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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

How to maintain white supremacy on social media in 3 simple steps

The following is cross-posted from the Damsel in de Tech blog. Click here to see the original.

Step 1:

Do you know anything about privilege, power structures, or institutional oppression? Yes? Good, now pretend that you don't and act hurt and aggrieved any time a group tries to organize to address specific issues. Take for example, oh say... "Black Lives Matter - TORONTO PEACEFUL PROTEST ACTION". Take everything you know about oppression and anti-black racism, and use that as a reason white people are being oppressed by this group. How dare they ask white allies to respectfully concede the space to black protestors? How dare they specifically discuss police violence and murder against black folks? This is segregation, and reverse-racism, and every other "social-justicy"-kinda sounding words you can string together. Folks who are legitimately concerned about addressing oppression may just wind up getting sucked into conversing with you for a day and a half, and those who don't know enough about trolls or white supremacy might just be fooled into taking your side.

Step 2:

Take up space. If it's an online group or comments section of a newspaper, keep posting. It doesn't matter if it's one word or a copy pasta of "How to Make Friends and Influence People". Make sure that no conversations are allowed to go on without your interference. It's much harder for folks to maintain momentum and enthusiasm when they have to spend all their time on you. Suck the air out of the room and if you have to leave, ensure you've brought in more folks to replace you. Pretend you don't know them and are just impressed by how thoughtful and right about the world they are when they, funny enough, parrot your exact talking points.

Step 3:

People are seeing through you and calling you a racist? That's racist! Report their comments that are rightfully telling you off, because there's a far greater chance Facebook will give them a suspension for defending themselves and their rights to focus on black issues than of you receiving any repercussions.

I'm posting this not to encourage trolls, but to point out that this is what they are already doing. These are a few of their tactics. You can see this happening on pages that are supposed to be dedicated to supporting the family of Mike Brown and other victims of police-sanctioned murder. It's transparent as fuck if you know what you're looking for and acknowledge that, for the most part, these people aren't ignorant or misguided. This is a concerted, organized effort of anti-black, white supremecists to take over what should be safer spaces and interfere with planning and solidarity efforts.

They will concern troll:
"But if you exclude white people, then how will we change things? We all need to work together, and I am just honestly concerned that your divisive tactics will hamper that progress."
They will gas light:
"Police brutality is not a black issue. It's a human rights issue. I've been the victim of police brutality, and I'm white, therefore you're assigning race to an issue that it doesn't belong to."
They will call you racist:
"You're lumping all white people together by saying that we take up too much space. That's racist! Anybody else catch how racist that is?!"
They will not "see the light" if you keep talking to them. You can be calm, collected, and articulate as possible. They are not there in good faith. They are literally trying to wear people down to get them to abandon the page/ group/ organizing committee. These are their tools. Don't let them get away with it. If you are moderating a page/ site and you see this happening, I strongly recommend just to ban/ delete them. Yes, they'll like start in with "freedom of speech" arguments, but what they're doing is interfering with your freedoms to assemble.

Let's get things back on track and reclaim the spaces eked out to create change.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

From One White Ally to Others

by: Liberate Zealot

Let me take a moment to explain that I'm on my tablet as my computer's mouse is haunted and so there might well be more spelling mistakes than normal and I won't be able to include links to sources as I would like.  Now on to actual content.

I'm sure everyone reading this is in some way aware of the police violence and protests in Ferguson, perhaps you're even aware of certain feminist and LGBT groups speaking up in defense of the protesters and stating the concerns of police violence and racism in America  need to be concerns of mainstream feminism and LGBT groups.   These are connections I've seen white people speaking out against, sometimes even while claiming to support and stand in solidarity for the people in Ferguson.

So this is my message to white people, specifically those who want to support Ferguson protesters and what they stand for.

