x_los: (Xena Could Be More Sconic)
ON THE “FAKE” GEEK GIRL at the Mary Sue

Bit divided on this one because I do think people claim a bs geek cred. God, every time something like the Star Trek movie comes out my mother is a newly-minted FOREVAGEEK!! She was there at the beginning, she OWNS IT TOO YOU KNOW!!, which will never be and has never been true, and which she'll forget in a week. For reference, the only thing my mother did in hs was not the school's Star Trek club, it was pep squad. This is cool, she yearns to be cool, she is annoyed that I am/the world is into something and cannot BEAR not to be in the club. And it is about attention/a sort of hipster glomming-on.

But that's bi-gender? Toby Hadoke mentions something similar with the male people who suddenly HAD ALWAYS YEARNED FOR WHO TO COME BACK OMG!! when New Who was announced.

And like, yes, sometimes: rec the 'Scott Pilgrim I LOVE COMICS!!' kids new things, whoo, and also recognize that not everyone who 'claims' to be a geek is obliged to love everything you do as you love it. Fuck your Cylon references, I haven't watched that show and don't get them beyond what internet osmosis gives me, sorry? But it'd be pretty lolarious if that was enough to 'ungeek' me, given that I'm um, me. But also, let's admit sans-gender that the Pretentious Clueless Young People ARE just annoying (we were annoying if/when we were them), and sometimes doesn't want to Be Edumacated, and sometimes you don't want the pretentious burden of Edumacating them. God, that 'music geek' grandson of one of my granddad's friends who thought Danny Boy was "originally a U2 song". At university age. So embarrassed for you.

And I think this is sort of what the writer intends: that we look at the annoyances and characters of people who do this without gender. The cited "acceptance of geek culture into the mainstream" does make for the dynamic that one of the writers she criticizes mentions: "Girls who genuinely like their hobby or interest and document what they are doing to help others, not garner attention, are true geeks. The ones who think about how to get attention and then work on a project in order to maximize their klout, are exhibitionists." This article's writer responds by saying "And I wish, I really wish, that we as a society were capable of honestly evaluating this sort of thing when it comes to women expressing themselves, and expressing themselves in the internet and other male-dominated arenas. But we’re not."

Foreclosing those judgments because we're somehow unready to make them is impossible and not very desirable. I hear what she's saying, re: 'do we know how to read women honestly?', but how will we develop those skills without responsibly practicing them? I don't like being denied the agency to make these judgments? I mean maybe women DO do this sometimes AS a gendered thing, because they're very conditioned to seek acceptance and attention. But that's symptomatic of patriarchal conditioning/expressing oneself in that context, where your personality is always performative, not a damning indication of the limited potentialities of women.

Also, when the writer speaks of her 'geek culture', it seems very mixed or male-dominated, and thus prone to these fronts and necessitating these judgments, or more heavily involved with chauvinism generally. My almost entirely female geek culture gives me some young poseurs, but not enough that I think of them as a group (well, other than 'Tumblrinas'), and not in the same way? Pretty much boyfandom is a weird shitty dystopian AU we're lucky to be out of. Not ENTIRELY free from, b/c The Masculine always already interpolates our subjectivity even in female-dominated spaces, but you know what I mean.

Also when Florence of 'and the Machine' says she likes that Doctor Who/is a TOTAL GEEK about it because she watched like three episodes of the new series on their airing weeks as it came out and like, kind of cares about what happens: that is fucking annoying. You are just: a normal watcher of television. 'Geek' my ass.

Also, when resistance to people claiming to be competent where they're not/to speak as public figures for discourses they don't participate in is reduced to OMG U R STILL ANGRY SOMEONE PRETTY WAS MEAN TO U IN HS, WHYYYY!! ...what? They weren't, thanks? So, I'm not? I just dislike hypocrisy/fronting? In a slightly less geek setting: if someone claimed in like, a lit class or something to LOOOOVE LITERATURE because they'd read the entirety of that Dan Brown/Stephanie Meyers one, I'd be a bit *equally eyeroll* as the 'Scott Pilgrim comics fan, eh?' people were.

