i need feminism

I’m getting increasingly angrier by the state of the liberal left, ie. social justice warriors/extreme vegans/etc.

A couple weeks ago I heard my queer friend talk about trying to get a job in the summer and how their friends were getting jobs more easily than they were, from which they concluded that it was obviously due to their definitive queer appearance that was putting them at a disadvantage. Everyone in the room nodded their agreement. Like, sure, that could be a factor. It could even be the case that all the places they applied to were actually not friendly to queer people. It could ALSO be the case that they were unqualified for most of the jobs, competing against more qualified applicants, applying to places that weren’t hiring, or simply got unlucky. With a likely sample size of under 20, drawing the conclusion that this specific instance is a form of oppression, or an example of privilege and of the hardships that social minorities face, is a radical leap. Now I am NOT saying queer and trans folk don’t experience those things, I am pointing out how this instance is a gross example of confirmation bias, and how no one questioned it, because to do so would be followed by violent verbal attacks from the people in question.

For a group of people that prides themselves on finding truth, fact checking, and being critical of social norms and political traditions, and maybe on being critical in general, they sure are acting like deranged parrots of their ideology. Being critical doesn’t mean questioning what you already disagree with, it means putting yourself and your beliefs under intense scrutiny. The liberal left has actually become so conformist within their ideology that if you want to make a huge dent in dismantling an organization, all you have to do is post an article on TMZ and make it look like some injustice is taking place, and the liberals will do the rest.

IN ADDITION for a group that likes to promote diversity and individualism, they sure like do a lot of policing (*vegans*). I have been personally attacked by social justice warriors at my school for not making social justice a hard and fast priority in my life. Like excuse me for having ambitions and interests outside of socio-political discourse, and fuck you for being so hypocritical.

And one last thing: the extreme liberal and regressive left, as it stands right now, is equally as hypocritical, conformative, uneducated, and aggressive as the far right. In other words, the ways in which you exist within your ideologies are the same; it’s the ideologies themselves that differ.

I’m not going to bother clarifying that I am actually quite liberal, because that is not the point.

"Not all men" vs. "Not all feminists"

A typical antifeminist/MRA/anti-SJ tactic is to suggest that feminists are being hypocritical when they say that men’s use of “not all men” is bullshit because we use the excuse “not all feminists” fairly often. Their mistake is that they think that because these two statements SOUND THE SAME, that they have THE SAME MEANING. But this is a false equivalence and I’m gonna tell you why. So strap in friends, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride ;)

The “not all men” excuse refers to RAPE and other aggressions and violence INDIVIDUAL men commit against women. When you say “not all men” you are saying, “yes some men are bad and may be dangerous, but some of us are good!” IOW, “Because I think I’m a ‘good man’, other men’s violence doesn’t exist and you shouldn’t bring it up anymore!”. Men who use this argument are trying to silence women and deny their experiences of violence and abuse at the hands of other men. This is a derailment tactic that serves no useful purpose but to reassert patriarchy and rape culture.

When we say “not all feminists are like …..” we are saying that you cannot define an ENTIRE MOVEMENT by the actions of an individual. FeminiSM is a # of THEORIES, PHILOSOPHIES, AND BODIES OF RESEARCH that advocates for equality and inclusiveness. Unlike a theory, which is developed over time through research, activism, and public/political/academic discourse, FeminisTS are PEOPLE with flaws and who cannot be asked to embody all that is feminism. Any logical person can see that this comparison is apples and oranges.

In fact, nearly every time a man has come at me with “yes, but not all men” has been when I was talking about my OWN experiences with men’s violence and abuse. And this is not just happening to me. Its prevalent use among men in this type of situation is the very reason there is such a strong push back by the feminist community. 

This is why when feminists talk about their individual experiences and a man chimes in with “not all men” it is absolutely a derailment tactic because it’s not even RELEVANT. Nobody even said “all men”!? We KNOW that not all men do this (e.g., rape, violence, make sexist/racist jokes) and that they are all individuals with autonomy and who make their own choices. In FACT, I will even ADMIT that there are a FEW moments when saying “not all men” can be appropriate. But that is only when a person has clearly blamed all men for something. And then, after briefly clarifying that not all men do this (or better yet, waiting until AFTER the story), you return BACK to the woman’s story and demonstrate human compassion and empathy. If you are just drawing conclusions about a woman’s meanings however, it’s better to skip this self-absorbed comment and start listening and caring again like a decent human being.