Firstly, shut up for a while and listen.  I know this is hard, I like sharing my opinions too.  But honestly, unless we're addressing other white people, and unless we're basing on our opinions on the testimonies of people of color it isn't out place to speak.  So again, spend a long time listening silently, and trust the black people who do speak out and share their experiences.

Next, remember our privilege.  As white people we are given the benefit of innocence by the police and media in a way black people aren't and this has shaped every single one of our lives and opinions.  By growing up to see police as protectors and only having that view point challenged (and at a remove at that) as adults means we might not understand the impact police violence and racism has on reproductive justice.  This is not something that effects out lives.  But if we can remember the first point and listen and trust we will learn from black women how fears of police violence against their children impacts their reproductive choices and parenting.  Things do not need to be self evident to us for them to be obviously and automatically true to the people who are actually affected.

Third, we need to remember that people of color are necessary parts of our feminist/LGBT/differently abled/etc communities.  Their concerns (that our white privilege removed us from) are not ancillary but need to be reconized as fundamental parts of our movements.  To do otherwise is to say people of color are ancillary and not fundamental parts of our communities.  And I hope that I don't need to explain that this makes us at least passively racist.

Lastly, we need to take direct action in support of the people of color in our communities.  However, while doing so we need to remember our privilege and our proper place.  We, and our families, are not Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride, Michael Brown, or Cece Mcdonald.  We cannot fully know their experiences, and the experiences, fears, and concerns of their families and neighbors, and so we cannot speak for them.  Our jobs are to be microphones, to amplify their voices so more people can hear them, not to speak over them or steal their words.  When we do speak with our own voices and words on these issues we need to do so at the right time and place and towards the right people.  At candle light vigils we stand in silent support.  We raise our voices to the predominantly white police, politicians, and media to call on them to act with justice and hold them accountable and culpable for their actions and words.  We challenge white people who tone police, and play respectability politics, or what want to turn the Ferguson protests and the extrajudicial slaying of Michael Brown away from the endemic racism of police violence.

And again we listen, we respect, we trust, and we support.  The concerns and oppressions of people of color need to be fundamental parts of feminist/LGBT/other movements, but in doing so we white people need to remember our support cannot include speaking for people of color.  

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Rape, Rape Culture, and Recovery - 3 Years Out

By Liberate Zealot
*Content Warning - Discussions of rape, rape culture, and PTSD*

Let me begin by saying these are my own personal experiences and in no way meant to reflect the experiences of all victims/survivors.  Even victims/survivors with similar experiences of sexual violence might experience very different effects and have very different roads of recovery.

The one thing I think the vast majority of us share is that recovery is not an absolute, it is a constant journey of progress and triggers and backsliding and unlikely to fully ever end.

I know sometimes I have thought I've reached, or nearly reached, the end of my recovery.  Months have passed since I've thought of him, or that night.  Since I've felt that knot of anxiety in my stomach, or that strange mental disconnect where my brain seems to float partially separated from my body.  Since that dizzy, rushing feeling overtakes my ears, eyes, brain, and body.
Sometimes months pass, but then something happens.  His name shows up on my Facebook feed, I see someone who looks like him when I'm out and about, I hear about another woman's rape which is similar enough to mine that I cannot disconnect my own experiences from hers.  Perhaps I hear a rape joke, am watching some movie or TV show that features a rape (these are worst when I cannot prepare for them).  Perhaps I just surprisingly dream in some way of that night and awaken, shaking.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Statistics vs Lived Experiences for Women at College

By Liberate Zealot
*Content Warning for discussion of sexual assault, rape, stalking, domestic violence, and rape culture*

Recently in the feminist/social justice sphere of social media that I inhabit a variety of people have been naming Cards Against Humanity and one of its originators, Max Tempkin, as good examples of those with privilege listening/learning/and properly apologizing for when they harm others.  And this regard for the game, and its creators, especially of Max, is something I take great issue with.

