Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Speak it.

This Here Garden.

And you: listen. Yeah, you.

Better yet: go THERE and read it. I'm just posting enough for you to get the idea, here. And then: getting out of her way, because she's got something to say, goddamit; and i for one, if nothing else, want to keep my eyes and ears open.

An Angry Loveletter to WhiteSister

I’ve been dealing with some issues that have been overwhelming. Primarily, I suppose, it’s about the trauma of being a colonized person. I do not say this lightly. Being a black woman, decendant of kidnapped and enslaved Africans, in America is traumatic.

It’s traumatic
Many of us deal with it by living in denial, because the anger would consume us if we didn’t. Sometimes we turn the anger against ourselves because colonization is not just about taking control of resources, it’s about taking control of minds so that the colonized no longer resist...

I have white friends, my sisters in this deen who I love deeply. I also know that they are blind to so many of these issues and in that willing blindness (because they refuse to listen to people of color when we try to share these experiences, so I know they are intentionally blind) they uphold the system of oppression they claim to despise. Yes my leftie sisters, you are racist too. You can not marry out of it, you can not convert out of it. White supremacy is like alcoholism. Once it’s in you, it’s there. You are forever an alcoholic either your only hope is the ongoing struggle of recovery. And the first step is acknowledging you have a problem. Don’t worry, we victims are constantly struggling to recover too. It’s just a different road. You are victims too, because this has hurt is all, deeply.

... Like so many POC my life is schizophrenic. My experiences say, “you can not trust white people” but my heart and mind refuse to acknowledge it. They say in unison, “no that can’t be true.” My white friends, my sisters in this deen love me! I know they do, they love their angry little brown friend. They send me gifts and words of encouragement. They hold me when I sob, so long as that sobbing isn’t about the pain of being a colonized person, and pump their fists to my anger at sexism and war. Some of them can see the systems of oppression. But when it comes to one on one, they can not deal with me. And can you say you love me, when you refuse to acknowledge all of me? That’s not love WhiteSister.

They must hear my pain from white faces before they can even begin to acknowledge that it exists. I say to WhiteSister “I hurt because racism has hurt my family for generations.” WhiteSister says, “we all hurt because men have oppressed us.” I say to WhiteSister, “Damn it WhiteSister! I hurt because YOU have oppressed us.” WhiteSister cries or rages and throws a tantrum that lasts for months or years because internalized sexism has taught her that that’s the only way to win. Two months later WhiteSister contacts me about this new book she’s read by WhiteWoman talking about racism. WhiteWoman wrote EXACTLY what I told WhiteSister, but now that she’s read it from WhiteWoman it’s a damned revelation. WhiteSister wonders why I’m not jumping for joy at her newfound awareness. She wonders why I just want to smack her across her hijabed head and ask her what the hell her problem is. And she still doesn’t get it when I tell her she’s a racist, and she isn’t even in recovery yet. Nope, until you can really listen to us, you are still just a racist. I know, I’m just not quite as happy in person, as I look on your wall...


Donna said...

The part that touched me the most is where she says that whitesister has to hear it from another white person before she believes. That is so true, and it's why I get angry with those of our allies who know better, but instead of speaking up they remain silent or flee. I was sure there would be so many telling TRex how racist what he wrote was, but amongst the biggest bloggers there was complete silence. No one dared to speak out with blatant racism staring them in the face. It's only the smaller blogs that have the nerve to speak out. Why is it that once they hit the big time these bloggers suddenly lose their progressive principals? I understand that power corrupts, and ambition may make one very careful about offending those who can help you climb up to the top, but what is the point of it all if you are only fighting for your own power and ambition. Doesn't there have to be something more to it than that?

belledame222 said...

I think so, yes.

Well: power: there are different -kinds- of power. That's one thing.

And you know, I have no problem with ambition per se either; hell, i've got a fair share myself;

but yeah. there are more important things. ultimately.

belledame222 said...

as per size matters:

dunno. are they cautious because they're big, or are they big because they're cautious?

belledame222 said...

possibly an odd-sounding recommendation at this juncture, but: ever seen "All About Eve'?

Mandos said...

BD222: Both! You can't get big without being careful. Kos nearly torpedoed himself with the "screw them" comment.

Mandos said...

So I'm a little uncomfortable with POCery. First of all, the facile objection: POC centres everything around, well, a Colour/White distinction and risks making whiteness normative, or not just another colour. I'm sure the ins and outs of this have been discussed in great detail.

But the other problem is, well, I'm a "POC", in that I am the child of immigrants from Brownskinia, but I cannot strongly relate to the POC activism that often gets quoted here. Yes, I'm thoroughly in agreement with the burqa-gate business. I'm a Muslim, and that sort of things hits me close to home.

Thing is, very few doors have been closed to me in my life, honestly, and if I live a schizophrenic existence, it's not on the axis that this writer is talking about. I didn't rise from the downtrodden---I come from South Asian literal Mughal-court blueblooded deposed aristocracy. Even after immigration and North American middle-class-ization, and even after adopting a sort of leftish political orientation, one still has some of the vestigial mental habits and the look-down-your-nose-at-the-plebes arrogance.

