Naming the Problem vs Scoring Points for Slur-Slinging
Sometimes, I write unpopular posts. They are unpopular because they make people uncomfortable. They make people uncomfortable because I don’t jump on bandwagons, I don’t join the fray, I don’t like adopting and using catchy slogans or mantras just to gain points with the ‘socially aware’. When people jump on band wagons because it feels like they are doing the ‘right thing’ according to frenzied activists, the ability to analyze reality is lost. And when you can no longer stand back and analyze what is going on, you don’t realize the harm that you’re doing to people who have more in common with you than you think. You don’t realize that you’ve lost sight of what you thought you were joining up with and what your purpose was in the first place.
It is irresistible to attack women. We have ALL felt that, and all people do it, often without realizing it. It is so normalized, and there really is a feel-good effect of taking down a woman you think has over-stepped in some way. I wouldn’t be surprised if we found pleasure-producing, chemical effects in the brain following attacking an uppity woman. No matter what your credo is, there is an underlying current running through us that women must be perfect, self-effacing, and no matter what place they hold in the male-created hierarchy, they are to blame for allowing it to be so. Even experienced radical feminists are tainted by this lifelong brainwashing that creates an automatic, negative, woman-blaming response to social phenomena and every single evil in the world. It really takes a massive effort and commitment to learn to condition yourself to stop and look at what is really going on.
I read a lot of feminist blogs – not just current stuff, but posts published within the last 8-10 years, and this phenomenon can be seen everywhere. It is incredible how many posts begin with or eventually devolve into woman-castigation, usually riding the wave of intersectionality. If you start off a feminist post or discussion with open disgust for educated women, academic women, white collar women, (supposedly) rich women, able-bodied women, Western women, young women, white women, heterosexual women, married women, childless women, or some combination of the above, you’ve lost me a bit. You’ve meandered off the feminist path and are demonstrating your male-identification. There is a difference between critique and blame. There is a difference between naming the real underlying problem and scoring points for using a tired, smug, bullshit cliché (‘privileged white woman’ and ‘privileged white feminist’ are the most overused, but feel like magic on your tongue) to slam a group that is unpopular in current liberal times, convenient to pick on, and not actually at the root of what you’re complaining about. I mean, I get it. I have particular groups of women that fucking piss me off, and I could rail on them all day. Would it solve anything by shaming them into silence – just like a man would do? Absolutely not. They are women and they are trying to survive in the same world the rest of us are. They may have different conditions presented to them, but they have the same central reason for being targeted that we all do. And no woman is omniscient. No woman can be all things to all people. No matter what you think all her advantages are, she is still part of the underclass and blaming her for not doing enough to see every other person’s point of view as she navigates her survival as a woman, is unreasonable, and frankly, exactly what men want and need in order to maintain their power.
When you really back things up, you’ll find that penis dominance and petty rewards for penis worship are at the root of pretty much everything. If you need to think about that for a moment, ask yourself, ‘Would this shit exist if men didn’t exist?’ We can’t answer that definitively, but you can actually break something down by asking key ‘why’ questions. Why does this particular group of women react this way? Why do these women hold these particular views? Why can’t these particular women see or understand my particular perspective? Why does it seem like these women hate meeeee? And when you answer that – and I mean a real answer, not a knee-jerk, unthinking “Because they are privileged” – you’ll find that male dominance is there running the show, providing the shitty and limited options to women. Women haven’t created the oppression that women experience in this world. That is the important thing that we need to remember and that most forget. In fact, it’s a little presumptuous and self-centred to expect other women to alleviate every one of your specific oppressions for you. Your anger is justified, but it’s pointed at the wrong person/people. Ask the ‘why’ questions and explore reality and who your allies are.
After you ask and answer the why-questions, you can easily see that women appear to take on oppressive, ‘privileged’ positions because it has been made clear that in order to lessen the potential harm in their lives, they have to play the power game. Academic women, and business women for that matter, don’t keep their jobs (which they need to feed themselves) if they are aggressive radical feminists, but by playing the male-power game. Rich women usually aren’t as rich as you think they are, or they are the concubines of rich men, which is a different form of prostitution than most people usually think about, and leads to serious penis-identification. Religious women frequently don’t have a choice about their penis-identification because it is all they have known since birth and there is often serious ostracism (and sometimes serious physical danger) threatened if they leave the fold. Heterosexual woman have scary and complicated ties to parasitical males, including birthed sons, and have serious male-identification issues as a result. And on it goes.
I’m not making excuses for people. I do believe that the more ‘freedom’ you have within an oppressive regime, the more responsibility you have to oppose the dominant order. And there are a lot of things that can be done that don’t threaten your life or your survival, although they may threaten your sense of place in a world where you’ve become very used to wearing chains. A lot of women can’t get to that point because it IS scary AND you have to come face-to-face with your own woman-hatred. And while there is a lot to gain from opposing Dick, it is safer when done in numbers, which will never happen. Doing it alone while feeling alone can be very threatening, but it can be done. Life will be hard, and few women (and no men) will thank you for it.
But if you are going to commit yourself to feminism – female-focused feminism – then you have to resist the knee-jerk blaming and shaming of particular groups of women for something that men are fundamentally responsible for. Men need to change it, not women. Point your fingers in the right direction and work together with (or if you can’t then just distance yourself from) the female groups you have trouble with.
That is not to say that critique is not possible. Critique of harmful movements or actions or statements is necessary. Of course. But critique, don’t blame. Women aren’t doing shit you don’t like because they are evil oppressors. They are doing it because they are reacting to (often poorly or in an uneducated fashion) and trying to survive in a system designed to destroy them because of their sex. And sex is at the root of all other oppressions, thanks to men. Critique feminist or anti-feminist movements. Blame patriarchy. Hold men responsible for the lack of options women have and for being forced to choose one of those shitty options.
Posted on February 22, 2016, in Anti-Feminism, Feminism and tagged intersectionality, liberal feminism, liberalism, misogyny, oppression, patriarchy, radical feminism. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Naming the Problem vs Scoring Points for Slur-Slinging.