bullying

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Unfeminist First

 

Hello, I'm Thursday, the other half of Weekday Blues. Today I'll be talking about bullying in social justice, seeing as I experienced prolonged harassment on the Tumblogosphere recently. Trigger warnings apply accordingly.

 

It takes a tremendous amount of courage for a marginalised person to say something is X-ist. To talk about the structure that kicks them to the ground and walks on them. & a person who stands up does not derive any grotesque pleasure from the callout: it's neither enjoyable, nor entertaining. They rightfully fear retribution.

 

This is even more the case when the person walking on you has a feminist card.

 

This is nothing new: there is bullying in social justice. I've experienced quite a bit of it myself, & so have people I'm close to.

 

Every time I speak, someone twists my voice.

 

Every time my voice is strangled, I must bear the brunt of their denial. Though we are all working for the same ideal so I must bear my burden in patience, no? That in itself is victim-blaming.

 

This is only going to happen again, and again, and again, and again. & again.

 

Every "bugger off" I have snapped in frustration is not without reason: the amount of time we spend fighting "allies" is ridiculous. It is exhausting. It results in worse cultural paranoia.

 

The various kyriarchal structures are not something to be debated. They are established fact. They need to be engaged with critically & worked through without privileged guilt because marginalised people don't need you giving yourself kudos for doing what a decent human being should have been doing in the first place.

 

There is that constant pressure of "needing to take sides" when there are no real sides. Because you know what? It's a continuum. Everyone screws up. It's how you deal with being wrong. & people with feminist cards hate being wrong. It's somehow worse than the apocalypse itself. Yes, some people are more guilty than others, but all are responsible. 

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

I've never heard this band, I just thought the picture was fitting. Source: Google Image/The Lyric Archive.

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding the “It Gets Better” video campaign (a project created for the purpose of installing hope in LGTBQ youth who may or may not be struggling with bullying or other forms of persecution) or should I say a lot a criticism aimed at its creator Dan Savage (of Savage Love).

A lot of the criticism has been valid. I wrote about it myself here.

In response to the backlash Dan Savage has had this to say:

To the angry folks: I admit that IGBP doesn’t do the impossible.  It doesn’t solve the problem of anti-gay bullying, everywhere, all at once, forever.  The point of the videos is to give despairing kids in impossible situations a little thing called hope.  The point is to let them know that things do get better.  For some people things get better once they get out of high school, for others things get better while they’re still in high school.

[...]

Nothing about letting kids know that it gets better excuses or precludes us from pressing for the Student Non-Discrimination Act, demanding anti-bullying programs, confronting the bigots who are making things worse, or supporting the Trevor Project. But we’re not going to get legislation passed this instant or get anti-bullying programs into schools in rural areas—particularly private Christian schools—before classes start tomorrow.  Doing all of that is going to take years of hard work and dedicated activism.  In the meantime, while we work on all of that, we can get these messages of hope in front of kids who are crisis right now.  And we must use the tools we have at our disposal right now—social media and YouTube and digital video—to get these messages of hope to kids who are sufferingright now in schools without GSAs and kids who are trapped schools that will never have GSAs and kids whose parents who bully and reject them.

There’s nothing about this project—nothing about participating in this project—that prevents people from doing more.  Indeed, I would hope that participating in this raises awareness and leaves people feeling obligated to do more.

He makes a good point.

arvan's picture

Confessions of a Gender Traitor

I confess. 

I am a gang member. 

I have benefitted from my membership in this gang, all my life.  Everything in my life has come to me easier than it has for most of the planet, because I belong to this gang.  My clothes, food, shelter, luxuries and freedom are the spoils of my membership.  We live a life of ease, gluttony, vanity and waste built on the backs of oppression, deceit and cruelty.

We are a gang that brutally oppresses half of the world's population with rape, murder, starvation, torture, disease, forced and unpaid labor, humiliation, lack of education and food and shelter.  The mother of almost every child on the planet is the target of our oppression - controlled by words, weapons & fear and deprived of a voice or respect as human - as equal.

This gang also fights among its own ranks.  The gang at the top of this pyramid of brutality, ignorance and brutality is run by several thousand gang members who use raping, pillaging, murder and destroying the entire planet to luxuriate in and hoard the wealth of the planet.  For every bite of food we eat, thousands of people die of starvation.

The annals of history are written by this gang, obliterating the thoughts, words and lives of all foes, vanquished or living.  For four thousand years we have forged the planet around us into instruments of war, torture, enslavement and despair.  We have roamed the surface of the planet in packs, armies and alone in dark alleys with an unquenchable thirst for the blood of our fellow humans.  Those whom we do not kill outright, we eliminate in history, we remove their names from their own stories and place the names we choose to honor in their places.

