The Accountability List
It occurs to me that I ought to actually write down the sites I’ve
shit listed I’ve warn listed or I’m going to forget what the fuck they are. In fact, I’m fairly certain I have forgotten what a few of them are. Go my brain. Like a sieve.
Introduction: The Accountability List is a collection of “ally” sites who have fucked up in some sort of awful, ridiculous way on trans issues and then failed to have accountability regarding the fuck up. I am including ableism, prescriptivism and body policing too but those are less comprehensive being that I only recently joined the PWD community and prescriptivism isn’t always easy to gauge. I will mark how they fucked up and link back to the post dealing with it.
This was previously the Shit List and was renamed due to various discussions on overdoing the harsh in social justice activism to the point where it becomes abusive. I figure, with the amount I’ve written on how we need to make some changes to avoid becoming mob justice and avoid being abusive (something that really isn’t justified and sometimes is hidden behind the claims of tone argument derail, further degrading our ability to fight policing due to tone) I ought to practice what I preach. This name is also more intuitive, allowing you to glean the meaning from reading the title, in case you are deeply lazy.
A note on what this list is for (Read this, oh ignorant skimmers): This list is not a list of sites that you should never look at again. Or boycott. Each site will have a specific spot that’ll tell you if it isn’t salvageable (in my estimation) or if it is. But the list overall is to make it known which sites fail to show accountability for doing things that hurt the trans community, the PWD community and engage in prescriptivist actions that hurt all of us, but especially sex workers, porn workers and folks who choose lifestyles for themselves that much of feminism does not approve of (like being a housewife or raising kids). This list is to act as a warning to you, that when you see these sites, their actions are suspect, their motives may be suspect (not that intent would spare them) and you should exhibit caution and discretion when dealing with them. How you wish to deal with them depends more on how you balance accountability regulation and no doubt you’ll have to make your own decisions on how to handle the situation.
Now if you feel that this list is inaccurate (i.e. a site in question apologized for realz, fixed their mistakes and I just didn’t see it) let me know by comment, plus a link to the relevant apology, fixing, etc. If you have a dispute with one of the sites being on this list at all, I’ll allow you to comment on it up to a point, but if the debate gets too long (my comment nesting only goes so far) you’ll have to take it to emails. My contact info is at the bottom of the main page and on the Writer page. If you have a site that has some fail that you feel belongs on this list (i.e. transphobia, ableism, cissexism, prescriptivism or such), I’m cool with you commenting to give me a link to fiskings of their fail and the name of the site. You can also email me. Describe how they failed, cuz I will check up on them and if you just post sites you don’t like, I’m gonna be a colossal bitch to you for wasting my time.
I’m aware that these sites have other issues (like say whorephobia on Shakesville) but I need some sort of link in order to add that to the list. If you can provide, please do.
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A SITE BEING REMOVED, EMAIL ME. DO NOT COMMENT ON THIS PAGE. Comments on this page are only for groups, orgs and writers who are currently on the list or a new suggestion to the list. An individual or org is only removed with a combination of adequate time plus several examples of improved conduct along with zero examples of the previous lack of accountability and bad shit done.
The Accountability List
NOW WITH ALPHABETICAL ORDERING AND EASY TO READ BOLDING! For free
My Husband Betty
Folks in Charge: Helen Boyd
Accountability fuck ups:
1: Trans othering, cis privilege enabling and cis appropriation
Folks Involved: Helen Boyd (OP and comments)
So basically, Helen feels that partners of trans people get to qualify as trans and that cis is hate language. Yep, special stuff. Gotta love that appropriation and othering.
Why Maybe: it’s iffy since she’s so fucking entitled, but she’s also made up for mistakes before, so who knows.
Folks in Charge: Melissa McEwan
Accountability Fuck Ups:
1: Cissexism, cis centering, apologism, derailing
Folks Involved: Melissa McEwan (OP, all four), CaitieCat (comments, apologism)
Eulogizing a genocidal transphobic fuck head (Mary Daly) and deciding that a footnote about an “unfortunate streak of transphobia” was enough to fix it. Caitie spent her time being the resident trans pet sell out and Melissa topped it off with an “ALL ABOUT MEEEE” whining post about how good her intentions are and how mean we are for daring to call her out.
Salvageable: Fuck No.
Why not: The entire site functions as a full lockdown individual target safe space, built to protect Melissa from dissent or criticism which of course protects her cis privilege. Now, that’s not to say that protection and safe spaces are bad. They’re unbelievably useful for survivors of abuse and whatnot. But when they are used to dodge accountability and to get away with abusing people who you’ve done oppressive actions to, they become a serious problem. Her site is so heavily locked down under that “protect Melissa” mode that any abuse she perpetrates and any oppressive things she does will not only not get called out or handled, but anyone who attempts to even request for accountability will be attacked. Meaning the site is only a safe space for Melissa and a very dangerous space for most trans women passing through. To drive this home, they and she spent more time trying to dodge even being called out on a mistake and centering how Melissa feels than even considering the possibility of a real apology or even a retraction. Comment threads got closed, dissenters got banned or swarm abused by her commenters, etc. Yeah. Not fixable. Melissa is a lost cause.
1: 2/22/10 Created page, added content ~RP
2: 2/23/10 Adjusted wording in the FWD entry to make it less confusing ~RP
3: 3/2/10 Adjusted some formatting errors, added more updates to PHB entry ~RP
4: 5/3/10 Adjusted entry for FWD to clarify the very minor nature of Abby’s mistake ~RP
5: 8/24/10 Removed entry for FWD due to new information regarding Abby’s apology on behalf of the site ~KH
6: 11/2/10 Removed entry for Bilerico due to new information about Bil’s outvoted rejection of Ron Gold’s transphobic post and major changes made to the ED board and the site’s policies. Also removed entry for Pam’s House Blend due to the hard work of Autumn Sandeen in keeping the site accountable for trans related screwups. ~KH
7: 2/1/11 Changed name of page to something a bit more functional ~KH
8: 2/1/11 Changed description of Melissa McEwan to more accurately describe her problem (heavily locked down personal safe space being used for criticism immunity when bigoted) ~KH
9: 2/27/11 Adjusted description of why Shakesville isn’t salvageable to acknowledge the usefulness of heavily locked down personal safe spaces for survivors, even in the face of how easily they are abused to deny privilege and abuse oppressed people.
10: 3/12/12 Removed entry for Renee of WomanistMusings due to several links showing a change of conduct regarding cissexism over a long period of time without any new confirmed fuck ups. Also added the rule about not leaving comments on this list about a removed entry.