sqbr: (up)
Sunday, April 21st, 2013 06:25 am
Articles like ReWalk: A Plea for Common Sense remind me how little ablebodied people understand the sheer joy a good wheelchair can bring. Mostly because the alternative for someone like me is not being able to move, but there are some advantages even over being an able bodied person.

A lot of this would apply to manual wheelchairs too but I've never used one myself.

  • Crush the feet of your enemies. Or don't, and feel magnanimous in your mercy.
  • "Run" with the wind in your hair, or for a bus, without breaking a sweat or getting tired.
  • Unsettle "more radical than thou" able bodied activists with your very presence.
  • Be an unsettling centre of attention in general. Works well with goth/macabre/alternative clothing choices.
  • Never bump your head on low ceilings (admittedly this has never been an issue for me)
  • Have a comfy chair wherever you go. Fantastic for queues.
  • Put heavy loads on the back or next to you and not have to carry the weight yourself.
  • Wear gorgeous but impractical shoes you can't walk in.
  • Work to fight against stereotypes about disabled people and poor awareness of accessibility simply by going out in public and doing your thing.


Any others, fellow wheelies?
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 02:10 pm
Crime Against Nature Kids book about same sex and other "unnatural" relationships in nature. Not sue it works as a kids book but still interesting! Couldn't get it to download though.

When Depression is Contagious Captain Awkward post about how to draw boundaries and look after your own emotional well being when in a relationship with a depressed person.

Say hello to The Old Republic's gay planet All the same sex content in Bioware's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMMORPG is on one planet. Uh huh.

AMAZINGLY OFFENSIVE: On Stephen Hawking, Vader and Being More Machine Than Human Inspired me to make a More machine than man shirt because screw you, self obsessed technophiles.

Why I play violent video games Not the same reasons as me, but still an interesting read from another woman who likes violent video games (and no, not despite the violence)

The secret life of them: What it takes to shift class in Australia Quite different to my experience as an upwardly mobile child of downwardly mobile ex-middle class white people, but that's what you'd expect.

the positive side of socialism

Health Panics in Historical Perspective

“Oh, You Sexy Geek!”: “Geek Girls” and the Problem of Self-Objectification

I've been reading through Pervocracy, I particularly liked
Using my vagina about the validity of having unsexy sex if that's genuinely what you want.

From a different POV, You Need Help: Let's Talk About (Having More) Sex

Conservatives can be persuaded to care more about the environment, study finds

Multiple Sclerosis, Kepral’s Syndrome, and Why I’m Glad Thane Dies The importance of illness narratives with no magical cure.
sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dreamwidth)
Sunday, December 30th, 2012 09:36 am
I may have already posted some of these, sorry!

Objecting to Objectification A post that really annoyed me. It basically says that queer women shouldn't, say, check out another women's breasts without stopping and thinking seriously about her ~thoughts~ and ~feelings~. Personally I am totally fine with random strangers (regardless of gender!) thinking I'm hot without wondering about my inner life, as long as they treat me like a person should we actually interact.

I really dislike the way ALL sexualisation of women is demonised within certain progressive spaces (while other "sex positive" progressive spaces are more likely to celebrate the sexualisation of women by men), meaning that there is pretty much nowhere it is accepted and normalised for women to sexualise other women. I realise that some women want safe spaces where they don't feel sexualised, but there's a difference between "Please don't sexualise women in this space" and "sexualising women is bad".

A criticism of yarn bombing

Identity should always be part of the gameplay
N K Jemisin talking about how oppression and privilege are dealt with in the Dragon Age world. I know some people prefer fantasy worlds with no sexism/racism etc, but personally I tend to enjoy ones which DO have some bigotry as long as it's handled well and in a way that allows for happy endings.

The Naked and the TED A criticism of various books to come out of TED and TED in general.

The missing stair, My friend group has a case of the Creepy Dude. How do we clear that up?, “I am the Lorax, and I speak for the creeps!” Posts on dealing with creepiness (and worse) in other people

Fallacy Watch: No True Klansman Redefining terms like "racism" to refer to attitudes so heinous that nobody actually believes them, thus allowing the speaker to avoid being labelled with the term.

self-care: a buncha links, or something Not all self care can be ~enlightened~ acts like doing activism or eating organic free trade vegetables, but it's still necessary.

