Monday, March 02, 2009

Seriously, do we need to tack a gorram Venn diagram onto every feminist blog, or what?

little light commenting at feministe:

THIS IS THE GODDAMN PROBLEM. To you, WOC and queer people are allies to feminism. They are adjunct groups, special interests, separate causes distract from women’s issues.
Let’s unpack that a little.

Women of color, in bringing up their concerns, are allies to (regular) women, who are just doing plain old feminism. Women of color are allies to feminism. Queer people are allies to feminism. Issues of racism, gender identity, and orientation, plus the accompanying oppressions and concerns, are “interesting” side dishes to feminism, which is for women.

Women of color and queer women are women. We are women. Our issues are women’s issues. They are inextricable from our womanhood. They are part of our feminism, and part of we want feminism to pay attention to, because these things are women’s issues. Your version posits that there’s regular women, who just do feminism, and then there’s those allies who drag those regular women in the trap of paying attention and giving energy to other causes–like the concerns of the women next to them who are brown, trans, and queer.

What does that make these regular women, the core of feminism, so gracious as to allow in the interesting sidebars on race and gender and orientation and ability and class, so vulnerable to falling into the trap of paying too much attention to those issues? White. Straight. Cissexual. Able-bodied. Not working-class. Those are “just plain women” in your frame. Their issues are “WOMEN’S issues.” Other women? Women who are different? Their issues aren’t “WOMEN’S issues,” except for the ones they share in common with white, straight, upper-class, cissexual, able-bodied women. Their issues are an occasionally-interesting distraction from real women’s issues.

Thanks but no thanks for your inclusion, pal.

52 comments:

Elián Maricón said...

First...I love the individual who wrote this post.

Dear Belledame, Little Light & other similarly minded women, transwomen, (of all races, gender expressions, able-bodied statuses) and associated badasses in the blogosphere:

This post captures the exact reason I am attempting to find other authors to serve as contributors to my blog. I am a queer, cissexual, able-bodied Latino male who grew up on the lower end of the SES food chain. I therefore perceive the world through that lens. No matter how hard I try (and I do), I have privileged aspects to my identity that will always serve as blind spots. They will cause me to perpetuate oppression in some ways even though I am aware they exist and despite my ongoing efforts to identify them and rid myself of them as much as possible.

For example, I like to think of myself as a "queer male feminist" (think John Stoltenberg as in his dedication to feminism, not necessarily every aspect of his philosophy although both his and Dworkin's writing turned my world upside down- in a good way- when I was a youngster). But that doesn't mean I am not advancing the patriarchy even when I *think* I'm doing the exact opposite. Damn blinders!

If any of you ever have a blog post related to anything Obama (even peripherally), I would love to provide you with access to my blog, Queers Against Obama (and the domain name is being changed to be more inclusive...the current one was the first one I could get, and it is my first experience blogging, so I am learning as I go)so you can cross-post it there. Furthermore, I really want it to be open and accessible as possible, and I could use ass-kickings re: the design. Those damn blind spots again... Please come and visit and if you see something fucked up re: the design, read me the riot act I deserve. I am not saying "It is your duty to educate poor male cissexual me". I am saying "call me out on my sexism, cissexism, etc, and let me know that I am an ass for not working hard enough to see past the privileged aspects of my identity...because that's the truth, IMO. I feel the same way about classism and white and hetero "allies". I don't think it is my job to be the fucking pied-piper who leads them to a land free of heterosexism and racism. Rather, I prefer to "call them out" (either gently or....not, depending on the situation) rather than "educate", b/c it is THEIR job to learn how not to be oppressors.

Mattilda (blogger at "Nobody Passes, Darling" and amazing writer/activist who I had the fortune to meet and participate in actions w/ in Gay Shame when I lived in SF) has expressed interest in working on the blog and helping me transform it into a space for queer and transgendered people to have a space to express dissenting views about Obama from the left. Right now, only the voices of avid liberal queer and transgendered supporters of Obama are being heard, and the Log Cabin Republicans also have a platform to spew their fetid views. I think it might be cool for their to be a hub where other views can coalesce and maybe have a better chance at percolating up through the cacophony of nonsense so that dissent can be heard.

I'd love contributions of any type...poetry, essays, screeds, art...and I want the blog to become less a platform for my particular point of view and more of a community platform expressing criticisms of Obama and the administration (and the politics he actually represents, those he pretends to represent, and those standard liberals believe or try to believe he represents) from the diverse perspectives of transgendered people, feminists, people with disabilities,people of color, and people whose identities intersect at several such locations.

The blog is undergoing renovation, so hits have been low the past couple of days. It is barely a month old though, and I have only been tracking hits and stats since Feb 3. It has done rather well considering my fumbling efforts and the fact that it is still green. One of the posts has been included at Bilerico, and I have been encouraged to submit more by the editor and to apply to become a regular contributor. I have also been invited to be a regualar contributor at Below the Belt. Queers Against Obama has an average of 30 subscribers through feedburner and about 10 directly through google, and 10 or so more through other platforms.

