If I’ve learnt anything from my contact with the bdsm community, the poly community, the geek community and the atheist community is that any social group who claims to “not to be like other groups” and to be”accepting and safe for all” is going to spend a lot of energy hiding the predators within the community and silencing abuse survivors.
What happens to your past if you don’t allow yourself to feel it when it happened? If you don’t have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories. Procedural and depopulated. It’s as if a neutron bomb went off and all you’re left with are hospital corridors, where you’re scanning the walls for familiar photographs.
Sometimes in the absence of emotion, your only recourse is to surround yourself with objects; assemble the relics about you. Wagner was wrong when he said, “Joy is not in things, it is in us.” One can find joy in things, but it is a particular kind of joy - the joy of corroboration… For the moment, this physical evidence will have to serve as proof that all that has happened was real, because even now I only half believe what I am telling you.
WOULD ANY SANE PERSON think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?
Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption—changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much—and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.
Or let’s talk water. We so often hear that the world is running out of water. People are dying from lack of water. Rivers are dewatered from lack of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. See the disconnect? Because I take showers, I’m responsible for drawing down aquifers? Well, no. More than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry. The remaining 10 percent is split between municipalities and actual living breathing individual humans. Collectively, municipal golf courses use as much water as municipal human beings. People (both human people and fish people) aren’t dying because the world is running out of water. They’re dying because the water is being stolen.
“Biologists call a small male fish who darts in to fertilize eggs a “sneaker,”, a medium male who resembles a female a “female mimic,”, and a large aggressive territorial male a “parental,” to place a positive spin of his egg guarding. Both the sneaker and the female mimic are “sexual parasites” of the parental male’s “investment” in nest construction and territorial defense. The sneaker and the female mimic are said to express a gene for “cuckoldry,” as though the parental male were married to a female in his territory and victimized by her unfaithfulness. In fact, a territorial male and the female who is temporarily in his territory are not pair-bonded. Scientists sneak gender stereotypes into the primary literature and corrupt its objectivity. Are these descriptions only harmless words? No. The words affect the view of nature that emerges from biology.”—
Joan Roughgarden (2004) Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People, University of California Press, Berkley (via 420-catnip)
I feel like this is slightly relevant although more to do with heteronormativity than sexism. The study of animal behaviour still has a lot of both of these and it’s actively harmful to discussing both animal and human behaviour.
“Capitalism is created through racism, exclusion and genocide. If Europe hadn’t conquered, colonized, Africa and the Americas, it wouldn’t have had the means of payment and the raw materials to make the Industrial Revolution. If they hadn’t perpetrated the African genocide, they wouldn’t have developed the insurance industry, and other things which promoted the first accumulation of capital in the UK. In consequence [capitalism] is the son of genocide, without any doubt.”—Dr. Raúl Zaffaroni - Argentine Supreme Court Judge (via marxist-gallifreyan)
I’ve long wondered what it was about trans people that irrationally angered and frightened cis people so. I’ve known transgender people my entire life. They have always been a natural part of the communities I’ve grown up in, as much a part of the landscape as all the other black people I knew and loved. But there was also a bit of mystery and silence around acknowledging and accepting their full selves into the fold. The mystery and silence, manufactured by cis people (straight AND queer), always made me very uncomfortable, like when a child is asked to participate in or speak a lie when they are fully aware of the truth.
Then in undergrad, I read James Baldwin’s “Here Be Dragons” essay.
In it, he articulates, in the woefully inadequate language he had available to him at the time, where the source of this aversion, panic, silence, and violence may lie.
(Please note: The term “freak,” as used here by Baldwin, isn’t, in this context, a slur meant to demean or degrade. He was using it to describe how the heterosexist society viewed those individuals whose sexualities or gender identities didn’t fit within colonialist, puritanical, dogmatic models.)
"Freaks are called freaks and are treated as they are treated—in the main, abominably—because they are human beings who cause to echo, deep within us, our most profound terrors and desires.
Most of us, however, do not appear to be freaks—though we are rarely what we appear to be. We are, for the most part, visibly male or female, our social roles determined by our sexual equipment.
But we are all androgynous, not only because we are all born of a woman impregnated by the seed of a man but because each of us helplessly and forever, contains the other—male in female, female in male, white in black, black in white. We are a part of each other. Many of my countrymen appear to find this fact exceedingly inconvenient and even unfair, and so, very often, do I.
