For my first post, I thought I would write about something with real weight and importance, so I will be documenting an interaction I had on Tumblr. I know, I know. I promise I have more important things to write about. I’ve read loads of radical feminism, like that Angelo Dorking and Shellsuit Firestone and everything. Please stick around.
It started with this-
My comment was in response to a post stating that radical feminists were worse than particularly abusive johns, because not only do radical feminists get off on women’s suffering, they don’t even have the decency to pay for this enjoyment. I trust that I don’t need to elaborate on why I thought this point was insane.
I was out drinking at the time and answering on my phone, which is probably why I decided to be facetious.
I really thought this would be end of the interaction. My debating partner would realise that she was engaging with someone called “lesbian asshole” and that I was clearly being an asshole. But lo-
She was deadly serious.
While this is clearly hilarious, I felt guilty. This is a good person-someone who doesn’t want to cause unnecessary harm to others through misgendering (which, as we all know, is deadly violence, causes the death of 8974923 trans people a day, etc etc.) But this person’s political priorities have caused her to have such a skewed interpretation of what is truly important, what is violence and what is not. The root, as ever, is individualism, one of the Four Cyclists of the Capitalist Apocalypse (Greed, Choice, Individualism and Freedom).
You see, criticising an oppressive system-the global sex trade which eroticises and perpetrates the rape of women and children-is immediately misread as a personal attack on the people trapped within it. People are not being taught the critical faculties to think systemically, while the liberal individual is seen as the be all and end all of not just political rhetoric but everything. Criticising the global sex trade=wanting anyone who participates in it to die.
When I brought the discussion to my personal, individual rights being infringed upon, by claiming my gender identity was a sweet almond cake filling, the other party was thrown off guard and immediately capitulated. It doesn’t matter that what I was saying was absurd. She has been conditioned to always trust the sovereignty of the individual, respect people’s “choices,” no matter how irrational and never, ever question.
This political position (which is actually deeply apolitical, concerned as it is with simply continuing the status quo) is where critical analysis goes to die. It is thought death. And while my first response to this interaction was to laugh like a drain, the more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I felt. This is normal. This is what activism is now.
I got drunk to forget the stupid, toxic world I was born into and comforted myself with the fact that it’s likely going to end very soon. I find myself doing that a lot recently.