ambergris: (Default)
I have given up wishing I had one nice person in my life and would settle instead for one who wasn't completely fucking unhinged. Just one.

And if they could also refrain from reporting everything I said and did back to the unhinged people, this would rock so hard I would actually think I was in heaven chilling out with god.
ambergris: (Default)
It strikes me that unquestioning acquiescence and mindless cheerleading are pretty much the exact opposite of the qualities which make effective activists. Or, indeed, useful human beings. (Not of course that people have to be useful, but it's generally better for their self-actualization if they are.)

What I am seeing is this awful dynamic where women who have already been socialised into believing that their own opinions and thought processes are not to be trusted, because hi, that is what bullies and abusers do to people, are being further cowed into not asking questions, not dissenting on even the most minor points, and, I suspect, in a large number of cases (including my own) not saying anything at all. They have to walk on eggshells if they don't want their commenting privileges revoked, and even that may not be enough, because it's in the nature of eggshell-walking that you can never tread lightly enough unless you actually have the power of flight. Which, you know, most humans don't.

I mean, the only two comments I've made there have been met with swift thread-closings, and that's after spending at least half an hour drafting and redrafting them so they actually get published and I don't get banned. And I'm sufficiently paranoid and a sufficiently nuanced writer that I could possibly get another two or three through before my thoughtcrimes were noted and the banhammer fell, but my problem is that I am not often moved to comment by stuff I think is 100% correct and awesome. I am driven to have my say on posts which I don't totally agree with. I am contrary. I am rebellious. I do not have massive amounts of truck with authority. I am too much of a goddamn feminist, is my trouble.

I feel like this would not be a problem if Melissa just quit pretending her site was for anyone other than her and her BFFs. It would make the onerous task of moderation significantly easier if the only people allowed to comment were those who have already been vetted. Obviously one could never be allowed to suggest this because that would be telling Melissa how to run her site and OMG DEHUMANISING! And it might make it harder to get donations.

But now! I am going to unsubscribe, because life is too fucking short to keep obsessing about my exclusion from a party I am no longer interested in attending.
ambergris: (Default)
So I was feeling kind of weirdly triggered by the way that anyone daring to disagree with the slightest aspects of Shakeville's postings on Jacintha Saldanha was getting shut up and sat on and silenced? I don't understand why exactly it is so terrible to point out that Princess Diana had a complex and mutually exploitative relationship with the media, or that Saldanha's identity wasn't actually made public prior to her death (we still don't know anything about the other nurse involved, which is as it should be), or that there was an entire culture of gross 'practical jokes' at the Australian radio station and that maybe it's unfair to put the entire blame upon two individuals, choosing to ignore the environment they were working in and the bosses who remain largely anonymous and unhounded by the media. Anything that doesn't directly serve the 'pranks are evil' agenda must be hushed immediately. Yeah, the 'pranks are evil' agenda is important. But so is a lot of other stuff, like how economic conditions in the UK forced Jacintha Saldanha to live and work away from the support of her family, or how catastrophically Westerners fail to understand Asian concepts of shame and losing face, or how the international media really needs to get over its inexplicable and occasionally fatal obsession with a bunch of random posh people who sometimes get married and have babies.

And I realised, that if those things were not safe to say, there was no way on earth I would ever be able to express my reservations about bullying the bullies, or assuming them incapable of experiencing sincere regret, or the appropriateness of calling them 'shameless dirtbags' when you have just been talking about how abuse can kill people. Because, you know, white people who work in the media and have a proven deficiency of empathy obviously have no triggers whatsoever and can take whatever is thrown at them.

And then I thought: whoa, you have been considering yourself not good enough for a space where it is not even safe to say that bullying is not OK. A space where they are fundamentally uninterested in anything anyone else has to say. The china shop is an echo chamber. It's not about you being an elephant. It's about you not being a mirror.

Which is fair enough, because I don't get to dictate the terms on which other people choose to blog. But I am kind of angry with myself for letting myself be cowed by it. Making myself feel inadequate because the straitjacket didn't fit.
ambergris: (Default)
So everything you do is aimed at making the world in general a little less sucky and your space in particular a safe one. I support that. It's important.

And I accept that the only way I can support it is by not participating. Because I'm awkward. I will inevitably say the wrong thing, in spite of my best intentions, because that is what always happens. And I won't be able to cope when you call me on it, because I have a whole cornucopia of issues which prevent me from dealing gracefully with being criticized by strangers. I know that sounds like I'm making excuses. But I know myself, and I know my limitations, and the amount of linguistic policing that has to take place in order to make your space safe is more than I can currently handle.