But none of us can do anything about it.”
This is, of course, insufficient. Baldwin was wrestling with new epiphanies and ideas as he laid this out. Had not accounted for the idea that sex and gender were not limited to male and female. Could not yet imagine gender identity as a sociopolitical reality. But he was getting at some baseline things that sort of helped me begin to grasp at the roots of transantagonism and the silences around it, particularly as they related to capitalism and very misguided and simplistic Western notions about human identity, human nature, and human sexuality.
Frank Wilderson is using the distinction between a money economy and an economy of desire over and over again throughout this book. Wilderson talks about this by talking about the difference between word and deed. This is not the hypocrisy of the system. It IS the logic of the system. So Europeans tried to resolve the lack of labor power by passing laws that reduced homeless white people to the status of slaves. In the end, however, they never really enforced these laws. Wilderson quotes David Eltis, an economic historian, who says that the costs of settling the “new world” would have been significantly reduced if Europeans has simply enslaved other Europeans. But, Wilderson points out, “what Whites would have gained in economic value, they would have lost in symbolic value; and it is the [symbolic value] which structures the libidinal economy of civil society.” In other words, the symbolic costs of Europeans enslaving other Europeans would have been too great. Instead, they went to Africa for their slaves, even though the financial cost of doing so was much, much greater.
The radical left doesn’t make this distinction. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley say they want to organize a new Poor People’s Campaign, but they won’t be able to explain why this is a failed project from the start. This is because they won’t think about the aspects of coalition building that have nothing to do with money or the lack of money. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the so-called “Reagan Democrats” were poor and working-class white people, many of them in unions, who voted overwhelmingly for Reagan against their own economic interest. The white left mistakenly thinks about the Reagan Democrats as people who were duped. They view them as an example of what Marx called “false consciousness” and they see it as their duty to inform the white poor and working class of why they should vote left. But there were all kinds of signs that white poor and working-class folks simply hated black people and didn’t want to live anywhere that there was a large community of black people, even if those black people are of the same or higher socioeconomic status. The Reagan Democrats were excited by Reagan’s antiblack rhetoric of law and order, a rhetoric that was in response against the activities of the Black Liberation Army, Weather Underground, Black Panthers, and Black Guerilla Family.
Marxists think a person is in a state of false consciousness if her political or social interests go another way than her material or financial interests. If you adopt this view, then you probably think that the Reagan Democrats just need to be educated correctly about what they have in common with the black poor and working class. You have to think that their hatred of black people is somehow “false” simply because it runs counter to their financial interests. But this would be to ignore their interest in maintaining white supremacy and antiblack racism. One of the things white men would lose would be access to black bodies for sexual pleasure and amusement.
These examples are not just isolated cases of false consciousness, ignorance, media manipulation, or some mystical thing called “prejudice.” They are all of those things, but they are also something much, much greater that any student of struggle needs to be aware of. These examples reveal the contours of an economy of desires that is not primarily concerned with money. It’s not that the political economy isn’t also antiblack. In fact, both economies are antiblack.
I think kids who aren’t disabled should get accomodations in school, if it helps them.
I think it doesn’t always make a difference whether someone is officially disabled or just- can’t do some stuff. I don’t think you should treat someone badly for not being able to do stuff.
I think “acting weird” should just be okay, in general. If a person without autism is wearing noise cancelling headphones and flapping their hands, that’s okay, because there’s nothing wrong with wearing noise cancelling headphones and flapping your hands.
I think it would be better for disabled people if we did less “think twice about being mean to people who are behaving weirdly, they might have autism” type stuff and more “why would you be mean to someone who is being weird. Why would you do that. There’s nothing wrong with being weird, there is something wrong with being mean”
All of this.
