June 2017

S M T W T F S
    12 3
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
sqbr: pretty purple pi (Default)
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 08:05 am
It is in the interests of the creator to play down the full variation of human psysiology/psychology/culture etc. That way they can make their "alien" species "consistently different" to humans without having to make them genuinely different, and thus unrelatable and hard to write.

Inspired by a comment I just got on a Dragon Age fic I wrote about the experiences of a human with dwarfism in a world with fantasy "dwarves". I was thinking about why I haven't seen anyone else take on this pretty obvious plot, and realised it's because doing so is an uncomfortable reminder that (a) This is a real group of people we're exotifying into another species here (b) For the most part, fantasy dwarves (as well as halflings) are indistinguishable from especially short humans. Point this out, and they stop being cool and exotic.

And of course, as has often been discussed, this tendency has the implication that any experience too far outside the human "norm" is alien and weird. Where this "norm" is usually "WASPy American", as well as straight, cis, able bodied, etc. "Let me tell you of this human food called hamburgers" etc.
sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dreamwidth)
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 10:25 pm
This has been building for like 8 months, which means I look back on the me who collected some of these with weary nostalgia. But here we are.
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Sunday, December 25th, 2016 11:46 pm
Namely: Can this disabled fictional character be replaced in the plot by a broken lamp?

For example: Man's [wife] is [sick]. He gets into debt to try and fix his [wife]. [Wife] has no lines and no other effect on the plot except to be a loved burden.

You can replace "sick wife" by "broken lamp" and the plot works just as well. Thus, like almost every story involving a sick wife, the example passes the broken lamp test.

Inspired by the sexy lamp test and Cam ranting to me about the ableism in the OA. And while most 'sexy lamps" get some lines and some choices, even if they're vapid and meaingless, many "broken lamps" don't get any lines or agency at all and could quite literally be replaced by broken lamps.

I mean I think these "tests" can be overused and unhelpful when a deeper and more nuanced analysis would be more productive. But I am still pretty happy with this as a term.
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 11:24 am
Bad science misled millions with chronic fatigue syndrome. Here’s how we fought back

From all accounts the effects of the PACE trial were most horrific in the UK, but the idea that my fatigue is all in my head and is best treated with exercise has come up repeatedly for me, too. Ironically it's actually made me exercise less: I'm not willing to try exercising without the help of a medical professional I trust to say if I'm pushing too hard, and I've yet to meet any. They all set the baseline for "mild exercise" at a level I know would make me sicker, and have seen other people with cfs harmed by listening to this kind of advice.

I'm also really glad none of the psychologists or psychiatrists I've seen subscribed to the "tell patient to ignore their understanding of their own health" approach to CBT. Blech.

The "you don't have exercise intolerance you're just neurotic about exercise and need to believe in yourself" attitude is so appealing to able bodied people, and can seduce people wth cfs, too. For a while. Back when [livejournal.com profile] cfids_me was more active we'd always have people touting the Lightning Process.
sqbr: Are you coming to bed? I can't, this is important. Why? Someone is wrong on the internet. (duty calls)
Thursday, August 25th, 2016 01:33 pm
a) Science fiction by white people, specifically Americans, exploring the complex ethical question of whether or not slavery and/or genocide is actually always bad.
b) Inspiring and/or angry images with no descriptions about the importance of inclusion for disabled people, using a blind person's inspiring achievements as an example of what great things can happen if we just make a small effort towards accessibility. Bonus points if the person posting is themselves disabled, but not visually.

In general I feel like "inspiring visual works about blind people that clearly haven't even considered whether actual blind people can enjoy them" is a whole distinct genre. There's probably, like, people posting inspiring songs about Deaf people to soundcloud without lyrics/art installations up a flight of stairs about wheelchair users etc too, but blind people seem to get it the worst.

*mutters and grumbles*
sqbr: (up)
Sunday, July 10th, 2016 10:58 pm
The Sad Anime Wheelchair Girl (who may not actually be a girl, or in an anime, but that's where I've seen it most) is in a manual wheelchair with handlebars of the sort used in hospitals. She is either a paraplegic or just "sick". Her personality is quiet, passive, and emotionally sensitive. She is quietly melancholy about her disability but tries to keep her spirits up.

She's got complete control over her arms so definitely isn't quadraplegic etc. She has no cognitive issues. She is slow and weak and sickly even when there isn't anything wrong with her canonically asides from paraplegia. She never has a power wheelchair but uses other people to push her around long distances or even by default. Her situation is not shown as changing or improving no matter how long she is in the chair.

