the rambly Weld

Synonyms and Bigoted Language

by the partition Nemmy Nyms, Goddexx of names, witch of words & spoons

⚠ Content warnings: Discussion of ableist slurs around intelligence.

Hi! I’m Nemmy Nyms, witch of words. I’m a partition of Mx. Ace Fucking Jaycee, and I thought I should write a little thing about words.

I think some people, when addressing their bigotry, really don’t want to put in any effort to questioning themselves. This isn’t going to be about defensiveness, or aimed at people who refuse to listen about ableism. I’m fucking tired of that, and my only message is that if you care about us, stop being so fucking ableist. But really I’m here for the people who keep bouncing from word to word, saying “oh, i didn’t realize that was harmful” over and over.

When you’re told a word does harm and you want to fix it, there’s often this urge to just… Replace the word. In some cases this works! For example, I sometimes avoid calling partners of mine who are trans women “hon”, because there’s a specific harmful subculture that uses it as an insult. Swapping that in for “dear” or “love” or anything else that is a cute term of endearment for a partner that they like works out pretty well, because the issue isn’t being affectionate with our partner, but that we used a word for that which has been poisoned for some by a sarcastic usage.

There are also sometimes where slurs and acceptance come into play. As a disabled person, I will tell people not to call me “handicapped”. I dislike that term immensely, not because I want my disability ignored, but because “handicap” is a term for an artificial adjustment of play in sports, like putting guard rails up when bowling. Handicaps are a thing made to make games more fair, and that is a really uncomfortable way to think about disability.

But then there’s insults. This is where issues really crop up a lot. A lot. I’m gonna assume you know my position on intelligence as a measure of worth and how it carries so much oppressive baggage, but if not, this video on IQ is pretty good for the topic. I don’t plan on debating this.

So, let’s start on the r-slur. We used to use it in our early teens, and I still see it put on things as a suffix when not directly used outright. But for the most part, a lot of people at least left-of-center have really acknowledged that using it is bad. But… Why and how were they using it in the first place? “That’s so [slur]”, “Don’t be such a [slur]”, et cetera. The word being a slur against intellectually disabled people and used as a general insult is itself wrong, but what meaning does the r-slur actually take on here?

Luckily, everyone answers that for you by their replacement. People realized the r-slur was wrong to use, took that to mean that the word was the problem, and swapped it for intelligence insults like “idiot” that they were already using it interchangeably with. But, as this Merriam-Webster article points out, several of those words have a really shitty clinical history around disabled people, too, because the entire concept of intelligence has a really shitty history around disabled people. And then even they end the article suggesting alternatives to these, such as “driveler” (listed as a synonym for [someone who] “lets saliva dribble from the mouth”. Yikes?), and “chucklehead” (defined as “blockhead” which is then defined as… “a stupid person”!)

The problem with hunting for synonyms for insults is that you sometimes need to step back and ask: “What am I insulting this person for?” Intelligence is often a marker of some inherent, assumed-measurable amount of brain capacity. So you need to stop replacing the r-slur with “idiot” and then “peabrain” and then “dipshit” and start asking “why am I insulting this person based on some inherent measure of their being, rather than their actions of harm?” Maybe, when you’ve dealt with that, you’ll actually sort your ableist shit out.


Tags: , , posted on 30 September 2019

sorry,

⚠ Content warnings: a poem of apologies

sorry.

sorry, sorry. we’re really sorry.

gods we’re sorry. sorry ;; sorry to ask for help but

sorry

we’re sorry, we just,

hey ace? it’s okay.


