Related to one post from a little while ago, I was reminded of a quote from something I reread recently.

From Every Day Is a Good Day, edited by Wilma Mankiller. With this specific quote coming from her intro to chapter 6:

The women at this gathering speak of love in grand, sweeping terms that embrace the natural world, family, clan, community, and nation. Love is not limited to immediate family or to a romantic partner. It is not doled out in small increments to a socially prescribed person or group of people. It is all encompassing.

LaDonna Harris speaks eloquently about the high value she places on her relationships with others, which she describes as “not letting go of people,” even her adversaries. A Cherokee traditionalist echoes this sentiment and speaks of the need to “live and care for one another in such as a way as to ensure that there will be no reason to let go of others.”…

The larger society’s endless conversation about whether gay and lesbian couples should be accepted and granted rights to marriage, adoption, and other rights was nonexistent among these women. They place a very high premium on respect: respect for oneself, for others, for all living things. It is highly disrespectful to label another human being and define them based primarily on their sexual preferences. These women care more about the human decency and dignity of people, and whether they are a contributing part of the community, than about their adult relationships with others.

(And that would be with some longer term different ideas about what constitutes a valuable contribution to society, yeah.)

I included the longer part before the bit directly discussing labels, mostly for additional context.

But yeah, I have also encountered some people who wanted to assume that a statement like that is exactly the same as the “don’t let yourself be defined by X!” discussed earlier. Very possibly because that invalidating, othering approach is most of what they have encountered up close.

(Very much like the difference between people honestly trying to understand and relate to someone else’s experiences, and the dismissive deliberately not getting it “Oh, everyone does that! And you are making me very uncomfortable by even talking about this, jfc leave it already if you don’t want to totally alienate everyone around you. Weirdo” versions. Not at all the same scenario, but I do get the idea that a lot of people are mostly used to encountering the dismissive kind.)

When, yeah, that “don’t let yourself be defined by X!” behavior is one indication of exactly the types of disrespectful “boxes are more important than actual people” attitude being objected to there.

I mean, similar is part of why I have gotten more and more personally resentful of feeling pressured to choose from a certain assortment of boxes. And a good bit of the reason it’s hard to even try to talk about some of this stuff, even if you do make it very clear that the last thing you want to do is dictate how anyone else needs to be navigating or even relate to any of it. That’s still not what some people will hear.

I can understand why certain approaches do appeal to some other people. Not that it would even matter if I didn’t understand at all, because it’s their lives and experiences to make sense of and manage the best they can! The same approach is not going to make sense for everyone, though. It just won’t. And that doesn’t mean anyone is necessarily wrong.

Plus, pegs. It’s hard to even start talking about some things when you are coming at them from a sufficiently different perspective that you’re not necessarily even talking about what a lot of people would assume based on some surface similarities. More complicated when those things are also heavily enough politicized that pretty much everyone involved has been hurt in some way(s).

Not just thinking about the main subject of that quote here, but that’s definitely one aspect where it’s relevant.

[In the Hobby Lobby case] technically, the defendants… are the objects themselves, yielding an incredible case name: The United States of America v. Approximately Four Hundred Fifty (450) Ancient Cuneiform Tablets; and Approximately Three Thousand (3,000) Ancient-Clay Bullae.


(via mswyrr)

This is actually a common naming convention for cases. United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries is an actual Supreme Court case, for example.

(via alx-972)

They’re called in rem cases and as far as I’m concerned every single one of them is a gem name-wise. I’ve personally always been fond of United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins, though United States v. One Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton is pretty great too.

(via literaryreference)



a culture fixated on sniffing out “fakers” to protect “real disabled people” inevitably harms every single disabled person within that culture & only maybe a relative handful of “fakers”, who are usually mentally ill or economically disadvantaged to the point of having no alternative. stop saying your skepticism is for my benefit. stop saying my oppression is for my benefit. yes the idea of people with no grasp of my struggle claiming it is infuriating & insulting beyond belief. yes that is also oppressive. but in practice, i’d rather a dozen able bodied people successfully pass themselves off as disabled than one disabled person die in poverty because they couldn’t “prove it” to an abled person’s content

setting aside the fact that People Die From This, just the impact of faker witchunting on the emotional wellbeing of disabled people is enough to make it inexcusable
i’ve heard someone crying, literally sobbing & vomiting from pain frantically promise me that they’re not exaggerating when i never indicated for a moment that i disbelieved them, because they’re so used to the accusation. i’ve heard someone in the aftermath of a seizure quietly mumble as they regained lucidity, “are you sure i’m not faking?”
i don’t know a single chronically ill person who hasn’t at one point or another seriously questioned if they were ever really that sick at all because we’ve been so brainwashed to challenge the validity of disability that we begin to doubt the reality of our own definitive lived experiences