avia: (hearth fires)
A couple of related links:

"The number of people who accept that a given oppression is real and bad is inversely proportional to the severity of said oppression." A great article that shows how not believing people's oppressions is one aspect of oppression.

A thoughtful article on BIID has been published, finally! And compares it with gender dysphoria, how shocking.


I like reading BIID blogs. Or, really, transabled.org, because there are not that many BIID blogs. Yesterday, I finally realized why I like the community so much that I watch it from a distance, even though it is not my community.

It's because I wish it was my community. There is so much support in that community, so much bonding between all the people in it. They don't mock or put each other down, or try to gaslight each other by doubting their experiences. I've never seen them fight or argue. When they have a disagreement, they settle it gently. I've never seen them act like one is better than the other, or like their experience is more "real" than the others'.

They've helped each other through depression, suicidal thoughts, and the extreme actions that many of them have needed to take to cure their dysphoria. If someone in the BIID community says, "I need an amputation to feel comfortable with my body", they are accepted and supported by mature people who have studied the literature, understand that this is not a phase, it is a neurological problem with the wiring of the brain and body map that only can be cured this way, as extreme as it seems. They don't start yelling emotional arguments or talking about how this will "make the community look bad". They don't suggest pointless things that don't help, like "you need to see a psychologist" (because these people already have seen psychologists!) or "just try to appreciate the body you have now and the fact that you are healthy" (because you think they haven't tried that??) They are rational, because they too have been there and they don't deny how horrible it can be.

In the otherkin and therian communities, someone who talks about wanting surgery, even if we know we can't have it, is automatically an outcast. Even someone who talks about any negative experience, depression, dysphoria, uncontrollable shifts, is not helped and supported but mocked, told to "toughen up", that "that's not how real therians are". The community cares far more about whether it looks bad to the outside than actually helping its people. New ideas and experiences are not used to help the stores of knowledge grow and become more detailed, but are attacked using false, pseudo-scientific arguments because they are seen as a threat. The community is deeply injured by a hierarchy where, in many places, therians are seen as "more legitimate" than otherkin, otherkin are "more legitimate" than fictionkin, and fictionkin are "more legitimate" than factives. Denying that your own experiences mean anything, and pushing them away with a simple explanation of "I must be crazy", is seen as healthy and rational behavior.

And, most importantly, the BIID shows that the therian and otherkin communities' ideas, that too much support and accepting attitudes would make people stop thinking critically and stop other people taking them seriously, are a complete fantasy. The BIID community does not harass its members constantly, yet they have come much closer to discovering a cause for BIID than therians or otherkin have to discovering a cause for our dysphoria. The BIID community does not police its members to make sure that only the "good ones" stay, but the outside world is slowly starting to realize that they are serious: scientific articles like that second link are being posted about it. But we're not even close to having a good medical or psychological article published about otherkin.

In fact, I believe that what the therian and otherkin communities do, probably has the opposite effect. If you don't police people and harass them for their views, they naturally will think critically about their own beliefs and experiences. But if you constantly threaten them, they will start to get defensive, and then they will feel much less comfortable thinking critically at all, because they won't want to admit that the people who are attacking them are right.

So, yeah. I wish we were more like the BIID community, and less like our own community. If I had BIID, I'm sure I would have had a place there, instead of being the outcast of the outcast. And that is kind of sad to think about.
avia: A girl lying on a swan and hugging them. (hug a swan)
My local Petsmart stopped selling live birds after I put up some stickers on their bird displays.

If we can do this for every pet store near us, we could send the bird mills out of business!

This makes me super happy, and I want to go to the other pet stores around here as soon as I can... I thought also of dressing up in my karasu-tengu costume to collect money for bird sanctuaries. All I would need, is to get some foam tubes and bend them into a "cage" over my body, and I could sit outside the pet store handing out flyers and collecting money as support for birds... waa, this could really work. Super exciting. >w<

police

Sep. 27th, 2011 09:07 pm
avia: Picture of numbers, shapes, and stars falling in a night sky. (falling numbers)
Things I learned from Occupy Wall Street: police brutality is not occasional things, it's the normal state of things. And, I am very privileged to not know that before now.

I don't think I will ever be calling the police for anything in the future. Society can heal in better ways, than abusing each other in the name of authority.

