Thursday, May 23, 2013

Woolwich & The Words of Madness

Warning: Refers briefly to extreme violence. 

Yesterday, we watched a video of a man who, with an accomplice, had just run over, attacked and possibly decapitated another man in the street in Woolwich, South London and was now standing, addressing the crowd while he waited for the police to come and kill him. Perhaps if I was in charge of the world, this video would never have been published; the man wanted a platform and that's what he got. Then again, it does show us something of what kind of person this man is.

The killer comes across as very ordinary. He's talking like a man who has had a bad day, has shunted your car but is explaining his reasons and providing a reluctant apology. His hands are covered in blood and he is holding two blood-stained weapons, but he's not wielding them - his body language is not threatening. He is not processing what he's done because he has no time: he is explaining himself while waiting to die, naively convinced that the Metropolitan police will shoot to kill. 

So Stephen and I spoke about this and once again, despite knowing better, I found myself reaching for the words of madness. On-line and throughout the media, the language of madness is everywhere. I have written before about the difficulty of avoiding this language, far greater difficulty than with other disability terms and slurs. However, just now this seems especially important. 

The idea that violent people are necessarily mentally ill is such a huge problem and not just for those with mental ill health. Of course it does stigmatise people with mental illness, who are no more likely to commit violent offences than the rest of us. It leads to some of the very worse disability discrimination, effecting a person's job prospects, their ability to find housing and their relationships. But there are two further major problems: 

To describe a behaviour as mad is to dismiss it as impossible to understand. It's the easy way out; these guys are lunatics, nothing they do could possibly make sense, so we won't try and work out what happened. It also means, to a slightly lesser extent, that we let the bad guys off the hook; they're mad, so they can't really help it. It removes all meaning from a death with very little meaning, from the pain of the dead man's loved ones, and the trauma of everyone who was standing on that street; it was just a nasty random accident.

The language we use about these events is likely to impact on a great number of people, especially as the two attackers were black (the man in the video has a London accent) and by this morning, it was being described as an Islamic terrorist attack (here are some tweeted responses from British Muslims). Using the correct language to express our outrage is not just about protecting innocent but unconnected people who might feel offended or find life becomes a little tougher for them. It is about how we understand what has happened, whether we respond to events constructively or throw up our hands in despair.

Here's some suggestions of words we can use when we're inclined to use slurs or medical terms that relate to mental illness:

When we mean shocking:
outrageous, incredible, astounding, horrifying, sickening, breath-taking, unimaginable, staggering, impossible.

When we mean difficult to understand:
unfathomable, incomprehensible, baffling, inconceivable, absurd, preposterous, mind-boggling, unthinkable, beyond understanding.

When we mean very bad:
heinous, hideous, evil, abominable, monstrous, odious, detestable, devastating, abysmal, hateful.

When we mean that someone is making profound mistakes in their thinking:
misguided, specious, wrong, misplaced, erroneous, perverse, faulty, illogical.

Illogical or irrational thoughts are by no means the preserve of people with mental ill health.  Just earlier yesterday, Stephen's Dad had been talking about an inspirational maths teacher who would use algebra to convince the class into thinking he had proven that 1 + 1 = 3.  He'd then show them how this was done, turning maths into a kind of magic.  People who believe that extreme violence is morally justified are like students who saw the first proof, but weren't there, or weren't listening, when the trick was explained. 

The word I've seen and heard time and again is psychotic. Psychosis is a state (a symptom of illness rather than an illness itself) where a person may become so overwhelmed by their unreal experiences - hallucinations, paranoia etc. - that folk do, very occasionally, commit violence which they can't be held responsible for. I have experienced psychosis, it is a state of abject terror, but it rarely makes one dangerous to others. 

It's speculation, but the guy in the video doesn't seem psychotic. Someone who commits extreme violence during psychosis will have an extremely strange reason, if they're even cogent enough to explain; they had to slay the lizard king to stop him eating babies, they had to kill the man who had been listening in on their thoughts. This chap's reasons aren't in any way reasonable, but they don't seem grounded in a clinical delusion (Weirdly, the apparently Muslim attackers are quoted elsewhere as saying "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."). He believes that his victim is a killer of Muslims, in the much the same way that British nationalists believe that Islam is an inherently murderous religion. They're all wrong, very wrong, but their mistakes don't make them sick. 

