Sunday, February 28, 2010

Why Can't David Read, or Shut Up and Listen: WHM Supremacist Privileges and Entitlements in Action

 
Or is it???
[image is from here]
What follows is a portion of a comment exchange, mostly focused on what a white South African guy with middle class and academic education privilege, has to say to a radical feminist. It pissed me off a lot, probably because I'm way too much like him. It played out *here* on a blog called Rage Against the Man-chine, and the blogger there is an awesome woman named Nine Deuce.

I've edited out all commentary by women, as I don't have their permission to relocate their words, and this post is about what white het men do, thinking they are being the reflective ally as opposed to an obnoxiously instructive asshole. And it's not like the men here are responding to what the women write anyway!]

I'm not nice, below. A woman, not the blogger, over at Rage Against the Man-chine, has commented that she recognises he's trying to be an ally. I'm less convinced.

I'm responding here more thoroughly to him than I wanted to there, on a feminist blog. And I treat him like a dick most of the time. In my experience--including of myself--we whiteboys can feel very entitled at feminist blogs to go on and on and on. I've been a dick on feminist blogs, and doubt I won't be again. Witness, this time, the male supremacist mental meanderings of David. But another fellow named Andrew weighs in also. And of course I do too. Because I'm entitled to. And because white men who are jerks on feminist blogs piss me off a lot and I choose to respond to them there, probably too much!

To David: I welcome you to respond to this here, at my blog.
__________________________

David

Hi. I’m male, white, privileged (I went to university and have a well-paid job), I’m more right wing than left wing. [And more white het male supremacist than not.]

And I am bloody furious about how women are treated in our culture. [Good. As it should be. But he gets no bonus points for stating it.]

[Edited for irrelevancy.]

Women are different from men, just as black people are different from white (especially where I’m from: South Africa). [The Authority has spoken. Or, well, begun to speak... don't get David started!]

Differences are cool. [Unless you're cattle-carred into a gas chamber because of them. Unless you're gang raped because of them. Unless you're lynched because of them. Unless your land is stolen from you and you're poisoned by treated uranium because of them. Unless you're queer-bashed because of them. But, yeah, they're "cool".] I don’t have to “see” you as a “white male like me” to treat you with respect, to treat you as an equal. [That remains to be seen.] Of course, I do have the advantage of having grown up in a very mixed environment, having friends of both genders and many skin colours and languages. [Yeah well. It doesn't show.]

Please, don’t be so dismissive towards women who are women. [She doesn't. He's totally misunderstanding her post.] That’s actually just reinforcing male privilege. [He has the audacity to say this to a radical feminist! I'm not saying I'm incapable of doing a lot of what he does here. I'm just as annoyed with myself when I do it.]




  • If my girlfriend expects me to “act like a man,” would she be asserting “female privilege?” [The classic "hypothetical question so as not to deal with the reality of what it means to be a dood asking annoying hypothetical questions on a feminist blog.]

    If your response is that she is buying into patriarchy, the only suitable escape from such becomes perfect androgyny. [Dood Knows Best.] That is, there is no male, no female, and thus no male or female characteristics. [Dood needs to explain stuff feminists know better than dood.]
    Otherwise, I fail to see how a world of men and women could exist when neither look, nor act, like men and women. [Dood fails to see how the world of male supremacist privileges entitles him to write this. Or to comprehend anything beyond dood's perspective.]

    [Andrew is asked by a woman if he knows what male privilege is, misunderstanding this as a cue to blather on further, rather than to maybe check his male privilege at the feminist blog's gate.]




  • Privilege is power one group has that another group does not, based on an arbitrary trait. Hence, the only way to eliminate privilege (hierarchy) is to eliminate the appearance of such traits. [Dood is clueless, pretending to have a clue. He's using academic eurocentric whitehetboy 'logic'. Which explains why it makes no sense at all.] In the feminist paradigm, [which feminist paradigm?] these traits would be those that either “men” or “women” exclusively possess. Their elimination would, thus, result in an androgynous society. [The use of 'thus' is often a dead give-away that you're in the presence of academic eurocentric whiteboy [il]logic.]



  • @David & Andrew
    Please keep in mind that “difference” in white supremacist capitalist patriarchies is code for “social-political hierarchies”. As C. A. MacKinnon notes, seemingly biological difference is expressed socially dominance, conversationally masquerading in liberal societies as “not all people are alike”.

    We’re all individually different, we are culturally different, and we are regionally different. Also due to age, ability, and many other factors only some of which get statused and stigmatised.

    There’s far more difference among het white men, than there is between some men and women. So why aren’t those het white men considered categorically “different” from the het white men they are different from?

    “Difference” is deeply political. Particularly and brutally in the middle of the last century there was this idea, called an Aryan Race, that was allegedly based on physical differences. Blond hair, blue eyes, and pale-as-death skin tones do exist.

    But it’s not a different race, except when it is made to be one.

    Why aren’t people with red hair and pale skin with freckles considered to be a different race? Those are physical differences, right?

    [Edited]

    The categories of difference are arbitrary, and they are enforced with ideologies that are infused into institutions, and ideas that manifest as social and cultural practices. I hope you got it when reading their [the women's] replies, because if you only get it by reading this, that’s another form of your male supremacist privilege at work.



  • I found that comment about blue eyes, blond hair, and pale as death skin amusing – I fit that description. [Why am I not surprised! He's a white South African, after all.] I also have my hair shaved short – because it’s comfortable. [And because he's a dood, who can shave his head and not be beat up for being misperceived as a dyke.] I’ve had some people assume I’m some sort of Nazi, as a result. [Poor dear; life is truly rough for those who choose to look like neo-Nazi skinheads.] I had a black guy kneeing me in the back on a bus recently, solely for my appearance. [Now THAT'S injustice! How outrageous! Sue him! Reverse racism!!!!] I was the only white guy there. [Code for "I lived to tell this tale. I could have been KILLED. Feel sorry for me."] I responded by getting up and moving to another seat. [Wow. Rosa Parks LIVES.]

    I’ve also had genuine white racists assume I was on “their side” (even before shaving my hair), solely for my appearance. [Well, maybe. Or perhaps an arrogant white male supremacist vibe.] When they found out that I couldn’t stomach them, I was a “race traitor”. [Get out the violins. The song "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen" was a song clearly inspired by the plight of being a blond, blue-eyed white het dood.]

    Don’t assume that a white het male is automatically top of the pile. [Because of dood's experience on the bus?!] Or that he is the enemy. [Well, dood isn't finished yet. The jury is still out.] We are just people, too. [How many fucking times do white het doods have to say this? As if the entirety of Western Savage Civilisation isn't organised around that very principle! Doods: it's not your humanity that's being questioned--the problem is you all questioning the humanity of everyone else and making sure your entitlements to do so are protected.]

    Now, I stated where I’m from, etc., so that any bias which I may have would be obvious. [Not quite. You haven't owned your het privileges. And you clearly don't know the ways in which your statements play out in typically liberal white het male supremacist ways.] That’s all. [That's never all. Just note where we are in his 'blog comment'. As the feminist blogger notes, his reply is far longer than her initial post!]

    I’m aware of my privilege. [Well, you're aware you have some, not how you exercise it on feminist blogs.] Even though white males are heavily biased against in terms of hiring in South Africa these days [oh no he didn't... oh yes he did. We need a cello section now, and maybe some violas], I still have a chance, thanks to my university degree, that is completely denied to many of my compatriots. ["Compatriots"? Doesn't he mean "Mein Aryan Bruders"? No, he's giving a nod to the darkies--they face discrimination too... "too". Ahem. As if whiteyboy knows the first thing about systemic discrimination. A knee in the seat-back, it isn't. Affirmative action, it isn't.]

