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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Threats and Fear.

It's impossible to overstate how terrified some disabled people are, in Britain right now.

The fear of benefit cuts is so high, and so real, and attitudes like those of Nadine Dorries add to the climate of terror.

Already people are scared to leave their house for fear of being reported to the DWP for faking their illness, now those who find networks like twitter to be a lifeline are becoming frightened to post.

If you are stuck in bed, and you've found a way to use your laptop lying down, or you can use a phone or iPad, sites like twitter are perhaps the only way for many to actually communicate with others. It may be the only conversation someone has for a week.

One purpose that these threats serve is, I suspect, to keep us all quiet. We can't complain about the process of reapplying for DLA, or of the ATOS assessments, if the very complaints we type will be used as an additional stick to beat us with. Even if typing those 140 characters used up so much energy that we then had to sleep for an hour to recover. Or hurt our eyes so much that we have a migraine for 3 days.

On days that I can't leave the house, and can't use the phone, the internet is the only tool I have to communicate with the outside world. I don't want to lose that. But the fear affects me as much as anyone, and right now so many of my outlets feel threatening.

This is what the threats to disability benefits are doing to me. It is worsening my madness significantly, which, ironically, will make me less and less able to work, not more.

(cross-posted at Where's the Benefit?)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Being Offensive To Show How Offensive Offensiveness Is

DSC_2777ed1 The Press Complaints Commission has upheld Clare Balding's complaint after AA Gill in the Sunday Times referred to her as a 'dyke on a bike'.

This is really good news.
Balding said the word "dyke" was "too often used as a pejorative and insulting term". She said her sexuality was irrelevant to the programme and the hurt had been compounded by the columnist's mock apology for previously saying that she looked "like a big lesbian".

As you might expect, Stonewall has released a press release on the judgement, however it has used offensive and racist language in that press release to make its point.


Using racist language, to highlight how bad homophobic language is, is never the way forward. Holly's post on Oppression Olympics explains this clearly, and insulting Meera Syal and Vanessa Feltz's ethnicities is as offensive as the original AA Gill comment. Doing this in the guise of supporting a decision against offensive language is ridiculous.

I don't want to directly quote the language they used, but the screenshot above of the press release will show you what they said. The 'P' word in particular is one which makes me feel sick. Using it as an example of what The Sunday Times would never have said is misguided at best, and I do wonder what Ben Summerskill was thinking when he thought this was appropriate.

There is an option to comment on the page of Stonewall's press release, and if you too find these references unwise and offensive, I would recommend you do so.

Story originally heard through @becksydee. Photo by me.

(cross-posted at The F Word)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Spam Comments

I've lately started getting a lot of spam comments on my old posts, so I've been deleting them as they come in (Hint to spammers, don't bother writing a convincing looking comment for the context when your username is GenericViagra).

But as the problem is getting worse by the week I have now changed my settings so that comments left after a post has been up for 14 days will have to be moderated. Hopefully this won't be too annoying for regular or legitimate commenters, and it will save me time and energy I could better spend, I dunno, pissing about.