What happens when you oppress the poor libfems…

In my last post, I gave a brief portrait of what trolling looks like when it comes my way, and how the rules of civility tend to punish activists in favor of trolls. I want to revisit last night’s Facebook incident because it’s still going on. This Facebook page is a well-known radical feminist forum, supposedly, and guess what? I have had dozens of comments dogpiling me, insulting me, putting words in my mouth and basically telling me to shut up.

My offense? Being too aggressive with people of privilege and not being sufficiently inclusive of men. That’s right. Our radfem hub has been infiltrated by libfems. As I mentioned in my last post, my comment is the most liked. Even now, I keep getting likes. So the message is being heard. Unfortunately, only one of my supporters defended me in the comments. The rest were intimidated into silence and watched as I was pilloried.

This was the man -hating, exclusionary, aggressive, jealous, woman shaming comment that started all this:

“With all respect to Emma Watson, I’m not interested in being lectured on feminism by a woman of tremendous economic privilege who makes a large chunk of her fortune catering to the male gaze. If she has found a cause she cares about and manages to do good, that’s commendable. But playing a somewhat feminist fantasy character as a teenager does not make you an expert on feminism and I don’t need feminism explained to me. Thank you.”
Shame on me, obviously. Why, it just might be worse than the SCUM Manifesto. 

Puhleeze.

After this comment, I was told I was trashing Emma’s success, that I was jealous of Emma, that I was a lesbian with hip dysplasia (still can’t figure that one out), was told I was woman-hating, asked for my lady card, and had words put in my mouth and straw men erected against me. One example is that I was being bizarre and illogical for accusing the Harry Potter franchise for catering to the male gaze, which is not what I said at all. I was even told that I was holding women’s rights back, that I need to get a grip and realize that men can be feminists too. My attackers then proceed to read off a list of their personal Nigels that prove how awesome men are. I was even told to stop with the aggression.

That’s right. Feminist was told by other feminists to stop being so angry! Of course! Never heard that before! So original! So effective! Why, that’s how all social justice movements get ahead, by being nice all the time! Tell that to the suffragettes, I think they might have appreciated knowing that if they had just been nicer, they might have avoided all that force feeding and jail and stuff. 

Now that I have tried, and failed, to have an intelligent discussion on Facebook, I want to add a few words I didn’t dare say in that Facebook post. 

I resent celebrity activism, especially celebrity feminism. I resent the cult of the celebrity in our culture. I feel that rather than ooh and ahh over a handful of rich and famous people with spare time and a Twitter account, ordinary people took action on their own behalf. I resent the fact that women like Hillary Clinton with her character, her qualifications, her record of public service are ignored, insulted, slandered, and threatened, and so irrationally hated that millions of people voted for the next Hitler to avoid having her as a leader. Meanwhile women like  Emma Watson, with no such qualifications, are given the limelight and are well received in large part because they are young, conventionally attractive and happen to be famous. I doubt Emma Watson would have received her current distinction otherwise. Even if she had the qualifications, which she doesn’t, it’s unlikely she would have been noticed if she were,say, a middle age butch lesbian. 

Of course there is nothing wrong with Emma genuinely caring, wanting to educate herself, and use her clout to do good. But real, lasting change doesn’t happen as a result of a few high-profile figures. Name one movement that won their battles by employing a handful of movie stars. It doesn’t happen that way. It happens when groups of committed, ordinary people stand up to power or, if they have it, give up their power by, for example, going to jail, taking real risks. 

Also, if you are going to employ a figurehead for a cause, putting someone like Emma Watson is an insult, however well intentioned she may be. The message being sent is that women’s issues aren’t serious enough to warrant a qualified candidate to represent them. A popular 20-something actress will do, especially if she’s cute. I happen to believe that women deserve an advocate that actually a) bears some resemblance to them and how they live, which EW doesn’t and B) has real qualifications for a UN position or any high profile position that affects public policy and people’s lives. 

By the way, that was another attack I was subjected to, that I had no right to criticize Emma’s economic privilege because she worked hard for her success. (Oh, yes, how tired, abused, and downtrodden a life it must be to be paid millions of dollars to play dress up. Yeah, no.) But I digress. 

Lastly, I expect people advocating for me, or for the common good, in public to be accountable, take criticism, and make a reasonable effort to live by their principles. It’s dandy for EW to criticize the sexualization of young girls and to tell her own story of being objectified in this way. But it rings hollow from someone who makes big bucks posing for fashion magazines and who, generally, goes out of her way to perform constructed femininity in her everyday life. Her choice? Yes. A choice that I am obligated to take seriously? Nope.