I am not telling you all of this because I want you to think I am anything special. Rather, I am trying to entice you into participating with the promise of increasing exposure. It is just a small but growing blog with potential, but it needs other voices if it is going to grow. I wish I had the time to devote to it and provide the quality content and frequent updates necessary given how much exposure it has recieved in such a short time, but I am also writing my dissertation, so most of the posts were (obviously) written in 15-20 minutes when I have free time. I want to turn it over and make it a group effort...and I do not expect to be a "leader" or "editor". I'll be just another contributor. :)

So please, please, consider this offer. All you have to do is cross post at QAB (with a link back to your own blog, of course) if you think the post is relevant.

Love the site, love the above entry (almost started speaking in tongues I got so excited), love you all.

Elián Maricón

Kristen said...

Argghhh...and so I have this ongoing argument with myself about feminism...WHY, WHY, WHY is there this definitional issue AT ALL.

People suffering = something we should do something about

Oppression = something we should do something about

I'm really starting to hate the word feminist right now...AGAIN.

Kristin said...

"I'm really starting to hate the word feminist right now...AGAIN."

Me too. Well, except, I hadn't really stopped. Word to little light's comment.

A'ishah Meghan Rose said...

ya allah. THANK YOU FOR THIS. so well-said.

belledame222 said...

Kristen: ayup.

Elian: Lemme look and think about it, thanks for the proposition.

For me I guess, I'm thrilled about the general idea of intersections you're proposing, but wrt Obama himself...I appeciate the criticism, but I'm sort of "eh" wrt being "anti." I mean I was never a huge fan, but I did spend a lot of time tearing my hair out over "anti Obama" feminists--I mean because they were coming from a very different angle, deliberately trying to throw the election to McCain because they wanted Hillary so much and sticking their fingers in their ears when it came to the bits that you'd think they -would- be concerned about (i.e. at least Obama reversed the global gag rule, which McCain likely wouldn't have) and just generally being clueless racist and otherwise offensive douches.

That said, the election's long over and I certainly don't think Obama is above serious criticism, (never did, but now more than ever), especially wrt what you're talking about at your spot--I took a gander. I just amn't at the point where I'm like, Nader style "they're all exactly the same." Other people may feel differently though. I'll pass it on.

belledame222 said...

(SES? I'm bad with acronyms)

belledame222 said...

What I'd be more interested in, specifically wrt mainstream queer blind spots: would like to see more alternatives to HRC and serious looking into -why- Prop 8 went the way it did, and what (and who) keep getting ignored. I know some people are doing it already, but the more the merrier.

belledame222 said...

...in light of which latter I just then right after posting that went over to a friend's and saw this

Alon Levy said...

SES = socioeconomic status. I think.

Personally, I see this issue of queer women qua women as an issue of competence, mainly. There are idiots who think white middle class women's issues are supreme, e.g. the top feminist bloggers. And there are idiots who think every issue is a women's issue, like the ANSWER people who're tacking "Free Palestine" to a "Bailout for women" march.

If the Feministe/Feministing/Pandagon axis were better at what they do, they'd probably be able to incorporate the concerns of all classes of women into one movement. NOW can, and indeed, Kim Gandy vocally disavowed the gender-trumps-race faction in the Democratic primary, and managed to avoid being criticized for being insensitive to the concerns of nonwhite women.

Mandos said...

As a computer science geek, I would very much like every feminist blog to have a Venn diagram. In fact, every blog. Venn diagrams for everyone!!!

Mandos said...

I really want to make a joke about race treason, by the way, but I can't figure out how to do it without coming off skeevy, you know...

Mandos said...

Speaking of skeevy, does anyone get skeeved out when Good Liberals start talking about Obama and "rope-a-dope"?

belledame222 said...

I never even knew what that means tbh.

Mandos said...

That's because you're not a true race traitor.

(says the Indo-Canadian talking about Muhammad Ali...)

belledame222 said...

I knew it came from Muhammed Ali/boxing but I don't know exactly what it -means.- i can has google, don't worry.

partly i keep mentally conflating it with "soap on a rope." and from there, someone else who was talking about "Pope on a rope." and then I get confused and have to lie down.

EthylBenzene said...

Awesome comment. Massive love to littlelight :) I rarely wade into the comments at Teh Big Blogs because, well, because of this shit.

Or maybe I'm just so jealous of their big blogginess. Or something.

Seriously, how telling is it I seem to hear that justification a lot? Oh your criticisms couldn't POSSIBLY be rational, you're probably just JEALOUS of ALL MY SUCCESS. ~vom~ Much easier than hearing uncomfortable truths about yourself.

Renee said...

