Bewildered By Mental GymnasticsI just had to drop by Nine Pearls and read about the White Lady Pity Party, instead of shining the kitchen cabinet hardware or something else useful for showing the house tomorrow. (Yes, it will be the second showing! Maybe I will sell this shack!)
While reading I saw that Sylvia clued people in to what it might all be about by something at her place in the comments of the post, You must have lost your motherfucking mind.
Which then came full circle back here to the comments in this post right here at The Silence of Our Friends.
You know, when CM dropped the Asian racism bomb on that thread I was completely bewildered. I was sure I didn't read what I actually read, or that she didn't phrase it correctly. I didn't just read my "anti-racist friend" say that it's ok to hate Asians because she's had run ins with a few of them in the past, did I?
Which makes me direct you to my favorite post of all time. I know I've linked to it before and many of you have already read it, but go read There is no cannibalism in left blogistan again anyway. RMildred describes the pain of finding out that a friend is racist.
I'm not sure Marc could have said anyting more offensive to me than "can't we just agree to disagree?" To put forth an arguement that empathising with muslim women and WoC was an optional thing you could do if you felt like it - rather than the fundamental aspect of what makes a person a moral human being - was bad enough, but to go on to pull out an arguement that implies that well, we're all white around here, can't we just call it a draw, it's not like it's anything important right?This part has always stuck with me too.
But do you know what really fucking hurts, what really fucking tears my soul apart? when some guy pulls out some often subtle, but none the less substantial, bit of sexist or misogynistic bullshit casually without thinking about it. The only times in my life when I've truely felt degraded have been those times when some guy has basically declared that I, as a woman, am somehow inferior or stupid or weak or not quite fully human like those men show themselves not to be - and do it in such a sort of matter of fact way that a part of my brain actually has to notice that I am actually human because the misogyny has occurred so suddenly, and with such an unquestioning and unwavering sincerity of belief behind it, that I very nearly believe him.
And I find myself unable to argue or really do anything outside my own head to counteract stuff like that because I know that if I do try to dissuade him of that stupid notion, he'll just react by explaining himself, how obviously what he said wasn't really sexist or wrong becuase hey! Women really Aren't people you know? And his repeated inability to get what I'm pissed off about, what is hurting me, hurts almost as much as the initial act, because where before it occurred I thought I was dealing with a human being, I find in its place this strange empathy less monster who's trying to tell me that I am the inhuman peice of shit because it honestly believes I'm little more than this worthless, retarded cow.
It's that same matter-of-fact sincerity of belief that made me stop in my tracks about CM. Over at Sylvia's she even says that I am no friend because I sided with Kai instead of saying her racism is ok. Feminism trumps racism doncha know? And this is from a woman who thinks she should be taken seriously on issues of racism simply because she married a black man.
Here is the breakdown from a Native American woman married to a white man. When I married my husband I didn't get white privilege conferred on me. I stayed a Native American woman with my POC perspective. I can not tell you what white people feel or live with because my husband is white, any more than I could tell you what it is like to be male because I married a man and gave birth to two sons. Guess what, he also gained no special insights on POC or women, and can not speak with authority on racism or sexism just because he is partnered with a POC woman. The same goes for any whites who partner with POC. Why is that so difficult to comprehend?
UPDATE: AradhanaD is on a tear! She's got at least three posts going that totally captivated my attention. This one is about the same thing I am talking about here and damn! she is fierce and says things I wish I said. But also read her personal history about growing up in a mostly white neighborhood in Canada. I've got so many thoughts and emotions to work through to come up with a coherent comment to leave on that one. And I actually went back there to comment on this post, because I saw a connection between the recent discussions on power, exclusion, and preference. Then I forgot what I was going to say! Read it and see where it leads your thoughts and especially if you are POC leave a comment. She is curious about what POC think and if they see something like this in their own communities and wants comments on that post.