Lincoln Against the Radicals "Lincoln is not a movie about Reconstruction, of course; it’s a movie about old white men in beards and wigs heroically working together to save grateful black people."
sqbr: (up)
Friday, December 14th, 2012 06:14 am
I've been going out in my wheelchair more recently, and also trying to get back into paying attention to my clothes (constructing outfits is a form of creative expression for me) Which has meant navigating the new and exciting world of wheelchair fashion.

As mentioned in this rather sweet article about design students making wheelchair fashion there's issues with pant length and stuff (mostly less of an issue for me as a short legged woman with an electric chair, though I miss wearing long skirts) but there's also more subtle issues with the meaning of clothes changing when you wear it in a chair.

For example I stopped wearing this threadless shirt saying "This was supposed to be the future. Where is my jetpack...where is my cure for this disease" after someone read it then gave me a look of intense pity and said "I'm so sorry!"

But being in a wheelchair isn't all about limits. I can wear pretty but uncomfortable shoes now since I'm not going to be walking in them. I've also been looking for tshirts with slogans which gain meaning from being in a chair: here's me wearing an "Also I can kill you with my brain" shirt and I also have a we were not meant to be octopus shirt.

This got me thinking about making my own sloganed tshirts. I don't know how many if any of these I would actually wear, but they were fun to come up with. I particularly enjoy subverting people's image of disabled people as cheerful, earnest, and harmless.

  • Cyborg in progress
  • Future cyborg overlord
  • Bad cripple
  • good cripple
  • more machine than man
  • your awkward stares only make me stronger
  • Stairs! My archnemesis! We meet again!
  • Being an inspiration: $10
    Answering invasive questions: $50
    Accepting unsolicited medical advice: $100
    Crushing the feet of the unworthy: Free


If anyone wants to take/adapt these ideas for themselves feel free.
sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Saturday, October 20th, 2012 06:45 pm
A while ago I had a brief conversation with Shreen Ayob about her pdf "Pick Your Battles: a practical guide to social activism" and promised to give her further feedback...then didn't. (Sorry Shreen /o\)

Having been reminded about this promise I think I have to give up on the clear summary I was hoping to produce, so instead here are some rambling general thoughts. I'm making this a public post since she said she's after feedback leading up to the next edition and this way other people can have a look and comment.
Read more... )
sqbr: A happy dragon on a pile of books (happy dragon)
Saturday, July 21st, 2012 09:01 pm
Following on from my post about monster women and again via [community profile] the_school_of_philosophy: the seam of skin and scales, in which a trans woman refuses to be see her body as a trap.

She doesn't mention disability explicitly, but almost everything she says rang very true for me, and trans people and disabled people are both very much left on the outskirts of white-young-feminist ideas about "loving your body". (In different ways of course, and I don't mean to flatten out the differences, especially since my disabilities are frequently invisible)

I am having a very interesting discussion with capriuni on a post she made about disability and monstrousness, and realised it may not be entirely a coincidence that I felt like drawing monster girls shortly after starting to go out more in my wheelchair and having to deal with the way that makes people look at me (and the way it makes me look at myself).
sqbr: She's getting existential again. It's ok I have a super soaker. (existentialism)
Thursday, June 7th, 2012 08:07 pm


I did a meme on tumblr offering to do a video post on any requested subject (the other one is on maths so got posted to alias_sqbr) and was given the topic "being a queer, disabled, feminist writer". I didn't talk much about feminism in the end! I'm wearing a Kate Beaton "Brontes" shirt and key earrings (and pants. You can't see them, just letting you know they're there)

It's interesting seeing what assumptions and stuff show up when I can't go back and edit the first thing that pops out of my head eg the idea that queer fandom = femslash fanfic which is all written by women, which...no :) Also, as a kid I actually did like the idea of a husband/boyfriend being like a best friend but better. But I knew not all relationships were like that.

Transcript below the cut, there are also closed captions through the magic of Youtube. A few errors but I can't be bothered fixing them right now, sorry!
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 07:32 pm
Yesterday I went to a rally calling for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, which later was announced to have become policy. I have no deep point to make, but it was this or not get around to posting on BADD at all.

It's the first political rally I can remember ever going to. When I was younger I had a kneejerk reaction against rallies the same way that some people from church going families do against going to church, and then just as I started getting more into activism I got sick. I must admit my understanding of the NDIS is fairly shallow, but when [personal profile] lilysea asked if I wanted to come along I decided it would be a good chance to see what going to a rally in the wheelchair is like since I could probably rely on the organisers to pay attention to accessibility. Plus, while I do ok myself, know a lot of disabled Australians have real issues getting the help they need.