So I wonder how well the concept of POC fits. Y. Carrington told me, on her blog (do you know her blog? She's a POC radfem) after I raised this point, that she thought that I too had to stare whitey in the face at some level, despite all this. Maybe so. Maybe because my aristocracy was overthrown by their aristocracy or something. Who knows.

Hanna said...

This made me angry. Not at the writer. At myself.

For a whole lot of reasons I can't really eludicate. The situation is not all that similar to situations I've found myself in, but that's normal. Experiences vary.

But I think this anger is why I can't really contribute much. I don't trust myself to really contribute. I feel like I need another five thousand years of education or I'll continue to fuck up friendships. My friends were not so forgiving as the writer.

I could go on, but I'd start to get into territory where I'm not sure I wouldn't be advancing racist arguments. If I haven't done so already.

I'm not giving up, though. I just need a different space to work out my issues. The internet isn't the right place for it.



belledame222 said...

>I didn't rise from the downtrodden---

okay. but i get the impression that most if not all the people (women, here, mostly really, i've been talking to, although obviously there are men here as well) who do relate to this, -do- find doors closed, resonate to "rise from the downtrodden."

but i mean, i figure: if you don't relate, you don't relate. shrug. i mean, i don't relate to the Dworkinites, either, but i understand why someone might.

crazy-porn stuff aside: sure, it's gonna resonate a lot more strongly for some people than others, by dint of (shared, it turns out, to a strong degree anyway, enough to work with) experiences, and how they process them.

but anyway, sure; i could see why someone who's on the "of color" line of that dichotomy might still feel uncomfortable with the dichotomy, in a way approximate to (not equivalent; nothing ever totally is, which is maybe the point here) some women really don't feel comfortable with the radfem notion of "Class Man, Class Woman;" i.e. there are differences here, too, and some may actually outstrip our supposed similarities.

bfp does talk about this at her site; i mean, people do talk about it, i think. the black/chicana divide, for instance. and yeah class i assume. and so on, and so on.

belledame222 said...

what is the name of Y. Carrington's blog?

anyway, outsider though i am to this particular...struggle?...i can see how raw and real it is for so many people. i'm not going to quibble with details when i don't actually even know what i'm talking about; but mostly because, the feelings are the feelings, they come out of -some- experience; and what there -isn't- any fucking doubt about at all to my mind is that the "mainstream" feminist/leftie 'sphere, just like its real world counterpart(s), is by and large whiter than whitey mcwhiterton, and, well, that needs to be addressed.

anyway i'm -really bored- with the fapping about high heels and motherfucking blowjobs; i would totally be up for some brand new internecine thrashes! even if i mostly sit them out, the internecine ones anyway. actually that might be something of a pleasant change...

Mandos said...

The Primary Contradiction.

The thread I posted in (nicest welcome from a radfem I've ever gotten with the exception of VS):


And the one after it is also interesting:


Donna said...

Hanna, I understand. It's been a long time since I graduated college and so I feel like a simpleton sometimes trying to understand the terminology people are using. This may not be the exact same thing you are talking about, but I think you mean feeling like you are in over your head, well so do I sometimes. It doesn't stop me from talking when I get the chance, and it shouldn't stop you either.

I know that I can not possibly understand what it is like to live as a black person in the US, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't listen and be an allie to black people. Just because you don't feel especially "downtrodden" doesn't mean that racism doesn't affect you in many ways mandos. I don't think there is any way you can live in this country and not be affected. I think it depends on whether you want to do anything about it or pretend it doesn't exist.

The way I see it, I don't think many of them started out cautious, I think they learned to be cautious, that it will get them more links and readers. I also think that they aren't cautious when they aren't risking much, like throwing around the racism or sexism at FDL. They seem to have cultivated a readership that likes that sort of thing so they aren't risking much by offending people who do not regularly read them.

sokari said...

Excellent piece - for me the paragraph beginning is the most poignant..."Two months later WhiteSister contacts me about this new book she’s read by WhiteWoman talking about racism. WhiteWoman wrote EXACTLY what I told WhiteSister, but now that she’s read it from WhiteWoman it’s a damned revelation.

When we talk about the "POC" experience we mean our own personal experiences and that of other POC. The door does not always have to shut in our faces for us to know that it shuts in the face of our sisters and brothers, our mothers and fathers. It is enough for me to know that it shuts and that occasionally for various reasons the doors are sometimes left open for some POC to pass through - Racism and colonialism have always worked like that. By allowing the few to pass through the gates, they build alliances with those people and use that as proof that racism and white supremacy dont exist. It is a way of negating what we are saying which is why it is only when the white woman speaks that her sister beleives what we black women are saying.

The Purloined Letter said...

Wow. I've been reading the blogs of some of the Gallaudet protestors and the rhetoric is the same--about deafness/audism. Thanks for introducing me to this post.

belledame222 said...

jadp, but mandos doesn't live in this country; he lives in Canada.

which is not to say that (i expect) Canada doesn't have its own stuff; just; jadp.

belledame222 said...

>I also think that they aren't cautious when they aren't risking much, like throwing around the racism or sexism at FDL. They seem to have cultivated a readership that likes that sort of thing so they aren't risking much by offending people who do not regularly read them.>

Yeah, I think that's a good point. It's not so much "cautious" as "unconscious."

