bitter rant from tumblr

iamwhoiamandidontgiveadamn's picture

I am an introvert.  I love to watch the interactions between people and I stay out of them as much as possible because I dont fully understand how I’m supposed to act.  So I watch, listen, and I think.  And honestly….

I’ve bloody fucking had it with the “radical” internet “community”.

There are two sets of qutations for a reason:

“radical” = a lot of the people Ive encountered arent so much radical as they are pretentious and holier than thou. 

“community” = there’s a certain level of support, but mostly it’s just a lot of people shitting on each other for not having the same opinions as them, including those they consider part of the community.

Here’s the problem: Kyriarchy.  (which by the way, I think, phonetically, is a beautiful word. Say it out loud without any emotion attached to it and you’ll see what I mean).

Kyriarchy is a system in which EVERYONE has privilege over EVERYONE else in some way.  And equally, EVERYONE has a disatvantage in life.  Some would argue that rich, white, cis gendered, straight, able bodied, straight men of sound mind have ALL the advantages, but that would presume that that person has suffered NO disadvantage or trauma EVER in their life. 

A lot of people from major marginalized groups (POC, LGBQ, trans, disabled, women, poor, fat) like to complain about the privileges of others (white, rich, sound mind, able bodied, male, straight, cis gendered, thin) but they leave out something. 

They too, as part of the kyriarchy, carry a privilege. 

But it seems that many of them feel exempt from confronting and owning up to these privileges because they belong to a marginalized group. 

This leads to the dismissal of the opinions of people who may oppress one group but are oppressed by another group. 

A gay man will complain about his oppression by straight people, and will dismiss the opinion of a straight person off the bat, forgetting that because he (the gay male) is rich, he may actually be oppressing the person he is dismissing who is poor.  His oppression is more important that anyone else’s oppression, so he is allowed to dismiss anyone who is straight despite the disadvantages they may suffer. 

This is separate from the oppression somewhat, but there is also a level of egotism.  The idea that everything is all about YOU and YOUR oppression and fuck everyone else’s. They take comments out of context and twist it to meet their needs and brow beat others into recanting an entire entry based on ONE sentence. 

A recent example would be the debate over the phrase “start a revolution, love your body”.  Some people argued that because it causes erasure of some groups, NO ONE should feel empowered by the phrase.  What it came down to is: I dont feel empowered, and this offends me, so I dont think anyone should feel empowered by this sentiment, regardless of their experiences in life. 

Erasure IS bad.  It ignores the lives and experiences of people.  But when someone feel erased and demands that a certain sentiment no longer be used because of it, it then erases OTHER people who would feel some empowerment or hope from the idea.  So demanding attention to erasure just causes MORE erasure.  (yeah, I know the specific example is actually an example of my OWN egotism, dont worry about pointing that out. ::chuckles:

So many people talk about FREEDOM but they only mean their freedom to be right and freedom to tell you youre wrong until you agree with them. 

Color blindness does nothing for racism. We can all agree on that.  But how does ignoring the life experiences of ANYONE do any good for anyone else? 

What I am getting at is that we are ALL, each and every single one of us, a part of the kyriarchy.  Each and every single one of us shits on someone else with our existence. 

But there are some people who seem to be in denial of this.  They act like because they have X number of disadvantages in life, they can dismiss ANY with ANY privilege, regardless of the fact that the person they perceive as privileged also has X number of disadvantages.

What I’m NOT saying is that ALL disadvantages are the same, so no, not everyone can understand everyone else’s problems.  But to dismiss a person for being cis gendered when you are trans without asking if that person is also disadvantaged in some way is shitting on them and telling them that they dont matter because they arent like you.  Their disadvantage isnt the same, therefor it’s not as bad, therefor their opinion on anything you say doesnt matter. 

And some people with the same disadvantage even disagree.  But instead of reaching out, we all just brow beat each other into agreement. 

We post articles that we might find offending that someone else might agree with the central idea though they understand that there is something askew with in the article.  But they cant voice the agreeing opinion without being bombarded with insults for “ignoring” the offending sentence. 

This is all becoming very disjointed.  I had it written pretty concisely in my notebook but I wont quote it directly because I fear the things I have written about.  I know that the central message I am getting at will be ignored for the small details and that I will be bombarded with insults for certain phrases I have used.  And really, I guess that’s part of the point. 

People on here will see me as abusing my privileges, and ignore the disadvantages I have (I’ll admit I have privileges: I am white, cis gendered, and in a hetero relationship.  My disadvantages: I am bipolar, fat, poor, pansexual, and my relationship can borderline on abusive but I also have a son with the abuser so I am somewhat stuck, I have a history of sexual abuse, and a long history of bullying).  But those disadvantages dont matter because I have X number of privileges.  So I will be dismissed as not understanding what it is like to be oppressed and even called an abuser of privilege.  (yes, another example of possible egotism. But mostly Im worried about the backlash of my honesty.  People do NOT like to be called out on their bullshit and it can bring out the worst in them)

This whole thing used to make me feel very empowered.  Learning from people who’s lives were different than mine, learning about their experiences and opinions and feelings.  It even helped me get over some of the eating trouble I had because it gave me something new to think about in my spare time. 

