Tuesday, January 26, 2010

NEW Comments Policy @ A.R.P.: please read before sending any comments

[image is from here]

Here's the COMMENTS POLICY for this blog, A Radical Profeminist. Dated 26 January 2010 ECD. Revised on 17 September 2010.

To all people committed to ending rape and racism, gynocide, genocide, and ecocide, WELCOME. This blog is intended to be, and remains, radical feminist/woman of color-friendly space. This intention is one of my deepest political commitments.

I work on the blog to promote anti-patriarchal, anti-racist, anti-colonialist, pro-Indigenist perspectives, analysis, activism, and liberation. Any comments sent to this blog for posting publicly or reading by me privately that meet any of the following criteria will go directly to a spam box and will not find their way to this blog. They will also, in many cases, not even be read by me beyond discerning whether they fit into one of these "categories of rejection". NOTE: No anti-womanist or anti-feminist comments will be posted here.

To all men: sexism and misogyny is not welcome here.  
To all whites: racism and unrecognised and unowned white supremacist perspective is not welcome here.  
To all heterosexuals: heterosexism, lesbophobia, and homophobia is not welcome here.  
To all queer people and non-queer people: transphobia is not welcome here.  
To all class-privileged people: classist and pro-capitalism comments are not welcome here.
To all non-disabled people: ableism is not welcome here.
ADDED ON 9 MAY 2010ECD:
And NO terms which put down, degrade, or insult the dignity of disabled people are allowed in comments. That includes "the R word" folks.
To all people who are not elderly and who are not (as determined by age) children: ageist remarks are not welcome here.  
To all Christians: the promotion of Jesus as a Savior, a Lord, or THE son of G-d, as well as any other expression of anti-Semitism and christocentrism, is not welcome here.  
To all non-Muslims: anti-Muslim bigotry and biases are not welcome here.
To all Westerners: unconscious and unexamined white-, anglo-, and euro-centric worldviews are not welcome here.  
To all non-Aboriginal, non-Native, and non-Indigenist people: anti-Indigenism and invisibilisation of Aboriginal people and denial of the on-going genocides perpetrated by white societies is not welcome here.
To all dominant U.S conservative and liberal people: expressed forms of U.S. neo-conservatism and U.S. neo-liberalism, conscious or not to you as such, are not welcome here.

If you don't know what some of these terms or some acronyms used here on this blog mean, there is a reading list and glossary for you below either to the right or below where you clicked on this link. Please read that whole section before posting any comments.

Finally, only comments submitted by those who have REGISTERED may be posted. NO ANONYMOUSLY SUBMITTED COMMENTS will be posted. It is at my discretion to post or not post any comment, for any reason at all. I don't owe anyone an explanation for why a comment wasn't posted.

24 June 2010 Addendum: 
I probably ought to add this:  Submitted comments that insult, put down, harass, degrade, or are otherwise mean or disrespectful to the blog host will not be posted. Be courteous and respectful to me here or don't have a voice here.

36 comments:

Dylan said...

In other words, all you can say is:
I love everyone.

Max said...

You are to feminism what Hitler was to socialism.

Any idea taken to radical extremes manifests as terrible perversions.

Karl said...

I absolutely agree with every aspect of this policy regarding comments.

Julian Real said...

Hi Karl,

Thanks so much for that comment. Clearly you're in the minority. Glad you took the time to say so. :)

Julian Real said...

@Dylan:

Oh, you can say far more than that. How curious it is to me that privileged men think they can't say anything if they're not allowed to be structurally oppressive bigots.

Hmmm. Funny that.

Eric said...

@Max-Seconded
@Julian Real
Posting links to anti-genocide sites is a good thing, as long as the purpose is to raise awareness of these tragedies, but it is important to remember that the strength of your ideas is not dependent on the number of links you post. Your implication that “all men” are “sexist” and “misogynist,” that “all whites” are “racist,” and that all “privileged people” are “classist” is far more "irrational" than Max's comment. It demonstrates the flaws that you so despise; sexism, racism, and classism are inherent in each of the preceding generalities. Not only is this broad labeling of groups irrational, I would go so far as to say that it is hateful.

