passerine: Picture of Sparrow from Dykes to Watch For (Default)
[personal profile] passerine
[Admin post current as of April 20, 2009]

[Update: The use of "my" is referring to myself, [personal profile] passerine. However, my spouse, [personal profile] invisionary also tends to use these terms in approximately the same way, and this list is evolving into a joint creation.]

[Update April 20, 2009 for new terms: "Do Me Feminism", "Gifted & Talented", "Invisible Disability", "Sex-Positive", "Twice-Exceptional".]

The purpose of this post is to define terms that may not be familiar to my readers. I tried to state my definition for terms that have often-debated definitions (Attachment Parenting, feminism, etc.) as well as to explain terms that are specific to certain subcultures or areas of study (Dominionist, Evidence-Based Treatment, etc.) and to explain particular terms my social circle uses that may or may not exist outside it (Adolescent Content and Depressed Logic are two examples of that).

Basically, if you see me use a term in my writing, and you're either not sure what it means in general or not sure what I mean by my use of it, see if it's in this post. If I missed something, feel free to ask me to define it. As usual, anonymous comments are screened and will be unscreened at my discretion.



# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Adolescent Content: Content that is considered inappropriate for minors and/or not safe for work while simultaneously lacking much (or any) social or artistic value, and often not even being that erotically interesting. A good example of what I mean by "adolescent content" is the movie American Pie. NOT to be confused with "Mature Content".

Ally: An individual who possesses a particular privilege, who makes a sincere effort to understand the particular problems faced by those who lack that privilege, and who works with the people lacking that privilege to create social change without overshadowing the work of those who lack the privilege.

Anti-Psychiatry: Someone who believes, for whatever reasons, that psychiatric medication is never or very seldom a valid means of treating mental illness. This does not include people who believe that psychiatric medication is inappropriate for them personally, people who believe that psychiatric medication is often overprescribed or inappropriately prescribed, or people who believe that psychiatric medication should primarily or only be used in combination with psychotherapy. True anti-psychiatry is something that I have very little tolerance or patience for, for very important personal reasons. See also "Boob Nazi" and "Nature Nuts".

Are you safe?: An explicit inquiry that means, "Can you reassure me that you will not engage in active physical self-harm or harm to others for the immediate forseeable future?" Not to be used except in situations where the person asking suspects the answer might be something other than yes. The inability to give an unqualified "yes" to this question constitutes a psychiatric crisis and will be regarded accordingly.

Attachment Parenting (may be abbreviated as AP): A parenting philosophy based on the writings of the Sears family, built around the concepts that: children have real needs and deserve to have those needs met, parents generally know better than "experts" what their individual children need, investing energy into the parent-child bond in early childhood will enable children to grow into secure and independent adults, and providing non-violent age-appropriate discipline and guidance to children. We follow this style as we understand it, which is not the same thing as what a lot of people online call "Attachment Parenting" (either to praise or condemn it).


BDSM: An umbrella term for activities involving at least one of: pain-as-pleasure, erotic power exchange, or physical restraint for sexual purposes. NOT to be confused with "Domestic Violence".

BINGO! A snarky shorthand for, "We've heard these same poor arguments on this topic so many times that we have a bingo card of them, and it looks like you just lost won!" See this link for examples of popular "Bingo Cards".

Black Cloud: The extreme environment of negativity/anger/rage that often surrounds someone who is in a state of clinical depression. Some people also deliberately use "Black Clouds" as a passive-aggressive manipulation tactic.

Boob Nazi: Much as I hate using terms that refer to Hitler or Nazi Germany, this is a self-descriptor of the people I am referring to, so I want to be clear who I am talking about. Boob Nazis are people, usually but not always mothers, who believe that any mother who exclusively breastfeeds is better than any mother who uses formula. Many "boob nazis" identify as Attachment Parents, which annoys me. See also "Nature Nuts" and "Anti-Psychiatry" because there's considerable overlap.

Borderline Bitch: Necessary but not sufficient criteria to be considered a "Borderline Bitch" is meeting the DSM-IV criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. Not everyone with the diagnosis is a Borderline Bitch, however. Implicit in the term is that the person (usually, but not always, female, hence the term) does not take responsibility for Brain Misbehavior or Drama caused by the illness. See also "Psychic Vampire".

Brain Misbehavior: The active symptoms of someone's mental illness. Occasionally, "Body Misbehavior" or "Body Fail" might be used in a similar way to describe a physical illness, but "Brain Misbehavior" sees far more use.

Bystander Consent: What you should obtain if you are planning to do something of an overtly sexual or BDSM-related nature in a space that is not your own private space, with people who are not directly involved in the activity.


CAM: Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Approaches to medical treatment that seek to avoid or minimize the use of conventional medication or surgical intervention. Some doctors are more comfortable with CAM practices than others.

