It was Black Friday 2013, and I was depressed. I’m one of those SAD / holiday depression people. When in that mode, I use twitter to vent–nothing terrible, but negative. (It’s a bad habit.)
Lena Dunham had tweeted: “As a girl with serious thighs you dream of looking like Venus or Serena. But they’re powerful athletes & I’m a short immobile writer…”
I replied: “Way to solve Feminism’s ableism problem, bro.”
Immediately she retweeted, adding “Is this English?” Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) came to her rescue with: “It’s old English—no, wait. It’s scold English. People learn it at college the way they used to learn Latin or Greek.” People retweeted and favorited.
A miniature pile-on ensued, where I apologized (3x), and Lena Dunham kind of said it was okay. At the end, comedian Norm McDonald (@normmacdonald) joined in to certify “ableism” as an actual word.
So here’s what I meant: She’s not immobile! (I know she didn’t mean literally immobile.) People who are actually immobile would “dream of” someone freely out and about in a different light. Mainstream feminism prioritizes a certain set of issues (like beauty standards) to the deemphasis of others, e. g. mental illness and physical disability.
Then, I mislabeled her as a “bro”–the ultimate feminist insult. (I apologized.)