Nature is an ecoterrorist!

Posts tagged ‘rules etc.’

The Only Thing I Learned from Therapy

There’s a longer post coming up on this in the meantime, but the transactivists who’ve been commenting seriously need to get a grip.

You want recognition and respect of your gender ID? Gotcha. There you go; you’re a man or a woman (or your choice of words). Yes, real ones. Unless you happen to be a balloon masquerading as a human animal. There you go. Problem solved.

If that’s what you want, then that’s what you get. I won’t bow to you or shut up simply because you don’t like what I say. That’s not a privilege I give to anyone. And hey, guess what? I can still disagree with you and respect you. Happens all the time. I can even disagree with you on the way your identity came about and how it can be helped and still respect you; I disagree with my friends, several of which are transsexual, but we get along great otherwise. Because… I respect them, and they don’t confuse agreement with respect.

In fact, I don’t need to agree with you on what causes your problems or how your problems can be solved in order to give you exactly what you say you want: respect and recognition. I do not need to agree with everything anyone-who-is-oppressed believes is in order to not be -ist. And, given that I’m a full person and I don’t particularly enjoy the limits compartmentalization would bring to my life, I can even believe several things at the same time! Some of which neither side of A Controversy wants to believe! Amazing.

I don’t need to agree with you on every single fucking facet of the world in order to think you’re a person that deserves respect. (Because that is my priority: that you are a person and all rights flow from that, not that you are someone that needs to be treated nicely because you’re so pitiful, or something.)

And in fact, this works everywhere, with every kind of oppression. Just because you suffer doesn’t make you enlightened on the specific mechanics of that suffering—only the experience of it. Hell, even I don’t claim to know what will fix X with me a lot of the time.

I don’t need to believe in capitalism and socialism and Marxism and anarcho-syndicalism, all of which are believed in by some poor people, in order to be anti-classist.

I don’t need to believe that Black people are better than animals because they’re human in order to be anti-racist.

I don’t need to believe that fat is inherently genetic and that environment plays a minute role in being fat in order to be anti-sizeist, and believe that fat people are people who deserve to be treated with basic dignity.

… But basic dignity doesn’t include the idea that if you say Y, because you experience X, you are automatically right. That’s never been true, but this is the impression I’ve gotten from the commenters I’ve had so far.

Let’s get this down. Among my many beliefs are:

– That everyone, regardless of assigned genitalia/gender-conflation, deserves to have their identity respected. Because they are people.
– That you are entitled to do anything you see fit to your body in order to feel okay with living in it, provided it doesn’t harm anyone else (SRS doesn’t affect anyone but you, so that fits).
– And for free.
– And with a minimum of hassle, too. I don’t have any aversion to people making “bad choices,” (whatever that means), as long as they’re not harming anyone else.
– Everyone has the right to not be harassed or attacked, because they are people. (Mind, I can’t really help it if you still want to believe I’m attacking you. Y’all need reading comprehension stat.)
– Everyone has the right to not just automatically assumed to be lying, or acting in bad faith.
– Everyone has the right to have their experiences listened to, have those experiences seen as valid. Maybe not objectively, I-feel-like-this-therefore-it’s-true valid, but objective gibberish is hardly necessary to treat someone with respect.
– Miscellaneous not-treating-you-like-the-devil item here.

Basic dignity, right there. I can’t and won’t do any more for you than this. And if you’re so bent on acting disrespectfully to me—I’ll note that not a single fucking transactivist has actually asked me anything; you’ve just assumed your initial misconceptions to be true—then, yeah, you don’t need to be here. Go take a walk in the sunshine. It’ll do you more good than running up comments here.

If you want to ask me things, and not assume that I am a horrible fucking person for not believing everything that you happen to immediately, then awesome. I have a lot to ask you too. Most of the comments I’ve let through, I’ve done so in an attempt to learn better—to goad someone into actually having a conversation with me. Alas, “to learn better” is actually entirely different than “accept everything so-and-so says as right.” What I’m asking for is not assertions; it’s descriptions.

But until you’re willing to treat me with basic dignity, too? This is an incredibly annoying phrase that, even when necessary, is still incredibly annoying:

I’m sorry you feel that way.

Now, on to actual posting! Also, comments disabled because y’all can go for a day without having to tell me I’m the Antichrist, I’m sure.

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AND?

I picked up this story from my roommate last night and asked permission to transcribe it. Zie repeated the entire thing to me this morning—it’s an anecdote about a conversation zie had with a close friend of zeirs a few years ago.

Lou liked talking about all the political shit with zem, all the things she was passionate about. Well, there was this guy who’d been stalking her for a week or so—he stopped after suddenly finding himself in a particularly violent crowd who happened to not be very understanding about this behavior of his—and Lou was speaking about how the reason men thought it was ever acceptable to do this was because men don’t see women as having these boundaries set up. For a guy, of course a woman doesn’t have boundaries, because he never observes them—or at least that’s how guys subconsciously think.

