Ms. Lauryn Hill “Consumerism”
I need to show this to my family and friends
This is so important
— Dr. Cary Gabriel Costello (via lovethyfatness)
— Qwo-Li Driskill (2004), “Stolen From Our Bodies: First Nations Two-Spirits/Queers and the Journey to a Sovereign Erotic”. Studies in American Indian Literatures, 16:2. (via deuxencore)
— bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody (via yakotta)
seriously jealousy is the worst emotion
you’re not only really sad but you’re really annoyed and helpless at the same time
and you feel pathetic like you’re ruining people’s fun but don’t want to be left out so you just sit around quietly annoyed
pornography. Free male sexuality wants, has a right to, produces,
and consumes pornography because pornography is pleasure.
Leftist sensibility promotes and protects pornography because
pornography is freedom. The pornography glut is bread and roses for the masses. Freedom is the mass-marketing of woman as w[omen]. Free sexuality for the woman is in being massively consumed, denied an individual nature, denied any sexual sensibility other than that which serves the male. Capitalism is not wicked or cruel when the commodity is the whore; profit is not wicked or cruel when the alienated worker is a female piece of meat; corporate bloodsucking is not wicked or cruel when the corporations in question, organized crime syndicates, sell cunt; racism is not wicked or cruel when the black cunt or yellow cunt or red cunt or Hispanic cunt or Jewish cunt has her legs splayed for any man’s pleasure; poverty is not wicked or cruel when it is the poverty of dispossessed women who have only themselves to sell; violence by the powerful against the powerless is not wicked or cruel when it is called sex; slavery is not wicked or cruel when it is sexual slavery; torture is not wicked or cruel when the tormented are women, whores, cunts. The new pornography is left-wing; and the new pornography is a vast graveyard where the Left has gone to die."
Dworkin, Andrea. Pornography: Men Possessing Women. 1979. (p. 237)
The bolded should be a reminder of how pornography— and human/sex-trafficking— promotes white/Western-supremacy and colorist, orientalist fetishes, and racialized misogyny. The white/Western woman, though also dehumanized by pornography and misogynistic oppression, is still placed on a pedestal as she is considered by the white/Western-supremacist Capitalistic Heteropatriarchy to be “the ideal woman” and “the ideal mother”, whereas WoC and “third-world”/Global South women are afforded NO such privilege, as racism, globalized socioeconomic injustice, war, ecocide, imperialism/neocolonialism, xenophobia, Zionism and Islamophobia only compound and add layers to the misogynistic oppression they are already forced to endure, with pornography reducing them to fetishes and voiding their humanity and womanhood. (via the-uncensored-she)
totalitarian dystopian future lit is like “what if the government got so powerful that all the bad stuff that’s already happening ALSO HAPPENED TO WHITE PEOPLE?”
HOW TO: Be an Ally
By Megan Ryland
[Image: White text on a black background says “BE AN ALLY,” but red letters add HOW TO and (BETTER) so that the text reads in total HOW TO BE A (BETTER) ALLY]
Learning how to be an ally? Well, it can be pretty complicated, from what I can tell. Figuring out how to be an ally isn’t something someone learns once and perfects. The term isn’t a cape you put on and then you’re ready to save the world, even if that’s sometimes how the word seems to be used. It’s just not that easy. It’s a process.
Being an Ally vs. Practicing Allyship
Melissa McEwan at Shakesville has a great post where she talks about the difference between Fixed State Ally Model and the Process Ally Model. She writes:
“In the Fixed State Ally Model, the privileged person views hirself as an ally and claims the mantle for hirself. Zie may also acknowledge that zie is always learning and trying to do better, but states that zie is an ally to one or more marginalized populations.”
ie. I say, therefore I am.
“In the Process Model, the privileged person views hirself as someone engaged in ally work, but does not identify as an ally, rather viewing ally work as an ongoing process. Zie views being an ally as a fluid state, externally defined by individual members of the one or more marginalized populations on behalf zie leverages hir privilege.”
ie. I do, therefore I’m trying.
Melissa argues that being an ally cannot be a fixed state because it’s not a “permanent status that a privileged person can claim,” and the post quotes The Feminist Griote, who says that “being an ally is not an identity, it is a process.”
