Posts tagged social justice
Posts tagged social justice
For Transgender Youth, a Home on Tumblr
Lucas Fabray was 22 years old when he realized that he was born in the wrong body. It happened at the grocery store. Fabray, who was born and raised as a girl, began looking at the older women around him. “They were casually pushing carts, holding their baskets, sorting coupons … and I realized that I didn’t want to grow old as a woman,” he recently wrote. “It was just then I realized that I wasn’t in the right form, and that I had to do something about that.”
That was in 2002. The internet had already become the predominant research tool for people of Fabray’s generation, but it was, well, limited. Once back at home, Fabray started looking up terms like “transgender,” “female to male,” and “gender identity disorder.” What he found was educational — but foreign. “There were these few guys that were out there that had these sort of super masculine names: Hudson. Alpha Dog,” he recalls. “They were like the forerunners, and they wanted to give back and make some awesome resources. And they’re awesome! But they scared the hell out of me.”
Fabray says that at that age, he wasn’t ready for surgery or hormones — and he wasn’t sure he ever would be. Living as an “alpha dog” seemed almost as alien to him as living out his life as a woman. And yet, 10 years later, the web no longer presents such limited answers. To the contrary, it’s become a place that reflects how complex, fluid, and nuanced we now understand gender to be.
Addressing Internalized Oppression + “Choice”
Many people chose to deny that some, if not most, of our preferences come from culturally established norms, norms that fit social-historical narratives supported by centuries of racism, binarism and misogyny. An example of such, would be the standard that the most beautiful and “pure” of women are light skinned and/or with other typified Anglo-European features.
Addressing how our environment affects our sexuality means confronting and addressing how personal preference may just be a reflection of the larger prejudices in the society. It means sometimes acknowledging that what we want, what we believe and how we interact with others can potentially be reinforcing oppressive attitudes.
To say that all actions and all attitudes are liberating, strongly resembles the genderblind-colorblind arguments proposed by sexist, racist privileged people. They purposely avoid critical analysis in how oppression affects the construction of race, gender and identity politics because it means accepting that societal power dynamics privilege them not to see race or gender, in everything they do and believe.
They can believe all things are liberating towards all people, that the person who rejects this notion is ignorant and narrow-minded. To not accept another person’s “choices”, is to be a moralist (with negative connotation) and nosy. To suggest that even oppressed, under-privileged individuals can internalize racism and sexism, means that we can also be a part of the problem; it means that sometimes under-privileged people will have to look within ourselves to find the prejudices that we should hate. It doesn’t mean that we are the source of the problem, rather, growing up in an oppressive environment makes us the product of it, but we can still be reinforcers.
An example of this type of reinforcement would be intra-racial internalized racism. When a black man tells a black woman that he only dates light-skinned girls, or when a black person tells a black woman that she’s “pretty for a dark girl.” These ideas are still racist, they are supported by white supremacy and when it’s coming from a man, it’s also coming from a place of male entitlement to critique women’s bodies in accordance to the racist-sexist preferences he’s been socialized to have.
Also, cultural power dynamics don’t suddenly change when we enter the bedroom. Sex and sexuality, both how we experience it and how the media encourages us to experience it, can be and still are touched by oppression. A man does not lose male privilege when he’s trying to convince a woman to engage in a fetish he has. His male entitlement is still there, the pressure and socialized tendency for women to please men, service men, do what men want in order to avoid facing male wrath because we ignore them, reject them, “friendzone,” them, is still all there. A woman trying to convince another woman to give in for men may lack the power that a man trying to do it would, (after all, under-privileged groups do not have extensive, collective power to shape and control socio-cultural dynamics), but she is still reasserting that a woman should give into a male fantasy.
No one is perfect, to say that we haven’t all been hurt from oppression would be inaccurate. Even if we admit that we have internalized oppressive values from an oppressive environment, this acknowledgement doesn’t EXCUSE reinforcing those exact values.