Also, today I got library books. (´-ω-`) Feels just... good, having new stories in my hands, new words to explore.
avia: Poster for the Black Swan movie, top half is a white swan on a black background, bottom is a skeleton black swan on red. (black swan)
This society tries to keep us from making up stories about our lives. It says, "but things are not really like that. This, scientific evidence, shows the way things are, the only way things are." But stories, different ways to see things, they are what makes our world come alive. By conforming everything to one scientific viewpoint we are stripping it of culture, perspectives, and our own personal relationship to it. Everything becomes dead in our eyes.

They are taking the stories that make sense of our lives, and replacing them with their own.

So, if that knot in the tree is shaped like a face to you, and it means something in your personal mythology, don’t let anyone tell you that is less “real” than the hard, scientific facts. They are killing your myths and replacing them with their vision. Holding on to our own secret myths is a powerful weapon against that, and, healing for the soul.


Note: when I say "culture and perspective", I mean that science as we experience it as non-scientists, is very filtered through particular cultural ideas that might not match what matters to us. People say that science is just facts, but, the way that science is shown to us, in magazines, TV, articles, etc. is not just facts, it comes from a particular perspective about what is normal and what is acceptable, and, the idea that scientific way of looking at the world is more "real" or "right" than others, erases different perspectives about what is acceptable and ignores cultural difference.

When I say "personal relationship", I mean a similar thing. What you experience about the universe does not matter, because what they experience about the universe is "right". Inside experience is turned into a "nice little fantasy" compared to the solid knowledge of science. The idea that scientific view is the only "real" view is patronising to our personal ways of experiencing the world, and, our idea that they have value.

Blackbird

Sep. 23rd, 2011 09:14 pm
avia: A smiling girl lifting up a skull mask to show her face. (happy skull girl)
I'm not sure what it is I like so much about this story, but, I like it, so, I'm reblogging it here. I think, I just feel that this song is very creepy, in a wonderful way.



Read more... )

Put stickers on bird cages at Petsmart today and put protest letters in the mailbox... for some reason, things like this take so long for me. It's not an action of a few minutes to be activist, for some people. It takes hours. And, this was only a tiny thing. But, for this, it felt worth my energy.

I wanted to do something for the autumn equinox today too, but... could not think what. Maybe it's a good day to begin using my death rosary finally. I could do that.
avia: A girl lying on a swan and hugging them. (hug a swan)
I just remembered I have these blank stickers for activism stuffs... so I used a few....

Opt to adopt!
(Click to see large)

I think, I'm going on a tour of some local pet stores soon.

Shirts!

Sep. 22nd, 2011 10:24 pm
avia: A smiling girl lifting up a skull mask to show her face. (happy skull girl)
Oh~, my store appeared today!

What store? Well... I was working on this last night, but, there was some problems with the store, so, the designs were not showing. But, it finally appeared now... I have been working on some shirt designs, for genderqueer, autistic, and other non-normative type people, just for fun~ But, it can also make a little money for me, and, I want to try and support my self with online sales of things in future, so, part of this, is testing to see if I can make any kind of business.

Here are the designs:



More behind the cut )

Sorry it comes out a little expensive... I was trying to put it as the cheapest price I could, the dark t-shirts are expensive ;w; But, the white ones are not bad. Sadly, the "observation robot" only looks good on a dark background really... but, if people want it for light, I can make one.

Also, I am open to ideas for custom designs, I'll try to make it~ (it doesn't have to be robot themed, but, if it is neurodiversity/gender diversity related it helps...) I have some more ideas that I am working on too, so, I'll post more updates when I have more shirts~

(Edited to add: right now, a friend told me about a problem with the “gender binary” ones, so, I take the design down and replace it. The gender binary shirts should be up again in about 24 hours… sorry about that!)
avia: Picture of numbers, shapes, and stars falling in a night sky. (falling numbers)

Inside and Outside Safety (warning from the top of the post: Mentions of violence towards PwD, both external and internal. Passing mention of the R-word and of a cat dying.):

We are told that in order to save ourselves from the violence out there we must do everything we can to look normal out there.

And when we do look normal out there, they pretend that no violence is being done to us. Too often, they forget the violence that they did or dismissed to make us this way. Too often, they will always dismiss that it left us with violence in our heads.