Camel's Nose Syndrome (or "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" Syndrome): The tactic of asking for a small thing, while making a big deal of how small a thing it is, as a prelude to asking for something a little bigger, then something even bigger, etc.

Cisgender: A complete match between the gender of one's physical body, the gender one perceives oneself as, and the gender one is perceived as by others.

CHAOS: When written like this, an acronym for "Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome", usually due to the mess in one's house.

Chastisement: A common euphemism for corporal punishment.

Cheating (academic): Receiving or giving unauthorized or unacknowledged assistance of any kind with an academic assignment.

Cheating (in a relationship): If you wouldn't do it in front of your partner(s), and you know you are dead meat if your partner(s) find out, you are cheating. "Cheating" is specific to sexual or romantic activity. "Infidelity" has a similar definition but, as I use it, also encompasses non-sexual issues.

Check Your Privilege: A reminder, in a discussion, to consider the effects your particular set of social advantages may have on your worldview, and how someone who does not have that set of advantages may see the world very differently and yet not be "wrong".

Childfree: An adult who does not have biological, adopted, or foster children, and who has no wish to do so at any time. Most people who are personally childfree still enjoy the company of some children; a small subgroup who designate themselves as "hardcore childfree" do not.

Child-Training: A style of parenting that has, at its core, the idea that children should be made as convenient as possible and that a child who is inconveniencing parents is misbehaving and should be punished. Sometimes, but not always, child-training authors use "Biblical" justifications for their methods. Most child-training methods rely heavily on corporal punishment beginning in infancy. Notable books written from this perspective include Dare to Discipline and The New Strong-Willed Child by James Dobson, Babywise and Growing Kids God's Way by Gary Ezzo, and To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl.

Christian: I generally use the same definition as the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance - any individual who thoughtfully, sincerely, prayerfully considers him/herself to be Christian IS Christian. In particular, I attempt to avoid describing Dominionists as representative of all Christians. If you see me do this, please DO call me on it!

Class: A concept that encompasses financial situation, educational background, and other demographic factors. I find it difficult to define precisely, but Dennis Gilbert's model (scroll down) is probably the closest to how I use "class" and its associated terminology.

Clear and Active Consent: An explicit, unmistakeable agreement to an activity or set of conditions.

Clueless White Person: A white person who, due to white privilege and the idea that "colorblindness" is positive rather than negative, does not notice a particular form of racism but is willing to understand the problem when it is explained. This describes me an awful lot of the time. I'm working on getting more clue. Please do let me know when I am being a Clueless White Person.

Colorblindness: The concept many moderate-to-liberal white families raised their children to believe - that race is essentially a meaningless and divisive concept, and that we shouldn't "see color". While often well-intentioned, colorblindness is offensive because it ignores historical systemic discrimination and current cultural issues.

Command Hallucination: REAL voices in your head telling you what to do. Usually something harmful. Not a laughing matter. See also "Brain Misbehavior".

Competitive Parenting: The practice of gaining self-esteem from the level of sacrifice one makes for one's children, or from the ways in which one's children are "better" than someone else's.

Concern Troll: A commenter who is disruptive by means of "helpfully" pointing out that, while the commenter mostly agrees, there is something of Great Concern that the original poster has obviously not properly considered. See also "Troll", "Derailing", "Tone Fallacy", and "What About The Mens?"

Consistent Life Ethic: The belief that abortion, the death penalty, and war are all wrong. Followers of CLE are usually also vegetarian for animal-rights-related reasons. This is not something I believe in myself, but I do respect and understand the logic at work.

Cookies: When not obviously talking about the baked goods or the Internet term, a "cookie" is undue praise given to someone with privilege for acting in a way that decent human beings should act.

Corporal Punishment: The attempt to modify a child's behavior by physical means, usually but not always by striking or hitting the child in some way. It may also include washing a child's mouth out with soap, forcing the child to maintain uncomfortable postures for a long period of time, etc. While I do not believe all corporal punishment is inherently abusive, I see it as literally against my religion because of the Quaker commitment to non-violence.

Cult: A group that scores highly on the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame. Please note that not all cults are religious!

Cultural Appropriation: Selective and out-of-context use of another culture's meaningful symbols.


Dark Fluffy: A Pagan whose expressed religious beliefs seem to be thrown together to be as shocking and unconventional as possible, without any respect for context. See also "Cultural Appropriation" and "Mage War Idiots".

DBT: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, a form of psychotherapy developed by Marsha Linehan targeted towards individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder and others with a history of active self-harm. I find this form of therapy problematic both due to cultural appropriation issues and because it is not very helpful for individuals who do not have a problem with active self-harm. (See "Passive Self-Harm".)

Depressed.as.fuck (often shortened to d.a.f.): A mental state that can be summarized by, "I'd kill myself except it would take too much effort!" The concept comes from the FAQ for the newsgroup alt.depressed.as.fuck. If someone is truly depressed.as.fuck, that should be considered a psychiatric crisis.

