Saturday, September 10, 2011

Liberalism vs. Radicalism: The Invisibilisation of Male Supremacist Power in Liberal Politics, Terminology, and Self-Concepts

image is from here

In this post I will identify distinguishing features of liberal vs. radical points of view on various social justice topics.

First up: “Prostitution”, “Sex Work”, and related terms, experiences, and systems

When I hear liberals discuss prostitution, what I hear most loudly and frequently is a call to advocate for acceptance of prostitutes' rights to sell their bodies for sex to men—or to anyone else. The focus is on the individual in society, not on society's impositions against the individual and the collective. The assumption is that systems of harm and exploitation are a given and that while they are in place, we ought to accept as liberating or a form of freedom the ability of some to sell their bodies for sex to consumers of such “sex”. “Sex” itself isn't especially analysed. Whether men ought to have the right to buy human beings for anything at all—including for sex—is not usually challenged as a “right” that's wrong.

Often enough the gender of the procurers and pimps is erased, rendering prostitution something “some people” do with “other people”. Also not questioned is why it is that “some people” are pimps and procurers, and others are prostitutes and sex workers. I see where the two experiences overlap but not much challenge to why they exist and whose interests and whose power these practices exist to support.

As a radical, my views don't focus on what prostitutes ought to have the freedom to do—other than the freedom to be free from men who sexually abuse other human beings, especially girls and women. I instead focus my attention, analysis, and activism (when opportunities arise for activism to occur) on what anyone ought to have the freedom to not experience: sexual and economic exploitation; sexual abuse including incest, molestation, and rape; harmful impositions of male, white, and Western supremacist values and practices; and the grossest (most invasive and damaging) dimensions of capitalism on classes of human beings.

Starting with the latter, poverty, desperation, and homelessness—each impacted quite significantly by heterosexism, misogyny, and Western white supremacy—are requisite condition for most people engaging in prostitution globally. When I think about and have experienced aspects of the world of sexual exploitation organised into a system of atrocity, I consider whether whole groups of people are more negatively impacted than others, and which groups lead the charge for adoption of methods of making prostitution safer rather than abolishing it as a form of abduction and slavery. If I only listen to the more privileged people (whether class privileged, Western, white, or men) in the system of harm, I might conclude that modifying the system would be a humane course of action. But if I consider how such modifications impact on the less privileged classes and groups of people (such as poor Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous girls and women globally, living inside and outside North America and Europe), such reforms look like cruel dismissals of their experience and suffering.

In any radical form of activism, I believe those who are systematically made to suffer most, to be raped most, to die most, ought to be central in any course of activist action. Given all this, liberal views on prostitution don't hold much water for me, although I don't oppose actions designed to make conditions for anyone, inside or outside systems of sexual exploitation, safer rather than less safe.

A radical feminist position on prostitution interrogates most every aspect of what it means to live in a world where prostitution exists. The most glaring omission in the whiter side of the interrogation has to do with prostitution's relationship to white and Western supremacy, in my experience. But white radical feminists, specifically, bring to the challenge questions about what it means to be human, who decides what “sex” is, and which groups or classes of people are in charge of any system of exploitation that, in my experience, liberals usually ignore and see as irrelevant.

The term “sex work” makes the whole of the system of atrocity and slavery non-existent or distinct as a social-political phenomenon, as if “sex work” can exist independently of sexual slavery. (In the world I see and live in, it cannot and does not.)

Next up: transgender and queer terminology

I find it necessary to discuss this issue here because of my own struggles to understand my own “gendered” experience. Conservative and liberal definitions and concepts flood my social world and shape the names I give myself. With thanks to a radical Lesbian activist, I have been questioning and challenging my own use of the term “intergender” to describe my experiences and feelings. I think the most appropriate challenge to me has been to consider how such a term, or the term, “transgender” impacts those who are most egregiously marginalised and abused by gendered systems of violence. Now, the list of who is harmed by gendered systems of violence is long and may well include just about everyone. But as I see it, there are some groups of people who fare particularly poorly given the status quo, at least the status quo of the West and those groups are, 1. Girls and women, and 2. Lesbians and gay males. Obviously the two groups overlap in the experiences of Lesbian girls and women.