The heartless side of me is glad this man survived, because he doesn't seem unwell. He was only prepared to do what he did because he had no intention of living with it. And now he may have to.

Here is a story some of the heroism that took place in Woolwich yesterday. It's also important to talk about heroism at these times, so we remember what courage and wisdom look like.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Butting Out of Britain's Fertility

Fortunately, most people in my life concur with what my physical health and practical circumstances tell me: I shouldn't reproduce. Well, nobody has ever told me I shouldn't, but nobody has told me I should. Okay, so two people did; one is my Gran who has dementia and has forgotten a great deal about me and the other was a family friend who suggested that pregnancy hormones could kick-start a significant improvement in my health (and if that's not worth a gamble, what is?). Point is, while many women in their early thirties find themselves subject to hints, warnings and occasionally national campaigns, I've got out of that.

An unwell and unhappy looking woman with
a poorly-placed grey wig and a pregnant belly.
I have feelings about this. They're complicated, but entirely survivable and it does mean that I often find myself thinking, "It's okay - they don't mean me."

On the same day we were presented with this fabulous infographic about the dangers of pregnancy to teenage girls across the globe, we saw this photograph of TV presenter Kate Garraway, who is neither pregnant nor 70 and had to be made-up to look like someone who is pregnant, 70 and particularly unwell, because in real life, our pregnant 70 year olds actually look a lot healthier than that. They're blooming, in fact. Or they don't exist. It's one of those, anyway.

The Get Britain Fertile campaign, run by a cosmetics company, seeks to highlight the fact that women become utterly grotesque as they age, lose their youthful good looks and no longer get any TV work - statistically, at 46, it's not only Kate Garraway's "fertility door" that's slamming shut. Getting pregnant can also damage your career chances, and while only 18% of TV presenters over 50 are women, absolutely none of them are pregnant.

I'm fed up with the idea that individual women have a completely free choice about whether to reproduce. I'm also fed up with the fact any of us should be judged, wholesale, for choices which are not entirely ours and aren't anyone else's business.

First off, and this may come as a great shock to commentators and anyone else who has ever pressured or disapproved of a woman about her reproductive choices, but human reproduction requires the fusion of a male and female gamete. There's no way round this - that's just how it must be done. Getting pregnant at any age is not a matter of placing a couple of gametes in close proximity and hoping for the best; even at peak fertility, a cis heterosexual couple will take an average of a year to conceive. Not that women can't get pregnant on the single occasion the condom splits - it happens, but it's rare.

Most women who want to have children want to have them with a partner (though not always a man, or a man who can be a father). Regardless of gender, this makes the decision to become a parent almost always a joint venture, depending not only on two people's mutual desires, but both parties feeling ready, able and not having other important things to do with their life at that particular moment. A woman who makes a unilateral decision to try for a baby within a relationship is abusive, potentially criminal depending on her methods and is unlikely to make a good mother. Certainly she compromises the other parties' chances of parenting to their best ability, since they weren't asked.

A single woman who wants children may be prepared to compromise on the partner issue, but her options are incredibly fraught. If she's wealthy, she can afford IVF and to make up the added expenses of being a single parent, otherwise the obvious method - having regular sex with a man or men who she's not partnered to - isn't going to work any faster, is potentially emotionally complicated for all concerned and is not at all socially acceptable. Single motherhood is still stigmatised, and someone seen to choose this status from the outset is likely to be judged as extremely selfish.

Selfish is a word that comes up a great deal when it comes to women and our made-up choices.

After all, women who have children very young are seen as selfish. They have not established themselves, they may be fresh from education without work experiences or wealth, and their relationships will be seen as fragile and untested (You can't expect a young man to have the maturity to be a parent!). There's the general perception that a woman who has children in her late teens or very early twenties is likely to be or become a single unemployed mother reliant on state help. Selfish.