I have decided not to read any more comments on that Facebook post, not to reply to anything, or spend any more time on that page. With that, I give you my closing thoughts, my last comment on that page:

“She works as a model. She fits conventional ideas of what feminine is. That’s catering to the male gaze. Also, I commended Emma Watson in my comment for trying. And that seems to get ignored. As for aggression…sorry, social movements don’t make progress by, again, going out of our way to not alienate or not be aggressive. What people don’t realize is that to those who are truly opposed to us, the only stance that’s non-alienating and non-aggressive enough to be considered is acquiescence. If not acquiescing in my totally level-headed comments constitutes “aggression,” then so be it. Don’t like it? Don’t read my comments. I’m not in the business of watering down feminist discussion to meaninglessness to make people feel good. Furthermore, I feel that women spend too much time defending their proverbial Nigels than actually serving women. As for my comments about Harry Potter, I didn’t say the Harry Potter franchise catered to the male gaze, nor did I trash her success. I was making the point that being a strong female character in a youth series doesn’t make you an expert on feminism. Tell me what substantive experience Emma Watson has in work or in life that helps women at large? None that I can see other than fame and a profession that places style over substance. I think it would behoove you all to learn to read and to have the integrity to respond to what I actually said instead of putting words in my mouth.”
Waiting to be banned in three…two…one…

Fake Allies: Time to Play Dirty!

I just want to put my head in my hands.

I value civility. I value extending the olive branch and hearing different ideas. But I also value being blunt, being effective, setting boundaries, breaking out of the echo chamber. Well, guess what? I’m just about out of olive branches. I’m about ready to play dirty or not at all.

The first time I tried playing dirty in defense of someone else happened a few years ago. This person banned me because I was building straw men and attacking the people who were spamming her page, attacking her and her supporters. 

This woman, I suppose, doesn’t know what “straw man” means. It’s not a catch-all term for a personal attack. It’s the act of misrepresenting a person’s position to knock it down more easily. And pretty much by definition, it’s almost impossible to build a straw man when the building blocks being used are things that were, you know, ACTUALLY SAID…and not just said, but yelled, cursed, insulted and threatened. By people who had absolutely no business being on that page anyway. But somehow, my pointing that out constituted an attack and a straw man and I was banned. 

It’s happened to me a lot over the years. I’ve been banned from Catholic pages for stating inconvenient facts.

I’ve been relentlessly attacked on Amazon for writing a negative review of Kick Ass from a feminist perspective. As is typical of internet trolls, I was accused of being ugly, fat, and jealous of Hit Girl. 

It happened to me a few years back when I wrote about my anti-healthist beliefs. I was told that I was morally deficit, disgusting, that I was going to die of these awful diseases and that I deserved it.

It happened with Trump’s election. The same people who responded to Obama’s election by hanging black dummies and setting them on fire, who responded to prominent Jewish activists by Photoshopping images of them in ovens, who responded to the prospect of a HRC presidency by building a model of Hillary Clinton’s head on a pike…now they want us to move on, unify, grow up, heal, and stop being so mean and calling them bigots. 

And it happened to me tonight, again on Facebook, on a so-called women’s rights page. I had the nerve to criticize Emma Watson’s celebrity feminism. One woman responded by asking me for my lady card, telling me what I was enabling misogyny and that my comment was woman-hating nonsense. And that I was jealous, a consequence of poor breeding and a lesbian with hip dysplasia.

Nothing was done about this.

How much do you want to bet that of this happens again and I defend myself, I will be banned?

How long will it take for people to learn that being civil in the minds of these people is about shutting up, smiling, and allowing the hostile takeover of our spaces? When will we defend ourselves and our allies as jealously as we defend trolls and interlopers? 

Only time will tell. I’m just not sure there is enough time in all of eternity for these people to get a clue. 

Update: In spite of being trolled, my comment is by far the most “liked” on that comment thread…and the likes are climbing still. 

Immigrants, I’m Sorry…

I’m sorry. 

I didn’t vote for the monster that is our president-elect, but I considered it in the beginning. I quickly decided against that choice.  

Why did I want to vote Trump? I was inspired by Brexit. I was inspired by the rhetoric of people such as Nigel Farage. I don’t like th EU. I support isolationism and national sovereignty. I believe that illegal immigration, and unchecked legal immigration, are real and serious problems. I don’t like the dishonest rhetoric surrounding immigration. I feel that in addition to hurting Americans, our current system endangers immigrants and really only benefits big  business and big politics, who are all too eager to exploit immigrants and native/naturalized Americans.I really just want our borders and immigration laws to mean something and to be applied equitably.