    I do not believe that that is right. I am simply stating the facts. [That's not all he's doing, but he can pretend it is.] I know that I have gender privilege too [Wow. Really? Get him one of them Vancouver Gold Medals... but we better make it white gold]: if I take my shirt off, no-one is going to call me slut. [And that, folks, is reasonably representative of women's subordination and lack of privileges relative to men. Not being able to show your breasts in public. Never mind that I know plenty of women who haven't worn shirts and haven't been called sl*t for it. It's usually the TYPE of top, the type of skirt; the type of dress, the type of attitude; the type of disposition; the wish to end the date early; the fact of having a male friend and a boyfriend; the lack of joyful glee expressed when strange men call out to you to have a fuck--that's the stuff that often gets women called one of those misogynist terms.] If a woman does so, many will label her. [If a woman isn't considered elderly, and simultaneously breathes and has a pulse, there will be men who call her a sl*t.] I do not believe that that is right. [No. That's not right.] I am simply stating the facts. [As if that's ever what any man EVER does!] I am aware of my privilege [no, you're not], thank you very much [I'm not praising you, so hold off on the thank yous], and I am not automatically an enemy just because of that. [No, you're positioned as the enemy structurally, and act like a non-ally by exercising your entitlements to be patronising and obnoxious on feminist blogs. You often have to "do" something, like claim you're only stating the facts.] I have no desire to maintain the status quo, okay? [Except by doing so, on a feminist blog--quite defensively too, I might add.]

    I am a zoologist by training [So what? Are we about to discuss marsupials?], and a keen amateur reader of history. ["Keen" is a strong word, not necessarily applicable here.] I state that the differences between our biological genders [a contradiction in terms, but whatever: was it a zoology book or a history book that taught him that gender is biological?] (which are pretty fixed, btw, [or not--neither hormones, genes, physiologies, nor genital formations are fixed] or there wouldn’t be billions of us running around) [more academic eurocentric whiteboy illogic], are biologically determined. [Or not. What about AIS? What gender or sex is someone with significant AIS? What about intersexed people?] The differences between our social genders [aka, gender], on the other hand, are not biologically determined. [Really? I'm sure the women at that blog didn't ever get that memo.] Doh! I was aware of that, before it was pointed out. [Would someone please fetch another medal for His Royal Master of Knowledge.]


    Women have clits. [Unless they don't. Women who have had them removed don't have them. And some intersex women don't have them. Some women have small penises. Some trans women have a full set of male genitalia.] Guys have penises. [Unless they are transwomen, post-surgically, and the ding dong is dead.] That is biology. [Thank you, sir. Is the lesson over yet? I've got social reality to get back to.] Women have better endurance, [All women? Then why wouldn't men let women run the marathon in the Olympics until the 1980s?] and guys larger VO2 max. [I don't even want to know! Dood is showing off his biology-knowledge. Too bad he's so wrong about it all, eh?] That is biology. [No, THAT is patronising.] Saying that there are no male and female characteristics is frankly ridiculous. [The Dood Has Spoken! Let know one challenge dood's truth claim! Because if you do, you're being "frankly ridiculous".] Gender dimorphism and differences in behaviour are common in the animal kingdom. [As is flying with feathered wings, having gills, having a pouch for a premature baby to hang out in, and slithering. So fucking what? He means 'sexual dimorphism', btw. And it's not as dimorphic as he'd like to believe.]

    What would be more accurate [okay, listen up ladies! He's correcting himself, so this version must be infallible truth... one of dood's versions of shit has to be, right?], is to say [in third person, as doods are so fond of stating their own fucked up ideas as if they are not their own biased ideas]: there is VERY LITTLE difference and considerable overlap between the genders in species Homo sapiens sapiens. [Ooooh. Get this boy a Nobel Prize for Science, and make that white gold too, if you can.] This is a situation characteristic of species with social equality or near equality. [Which isn't the case among humans, in case white het boy hasn't noticed. Oh, right, he hasn't, due to his privileged position that allows him to not know much about anything at all!]

    In other words [oh dear, we need to hear yet another version??], our current situation of extreme inequalities is not in accordance with our biology as a species. [More logic. I tell you: those academic whiteboys are amazing at making it look completely illogical. Our "biology" doesn't determine anything, dood. So oppression neither is, nor is not, in accordance with our biology.] Something is deeply wrong with many of our societies. [Hold on, WHAT now???? We got problems??? Fuck. And I thought this was utopia.] There is nothing wrong with our biology [well, tell that to the butchers who go at intersex babies], and any real differences between the average man and the average woman. [Dood. What the fuck ARE you talking about? The socialised differences? The "biological ones" that really aren't that dimorphic?]

    Muscle mass? Guys biologically have the potential [some guys, maybe, have more muscle mass than other guys, and more than some women: so what? Have you seen lots of vegan white guys? Are we the gender assigned to use our brute strength to carry children or buckets of water for miles? Oh, no--that's hard labor, and that's women's work] for somewhat greater muscle mass, [with all these qualifiers, he's not really saying very much, is he? But he sure is using a lot of words to say nothing much] but the present disparity is largely a result of socialisation. [For this I've read all the rest? For this??? I want my money back! Dood loves to witness himself pontificate, doesn't he?] Differences in occupations, pay structures, percentage below poverty line, clothing restrictions? Absolutely, without a doubt, socialisation. [Absolutely? Academic doods GAZZ over that word. Doods love them absolutes. Love 'em. Too bad society won't let academic doods marry 'em.] Can you lay the blame for these disparities on all males, at all times? [Only the ones that are caused by males, all the fucking time.] That would be unfair, which would make you hypocrites. [More academic boy-logic. Gotta love it. No, wait. I don't! HURRAY!]

    What I was saying earlier [meaning in the last months of 2009, when dood began this comment?] is that Nine Deuce’s page about herself gives an impression that she is a man in a woman’s body. [That's dood's absolute conclusion. I don't know how to break it to him that he's not paying attention to what she's saying.] Dangerous statement to make. [Dangerous? Doods love throwing around that term. And "attack". Doods love misusing that one too. In what sense, "dangerous"? Does writing that on a blog cause landslides? Internal bleeding? Hangnails?] She feels that the only way to be treated right is to deny her identity as a woman, and identify as a man. [Um, dood, read more carefully and pontificate less. That's how to be something that might resemble an ally.] In the present environment, there is truth to that, but it is NOT an ideal to aim at. [Dood has to set the implicitly ignorant--and dangerous--women straight! Thank whitemaleskygod for dood! Why, whatever would we do without him?] We shan’t [oh, dear: "shan't" drips with condescension. What a mess. Could someone get me one of them quicker picker upper paper towels, please?] correct our flawed societies by attempting to squash biological difference. We shall correct them by openly examining WHY men have privilege. [Is someone carving this CRAP into stone. The Dood Has Spoken!]

    If behavioural and social status differences between men and women are exclusively socially mediated, then male privilege is not determined by biological gender, but rather by social gender (which is not the same thing, please read regarding the Law of Lek in Albania or the six genders of the Balinese). See, I am aware of such issues. [And what, so you deserve an award?]

    By this very line of argument, Nine Deuce [the feminist blog's host] does possess male privilege, by acting male. [...so declares the boy, in a thoroughly male supremacist way.] Before you shoot me for this comment [right, as if WOMEN shoot MEN, as if WOMEN "attack" MEN, as if WOMEN DO TO MEN ANYTHING REMOTELY AS GROTESQUELY DEGRADING AND VIOLENT TO WHAT MEN DO TO WOMEN; this is men's conceit: that women actually do these things, systematically, as much, or at all], read on. Hopefully, you’ll see what I mean by saying that male privilege has become entrenched through something other than the physical shape of our genitalia (there is a correlative link, not a causal one). [Yes, Professor David Dickhead. My pencil is sharpened and poised at the top of the page, to take copious notes from you about radical feminist theory developed before you were born.]