Depressed Logic: I use this term to avoid describing someone currently suffering from clinical depression as simply "irrational." Depressed Logic is an internally consistent logic based on the false premise that the person using the logic is "the piece of crap the world revolves around." In other words, that the person is simultaneously worthless AND that the Universe is somehow singling the person out for mistreatment.

Derailing: The attempt to shift a conversation from the topic that it was originally about to the topic the derailer thinks SHOULD be discussed. This will usually be met first with a reminder to "Check Your Privilege" and may eventually result in a commentor being banned.

Diagnosis-Go-Round: What happens when professionals agree that you have a mental illness but disagree about which one it is.

Do-Me Feminism: A sarcastic term for some men's reaction to the concept of sex-positive feminism. Perhaps best summed up as: "Hey, cool! Women make their own porn now! *drool drool drool*" NOT to be confused with actually Sex-Positve.

Domestic Violence: A systematic and abusive exercise of power and control over a romantic partner by using physical harm, the threat of physical harm, emotional isolation, and/or actual or perceived social privilege (male privilege, able-bodied privilege, etc.) NOT to be confused with consensual power exchange, such as in some BDSM relationships.

Dominionist (or Christian Reconstructionist): A particularly extreme and dangerous form of Fundamentalist Christianity. Go here for an introduction to the topic and here for additional information and links regarding why this movement is incredibly dangerous. I admit that I lack anything resembling objectivity on this topic - my spouse is a survivor of/walkaway from this movement, and it seriously damaged him in ways that we are all only just beginning to come to terms with. I know that a lot of this sounds like crazy conspiracy-theorist stuff that couldn't possibly be happening. However, it IS happening, and I believe that getting the word out about this movement, how it works, and what it does is incredibly important.

Drama: Repeated avoidable crises or exaggeration of the seriousness of genuine difficulties. Inherent to Drama is the attempt to draw uninvolved parties into the conflict or into doing something for the person causing/experiencing the Drama.

Earth Logic: While complete and true objectivity is of course impossible, Earth Logic comes close. It is a basic acceptance of the known facts of a current dilemma and a thoughtful consideration of reasonable ways to proceed from there. To paraphrase Howard Dean, if new facts contradict a theory, change the theory rather than trying to change the facts.

Emotional Affair: A mutual attachment to someone not an acknowledged romantic partner that is romantic but not sexual in nature and that takes time, energy, or other resources away from acknowledged romantic partner(s). This may be considered "cheating" or "infidelity" based on a relationship agreement.

Evidence-Based Treatment: A method of managing a medical condition that has been shown to be, overall, more effective than placebo or than a comparable treatment in multiple scientific studies. A surprising number of "evidence-based treatments" fly in the face of believers in interventionist medicine.

Facade of Neutrality (or Fallacy of Neutrality): Two related ideas: that it is possible or even desirable to remove ALL bias from an investigation or report, and that simply giving "equal time" to competing views constitutes being objective and neutral on a topic.

Failure To Thrive: The severe or prolonged failure of an infant or young child to grow as expected. While this can be considered a sign of child maltreatment, there is often an underlying medical cause. My older daughter was diagnosed with Failure To Thrive due to a medical condition, which was incredibly stressful for our family.

Feminism: I use the Merriam-Webster definition: 1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes 2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests. Sometimes, instead, I use the catch-phrase, "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."

Freaking the Mundanes: Deliberately scaring or irritating people who do not belong to your particular subculture, outside of the parameters of an actual political/social protest. Generally speaking, this is considered rude, obnoxious, and juvenile. See also "Dark Fluffy" and "Satanic Vampyre Elf".

Free-Range Parent: A parent who strongly believes in allowing a child to take rational, age-and-ability-appropriate risks and responsibilities. For example, a Free-Range Parent may allow a preteen to ride a bicycle alone or with a peer - but will still insist the young person wear a helmet. A Free-Range Kid is the child of a Free-Range Parent. Go here for more information.

GAF Score: Global Assessment of Functioning, a scale measuring current/recent psychological functioning from 1-100. A persistent score of 50 or below is considered "severely disabling"; a score of 20 or below (some would say 30 or below) is grounds for emergency psychiatric hospitalization. An equivalent scale for children is C-GAS, the Children's Global Assessment Scale.

GERD (or reflux): The full name for this medical condition is gastroesophogeal reflux disease. Basically, untreated GERD = constant or near-constant severely painful heartburn. My older daughter has GERD, which triggered Failure To Thrive as an infant.

Gifted and Talented (often shortened to G&T or just "gifted"): The description for someone, usually a child or youth, who shows actual or potential ability in academic, artistic, or (sometimes) athletic skills that significantly exceeds the ability of a typical individual.

Helicopter Parent (also Hover Mother): A parent (usually but not always a mother) who is unwilling to grant age-appropriate independence to her child. A Helicopter Parent might hold onto a preschool-age child the entire time the child is using playground equipment, might do a school-age child's homework, might insist on accompanying a teen to the restroom in a shopping mall, or might call potential employers on behalf of a son or daughter who is a recent college graduate before that son or daughter interviews with the employer.

