sd_admin (sd_admin) wrote in noscans_daily,

Anti-Oppression Resources: Annotated version

Anti-Oppression Resources

Scans/noscans_daily strives to provide an atmosphere which is LGBT-friendly, anti-racist, anti-ableist, woman-friendly, and otherwise discrimination and harassment free.

Last August we posted a list of resources, compiled to help members of Scans/noscans_daily educate themselves on anti-oppression terms and issues touched on in our Community Ethos. We have expanded this list and are re-posting it.

We recognize that not everyone starts from the same place when it comes to discussions of discrimination, oppression, and privilege. Our hope is that this list will continue to serve as a valuable resource for both members and moderators, and help facilitate discussion and better understanding of topics such as privilege, racism, sexism, transphobia, ableism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination and oppression.

As a medium, comics are extremely diverse and wide-ranging in terms of their content, style and subject matter. We believe it is important to provide a safer space for all fans to discuss, criticize, celebrate, and enjoy comics, which is why we strongly encourage you to explore the links provided.

The 101s

These resources are 101 level - they're designed for readers who are new to the anti-oppression conversation, or who are new to particular parts of the conversation. Are you a committed feminist who's learning about transphobia? An anti-racist who'd like to learn more about anti-ableism? Or someone who's exploring this stuff in depth for the first time? This section is for you.

  • Anti-Oppression Glossary

  • The FedEx Arrow And How To Deal With It
    "Here's the thing though, some people can't see the arrows. Some people don't want to see the arrows. Some people are quite happy living in the world where "FedEx" is just five letters, and stories are just fictional tales.

    That's OK. It is, it's fine. I am not going to hunt you down into your personal space and insist you see the arrow. But if you claim there isn't an arrow, that everyone who sees an arrow is deliberately looking for arrows that aren't there; if you come into posts discussing arrows and complain about how arrows are just in our imagination, then you're going to come off a little bit like a dick."

  • Models of Disability
    "Models of Disability are tools for defining impairment and, ultimately, for providing a basis upon which government and society can devise strategies for meeting the needs of disabled people. They are often treated with skepticism as it is thought they do not reflect a real world, are often incomplete and encourage narrow thinking, and seldom offer detailed guidance for action. However, they are a useful framework in which to gain an understanding of disability issues, and also of the perspective held by those creating and applying the models."

  • "BADD: On Oracle and Ableism", Never That Easy
    "[T]his post is going to instead focus on the ablism inherent in the online discussions of Oracle - that is, the arguments over her fitness as a superheroine, her perceived uselessness when being "confined to a wheelchair", and the unapologetic ablist terminology & attitudes that were displayed in these various discussions."

  • Ableist Word Profile
    "Ableist Word Profile is an ongoing FWD/Forward series in which we explore ableism and the way it manifests in language usage.
    Here’s what this series is about: Examining word origins, the way in which ableism is unconsciously reinforced, the power that language has.
    Here’s what this series is not about: Telling people which words they can use"

  • Thoughts on disability and respectful language
    "But something holds me back from being too strict with myself, and others in the atypical realm, on the language issue. Sometimes, I feel like embracing the commonly-accepted language to describe my disability-pride, body-positive, radical acceptance politics might help change exactly what concepts come to mind when people use that language.

    Thing is, this isn’t something that can be done in every instance. There are words which simply aren’t going to be reclaimed to a point where even non-group members can use it without calling forth all of the hate and pain associated with them. There is absolutely no acceptable use of the word “retard” or any derivative thereof."

  • Disability 101: Defining Disability
    "Ableism refers to discrimination, devaluation, misconceptions, stereotypes, and prejudice—conscious or unconscious—of and against people with disabilities, the chronically ill, and people with chronic health conditions. As a culturally-based structure that often intersects with other oppressive “isms,” systems of privilege, and “-phobias” (such as racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, white privilege, cisgendered privilege, class/economic privilege, and transphobia) ableism assumes that able-bodied people are the “norm” in society, and as a result, culture, various institutions, attitudes and social mores are formed in accordance with the needs of able-bodied people."