    I also find it instructive, the comment that says: “you have already lost this debate”. [So fucking what? You apparently don't find it instructive when a woman points out to you what a male supremacist condescending jerk you can be online. You are, apparently, utterly clueless about your own male privileges and entitlements and how they play out obnoxiously on a feminist's blog.]

    That is a typically male line. [You mean a male supremacist line? Isn't a human male line more like what some doods leave in the snow, sometimes in scrolly script, spelling their name?] It is also a typically civilised line. [Huh?] I am not debating, nor am I trying to “win”. [No, you're unintentionally trying to come off as a dick and you're succeeding--you're winning at that. Gold medal, dood.] Not against feminists, at any rate. [I believe you. You're just a jerk on a feminist's blogs.]

    My comment was simply [if nauseatingly] intended to convey this: people are different. [Wow. AP, Al Jazeera, and CNN: did you catch that?] Those differences should be acknowledged and respected. [You mean among men and among women, right? You mean about there being intersex people, and how there is nothing that all men have in common other than status and social power relative to women? NOT EVEN PENISES.] If I greet a white male friend my age and a middle-aged Xhosa lady in the same way, I am going way off (unless it’s a very neutral “hello, how are you?”). It would be more appropriate and respectful for me to address that lady as “mama”. [Thanks for that lesson in multicultural greetings.] That is a sign of respect, not denigration. [I'll be sure to note that the next time I encounter Xhosa women of a certain age. Now, tell me: do you interrupt and stop men from using terms like b*tch, c*nt, sl*t, and h*e in your presence? Because honestly, that'd be a whole lot more useful to me, here in the West. In terms of advice or counsel or education, I mean. But if I'm in southeast So. Africa soon, I will note that. Meanwhile, do you interrupt and stop me from being misogynists. I would genuinely like to know how you do that, and please do share that here on this blog. Really.] If I give food to the poor, but not to the rich, I am seeing difference, and acting differently towards different people. Is that wrong? [It depends. Are you doing it in a way that is useful to "the poor", or in a way that bolsters your own sense of being a good economically stable white guy? Do you support ending economic systems and policies that make the poor impoverished? Do you care about the poor as people when you're not handing out a sandwich? Do you get how what you're doing is designed to make you look good, and the person you're handing food too look desperate? And anyone who needs food is desperate. And anyone who is hungry will likely take food when it is offered. And that's not unique to poor people, and not all poor people, by dominant white standards, are hungry and in need of food. Some are in need of structural power, and you offering a bit of food doesn't do much to repair that problem. But if you give food to someone who is hungry... cool. I assume you'd do that for anyone who is hungry, including some rich person who is in need of food, right? Like if they were suddenly homeless and without access to their money?]

    Equality without freedom to express difference is dangerous. [You ARE FREE to express difference, including obnoxious views, practically anywhere you want. Women aren't free to express difference--such as a desire to not fuck men, a desire to not have men in their lives AT ALL, without being condemned by men. Women are not free to refuse sex from men throughout their whole lives without risking and likely being raped. That's a verbal difference between men and women. What you're talking about is libertarian CRAP. Equality without systemic protections of that equality, and without feminists and Indigenists defining what "equality" is, is dangerous, and usually white het male supremacist.] Would you forcibly comply women who wear skirts, long hair and make up to conform to your ideal? [As if that's what Nine Deuce has called for. Why don't you show yourself to be different from most men by actually reading and comprehending--or even trying to comprehend--what Nine Deuce wrote?]

    That would simply replace one form of oppression with another, one form of social privilege with another. [No, David. It wouldn't. Nine Deuce calling for that, one woman calling for anything, isn't radically restructuring society in humane or in inhumane ways. And it's not replacing one thing for another, at all, in any way, in any sense. It would be her making one comment, and it's not one she made. So what the fuck are you talking about?]

    And it would destory people’s individuality. [No. It wouldn't. Even if she said it, it wouldn't do that and what you're implying is that what one woman says is equal to cross-cultural, cross-era oppression of women by men. One woman's comment on her own blog--that she didn't even make--isn't comparable even to what you are doing on her blog, as the obnoxious, if well-intended, whiteboy teaching the women a lesson in how to be a better feminist. Do you get that?]

    I am not arguing for the validity of races as absolute categories. They are absurd. [Well, glad to hear that. You sure wouldn't want to come across as a white supremacist. Apparently you are satisfied to come across as a male supremacist, though.]

    Race as a zoological definition refers to adaptations by populations within local areas to specific conditions. Thus, the “Indian” peoples of the Himalayas, such as the Gurkha peoples, are a different race to those living in the coastal plains, such as the Biharis. [You're calling that "zoological"?? That's, um, rather racist and white supremacist of you, dood. And those aren't "RACE" differences; they are regional and ethnic ones.] These races are NOT defined by skin colour alone, nor by facial features. [Nor are they races.] In fact, one couldn’t distinguish them on either of these criteria. Nor are they exclusive categories, but rather simple descriptors of biological difference. [Not exactly. I doubt there is meaningful biological difference there, as there isn't biological difference that is significant enough to warrant any to groups of people being regarded as distinct exclusive "races". Races are determined by political necessity and desire of one group to conquor, rule, control, and destroy another. Nor are women and men exclusive categories, biologically.]

    But as socially relevant entities, races exist – because we have created them. We could easily label those with red hair and freckles as a different race. [I agree with you.] In fact, this remark exposes ignorance. People with those characteristics have faced prejudice, and still do. [Yup. But not the kind and vastness of prejudice that Black people have faced and face, that Indigenous people faced and face, that women as a group faced and face.] What’s more, English supremacists DID label Celtic peoples (where most people fitting this phenotype are found) ["Celtic" doesn't refer to phenotype. It's a reference to a cultural group, the group that speaks Celtic] as a separate race, and practised racism against them. [Even if a "whiter" group identifies itself as superior or dominant, inherently, that doesn't make white Celtic people "phenotypically" different from white Brits. You're using lingo from zoology and applying it to humans, which is kind of fucked up to do, especially when speaking about matters of race. White Jews were not "phenotypically" different than Aryan Germans.]

    The same applies to social gender. It’s also simply a construct. But one that has been used to fuel prejudice
    [Prejudice isn't the word or the issue, and to frame it up that way allows you to claim that someone making a "prejudicial statement" is the same as being genocidal, or a rapist. Systematic subordination is the issue, with race and gender.]

    But it’s not simply that those people with dicks decided to be dominant. [Actually, it kind of is.] Think about it: if it were only the reproductive organs that made men dominant, how the fuck (pardon the pun) did we get it right? [Did we get what right? Fucking? Reproduction? Believe me, many men have gotten that wrong. Men who rape young girls and the elderly get it wrong. That's why human boys and men have to be taught how to "do it". And unfortunately what too many boys and men are taught is how to "do it" using force and manipulation.]

    No, there’s more to it than that. There are patterns of aggressive behaviour in men, desires for dominance, that have led to the patriarchy. Denying those is dangerous. [Denying that those are "natural"? If that's so, why aren't all groups of men dangerous in that way? Not all Indigenous men or non-Indigenous men are sexually aggressive, right? So, again, what are you talking about?]

    Read about hyaenas, a species where females are dominant. [Please stop blurring the lines between fucked up zoological beliefs and fucked up beliefs about humans.] You’ll see that they are dominant because of higher testosterone levels – which leads to aggressive, dominating behaviour. [No. It doesn't. It doesn't at all. What it leads to is a possibility for such behavior. But men with low testosterone are serial rapists, and many high testosterone men, and women, are not.] Deny the reality of hyaenas at your peril! [Why are we even discussing hyenas! Hyenas aren't humans, phenotypically and otherwise.] Deny the reality of testosterone at your peril. [I don't deny the reality of testosterone. I strongly disagree that it causes men to be rapists, or even "aggressive" without analysing what you mean by that; I don't agree testosterone causes men to be sexually aggressive against women, specifically, or sexually aggressive, exactly. Testosterone levels don't determine the degree to which men in any society devalue women in that society; nor does it "teach" men that women ought to be treated and seen as "for men, for forced sex".]

