This article is a Stub. It needs more clarity, organization, and dialogue.
Here's a dump of our end of a convo on attempting to define our oppressors, and why defining our oppressors is important. — Crisses, 9/19/18
I could see the problem with singleton because it could be considered to be derived from simpleton in an insulting way — even though it's NOT derived by plurals from simpleton in an insulting way (it has a similar derivation, but wasn't derived from it)— it was an actual word before we started using it to describe non-plurals.
Ok, so we all started moving away from it and made a less bothersome word for non-plurals. And now some people have a problem with singlet.
They're allowed to label plurals with disorders, lock us away, etc. but we can't put a name to what they are. Before you know it, white people will demand not to be called white because it's insulting. And straight people will refuse to be labeled straight. And cis… and so on. And yes, it IS insulting to be labeled against your will, but not as insulting as being in the marginalized and stigmatized cohort who needs to be able to point a finger at those who are oppressing them.
Sorry, but the marginalized group gets to pick the labels. And we're being nice and taking people's objections into consideration — but frankly, we do not have to.
They belong to a cohort of people. Pick a label, we'll use it. Or, we will pick one for them.
"Multiples" derives from mulitple personality disorder. Many have chosen "plural" to escape that umbrella and its stigma, and to be more inclusive of other experiences and perspectives than just the highly stigmatizing psychology models.
And oh, "Normal" is not an option to describe non-plurals. Already makes me writhe to hear "neurotypical" because "typical" is still far too close to NORMAL.
Using the same word as a piece of clothes with a secondary physics/mathematical meaning is insulting? or is it just that there's an implication that we can now call out our oppressors?
So fed up with this.
Ok, so here's a conundrum. You can address people as individuals in daily life, and maybe your circles don't have you bumping into other plurals and needing to discuss a larger conversation about system advocacy, oppression, etc. Maybe you don't write articles, or record videos, or podcasts. Maybe you're not giving workshops, or writing books.
But we are. All of that and more.
We don't have the option to give the non-plural world a "buy" on language or skip pointing out their privilege and our lack of privilege or oppression. Because that's the work we're doing. And we'll be sitting in front of rooms of professionals basically diplomatically showing them how far their heads are up their ass with regards to how we plurals are treated.
So right now, I'm calling it the "singlet-normative" view of society, and how that limits us, robs us of our voices, how that singlet-normative view allows directors to make more Jekyll/Hyde films and keep shoving us back into the 19th Century in the eyes of our surrounding society.
If you don't like it — give me an alternative. But that book, those lectures, recordings, articles, and workshops, are in progress and going out into the world. And not pointing a finger at the problem is not an option.
In terms of "singlet-normative" a simple search-replace could change that in many places to "single-normative" — but if no one wants that either, then give me an alternative. Because I've already changed simpleton-to-singlet in many places online to accommodate complaints about it, and thinking well things change and I wrote some of this stuff 15 years ago, and if that's not a PC word and not to be used, I'll fix it.
But I'm not going to keep fixing it. "Singleton" is in the dictionary. "Singlet" is in the dictionary. If you don't want people to pick a word for you, then plurals will pick a word for you.
It's very frustrating to lock down language in the first place, and there's a lot of language in the plural world to define and lock down.
We have the World Hearing Voices congress in the Hague last week acknowledging that many of their members are plural. We have the US Alternatives peer conference with plural breakout sessions, and Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference, too.
So if we're all under the bigger umbrella of "plural" (and feel free to opt out individually, but dragging multiple personality disorder around like a ball and chain is not a bright idea), what are those who are not-plural? You really don't want our answer to that question, so let's find something agreeable.
By saying “don’t call us white” we erase black oppression — don’t like “cis”? Too bad. — don’t want to be called straight? Or neurotypical?
The oppressed pick the language and it doesn’t have to be nice. Because nice isn’t the point.
…and silencing us and not allowing us to point out problems and define the language we need to discuss oppression is part of epistemic injustice. At some point we plurals have to stop letting singles/singlets/singletons/whatever control OUR narrative. We are oppressed, and as long as we don’t have language to describe our oppression we can’t even bitch about it.
30 years ago we were barely allowed into a room with one another. If multiples are in the same room they might discover more alters or break their brains.
What happens when we really get together? We talk and compare notes about how we are the same and about the unjust things done to us by friends, family, professionals, the media....
<Suggestion to prepend "non-" to the group being described i.e. "non-DID" "non-dissociative disorders">
The oppression is not simply the oppression of people with DID or a dissociative disorder. Because say we all achieve functional multiplicity. Now we are simply plural, no longer dysfunctionally plural. But the cultural system continues to oppress us.
We have THOUSANDS of multiples, if not hundreds of thousands or millions, aiming for functional multiplicity. Now is the time to make society ready for us. Period. Because it will take 40 years (if trans rights are any indication) to make inroads to even getting on the map.
Since I am 49, I may not see the day when plurals get their rights, but I’m very happy to fight the fight for y’all younger folk and those who follow you....
Consider it payback for all the disabled and queers when I was born fighting for rights I enjoy today.
In other words: we don't personally have a problem with singlet or singleton.
Some people said "oh those poor people! Let's not label them with 'singleton' it sounds so offensive!!" so we changed to "singlet". Now someone's finding that offensive.
Perhaps the world needs a little offense.
"I'm not white, I'm pink."
"I'm not cis, I'm just normal."
We don't run around calling white people "non-blacks" and cis people "not-trans".
<Why not "non-??"?>
Because it's missing the point.
The people in power control the narrative.
Because "Non-Black" does not cover white people. Because "non-trans" does not cover cis people.
I am hispanic white and have brown hispanic children. They are non-black but they are not the oppressors. Now I have to say "Non people-of-color"?
"But I have color — I'm pink!"
The point is to label and not allow the oppressors the luxury of fighting it.
This explains the 2 types of epistemic injustice perpetrated on oppressed people.
This is the controlling the narrative problem.
No language to describe the injustices, and no credibility to explain the injustices.
We're talking language here — but next someone says "don't believe them, they're crazy — believe the others because they're singlet-minded and thus more credible witnesses of whether there's injustice being served."
<A suggestion to…>
"Define by their actual race"???
When you're talking about systemic injustice I'm going to name all the races of the people in the room? "The Russian-Amercian, the Irish-American, the Italian-American, the Anglican-American..... all got into a room and made a law against us."
<mountains from molehills>
It's a mountain already. Has been since before I was born.
I have about a 50-slide presentation to show professionals the myriad ways they abuse their DID/OSDD/P-DID/etc. clients.
They're the gatekeepers of society, they both enforce and define what is "normal". It's a back-n-forth. Society pressures them, they change the rules. Or they make a rule, and society buys into it.
<have I digressed?>
Centuries of oppression of people being plural. I have not digressed. When you look at movements for civil rights, there are things in common. The Queer movement borrowed momentum from the civil rights movement. The Disability movement for rights came right on their coattails. Then the trans movement. We have the Mad movement, etc. There's a lot going on — the neurodivergence movement. People are tired of being told they're less-than and being limited because of it.
There's a significant overlap between Trans and Plural. So much so that there was a time when people who were both were not allowed to transition.
Not to say that ALL of either are either. But the venn diagram is actually overlapping to a reasonable extent, and to be told you can't have trans rights because you are not mentally organized in a way that we like is denial of rights.
The gatekeepers at work.
In any case, I write a lot about this stuff, I'll be grabbing thing I said here (not that others said, that I said) to the section on the site for plural movement/rights. Because I don't want to lose this conversation (even if only our side of it) from the larger narrative.