What I've seen happen over the last twenty to thirty years is a systematic marginalisation and stigmatisation in liberal circles of radical Lesbian and radical Gay politics, perspectives, and practices; simultaneously there has been a flourishing of liberal queer and trans politics, perspectives, and practices. Similar to liberal understandings of what prostitution is and exists to do, liberal queer understandings of gender generally ignore or avoid dealing with how and to what degree male and white supremacy are fused to our own personal feelings and understandings of ourselves, including the concepts we use to name what we feel and believe about ourselves. Terms are common now in queer circles that do not make male supremacy, for example, at all visible as an ideology woven into concepts and practices that we may embrace as “liberating”. Just as the term and concept of “sex work” avoids naming the white supremacy, misogyny, and capitalist abuses present in any systematised form of sexual-economic exploitation, terms like “intergender” and “transgender” do the same, quite liberally.

Our feelings and experiences are shaped by the concepts and terms available to us socially. In any given era, only some terms and concepts become socially used, while many others, used before and since, get snuffed out. Such is the case generally with terms used to discuss sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender. None of what is discussed in dominant media places male supremacy or patriarchy near or at the center of discussions about who we are and why we believe what we believe.

What being "Gay" means, as well as what "Lesbian" means, have been scrutinised and critiqued through radical lenses for forty-plus years. To all those who say that trans people are being expected to question things no one else in the LGBTIQA community is made to question, I'll remind you that we ALL have been made to question EVERYTHING, down to our assumptions about the biological (vs. cultural-political) nature of our desires, feelings, and identities. See, for example, Adrienne Rich's writing on Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence.

I'll tangentially mention here that I've seen how this has happened in the movements to end intimate, private, relational sexual violence against women. What used to be a movement to end men's battery of women has been re-termed a “domestic violence project”, thereby invisibilising the brutal male supremacy at work in any gendered dynamics, but especially in heterosexist and misogynist ones.

What do concepts and understandings such as “intergender” and “transgender” tell us about ourselves, our world, and what gender is and does? To me, it makes gender into an entirely social, personal, individual, and biological condition, and it becomes political only when people are organised to prevent some het men's rights from being afforded to other people. “Intergender” and “transgender” pretend that “gender” is a social continuum to be expanded, or a biological binary to be explored and respected, not a hierarchy to be overthrown. I see gender as a profoundly political system that is deeply anti-woman, anti-Lesbian, and anti-gay. How do the discourses and activist developments of the last twenty years dovetail with efforts by feminists to derail and demolish the terrifying train of male supremacy? What I see are largely liberal constructions of self and sexuality that in no way implicate male, white, or wealth supremacy as forces shaping our feelings and understandings, which is also to say our experiences of who we are.

In naming myself “intergender” I was attempting to make a statement about how my whole life's experience is one that is outside what is progressively thought of as a dualistic gender binary. It doesn't “fit” with how I saw myself relative to boys my age, across my childhood and into adolescence. Perhaps the only point of familiarity or commonality with other boys was in recognising that my sexual attraction wasn't to “an opposite sex”, physiologically speaking, although as Andrea Dworkin detailed in her book Woman Hating, such an understanding of sex and gender is already distortive and discriminating in oppressive ways. How does “intergender” and “transgender” support radical efforts to end male supremacy? Does it matter if it doesn't?

I'd say the answer to that is fused to the matter of what we understand to be going on, or going down, all around us and in us. For example, if you don't see prostitution as a system that welds capitalism to white and male supremacy, you might view abolition movements to end all forms of trafficking, buying, renting, and enslaving human beings as irrelevant to your cause and condition. But me being gay means my life is fused to the struggles of all people who want to end the tyranny of heterosexuality and masculinism—of heteropatriarchy to use the term which combines those dehumanising and terrifying realities.