Julian Real said...

Dear, dear Max,

Clever little illogical, irrational boy that you are. You might note the number of anti-genocide links from this blog. And howsabout you? Oh, yeah: none.

I rule no land and regulate no media.
Hitler did.

I rule no organisations, am in no positions of leadership, and oppose authoritarianism and all forms of fascism.

Hitler ruled an authoritarian, militarily supported fascist regime. It did actual atrocious things, like rape and kill people.

Which group rapes and kills people as a matter of course and custom: white het men, or radical feminists?

That would be white het men. Like you, sir.

I hold myself accountable to women and believe women are human beings.

You believe men who do this are "p*ssy-whipped", which seems to indicate you think women are their genitals, and that their genitals are capable of subordinating someone. But, in fact, the white het men who are rapists use their penises as weapons to subordinate women.

So your analogy is, well, illogical and idiotic.

You and your white male supremacist buddies (which is what Nazi men also are), show yourselves to be about as humanitarian as a plague.

Take your inhumanity and the terrible perversions which you believe are white het men's "free speech" and "entertainment for men" elsewhere.

Given that I don't run any government, nor any movement, nor any organisation, club, or meeting and that white het males do all of the above, daily, I recommend that if you don't like how society is working for ya, complain to them, and stop yer whining about women being all powerful. And piss in your own place. Your stupidity isn't welcome here.

Julian Real said...

@Eric,

Your implication that “all men” are “sexist” and “misogynist,” that “all whites” are “racist,” and that all “privileged people” are “classist” is far more "irrational" than Max's comment.

Ah, well, if you would read what I write rather than what you infer, that would help in your comprehension of what I'm saying.

I think it's rather irrational of you to conclude that what I say about white het men I'm saying about ALL white het men.

How illogical is that, on your part?

If I say white Australians love to surf, am I saying ALL white Australians love to surf?

If I say people from New Orleans love the Saints, I am NOT saying ALL people from New Orleans love the Saints. Get it?

See, this is why antifeminists and other misogynists don't understand feminist writings: because you can't even comprehend the simplest statements.

So when you see something about your demographic, you assume, egocentrically, that it's not only all about you, but it's also about ALL of you.

And, you might wish to search the blog for my posts on genocide. Just click "genocide" on the list lower right. It's something I write and post about regularly. I'm not sure what else you'd suggest a blogger do to demonstrate commitment to a human rights issue. But I stand by the stuff I've posted as reflective of my political views and alliances.

And what are YOU doing to end genocide?

Or do you just work with Max to make sure the most privileged retain the most power, socially and structurally?

Morgaine said...

Oh, Julian, I just want to tell you how much I love your blog and how much hope it gives me.

I know there are men out there like you, I have even met some of them, but sometimes it seems like Val from The Women's Room is correct when she says, "All men are rapists and that is all they are."

But I'm so glad it's not, b/c I DO love men.

I love the quote from Catharine McKinnon, or rather your paraphrase about how she recognises that men can be redeemed (I know that too).

I hope that you (and she and POC) believe that white people can also be redeemed.

I have been a writer and journalist for many, many years; and I have always thought of myself as a good communicator. But if I could cultivate even 20% of your ability to be so inclusive in your language; to comprehensively explain such complex ideas; and to find that perfect balance between compassion and tough love, I would be ever so grateful.

Thank you so much for your work. You're an inspiration!

<3

OH, but I wonder if you have read Marilyn French's Beyond Power and if you might want to add it to your list. It's such a well-documented tome about patriarchy but ALSO alternatives that have and do exist, so that we can see that this is not the way we HAVE to be!

Julian Real said...

Hi Morgaine,

Thanks so much for your very kind comments!

I'm glad you find it to be a source of hope. :)

I know there are men out there like you, I have even met some of them,

Where are they? I don't know hardly any!!! Send 'em on over to this blog to say hello!! lol... and seriously!

but sometimes it seems like Val from The Women's Room is correct when she says, "All men are rapists and that is all they are."

I hear about some form of sexual assault against a woman (who I know, not just a news story) every week, so it often seems like that to me as well.

