I’m tired of talking about feminism to men.
I’m tired of explaining to men that the feminist movement will, in fact, benefit them as well as women. I’m tired of trying to hawk gender equality like I’m some kind of car salesman showing off a shiny new sedan, explaining all of its bells and whistles. I’m tired of smiling through a thousand thoughtless microaggressions, tired of providing countless pieces of evidence, tired of being questioned on every. Single. Damn. Thing.I’m tired of proving that microaggressions exist, tired of proving that I’m unfairly questioned and asked for proof. For a movement that’s centered around the advancement and empowerment of women, why do I feel like I’m supposed to spend so damn much of my time carefully considering how what I say and do will be taken by men?
I’m tired of men who insert themselves into feminist spaces with claims of hurt feelings. I’m tired of men who somehow manage to make every issue about them. I’m tired of men like the one who recently stopped by a friend’s Facebook thread in order to call feminism “c*nty”, then lecture the women involved for being too “hostile” in their responses to him. I’m tired of men telling me that my understanding of feminism and rape culture are wrong, as if these aren’t things that I have studied intensely. I’m tired of men who claim to be feminist allies, then abuse that position to their own advantage. I’m so fucking exhausted by the fact that I know that I will have to, at some point in this piece, mention that I understand that not all men are like that. I will have to note that some men are good allies. And all of those things are true! And all of you good allies get cookies! But honestly,I’m tired of handing out cookies to people just because they’re decent fucking human beings.
If Latin America had not been pillaged by the U.S. capital since its independence, millions of desperate workers would not now be coming here in such numbers to reclaim a share of that wealth; and if the United States is today the world’s richest nation, it is in part because of the sweat and blood of the copper workers of Chile, the tin miners of Bolivia, the fruit pickers of Guatemala and Honduras, the cane cutters of Cuba, the oil workers of Venezuela and Mexico, the pharmaceutical workers of Puerto Rico, the ranch hands of Costa Rica and Argentina, the West Indians who died building the Panama Canal, and the Panamanians who maintained it.
— Juan Gonzalez, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
I was supposed to be a Mexican, then came Manifest Destiny and I became Mexican American, then came the Census Bureau and I became Hispanic, then came that white woman and I became a spic, then came that one Ethnic Studies class and I became Chicano, then came Cherríe Moraga and I became Xicano. In the end, it’s just me and my unsolicited opinion.
— Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano. (via shexie
So, what’s wrong with the generalization that more sex = liberation? It locates sexual liberation in an experience of white heterosexual femininity. It does not take into the account the different experiences of racialization and sexualization of women, queer and trans people of color. For example, while, straight, middle-class women have been stereotyped as pure, asexual virgins, while women of color have been hypersexualized as exotic, erotic beings (see: Hottentot, harem girl, lotus blossom, fiery Latina, squaw, etc.) For racialized people, adopting a sex-positive attitude does not “liberate” them of such stereotypes, in fact, it fuels them further. In addition, the framework of sex-positivity does not offer a critique of capitalism and the way our sexualities are commodified and exploited, preventing the “free expression” of sex, in the favorite words of sex-positive feminists. Sex-positivity is also ahistorical; it does not take into account the ways attitudes about sex are related to histories of colonialism, especially the colonial imposition of gender and sexual norms. None of this is a particularly new way of thinking by the way, many feminists of color have critiqued sex-positivity for similar reasons.
— Shout-outs to counterstorytelling
(aka Mushroom Rage) for this thoughtful, wonderful op-ed
that spoke so many truths on so many levels. This article is probably the one where topics of feminism, gender, construct, colonialism, culture, and sexuality all intertwine— not just systemically, but personally as well. (via thephantomcatalyst
honestly the only boys who should be allowed to live are jay smooth and hari kondabolu sorry :/
But trying to mold feminism into an identity that anyone can claim, no matter what they believe about women’s rights, is a mistake. Whereas feminism used to be an active belief system that challenged patriarchy, it is now (at least in the public imagination) “anything a woman chooses to do”—even if those actions directly contradict feminist values.
Help! My Boyfriend Doesn’t Understand Why I Wear Weird-Colored Socks