Not only because it is a game created by a bunch of (to my knowledge) heterocis white dudes who are upper middle class and therefore its hard to take any of its racist/sexism/homophobic/transphobic/ableist jokes as "ironic".  After all Max Tempkin wrote a lovely apology about that using all the appropriate language of "privilege" and how irony doesn't "punch down."

The issue with this apology and Cards Against Humanity is that I know Max.  We attended the same small liberal arts college, we have many mutual acquaintances, and Max Tempkin is a rapist.

Monday, 30 June 2014

To Those Being Dismissive of the Seriousness of the SCOTUS Ruling About Hobby Lobby

By: Liberate Zealot

For everyone claiming that women just have to pick better employers or it is no big deal to pay out of pocket for hormonal birth control, I urge you to deeply consider the realities of employment and health care in this state and country. More than 10% of women are unemployed, countless more are employed in minimum wage jobs from corporations that already seek to avoid covering health insurance. For many people they need to take whatever job they can. Spending extra time to seek carefully for the one (increasingly rare) job that has the best health insurance for them isn’t an option for the majority of Americans. And considering that 90% of corporations now have the right to refuse to include hormonal contraceptives makes this a bigger issue than one employer (even if they are a large corporation). 
Likewise, let us remember that employees pay into their health insurance policy, these women have already paid for their contraceptives, and now, because of the “strongly held” but factually inaccurate religious beliefs of their employers they must pay again, out of pocket. And some of the contraceptives that have been ruled against (like the IUD) can cost up to a month’s wages when not covered with insurance.
This is not a small issue. This ruling negatively impacts the lives of millions of women and their families.  This is a ruling that dehumanizes women, while granting even more powers to the already legally bloated corporate “person hoods”. 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Babe, Is This Sexist? Goldstar Beer

Babe, Is This Sexist? is back with a very important message about Ladies and Drinking.



Hey Ladies,
Isn't it hard being a woman with a delicate pink girly brain that can't even handle a night out drinking.  I mean even that runs the risk of heartbreak needing to be assuaged with ice cream.  And every drunk hook up only has a 1 in 3 change of ending in heterosexual bliss with our knight in shining armor.  It just doesn't seem worth the appletinis.
After all it's not like you're lucky enough to be a man.  Only men can drink without unfortunate consequences, or any consequences at all.  It's because their macho blue boy brains aren't caught up in the over-emotional vulnerability that us little ladies suffer from.
So really, think before you drink.

Or else tell the champions at Goldstar Beer, or their advertising agency McCann Erikson that you're #NotBuying this sexist product.

View other installments of Babe, Is This Sexist? At the Master List. 

Please leave suggestions for the next installment of Babe, is this Sexist? in the comments of this post, or the most recent Babe, is this Sexist?  Alternatively, you can message us on Tumblr or leave a comment on our Facebook page. Also check out the F.A.R. Facebook page for polls about future installments.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Yes, I Hate Men

By: Liberate Zealot


I’m sick and tired of having to moderate myself.
Yes, I hate men as a class, and I hate the majority of individual men I meet, Including my one brother. 
No, this isn’t just intellectual.  It’s a visceral hate, knowing they see me as less than, and that the majority don’t even care enough to hide their disdain. 
So really. I Hate the majority of men.  And if you’re one of the few I don’t hate (like my father) you know enough about feminism to get why you don’t deserve an exception. 
Men’s hatred diminishes my economic worth, it attacks my freedom, my sexual health, my ability to live free of PTSD.  Random men murder and assault women (in every imaginable way) but I’m supposed to forgive.  Never mind I’m more likely to be attacked by a man than a shark or dog, and that’s not even getting into the moral, emotional, and mental attacks waged by my brother and his ilk. 
But, love one’s neighbor they say.  Never mind that one’s neighbor, and  his brother, and his club, are holding the knife.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