Tags: , posted on 30 September 2019

capitalism sucks for us cripples

⚠ Content warnings: capitalism and discussion of systemic ableism

okay so capitalism fucking sucks and we hate it. that’s like, pretty obvious about us. and we want to talk about another way to think about how it sucks, from the perspective of being a cripple.

we wanna also say that this is an idea we came up with mostly ourselves, but we also do think we aren’t alone in coming to this conclusion and that more than likely other disabled anti-capitalists have come up with this, and it’s really shit that we have not gotten to actually hear this from other people.

okay but basically the whole thesis here is: making exceptions for disabled people represents a flaw in how you structure your systems.

we’ll go with college because of just dropping out recently - you know how some professors don’t let you bring laptops or phones into a classroom? and pretty often they’ll say “if you need it for accessibility you’re an exception to the rule.” this represents a flaw in the design of the class, placing disabled people at a disadvantage unless they convince their professor to let them be on equal footing with classmates. additionally, it singles out disabled people with a very visible marker of disability.

the default is inaccessibility and even anti-accessibility, and disabled people cause an interruption to that default. but additionally, this brings with it the fact that disabled people need to prove their disability. you can’t just tell a professor you have a disability, you need a note from a doctor and paperwork from your school. even if, like us, you have visible physical proof of how your body is disabled, that isn’t always going to be enough to be late for an exam you limp to when the professor locks the door by default.

there are sometimes simple, sometimes less simple solutions to these things, too. like, instead of banning laptops, you can section a part of the classroom off for laptops-only to prevent distraction of other students. instead of expanding test times for disabled people, you can do away with the current form of timed tests and grading systems. or like, design your test better as a stopgap i guess.

so, where does capitalism come into this? for you, capitalism is all about work and wage labor (unless you’re rich and own means of production, in which case pay us). you must work to earn a wage from capitalists, unless they feel particularly charitable. and this presents a problem for disabled people, who may not have access or ability to work. if every job application says “must be able to lift 10 pounds of weight”, guess who’s not getting those jobs? if you’re in a wheelchair and the buildings have stairs, well…

so many governments implement a system for disabled people to earn money outside of capitalism to survive. now, ignoring for a second that at the least in america, this system does not actually do enough to keep disabled people out of poverty, fundamentally you have the same issue as laptops in a classroom. Rather than society being accessible by default, you must prove your need for accessibility. you can’t just not work, you must prove that you have a reason to not be working.

proving, here, involves both having a doctor define your disability to be bad enough not to work, and your government having a secondary layer of bureaucracy with government officials having to approve your doctor’s own diagnosis. people, including doctors, are ableist, and they hold the power over disabled people being able to live at all.

society should not be structured around being required to do things that not everyone can do. forcing work upon people fucking sucks. instead, we should uplift disabled people, and everyone, by giving to each according to their need, from the work of each according to their ability.


Tags: , , posted on 30 September 2019

We're Going to Need a Bigger Bed: a polyamorous shipping game

⚠ Content warnings: silly polyamory stuff!

We wrote this game on social media, but it seemed right to share now that it’s named! Please enjoy We’re Going to Need a Bigger Bed!

Instructions:

  • Everyone at the table makes up one or chooses one existing character, in private. You can roll dice to pick existing fictional characters, you can make self insert OCs, you can literally make yourself.

  • You all, as a group, decide how these characters fit together in relationships, roleplaying scenes between them as you like!

  • Graph the resulting web of connections.

  • Repeat this process, but now you’re introducing new characters to the existing polycule.

  • Continue play until you have had your fill of fun.

  • And remember, no cops at pride!

The game was named by bonnie, who you should give your money! Additionally, consider polycul.es as a fun way to do the graphing!


Tags: , posted on 13 May 2019

Nemnem's Pizza Dough

by the partition Nemmy Nyms, Goddexx of names, witch of words & spoons

⚠ Content warnings: food!

🐯Hey, Nemmy Nyms here! I made a pizza dough recipe based on a lot of things I use and my own “give or take a lot” methods of timing and measuring. Please adapt, share, and enjoy~ This is also mirrored by colleen lenin quine, who provided their ingredients adjustments for a halved recipe!

Yields about 2 larger pizzas, or 4-6 personal pan size.