She said, guys didn’t have to fear having stalkers because the reason women can have stalkers is because they don’t have any boundaries, whereas the inverse was true for their stalkers: guys had boundaries that just so happened to include being allowed to stalk women.

That was part of male privilege, but no guy would really understand that, because to see privilege means you can’t have it. Or to meaningfully see privilege means you can’t have it, is what she said.

“And it just pisses me off, and that’s the reason I’m a lesbian.” She looked over and Aslan and said, “No offense.”

Aslan answered, “None taken. I understand I’m a guy, I have that privilege.” Zie then followed that up with, “and that’s just the way life is a lot of the time.”

And Lou looked at zem as if expecting zem to continue zeir sentence, but when zie didn’t continue, she prompted zem, “AND?”

Aslan replied, “And what? That was all I had to say.”

“And what does this mean to you? I’m not the one with the privilege here. I’m not the one who needs to change. I’m not the one who admits to being the one with the privilege here. I’m not the one who needs to do something about that.”

“What can you expect me to do?” Aslan pointed out. “I said I have privilege, but I’m a guy, what can I do about that?”

And Lou told zem, “Think about it. Think about what you did when you admitted that being human gave you privilege over animals. Now think about what you should do when being male gives you privilege over women.”

It took Aslan years after her death to think about what she said and what the meaning of that was, because the first thing zie said was, “What, so I shouldn’t eat out girls anymore?”

That’s when Lou decked zem. Really fuckin’ good. It still hurts thinking about it, said Aslan. And zie damn well started thinking about things differently after that.

But it’s still where most men stop. After admitting you have male privilege comes… What? I said I had privilege. There’s no AND. There’s just the statement and then nothing.

When you grow up with the people you have power over being actively involved in your everyday life, you unconsciously develop behaviors that continue that oppression. There are two ways that oppression can progress: passive, which is where the power structure is largely maintained through segregation, and active, which is when the power structure is maintained through direct browbeating from the privileged. Most of the time it’s a little of column A, a little of column B. In the case of male privilege, it’s a little of column B, a lot of column A.

Male privilege is actively maintained by men acting like total jerks to women so that when it comes down to it, women are too unsure, humiliated and intimidated to disagree in any meaningful way. It helps that men get to define reality for women, that even when a woman says, “I’m feeling threatened,” the man will just think she’s being too much of a pussy to admit he was right. The fact that men are so used to being right by popular opinion, and the aggressive way they react to having their rightness called into question, maintains the power differential between men and women.

The gendered power structure is maintained by men’s behavior. Men expect to be praised, so they have no qualms about being in the spotlight—they assume they are awesome. And they usually are given praise. When women venture out, they are met with silence at best and outright hostility otherwise. History is filled with glorified male idiots and brilliant women who kept their silence because they knew it’d never be listened to.

Especially you men who like to think they’re progressive and rights-oriented. You say you have privilege. AND? And, and, and?

Talking about it is not enough, because by talking you refuse to actually do. Where is your actual renunciation of privilege? When are you listening to people who call you out on being privileged even when you don’t want to hear it? Why are you still acting defensive when you’re told how to change your behavior? How do you even justify talking with women if you aren’t going to change your behavior so they don’t feel unsure, humiliated and intimidated into silence on whatever subject?

You have male privilege. AND?

Guidelines for Commenting

There are a few basic requirements you need to hold by when you comment here, and I am going to lay them out briefly. These are things that if you do not agree with and want to argue with them, you need to go educate yourself—I am not going to explain from the ground up just why and how you are wrong. Any comments trying to argue this will be straight-up deleted; this blog is not a stomping ground for MRAs or anti-vegan trolls.

1. You will not argue that women have held significant social, political or economic power over the past 2,000+ years, barring specific examples.

2. You will not argue any “justs.” If you dare post a comment with any reference to humans not being animals, how comparing animals to humans is offensive to humans, or how “they’re just,” you warrant an insta-ban.

3. You will behave respectfully. Snark is minimally okay; genuine anger is better. Not calling someone names doesn’t score you points with me if you’re clearly thinking them as hard as you can. Oh, and I am the judge of that, not you.

4. You will realize why Western concepts of “pure logic” are not the best thing evar, and are actually quite oppressive.

5. You will not argue stupid shit on my blog. If I can’t understand your point after sleeping on it for a few days, it’s going to the trash bin.

6. You will understand that evopsych is a bunch of crap—barring the assertion that humans like fruit, because of evolution.

7. You will not linkspam me or anyone else; it’s a form of intimidation and you damn well know it. You will do the respectful thing and give a short summary of what point of yours the link supports.

8. You will not ask any form of “What about the men?”

9. You will pet the kitty. Nice kitty. Praise the kitty.

10. I reserve the right to delete your comment at any time if I find that it puts my ocular nerves at risk of straining.

Other than that, I try not to bite—I just have limited patience for things I have heard over, and over, and goddamn over again. Email me at saijackalopesai NOSPAM at gmail dot com.

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