This is exactly why I take the label womanist rather than feminist. No matter the lies that are told, feminism is not inclusive. It continually privileges the goals and desires of white, straight, cis gendered women and the rest of us are reduced to side projects.

belledame222 said...

Or maybe I'm just so jealous of their big blogginess. Or something.

Seriously, how telling is it I seem to hear that justification a lot? Oh your criticisms couldn't POSSIBLY be rational, you're probably just JEALOUS of ALL MY SUCCESS. ~vom~ Much easier than hearing uncomfortable truths about yourself.


Yeah, I know. I mean, I barely have time/energy to keep this blog going at the size/rate it is -now- ffs. I mean at one point the idea of making cash just from spouting whatever on a blog sounded really appealing? but at this point it's like--there's not that much money, and as for the attention jones--well, hey, there's all sorts of ways, you know? mostly these days I look to it for meeting people I -do- want to connect with, exchanging ideas, occasionally spreading word about something I think is important, and basically just sort of shooting the shit venting spleen. that's already plenty.

whatsername said...

Yes, yes, yes!!

GallingGalla said...

Elián, i don't know if you are still reading this thread, but i will say my piece anyway.

i am really uncomfortable with your comment. my objections in no particular order:

'tis a significant derail of the thread.

"women, transwomen" - seriously, wtf? way to third-gender me, dude. i am a woman who is trans, hence trans woman --note the space between the words-- not some kind of semi-woman-like third-gender. "women, cis or trans" or "self-identified women" would be better. howzabout you read the title of this post, ok? intersection between trans and woman, yeah?

calling your site "gays against obama" is hardly what i would call inclusive of the LGBTQIQ spectrum. also, you are aware that there are trans folk who are straight, yeah?

the header image on your site is incredibly offensive. peeps, we gotta *stop appropriating* the palestinian struggle for our own pet issues. also, the implied militancy / violence is not only a turn-off on its own, but also reinforces the whole "muslim / palestinian = violent / terrorist" falsehood.

you're channeling Dworkin and Stoltenberg? just...ewww...trans folk and/or sex workers and/or bdsm-ers don't need any more radfemmy luvyluv, yno?

finally, i have issues -- some rather serious -- with Obama's policies, but really, what's the alternative? McCain / Palin? seriously dude you sound like a PUMA in queer clothing.

in short i do not like your product and i am not subscribing to your newsletter.

belledame222 said...

'k Elian, since you apparently wouldn't approve my comment at your blog, (so much for the whole "please please give me critique and let me know my blind spots, eh? surprise) I'm going to repost it over here.

You replied to GG, who wrote the same comment there as here:

Elián Maricón said...
Re-read the post....I am hardly "channeling" Dworkin and Stoltenberg.

Also...see post re: "why this site's url is www.gaysagainstobama"



The header image on this site is an image from a group called Bash Back. There may or may not be Palestinian members of affinity groups that make up Bash Back....at any rate, it's irrelevant, you see, because there are these people called "anarchists". Sometimes at demonstrations a phenomenon known as the Back Bloc occurs, and they are known for covering their faces with bandannas for reasons which should be obvious. Bash Back uses pink ones...do you require further information or can you add 2 plus 2 all by your wittle self?


There are straight trans people?
Ya don't say?
One learns something new every day (please note dripping sarcasm).

BTW...person of color here. "Ninja" was meant to imply "ass-kicker".

And I agree. You have serious issues....


my attempted response:

Um, Elian: GG is a friend and ally of mine, her criticisms I co-sign whole heartedly; and if this was your attempt at bridge building...dude, I don't know if you noticed, but you're ass-deep in the canal and floating out to sea. and you might want to ask the actual person of color whom you referred
to as a "ninja" (in general ime it really doesn't land well with specifically people of Asian heritage, and I do believe LL, herself another friend, was decidedly not amused for exactly that reason, among others) before assuming it's okay. I mean, there are a -lot- of assumptions all over this piece.

so yeah, thanks for the props, but I definitely don't want the newsletter either; I expect you can add me as well as a number of people I showed your proposal to (many of them fitting various of the
intersections you claim to want to attract) to the apparently epic length list of People Who Have Proven Terribly Disappointing, Just Like All The Rest Of The Unworthy.


*

seriously, though, I could've saved all the typing and just gone with your classic

EPIC FAIL

because, you know, it IS. That response, the blog as a whole, actually, now that I take a closer look.

but, good luck with the whole Making Friends/Allies And Influencing People schtick! sincerely! because if alienating the crap out of the people you supposedly want to ally with and then flaming them (badly) when they offer some of the critique you claim to want isn't going to work, I don't know what -will!-

no love,

etc. etc.

GallingGalla said...

yeah dude, i mean if you're going to pull the drowning maestro schtick, can you at least do it *well*? dude, your not even entertaining, just pathetic.

*flick*

Alon Levy said...