The organisers were indeed pretty good with accessibility, including setting a start time in the middle of the day well after the time we were supposed to arrive (disabled people often not being able to zip about efficiently in the early morning or late at night). The same cannot, alas, be said for Transperth, the lifts at Perth train station died really quickly once they had to deal with multiple people in wheelchairs etc using them in quick succession, causing a long queue, and staff were apparently unhelpful. (And later on we discovered the joy of trying to fit more than 4 people with wheelchairs/prams etc in a train carriage)

Once we escaped the station we spent some time waiting with many other disabled people and carers in the Hay Street mall, with organisers emphasising that the police needed us to of stay in the centre so that pedestrians could get past. The few police looked rather bored, but there were quite a few photographers and journalists. A woman from the ABC asked [personal profile] lilysea and I if we wanted to be interviewed but neither of us felt up to being Representatives of The Disabled, and deferred to a more prepared looking woman. (If you see any photos of a woman with bright blue hair in a wheelchair, that's [personal profile] lilysea. I'm the more boringly dressed woman beside her :)) I met some women from a local disabled women's group [personal profile] lilysea is in, they seem very nice.

Organisers with microphones tried to encourage people to chant, but my throat wasn't up to it. I did hold a sign on my lap. We went at a slow pace as a fairly tight group up the mall, down a block towards the river and into the Supreme Court gardens. It was hard keeping a steady pace with people of all different abilities and forms of mobility (scooters, on foot, crutches etc), I ran over someone's foot :( At the gardens there were people set up to direct people towards the stairs or ramp as appropriate, which did a good job of preventing bottlenecks. Then there was a small concert, which was loud and not really my thing so I left after taking some photos.

It was an interesting experience. Even as someone in a wheelchair I sometimes found myself defaulting to talking to carers rather than other wheelchair users. But despite my best efforts I am alas not always immune from awkwardness around people with major speech impediments or cognitive disability, which many people had. Being in a large group of disabled people was kind of cool, people showing off cool purple calipers etc without awkwardness.

(Below: Three photos of a large group of people, many in red shirts, some in wheelchairs or just sitting on garden chairs, watching a band play on stage in the park of the Supreme Court gardens. It is a beautiful sunny Perth Autumn day)
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sqbr: (up)
Friday, March 30th, 2012 01:38 pm
This is a mix of great stuff which is ok about disability, ok stuff which is good about disability, and a smattering of stuff which is awesome in every way. My bookmarks aren't tagged to remind me how well stuff handled disability, so this list is pretty arbitrary.

Mostly the same fandoms as my post of fanworks I've made myself.
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Friday, March 30th, 2012 11:47 am
Normally I'd be loathe to be all "LOOK AT MY AWESOMENESS" but it is SO HARD to find not-totally-creepy fanworks about disabled characters that I decided this would be worth doing. Here's some recs to other people's fanworks.

All art has a description, and all comics have transcripts (if I've missed any let me know), and all art is safe for work (not all the fic is, but it's labelled). All characters mentioned are canonically disabled, and I've only included works where the disability feels at least vaguely relevant.

Pride and Prejudice, Avatar: the Last Airbender, Mass Effect, Homestuck, Misc )
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Friday, February 24th, 2012 03:19 pm
Can someone give me a link to a post about why "derp" is abelist? There's a discussion on my twitter list, and there's no way I can summarise it in 140 characters.

(nb I am also pretty sleepy, so don't feel up to explaining it here either. If you're interested, I'm sure someone else will post a link eventually)
sqbr: (up)
Sunday, January 8th, 2012 11:10 am
No Disability at the Final Frontier: Science Fiction, Cures, and Eliminationism reminds me that I've been meaning to make a post about disability in "perfect" disability-free societies for a while, waiting until I can write the Perfect Post, but I think it's time to admit that's not going to happen and just ramble for a while, with the option to return to the topic later it later.

I'm not really addressing s.e.smith's point but riffing off a different aspect of the same broader topic of depictions of disability in scifi. I also covered some of this in Disability in Speculative Fiction: Monsters, mutants and muggles.
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sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Friday, October 28th, 2011 09:11 am
Barred CHOGM protestor 'not a threat' The Queen is visiting, better lock up the environmentalists! On the plus side even commercial FM radio news was talking about it.

Rio Tinto accused over Bougainville 'genocide'

Housos: a tv show making fun of disabled people living in public housing. As a disabled person who grew up in public housing around a lot of disabled people my response was nostalgia coated in a heavy layer of "Fuck you"(*). Here's the first episode of Housos, I only got three minutes in, maybe it suddenly becomes SUPER AMAZING after that but somehow I doubt it.