Hell No List: If someone is on a "Hell No List", that means that not only is permission denied for any form of romantic or sexual involvement, but that the person is unwelcome in our home, and is not to be considered a friend or anything more than a distant acquaintance. See also: "Borderline Bitch", "No List", "Psychic Vampire" and "Veto".

Heterosexism (or heterocentrism): The privileging of opposite-sex romance and opposite-sex couples over the equivalent between members of the same sex. Heterosexism may or may not be conscious; it may or may not be malicious in intent.

Hoarding: The pathological acquisition of, and refusal to dispose of, items that objectively have less value than the hoarder is ascribing to them. A specific subclassification of this is "animal hoarding", which is living with significantly more animals than one can afford to take care of properly. See also "CHAOS".

HOLD!: SCA terminology that means "stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW for a serious personal safety reason, and wait for further instructions." Not to be used except in situations of genuine danger.

Homeschooling: Parents/guardians educating their children themselves rather than sending children to a public or private school. There are many different motivations for homeschooling, some of them sensible and understandable, and some lacking in Earth Logic or outright dangerous to the children themselves.

Homophobia: Deliberate and malicious heterosexism based on fear or hatred of homosexuality.

Hot Bi Babe: A bisexual female, usually young, reasonably conventionally attractive and otherwise unattached, that a heterosexual male pursues for purposes of having a threesome, bringing home to his bi-curious wife, etc.

Hot Bi Babysitter (also Unicorn): A Hot Bi Babe (as defined above) who is expected to move in with an existing couple, "liven up" that couple's marriage, and provide free housework and childcare.

I-Statement: A statement of the form "When you X, I feel Y, because Z." I-statements are something that I have a personal intense dislike for because they are, to me, the equivalent of a small child thinking, "I can get my way now because I said please!" It is my personal experience that I-Statements are often used as a vehicle to make unpleasant, inappropriate or outright verbally abusive content appear more acceptable.

Infidelity: Deceiving your romantic partner(s) on an ongoing basis about anything you know will particularly upset them if/when they find out, or deliberately breaking existing relationship agreements. This encompasses any deceit or broken agreement, not just those involving sexual or interpersonal interactions with other people.

Informal hierarchy: What usually develops in allegedly-egalitarian groups. Often more dysfunctional than the formal hierarchy that the group was trying to avoid having.

Interventionist Medicine: Medical practice grounded in the belief that active and aggressive treatment is always preferable to watchful waiting or less-aggressive treatments. Practitioners of interventionist medicine may be motivated by a sincere belief in medical science and distrust of anything that seems like "alternative medicine", or they may be influenced by fear of lawsuits, pharmaceutical marketing tactics, etc.

Invisible Disability: A medical condition or limitation that substantially and adversely affects a person's major life activities but that is NOT immediately apparent simply from casual interaction with that person.

LGAT: Large-Group Awareness Training. Go here for an overview of the term. Generally, I consider these a form of unlicensed psychotherapy, and therefore potentially dangerous to someone with existing mental health problems.

LGBTQ: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning. The "questioning" part acknowledges that there may be some people out there who aren't yet certain which, if any, of the LGBT letters fit.

Mage War Idiots: Either a) a certain group of people I used to hang out with in the late 1990s who seriously believed that Y2K would trigger a Great Magickal Awakening and societal apocalypse, or b) self-identified Pagans espousing similar nonsense. Basically, the Pagan version of Dominionists, though fortunately nowhere near as powerful (except in their own minds). See also "Borderline Bitch", "Dark Fluffy", and "Satanic Vampyre Elf".

Mania Addict: Someone who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and who is allowing the disorder to go untreated or under-treated due to the desire to continue "functioning" at a manic or hypomanic level, for whatever reason, regardless of the harm this does to the person or his/her associates. This concept comes from Jerod Poore's Walking Away From Mania in 12 Easy Steps, (sometimes casually referred to as "12 steps to stay ON drugs").

Mansplain: A particularly condescending form of "explanation" given by a man to a woman about "how the world really works."

Mature Content: Topics that would not generally be discussed, at least at great length, with young children, but can and should be discussed with adults and perhaps with older youth in a serious manner. NOT to be confused with "Adolescent Content".

Meatpuppet: Similar concept to "sockpuppet" - except while a "sockpuppet" is a second account controlled by the same person for the purpose of trolling, a "meatpuppet" is a different person, generally a close associate of the troll's, who joins a forum solely to support the troll. See "Troll" and "Sockpuppet".

Meds: Usually, but not always, refers to psychiatric medication.

Meds-Go-Round: Repeated instances of prescription changes for psychiatric medication due to unwanted (usually psychiatric) side effects.