As far as I can tell, Gays Against Obama is yet another bad attempt by old left communists and anarchists to connect to new left causes like feminism and gay rights. The banner image is a good example: as far as I can tell, the modern gay rights movement, even its more radical and pro-trans elements, doesn't glorify violence. The more conspiratorial elements within the left will even tell you that people who preach riots are agents provocateurs.

You even see the attempts to use new left language falling flat. Elian's pitch says things like "Dear women, transwomen, (of all races...)" and talks about how he has "privileged aspects" and asks to be called out on his sexism. That's not conversation; that's intellectual masochism. To me, it screams, "I've read Hugo Schwyzer and a few WOC flamewars and am trying to imitate the style." And, if he really does delete comments he doesn't like, it's not even honest.

It connects to the every issue is a woman's issue fallacy. Every issue affects women, but not all affect them equally relatively to how much they affect men. Kevin Drum and Kos discovered that the hard way, when half the left blogosphere came down on them for downplaying abortion and civil rights, and demanding that everyone blog about social security and health care; those may be women's issues, but reproductive rights is even more of a women's issue. I really don't see a difference between Kos and Drum's behavior, and starting a "Gays against Obama" website that leads with a banner of terrorists.

belledame222 said...

well, extra fail for asking to be called out and then having a total tantrum when someone actually took him up on it. at least Hugo usually pretends to accept the feedback, although to be fair, his navel gazing hairshirt wearing in response just makes it more aggravating,

Alon Levy said...

Yeah, exactly. Self-effacement needs to come off as sincere to work.

The most annoying thing about feminist conversations: men who think their ticket in consists of feeling guilty. It doesn't work like that. Sometimes I want to write a guideline to whites/men about how to survive in discussions about race/gender with radicals... (rule number one: if you ask people to judge you, they will.)

Elián Maricón said...

Belledame22,

I apologize for being out of town and not checking email for several days. There are those of us who aren’t always sitting behind a computer (and, believe it or not, some people even intentionally avoid doing so at times). This is the first time I have checked my email since responding to GG’s comment at Queers Against Obama (and to your email in defense of her post) in the middle of the night last Sunday.

Given your blog's enormous reach, do you honestly think for a moment that I would be stupid enough to think I could censor you even if I wanted to?

I had no idea until just now that my comment here, which was intended as a compliment, had caused such anger. Hence my not following it…. until I logged on this morning to find your comment still awaiting moderation. Out of curiosity, I hopped over to your blog to discover this thread and the evisceration one would expect from having inadvertently managed to incite the ire of the author of a blog entitled “Fetch Me My Axe” (that was not a put-down).

Once again, I had no intention of censoring you. Not that it matters (as you've made quite clear), but to demonstrate this fact I have given your comment its own post on my failure of a blog (a comment which really broke my heart, I tell ya, seeing as how blogging IS MY LIFE!!!!) accompanied solely by this reply.

The only comments I intentionally censor come from the far right and include derogatory epithets about LGBTQI people (that do not need to be repeated here lest I be accused of somehow endorsing them) interspersed with exhortations to accept Jesus as my savior.

Having said that, I think I have made it rather clear that your friend GG's criticisms (and anyone's) were/are more than welcome and WANTED...as long as they are at least relevant. Note the use of the word "relevant" as opposed to "agreeable" or "what I want to hear". Allow me to explain…

GG in fact made *one* criticism that was EXTREMELY relevant and relates to an issue I had agonized over (see older thread at Queer Today about the use of the "t word" if you care enough to check on whether or not I am just blowing smoke up your ass or if I happen to be for real) regarding the proper terminology to use. As my post in that thread indicates, my own history, personal relationships, and lack of awareness surrounding the online hurricane regarding the use of various labels left me bewildered yet determined not to hurt anyone. Indeed, I settled on the term “transwoman” that GG found so offensive after extensive research dialog with a number of people who are transgendered. The consensus that emerged was that that term would likely be deemed universally benign. So I used it, thinking that I had done my best to make the point I was trying to make without using an offensive term.

And GG *almost* did precisely what I had hoped people would start doing. Moreover, I would have taken her criticism seriously if she had come across as a serious individual. What do I mean by “serious”? Well, for starters, providing criticisms that are relevant. For example, her first criticism is exactly the type of criticism I know I need and for which I asked (for all the reasons I stated and probably even more of which I am not aware):

"women, transwomen" - seriously, wtf? way to third-gender me, dude. i am a woman who is trans, hence trans woman --note the space between the words-- not some kind of semi-woman-like third-gender. "women, cis or trans" or "self-identified women" would be better. howzabout you read the title of this post, ok? intersection between trans and woman, yeah?”