By Liberate Zealot

Because watching my drink
And white knuckling keys between my fingers
And wearing jeans and sensible shoes
Was supposed to be my contract with the world
Providing safe passage
Protection against rape from the shadowy stranger
Haunting the corners of the club or streets. 
Because in the years of safety advice
From teachers, friends, chain letters, and police
Never once did they admit I would know him
That he would look me in the eyes and smile
He would wait days or weeks or months
And say all the right words before ignoring my own. 
Because even after that night
They still won’t admit its not the stranger in the street
I should fear
Or that the predator in the clubs is the ex-boyfriend
Or that it wasn’t caused by the length of a skirt
Or having long hair and a glass of wine.
Because they won’t admit
That following the rules isn’t protection
I know other women will have
The same realization that the one that will hurt you
Isn’t the shadowy figure in the night
(Though we’ll still fear him too).

They're Not "Bad Apples" They're the Whole Barrel

By: Liberate Zealot


Women are expected to see the actions of Elliot Rodger as a “lone gunman” someone suffering from mental illness.  Just as we’re supposed to view the other men who commit violence against women through domestic abuse, rape, or sexual harassment as “bad apples.”  Not all men are like that.  Maybe they too are crazy. 
However, if there is any illness its one shared by society. These actions are not those of insane individuals.  Rather they are the natural results of a society that finds sexualized violence against women as more acceptable than female sexual agency. 
And this is acceptable to these men and much of society.  Because they do not see women as fully human, (Rodger’s screed, praised in the MRA/PAU movement, proves he saw women as objects or animals, but not people) it is easy for them to prioritize their ideal sex lives over are actual lives. 
So many men see women as nothing more than some type of toy or sex doll, to be used, destroyed, and disposed of based on their whims. And it isn’t that surprising considering this is how so much media portrays us.  We’re trophies, tragic backstories, and catalysts of revenge, not independent characters with out own motivations.  Not people. 

Friday, 18 April 2014

About Body Acceptance

By: Malanka Sveta

Last year my (then) three year old looked up at me one night and, appropos of nothing, said, "I love my boobs...I think they're pretty". I want her to say the same thing when she's thirteen. When she's thirty. When she has thirty great great grandchildren.  And at all points in between. (I also want the same for all of you, men included.) I think this is why I find her fart humour so engaging and powerful. Fart humour, like loving her boobs, is a form of body acceptance. And I know a lot of my friends have really been enjoying that part of her childhood. (In case anyone was curious, she is fascinated by bums this month.)

I read Beauty by Sherri S. Tepper in 1995, and became acquainted with this new body acceptance that seemed revolutionary  to me then, but now seems common sense. (It may be worth mentioning that Beauty is half fairy, half mortal.)

" 'In many imaginary lands, as here, they shit and piss,' she advised me.  'As on earth, though rather less copiously.  But not in Ylles nor, I believe, in Baskarone.  Never mind, dearest.  When you eat fairy fruits, you will not be bothered by such grossness any longer.'

I had not precisely been bothered up until this time, though afterward I seemed to give a great deal of unaccustomed attention to the matter. No doubt this was one of the differences Roland sensed in Mama. The implications were shattering. How refreshing to have all the joys of love (I write in a literary or conventional sense, rather than from experience) sand consequent familiarity with those anatomical proximities which humans find both so unfortunate and so teasingly attractive. I came to the conclusion that there would be no perversions in Ylles."

(Ylles being the name of a portion of Faery.)

" 'Mother doesn't like me,' I said, needing her to say it wasn't true.

'That's not entirely true,' she said.  'Humans make myths about mothers and daughters, fathers and sons. I have counted on them myself, butsometimes the two generations are simply not sympathetic. Especially when they resemble, let us say, the other side of the family.'

It was true.  Except around the eyes, I most resembled father. I resembled him in other ways. Fleshiness. Corporeality. The thousand stinks and farts that flesh is heir to."

(The fairies are extremely attracted to Beauty, and it is her mortality that both fascinates and repells them at different times of her life.)