The denial that some preferences stem from oppression and not all decisions are empowering, plays into the moral relativism common in fourth wave, (often white), liberal feminists. “All things are right, all things a woman does is right, if it empowers her, it empowers us all!” is what has been communicated to me thus far. The arguments presented fit an almost post-patriarchal narrative. If all things are empowering, then patriarchy surely must no longer exist? This means that no longer are some choices closer to conforming to cultural expectations and normalized stereotypes than others since the source of those stereotypes and expectations no longer exist. All choices are accepted and empowering to all people because all people have been humanized, right?
Obviously, the white, able-bodied, thin, feminine-presenting, conventionally attractive woman is no less a feminist for how she looks, but to say that how she chooses to look empowers all women/women as a class, would be an inaccurate assumption to make. The kinky, female sub deserves equal rights to men and is not a sex object, but what is she communicating to the male doms that interact with her who’ve been raised in a culture that has taught them that male dominance is natural? How does our actions fit within the normalized, sometimes sexualized but always imposed power-dynamic that everything is contextualized in?
Not all actions are “empowering” for women. Feminism is meant to liberate women from sex-role socialization, not encourage the normalization of the stereotypes that follow us wherever we go and the expectations that come along with this. Feminism’s purpose was to liberate women from male oppression, not just empower us and especially not within patriarchy. Smash patriarchy first and then talk about empowerment, empowerment without the sexist conditioning.
Denying that women lose agency in patriarchy isn’t helping us, it’s hurting us because through this, people, primarily men, can continue to deny how us being coerced into the submissive role, from birth, may lead us to have certain preferences. Furthermore, ignoring how women can internalize misogyny then externalize it through how they interact with other men and women, isn’t going to solve anything. People who aren’t privileged, can still be criticized! (gasp). To say that all the choices women make will always be positive, also enforces the sexist stereotype that we are flawless, paragons of virtue and even goes as far as to perpetuate the myth that feminism is all about making women appear to be perfect – that we can do no wrong.
As a non-heterosexual, black woman, I address and critique not only the privileged or privilege deniers, I also address people like me who express views that are heteronormative, patriarchal and white supremacist. I advise other under-privileged people to do the same. It’s important we sharpen our sense to the oppression around us and how it gets inside of our minds.
The other day in one of my history classes, we were talking about the prologue to the civil rights movement of the ’50s, an the ’60s, and my professor pointed out that the movement did not happen spontaneously, all just out of its own. He said that in that at least since the 1920s, and 30s, African Americans had been building up legal arguments against constitutional racism, if not before. For instance, NAACP had been founded in 1901; people like Thurgood Marshall had been putting up legal challenges and advocating on behalf of his community. What he said was this (and I am paraphrasing), before crowd marches occur to bring in sweeping changes, many individuals dedicate decades and lives to lay down the foundations for those changes. Meaningful, lasting social change often requires a lot of patience and time, and it happens when individuals from the community step into professions and institutions from where they can mount legal, rhetorical fights (in terms of education, politics, businesses, etc.).
It got me thinking about a phenomenon that I see fairly often on the internet - for example, when people blog about issues such as racism, sexism, lgbtq, able-ism, they are often accused that they do nothing except rant on the internet, and so are useless. I’ve also been told that theory is useless; afterall, what does it do anyway? But neither the internet, nor the rhetoric found on the internet stays in a vacuum. Enough people read it and move from being defensive to real empathy, and if enough individuals started consciously changing their attitudes towards other individuals of different demographics within their society, if enough people started questioning the status quo, only then can we hope for lasting sweeping changes that we need to see in society. That means that both academia, and everyday people and their experiences, become very important for a dialogue to take place, so we see it implemented in everyday life.
This seems to happen every time some major figure gets into a controversy over racism, sexism, ableism, etc. it’s usually a small group versus a larger fandom or base of supporters to begin with. but eventually a few people suddenly decide that death threats and threats of violence are okay.
So then the community at large decides to piggyback on the malicious actions of a few and they use it as an excuse to write off ALL criticism, most of which is usually legitimate. Most of the energy goes to defend the original offender who is now a victim, and people who try to condemn the threats while simultaneously saying “but it’s still not okay to be racist/sexist/whatever” get attacked anyway.
