In the past year the amount of (feminist) blogs that I read regularly, or even on an occasional basis, has shrunk to fit on one hand. Literally, aside from keeping up with Iris, the only blogs I regularly read are Hoyden About Town, The Border House, Geek Feminism, Sociological Images, and Shakesville. That’s it. There are a few more that I’ll browse when I’ve already read everything on the above blogs.
Until today, Tiger Beatdown was on the latter list. Now, the writing style of the blog has always rubbed me a bit the wrong way because of how easy it is to cross the line from pointed sarcastic critique to being just plain mean. The posts I had read had seemed to be careful to keep it pointedly sarcastic, though, so I figured I’d stick to a casual readership until I had reason not to.
SEXIST BEATDOWN: Revenge of the Smiler Edition is that reason. I generally don’t bother reading “Sexist Beatdown” because I’m not a fan of the dialogue style posts, but the intro piqued my interest because Sady was using some classic Mean Girl tropes and I wanted to know if there was going to be any discussion about how the tropes themselves reinforce rivalry among girls and women, which in turn reinforces the sexist environment that gives rise to girls who fit the cliche.
Except that I didn’t get far into the post until I saw this:
AMANDA: I mean, her songs are deeply crazy* to me.
Given that ableism is a huge problem in the mainstream feminist movement (see Ableism is not feminism. Spread the word. and Feminists are fine with being bigots if it’s just ableism), I was less shocked by the ableist slur than I was disappointed. “But wait,” I thought to myself, “There is an asterisk! Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for the use of the slur.”
So I went to the bottom of the post and checked it out:
*I know some folks don’t like this use of the word! Tiger Beatdown acknowledges and respects that. Tiger Beatdown also isn’t a fan of comments that focus on one word or line in a piece rather than the piece as a whole. Please keep that in mind.
Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY? How is using an ableist slur that you know some of your readership dislikes and then telling them that they aren’t allowed to call you out on your bigotry (because it’s a derail, of course!) acknowledging and respecting the feelings of your readership? All I can say is that y’all have been too deep in the snark for too long if you think that kind of behavior is what passes for “respect” among other social justice advocates.