So, when feminists say “not all feminists” all that we are doing is trying to demonstrate to YOU that feminism is a very diverse movement and just because you met a few “nasty”, “b*tchy”, or even violent feminists, it doesn’t mean that FEMINISM itself is to blame and/or that it hasn’t/isn’t doing great things for humanity. What it DOES mean is that feminists too are individual people with their own unique lives and interpretations of feminism. Just like men!

THIS means that YOU, as an individual, are responsible for doing your research about feminism before you decide how you feel about it. You cannot judge feminism based on individual feminists or the cultural construction of feminism that paints it as no-longer necessary and as shrouded in ‘evil’ misandry (psssst, that’s something else!). 

Instead, you can kindly and privately call attention to this problem, as MANY of us feminists have done and continue to do, and suggest to these misguided feminists that they too take a break from their harmful “activism” and do more research and critical thinking about feminism and intersectionality. THAT would be a much more helpful and healthy approach than demonizing feminism and all feminists just because of a few “bad”/misguided apples.

anonymous asked:

Is it normal to sometimes feel tired of reading/discussing feminist goals and problems of oppression? It's not like I stop caring, it just stresses me out after a period of time and I start to feel kinda hopeless like nothing will ever change. It's like I need a day off from fighting. Is that okay?

Hello friend!!

Thank you so much for this great question! Full disclosure; This is a question I had asked myself a number of times in the past because I thought that as a feminist and someone who cares very deeply about social justice that I should have a never ending well of energy for this work. That my need and drive for justice and equality was SO powerful that I could power through any amount of criticism, abuse, discrimination, and oppression and keep on with the good fight. But of course, no matter how much I tried, I always succumbed to my fatigue — my humanity.  

But last year, after the Oscars in which Seth MacFarlane did that “We Saw Your Boobs” song, something pretty great and freeing happened. I came upon this article in Jezebel by Lindy West. Here’s my favourite part:  

What are you supposed to do when someone asks you to “prove” that feminism isn’t a massive conspiracy theory in a country where we’ve only had 39 female senators in the nation’s entire history, and 20 of them are serving right now? What kind of a stupid fucking question is that? What are you supposed to say when the 8,000th faux-incredulous jackass throws you the same argument about the wage gap or the draft or bumbling dads in Tide commercials—as though holding each of their hands individually through the empirical facts of the world around us is a worthwhile use of my time. As though feminist academics haven’t filled books (decades of books) with answers to that shit already. As though they believe that if they can keep you occupied refuting their flimsy trump cards over and over forever, they can stave off any changes to the culture that keeps them on top. I am so fucking fatigued by this anti-intellectual repetitive shell game that all I could do on Sunday night was write jokes about Barbra Streisand’s hella goth choker.

But. I couldn’t quit doing this any more than my cells could “quit” processing oxygen (or whatever cells do! Us girls aren’t so good in the sciences!). I’m not a feminist by choice, I’m a feminist because this is the world. And if my fatigue sounds defeatist, it isn’t. It’s the opposite. It’s an internal rallying cry that reminds me how bad things are. If you pay attention to and comment on everyday inequalities—immense and tiny—if you let all of it filter through you and you hop around and eyeroll and groan and drive your boyfriend crazy because he just wants to watch the IT Crowd but you NEED to talk about what Pat Robertson said today, this is what happens. Seth MacFarlane will go on the television and make a joke about George Clooney having sex with a 9-year-old girl who is sitting right there, and your first reaction will be, “Well. At least he didn’t literally say she should get raped. Pass the cheese.”

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How to Make a Rape Joke

Hello, precious flowers. I know it’s been a difficult couple days for all of us, what with…Read more

That’s bad. A famous man making sexist jokes on a primetime awards show watched by millions of people is so banal and status-quo in our culture, that to me—a woman professionally committed to detecting and calling bullshit on sexism—it just feels like a drop in the bucket. Luckily, there’s nothing better than a depressing dose of apathy to remind you to FUCK THE BUCKET. If I’m not fatigued, I’m not caring enough. So fuck that stupid bucket.

You can also check out this link I published just before this response for more SJ-fatigue support. All of this means then that sexism (or SJ) fatigue is a very healthy and very normal feeling. So please, do not feel bad at all about your fatigue. It is a direct result of your caring, daily encounters with injustice and oppression, and your nearly relentless efforts to educate and be educated about social justice. It is an impossible and extremely tiring job and there is NO SHAME in taking a break from time to time to rest your weary head and recharge your batteries for the next wave of antifeminist onslaught. Personally, I turn to cartoons!!! YAY ADVENTURE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3

I hope that this response helps you and others to “feel better” about SJ-fatigue. I also hope that this knowledge becomes a validating source of strength in your daily battles (and necessary breaks) for social justice. And when it gets REALLY tough, please feel free to call on me again!

