Bisexuality: Setting the Records “Straight” [x]
“My Bisexuality has no bearing on my ability to commit to someone. All that means is that the potential pool of applicants is a bit bigger.”
"defend [specific subset of humans]."
"okay but i feel like you shouldn’t get to talk about any specific issues ever and should make vague platitudinous statements about all people. that way you won’t accomplish anything and i won’t have to think about stuff that makes me uncomfortable."
I am going to be fairly honest Emma Watson has never really interested me. I am not a Harry Potter fan and I haven’t seen much of her work as an actress. But I know deep down that the main reason why I have never really cared for Emma Watson is because she represents everything that I am not. I am not a white heterosexual middle class woman whose clean cut is adored by the public and the media and is what society wants me to be. Instead I am a poor black woman from Peckham who is solely just seen “ghetto”, “ratchet” and a “thot”. I am highly aware of 4chan threatening to leak nude photos of her because of her speech which I honestly believe is cruel and extremely misogynistic. However, I will not ignore the fact that the reason why feminists especially white feminists and the media are not criticising the problematic nature of her speech is because of her high power status as a white heterosexual cis middle class.
Lack of intersectionality
Emma Watson states when she researched the word feminism and she noticed it has become unpopular. According to Emma Watson she is “among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive”. In this case Emma Watson is extremely wrong. The idea of feminism being associated with hating men is soley rooted in lesbophobia. How many times have you heard “you are a feminist oh shit you must be a lesbian and you totes hate men lmao” from a random dickhead when you tell them you are feminist? Emma Watson speech continues to erase women who are more marginalised by her by simply not acknowledging that is black women who are constantly trapped in the one dimensional racist trope of being as a strong angry black woman. We have already seen how detrimental this trope is with the New York Times article about Shonda Rhimes. It is the strong angry black woman trope that silences us and dismisses our cries when we are sick and tired of everything that is a result of our double oppression.
“What about the Men?” Feminism
“What About the Men” feminism is a current trend within white/mainstream feminism. This type of feminism advocates that women should make spaces for men in feminism and should essentially pander to men. I strongly disagree with “What About the Men” feminism not only is this idea extremely patriarchal and kyrichal but as a black woman I do not see why I have to make the space for men especially for white cis heterosexual men when their spaces are virtually everywhere in all aspects in society. Black women have been constantly marginalized and not accepted in the feminist movement from the very beginning. Instead of white feminists trying to remove the overt racism in the feminist movement, creating spaces for black women and stop using intersectionality as a buzzword they would rather focus on praising male feminists and creating space for men. Emma Watson has been guilty of dismissing Beyonce’s feminism because it “pays too much attention to men” even though that is not the case and it is actually HER feminism that is male centric. This all just shows how feminism continues to fonder anti-blackness and further alienate black women.
Malcom X was asked by a journalist when he founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity if white people were allowed to join. Malcom X simply replied that white people were not allowed to join the organisation because as black people we had to sort out detrimental impacts that white supremacy has made on black people. The same rhetoric goes for feminism. Men should use their privileged position to make society accessible for women it shouldn’t be the other way around.
So much Westernisation…
Let us all remember that this speech and the HeForShe campaign is for the United Nations. The UN (like IMF and WTO) promote the strong fundamental idea that the West is civilised and any country that is not Western is deemed as uncivilised, savage and barbaric. These racist and imperialistic stereotypes of the Global South is inherently linked with the idea that people of colour in the Global South need to be saved and most importantly saved by white Westerns. The white saviour complex allows white Westerners to get away with not taking responsibility for the fact colonialism is the main reason why the Global South is suffering. Emma Watson’s speech and campaign does not acknowledge the fact it is capitalism and neo liberal policies that has constantly harmed women of colour in the Global South rather than benefited them. For instance in the past the use of modernization theories in development polices actually created gender inequality and contributed to the oppression women in the Global South face today. Emma Watson does not even pay any respect to African feminists and African women who have continued to fight for their own liberation which is deeply rooted in black womanhood livelehood. At the end of the day it was African Women in the Congo who had to fight against modernisation theories destroying their agricultural livle. Why didn’t she use her privilege and platform as a celebrity to reaffirm African women and African feminists who have fought for their liberation rather than Hilary Clinton?