    Also, read about the situation in late Paleolithic, as opposed to the Neolithic, to see what happened as regards gender equality. [Because that has what to do with white het male supremacy now, in South Africa and North America?]

    What you will see is that it was the beginning not only of the patriarchy, [there was just one?] but also of social hierarchies in general. [You get that there's no one theory about this, right? And that you're ignoring a whole lot about the many Indigenous societies that existed and exist to make that statement, right?] It was the beginning of civilisation: a sick and twisted form of social organisation. [That's not definitively the case. If we define civilisation as Derrick Jensen does--a society organised around and requiring the unsustainable maintenance of cities--then your theory doesn't hold much water. I recommend you read Yurugu--linked to at the right of this blog, if you haven't yet, for more on what distinguishes white societies from those they conquered.]

    Btw, labelling me a capitalist is a big mistake. I detest the system, as unfair, abusive, destructive (socially and environmentally) and unsustainable. [I'll stick with labeling you an unconsciously white male supremacist.]

    It has been said that all oppression is oppression, and that is why I wrote what I did. [Huh?]

    Please do not attack men who visit this site so viciously. [You don't get to control how women respond to you on their own blogs. Sorry. And, dood, no one is "attacking" you. So get a clue. Not even me. I may be disrespecting you, but that's not "an attack". Gross sexual assaults and genocidal invasions are "attacks". Someone critiquing you, a white guy, who isn't a guy, isn't an attack.] That we are here in the first place means that we are potential allies. ['Potential' is a strong word. And an often meaningless one.]

    The same applies to feminine women (I shied away from the term initially because I know that it is loaded). [Where does she "attack" feminine women???]

    Oppression does not only happen on gender and race bases. [No shit. You think Nine Deuce doesn't know that? Why are you even bothering to say it?] There is class oppression as well. [Derrr.] At present, the middle class (into which I fall, by definitions of social mobility), is collapsing. [Measuring how? And is this "collapse" causing the poor to be less poor? I doubt it. And even if it did collapse, you'd still have class privilege.] Soon, there will only be a lower class and an obscenely rich upper class. [And men like you, raised in a middle class way, with middle class values and status.]

    That upper class of privileged people (building on a hierarchical situation going back to the Neolithic Revolution), love it when we the oppressed are divided. When we turn on each other, instead of uniting. Divide and conquer. [That's one theory.]

    Please don’t reject anyone who identifies with the oppressed and is genuinely willing to fight oppression (the last is important, because there are plenty of fakers – search “Julius Malema” or “Helen Zille” for great examples from my country). [You haven't demonstrated that you are willing to fight oppression, and coming to a feminist blog and being obnoxiously condescending and arrogant, and white male supremacist, isn't a form of fighting oppression; it's a form of being an oppressor.]

    There is great difference between white het men. [I thought you said there wasn't, earlier?] There is also great difference amongst white het women. [Really?] Don’t reject those who aren’t androgynous enough, as not being true feminists. [And where did she say that?] That would smack of bigotry and prejudice, and loses you potential allies. [What you do here, in this long, long comment, "smacks" of arrogant condescension, and you may lose the capacity to be an ally by behaving that way. I defer to Nine Deuce to make that call.]

    And don’t say that I’m disqualified from fighting for the oppressed by virtue of being (somewhat) privileged. [Don't try and control what women say, please. Doing so is male supremacist, controlling, and dominating.]

    Those in shackles cannot on their own cast them off. [Tell that to all those in shackles who did just that.] They need assist to do so. [As they call for it, welcome it, and define it, not as you do. Did you ask Nine Deuce if she found your comment behaving like an ally to feminists? Why not?] No, that’s not patronising. Read the sentence literally, and it’s abundantly obvious. [It's presumptuous and self-aggrandising. And you're operating out of an oppressive double standard. Why do you demand she read your words so carefully when you obviously don't do the same with her own?]

    [Please reply here @ A Radical Profeminist, David.]

    19 comments:

    David said...

    Hi Julian

    So, you obviously don't accept white het males as people. No, you don't. You see them only as the oppressor.
    And you obviously don't accept women as people either. You see them only as the oppressed.
    I, as a guy, dare not criticise a woman, in your "feminist" world.
    That means we're not equal, and the mechanism of inequality and oppression still exists.
    By the way, that comment on my appearance: it really shows what you're worth.
    Apparently I chose to be born white, male, blond, blue-eyed, and in South Africa.
    Get a grip.

    David

    David said...

    Hi Julian

    White het guys in brutalising others, brutalise themselves.
    Have you never realised that guys being violently depressed, antisocial, suicidal, non-communicative is also a consequence of the patriarchy?
    Do you really believe that the meat grinder doesn't chew everyone up?

    In passing, may I point you to Dietrich Bonhoeffer? Straight white male. Died at the hands of the Nazis. Because he took a stand.

    I prefer red gold. "Blood beats faster in our veins" and that applies no matter who you are...
    Are you surprised I'd quote that lyric? Am I maybe not what you thought?
    Are you wondering now why you classed me as het? Did it ever occur to you that it might be that I fell in love with one person? And that her gender is, well, her gender?

    I repeatedly stated that people have more in common than not. I pointed out over and over that differences do exist, and they're something to celebrate.

    Here's some quotes I've cherry-picked to support my position (but please notice where I cherry-picked from):

    It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
    Maya Angelou

    While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation.
    Maya Angelou

    So as a prelude whites must be made to realise that they are only human, not superior. Same with Blacks. They must be made to realise that they are also human, not inferior.
    Steven Biko

    Racism is a disease in society. We're all equal. I don't care what their colour is, or religion. Just as long as they're human beings they're my buddies.
    Mandawuy Yunupingu

    Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
    Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

    You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.
    Jane Galvin Lewis

    Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.
    Susan B. Anthony

    We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one "less traveled by"—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
    Rachel Carson

    I care about creating an equitable society. And I see feminism that labels people "too feminine" or "too straight" or "too male" or "too white" as part of the same death culture as the patriarchy and white supremacism.

    I'm against that, in WHATEVER shape it comes.

    P.S. I doubt you'll publish this, or if you do it'll be heavily edited. And I'm sad writing this, because we're fighting each other instead of oppression.
    And I wish I hadn't gone off at you as a flawed human being, because I'm supposed to be a Christian.

    And by that I mean follower of a Jewish carpenter rabbi, with a family of believers across the world. Worshipper of God, who is definitely not a white male. Search: Sophia, Julian of Norwich, http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=3513

    I'm sorry, Julian.

    Back to you. What's your take on me now?

    Julian Real said...

    @David,

    So, you obviously don't accept white het males as people. No, you don't. You see them only as the oppressor.

    So how you do explain past posts that deeply regard the work of white het men like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Derrick Jensen, and Robert Jensen?

    How do you explain that I very respectfully engage her with several commenters--white non-gay men all of 'em--here, on this blog?

    How do you explain that I put forth compliments about athletes like Alexandre Bilodeau and Steve Holcomb?

    Do you think there's a difference between "white het males" and white het men who act out white het male supremacist obnoxiousness and privileges, without awareness of or regard for doing either?

    And you obviously don't accept women as people either.

    That's hilarious. You might want to disagree with all the women who comment regularly to this blog. And see what they tell you about your capacity to discern truth from writing.

    You see them only as the oppressed.

    Note my critiques of white people's racism on this blog, and how "people" doesn't mean, here, "men only". Note how I view white women and men of color as positioned structurally in a white male supremacist society to be BOTH oppressive and oppressed, daily.

    And what do you make of my reports on the work of writers and activists--female ones, around the world--none of whom I speak about as only oppressed?

