On today’s travels through false social justice issues lets explore some of my favorite mythical creatures. Here’s the ones we will talk about;
- Feminazis: Real or Myth.
- Reverse Racism: I Didn’t Know You Could Oppress the Oppressors…Cause You Can’t.
- Straight Pride: Isn’t That Everyday?
Are we all ready to step through the Wardrobe? Tap up the brick wall 3 and across 2? Hop in our own big blue boxes and travel across the universe of false perspectives? Let’s go!
Feminazis: Real or Myth
Lets start with a good baseline: What is Feminism? I like this definition provided by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, it reads:
“In the most basic sense, feminism is exactly what the dictionary says it is: the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women…We prefer to add to that seemingly uncontroversial statement the following: feminism means that women have the right to enough information to make informed choices about their lives. And because “women” is an all encompassing term that includes middle-class white women, rich black lesbians, and working-class straight Asian women, an organic intertwining with movements for racial and economic equality, as well as gay rights, is inherent to the feminist mandate. Some sort of allegiance between women and men is also an important component of equality. After all, equality is a balance between the male and female with the intention of liberating the individual.”
That’s a pretty good definition, except that I’d like to amend it to make it gender-neutral and make it applicable across any and all gender identities; not just those included in the man/woman binary. This means that Feminism is a three-pronged concept; it includes the movement and the two goals of political and social change (political including the economic change seeing as politics are big influences on the state of our economics). Through this definition we see that Feminism is a movement progressing towards liberation but also equality. Liberation and Equalist. So now with that lens on our social justice glasses, what exactly is a ‘Feminazi?’ Some of the various opinion definitions I’ve seen vary from “radical feminist” to “extreme militant feminist.” So let us clear this up. First things first, where did this term even arise? One person; Rush Limbaugh. Yup, you read that right. The ever intellectual conservative radio pundit that’s mocked AIDs victims and used racial slurs on-air. He said that Feminism was “established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society” and that a ‘Feminazi’ is someone “to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur.” Do I really have to say anything more? By definition Feminazi’s don’t exist. Their very definition discredits their plausibility. When we talk Feminazi we aren’t talking Feminism. We aren’t talking the definition put forth by Ms. Baumgardner and Ms. Richards for example. We aren’t even talking Feminism. We are talking an imaginary group of people dreamed up by a sad little man in a radio booth who’s intellectual perspectives are about as broad as a human hair and as profound as a doorknob.
Next on the docket…
Reverse Racism: I Didn’t Know You Could Oppress the Oppressors…Cause You Can’t.
Now first let me make this one aspect very, very clear; as a person who is white, who has white privilege, I can never and will never understand the struggles the people of colour face on a daily basis both in their communities, the spaces they navigate, and at the institutional level. But through this exploration I will attempt to extrapolate through some basics on oppression how this idea of ‘Reverse Racism’ can never exist. First things first, where does oppression come from? Oppression arises when a majority group in a community has three crucial things; Prejudice, Power, and Privilege. It all fits together in an equation that looks like this:
Privilege + Power + Prejudice = Discrimination
That discrimination held by the majority group. This discrimination starts out at the personal, ascends to the cultural (normalizing it usually) and then it becomes institutional and systematic (Critical Social Theory). The discrimination in this situation we are exploring for example manifests as racism.
So now that we understand that, what exactly is Reverse Racism? One of the most used examples I see regularly is this idea that people of colour (minorities here in the United States) can be racist towards whites. Through this idea we are suggesting that, in our current cultural framework, people of color are the majority who hold privilege, power, and prejudice and utilize this cultural currency to oppress whites. We’ve now suggested that in some twist of events that the oppressive and fucked up (for lack of a better phrase) cultural dichotomy of whiteness equating to power has now reversed itself. What is really at play when we talk ‘Reverse Racism?’ It’s bigotry. Here’s the equation for that;
Prejudice – Power + Privilege = Bigotry
Now that we’ve taken the power out of the equation there is no ability for oppression to take place. Granted this bigotry is equally wrong as racism, but it does not lead to the implications racism has (ever opened an American History book or watched property value in the housing market of an area plummet all because a family of colours moved into a pre-dominantly white neighborhood?). With the equation of bigotry presented we now see why ‘Reverse Racism’ does not exist. So the next time you try to use this concept in an argument, it’d be best if you check your privilege first.
Straight Pride: Isn’t That Everyday?
First let me say this;
Now, with that out of the way let’s delve into this misguided idea that there needs to be a “Straight Pride Movement” and why its completely, and utterly wrong.
As a queer person, I find this idea; the idea that heterosexual people need pride events too, is so offensive its a slap in the face and a punch in the gut to decades and decades of queer culture and fight for liberation and equality. But where did “Gay Pride” events in particular come from? What was the first “Gay Pride?”
Here’s where it all started. June of 1969 at the Stonewall Inn. A series of uprisings against the NYPD in Greenwich Village, specifically at the Stonewall Inn marked the first “Gay Pride.” On Sunday, June 28th 1970 from Christopher Street (the location of the Inn) to Central Park (51 City Blocks) the first ever “Pride Parade” took place on the anniversary of the uprising that took place one year before. Any queer person of any and all sexual and gender identities that are not heteronormative face discrimination and oppression at every level of social interaction. Heterosexual people do not. Queer people get shot and killed in the shadows of these historic monuments for our community (see Mark Carson, May 2013) with the last things they hear being gay slurs. Heterosexual people do not. Heterosexual Privilege exists and acts as a form of cultural currency that affords people with this privilege significantly more opportunities than queer people who do not.
Does everyone here reading this know what a “Faggot” is? Faggot, aside from being one of the key words thrown around by bigots and homophobes (from this point on, we are going to examine the definition outside of current language reappropriation techniques seen in the LGBTQQIPA+ community) a faggot is defined as:
a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together as fuel.
Now, how could a word meaning a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together for fuel, devolve into an incredibly harmful anti-gay slur? The reason is because in the past, homosexuals were round up and tied together to each other and burned at the stake. Quite literally making a human “faggot” ergo gay people being called faggots.
With just this sliver of queer history and culture I’ve described how can you simply argue that there needs to be a ‘straight pride.’ Everyday is straight pride when you exist in a heteronormative culture and navigate a society that enforces gender normative roles and projections and crucifies, ostracizes, and marginalizes any person that actively challenges these expectations. That is why straight pride is wrong. That is why straight pride is offensive.
These are just a few of my favorite “real social justice issues” that guess what; aren’t real. I can’t even begin to list for you all the other ones that are out there that I’d love to comment on and write about, but this article has gotten rather long and trust me; I’ll write about these other ones later down the line (I’m already mapping out an article about institutional racism here in south florida, specifically in the housing market of one city here in South Florida).
Thank y’all for reading and enjoy your New Years Eve!