I feel like my ability to comment on normal shit like the ability and character of people I interact with, in life and as public figures, is being undermined by this argument, and that if these other women have prerogatives, then among them is the prerogative to be evaluated honestly for what they say and who they are. I have the prerogative as a female subculture participant to make these judgments for myself, and to verbalize them. The problem then is not criticism, but bad, dishonest criticism.

Tautoko for an Unknown Woman; & for Women Make Movies' online plans
In Praise of Older Books
Caucasian or Any Other Ethnicity
Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed
The First Official Look at Our New Carrie Bradshaw in Action
Never Let a Raccoon Into Your Closet, Much Less Your Heart
Free Wifi For London Overground Passengers
Spend a night in a chocolate hotel room: didn't win (booooo)
Ghosts Are Real, At Least In Publishing
How Sorry Is Belvedere Vodka About That Rapey Ad?
You Won’t Just Die Alone — You’ll Be Totally Miserable, Too
Six Tips on Writing from John Steinbeck
Mad Men: Meet Postpartum Joan
When Your Daughter Thinks She’s an Anime Doll and Talks to Creepy Guys Online
Moving to Martha’s Vineyard: Living the Dream ...and Learning to Love the Reality
The Burden of Proof: Black Children and the Rejection of Innocence
Poverty Pickets Get Paper-Bag Dousing On Madison Avenue; POVERTY PICKETS GET A DOUSING
Cape of Many Colors
Worst Vogue Article Ever Will Now Become Worst Memoir Ever
Journalist Shocked — Shocked! — to Learn That Newspaper’s Society Writer Is Actually an ‘Active Stripper’
A Character-By-Character Guide to Race in The Hunger Games
Downton Arbys
What Should Little Girls Be Made Of?
Miss Piggy's Fashiuon tips: a shame because it's just a short joke, when like, I would *happily read a blog of this*
Lena Dunham’s Girls and the Rise of the Female Slacker
I See White People: Hunger Games and a Brief History of Cultural Whitewashing
Annie, Get Your Pretty Gun: The NRA Is on Pinterest
Google+: The Charge Of The Like Brigade: Sun Tzu thing kind of twee, but effective, like the phrase 'tactless warfare'
Poor Woman Ostracized for Putting Daughter on Extreme Diet in Worst Vogue Article Ever
Easter Egg Hunt Cancelled Because Parents Can’t Be Trusted to Act Like Adults
Dominique Strauss-Kahn Charged With ‘Aggravated Pimping’
Beef Pho
Arthur C. Clarke Award 2012 Shortlist
‘I’m so vain…I always think this song is about me…’
We Don't Want Everything For Free. We Just Want Everything
x_los: (On A Ship)
Nerds And Male Privilege: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/12/nerds-and-male-privilege/
Nerds And Male Privilege Part 2: The Arguments: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/01/nerds-and-male-privilege-part-2-the-arguments/comment-page-2/#comments


I like these articles, but find it a bit weird that people seem to think women aren’t already HEAVILY involved in geek culture/fandom. They are, hugely, they just don’t hang out at the same cons/stores–what’s livejournal and such if not an intensely female dominated fandom space? It’s actually a bit marginalizing how otherwise interesting articles about sexism in geek culture sometimes, in the service of defining the scale of the problem, speak as though these communities don’t exist, when they’re MASSIVE. Other than less sexism in the source canons (which we can all get behind because it’ll just produce better and more nuanced texts) and in places of buying geeky items (though I think Geek Ladiez mostly get that shit done online), is the end goal greater integration with geek male circles? Judging from a LOT of these commenters… why would we want that? :/

