Maybe you’re not racist. Maybe you’re not sexist. Maybe you’re not homophobic or transphobic. But if you voted for Trump or are otherwise chill with him being President (which is not a figurehead position IF YOU RECALL), you have decided that the outrageous things he’s said and done and the questionable characters he’s peopling his administration with are not a dealbreaker.
How nice for you.
I wish I could hide behind a veil of philosophical indifference when it comes to difference in opinion. I would love to pretend I’m beyond the petty squabbling of liberal vs. conservative, because I’m just that kind of tolerant, loving, easy-going gal, but I am not that person. I can’t be that person. Tolerable differences in opinion end where your opinion starts justifying police brutality against unarmed black people, shaming and silencing victims of sexual assault, ignoring the power structures that keep oppression alive and well, let poor people starve, and sick people suffer and die.
We’re not talking about disagreeing on whether to install carpeting or hardwood floors or whether it really is cool to like things before they’re popular. We’re talking about human lives. And once you decide that bigotry and hatred are not *that big* a deal for you, that’s the end of any friendship we could have. You cannot tell me, a bisexual woman of color, that bigotry doesn’t exist and expect me to still want to hear about your latest brunch misadventures.
Sorry, Sharon. I’ll be more tolerant when you decide my life is worth at least as much as yours.
I’ve long been a fan of Ana Kasparian and The Young Turks. I find her honesty and intelligence incredibly inspiring. Even when we don’t always agree, it is very clear that she thinks through her position before she takes it, she educates herself with both information and empathy, and she doesn’t take anyone’s crap. Catching up on the news today, watching an interaction between her and Cenk Uygur (of whom I am also a fan, as the case may be) hit a chord with me. It was like watching myself get into all too many arguments with men.
Ana Kasparian and her rage at this story is all of us, feminists, all of us dealing with people who don’t understand the link between “locker room talk” and sexual assault, all of us being interrupted by loud, arrogant men who only seek to defend their right to objectify and degrade women, all of us trying to get people to understand that violence isn’t always physical, and that physical violence is almost never random – it is built up and justified by centuries worth of toxic attitudes, spread by the majority to keep the status quo.
Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me it’s because their skirts were too short, or that they should tough up because this is the world they live in, that if you exist in the world as a woman, this is part of what you have to expect. Tell me that talking about women in this adjudicative way is not poisonous to the minds of men and women alike, the former as they learn – however implicitly – that this is okay, and likewise for the latter, who must submit to their bodies and lives being broken down into stats and specs so that some man can decide if she’s worthy. Tell me that that’s not how it is. Tell me I’m feminazi social justice warrior who is confusing society and that I need to get laid. Tell me I need to lose weight and shave my legs and wear makeup and straighten my hair and learn to cook. Tell me my experience doesn’t matter. Make my point.