My reply to that would have been, “Great fucking point, no one to whom I’ve spoken has taken that particular slant on the matter, and thanks for pointing it out. I should have thought of that myself and I didn’t, and now I’ll be going back to the drawing board. Thanks for the much-needed swift kick to my cissexist ass” (However, as to “howzabout you read the title of this post ok?”….I recall referring to a post you quoted by “little light” who, correct me if I am wrong, had essentially taken certain feminists to task for their silencing and subordination of other voices --whom they mistakenly accuse of taking focus away from the so-called “real women’s issues”—without recognizing that those voices ARE women’s voices and the issues of which they speak ARE women’s issues….basically, the feminists in question had created numerous false dichotomies….so that would make them false “multichotomies”? Snort.)

That excellent criticism, however poorly conveyed, was lost amidst a torrent of verifiably baseless accusations and an irrational word salad that were so blatantly false as to make me question whether or not the person making the criticism was even serious. Here are specific examples as to why I did not take her seriously:

Example #1, where GG stated:

"the header image on your site is incredibly offensive. peeps, we gotta *stop appropriating* the palestinian struggle for our own pet issues. also, the implied militancy / violence is not only a turn-off on its own, but also reinforces the whole "muslim / palestinian = violent / terrorist" falsehood."

If a person accuses me of (a) “appropriating” the Palestinian struggle and (b) “reinforcing the whole ‘muslim / palestinian’ = ‘violent / terrorist’ falsehood" by virtue of that header image, then I feel rather justified in questioning whether or not that person is serious. By all means, criticize queer anarchists and their tactics and philosophy…open season! But for someone as politically aware as GG to “miss” (or perhaps disingenuously overlook) the overt Black Bloc/Pink Bloc connection and then shank me with the ridiculous accusation of spreading anti-Muslim hate…well, pardon me for being a tad incredulous.

Here is another example as to why I believe I was justifiably incredulous about what GG had to say and why I did not take her seriously. Now, here’s the exact quote I used: “think John Stoltenberg as in his dedication to feminism, not necessarily every aspect of his philosophy, although both his and Dworkin's writing turned my world upside down- in a good way- when I was a youngster”….

Somehow that statement made its way through GG’s brain and after she processed it, she managed to arrive at an interpretation that caused her to respond with Example #2:
“you're channeling Dworkin and Stoltenberg? just...ewww...trans folk and/or sex workers and/or bdsm-ers don't need any more radfemmy luvyluv, yno?”

So….let’s see if I understand everything correctly. This remark reveals that GG is an intelligent, well-read woman, yet she somehow read my explicitly qualified statement (perhaps I should have hired a skywriter?) about Stoltenberg and Dworkin as “channeling” them (in addition to somehow “misconstruing” the header image on my site as promoting anti-Muslim hatred).

Example #3: “calling your site ‘gays against obama’ is hardly what i would call inclusive of the LGBTQIQ spectrum. also, you are aware that there are trans folk who are straight, yeah?”

Had she not come to the site itself , which is emblazoned with the header (which we all know she saw b/c she loathed it so much, no?) labeled “Queers Against Obama”, I might have been able to accept that statement as indicative of a simple misunderstanding. Unfortunately, the header is also qualified by a post entitled “why the url for this site is gaysagainstobama.org” (which details why I initially took the url and how I managed to finally obtain queersagainstobama.com). Now it’s become obvious….GG merely wants a pissing contest.

And GG, not only am I aware that there are ‘trans folk who are straight’, I am also one of the few people with the so-called “credentials” that are unfortunately required to be taken seriously who is actively campaigning to have GID removed from the DSM. Sadly, should such efforts prove to be suffessful, they won’t be enough to get you off the couch any time soon. Before anyone cries “ad hominem”, let us examine the final example:


Example #4- "ninjas"? really -- yno, putting trans* folk up on pedestals is just one way of fetishising us. or, are you directing that word specifically to women of color? "ninja", "shaman", etc its all been done before, both to people of color and to trans* folk and it does nothing but dehumanize us. i am a trans woman, not a "ninja".finally, i have issues -- some rather serious -- with Obama's policies, but really, what's the alternative? McCain / Palin? seriously dude, i smell PUMA. i smell 'destroy obama at any cost'. i smell racism. i smell tokenism. i smell my being used as an instrument to further your campaign / revolution / hate-on for Obama / pining for McCain or wev. in short, i am not interested in being a self-demonstrating zoo exhibit, i do not like your product, and i am not subscribing to your newsletter.

At this point, GG reveals herself as either a masochist who yearns to be offended at every possible opportunity (even if she has to make one up from scratch) or is just plain out of her fucking mind. Why? (a) I wasn’t just asking for transgendered people to contribute (and note the word “contribute”-not “subscribe”- and how I *specifically* and painstakingly articulated a need for voices with different views from my own- where exactly did that get lost in translation?), I was asking for people from a variety of different backgrounds….again, a fact that is quite clear from even a casual reading of the post itself. GG’s comment in and of itself suffices as a “self-demonstrating zoo exhibit”.