I mean, clearly even talking about race to this extent has uncovered a lot of nastiness and agitation; at the same time, perhaps naively, I can't help but think: listen, would it have been -that- hard for some of these people to've educated themselves first? To go, "say, listen, here's an interesting article" (from the perspective of you know somebody else), take a look guys. Say, let's talk about such and such. I mean, consistently.

Because, say, Amp does it, and while he's not an A-lister, and while the Ellen Jamesians (sorry, but) have just imploded because OMG PORN TAINTED SELL OUT, i don't think he's lost good mainstream white libs -because- he/Alas talks -too much- about race, or whatever else that goes somewhat beyond what say fdl or even bloody Pandagon touches on.

but yeah, you know, too: if you build it, they will come. that's been my belief. perhaps i'm naive. but then again, perhaps i'm not quite as ambitious in certain regards as...some people.

belledame222 said...

I guess, maybe, speculating, here's what it is, or one thing:

Most or anyway a lot of "good" white/het/male/whatever-privileged libs/progressive folks have their share of racism/homophobia/yadda, sure. and yah, being -called- on it is really fucking uncomfortable.

in other words, perhaps what's -really- causing the defensiveness, or a lot of it (i won't say all, no) is: FUCK THIS PERSON IS ANGRY AT ME. which means i am a Bad Person; which means i will melt; which means TO THE BARRICADES, COMRADES!

and you know, i -so- get the exasperation of fuckitall, if yer -that- sensitive, jaysus, did i hurt your feeeeeeeeliiinnnnnngggs, insensitive white/privileged person, by talking about MY/OUR VERY OWN SHIT -for once-. well, tough SHIT. by speaking PLAINLY and BLUNTLY, -for once.- believe me; i have my own stuff in that regard, more or less.

otoh, i can't help but thinK: y'know, if white people were more willing to just engage with this stuff on a more regular basis, it -probably- wouldn't come to this, this -anger-, -quite- so much in the damn first place. for once thing, a lot of the anger is coming from not so much "you can't say ANYTHING to these people" (which is, sadly, what a lot of unconscious white/privileged people take away from messes like this) but "no one HAS been saying anything to 'us people', except when it suits THEIR needs."

but i could be wrong, but as i said over at Punkass, to bloody Lindsey, when she started talking about "that guy from Slant Truth," mid-condescending lecture to Black Amazon (well, i mean! we don't know you from a hole in the wall! how could we be expected to know what you really meant!), well, "that guy's" name is Kevin, and he's really, really worth reading. As is BA, as is bfp, as are any number of people (named a few more) who gee it'd sure be swell if people made an effort to get to know them and their writings BEFORE shit like this went down.

because for one thing, well, -maybe- people might be less likely to say/do incredibly boneheaded things that--what? we had NO IDEA--were offensive in contexts other than theirs;

but maybe even more important: hello, people are feeling just a tad, how you say, USED, here?

"hello, you are only interesting to me exactly so long as you are talking about MEMEME. which appears to only happen when for some inexplicable reason you are ANGRY AT ME."

so...just thinking out loud here...y'know, and so maybe then you figure there's -another- incentive to -stay- angry.


but, also, related, well, shit, really all anyone deep down wants is contact; if the anger is the -only- way to stay connected, to get these people to -see- -anything-, then, well...


just ruminating, here.

but, and thinking, mostly at the so-well-meaning white folks wringing their hands alternating with bouts of ugly regression, what did we do o what did we do now,

stop a second. think. was this trip really necessary?

maybe, you know, time to, say, grow up, in certain regards. To learn to just accept it when people get angry. Not because "you deserve it," because you recognize that *that's how they feel, and you can't control that, and if you want them to not be angry, maybe listen to what they are actually saying instead of making it--again! be all about you.*

antiprincess said...

Because, say, Amp does it, and while he's not an A-lister, and while the Ellen Jamesians (sorry, but) have just imploded because OMG PORN TAINTED SELL OUT,

I think they're all just mad because he made them all dirty by proxy.

Mandos said...

I live currently in the US (past coupla years), though I'm a Canadian.

Mandos said...

"I know that I can not possibly understand what it is like to live as a black person in the US, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't listen and be an allie to black people. Just because you don't feel especially "downtrodden" doesn't mean that racism doesn't affect you in many ways mandos. I don't think there is any way you can live in this country and not be affected. I think it depends on whether you want to do anything about it or pretend it doesn't exist."

Oh, I certainly don't want to *not* be an "ally" (how's that for some double negatives to disentangle). I'm just wondering whether the concept of "POC" is a useful unifying concept. I mean, black people in the US suffer from a certain type of racism. There are things that I'm sure I suffer from (and perpetrate) that I'm sure I don't see, or are quite different from what black people suffer.

For instance, my biggest fear in life is not getting stopped by the police on the street as it apparently is for many young black males. My biggest fear is airline security checkpoints. I both walk on the street and fly regularly. But that I fly regularly suggests that my oppression is necessarily rather different from people who, as a class, don't.

belledame222 said...

woosp, sorry mandos. i had the idea that you were in Toronto. not sure why.

Mandos said...