    Have you read anything on this blog at all, or do you just come over to places and misread things and post comments? Because that's all I've seen you do with Nine Deuce and now with me.

    Julian Real said...

    @David, part two

    I, as a guy, dare not criticise a woman, in your "feminist" world.

    My point, and I think it's clear--but let me know--is that you DO get to criticise a woman however you wish to. (And you prove it by doing so!) And my world isn't feminist, it's racist and patriarchal and profoundly heterosexist. There is no feminist world... yet.

    That means we're not equal, and the mechanism of inequality and oppression still exists.

    Are you saying the mechanisms of oppression DON'T still exist? What, then, do you make of the racism in your country and mine? What do you make of the misogyny in your country and mine?

    By the way, that comment on my appearance: it really shows what you're worth.

    So, if I'm hearing you right, people who offer criticisms of people, invalid ones, are worth less than those who don't? Where does that place you, in your own value system?

    Apparently I chose to be born white, male, blond, blue-eyed, and in South Africa.

    Apparently you haven't. But APPARENTLY you DO chose to freely and flagrantly exercise your RIGHTS to be condescending, arrogant, and ignorant, all at once, in comments both to Nine Deuce and to me.

    Get a grip.

    Are you perturbed with me for possibly having a grasp of the ways you act out your white het male supremacist entitlements AND call you out for doing so, publicly?

    Julian Real said...

    Hi David,

    White het guys in brutalising others, brutalise themselves.
    Have you never realised that guys being violently depressed, antisocial, suicidal, non-communicative is also a consequence of the patriarchy?


    Yes. And do you realise that unlike with the very real violence, competitive bullshit, and emotional emptiness that often permeates het male relationships, men-to-men, that women-not-men are encouraged to be critical and abusive to one another FOR the attention and desire of men? (Men are not raised from day one to do this with one another.)

    And unlike among men:
    There are abuses in childhood and adulthood perpetrated by males disproportionately against females, because the girls and women are girls and women--not boys, not men--that generate profound levels of depression in many girls and women?

    And in addition there are the abuses women endure from men in adulthood that also generate intense despondency and depression--intimate violence and subjection that het men do not experience interpersonally with one another, intimately and daily. Including against lesbian women who have brothers, fathers, sons, and other males in their lives.

    And, unlike among het men, and men generally, women--lesbian or not-- are being told by men and by het male dominated society to to focus on everyone but themselves, not never be selfish, to never take what they want if it means disappointing or hurting a man?

    Yes, David. Men hurt and harm and kill men: especially, white het men hurt, harm, and kill white gay men and men--het and gay--of color. In your country and in mine, the history is of white men ruling women and men of color, and ruling white women.

    That harm is institutionalised, not white het male violence against white het men.

    Do you really believe that the meat grinder doesn't chew everyone up?

    That's one of those asocial, ahistorical humans-aren't-part-of-oppressive-social-hierarchies comments that, frankly, pisses me off because it renders invisible exactly what is going down.

    It makes misognist harm invisible--what men do to women because women are women, what het men do to gay men because we're gay men, what white men do to people of color because they are people of color. I hope you see that, David. Honestly.

    In passing, may I point you to Dietrich Bonhoeffer? Straight white male. Died at the hands of the Nazis. Because he took a stand.

    Is this the part where you tell me to watch Schindler's List to prove to me that not all white Nazi Germans were bad people?

    That's disgusting to me, David. Really. As if I've ever said there aren't decent white het men out there.

    To focus on white het male supremacy, and the power, privileges, etc., that white het men have that no other groups have OVER other people, is not to render white het men inhuman.

    You may not have read much on this blog, but on this one and in every radical feminist book I've read cover to cover, white het men are regarded as human, not inhuman. We, in fact, oppose the male supremacist predator-protecting tendency to think of rapists as "monsters".

    Julian Real said...

    I prefer red gold. "Blood beats faster in our veins" and that applies no matter who you are...
    Are you surprised I'd quote that lyric? Am I maybe not what you thought?


    David, I don't know who the fuck you are. I only know what you've done, and I've called you out on it and if you doubt what I've said, I can direct you to people who have experienced what you've done as white male supremacist.

    Are you wondering now why you classed me as het?

    I have categorised your practices on blogs, to date, as alarmingly white het male supremacist.

    Did it ever occur to you that it might be that I fell in love with one person? And that her gender is, well, her gender?

    Nice try. That's heterosexism at work for you. You get to think that. You get to fucking say that kind of bullshit to me, a gay man. Yes, David, of course YOU get to see your sexual choices as individual, personal, particular, unique. Because you're not told your whole fucking life that your desire is sick and deserving of being sent to hell for.

    I repeatedly stated that people have more in common than not. I pointed out over and over that differences do exist, and they're something to celebrate.

    And my response was to state that those differences are largely socially constructed, politically mandated and enforced, brutally.

    Here's some quotes I've cherry-picked to support my position (but please notice where I cherry-picked from):

    I will take note, David. I will.

    It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
    Maya Angelou


    Yes. I agree. And that's a separate point from the one I just made. I hear Maya calling on adults to tell children that the homogeneity that many grow up with isn't all there is, and that there are people outside our world, or people within our world with differences we don't see, that must be valued no more or no less than what we are most familiar and comfortable with. And I fully believe she's saying this in a context of racist patriarchy, where she knows white and male supremacy exist.

    Julian Real said...

    While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation.
    Maya Angelou


    Yup.

    So as a prelude whites must be made to realise that they are only human, not superior. Same with Blacks. They must be made to realise that they are also human, not inferior.
    Steven Biko


    We are made to feel this way about ourselves through institutionalised values and systematised, habituated practices. And you demonstrate some of those, and therefore, when and to the extent you do so, you reinforce white het male supremacy, you don't interrupt or challenge it in your behavior. That's my view. That's my opinion.

    Racism is a disease in society. We're all equal. I don't care what their colour is, or religion. Just as long as they're human beings they're my buddies.
    Mandawuy Yunupingu


    It's kind of fucked up of you to be quoting these people here, on an anti-racist blog as a white guy, to a white guy. I feel you are using the wisdom and insights of these people to mask the fact that you behave as a white het male supremacist, at least in your comments on blogs, if not elsewhere.

    Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
    Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler


    And my radical profeminism offers this radical notion: that no matter where you go, you are not socially unraced and ungendered. And quoting statements from people who have never known the political location you--and I--occupy, isn't making me feel you "get it".

    You don't have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.
    Jane Galvin Lewis


    And where do you see any woman being "anti-male", or me? I guess what I'm asking you, David, is this: why would you feel so inclined to include that quote?

    Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.
    Susan B. Anthony


    Then why won't you publicly acknowledge, and own, that you can be and have been a white het male supremacist? What's your hesitation in owning that, so that you can then be conscious and responsible with that knowledge?

    We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one "less traveled by"—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
    Rachel Carson


    That other choice, from the view and people I value most, is that whites must own and be responsible with our power and privileges, and must, must, must challenge one another to do so.

    And the same holds true among men. We must, must, must challenge each other to stop our violence against women. We must, because we, collectively, don't value women enough to be held accountable by women. I feel personally that I value women in a way that allows me to be accountable to women, and I also disappoint women in my life from time to time, in my stubbornness to "get" that what I'm doing is white male supremacist... not by intention necessarily, although sometimes it is. But to listen to women with the knowledge that women know men better than men know men, in many ways, especially when it comes to how our behaviors are hurtful, harmful, and oppressive to women.

    Julian Real said...

    I care about creating an equitable society. And I see feminism that labels people "too feminine" or "too straight" or "too male" or "too white" as part of the same death culture as the patriarchy and white supremacism.

    Well, I welcome you to examine your own resistance and misunderstandings of what people mean when we state things like that, because I think you, and most white guys, misread and misunderstand what is meant there. I think your white and male privileges allow you to not understand what is being said there, really. I think you don't get it.

