When you are hurting, there will always be people who find a way to make it about themselves. If you break your wrist, they’ll complain about a sprained ankle. If you are sad, they’re sadder. If you’re asking for help, they’ll demand more attention.
Here is a fact: I was in a hospital and sobbing into my palms when a woman approached me and asked why I was making so much noise and I managed to stutter that my best friend shot himself in the head and now he was 100% certified dead and she made this little grunt and had the nerve to tell me, “Well now you made me sad.”
When you get angry, there are going to be people who ask you to shut up and sit down, and they’re not going to do it nicely. Theirs are the faces that turn bright red before you have a chance to finish your sentence. They won’t ask you to explain yourself. They’ll be mad that you’re mad and that will be their whole reason alone.
Here is a fact: I was in an alleyway a few weeks ago, stroking my friend’s back as she vomited fourteen tequila shots. “I hate men,” she wheezed as her sides heaved, “I hate all of them.”
I braided her hair so it wouldn’t get caught in the mess. I didn’t correct her and reply that she does in fact love her father and her little brother too, that there are strangers she has yet to meet that will be better for her than any of her shitty ex-boyfriends, that half of our group of friends identifies as male - I could hear each of her bruises in those words and I didn’t ask her to soften the blow when she was trying to buff them out of her skin. She doesn’t hate all men. She never did.
She had the misfortune to be overheard by a drunk guy in an ill-fitting suit, a boy trying to look like a man and leering down my dress as he stormed towards us. “Fuck you, lady,” he said, “Fuck you. Not all men are evil, you know.”
“Thanks,” I told him dryly, pulling on her hand, trying to get her inside again, “See you.”
He followed us. Wouldn’t stop shouting. How dare she get mad. How dare she was hurting. “It’s hard for me too!” he yowled after us. “With fuckers like you, how’s a guy supposed to live?”
Here’s a fact: my father is Cuban and my genes repeat his. Once one of my teachers looked at my heritage and said, “Your skin doesn’t look dirty enough to be a Mexican.”
When my cheeks grew pink and my tongue dried up, someone else in the classroom stood up. “You can’t say that,” he said, “That’s fucking racist. We could report you for that.”
Our teacher turned vicious. “You wanna fail this class? Go ahead. Report me. I was joking. It’s my word against yours. I hate kids like you. You think you’ve got all the power - you don’t. I do.”
Later that kid and I became close friends and we skipped class to do anything else and the two of us were lying on our backs staring up at the sky and as we talked about that moment, he sighed, “I hate white people.” His girlfriend is white and so is his mom. I reached out until my fingers were resting in the warmth of his palm.
He spoke up each time our teacher said something shitty. He failed the class. I stayed silent. I got the A but I wish that I didn’t.
Here is a fact: I think gender is a social construct and people that want to tell others what defines it just haven’t done their homework. I personally happen to have the luck of the draw and am the same gender as my sex, which basically just means society leaves me alone about this one particular thing.
Until I met Alex, who said he hated cis people. My throat closed up. I’m not good at confrontation. I avoided him because I didn’t want to bother him.
One day I was going on a walk and I found him behind our school, bleeding out of the side of his mouth. The only thing I really know is how to patch people up. He winced when the antibacterial cream went across his new wounds. “I hate cis people,” he said weakly.
I looked at him and pushed his hair back from his head. “I understand why you do.”
Here is a fact: anger is a secondary emotion. Anger is how people stop themselves from hurting. Anger is how people stop themselves by empathizing.
It is easy for the drunken man to be mad at my friend. If he says “Hey, fuck you, lady,” he doesn’t have to worry about what’s so wrong about men.
It’s easy for my teacher to fail the kids who speak up. If we’re just smart-ass students, it’s not his fault we fuck up.
It’s easy for me to hate Alex for labeling me as dangerous when I’ve never hurt someone a day in my life. But I’m safe in my skin and his life is at risk just by going to the bathroom. I understand why he says things like that. I finally do.
There’s a difference between the spread of hatred and the frustration of people who are hurting. The thing is, when you are broken, there will always be someone who says “I’m worse, stop talking.” There will always be people who are mad you’re trying to steal the attention. There will always be people who get mad at the same time as you do - they hate being challenged. It changes the rules.
I say I hate all Mondays but my sister was born on one and she’s the greatest joy I have ever known. I say I hate brown but it’s really just the word and how it turns your mouth down - the colour is my hair and my eyes and my favorite sweater. I say I hate pineapple but I still try it again every Easter, just to see if it stings less this year. It’s okay to be sad when you hear someone generalize a group you’re in. But instead of assuming they’re evil and filled with hatred, maybe ask them why they think that way - who knows, you might just end up with a new and kind friend.
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Hating an entire group of people for the way they were born is never a good idea. I don’t even care if that group is currently enslaving your people, it’s still not okay. Everybody is an individual, and there’s no “oppression” gene. Hate the hateful individuals who have wronged you, not the countless ones who have done nothing to you besides be born the “wrong” color or of the “wrong” sexuality or of the “wrong” gender. That is never okay. Bigotry never solves anything.