Besides how incredibly prejudiced it is to deem one or a few people in the group the representative of everyone in it, there’s also the fact that 95% of the time, the people who made the threats were totally anonymous or barely even associated with the minority group in question, if at all. But the blame is always pinned instantly and permanently to the group who dared to speak up for themselves.
Does anyone else notice this? I mean it’s such an obvious diversion from the issue at hand. And also, how the fuck would, for example, a broke ass Black woman who has never ever had the law on her side even once in her life, suddenly feel confident and safe enough to send threats like this? Or a disabled person whose life consists of living from day to day and managing their condition? Or a woman who is a survivor of sexual abuse/rape who struggles just to survive tomorrow? Or a trans* person who could get fired from their job, no questions asked, just for being trans*?
Most of these threats are bullshit. I bet they’re almost all from people in the majority group in question— a few rogue individuals who know exactly how this works, have seen it before, and want to repeat it. It’s a simple formula: make the offender a victim, and all of the problems magically go away. If these threats are legitimate, then it’s always an outlier. But for some reason, most people lack enough nuance to be able to tell an outright threat from a legit criticism, so when people defend their critiques, they get categorized under “creepy person who threatens people online” automatically.
It’s like even a little negative energy directed towards your idol is suddenly HOLY SHIT YOU’RE THE WORST SCUM IN THE WORLD. ALL OF YOU. EVEN IF I DON’T KNOW YOU ALL PERSONALLY NAH I’M NOT MAKING BLANKET STEREOTYPED ASSUMPTIONS. It’s this completely absurd view of the world where if someone does something you like, then they are automatically 100% perfect.
And let’s also remember that when this happens in reverse (people of the majority group threatening people in the minority), no one makes a big deal about it. Or if people in the majority group do, they are totally ignored except by a few people.
If you want to call me that fine. If you think that’s an insult fine.
This is me laughing at you. I’ve faced so much worse than your shitty white opinions.
I face racism, classism, and sexism every second of everyday. So don’t come here telling me that I am wrong about those things. I fucking live them. My parents live them and were alive when black people had to ride the back of the bus and got lynched regularly. My friends live them. And my friends also live through homophobia, trans*phobia, and many other oppressions. I can’t speak for them. But I can make people aware of their struggles. So don’t you dare tell me that these things aren’t problems. Don’t you dare tell me that the word Nigger doesn’t get people killed. Don’t tell me that if people would cooperate with police they wouldn’t get shot. And don’t tell me to be nice after you’ve belittled my lived experiences and insulted me and my intelligence. You are probably white. You are most certainly delusional and buying all the lies of white supremacy. You stay drinking that Kool-Aid, but you can get the fuck off this blog. If you come here with that bullshit we will call you on it. You will get your feelings hurt. And no fucks will be given.
This is not my hobby this is my life. And the lives of the others who moderate this blog. We call it not only like we see it but how we live it. This is how we share our experiences, spread knowledge, and laugh at you ignorant motherfuckers. So stayed pressed haters. Stay fucking pressed.
It’s time to take back the tag. Over the past few weeks, it’s seemed that one of the worst things anyone could ever call you is a “Social Justice Blogger.” We’ve all watched as this good and decent thing has been turned into a slur.
Enough is enough.
When did we start allowing Social Bigot Bloggers to set the tone? To say what is good? What is decent? How did we even get here? We allowed the Social Bigot Blogger community to create ugly where there was none. We allowed them to turn something necessary into something dirty. We allowed them to make calling someone on their bigotry, a punishable offense.
Have you ever looked through the Social Justice, SJ or SJW tags? It’s full of people complaining about people they’ve deemed SJ bloggers. Usually, not people who ARE SJ bloggers, just people who have stood against bigotry and therefore, are one of the “Evil SJ Bloggers.” How on Earth could anyone every have a problem with Social Justice? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. If you area bigot, you are likely to get called on your shit from people in the SJ community. If you are a bigot, you are likely to hate SJ bloggers. If you are a bigot, you are likely to spend your time talking about how much you hate SJ bloggers. Hate is what you do best, after all.