    I'm against that, in WHATEVER shape it comes.

    That's liberal bullshit to me, David. And I question whether you are open to understanding why I say that.

    P.S. I doubt you'll publish this, or if you do it'll be heavily edited.

    Nope. Not edited at all.

    And I'm sad writing this, because we're fighting each other instead of oppression.

    I'm not fighting you, David. I'm calling you out on something you've been doing, and continue to do, that you don't and won't own. That doesn't make me your enemy.

    And I wish I hadn't gone off at you as a flawed human being, because I'm supposed to be a Christian.

    And do you understand Jesus to be someone who saw injustice as State power as evil when it is valued over everything else? Do you understand Jesus to be someone who recognised that women in prostitution are human, and that men who abuse and use them are not being humane? And that when men do things that are oppressive, that are being unjust, it must be called out, not coddled?

    And by that I mean follower of a Jewish carpenter rabbi,

    That's different than being a Christian, as I understand the term as Christians use it. So I don't equate valuing a particular teacher, who may or may not have been a rabbi, with "THE Son of God" which is what I understand Christians to believe. And they believe, in my experience, that "Jesus is the one and true way" and they believe that "Jesus was THE ONE SON of God".

    Do you also believe those things, David?

    with a family of believers across the world. Worshipper of God, who is definitely not a white male. Search: Sophia, Julian of Norwich, http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=3513

    I know enough about Christianity for one lifetime, maybe two or three.

    I'm sorry, Julian.

    What, exactly, are you sorry for, David?

    Back to you. What's your take on me now?

    My take is that you're a sincere person who is really caught in some WHM supremacist liberalism and that you can't see it, won't own it, and therefore won't be responsible with it.

    That makes you neither good nor bad, but it makes you human: a white man, and, perhaps, heterosexual--I don't quite get what the hell you were saying about that being attracted to one woman, who has her own gender thing. Gender is social, constructed, and political. So what do you mean there?

    David said...

    Hi Julian

    Hmmm, so you finally see that I might actually be decent. And yes, many of your comments are valid. I haven't read your blog, I am simply responding to what you wrote (as you did to me).
    Also, the whole point that I described myself from the start was to make it obvious any prejudices I might have - from what you've said that wasn't necessary.
    I'm quite prepared to admit that I'm biased. I'm quite prepared to admit that I'm contaminated with WHM thought. But not when you're trying to imply that I'm some kind of Nazi.
    If you searched for that song lyric, you'd get my point better.
    Your comments regarding Christianity are also quite correct, just missing my point: that I'm not Christian Identity or any such.
    As regards my comments that imply that oppression does not exist, what I meant was that we give reality to situations (cf. Victor Frankl's writings), and that to acknowledge the oppressor/oppressed paradigm TOO MUCH is to give it TOO MUCH power.
    I've experienced rape in my past. I refuse to let it become my defining characteristic, even under a seemingly positive label such as 'rape survivor'.
    Yeah, I know, you'll probably have a snide comment about how a WHM would have to suppress such an experience.
    As regards my relationship, let me spell it out more clearly for you - if the person I'm in love with had happened to be male, I'd be considered gay right now.
    But in fact labels such as 'straight' and 'gay' are harmful, in that they box people.
    The comments you make here, and that women make on feminist blogs, DO have power.
    And that could either be liberating power, or it could be an imprisoning power.
    That's why I won't OWN WHM supremacist tendencies. Because I am committed to transforming myself, as well as the system.
    You believe that my words have power, why won't you believe that of your own?
    Or, to put it differently, if I had been what you accused me of being, by now I'd have told you you deserve [insert nasty whm means of oppression]. And I haven't said that, nor will I.
    Oh, and I apologise for the implication you might have read in my zoological statements that I'm advocating eugenics or Dr. Mengele type experiments.
    But you do style yourself as being against ecocide: the main reason that we're destroying nature is because we see ourselves apart from it.
    When you state that we can't learn anything about ourselves from other animals, you reinforce that artificial, destructive separation.
    The Paleolithic Neolithic transition is relevant to us. It happened just yesterday in the history of our species. We can't ignore our history.

    Regards,
    David

    Julian Real said...

    Hi David. Part one of several comments that all go together...

    We're going to have to start with some basis of understanding which I don't feel we have. I don't think you're hearing the main points I'm trying to communicate, and so I'm going to try to be clearer this go round.

    First, please don't respond to me with "you do that too!" or other defensive, obnoxious replies. Please listen carefully to what I'm going to say. Please take time with it, read it twice, and breathe into reactive places to be responsible responsive instead.

    My experience is this: you repeatedly and continually deny the people you are writing to the power to name reality, you speak with privileged authority, you misperceive meanings and attribute intention, you make grand assumptions, and you are willfully not taking in information that could help you recognise this. You employ hypotheticals and other diversionary tactics to avoid dealing with what is.

    I am arguing a point: that there are ways for you to communicate, as a white het-privileged guy (that you want to deny this privilege is a typically het privilege). I am making the case that the way you communicate is "loaded" with power-over tactics that I don't see you recognising and being responsible with.

    You, in my view, repeatedly say you don't wish to be a WHM supremacist, while employing WHM conversational strategies that exercise your WHM supremacist privileges and entitlements--that continually assert and reassert dominance over and control of people who have less structural/institutional power than you, in ways that are effectively silencing or invalidating.

    A very typically white/male/het supremacist strategy for maintaining control is to claim the right to speak as if you're stating Objective Truths, rather than stating their own opinions as a truth as opposed to The Truth.

    Another related oppressive conversational strategy is to restate what someone says, someone with less structural/institutional power than you. You do this with Nine Deuce, with Katlego, and with me. Let's call this "Power to maintain dominance by usurping the power of others to name reality as Truth.

    You make gross assumptions, and move on as if your perspective is Truth. Let's call this "Power to Distort Reality As You Wish".

    You make comparisons across hierarchies, as if "we're all positioned equally". One example: Katlego calls you "European". He establishes himself as having the power to name reality. You must regain dominance and so rather than ask him to explain, or to question him, you simply restate reality denying and rebutting his truth claim. You say "I'm South African". I get, as does Katlego, I'd imagine, that your home country is South Africa. Did it occur to you that that's not what Katlego was saying? Does it occur to you that in denying him, a South African Black man, the right to name reality about you, you assert dominance over him? This is why I call some of what you do "white supremacist". I don't mean you're a Nazi. I mean you are doing things that are oppressive, conversationally, to one man of color in a country with a horrendous history, a recent history, of gross tyranny and control of Black Africans in South Africa.

    Correcting others' supposed (by you) "misperceptions" thereby maintaining the power to name reality as YOURS alone. You don't question your own perceptions, but rather assume you are right and others are mistaken. This is a way to assert dominance.

    Hmmm, so you finally see that I might actually be decent.

    I've never stated my believes about your core being, only about what you do and what that means about what you recognise in yourself. That you take that and distort it into a critique of your being is a way for you to not hear what I'm actually saying, let alone be responsible with it.

    Julian Real said...

    And yes, many of your comments are valid.
    Here you make yourself the authority to tell me what is and is not valid, denying me that power.

    I haven't read your blog, I am simply responding to what you wrote (as you did to me).
    This isn't a fair comparison for one thing. Have I communicated to you on your blog? No. All I had to go on was what you present, and all you present are comments on others' blogs, on the blogs of people over whom you have some or considerable structural/institutional power. You, on the other hand, have PLENTY of my writings to read, to get a sense of where I'm coming from, but didn't take the time to do that. Why? This is an example of being willfully ignorant but going ahead and drawing conclusions anyway.

    Also, the whole point that I described myself from the start was to make it obvious any prejudices I might have - from what you've said that wasn't necessary.
    Here you establish dominance by informing me that what I did was unnecessary. For whom was it unnecessary? Clearly only for you. So does my reality matter as much as yours? What if it was necessary for me to state what I did? Why doesn't THAT matter to you as much as what YOU value as necessary?

