We are asexual bloggers on the autistic spectrum who want to explore the intersection between autistic and asexual identities. The basis of this project is to have a conversation about our unique experiences being autistic and asexual without looking for a “cause”. We want to create a safe, non-judgmental space to talk about the issues that affect us. If you identify as asexual (or demisexual, or gray-a) and as on the autistic spectrum (diagnosed or not, AS, autism, PDD-NOS, NLD), you are invited to write a blog post for this project. If you are not asexual and autistic you are welcome to contribute provided you focus on the issues experienced by this particular intersection. The scope of the project is general, and open to any experiences of being autistic and asexual.
However, please keep in mind that asexuality here is to be discussed as a sexual orientation in its own right, not as discussion of the desexualization imposed on autistic people by mainstream culture.
Today is December 6th, which in Canada is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre [link opens with sound, CBC]. I wrote about it last year. It’s been a very long year. There are things I said then that I might not say now, but I do wonder, always, about a memorial for our dead.
A Bookish Beemer: Seizures in the News
This also implies that if you do something “bad” then you must be “mad.” It implies that no good, normal person could or would ever do bad or terrible things—so if one could prove one was normal, then they could not possibly be guilty of any crime or wrongdoing. The wolf in sheep’s clothing, if you will, feeds and benefits off this idea.
This line of thinking is intellectually lazy, it is bigoted, and it has dire consequences for society.
K at Feminists with Sexual Dysfunction: Compare & Contrast
Today I’d like to present to you a different kind of feminist response to sexual dysfunction – a response from another woman who is intimately familiar with gender studies, feminism… and vaginismus.
As I noted in the New View book review post, I felt like some elements were missing from the essays – notably, it remains unclear to me whether any of the contributors to the original manifesto or the book actually know what it’s like to live with sexual dysfunction – to be torn between what you “Know” is the “right and proper” feminist response to sexual dysfunction vs. the daily grind of living with and responding to it, sometimes just managing
Little Lambs Eat Ivy: Abby…. normal?
We were talking about the average person’s emotional highs and lows. Think of a piece of string that’s not quite taut. There are a few dips and bumps, but it’s relatively straight. Now try mapping the emotions of a bipolar person, and you’ll see a broken rubber band. The lows are lower, the highs are higher, and it’s entirely possible that something might snap.
My hospitalization came as quite a surprise to many people in my life. “I had no idea things were that bad,” my therapist told me. I almost laughed. I had no idea either. I thought I was normal.
The Zyfron system is working on a Facades project, a project about the facades multiple systems have to put up to be safe in this world. I think this is a really good project, and any multiple system who hasn’t heard of it should check it out and any singlet should read it to get an idea of what damage multiphobia does to us.
Dog’s Eye View: Blog Carnival Announcements!!!
I am honored to be your host for the Second Assistance Dog Blog Carnival, which will be happening in January. And as your host, it is my privilege to choose and announce the theme for this Second Assistance Dog Blog Carnival: Decisions
An estimated 3 million American adults have a stutter that didn’t resolve in childhood, according to the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation of America. As kids, many dealt with the giggles of classmates and confusion of teachers; as adults, they often deal with uncertain glances and the impatience of strangers. They’ve long sought comfort from each other, sharing their experiences at conferences and advocacy groups.
Eli Clare at eliclare.com/blog: Disability Pride (from a few months ago, but definitely worth a read!)
Disability Pride calls for celebration, hope, rebellion. We take shame, fear, and isolation, turn them around, and forge wholeness. Pride refuses to let the daily grind of ableism, discrimination, exclusion, violence, and patronizing define who we are. Pride knows our history, joyfully insists upon our present, and stretches into our future.
By using disability as she does, she makes herself smaller, less objectionable to the man; she dismisses herself and undervalues herself. She does her best to dodge what might be a harsh remark
about her intellectual capacities. She does disability in the old way, a way in which the value of our diverse minds and bodies is not acknowledged. Her disability is a weakness that separates her from an actively feminist goal of being an equal partner in the conversation and the game.
I know. I’m saying it’s wrong. I’m saying that the hoops one has to jump through, if neurologically atypical as I am, just to ensure you’re not fired because of being neurologically atypical, is ridiculous. That I should first have to reveal my medical history (which is private) to my managers, then explain to them what epilepsy is, THEN explain how it affects me, to finally say that it might prevent me from coming into work someday in the future, maybe, is ridiculous.
