Sunday, September 27, 2009

Important Thinky Thoughts

So, I have hit a bit of a wall. I have begun narrowing down my group of activists and perspectives that fit what I agree with. This has left me with a group of people who I respect and who have perspectives that I value. There is a recurring theme within this group. They are largely trans women, women of color, people with disabilities and various combinations of each.

One thing that is very common is a rejection of feminism, not for the same reasons that many antifeminists do either. This rejection comes from the fact that feminists have and continue to engage in oppressive behaviors towards these groups and ignore the intersections which affect these people the most. And when called on it, a great deal of feminists will get pissed at the person telling them "hey, you are standing on my neck!" instead of examining their praxis, or their groups ideas to see if they are truly exclusionary. Then the whole thing turns into accusations of personal attacks and nothing ever gets DONE.

I think the problem is in labeling ourselves as feminists. We end up making it a part of our identity instead of a tool to help us achieve our aims. I don't know about you, but my aim is to end oppression, and I focus on oppression based on gender. Hence why I use feminism as my major tool. That is the only way that an anti-oppression ideology can work, in my view. It must be a tool.

There is a danger in making an identity out of an ideology. It leads to fighting about identities instead of discussing actions. It prevents us from being able to critically examine our theories and praxis and revise them when necessary. It renders our ideology and our actions insufficient, impotent and infertile because we end up missing the needs of those who truly need to be helped.

I'm considering eventually dropping the identification of feminist and instead becoming someone who uses feminism as a tool. I'm not sure I want a word for that...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fuck Godwin's, I'm Pissed

Just a note to the entire fucking world.

Lets talk about appropriation. Specifically the appropriation of suffering. More specifically the appropriation of specific events that don't affect you personally as a code word for some other considerably lesser things that has upset you.

A good example you be comparing anything that isn't rape to rape. Example: "The IRS really raped me this year." Paying your taxes=/=not rape.

The example that I would like to specifically address though, is comparing anything to Nazis, Hitler or the Holocaust that has no direct ties to any of these things. Someone saying something that you don't like or disagree with IS IN NO FUCKING WAY LIKE NAZI GERMANY. Using this a silencing tactic against those you have societal power over, that is an asshole thing to do.

How dare you take this incredible tragedy that my family and other have experienced and use it against oppressed people, or anyone for that matter, as a silencing weapon. Do you have any idea what it is like to live with the knowledge that you could not ever have existed simply because of who you are? I don't think you do. Until the day that you look at a picture of someone who looks almost exactly like you or your sibling, or your parent, and you look at the little piece of paper telling you which camp they were sent to and when they died and what number was tattooed on their fucking arm, you don't fucking know. Until you feel the weight of "that could have been me," then you don't fucking know. Until you realize that you live in a world that for the most part considers people who would rather see you dead than share oxygen with you and these same people are considered the "reasonable" side, YOU WILL NEVER FUCKING KNOW. Until you have to adjust to living your life each day knowing that this could be your last day because your very existence threatens someones fragile ego, and a jury of THEIR peers think that protection of that ego makes murdering you a reasonable reaction, YOU WILL NEVER FUCKING KNOW.

Comparing an anything to that event that is not also genocide and/or the systematic destruction of several groups of people, many of whom are still facing oppression world-wide and making this comparison as a person of privilege makes you some of the scummiest scum that ever did scum. It trivializes the suffering of millions of people for the sake of your pwecious fucking ego. And just know that this gender-queer, Jewish dyke does not approve and will verbally force you to eat your pwecious ego. Without sauce.

Caroline Ann? This is for you and your fake-ass "apology"

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Get out of your own way please

Have you heard? Apparently institutional sexism, gender stereotyping, and social pressure NO LONGER MATTER! WHEEEEEEEEE! Glass ceilings only exist because we obey them! USA! HOPE! CHANGE! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! ::spins frantically and falls down::

According to Rachel Simmons, author of a new book about how oppression is totes the fault of the oppressed, we ladies are just "pressuring ourselves" to fit the mold of "good girl." The article writer PROVE IT with her RIVETING ANECDOTES!

The book's author and the article writer almost get it, but then back right down. Girls and women face particular pressures that are contradictory, so its our fault that we don't succeed? WHAT? To a point, yes, we all have to take a certain amount of responsibility for the choices we make in our lives, but if we brush off the pressures of society and how that influences our choices and the consequences of those choices then we are not actually going to see a change in the structures that continue these situations.

There was also the delicious irony of the ads on the page while I was reading the article. Particularly the Accuquote life insurance ad:


(If you can't see/read it, the ad is a picture of a little girl, bent over a grave that says "FATHER" on it, and the copy reads: "If you died today, who would take care of your family?")

The irony is almost enough to make my head explode.