Feb. 6th, 2012

  • 2:52 AM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Via [personal profile] delux_vivens. Listening to African Queers.

A few weeks ago, I broke a longstanding personal rule and left a comment on a mainstream, very popular, award-winning U.S. gay blog. A long string of comments by mostly gay men (if web identities count for anything) supported the U.K.’s decision to consider sexual rights in granting aid. Many of the commentators condemned not simply homophobia and transphobia in Africa, but African governments and African citizens, the former explicitly the latter implicitly. “My tax dollars should not fund homophobia,” was a typical comment.


More to the point, and to repeat something I’ve written before: positioning African queers as economic threats or as economic competition to other local, regional, and national projects renders us more vulnerable. In a country like Kenya where money is King, telling government agencies that money will not show up for a government project because queers are not treated well will most probably not result in better legislation or, more practically, better living conditions for queers. (Given Kenya’s strategic importance in the region and that we are happily killing Somalis for the Americans, I think our aid is safe.)

I realize that aid conditionality often has nothing to do with those populations deemed to be at risk. Or, rather, is based on information provided by “experts” who have “conducted studies” to “determine what is needed” and rarely, if ever, takes into consideration local needs and local situations, except as these are filtered through really fucked up lenses. I have sat through multiple presentations where so-called “experts” diagnosed Africans—yes, such collective terms are used too often—and heard myself described in ways I found utterly bewildering, reduced to a helpless, clueless child. When one speaks up at such meetings, one is told that one is an exception; no doubt, my U.S. education helped me grow toward civilization.

Please. This is basic knowledge, and I think I also have said a hundred of times. It doesn't even has to do with culture. "Sanctions" will only increase the crisis in countries already in crisis. Burst your privilege bubble. You will be just hurting the most vulnerable people in the nation.


  • Jan. 19th, 2012 at 8:58 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
They closed MU. The FBI closed it and arrested the owners for piracy. The company operated worldwide, but its owners worked in places like Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Do I need to say it? DO I? We kind of had the piracy discussion some... time ago (months? years?), but. Fuck you, USA. I could say a lot of things, but I'm childishly sore, the kind of sore of someone who had their pretty things taken away, and I feel kinda vindictive. Just going to say that it SO doesn't go both ways. In the matter of things big companies in the US can do, and things everyone else can do.

Also? Don't come butthurt at me? I have had in this journal lately some shitty comments going on about how REALLY some thing or another is also happening and it shows some experience isn't really privileged, and WHY don't you care about this, and... I don't want to hear it. I'm going to ban you if you come with shit like that to me. I'm sore.

(Yes, I can like my pretty things, and I can't have them like you people can thanks to some of the shit YOU -I mean, YOUR GOVERNMENT- and your companies put around here, and DID around here. So be quiet.)

I don't know if I already linked it some time ago, but if you really, really need to say something? Please, read this first: Media Piracy in Emerging Economies.

My friend is living through something awful

  • Jan. 18th, 2012 at 4:23 AM
la_vie_noire: (Clare-killing)
Completely belated "South Asians for Justice" (SAJ) statement + my response.

The letter that SAJ send her is there. I'm just going to quote her words:

They coddled and protected a man who is ten years older than me, phd-track and from a highly class privileged background. The perpetrator is also jeering, spiteful and self-justifying about what he did to me, and tries to elicit pity and caretaking from women when talking about his current sexual violence ideations. All of this is transcripted through chats and emails. But unfortunately, Amita and co. were more concerned about preserving his access to organizational spaces.

I find the handwringing piece about state intervention ridiculous, since there has even never been any remote possibility of Saurav going to prison. The part that says that they don't want to be "punitive" ludicrously equates making safer spaces with the U.S. prison system. They demanded that he leave spaces ONLY if I am there. This is a man who has put in writing that he is a sexual predator. Apparently there are no minimum standards for participating in anti-oppression oriented spaces. Saurav perpetrated sexual violence against me after I experienced police violence. But I doubt anyone in these spaces would ask me to cry about the wounded psyches of the cops who harmed me.