This is a bit of a rude awakening for people, like myself, who like to imagine themselves to be an ally marginalized groups of people. As a white, middle class, abled, cis woman, I hope that I can use my privilege in service of people, rather than supporting their oppression, and in doing so, be an ally. It is something to work for and towards. After reading Melissa’s post, however, it is clear that earning your ally badge isn’t a matter of following steps or introducing yourself as one. It is a term that others may use to describe your behaviour, rather than attribute to you as a person, and what might be acting as an ally for one person may not be good allyship for another.
Basically, getting attached to the label isn’t useful. Working towards allyship, and keeping an eye out for times when you aren’t, is useful. Melissa points out that this approach to being an ally requires that she rely on how her actions are interpreted by marginalized groups to measure her allyship, not her own internal barometer. This makes a lot of sense to me. If someone is trying to help me, I decide whether or not what they’re doing is actually helpful. The rule ought to hold with the practice of allyship.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Being an ally doesn’t come with a straightforward how-to manual and I have stopped waiting for one to show up at my door with the phone book. However, there are some guidelines that people generally agree are a good starting point (thank god). I’ve recently run into a list of 10 Ways to Be an Ally by Christopher Bowers that I think is worth sharing. I’ve summarized his points below, but check out the full piece.
“1. Consider your position and how it benefits you to be in that position”
This is more complex than it first appears and many things won’t even occur to you until someone points out an aspect of privilege. This is part of the sneakiness of privilege: you don’t notice if you have it, but it’s often pretty obvious if you don’t. This means extra time and effort is required to examine where you’re coming from.
“2. Do a personal inventory”
How has systemic oppression impacted your life? Remembering both times when you were benefiting from or being harmed by it can be useful. This is a time to get honest about experiences, big and small, that show how systemic oppression works.
“3. Do your [own] homework”
When doing work as an ally, you will likely be working with people whose experiences are not your own, and maybe in a context that is not your own. You will have questions. Do not expect people with that experience to hold your hand and carefully explain their lives to you. Your interest is positive, but it is a significant burden on marginalized groups when they have to constantly re-explain (and often re-justify) their oppression. It’s exhausting to tell people things that they could very easily Google themselves. Go to that effort. Personal stories, relationships and knowledge are valuable, but a) no one owes you a deposition, b) these may be traumatic stories to re-tell, and c) one person cannot represent the whole experience of a group. This is going to take some time, and a lot of listening.
“4. Consider the difference between guilt and action”
It isn’t enough to feel bad. Guilt is a passive state. We need action. You have to do something to change it.
“5. Be clear on why you are involved in the struggle (against racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc)”
Are you just there to help “others” or are you there to solve a problem that belongs to everyone? The former puts distance between an ally and the group they are ‘helping.’
"6. Consider the difference between charity and solidarity"
It may be as simple as doing something for someone else versus with someone else.
"7. Don’t be afraid to mess up or be to be uncomfortable"
It will happen. It is part of the process.
“8. Make amends”
If you mess up (and you will), apologize. Acknowledge it. Endeavour to do better.
“9. Don’t expect a pat on the back”
If I’m doing allyship work for the gold stars, I’m doing it wrong.
“10. Do the work within yourself, your own cultures and your own communities”
Leverage your privilege to bring social justice to spaces that you have access to and others may not, and start work in your own backyard.
It’s just that easy and just that hard. If we want change, we will have to be allies to one another. We have to fight for causes that aren’t inherently and obviously a part of our own experience to get anywhere, because all oppression is interwoven and overlapping. If we aren’t committed to ending all injustice, then change is always going to leave someone behind. And that means I have a lot of learning and a lot of listening to do.
More Resources and a Place to Start:
If one is looking for an excuse to dilute the word ‘oppression’, one can use the fact of social structure as an excuse and say that everyone is oppressed. But if one would rather get clear about what oppression is and is not, one needs to sort out the sufferings, harms and limitations and figure out which are elements of oppression and which are not.
From what I have already said here, it is clear that if one wants to determine whether a particular suffering, harm or limitation is part of someone’s being oppressed, one has to look at it in context in order to tell whether it is an element in an oppressive structure: one has to see if it is part of an enclosing structure of forces and barriers which tends to the immobilization and reduction of a group or category of people.
One has to look at how the barrier or force fits with others and to whose benefit or detriment it works. As soon as one looks at examples, it becomes obvious that not everything which frustrates or limits a person is oppressive, and not every harm or damage is due to or contributes to oppression."
— Marilyn Frye, “Oppression” (via socio-logic)
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