Multigenerational Walkaway: Someone who was born into a cult/coercive religious group (or who was brought there by parents/guardians as a very young child) and has left, or is in the process of leaving, that group.

Nature Nut: Someone who believes that CAM approaches are always superior to conventional medicine, in every or nearly every situation, often to the point of denying conventional medical care to self and dependents, or insisting that anyone who seeks conventional medical treatment is brainwashed. I certainly do NOT believe that every user of CAM is a Nature Nut. See also "Boob Nazi" and "Anti-Psychiatry".

Nice Guy(tm): A man who wants cookies (see definition above), sexual attention, or both from women simply for not being an "asshole", however he defines "asshole".

No List: In a polyamorous relationship, a person outside the relationship is on the "No List" if one of that person's current partners has explicitly vetoed a romantic or sexual relationship between them. This does not preclude friendship. See "Veto", "Yes List", and "Hell No List".

Not My Dog: Interpersonal drama or an uncomfortable life circumstance affecting someone else that is not, and should not be, my problem. Also "Not Your Dog" if I need to remind someone else of this.

OSO: Other Significant Other - usually, but not always, a non-primary partner to someone who is polyamorous. Sometimes may also be a term for the person in a three-person primary relationship who is not part of the legal marriage.

Pain Level: Current level of pain or discomfort based on the Mankoski Pain Scale.

Parallel Economy: The "Christian" (actually Dominionist) practice of setting up businesses and agencies, particularly in broadcast media, health care, mental health, social services, and education, that are deliberately separated from mainstream agencies of similar types. One particularly disturbing reason for the "Parallel Economy", and the one I am the most likely to spend time addressing, is avoidance of unsympathetic mandated reporters of child abuse such as pediatricians and classroom teachers. See the links in the "Dominionist" definition for more information.

Passive Self-Harm: Failing to take a minimum reasonable level of self-care or failure to meet one's obligations in a way that will have serious negative consequences. Skipping meals because one cannot be bothered to eat or believes "I don't deserve food" is an example of passive self-harm, as is losing a job because one simply did not show up.

Person of Color: Someone who is not identified as and/or does not self-identify as white. Blanket term used unless a more specific term is appropriate.

Polyamory: Involvement, or potential for involvement, in more than one romantic/sexual relationship with all parties involved aware of and giving Clear And Affirmative Consent to these involvements.

Prejudice: Dislike or distrust based on someone's membership in a demographic or social group.

Primary Partner(s): The person or people a polyamorous individual is most strongly committed to.

Privilege: Possession of social advantage, often without conscious awareness or intent, based on membership in a demographic group.

Problematic Concept: Any term that I believe is an inherently problematic concept will probably have an entire post devoted to its "definition" (or definitions) and my problems with the definition(s).

Pro-Ana: A website or community that encourages individuals (usually young women in high school or college) to develop eating-disordered behaviors or to view eating disorders (especially anorexia) as a "lifestyle choice." Often circulates actively harmful "tips and tricks" for weight loss. NOT to be confused with Pro-ED.

Pro-ED: A website or community that encourages harm-reduction tactics for individuals who are currently struggling with eating-disordered behaviors. Often circulates "tips and tricks" for how to engage in disordered behaviors in the least harmful ways possible until the disordered individual chooses to seek recovery and/or debunks particularly harmful "tips and tricks" posted on Pro-Ana sites. The now-defunct Fat Like Me was an excellent example of a Pro-ED site. NOT to be confused with Pro-Ana.

Psychic Vampire: A person whose mere presence constitutes an ongoing drain of energy, spoons, ability to cope, etc. See also "Black Cloud", "Borderline Bitch", and "Drama".

Push-Away Youth: A person under the age of 21 who was encouraged, but not explicitly forced, to leave what was their shared home for what would generally be considered substandard living conditions elsewhere. Not to be confused with "Runaway Youth" or "Throwaway Youth" or with a "Walkaway".

Queer: An umbrella term that definitely applies to LGBTQ and may or may not apply to practitioners of other forms of alternative sexuality such as BDSM or polyamory. May be considered pejorative in some contexts; however, many younger people who self-identify as LGBTQ (myself included) have some interest in reclaiming the word as something more positive.

Quiverfull: A belief that sex should be restricted to heterosexual married couples, and that no contraceptive methods (including fertility awareness methods) should ever be used. Has considerable overlap with Dominionism, although it is possible to be involved in one or the other but not both.

RACK: Acronym for Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. "Safer Sex Practices" in a BDSM-specific context.

Racism: Prejudice directed at a person of color based on race, with the force of social and/or institutional power behind it. This can be deliberate or (relatively) unconscious.

Reproductive Choice: The unrestricted ability of a woman to decide if, when, and under what conditions she will conceive and bear children.

Runaway Youth: A person under the age of 21 who has deliberately left the home he or she shared with a parent or guardian, and cut ties with parents/guardians. Not to be confused with "Throwaway Youth" or "Push-Away Youth" or with a "Walkaway".

