Monthly Archives: December 2013

This week we saw a failure of feminism 101

 

This week we saw a failure of feminism 101 and as a result i discovered who did and did not understand and who was just blindly following popular faces.

 

On christmas a hashtag was created to give emergency food and monetary aid to transgender women, this tag was created by a trans woman of color, it was created specifically to help white trans women and trans women of color as well as transfeminine/nonbinary AMAB folks who suffer from transmisogyny. This was a trans feminine space. A black transgender man got angry because he did not like the tag creator and attacked the tag itself, a man thought he had the right to enter a womans space and have his voice heard over others.

 

And some of you people listened.

 

Had he asked about charity for trans men not using that hashtag (a womans space) he would have had every right to ask for aid as well, we could have all made a hashtag for trans masculine people as well. But he didn’t.

Had he brought up his issues with the tag creator outside of the tag, that would have been appropriate space to do so. But he didn’t.

He attacked the feminine space and the creator of it using the hashtag.

 

Then people decided the hashtag creator was now magically white . I don’t know who started that one, but yall are wrong as fuck.

And this mans excuse for butting into a womans space? The fact that hes a black trans man.

Im sorry, being black doesn’t entitle you to a womans space when you are a man.

 

This is feminism 101.

You failed.

Had the tag been created by white women and catered to white women, then yes it would have been racist, but it was started by a trans woman of color and it helped trans women of color. It was not “white by default” because the praxis proved otherwise. Both white trans women and trans women of color were helped.

Ergo your race accusation is null. The only exclusion by word and deed was the masculine elements. its feminism 101 that women have a right to their own spaces. its transfeminism 101 that trans women have a right to their own spaces, its also transfeminim 101 that TWOC have a right to their own spaces. Each marginalized group also has a right to its own spaces.

Men of any kind do not have a right to enter any of these feminine spaces. Regardless of what race you are, you are still a man and you do not belong in feminine spaces.

And just to be clear this does not include obvious things like healthcare/support relating to owning a womb and the related equipment. All womb owners should have equal access to spaces related to those body parts, such as abortion clinics, birth control and specialized medical care. Regardless of gender or lack thereof.

Trans women of color were front and center, she even got media credit for her work and many TWOC were aided by the tag.

 

I dont know why the fuck i have to spell this out to you.

This is feminism 101

Men dont go in womens spaces.

Regardless of any other axis of oppression.

Period.

 

PSA to iphone/ipad users of my site.

Disclaimer: This post is meant for the middle class folks, the ones with extra cash in their pocket and too much time, thinking they are allies when they arent.

 

I say all of these things criticizing the entire system we live in, and everyone reads it, likes it and shares it. I talk about how fucked up it is that a lot of our tech is made by exploited people, and you read my blogs on your ipads and iphones, my blog shows me the stats, most of you are iOS users, that means you buy apple phone products (im sure some of you were gifted these items or got them second hand or your work issued you one or stole/found them and you people are exempt from this rant, please join the rest of the class for cake and ice cream while i get my cluebat for these assholes [and if you stole it, keep up the good work])

The people who will be exempt from this will be statistically a minority, so please dont come and tell me how you “arent one of them” as all of you will say so to try to soothe your guilt.
And if you are buying iphones, that means you are paying money to benefit from the oppression of other human beings, there are now other products you can use instead.

If you are reading my work using devices made by the subjugation of others, thats fucked up. You should probably sit and think about that. And then realize that as good as an apple product is in quality, you arent willing to face to face oppress the maker of the device, so you shouldn’t be doing it by proxy. its not only evil, its cowardly.

Now some people might say “but laurelai, all the devices are made in fucked up situations we literally cant escape this without losing our way of life”

Here is my ideological advice: You are a worthless degenerate scumbag who places your personal comfort and desire for the latest flashy toy above the real lives of suffering human beings, buy a goddamn land line, angry birds isnt that fucking important i mean at the very least you could have bought an android or something else with the reasoning that it was the lesser of evils in a modern world where you need communication to function, but no you went with Evil INC’s latest evilphone 9000, now with less suicide (only because they put up nets).

Here is my practical advice because i know you wont follow the ideological advice, you scumbag, if you own an apple device, and you paid for it. Give it away to the first homeless person you meet, don’t sell it. Go buy one of these when it comes out. You have alternatives now, no more excuses.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/fairphone-the-worlds-first-ethical-smartphone-launches-in-london-8829444.html

Cis Feminism is a failure to the trans community

Feminism has failed transgender women, both white trans women and trans women of color (and others from what I have been told).

 

All too often modern feminism has used the talents momentum and energy of both white trans women and trans women of color (and other marginalized women) among them to further the causes of cis feminists and cis women. They ask that we join them under their banner using pithy slogans like “if you believe in equality you are a feminist” and things like that. Making it appear as if anyone who has any objections with feminism simply just doesn’t believe in equality enough.

No cis feminism, we believe that freedom from oppression and a life of peace is the right of all sentient beings.

 

 

What we don’t believe in is putting (usually) white cis feminists who meet cisnormative appearance standards ahead of everyone else (and that’s what feminism actually does in reality)

What we don’t believe in is using the word “solidarity” as a code for “please put up with this subgroup within feminism that wants you dead because we arent comfortable confronting them for your sake”

 

See we see you buddying up with TERFs and refusing to call them out with anything stronger than “that’s not my activism” hand waiving away the feminists in your circles that use the label of feminism to attack entire classes of women.

 

We saw your open letter stating that you were against transphobia (hell I even signed it too), and it was a great gesture, but you didn’t do the deed.