But I'm so glad it's not, b/c I DO love men.

I love the quote from Catharine McKinnon, or rather your paraphrase about how she recognises that men can be redeemed (I know that too).

Oh, cool: I'm glad you read that Valentine's Day post! Yes, and it's so obvious why folks want to eliminate that part of her quote, which exists in the context of a much more thorough discussion about sex and violence.

I hope that you (and she and POC) believe that white people can also be redeemed.

I can only speak for moi: I think anyone can be redeemed, the question is whether or not enough individuals within a politically privileged group will seek the kind of redemption that brings about radical social change. On that, I'm not sure.

I think James Baldwin spoke especially directly and eloquently about this whole matter of what whiteness is and does to a person, how it robs ppl of their humanity, in that they think they are superior to some sort of being called a "n****r", which has always only ever been a projection of the white imagination.

I so appreciate your compliments. And I'm so glad you're out there as a writer/journalist!

Thank you so much for your work. You're an inspiration!

Well, at least for you!!! I think I'm more an irritation, generally!! lol

Re: Beyond Power.

I haven't read in it for a looooong time, so I shall revisit it and take your suggestion to heart and mind... and possibly to this blog!

I need to reread the parts on the alternatives. The plight for so many folks I know seeking non-oppressive community and friendships seems so bleak, far too often.

Again, thank you. Love back to you.

faithfullyagnostic said...

How do you know who's a man, gay, straight, female, White etc.?

I've been banned from blogs like yours for the most benign comments, and I'm a lesbian of colour. Am I supposed to mention that before commenting?

Seems a bit pathetic to start a comment by 'I'm a lesbian of colour and I say...'

Julian Real said...

Hello, faithfullyagnostic,

Great name, first of all!! I love it.

As for your questions, given the subject matter, it usually is the case that within a couple of comments, it becomes clear what someone's identity is, as it relates to the post's topic, at least.

I think it is a uniquely cyber thing to be having intense (or not!) discussions about race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, and to not know one another's identity info. To be appropriately sensitive to ppl, I am all for ppl being honest and clear about what forms of privilege and marginalisation we bring into any discussion.

I share up front what my identity is, in terms of political/structural location in various hierarchies, and I do welcome anyone who visits to do the same. I'm not asking anything of someone that I don't also share.

And as this is a space designed and intended to be safe space for women of color, I want to know it when white doods are here.

You obviously needn't preface your comments that way.

And I hope you find this to be a respectful and engaging place to visit.

And, if anyone sends comments that are supportive of racism, misogyny, heterosexism, or systems of harm, exploitation, and oppression, those comments likely won't see publication to this blog.

DanceDreaming said...

Hello Julian,

Great blog, I came here via feministblogs.org. Your comment policy seems pretty reasonable to me, and I think it's awesome that you are forward about specifically pointing out all these separate -isms.

So yeah, I agree with Karl and Morgaine here. Max and Dylan come across as exactly the reason these limitations are needed. However, on reading Eric's comment, I went back through the post and I kinda sorta see what he means a little. The language does seem potentially directed and accusatory.

It is fine and good to say 'If it's not about you, then it's not about you', but at what point is it the responsibility of the listener to not be offended, and what point the responsibility of the speaker to acknowledge the potential to offend and be more careful?

I know, from reading your blog, that you aren't making blanket statements about the members of each power imbalance here that are on the privileged side, but it isn't automatically obvious. And the language used does have a degree of volatility.

It's your blog, do with it as you will of course. But perhaps more open statements about various -isms, and specifically mentioning unacknowledged privilege, would be more effective?

The fact that faithfullyagnostic found herself unsure(obviously not an on the defensive MRA guy) gives credence to the idea that the wording might be problematic, I think....?

Anyway, I want to still say that your policy, as I interpreted it, seems %100 reasonable and generally desirable to me.

DanceDreaming said...

Oh, and:

My understanding gleaned from Eric had nothing to do with his genocide comments(which I don't understand), or his agreement with Max's... ugh. I'm not really agreeing with Eric on anything, simply noting that his objection did make me take a second look.