I am so done with this type of feminism getting praised all the time. I am not here to educate/pander to men or let white feminists dismiss me and other black women’s feminism simply for the fact we are black. The more this continues to go on the more I think I should follow down the path of womanism because at least my struggle to exist in a white supremacist, kyriarchal and capitalist society with be fully understood and I will be accepted with open arms.
it’s a bind, you know
when people complain about representation they say “well, make it yourself”
but then when queer people only play queer roles and when jews write about jews and when black people make parts for other black people etc people ask “so are you ever going to step out of that niche? when are you going to make stuff for everybody?”
i hate the word ‘clean’ applied to food. ‘clean eating’. it’s just another dickhead way to call poor people dirty when they don’t have the time/energy/money to cook and eat wild line-caught salmon and ethically farmed organic quinoa
If you’re poor, the only way you’re likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it – by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car.
But if you’re tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part. You can, say, build a sweatshop factory that will collapse in Bangladesh and kill more people than any hands-on mass murderer ever did, or you can calculate risk and benefit about putting poisons or unsafe machines into the world, as manufacturers do every day. If you’re the leader of a country, you can declare war and kill by the hundreds of thousands or millions. And the nuclear superpowers – the US and Russia – still hold the option of destroying quite a lot of life on Earth.
So do the carbon barons. But when we talk about violence, we almost always talk about violence from below, not above.
please destroy the notion that democrats are the good guys because most of them are just as racist, misogynistic, queerphobic, transphobic, and imperialistic as their republican counterparts. this isn’t an issue that ends with party lines
For the oppression of women to be taken seriously and addressed by the mainstream and majority, it has to be packaged so as not to hurt the feelings and/or egos of men.
Emma Watson’s speech was brilliant, and she’s incredibly brave for standing up for human rights, just the same as Beyonce with her recent feminist activities, and countless others.
But it was still rather… tame.
It isn’t radical enough for me. I’m not talking radical in terms of the fictionalised straw man (or woman) ‘crazy’ (hate that ableist word) ‘feminazi’ (hate that word too) let’s-march-through-the-streets-and-stick-men-on-leads fantasy that so many people, mostly men, let’s be honest, have created in order to see themselves as the fair and just middle ground between men and women in a system that is ‘equally unfair on both of the genders’. (In quotation marks because as you all probably know, there are more than two genders).
There’s still this element of:
I don’t want to make men feel bad or guilty about the shitty things they say or do that oppress and hurt women, because they’ve been conditioned into it by the patriarchy and the traditional male gender role.
But even more worryingly than this attitude that puts the concern about men feeling a bit guilty before, you know, women getting killed, there’s this mentality too, underlying it all, a mentality that feels super uncomfortable and scary to address:
If we’re not nice/appealing/non-threatening/sweet/attractive/apologetic/polite enough, they’re going to keep on hurting us deliberately, and say it’s our own fault for not convincing them to treat us with basic human respect. They’re going to use their power against us. We’re going to get hurt.
And even if we do make our message palatable to men, the way Emma Watson did, they’re stlll going to punish us for daring to speak out or have an opinion they disagree with. They’ll punish us by destroying our privacy and our body autonomy. They will find some way to violate us. To make us feel unsafe. To let the next generation of little girls watching know that if they don’t play nice and keep their mouths shut then they’ll suffer the same.
They’re using psychological terror as a weapon. Using the power this system gives them so unjustly, to frighten women into silence.
We’re pleading with the men at this point. Pleading for a scrap of decency or compassion. Pleading with them to listen to our stories and believe our experiences.
And I’m not here for that at all.
At least, I don’t want to be. I hate myself every time I have to talk in a YouTube video about the fact there are ‘good men’ out there. That ‘not all men’ are hurting us. That we don’t hate them. Not personally.
I do it because if I don’t, then I am bombarded my messages by the so called ‘good men’ reassuring me that they aren’t all like that, lightly chastising me for insulting them, and hurting their feelings. After all, they’re just trying to help, and I’m not doing myself any favours by making enemies of them, right? They could easily swap sides, and the next time I step out of line, they might do just that.
I hate that I hate myself for this. But there’s no other way.
We’re stuck in a trap right now, a vicious circle, in which everything, even our own liberation and human rights, are dependent on male approval, dependent on male compassion, dependent on male mercy.
What sort of a foul, unbalanced, unjust system do we exist within, when we must go begging for compassion from the group that oppresses and harms us in order to perhaps be considered as human beings?
I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.
But I can’t see a way out of it right now.
And that’s patriarchy for you. That’s what sexism looks like. If you can’t see it then you are not looking hard enough. Or perhaps you are a man.
(Not taking that one back. Not playing that game today.)