Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pissed? Moi?

I saw this yesterday on livejournal by user rhosyn_du :

...why is someone who fetishizes homsexual relationships more morally obligated than someone who does not to approve of homosexuality, but someone who fetishizes, as an example, torture is absolutely not morally obligated to approve of real life torture, regardless of what they get off on?

And then I saw these:

I've figured out that any attempt on my part to talk about the actual underlying issues in more depth than I did here turns into my part 4 - me saying "the only oppressions that all g+l+b+t+q+i++ people have in common are ones that women face too - and they are only aimed at queer people because of the need to keep women in their place - so I support glbt activism, but if glbt & feminism conflict, I viscerally side with feminism, sorry."...
- melannen @ JF/LJ/DW

...But at the same time, it's possible to swing too far, and I think fandom is going there: the growing casual usage of dismissive phrases like "white women's tears," the unchallenged assumption in a lot of the lambda posts that straight women have no idea what it's like for their sexuality to be marginalized, the way that anti-misogyny posts *do* use less of the methodology you're calling "anti-oppression" here and are less likely to be made by the same people who work on intersectionality, a variety of other subtler things and simple erasures like your original post.

And being taught that their own oppression is less real than other peoples', and they should spend their energy on others before themselves, is part of a long pattern of how women - and especially white women - are silenced. Which only makes me angrier...

- also by melannen @ DW/LJ/JF/ (who later apologized some)

And I spent too many hours trying to make this "nice" post about how furious those thoughts made me and of course, I couldn't. I was tripping over my words as I tried to juggle sounding neutral and contemplative and not pissed beyond nature's wildest angry dreams.

So in short:

1. The objects of a fetish are not considered real, even if they are people. The trials and tribulations of their lives are only more fodder to wank with.

2. White people (specifically white women) are seriously selfish bitches.

Other thoughts I had:

1. I mean, sure it looked like support to be asked questions and listened to - but that was just research. And putting up icons and stickers and lawn signs that are pro-equal marriage is simply good PR. Equal marriage recognition brings m/m writers closer to the RWA doesn't it? I mean, then they can add 'wedding' genre romance and also go 'We get white lace and three tier cakes at the end of our romances too. Let us in!'

Somewhere along the way, some of us took as given the 'reclamation of female sexuality and erotica' to mean 'the progressive reclamation of all sexuality from shaming' - but that was our mistake. Though, although I say our, that isn't really the best descriptive pronoun. Because I'm certain there were some who saw the writing on the wall ages ago, who had historical precedent, even; Black Lesbians and other Women of Colour, for starters, have likely been sitting with iced tea and sandwiches, waiting for reality to hit. And those who are Trans undoubtedly connected the dots from this 'reclamation of women's erotic space' to the Wimin's Music Festivals and the Wimin born Wimin movements which were all about Wimin's / Womyn's Space.

2. I'd say we've become odd sexual accessories; her magic wand, her rabbit vibrator, lube and m/m. But m/m misses a few letters from GLBT. Do any of those m/m presses publish female/female works? Was there ever a push for 'Original Femmeslash'? Though heaven knows I've got the power of lesbian invisibility amped up with missing black woman syndrome, so I shouldn't even be whispering. And Trans? Trans what? Meanwhile certain people pitch back their heads and groan and moan and get sweaty to the thought hot pretty men and throbbing penises and all that heterosexual fixation on the male body.

3. Just in early September, while missing or ignoring the transphobic statements of a once-upon-a-clueless-not-really-a-behaviorist:

Well, slash is kind of the female equivalent of the straight male interest in transsexuals. That is, the opposite of what culture would predict. So it probably reflects a more direct subcortical effect. Also, there's already data out there about romance novels we can use, which probably overlaps with relationships in fan fic, but we do have a few questions that aren't specific to slash. Maybe we'll have more in the next round.
- Comment since deleted

Many did bring up "The true comparison should be men looking at lesbian porn!" -- Transphobic statement? What transphobic statement?

4. I am disturbed at a racial level, because the majority of men who're oggled, are white. This appreciation of the male form is a mirror of white men appreciating the white female form. And while white women may be 'getting their own back' mentally undressing certain males, and giving the appearance that everything is now 50/50 and fair now - it isn't. White women aren't the only women in existence and white men also 'appreciate' women of colour. In fact, they think it's their right to look at, touch, manhandle and molest women of colour.

And white women oggling men of colour is best explained by one word: Mandingo.

5. I can't help feeling that freedom to lust as men do -- better rephrased freedom for white women to lust as white men do is a trap that divides a potentially strong intersectional base into white women (fingers brushing the brass ring that is white, cis, het, maleness) and everyone else who isn't a white, cis, het, male.

My conclusion: alliship/being an ally is something that is earned via a very, very, long trial period. Moreover it shouldn't be something you claim, but something those who're oppressed use to short-hand the work you are actively doing. No more self-labeling for passive cookies. No more stamps and buttons and trendy/in causes of the month/week/year/moment. And it doesn't matter if the cause directly relates to you - if there's another cause you hold more important, then you are no true friend, comrade or support.

Intersectionality Social Justice is about recognizing that all oppressions are equally oppressive. Why is that so hard to understand? What else could make that concept unpleasant to hold but selfishness?

CORRECTION: Someone rather smart has pointed out that intersectionality is rather about the crossroads between oppressions - the intersect in intersectionality. I put down my earlier definition to pain, grumpiness, anger and frustration.