You transposed New Yawk onto its alleged Canadian equivalent, I think. It's a common thing to do.

Someone just tried to register me to vote. I'm tempted to test the system, but I don't want the jail time.

Unsane said...

Marechera’s assimilation to the norms of rationalist Modernity, the intellectual roots of which were 17th Century, was to remain psychologically incomplete. Music was his suggested resin to bridge mind-body dualism. (116 BS) The form of music is impalpable, ever in transition, as such, liquid, even liminal. The narrator of Black Sunlight, in closing, makes his preference for liminal music explicitly against the harsh lines of Modernity. Yet the textual segment synthesizes, rather than divides them. Marechera’s method of writing suggests an aesthetic and political theory at work. This uses often-strange textual juxtapositions to create liminal spaces wherein some of the epistemological harsh lines of Modernist cultural landscapes move towards softening and melding. Unexpected symbolic narrative juxtapositions also serve to liquefy political and psychological demarcations of race and gender. Yet, whilst still incompletely dissolved, these historically imposed delineations of Modernity versus Premodernity have left marks upon the mind of the writer. Even more so, they can negatively delineate the emotional differential which might divides the mind of the critic and reader from understanding the aesthetic and political potentialities inherent in Marechera’s works. Those who see a moral vantage in presenting oneself as being only one, singular, unified self will be those who are most often confused, offended and psychologically disrupted by Marechera’s writings. The liquid quality of Marechera’s characters, which come and go unannounced, become action figures in an archetypical adventure scenario, and then dissolve, may particularly offend those for whom identity is a fixed quality.

Nanette said...


I feel like a simpleton sometimes trying to understand the terminology people are using.

You and me both! I've always considered myself a feminist, but I suppose my feminism is more of the superbabymomma type, arising more out of a human rights, humanitarian and civil rights background than something else, such as the Feminine Mystique and such - important stuff, of course, but my mom owned her own business and worked all while we were young - and less fortunate women around us sometimes worked two and three jobs (just like now) to help put food on the table and roofs over heads... trying to get into the "June Cleaver" lifestyle, wanting to just rest for a minute and let someone else take care of things, while suburbanites and so on were fighting to get out.

Anyway, the first thing I noticed about feminist blogs (well beyond "hmmm, when will they get to the real stuff? Oh! To them, this is the real stuff") not being feminist theory trained, much of the "well I'm a this that and the other thing" sounds to my ears (eyes) like nothing so much as a complicated Starbucks order.

While I've picked up some of the terminology now, I had the ultimate experience in cluelessness the other day at feministe... they had a thread up titled something like "Talk about BSG here, talk about biting beavers experience in the thread below", so of course I thought the two were related.

Oh gee, a new thing... what could BSG be? I spent a minute running all the various feminist terms and acronyms I knew around in my head, trying to make one fit... thinking surely by now I can do this! Finally after rejecting a few things, I clicked on the thread and found out... it was about Battle Star Galactica. sigh.

Nanette said...

I think the silence (and, as a result, the complicity) is due to not only the issues of power and access, but personal friendships (a good few of these people hang out together in real time), likeness... many have much in common with each other, not so much with some of the rest of us. Young, privileged, middle class, college educated, and so on and so forth.

I don't know if they think of themselves as the leaders of anything but the blogosphere, but I wouldn't be surprised as, for many families, that is what college and education is for - to train people who consider themselves future leaders.

Many, of course, are also seeking offline access and influence, and in order to have that come about as a result of online activity then you have to hew to certain safe areas.. it's a trade off, I guess. Oh, and don't call out your friends on their behavior, too, I guess.

Nothing much wrong with that, even as a blog owner whose success depends solely on the people who frequent your blog... as with anything, people make their own decisions what to support with their time and efforts and so on.

Not my cup of tea, the corporate, Democratic party affiliated/operative blogs - I mostly find them boring as all get out. Luckily, there really ARE lots of other blogs to read and participate with, so that's a good thing.

I think you are right about why Amp is not considered an "A lister" too. His was the first (and one of the only around) feminist blogs I found a few years ago, and one I've stuck with reading (I rarely comment) precisely because they tend to have a wide focus on the various issues. As I don't often read the comments I only know a little of the various dustups among feminists and him though... I do think on this last that he could have handled it much better, but I'm sure he knows that now.


I'm just wondering whether the concept of "POC" is a useful unifying concept.

I've only recently started using that term (in the past couple of weeks, lol) having picked it up as a result of the Clinton blogger thing. I think it's probably a good, but ill defined shorthand... I am not sure myself what all it encompasses. I'll have to find out.

Recently someone who I would consider a person of color didn't necessarily think they were included under the term, even though they also were from a marginalized population.

