Disabled by Culture

This blog is mostly for quotes. The main topics are LGBTQ-stuff, feminism, trauma, dissociation, and child development.

You shouldn't have to be perfect to 'qualify' as a rape victim

The Norwegian criminologist Nils Christie defined the ideal or “perfect” victim as “a person or category of individuals who … most readily are given the complete and legitimate status of being a victim”. They are typically seen as virtuous, weak in relation to the offender, and blameless for whatever happened to them (the most ideal, he hypothesised, being a middle-aged woman visiting her ill mother).

When women in particular do not meet this standard, their status as “real” and “deserving” victims is undermined; they are imperfect victims. This happens throughout the criminal justice system to a variety of victims, but it is particularly active in cases of abuse and sexual and domestic violence.

For example, in order for battered women to truly be viewed as the victims of their abusive partners within criminal legal discourse, they must conform to the battered victim stereotype of being faithful partners, devoted mothers if they have children, and meek and passive in the face of violence. If they fail, they are not truly victims; they are instead “undeserving viragos”.

Similarly, to qualify for “true” victimhood, women raped by strangers must not have engaged in “risk-taking behaviour” such as walking home alone at night, wearing revealing clothing, being intoxicated, or doing anything that could be perceived as “sexualised”.

This loaded application of the “victim” label denies women the prerogative to exercise their agency; that is the ability to choose their actions and behaviours. In fact, it imagines agency and victimhood as by definition incompatible.


check out this microLECTURE: Bullying, Masculinity & The Spectre of the Fag by CJ Pascoe

It might “get better,” but the issue will not abate unless we talk about this relationship between homophobia and masculinity, and the way in which gay but normatively masculine men are somewhat acceptable, but a gay or straight boy who fails at contemporary enactments of masculinity is villified. All we need to do is look at the recent hubbub over a boy with painted toenails in a J. Crew ad (discussed on national news!) to illustrate the cultural effemiphobia that pervades contemporary framings of masculinity.
— C. J. Pascoe, Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School, 2nd edition
Political debate is only considered optional by those so obliviously content with the privileges afforded them by the status quo as to not understand how any further social change could constitute an improvement, on the basis that it either fails to benefit them directly or appears to diminish their power.


when people are like

"omg we cant say anything nowadays without offending someone!!"

all i hear is:

"im too lazy to change a few words when i’m talking and full enough of myself to think my minor effort trumps the terrible life experiences of oppressed people"

(Source: toward-thelight, via dointhething)

At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done—then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.

Quiéreme más.: Anxiety grounding mechanisms:


  • Breathe slowly and steadily from your core. Imagine letting fear and worry go, evaporating along with each breath.
  • Trace your hands against the physical outline of your body. Experience your own presence in the world.
  • Call a friend and have a chat.
  • If you are feeling ‘stuck’, change how you’re positioned. Wiggle your fingers, tap your feet. Pay attention to the movement: You are in control of what your body is doing, right here and now.
  • Use your voice. Say your name or pick up a book and read the first paragraph you find out loud.
  • Write out what’s going on. Keep writing until you start to notice it makes a difference, lets some of the things you’re anxious about out.
  • Take a shower/bath (away from razors). Notice the sensations of the water.
  • Take a look outside. Count the number of trees and street signs.
  • Go to the quiet place.
  • Count up to ten, then back down. Repeat.


Study Reveals It Costs Much Less to House The Homeless Than to Leave Them on the Street

Not only is it morally wrong to let people live desperately on the streets, but it doesn’t make much economical sense either.

A new study has found that it’s significantly cheaper to house the homeless than leave them on the streets.

University of North Carolina Charlotte researchers released a study on Monday that tracked chronically homeless adults housed in the Moore Place facility run by Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center (UMC) in partnership with local government. Housing these people led to dramatic cost savings that more than paid for the cost of putting them in decent housing, including $1.8 million in health care savings from 447 fewer ER visits (78% reduction) and 372 fewer hospital days (79% reduction). Tenants also spent 84 fewer days in jail, with a 72% drop in arrests.

Moore Place cost $6 million in land and construction costs, and tenants are required to contribute 30% of their income (mainly benefits) towards rent. The remainder of the $14,000 per tenant annually is covered by donations and local and federal funding. According to the UNCC study, that $14,000 pales in comparison to the costs a chronically homeless person racks up every year to society — a stunning $39,458 in combined medical, judicial and other costs.

What’s more, Moore Place is enabling the formerly homeless to find their own sources of income. Without housing, just 50% were able to generate any income. One year after move-in, they’re up to 82%. And after an average length of 7 years of homelessness, 94% of the original tenants retained their housing after 18 months, with a 99% rent collection rate.

The general population is biased: The original proposal for Moore Place was “controversial, if not ridiculed,” according to the Charlotte Observer. Locals mocked the idea that giving the homeless subsidized housing would do any good. A 2011 report commissioned by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found that people have condescending attitudes towards the homeless, with the public perceiving higher levels of substance abuse problems (91%) and mental health issues (85%) than reported by the homeless themselves (41% and 24% respectively). It concluded that if “personal failings as the main cause of homelessness, it is unlikely that they will vote for increased public assistance or volunteer to help the homeless themselves.