(b) I hardly need a white woman to lecture my spic ass on how people of color are fetishized. Additionally, I personally thought a ninja was someone who was skilled at the art of ninjitsu, and I was unaware that one had to be of a specific race to qualify for that appellation. Why is it that the white GG associates race with a fucking metaphor for someone (from any marginalized identity/background) who writes with a strong voice characterized by intensity, power, and razor sharp argumentation?

(c) GG smells racism, does she? Is that what her lily-white Spidey sense picked up on in my dislike for Obama? Has she ever heard the term “blatino”? Probably not. I recommend that she Google it, and then come back and tell me how my dislike for Obama is the result of “racism”…I am sure those members of my family who are labeled “blatinos” by gringas such as herself would be interested in learning that fact about me. (d) First, notice her repeated use of the word “I”. “I smell….tokenism….. i smell my being used as an instrument to further your campaign / revolution / hate-on for Obama / pining for McCain or wev. in short, i am not interested in being a self-demonstrating zoo exhibit, i do not like your product, and i am not subscribing to your newsletter.”

One would think the request for additional writers had been made to GG, and GG alone.

GG, how can you be a “token” when I wasn’t asking only for the perspective of someone with your particular set of identities? Am I a token of a cissexual queer Latino guy from a lower SES background (Note to Belledame- that means someone who grew up poor….I am sure you can wrap your head around the concept if you try hard enough)? I know, shocking isn’t it? Re-read it though….it’s true! You are NOT the center of the universe.

Love and hugs all around,

EM

little light said...

Elian, sugar, with fans like you I don't need detractors. Step off and take some deep breaths, man.

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

Elian:

Goddamn you, you have provoked me to come back from a badly needed blogosphere break because some things should really not be left unsaid.

Straight down to business then: Fuck you.

Then, also, signing on 100 % to what belledame222, Galling Galla, and little light have said.

And, finally, y'know... It's just disingenuous to suggest that you sought to resemble only black bloc type anarchists in your photographs. I've been around plenty of anarchists at plenty of rallies (for many years), and fact is, the uniform that you're all wearing in these photographs appears that it's intended to drum up propaganda about "scary terrorist Muslims." That you call yourselves "terrorists" on your organizations website further suggests that you are not completely ignorant of what you're doing.

You know what, though? I do have to thank you for one thing--that is, that you tipped some folks off to the existence of an organization that is good at inspiring parody. See the "cunt of oppression" post above. For the laughs, I do sincerely thank you.

In any case, the "love and hugs" bullshit is not winning you any fans.

Anyway, to round out my comment, one last time: Fuck you. You know, I probably could've saved myself some time and effort and left it at that.

Kristin said...

Also, dude do you know anything about blogging? A lag time of *days* before approving a comment usually means it's been deleted.

belledame222 said...

Dear Elián Cabrón,

a) tl:dr

b) what part of "I'm not interested in further communication with you" wasn't clear?

Just in case my responding at all made it so, let me spell it out:

I Am Not Interested In Further Communication With You. Reason: You Are A Pillock.

buh bye.

Alon Levy said...

I can't speak for GG, but I did criticize the "Look at us - we're just like terrorists!" idea in the banner. It's at least as bad as Biting Beaver's logo of a beaver chewing on a penis.

re: ninja, all I'm going to say is that ninjas were basically professional bandits for hire. Think of them as mafia/gang soldiers with their own special training. The reason modern geeks fetishize ninjas and pirates, who preyed upon unarmed merchant ships, is that that violence happened hundreds of years ago, and has been forgotten since. I imagine that in 100 or 200 years, people will similarly fetishize terrorists. They'll make blockbuster movies about honorable Al-Qaida* operatives, dress up in Taliban clothing at parties, and make roleplaying games where your job is to blow up buildings. And they'll do it while condemning whichever form of organized violence their society will be facing. But not now. Now, to dress up as terrorists at a rally is a statement of political support, not geekiness.

(Incidentally: there's a similar issue, on the level of decades, with the Italian and Jewish mafia. The modern equivalents of Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel are the various leaders of the Mexican Mafia, the Bloods, the Crips, and other drug gangs. But nobody makes computer games or sympathetic movies about them - again, not yet. In 80 years, African- and Mexican-Americans will hate on whichever ethnic group immigrated last and complain that it brings crime and is culturally deficient, while telling jokes about millennium-era drug gangs.)

* Yes, I know that there are other terrorists. Spare me the lecture. Al Qaida are the most famous ones. It's just like how there have been pirates at a lot of places, but the ones that modern culture's fascinated with are the English pirates in the Caribbean.

belledame222 said...

per "ninja," also see:

and

belledame222 said...

Also, dude do you know anything about blogging? A lag time of *days* before approving a comment usually means it's been deleted

Also, too, he's full of shit, because he already made it quite clear he'd read that comment on Monday in his response under another (unrelated) post.

