A friendly blog where feminists and their male allies can come together and discuss methods, tactics, and strategies for use in toppling White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy.

3.19.2007

Could We Start Again, Please???

To Stan Goff (and please disregard the christy-imagery, the dedication is more about the lyrics):




I must now, sadly, remove Stan from my short list of manly allies.

The person who inspired me to carve my own, albeit unkempt, niche here in blogolandia seems to have gone all bonkers. Or something. He's not been forthcoming for the reasons for his bonkerness. But many of us thought of him as a good leader and a strong ally in a fight that never ends. And I'm sure just as many are sad to see him slip away.

I imagine that if I did write as I damn well should it would be easy for me, a white person who's bloggage totally misses the mark so often, to slip into self-isolation.
My hotel campaign has been my island lately.

No hotel campaign, no family, no one woman or man is an island. Guess we forget that sometimes.

Can we start again, Stan? Please come back to reality.

3.04.2007

3.02.2007

Excuses. Yeah, I Know.

Sixteen hour days and little sleep and no money are making me grumpy and giving me writer's cramp from HELL. So I'm reposting a rant here that I put on myspace, targeting an asshole from my past. Mua haa. Just reread it today and though it's a bit "specific" I still really liked the general ring of it. Enjoy.

Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether (simple denial), admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimisation) or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility (transference). The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of addiction. -From the Wiki



Ah, the fingerpointings and accusations and fucked-up behaviors of the past. These seem to be the things that trudge across my grave lately.

Three years ago I faced a new year as a woman at a crossroads- still stuck in the mud of living my life for a man, with just enough of me heaving through the muck of the surface to want to scratch my way out, for good.

It took me a while to change and to move ahead. It took some time and some hard, mind-warping experience for me to admit that maybe the things I did were more than a little bit fucked-up. It took me being a traitor and a liar. I had to remake the wound, one I already suffered from, myself in a new form in order to start healing and curing it myself. I guess I'm stubborn in that way.

I'm not sure exactly when I had that "ah-ha!" moment, when it really, really hit me, that what I do and what I say and how I live really has an impact on other people. The whole self-indulgent, individualistic, Dionysian meme of hedonistic experience really doesn't fly; it's actually quite contrary to self-preservation.

Why's that?

Well, people are people. We are not Orangutans, we are not Bonobo Chimpanzees. We live in a condition that is far from physical isolation, and our primary adaptive traits are those that allow us to interact with one another- our hands, our complex vocal structures, our big brains, and our bipedal bodies produce an exaptation- culture- which is the physical manifestation of our thoughts. Our cultural and phyisiological evolution is tied together in a spiderweb so intricate that the things we think about and the things we say have physical consequences- no matter what the Smart Dead White Men say about it.

We can imagine and wish all we want that our individual choices only effect us as individuals. To actualy believe that is perhaps the slowest and most painful genocide that we could *choose* to inflict on ourselves.

Perhaps the turning point for me came when I realized that the fact that I had made a conscious *choice* to do something harmful, that the harmful thing was the thing I wanted more than anything to *choose* to do, didn't mean dick to the person that I hurt. It didn't validate me one bit, because the framework from which I'd learned to make my choices was all fucked up in the first place.

I realized that I indeed had become a charicature- of a woman who thought she was doing what she wanted to do, while she was really only playing to the more extreme and prurient wants of the men who were running her life. My actions made me a sort of "gatekeeper"- that's to say that in the bigger scheme of things, I actively chose to reinforce a cycle that oppresses women. I was letting men fuck me over and saying out loud that I loved it- and that more or less gave the men involved a pass to try and do the same with other women. I had abused what privilege I had.

It's odd, isn't it, how a person who wallows in self-pity, in their fucked-up childhood, in all their bad breaks and other such manifestations of their own "individual situations" in order to justify apathy and lack of action- isn't it just a bit odd that such a person can be so very, very proactive when it comes to their own, personal, individual desires?

Then when someone points out the pattern as it repeats, fractalesque, damaging the already damaged- the person who finally gets his turn under the microscope attempts to second-guess the perception of the person peering through the lens; he needs to jar the focus, change the range of magnification.

Thing is, I too had a fucked-up childhood and poverty and abuse and mental assault on my plate from as far back as I can remember. I think the operative difference is in the fact that I came to a point where I realized that hey-wait a minute- I'm still around after all that. That means I must be strong. I've been a strong person all these years, I've just been pushing in the wrong direction- I've been pushing against people who suffer the same shit that I suffer. I made a *choice* to push against the people and the Powers who have made me suffer.

I also figured out that men who abuse and manipulate and hurt and take and take and take are not monsters. They are regular men. That is manliness. Manliness is a bit monstruous, but it's also not abnormal, by any stretch of the imagination. Such is the nature of privilege; something for nothing; entitlement. Every man who wishes to support us has to examine and deconstruct that side of himself and be open to the examination and deconstruction of his masculinity and male privilege, as well as accountability in areas of abuse of said privilege. They close themselves to this, and they are, effectively, against our freedom.

It does not surprise me that a man for whom I used to dance reacted strongly when he realized that I no longer will dance for him, and instead I will merely shove him in the direction that he needs to go. I could give a shit about his navel-gazing and self-reflection. I don't need to know every minute detail of his personal experience to know that his actions hamper and hinder the personal lives of people that I love dearly. His supposed former "respect" for me is a drop of water on a hot stove eye, because he doesn't know shit about respect- except as an abstract and intellectualized concept. And he doesn't seem to have changed a bit from when I last saw him, last knew him.

Words don't mean shit without actions to back them up. Our lives are where we act. If our lives are empty, all our mumblings and rantings and intellectual fiddle-faddle are so much dust in the wind. Stepping away from this man and other men and what they have stood for in my life, that has been a way that I have *chosen* to take action for my own good and the good of others.

Men will always call us bitter and poisonous and any number of names when we make this choice. They'll always attempt to deflect accountability for their own actions back onto us. And they have and always will attempt to threaten the removal of their physical/emotional proximity and whatever validation they percieve it brings in an attempt to castigate us when we don't want to do their fucking dance.

My plan of action is not only not to dance, but to push and to shove and to never, ever let another man step on me again.