Ingredients:

  • 3 + 3/4 cups of flour (all-purpose is okay, bread flour is fucking amazing)
  • 1 to 1+1/4 cups of warm water
  • 2+1/4 teaspoons (or 1 packet, usually) of yeast
  • Olive oil (you shouldn’t need more than a cup but -shrugs-)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sugar (you can really eyeball this. also you can substitute with about the same amount of honey)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt (same. like more than a few shakes of a salt shaker? more or less isn’t much harm unless you dump an entire salt shaker into it

Steps:

  • Prep 1 cup of warm water. I feel the temperature with the inside of my wrist, it should be warm but not scalding or near painful.
  • Using the bowl of a food processor (I keep the blade in to start with), a stand mixer, or just a normal-ass mixing bowl, add 1 cup of water, 2 and a quarter teaspoons of yeast, and your 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix it around a bit however is applicable, whether that’s a quick pulse of the food processor/stand mixer, or just swirling the bowl around.
  • Wait for the water to start foaming, it should take like 5 minutes. It won’t be super bubbly, but it’ll probably be recognizable.
  • Prepare an extra 1/3 cup of water, then add the flour and salt (salt after because it slows down the yeast activating, whereas sugar acts as food) to the bowl, and a splash of olive oil to help avoid sticking to your hands and such. You can also cover your hands in olive oil to help here.
  • Mix together however is applicable! Your dough will probably not all stick to itself or stay together well, and you’ll end up with some dry flour. Slowly add water and knead it in. Remember, it’s easier to add more water to a dough than to remove it!
  • Remove mixer bits or food processor blades, and try to knead in any extra wet bits that got stuck in the machinery if applicable (happens a lot with the food processor in my experience). Splash on oil until it’s a bit of a slippery coat around the whole thing preventing it from sticking to the bowl, then cover the bowl and let sit for 1 hour, until it’s doubled in apparent size, or longer if you like. Letting it sit overnight gives really good results sometimes! It works in a flavor from the yeast fermenting.
  • After you’ve waited, knead it into a ball, applying olive oil to your hands to avoid sticking as necessary. You can separate it out, either tearing by hand into roughly equal measures, or cutting with a bread knife. You can just work the individual pieces into balls, and freeze any you’re not going to use right now.
  • Let it sit for another 30 minutes or so!
  • More kneading! What I do is get roughly a ball-like shape, and then keep folding the outer edges in and onto the bottom. If you have a flat work surface, it kind of works better that way. But basically just, get it so you have this round pebble-like shape of dough, where the bottom really is kind of a mess, continuously pushing more into the bottom so the top bit gets all stretched out. If you have it tear in a way where it struggles to stick together, a bit of water will help act as a glue. You can also flour your work surface for this! And you’ll be roughly done when you can poke it and watch the dent bounce back up til it’s all smooth and round again.
  • Stretch it out onto your baking surface (more on that next step), get the rough shape you’re going for, pick it up by the edge to stretch it out, et cetera. Just have fun~! You’ll want it relatively thin, though of course the overall thickness preference varies. Your dough will rise a fair bit in the oven, so make sure to account for that. Super thick dough means VERY thick pizza, to where it might not cook all the way through.
  • Now, there are a few options for surfaces to bake it on. I own a perforated pizza pan, which has a bunch of holes poked into it, to get the bottom crust as hot as the toppings. A baking stone is made to be put in the oven when you start pre-heating, and you can do the same thing by flipping a baking sheet pan upside-down. You can use a second baking sheet pan to slide it on top, like a pizza peel that they use in brick ovens. Also you can literally just put ot on a normal-ass pan without heating the pan, and it will be perfectly fine. Perforations and baking stones are just kind of that extra touch for a little bit more crispiness.
  • Preheat~! 500 degrees Fahrenheit/260 celsius or as hot as your oven goes up to that. If you’re using a baking stone or cookie sheet subsitute, put that in the oven at the same time as you start preheating. Baking stones also take a lot longer to heat up, to where letting your oven heat for 30+ minutes might be good.
  • Top that pizza!! (🐰 snrk.) No wrong answers. Put what makes you happy, whether that’s tomato sauce and tomato slices or a fuckton of cheese, or whatever! Just try not to layer things on too thick, or it could impact the crust baking properly a little bit. There’s a reason that when you order pizza from a place, the more toppings you add, the less of each topping you get.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes! I set a timer for 10, then keep an eye on it from then on. If you have cheese on top, the cheese browning can server as a marker of being done, but the crust will start to crisp and get brown and thin parts of the sauce that may have ended up on the outer crust will kinda bake into it.

Tags: , posted on 05 May 2019