As I passed the half a dozen handicap spots, I noticed that your car didn’t even have a placard or plate. I wondered why even on Thanksgiving at a senior housing complex, someone would illegally park in an accessible spot. I suppose you didn’t think someone in a wheelchair might really need that spot.
If you’re on Delicious, feel free to tag entries ‘disfem’ or ‘disfeminists,’ or ‘for:feminists’ to bring them to our attention! Link recommendations can also be emailed to recreading at disabledfeminists dot com. Please note if you would like to be credited, and under what name/site.
As it is late and dinner is calling, I’m going to cheat and just C&P what Penny says over at Disability Studies. Penny: For All Your Disability Blog Carnival (And Disability History) Needs!
The November edition is up at Modus Dopens, and it’s a good solid collection of links, around the theme of intersections. Go, fix yourself a drink (suggests the host!), and have a read.
The December edition is due to post at Rolling Around in My Head, where Dave H has invited posts around the theme “long nights and what we need to get through them,” appropriate for the month with the literal longest nights (in the Northern Hemisphere), and a month with holidays that can feel like very long nights for many. Submissions are invited by December 15th for inclusion in the carnival.
Penny is also looking for hosts for the new year, so please do check her out.
I’ve only had a bit of an opportunity to look over the links, and again, this Disability Blog Carnival looks outstanding. I can’t tell readers enough: There is a rich and vibrant disability blogosphere, and I love it.
This month, I will be hosting the first Blog Carnival of Mental Health. The theme for this month’s carnival will be diagnosis. Interpret it broadly. When were you diagnosed with a mental illness? What is your diagnosis? What do you want to change about your diagnosis, if anything? If you are a mental health professional, how do you diagnose clients? What is the most stigmatized diagnosis, in your opinion? The list of possibilities is almost endless. The deadline for submissions will be November 27.
Over at Astrid’s Journal, Astrid has a proposal up discussing a Blog Carnival of Mental Health:
I was thinking about either a monthly or quarterly carnival, depending on interest. I would be willing to host the first carnival, but I need other mental health bloggers interested in taking over from me. So, if you are interested, please let me know.
She’s getting things rolling in comments but could use more hosts, and I want to make sure people are aware it’s going on because I think it’s a fabulous idea, and there will probably be a call for submissions soon.
Sharon and Barnum over at After Gadget have it in mind to begin an Assistance Dog Blog Carnival. The majority of the information can be found at their blog:
I love blog carnival and blogswarms. I try to participate in them as much as I’m able (which is a lot less often than I’d like). Lately, it’s been occurring to me, with the blossoming of so many new, thoughtful, lush, sassy assistance-dog blogs that it might be time to start an AD carnival or to do a blogswarm.
However, this would require many interested participants:
– Sites to host the carnivals (if we went the carnival route);
– Bloggers to submit their posts;
– Readers to read the blogs!
Sharon is asking that anyone interested, or with feedback, answers to the questions posed at After Gadget, please leave them in the comments section there. I hope that you can show some support for this, and if you know anyone who might be interested, please feel free to pass this information along!
Astrid, of Astrid’s Journal, has agreed after much consideration to host the September edition of the Disability Blog Carnival, and we at FWD/Forward are enthusiastic to support that decision!
Astrid has chosen the theme “Identity”:
Think of it as broadly as you want. Posts relating to transforming identities, are of course especially welcome, as they honor both themes. Just a reminder that, even though this is a disability blog carnival, we honor intersectionality, so racial, ethnic, gender, sexual and any other type of identities also count, as long as the post is somewhat relevant to disability.
Comments can be submitted preferably here or else at the Disability Studies, Temple U. blog. The deadline for submissions will be Tuesday night, September 21 – Tuesday night your time, so don’t worry about my living in Europe. I hope to post the carnival on Friday, September 24 – whenever it suits me, my time.
We hope you will consider submitting something for the Carnival. Remember, the theme is a way to get you started, and we hope that you will interpret it to how it applies to your own situation, keeping the general spirit of intersectionality in mind.
Again, thanks to Astrid for taking this on, because without volunteers, there would be no Carnival!
Be sure, if you haven’t already, to check out the August edition of The Disability Carnival at Brilliant Mind, Broken Body, hosted by Kali.
Reader Astrid informs me that The Disability Blog Carnival is up and on the go for August at Brilliant Mind, Broken Body, courtesy of Kali.