SOLIDARITY!!!!

We’re told we have to pay taxes on pads and tampons because they’re “luxury items”. Apparently having blood oozing down your legs is an option.
—  A classmate of mine
Do not smile back at strange men.
Keep your head down,
eyes on the ground in front of you.
Work your mouth into a straight line
that screams “no.”
Make sure your skirt reaches the knees
and your top fully covers the breasts.
Do not saunter.
Do not giggle.
Avoid dark corners.
Replay what you learned in your self-defense class.
Pepper spray fits nicely in a girl’s purse.
Keep your keys in-between your fingers,
so you are ready to open your door
or stab anybody who sneaks up behind you.
Walk quickly to avoid the second happening first.
And above all,
do not ask why you are taught
to take all of these precautions
when a man does not learn
the meaning of
“stop.”
—  So, You Want To Walk Home Alone Tonight? | Lora Mathis
Ever notice how Islamophobes almost exclusively only attack women when it’s in public/in person?

Some asshat waved a noose at a couple of hijabi women at a central LRT station in my hometown a couple months ago, telling them it was “for  them”. 

When’s the last time you heard of an Islamophobe doing something  like that to a Muslim man?

Saying that you don’t “need feminism” doesn’t make it invalid. I don’t need a wheelchair. That doesn’t mean that no one else can use one, and it certainly doesn’t mean I’m going to walk around forcing people in wheelchairs to walk along by themselves. Great if you don’t need feminism; you’re privileged enough not to. Now let the rest of us keep going about our daily business and kindly shut up.

“I will never be a well behaved woman.

I would rather pass my days lying in the middle of dirt roads, staring at the full moon with a bottle of summer red in my palms.

I would rather have kids when it suits me, not when society expects or throws shoulds.

I would rather live in a hammock on a beach for six months, and write like my soul means it.

I would rather be horribly broke at times, than married to a job because a mortgage payment has my ass on a hook.

I would rather own moments, than investments.

I would rather eat alone, than sit with women who bore me at “Wives’ Night.”

I would rather swim naked with bioluminescence, have it fall like fireflies from my hair, my breasts, my back.

I would rather do handstands naked in the moonlight when no one’s watching than pick bridesmaid dresses.

I would rather drink seven year old rum from a sandy bottle, smell of smoke and ash than sit in church.

I would rather learn from life than rack up debt, in a desk.

I would rather drink the ocean, again and again—celebrate being madly alive.

I would rather my love be defined by love itself, and nothing more or less.

I don’t need a ring on my finger to prove that I am in love.

I would rather take the chicken bus, than spend useless money in safe gated communities. Sit beside a goat, listen to raggaeton and eat green mango with sugar in a plastic bag sold from the woman who harasses the bus each time it stops.

I do not need a degree to prove that I am intelligent.

I do not need to own a piece of earth with some wood on top of it—to feel successful. No one truly owns the land, anyway—we just think we do.

My savings account has diddly to do with my richness.
I would rather sprawl my single ass out like a lioness each morning and enjoy each corner of my empty bed.

I will take a job I love and freedom over a pension, any day.

I will not work and work and work to live when my body is old and I am tired.

Stocks are for people who get boners from money.

Not everyone should have kids, and my eggs aren’t expiring.

I will not drink the societal Kool-Aid on a bus, nor will I drink it on a train.
Not on a plane, with a goat, in the rain, in the dark, in a tree, with a fox, in a box!

I will not jump through societies’ hoops and red tape, the treasure hunt in the rat race we chase.

If we must have milestones—mine will be measured by how much joy I have collected at the end of each day and how often in this life I have truly, deeply, opened.

Seek, see, love, do.”

- Janne Robinson

Dear ppl with penises,

STOP telling ppl with vaginas to use less toilet paper. 

If you are guilty of doing this, you need to understand 3 very important things:

  1. Unlike for penises, one or two squares will NEVER cut it for us.
  2. If you don’t have a vagina you have no idea how much tp is necessary to keep one clean.
  3. Even if you did have a vagina, all vaginas (and their tp needs) are different anyway.

So stop it already with this misogynistic standard of tp use. We use what we use, leave us tf alone. Mmmmk? 

Sincerely,

- feministingforchange