Women who have children in their late thirties or forties are seen as selfish, because they're fertility is dwindling (so in other words, they're selfish for wanting something they have diminishing chances of getting). Rates of Down Syndrome increase (I mean, there's 750 babies born with Down Syndrome in the UK each year - it's practically pandemic). Then there's weird and stupid arguments like
  • If you have a baby in your forties, your child may be teased because their mother looks different to some of the other younger mothers. It would be better not to have children at all, than to have children who might be teased because of their or their parents' physical appearance. 
  • If you have a baby in your forties, you have more chance of becoming disabled before your child is an adult. Anyone who can't guarantee their physical capacity to play football with any potential grandchildren they may or may not have, thirty or forty years from now, should not reproduce.
  • If you have a baby in your forties, you'll have been reduced to a strict lifestyle of wearing cardigans all year round, listening to classical music and visiting garden centers by the time your children are teenagers. What teenagers need is cool Belieber parents who want to swap clothes, attend the same parties and snog the same boys as they do.
Selfish, selfish, selfish. 

Even women who try for a baby at the right time (I guess the window between twenty-five and thirty-five, coincidentally, when most women have their children) can't get it right. Are you married?  Are you solvent? Can you afford to stop working? Can you afford appropriate childcare if you carry on working?  Not that (a) many mothers or parents generally have any choice whether they work while their children are small - most either can't afford to, or can't afford not to. Nor that (b) having enough money to choose will get you off the hook. Staying at home, idling about and living off your partner's sweat is tremendously selfish. It is only equaled by farming your children out to strangers or encumbered relatives while pursuing your own selfish career goals (goals such as, bringing in enough money to keep a roof over your family's head). 

Meanwhile, women who don't try to have children are selfish.  I've never really understood this.  Even if someone chooses to avoid pregnancy because they really love their white suede sofa and don't want to see it stained, they're not going to hurt anybody.  More often, people choose not to have children for very sound conscientious reasons, chiefly because in their particular circumstances their lives would be less happy if they had children.

Apparently it's selfish because, if we require care in old age, childless people will be looked after by others who they didn't personally bring into the world. It's selfish because childless people enjoy uninterrupted sleep and don't really know what love is. It's selfish because - despite the haphazard mess that is human fertility - it's somehow going against nature.

See this young woman, who is enjoying her life too much as it is (her real problem is difficulty communicating with her husband, but that's entirely glossed over). "I know I'm selfish," she writes to Mariella Frostrup (in her capacity as Worst Agony Aunt Ever) and Frostrup concurs:
I'm anxious about the absence of profundity in your decision-making. You give me no indication of the "things you love", but they appear to centre on disposable income. Deciding whether or not to have kids is, happily, your prerogative. But to treat it so lightly, to squander the extraordinary gift women alone have been given, because you're enjoying your present "lifestyle" seems a hollow victory for those aforementioned campaigners for women's dignity and rights.
I suppose that's one up from drawing a picture of a particularly ugly woman and saying, "This could be you! Somehow! If a dramatic make-up artist really went to town on you!"

Then there's folks who want children, or are ambivalent, but simply don't have the option. There's medical things - sometimes a very slight, mysterious and unseen obstacle that all the reproductive tech in the world can't fix, other times major issues like chronic illness or major injury. But there's also myriad legitimate reasons that folks who could potentially reproduce and would like to feel that that's just not possible - that to do so, would be utterly wrong.

There is no big fertility crisis in the UK just now. The population is increasing. Globally, population growth has to slow down for the quality of life of our species to continue to rise. What we need to fight for is for better sexual and reproductive health for everyone, to learn to respect one another's choices whilst also respecting the limits of personal choice and to recognise that reproduction is not something that women ever do alone.

Now go and read two much better posts: Infertility, patriarchy, profit and me or "KERCHING!" - Infertility and woman blaming, woman shaming, woman controlling. by Karen Ingala Smith and on a lighter, but not insincere not, Diane Shipley's What I think about when I think about thinking about thinking about having children.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sexual violence & the practical presumption of innocence

Includes discussion of rape and childhood sexual abuse.

Sorry to launch back on such a subject, but this is a source of great frustration.

There's a principle in social justice that is important, but sometimes badly worded and often misunderstood. The principle is usually worded something like this:
If someone says that they have experienced rape, we should believe them.
I have written before about the importance of believing people when they talk about their experiences, unless and until you have a good reason not to. This particularly matters when it comes to sexual violence, because our trust can make the difference between a dangerous abuser being allowed to continue, committing worse and worse crimes, and that same person being brought to justice and taken out of circulation, discouraging others who would follow that path.