This is not how things work! Paraplegics are, in general, just as energetic as able bodied people. They have elegant streamlined wheelchairs that look very different to the sorts used in hospitals, and incredibly strong arms. And those wheelchair users who can't push themselves around very energetically or at all are much more likely to use a power wheelchair than get someone else to push them around. The only long term manual wheechair users I've seen rely entirely on other people were those too cognitively impaired to control a power chair. There may be other circumstances I'm not aware of but it certainly isn't the default, and I have seen manual wheelchair users complain about all of this.
Pondering how to draw fanart of such characters )
sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 11:50 am
I don't know if any of you guys can help with this, but if nothing else writing it all out will help me get it straight in my head.

So! I like to put wheelchair users in my games, because nobody else is going to. I feel reasonably confident writing/drawing people in my position: in a powerchair due to relatively recently acquired fatigue. Thanks to online research I also feel moderately confident with the Default Wheelchair User Character: a young, otherwise healthy paraplegic or amputee in a manual chair. The protagonist of SOON is this kind of character.

But I'm having trouble researching wheelchair using characters of other sorts, especially older people.
Read more... )
sqbr: (up and down)
Saturday, November 14th, 2015 03:41 pm
So I think it's great when people pay attention to disability. But I don't like the way a lot of people (generally ablebodied/neurotypical) frame it. Namely, they divide actions neatly into acessible/"good for disabled people" and inaccessible/"bad for disabled people" then are smug about how
(a) This is good for "disabled people" in general
(b) This is easy and any decent person could do it. Sometimes with an added condemnation of the bad people who don't do these "simple things" and clearly don't care about disabled people.
(c) They are a good Ally to disabled people doing everything that can be done.

Except it's very rarely that simple.
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Sunday, November 8th, 2015 07:54 pm
See [community profile] bitesizedorg. Right now they're figuring out things like compensation and name etc.
sqbr: Well meaning white girls against racism over Tracy from Hairspray (racism)
Saturday, October 31st, 2015 12:48 pm
Because it's a complex topic and I didn't want to get into a public conversation with the bigots buzzing around him.

And looking at it again now I see a silly spelling mistake /o\ Also JUST after I sent it [personal profile] mooreeffoc pointed out that you can't "fail" an IQ test. But if I'd kept editing much longer I'd have wound myself into an anxious ball and never sent it.
Read more... )
sqbr: Well meaning white girls against racism over Tracy from Hairspray (racism)
Saturday, October 31st, 2015 07:22 am
He said "Your Halloween reminder that blackface is an IQ test, and if you wear it, you've failed." and my reply would be:

Blackface is awful, but equating low IQ with racism/moral failing is unfair. Esp given it's history http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2007/11/27/the-pseudoscience-of-%E2%80%9Cintelligence%E2%80%9D-testing/

(I found the link via quick google)

But idk, it feels weird bringing it up as a white non American. And while I'm disabled I have a pretty high IQ. Plus of course it could open me up to trolls, unless I send it as a private message.

Hmmm. Will ponder when more awake.
sqbr: (up)
Friday, June 12th, 2015 04:37 pm
Disability Fest is a tumblr for fannishness about canonically disabled characters, they have a fest coming up in July and some nice posts in their archive.

Going to see if there's stuff I can organise for it! You just have to tag it "disabilityfest" in the first 5 tags.
sqbr: (up)
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 02:03 pm
Originally posted to tumblr in response to some flawed advice. Edited slightly to make sense out of context.

You do not need a reason to include disabled characters in your story. Able bodied people are not the default. Saying you need a reason to make a character disabled is like saying you need a reason to make them a woman, or a POC, or mogai. Or, conversely, that you need a reason to make them able bodied, a man, white, or straight. In fact I’ve started trying to make all my characters disabled queer WOC by default and only making them able bodied etc when the plot requires it and I can see no way this is not just as valid a storytelling approach. 

Now, able bodied people are the majority, but disabled people are still 10% of the population. So they should be at least 10% of your cast. If they are not without good reason you are perpetuating ableism. Making your cast 100% ablebodied is a choice, and an unrealistic one at that. (Making your cast 100% disabled is also kind of unrealistic, and is one reason I don’t do it. But I don’t see that it’s any worse) EDIT: This depends very much on the context of your story. If it's set in a nursing home the number of disabled characters should probably be higher than if it's set in a unit of Navy Seals.