"I had been wrong about there being no perversions in Faery. Their perversion was to lust after human bodies, with all their stinks and scattish contiguities."

How is this body acceptance? Well, bodies are disgusting. Really. We've all seen what comes out of them.  It's not pleasant. But it doesn't matter, because all bodies do this. Fulfilling the needs of our bodies is a natural and normal thing, and we should embrace it, all of it, because without the ability to accept these thousand stinks and farts we lack the ability to embrace all of the truly wonderful things our bodies are, all of the glorious needs they have, and every fabulous desire of our flesh. The freedom to love our bodies begins with accepting our bodies as they are. Our bodies are beauty, our needs are beauty, even some (possibly most) of our perversions are beauty, and to deny this beauty is to harm ourselves and others. To starve this beauty, to overexcercise this beauty, to fetishize a body ideal, male or female, that doesn't exist is to reject beauty in the name of beauty. (I'm almost certain that was a sentence.) What's the worst that could happen if we all decided, today, right now, that we accept and embrace our beauty, that we love our bodies? I'm actually asking. What's the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen if we lived for ourselves instead of a painful ideal that almost no one can ever achieve?

I love my boobs.  I think they're pretty.  And I think yours are pretty, too.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/387339.Beauty

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

MRAs don't care about men.

The following is cross-posted from the Damsel in de Tech blog. Click here to see the original.

I was going to just press "Publish" and let that title stand alone. After all, there's really not much else to be said about it. If the Men's Rights Activists were really, sincerely invested in caring for men and improving their lives, they would do something proactive like, say, holding fundraising drives to establish intimate partner violence shelters for men, and/or promoting and advocating expansion of services for male survivors of sexual violence, and/or working with organizations like OCAP to address male homelessness.

You don't have to operate under a feminist banner to effect positive change in your community and to make things happen. But, golly, you do have to actually put in a lot of hours, and your own blood, sweat, tears, and money to really move mountains.

Arguing on the internet can be productive and useful, considering that you are most likely interacting with other humans on the other end, but that's not the end of it. Not by a long shot.

You want people to take you seriously, MRAs? How about you show us that you actually give a crap about helping your fellow dudes by actually doing something to help them.

Are there any MRA campaigns you're aware of that are doing tangible, productive things for your community? Please let me know so I can put my support behind them.

(Spoiler alert: if your evidence of their activity is one of their poster campaigns, I will laugh you off of the internet. Trolling IRL is not activism)

Friday, 14 March 2014

Genital mutilation isn't funny

The following is cross-posted from the Damsel in de Tech blog. Click here to see the original.

Every once in a while there's a news story about someone (in all the cases I recall seeing to this point, a cis man) having their penis severed. It doesn't seem to matter what the context is or who did it or why. Universally it seems that as soon as the story hits the air, there are jokes and puns made about it. Many of us remember Sharon Osbourne's callous remarks on The View in 2011.

I don't find these situations humorous. At all. They are cases of amputation, mutilation and grievous bodily harm. This is physical abuse, and a heinous form of torture that I do not abide.

To some degree I get why people find it funny. On family shows, like America's Funniest Home Videos, half the clips seem to be of guy after guy somehow injuring his groin - whether it be from an errant football, a miscalculated skateboarding trick, or an overly enthusiastic dog. When you see these scenes played ad nauseum against a laugh-track, it's hard not to find yourself conditioned to accept that as harmless entertainment.

I also see a lot of people making the assumption that the victim had perpetrated rape and this is likely their just-desserts. In this most recent story, there is no real information on who the attacker is or their relation to the victim. All assumptions are based on "Man's penis attacked, therefore man must have done something to deserve it." I don't think I need to state all the ways that's fucked up. Having a penis does not make one a rapist, and having one's penis mutilated does not make one a rapist.

