Monday, August 18, 2008

Radical Feminism And CIS Privilege

Okay ladies and feminist identified males, it is time for a reality check.  Privilege is a loaded word, and it is often thrown around in feminist circles.  Time after time I have seen feminists complaining that men don't own their gender privileges.  Women want acknowledgment that we are a historically marginalized and oppressed class, but there is a proviso to that statement.  To qualify as 'woman', you must exist with class privilege, race privilege, be able bodied, straight, and CIS.  If you can somehow fit into all of these categories at the same time, you have won the lottery and you get to proclaim yourself woman.  Not only woman, but long suffering woman whose day has finally come.

Yes celebrate on the land...Declare yourself free.  Don't give a moments thought that your so-called freedom actually means the freedom to oppress another group of women.  This is not equality, it is taking on the Masters Tools.  I know that you feel threatened, but this is simply because you and only you have decided that feminism is about your concerns and should privilege your bodies and your experiences. Unfortunately, humanity is extremely diverse and cannot be divided into neat little binary categories.  Sure if we all had the privilege to be born into your definition of women, it would certainly make things easier for you, but that didn't happen, and so I am afraid that it is time that you step up to the plate and start owning some of the privileges that you are quick to assert that others don't own.

Feminism is about supporting and advancing the lives of all women, not just the ones that happened to be born CIS.  Your vitriolic rants scream of privilege and hate. What about me...Don't I count? Newsflash, yes you are important but not anymore more so than women like Angie Zapata.  How does ignoring the the experiences of a group of women advance feminism in any way? You know feminism, the movement that is supposed to be about improving the lives of all women.  That's right the same feminism that has the objective of validating the lives and humanity of all.

Let me tell you a little something, when you are bruised, or battered, humiliated and treated like some kind of freakish 'other' it hurts.  In a planet that is awash with womens blood, I shouldn't have to tell you that it is the same shade of red, or that it  is diluted only by the tears of pain.  That screaming that you hear are the collective death rattles of trans women who have met a violent end because of the same kind of ignorance and hatred that you regularly preach.  This is not a simple matter of an ideological disagreement, this is life and death.  Do you need to be splattered in their blood to take this seriously?

I wish I had the luxury of just dismissing your writings as nonsense.  I wish that I could just turn my head and say live and let live to the shit that you regularly spew on the internet.  As a WOC with a legacy of slavery, jim crow, beatings, lynchings, and rape I know that words like these are exactly how hatred is perpetuated.  When you turn someone's life into a comedic routine for your own amusement you are othering, and creating them as less than human.  When you can look someone in the eye and decide that they are not your equal, it serves as justification to be violent towards them.  Why should you care what happens to them if you cannot even recognize their shared humanity with you?  Before you make the accusation that I am projecting, let me remind you Hitler dehuamanized Jewish people as a justification for the holocaust.  In every war the first thing that happens is that we create the enemy as other to make their whole sale slaughter tenable.  Kill the gooks, kill the gerrys, death to the kaffirs...you may disguise your hate better but it is still the same thing to those of us that understand the value of language as tool of oppression. You have learned the lessons of Mein Kempf well, except this time there are people that are willing to sound the alarm bell.

As long as I have breathe in this body, I shall not stand idly by while one group is created as less than human so that others may exist in privilege.  You do not represent feminism, you represent hate.  It is no wonder that many disavow feminist goals when women like you claim to be its representatives.  Who would want to be associated with a group that regularly preaches hate and intolerance in a world that has seen more than enough blood shed.  This earth is so full of the blood of the innocent I could wring it free with my bare hands and yet you seek to multiple the destruction by deciding somehow you are more worthy than another.  This may be your ideal feminist vision but to me it is the stuff of nightmares.  In my dreams I see the headless horsemen, I see an apocalyptic vision in which our once fertile earth is reduced to a barren wasteland simply because we have lost the capacity to understand and truly believe that we are all of value.

H/T Renegade Your power was my inspiration.

 


18 comments:

Renegade Evolution said...

Sheesh, any time I can inspire something that AMAZING...wow. Um, you did dang good in the inspiring department yourself!

Debi Crow said...

Brilliant. Thanks so much Renee. You're quite an inspiration yourself! x

flowerwelly said...

Renee, I want to thank you for your blog. This post, as with so many others, is really inspiring, and the passion with which you write is so refreshing compared to the monotone apathy on so many other blogs. I second Debi Crow - you are an inspiration x

ottermatic said...

Wow. Renee, hat is powerful and amazing. I read through the shit link and my jaw dropped. Anybody who can dismiss every trans woman as being nothing more than a "guy in a dress" or being people who were merely dissatisfied with men's groups and so decided to risk their lives every damn day by refusing to conform to their biological sex (because that's easier than finding a new men's group??? are you fucking kidding me???) or (Lord help me) a fetish, has obviously never (knowingly, I'd wager) met or interacted in any significant with any trans folks. The more of that I read, the more furious I get. It just sounds like so much power grasping. NOOOO the men in dresses are coming to take away all the massive power that we feminists have won!

Please.

Man. Thanks Renee and Renegade Evolution for calling this shit out, and strongly.

daomadan said...

Gorgeous post! Your words are truth.

Danny said...

Such power...

Such raw unadultered power...

What a woman you are...

Its good to see that there are people out there (like Ren and apprantly you) that don't just use the term "radical" as a way to disguie their hatred of someone.

uppitybrownwoman said...

This is an amazing post, Renee. Your words are infectious (I mean that in the best way) and inspirational.

Ojibway Migisi Bineshii said...

Great post!

Interesting that you linked up your post "yes celebrate on the land, " with the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. This festival is very overpriced and you can't even volunteer. I volunteer for most festivals I go to because that is how I can afford it. As a Native American women I want to know how these people are honoring the land that they are having these festivals on. How are they actually connecting with the land?

From what I have observed in feminism I believe we have a long way to go. We need to truly encompass and include all women that come from every different background and experience.

Renee said...

@Olibway Migisi Bineshii
I want to know how these people are honoring the land that they are having these festivals on. How are they actually connecting with the land?

That is exactly the point of linking to MICH Fest. I find it disgusting that they regularly refer to it as "on the land" and then practice such blatant hatred.

belledame222 said...

Applause.

And yeah, good point about "the land, the land." Whose land, again, exactly?

Lisa Harney said...

I love this post. I will link it later today.

I like what Bernice Johnson Reagon had to say about MichFest, gatekeeping against those defined as not women, and so on - and she wasn't talking about trans women at all.

Plus she said a lot of other important stuff.

Anyway, linking in the off-chance that someone who sees this hasn't read her speech.

Ojibway Migisi Bineshii said...

Thanks Renee for your response! I was really disgusted with the price of the festival. You should be able to volunteer for this festival, pay a very low and affordable price or go for free. I think this would be the case if it was truly "an on the land," festival. I had a weird feeling about this festival just because of the price. Yet again I have a weird feeling about most things in our society because of the price.

@belledame222-Exactly, who's land? The stolen land from the Native peoples.

Drakyn said...

Thanks Renee, this post is amazing and powerful.

shiva said...

TRUTH.

That is all i can say.

TRUTH.

August said...

Oh my god. The comments on the feminazi article were absolutely terrible. It's nauseating.

Elena said...

We're posting about this over at the CA NOW blog: http://www.canow.org/canoworg/2008/08/transwomen-are.html

happeninfish said...

Not to nitpick, but cis isn't an acronym. Putting it in all-caps is the equivalent of writing TRANS in all-caps.

polerin said...

thank you.