It doesn't surprise me that terms like transgender and sex work will fare better than terms like male supremacy and sexual slavery in a liberal social economy which generally refuses to name the extent to which male and white supremacy and capitalism pollute and infect our lives, robbing us of the hope for a freedom that isn't built on systems that require some of us to be sacrificed.

This isn't to marginalise or silence those of us who use those terms; it is, rather, to call on all of us who want something called “freedom” and “liberation” to evaluate, in hopefully loving community, what the deep political implications are of using those terms to begin with. If liberalism is fused to their usage, how might a radical perspective and practice of naming ourselves shift our terminology towards words that don't deny the realities of male and white supremacist and capitalist terrorism.

For the time being, I will not be using the term "intergender" to describe myself. I will, instead, say that I willfully, actively, and imperfectly refuse to behave and "be" as men would have me behave and be in order to fit in with the boys-to-men of patriarchy. And that an awareness of this need to refuse, for my own survival and for the betterment of girls and women, was in me from an early age. This understanding keeps male supremacy central to my own motivations, sensibilities, and feelings without denying or marginalising any of them.

I hope this opens respectful discussion of these and related issues.


eternalsunshine said...

Ah, interesting post you got there.

Don't know if I have much to add, but all I have to say is that the line between conservatism and liberalism is becoming blurred. Sure, it looks like they are against each other, but they're really not at the same time. The arguments between them are getting old - I mean really, they're both just white supremacist capitalist patriarchal cheerleaders in the end.

At the same time, people who identify as liberals are pretty divided in their views, so liberalism is pretty much one big mess. While there are self-identified liberals who aren't necessarily bad people (for lack of a better word), you also have these liberal hedonists at the same time... or, what Victor Malarek likes to call the "happy hooker gang", and I'd say those people are probably the loudest, unfortunately. And I can see why liberalism is so limited and how it actually provides ammunition for those right-wing fundamentalists.

eternalsunshine said...

Oh, and one more thing. I'm just curious, but how do you yourself respond to people that accuse you of siding with Republicans or the Christian Right movement? Because I'm pretty sure you've gotten that a lot.

Julian Real said...

Hi eternalsunshine,

The main point, which I probably made more clearly in past posts on related topics, is that Liberalism as a humanistic social philosophy, has no means or methods which which to do what it says it most wants to do: create an egalitarian society. It's toolbox is void of anything that could possible accomplish this: it won't even acknowledge the major systems of harm as such!

It generally denies structural political reality. It sees rape as unfortunate, not endemic and necessary to how patriarchy works, for example. It sees a problem called "racism" without, in the West, noting how that is generally if not always "white supremacy" at work.

I could go on and on, and have in past posts. If I were up to the task, I'd link to those here, but the "limits of liberalism" tag does bring up those.

I love what you say about how liberals' points of view and actions, while diverse, often dovetail well--if lethally--with conservative views and actions.

The other "main thing" is that we are living in times of brutal mass murder, and any social perspective which isn't doing a whole lot to advocate stopping these wars (against the Earth, against non-human animals, against women, against people of color, against Lesbians) and practicing peace are, as we say, "part of the problem" and need to get out of the way of those who are fighting tooth and nail to survive and hopefully also thrive.

As is evidenced globally, most folks who are fighting on the front lines will not likely consider themselves "this (liberal), or that (radical)"--in part because they don't speak English) but will instead respond to the conditions facing them/us.

Liberalism obfuscates, rather than clarifies, the challenges facing us. And, as said already, it offers no method or practice for getting us to freedom. White folks saying, "I'm anti-racist" isn't a political practice, after all. Nor is men saying, "Rape is wrong."

The question is: what are whites, en masse, and men, en masse, doing to end those atrocities--and so many others?

Julian Real said...

Hi eternalsunshine,

I only now just saw your question about my viewpoints being confused with those of US Repubs and the Fascist Christian White Right.

