singular, there are lots of words available for the second person plural that aren’t gendered at all, with no controversy about them. My favorites have been mentioned already in the thread, so I’ll stop now.

    * Which is a contraction of ‘you all;’ ya’ll is… well, I’m a non-believer in the standardization of English orthography anyway, so it’s as correct as y’all, but it’s jarring for me.

  10. Have to chime in here with a plug for my preferred gender neutral singular: ou. (Which readers may have already noticed in some of my posts.) It’s unfortunate that most invented or legit (ou has an established usage in English…several hundred years ago, anyway) gender neutral pronouns look like typos, though. Singular “they” makes me shudder. Actually. Shudder. And I’m an editor, so I encounter it a fair amount from well meaning people who are trying to avoid using exclusionary language.

  11. Blub/gush right back at you. This site has already been a source of inspiration and comfort to me, and a model for forming my own arguments. Thank you all, so much.
    .-= Heather Freeman´s last blog ..Say you’re drowning…. =-.

  12. I latched onto “folks” for a reason 🙂

    it makes me smile every time I log on and there are pages of comments to review. we’ve all (blogosphere-wide) been writing on the subjects for a long time, but we haven’t had a central place for this intersection in the same way.

  13. Thank all of you for being awesome.

    Oh, that reminds me, while I’m here, I was thinking in addition to the recurring Ableist Word Profile, it might be cool to do a series of posts on assistive devices.

    I often see different types of devices being gendered and I think that both that and the overall classism of who is able to get these is something that could make an awesome set of posts.

    Of course, no pressure, it was just a thought I had and I know you all have real life to deal with. I’d be willing to write on what I use if that would be helpful, but I think it would be educational to hear from everyone.
    .-= thetroubleis´s last blog ..On work. =-.

  14. I use “you guys” mostly because that’s what I grew up using, and when I went to college in the South everybody there told me that it was wrong, and I was contrary and refused to use “y’all.” The only other one I sometimes use, depending on who I’m talking to, is the old Brooklynese “alla youse.”

  15. I personally find myself using “you all” a lot. But perhaps we could make “youse” fashionable again (hereabouts, it’s associated with rural areas and the Scots-influenced Maritimes).

  16. That’s because AWESOMENESS ATTRACTS MORE AWESOMENESS. SCIENCE!

    In seriousness, thank you, this is a fantastic space.