They also left out that the "male ally" they used in this process told me my criticisms weren't worth engaging with and ditched the process. He was more dedicated to his friendship with the perpetrator than the process. Two months later, we finally are having a side accountability process to hold him accountable as well. Ridiculous. The accountability process group was itself not accountable.

It became evident through Saurav's own written admissions about his sexual violence and homicidal ideations via creepy emails to me, as well as information through others he harmed, that he has had an ongoing pattern of emotional and physical abusiveness and misogyny, despite his savvy utilization of feminist/social justice language and paid work on gender issues. He had also utilized his academic credentials and age to put me in my place; these were hierarchies that were being reinforced elsewhere in my life during my college years. He had also presented himself as a major source of support over the years, but opportunistically utilized multiple status differences and my vulnerabilities when I came to him for support last year during a time of crisis (which included trauma from recent gender-based stranger violence on the street). He repeatedly dodged responsibility over the course of the last year or so.


Due to the age gap, his peers/"friends" included my supervisors and professors, some of whom cofounded SAJ. I had outed him as an abuser to them by selecting "reply all" to a mass email he sent to to them and to me last year. Almost no one (including Aley, Svati, Linta) responded. One person, Thanu, outright dismissed my story as "gossip". Amita indeed sent out an email to those people early this year, trying to use her leverage as their peer, and only 3 of them responded. I don't think they're all particularly close to him, but I did feel uncomfortable sitting at the SAJ potluck with someone who I know used to hang out with the perpetrator (Linta), but basically silenced me before hand via email and told me to stop talking about it. I felt jarred when I first read the list of ten or so names behind the cofounding of SAJ and behind the mission statement, because of the incongruence between the language of the statement and the actual actions of those individuals. Many of those individuals are gender studies professors, anti-violence activists, etc.The SAJ mission statement includes language around gender justice and recognizing internal hierarchies around power/privilege, as well as the importance of recognizing the ways people are harmed by both interpersonal and state violence.

I find disgusting the ways the 30-something crowd who are peers of Saurav, well-established, paid to do anti-violence work, or teach race/gender/class issues as academics have responded. They do not speak for me.

So. This is a community that supposedly had to protect her. But privileged her abuser.


  • Dec. 17th, 2011 at 5:43 PM
la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
This is the kind of shit that is very Latinoamerican. Which means, it's not really different from every other place.

picture of Powerful Colombian white-looking women in a mansion, and their black maids in the background

The pic despicts the "Valle de Cauca's (Colombia) most powerful women in the formidable Sonia Zarzur's Hollywood-like [*] Mansion, in Cali's Beverly Hills."

*Hollywodiense: kinda shows how our standards are.

So, we have the black maids in the background, being completely decorative to the Powerful White Women. In their Mansion.

And we even have the "you are just looking for racist things!" argument from one of the Powerful White Women.

Seriously, I don't even want to translate it:

“Son niñas que nos trajeron el tinto y el jugo, nosotros nunca nos imaginamos que hubiera gente que vería la foto de otra manera. No entiendo. ¿Indignante es trabajar? ¿Indignante es servir tintos?”, indicó Rosa Haluf de Castro, madre de Zarzur y quien también aparece en la revista.

I don't have idea who these women are, to be honest, but I wouldn't mind if these kind of Celebrities Magazines disappear. Completely. We are flooded with these. They are all about pretty, millionaire, white-looking celebrities posing in their mansions, being "fashionable," whatever that means, talking about frivolities in their uber-rich privileged lives, showing the pretty European/Global North ideals that plague our colonized existences. And these magazines are targeted to developing Latin American countries. It's kinda obscene.


I haven't written in english in a long time. And it probably shows.
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Gay Ghetto Comics 1: Constructing a Dominant Gay Habitus.