Julian Real said...

Thanks for that constructive feedback, DanceDreaming.

Yeah, I'm working some of that through. I think there's a line that I'm walking, that may need to get shifted, or I may need to shift, that has to do with how much of a "profeminism 101" blog I make this.

It was never my intention to have this blog be that, but on the other hand, obviously we all come to blogs with our own experiences, histories, and assumptions, and if something is being consistently misread and misunderstood, then I can see that there's reason to alter how something is being communicated.

So, thank you!

Clif said...

Hi Julian,

I have started following your blog. Some challenging stuff here. I can imagine the debates are going to be intense. Some friends and I have taken a similar initiative.

More in the interwebs the better, I guess.

www.menandfeminism.org

Take care,

Clif.

Julian Real said...

Hi and welcome, Clif,

I am glad you made contact. And I shall link to your website.

I look forward to seeing what you are doing.

The discussions here would be far more intense if I allowed antifeminists to post here. I don't. So the 150 plus comments sent by MRAs do not get through, unless I choose to make one of them the subject of a separate post.

Good luck to you in your efforts and let's keep in touch. I have links to other profeminist men's websites and blogs in my blogroll.

Julian Real said...

P.S. to Clif,

When I try and get to your site, a message lets me know is not up (yet?). So please let me know when it goes public.

Thanks! :)

Clif said...

Fantastic. Thank you Julian. And yes, moderating is a great idea considering some of the backlash. I have had some bitter experience with this backlash , myself.

Our site is live. It is

www.feminism.ORG not .com.

Talk soon,

clif.

Al_Ar_Bee said...

I think your Comments Policy is interesting in and of itself in the sense that it provides a brief introduction to the power relations that exist in the real world. Besides being a guide to good behavior when commenting, it can also serve as a convenient checklist of what is wrong with the world.

Am I just stating the obvious again?

Julian Real said...

Welcome Al_Ar_Bee,

Obvious or not, I am grateful for you stating this, here.

Thank you! :)

Cadence Hardy said...

Julian I LOVE that you create a ‘multi-dimension-ally’ safe space. And I'm glad that you're making sure that this is a safer space for yourself too. The list is a very helpful reminder about thinking multi-dimension-ally.

feministified said...

Hello-

I've stumbled onto your blog and fallen in love! You have an amazing voice. Looking forward to hearing more :))

Julian Real said...

Welcome, feministified!!!

Make yourself comfy and stay a while!

Thank you for your delightful comment. :)

shaun na na said...

I think that it is a bit ridiculous you believe that all woman in the sex industry are victims. The only victims are the young girls who, unfortunately, are not getting the parenting they deserve! My mother was a single parent and very seldom at home. I am a stripper. But I also was an adult when I decided to choses that path. I was taught to respect my inner self and my body. I was taught to be strong and think for myself even at 12 years old. Why are these parents allowing their daughters to hang out downtown and go to parties with older boys? Do they not have a curfew? They are children! To say strip clubs, of all the sex industry establishments in Pornland, are the root of why there is trafficking or prostitution of young girls is asinine! Have you done any field research yourself? Do you even live in Portland Oregon? You seem to be more concerned about your own ideologies than the well being of young girls and woman. Educate yourself. Find out for yourself how these woman-strippers, prostitutes, lingerie models,"whores"-really feel. I think you might be surprised at how many don't consider themselves "victims".
There are many other places I have travelled and worked and I can say Portland Oregon has less of the strerotypes than other cities and rural towns I have "stripped" in. Yes, in many clubs, the dancers are pimped. Yes, in many places woman in our profession are mistreated and abused. Portland is one of the only cities where I have found woman that are truly empowered and healthy minded when it comes this industry. I agree that there are hateful misogynistic and abusive aspects to the sex industry. Positive self image is the only thing that keeps you safe in this world regardless of what industry or field you choose to be a part of. Things are changing and will only continue to change for the better when "we" stop pointing fingers at the men and focus on the matter at hand
A WOMANS SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL WELL BEING.
Which I hope would start long before they sprout breasts!
Respecting yourself is first and foremost. I think most woman have a hard time with that. You dont have to be a "stripper" to be a victim of misogyny and abuse, so lets start where the problem begins.

