Melissa McEwan, of course, on the terrible bargain. My life as a woman, as a queer person, as a fat person, is not your thought experiment. (via sanitywatchers)
This really struck a chord. Even my boyfriend, feminist that he is, can have this reaction when I’m in tears after an NPR story. This is my fucking life. Excuse me if I can’t remove the personal.
I reblogged this before, but I like it a lot so I’m reblogging it again.
This whole thing is the reason why confrontations with people that I consider friends always leaves me crying. Like, I get so angry and so flustered because it’s not just some stupid game to me, like it is to them. It’s something that’s real and personal.
“Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life.”
This has been my entire problem/experience with grad school. I go to a university known for their emphasis on critical theory and political theory. But the men in my classes, for them, there is nothing at stake. They’re great on class issues. They’re all intense Marxists who fully understand why we’ve gotten to where we are, but none of them have read critical race or gender theory. In all honesty, I’m starting to think that it’s because class is something that you can disown or hide away that you can’t with race, gender, or sexuality. I’m not saying class is escapable or class is fakeable. But my personal hypothesis (this is backed by nothing more than trying to figure out why intelligent, sensitive, critical human beings cannot talk about race or gender) is that I think it’s easier for them to be critical about class than about race or gender because class is something they know they engage in but that they can concretely change. Try talking to them about gender, and what they hear you saying is you’re trying to talk to them about how they, personally, have fucked up towards the women in their life. Class is material! Class is systemic! Class gets us all! And yet they can’t perceive of anything else as systemic without hearing a personal attack on themselves.
Anyway, that’s the place I’m at with the manarchists and brocialists in my institution, if that made any sense. Class behaviour seems more mutable and lets them excuse themselves more because CAPITALISM! but them? They would never be racist or misogynist. One last thing to add: there’s a reason why the closest friends I have in my grad school are either female, POC, queer, or some combination of the above.
This essay seems more painful each time I read it. It articulates a particularly difficult aspect of my relationship with my late father in a way that I would never have dared, yet it is only the heartbreaking truth:
There are the jokes about women, about wives, about mothers, about raising daughters, about female bosses. They are told in my presence by men who are meant to care about me, just to get a rise out of me, as though I am meant to find funny a reminder of my second-class status. I am meant to ignore that this is a bullying tactic, that the men telling these jokes derive their amusement specifically from knowing they upset me, piss me off, hurt me. They tell them and I can laugh, and they can thus feel superior, or I can not laugh, and they can thus feel superior. Heads they win, tails I lose. I am used as a prop in an ongoing game of patriarchal posturing, and then I am meant to believe it is true when some of the men who enjoy this sport, in which I am their pawn, tell me, “I love you.” I love you, my daughter. I love you, my niece. I love you, my friend. I am meant to trust these words.
[re-reblobbing for more commentary]
Everything above. Every damn day.
Reblogged for commentary.