Was talking about #WomenAgainstFeminism today on Twitter, a trend that I see largely as a reaction to (1) extremist feminist politics found readily online and (2) ignorance/stereotypes about feminism.  I tried to handle my frustration with a bit humor but quickly realized this is actually a really emotionally-fraught topic for people.  Maybe not the time for sarcasm.

Most the time, feminism in action doesn’t explicitly call itself feminism. I’m talking about things like campaigning for sex ed, same sex marriage, equal pay, maternity leave, reproductive health access, transgender health care, representation, implementing sexual assault/harassment policies, getting women into stem, etc. I think this confused void about what feminists *actually do and believe in* allows the space to be sensationalized by a loud, extreme minority and predatory media sources who see a “hot story”. Mainstream onlookers who don’t know their history or what feminism is (and don’t take a second to learn…) naturally take the bait and then end up railing against something that isn’t even an accurate representation of feminism in the first place. Then feminists are pissed, and anti-feminists are pissed (though misogynists are usually quite happy) and we’ve whipped ourselves up a nice divisive shitstorm of “whose side are you on”?

I understand it’s unpopular amongst some feminists to concede that extremism exists; “there’s nothing wrong with radical action” and “they’re a part of the movement too”! I think those are valid points (and I certainly don’t think the solution is to silence/disown anyone), but I also think we have to admit that it can really alienate people from the cause, and perhaps #WomenAgainstFeminism is proof.  What do you think?

"…you’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change, people in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change. And a better world has to be built and the only way it’s going to be built is with extreme methods. And I, for one, will join in with anyone—don’t care what color you are—as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth."

(http://malcolmxfiles.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/oxford-union-debate-december-3-1964.html)

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Malcolm X, Oxford Union Debate, December 3, 1964

Excerpt:

“And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change, people in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change. And a better world has to be built and the only way it’s going to be built is with extreme methods. And I, for one, will joint in with anyone — don’t care what color you are — as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.

What if white people were expected to apologize for the same things as Muslims 

Why are all Muslims expected to apologize whenever something like the Charlie Hebdo shooting happens? 

The logic behind it is absurd — but if we’re going to commit to it, we at least owe ourselves some consistency. To that end, here are a few things we should be asking all white people to apologize for.

1. Col. John Chivington of the U.S. Army

Are you a conservative, a libertarian, a Christian or a gun owner?  Are you opposed to abortion, globalism, Communism, illegal immigration, the United Nations or the New World Order?  Do you believe in conspiracy theories, do you believe that we are living in the “end times” or do you ever visit alternative news websites (such as this one)?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are a “potential terrorist” according to official U.S. government documents.  At one time, the term “terrorist” was used very narrowly.  The government applied that label to people like Osama bin Laden and other Islamic jihadists.  But now the Obama administration is removing all references to Islam from terror training materials, and instead the term “terrorist” is being applied to large groups of American citizens.  And if you are a “terrorist”, that means that you have no rights and the government can treat you just like it treats the terrorists that are being held at Guantanamo Bay.  So if you belong to a group of people that is now being referred to as “potential terrorists”, please don’t take it as a joke.  The first step to persecuting any group of people is to demonize them.  And right now large groups of peaceful, law-abiding citizens are being ruthlessly demonized.

Below is a list of 72 types of Americans that are considered to be “extremists” and “potential terrorists” in official U.S. government documents.  To see the original source document for each point, just click on the link.  As you can see, this list covers most of the country…

1. Those that talk about “individual liberties”

2. Those that advocate for states’ rights

3. Those that want “to make the world a better place”

4. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule”

5. Those that are interested in “defeating the Communists”

6. Those that believe “that the interests of one’s own nation are separate from the interests of other nations or the common interest of all nations”

7. Anyone that holds a “political ideology that considers the state to be unnecessary, harmful,or undesirable”

8. Anyone that possesses an “intolerance toward other religions”

9. Those that “take action to fight against the exploitation of theenvironment and/or animals”

10. “Anti-Gay”

11. “Anti-Immigrant”

12. “Anti-Muslim”

13. “The Patriot Movement”

14. “Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians”

15. Members of the Family Research Council

16. Members of the American Family Association

17. Those that believe that Mexico, Canada and the United States “are secretly planning to merge into a European Union-like entity that will be known as the ‘North American Union’”