There's little chance of that, actually. I critique them regularly, and nothing about my views mirrors or supports theirs. I'm anti-poverty/anti-capitalism, pro-Indigenism, pro-woman, anti-white supremacy, anti-heterosexism: nothing about my views dovetails at all easily with their own pro-poverty/pro-capitalism, pro-patriarchy, pro-white power, pro-het, anti-Indigenism/pro-genocide views.

Julian Real said...

The reason any radical feminist views got confused with the white Christian Republican Right is due to feminists taking on pornography, primarily. Liberals couldn't imagine--and largely still cannot--that there is a political critique of pornography that isn't Right-wing.

Those same prominent feminists were militantly pro-woman, pro-Lesbian, anti-male supremacy, anti-patriarchy, and so it's really stunning to me that anyone mistook them for Right-wingers.

I think also because Andrea Dworkin wrote a brilliant book, Right-wing Women, which Liberals never bothered to read (carefully, or at all), the idea that she was pro-Right came into being and Liberal media exploited it because Liberal media moguls hate radical feminists and their campaigns to curb the gross excesses of rampant white male supremacist power.

No one who has read Dworkin's work would mistake her as being pro-Republican or pro-Right. Or this even more astounding charge: that she's a prude!!! (How Liberals can call her Right-wing, a prude, AND allege she's a writer of pornography--a charge brought to bear on some of her fiction and non-fiction work, which is graphic about men's violence against women so some Liberals think it must be pornography--is a bit beyond me.)

There's a really silly idea among Liberals and Conservatives, and some Radicals too, that if you're against one group, you must be FOR "the other group". In dominant Amerikkkan politics, only Conservatives and Liberals exist. So neo-Nazis are viewed liberally as extremely conservative and Radical Feminists are viewed conservatively as "very liberal".

This also comes about because many white Liberals only consider whites to be feminists. And so they don't bother to read radical feminist writers like Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Patricia Hill Collins. And if any of them did read their work--carefully--they'd not soon conclude those women are Right-wing or Republican!

I've actually had a white Conservative guy, who knows me, think I was, for example, pro-Obama and Liberal to the core, only because he knew I wasn't Conservative!

I clarified to him that the US is incredibly narrow and naive in its understanding of critical viewpoints, political positions, activist campaigns and agendas, and so on. And that Radicalism ISN'T Liberalism OR Conservatism.

He's also Christian and he thought I was Pagan because he knew I'd studied Buddhism. I called him out on making THAT mistake, not that I am anti-Pagan. I'm not agnostic or an "atheist" either, as that term gets used liberally. I hold to some believes in G-d, but not a G-d that can intervene in the nick of time in human affairs, as if such a G-d was a being, a great big person who can act like Superman or some other Superhero--or all the Superheroes put together. I don't believe in a personified god, and so in that sense only I'm not theistic. (And I'm anti-dominant white religions too.)

That guy is a friend of mine. I have some Conservative and Liberal friends. The idea that one cannot be friends with people one strongly disagrees with is something I see a lot, among Radicals, actually! I don't hold to that belief at all. I engaged a Men's Rights guy in the frame of friendship here, on this blog, until he disappeared. He was all about people being able to discuss their differences of opinion. But when I asked him pointed questions, he am-scrayed, to use the pig-latin. I'm still waiting for that white het pro-Conservative guy to show up again.

But anyone who reads our exchanges here wouldn't mistake my viewpoints and objectives and his as at all similar.

Ash said...

Hello, first time commentor. I don't really have much more to add either, but I've come to understand self described liberals as the people who can't see the forest for the trees. They have a lot of nice ideas and most likely have a general understanding of things that are wrong, like racism, and sexism. But try to mention white supremacy, patriarchy and/or capitalism and see how far you get. They like those latter terms because it obscures the root of the problem, and that, in the binaries they produce, one group has power over the other. It's just painfully frustating. I used to consider myself a liberal - I went to high school with a lot of liberal middle class white people - but as soon as I got into more radical work, the liberal label was dropped pretty quickly.

eternalsunshine said...