The best thing about the “Anti-SJ” people is that they clearly show themselves to be Social Bigot Bloggers. The next time someone accuses you of being a SJ blogger when you’re not OR uses it as a slur when you are, point to them as a Social Bigot Blogger.
If you post anything that could benefit Social Justice, don’t hesitate to put the SJ tags on your post. We must stop allowing bigots to decide for us. To shame us into NOT working for the betterment of society.
Always remember: The only people who could be anti-social justice are those that benefit from the bigoted status quo.
Why wait til the third date when you can fuck on all three?
hellzzzzzzzzz yessssssssssss ;)
I’d originally intended to present this without commentary. Instead, I would like to say the following:
Guess what? It worked.
How many “They say they want to make thing better but then they send messages telling people to kill themselves” comments have you seen when someone get’s called out? How many times have you seen someone say “I was going to say something but then I saw the kinds of messages the person was getting so I didn’t?” How many times have you heard someone say that they “Hate” Social Justice bloggers because of this very thing?
Congratulations! Those of you who refused to say something, refused to call someone out because you didn’t like how someone ELSE called them out. You have been manipulated by bigots. All because they think “Social Justice” is going to ruin their good time.
These people are sick. Truly sick. There is no excuse for their actions. None the less, when you decided that you would let the racism go, the trans* phobia go, the sexism go, the whatever sick thing go BECAUSE someone sent a message telling someone to commit suicide, you let the bigots win TWICE. You let the people sending the messages win and you let the asshole who needed to be called out in the first place win.
Now that you know, THINK before you refuse to DO.
Side note: Death threats always seem to come from “Anon.” Yet, the “I hate the Social Justice Bloggers” people are SURE that it came from the SJ community. From this point on, I have every reason to believe that anyone who blames an anonymous death threat on the the SJ community is the one actually sending the threat.
You can’t spell consensually without sensually.
submission from taxiarchos
I do believe “Social Justice” was a label folks decided to invent to put words to the phase of their privileged lives when they would have “feelings” about “issues” and decide they were going to speak on them or be about them.
Mostly without any real context or personal experience.
The term “social justice” has now warped into a dog whistle that these people, upset that they’re being called out on their lack of knowledge, context, personal experience, bullshittery, ass hatery and they fact that they actively promote and represent all the -isms they claim to fight, now use to group, dismiss, slander, and smear People of Color, specifically Women of Color who are very vocal about their experiences and refuse to stay silent and agreeing with their asshattery.
When a Black woman is being loud, when we’ve decided that we’re not going to take any shit, that we’re not going to let people speak over us, when we’re not going to let shit pass, when we refuse to allow the perpetuation of stereotypes, racism, erasure, and re-invention of history to go unchecked and to have this behavior dismissed as “children who don’t know”
We become “Social Justice”, we become “Hive Mind”
As talked on by many of us and by me in previous posts
There is nothing they will not do to dismiss, to discredit, to steal, warp, hide, shove under those people and those words that shine the light on the fact that they are indeed false, that they are indeed no ally, that they do indeed not only embody the problem but actively aid to them.
They do no want this.
They are more concerned with tone and connotation than actual issues.
“Don’t say that, it makes me feel bad!”
They always want some someone to be nice to them and hold their hands so they can pretend that they’re learning or that they’re ready to learn when this is usually just another silencing tactic where they will take on for the moment, a listening posture, but are only listening to the “sound” of your words and checking that they are polite.
If you’ll notice, once you’re not “nice” they feel freed enough and given license enough to actively join and promote and participate in the other side, which is more openly, more honestly, and more actively oppressive.
Sandwiched in between these two are the silent majority.
And as said, several time, that silent majority is always in agreement. No, they’re not hurting “actively”, but their silence always gives aid and comfort to the enemy.
It doesn’t matter if we are nice.
It doesn’t matter if we are mean.
It meant nothing that most of the PoC on this planet were minding their business. They still came for us with oppression on the mind.
It doesn’t matter what you do for them, you are no human to them.
