Why I’m Angry

7 Oct

You may have heard of Feministing’s recent refusal to acknowledge disability as a feminist issue.

You may have heard about the systematic othering of disabled people at Feministing.

You may have heard that Feministing commenters continue to engage in problematic behavior, in spite of being called out on TAB privilege.

You may have heard that Feministing moderators allow (and, by silence, encourage) the marginalization of trans people and denial of trans rights.

You may have heard that Feministing encourages multiple forms of kyriarchy, consistently and without apology.

You may have realized by now that I’m cosigning meloukhia’s letter.


9 Responses to “Why I’m Angry”

  1. Sasha_feather October 9, 2009 at 4:33 am #

    This post has been included in a linkspam at access_fandom.

  2. actuallyihatechocolate October 10, 2009 at 5:37 am #

    I’ve noticed some funky stuff going on over at Feministing. I’m really unsure of what to make of it, a lot of personal attacks. I reported them and… nothing has happened. I thought it was bizarre that the article calling Feministing out on the able-ism made it to the Community Fave’s but hasn’t really been addressed at all.

  3. niemaodpowiedzi October 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    From what I’ve seen, the response at Feministing has been really minimal. I haven’t been keeping up with their site, mainly because I have trouble reading the personal attacks you mentioned without wanting to curl into a ball on my bed and hide from the internet for a few days. The mods really haven’t publicly responded to the grievances of the anti-ableism community, which is, again, very strange. I don’t really know what to make of the response either, but it seems like a bad way to retain readers (though a lot of people responding to ableism-FAIL have indicated that they didn’t read Feministing anyway (I didn’t indicate it in the post, but I’m not a reader of Feministing either) so the loss of readership may be minimal).

  4. actuallyihatechocolate October 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    There have been so many personal attacks, to so many people, for so many reasons including the anti-ableism. And other than the ”open letter to feministing” article, there has been no speak of it, whatsoever. In one thread it became too much for me and I started countering the attacker and standing up for the female he was attacking. I’m not sure why it took so much for me to stand up for someone else, but nevertheless, I’m glad I did. It made me wonder, though, why we are trepidacious to stand up for one another in what is supposed to be a safe space? Why are we dealing with this in a ”safe space”?

    Part of having and maintaining an interactive feminist website should be making it somewhere that we’re not going to get lambasted for voicing our beliefs. If these comments continue to be posted without moderation, what differentiates the feministing community from anywhere else?

  5. niemaodpowiedzi October 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    The lack of protection for commenters being attacked is a large part of why I tend to avoid feminist sites without fairly heavy moderation (and, to be clear, by moderation I mean that the moderators need to be able and willing to quickly respond to problematic comments (and preferably the site has a commentariat of like mindset). I also value forms of moderation eliminating silencing/marginalizing comments from the discourse). The idea of being piled on for doing something as simple as calling out problematic language is fairly upsetting to me, particularly as I’ve found at least one instance where I used ableist language on this blog (a 6 month-old blog!). If it had been brought to my attention, I would hope that I’d respond in a respectful manner, because that’s what being called on privilege requires. Moderaters on feminist sites need to protect the calling-out of privilege, because that’s how the movement progresses. A large part of modern feminism (to my understanding) is an attempt to be inclusive of ordinarily marginalized voices – if those voices are told to be silent and wait for change, change won’t come and it’ll be another case of “meet the new boss…” This is why I have a problem with sites that don’t allow for that discourse, and Feministing’s lack of moderation and protection of significant portions of their commentariat is a prime example of that.

  6. niemaodpowiedzi October 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    I realized that the way I cited my use of poor language indicated that I don’t say things like that anymore, which is untrue. I feel it’s important to acknowledge that I still mess up and use words in a marginalizing, silencing way. But I greatly appreciate being called on my shit – I don’t learn from having my bad word choices ignored.

  7. Chally October 14, 2009 at 12:53 am #

    Coming to this a bit late, but I just wanted to respond on the question of Feministing’s non-response. I’m one of the bloggers in dialogue with them to improve ableism at the site. They’re holding off on a response until we’ve spoken with them, because if they post on this issue before we speak, it could lead to more fail that PWD would have to clean up.

    Hopefully things will improve now…

  8. niemaodpowiedzi October 14, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    Thanks for the clarification. It’s probably a good sign that those in charge of Feministing are listening to PWD – Valenti’s shut-down of the Open Letter thread, for instance, was most appreciated as one less place for the hate-slinging.

  9. Jenny Goes January 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    Just wanted to let you know that your style of writing is very informative and we have gotten quite a bit out of it. My son has spent a lot of time online and has shown me your site; usually I do not like him spending so much time but he has learned quite a bit from yours.

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