We need to have a talk about what social scaffoldings of oppression look like real fast.
The fact is that, in most cases, you don’t really find people who are openly, vocally, and violently bigoted. (Though this obviously differs depending on what axis of oppression we are looking at.)
Most oppression manifests itself as more systematic, social, legal, financial forces that reenforce marginalization and inequality. These forces do not need evil hand-rubbing snickering villans, ready to commit personal and physical acts of violence to support them. These forces, rather, are supported by attitudes many of which are so normalized and socialized that the privileged don’t notice them. This means that anyone, even normal, nice people can be supporting systems of inequality without realizing it.
The idea, for example, that LGBTQ+ characters are inappropriate for children’s TV. Or that the “way black people talk” is funny. Or that women are just naturally much better at taking care of children. That it’s ok to pretend that there were no PoC in Europe until the trans-atlantic slave trade. Or that a “tranny” (please excuse the slur) is good for a joke. That it’s ok to dress up as an “Indian” for Halloween, and that Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse to wear a sombrero and get drunk. These kinds of attitudes are taught in our culture, taught in our media, and reenforce and justify the oppression and marginalization that permeates our culture. These attitudes, held by normal, nice people, are the BIGGEST problem and the biggest source of support for those systems of oppression.
To make it simple: It is not enough to simply NOT be a raging, vocal bigot. You must actively and consciously work to be an advocate for equality if you don’t want to uphold injustice. You must unlearn the shit you’ve been taught and then help others unlearn. Otherwise you ARE the problem. Doing nothing at all IS the problem for most people.
Oh my god did you just take intro to sociology in school wow so impressive. Too bad you’re delusional as hell. Apparently bigotry is A-OKAY until EVERY SINGLE person on Earth becomes an SJW? That’s what I’m getting from your last paragraph. Here’s an idea though: how about instead of waiting for the world to become a unified utopian society, we all try to stop hating individuals for being born a certain way? I think that’s a little more realistic. We can start with you since you seem to be justifying bigotry.
Also, if you’re gonna reply to this, leave out the irrelevant wall of text and save it for somebody who doesn’t have a degree in history and social sciences. I’ve read all that shit way too many times and it has nothing to do with my post.
I like the subtle gaslighting there. Yes, because YOU, sir, don’t agree, I, the woman, am “delusional”. Good job. A+
My point was not that we should “hate people because of they way they are born”, or whatever you think it was. I apologize for not being clearer.
My point is that we AREN’T being bigoted against people because they are born male or white or straight or cis or whatever. However, we do often criticize people who still hold problematic attitudes because of the privileges they were born with, even if they aren’t being intentionally problematic.
For example, there are plenty of nice, wonderful white people who would never intentionally be racist in their life, who still dress up as “Indians” for Halloween. Which is racist. Calling those people out is not targeting them for being white. It’s pointing out that they are doing racist shit, even if they weren’t doing it intentionally. I can say this from personal experience. I am white. I’ve had to unlearn a lot of racist shit over time. I’m still unlearning some of it. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, these things must be unlearned, or you are part of the problem.
it can be so hard to get other people to realize that their way of thinking is wrong. especially if they don’t care enough to try and hear what you’re saying. it’s easier just to ignore it and go about your life the way you’ve always done than to actually sit and try and deconstruct the way bigotry has influenced your own attitudes.
it’s exhausting enough trying to educate yourself, to say nothing of other people. that’s why i have so much respect for “SOCIAL JUSTICE BLOGGERS OH NOEZ” because you guys actually put the effort in. it’s a fucked up world we live in and you can choose to try and run away from it but it’s gonna find you somewhere.
my tumblr is a reflection of my life: geeky fandom shit side by side with my efforts to become a better human being. and if you don’t like it then fuck off. i’ve no obligation to make you comfortable.
YES YES YES!! I love this. FOREVER REBLOG!!
YOU GO GIRL!
I’m going to point out again for those who don’t click links: This young woman was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban for speaking out on behalf of women’s rights in Pakistan.
She is fifteen years old. She is also still alive. It is likely that she will suffer lifelong language and coordination difficulties given where she was shot (left side of her head) but she hasn’t given up her fight.
While Islamic clerics in Pakistan have issued a Fatwa against the men who tried to murder her, the Taliban has re-iterated its intent to murder her and her father.
I can’t express how much of a hero this woman is. She’s only fifteen, and yet she’s faced such impossible odds, and she’s still fighting. I just wish there was something I could do to help her.
