Aug. 27th, 2010

  • 9:08 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Lisa at QT has a wonderful post: Empathy and Kyriarchy.

The point of kyriarchy is not to just maintain oppressive systems that place us in this metaphorical pyramid relative to everyone else (and I do mean everyone – there is no outside, and you cannot voluntarily step outside when outside does not exist). It is to maintain a system that turns us against each other. It is a system that teaches us not to identify with, or empathize with, or sympathize with each other. It teaches us to look to our differences as adversarial and identify with those who have as much as or more power than we do.

This is the failure I see over and over again: People identify with the oppressor. People often do not identify with the oppressed. I am not making distinctions here between marginalized and privileged people because this does not matter. Many trans people are quite transphobic, many women are sexist, many people with disabilities carry ableism. They identify more with the dominant culture that valorizes and emblemizes cisnormativity, manhood, and being temporarily able-bodied or neurotypical over transness, womanhood and femininity, or having a disability. No one is immune to this.


Also, a reminder: The links above are to two cis women of color and a trans woman of color who have written about these concepts. My ideas are developed from theirs. I do not mind if you link back to me, but I sincerely hope you give them credit where it is absolutely due.

And she links to this post by BFP.

So far, we have:

An Arab American woman fired for having a strident critique of colonialism.

Another Arab woman fired for having a positive opinion of a “terrorist” that stood against gender based violence.

A black woman fired because after speaking her truth, she was considered inherently distrustful, unable to perform her job without questions or doubts lingering over her.

A black man fired for associations with Marxism 20 years ago and cuz he was rude to white folk..

And we have a white guy who was asked to resign after almost 30 years of using his show to punch Latin@s and immigrants in the ass with his hate–and only after Latin@ and pro-immigrant orgs put an all out campaign to get him fired into action.

Don't tell me this isn't remotely true. I have dealt with this kind of shit all week.


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