Street Corner Diorama
Stuck in my mind is a moment in time, a fragment of space, from my recent visit to Seattle. In one tiny slice of time and place that spoke volumes about society at large. And it all happened on a street corner in the downtown core, and if one was paying attention, one might spend some time wondering about the nature of racism and misogyny. But most people don’t pay attention, and things go on as they do, in perpetual violence.
I approached a street corner one afternoon. There was a tall, belligerent-looking black dude on the corner. He began shouting at a short, middle-aged Chinese man. I saw exactly what was going on. It was a Chinese tourist. How did I know? Well, said Chinese dude was acting, not like a Westernized Chinese, but like every Chinese dude acts in China when face-to-face with a non-Chinese. He stopped and was staring rudely, mouth open, disgust and horror on his face. It is a look and behaviour that mainland Chinese call “curiosity”. I know the look well because I get it from tens, hundreds, and thousands (depending on how long I am in public) every single time I set foot outside my apartment as a walking, talking white whore living in China. But the black dude couldn’t handle it – this one, lone, ignorant Chinese fucker got under his angry skin. On a level, I get it. I fucking HATE the way Chinese stare at me. In the US and the semi-civilized West, in general, staring is rude. Staring at someone without a hello or some sort of verbal engagement that expresses one’s intentions is immediate cause for suspicion, fear (for women), anger, and if done to a man, can often lead to a physical altercation. But the Chinese make staring into another thing altogether – although they believe in masking emotion, they have no problem expressing naked hatred, horror and disgust on their faces. The Chinese are one of the most racist groups on earth, so this particular Chinese tourist didn’t think twice about engaging in a typical Chinese behaviour used against non-Chinese while in China where he is used to having the upper hand. Welcome to America, though. The black dude, confronted by a racist Chinese, retaliated with his racism. Blacks are also racists, and their brand of racism often manifests in loudness, belligerence and violence. He yelled, “What the fuck you lookin’ at, Chinaman?!? Chinatown is that way!” And he pointed south, which indeed, was where Chinatown was located. The Chinese racist was lucky that the black racist didn’t knock him flat on his ass. I moved on before getting stuck in the action. I just don’t give a shit what men do to each other and I hate it when women get caught in the middle.
But I thought about inviting that black dude to China where he could learn what real racism was. He would see how good his life is in the US. Where his growing power and violence and outrage (at comparatively little) and his privilege over all women are supported by liberal whites and violent, racist movements like Black Lives Matter. I’d like to invite him to China where, like me, he would truly have no voice, where every single person would stare at him, point at him, talk about him in front of him, and ostracize him, and where his life and/or death wouldn’t matter one bit. He wouldn’t make it. If he can’t handle one racist Chinese dude on his home turf, then he wouldn’t make it in a racist country where he is all alone battling shit like this every moment of every day. I know one black dude over here who refuses to take public transit, opting instead for taxis and Ubers. Coward. And no, he doesn’t have it worse than me. He has friends from his own country and religion to support him as a buffer. He is a male. I am alone and a woman and I battle the ‘white whore’ stereotype, and thus I am in more danger than him. But I take public transit. I’m harassed by men constantly, and women treat me like shit. It is racist sexism. It hurts me and scares me deeply. I deal by putting on the emotional armour I have crafted through a lifetime of sexual assault and sexual harassment and through years of Chinese racist misogyny. I put on the armour and the rage wells up in me to keep me moving quickly, and that protects me a little. So black dude? Come on over and learn what real racism is about.
Back to the corner. Shit didn’t end there. I avoided that inter-racial confrontation and moved on to the corner to cross the road. Steps away, I was aware of a landmark strip club selling female flesh. Thousands walk by it every day. Hundreds of men visit every day engaging in what they will loudly proclaim is their right. Their right to objectify female bodies. Their capitalist right to pay desperate women to take their clothes off along with their human dignity. Stripping: something women would never think of doing if men did not exist or if men hadn’t created an economic system that benefits men and puts women in positions where they have to shed their humanity in order to eat or ‘have a better life’. A system where there is no equivalent dehumanizing, disempowering requirement for men. Selling women is a legitimate part of human life. I walk by these places and they fulfill their ultimate purpose: to remind me that I am less. To remind me that I can never be free. To remind me that woman is simply a collection of CUNT, TITS, and ASS. No more, no less. To remind me that men can turn whatever evil desire they have into a sanctioned need and right, no matter whom it hurts or how many it hurts. A male itch must be scratched, no matter the cost.
At the street corner, I and several women were forced to stop and wait for the long light to change to green. At that corner sat a black man. Probably homeless. He had a sign.
Will eat pussy for a place to sleep.
I’d not seen a sign like that before. Western homeless men, unlike homeless men around the world, are becoming more creative in their ploys. It’s a competitive market. In the male economic system, poverty is on the rise. Men, being lazier than women, tend to hang out in public begging. Being homeless is much more dangerous for women, and I suspect that women engage in a number of behaviours in order to avoid being conspicuous public targets. I don’t tend to see homeless women with signs offering weird services or making amusing and direct demands for money (e.g., please donate to my weed habit).
So coming upon a man offering to perform a selfless sexual act upon a woman was strange. I think it was supposed to be funny. It wasn’t. Unlike a woman offering a blow job, men offering a sex act is threatening. That is a hard thing for men (and many brainwashed women) to understand. Men are not victims of sex crimes by women, generally speaking. Women are. Men also define sex and direct the course of sexual activity. There isn’t a single man on earth who offers a carpet munch without taking something in exchange from a woman. Doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as a fair exchange, let alone a selfless act when it comes to male behaviour. The offer of a sex act *just for a place to sleep* doesn’t ring true to me and came across as a promise/threat of other things. A woman offering a blow job for a place to sleep is likely going to get raped, beaten or killed afterwards. The man offering pussy-eating will likely take more than he is offering.
A few of the middle-aged women on the corner chuckled nervously. I was disgusted and afraid. And the fact that he was parked so near to the female flesh-selling strip club just served to hammer home who exactly held the power. Even a homeless man holds power over a non-homeless woman.
It was just a moment in time on a small spot of real estate, but there was generalization in this diorama. It spoke of universal truths. Men and racism; men and misogyny. Who holds the power. What dynamics the world at large is willing to pay attention to. I suspect, among the American population witnessing that scene, that all people would have seen were sympathy-deserving black men in need of understanding and help. But in reality, what was going on was male power play. The complicated racism that exists between men that derives from woman hate (controlling access to the pussy of one’s own race). And the truth that all men hold power over all women regardless of race and economic station.
I discuss the realities of oppression and how it works in an earlier article.
Posted on September 4, 2016, in Feminism, Male Privilege and tagged capitalism, China, culture, misogyny, oppression, patriarchy, racism, radical feminism. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Street Corner Diorama.