Safeword: BDSM concept - an agreed-upon word that means "stop what you are doing right now, I no longer consent." If no safeword has been agreed to, "I DO NOT CONSENT!" might serve as a default.

Safer Sex Practices: Acknowledgement that there are physical and emotional risks inherent in any sexual activity, communicating with one's intended partner(s) about methods of mitigating those risks, and continuing to follow the agreed-upon practices. Often oversimplifed to "use a condom when you have sex" but in reality means much more than that.

Same-Sex Marriage: A legally-recognized marriage between two adults of the same gender. I prefer this term to "gay marriage" because it does not assume that bisexual individuals a) will marry members of the opposite sex or b) are so incapable of commitment that they will not wish to marry at all.

Satanic Vampyre Elf: People (usually though not always teens or young adults) loosely associated with the SCA and similar groups who use the respectability of those groups as a cover/excuse for acting As Spooky As Possible, thereby annoying the people trying to participate within the group's intended parameters. Their activities differ from "Freaking the Mundanes" because they basically treat the people attempting to enjoy the original activity/setting as intended as if THEY are the "mundanes" to be freaked. See also "Mage War Idiots".

SCA: The Society for Creative Anachronism.

Self-Injury By Proxy: The practice of becoming involved in BDSM as a submissive as a substitute for active self-injury.

Sex-Positive: In a very general sense, the idea that sex is a normal and valuable part of human interaction, that sexuality is neither dirty and disgusting nor exceptionally sacred, and that most sexual arrangements entered into by consenting adults are OK, as long as all relative adults have given consent. NOT to be confused with "Do-Me Feminism." See also Clear and Affirmative Consent, Polyamory, RACK, and YKINOK.

Sexism: Prejudice directed at women, or at "feminine" activities/traits/etc, with the force of social and/or institutional power behind it. This can be deliberate or (relatively) unconscious.

Shiny Things: Items that are particularly pretty to look at and/or would be fun to own or use, but that are decidedly not necessities.

Size Acceptance: The belief that individuals may be healthy and happy despite having a Body Mass Index outside of the 19-24 range.

Society for Continued Adolescence: A particular subset of SCA members who tend to spend a lot of time on Adolescent Content and Drama. Some overlap with Satanic Vampyre Elves, though the two concepts are very much separate ones.

Sockpuppet: A second (or third, or...etc.) account created by a troll for the purposes of providing another "voice" in a given forum. If the second account is attached to an associate of the troll rather than to the original troll, that account is a "Meatpuppet". See "Troll" and "Concern Troll".

Snowflake (also Special Snowflake): Someone who believes that, when something is not a good idea for 90% of people, s/he should automatically be considered part of the other 10%. Repeatedly. See also "Borderline Bitch".

Spoons: A conceptualization of and metaphor for "total amount of physical energy and mental ability to cope." If you are unfamiliar with this concept, read this.

SSC: An acronym used in some BDSM groups that means "Safe, Sane and Consensual." I'm not fond of this one because of the difficulties in defining "safe" or "sane". See also "BDSM", "RACK", and "Safer Sex".

Steeplejacking: A practice by which a Dominionist group becomes active in a conventional, mainline Protestant church and gradually moves the congregation towards Dominionist beliefs and practices.

Suicidal Gesture: Suicide-like behavior that is unlikely to result in death - for example, a mild overdose of medication, or standing at the top of a building and threatening to jump.

Suicide Attempt: A suicidal action with a clear expectation of death - a serious overdose on multiple medications, or actually jumping off a building.

Tarzan: A person who consistently avoids leaving a romantic relationship until s/he has another one lined up. The term comes from the image of swinging from branch to branch, not letting go of one until another is firmly grasped.

That Guy: Someone, usually but not always a man, who comes across in an interaction as creepy, condescending or both. May or may not also be a Nice Guy(tm); however, Nice Guy(tm) tends to be a chronic description, whereas someone can temporarily "be That Guy" in a situation who isn't "That Guy" on a more day-to-day basis. For more information, read Don't Be That Guy by [personal profile] synecdochic.

Tone Argument (or Tone Fallacy): Any argument involving privilege in which a privileged person says to someone without the privilege under discussion anything to the effect of: "I would have been more willing to listen if you had been more polite." I call this the Tone Fallacy because this doesn't actually work.

Throwaway Youth: A person under the age of 21 who has been forced by a parent or guardian to leave what was their shared home. Not to be confused with "Runaway Youth" or "Push-Away Youth" or with a "Walkaway" (though many youth from Dominionist households may be Walkaways and Throwaways simultaneously).

Transgendered: An individual whose biological gender at birth does not match that individual's social or mental identification.

Troll: A commenter whose wishes to disrupt a forum or get angry reactions rather than to engage in meaningful dialogue, but who usually makes at least some attempt to be subtle. See also "Concern Troll" and "Derailing".