So, dunno.

ballgame said...

nanette: Your BSG story is priceless. I saw that and it took me a bit to try to figure out what it stood for, too, and had a similar reaction.

belledame222 said...

nanette: hah!! i had exactly the same experience with teh Battlestar galactica thing. d'oh. then again i suck with acronyms.

mandos: --so, wait, are you saying you're -in- NYC??

per the POC umbrella (or not): you know, i was thinking that maybe a -very- rough analogy might be the LGBTIGQ...you know. in this case the umbrella is "not straight." and in a way, yes: it is true that there -aer- commonalities in that -that's how we're defined" (i.e. there's heterosexual, and there's everything else).

and yet, not everyone accepts this term or that term, or that there's an umbrella at all. or, well, you saw the radical lesbian feminists: the separatists obviously include separating from -gay- men; they disavow themselves from "queer" and some are actively hostile to transgendered folks. for example.

does a heterosexual male crossdresser identify as "queer?" Do heterosexual polyamorous and/or openly kinky folk "count?" Does a Chelsea (white, affluent, of a certain stereotyped physique and lifstyle) gay man have much in common with a working-class black bisexual woman in the South? what about the "down low?" what about the married guys in various cultures who, like the ancient Greeks, "have" boys sometimes and -that's- not homosexual; it only "counts" if you'er the penetrated, the feminine, submissive role? what about the places where the names and concepts are different from what we understand here: katoey, hijra, two-spirits: are they "transgendered?" "gay?" just what they say they are in their own cultural context? ...and so on.

and yet of course, at the end of the day: heteronormativity -is- a damn near universal common denominator; the question is, is falling outside those defined lines in -any- way enough to bind us all together.

or, well, -a- question.

belledame222 said...

slip, heh, ballgame, you, too? i wonder how many other people were frantically poring over all the various definitions and subcategories and theoretical terms trying to figure out what Serious thing could possible be meant here...oh. yeah.

Mandos said...

No no no. I'm not in NYC. I meant to say that Americans, particularly NYC people, are prone to mapping NYC onto Toronto and then assuming anyone of consequence comes from there. I am an Ottawa boy. I know Toronto *quite* well, but I am an Ottawa boy.

As for NYC, I mentioned that I've been all over the "northeast coast" of the US for the past couple of years *except* for NYC. That's because I have had either conferences in those places or friends to stay with. For some reason, I have neither in NYC, and the relatives I have there are too distant. And gosh darn it, I ain't springing for a hotel. Would like to see the fabled polis beyond LGA/EWR (was there for exactly 24 hectic hours in the 90s), but never get the occasion to.

belledame222 said...

o right, you did say that, duh. brain fart.

Nanette said...

ballgame and belle, oh good! I wasn't the only one. I felt pretty silly ;)

I'm very bad at acronyms too and everyone seems to have them.

I try and call everyone whatever they wish to be called (within reason) and I do think POC pretty much fits most, but I'm not sure who it doesn't fit (besides P of no C).

belledame222 said...

yah. i figure there are commonly accepted (pretty much) terms, which do shift, sure, so pay attention, but not -that- difficult; and if specific people have specific exceptions/objections i will listen. certainly if they themselves want to be referred to as elsewise, i wil do so, wrt them specifically. beyond that, i think: truly, can't please everyone all the time, and you'll go crazy if you do. just don't call people something other than what -they- are asking you to call -them,- and you can't go -too- far wrong. ime, imho, etc.

(heh. acronyms!)

belledame222 said...

per Amp: as i was saying in the thread below: well, obviously it is well known that i am a john, a sellout, a brainwashed blowjob and rape-pr0n loving sexbot, an evil enabling Male-Identified Patriarchy Fucker (tm Bitch Lab), so my support for Amp here will come as no surprise to anyone, i rather think.

it's his damn space. finally. it's like: okay, so nu, people are offended. sure, it's your right to be offended, absolutely. bye! don't let the door hit you. Who was forcing you to stick around? And you know, the people who are shrieking loudest about how betrayed they feel, how they MADE Alas what it is today,

("I MADE you, and I can BREAK you just as easily!!" growls a sinister queer patriarchy-fucking Frank-N-Furter)

...these are the same damn ones who -insisted- that Amp curb the (admittedly noxious and often, although not always, genuinely trolling) MRA's by making feminist-specific threads, amid much battering and verbal abuse and yup, trolling, their very own selves, some (at least one of whom was imo rightfully banned, finally, and then let back in, not rightfully, imo); who -almost- got him to further make specific threads for -radical- feminists, even though they (hi, Heart! hi!!) had spaces of their -very very own- already; who -demanded- that he stop calling himself feminist but rather pro-feminist (or something); who consistently bully and heckle and generally (imho) lower the discourse in there to the point where i for one was finding it damn near unreadable, and not just in the damn pornstitution topics, either...

...actually, come to think of it, somehow, with certain few people, it -always- manages to come back to pornstitution. No matter what the hell we were -trying- to talk about. Or at minimum, mens' sexual oppression of women, somehow. How loathsome it is, how vile, did we remind you today? in the last few hours? in great lurid possibly triggering detail? Think constantly on the fires of hell!...

but, i mean: the pathos! the dwama! Alas a Blog is DEAD TO ME, to Jimmy Ho, that is (in so many words, o, how i especially -xox- the male radical feminists, bless their springy little heads): the ads page sells sex toys! Yes! Silicone fleshlights for men to wank into (and thus avoid perhaps bothering actual women, did they ever consider that angle?), we are SHOCKED SHOCKED.

and i mean: hello, compendium of the most consistently annoying posters in the place all gathered in one spot (most of 'em, a lot, for damnsure anyway):


and i mean, this, THIS was priceless, just now, i saw:

"I have said somewhere in here that I didn’t really trust Amp, but I tried to, and one reason I’m so angry is, I feel that once again, I’ve stupidly trusted a man. Once again. Will I ever ever learn, ever. And yeah, I know, I shouldn’t be berating myself for it, thanks char and delphyne for the reminder, nevertheless, it makes me mad.