And yes I think that your broad labeling is hateful!

Julian Real said...

Hi shaun na na,

I like the name!

Please quote where I say, anywhere on this blog, that all women in sexxxism industries are victims.

My blog, among other things, exists to challenge men to not think they are entitled to sex with women 24/7/365. My blog exists to challenge men's right to own, enslave, possess, control, rape, batter, and otherwise abuse, violate, and subordinate women.

I've known women who felt empowered by stripping. And my question "What does it mean that we live in a society where men will pay women more to take off their clothes than to do practically anything else?" usually doesn't get an answer.

Individual empowerment isn't the issue, here on this blog. It's not the focus and it's not a goal I'm working to achieve. Class-based liberation from whole systems of harm and exploitation is: from patriarchal sexism and misogyny; from racism and white supremacy; from anti-Indigenous genocide; from capitalist exploitation of everyone.

I don't assume all women have the same experience of anything.

I do, however, believe that anyone in the West and Global North ought to be accountable to women in the East, to girls in the East, and in the Global South, where Western ideas and values tied to prostitution get played out in the most horrific ways. So I guess I'd ask you: how many girls in SE Asia, in Eastern Europe, and across North America have you spoken with and what do you see the solution being to the assaults they endure collectively, not individually only?

Do you know even one het male pimp who has never raped a woman?

Why would you think that some profeminist has more hateful things to say about you than corporate pornographers and pimps? Please quote my comments that you find so hateful.

Who do you really think respects you more? A pimp or me? I hope your life goes well, and goes as you wish for it to.

And to pretend that most female human beings in systems of prostitution and sexual exploitation are "free" to do much, is, well, to be in denial, imo. Do you know how many child sex slaves there are right now? How many woman sex slaves there are right now, on Earth?

If you're happy stripping, by all means--keep stripping. But I'd ask you to write to Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap and tell her how good your life is, and tell me how she responds to your declaration. Or go speak with women of the First Nations on the streets of Vancouver and get back to me on what they have to say about how Western white het male supremacist society treats them. That you are having a good experience in a system that routinely uses up women isn't the issue--although I'm glad you're not being raped repeatedly or terrorised by men who think it's hot to scare the shit out of women. And, this blog is about what's best for all women, not for any one woman only. Do you think stripping is good for women, collectively? Do you think it teaches het men, collectively, that they should or shouldn't be entitled to have 24/7 access--visual or physical--to women?

James said...

Sorry to necro this comments section, but Dylan's first post is so laughable I just had to comment on it. It is allowed and in fact encouraged to hate men, white, straights, the upper class, Christians, citizens of the West, the able-bodied, and any other majority on the planet here on Julian's blog. In fact, this is perhaps the most explicitly hate-filled space I've ever come across in my life. Ridiculous, Dylan.

Julian Real said...

Hi James,

You seem to fail to identify the hatred directed against women, non-het people, people of color, the poor, people in the Global South and East, and the disabled and elderly.

Why you seem to fail to recognise that hate--institutionalised and interpersonally acted out in some truly horrific ways, is a bit beyond me.

But go on with your life, believing what you will. There's really not any hate here, and I bet you can't find any written by me here.

James said...

You have apparently extrapolated my personal identification of the hatred on this blog to mean that I believe that no other hatred exists anywhere else. That's quite a bold claim. Unfortunately, your mind-reading powers are a bit off today, because in no way do I deny the misogynist, racist, and prejudiced attitudes that are prevalent in certain other parts of the world. Why you think so in the first place is beyond me.

I call people out on hatred. I have called out MRA-types and I have called out people like you. You're all pretty much the same, and I know that you will take a HUGE issue with that statement, but I just see no difference. Not that it ever really does any good, mind you.

Julian Real said...

I'm glad you liberally call out 'hatred' James, although you might do well to notice how such hatred is institutionalised and embedded in religions, economic systems, and governments. And note, please, who the beneficiaries tend to be: the rich, whites, men.

