Category Archives: administrivia

Goodbye From FWD

Dear Readers:

We agreed when we began that this site wouldn’t run indefinitely, that we would move aside when the time has come, and that time has come.

Long before FWD was even imagined, people were writing about disability and feminism, in spaces across the Internet, coming from a variety of lived experiences and beliefs. In the last year, we’ve noticed an explosion of new disability blogs, and an increased interest in disability issues at sites labeling themselves explicitly as feminist. This has been tremendously exciting to watch, as one of our goals was to join the ongoing conversation about feminism and disability, to amplify voices that weren’t being heard, to, yes, be part of the way forward towards a more intersectional discussion on feminism and disability.

It is time for FWD, in turn, to make way for the many fantastic people who have things to say that you need to know about, some of whom you can find in our blogroll. Many of the FWD contributors will continue covering disability, as well as many other issues, in a variety of venues, but our writing will no longer continue in this location. FWD/Forward itself will be maintained as a selective archive and resource so people can continue to access the content here, although comments will be closed.

If you’re looking for content you thought was here that isn’t public anymore, that is by design: Some of our contributors have chosen to remove old content because it no longer reflects their beliefs and ideas, or because it led to harassment of themselves or others. We would be appreciative if you did not resurface and publish that content elsewhere though we are aware that the Wayback Machine exists — if you’re upset about this, perhaps look inward and ask why the original author felt this way.

Thank you,

The FWD/Forward Staff

Quickpress: Follow FWD on Facebook!

A cluster of five bubbles in varying shades of blue, slightly overlapping each other.For those of you who are savvy social media types, or if you are like me and lack the self-discipline to click the tab closed, you can now follow us on Facebook!

If you are a Facebook user I hope that you will check us out!

Check out Facebook’s FAQ for information on accessibility on Facebook, such as how to register using a screen reader (currently for the mobile version), and who to contact for troubleshooting with Facebook’s main site.

Bloggy Housekeeping Tasks

I wanted to bring folks’ attention to a few things on the blog!

  1. We’ve recently rolled out a new page, called “Need Help?” In it we list a variety of resources and aid agencies from around the world. The list is incomplete, and focused a great deal on English-language resources. If you are aware of any resources that are not listed, please let me know so I can updated it accordingly.
  2. We’ve also recently set up a delicious account that people can send links to! The account itself is at , although it’s mostly going to be used as a way for people to send links to us easily. If you use delicious, anything you tag “disfem” or “disfeminists”, or send “to:feminists” is going to get to us. Suggestions for Recommended Reading, for resources for the “Need Help?” page, or for Further Reading would be great!
  3. If you don’t have a delicious account, don’t hesitate to use recreading AT disabledfeminists DOT com for any link-leaving needs!
  4. As a reminder, we don’t often check the @feminists twitter account for @replies. It’s almost entirely an automated twitter that we log into occasionally. It’s far better to email someone or even leave a comment if you have a concern.

I should note that we don’t link everything that comes to us for our Recommended Reading. This is because there is a lot of stuff out there, and we do try and pull from a variety of places, both in blog-terms and in physical locations. Mostly the aim of Recommended Reading is to show that there are a wide variety of blogs out there that discuss disability and disability-related issues and oppressions, and to keep track of news stories that may be of interest to our readers.

That all said: I hope folks who enjoy the World Cup (*cough* abby jean *cough*) are enjoying the World Cup. I’m going to take myself to the coffee shop so no one tries to tell me about it anymore!

Email Q&A: What About Womanists?

We’re not even a week since the roll-out, but the response so far has been tremendous. Along with the excellent discussion in comments, we’ve gotten some really great questions, like this one (which we’ve paraphrased from the original email):

Why is the name of the blog Feminists With Disabilities? Wouldn’t it be more inclusive, especially of women of color, if the name acknowledged the womanist movement? Say, Feminists and Womanists with Disabilities?

We’ve been discussing this since we got the email, and we’ve come to a consensus that for now, we aren’t comfortable using womanist in the title of our blog. None of the current group of contributors identifies as a womanist. While we aren’t all white, those of us who are women of color identify as feminist. Those of us who are white don’t want to be disrespectful of the work womanists have done and are doing and appropriate their word for their movement created specifically in response to white privilege and oppression.

We also do not want to imply that we are authorities on womanism and that anything about womanism needs to change by including “womanists” in the title. Many of us are concerned with the historical exclusion of women with disabilities from mainstream feminism, and that exclusion is the primary focus of this website.

None of this means that we don’t welcome womanists and womanists with disabilities to join us as readers, as commenters, as guest posters, and as contributors (and if someone who did identify as a womanist did join us as a contributor we would revisit this issue). We want to create a safe space for all women here, and we do not want womanists to feel excluded; they have much to add to the conversation, and we look forward to hearing from them. We hope that FWD will be a place where inclusivity and respect are the rules rather than the exceptions.

Transparency and Feedback

It is important to all of the contributors here at FWD that readers and commenters be able to provide feedback on the site . It’s also important to us that you can see the processes we use and know how we respond to that feedback and address it on the site. So even though we’re quite a new site, we’ve already received some valuable feedback which has caused us to make some immediate changes and wanted to share it with you in the interest of transparency.

When we announced the site going live this afternoon, we received some immediate feedback on the site’s blogroll and how it excluded an important perspective – that of women over 50. (I’m not identifying the person who provided this feedback publicly because I don’t know if they’d be comfortable with that – if they’d like to be identified, just let me know and I can swap it.) During the planning for this site, we had identified age as an important axis of diversity and made it our goal to include a range of perspectives on age and aging in our blogroll and our posts. We put together the blogroll fairly quickly and intended to continue to revise and supplement it as the site progressed.

HOWEVER – neither of those things were at all evident from the site or the blogroll, so the only way people could have known is with psychic powers. That is a failure of inclusion on our part, and we apologize for that. Many of us have experienced implicit exclusion from mainstream feminism sites on the basis of our disabilities, and sincerely regret causing that same feeling of exclusion to women over 50, bloggers exploring the issues of ageism, and anyone else who was offended or felt excluded. That was our bad, and it was bad.

Since then, we’ve been working on finding relevant sites that we can add to the blogroll and are planning to think and write more about the issues of age and how they intersect with both feminism and disability. Some of the site’s contributors are 40ish, but none are over 50 and I’m not aware that any of us focus specifically on issues of age, so that’s obviously an important perspective for us to seek out and make affirmative efforts to include on the site – not just saying “if you want to see it, write a guest post.” (Although of course if you want to write a guest post we’d love to have you!!)

This is not an appropriate time for me to talk about how ageism interacts with feminism and disability, because it’s obviously not an issue I have any business speaking on. But we will continue to be doing and research and reading and working to connect with older feminist disability bloggers to feature and include on the site.

This is what we hope the site can do – receive feedback, respond to it, and incorporate it into the site moving forward. While we certainly hope we won’t make too very many mistakes, it is inevitable that we will make some. Our committment to you is that when you raise them with us (and emailing is a great way to do it – either the author of a specific post or administrator [@] disabledfeminists [.] com for site-wide issues like this one), this is what we hope to do with feedback. If you take the time to identify an issue and highlight it for us, we owe you the respect of serious consideration of your feedback and a good faith effort to respond to it.