Quick thoughts on racism

29 June, 2012 at 9:50 am (Uncategorized)

[In response to people saying there's racism about white people too.]

While a number of individual white people are systematically oppressed on other grounds, such as gender, class, etc, they are not systematically oppressed due to their whiteness the way a person of colour is oppressed due to their non-whiteness. Thus, they are not subject to racism but rather privileged by it.

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BDSM – unpleasant result of the *patriarcy*, NOT those who crave it

30 June, 2011 at 8:57 am (Uncategorized)

So, there’s some shit going down about this over at I Blame the Patriarchy. I have a view that I  haven’t seen represented anywhere (yet), and it goes like this: I crave certain aspects of BDSM in my sex life. Not because I think it’s great, or liberating, not because I’m fooled about it. I know full well that our culture’s obsession with Dominance and Submission, or with linking sex and power, is a product of the patriarchy, the kierarchy. But you know what? That doesn’t magically erase it from my mind. Hell, I wish it did.I wish knowledge of the nature of the patriarchy and its effects erased all the bullshit I’ve absorbed over the years, but most of it is still in there, along with all the other issues and mess and chaos.In my case, it’s all tied up with childhood abuse and the subsequent skewed development of my sexuality. Sex was tied into submission before I would have even thought about sex at all.

The thing is, I still feel happy when a stranger compliments my appearance (though I also feel a little annoyed that it’s seen as any of their business), I still like to look “pretty” (though I also make efforts to find self-esteem from other, less crappy sources) and I still find it hard to get off without feeling like I’m surrendering to someone (though I’m not proud of it, and am trying to re-figure my desires). Like everything, it’s a work in progress, and feeling like something is unhealthy and damaging doesn’t stop me from wanting it. I can try not to *do* it, sure (because getting over damaging addictions is the easiest thing in the world, right?), but not craving it? That’s going to take some serious work, and in the meantime I don’t appreciate being reviled by my feminist comrades.

Attacking women for wanting, or engaging in, this type of stuff is like attacking them for complying with femininity – victim blaming much?

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Great summing up of response to transphobia

8 March, 2011 at 3:37 pm (Uncategorized)

“I support transwomen because I don’t believe that women have innate gender qualities. I believe that gender is socially constructed behavior. And I believe that if a person born with dangly bits feels more comfortable performing the gender “woman” then I have no problem with calling that person a woman. And if that person feels that they must alter their body to conform with what society thinks a woman looks like, then I support that in the same way that I support any woman who feels she must dress in female drag to survive.”

Found here: http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2011/03/04/new-message-appears-on-chain-link-oracle-dumpster/#comment-173673

 

 

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On the absense of new posts

11 May, 2010 at 10:10 am (Uncategorized)

So, when I first got into reading feminist blogs, I thought I had so much to say about it all. I got my own blog so I had somewhere to put those things that enraged and/or inspired me. I hoped to post regularly, maybe even get a few readers and commentors.

It didn’t take me long to realise that, in fact, much of what I have to say has been said before, and there was much I hadn’t even thought about. Feminism gets you reading/thinking about oppression, which gets you reading/thinking about privilege. After checking my own, I suddenly felt much more inclined to read/listen than to post/talk.

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“But how are you, personally, oppressed?”

16 July, 2009 at 11:37 am (hetrosexual relationships)

I confess to “not my Nigel” behaviour (though I’m not proud of it). It’s true that my partner does not engage in m/any of the stereotypical sexist male behaviours that are so prevalent in our society. What I have noticed is something very tangly, so tangly that I’m really struggling right now to write about it.

Essentially it’s that he still doesn’t “get” that women are oppressed by culture and individuals in a way that men (even men who don’t think of themselves as ‘men’ because it associates them with all the complete assholes in his male-dominated workplace, and who are often chastised by these and other assholes for not being ‘manly’) are not. Recently he asked me the question that is the title of this post, probably in a genuine attempt to try to understand, but to me it just sounded like he was saying “oh, so you think you’re oppressed? Prove it!”