This Month’s theme is “distance”:
I think distance is an interesting concept because we use the same word to mean so many different things – the space between ideas, the space between here and there, the space between you and me, the space between us and them, the space passage of time creates, the difference between where we started and where we have gotten to, the space between understanding and not. Intentional spaces, ideological spaces, physical spaces, metaphorical spaces. It’s a word that I think sometimes encompasses much of the disability experience, because there always seem to be more distances we have to deal with.
Please swing on over to Brilliant Mind, Broken Body and give Kali some love, some support, some kudos, and maybe an Internet Tradition for the hard work.
Welcome to the 60th Disability Blog Carnival! Thank you to Penny at Disability Studies, Temple U for continuing to host the Disability Blog Carnival.
The 61st Blog Carnival will be hosted by Alison Bergblom Johnson at her blog, Writing Mental Illness, on December 13th (she requests submissions by December 4). Here’s her official call for submissions.
First, a personal comment from me: If you’re a regular reader of FWD/Forward, you probably know that I like to quote two or so paragraphs from everything I link, so that if people are just wanting to skim quickly over them and figure out what they want to read fast, they have that option.
I’ve tried to limit that here today, for two reasons. First, there are a lot more posts (I limit my recommended reading to five links). Second, it’s really hard to find just one or two paragraphs in most of these posts to link. “Is this the best paragraph? No, wait, look, later on, this paragraph is even better!” So, shorter excerpts because otherwise I’ll be quoting whole posts because they are very powerfully written, and need to be read as a whole, I think.
First Section: Intersectionality
So I will continue to move through the world (and the bits of the world that are around me will affect me, and I will affect them) and write (when I can) about specific aspects of my life, all of which have something to do with this thing they call intersectionality, whether that’s the topic of the day or not. Because I don’t stop being all these different sorts of person, when I stop specifically naming them.
At Urocyon’s Meanderings, Urocyon writes Intersectionality: It’s a way of life!, about the various identities that make up her life:
This has run long and personal, but it should give a pretty good idea of how I’ve been seeing intersectionality play out. Nobody and nothing exists in a vacuum. Everyone and everything is interconnected and interdependent. If you try to look at the world through a filter of “good” vs. “bad” oppositional dualism, all kinds of categories of people are going to be “bad”–and many of the “bad” people will fit into more than one category of badness.
Internet feminisms are not so much representative of the scholarly field as a whole, but localized to individual websites and specific groups of people. At first glance, these sites are seemingly able to take on a diversity of perspectives; they have a large audience and multiple contributors. Despite this variation, however, internet feminism is not so much a set of philosophical perspectives, carefully worked out in conversation with other scholars, but a group of outlooks pulled together by friends and people who hold congruent (if not similar/the same) takes on stuff. Each website — each example of internet feminism — is thus a projection of the people who run, post on, and read a given site. They are examples — exemplifications, even — of feminism but they aren’t necessarily reference points to which one can go if you need to understand feminism.
But it is not niceness. It is You don’t belong here, dressed up in the prettiest Emperor’s clothes. Your kind belong somewhere else. And I am lucky as hell to get this form, this quiet suggestion that I am in the wrong place instead of disgust or gossip or a punch in the face or attempted murder or a refusal to acknowledge me at all.
I don’t quite know what being female means to me. I don’t quite know what being dyspraxic means to me. But I think they’re quite capable of being parts of me that don’t undermine the validity of the other.
Bri at Fat Lot Of Good writes fat and depressed? or just fat? or maybe just depressed?, which is about being both fat and depressed, and the assumptions people make about both:
Like just because I am have depression (even when it is under control) I need someone else to tell me what is best for me, and the fact that I am fat and depressed…well, isn’t it obvious that if I lost weight I would no longer be depressed?
No, no and NO.
pgdudda, at Warp and Weft writes Hospitals: the Intersection of GLBT and Disabled Significant Others:
My partner of 13 years was recently hospitalized. His gall bladder was removed, and he had complications that extended his stay significantly. This was a very stressful time for both of us. The stress was compounded by the fact that (a) we are a homosexual couple, and (b) I have a significant hearing impairment. I have some thoughts for hospital personnel to consider when dealing with this particular intersection of queer-and-disabled.
While this piece is inspired by the personal, my hope is that it generalizes well to the experience of chronic pain, and also the experience of being a woman, and perhaps even the experience of being human: specifically portraying the conflict between the need for physical connection and the need for physical safety.
