Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Hillary, Alyssa. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Hillary, A. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Friday, June 14, 2013

Gender and Women's Studies: Week THREE

Trigger Warning: Rape culture, assumptions reflecting many flavors of -ism

Yes, I wrote this fast near the deadline. I don't think I made any major mess-ups, but I don't think this is made of all the awesome either. 

Some anti-feminist things I have seen include rape culture (people thinking rape is acceptable under certain circumstances as long as the word rape is not used, there always being some reason that the rape was truly the fault of the victim, such as skirt length, cleavage, or having been drunk, a Texas man being found not guilty after shooting an escort who later died from it because he had believed sex to be part of the fee he paid (unknown if it was actually included in stated services) and that deadly force is legal for recovering property during a nighttime theft (Mondo,) and the normalization of jokes about violence against women are all parts of rape culture,) religion being used to enforce gender roles (Lee and Shaw 54) and seen as incompatible with feminism due to this sometime use, and entertainment that often can not pass something as simple as the Beschdel test. (Passing means that there are two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.)
The idea that all feminists are man-hating lesbians and that feminism isn't important unless we can demonstrate that it helps men too also go here, as do those times when women police each other on looks, size, or life choices (Lee and Shaw 56.)
Looking at the “Underlying Assumptions” section of the text, the assumptions I see are: that it was the founding fathers who did the carving of the states- what about the women?, that the state was wilderness- Native people lived there, presumably, that white skin is default flesh tone, that there is one kind of disability access that works for everyone and/or that access is something special as opposed to a legal requirement under the ADA, that blonde women are less intelligent or more forgetful, that old people are more forgetful, that it is women who will be dropping children off and would otherwise be taking care of them, that impairment (as opposed to ableism) leads to lack of productivity, that Jewish people are all cheapskates, that Christianity is default, that people are married, and that they are married to people of the other binary gender (all of which are anti-feminist, some directly and some because gender intersects with everything and feminism is supposed to be a system of equality for all, not one that perpetuates other -isms [Yes, I know, that's not what happens because white abled ciswomen tend to be bad at the whole not throwing other people under the bus thing.]) This portion of the text simply asks the reader to realize what the assumptions are, and prior sections define what the relevant forms of discrimination are (Lee and Shaw 45.) I also note the anti-feminist assumption that women and people of color are less intelligent or less able handle STEM fields which is mentioned in the learning activity on Women in Science and Engineering (Lee and Shaw 50.) I suspect that the under-representation of women and people of color in STEM fields is largely related to us not being encouraged to enter these fields in the same way that white men are. I would also note assumptions that female college students are in some other field. For some reason [sexism,] people who meet me in passing assume fairly consistently that I am in art or fashion design, not mathematics and engineering as I actually am. I think this ties in with the same assumptions that lead to us not being encouraged to enter STEM fields.
Of course, all of these sentiments, assumptions, -isms interact with each other, hurting people across all marginalized groups. There is no hierarchy of oppression where one is strictly worse than another, but rather an intersection of where people can be in multiple groups, making one group's issues also the other group's issues (Lorde 70.) Privileges function as invisible weightless bags of valuable tools which we are not meant to notice in our possession (McIntosh 75, ) which often prevents us from realizing our commonalities with those who are oppressed in ways that we are privileged and privileged in ways we are oppressed. Infighting is a tool of the oppressor, who has less work to do in reinforcing the institutional discrimination when we do so ourselves- this is one of the points that Lorde brings up, and one of the things any activist must fight. As Lorde says, we can not afford to fight one oppression only- we must fight them all. If not, they will continue to plague our progress, as they continue to do- women are still under-representated in STEM fields, people of color have higher unemployment rates, trans* people face higher than average rates of being murdered, especially trans* women of color. People with disabilities face risks of murder by both their caretakers and the police, with the risk from police far higher if they are also people of color- the results of society's assumptions do not prevent all progress, but they are the issues that we are still fighting against to make our progress.

Lorde, Audre. "There Is No Hierarchy of Oppression." 2009. Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. By Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 70. Print.
McIntosh, Peggy. "White Privilege and Male Privilege." 1988. 
Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. By Susan M. Shaw and Janet Lee. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 1988. 75-82. Print.
Mondo, Michelle. "Jury Acquits Escort Shooter." San Antonio Express-News. Hearst Communications Inc, 5 June 2013. Web. 06 June 2013. Shaw, Susan M., and Janet Lee. "Systems of Privilege and Inequality" Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2011. 42-59. Print.

Yes, I have later thoughts again.
  • I noticed that they had able-bodied privilege but not neurotypical privilege. Probably just a space thing, since the text did mention that ableism is about physical and mental ability, but I do want to mention that these aren't the same thing. Similar, but not same.
  • While there is no “this one is always worse for everyone” on oppressions, some people who face multiple may have a statement on which one is worse for themself specifically, and this is valid. Sometimes people in an intersection do know which car did what to them.

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