Yet our society is particularly bad at this. We are skeptical about rape. We are over-anxious about the idea that innocent men* may be subject to false-accusations. Sometimes, our principle is read as
If someone says that they have experienced rape, we should condemn the suspected perpetrator. 
This sits against one of the most important principles in law: a person is to be presumed innocent, until they are found to be guilty. Although this is usually a pernicious misinterpretation, some people actually word it like that. Some people do, for example, believe that we should condemn all the famous men arrested under Operation Yewtree, because they must all have been accused by someone.

There then follows an argument, which pitches the rights of a rape victim against those of a person accused of rape. This is a really big problem, a thorn in the side of any constructive discussion of justice and sexual violence, so I'm going to try and unpack it.

We've moved beyond trial by combat.

In days of yore, if a chap had been assaulted, had his cattle rustle or had someone trample a crop circle in his field on a drunken Saturday night, he would be given a big heavy stick. The person accused of these crimes would be given a similarly heavy stick and they'd be expected to decide the case by fighting it out. People knew it was a very stupid system, even at the time, but they were superstitious about lawyers and saw little alternative.

There is nothing that resembles this in UK criminal law. We have an adversarial trial system, where lawyers actively argue with each other, and sometimes with witnesses (another big issue around justice and sexual violence) but criminal cases do not pitch the accuser against the accused.  The victim of a crime (who may not be accusing anyone in particular) goes to the police. The police investigate. If they find enough evidence, they consult the Crown Prosecution Service, who may decide to take the suspect to trial. It is then the Crown that prosecutes, not on behalf of the victim but on behalf of the state, since a crime against one person is a crime against us all.

Yet so often, when rape and abuse cases are discussed, they are spoken about as if the victim and the suspect are two sides of a naturally ambiguous legal dispute. Folks argue for the anonymity for rape suspects or the removal of complainant anonymity in order to establish parity between the two parties, as if their respective positions can possibly be compared. They cannot.

Anonymity is a very simple issue, so let's clear that up. 

People who report rape and sexual abuse are given anonymity - that is, nobody is allowed to publish or broadcast their name or other personal details - for three very good reasons:
  • Even if we could do away with the colossal stigma, sexual violence effects people in uniquely personal and complicated ways, and should be treated like the most private medical information. Lose anonymity and reporting would plummet.
  • Rape victims are extremely vulnerable to intimidation and coercion, especially when they have been raped by people they know or by people with power and influence. Even without anonymity, many rape victims drop cases because they have been explicitly or implicitly threatened by their rapists and their allies. Lose anonymity and this would be even more commonplace.
  • A rape victim who has reported a rape that didn't result in conviction is more vulnerable to experiencing rape again, and less likely to report another attack. Lose anonymity, and provide rapists with easily identifiable potential victims who are much less likely to report.  
Complainant anonymity is not about making rape victims avoid embarrassment, but is a tool for justice which helps protect fundamentally personal information, makes rape victims more likely to report and follow through the legal process, as well as helping to prevent rape happening again.

Anonymity is not awarded to adult suspects, outside exceptional circumstances (e.g. those involving state secrets), although the police and courts make decisions about releasing names to the media. It would be a particularly bad idea to award anonymity to rape or sexual abuse suspects for two very good reasons:
  • Most rapists have multiple victims, each of who tend to believe that they are the only one. Especially in cases where a rapists has power and influence, evidence around a single instance may not be enough for a conviction. As soon as a name is published, other victims know they are not alone and have the opportunity to come forward and a stronger case is forged. 
(This doesn't mean the media handle such information at all well, and their mistakes can not only permanently damage the reputation of innocent people, they can jeopardise a fair trial and undermine the legal process.)
  • The percentage of reported rapes that result in conviction is rather low. If suspects were granted anonymity, a rape victim would have a choice between effectively awarding their rapist lifelong anonymity on the chance he or she might be convicted, or else side-stepping the legal process and maintaining the freedom to discuss their own experiences in whatever way they saw fit.
Thus, granting suspect anonymity would result in less reporting, fewer convictions and, since rapists would feel altogether safer, a higher incidence of sexual violence.

Presumed innocent until proven guilty does not mean treated as innocent.