18. Members of the American Border Patrol/American Patrol

19. Members of the Federation for American Immigration Reform

20. Members of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition

21. Members of the Christian Action Network

22. Anyone that is “opposed to the New World Order”

23. Anyone that is engaged in “conspiracy theorizing”

24. Anyone that is opposed to Agenda 21

25. Anyone that is concerned about FEMA camps

26. Anyone that “fears impending gun control or weapons confiscations”

27. The militia movement

28. The sovereign citizen movement

29. Those that “don’t think they should have to pay taxes”

30. Anyone that “complains about bias”

31. Anyone that “believes in government conspiracies to the point of paranoia”

32. Anyone that “is frustrated with mainstream ideologies”

33. Anyone that “visits extremist websites/blogs”

34. Anyone that “establishes website/blog to display extremist views”

35. Anyone that “attends rallies for extremist causes”

36. Anyone that “exhibits extreme religious intolerance”

37. Anyone that “is personally connected with a grievance”

38. Anyone that “suddenly acquires weapons”

39. Anyone that “organizes protests inspired by extremist ideology”

40. “Militia or unorganized militia”

41. “General right-wing extremist”

42. Citizens that have “bumper stickers” that are patriotic or anti-U.N.

43. Those that refer to an “Army of God”

44. Those that are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”

45. Those that are “anti-global”

46. Those that are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”

47. Those that are “reverent of individual liberty”

48. Those that “believe in conspiracy theories”

49. Those that have “a belief that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack”

50. Those that possess “a belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism”

51. Those that would “impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”

52. Those that would “insert religion into the political sphere”

53. Anyone that would “seek to politicize religion”

54. Those that have “supported political movements for autonomy”

55. Anyone that is “anti-abortion”

56. Anyone that is “anti-Catholic”

57. Anyone that is “anti-nuclear”

58. “Rightwing extremists”

59. “Returning veterans”

60. Those concerned about “illegal immigration”

61. Those that “believe in the right to bear arms”

62. Anyone that is engaged in “ammunition stockpiling”

63. Anyone that exhibits “fear of Communist regimes”

64. “Anti-abortion activists”

65. Those that are against illegal immigration

66. Those that talk about “the New World Order” in a “derogatory” manner

67. Those that have a negative view of the United Nations

68. Those that are opposed “to the collection of federal income taxes”

69. Those that supported former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr

70. Those that display the Gadsden Flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”)

71. Those that believe in “end times” prophecies

72. Evangelical Christians

The groups of people in the list above are considered “problems” that need to be dealt with.  In some of the documents referenced above, members of the military are specifically warned not to have anything to do with such groups.

We are moving into a very dangerous time in American history.  You can now be considered a “potential terrorist” just because of your religious or political beliefs.  Free speech is becoming a thing of the past, and we are rapidly becoming an Orwellian society that is the exact opposite of what our founding fathers intended.

Please pray for the United States of America.  We definitely need it.

Do you know how little it takes to infiltrate the mind of the youth and for them to romanticize the concept of jihaad, because it’s too little; please take heed and educate yourselves and those in your home & friends and everyone about the correct understanding of Islaam because we have little girls and boys who are running away to Somalia and Libya and Syria to fight a war that they don’t even understand. We have the youth quickly rendering a Muslim a non-Muslim for a sin that doesn’t expel them from Islam in the first place, we have the youth that has a perverted ideology, a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding of Islam so please, educate yourselves and those in your home & friends. May Allaah rectify our affairs, guide us on the straight path, and keep us guided on the straight path and may He forgive us of our ignorance and our shortcomings. May Allaah protect us from extremism and innovation and all that harms us.

And do you think that unto such as you, a maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew, God gave the Secret, and denied it me? Well, well, what matters it! Believe that too. Old Khayyám, say you, is a debauchee; if only you were half so good as he! He sins no sins but gentle drunkenness, great-hearted mirth, and kind adultery. But yours the cold heart, and the murderous tongue. The wintry soul that hates to hear a song. The close-shut fist. The mean and measuring eye; and all the little poisoned ways of wrong. - Omar Khayyam

So many people have fucked up in their lives, will continue to do so in the future, and have done throughout history. It’s been observed forever that unfortunately, people can’t just thrive together all as one :( Regardless of colour, race, religion, beliefs, us humans just can’t get it right! There have been monsters throughout history in all different shapes or sizes. 

It’s a cliché to point out that terrorism is a self-defeating enterprise, more likely to damage one’s cause than to aid it. But when Europe is on the precipice of returning to the monoculturalist institutional bigotry that crippled the continent for a generation in the 20th century, the murder of a room full of satirists will do nothing but harm Europe’s Muslims even more than the rise of xenophobic political parties already has.