Buck Angel's picture

Buck Angel: It Gets Better

A video I made for Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" Project on YouTube.  Reaching out to GBLTQ kids on how life will get better.  I had a pretty messed up time as a kid.  But I made it to become the man I am today.  I wanted to share with you a part of my life that is sad but I made it!  You can too.

Please if you have the time contribute to this cause!  We should all be apart of helping out youth grow up to be happy individuals!  We all deserve that much.

Thank You Dan Savage!

More on the project here.

Help is here:
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
http://www.scarleteen.com/
http://wearetheyouth.org/

Please email me here buckangel@buckangelentertainment.com

arvan's picture

Gov’t Hems and Haws Over ‘Honour Killings’

By Sujoy Dhar

NEW DELHI, Sep 9, 2010 (IPS) - Instances of ‘honour killings’ in Indian communities still steeped in traditional beliefs continue unabated. Yet the government has not enacted tougher laws that will deal a decisive blow against this societal scourge.

For bringing dishonour to the family, couples defying time-honoured traditions in many orthodox Indian villages must flee for their lives lest they become victims of ‘honour killing’ committed by kin or members of their own caste.

Some of the couples on the run were either caught unawares or hounded out and killed by their families who were determined to restore honour to the clan.

"Young couples live in fear. They are often driven to suicide, if not killed," Nishi Kant, who runs Shakti Vahini, a non-governmental organisation researching honour killings in India, told IPS.

Marrying outside one’s caste or within one’s lineage (‘gotra’), or outside one’s religion is still tabooed by many Indian families, who believe such "aberrant behaviours" deserve the most brutal punishment, often in the form of death.

Over the past months, horrific reports of honour killings have been pouring in. About 45 people have died as a result of such killings in the past 19 months, according to Shakti Vahini. Despite the spike in honour killings, the state remains a mute spectator, said Kant.

The ruling United Progressive Alliance has condemned the killings but has not acted decisively on the sensitive issue, fearing a dent in its traditional vote banks.

Jaded's picture

Re-Making While Break-ing Bodies And Meanings

The past few days have been emotionally as well as physically taxing, as I prepared for a seminar, re-wrote, re-edited and then wrote again my paper. Then deleted it and started all over again. A few years ago I had the nasty habit of never saving any of my writing, so I went along and got me an auto-saving program. Now all I need is a program that will swat my hand away every time I try to delete my writing. So you can understand, dear reader why I didn't want to open or even read any of my TrollMail. Turns out, had I opened it earlier I wouldn't be comatose in front of the computer screen, losing the battle against writer's block. Some days, the universe just provides you fodder, while on other days it spews slander all over you and your virtual space.

Questions like, "Must you use such harsh language, when you talk of your body or anyone else's body?" or another states "It's not proper for Indian women to talk of the body in such terms. You sound Western when you do write like this. Indian women don't and shouldn't talk of their private organs so blatantly. This isn't our culture". And I edited this one, because I distinctly remember my LadyBrain slammed itself shut after these lines. Forgive me for not reading any of her remaining eight e-mails for my eyes blurred over as soon as she started defining what "Indian women" should do or rather shouldn't do. And just as I start to write this, another e-mail scurries forward bearing the words, "What is the point of breaking up your body to show what you mean? Aren't you mutilating yourself, under the name of using poetic devices? Also, isn't this an extremely Western method of articulating ? Doesn't this stand against everything you supposedly believe in?". As I mentioned before, the Interwebes can smack any semblance of the Writer's Block right out of you, on a day like this.

arvan's picture

Jay Smooth: What people mean when they say "sensitive"

Jay Smooth helps us decipher the double-speak of hate and fear mongers in his latest Giant Word episode.

arvan's picture

The Evolution of "Fag" in My Life

"Fag" and  "Gay" are two words that have been in my life since I was young.  My relationship to them has changed over the years as has their impact upon me.  I have used the words and heard the words used.  I am not proud of some of what I am about to relate.  I wasn't always in the right, I didn't always do the good thing.  I am nobody's shining example of super-duper goodness and leading the charge for doing things the right way.  I suppose that maybe, I am like a lot of people: capable of learning from mistakes.

When I was a pre-teen, the word was "Sissy" and it meant "coward" or "girl" - both of which were insults to the minds of boys my age, in the neighborhood and schoolyard.  At first, I didn't even know why they were bad things, but I knew that I didn't want to be one of the kids that those names got used on.  Being called those things meant that ridicule and physical attacks would follow. 

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