When someone is suspected of an offence, they will be obliged to speak to the police and they may be detained in custody whilst being questioned.  If a person is charged for an offence, a court will decide whether or not they should be allowed to be released on bail. Some people - still innocent in the eyes of the law - will be imprisoned for months awaiting trial.

Outside the criminal justice system, there are obvious steps that other people need to take when someone is suspected of a crime, whether the police are involved or not.  As human beings, we observe and listen to folks reactions, thoughts and experiences with other people all the time, and we'd be foolish if they didn't influence our behaviour.

Whether or not the police are involved, there's a big leap between treating a suspected rapist with caution - allowing their alleged victim distance from them in social settings, for example, not leaving them alone with potential victims - and organising a lynch mob.

In fact, there's a difference between believing someone when they say they have been raped and believing an accused person to be a rapist. After all...

The innocence of an accused person and the honesty of an accuser are not mutually incompatible.

Rape victims cannot always reliably identify their attackers, whether it is because they are complete strangers or because alcohol, other drugs or head trauma are involved.  In such cases (when they are taken seriously), the police are likely to question many innocent people; people who drive certain vehicles, people who were at a particular party, people who look a little like the attacker. People are occasionally charged with rape due to straight-forward mistaken identity.

Meanwhile, and especially with childhood sexual abuse, we have issues around memory.

Someone with inconsistent memories is not necessarily a liar.

Imagine someone was abused by her uncle as a child in the 1970s.  Nobody knew at the time, so she buried it in the back of her head.  She never spoke about it, so never called it abuse, and now, forty years later, she doesn't really remember why she doesn't like the uncle she sometimes still sees at family occasions - it's just like a very strong gut feeling. She may have other PTSD symptoms, but as they have been going on since childhood, they are a normal, part of who she is.

Then the news about Jimmy Savile hits.  She reads other people's experiences of abuse which chime with her own.  She sees images and hears descriptions that remind her of that time, of her childhood, accompanied by stories of abuse. Everything she buried so thoroughly has been stirred up.  Memories begin to come back, only in a form that she can actually cope with. If she was abused by a famous man she once met, then she will be validated by a shared experience that she's heard so much about. She can get help. She can even tell her family and friends without breaking anybody's heart or splitting the family. So it comes out like that.

This is not to say that this will be happening a lot, but over hundreds of cases, it will be happening a bit (and the police know this). Many victims of child sexual abuse know exactly what was done to them and by whom, but because it is such a bloody awful thing to happen, usually committed by trusted and influential adults and often kept secret for years, many children's minds produce (or are guided towards) more palatable versions of events.

Sometimes, something like this can happen when adults are raped.

There is only room for one overarching principle for lay folk and it's not "Innocent until proven guilty"

We have no moral obligation to remain impartial - we can't police our instincts and opinions, only choose what to do about what we believe.  We have no moral obligation to presume that a person is innocent, until they are proven guilty. We have no moral obligation to believe a story which does not ring true to us. But...

We do have moral obligations around what we say and do. 

To tell someone who has been raped that they are lying about their experience is obviously a tremendous and wanton act of cruelty. It discourages reporting, it discourages victims from confiding in others, let alone pursuing justice and it makes the world a much safer and more comfortable place for rapists.

Whenever someone expresses doubt about a specific rape or reported rape in general, you run a very high risk of doing the above. In a public forum, you can guarantee that's what you're doing. This doesn't mean that folk can't defend an accused person's character (that's fine) or talk about false-reporting, but we absolutely have to take steps with language and generalisations to make sure that rape victims know you're not talking about them. These steps are rarely taken; protestations that a man is innocent almost always hinge on a defamation of the alleged victim's character and discussions of false reporting make sweeping statements where anyone but the perfect victim (nun held at knife-point by stranger) could feel discredited.

This isn't just about people's feelings, it is about justice and crime prevention.

Meanwhile, there's precisely nothing to be gained from letting a false-accuser know you're onto them. Anyone who reports a rape knows that some people will not believe them - the same must apply to those who haven't been raped.  So there's really nothing to be gained from that, and everything to be lost.

See Also: Some Things We Could Actually Do To Prevent Rape

This is too often about protecting men and masculine sexualities.

