Romantic love as most people understand it in patriarchal culture makes one unaware, renders one powerless and out of control. Feminist thinkers called attention to the way this notion of love served the interests of patriarchal men and women. It supported the notion that one could do anything in the name of love: beat people, restrict their movement, even kill them and call it a “crime of passion,” plead, “I loved her so much I had to kill her.” Love in patriarchal culture was linked to notions of possession, to paradigms of domination and submission wherein it was assumed one person would give love and another person receive it.
bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics
“I’ve spent much of my life being made to feel as if I’m less of a man for being gay,” says Attitude editor Matt Cain. Attitude conducted a poll for their upcoming “Masculinity” Issue finding some trouble responses.
Only 29% of gay men respondents saw effeminate traits as a positive thing and 41% considered themselves “less of a man” because of their sexuality.
Let your fellow gay man, and any person of the LGBTQ community know they are beautiful living their truth!
If you’re white and consider yourself a feminist but get offended when you see other women criticising White Feminists then you probably aren’t as feminist as you think you are.
I’m white, and proudly consider myself a feminist, but if you see me making comments that are evocative of White Feminism please shut me down because I want to make sure my feminism is inclusive of everybody.
There’s this notion that I keep seeing that privileged people benefit from oppression of another class, and it’s an idea I never saw when I first started learning sociological theory.
Back in like 2012, tumblr was all about including men in feminism and talking about how feminism would benefit everybody because it would do away with homophobia/homoantagonism and toxic masculinity, etc.
Like… to say that privileged groups (if not individuals) actively benefit from oppression is to erase the performative aspect of privilege; entry to privilege is determined by the privileged (see: Straight determines Straight) and if you deviate Too Much from their expectations, they revoke your right to reap the benefits of membership.
For example, despite all the campaigns about how Real Men Cry or whatever, the prevailing cognitive understanding that society holds is that crying is not masculine, and men who cry are shameful. This is sets a very hard limit on the emotions that a man is capable of showing, which is absolutely a kind of marginalization (but not inherently oppression).
To put it another way, if a cis man wears a dress, would he not face tangible violence from society at large regardless of what he claims his gender is? Is it the same as systemic legal disenfranchisement? Of course not. But a cis man in a dress has less social power than a cis man following social norms. And that power difference is rooted in transphobia/transantagonism. Whether or not it necessarily is the same experience is debatable, but transphobia/transantagonism is inexorably linked to rigid gender roles and toxic masculinity and homophobia/misogyny and other systems that actively hurt both oppressed and privileged classes.
Orientation-wise, people have discussed how coercive heterocentricism can negatively impact people who have never thought about their own orientations before, regardless of if they would turn out straight in the end anyway.
Even aside from gender and orientation, does anyone really benefit from ableism? A student experiencing one-off anxiety will likely not receive any more accommodation than somebody with an anxiety disorder with no legal documentation of it. How often do able-bodied people feel awkward about using the elevator? And how many often do disabled folks feel similarly awkward about how soon it’ll be before somebody makes them justify their right to use accessibility features? Again, abled people are not systemically disenfranchised and stigmatized, but both classes would benefit from a world where nobody gatekeeps disability or bats an eye at accommodations.
The problem with the Us vs Them model of privilege and oppression is that it seeks to create new power structures alongside the existing ones, instead of dismantling the entire notion of power itself. If you let people do what they need to do (whether it’s using the elevator or wearing a dress) without trying to retroactively judge the validity of their experiences, then everybody gets an equal playing field to be themselves freely and openly. After all, the number of elevators (ie resources) that exist in a space should be determined by usage statistics, and not by some statistic of how many disabled people there are present.
Exclusive labels will always leave out a grey population or fringe groups of marginalization. Everybody oppresses each other and that’s a fact of life and intersectionality. What needs to happen is an abolishment of the systems that keep everyone down; true revolution means aligning not through labels but through ideologies. Even Marx said that when the time comes to overthrow capitalism, some bourgeoisie will align themselves with the revolution. Disability and gender are social constructs that exist because people in power say they do, but those people in power would benefit more in the end from saying they don’t.