Hospitality Here: Because it’s MY Blog…
Disabled people are often marginalised. This marginalisation sometimes manifests in blog comments (or twitter/Facebook conversations, and other ways in which people interact with each other online).
Commenters here are expected to be good guests.
For me, inviting a person to read my blog is akin to inviting them into my home. In return for my hospitality to you here, please show me hospitality and respect in return. Consider this my space, and you my guest. (Cup of tea? Oh, go on…)
So here are the things that I’d rather you didn’t do, either in my home, or on my blog.
– Disability oppression of any kind, of or about anyone, will also not be tolerated. I get to decide what I consider that to be. (Again, this is my space.)
– A lot of disabled people are bored of able-splaining. Start by assuming that I know a fair bit about disability, thanks to my personal experience, campaigning work over many years, and MA in disability studies. Don’t start by assuming that I’ve never thought of something.
– Please, no denial of my impairments (or those of others), or of the fact that I am disabled. This includes denial of the existence of my condition (or of the physical nature of it), and arguing that neurodiversity is not real.
– Related to this: no derailing, especially in relation to areas of my life where I (or other commenters) am marginalised – whether the derailing is through telling me I shouldn’t be ‘hostile’, or through elitism or anti-intellectualism, or any other method. In return, I will do my best to be constantly self-critical (in a positive, constructive way) in areas where I have privilege and you are marginalised. We all meet on complex intersections of marginalisation and privilege, at crossroads of experience. I will try to listen if you will.
– Transphobia, transmisogyny and oppression of non-binary people are not acceptable here. If it helps you to remember that I’m married to a non-binary person who comes under the trans umbrella, then by all means keep that in mind.
– Racism will not be tolerated here. Racism is complex, since it is institutional as well as personal, and not always easy spotted in our own behaviour. I know that I have white privilege and struggle with latent racism, just as many, many people do. If you are from a minority ethnic group and call me out on racism, I promise to listen and try to learn. I understand that I am part of a system, and that all aspects of that system need to be challenged.
– See also: sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, imperialism, cultural appropriation, or bashing of any religion (especially those that are oppressed in Western society).
– Aggressive conversations can be difficult for me. I am autistic and experience mental distress. Please keep this in mind in the tone of comments.
I reserve the right to add to this list whenever issues come to light that I have ignored through my own ignorance and/or lack of understanding of systemic oppression in society.
If I encounter any of the above issues in comments on my blog, I will do my best to address them, to check I have understood, and to draw people’s attention to their own problematic speech or behaviour. But I won’t keep arguing these things forever. I have limited energy for dealing with these things.
My policy on comments is to screen all of them before they’re posted. I will question and debate things with you, but I won’t put up with the above things for long. I won’t approve comments that make me feel unsafe, that are oppressive, or that I don’t have the energy to debate ad inifinitum.