As time goes on I try to unlearn the violence that was taught to me. I try to uproot the strongholds that tell me how wrong and bad it is of me, how selfish, to want to be okay with myself. This process isn’t helped by living in a society that reaffirms that all the bad things are because I’m wrong, I’m deviant, I’m disabled and I dare to try not to hide from it.

Disabled, Not Different (warning: ableism, violence against autistic people, sexual abuse, bullying, use of words "human" and "not human" to describe disabled people):

I could be a manic-pixie-dream-girl, right? That was like the epitome of different, and I was so very, very different. I only wore skirts, and I said strange things and repeated things over and over and scratched patterns out on my skin. Surely I just needed love, friendship, someone to save me who also needed me to save them.

I discovered, though, that manic-pixie-dream-girls don’t bang their heads, and when someone touches them they know how to let themselves be touched. They see the world differently, but it’s an endearing and quirky and acceptable and unremittingly real view, not one that is confused and forgetful and blurred and above all fleeting. They use words differently, but they use the same words as everyone else and they seem to mean the same things.

People like manic-pixie-dream-girls. Some people even like nerds, and gifted students, and kids who spend their Saturdays painting sets.

People didn’t like me.

They were so nice to me, carefully working at smoothing out my edges until I fit into one or another of the acceptable differences they offered me, and I was so ungrateful and selfish and obsessive, not cooperating with any of it.

The second one is a little speciesist, assuming that everyone identifies as human, but, these are amazing in all other ways. I feel like I want to rock with happiness just thinking about how well they say the words I thought so often. How it's only "okay" with society to be different if you are inside a certain narrow limit of "different", acceptably different. How, being forced to act normal when you don't feel normal, to hide your own identity because it is thought as shameful, is abuse.

I needed these essays so much. Thank you, writers.

avia: A girl sitting and holding her knees, in an abandoned house grown over with green things. (green house)
This essay is going to introduce an idea that I really think is important. I talked about it on Tumblr, but, I want to write into a more formal essay too.

Warning: because of the topic of this essay, it may trigger for abuse of autistic children, rape culture/rape, and issues of ignoring a person's boundaries in general, including: boundaries of trans* people, people of colour, women and people choosing to use pseudonyms.


A lot has been said about rape culture, which is a phrase used to describe the ways that the society (usually US society, in the discussions) excuses and contributes to rape, by being a place where victims are often blamed, having double standards for men and women in a sexual way, etc. I don't really feel like I am the best person to describe rape culture: a quick look at the idea is here.

It's interesting, I never looked at that page before, but, at the end, bell hooks is mentioning that that rape culture is in fact part of a larger, "culture of violence". I am going to put a similar theory here, and suggest that what we have in US society in fact, is a larger culture of boundary violation.

Boundary violation, it means not respecting people's personal boundaries, and, creating a culture where "playful" violating those boundaries is normal. Boundary violation culture is about people thinking they have a right to touch you, to have particular kinds of response from you to their words and actions, or to poke into your private life with conversation questions. It's obvious to see where it would be a part of encouraging rape. But, it's not just about rape.

Read more... )
avia: (Default)
I thought I would begin this journal with some essays about autistic people, and the way we are treated in society. As an autistic person, activism about this is a big thing for me, and, one of the reasons to have this journal is to keep all these essays in a more tidy place than Tumblr, but, I thought I might start to write some original ones too.

So, here is one about coping behaviours, and how they are pathologised in autistic people.

Warning: triggers for abuse of autistic children.


Almost everyone has some behaviours that they use to cope with stress. I'm not very familiar with neurotypical ways to cope with stress, but, from reading a lot of books and knowing people who are not autistic, I get the idea that common neurotypical ways to cope with stress are things like:

  • smoking a cigarette, having a small drink of alcohol, or some similar thing
  • going for a run
  • taking a warm bath (I like this one too)
  • watching a movie
  • listening to some music
  • calling or texting your friends
  • playing with an animal
  • punching a pillow


...etc.

I want you to take a moment, think of the ways that you personally cope with stress. Particularly if you are neurotypical, or, your neurodiversity is not related to the ways you cope. Think of the little things you do to help you get through the day, that are harmless, or, if they do a slight harm (like smoking), it's something you are happy to trade for a little relief from the stressy, busy world. Make a little list on some paper if you like. Don't continue this, until you think about it for just a few moments.

Are you done? Okay.

Read more... )

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