We have received a MASSIVE influx of submissions over the last two days, thanks to the wholly unexpected (and much appreciated) media coverage this blog has attracted.
The stories of course, break our hearts and spark fury in our minds. However, some of the submissions we have received have something of a disturbing reactivity to them that we wanted to address:
This blog DOES NOT and WILL NEVER advocate for any sort of legislation that restricts access to transit for people with mental illnesses or people living in poverty. We have tried to make this clear in our interviews, but unfortunately, our statements on this matter have largely been cut from the coverage pertaining to this project.
People with mental illness are not the source of the problem.
People living in poverty and people living on the streets are not the source of the problem.
We are very uncomfortable with this discursive track and would like to make our feelings on this plain. We maintain that the heart of the problem is inequitable gender socialization (and, in some cases, plain ol’ shit-disturbing disrespect). Being that we are not mental health professionals, we are not qualified to speculate on whether or not harassment is exacerbated by a mental illness. When we equate rude, abusive or antisocial behaviour with mental illness, we further ostracise an already massively marginalized population. We will not publish stories that make this kinds of speculations in a cruel or dismissive way, even if we feel that the rest of the story is full of legitimate complaints.
Thank you for your understanding.