Sender draws on Bourdieu’s concept of the “habitus”, which describes how tastes shape the relationship between the body and its symbolic and material contexts; “Habitus embodies the lived conditions within which social practices, hierarchies, and forms of identification are manifested through an individual’s choices, but signals that those choices are already predisposed by an existing social position” (2004: 14).

Sender argues that the most visible and socially sanctioned gay collectivity is not particularly diverse in terms of race, class, and to some extent gender: “This constituency is identified in part by its participation in a dominant gay habitus” (p. 15). The identities and practices associated with a dominant gay habitus are displayed “in bars, music clubs, parties or on the street” (Fenster: 1993, 76-77). They are also represented in cultural products such as magazines, advertisements, films – and comics.

In his essay on queer punk fanzines, Mark Fenster (1993) argues that dominant positions within gay communities tend to be held by “middle class adult homosexuals who are more assimilated within dominant economic and social structures”, and who are thereby better equipped to represent themselves and to circulate those representations through various forms of commercial media (p. 76-77).

The gay habitus constructed through marketing and in gay publications serves to make visible such gay and lesbian individuals – that is, those who are already otherwise empowered. Sender argues that gay marketing practices focus on members of a dominant gay habitus, obscuring the less “respectable” – and therefore less marketable – members of the LGBT communities, including people of colour and poor and working-class queers.

Just appearing sporadically ...

  • Nov. 8th, 2011 at 1:15 AM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
... to link pretty good posts:

Dating from the Margins: Desexualizing and Cultural Abuse.

I am often frustrated by people who are otherwise invested in understanding and opposing systems of oppression, but who nonetheless exclude dating and desirability from analysis or self-critique. This is especially frustrating when they are privileged by those very systems. This lack of analysis by those who have access and who are prioritized as desirable by their communities effectively silences the experiences of those whose trans status (or having a disability, or not meeting cultural beauty standards, or any of the markers of undesirability imposed by external systems) limits or completely denies access. In many queer, sex positive, polyamorous activist communities I have experienced those with access treating their privilege as the status quo, something which is never discussed, is neutral from criticism, and to which all are assumed to have access. This is done with an often startling ignorance of those who do not.

Understandably, who we are attracted to is a very sensitive topic for most of us. We want to believe our desires are our own, unshaped by the media, patriarchy, racism, ableism, transmisogyny, or other oppressive systems. This is even more challenging when one’s identity is based in ideas of activism, social justice and equality; We don’t want to feel like we’re upholding oppressive standards, or engaging in systems which sometimes violently desexualize marginalized identities.

About London Riots

  • Aug. 9th, 2011 at 1:17 AM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Such a brilliant post. Panic on the streets of London.

Violence is rarely mindless. The politics of a burning building, a smashed-in shop or a young man shot by police may be obscured even to those who lit the rags or fired the gun, but the politics are there. Unquestionably there is far, far more to these riots than the death of Mark Duggan, whose shooting sparked off the unrest on Saturday, when two police cars were set alight after a five-hour vigil at Tottenham police station. A peaceful protest over the death of a man at police hands, in a community where locals have been given every reason to mistrust the forces of law and order, is one sort of political statement. Raiding shops for technology and trainers that cost ten times as much as the benefits you’re no longer entitled to is another. A co-ordinated, viral wave of civil unrest across the poorest boroughs of Britain, with young people coming from across the capital and the country to battle the police, is another.

Months of conjecture will follow these riots. Already, the internet is teeming with racist vitriol and wild speculation. The truth is that very few people know why this is happening. They don’t know, because they were not watching these communities. Nobody has been watching Tottenham since the television cameras drifted away after the Broadwater Farm riots of 1985. Most of the people who will be writing, speaking and pontificating about the disorder this weekend have absolutely no idea what it is like to grow up in a community where there are no jobs, no space to live or move, and the police are on the streets stopping-and-searching you as you come home from school. The people who do will be waking up this week in the sure and certain knowledge that after decades of being ignored and marginalised and harassed by the police, after months of seeing any conceivable hope of a better future confiscated, they are finally on the news. In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:

"Yes," said the young man. "You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?"

"Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you."

Eavesdropping from among the onlookers, I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere ’’

Jul. 27th, 2011

  • 6:39 PM
la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
First of all: The two essays linked in this post talk about rape and sexual abuse and are BIG TRIGGERS.

I’m Gonna Need You to Fight Me On This: How Violent Sex Helped Ease My PTSD is an essay Mac McClelland wrote talking about her PTSD. And mind you, I didn't want to trivialize it or say something that could led to the interpretation she had no right to experience PTSD so didn't want to talk about this in public.

The race and class privilege in her essay made me uneasy: her trauma was about being exposed to the trauma of Haitian people (which, of course, she has every right to feel); the way she wrote about that, specially about other woman whose experience was.... actually more traumatic than hers, was trivializing and insulting.

But then [personal profile] eccentricyoruba linked me to this:

Edwidge Danticat Speaks on Mac McClelland Essay.

The woman whom McClelland talked about said this:

The full text of the letter in K*'s own handwriting is attached and is written in Haitian Creole. It says:

You have no right to speak of my story.
You have no right to publish my story in the press
Because I did not give you authorization.
You have no right. I did not speak to you.
You have said things you should not have said.
Thank you

Which is just damn awful.

Danticat says this:

I have K*'s permission to publish this letter and to talk about K* because she is angry at the way Ms. McClelland has portrayed her in the tweets, has ignored the wishes of her letter and continues to make K* part of her story.

This week, K* wrote me an e-mail from Port-au-Prince saying, “I want victims in Haiti to know that they can be strong and stand up for their rights and have a voice. Our choices about when and how our story is told must be respected."

Good links found in various places

  • Mar. 18th, 2011 at 10:45 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Don’t Be Like Che.

Every time I see some privileged person protest touring, I think of Che. Every time I hear about some insurrectionists starting shit in other people’s neighborhoods, I think of Che. Every time some twenty-something white dudes audaciously roll into a room like they have all the answers – summarily dismissing the experience and knowledge of everyone else there – I think of Che. Every time I see some supposed radicals who can’t recognize how inappropriate it is to “lead” or “save” or “help” the poor people or black people or brown people, without bothering to ask their opinion about it, I think of Che.

I do admire Che’s willingness to give up so much of his privilege, to suffer and sacrifice for his beliefs. But a person can never give up all their privileges. And he certainly didn’t lose the false sense of superiority that comes with having been told all your life that you are at the top of the food chain. We don’t need more arrogance, racism, cultural insensitivity, machismo, violence, and sexism. That might get your mug on a t-shirt someday, but it isn’t going to make the world a better place.

Fukushima 50 battle radiation risks as Japan nuclear crisis deepens.

Between 50 and 70 employees – now known in English as the Fukushima 50 – all in protective gear, were left at the plant to battle myriad problems. Some are assessing the damage and radiation levels caused by the explosions, while others cool stricken reactors with seawater to try to avert a potentially catastrophic release of radiation.

The workers are the nuclear power industry's equivalent of frontline soldiers, exposing themselves to considerable risks while about 800 of their evacuated colleagues watch from a safe distance. Fifteen people on the site, including members of the self-defence force, have been injured in the blasts.

Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds.

Much has been written about conflict—or "blood”—resources such as coltan, a mineral used in the manufacture of electronics, and diamonds, from Zimbabwe to the Democratic Republic of Congo to Sierra Leone. Far less information, however, has been provided about the broader processes that facilitate and finance conflicts in these places. It is rare that the questions "In whose interest?" or "For whose benefit?" are posed.