    I'm quite prepared to admit that I'm biased. I'm quite prepared to admit that I'm contaminated with WHM thought. But not when you're trying to imply that I'm some kind of Nazi.
    Here I hear you establishing yourself as someone who assumes your interpretations are accurate, rather than one subjective interpretation. Why don't you ask, "Julian, are you saying I'm a Nazi?" rather than assuming that's what I'm saying? I never said you were a Nazi, did I? So what's the conversational function of you making assumptions and them proceeding as your mind couldn't possibly misunderstand what someone is saying?

    If you searched for that song lyric, you'd get my point better.
    Do you assume others should go out of their way for you? Do you assume you can direct people to go seek out information that assists you in making your points? Why didn't you copy and paste the lyric?

    Your comments regarding Christianity are also quite correct
    This is you, once again, rejecting me as having the authority to name without being "approved" by you.

    , just missing my point: that I'm not Christian Identity or any such.
    I don't understand that part of that sentence, grammatically. Can you put that another way?

    As regards my comments that imply that oppression does not exist,
    David, please take responsibility for what you say, not what you imply. You asked this:
    "Do you really believe that the meat grinder doesn't chew everyone up?" Am I wrong to conclude that you think "everyone" is hurt by patriarchy"? That everyone goes through the same meat grinder, and comes out as ground beef? Based on you stating that, I respond by saying "the meat grinder" does not do "the same thing" to everyone, and it is white het men who are in charge of it, who tell it when to grind and how much to grind. That some het white guys fall into the grinder doesn't mean the grinder isn't designed by and for white het men, and it doesn't mean that others suffer in ways white het men don't.

    what I meant
    I'm asking you to take responsibility for what you say, and not qualify it and backpedal with "what I meant was..."

    Julian Real said...

    was that we give reality to situations (cf. Victor Frankl's writings), and that to acknowledge the oppressor/oppressed paradigm TOO MUCH is to give it TOO MUCH power.
    This, for me, is probably one of the most glaring examples of you establishing dominance and power over the person you are engaging with. First, why do you get to speak as "we"? You are you, right? Why don't you speak as you? Do you get the effect of making statements this way, as, opposed, say, to stating "I live with a reality that I consider to be valid for others. I'm going to tell you how I see things, and not assume it appropriate for others who I structurally oppress.

    Do you get the difference? You have the power, structurally, to possess the power to name reality--what it is, what is most valuable, what others should think based on your ways of thinking. You don't "own" that you are in a position of power and authority, structurally, and that due to this position, this "social station" you don't see reality as those you oppress do, and so other people's ways of seeing and thinking are AS VALUABLE as any conclusions you come to. Why do you state things this way, David? How can you tell me, a white gay man, or a white woman, or a Black man, "what we're doing wrong" as if you know? This:

    that to acknowledge the oppressor/oppressed paradigm TOO MUCH is to give it TOO MUCH power.

    is written in the third person. Why? Why don't you state what you believe as yours? Why impose it on everyone as Truth? Can you concede that maybe women of any color, a gay man, and a Black het man, might have things to teach you about reality? That maybe you need to listen, not "proclaim truth"? What you state is, for me, a very, very obnoxiously oppressive way to speak to anyone you structurally oppress. I'm in a better position that you are to know "What's oppressive". You are not structurally positioned to have much of a clue on that, actually. Please be humble with people who you structurally oppress, and stop arm-wrestling with us, as if you have power to maintain. You have the power. You use it well, meaning, oppressively. That's the point I've tried to make many different ways.

    I've experienced rape in my past. I refuse to let it become my defining characteristic, even under a seemingly positive label such as 'rape survivor'.
    Yeah, I know, you'll probably have a snide comment about how a WHM would have to suppress such an experience.


    Due to my past snideness, I'll accept that as a legit concern or expectation. I am always sad when I hear that someone was raped. Always. And you stating that isn't an exception. I'm sorry you were raped. How old were you, and did you know the rapist before the rape?

    My problem here is this way you have of "giving counsel" on how best to be strong, or empowered, or something. You can refuse to let it define you, in large part because white het men are not stigmatised as "the victims". So you have the social room to reject labeling yourself "a victim" or, even, "a survivor". I'm asking you to consider that other people--most people--in the world, are not structurally positioned to reject victimhood, because it happens daily. It doesn't happen to you daily, so you get a breather, right? You get lived space in which not to be victimised. I am victimised by heterosexism EVERY DAY, and you telling me to how to deal with life is offensive to me. I'd rather you ask me how I find my way than assume yourself to be my teacher. You can't teach me about how to be empowered. You can either act oppressively, or act in ways that support others being empowered and having authority. You undermine my abilities to do that in so many ways. And I've experienced you do that with Nine Deuce and Katlego too.

    Julian Real said...

    As regards my relationship, let me spell it out more clearly for you - if the person I'm in love with had happened to be male, I'd be considered gay right now.

    What did you make clearer? David, cut through the abstractions, PLEASE. ARE YOU HETEROSEXUAL? Have you had romantic and sexual publicly known relationships with men, where people who do and don't know you saw that you were in "a gay relationship"? ARE YOU IN A HETEROSEXUAL RELATIONSHIP NOW? If so, unless you "read" socially as "gay", you have heterosexual privileges? Please stop with the hypotheticals. Tell me what IS the case, not what COULD BE the case. What COULD BE the case doesn't determine how society treats you. I was chased and almost beat up, along with my boyfriend, by a truckload of younger white het boys. Were you? Do you know that fear, that terror, experientially? Do you wake up and go to bed every day feeling like the relationship you are in, or were in many times in your life, is "sick" and "evil" BECAUSE of the gender of the person you love? Please answer directly, not evasively with abstractions and "I could be..."


    But in fact labels such as 'straight' and 'gay' are harmful, in that they box people.
    Here you go again, telling the gay boy what's harmful and what's not. Dood. STOP IT. PLEASE. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT'S HARMFUL TO ME, SO PLEASE STOP PRETENDING YOU HAVE THAT INSIGHT. YOU DON'T. I'll tell you this. Please hear it. Gay men and lesbian women naming ourselves can be and often is critically necessary for us to not be harmed more. You may not "get that" or understand it. And that's because of your HET PRIVILEGE to not know why that might be and often is important to queer folks who are lesbian and gay. Stop preaching to me, please. You're not my guru, sage, or prophet, okay?

    Julian Real said...

    The comments you make here, and that women make on feminist blogs, DO have power.
    Here you go again, proclaiming the Truth. Dood. Stop it. Don't tell me about me, what's true about me, what's best for me, etc. Or my work. I never, ever said anyone's writing DOESN'T HAVE POWER, did I? Quote me, please, if I did.

    And that could either be liberating power, or it could be an imprisoning power.
    Please get off the stage and away from the mic. I don't welcome you to preach "how to be a more empowered person" from someone with as much structural power as you possess, and misuse.

    That's why I won't OWN WHM supremacist tendencies. Because I am committed to transforming myself, as well as the system.

    This is you denying me the power to explain something to you. You don't own what you don't want to own, even if you possess it. I'm telling you, that you, as a white het guy, possess certain powers, that are reinforced institutionally in ways they aren't for other people: gay people, women, people of color. You get to believe you can name who you are, because society doesn't do it to you, detrimentally, the way it does to women, to people of color, to gay men. Do you understand that?

    You believe that my words have power, why won't you believe that of your own?
    What are you talking about? Where do I say my words don't have power? They don't have the institutionally backed power YOURS have. THAT'S my point. You are so privileged that you get to deny that reality. Because you have the power to name reality, structurally. YOU have that in a way that Nine Deuce, Katlego, and I don't. I'm not saying ND, K, and I are not empowered. I'm saying our power doesn't have the backing of social institutions the way your power does.