One reason I talked myself into trusting him, ironically enough, is that he appeared to be footing his own bill for his blog. He wasn’t asking for money. There wasn’t even a paypal button there. He didn’t have advertising posted to his site. So I at least felt reassured that if my trust in Amp was misplaced, he wasn’t making money off of my poor judgment in having trusted him. Now that is all shot to hell. Either he was too proud to ask for help or to use advertising, or he didn’t figure he could rake in as much cold cash that way as he could by selling out to the idiot who is hoping to shuffle his pornhounds’ links to a little higher spot on Google. In any event, bottom line, he cashed in on my willingness to believe the best about him. That is betrayal anyway you slice it.



Getting this? It is now Amp's FAULT that he did not ask for money directly from his everready would-be backseat drivers; on the other hand, if he HAD done this "betrayal" would have been even worse.

and, lemon drop, did it ever occur to you that he didn't directly ask for money -or- directly confront you for the same damn reason he kept trying to accomodate and placate the loudest, most noxious bullies in the place, as long as they (you) did it under the guise of political right-on-ness, for as long as he has: because he -wants to please people and didn't want to make demands.- I am guessing.

Yeah, more directness, in general, would be better. Is always better. Maybe you know this was his own way of taking a step in that direction. I hope so.

and, if it were me, i wouldn't want to give that lot -more- excuse to whack me over the head "feel indebted to us;" if they had given money, then yah, they'd at least have had more cause for complaint imho.

As it stands: it's not your space. You've got your own. A number of them. And any number of other mainstream feminist blogs (run by genu-ine xx-chromosome'd women, which therefore means they're automatically far less suspect, more "safe," yesyesyes) where you apparently still feel free to wank to your little hearts' content. Say whatever you damn well please -there-, but as for the place you feel so "betrayed" by: Don't let the door hit you.


Sorry for the rant and derail; just had to vent one last time. Back to topic:

well, in a way it sort of ties in, you know, with the current mess(es). A lot of these same people--yah, even the ones who make a big show of their dedication to anti-racism (i.e. Heart)--a lot of the other ones, the fine upstanding feminists like g-m-r (she who shall not be named) are the very same ones who pulled the "gender trumps race" B.S.; who sneer derisively about "breeders;" who even if they don't go that far still frame the world in terms of Class Men over Class Women, world without end, hallelujah, everything else take a backseat and never get any damn farther; are grossly, hideously transphobic; who are absolutely vile to not only men but other women, not least the actual sex workers, "sluts," and other women they suppsedly are fighting on behalf of, whenever they step outside the lines of what they consider acceptable discourse; are constantly trying to turn every discussion into a miserable Red Guard-esque browbeating session; -and-, weirdly enough, yes, including the 'radical lesbians,' often, are overwhelmingly heterocentric. as indeed are the "liberal" mainstream feminists who abet them and the men who regularly and drippily and/or nastily display their hairshirt and self-flagellate (but in a thoroughly chaste, power-erotic-free Feminist way, of course), ostensibly for -their- ("our," yeah right) sake. i am -so beyond over- these people. mostly, so very tired of "squeaky wheel gets the grease," over and over and fucking over again; especially when the people who -should- be squeaking louder, don't.

belledame222 said...

...and of course, any "advertising' would've been better than ZOMG pr0n (which -may- as far as i can see from an admittedly cursory glance at least have been more or less independently produced, some of it); wonder if, y'know, even Coca-Cola or Nike ads would've drawn this kind of squawkage. certain clothing companies. hell, just about any large corporation really...

but no; we must preserve the illusion of purity at all costs. pr0n=RAPE and DEATH; the rest is gravy, pretty much. Heart's probably one of the most consistent about at least trying to tie her own focus to other issues; she was one of the ones who nailed TF for the "cute kids now dead" business, if you recall that one: used an image of Third World children rolling a tire and some horrible story or other to make her point that "no one can afford kids" in this our overpopulated patriarchy-tainted world. Which, 1) nice picture choice there, really gives the impression that you thought all the implications of this out and 2) "no one can afford kids," says the upper-middle class American white "gentleman farmer" and former restaurant reviewer. 'k. And quit putting that frisee crap in her salad.

...but even so. Class Woman Trumpeth All.


because, for -my- part, for one thing, as i've said, whaddya mean "we," straight girl?

and no, "political lesbianism" as a way to whack other women into submission is so very not cool -or- a solution to the structural problem here (please) in my book either.

It's as old as the hills. Police desire, peoples' internal life, mindbody and all, and you've gone a long way (not all, god knows, but) toward securing control over them. cops on the street aren't enough; you need to put those cops in the heads as well.

ironically enough considering they are -all- about centering sexual and sex-related abuse used as a weapon and tool of oppression, way more so than i ever was, for one; and yet. Apparently that only works in -one way-, in their world; and i'm saying: nope.

"Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."

and yah, insert whinging about how can you possible draw a comparison, what kind of power do this tiny tiny band of fringey (helpless) -women,-, much less -feminists,- much less -radical feminists- (who are hated more than anyone else in the goddam world, boo hoo) have? compared to the huge Monolith that is the Patriarchy?

and it's like: toots: sometimes? It truly is the thought that counts.

Nope, not gonna waste my time trying to, like, annihilate y'all, Certain Feminists; but neither have i any inclination to put up with your boolsheet either, simply because you SHOUT over and over again that you are in "the margins." so fine; stay there; it seems like that's maybe what you want anyway; how else would you know you were truly pure? Orthodoxy is not my doxy. c'ya.

dwayne m said...

I came to feminist blogs via B|L who led me to you and others.

Although I've mostly been silent - following the advice of Sun Tzu, or perhaps it was my Uncle Carlos who often quoted Sun Tzu, to carefully observe a terrain before moving and to speak as little as possible - I have followed nearly every controversy with keen interest.

I've followed because I was learning something important.

And what I was learning (or re-learning, in a different enviro) is that lofty sounding rhetoric is often divorced from correspondingly decent action because of the observed limitations of human cognition.

I first witnessed this principle in action within the walls of the church I attended as a kid - an "inner city" African American church, not desperately poor but close enough for a heart-tugging documentary.

Of course, issues of Black liberation were often on the table for discussion. So far, so good.

Then, one rainy day, a member of the congregation, a good friend of mine, came out as Gay.

The limits of the liberation discourse were loudly exposed.

In other words, an us/them dichotomy swiftly came into play with the "them" being my bud (who needed to "repent of his sins").

So too with feminism it seems.

All women, yes. All broadly agreeing that women shouldn't be restrained in any way. Yes again.

After that, things go in many directions, lines are drawn, pacts of steel signed, mortars are fired over the barricades. Overturned tanks furiously burn in the street while children play nearby.

Balkanization is a universal human tendency it appears - no gender, zex orientation, experiential or ideological circumstances offer protection.

What is it B|L says? The fantasy of being outside of ideology.

It's a fantasy because there is no escape.

belledame222 said...

(hey Dwayne!! long time no exchange, I know)

yeah. went back to the original thread; naturally already a white woman has come on complaining about how Albustaania -needs- to be specific about -just who- she's talking about; she, white woman, fels implicated, you see, and she hasn't done anything Wrong.

maybe a drinking game might be in order. every time this sort of response comes up to this sort of post, take a shot. three...two...one...

UmmAli said...

"For instance, my biggest fear in life is not getting stopped by the police on the street as it apparently is for many young black males. My biggest fear is airline security checkpoints. I both walk on the street and fly regularly. But that I fly regularly suggests that my oppression is necessarily rather different from people who, as a class, don't."

The biggest fear of a black man is not being stopped by police. Trust me on that. And we have to deal with airport security too, 'cause when you're a black man especially you have to deal with this stuff in all situations.

That being said, I can't speak to your experiences but it seems that you've lived comfortably in class so perhaps you haven't fully dealt with race. Wealth gives you a little bit of honorary whiteness. A little bit. That's all I have the energy to say right now. I may come back later to engage.

belledame222 said...

Hi, ummali, I'm glad you stopped by, and can understand that you're feeling lacking in energy to deal with this stuff yet more at the moment. Come back if and whenever you feel is right; you are welcome.

belledame222 said...

>I come from South Asian literal Mughal-court blueblooded deposed aristocracy.

I would be interested in hearing more about this at some point. particularly, the "deposed," and how that played out for you.

dwayne m said...

Ah yes, a drinking game...

I choose, as always, a mojito (the drink of galactic adventurers and Japanese kaiju researchers).

Trouble is, at the rate the predictable "it's the other guy, not me, Mugsy" responses pile on, we'd reach F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald status in about a day only without the brilliant novel to lean on.

Mandos said...

So, I've never actually *been* stopped by airport security, is the thing. My overall geekliness and Canuck accent and passport has generally saved me from that. The only thing I have suffered from this is the *fear that I might be*, and the fact that whenever I mentioned flying, someone invariably asks me, "Aren't you afraid of being sent to Guantanamo or something?"

But my point is, well, as many radical feminists put it, if you're not part of Class Woman, then maybe calling yourself a feminist is not a great idea. Some of them might accept "pro-feminist" or "anti-sexist" or just "man who stands out of the way".

I actually agree with this logic. It's not my oppression, so it's a bit rich for me to call myself part of the struggle. And that's why I'm a little bit reluctant with the POC label. Because the "illegal immigrant" woman's struggle ain't my struggle---I'm definitely on the other side when it comes to class (in the broad sense). I might, if I actually did anything for her, be an "ally". Maybe.

But to me POC seems to subsume all these things and risks, through well intentioned unity-seeking, putting together what really isn't. For my trivial little problems and the life I've been mostly grateful for, I don't want to sound like I'm upstaging other people

belledame222 said...

hahaha. too twue, too twue.

otoh it might make the whole thing a lot more entertaining. imagine responding to some of this ridiculous crap after having had a few (come to think of it, i think maayyybee some of the ridiculous crap in question is ridiculous precisely -because- they don't just imagine it, but...).

maybe just one day. for those who can, i mean, obviously. "Blogging While Toasted" Day.

hey, it makes at least as much sense as "Talk Like a Pirate Day."