Dec. 26th, 2010

  • 11:46 PM
la_vie_noire: (Stop with the idiocy)
Mako me mandó esta página de "Médicos Sin Fronteras" muy iluminante, si alguien tenía alguna duda: Pastillas Contra el Dolor Ajeno.

En el primer mundo, si te duele algo hay pastillas para mitigar casi cualquier dolor. Pero... ¿qué pasa si lo que te duele es el dolor ajeno, el dolor de los que no tienen pastillas para curar su sufrimiento?

¿No es genial, que nosotros que tenemos pastillas de casi todo, podamos tomarnos una para calmar el dolor de los que no tienen?

Uhm. Uuuuhm.

Si decides colaborar en esta causa, es porque seguramente sufres de dolor ajeno, una dolencia que afecta, de forma casi endémica, al mundo desarrollado. Si sientes molestias, irritabilidad, sensibilidad... ante el sufrimiento de los enfermos más desfavorecidos, puede que estés contagiado.

O sea que, déjenme ver esto. La metáfora de esta campaña es "curar" la "dolencia" de la gente primermundista rica que tiene que "soportar" vivir en el mismo mundo que esos pobres tercermundistas.

O, como Mako dijo:

Si, para, tan emocionales los primermundiastas que se compadecen ante sus inmigrantes, y sienten tanto dolor ajeno que se quejan cuando sus paises presionan y boicotean las industrias, economias y recursos de "los pobres paises sin desarrollo" XD
son tremendos -.-

Y ni tengo que decir cuan insultante son esta clase de cosas, en quién se centran y a quién deshumanizan y convierten en El Otro.

El video es sobre un rico director de cine y como "toma sus pastillas" para ayudar a disminuir el "dolor ajeno" y lo bien que le hacen. Con mucama y todo. Significa: debemos sentir inspiración, admiración y agradecimiento por la forma en que ayudan desde sus mansiones.

Y de verdad, forma de trivializar la estructura de la falta de medicamentos en los países en desarrollo.

Justo ahora Privilege Denying Dude no está disponible porque tumblr se ha caído.

Nov. 15th, 2010

  • 3:19 PM
la_vie_noire: Antoinette Ataro smiling (Antoinette Ataro felicidad)
Via everyone and their mothers:


AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. This thing is so useful. Specially when you don't want to have discussions.

Fail, and some links

  • Aug. 4th, 2010 at 3:08 AM
la_vie_noire: (leyendo)
Everyone by now should know about the [livejournal.com profile] ontd_p's fiasco. If not, here Keeva links to it. Someone was trolling, mocking, a trans woman in a post about transphobia. She of course got pissed, and got banned.

I just stumbled with Uppity Brown Woman has some good tips about dealing with privilege.

And she shares this thing of beauty: Common Behavioral Patterns that Perpetuate Power Relations of Domination:

The following chart shows some patterns people learn in order to survive in a hierarchical society. Not to conform to expected behavior risks social ostracism, privilege and /or one’s survival. These patterns take place in correspondence to each other; they are tendencies in relationships not personality characteristics.


Also, because my reading list is awesome, some interesting links:

Via [personal profile] dagas_isa: Morph-osaurs: How shape-shifting dinosaurs deceived us. Think all we don't know about dinosaurs and how much we lose because we won't ever see them alive.

Via Sociological Images: A Neuroscientist Uncovers A Dark Secret:

The criminal brain has always held a fascination for James Fallon. For nearly 20 years, the neuroscientist at the University of California-Irvine has studied the brains of psychopaths. He studies the biological basis for behavior, and one of his specialties is to try to figure out how a killer's brain differs from yours and mine.

[...]After learning his violent family history, he examined the images and compared them with the brains of psychopaths. His wife's scan was normal. His mother: normal. His siblings: normal. His children: normal.

"And I took a look at my own PET scan and saw something disturbing that I did not talk about," he says.

What he didn't want to reveal was that his orbital cortex looks inactive.