That said, I'm sorry if your fandom of choice means like, a lot of online gaming!! interaction with the male masses, because that's GOT to suck, and it does burn me that there's a massive pay and legitimacy gap between the activities of male and female fandom SMOF types.
x_los: (Default)
Just registered to go to a SUPER EXCITING ACADEMIC CONFERENCE with Paul Cornell!! EEEEEEE PAUL CORNELL OMG OMG--sorry, sorry, I just registered for this. PLEASE LET THERE STILL BE SPOTS OPEN, I LOVE HIM. By which I mean to say mature, not-squeaky things indicative of an admiration for his talent, wit and probity. (http://genrefictionsymposium.co.uk/index.html)

http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2011/09/alfred-hitchcock-distinguishes-mystery.html : Hitchcock talking about the difference between Mystery and Suspense, how they work, and why suspense is in his opinion superior. Moffat, please watch. :(

http://mina-de-malfois.livejournal.com/ : The Mina de Malfois series starts as an absolutely hilarious modern femme!Jeeves (Arc) and Wooster (Mina) wherein Bertie writes fic and Jeeves is an archivist, and has laugh-out-loud amazing lines and a pretty pleasing strong sense of Mina/Arc femme slash:

"The PB/J shippers, or ‘Sammiches’ as they liked to call themselves,
saw the eventual union of PrincessB and Jab as an example of the
purity of love, the value of friendship, the dignity of the working class,
the need to resist base physical lust, and a bunch of other high-flown
ideals I’d been unable to follow. They were a cheery, in-joke-prone,
kindly lot, strewing their every message with smiley-faces and *hugs*,
which made it all the more unnerving when you caught them calling 22
their opponents a bunch of jackbooted perverts who should have been
aborted directly after conception. Watching the Sammiches turn on
their foes was like reaching the end of the rainbow and finding a pot of
broken glass and infectious syringes."


Re: a character playing a ghost:

"‘I can’t hire her. I mean, would you want to hang around Sanguinity
with a lunatic?’ I went on.
‘Whither thou goest,’ she typed. A chilling phrase, but she’d spelt
‘ghost’ wrong, though I tactfully refrained from pointing this out. ""

I feel it kind of looses its way as it goes on, becoming more about the game-world, the wider cast, and a perplexing and diffuse array of romantic relationships and plot threads that don't really go anywhere. I feel like the collapse into I AM NOW A STORY ABOUT THE GAMEWORLD thing has happened to something I've read before, or a few things, though I can't pin down with what. Interestingly the story falls apart a *bit* like Boy Meets Boy did. At two points I've had eye-narrowing moments when a character said something weird and stupid about The Nature Of Authorial Intent. I'm not finished yet, just midway through the third 'book', but while I feel the latter two lack some of the strength of the first, they're still v. decent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Daly : a somewhat batty (issues re: transpeople and 'female supremacy') but v. interesting feminist theorist Tweedy mentioned that I didn't know

http://www.trickster.org/symposium/symp186.htm : an article on power issues involved in BNFdom, from an interesting archive of such articles

http://boticca.com/jewelry/ : a cool jewelry site, with a REALLY wide range of sorts of jewelry, that Katy sent me

Stuff I am listening to atm:







x_los: (Avatar)
The relatively weak Tiger Beatdown feminist critique of George R.R. Martin just made me want to read Song of Ice and Fire, but I can't find it! May have to read Swann's Way instead. #gradstudentproblems (Dunking a madeline in the blood that had pooled in the cracked-open skull of a Lamb Man, I thought of my childhood riding with the khalasar...)
x_los: (TARDIS)
I like feminist pop-culture blog Tiger Beatdown and all, but I'm getting really bored of their Rory-loathing. Granted I haven't watched this series out of sheer broken-hearted hate passing into numbness, but y'know, that's not Rory's fault. I don't feel he spent last series Oppressing the Wimenz simply by wanting his partner to respect their relationship--if Amy didn't want what he wanted, she could have (respectfully) left? Tsundere Princess is hardly powerless. And *sure* in that case he'd have been sad, and she'd have felt guilty, but it still would have ended. That's how relationships work.

Links!

* Mirepoix, which I want to try making/using since we have all the ingredients--any tips/recipes/suggestions? I know VERY little about French food/technique, and have only vague memories of learning about this and Trinity during hs cooking classes. I was not as neat a dicer as my friend Meghan Vohs--something that haunts me to this day. O_O

http://www.frenchentree.com/france-food-cuisine/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=32224

Seriously her knife technique is fucking fierce.