And yes, when you write those disabled characters, you have to write them as disabled, you can’t just gloss over their impairments and write them as able bodied. And it will be a challenge. Suck it up. Use it as inspiration to write a more interesting story. Or, if your story really doesn’t work with that disability, give them a different one or make them able bodied. But don’t give up before you’ve even tried by default.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with starting out with the intention to write more disabled characters, and it is not pandering. Pandering to who, disabled people? OH NO. 

You know what I find insulting? When a character in fiction shows up with a disability and I KNOW it will be plot relevant (and probably faked as part of them being the villain) because god forbid disabled characters just exist without it being a big deal. Like we do in real life.

sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Saturday, January 31st, 2015 10:47 am
A sequence of thoughts I had just now:


  • Hey, a new indie visual novel! Looks pretty!
  • Hmm. "Asian mythological themes", huh?
  • A disabled protagonist!
  • ...who is magically cured at the start of the story(*)...
  • This is a demo and they are asking for feedback, oh god should I try playing it and offer suggestions?
  • Wait FROM THE WRITER OF CYANIDE TEA AHHHHH


*prepares self to try and ignore this game's existence for perpetuity despite the indie VN community hailing it as a Thoughtful Exploration Of Disability*

On the plus side this gives me extra motivation to work on my interactive Northanger Abbey where Henry Tilney is in a wheelchair and nobody mentions it.

(*)she's not only magically cured, she was happy and friendly pre disability but became withdrawn and cynical once she got sick, and it is only in the Magical ~Asian Themed~ Land Where She Can Walk that she learns to overcome her bitterness. Probably gets punished/mocked a bunch for her terrible flaws first, though, this is a Cyanide Tea game.
sqbr: (up)
Monday, January 5th, 2015 12:07 pm
I'm not sure if I've talked about this before but: every time I encounter Magical Healing/Health machines in speculative fiction (eg the sarcophagi in Stargate, the med bay in Star Trek, the machine that turned Steve into Captain America) I think about how they decide what counts as an illness/injury, and how they decide what Ideal Healthy State to go for. The line between "sick" and "healthy" is to some extent socially mandated and arbitrary, and an optimally "healthy" human population requires variation amongst the individuals. To maximise everything is impossible. You have to make choices.
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Friday, December 26th, 2014 03:12 pm
So a while ago some (able bodied) friends said "Hey Sophie, you might want to check out this new show Yuki Yuna Is A Hero, it has a cool wheelchair using magical girl character."

I watched the first two episodes and had mixed feelings: episode 1 wallowed in Tragic Cripple tropes but she did get to be pretty badass in episode 2. Since this is male-aimed moe (always a chancy genre) and people were predicting a Madoka-esque turn into darkness I decided to wait until the end of the season and see how things played out.

And then as the end of the season approached those same friends said "OH MY GOD SOPHIE YOU SHOULD NOT WATCH THIS SHOW I AM SO SORRY".

Spoilers, references to suicide and some REALLY GREAT attitudes to disability  )
sqbr: (up)
Friday, May 30th, 2014 12:46 am
While avoiding the usual negation/"irony" (blind but psychic, intellectually disabled with super strength, paraplegic with telekinesis etc) Here's what I've come up with:


  • CFS plus phasing through solid objects
  • Paraplegia plus super strength
  • Autism plus size changing
  • Blindness plus flight
  • Amputated arm plus precognition
  • Downs syndrome plus super speed
  • Anxiety plus laser eyes
  • Epilepsy plus the ability to control plants
  • Deaf with healing (they like being Deaf thank you very much ;))


What with it being midnight I probably haven't been as clever as I'd like and regardless a bad writer could still make them fit into the usual awful tropes. Still, it's fun to think about each superhero's adventures.

(if you want to poke at the concept yourself here's a list of disabilities and a list of superpowers)
sqbr: (up)
Saturday, November 9th, 2013 01:18 pm
The first and most obvious reason is that it's terrifying. Cecil may be able to put a positive spin on massive death rates and repressive secret police but personally I'd rather stay in a town where the librarians don't try to eat you and steal your children. YMMV.

The second reason is that there are no ramps in Night Vale. The writers have gone to great efforts to create a world with no acceptance of homophobia, racism or sexism and have been rightfully applauded for doing so. Yet when it comes to disability the town doesn't do so well(*).
Read more... )
sqbr: Hannelore: Worry hat! Bravery plus 10, charisma plus 5 (worry hat)
Saturday, September 7th, 2013 08:46 pm
These have been building up for a while (since May? Really??), in some cases I'm just taking a rough guess as to why I thought a link was worth saving.

Lotsa links! )