(which, btw, i really feel that next time, Cap'n Dyke should take the day to speak like a posh British aristocrat or something).

belledame222 said...

slip, was laughing at dwayne's response

Nanette said...

But to me POC seems to subsume all these things and risks, through well intentioned unity-seeking, putting together what really isn't. For my trivial little problems and the life I've been mostly grateful for, I don't want to sound like I'm upstaging other people

I am not really sure how this works. While I have encountered racism (including sometimes being followed around in stores and such) both overt and covert, I've not thought of myself as being downtrodden or anything.

My life, comparatively, has been a relatively easy one, for whatever reason. Certainly nothing to do with class or wealth, lol (I've been one step from homelessness before and such)... which has not bothered me, possibly because class and wealth have not been my indicators (for myself or others) of success or anything.

But anyway, I've had doors open for me, even if at times I've chosen not to go through them, and I've never had a bad personal experience with the police (hearing stories of other's experiences, whether they were black, white, anything else, women, men, etc has sometimes caused me to wonder if there was something wrong with me :/ )- and so on.)

But anyway, I am not sure any of that matters, in the long run.

I think of Katrina and how, say, Black men and women at the top of their professions, well groomed, lots of friends of all cultures, well respected... I think how many must have felt looking at those pictures and realizing how easy it was to turn just about every Black person there into the permanent poor, the permanent underclass, thugs and hoodlums, and all the other stuff, regardless of who they really were.

You'd catch a glimpse of some personal stories... "I am a teacher, I thought I had a little time to stay and make sure things were ready for my students, they'd need something stable and familiar", or from the Superdome "I have my own house, that I own... we don't live like this, I'm known for my beautiful things and my clean house" and all the other stories. None of which really mattered in the long run.

I still wonder what happened to the guy who wound up being in charge of 18 little kids, most 2 or 3 years old and under - none his (if I am remembering correctly), and if they were ever reunited with their parents.

But anyway...

Same how "all" Muslims (and all Sikhs) became terrorists and so on.

Well, I lost my train of thought where I was going with this, but I think probably it's something to do with it doesn't really matter much if one's own life doesn't mirror the struggle of others, when it comes to being an ally or an advocate or just being part of the 'solidarity' thing.

Iron Jack said...

hey, it makes at least as much sense as "Talk Like a Pirate Day."

Arr, that day be havin' a special place in me heart, me hearty! Ye be comin' close t' fightin' words! 8^D

Beth said...

Belle, thanks for linking that here, I would not have seen it otherwise. The timing is interesting because I just had a conversation about this very topic with a dear friend of mine in which I stated "It probably never occured to her that you're black every day." My friend had never heard it put that way and she just roared with laughter. I'm not qualified to debate this topic with anyone and I'm pretty well aware of the priveleges I enjoy by being white, but it never hurts to be reminded. Thanks again!

Kai said...

Excellent post, belledame222. Great thread, too.

I think POC is (at the very least) a useful concept because although the experiences of different ethnic groups will surely vary to some degree (as well as those of individuals within groups, for that matter), the common opposition to all manifestations of white supremacy makes alliances across these divisions pragmatic. It also furthers a cohesive analysis of white supremacy by providing contrasting perspectives that reveal unifying threads.

Anyway, for the white sisters who need to hear it from another white person, I've got a post up at Zuky containing long excerpts of the prominent Southern white anti-racist Tim Wise.


Iamcuriousblue said...

Its an aside, but I'm pretty confused about the "Alas" controversy. From reading "Alas, a blog" before, I was under the impression that Amp was pretty strongly pro-radfem and anti-porn, even if he did take a somewhat more moderate position on the issue than the anti-pornstitution hardliners.

But then the non-blog pages of Amptoons have this page which reviews mainstream porn sites:


Is there a section of the Amptoons website that's run by somebody other than Amp, or is he the one who's doing the porn reviews? I have to say, I find this guy's stand on porn more than a tad baffling.

belledame222 said...

Amp explains it all, somewhere in there.

I think Amp you know is...neither really pro or anti, wrt porn; but yah his site has given a strong impression of being pro radfem, largely on accounta there've been so -many- of them.

which, i'm not sure that this was so much about Amp -agreeing- with them (although yes i think he has been influenced over the years; switched from believing in decrim to the Swedish model, i do remember him saying that much) as, well...

eh, i've said enough about that, won't eb able to do more without going back into rant territory.

anyway, his actions are curious; i suspect there's something going on with him, but ultimately it's for him to work out. anyway i support him here, obviously.

brownfemipower said...

nanette--i laughed out loud at that--i still have no idea what the hell those stupid acronyms are for any of the sex wars stuff. I was hoping by reading your comment, you'd be giving me a clue!!! :-)

damn if I wasn't foiled again...

Nanette said...

Man, I had no idea there were so many of us, bfp. I thought I was the only one! What a relief.

No, I'm afraid I have no clues, but someone really should make a glossary. I would attempt it, but I don't trust myself to take much of it seriously enough...