One more reason of many not to bother engaging at all, as if more were needed.

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alon Levy said...

The MadTV sketch is funny. The part about the ninja restaurant is meh. I think that for Japanese people to complain about cultural appropriation with ninjas is like for Americans to complain about cultural appropriation with cowboys. When your country's GDP rises to developed world levels, your culture becomes fair game for everyone and you lose your whining privileges (also see: Israel/Jews).

Kristin said...

Elian: Per your political work on GID in the DSM (I didn't read the whole way through your post the first time around.)--

I am not trans, but my understanding is this: Removing GID from the DSM could open doors for the UK's national healthcare system to stop funding gender reassignment surgery altogether due to the risk of being classified as a "cosmetic procedure." It could also likely create problems for trans people in the US since the healthcare profession effectively serves as a gatekeeper here. It could affect the likelihood of insurance coverage--as well as the right to be treated by a doctor at all. My understanding is that this would not be be helpful to trans people--that it could in fact prohibit the people who need surgery from having it done (Tell me, do you think GRS should be available only to wealthy trans people who can pay for it out of pocket?).

That being said, it might be worthwhile to look at reclassifying GID in order to destigmatize it. So, there is certainly work that could be done within the DSM, but I don't think that excising it completely is the answer. I hope that you will step back and consider the harm you are doing here.

Kristin said...

"I think that for Japanese people to complain about cultural appropriation with ninjas is like for Americans to complain about cultural appropriation with cowboys. When your country's GDP rises to developed world levels, your culture becomes fair game for everyone and you lose your whining privileges (also see: Israel/Jews)."

I disagree. I don't think Israeli prosperity--or the relative prosperity of a majority of American Jews--makes antisemitism okay. Likewise, I don't think the ninja stereotype is okay. Regardless of the relative prosperity of Japan (which is being hit extremely hard by the economic crisis), it was not that long ago that Japanese-Americans were rounded up in internment camps. The reason to be vigilant about checking antisemitism and racism is about awareness--and working toward a future where these kinds of things won't happen again. So, no, I don't think it's okay to start making fun of Japanese people as Japanese people.

I *do*, however, think it's worthwhile snarking about the racism of white people in order to expose their stupidity about this stuff. So, I thought the madtv sketch was great.

But your cowboy analogy doesn't sit right with me. I don't think cowboys were ever oppressed as cowboys...?

belledame222 said...

per Japan/'ninjas'/the restaurant: what Kristin said.

anyway, it's not "whining;" the people who came up with the restaurant idea were trying to sell something, and like good potential consumers in a capitalist society, the protesters made their opinions about the product known.

not -entirely- dissimilar to the way in which Elian came in here trying to market his blog (yes; it doesn't have to involve money, the Appeal To (perceived) Status was all too pathetically obvious) and got a firm raspberry in response.

perhaps it is due to his fierce, uncompromised belief in anarcho-syndicalism (or whatever it is that he actually believes in besides knee jerk oppositionality) that he responds to the feedback in a way that shores up his ego but does nothing to indicate that he plans to change his approach in any meaningful way; and so what looks to some of us more "assimilated" types as assholian behavior is merely a sign of his refusal to sell out his principles. whatever they actually are.

Alternately, he could just be another poorly socialized pillock.

belledame222 said...

per the GID business: I'm still stuck on his assertion that he's one of the few people with the so-called “credentials” that are unfortunately required to be taken seriously who is actively campaigning to have GID removed from the DSM."

You know--somehow, I -highly- doubt it. But, in the (please God) unlikely event that there's anything to this besides more sad attempts to inflate his own ego and "creds" to impress whomever it is he thinks he's impressing (very, very mistakenly):

1) well, what Kristin said, which I happen to know is coming directly off the concerns of several UK-based trans women who've been following along. And a few trans folk from the U.S. to boot.

This shit is complicated, and the last thing people need is some self-appointed knight who has already made it clear he romanticizes/fetishizes the idea of trans women only as some kind of uber gender anarchist; apparently just wanting to live one's life isn't "radical" enough (see snark at GG wrt her being "pathetically assimilationalist" over at his own blog. which, incidentally, also gives the lie to his whole no, rilly, -that- criticism was totally fine, if only you'd used the right -tone-).

2) are we then to take it that the "dissertation" is in clinical Psych? because, whatever institution it is that's let someone who's clearly this unconscious come this far toward being in a position to give therapy to anyone else, needs some -serious- oversight. ye gods.

p.s. the whole "liberal psychosis" and constant attempts at ableism/pathologizing GG with snarks about her "issues" and so on? really kind of not helping with trust issues there either.

belledame222 said...

as long as I'm actually bothering to look at the content of that epic whingefest -groan-: in no particular order:

-No. Still not getting the problem with "women, transwomen:" she's saying very clearly that when you make a distinction between "women" and "transwomen" (which is implicit in listing them separately as well as in making "transwomen" all one noun) you are saying that trans women aren't really women. It's not just semantics. The space isn't meaningless.