Let's say that there is a statistically large portion of these men who are guilty of having committed rape. I still do not support genital mutilation, in the same way I do not approve of rape or torture as a punishment. Not only from a pacifist point of view, but also because I feel encouraging this kind of revengeful violence does more harm to those "righteous" folks who carry it out and open the door to these kinds of acts being committed under an increasingly broad set of conditions, just as corrective rape is presently used.

Yes, yes, I know. I'm a real buzzkill. Gosh, if you can't joke about rape in front of me, and now I'm harshing on puns about genital mutilation, what is there left to joke about?

How about knock, knock jokes?

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Orange.
Orange who?
I honestly don't give a crap what you have left to joke about, rape and genital mutilation aren't funny.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Another International Misogyny Day

By: Malanka Sveta


So yesterday was International Women's Day. Or, as I am now calling, International Be A Misogynist Asshat Day. Literally every man I was in contact with yesterday pulled some misogynist asshattery. Every single one.

Actual quotes include: "Happy IWD! I support you!", from my roommate to his male friends. And, later, "It's just a joke, get over it!". When you are using "woman" as an insult in and of itself, that is misogyny. Your joke was that being a woman is an insult. I don't need to just get over it, you need to not be an asshole. You have 364 days, I have one. Is it so much more than I deserve that you must ruin it every year?

And from the dude who asked my opinion of the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, "Perhaps watch it again, through to that salient point.". Perhaps if you ask for my opinion you should not tell me I'm feminist wrong and dismiss what I have said in its entirety. The Dove campaign, and Unilever, are terrible. They are cashing in, or trying to cash in, on the insecurities that media has thrust upon women in the first place, and their other products and advertising are deeply racist and misogynist. I'm not going to fall over myself to congratulate them for wrapping up misogyny in a prettier package. As for any actual issue they address, they've been addressed. Jean Kilbourne. You should probably Google her if you in fact want to be an ally and understand the impact of media on self esteem.

These are not the only examples, they are simply the ones that were the worst and most insulting because they were unexpected.

So I'm going to, as I do every March 9, start rebuilding my faith in men. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

10 Reasons I need International Women's Day

By:  Malanka Sveta


This is by no means a complete list. It isn't meant to be. Please add your reasons to it.

10) Because too many people think that feminism is redundant, despite the wage gap, the attacks on women's legal rights even in Canada, the abysmally low prosecution rate for rape, and the fact that 1 in 3 women still experience gendered violence from a romantic partner.

9) Because too many people don't even know what the word "feminism" actually means.

8) Because of "#solidarityisforwhitewomen".  My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.

7) Because of transmisogyny.  See above.

6) Because men lose self esteem when a door is held open for them.

5) Because women are half the world, but only 17% of crowd scenes in movies.

4) Because only 20% of paid work shown in G-rated movies is performed by women.

3) Because media keeps telling me that I am not thin or pretty enough.

2) Because media keeps telling me that I am too smart to get a man, and that my only aspiration should be to get a man.

1) Because it amuses me when people whine about the lack of an International Men's Day, even though it's on November 19. Every year.

Friday, 28 February 2014

On "Why do Men Catcall?" Spoiler alert, it's bullshit!

By:  Malanka Sveta

http://all4women.co.za/more/general/why-do-men-cat-call.html?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150890870979264_27076293_10151732085444264

No.  Just...no to the whole article.

"Have you ever walked down the street, minding your own business, and suddenly heard a loud wolf whistle or cheers directed at you - or worse?"
Yes.  It's called being in public while in possession of a vagina without a present owner.

"Some women are flattered by it while others are annoyed. The main question, though, is why men even do it at all?"
Because a subspecies of "men" can not live with the knowledge that women are in public while in possession of a vagina without a present owner.  Can you fact check?  Not all men do this.  Most men do not do this.  Why are you so down on men?

"While there’s no simple answer to this habit, one of the prevailing theories is that when men are with other men their bravado shoots up higher than it does when they are alone. Have you ever noticed that when you’re with your girlfriends you sometimes get a spurt of self-confidence?"
Self-confidence is not what causes the disrespect and dehumanisation/objectification of one half of the population of the fucking planet.  Try again.