"If you look at the PET scan, I look just like one of those killers."

Fallon cautions that this is a young field. Scientists are just beginning to study this area of the brain — much less the brains of criminals. Still, he says the evidence is accumulating that some people's brains predispose them toward violence and that psychopathic tendencies may be passed down from one generation to another.

You know, I haven't studied sociopaths for twenty years, but I'm kinda skeptic about the whole abuse-as-trigger thing. Well, yeah, abuse can mean a lot of things, but I guess it's already confirmed not all sociopath are violent killers (not even violent people), and some haven't survived considerable amount of violence. I guess there is still a lot to know.
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Kynn very well points on the cisprivilege that is going on with this outrage over "genital mutilation". TRIGGER WARNING: POST TALKS ABOUT GENITAL RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY.

It's really an intersex issue that everyone is choosing to forget.

Here is a wonderful anonymous comment that points a lot of the issues here and everybody who is not an intersex person should read. Because as informative and useful [livejournal.com profile] lizardspots's post is with all the mess that this has become, it also reeks of cis privilege:

Children should be allowed to decide for themselves if they want genital reconstructive surgery, and which gender identity they wish to align themselves with. While doctors may be right in some cases, in a large number they are not, particularly because they decide the child's gender identity largely based on the size of the cliterophallus. Most cases have nothing to do with the chromosomes of the child and everything to do with the heterocentric notion that the child, if allowed to be 'male' will have an unhealthy sexual life because his penis will not be able to pleasure a woman because it is too small.

It is far, far more traumatizing to be given a gender identity you do not want and to have your genitals hacked apart before you are really cognizant of them as an adult. Many, many intersexed could have had much happier lives with genitals closer to those that they really wanted, and happier childhoods without the pressure to conform to an applied gender identity that did not fit them. This also touches on transphobia, because many people cannot deal with the idea that a child should be free to choose what gender they ascribe to. Contrary to what may be a common belief, if a child is given guidance about the nature of their genitals, they'll deal with it pretty well. Children are really more flexible and strong than most people given them credit for.

Also people? Terms like "normal" and "anormal" aren't neccesarily "neutral," "right" or devoid of any demeaning/discriminating connotation just because they are used regularly in medicine. God knows that in this context, with intersex issues, they are definitely not that.

Something about scientists: most of them are privileged people who don't live completely dissociated from their environment.
la_vie_noire: (be prepared)
Very personal thing about oppression. )

This is public so do whatever the hell you want with this. But if you talk here? You are in my space. You are getting banned if you annoy me. Even a little.

Feb. 3rd, 2010

  • 6:29 PM
la_vie_noire: (Default)
Things aren't looking great for me, but I'm going to take that exam no matter what. Meanwhile I had to post this because Questioning Transphobia has a fucking amazing post:

Intent! It’s Fucking Magic!

See, the great thing about this thaumaturgy is that it protects anything a privileged asshole says! So it fits in line completely with that glorious sense of entitlement that privilege tends to confer, basically, the idea that you can say anything you want and should never have accountability for what you say! Because you see, all privileged people have this ancient eldritch power called “Intent”. In fact, intent is one of the primary elements of the world (see figure 1). Like fire, water, wood, metal, air and earth, Intent helps make up an important part of the very existence of the universe. So when you invoke its ancient might, its tendrils of ephemeral power shift in the very fabric of the ‘verse, creating a magic so powerful that you can manipulate thousands upon thousands of threads of fate, just to protect the person you just said or did something supremely privileged and horrible to.


Intent is so unbelievably epic that it doesn’t just cover slurs. No, it covers actions as well! Because you see, the very threads of fate are not immune to this otherworldly flow of what you meant to do or say. So if you kick a trans woman out of a homeless shelter into the cold because she didn’t fit your views of what a woman should be and she didn’t want to be put in with the menz (where she faces a risk of rape and murder for her, or at least harassment), your Intent literally changes the tapestry of fate so that instead of freezing to death in the cold, she actually is heated by an unexpected fire, lit by a lightning strike from clear skies, onto a pile of garbage that can’t spread the fire to anything else, right next to where she just happened to fall in exhaustion! I know! Isn’t it awesome?!