* An EXCELLENT and inspirational album of messy, delicious Food To Eat Over The Kitchen Sink (Why would you do that and risk loosing anything though? My god people, over a plate!):

http://www.chow.com/galleries/178/food-to-eat-over-the-kitchen-sink/3202/banana-and-fromage-blanc-grilled-cheese

* An interesting, articulate fat activism blog [livejournal.com profile] mezzopianoforte linked me to the other day:

http://randomlancila.tumblr.com/page/6

* Another such a blog which THAT blog linked me to, because this is an interesting SJ field I am not sufficiently up on/should be more educated about:

http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/
x_los: (TARDIS)
"The world is vastly counted in favour of men at every level - except if you live in a civilised country and you’re sort of educated and middle-class, because then you’re almost certainly junior in your relationship and in a state of permanent, crippled apology. Your preferences are routinely mocked. There’s a huge, unfortunate lack of respect for anything male."

GUYS SOMETIMES IT'S HARD TO BE STEVEN MOFFAT. SOMETIMES IT'S *SO HARD.*

http://zesticola.tumblr.com/post/5008346745/theres-this-issue-youre-not-allowed-to-discuss

hat tip to Tu for the lulz.
x_los: (Default)
A good discussion from the beginning of the year with a very savvy, social-justice-y Pakistani-American friend of mine with better information than I had on the coverage of the Egyptian uprising:

Erin
to Amy, Nabihah

http://jezebel.com/5747762/the-woman-whos-explaining-egypt-to-the-west

I'm interested, any insights?


Nabihah

She's not the figure I follow, or plan on following.

I find her analysis problematic, but mostly towards gender, and more specifically, the various coverings of Muslim women.

She recognizes that the Niqab ban is mostly done out of xenophobic European legislation, but is ok with it because that's what she wanted. I have serious issues with her logic, and she doesn't understand that just because someone doesn't agree with the actions she would take in the name of feminism/being progressive, doesn't make the rest of us backwards fundamentalist idiots co-opting the term feminism (although I'm not saying those people don't also exist). The article below touches on some of the things I dislike about her stance, and the gaps in her reasoning (the burger analogy). She is incapable of understanding or trying to understand where other people are coming from because of her own baggage-laden past with dealing with religion and women, and that, for me, is anti-feminist. In addition to the fact that she is blatantly anti-choice because she assumes all people wear face veils because of some deeply pathologized self hatred for their gender.
http://ikhras.com/2010/07/colonial-feminism-among-house-muslims/

In terms of just finding out what was happening in Egypt, I follow:
Sharif Kouddous http://twitter.com/#!/sharifkouddous

The Alexandrian, someone I kind of know, but left Egypt at the height of government caused violence.

Emails/news from relatives of friends living in Egypt

And www.twitter.com/aslanmedia

and random other blogs, Inanities is the only one I can remember right now (www.inanities.org)

That said, her coverage on Egypt isn't terrible, I get the same insights but from different sources.
x_los: (Japanese Pretty)
The 10 Commandments (http://jezebel.com/5527723/the-10-commandments-of-pop-culture-feminism) has some good points, but it's frustrating--I feel it should have been edited for coherence?

5. Thou shalt vote with thy wallet (also known as the "I will not pay $12 to see ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell' commandment.")

6. Thou shalt consume shitty forms of media (i.e. tabloids, reality TV) to be aware of what the "mainstream media" is saying about (and to) women and girls.

 
5 indicates that I can patronize alternate media with sex images I don't find degrading as a feminist gesture--6 speaks to the need not to isolate myself within a narrow, rarefied cultural echelon, wherein I only interact with educated social justice people and thoughtful media. These are contradictory drives that the article doesn't acknowledge as contradictory, or seek to reconcile? In real terms, I'm not sure what 6 is telling me to do?

Also:
 

1. Thou shalt not see a sexist, misogynistic ad, say "that sucks" and leave it at that.

and

7. Thou shalt write letters, make phone calls, and send emails to let Dodge know you won't buy their cars or to tell GoDaddy.com that you'll look elsewhere for a domain (or ? or ?).

These need to be better connected as points? In isolation, one lacks a workable IMPERATIVE. 'If not that, then what? Oh, point /seven/.'