  • T-Vox: Transgender and T-Vox: Transphobia
    "Transphobia (by analogy with homophobia) refers to various kinds of aversions towards transsexuality and transsexual/transgendered people. It often takes the form of refusal to accept a person's new gender identity and is rarely rancorous.

    Whether intentional or not, transphobia can have severe consequences for the targeted person; also, many transpeople experience homophobia as well, from people who associate gender identity disorder as a form of homosexuality."

  • Why Anti-Oppression Is Serious Business
    "So, hate crimes are those things that, when someone is attacked for being in a perceived group--and that night i was perceived as trans, gay, whatever, and because of that i was attacked, and no one at any point, on the train, on the platform, from the officer, at the precinct, no one offered to help. And that is a hate crime. And i'm here tonight to let you know it happens; it happened here on campus; my friend Annette was attacked here, verbally attacked on this campus and they threatened to shoot her.

    And we need to understand that it's borne out of ignorance, and it's condoned by people who have a problem with our lifestyles and they think that it's okay to hurt us."

    [Warning: triggering!]

  • Whipping Girl FAQ on cissexual, cisgender, and cis privilege
    "[G]ay rights activists began challenging this notion. They pointed out that all people have sexualities (not just homosexuals). The so-called “normal” people weren’t really “normal” per se, but rather they were “heterosexual.” [...] Once one recognizes that heterosexism is a double standard, then it becomes clear that (whether they realize it or not) heterosexuals are privileged in our society. [...] By describing and discussing heterosexism and heterosexual privilege, LGB activists have made great gains over time toward leveling the playing field with regards to sexual orientation in our culture.

    One can easily understand the potential power of cis/trans terminology by simply replacing “heterosexual” with “cissexual,” “heterosexism” with “cissexism,” and “heterosexual privilege” with “cissexual privilege” in the above analogy."

  • Feminism 101 and Rape Culture 101
    A survey of common arguments and rebuttals relating to feminism and rape culture. Links to full articles on each topic are included.

    "On Divorcing Slurs from Their Contexts: There are men (and women) who would swear up, down, and backwards that they're not homophobic, and may even genuinely be supportive of full LGBTQ equality, but nonetheless continue to use the word fag to malign other men—or use "gay" as a negative descriptor. They just like the words. They don't want to give them up, because they haven't found anything else that feels quite so good rolling off the tongue as "What a fag!" and "That's so gay." Who's it hurting? I totally don't hate gay people! And that's why we get these tortured explanations of how they're not using them "in the gay way."

  • Don't Be That Guy
    "I keep thinking about all the subtle little cues and clues I personally use to separate Okay from Skeevy when people approach me. Talking in the comments there made me realize that I do have a list. It's my list, and it's not the be-all and end-all of everyone's list. Most everyone has a different subset of The List."

  • Racism 101
    "An ever-expanding list of common understandings we share as anti-racists."

  • Racebending - racism discussion policies
    This is a policy document for the Racebending community, but can be used as a 101 article as it contains definitions and conversational guidelines.

    "Institutionalized racism: a form of racism that takes place in institutions of societal power and influence. The difference between individual bigotry and institutional racism lies in the set policies and practices of an organization that actively or unintentionally discriminate against an ethnic group and subsequently disadvantage that particular group or race. These policies and practices are generally set in place and remain unwavering because:

    1. they have been in place for decades/centuries, despite the evolution of civil rights
    2. they are advantageous to the people who are part of this institution, whether they know it or not"

  • Homophobia 101
    This is an anti-homophobia training outline designed for use in schools, by both staff and students. [PDF]

  • helpful hint for the colorblind: BE LESS BLIND
    BLIND is not a moral positive. BLIND is an inability to perceive what the non-blind people around you can clearly fucking see. My grandfather was red/green colorblind. His family also had a strawberry farm. His father used to beat him for not obeying instructions to pick only the RED strawberries and leave the GREEN ones on the bush.

