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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Sociocultural stuff - attraction dynamics

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Author Topic: Sociocultural stuff - attraction dynamics
kitkatbits
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Member # 45431

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Hi all,

One thing that I've noticed on various online dating sites is people (often able-bodied) liking me for my disabilities.

This list of questions is how much it annoys me:

  • do they like me for me and not for who they want me to be?
  • do they know why they have these desires? (read; analysis of them)
  • are they willing to learn to bend to these disabilities?
  • do they understand that they have more power than I do in this world?
  • do they advocate for disabled people and fight for their equality?

(I don't think most would pass these questions)

Your thoughts?

[ 01-10-2012, 09:50 PM: Message edited by: kitkatbits ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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So, I hear you talking about tokenism here. Would you agree?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kitkatbits
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Tokenism? Didnt know it was that. Explain?
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Sure.

Tokenism is basically when someone, or a group of someones, basically sees or treats someone else as representative of a given thing they represent like race, sexual orientation, or a disability. I think the simplest way of thinking about it is when someone is not really seeing a whole person, or seeing someone as a whole person but seeing them as this thing they represent.

Someone who interned for us once wrote something that speaks to some of this you might find useful: http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/coffeeforkatya?page=2 She uses the word fetishism, though that's not really a sound use of that term, since fetishism is about objects, not people. However, if people are being seen or treated like objects, like tokenism, fetishism does kind of make sense in this context.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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kitkatbits
Neophyte
Member # 45431

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Makes sense Heather, you're right.

How can I combat this?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Do you mean just in your personal life, or in a bigger way?

I mean, with the bigger way, I think, from my sense of you, you are already doing a lot: you seem to speak out around disability issues and activism online pretty well, so that's certainly a great start.

With your persona life, you know, I don't know about you, but if and when I feel like someone is tokenizing me in some way, or making me into some kind of fetish object, I basically voice my feelings and then tend to choose not to be involved with them. You certainly can make different choices, but I think that's probably going to have a lot to do with how much time and energy you want to invest in educating people about something that's obviously going to have a very personal impact on you and can get pretty tiresome, especially when it's not something you're doing as a job or volunteer gig, you know?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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