Now, you've yet to quote one bit of my blog where there's 'hatred'. That's rather curious, given your conviction it's all over the place here. What was it you wrote... [and I quote] "this is perhaps the most explicitly hate-filled space I've ever come across in my life". Really? Seriously? You and your loved ones have lived very charmed lives, then.

Please quote my "hateful" statements, would you? Maybe, like five to ten of them, okay? I mean if this is one of the most hate-filled spaces you've ever seen in your entire life, that shouldn't be difficult, as this place is only "text"--so that "hatred" should be showing up in the words, rather explicitly, shouldn't it? I'm waiting for those five to ten quotes--of mine, if you would. This is my blog, after all. And I do write much of the content here.

Julian Real said...

Oh, and James: I call people out on lying and deception. See, for example, this post:

http://radicalprofeminist.blogspot.com/2009/11/pop-quiz-on-dishonesty-deception-and.html

I also call out misogynist and sexist men's self-serving illogic. See, for example, this one:

http://radicalprofeminist.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-if-few-dozen-men-wrote-some.html

I also call out lying in the media that is responsible for untold hateful acts by governments and media corporations against people.

See, for example:
http://radicalprofeminist.blogspot.com/2011/04/will-truth-tellers-please-come-forward.html

I also call out the social patterns of who gets called out on what. See, for example, this post:

http://radicalprofeminist.blogspot.com/2011/02/women-men-love-and-hate-radical.html

I think your statement that this is one of the most hate-filled spaces you've ever seen in your life is horseshit. Bullshit. Nonsense.

I can lead you to hate-filled spaces all over the internet--they're called "porn sites"--watch how women are treated there. I'd argue those are more hate-filled than this one--they practice, promote, and depict rape-as-fun-for-men-to-do-to-women and depict women as wh*res, and they occupy a whole lotta cyberspace and result in a very large percentage of traffic on the internet. More in one day than my blog will see in all the years it will exist. But you say this blog is one of the most hate-filled spaces, huh? I'm not sure what that says about your powers of perception, but it says to me that they're fairly myopic.

How many websites are there, James, that depict the rape and degradation women for men's entertainment? Do you know the particular work of M. Hardcore? How about visiting the sites that advertise Asian women and girls for rent and sale to white men? Are those less hateful than this blog? (Really?) How about all those white nationalist group sites? Are those less hateful too?

What about the pro-military, war-adoring sites that pretend that U.S. wars are doing "good" in the world? Less hateful than this blog, eh?

I'm waiting for your proof of allegedly astounding levels of unequivocal and explicit HATE from me on this blog, and please do include the quotes and the URL's, so I can check the context for whatever you come up with.

Thanks. Have a good day. Perhaps you mistake sarcasm for hate?

Martin Dufresne said...

Hello Julian,
You may want to check out the recent work of French materialist radical feminist Christine Delphy*, a White lesbian who has been challenging - along with the Mouvement des Indigènes de la République - other White feminists on the racism underlying their positions re: Muslim women's choice of dress in France. For example, her article "The Islamic Headscarf in France", in the anthology "Transnational migration and the politics of identity", by Meenakshi Thapan (http://bit.ly/mPFhuq)
Dworkin is not alone, thankfully, and many contemporary feminists are attempting to integrate a problematization of their position as benefitting of continuing colonialism and racism. This was apparent at many of the communications given at Women's Words 2011, a 2000 women/92 countries strong, international conference in Ottawa early this month, where many racialized feminists were allowed to ground a discussion of prostitution in the experiences of ALL women, rather than only those of the First World "sex work" promoters who are constantly belittling the formers' perspective in academia and the media.
A spiteful account of this confrontation was published in Ottawa's pimp "alternative" press a few days ago: http://bit.ly/r9v5uf ...
Keep up the good work!
Martin Dufresne

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_Delphy

Julian Real said...

Hi Martin.

I'm wondering why you didn't post this comment to the recent blog posts dealing with this issue. With your permission, I'd like to re-locate it to the comments section at one of those.

Anything you can send to me about the 2011 Ottawa conference that is not dominant-media reactionary nonsense would be appreciated as well. You can email me that stuff if you wish to.

