The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it.
If you want to fix the male literary crisis, here’s your solution:
Become a feminist."
best meme: cis people making an argument about how they are “so not transphobic” and then proceeding to use transphobic and cissexist language in said argument
if you’re following me on the grounds that we are both queer but you don’t consider prisoner support (and prison abolition) work as an important intersection to queer struggles we are decidedly Not On the Same Team
"There is a perception that speaking up for boundaries is somehow introducing conflict into a situation, or at very least, escalating it in an unkind way, like, everything was fine until you spoke up for your needs and now you made it weird. But not speaking up is not making the situation better, it’s just giving the other person more license to operate and communicating that you are okay with the behavior. There is no prize for being the world’s most stoic and accommodating person. A friendship that cannot survive a the momentary discomfort of you standing up for your needs is not actually a friendship worth holding onto.
Nobody loves being told that they are screwing up, obviously, but if you don’t have the ability to ever take any negative feedback along the lines of “Hey, could you not do that one thing anymore, thanks?” from a friend, YOU are the problem. When told that they are stepping on someone’s foot, good adult people will apologize and get off the foot and not perpetuate a FEELINGSDUMP about their need to really stand on feet sometimes. Communicating “Hey, that’s where my boundary is, thanks” IS KINDNESS. It is giving the other person the tools they need to be in a good relationship with you."
i hate the whole oppression works both way thing because like
if you go up to your boss and say “YOU’RE A FUCKING IDIOT! YOU’RE FIRED!” nothing happens to your boss because you are not in a position to do anything to her. If she goes, “NO, YOU’RE FIRED.” then you are out on your ass and unemployed. You both said the same thing, but its effects were COMPLETELY different, because of the POSITIONS OF POWER.
I really like this metaphor. It’s succinct and easy to relate to and to understand.
To add a layer to this fantastic metaphor? You don’t even have to go up to your boss and say “you’re a fucking idiot”. You can just go up and say ANYTHING your boss doesn’t like, even if it was totally correct and called for, and BAM! you can be fired.
Meanwhile, your boss can scream obscenities at you, steal from you, lie about you, make insults about you, enlist others in harassing you, give others things that belong to you, take tools or things you need to do your job, cut your pay, keep you from promotions you’ve earned, and give you an unfair workload and then yell at you for not keeping up with people who have a third of your work and twice the help in doing it. They can launch what would only be called a campaign of Fuck You Fucker against you. They don’t have to yell.
And SHIT ALL happens negatively to the boss. They just walk around smug and smiling, feeling like they’re a good person just for letting you walk in the door and if you should - after all this bullshit - give them an ugly look and say they’re being hateful they have the gall to gasp, purse clutch and say, “You wouldn’t like it if I called you hateful. No one should be called hateful. We’re all human! No one should get to call anyone hateful! Oh, BTW, YOU’RE FIRED GOOD LUCK FINDING WAYS TO SURVIVE NOW.”
TL;DR: Original metaphor is awesome. Don’t worry about my commentary if you don’t want.
international womens day today
dont forget to include trans women, disabled women, women of colour, non-binary people who partly identify as women, queer women, all women.all of them. i don’t want to see any derailed posts today about shit like “international mens day” it doesnt fly like that
So, what’s the problem with Autism Speaks?
(TW: Ableism) Autism Speaks is the most well-known autism charity. They have the most media coverage and are endorsed by many celebrities, but this certainly does not make them a good organization.
- Autism Speaks does not have a single autistic member on their board.
- Autism Speaks only spends 4% of their budget on “family services”.
- Much of Autism Speaks’ money goes toward research, and much of that research centers on finding a way to eliminate autism, and thus, autistics (which will likely be done through a prenatal test, in the same way that the Down’s Syndrome test is conducted).
- Autism Speaks produces advertisments, small films, etc. about what a burden autistic people are to society.
- Autism Speaks was responsible for “Autism Every Day”, which featured a member of their board talking about contemplating murder-suicide of her daughter in front of her daughter. This has now be removed from Autism Speaks’ Youtube channel.
- Autism Speaks is responsible for the atrocity known as “I am Autism”, a short film produced by the same person who directed the 3rd Harry Potter movie (yes, really) and features an ominous voice saying things like “I am autism…I know where you live…I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined…I will make sure your marriage fails.”
In short, Autism Speaks is part of the problem; they create a stigma that makes it far more difficult for actual autistic people like myself to be heard, to have our opinions matter, and to fall anywhere outside of the “autistic angel” and “screaming, violent, rocking in the corner autistic” stereotypes. In addition, for them, as well as many other organizations (and the media), autism is considered to be a child’s disorder/disability, and you will often hear people say “where are all the adult autistics?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that in the past 5 years or so. The answer to that is simple! We’re right here in front of you. We may have been misdiagnosed as children with learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities and the like when the diagnoses of autism, PDD-NOS and Asperger’s weren’t as precise (or even existent) as they are now. We may not have been diagnosed at all and simply treated as though our difficulties are our own doing. We vary in where we fall on the spectrum, though functioning labels are gross and you shouldn’t use them.
For further reading, here are a few resources about Autism Speaks:
ASAN’s flyer regarding Autism Speaks (this is easily printable and is good for distributing information quickly).
Here are a few other terrible things that Autism Speaks has done recently.
- This woman’s job offer was rescinded after she asked Autism Speaks for accommodations in caring for her autistic son. They refused, and she made necessary accommodations for childcare, but they withdrew her offer anyways.
- Autism Speaks shared the news of Google removing hate speech regarding autistics from Google’s autofill feature, completely erasing any mention of autistic people’s flashblogs having anything to do with the change. It was only after a member of the autism community (and not a parent, but an autistic person themselves) spoke with a reporter about the flashblog and a statement was released to the media that Google decided to make this change.
- Autism Speaks highlighted AAC use, while erasing those those who actually use AAC devices to communicate. The focus was on the caretakers, not on the autistic people themselves. (The attached link has a link to a rebuttal by a nonspeaking autistic person, Amy Sequenzia).
There are a number of corporate partners — big businesses (for the most part) who align themselves with Autism Speaks. This can take many different forms, but in general, you should consider that a purchase to any of these companies may benefit Autism Speaks. The list is as follows (thank you, austryzor):
- ATA Martial Arts
- Bachman Pretzels
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Build A Bear
- Capital One
- Casey’s General Stores
- Continental Accessory
- Dollar General
- Dover International Speedway
- Fashion Bug
- Fox Sports
- Joe’s Crab Shack
- Kid Natural Hero
- Landscape Structures
- Lindt and Sprungli
- Mattress Warehouse
- Med Claims Liaison
- Modell’s Sporting Goods
- Panera Bread
- Pump it Up
- Queens Flowers
- Shoprite Supermarkets
- Sprouts Farmers Markets
- Stadium NEST Fragrances
- Stella & Dot
- The Home Depot
- Total Wine and More
- Toys R Us
- White Castle
Some people have contacted me with requests for what organizations actually do help autistic people. There are a few, in fact, that actually focus on autistic people, and not just autistic children. The final two are actually general disability organizations, and not specific to autism.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is pretty much the best choice.
Edited 3/6/13 to add — someone on my Wordpress blog posted a link to this GIGANTIC resource, bigger than mine here (obviously).
loving ourselves and loving eachother as queer people, as women, as the mentally ill and disabled and sick and afflicted and as people living realities harsher than mine that im not going to try and speak to except to say, this is one of the most important ‘political’ imperatives. if a better world is not better for us it is not a better world. we need to care for ourselves. you caring for yourself is a vital and necessary thing. do not think you have to destroy yourself in the interest of revolution.