 Also there's an edge of what, within the article, they remind you to /avoid/ doing: critiquing women for their survival strategies. If the barrage of sexism is so omnipresent that women are too WORN to attack /every/ instance, or not to prioritize more egregious violations and/or cases where they think their protest may be more effective, I kind of get that?

It's necessary to identify, like with monastic devotion, the Contemplative and Active branches of feminism as /equally/ important, and complimentary, sure.  But it seems really simplistic to say 'challenge everything omg don't be a slacker!!', like--okay, ham-fisted analogy, but remember in Bowling for Columbine, the woman Moore followed who (he made the case) was consistently, systematically punished for her poverty, told by a variety of agencies that her lack of initiative was at fault for her condition? A woman can /choose/ to be an activist, but she is not /obligated/ to devote all of her time and energy to ceaseless activism at the expense of her life and personhood. To phrase this in this manner implies that sexism is her fault, her /problem/, even as her institutional poverty was the 'fault' of the woman in the documentary who didn't Work Hard Enough to End It.

It's one thing to emphasize the importance of putting feminist thought into action, and a /different/, flawed thing to demand CONSTANT VIGILANCE!! of every woman who considers herself a feminist, like you're feminist!Mad Eye Moody.   

Badly realized feminism is, in its way, worse than BLATANT SEXISM, because you don’t immediately tune it out? It takes you /so long/ to figure out what's creepy about it. Which feels wrong to say because surely any feminist thought is adding to the net good? Like, despite their issues, the Vagina Monologues are still Good Work, right? And doing them still a good use of one's time? Sometimes the nebulous nature of social justice work exhilarates me with its complications, juxtapositions and intersectionality, and sometimes it just guts me that the work I've done could be interpreted as meaningless or even harmful via a perspective of greater hindsight. Didn't the people taking aboriginal and native american children away from their parents to learn English think themselves not only morally justified, but /progressive/? Don't we now look back at a vast array of social justice initiatives and find them worse than useless, backward-moving, almost reactionary? Even if they were necessary in the development of our thinking about movements  and issues, /still/, to be the retrograde motion in a Ptolemaic model of social justice would be ghastly.

And I'd call this a light instance of internalized sexism? To see that within the feminist blogosphere is depressing.
x_los: (Japanese Pretty)
The 10 Commandments (http://jezebel.com/5527723/the-10-commandments-of-pop-culture-feminism) has some good points, but it's frustrating--I feel it should have been edited for coherence?

5. Thou shalt vote with thy wallet (also known as the "I will not pay $12 to see ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell' commandment.")

6. Thou shalt consume shitty forms of media (i.e. tabloids, reality TV) to be aware of what the "mainstream media" is saying about (and to) women and girls.

 
5 indicates that I can patronize alternate media with sex images I don't find degrading as a feminist gesture--6 speaks to the need not to isolate myself within a narrow, rarefied cultural echelon, wherein I only interact with educated social justice people and thoughtful media. These are contradictory drives that the article doesn't acknowledge as contradictory, or seek to reconcile? In real terms, I'm not sure what 6 is telling me to do?

Also:
 

1. Thou shalt not see a sexist, misogynistic ad, say "that sucks" and leave it at that.

and

7. Thou shalt write letters, make phone calls, and send emails to let Dodge know you won't buy their cars or to tell GoDaddy.com that you'll look elsewhere for a domain (or ? or ?).

These need to be better connected as points? In isolation, one lacks a workable IMPERATIVE. 'If not that, then what? Oh, point /seven/.'

 Also there's an edge of what, within the article, they remind you to /avoid/ doing: critiquing women for their survival strategies. If the barrage of sexism is so omnipresent that women are too WORN to attack /every/ instance, or not to prioritize more egregious violations and/or cases where they think their protest may be more effective, I kind of get that?