In fiction, only very evil men commit rape. Good men are often sexually forceful, but that's always somehow okay - because they're good! Men themselves cannot be raped, because sex is always a good thing for them. Our entire culture is invested in masculine sexuality - particularly heterosexuality - being a great thing, a source of both humour and pleasure, an expression of desire, love and all that is good about being a man.  And to the greatest extent, it is. It's no more magical than the sexualities of other genders, but most things most people do sexually are about pleasure for all concerned. Sex is wonderful. Sexual organs are both amusing and beautiful, according to context. Sexual desire doesn't hurt anybody, and most people's sexual behaviour is entirely positive, often loving, sometimes creative and occasionally procreative.

Unfortunately, bad behaviour is not as exceptional as our culture would like to think. Our culture is automatically skeptical about rape, and especially skeptical about the idea that a likeable man, or even a man who doesn't have any scales or horns in view, could behave monstrously in this way. Some people call this skepticism Rape Culture, and it certainly runs deep.

If a close friend or family member of mine was accused of rape, I would be instinctively skeptical.  I would need an awful lot of proof (although I wouldn't seek out the alleged victim and demand it from them). In some cases, I'd perhaps never believe it to be true.  This is not a bad position to be in.

However, if you have the same instinct about almost any story of rape, then that's probably programming.  We grow up with that.  We learnt that rape is a terrible crime and being falsely accused of such a crime is very nearly as bad.. But rape is rare and false accusations are perceived as so very common that the subject should be raised every time sexual violence is mentioned.

This is borne out by responses to Operation Yewtree. Despite the fact that the police and Crown Prosecution Services have acknowledged that Jimmy Savile was a prolific paedophile who should have been put away long ago and the confessions of Stuart Hall to various acts of child abuse, I have seen it said that:
  • This is a "Celebrity Witch Hunt"
  • These historic allegations are driven by compensation culture. These people just want money.
  • These historic allegations are driven by attention-seeking behaviour. 
  • The 1970s were a less politically correct time, when all men committed a variety of sexual crimes and nobody minded - we can't judge what happened then by the standards of today!
  • Too much time has passed - if these allegations were true, we'd have heard of them by now.
  • Too much time has passed for any of this to matter to anyone. Victims need to get over themselves.
  • The entire inquiry is about some kind of twisted sexual purity movement that seeks to persecute any innocent rich old man who happened to molest a nine year old in his younger days. Lower the age of consent! Remove complainant anonymity! Problem solved!
(This post is just about the possibility of false accusation; we're equally programmed to seek out extenuating circumstances on behalf of a rapist: What was she wearing? Was she drunk? Was she flirtatious? This is stuff that many of us have had to unlearn.)

But this is sometimes just about power.

There is great power to be derived from treating a vulnerable person, desperate for validation, with doubt and disbelief. Way too many people get a kick out of that, whether they are expressing doubt to the face of an individual victim, or expressing doubt in a public forum or a newspaper column where they know victims will be reading.

Sometimes, people really do express disbelief because they want a slice of the power a rapist has. Sometimes, it is alarmingly obvious what they're doing.

* The reason this is mostly about men being accused of rape when women may also commit rape and be accused of it, is that we don't take women rapists seriously at all. If a woman is accused of rape, we don't worry about her reputation being damaged - in fact, when female teachers have been convicted of raping their male pupils, there are comments of "Wish she was my teacher when I was at school." and so forth. All this is terrible, and all of it is interconnected. Our terrible attitudes to rape - of whoever, by whoever - come back to our expectations of masculine and feminine sexuality.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Blogging Against Disablism Day 2013

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2013Welcome to Blogging Against Disablism Day 2013!

Thanks very much to everyone who helped to spread the word and to everyone who is blogging against disablism, ableism and disability discrimination.

If you have a post for Blogging Against Disablism, please leave a comment including the URL (web address) of your post and the catergory your post fits best.

We'll be updating this post throughout the day to create an archive of all the posts. We'll also try to post links to every blog using the Twitter stream @BADDtweets and these will automatically be posted onto our Facebook Page.

As with the last few years, Stephen and I are sharing the work, but even with two people, there are bound to be typos, so please be patient and let us know if you notice any mistakes.