It's a real pain in the ass having people with the kind of Liberal vs. Conservative mindset. I'd say another big problem with both liberals and conservatives is this black-and-white thinking that most of them seem to have. And that kind of thinking is pretty narrow and not very critical at all.

And wow, I can totally see the differences between the U.S. political landscape and the Canadian one. I hate to sound like I'm bragging, but we're not limited to having to choose between 2 major parties - we have 5 major ones, with 4 out of 5 of them being left on the spectrum. Of course, I can't exactly say the left (which is divided) are perfect or the greatest, but they do have their moments and they really are the lesser evil - considering that the current ruling party, the Conservative Party of Canada, sucks up to people like George W. Bush, and is thinking of defunding Planned Parenthood, but (and get this...) are thinking of decriminalizing prostitution. I would say that our political landscape is somewhat reflected in people's way of thinking, and that Canada's is pretty divided into many groups and is diverse, so we don't necessarily have this strict Liberal vs. Conservative view, unlike the U.S. But yes, at the same time, we still have those few who are actually either militantly liberal (liberal hedonists), or militantly conservative (neo-fascists)... and they can get in the way of decision-making because both are actually quite loud and obnoxious, in spite of being small groups. They especially get in the way of our prostitution debates - and I think you may have been following the Tara-Jean Bedford Case, which I would say is the perfect example of this Liberal vs. Conservative mindset. But thank goodness they actually allowed radical feminists/abolitionists/rape relief groups and formerly prostituted persons (who are against prostitution of course) to speak and surprisingly, the court actually took their points into consideration... and thank goodness the speakers weren't only limited to those White Fascist Evangelical Christian groups and those sexploitation apologists (a.k.a. "the happy hooker gang"). I don't think we'll know the results until late October.

But anyway, I think I remember reading an article that Andrea Dworkin once wrote for The Guardian (?) for the then-up-and-coming 2004 Presidential Elections. I forget the name of the article, but I remember her calling the Republicans "Neo-Fascists", and the Democrats "Neo-Rapists". And no, I certainly do not think she was too far off when she said that - afterall, both are capitalists anyway and it's not like they're really that interested in helping marginalized groups, they're all about self-interest. It's actually quite funny to see how some people like to claim that Jesus would choose the Democrats over the Republicans and vice-versa; but no, I seriously do NOT think he would vote for either one of them.

eternalsunshine said...

But yes, I agree with you that it's not impossible for radicals, liberals, and conservatives to be friends (in a more personal level). I would describe my political leanings as that of radical-socialist and feminist/womanist... but, just like you, I too have quite a mixture of friends, with some of them identifying as liberal, and some as conservative. And some are neither one of them; heck, there are even a few who are pretty apathetic. Of course, if they aren't respectful at all, I wouldn't even bother being friends with them - let alone, if they're one of those militant liberals and militant conservatives. However, I would argue against their political leanings in a more collective, socio-political level than on an individual level because yes, there is a line between attacking someone personally and attacking the actual argument or issue itself. And I believe that there are some instances where you are able to separate the personal from the political - so long as you are aware that your individual choices do not come first, and that they should not override the more collective choices.

Otherwise, I think it's safe to say that radicalism is a mix of both liberalism and conservatism, but a step further than both of them at the same time.

P.S. As for your small bit on your spiritual views on this post and in the one about Jesus (which I read a while back), there's actually a term for it, and it's called pandeism. Because you do believe in a G-d (whatever you may call it), but most certainly not a supernatural interventionist one; but you don't identify as theist, pagan, agnostic, or atheist at the same time. And I think I may have just found myself another fellow pandeist, yay. :)

Julian Real said...

Hi Ash and welcome,

What troubles me a lot is how radical viewpoints and activism don't get to speak to the masses about what's going down, why people are losing their homes, or why some people can never have homes, or why only some people are considered an appropriate class of human beings to be bought and sold for sex(ism), and trafficking.

Even with the internet, there's a glaring lack of radicalism around, especially in political campaigns and actions. And, even when some radicals do something the media won't allow the meaning of their outrage to be heard, understood, and empathised with.