    Julian Real said...

    This is the last in this series of replies to you, David.

    Or, to put it differently, if I had been what you accused me of being,
    Again, you deny me the power to name reality. And you make assumptions. What did I accuse you of? Being white het male supremacist, right? Instead of denying it, please state something like "I don't get how I'm doing that, but I'm open to learning."

    by now I'd have told you you deserve [insert nasty whm means of oppression].
    This is another tactic for denying me my power to name. "If I was what you say I am, I'd have done ..." David, I'm saying you are behaving the way I am stating you're behaving, and you don't need to do ... to prove it. You've already proved it, many times.

    And I haven't said that, nor will I.
    No, you just remind me that you can harm me in that way. Thanks. Got it.

    Oh, and I apologise for the implication you might have read in my zoological statements that I'm advocating eugenics or Dr. Mengele type experiments.
    Thank you. That was confusing and disturbing to me.

    But you do style yourself as being against ecocide: the main reason that we're destroying nature is because we see ourselves apart from it.
    Again with the proclamations of Truth. THIS is what xy and z is happening. David, let me suggest: you don't have a clue. Okay? Your privilege protects you from knowing much about what causes what. Just as mine do. You are such a tiny minority--white het guy--of the world's population. Why do you assume "you've got it all figured out"? Do you get how pretentious and arrogant, how presumptuous you sound? Do you get how you speaking like that disempowers the person (me) you're speaking that way to? It denies me the power to tell YOU what's up from my point of view, and that could be AS LEGIT as what you think. Stop telling me, as my oppressor, "How it is".

    When you state that we can't learn anything about ourselves from other animals, you reinforce that artificial, destructive separation.
    Stop it. Please. Dood, you have no idea what the effect is of saying something like that. And I hope you learn. I was asking you to not compare humans to hyenas in a conversation about human social culture. Whatever our commonalities, hyenas don't create human social culture, right? They don't locate themselves, intellectually and socially, as superior to others, and slaughter them because they believe themselves to be superior, do they? They don't create institutions and structures in which to dominate and oppress other animals, do they?

    The Paleolithic Neolithic transition is relevant to us. It happened just yesterday in the history of our species. We can't ignore our history.

    I'm asking you to admit that you don't know the history of most of humanity. And I'm asking you: when is the last time you had a conversation with a hyena? And what makes you an authority on either, other than your assumptions that you get to be an authority on EVERYTHING? Why are you speaking to me, to Nine Deuce, and to Katlego, as if you have supreme power to name reality and deny that ours is JUST AS TRUTHFUL?

    If Katlego says "You're European" you might ask him how he means that, rather than denying it. If I tell you you're behaving oppressively, you might ask me to explain how, rather than coming back to me with "no I'm not". Get it?

    David said...

    Ah, Julian, I see. If I accept you as an equal, and treat you as one, by acting towards you as you did towards me, then you don't like it.

    All that I've seen from you so far is a refusal to debate honestly, a refusal to accept facts (you would claim them to be opinions or social constructs), and a general insistence that you should be elevated to top dog status by being a victim.

    Sorry. Saying to someone who's mercilessly persecuting you "stop it" doesn't work. You just have to hope that there is someone decent in a position of power.

    In that regard, why did South African history play out the way it did versus US history? Don't, as a white American, assume that you have any right to demonise white South Africans - which you did. When did white Americans hand over power? Oh wait, yes, never. You know perfectly well Obama is just a token.
    Katlego never called me "European" - he implied it. Guess you missed that. And the usage of "European" for white and "African" for black was started by whites - distancing themselves from their homeland and compatriots to identify with their ancestral homeland and other white people overseas. Apartheid was betrayal as much as oppression.
    Point is, when I said what I did, I was claiming a white identity in opposition to that taken by apartheid. You missed that, because you don't know SA history. But did you notice that the comment was aimed at Katlego, not you?

    And here's the two kickers for me: a)you refuse to accept the biological realities that shape us. When I point them out, or at least my take on them, you don't correct me, a zoologist, by pointing to a study that shows I'm dead wrong. You simply talk a load of trash. I quote: "They don't create institutions and structures in which to dominate and oppress other animals, do they?"
    Actually, that's precisely what hyaenas do. Don't take my word for it, look on the Interwebby-thing. There's some information there.
    By refusing to acknowledge these realities, you deny yourself the power to change what you can - yeah, yeah, I'm being prescriptive again. So are you, brother. All the time. And most of those prescriptions are "don't prescribe". Go look up what I'm saying. If what I have to say holds water, then...
    I've checked out some of your factual statements (such few as there are, most of your spew is ideological and therefore strictly a matter of opinion). For example, you dodged my comments about how our attitude towards other species is causing ecocide. You don't like being called oppressor, do you? Dodge all you like brother, that label hangs around the necks of almost every human alive today.

    b) You claim, repeatedly, that there are no significant biological differences between men and women.
    So how can you be so confident that you're gay? Could it be that you're discriminating on the basis of something that doesn't exist?
    Try to be fair: I never hated on you for your orientation, did I?

    I'm not going to explain Christian Identity to you. If you haven't heard of it, I'm glad. It's disgusting.

    But I identify as Christian, and I won't back down from that. And don't say Christians haven't been persecuted. We still are, in many places.

    Why was it so offensive that I used other people's words? If I used whm words, I'm reinforcing "our" ideology. If I use non-whm, then I'm - hmmm, doing the same (according to you). I'm just wrong, unless I say I was wrong (oh, logic!)

    Julian: you're human. You're not infallible. In an honest debate, we'd both be conceding some points.

    Julian Real said...

    David, go away. You're boring.

    David said...

    Hmmm, meaning you can't answer me?
    I am leaving, but I leave you with two thoughts:
    a) you aren't in a relationship with a woman, so I don't see how you can claim to have the slightest understanding of women (I ask my girlfriend her thoughts, opinions, desires etc.)
    b) you will (if you haven't already) come up against the cold hard reality that feminism has morphed from something essential into something despicable.
    You're only able to do what you do because you live in a stable world, and that stability was hard won by much better men and women than you. When you knock 85% of men as rapists, and dismiss women as victims, you're showing incredible disrespect for the decent people in the world.
    If you don't give respect, you won't get it.

    Julian Real said...

    I don't need or want your respect, David.

    In my view, you've not answered any questions I've asked, you've misstated most of what I've written, and you just fucking don't get it. And that's your privilege, right, entitlement, and status showing--you don't have to get it.

    Fine.

    Leave me be. We're not, as you say, "communicating" and I've got better stuff to do with my time than engage in fucked up conversation with some uberprivileged white het dood who can't see his oppressive ways through his privileged lens.

    And what you say about feminism... dood, you're so fucked up on that one. I am in contact with feminist activists (not only or primarily writers) across the globe, the one's fighting real atrocities--in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in So. Asia, in Central America, in Northern and Western Europe, in North America, in Australia, and in a few countries in Africa, including "yours".

    You've been wrong about virtually all of your assumptions stated as fact, which, again, is your right and privilege to do, starting with "you obviously don't accept white het males as people". Who have I been trying to communicate with, a hyena? And that I only see women as victims. You obviously never learned to read or comprehend what people say. Too bad for you, I guess.

    Don't you know many gay men have much more honest relationships with het women than many het men do? So, um, you might find out more from me about what het women REALLY think and feel about the likes of YOU, because I've been listening to what het women don't tell their boyfriends and husbands, about how fucking sexist, racist, and dense they are, for 25 years. Get it?

    And, all my closest friends are women. Those are "relationships"--just ask a hyena.

    Do do your important zoology work, whitehetboy who is human. You seem deeply committed to being dense as a brick. And leave me be, if all you're here to do is be a brickbrain, and a het white supremacist dickhead.

    Any further comments from you designed to be prickish, won't be published here.