In Memory of Elizabeth McClung (1970 - 2013)

Today, we heard of the death of disability blogger and Blogging Against Disablism Day contributor Elizabeth McClung. She wrote so passionately and bravely about disability that it seems appropriate to dedicate this year's BADD to her memory. There are over a thousand posts on her blog Screw Bronze, but here are her old BADD posts, as samples of her work:

Blogging Against Disablism 2013

(Disability discrimination in the workplace, recruitment issues and unemployment). 

Gilbert and Me:  Stop Doing More with Less
Grace Quantock:  The stripper pole liberated me too
I'm a Grad School Cautionary Tale:  Trying to get a Part Time Job
Rolling with the Punches:  Can or Can't Work, a Disability Dilemma
there is no should:  part-time workers are workers
This Ain't Livin':  Accessible Labour Rights

(Attitudes and practical issues effecting disabled people and the discussion of disability in education, from preschool to university and workplace training.)

That Crazy Crippled Chick:  Ironic (Or, How My Entire College Career Just Blew Up In My Face)
Feminist Sonar:  Facing the Academy
I'm a Grad School Cautionary Tale:  Disabled Grad Students and Disability Offices
Lessons from the Warrior's Chair:  Do my students see me as disabled? And should they?
Rolling in the Fast Lane:  A Moment of Disablism 
Urbanus Tenus Herma:  B. A. D. D. – another year older, wiser, prejudiced against...

Technology and Web Accessibility

Diary of Mister Goldfish: A Sticky Situation
Diary of Mister Goldfish: Tech Expands the World
Sharon Wachsler:  Is Your Blog Against Disablism Accessible to Disabled Bloggers (and Readers)?
Visibility Fiction:  DRM=Discrimination

Other Access Issues
(Posts about any kind of access issue in the built environment, shops, services and various organisations. By "access issues" I mean anything which enables or disenables a person from doing what everyone else is able to do.)

A Barnsley Historian's View:  Today I Travelled to Sheffield
Cambriangirl:  The Ol’ Trigger Warning Switcheroo
Disability Matters UK:  One Woman Went To Work!
Jon Bateman  :The subtle forms of discrimination
Life in Deep Water:  “Woke Up This Morning Feeling Blue, Man I’ve Got Those Blue Badge Blues”
Urocyon's Jaunts:  Accessible Labour Rights

Definition and Analysis of Disablism/ Ableism

I ♥ [heart] the Phylum Chordata: Blogging Against Disablism Day 2013 (Also Posted Here)
A Path Through the Valley:  Discrimination

The Language of Disablism(Posts about the language which surrounds disability and the way that it may empower or disempower us.)

Bigger on the Inside:  Labels and Lies
The Phantasmagoric and Thaumaturgic Blog:  My Identitification as Disabled, Mixed With Some Queerness

Disablism Interacting with Other 'Isms'
(Posts about the way in which various discriminations interact; the way that the prejudice experienced as a disabled person may be compounded by race, gender, age, sexuality etc..)

The Haps:  A Memory
m0ndayschild88:  Disablism, Ageism, and Living with Invisible Illnesses

Disablism in Literature, Culture and the Media

Low Visionary:  Women, disableism and literature
Notes, Notings, and Common Refrains:  Overcoming Prejudice Through Changing the Narrative
The old jaw jaw:  Yes, another Twilight post: Billy Black's wheels
Paul Canning:  Channel Four are idiots
pseudo-living:  Belated BADD Post - What's Your Excuse?
Unicorn of Doom:  Doctor Who needs to be better about disability


Anthro, Etc.:  Disability in Bioarchaeology
Disability Studies, Temple U: Bad History Doesn't Help

Relationships, Love and Sex

Crippled, Queer, Anglo-European Ranter:  No Sex Please, We're... Disabled!
Diary of Mister Goldfish: Demi-Wife
Pretty Pancreas:  Reproduction While Disabled
You don't look sick!:  Are we really Undateable?


rowrowyourboat:  Is disablism within rowing intentional?  