I love what you said about liberals not being able to find the forest for the trees. And conservatives, of course, just want to burn all the trees!

Julian Real said...

Thanks for reminding me of how things are different in Canada, eternalsunshine.

I know things are different in the UK too, even with regard to what "liberal" means. It's difficult to have more international conversation using only these terms, and I'm guilty of that--certainly in this post! That's partly why I try and define the terms as I use them.

As I'm not too familiar with what's going on there, which political parties in Canada are working to abolish trafficking and genocide of First Nations people? Do any of them actually discuss the harms of "patriarchy" or "male supremacy" or "white supremacy" or "colonialism" other than when listening to Indigenist activists and radical feminists?

I'm more concerned with the realities being visible and for masses of people to be organised to end atrocity than I am in what terms people use. These are the terms I've got and was raised with, I suppose.

But I try never to forget something MacKinnon once wrote: that most people in the world who are doing (radical) feminist work don't call themselves (radical) feminists.

Julian Real said...

Here is the Andrea Dworkin writing you mentioned:

Are You Listening, Hillary? President Rape Is Who He Is

And it contains a message from her life partner, John Stoltenberg: if he hasn't yet, I do hope, with her blessings from wherever she is, that he publishes her autobiographical essay that he refers to.

I agree with you 100% on the whole matter of when friendship is possible and impossible with dislike-minded folks. And, I'm glad to know another pandeist, eternalsunshine.

eternalsunshine said...

Thanks a lot for finding that writing piece by Andrea Dworkin, Julian!

As for Indigenous/Aboriginal rights and sex trafficking... so far, it's only the Green Party of Canada that discusses those issues as a party. They recognize sex trafficking/prostitution as a human rights violation and as violence against women and children; they would like buyers to be penalized, but want trafficked-prostituted persons to be protected at the same time. They are also aware that an overwhelming majority of victims are Aboriginal. And they're the only ones meeting with First Nations groups for community projects - not to mention, they and their leader spoke out against the indifference towards Canada's First Nations’ rights during the federal election campaigns (which already ended back in May). It should be interesting to note that their party leader is a woman (albeit, a white woman); her name is Elizabeth May.

But yes, there are some MP's (Members of Parliament; somewhat equivalent to Senators)who do want prostitution abolished without punishing prostituted persons and are thus in favour of the Swedish Model, regardless of what party they belong to. At the same time, there are some who think Netherland's answer to the problem is the solution - which we know was a failure. And of course, there are those few who still hold on to the idea that it's the prostituted person's fault. Other than that, I don't really see the other parties discussing prostitution as a group.

So yes, you can see that Canada is pretty divided on this issue. I would say that our current laws for prostitution are the lesser-evil when compared to the Netherlands Model, but it’s still not very good or very helpful, and it’s very wishy-washy. And it’s because of that we have this “happy hooker gang” lobby wanting prostitution to be legalized. Thankfully, we have many great anti-sexploitation organizations such as EVE Canada and AWAN speaking out.

eternalsunshine said...

Now, as for Elizabeth May, her party is fairly new still, but it took a long time for them to be considered one of the major parties, considering that they started out as one of those fringe groups (we have many of them, believe me). I believe her party only gained more attention in 2007-2008. I guess it’s a good thing that they got added up to the line-up of options for major political parties to choose from, especially when people want more than just one left-wing party to choose from, because the Greens do have some very interesting ideas. And besides, we don’t want any more dwindling of choices due to parties either losing so badly that they get reduced to fringe groups [that happened to the Communist Party of Canada, sadly]... or due to parties losing so badly that they have no choice but to merge with another party [which happened to the right-of-center Progressive Conservatives around the early 90’s, and they had to merge with the ultra-right wing Alliance Party; they are now what we know as the present-day Conservative Party of Canada]. However, the Greens still do not have as much power or influence as the NDP (New Democrat Party), the Liberal Party (a party which has been elected as the leading party so many times until 2005, and who are somewhat similar to the Democrats), the Bloc Quebecois, or the Conservative Party. And mind you, those other major parties are led by white men – well, at least it’s the Conservatives that are at the moment because the Liberals, the NDP’s, and the Blocs all lost their leaders and are all currently looking for new ones (the NDP leader passed away recently, R.I.P.). And no, the Liberals and Blocs didn’t lose their leaders just because Stephen Harper and his Conservatives were elected as the leading party (for the third time... it’s a nightmare); our electoral system isn’t exactly the same as the U.S., it’s like Britain’s. But, I digress. The point is, Elizabeth May’s party is still not taken as seriously as the other 4 main big ones, and in some cases can be considered a borderline fringe group.

