Linkfest: wheelchair dancing, acafandom, Declare Yourself, and “This ain’t rude”

In “How Do Wheelchairs Work? A Word to Choreographers”, Wheelchair Dancer writes an open letter to non-disabled choreographers on the “replication” of disability, and how not to work with dancers who use wheelchairs.

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For acafans – those interested in the academic study of fandom – the Transformative Works and Culture journal has published its first edition. All text is available online. You can read everything from “Participatory democracy and Hillary Clinton’s marginalized fandom” to “‘The epic love story of Sam and Dean’: Supernatural, queer readings, and the romance of incestuous fan fiction”, and reviews of books such as Cyberspaces of their own: Female fandoms online.

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Picture 3

Sociological Images has been hosting a discussion of two of the images used in the “Declare Yourself” voter-registration campaign in the USA.

Most of the images of young people with sealed mouths resonate with consensual play-piercing and bondage scenes, in concert with the “Only Your Can Silence Yourself” theme. These two images, however, are more problematic. A naked white woman wrapped in tape and crying clearly hasn’t “silenced herself”; this image is pure torture-porn. And a young black man ball-gagged with an eight-ball recalls both horrifying slavery imagery and drug-user stereotypes.

Not cool.

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I just love this snippet, from True Blood episode one. Three seconds, so not a big watching commitment.

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And if you’ll permit me one more edit, because I sent this post a few hours too soon: check out Portly Dyke’s breathtaking post at Shakesville, “Honor Your (Radical) Ancestors”.

These things were difficult for me.

But the truth is, I would have done none of them if my radical ancestors had not done things that were much, much more difficult.

And to those who think those radicals were nothing more than a flash in the pan — to those who think that such radicalism has nothing to do with them, I want to say:

There was a time when being “out” at all (much less considering legal marriage) was not really a choice for any queer — but some radicals made that choice anyway. They chose to be out, even when this might, and probably would, mean complete ostracization by society, severance from their families, and beatings on the street. Or worse.

There was a time when shaving your legs or not shaving your legs, wearing a bra or not wearing a bra, wearing pants or not wearing pants, leaving your abusive spouse or not leaving your abusive spouse — was not really a choice for any woman — but some radicals made that choice anyway. They chose to do things that they knew might, and probably would, mean they would be judged and criticized and fired and expelled and divorced and disowned and beaten. Or worse.

Perhaps those radicals weren’t thinking about you when they did these things — maybe they were only thinking about themselves and what they could stand in that moment — what they felt they must do for themselves in order to make life bearable (actually, in a way, I hope they were) — but I know — I absolutely know — that I walked into a future where I was more free to choose because of what they chose.

They were my bridge to a more liberated future. They stretched the boundaries so that I had a larger place to live in.



Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, Politics, violence

Tags: , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. The Hand Mirror has a couple of posts up about those ‘don’t be silenced’ ads. A quick post to note the issue with an interesting comments thread: Hmmmm, and a longer analysis: Why wrapping a woman in duct tape is not a good way to get people to enrol to vote.
    Deborahs last blog post..This would never happen in the old country

  2. FYI, the woman in the image above is the actress Jessica Alba, who Wikipedia says is of mixed race (although I don’t know how she identifies herself).

  3. FYI, the woman in the image above is the actress Jessica Alba, who Wikipedia says is of mixed race

    Cheers, corrected.
    Captain Google, for what Captain Google is worth, tells me she has a Mexican grandfather and three Euro/white-American grandparents, that she identifies as “American”, and that the issue of her racial self-identity has made her the subject of criticism. Looking at other photos online, I can’t help wondering whether her skin has been lightened in this photograph, but I guess it could always be lighting.

  4. For some reason, I always find academic books about fandom to be…lacking in something, or over-simplified. Maybe it’s just because the joie de vivre isn’t there, or maybe I’m blinded by being within the group myself.
    Or maybe because, as I find in the review, the info on fandom is pretty old school…

  5. I like Uppity Tara. 🙂 My jury remains out on the change of actresses from the pilot to the first ep. This Tara is a bit more… well, she feels more sincere in her uppity-ness.
    WildlyParentheticals last blog post..More vampires

  6. Late to the party, but I was wondering if you were looking at different ads than I am. You said, Most of the images of young people with sealed mouths resonate with consensual play-piercing and bondage scenes, but I don’t see that at all. Christina Aguilera has her mouth sewn shut, one guys has bolts through his lips, another has fish hooks, a lady has a nail straight through her lips, and one guy has his mouth stapled shut. They’re all crying. I know I’m not super-knowledgeable about BDSM stuff, but the crying, pained looks, and extremism of the methods seem like they fit torture porn better. To be consensual, they’d all have to be at the Bob Flanagan level of masochism.

  7. Lalaroo: I used to read modblog, and the sewn shut/fishhooks/nail aren’t anything out of the ordinary there. I don’t know how familiar the audience is with that, though – they could be misfires on that level, too, perhaps.

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