Kaz wrote a guest post for us here at FWD/Forward, Disability and Asexuality, about her experiences being both asexual and being on the autism spectrum:
Talking about the intersection of asexuality and disability is pretty difficult, because “asexuality” gets another meaning in disability rights discourse: it’s used to refer to the various stereotypes about disabled people’s sexualities. People do often seem to realise that this is problematic when it’s pointed out to them. However, what not so many people realise off the bat is that it goes beyond just “problematic”.
From The Mind Campaign, Mental Health Services for Refugees and Asylum Seekers: A Messy Picture, which is about … well, mental health services for refugees and asylum seekers in the UK:
But it is the plight of people who are seeking refuge in our country which has been highlighted by two new Mind reports which were launched yesterday. The product of two years of research seeking to understand the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers who experience mental health problems, the results make for interesting reading.
Jo Tamar, at Wallaby writes about the intersectionality between caregivers and disability:
So that’s intersectionality in one sense between being a carer and being a person with a disability: it is entirely possible (and based on the statistics above, maybe even likely) to be both.
But there’s intersectionality in another sense, too. The adverse effects of caring on a carer’s health and well-being has the potential to impact the person zie cares for. So the more difficult life is for the carer, perhaps the more difficult life may be for the person zie cares for.
Second Section: “General Posts” written by people with disabilities
I would not be exaggerating if I said I have to deal with the hijacking of my ownership almost every day. There are few people who I feel completely comfortable around and who I know will not and do not take any power away from me unintentionally or intentionally. It’s a scary world for me, for us, but this world and my happiness is something I am willing to fight for.
I’m talking about ableism. Ableism in the simplest meaning are societal prejudices about people with disabilities. It takes the assumption that being able-body, having a neurotypical mindset, boundless physical and mental endurance, etc. are normal. People that don’t fall into this category are abnormal.
See, the thing is, all of my life, the message I always got was that you’ve got to be twice as good at something to even be looked at the same way, or taken as seriously as, a sighted person. Being “just good enough” well, there was no such thing, because being “just good enough” for a blind person was “not good enough” for the sighted world.
hkfreeman writes on deafness, which is about the experience of being hard of hearing:
It can be difficult to imagine what life is like with a disability. For me, it is difficult to imagine what life would be like if I had normal hearing, but I am perpetually bombarded with reminders and barbs of how I experience the world in a different way, and how that difference is seen as a lack and a burden.
Views on abortion seem to fall into two broad camps: It’s always unacceptable and morally wrong (usually because people believe that a fetus has personhood) or it’s always acceptable (and the jury seems a bit mixed on morals). That doesn’t leave room for a lot of nuance, something I note in particular whenever discussions about abortion and disability crop up.
The next few posts are all posts from FWD/Forward Contributors and were on our blog:
By Laurdhel, Law & Order: “Dignity”, Worth, and the Medical Model of Disability, which talks about abortion and disability, and challenges the view presented both in Law & Order, and in feminist responses to the L&O episode she discusses:
As a feminist, I believe that we can have the abortion-rights conversation without marginalising, othering, and disparaging people with disabilities. I believe we can talk about abortion within that broader framework of reproductive justice, and that we can confront the ableism that creeps into some abortion-rights conversations head-on. This takes effort; we must think clearly, write carefully, read closely.
By kaninchenzero, Ill, which is about perceptions of mental illness, and about assumptions we make about violence and mental health:
Thing is, we’ll never know if Sodini was mentally ill or not. We can’t tell from what he left behind, and he’s no longer around to ask. The things he wrote aren’t all that unhinged; he just took the workaday hatred of black people and women that is everywhere in our society and picked up a gun and went hunting. And the mentally ill means violent narrative is false anyway
By Annaham, The Negative Side of Positive Thinking:
You’ve probably heard of positive thinking and its (supposed) benefits. You’ve also probably heard of things like The Secret, which is a self-help book and DVD (and they have other products, too, including a daily planner and something called an “affirmation journal”). For those of you who have had the good fortune to not have come into contact with The Secret, the basic premise is something that sounds pretty innocuous at first, if you don’t examine it too closely or think about it too hard: there is something called “the Law of Attraction,” which posits that the individual can attract their own good or bad circumstances in life just by thinking about them.
Oh gosh. Next time someone gives me the advice to add posts as they come in, I’m taking that advice!
I’ve really enjoyed reading all the posts at this Disability Carnival! If I had planned ahead, I could end with some way of saying “posts are great, and there’s lots of posts about disability all over the internet”, but I’ve just been kicked out of the lab I’m in and it is past my bedtime anyway. Thanks for all participants, and again to Penny for letting us host this time.