But then I sat back.  I watched.  And I saw things that I dont like.  Things that have made me bitter about radical politics.  There is a devisiveness that makes me pessemistic about any progress ever being made on a grand scale. Even on a small one. 

And Ive learned that after trying so hard to be everyone else’s idea of the Perfect Radical, I was a better one before I picked up my first book on anarchy.  I was a natural.  And now I’m confused and hurt. 

And Ive gotten away from my point in a huge way….

My point is, we are all complicit in the oppression of other people.  And I think that some people, because they feel so oppressed, cant or wont accept that they too oppress someone. 

And truth, I see NO end in sight at all in this system.  Especially if there are members who think that their shit never hits anyone else. 

My head hurts.  Its too early in the morning for this.  (And dont worry.  Once I get flamed I will more than likely back down from every statement I have made here, recant all of my opinions, concede that you are right and I am wrong, and things will go back to normal.) 

This really isnt nearly as bitter as when I originally wrote it because I am scared of hurting feelings and offending, no matter how badly something needs to be said.  But I have a feeling that I did it anyways. 

::shrugs::

I hope my central point came across in this incoherent rambling. 

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thanks for your incoherent rambling

arvan's picture
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I certainly experienced much of what you described, in my own observations and interactions.  There are so many things impacting how we perceive each other and ourselves. 

A couple things occur to me...

Language is comparative and metaphorical, so we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other using labels to try and communicate our identities and differences.  It is easy to forget (or never even acknowledge) that the labels we apply are substitutes for the person we speak of and not the person.

We can be defensive when we feel that our identity is being attacked or denied.  Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not.  Sometimes we believe that the only way our self-identity can be accepted is if it is validated as a group identity.  We are sometimes afraid to assert that who we are is who we are - independent of anyone else's identity.  In these instances, when someone challenges the group identity we believe is the core of our identity, we feel attacked and we lash out.

So, I very much like what you say here.  It reflects my view that human identity is neither binary nor a rainbow, but a galaxy - flowing out into 3 dimensions and across time. 

Thank you for writing it and for sharing it here.

-arvan

This is separate from the

This is separate from the oppression somewhat, but there is also a level of egotism.  The idea that everything is all about YOU and YOUR oppression and fuck everyone else’s.

Okay, frankly? That's how this piece as a whole reads to me. To be upfront with my bias, I'm trans and marginally overweight. I'm not familiar with the specific argument you mention and don't know what language was used, though I know how nasty the

Oppression Olymipcs can get. But honestly, many parts of this come off as a sort of 'since I'm oppressed too, I shouldn't have to care about trans folk's oppression or my own cissexism.'

Sorry. Again, since I didn't witness whatever went down, I acknowledge that I'm lacking context in a major way. People really can be privileged assholes about other people's marginalization, and I agree with a lot of what you said about that. But from this perspective... you really need to apply it to yourself, too.

While I do get your overall

While I do get your overall point and have seen for myself the ways in which people will jump on others while ignoring their own privileges, I have to agree with Dymara. Further, it's easy to say that we're all oppressed in various ways while ignoring the ways in which the privileges we have work to harm others. Speaking as a trans person, and using your example of cis and trans, the ways in which cis people oppress trans people are institutionalized and numerous, and it's important to really understand just how harmful that is before making comparisons, even vaguely, to the oppressions you have because as you said, these are not the same or comparable.





The hoops we have to jump through in order to attain a quality of life for ourselves are expensive and stressful, and further hampered by cis society's (incorrect) belief that genetics/chromosomes/biology determine one's "true" gender, and so the system is set up in such a way to "ensure" that people seeking transition really need to take such a "drastic" step, when in fact most of us are quite sure and the gatekeeping is really for a cis person's benefit to maintain the status quo. The majority of trans people who go through transition are held back in many ways by a system that was created by cis people, the majority, who cannot quite understand what it's like to be trans, let alone how necessary it is for us to transition, because they cannot fathom our experiences of being assigned the wrong gender and how dissonant it feels.





You may understand what it feels like to be oppressed in certain ways, but there are oppressions you cannot understand from the perspective of those who live with said oppressions, and that is the key. I know what it's like to be poor, but that doesn't mean I know what it's like to be physically disabled. I may understand some of the oppressions they face, after reading or listening to the perspectives of physically disabled people, but I don't have to live their experiences. That is a privilege I have, and as an able-bodied person, it is important for me to acknowledge the ways in which society oppresses the physically disabled and to do what I can to not contribute to that oppression or work to lessen it in whatever ways I can. The choice of the privileged is whether to care about those marginalized by the privileges one has, and in what ways one can help while keeping the focus on the marginalized group(s).





Also, I hardly think social justice is "radical" by any stretch, unless you're talking to a self-absorbed person quite content with maintaining their privileges, I suppose. It's simply the right thing to do to work toward a goal of true equality for all. Though given the way society is so rigidly structured, it's perhaps rather idealist, but not radical.

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