Anybody remember the Ableism Challenge? I’ve made it a matter of principle to never use crazy, stupid, and their synonyms on all my blog posts, the entire time I’ve been doing this. I’ve also made it a comment policy. The most recent violations of said policy are currently unaddressed, because I’m wondering what I should do at this point.
There was a minute when the prevailing feeling in the progressive internet parts was that we need to take ableism seriously in our language. In culture at large we are quick to refer to anything we disagree with as stupid or insane. People with psychological and cognitive disabilities exist and unquestionably do suffer from ableism. Implicit in calling a conservative antivaxxer a “covidiot” is the idea that having such disabilities makes one a fair target of mockery.
FtB has never, on the whole, taken this type of ableism at all seriously, or had any staying power with efforts to reduce it. How many of us are even trying? I feel like I’m not 100% alone in this, but I’m not even sure who the others are. This makes sense – the atheist and skeptic movements are founded on the hobby of making ourselves feel clever by mocking those who are not.
And I get it. This isn’t a callout post for Mano, PZ, or 95% of the commentariat across the whole network. We live in a world on the fast track to extinction and the cultists of a cheap and obvious con artist are spreading doubt about germ theory. I wanna call Q shit stupid and crazy the same as you. Who am I to tie your hands, to tell you not to call a spade a spade?
Furthermore, the SJWsphere seems to have moved on. I never see people addressing ableist language anymore, and have seen a few prominent progressives actively rebuke these restraints. The people who initially advocated for taking stupid and crazy off the table? They’ve been quiet about this for years. Some aren’t even blogging anymore.
I will continue to avoid stupid, crazy, and their synonyms in my posts. It costs me nothing and I like to think this commitment offers some people a way to feel like they have some safe content on the internet, somewhere. But how important is it? Where’s the SJW pulse at, right now? Should I hold my commenters to the same standard as myself?
When I say I want SJW opinions, I mean it. If you’re just commenting to grouse from a centrist or liberal or crass point of view, fuck off. The people whose opinions informed my original stance were the sensitive, the thoughtful, and those who are seriously committed to making the world a better place. Social engineers. Idealists. Real social justice warriors.
I’m going to delete any comments that don’t meet that standard, even if I don’t ban anyone over it. The comments on this post, assuming I get any, are for comrades only.