Because I’m kind of busy, and will probably remain kind of busy for a little while, here are a few mini-posts I’m dumping on y’all without the courtesy of fleshing them out into good posts.
First off, this is one of those things I hesitate to talk about, folks. I would like to finish my posting career without having been part of some lefty internetcine blogsquabble. (“lol quit now.” Tempting, but no.) For that and other reasons, I’m not going to specifically call anyone out. Also, this is an issue that’s directly impacted me, but not one I can speak about from personal experience, so I’m trying to walk that fine line between being an ally and an appropriator.
Over the past year or so, I have been disturbed by the frequency at which people in leftish spaces use ‘addiction’ and ‘junkie’ in frivolous and cutesy ways. Many of these spaces take a very firm stance–admirably so–regarding ableism against other mental and physical issues. Why is “I’m a youtube comments junkie” okay when “youtube comments are crazy” isn’t?
In a similar vein, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a list like “murderers, rapists, and drug addicts,” from people who should probably know better. Yeah, addicts can hurt people around them, intentionally or not. I know. But amazingly, their addiction usually hurts them most of all. And, hold on to your butts, addicts are often aware of all this. (As much as I love Trainspotting, I know it’s not a documentary.) “But they made a bad decision and keep making it every time they use.” As if drugs contain the Magical Fairy Dust of Holy Agency that erases a person’s socioeconomic, psychological, and genetic history the first time they even consider using. As if every single user had a choice in the first place. As if the rest of us don’t make harmful decisions and certainly don’t repeat them. (As if–and I may lose some of you here–nobody should have the option to do something that could potentially kill them. But an argument for legalizing all drugs is not the subject today.)
David L. Conroy suggests that one reason many non-suicidal people in societies with massive stigma against it fear and hate suicidal folks is because learning to understand suicidal ideation makes them face the possibility of their own suicide. Perhaps it’s not so different with addiction. I really don’t know. Something to consider.
This got off topic. Y’know, I know it’s hard not to fuck up. I’ve used the language of addiction frivolously. Probably way too recently. Probably in company that I hurt by doing so, but for various understandable reasons, they didn’t call me out. I don’t want to make the same mistake again. I hope you don’t, either.
If you haven’t, please take some time to learn something about the reality of addiction and stigma from a person who’s actually been there.
Recently stumbled upon this chart at Echidne’s:
“The Republican Party Rape Advisory Chart”
[Ahh, look how many times it says (TX). I always feel so safe and valued here. Like that time I caught a cougar eyeballing us in a completely black mountain basin at least a mile downhill from safety. Welcome to Texas!]
This is in your Overton Window, US folks. It’s far past time to take some hammers to it.
ETA 22 November: Just got a trackback from this Daily Kos post by Brainwrap, who made the original version of this chart. Apologies for not giving proper credit before.
Every once in a while, I remember this one time some dude in London called me a slag. Let me set the scene for you, not because any of these details make one fucking bit of difference toward the legitimacy of misogyny–as if you need me to tell you that!–but so that you can picture the moment this dude and I shared.
It was between 8 and 9 at night during, I think, early spring. I was wearing what I wore every day: more sensible than average shoes, jeans, my faux-Mao jacket, and a polyester ‘pashmina’ from one of London’s approximately ten thousand scarf wagons operated by a looming guy who will either scowl at you or call you darling when you hand him ₤10 for 3. On my way home from a SOAS lecture or something, I stopped for the crosswalk light at the corner of Sidmouth Street and Grays Inn Road. (I’ll give you a minute if you’d like to Street View it. Are you back? Okay.) I would usually just plod across some section of Grays Inn when there was a gap, but providence was shining on me that day. Enter the cyclist. He’s late 20s at most, at a glance white and average in every conceivable way, cruising very close to the curb at a speed I can only describe as lazy but intended to put distance between us once he’s said his piece. Because it’s a bad piece and he probably knows that on some level.
Slag. Let me tell you, all two of my dear readers, that I could never have imagined someone so utterly bored with their own misogyny. Have you ever begun to read out a question in your brain voice, just to get to the end and see that the person has used a period instead of a question mark. Now you have! Right at the end, the way the bottom suddenly slides out and leaves you with a weird sense of ennui about whatever was being asked? That was this dude’s whole deal. In one word, one expression of misogyny he could hardly even be bothered to put the syllable of energy into, I understood this dude entirely.
Apparently even misogynists get bored with misogyny at this point. Fortunately there’s a solution for that.