Sensitivity Reading

Hello, dear readers! I have something different for you today. I am offering my services as a sensitivity reader. As such, the tone of this entry is going to be different than my usual profanity-ridden, plain language snark.

Here we go.

Education

  • B.A., Biological Sciences, Smith College
  • M.S., Biomedical Sciences, Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Sciences
    • Thesis topic: Use of linear after-the-exponential PCR with finicky molecular beacons to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms in KRAS oncogene

Writing Experience

  • Professional medical writing & editing, 3 years
  • Hobbyist original fiction and fanfiction writing, 25 years
    • Winner, Two Sisters Writing & Publishing “It’s All Dialogue” Contest (2017)
    • Honorable Mention, TulipTree Publishing “Stories That Need to Be Told” Contest (2017)

Sensitivity Reading Topics

I offer sensitivity reading services for the following identities with the caveat that these identities, like human beings, are all multifaceted and complex. My services–indeed, the services of any individual sensitivity reader–do not guarantee that every reader will find portrayals respectful and accurate when viewing the work through their individual lens.

  • LGBTQ+
    • Asexual representation
    • Gray-asexual and demisexual representation
    • Nomaromantic representation
    • Lesbian representation
  • Neurodivergence
    • Major depressive disorder
    • Generalized anxiety disorder
    • Social anxiety
    • Selective mutism
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Complex post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Dissociative identity disorder
    • Bulimia nervosa
    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Other specified feeding/eating disorder
    • Borderline personality disorder
    • Autisticness
    • Sensory processing disorder
    • Auditory processing disorder
    • Executive dysfunction
    • Chronagnosia
    • Prosopagnosia
  • Abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Abusive parents
    • Leaving abusive situations
  • Religion
    • Judaism
    • Religious conversion
    • Ex-Christian issues
    • Religious trauma
  • Feminist and gender issues
    • Being a woman in STEM
    • Mainstream feminism (and its failings)
    • Feminism through disability and neurodivergent lenses
    • Femme identity/presentation

Rates

These rates include a full read-through of your manuscript, after which I will deliver a 1-3 page brief analyzing your representation of the identities for which I am reading and, if necessary, suggesting revisions based on my analysis. You are welcome to email me with follow-up questions afterward. If you wish to book me as a sensitivity reader, please email me at arzinzani90@gmail.com.

Note: Upon booking me, I will send you an invoice for my services. You must send me 50% of the agreed-upon rate at that point. I will not begin my sensitivity read until I have received this payment. The remaining amount will be paid after I complete my services.

Rates are as follows:

  • 5,000 – 10,000 words: $75
  • 10,000 – 15,000 words: $125
  • 15,000 – 30,000 words: $175
  • 30,000 – 60,000 words: $225
  • 60,000 – 100,000 words: $275
  • 100,000+ words: $275 + $0.005 per word

I will read work in the following genres:

  • Young adult
  • New adult
  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Suspense/thriller
  • Horror

I will not read the following genres:

  • Romance, including erotica
  • Historical fiction

I look forward to working with you!

-Amaranthe

Blaming Abuse on Neurodivergence (Is Ableist)

Content/trigger warning: discussion of abuse throughout, including a specific example of gaslighting, ableist slurs (censored)

A while back, I wrote an entry on how “n*rc*ss*st*c abuse” is not a thing. But to be honest, I have never been satisfied with that entry. I felt as though it did not get my point across. This may be because it was little more than a fleshed-out Twitter thread from back when I tried to do Twitter threads. (It turns out that my brain and conceptualizing complex ideas into 280-character–fragments are not friends.) I have deleted the entry, and am just going to reiterate the points that I feel I did at least a passable job making in that entry here:

  • Describing abuse with an adjective that applies to a neurodivergent condition implies that the neurodivergent condition caused the abuser to be abusive
  • Emotional abuse is real and traumatic, but it is ableist to refer to emotional abuse perpetrated by an abuser who felt that they had to tear down the victim in order to make themselves feel better as “n*rc*ss*st*c abuse”
    • You can just say “emotional abuse” instead, or “self-serving emotional abuse” if you want to be more specific
  • Some (but not all, as far as I have been able to determine) people with NPD consider “n*rc*ss*st” to be a slur when used pejoratively, including when it is used as part of the phrase “n*rc*ss*st*c abuse” (or, oh I don’t know, on a subreddit called “Raised by N*rc*ss*sts”)
  • I am extremely upset at other ND people, particularly others with abuse-related PTSD, engaging in the lateral saneism of calling what traumatized them “n*rc*ss*st*c abuse” or saying they have “n*rc*ss*st*c abuse syndrome”

However, what I feel like I did not adequately convey is that no neurodivergent condition causes a person to be abusive. I did mention that, but I feel like I didn’t elaborate on it enough. So I will use this entry to describe Mara’s Theory of Neurodivergent Conditions and Suckitude.

Unfortunately, it seems to be a sad truth that people of all populations are capable of sucking; no matter how many (or how few) marginalized groups a person belongs to, it is still possible for them to be disrespectful, toxic, etc. Anyone can have character flaws that cause them to suck. Sometimes, people who suck are neurodivergent. Since neurodivergence affects who a person is on a fundamental level, a sucky person’s neurodivergence may lead them to suck in a particular way. As such, sucky people who share a particular neurodivergent condition may show patterns in their suckitude. However, they do not suck because they are neurodivergent; they suck because they suck. Neurodivergence simply informs how they suck.

A corollary (is that the right word? I haven’t done advanced math since college) to Mara’s Theory of Neurodivergence and Suckitude is that if a neurodivergent person abuses someone, their neurodivergence may have informed what kind of abusive actions they took, but it did not make them abusive. My abuser, for instance, told me that I could not have depression because she had depression and she would have recognized it. If she hadn’t been depressed, she wouldn’t have said that, but she certainly would have said some other gaslighting bullshit. (In fact, she has, multiple times; my favorite is that I lied to all 20something of the psych professionals I have seen about having depression symptoms because I think being depressed is ~*~cool~*~.)

This is also why armchair diagnosing a sucky person is ableist. (I’ve discussed this before, especially in my entry about why I fucking hate it when people armchair diagnose Tr*mp, but I feel like reiterating it.) I mean, armchair diagnosis is de facto ableist—the primary purpose of a diagnosis is to help the person with the diagnosis understand what is happening with them and address it, and if a diagnosis does not serve that purpose, then fuck that—but armchair diagnosing a sucky person is ableist because it is based on the ableist and untrue idea that neurodivergence causes suckitude.

The tl;dr of this entry is that no neurodivergent condition causes a person to be abusive, which is why using a phrase that indicates that a particular neurodivergent condition (NPD, in the case of “n*rc*ss*st*c abuse”) causes abuse is ableist and wrong.

P.S. No, I’m not sure why I decided to name this entry in the style of an early aughts emo song. I’m not particularly good with titles.