This isn’t a side issue for me either, it’s something about which I am deeply passionate. I used to have no problem with any kind of immigration and a few years ago, I had a shift in perspective. I know all sides all too well.
So why not Trump, champion of “real,” working class Americans and rural folk like me?

Because Trump wasn’t a vote for sensible, legal, bipartisan reform, something that would respect civil and human rights. It was a vote for rank white nationalism, anti-Semitism, every kind of bigotry imaginable, blind hatred and controllable rage.

I am the child of immigrants. I have immigrant friends. I’ve spent my whole life believing in, and promoting, pacifism, cultural exchange, and service to vulnerable populations, including refugees, asylees and political prisoners. Trunp and his supporters don’t stand for any of those qualities and indeed demean and oppose them. 

You will never convince me that there is no room for amnesty. You will never convince me that inhumane amd indefinite detention of immigrants, including women, children, and elderly, is necessary or morally acceptable. You will never convince me that our problems are totally or even primarily the fault of immigrants. The very thought is laughable.

The least prejudiced and dangerous of these people think there should be a quota for members of certain ethnicities and religions (think Muslim registries) or to ban these populations entirely, a proposition that is entirely unAmerican.

It gets worse.

Trump openly promotes torture, warfare, and classic law-n-order police statism. How could I ever, with any conscience, with any integrity, hand over some of society’s most vulnerable people over to a monster? 

Let it be known I will not stand by as people are harassed, endangered or have their rights stripped away. I will stand with you and I will protect you. I will speak truth to would-be exploiters of principles like mine and to those who just won’t see reason. Even if it costs me relationships. 

We were made for these times. Show the world, and your maker, what you are made of. 

Immigration reform still matters very much to me. But it’s far from being my most important concern right now.

And nothing on Earth, in Heaven, or Hell could convince me to elect Trump. The devil can bargain all he wants, you could never put a price on my soul. America’s soul.

My Opinion of Your “Theories” on How We Lost

This summarizes my thoughts on the crap theories as to why we lost…when it’s really very simple. Saw in on Forensic Files, it cracked me up, and if you change some of the words and make it about the election…it’s perfect.

All the commentators blaming Hillary, the DNC, everyone but the voters…they really didn’t theorize shit.

Don’t Ask Me for S***

If I see one more equivocating, rationalizing, *simpering* call for unity on Facebook, I just might scream.

You know what else makes me want to scream? All the panderers trying to mediate, saying, “There, there, both candidates had flaws/were narcissists/not what the people wanted/insert whine here. Both parties are wrong. People are tired of business as usual and we need to change for them.”

Bullshit.

I hate to tell you…but if the people really cared about doing away with business as usual…Trump wouldn’t have won. It absolutely was business as usual, and the people clearly were okay with that.

Think about it. Liberals did what they always do…stomp their feet. Cut off their noses to spite their faces. Meanwhile conservatives did what *they* always do. Hate Clinton. Kiss the ass of the Republican party. Sell their souls to Satan to MAYBE achieve narrow political goals, as evidenced by faith leaders telling congregants that if you don’t vote Trump, you’re voting Hillary, who is pro-abortion (teh worstestest sin ever) and you’re going to hell if she wins. 

If anyone really wanted to protest business as usual, they would have, you know, done something different. Liberals might actually sacrifice something and realize elections aren’t games or statements, they affect real lives. Conservatives might have chosen to speak truth to power rather than worship it, to stop being single-issue voters and get over their grudges.

They didn’t. 

And what does it all come down to?

America handed over the fate of the free world to an ignorant, loose cannon sociopath and gave him nuclear weapons. People voted for Trump. And even larger numbers didn’t vote at all, or couldn’t get over their grudges against Hillary and decided that other people’s survival was an acceptable gamble in service of that grudge. And I find that reprehensible.

I support not voting, doing write-ins, or voting third party under ordinary circumstances, especially during the primaries. I don’t like politics as usual. But there’s a time and place.

November 8th in 2016 was not it.

And now people are complaining that Trump won, many of whom did nothing to prevent it.

Not liking or preferring Hillary is one thing…but outright hating her, especially for reasons that are mostly bogus and often rooted in sexism? Refusing to see her many strengths and good deeds? Honestly not seeing the difference between her and a man who has never done public service, lives a life of vice, and who boasts openly about committing assault, his love of torture and murder, and who plans to restrict the civil liberties of vulnerable Americans?

Okay, go home. Don’t talk to me right now. Stay far away from me.

And don’t ask me for shit. Especially a false unity or false equivalence. You’ll accomplish more pissing in the wind. 