Which is, of course, part of the problem right there. I expect to be doubted and challenged and not taken seriously, I feel like I have to be ready for battle all the time, even in my own home with the man I trust most. I tried to explain that women are told by the media, society, everything, that they are sex objects and shouldn’t mind being treated as such, that their attractiveness is all-important and that men should be the ones to judge it and have a right to judge it whenever they like; that it is widely implied that women are only important in terms of the roles they play in men’s lives etc etc and that all of this affects me. It means I ‘instinctively’ feel guilty if I want to take a bit of time for myself when he’s in the house, or if I don’t feel like having sex very often, even though he may not actually have expectations on these matters.

He listened, but he so obviously didn’t get it. In his mind, it’s as simple as ‘but you know that all this stuff isn’t true, so except for a few comments from idiots which are annoying but can be ignored, it shouldn’t really have an effect on your life.’ [Not that he actually said this, it’s just what I picked up from his general attitude.]

This is, for me, a constant source of tension because the patriarchy is in my head and even if it wasn’t in my head it would still be in the world and I’d still have to move through it every damn day. Women don’t ‘allow the patriarchy to get to them’, we are victims of it and you can’t just shake it off when you realise it’s all a bunch of bullshit. You’ve got years of trained emotional and mental responses (guilt, fear and shame being the ones that affect me the most) that don’t just go away because you discover they’re based on falsehood.

I think it’s an interesting combination of views, though. My Nigel is pretty unsexist for one raised male in this misogynistic culture, he genuinely believes that women are just as important and just as much ‘people’ as men are (believes it so inherently and thinks it’s so obvious that he wouldn’t vocalise it unless asked specifically), but he simply *will not* check his privilege. He looks at everything in concrete terms, sees that every relationship he’s been in (which have all been with women), his partner was earning more than he was. [I work fewer hours than he does but get paid more every month.] He doesn’t assume he should be entitled to more than women or anything, he just doesn’t see how he can be privileged. He has been in a violent relationship with a woman, and he wasn’t the abuser.  He doesn’t seem to feel ‘unmanned’ by it (because I don’t think he ever wanted to be ‘manned’ in the first place) but he never told the police, he is not counted in statistics anywhere, and therefore thinks that maybe there are lots of others in a similar position, that maybe this is a society issue and not a gender one.

Anyway, jumbly as this is, I just wanted to vent it. I think that it’s probably fairly common among men who aren’t misogynists. They will acknowledge the concrete things (like, if I was to get raped, society would start looking for reasons why it was my fault, and that’s sexist and wrong and it sucks) but when it comes to the more subtle examples of women’s oppression they just don’t ‘get’ it, and think that because they don’t immediately ‘get’ it, it can’t be that big of a deal.

When people with male privilege genuinely don’t think that men and women are inherently different, they assume that patriarchy is something out in the world that can be avoided, that it doesn’t enter into male-female relationships if neither party is actively sexist. This leads to a kind of denial that patriarchy is that big of a deal, and a denial that their female partners have to spend additional energy struggling with these feelings of pressure, guilt, fear and shame that float around affecting the relationship for the worse, and that may not ever fully go away.

I have to tell you, it’s pretty fucking infuriating sometimes.

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Great quote/Backlash

9 June, 2009 at 1:19 pm (Backlash)

I found this really great phrase in the comments here, in response to the way advertising keeps marketing unhealthy, generally crappy food as desirable to ‘real men’ on the grounds that it’s ‘manly’:

“It’s a classic trick to manipulate people by making them believe that they are being more independent in doing so. Defy the crowd by following orders.” [Many thanks DoctorJay, hope you don't mind I swiped it.]

It’s a perfect summary because it’s one of the main tactics used in every backlash going at the moment. ‘Those {Insert name of advocates for equality, better health and/or just generally being a decent human being} are just following the crowd, being weak, being sheep. Do what *we* tell you, think what *we* tell you to, because that’s so free-thinking and  edgy and rebellious.’ Except that, of course, it isn’t. This ‘independent’ mode of thinking and collection of opinions is in fact absorbed out of mainstream media and oppressive social trends. It is the mainstream, but everyone thinks they’re so daring and original for following it. There’s no real thinking involved, free or, often, otherwise.

This is one of those things that I already knew (and chances are if you’re reading this so did you) but I was never able to put it properly into words until the above quote gave me the way in I needed.

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