[My main Tumblr can be found over at myasphyxiatedmind]
If you want your ask replied to privately, just put '****' before you start typing.
My name is: Michelle, but most people call me Dark online.
My gender-pronouns are: They/them/their.
I am: 27 years old, a feminist, an atheist, an omnivore, and an ISFJ.
The Feminist: Intersectional, body positive, pro-choice, and sex positive.
My privileged identities include: Female assigned at birth (FAAB trans* privilege), white, able-bodied, allistic (?), dyadic, monogamous.
My non-privileged/oppressed identities include: Gender-fluid, fat, gray-a, neuroatypical, and gay.
I have: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dermatophagia, and Dermatillomania.
I like: Pets & animals, animal welfare, pet care & pet care education, ~*SCIENCE!*~, anatomy & physiology, roleplaying, anime/manga, computer & video games, rock & metal music.
I think the part of Tumblr that makes me the most tired is the party line of:
“We found this person saying/doing a problematic thing(s) and now no one is allowed to like anything that they have ever said or done, because this happened, and now everyone’s previous experiences with this person’s work are invalid and/or must be disavowed”.
This creeps me out for a wide variety of reasons.
Like let’s say a sad queer kid gets really into a certain writer in high school—idk who to pick, let’s pick Hemingway, because I’m tired.
So this sad queer kid gets super into Hemingway and it helps him survive high school, right?
And then years later this kid reads A Moveable Feast, which is Hemingway’s memoir, and discovers that Ernest Hemingway was a grade A total complete absolute homophobe who destroyed his own relationship with Gertrude Stein by reacting shittily when she explained she was a lesbian.
So there are a few ways we can go with this, right.
We can accept that Hemingway is flawed and complicated, or we can make this kid feel shitty about ever having been into Hemingway and invalidate his queerness by suggesting that the only possible way to be still into Hemingway is through some measure of internalized homophobia.
THIS IS NOT A GOOD WAY TO MODEL SURVIVAL STRATEGIES OR MENTAL HEALTH.
This is a good way to hate yourself!
We are living in hell world, ok, to steal a phrase from Mehron, and the idea that we can somehow isolate ourselves in someplace that isn’t hell world is so problematic on so many levels and relies on so many creepy notions of boundaries and purity! Hell world is all around us and inside of us and in order to deal with that we have to engage with it.
Why do you think I like WAUGH? Absolutely NOTHING about Evelyn Waugh’s politics is even a TINY bit redeemable, as far as I’m concerned.
I’m just tired of all the different ways ~young radicals~ have of determining who’s a “real” radical.
And I think that loudly forever disavowing people who fuck up is a way of implicitly saying, “because I never fuck up, because obviously I don’t, because if I ever fucked up why would I suggest that all people who fuck up be forever removed from the near sphere of people we might like or value”.
And I think that helps ~radical communities~ to foster a certain quality of “but we are Good People” which renders everybody impervious to call-outs once they have amassed enough cultural capital by, idk, talking loudly at events about how much they hate [x].
Disavowal is an incomplete strategy.
Anyone who pulls the “you are not a real [insert minority here] if you like [insert problematic thing here]” can go fuck themselves. I am so sick of this bullshit mentality on Tumblr, this shit doesn’t exist anywhere else, where you are only a good social justice advocate/person if you hate every problematic thing. Frankly if you do that, you are left with one boring ass life since you cannot like anything. Everything has some problematic elements to it. Also, what really pisses me off about this whole mindset is it assumes people do not have critical thinking skills. However, I guess one wouldn’t have critical thinking skills if they cannot admit something they like has problems. -shrugs-
This is something that’s been bothering me for a long time, and there are particular factions of Tumblr that do this all the fucking time. It’s quite a bizarre way to look at the world actually, especially when you’re advocating fairness and equality. Like everyone fucks up — every single person — that’s the whole point of social justice. It’s a learning process; it’s calling people out; it’s articulating the nuance and grey area of social interactions; it’s critical thinking that allows you to say “this is what I like and this is what I would change”; it’s the analysis of culture and people. And for all the oft-heard cries about paying more attention to intersectionality, I barely hear anyone talking about the intersection of “fucking up” and “being a decent person who’s learning and improving all the time”. Those categories aren’t mutually exclusive.
I particularly hate when this attitude extends to “if you even reblog from somebody who has done something problematic in the past (whether you were there for the drama shit-storm or not) you are somehow tainted by association”. It’s fucking ridiculous.
And none of this is takes away from the fact there are obviously super fucked up things where such ostracising the problematic is warranted. But too often that perspective is lost.
Anyhoo. That’s my rant for the moment. Here’s a pertinent quote on the topic.
Maybe we’ve missed the way white Americans have been systemically deprived of access and opportunities. Maybe we’ve overlooked all the times whites have been targeted by implicit and explicit race-baiting attacks, whether they’re playing professional sports or seeking elected office. Maybe we didn’t get the memo on the way the legacy of discrimination against white Americans continues to manifest itself in worse outcomes in income, home ownership, health and employment for them, the way white people are told they’re “objectively” ugly, and the disgust so many Americans felt the last time a white person ran for president.
Oh, wait, none of that has happened? So we’re talking about white people being victimized by things like affirmative action, the Smithsonian’s new black museum and scholarships for minorities? In that case, perhaps the study should be renamed, “Whites Have Forgotten What Racial Discrimination Actually Is.”
Pro-tip: white privilege doesn’t mean white people have perfect lives.
It means that white people do not have to deal with institutionalized, systemic racism in addition to their everyday problems. It means institutionalized, systemic racism does not cause white people’s everyday problems.
It means when white people go home and turn on their TVs after a long, hard day at work, they can rest assured knowing that they will not only be guaranteed to see people who look like them on the screen, but they will never have to actively search to find a positive depiction of people who look like them.
It means even when white people buy their groceries with food stamps, they don’t have to worry that they’ll be followed around the supermarket for “no reason.”
You think you have no white privilege because you’re poor? Think again. You think your white privilege disappears because you’re not a cisgendered heterosexual? Think again. You think your white privilege disappears because you’re disabled? Think again.
It means that all problems white people face are not exclusive to white people. People of color face those same problems, too. But in addition to any problem white people face, people of color must also bear the burden of dealing with an entire social, cultural, political, economic climate that works against us each and every single day.
And here’s the thing about the effect of racism on PoC’s everyday lives: it’s not like adding one more little thing. This isn’t simple math. Racism isn’t just a “minus 1” on our radar. It informs, guides, and shapes the way every other problem is handled.
Think about it. When white people are pulled over by the cops, their biggest fear is jail time. When black people are pulled over by the cops, our biggest fear is that they’ll kill us and we won’t even get 30 seconds on the 5:00 news.
The voter purges have resulted in roughly 60% of black voters in that city no longer being registered. That’s 41% of the city’s total votes in 2008. Some perspective on it from reddit user BiscuitCrisps:
You know, back when I lived in a majority-black voter ward, I got purged from the voter rollsevery single year. And every year, I had to trudge back to the registrar of voters, and show them a driver’s license and two months of utility bills to prove that I still lived where I was registered. It’s why I didn’t vote from 1999-2001. I just got sick of re-proving my residence over and over.
My first reaction was: “Fucking incompetent bureaucratic machine”
Then, I moved to a majority-white voter ward … I registeredonce. I haven’t been purged once in the past seven years.
I used to say: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.
I’m now inclined to chalk the purging up to malice.
This whole thing is fucked.
Black, trans, brown, “hispanic sounding names”, etc, are all getting purged. It’s disgusting.
this is fucking scary.