But “you can’t argue with the statistics," said UMC housing director Caroline Chambre. “This approach was controversial at one time because of the stereotype of who the homeless are, and we had to change that stereotype.

In 2012, total welfare spending for the poor was just 0.47% of the federal budget. It turns out that maybe if we spent a little more to help the chronically destitute solve their problems, we could save a lot of money.

Life is going to present to you a series of transformations. And the point of education should be to transform you. To teach you how to be transformed so you can ride the waves as they come. But today, the point of education is not education. It’s accreditation. The more accreditation you have, the more money you make. That’s the instrumental logic of neoliberalism. And this instrumental logic comes wrapped in an envelope of fear. And my Ivy League, my MIT students are the same. All I feel coming off of my students is fear. That if you slip up in school, if you get one bad grade, if you make one fucking mistake, the great train of wealth will leave you behind. And that’s the logic of accreditation. If you’re at Yale, you’re in the smartest 1% in the world. […] And the brightest students in the world are learning in fear. I feel it rolling off of you in waves. But you can’t learn when you’re afraid. You cannot be transformed when you are afraid.
— Junot Díaz, speaking at Yale (via ethiopienne)

(Source: avelvetmood, via dointhething)

Don’t mix up acting ‘nice’ with being a genuinely good person. Kindness and treating people well are valuable, but politeness can be violent if it masks normalized oppression. Naming oppression, even when done gently, is not always perceived as being ‘nice’ because it pushes back at status quo ways of relating, seeing, and thinking.
Early relational trauma results from the fact that we are often given more to experience in this life than we can bear to experience consciously. This problem has been around since the beginning of time, but it is especially acute in early childhood where, because of the immaturity of the psyche and/or brain, we are ill-equipped to metabolize our experience. An infant or young child who is abused, violated or seriously neglected by a caretaking adult is overwhelmed by intolerable affects that are impossible for it to metabolize, much less understand or even think about.
— Donald Kalsched, Trauma and the Soul: A psycho-spiritual approach to human development and its interruption


A futuristic world or utopia can exist without the erasure of the disabled, advanced technology in fiction should not have the aim of eradicating disabled people, we are not flaws in the system, we are varied and incredible human beings and we deserve to be told we have a future in this world

(via quantumstarlight)

Police are people. Administrators are people. Judges, jurors, prosecutors … all people. The laws are interpreted and applied by people, who bring to them their prejudices. In a racist culture, the most perfectly written law will be applied and enforced in racist ways. In a culture that refuses to take rape seriously, no matter what the statutes say, the actual behavior of the people who interpret and enforce those laws will reflect the refusal to take it seriously. First degree rape is a Class B felony in New York, a really serious crime. People in the system are simply not willing to say that that applies to people who don’t fit their preconceived notions, and there is no magic bullet to change that. Changing the statute, training the police, giving the administrators incentives for transparency, there are lots of things to be done and not one of them alone will make all that much difference. The rapists’ social license to operate is woven deeply into the fabric of how people think the world works: it is a specific set of threads in a very big and interconnected piece of culture. Pulling them out, pulling them all out, one at a painstaking fucking time, is the work. That’s what we have to do, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re not serious.

Seriously tho. Why *should* she be asked to smile?

Asking a woman to smile is to make her more approachable. It’s to make you feel more comfortable - not her. I, personally, have zero fucks to give about being approachable to strange men on the street. Women are not here to entertain and please random folks.

Asking me to smile is akin to asking me to jump. Um. For what?
There’s this weird responsibility placed on women to be happy and lady-like and pleasant all of the time. It rids us of being able to express our own range of human emotions.

No one is asking for men and women to not interact with each other. That’s silly. This project is asking for women to be interacted with as if they have agency over their own bodies.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh

Creator of the Stop Telling Women To Smile project responded to a person who thinks women not smiling on demand is proof of the end of the world and division among men and women. (Seriously? WTF.)

Funny…I told my best friend about that person’s comment and she said it is the end of the world and division…for that person. A world shaped by the status quo is a world being shaken by the resistance to this status quo. The amount of hatred and bile I’ve faced since I started speaking out about street harassment has been interesting in that some men genuinely process harming women as necessary to their masculinity and thereby their identity. They think critique and rejection of street harassment is an attack on their identity, which is frightening… 

"Asking me to smile is akin to asking me to jump. Um. For what?"

(via chauvinistsushi)

(via aserranzira)

Say you’re walking down the sidewalk on a beautiful day. Someone who has internalized an outsider’s perspective of herself will often spend more time adjusting her clothing or hair, wondering what other people are thinking of her, judging the shape of her shadow or reflection in a window, etc. She will picture herself walking – she literally turns herself into an object of vision – instead of enjoying the sunny weather….

… Women are constantly being looked at. Even when we’re not, we’re so hyperaware of the possibility of being looked at that it can rule even our most private lives. Including in front of our mirrors, alone.

Excerpt via Beauty Redefined ”To BE or to be LOOKED at?”  (via fitvillains)

Good Gawd, THIS. 

I’m working to re-define my thinking about myself and walk in the glorious space of not being an object for other people’s visual consumption and the freedom it brings. 

And reminding people of that fact when they feel compelled to comment. 

(via str8nochaser)


(via versatilequeen)

(via thechocolatebrigade)