Actually, just one. Because, as I’ve learned during my latest grrrl holiday: that stuff might make Nadia happy, but, for me, just the smell is an excellent throwing up agent. To be honest, I’ll just have any kind of drink that will make this white supremacist patriarchy end faster, really. Thanks!
So, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged – about anything, really. That’s partially work related, partially related to the mere fact that I sometimes get the sense that I’ve basically said what I wanted to say. Many times. Without any impact, naturally. And there’s not much to add. Except for a link to 2011, perhaps.
Nadia and I mused on whether we should just start doing battle rap and self-centered podcasts instead – “Arab and Afrob Talk About Stuff,” for example. Battle raps indeed seem like the appropriate answer to most of my recent political online communication – this would be the adequate substance level. And that, again, is no only due to the fact that people react absurdly to what feminist bloggers write, but to the fact that feminist bloggers write at all.
When I started this blog, my intention was to make it about pop culture and gender – a fun, pink, neon, silly place where I do the stuff I like and people who like it, too, can come in and participate. Only a few months later, Sady Doyle’s piece about having been a much more cheerful person when first entering the bloggosphere really spoke to me; she followed it up with her analysis of the reactions to women_feminist bloggers with the #MenCallMeThings campaign shortly thereafter. For me, #MenCallMeThings was a nice addition to #WhitesCallMeThings – not that the two don’t frequently overlap.
Overestimating social progress (and/or people’s willingness to evolve past… uh, the social ideals of the Fifties, really?) was pretty much my crucial mistake. Underestimating the viciousness of people who think there are people and then there are women* was another one; the determination of people (predominantly white, heterosexual cis men) whose only purpose in life seems to be to make other people as downtrodden and miserable as possible to be able to continue feeling (and being treated) superior. Who knew?!
This isn’t the internet’s fault. Rather, this medium seems to allow for the concentration of said misogynists (and racists, and heterosexists,…) into a single ball (oh, ze pun) of awfulness, served on a silver platter, day in, day out. It is exhausting as a mirror of social reality. And never was my contempt clearer than now, after having taken a longer break from it. The sad thing is: getting digitally spat on everyday becomes a sort of routine. And I only realized just how routine it is after having taken a step back. Now, I do not feel re-vitalized to jump back in, however, but rather motivated to step further back.
Because what’s the point? If I’ve confirmed anything from discussions – on- and offline: in the rarest cases do they lead to change coming from people in positions of privilege and power. Pressure leads to change. Not goodwill. Not morals. Especially not the better argument. It’s about pressure and power and potential sanctions. That sounds draconian, but it is, obviously, far from historically surprising.
Women’s quotas or affirmative action, for example, do not work because people with male/white privileges suddenly realize pervasive injustices. They work because they put pressure on institutions and on said people; they force a change into a system that is hostile and strong and versatile enough to have fought off any substantial change for at least decades, if not centuries. That’s why certain people seem to always suggest to keep talking about that discrimination thing a bit more, instead. Is there scientific proof? Are you sure that table’s right? Sounds unrealistic… That seems too emotional. Are you sure you’re not just on your period? Isn’t it women’s own fault if they think they’re worse in STEM subjects when they’re actually better than most men*? Shouldn’t you just ask for a raise? Why don’t you just refuse to buy children’s books that call you N*? Can’t you wait for the revolution; this is so capitalism-affirming!? Injustice is solely about economics, not about culture! You want me to change, personally? You really sound like a cult… Also, Critical Whiteness makes my dick soft… Stalin! Stalin! Stalin! (Mao) Stalin!
It has all been said before. This and other archives are full of long texts about systematic discrimination. If people cared to learn about it, they would.
Meanwhile, women* continue to only be able to gain relative safety from sexual harassment when they’re marked as the property of another man. I continue to have to pay money for publicly broadcast Blackface performances. My arguments – the same in tone, in language, in style, in substance – are only taken seriously when I remain invisible and pretend to be a white man.
The one thing I find useful – in terms of self-preservation and community learning in blogging -, still, is the direct reaction to particularly nauseating incidents. Be it the Zimmerman case. Or the newest racism fail of whatever newspaper. Or yet another incident of rape culture. Sure, this is important to write about. But, honestly – how many more examples do you need? I might have to resort to battle rap after all, and stay away from blogging and_or engaging with people in what they think are political discussions and yet, are but their tiresome display of privilege-fed narcissism, wrapped in misogynistic pathologizations of feminist/anti-racist/… criticism. It’s like ground-hog day in a never-ending loop of “Derailing for Dummies,” really.
I’ll do the arrogance thing to completion then. Because, frankly, this is just pathetic (<– see what I did there with the arrogance? You’re welcome!). And take more grrrl holidays. Perhaps finally listen to others and thus celebrate self-care and self-preservation as the political acts they are. Not talk to every random stranger on the internet (or IRL) who demands to be passively educated.
Meanwhile, is anyone working on that anti-racist, anti-patriarchical drink, though? Now that would be a big step forward. And you’d get an honorable mention in the first verse.