Trump-Inspired Racism: My Deepest Condemnation 

I’m one of those people…I went through a phase where I wanted to support Trump over the issue of immigration. While I am very supportive of legal immigrants, residents, and visitors, I have been a staunch opponent of open borders going on a decade now. I support several organizations that oppose illegal immigration. I realize this probably vastly differs from the views of most of my readership but I wanted to lay it on the table.

That said, I quickly dumped Trump for too many reasons to count, and one of them was his shameful treatment of immigrants, particularly Latin Americans and Muslims. 

Well, apparently, a large minority of Americans were more than happy to jump on Trump’s bandwagon and those that opposed…didn’t oppose loudly enough. 

So I’m going to state loud and clear…these people do not represent me, my values or my agenda.

I guess Trump supporters, on Trump’s very first day, have been emboldened to do the following:

-Threaten Hispanics with deportation and demand to see their green cards

-Tell Hispanics and Muslims that the wolves have tasted blood and now they’re being hunted

-Tell legal citizens and residents to get the f*** out

-Write anti-Semitic graffiti

-Leave threatening messages to black Americans, using racial slurs and pictures depicting acts of lynching

-Physically and sexually assaulting women, referring to women as cunts and telling women they should be afraid 

-White men threatening women and racial minorities that “now Trump is presdent, I can do what I want because I’m white/a man!”

That’s by no means an exhaustive list.

Guess what? I will never enable or promote that kind of gutter filth in my life, online or offline. Anyone who behaves like this or makes excuses for this behavior should be ashamed. I will never accept money or endorsements from these people. I will never endorse excessive, discriminatory, or cruel policies or regimes because of a “crisis” or for any other reason. I will never accept evil means to achieve an end, nor will I be intimidated into doing so.

I quite simply will not be intimidated and I will not allow my friends, nor family, nor supporters, nor worthy opponents to be intimidated. 

Sorry, this immigration reform activist is saying, loud and proud…bigots, you’re fired.

America Sold Its Soul to Satan Today

Reposted from my comment on Purple Sage’s blog:

So against all common sense and decency, against all *pretense* of those traits…Trump became president.

As much as this might surprise people, I have friends and family who are Trump supporters and I don’t hate them, and I’m not mad at them.

No, I’m mad at the American so-called left.

Pandering, useless, no principles or vision, stupid in a way that defies explanation and cowardly to boot.

They should have known what was at stake. They should have known this wasn’t just any election. In a typical Republican vs. Democrat election, I am a strong proponent of not voting, doing a write-in, or voting third-party. But there is a time and place for everything and given the obvious and grave danger Trump poses, this was NOT the time to take a risky protest. But no, they refused to take one for the team and instead whined and stomped their feet, took their ball and went home.

They insisted, dearly wanted to believe, despite every ounce of evidence to the contrary, that Hillary was just as bad as Trump, that they were equal evils. Never mind that Hillary does not brag about committing assault or destroying civilizations, or stalk and harass her opponents. Never mind she has education and experience that puts most people on this planet to shame, even if we don’t like what she did with it…while Trump had nothing. Never mind the good that Hillary did, even if she also did wrong, while Trump contributed absolutely nothing to society. No, somehow, Hillary’s knowledge and experience is comparable, in these people’s minds, to a reality TV show star with a bad case of arrested development and a personality disorder.

Because Bernie! Because OMG Bill Clinton sex scandal! Because Hillary not likeable!

Never mind that Trump had the support of neo-Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists and did nothing to discourage them and, instead, pandered to and enabled them.

Never mind that the majority of Trump’s statements are proven lies.

Never mind that every single living ex-president, including two dedicated Republicans and their wives, voted Hillary and/or begged people not to vote for Trump.

Never mind that leading conservative GOP supporters denounced Trump, left the party, and voted Hillary.

And here is what chills me to the bone as a practicing Catholic: Numerous Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and evangelical leaders thought Trump so vile that they virulently opposed him, publicly compared him to Satan and his supporters to idolaters. They hated Trump so much they voted Hillary, third party, or not at all, and urged their base to do the same. And these weren’t necessarily liberals either. They were men as conservative as Matt Walsh from The Blaze and pastor Max Lucado. And apparently Trump has threatened them for opposing him.

And people refuse to see the sexism of it all. Every time someone criticized Obama they beat the ‘racist’ trope like a drum. But no matter how obviously, violently sexist Trump and his supporters behaved…liberals, especially FEMALE liberals, refused to vote for Hillary, to vote for their own sex and their own interests, refused to do whatever was in their power to make sure Trump never had power over American women.

Then again, what can you expect from a group of people who think Laverne Cox and Brucilla deserved “Woman of the Year?”