It's necessary to identify, like with monastic devotion, the Contemplative and Active branches of feminism as /equally/ important, and complimentary, sure.  But it seems really simplistic to say 'challenge everything omg don't be a slacker!!', like--okay, ham-fisted analogy, but remember in Bowling for Columbine, the woman Moore followed who (he made the case) was consistently, systematically punished for her poverty, told by a variety of agencies that her lack of initiative was at fault for her condition? A woman can /choose/ to be an activist, but she is not /obligated/ to devote all of her time and energy to ceaseless activism at the expense of her life and personhood. To phrase this in this manner implies that sexism is her fault, her /problem/, even as her institutional poverty was the 'fault' of the woman in the documentary who didn't Work Hard Enough to End It.

It's one thing to emphasize the importance of putting feminist thought into action, and a /different/, flawed thing to demand CONSTANT VIGILANCE!! of every woman who considers herself a feminist, like you're feminist!Mad Eye Moody.   

Badly realized feminism is, in its way, worse than BLATANT SEXISM, because you don’t immediately tune it out? It takes you /so long/ to figure out what's creepy about it. Which feels wrong to say because surely any feminist thought is adding to the net good? Like, despite their issues, the Vagina Monologues are still Good Work, right? And doing them still a good use of one's time? Sometimes the nebulous nature of social justice work exhilarates me with its complications, juxtapositions and intersectionality, and sometimes it just guts me that the work I've done could be interpreted as meaningless or even harmful via a perspective of greater hindsight. Didn't the people taking aboriginal and native american children away from their parents to learn English think themselves not only morally justified, but /progressive/? Don't we now look back at a vast array of social justice initiatives and find them worse than useless, backward-moving, almost reactionary? Even if they were necessary in the development of our thinking about movements  and issues, /still/, to be the retrograde motion in a Ptolemaic model of social justice would be ghastly.

And I'd call this a light instance of internalized sexism? To see that within the feminist blogosphere is depressing.
x_los: (Make a Note.)
Stolen from Amy/ [livejournal.com profile] chickenamu , b/c it intrigued me and I want to talk about it if you do. Also I owe [livejournal.com profile] bagheera_san  for listening to me flutter about post reading and saying v. interesting things about how the German educational system fails to serve its immigrant populations.

"If feminism is about social change, white feminism -- a feminism of assimilation, of gentle reform and/or strengthening of institutions that are instrumental to economic exploitation and white supremacy, of ignorance and/or appropriation of the work of feminists of color -- is an oxymoron. And it is not a thing of some bygone era before everyone read bell hooks in college. It is happening now; you might be part of it."

From "On Prisons, Borders, Safety, and Privilege: An Open Letter to White Feminists," by Jessica Hoffman
http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/81260/?page=entire


An excellent distillation of why feminism is compelling (italics mine):

“What keeps me connected to feminism is a radical history of multi-issue, multitactic activism that goes by that name. I know of no other social-justice tradition that has so frequently linked so-called private with so-called public political struggles, art with organizing. And that is why I find politics of privilege that call themselves feminism -- those that would work uncritically within existing power structures, even strengthening them; those that co-opt the revolutionary work of feminists of color by superficially "including" them in a movement that leaves privileged women and their priority issues at the center -- so frustrating.”

Interesting thought re: the nature of critique:

“[1] In a recent radio interview with Thenmozhi Soundararajan, author Chip Smith talked about critique as a form of mutual support through which privileged people who believe in justice can hold each other accountable. My friend and collaborator Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, an activist writer, has called critique a form of love. The white-middle-class culture I was educated in frames it, especially among girls, as scary conflict to avoid at all costs. I'm writing this letter in part to unlearn that lesson, to learn instead to critique with love and hope, to put it out there and find out whatever that's worth.”


So:

This article's an interesting indictment of white upper-class feminism as a palliative tool of assimilation. She makes some points about immigrant rights and prisoner’s rights being central concerns of feminism. Fair enough. But then she goes on to talk about how necessary the destruction of the prison-industrial complex is, and likewise how necessary it is to recognize the illegitimacy of national borders. And I feel... a touch right-wing and stupid, here, but I'm kind of left questioning what far-left feminism's effective strategy is for disassembling those institutions and then going about the business of governance without them?

I should read more Chomsky or something, b/c to me the destruction of the nation-state isn't intuitive, or indeed immediately accessible as a natural concern of feminism. Though that, I suppose, is the author's point. I’m not disagreeing with her, I just want to read something that more fully explores these arguments, esp. viz a viz their relation to feminism.

