Pain and JudgmentI went and did it again. I took two vicodin so I could write a post. I am going to be so sorry when I run low before I can get another months supply. So I better get on with it before my pain creeps back up on me and I have to go lie down.
Okay I want to know something, here Renee at Womanist Musings writes for Blogging Against Disablism Day:
To talk about our pain is construed as whining. Someone will always come up with a story about a friend of a friend who had a disease similar to yours who took this herbal pill from Tibet or some mountain that you have never heard of and suddenly was cured and got on with their lives. More likely than not this friend of friend just finally got the message that talking about their illness was not cool and decided to be silent. You see we can talk about pain but only in terms of what we are doing constructively to get better and not about how much it hurts or hard it is emotionally. It makes people uncomfortable and so it is understood as easier for all if we would just be quiet. I know this to be correct because the moment you answer truthfully about how you feel the subject is quickly changed or silence ends the conversation.
I want to know why someone would be wrong to say to her:
WOC are born fighting and we die fighting. Acknowledge your pain and get the hell up. We cannot even afford to have one sister down for the count when there is work to be done.or
Seriously full of shit...
and you are completely hell bent in wallowing in pain...
So 40 years from now when you are still telling the world about your hurt what will you have accomplished? What proactive action will you have taken? Playing victim does not make anyone powerful...
Would it be okay for me to tell her she is curling into a fetal position and sucking her thumb in defeat? Should I tell her that she should refuse to be the eternal victim? Maybe she needs to put on her big girl panties?
Honestly, I agree with everything Renee says in her post about disability. I also suffer from chronic pain and my disability is invisible. So I don't actually want to say any of those things to her. What I am doing is repeating her own words to BlackAmazon. Here are the posts where I got the quotes from:
I started something really inflammatory
Big Girl Panties and the Cycle of Victimology
And recently Renee did this to someone again, Step It Up, Wimp!
This is the problem I am having, this is what I hate, not Renee, but the fact that it's okay for her to feel pain, write about her pain, expect sympathy and empathy instead of judgment, expect commiseration and understanding, make her own decisions about what is best for her, including resting, bowing out, taking care of herself first, but she is quick to judge others without knowing their circumstances or even very much about them at all. I really just don't understand why it's okay for her to decide whose pain is valid, when they have suffered and discussed it long enough, when they need to get up and fight, and choose their battles and priorities for them.
I did want to note something interesting, most of the people who agreed and were moved by the Big Girl Panties post were white, not all, but most. And again those who disagreed were POC, not all, but most. This goes to how white women are viewed vs. WOC. The stereotypical white woman is a weak delicate flower, white feminists are fighting against this stereotype, so a post telling them they are strong warriors will resonate. WOC on the other hand are stereotyped as super strong beasts of burden whose feelings don't matter, so being told quit bitching and keep on marching will grate.
And I want to note something else, about the post referenced by whirlwitch at Womanist Musings, Walking Away: The Luxury of an Ally. Walking away CAN be a sign of privilege. But there is a huge difference between someone telling you they are suffering, stressed, have too much on their plate, etc as the reason they walk away and someone who says, "I'm cis, transphobia and transmisogyny don't affect me, so why should I care? I'm walking away from this."
Also Renee states multiple times that trans people can't just walk away, she's both right and wrong. For one thing vriane, the woman she is castigating, can't escape transphobia and transmisogyny since she is a trans woman and the target of those oppressions, so Renee is right that she can't walk away from that...BUT vriane is talking about limiting her exposure to certain websites and news sources that are triggering her because she can't deal with that right now. That is what she is walking away from. This is very similar to what BlackAmazon was trying to explain to Renee. Since BA is a woman she can't hide from sexism or walk away from it, but she can walk away from useless white middle class feminism, and find better ways to spend her time, and other WOC to work with.