"Maybe you talk to a guy to whom you wouldn’t normally talk, or you feel like you can make choices that you might not when on your own. It’s kind of the same thing."
Have you ever met a woman?  I'm not being sarcastic, I'm actually asking.

"There’s a saying about being ‘ten feet tall and bulletproof’ and for some men, when they are with ‘the guys’ their confidence is escalated and they don’t feel as timid about approaching women because they have more back-up. The cat calls, in this instance, are less about the women and more about the men."
Catcalls are always about men, and male dominance.

"You might be surprised that a lot of men who make the cat calls actually have healthy relationships at home and aren’t necessarily looking for a date or to get laid. What they might be looking for, however, is simple validation. The attention, however brief, that the woman gives them is enough to continue to boost their confidence."
I would be very surprised to find out that any man who routinely disrespects women has ever had a "healthy relationship" with one.

"So what if you give them a steely glare instead of a smile in return? Well, sometimes negative attention is better than no attention at all. The reaction, whether it’s good or bad, is enough to satisfy the men."
Is there a point here?  Is the point that this sub species of men don't care how women feel?  Like, at all?  Because that's all I see.  You, and any man who thinks like this, has no concern for how any woman ever feels at all.

"While they might feel demeaning and you have every right to complain if they go beyond that or you feel like you’re being harassed, you can usually guarantee that they’re going to stop at that. Sometimes, the men just like to show off to one another. If you do feel as though the comments are uncalled for, however, or you feel threatened in any way then it definitely might be time to put in a complaint."
How about this sub species of men start treating women as people?  Can we try that for a while?  I'd also like to point out that nearly every woman has been actually physically threatened by a man who catcalls.  All catcalls are uncalled for.

"The next time you’re with your girlfriends, though, you might want to try to return the favour. You might just see how embarrassed the men can get in return!"
How do I put this delicately? CATCALLS ARE NOT A FUCKING FAVOUR!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Not *All* Feminists Are Like *That*

By: Liberate Zealot

I've recently seen some posts on tumblr by feminists going on about how not all feminists are lesbians, or butch, or man haters.  And I get they're trying to dismantle the stereotypes around being a feminist, because I used to do this too.  However, intentions are not magic, and the results are straight feminists trying to validate themselves and feminism in the eyes of the kyriarchy (primarily straight men) by throwing lesbians and gender non-conformists under the bus.

And that's what the people who make the lesbian, hairy, man-hating feminist comments want.

  • They want feminists to be on the defensive. 
  • They want to divide us, and have the ones with more privilege (straight, gender-conforming) refusing to support our lesbian sisters. 
  • They want us to suggest there's such a thing as a good or bad feminist.
  • They want us to say, "no I'm not like *those* types of feminists, you should like *me* and side with *me*" because that means we're also saying "you have feminists permission to hate and mock and oppress *those women*."
Feminism is about liberating women, it is about ending oppression for women, it is about creating equality.  But the majority of feminists have various privileges which make us ignorant about, or down right prejudice against, other women who do not share our privileges.  This is the reality of the kyriarchal world we live in.  Which means being a feminist entails constantly policing your actions, thoughts, and mind to do our best to ensure our attempts at feminism don't involve harming our less privileged sisters.  It means admitting we can be wrong, and admitting and apologizing for those wrongs when they actually happen, and educating and changing ourselves so we do not commit those wrongs again. 

I used to respond to anti-feminist jokes and comments by expressing something about the idea that *I* wasn't *that type* of feminist, that most feminists weren't like *that*. 
I was wrong to do so.  
I hurt other women, the people I supposedly fought for and with. 
The feminists who make those kind of comments now are wrong and harmful. 
If you're one of them then do what a feminist is supposed to do.  Change yourself. Stand with *all* women against oppression.