I think it's historically unrealistic to currently work towards the demise of the nation state, though obviously that's an eventual ideal. It's like the PETA question. They can believe that all they like that any human appropriation of animal labor is wrong, but would they do animal rights more service by turning their resources towards obtainable objectives ('humanizing' the current industrial farming system, for example), and working from there, in achievable steps, with the support of less radically progressive groups? Maybe it's a better use of time to focus on immigrant rights and rationalizing immigration under the presumption of the current system's legitimacy? But does saying that make me ye olde prop of the system, etc.

Also, is my constant ambivalence characteristic of me, demonstrative of a willingness to explore and consider a variety of views, or just a means of couching myself in a constant unimpeachable, uncommitted position?

x_los: (Make a Note.)
Stolen from Amy/ [livejournal.com profile] chickenamu , b/c it intrigued me and I want to talk about it if you do. Also I owe [livejournal.com profile] bagheera_san  for listening to me flutter about post reading and saying v. interesting things about how the German educational system fails to serve its immigrant populations.

"If feminism is about social change, white feminism -- a feminism of assimilation, of gentle reform and/or strengthening of institutions that are instrumental to economic exploitation and white supremacy, of ignorance and/or appropriation of the work of feminists of color -- is an oxymoron. And it is not a thing of some bygone era before everyone read bell hooks in college. It is happening now; you might be part of it."

From "On Prisons, Borders, Safety, and Privilege: An Open Letter to White Feminists," by Jessica Hoffman
http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/81260/?page=entire


An excellent distillation of why feminism is compelling (italics mine):

“What keeps me connected to feminism is a radical history of multi-issue, multitactic activism that goes by that name. I know of no other social-justice tradition that has so frequently linked so-called private with so-called public political struggles, art with organizing. And that is why I find politics of privilege that call themselves feminism -- those that would work uncritically within existing power structures, even strengthening them; those that co-opt the revolutionary work of feminists of color by superficially "including" them in a movement that leaves privileged women and their priority issues at the center -- so frustrating.”

Interesting thought re: the nature of critique:

“[1] In a recent radio interview with Thenmozhi Soundararajan, author Chip Smith talked about critique as a form of mutual support through which privileged people who believe in justice can hold each other accountable. My friend and collaborator Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, an activist writer, has called critique a form of love. The white-middle-class culture I was educated in frames it, especially among girls, as scary conflict to avoid at all costs. I'm writing this letter in part to unlearn that lesson, to learn instead to critique with love and hope, to put it out there and find out whatever that's worth.”


So:

This article's an interesting indictment of white upper-class feminism as a palliative tool of assimilation. She makes some points about immigrant rights and prisoner’s rights being central concerns of feminism. Fair enough. But then she goes on to talk about how necessary the destruction of the prison-industrial complex is, and likewise how necessary it is to recognize the illegitimacy of national borders. And I feel... a touch right-wing and stupid, here, but I'm kind of left questioning what far-left feminism's effective strategy is for disassembling those institutions and then going about the business of governance without them?

I should read more Chomsky or something, b/c to me the destruction of the nation-state isn't intuitive, or indeed immediately accessible as a natural concern of feminism. Though that, I suppose, is the author's point. I’m not disagreeing with her, I just want to read something that more fully explores these arguments, esp. viz a viz their relation to feminism.

I think it's historically unrealistic to currently work towards the demise of the nation state, though obviously that's an eventual ideal. It's like the PETA question. They can believe that all they like that any human appropriation of animal labor is wrong, but would they do animal rights more service by turning their resources towards obtainable objectives ('humanizing' the current industrial farming system, for example), and working from there, in achievable steps, with the support of less radically progressive groups? Maybe it's a better use of time to focus on immigrant rights and rationalizing immigration under the presumption of the current system's legitimacy? But does saying that make me ye olde prop of the system, etc.

Also, is my constant ambivalence characteristic of me, demonstrative of a willingness to explore and consider a variety of views, or just a means of couching myself in a constant unimpeachable, uncommitted position?

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