Twice-Exceptional: The description for someone, usually a child or youth, who simultaneously is Gifted and Talented and has a significant disability (usually, but not always, either a learning disability or a mental illness; often, both of these).

Unicorn Chasing: The practice of a couple consisting of a heterosexual male and bisexual or bi-curious female seeking an unattached, usually younger, bisexual female to "complete our family." See "Hot Bi Babysitter".

Unschooling: A philosophy of homeschooling that states, roughly, that children will learn what they need to know when they are ready to learn it. I tend to disagree with unschoolers in practice because they tend to believe, for example, that a child who learns to read after age six is "learning at the child's own pace" but a child who learns to read before age six "must have been pushed by Competitive Parents." See also: "Competitive Parenting" and "Homeschooling".

Veto: In a polyamorous relationship, to make clear to one's partner that it is unacceptable to be romantically and/or sexually involved with a specific person. A person who may make that call for a partner is said to have Veto Rights.

Walkaway: Someone who has left, or is in the process of leaving, a cult or coercive group. NOT to be confused with "Runaway", "Throwaway", or "Push-Away", although a young person may simultaneously be a Walkaway and one of those things.

Wank: Extended arguing in a public forum over something relatively meaningless. Debates around issues of privilege are, by definition, meaningful and thus are NOT wank.

What About The Mens?: A persistent form of derailing of feminist discussion that insists the matter under discussion is equally or MORE problematic for men than it is for women, or that the societal change being discussed or worked for would have an overwhelmingly negative effect on men and thus should not happen. See "Check Your Privilege", "Concern Troll", and "Derailing".

Yes List: For someone in a polyamorous relationship, a "Yes List" is a list of individuals that that person has discussed forming a romantic and/or sexual relationship with, and has the approval of current partner(s) to do so. Despite the term, a "Yes List" can have only one person on it - or nobody at all!

YKINOK: Acronym for Your Kink Is Not OK. Usually this means the desired activity involves someone who cannot consent (such as a minor), involves someone who does not consent, or is inherently extremely unsafe. See also "BDSM", "Bystander Consent", and "RACK".

Date: 2009-04-13 04:57 pm (UTC)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
From: [personal profile] cesy
I love your definition of Adolescent Content.

Also, this is quite a handy reference list for when people don't know particular terms. Thank you for posting.
Edited Date: 2009-04-13 04:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-13 05:41 pm (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
I can tell just from these terms that I'm going to find your posts interesting reading. (Although I dislike the term "boob nazi" as well.)

Date: 2009-04-14 07:59 pm (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
I had no idea it was a self-ascribed term. Wow.

*mind boggles*

Date: 2009-04-13 06:01 pm (UTC)
damned_colonial: Convicts in Sydney, being spoken to by a guard/soldier (Default)
From: [personal profile] damned_colonial
I love "mansplain". I usually refer to it as Male Answer Syndrome, or MAS. I have a set of memories on LJ for MAS, but I think most of the posts where it occurred are now locked.

Date: 2009-04-13 11:48 pm (UTC)
lindra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lindra
I am in love with this list. So much clarify! Is it okay to refer to these definitions from elsewhere? (eg., 'See definition of [term] at passerine's entry [link].')

Date: 2009-04-13 11:49 pm (UTC)
lindra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lindra
Er, 'clarity', i r smrt. Also, there are concepts here that I have been wishing for definitions of for ages - 'depressed.as.fuck', is one, and 'Depressed Logic' is another. Because 'irrational' just doesn't apply.

Date: 2009-04-14 07:37 pm (UTC)
vampwillow: me, sortof (cartoon)
From: [personal profile] vampwillow
This is a wonderful list! (and yes, I was doing the stalking 101 thing of seeing who the person was who'd commented on my DDW - invisionary - was) and yes, unicorns ... ;-0

ps. You omitted "Bi-curious (female)" for which my usual working definition is "Name given by a male to the woman he thinks he would like to watch in bed with another woman even though she doesn't know this and might discover she prefers it and doesn't want him watching at all" (I've never seen 'bi-curious male')

Date: 2009-04-14 08:23 pm (UTC)
vampwillow: skyline graphic (Default)
From: [personal profile] vampwillow
ah yes, the 'whatami' question. I had an ex who hadn't (pre meeting me, ahem) 'done a deed' with either sex but was happy declaring herself as lesbian. Her argument - and undeniable - is that why should society label everyone as str8 until they (supposedly) 'know' when being gay might just as well be the default. And as her intent, even though unrealised when we first met, was women-identified-as-sexual-interest then she reckoned that was the right thing to do.

Personally, I came out as Bi aged 12 at school, and whilst I will still use that as my 'political' sexuality, in practice (95%) my relationships have been lesbian. One doesn't negate the other, of course.

I've not come across someone using 'bi-curious' about themselves before, only used by men as "I'm str9 but my gf is bi-curious" (usually when looking for HBBs!)