As a matter of fact, she wasn’t invited at all to the leaders’ debate back in March for the 2011 Federal Election. They say it’s because her party “wasn’t big enough”, and our Prime Minister Stephen Harper didn’t do a thing about it (ha, not like we can expect anything from him anyway) – but no, I think there was also some hidden sexism behind it, especially when you consider the fact that all 4 debaters (Harper included) were grey-haired, blue-eyed white men. There were people who were pretty upset about her not being included. And it’s just not that, but the media tends to overlook the Greens sometimes so they don’t get as heard as much as the other major political parties do. And although the Greens are more established then they were before 2007-08, they still tend to get overshadowed a lot. But I would say that they are slowly starting to gain more support, especially after the elections in May, even if it’s still not as big as the other major parties.

eternalsunshine said...

And yes, Elizabeth May is a feminist, but I still have yet to see a major political party mention capitalism and patriarchy.

If you want to know which party acknowledges capitalism and patriarchy as problems, it's the Communist Party of Canada... which, as I've already mentioned, has been reduced to one of those fringe groups.

Julian Real said...

Hi eternalsunshine,

Thank you SO MUCH for posting that information and perspective here!!

You're surely welcome about the link to the writing by Andrea. I've done some work with Nikki Craft on maintaining the Dworkin websites so I'd better know how to find something by her if it is online!!!

I am deeply appreciative of having all this info here about what's going on in Canada. It makes the US seem pathetic by comparison.

I just heard Noam Chomsky yesterday on Democracy Now! speak about how completely off-the-wall the Tea Party candidates are here: like that they shouldn't even be taken seriously politically, given their views on important issues like the economy and so on.

In the US things have gotten so severely awful: no elected official or candidate will speak about anything substantively or intelligently: it's only all about getting elected/re-elected and not much more than that. At least Pres. Obama actually dared to speak about the need to "tax the rich"--people earning a million dollars or more annually: that they should pay THE SAME percentage/rate (not more, whitehetmale rich skygod forbid) as the secretaries who work for the super-wealthy men. It's being called "The Buffett Rule" or something like that after Warren Buffett--one of the richest men in the US. He has, very appropriately, called on fellow wealthy people to do their fair share (albeit to support a genocidal/gynocidal capitalist economy and State) by paying more taxes. (Can you even believe this has to be debated and that it is soooooo controversial???) The rich own the media and so will spin this only as "shutting down incentives for the rich to invest more in the economy" even while it's been demonstrated that taxing them fairly won't burden them in the least and their excess wealth doesn't go back into the economy--it is hoarded by them often in bank accounts that are off-shore.

Liberalism here is becoming something many ***hope for***, given the ultra-Conservative move this country has been taking for the last thirty years.

I see that as the effective strategy the neoCons and neoLibs have worked out: to suppress any other perspectives and campaigns in order to make it seem like "if you don't like them, vote for the only other alternative: us!" and so things swing between the two not-so-different groups and have for the last many decades, and centuries, really.

I wish there was a (Radical) Feminist Party, an Indigenist/Aboriginal/First Nations Party, a Communist or at least Socialist Party, and so on.

Please keep me informed via comments or email what's happening there with the Greens.

And, do you know of anyone with AWAN or EVE who might have written material that I could post here to this blog?