(*)Given that my childhood involved a lot of people swearing and resentment towards middle class(**) wankers who thought they were better than us I guess it's appropriate.
(**)I tried to look up about the guy who made this, but once I hit "He won the Tropfest award…although he had submitted the film under the pseudonym Laura Feinstein in order to appeal to the sensitivities of the judges" I decided I'd hit my loathing limit for the day.
sqbr: (up)
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 08:00 pm
This article embraces the ableist tropes behind the daleks and other such scifi monsters so wholeheartedly that it wouldn't take much to turn it into satire.

EX-TRA-PO-LATE! Moral philosophy and the Daleks

In the 21st century, Bunce suggests that they embody a more general fear, about the triumph of technology and science over humanity. Once creatures like us, they have mutated into something far more sinister. Inside their metal shells, they have oversized brains representing the dominance of scientific reason, at the expense of shrivelled bodies.

Shriveled bodies! How much more evil could they get? A most terrifying fate indeed.
sqbr: WV stands proudly as mayor (homestuck)
Friday, January 14th, 2011 08:55 am
Homestuck is one of those canons where I often veer dramatically from "This is so awesome!" to "ARGH SO ANGRY WHY CAN'T I QUIT YOU??" and back again. Right now I just feel like venting about the latter.
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sqbr: me cosplaying the bearded dwarf cheery longbottom, titled Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Sunday, September 26th, 2010 04:53 pm
Female sexual dysfunction discussion bingo, all the things that come up reliably in any discussion of the subject.

I've been meaning to post a link to Feminist with Sexual Disfunction for ages, even if you don't have sexual disfunction they're just a really good general feminist/sexuality etc blog and have a unique POV.

One of the reasons I've been putting it off is that I feel that, as part of trying to reduce the stigma around sexual disfunction, I should mention that I have had issues with that sort of thing myself, though at this point it's only around the middle of the list my many irritating incurable poorly diagnosed health problems that make life less fun. Not something I feel like talking about at all but there you are.

I find it interesting if rather depressing how the "It's all big Pharma making healthy women think they're broken" attitude contrasts with the "Clearly if you don't feel like having sex you must have some medical condition" crap pushed on asexual people. In both cases the experiences and opinions of actual people count for nothing in the face of The Way Things Are Supposed To Work.

(Also, I hope it goes without saying but: Please do not say any of the things in those bingo squares here)
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 01:42 pm
I already posted an almost identical locked version of this, but I've decided it would be useful to link to for context in broader conversation.

The archetypical "fandom activist", as far as I can tell from the assumptions I see around the place, is white, female, cisgendered, from the US, able-bodied, may or may not be lgbt, and middle class. She never really thought about social justice before joining fandom, but now pursues it with an almost religious fervour, with rigid ideas about acceptable behaviour, and attacks anyone who has been declared a Bad Person with angry comments on their journal and "signal boosting" posts. She also has no interest in activism outside this.

This does not describe me or the people I know who are involved in discussing social justice in fandom, at least not entirely. I used to think that maybe I wasn't the sort of person people were talking about when they made these posts, but my name has come up a few times so I guess I am.

So I've decided it would be helpful to get my experiences all laid out so that I can poke at them and maybe compare notes with other people.
Read more... )
sqbr: Torchwood spoilers for various episode numbers: Jack dies (torchwood spoilers)
Friday, August 13th, 2010 07:08 am
If you like watching slashy pretty men being jerks and are fine with the erasure, dismissal, objectification and mistreatment of anyone who isn't white, straight, male, upper middle class, English, and able bodied, then this is the show for you. Well, episodes 1 and 3 are, episode 2 is just bad all round (and amazingly racist).

I...found parts of it interesting and engaging, and the slashiness is of a particular type I quite enjoy, but on the whole it wasn't as clever as I would have liked and large sections made me very annoyed. Meta: Neoliberal Holmes, or, Everything I Know About Modern Life I Learned from Sherlock gives a very damning critique, but to follow up on the portrayal of Watson's disability in particular: it is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN. At all. Not even vaguely alluded to.

And "That's the way it was dealt with in the books" doesn't make it ok, that just means it's not inaccurate as well as ableist. If they were doing a totally 100% literal adaptation which followed every minute detail exactly as it happened in the books I might forgive them and blame Arthur Conan Doyle, but they weren't by a long shot. They chose to keep that particular flaw of the books and must bear the responsibility for that choice.