Poetry against Disablism

Tor-Elias:  Pain, a love letter
A Writer In A Wheelchair:  Bored

Art and Photography Against Disablism

Angry Activist Art:  Crazy
Angry Activist Art:  Glass Box
Angry Activist Art:  Inside the Box
General Thoughts on Disablism

Accessible Insights Blog:  The Adversity of Anything 
Cracked Mirror in Shalott:  Microcosmic Multitudes
Em with ME:  #BADD2013
Frida Writes:  Noli Me Tangere
Funky Mango's Musings:  Growing Up Beside You 
I Wish Somebody Would Steal My Shoes:  Having Disabilities is a Full-Time Job 
Jennifer Fitz:  Theology of the Body for Every Body
Live in, Love in, Laugh in:  I am who I am, because I'm disabled and I won't disappear because you want me to
Lounalune:  At the Library
Mecarta:  It Starts With Us
Nightengalesknd:  Steps
le pays des humains volants:  We Are Still Here!/Nous Sommes Toujours là
Radical Neurodivergence Speaking:  Kickin it Old School for BADD 2013
rainbow_goddess:  You're Not Really Disabled 
Restless Hands: It's Blogging Against Disableims Day!
Skepchick:  Guest Post - Blog Against Disablism Day by Chris “Gonz Blinko” Hofstader
Stand Tall Through Everything:  Is There Internal Prejudice?
Wheelchair Dancer:  Just When You Think
Wheelie Catholic: My BADD

Parenting Issues(whether disabled parents or the parents of a disabled child.)

Blacktelephone:  Brave In The Attempt
Victoria Wright:  I'm not a monster - I'm a mummy

Healthcare Issues(For example, the provision of healthcare, institutionalistaion of disabled people, reproductive ethics and euthanasia)

ABC Therapeutics:  Tinfoil hat analysis - Crypto-eugenics and the autism community
Accessibility NZ: Our Homes, Not Nursing Homes
Ballastexistenz: Feeding tubes and weird ideas
Benefit Scrounging Scum: The Right To Live And The Right To Die
Diary of a Goldfish: Blamelessness
Indigo Jo Blogs: Rosa Monckton, learning disabilities and independence
A Room Of My Own:  Never forget where you came from
Variously Awesome:  Blogging Against Disablism Day

Impairment-Specific Prejudice

Bad Aspergers:  Autistic Discrimination
A Blind Man's Journey:  The Rarity of Multi
Celtic Compliance:  Are you providing the best possible customer service to deaf and hearing impaired clients?
Diary of a Benefit Scrounger:  Tube-ageddon
Grimalkin:  How depression makes everything harder
Journeymouse:  Living with Invisible Disability
Life Decanted:  Fact-Fallacy-Photo
Maijan ilmestykset:  Barrier-free food (Esteetöntä ruokaa)
VisionAware:  Guest Blogger John Miller: Blogging against "Disablism" with a Dual Disability
The Wandering Monster: Tic Tic, Tick Tock

Personal Journeys

Posts about learning experiences and realisations authors have had about the nature of disability discrimination and the impact on their lives.

cherryflip:  Identifying as disabled
Crip_tic:  Return of the Borg - Life on a ventilator (and other machines!)  Jemma’s Story
The Mysterious Life of...:  I'm BADD
Never that Easy:  “We are familiar..." 
People Aren't Broken: Magic Words
Restless Hands:  It's Blogging Against Disablism Day 
Rolling Around In My Head:  A Day Late / Right On Time 
Same Difference:  I Took My Parents To Holland
Scrumptiously:  Elizabeth McClung 1970-2013
Skepchick:  Guest Post: Blog Against “Disablism” Day by Sarah Moglia

Disablism and Politics
(For example, the political currency of disability, anti-discrimination legislation, etc.)

Cats and Chocolate:  Coming Together  Rant Against Disablism: Nothing About Us Without Us!
Flat Out:  Behind the Mask 
Flat Out:  When Demonisation Makes Sense
Jane Young:  Independent living is expensive – but its value exceeds the cost
Law Geek's Blog:  Inspiring lip service?
The Official Site of Lesley Smith:  The ESA50 and me #BADD
Rambling Justice:  Five Ways to Support the US #CRPD Ratification Campaign! 
Ramblings of a Fibro Fogged Mind:  Politics ‘V’ Political
The notes which do not fit:  On Privilege and Fraud

Bullying, Harassment and Hate Crime

Little Miss Perception:  My First B.A.D.D. 
xojane:  It's Blogging Against Disablism Day, and I'm Talking Disability Hate Crimes
Yes, That Too:  Blogging Against Disablism Day
Yet Another Lefty: People don't listen
List of Participating Blogs