Thursday, May 7, 2015

#Howtospotafeminist = #7 on the list of dumbest things ever said

Had to say it, just to lighten this blog a bit

A friend shared this hashtag on facebook and I lost it when I looked into it some more. Here are some posts with this tag:

: when you talk about real problems in the world, they interrupt you and go on to complain about bikini ads.

Because apparently if we're concerned about the scientifically verified connection between violence against women (and all folks who are gender non-conforming) and the commodification of women (especially women's bodies), we're not concerned about real world problems. The only real world problem that effects more people daily is probably poverty. Seeing as how half the population (roughly) is female, about the only group regularly oppressed that I know to be larger is folks who live without daily basic needs. Also, there's a strong correlation between oppression of women and poverty. Go figure. That's not a real world problem, however.

Follow the stench of cigarette, B.O. and kitty litter...

I hope all cat owners caught that last one. Because if you own a cat, you're a feminazi according to this person.

Someone who blames others(generally whites, capitalism, cops and all that commie shit) for all wrong in the world.

Check it. #blacklivesmatter is actually a feminist plot. Also, I wonder if anyone notified Stalin that he's now a feminist. Or Kim Jong-un.

They are ugly

Aside from the obvious beauty value being stated here, I'm glad to hear that now all "ugly" people are feminists. Makes me rest easier at night.

Struggling at the side of the road to change a tire, in the pouring rain, refusing all 'male' help. Oh, & her beard.

Feeling for all the bearded folks out there today. It's been a rough week. Between a study finding fecal matter in beards to this fun little shot of wisdom, anyone with a beard who can't change a tire just got pwnt (especially if they have a vagina). 

Because that's how this hashtag works. Take a characteristic that is especially visible and generalize it. Its a great exercise for the Great White Male to go through these hashtags and see how many of their own traits they find on the list of condemned feminist features. 

Don't worry. You're different. You're our friend. We weren't talking about you.

There were definitely violent, angry responses from in the feminist movement, too, but here's the difference. This thing was started by a someone with power (radio shows are a type of power, like it or not, and this person is also a dude, so...) out to discredit an entire group of people who are constantly oppressed. To return to the prison metaphor, when a guard (the group in power, hence the conservative male radio show host) threatens a prisoner (here, the feminist who is attempting to reclaim her humanity), there is much more power, authority, and actual chance of violence than when a prisoner wishes death on the oppressor for the thousandth time. In fact, there is actual violence done to the prisoner constantly in this scenario. Refer to the Stanford Prisoner study again for those who question this outcome. In short, the above quotes were the exact type of quotes the instigator was prompting.

If you prefer the specific to the hypothetical, here's one that was sent to me. The portion my friend sent is in italics, with my comments in plain print.

Some blog fodder - messaged rather than posted so I can avoid the whiney female label. 

Pause right here. This intelligent, highly educated, employed human (take my word for it, or don't) privately messaged me about this incident rather than post it to the blog or facebook because of her fear of a backlash. Instead of throwing around "I'm not walking on eggshells blah blah blah male privilege blah," stop and ask yourself "What would cause a reasonable human being to assume that they would be labeled that way?"
At Saturday's [church organization name] meeting there was man I did not know taking up more than his fair share of space. He asked a question about upstream advocacy [in a particular location]. When I answered, he interrupted three times, and when I finally finished (I am unusually not easy to speak over for a woman) this was his response: Well that's nice, but my question was what are pastors and churches doing. After handing out a sharp correction, I learned he... has been doing social justice work since the 60s. This is yet another small example of the Great White Male Liberal...someone who imagines they are an ally but actually fiercely perpetuates the problem.

Something as simple as voice exercise, the amount of time speaking, volume, listening and interacting or interrupting, ends up being a battlefield, at least to this person. And frankly, as a dude, I've been in the dude circles after exchanges like this and heard the term for female dog used enough to know that she's naming a real dynamic. Hell. I've done more than my share of running over women in scenarios like this, without even intending harm (there was that one person that just really needed to be interrupted).

This post is charged for me because it is part of the reason I'm doing the 30 days in a skirt project. Any time I hear someone generalizing about a woman, the majority of what they say could be said about me. And to hear it done in a derogatory manner tears me down, too. And here's the intersection for me personally. I need feminism to succeed because I'm reclaiming my own humanity through it. I need gay marriage to succeed because I'm reclaiming my own humanity through it. I need anti-racism work to succeed because I'm reclaiming my own humanity through it. I'm tired of locking parts of my own story, my own self, up with sexist, racism, homophobic systems of oppression. Tired of having parts of me cut off because they aren't part of the Great White Male myth. I'm just tired of not being whole. Tired of not being a real hu-man, just as I am.

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