You didn’t confront TERFs, you didn’t confront the people who want us dead, you didn’t challenge them *at all*

Your token effort is simply not good enough.

The elephant in the room is that when most cis feminists say in public that trans women are women, but if you dig down to how you *act* it becomes clear you are just giving lip service in order to win us over to your side, all while you *completely ignore* transgender issues, transgender suffering and transgender death.

For fuck sake cis feminism a lot of us don’t even have the right to use public restrooms and all the lot of you can do is “socially acceptable” activities that don’t rock too many boats.

 

Like putting a woman on the face of a banknote.

 

Sure its a nice gesture but honestly its such a minor progress compared to the real deadly problems entire classes of women suffer from as to render it almost completely useless in the day to day suffering of other human beings.

It would have even been fine if that had just been one of many many activism actions that included solving real world suffering issues of marginalized women.

 

But if you really take a look at modern feminism a large portion of it is the pumpkin spice lattee sipping white cis feminism. If you all really grasped basic human decency you would put the most marginalized women *first* in your activism and you *don’t*. You don’t actually care about the rights of all women, you care about getting yours and fuck everyone else.

You care about making a splash and getting a popular blog and a book deal.

You also don’t give a shit about sex workers either.

Oh some of you say you do, but then you try to “rescue us” from our own lives, instead of trying to make sex work safer (and that’s what we really want).

Oh and you don’t really care about women of color as well. Hell women of color had to come up with their own terms to describe similar concepts within feminism because they wanted to *separate themselves from white feminism and its flaws*.

You have tried to put every women under the same umbrella and in doing so you continue to make the white cis woman the default, the one up first, whose problems get looked at first. Because its easy.

Yeah, you do it because its easy. You tell yourselves that its got nothing to do with any *ism* and how its just tactics, well let me tell you that kind of thinking is in itself problematic.

 

You start with the hardest things first because those take the most work and the most energy.

You do the deed and you don’t worry about personal branding, or branding in general.

 

Oh and before you start crying about how im being divisive or not showing solidarity, see my previous point about “solidarity” no i will not sit down and be quiet while you ignore our oppression in favor of cis problems.

You are the ones who need to have a seat.

But honestly these problems with feminism have been around since the temperance movement  (and look how well that worked out).

All too often activism has tried to force specific narratives or memes to present to the world, instead of allowing a diverse ecosystem of narratives, instead of making room for everyones life experiences.

All too often feminism has ignored the problems of women who are marginalized the most in favor of the women who have the most privilege.

 

In the end its your actions that define you, not your labels or your theories.

 

In the end feminism has failed the transgender community.

But in the end one can claim it was designed to fail us from the ground up.

 

I propose a new radical activism based on simple principles and based on *action* and not labels. The label will come later, and isn’t as important as the idea.

 

Principle 1.

 

Freedom from oppression is the right of all sentient beings. We live in a system built on oppression on many many levels, one piled on top of another. Most people accept this casually, we do not. An injury to one is an injury to all. If even one being lives under oppression then we are all oppressed.

 

Principle 2.

Empathy for sentient beings outside of your comfort zone.

This is pretty simple, most people fail at empathy for anyone outside of their small circles of life. Friends and family get empathy while everyone else isn’t really a person worth considering for most people, and we identify and acknowledge that this is the cause of a lot of major problems with the world and a contributing factor to kyriarchy. We must actively engage empathy for people outside of our comfort zones.

 

Principle 3.

Progressive stack

Applied to activism issues. (the most marginalized people have the loudest voices and get their issues addressed first, IE trans sex workers, trans women of color, trans prisoners ect..) This means white cis problems go to the bottom of the list, we still care about those issues but honestly they cant be priority one.  This is a triage of issues, placing the most important immediate issues first.

Principle 4.

Adaptation.

These principles are not brought down on high from anything and time changes everything eventually. These principles are not meant to be shackles , but tools to achieve real change. If any of these tools become too worn or too old to be useful then they should be discarded and replaced. All too often radical ideas that are wonderful for their time become the new status quo in the next generation, one that binds and oppresses, repeating the same sins of the previous generations in new ways.

However this does not mean we will compromise with oppressors or make “deals with the devil” .

 

Principle 5.

Ensuring history does not repeat itself.

Similar to principle 4 , all too often activism groups will repeat the mistakes and evil of the oppressors in an attempt to fight that oppression. This ends here.

No longer will we ignore the most marginalized among us in favor of those with the most privileges, this is going to take active work and a lot of deconstruction within ourselves.Also this means we will ensure we are knowledgeable about history , we have to educate ourselves on the failures of past activism if we ever hope to not repeat their mistakes.

 

Principle 6.

Allies.

Anyone wanting to call themselves an ally to our causes must be willing to face the same oppression we do. If you arent willing to bleed like we do you are not a real ally. Allies should not be trying to make their voices louder than the oppressed, and should instead listen to what we want and help us get it the way we want it. I’m sure all you allies have tons of “great ideas” frankly we don’t want to hear them so please listen to us do what we ask you to do.

Your resources and money while nice to have are not a reason for us to coddle you. Either give us what we need without strings because you want to see the right thing done or don’t try giving us anything.

If we coddle you for your resources you will just use them to reinforce your own privilege anyways so you arent actually doing us any good by us coddling you. We recognize this and refuse to fall into that trap. Either help us on our terms or leave us alone.

 

Principle 7

Body autonomy.

The right for a sentient being to alter their body as they see fit should be afforded to all. Nobody should have a right to tell someone that they cant alter their body, it is also wrong to shame people with body modifications of any kind.

As sentient beings and adults we should be able to make informed consensual decisions about our bodies.