And, do YOU have any writings you'd like to post here? Do you know of anyone with similar political views as your own who might? I'd like to have way more radical (feminist/anti-white supremacy/anti-capitalism/anti-heterosexism/pro-Indigenist) women of color's voices here on this blog.

eternalsunshine said...

Hey, sorry it took a little while to respond. I'm really busy these days, but I'll see if I can get into contact with an AWAN representative. And yes, I'll also try to give a few updates on the Greens.

And although it's nowhere near as severely awful here in Canada in comparison to the U.S., with Stephen Harper re-elected (BUT, with a majority this time), we might turn into a mini-U.S. or U.S. 2.0.

In fact, this guy here explains it very well:

With a majority government, it's almost as if Harper can pretty much do whatever the hell he wants and it's pretty dangerous. I guess I wouldn't have minded SO much if it was a minority government for his party, because at least the left can exercise a lot of power in keeping him in check. While the left is still there to keep him in check, they won't have as much power as they do if his party was elected as a minority. And yeah, 60-65% of the country didn't even vote for the Conservatives... so you can see that we really need to get an alternate voting system because first-past-the-post really, really sucks especially when you have a divided left.

As of now, we're all keeping an eye on Stephen Harper.

Now, as for my writings, I'm not too sure if I have anything new to add here (you covered a lot of topics here), but I already have plans to write more topics on racio-misogyny, and I guess what you would call a "fun post" on my problems with sainthood (I used to be Catholic) and Kateri Tekakwitha (not that I hate her, but I have a problem with the Catholic Church holding her up as some kind of model aboriginal woman, which I see as harmful to Indigenous peoples). And whoever comes across it randomly should note that this won't be from a typical, libertarian-hedonistic atheist's perspective. I don't have a problem with people being atheists, I just have a problem with those who think that just because they're not religious, they can disregard certain ethics or anything deemed "religious morality". But for now, you can check out a "fun" little post that I wrote called, "The I.Q. Rant", which I posted on both my main blog at Tumblr, and on my blogspot (my alternate blog): Watch out for a possible part 2 of the rant!

Looks like I might be going on blogspot more often because Tumblr's like a cesspool for extremists on both the right-wing fundamentalist side, and the liberal/libertarian hedonist side.

Julian Real said...

Hey eternalsunshine,

No worries on the delay in responding. And I look forward to any future writings, serious or fun. :)

Here are the links you included, so other folks can get to the info:

And although it's nowhere near as severely awful here in Canada in comparison to the U.S., with Stephen Harper re-elected (BUT, with a majority this time), we might turn into a mini-U.S. or U.S. 2.0.

In fact, this guy here explains it very well:


But for now, you can check out a "fun" little post that I wrote called, "The I.Q. Rant", which I posted on both my main blog at Tumblr, and on my blogspot (my alternate blog): Watch out for a possible part 2 of the rant!

Quirky Kirk said...

"But if I consider how such modifications impact on the less privileged classes and groups of people (such as poor Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous girls and women globally, living inside and outside North America and Europe)"

BTW, these are social constructs.

Julian Real said...

Hi Quirky Kirk,

In response to your comment:

People positioned in various social hierarchies are "social constructs"? Well, yes, in the sense that all articulated social phenomena, including people, are "social constructs" linguistically and mentally. But the inference--correct me if I'm wrong here--is that that's all we/they are: as if the boundaries and names placed around us don't have spiritual life, political weight, and social meaning that shapes the directions and options for millions of very real human beings. If that's what you mean to be implying, please (don't) tell that to the people who are paid less or whose work isn't socially valued by social dominants because of their color and gender.

I'm afraid you've been reading too much really bad post-structuralist theory and not paying enough attention to the suffering and struggle in the actual world.

"Corporate capitalism" and "society" are social constructs too, after all, but they are both used to impoverish and systematically oppress and murder specific groups of people disproportionately--with white rich het men being the most advantaged, protected, empowered, and privileged group.

"Whiteness" is a social construct, among other things, but if Amerikkkan whites feel that the U.S. is getting too Brown and Black, whites seem to behave as if it is more than just a construct, no?