Listen Up, Kristin (of Dirty Signs With Kristin, @thfemale)

Uploaded by citizenvee on 29.06.2012

Hello, my name is Victoria. I am a culturally deaf person,
and I use ASL as my primary language of communication.
I want to go ahead and talk about your "Dirty Signs with Kristin" videos.
To begin with, I feel really sad about it all.
Don't get me wrong, I have the best sense of humour ever.
My deaf friends and I love getting creative about our signs;
but trust me, the shit we come up with trumps yours infinity times.
Kristin, what you're doing is IGNORANT.
It doesn't help deaf people at all.
We get enough shit already when it comes
to paternalism, audism, cultural oppression, phonocentrism,
and general ignorance about what Deaf culture looks like.
I was looking through your youtube video comments,
and I was shocked to see how you completely ignored deaf people and their voices.
I noticed a response you made:
How patronizing, you need to check your hearing privilege.
Acknowledging your incredible shortcomings does not make what you're doing at all right.
You don't seem to be listening to deaf people at all,
so why would anyone of us want to correct your signs?
Especially when you use our language--the language of an oppressed minority--
as a way of perpetuating racism, sexism and audism.
I am a deaf woman,
do you really think i will want to carry on a conversation with a hearing person
who thinks it's funny to learn signs like:
"fucking you is like throwing a hotdog down a hallway"
or--even more galling--"less talk, more anal."? disgusting
What the hell? Even today, we are STILL fighting for the right to use our language.
ANY public use of sign language is fraught with deeply political messages.
When I use american sign language in public, amongst hearing people,
it is an act of disobedience and resistance against "The Man".
You're not doing shit to help deaf people in this regard.
You're only making a joke of ASL, and reducing it to signs
that befit the paternalistic view of deaf people as objects to be manipulated.
As my friend Elena commented on the dailydot article about your videos:
There is a difference between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange.
What you are doing is not cultural exchange, but cultural appropriation.
If it were, you'd have--amongst other things--captioned your videos to make them accessible to deaf people.
That is one of the many reasons why what you are doing is not cultural exchange.
also, your disclaimer says:
If it was just with your friends, why put it all on the internet if not as an attention-seeking manoevre?
You are simply exploiting deaf people and deaf culture for internet popularity.
Now that St. Martin's is intending to publish your smutty signs book,
you are also exploiting us for financial gain. that's awful!
The best way to learn ASL, Kristin, is to participate in the deaf community and make deaf friends.
Stop posting unfunny and offensive shit on the internet
and have real conversations with deaf people.
ASL is so much more than a badly executed "twat waffle"
and the internet needs to know that, too.
Please just stop.