I’m having a lot of trouble getting accommodations at school right now due to not having an official diagnosis (for a variety of reasons, including having a hard time finding therapy that is not crappy about trans people, rape, and eating disorders together), and it’s just really frustrating how many barriers are set up and how strict they are. Like, who cares if people don’t have a disability and want to do their essays in a room away from everybody else? Either a) this doesn’t really help them, in which case there’s nothing to worry about or b) it helps them because they work better this way, so how is this “cheating?”. This should be about students learning and stuff right? NOT supposedly about torturing people and forcing them to be uncomfortable (except, it is because our society equates pain and discomfort with growth and virtue, which is disgusting, but a topic for another time). Who cares if somebody who does not fit some DSM definition of disability wants a little more time on a due date because they’ve stressed themselves out (or maybe even were “lazy”). MAYBE DUE DATES ARE ARBITRARY ANYWAY AND ARE PUT TOO CLOSE TOGETHER. Maybe the entire school system is arbitrary and rather than going “NO EVERYBODY MUST SUFFER UNLESS YOU PROVE TO ME THAT WE SHOULD TAKE PITY ON YOU”, we make a more inclusive and accommodating system so people do not have to beg and claw for you to take pity on us!
One of the courses I’m taking asked students if we should have classes where there is no teacher but students learn playing video games (which presumably have educational material in it). I said that no person is the same, and the question shouldn’t be whether this should be the case for EVERYBODY, but that it could help many people who are more tactile learners (like me). But in general we should question the way we educate students, and what we see as default, and how we create a society that’s exclusive to only a very specific kind of person who learns and works well in very specific situations. Everybody else in the course was immediately like “NO, there would be chaos if we changed the way we teach!” and that “if students learn better in another way, they can talk to the teacher and maybe get some special attention.”
And that last statement just really crystalized the entire problem to me. Our society doesn’t want to include everybody, and we’re trained to see it that way, to see that as being the most sensible way to do things. Rather than allowing everybody an equal opportunity to succeed by accommodating the differences in people, we make society for one specific kind of person, and force everybody else to get “special attention”. It puts the privileged people (the ones society is created for) in the position of power, and that we must hope they give us scraps to get by (which often people call “privileges” in a sick reversal). And it’s seen as totally normal, because well, that’s just how things are done, and if you did things differently people would TAKE ADVANTAGE, which basically means “then people might actually be equal, and THEN WHAT”. It’s total bullshit, and it’s arbitrary.
The other thing is I’m getting tired of the “well if you actually are part of the marginalized group, then okaaay” thing as articulated in the above post. This applies to a lot of the way I see things discussed. Like people making fun of men by attacking their penises (which they associate with men) and then saying disclaimers like “cis men”, like it magically means trans women wouldn’t read that and feel body shamed, or “only if you’re a man” or even “don’t do this because it hurts trans women”. How about instead of worrying about whether you accidentally hurt a trans woman by body shaming men, & how to differentiate between cis men & trans men & non-men maab people, etc, you just DON’T BODY SHAME PEOPLE.
Just like instead of worrying whether “real” disabled people might be hurt by making fun of weird people, don’t make fun of people. It’s… really frustrating and doesn’t really display that much compassion to me. It means that the person WANTS to be uncaring of somebody’s feelings, just not certain groups they feel bad for, so, let’s try not to hit them while we fire our cannons okay?
Or, just keep your powder dry. Is it really worth it?
Starting on Monday, thousands of university students in Hong Kong have been gathering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tamar Park (outside the government offices) to protest the National People Congress (NPC) of China’s decision to restrict the right to vote for…
in movies, whenever a hot guy fake-flirts with an “ugly” girl and she gets all flustered, it’s intended to be a funny joke and make u think the girl is pathetic for believing such an attractive man could be interested in her. ur supposed to hate the girl.
but whenever a hot girl fake-flirts with an ugly guy and he gets all flustered, it’s intended to make u feel bad for the guy and think the girl is a Bitch. ur supposed to hate the girl.
Just so we’re clear, the reason a lot of people protest climate change isn’t because they like trees and hiking. It’s because we’re making the Earth unlivable for all humans, and that humans in the poorest countries are the one’s worst hit.
Protesting climate change ain’t a white privilege thing. The people protesting climate change the hardest are Indigenous people, Island nation people, and poor people in hot countries. They’re terrified.
“I think white gay people feel cheated because they were born, in principle, in a society in which they were supposed to be safe. The anomaly of their sexuality puts them in danger, unexpectedly. Their reaction seems to me in direct proportion to their sense of feeling cheated of the advantages which accrue to white people in a white society. There’s an element, it has always seemed to me, of bewilderment and complaint. Now that may sound very harsh, but the gay world as such is no more prepared to accept black people than anywhere else in society.”—