Intent is a power that you only have if you believe in it. Because so many marginalized people don’t believe in the power of intent when it comes to their/our marginalizations, few of us are able to call on its supernatural strength. Some rare marginalized folk are able to, but only in given situations and generally only in relation to themselves.


Because you see, Intent is the ultimate alchemy. It doesn’t change lead to gold, it changes harmful, negative or damaging actions into happy, fun, “everyone hugs and no one is oppressed”, magical unicorn actions. It dips its eerie powers into the pools of time and space and counters each and every ripple of fuckery and pain created by the actions of an unthinking douchebag who was too privileged or self absorbed to see that their actions were a problem.

And because [personal profile] parlance made me remember it:

Deepa's I Didn’t Dream of Dragons has been nomitated Best Non-Fiction at the British Science Fiction Association 2009 Awards. Hal Duncan withdrawn in favor to her piece. You go girl, congratulations and, really, so deserve to win.

Aug. 14th, 2009

  • 12:40 AM
la_vie_noire: (Meets Minimal Standards of Decent Human)
Via [livejournal.com profile] voz_latina, Is Cis A Dis? And other air castles to storm…. Cis people who can read English? Go. Read. That.

And that’s even assuming that a transperson intended the prefix “cis” to mean something bad, which of course it doesn’t, but it’s your option as a cis-person to choose to even recognize any intention there at all. As a cis-person, you will never, ever have to worry about that intention beyond the mere personal hurt feelings you have about that. Transpeople are always, always having to be keenly aware of the intentions of cispeople, scrying into our words like fucking tea-leaves to see whether we are going to fuck with their human rights. So to construct this artificial world where all things are theoretically equal, to erase that very real oppression that transpeople must live with — whether you are paying attention or not — simply so you can somehow draw a parallel between the momentary twinge of discomfort you might have felt at having a word used to describe you, and the vast yawning abyss of crushing oppression that transpeople deal with, is infantile entitlement at best, and intentionally silencing at worst.

And here’s another thing: Most cispeople don’t even know what the fuck that word means. By and large, they’ve never heard of it. It only exists in the vernacular of a very small segment of the progressive movement, and that in itself is informative: That’s how de-voiced the transgendered populations are. Their words have not even approached the public consciousness. They are still in the very early stages of building their movement and ciswomen like me can live their whole lives without ever having to worry about what the “cis” part of that means. That’s fucking privilege.


Nuclear Unicorn and I have come to the table of friendship together because 1) we like each other, and 2) we recognize that we are stronger in our struggles together than apart. I am so grateful everyday that I can pick up the phone and call her and we get each other. I don’t have to explain to her what time it is. But here’s the thing: I have a loaded gun that the Patriarchy has given me. I am a cis-person; it was issued to me at birth. That gun sits on the table between us. It is a gun that, if I ever chose to use it, could totally destroy her life, or at least injure her grievously. It is a gun that I will always have forever, even if we leave the table of friendship. If, 20 years from now, Nuclear Unicorn and I have long since parted ways and, say, she goes on to become some famous author and chooses to not be out about her transition, I could cock and fire at her with a few strategic phone calls… or just casual careless babbling to people I don’t know well. There is nothing that will change that until society chooses to take the bullets out of that gun by giving Nuclear Unicorn her full human rights and social dignity, so that if I decided to pick it up and fire it at her, it will have no bullets in it, and I will look just as stupid and offensively bigoted as KKK members seem to us today.

Going to sleep.

ETA: AND. The author showed her ass in the comments. Oh, well.


la_vie_noire: (Default)
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