And no, not every trans woman uses that spelling, (yes indeed, we are all individuals), and there are some trans people--the kind Elian apparently most admires--who *do* buy into the idea of trans folk being this kind of fierce frontline genderqueer/third gender "warrior," a battering ram for the System, or something.

Which, y'know, I certainly am not gonna argue with for anyone speaking for -hirself-. No one (who isn't a total pillock) would, trans or otherwise.

The problem is that Elian makes it clear over and over that he puts trans women on this kind of romanticized pedestal, (stilleto wielding anti-assimilationist warriors on the front lines of Stonewall), which apparently is only good as long as they adhere to that fantasy of his;

when a real live trans woman told him she had a problem with being categorized that way, he -immediately- went into any number of rank pulling defenses, even saying at one point that his blog is not welcome to "pathetically assimilationist heteronormative" types. (And no, "I wouldn't have done it if it weren't for all those -other- meen and unfair criticisms doesn't wash: it's still a "tone" argument, it was still condescending as fuck, it was still rank/priv pulling).

The idea that it might actually be fucking "radical" enough to simply -live one's life- as a trans person, given the sheer amount of bullshit one has to fend off from -multiple- directions, doesn't seem to be as important as the fantasy. THAT is what GG meant by "tokenizing:" also not that hard to understand.

If you're going to do work on behalf of other people, then it has to be -for- other people, not a roundabout way of accruing "radical" cred for yourself. The way in which Elian has made this, repeatedly, All About Himself and his good intentions and awesome creds and uber-radness and hurt fee-fee's (not that he's REALLY hurt AT ALL, NO PRECIOUS) and so on and so on, really, really not encouraging.

-A number of people (besides Alon here, I did show the "proposal" to a bunch of other folk backchannel) that I am aware of took a look at that banner and independently reached the same conclusion: that it was an attempt to make people go, "wo! Muslim terrorists! SCARY." Including an actual Muslim woman from Over There (yes, quite smart and capable of appreciating nuance, thanks); her words were something along the lines of "Get the fuck out my goddam religion."

Coupled with the "ninja" crap, as Alon was getting at, it is disingenuous to pretend that the costume isn't those "anarchists'" attempt at romanticizing and appropriating the Fierce Scary Other for their own prank-pulling purposes. Playing dress-up. Boogity boogity. No one's impressed but the fundamentalists, who are equally and similarly "impressed" by the likes of Marilyn Manson.

-Whatever the blithering about the use of the word "channeling" (MEGO), point is, people around these parts aren't exactly thrilled by an endorsement of Stoltenberg and Dworkin as erstwhile subjects of one's admiration. No, we all get that the -current- proposal wasn't particularly based on Dworkin/Stoltenberg: it's just one more turnoff. Again: not that hard to understand.

-per "racism" wrt Obama: I do believe she was referring to the image of Obama on the crucifix, which regardless of authorial intent and even demographic is the type of image that has been bandied around enough right wing racist anti-Obama sites that it is what a number of people (white and otherwise) immediately associate with it, for better and for worse. well, that and specifically having the guy near naked and nailed up. again, the sort of thing one might want to be aware of in terms of one's intended audience. which is, again, as noted, not only GG.

-a bunch of attempted personal potshots, which, bored now.


And now, I must rinse.

belledame222 said...

oh yes: "subscribe to your newsletter"= Simpsons reference.

GallingGalla said...

*GG blows kisses to belle and Kristin*

regarding GID / DSM, yeah in my fantasy world i'd like to see GID get gone.

but for a cis guy to come in "riding to the rescue" of us poor trans folk by proposing an action which, given the current situation in at least the anglophone world, would take away the very treatment that many of us need? oh so very revolutionary. if we grant mr. cabrón his GID revolution, i don't get my hormones. just fucking grand. we need things that are going to help our lives, not grand revolutions.

s'like the radfems "riding to the rescue" of sex-industry workers by eliminating the only means to livelyhood that many have and driving the industry even further underground, thus endangering the very people they purport to "support".

oh, and elian, you looking for my creds? my *life* is my creds, asshole, and you can keep your fist of oppression out of my, ehem, very atypical cunt.

Alon Levy said...

(I'm not saying anti-Semitism is okay - just that Jews can be oppressively oversensitive about it. As for cowboys, I don't know if they were ever oppressed - but then again, neither were ninjas, besides being outlaws.)

Anonymous said...

You say you want more people to read your blog. Why all the alphabet soup acronyms, then? That is preaching to a small in group who already know such "obvious" stuff. Someone already asked about SES and got an answer by someone else who was not certain either. There were a lot more that got past me too. It is too much trouble to ask about every one. Lost me there and there are bound to be others you lose too.

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