One side of the other, the goal is to use you, for either demonization and to actively aid White Supremacy
Or for self-promotion and fortune and feel good points, and so that they can stand at the top of a movement, be supreme over those who have the lived experiences of marginalization and oppression.
When I say to you that true allies are actually few and far between, the truth is even less so.
If you run into a chest beater, who’s got labels and lists of all the things they’ve done and the places they’ve been and they want credit for being near marginalized people, as if human decency should be the greatest getter of social reward
That’s the enemy with a smiley face mask on.
Social Justice is a buzzword.
It is used dismissively at all times, especially if the label is being used towards a Person of Color.
For Whites it seems to signify a phase, a trend, a label to tag into an “about section” that will clearly be forgotten once they’ve logged off or once they’ve achieved the goods of White supremacy in the real world.
When used on PoC, especially, but not limited to Black People of Color, it is the negative bludgeon of hate and ignorance that attempts to dismiss and discredit and dissuade folks from actually showing support or giving aid.
“No, don’t bother with those people. They’re ‘social justice’!”
And the irony of it is, for PoC, this is not a cloak to put on or off.
This shit happens in our lives whether we are on these devices or not. It happens anywhere, any time, it can happen all the time, it can happen every where.
Even if a PoC takes on the trappings of Whiteness, even if they achieve the greatest heights of commercial or social or political success, White people are waiting there to remind you, that you are nothing. And even if they’ve attempted to de-cloak for a while, they must understand their lives and experiences, past and active cannot be left behind and whether they are publically vocal or working behind the scenes with groups or even just teaching their own children or even just continuing to survive there is no phase for us.
As Sidney Poitier said, “I became interested in the Civil Rights struggle out of necessity to survive.”
And this is why we do it.
And this is why they don’t.
The false fools at the end of the day have no real stake. As I said they will quit once they’ve achieved all the benefits and trappings of White Supremacy. Very few either engage after that point or continue to “assist”, if they ever truly did.
They will aid and “struggle” with things that they see are White ID’d movements, but will not help the minority elements within those movements (see various aspects of LGBT movements). They come into the fray when the things they hold dear are at stake, the places they live and the people they know or in this current world
Their healthcare and THEIR unemployment.
They will cease to care and talk on these issues once they’ve got their comfort back.
So to end, what is Social Justice?
A word that has been twisted, as many things are, to mean one thing when used for/against PoC and something else, generally positive, for Whites and their agreeable Allies
Are there actual Allies?
Yes, there are, but in your circles you can count them on your hands. You won’t be getting near ten, I’ll tell you that.
How Can I Really Be an Ally?
Learn, Listen, Aid in Defense. Before trying to jump in somewhere, think about if you know or understand the context. Not just of the conversation, but how whatever is being talked on weighs historically or personally to the people involved. Don’t try to jump in and try to police PoC, we’ll do that between ourselves. We don’t need a White moderator to say good colored bad colored, you win the prize. If a White person is being off the fucking chain and you yourself are armed with context, history, the language and tools to collect, please do so, that is aiding in defense. Be about that shit all the time. Being a true Anti-Racist is being as tireless in your job as the Racists and Supremacists are. If I have to do this shit every day, if you’re a true Anti-racist you’ll be doing it too because you’ll be tirelessly working to shut down the system even THOUGH you are a beneficiary. Does that mean no fun and fandom? No. It’s our lives, it’s your life and it encompasses many things. The only thing moving you to post should not be reactionary, fiery anger over White tears, unless someone has stolen your vial and your secret to eternal youth has been lost forever. Be real.
Like that picture says, it’s not mostly about you fucking up. That can be fixed, the education will happen if you’re willing to take it. Mostly it’s about how you react when you fuck up. And any apologies there after. There have been many examples in recent days, that have honestly shocked me, of fools honestly apologizing. So take that and learn from it too.
If you think you’re deep in some shit, deep in some movement and ya’ll are all about some shit but you look around and it’s just some privileged people going “Yeah, we’re the bomb” and the black and brown and yellow faces aren’t there, but if they are they’re accessories to the fact and rarely get to speak or shine or speak words to power?
You might be involved in that “positive” “Social Justice”. The one that’s positively full of shit.