I've dealt with the xenophobic racist-misogyny here among European whites, on the issue of white male supremacist dress-codes for Muslim women in Europe, including for European women who are Muslim, of course. But the specifics you alerted me to are not writings I've necessarily blogged about.

Thank you for your comment and support. :)

Julian Real said...

P.S. to Martin, typo correction: The Ottawa Conference was called Women's World 2011.

Tom said...

What is the policy on pro-individualist thoughts? That race, class, creed, age, sex and other facets of a person which we often group people together through may be pervasive and influential in this world, but we should strive to view everyone as an individual above all background factors?

From what I have read, this blog tends to treat everyone as part of a group - both the disenfranchised and the privileged. From my understanding, the privileged hate other people pointing out their inborn advantages (better for the self esteem to think you earned everything yourself, eh?) and will generally get caught on "but I'm an individual, not just a white, hetero man!" and not listen beyond that.

On the other side, people from many groups have their... membership thrown in their face daily. It can feel like it takes away your humanity. It can also be reassuring to know there are other people suffering the same way, though.

I'm guessing this blog is focused on that last thought, right? Letting people know there are at least a few people out there willing to shed some light on issues too many ignore, to fight for them.

Julian Real said...

Hi Tom,

I've been thinking more about this very thing, and thank you for your comment.

I want to clarify one point related to part of what you wrote, above.

You wrote:

From what I have read, this blog tends to treat everyone as part of a group - both the disenfranchised and the privileged. From my understanding, the privileged hate other people pointing out their inborn advantages (better for the self esteem to think you earned everything yourself, eh?) and will generally get caught on "but I'm an individual, not just a white, hetero man!" and not listen beyond that.

I'm usually trying to identify how people are treated in the real world. In that world, oppressors demand to be seen as only-individuals while only ever operating in ways that maintain unjust power over and against people the dominants refuse to see as only-individuals.

The demand of oppressor-class people to be seen and treated as only-individuals is dishonest and deceitful: whites, men, and het people all act on the privileges they/we have. We act on them and we do many things to make sure social equality can't happen. Yet, on the interpersonal or textual level, we say we are just individuals, not part of a group, not "like those oppressors over there"--not like the rapists, not like the rampant white supremacists, not like the homophobic gay- and lesbian-bashers. But there is nothing at all substantive or systematic done by the individuals who part of an oppressor group to radically change the distribution of status and power among the many. What percentage of all the men you know are working to eradicate rape and other forms of institutionalised sexual violence committed disproportionately--and largely--by men against against women and girls? Of all the whites you know, what percentage of of them/us are working to eradicate white supremacy from the Western world? Of all the heterosexual people you know, which make sure no forms of discrimination and violence happen against queer youth and adults?

The rich person may demand to be seen as just a person but the inheritance laws, corporate welfare, and other privileges and advantages afforded the rich (all those individual rich people) are not objected to or transformed by those rich people, who are far more structurally powerful than the poor individuals who are accused of not trying hard enough.

Few people work less hard than the super-rich, who may make a phone call in the morning telling their broker to "Buy" and calling back in the afternoon to say "Sell". In some days, a very rich person might make hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. That amount of "work" doesn't equate with three part-time jobs, or two full-time jobs, which so many working people do, not earning enough to make ends meet. It doesn't equate with the work of looking for a job, of raising children, of caring for elderly family members.

Whether rich, Christian, white, het, male, or US, our positions of privilege are firmly institutionalised and enforced--forcefully.

Among the many privileges is the one that allows oppressor-class people to not be accountable to those they/we oppress. Denying having the abusive power, acted out interpersonally and institutionally, is the expression of privilege and is, in and of itself, an abuse of power.

At this blog, I seek to not be in denial about how power is used and abused among us--the oppressors and the oppressed. Nor do I wish to pretend that most people occupy only one structural position--as "only oppressed" or "only an oppressor". But in whatever ways people hold oppressive power and are advantaged by it, we are also responsible for challenging one another--as individuals who are always part of larger groups--to change the systems of harm and humiliation into systems that are deeply humane.