It’s symbolic, but it would send out a big message of support: nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize.
oh my god.
if only we were all as brave as this girl! shit would get done, let me tell you!
god, how did i miss this? i mean i know i live under a rock but jeez. how did i miss this?
white women do not face the phenomenon of exotification, which is something I’ve faced since I was a little girl and it was used as a tool to justify the sexual assaults I would later face in life. white women are never going to be branded sluts and whores from birth. and guess what? they always have the chance to claim that shit and feel empowered.
yes white women are raped, abused, murdered, all of those things. they face rape culture, misogyny, and all of that shit. but that doesn’t change the fact that they are WHITE and that effects their “deprivileged” position as a woman. If we ignore race, we are erasing millions of women of color in the same stroke.
white women are never going to know what it is like to be dehumanized since the day they are born. white women are never going to know what it is like to be called a slut when they are six years old. white women are never going to know what it is like to be branded a sexual deviant the moment they grow their breasts. white women are never denied their virginity.
how often do you hear about white mothers being given twenty years in jail for firing a WARNING SHOT for help as she was being attacked by her abuser?
Princeton University psychologist Susan Fiske took brain scans of heterosexual men while they looked at sexualised images of women wearing bikinis. She found that the part of their brains that became activated was pre-motor - areas that usually light up when people anticipate using tools. The men were reacting to the images as if the women were objects they were going to act on. Particularly shocking was the discovery that the participants who scored highest on tests of hostile sexism were those most likely to deactivate the part of the brain that considers other people’s intentions (the medial prefrontal cortex) while looking at the pictures. These men were responding to images of the women as if they were non-human.
because we don’t live in a post-racial society
teaching your child to be colorblind is wrong
being colorblind yourself is wrong because it implies that here is something wrong and undesirable about color, that it makes you uncomfortable and that people of color are somehow obligated to pretend that they are racially the same as white people when in fact nothing could be more untrue.
i am a young adult and for victoria foyt to attest that she hopes my generation views race in a unique manner—that is, a manner according to her and an extension of her which is her bullshit book and yet again the color fucking blind manner which is nothing unique and nothing new—is frankly insulting. it is insulting to my experience as a woman of color and the racism, scrutiny and otherization i have had to withstand my whole life long.
her book is nothing revolutionary, it is nothing new. it once again has a white heroine like any other book in mainstream fiction. it employs vile stereotypes about black people and particularly black men, establishing the white woman as the victim and the black man as her sexualized oppressor. she uses once again the narrative that led to black men dying, being abused and dehumanized for perceived offenses against white women. once again the white woman victim complex that i cannot fucking stand. and yet this woman still has the gall to insist that she’s not racist, she’s colorblind
Seriously. It’s called “Save the Pearls”
There is blackface involved. I repeat,
There IS blackface involved.
found via the #TWIBdocket
there is so much wrong with this entire premise/book. all the “pearls” have names like eden and gretchen and the “coals” are called jamal and nate dogg and described as beastly and the “ambers” or asians are called names like comikaze aka perpetuating every stereotype and throwing them in your face. REALLY. and why are the latinos called “tigers-eyes”?
WHY IS SHE USING BLACKFACE. uh this is some literary bullshit. so damn problematic.
everything i have heard about this makes me cringe. who thought this was a good idea? i mean even the names for the different races. it’s creepy. coals and pearls??? seriously???
There are female athletes who will be competing at the Olympic Games this summer after undergoing treatment to make them less masculine.
Still others are being secretly investigated for displaying overly manly characteristics, as sport’s highest medical officials attempt to quantify — and regulate — the hormonal difference between male and female athletes.
Caster Semenya, the South African runner who was so fast and muscular that many suspected she was a man, exploded onto the front pages three years ago. She was considered an outlier, a one-time anomaly.
But similar cases are emerging all over the world, and Semenya, who was banned from competition for 11 months while authorities investigated her sex, is back, vying for gold.
Semenya and other women like her face a complex question: Does a female athlete whose body naturally produces unusually high levels of male hormones, allowing them to put on more muscle mass and recover faster, have an “unfair” advantage?
In a move critics call “policing femininity,” recent rule changes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body of track and field, state that for a woman to compete, her testosterone must not exceed the male threshold.
If it does, she must have surgery or receive hormone therapy prescribed by an expert IAAF medical panel and submit to regular monitoring. So far, at least a handful of athletes — the figure is confidential — have been prescribed treatment, but their numbers could increase. Last month, the International Olympic Committee began the approval process to adopt similar rules for the Games.
There’s a lot going on here, but here’s what jumped out at us immediately: Women, particularly women athletes, are constantly told they’re not as strong or fast as men—and now that they’re proving otherwise, they’re being forced to undergo hormone treatments. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that women of color are coming under fire for this more than white women. From the article: “Lindsay Perry, another scientist, says sometimes whole teams of African women are dead ringers for men.” This is a clear example of how we’ve constructed a very particular, very narrow ideal of femininity and womanhood that devalues and casts aside black women in particular.
That’s like saying men who are too tall can’t be allowed to play basketball, men whose have naturally more testosterone can’t compete because it’s unfair to other men, and so on, and so on. Anyone with a physically natural advantage must be hindered. That’s not how sports work. What if they told a young man he was too big to play football? You can’t only real women can compete, and real women have to be this size and have this much of a certain hormone, otherwise they’re not women….but they’re not men either.
All of the above comments. When you have to try so hard to maintain femininity and masculinity on YOUR standards…
this is blatant, baldfaced bullshit.