I'm not good enough, basically. I'm sure you would hate me pointing this out, but it's true. Just as trolls and Nice Guys aren't good enough. Your space is a china shop and I am an elephant.

So when somebody posts about how great it is for her and how much she loves it? I am triggered. I am tearful. I am reminded of how my disability excludes me from basically all forms of community. I am reminded of how I will never have friends, of how I don't deserve them, of how I cannot be trusted not to upset someone whenever I open my mouth. Because pretty much everything you say is going to upset someone, somehow. That woman who posted about how great your community is and how much she loves it had absolutely no idea that her innocuous comment was going to send me spiralling into a pit of misery and self-hatred. And that is as it should be. She should be able to express sentiments like that without having to preface it with a content note, without having to worry that some random lurker is in distress because of something she said.

I am not safe for your space. But your space is not safe for me, either.

Well, the trolls and the Nice Guys manage without access to your community, don't they? They find fellow trolls and Nice Guys to congregate with. But I'm avoidant. We can't be around people by definition. The very concept of an avoidant community is an oxymoron. Which, among other things, means there is no activism, so there is next to no awareness of the fact that not everyone has friends, not everyone has relationships, and not everyone is capable of interacting with others in socially appropriate ways. And it is ableist to pretend that my disability doesn't exist, or isn't a disability, because, seriously, if something which prevents you working / living independently / making friends / having sex / having children fails to qualify as a disability, what the fuck does?

So part of me wants to crash around breaking all the china and screaming, hi, I exist, and you are erasing me and excluding me and all that other stuff you try so hard not to do.

Except that I am always already excluded. Because that is what being avoidant is.

spoons

Jan. 15th, 2012 09:40 pm
ambergris: (Default)
About now is when I would have gone to socialanxietysupport.com and posted about how tired I am of my dad Not Getting It.

Moving is stressful, but I could deal with it fine if I wasn't sick. Being sick for six weeks wears you down, especially when you can't go to the doctor because a) calling to make an appointment when you have social phobia is a Big Deal, b) catching four buses and sitting in a waiting room full of sick people when you have social phobia is a Big Deal and c) like I even have time to go to the doctor, when I am moving.

But to have it sprung on you that you are going to be having your Sunday dinner at a table of EIGHT, three of whom are total fucking strangers? Sorry. Not OK. Not OK at any time, really, but if you can drink, it might be survivable. If you can't even resort to alcohol because you've already vomited twice in the past day, then no.

I just do not think my dad gets that I have social anxiety. I don't think he even gets what social anxiety is. And when I try to explain, he doesn't want to listen. He has equal trouble acknowledging that I'm physically ill, and I've been coughing up slime for the past six weeks, so it's hard to see what more I can do.

jaded

Jan. 13th, 2012 10:06 pm
ambergris: (Default)
I know I am mostly burned out on people in general, but sometimes I'd like to have a friend who didn't think that 'fat' and 'autistic' were terms of abuse. And who didn't think it was ok to fling said terms of abuse at me on a semi-regular basis. And who didn't judge me constantly. That would be cool.

Actually, if I knew anyone like that I probably wouldn't be so jaded with the concept of humanity in the first place. But I don't. So I am.

I am moving in with someone who still thinks it is ok to make fun of people because you don't like their shoes. If I wanted to devote my life to someone with a mental age of twelve I'd have got myself knocked up when I was twenty-two. Oh wait, I couldn't. I was incel when I was twenty-two. Oh well, never mind.

venting

Feb. 28th, 2010 07:22 pm
ambergris: (Default)
I don't know why some people think shouting at a depressed person is an appropriate way of dealing with an admittedly exasperating situation. Seriously, what do they think will happen? Depressed person will leap to their feet declaring 'yes! you're absolutely right! I am a lazy good-for-nothing, but now you have been so good as to alert me to the fact, I am going to stop! I am now going to get dressed in my smartest clothes and reward you with a cup of tea before going outside and magicking up a fabulous life for myself!'

It seems to me far more likely that depressed person will merely snivel a bit.

Some people are so miserable and powerless in their own little lives that making other people suffer is the only source of joy they have. I learned this at school.

I am perpetually afraid of becoming one of them.

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