    Now, I'm not recommending regular beatings for the colorblind. That wasn't a nice thing to do (my great-grandfather was not a nice person in general, for oh so many reasons). But the thing is, my grandfather's colorblindness? Was a problem, because there is actually such a thing as color when it comes to strawberries, and it's easier to work on a strawberry farm when you can see it."

  • Tough Guise: Masculinity Crisis
    This is a very accessible documentary about masculinity and media representations of manhood.

Links Lists

Looking for even more 101 content? The following are prepared reading lists at the 101 level. Some contain explanatory notes, while others speak for themselves.

  • It's great to learn... 'Cause knowledge is power!
    "This post has been percolating in a bookmarks folder for a while. I'm going to do my best to give it a kind of structure (IN LINKSPAM? UNHEARD OF!), starting off with 101/introductory posts, then going into posts about language, and then finally all the odds and ends about inclusiveness, activism itself, and a few stray bits media analysis."

  • For Clueless White People
    This is a Delicious archive of articles and blog posts on racism. The archivist has included everything from criminal justice statistics, to media analysis.

  • Various links on racism and intersectionality.
    A compilation of resources regarding womanism, feminism, black feminism, and womanism vs. feminism.

  • RaceFail09
    This is Metafandom's Delicious archive of links relating to RaceFail09. RaceFail09 was a wide-ranging discussion about racism in SF/F fiction and fandom that included both professional creators and fans.

Accessibility and the Internet

Is your code accessible?


What is privilege? Privileges are rights or immunities which are granted to some, as part of an office, title, or membership in a group (eg. executive privilege, spousal privilege). In anti-oppression conversation, 'privilege' refers to the unearned benefits of being a member of a dominant or advantaged group (eg. white privilege, male privilege). Privilege works to systematically overempower the privileged, while disempowering the dis-privileged. The fringe benefits of privilege are generally invisible - taken to be natural, or taken for granted - by the privileged. This aspect of privilege also makes invisible the disadvantages experienced by others.

This is a short list of resources on privilege.

Appropriation and Representation

Cultural appropriation: Borrowing symbols, artifacts, modes of dress, myths and other cultural products from another, different cultural group. Think tribal tattoos and First Nations headdresses on the high fashion runway without any context, understanding or respect for their origins and the people to whom they belong.

Representation: Media representations shape our understanding of ourselves and others - representation matters. Stereotypical depictions of disprivileged groups can have wide-ranging, and harmful effects.


Feminists, anti-racists and other anti-oppression advocates are often told that "you'd catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." The argument being that more people would listen if you'd stop being so angry, pushy, aggressive, emotional, hysterical, etc. Instead, you should your point calmly, rationally, and without causing undue offense. This is the 'tone argument,' and is used both by concern trolls, and by derailers. It is a conversational tactic, designed to discredit the 'angry' opposition, and their arguments at once.


What is derailing? It is literally, to run a conversation off the rails. Derailing happens when someone comes into a conversation and demands that it change course, stop in its tracks, or back up long enough for them to jump on. Derailing can be deliberate and malicious, or well-meaning and ignorant, but in all cases it makes a mess of a delicate and complicated anti-oppression conversation.

This is a short list of resources on derailing.

Conversation and Strategies

Finding these conversations difficult because you lack the vocabulary, or need new tactics? These resources are for you.

Communities, Blogs and Sites

Looking for safe spaces, or places to learn more about anti-oppression theory and activism? We've got some links.

Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, JournalFen, InsaneJournal communities


Magazines and Sites

Exceptional Minority Media

This list is heavily based on member submissions. Please submit your favorites!

This list is only a start. If there is a resource you would like added to, or removed from this list, please let us know. We consider this project a work in progress to be updated and revised on a semi-regular basis.
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