Date: 2009-04-15 06:31 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
My boyfriend usually considers himself bi-curious, when he's labeling. It does happen occasionally. I prefer "questioning" as a term for that sort of space, but to each their own.

Date: 2009-04-15 11:01 am (UTC)
vampwillow: skyline graphic (Default)
From: [personal profile] vampwillow
Ah yes.

First there was "Gay"
then "Lesbian and Gay"
then "LGBT" or "LGBT*"
finally "LGBTTQQOS..."

Labels are, at the end of the day, for tins so we don't have custard on our vegetables ;-P

Date: 2009-04-16 12:03 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
It has become terribly elaborate.

Date: 2009-04-15 06:33 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
That is a heck of a glossary!

Despite having been what I suppose some people would call "unschooled" (aside from algebra and some informal classes chosen by me, my homeschooling consisted largely of a library card, a microscope, and a lot of art supplies), I find many of the people who use the term rather...hmmm...self-righteous? But I have issues with a lot of the homeschooling movement, particularly how vehement many of the parents are about how it is the One True Educational Way and the near-total lack of voices of the grown-up homeschooled kids about their experiences. One of these days I will write essays.

Date: 2009-04-16 12:03 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
Our local homeschool group was fairly sane--more on the crunchy granola end of the spectrum, with a few exceptions. I find even the saner homeschoolers now a bit puzzling, though--homeschooling isn't practical for everyone, and it's not suited to the temperaments of all children.

A lot of the religious homeschoolers scare me, though. Brr.

(My first grade teacher was convinced my mean mean parents were forcing me to read Shakespeare. I think my whole first grade experience was a large part of why I leapt at the chance to homeschool when my parents asked me.)

Date: 2009-04-20 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
here via [personal profile] synecdochic and commenting to say a) "cool: thanks for sharing", b)"adding you to my reading list", and c) I wish there were an efficient way to differentiate the passive-aggressive misuse of I-statements, from I-statements used properly...according to manufacturer's instructions, so to speak. ::sighs::

Date: 2009-04-20 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
Hmm. Now I'm curious as to whether we understand "I-statement" to mean different things.

The way I usually see it (mis)used is "When you [action, often framed subjectively], I feel [reactive self-talk], because [judgment or prescription]" like for instance, "when you act all melodramatic, I feel like you think you're more important than me, because you know how it makes me worry but you do it anyway" which is useless at best and more likely counterproductive: no useful information has been conveyed, but many potentially-provoking 'fighting words'.

The method I understand for employing an I-statement usefully relies on forming it "when you [objectively demonstrable action], I feel [emotion], and [reason related to safety--or for advanced users, communication effectiveness]". Which might yield, for the situation that could've also produced the above example: "when you say that your life isn't worth living, I feel worried that you may hurt yourself." or "When you say 'nobody understands me' I feel frustrated, because my attempts to understand don't seem to be working."
Then in either case, the appropriate next step is to either state your own limit, or ask for problem-solving, other techniques frequently misused by people who think that sticking "I feel that" on the front of "you're a jerk" somehow hides the fact that they're still calling someone a jerk.

I could see how someone who's been subject to a lot of misused I-statements could develop a distaste for the format even when it's being used appropriately. And I think they're misrepresented by some proponents as being a basic skill of broad applicability, when actually they require a fair amount of awareness and restraint, in situations where those are harder to come by.

My mileage... I've never experienced I-statements from within a heterosexual marriage, so that's a big difference. My experience using them with straight white men has been limited but positive, my experience using them with women has been greater and much more mixed. Tenatively, I'd say they work least well when anyone in the interaction is using Depressed Logic (which I'm tickled to see someone else sees as distinctive enough to merit it's own label; I've been privately thinking of it as Victim Thinking).

We may just disagree. It's interesting to contemplate anyway; at least, I think so. I hope you don't mind my contemplating in your comments. Thanks for the opportunity!

Date: 2009-04-20 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
I-statements become a mandated or socially enforced expectation for "civil discourse" on a forum, ... "I don't have to listen to you because you didn't use an I-statement."

Oh, now that's just ICKY.
I have never had that experience--was not even aware spaces existed where that was a norm. The closest I've come is the Tone Argument.

Re: responsibility for someone else's irrational feelings: I hear that. I don't want anybody holding me responsible for how they feel, either.


Date: 2009-05-02 01:03 am (UTC)
tiltingheartand: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tiltingheartand
So I was attempting to find someone's DW handle by clicking every single person one of my other friends had subscribed to, and then I accidentally found this, and, funny story: the three of us were just talking about this post last weekend! Or, uh, this past weekend, to be more specific.

Also, funny story, I'm fairly certain my dad is a Tarzan. (And by that I mean "he's done it twice, and I can't really tell if he will again, but I wouldn't be surprised".) Thank you for this post, though; I knew a bunch of these terms but the rest of them were terribly helpful. :D

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