Let’s All Cop to Something Unpleasant,

I think it is no secret to the more informed us that the words of Hamlet’s mother have never been more true. “Methinks they do protest too much.”

The quicker any one is to defend why they are not sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic or etc. is most blatantly trying to cover their inner bigot, which they have most likely already shown in one way or another.  This is an issue that transcends race, class, and political party.  What I mean by that is we are all guilty one way or another of a near sighted prejudice in our outlook and actions.  What I mean in turn by that is it does not matter who you are, you cannot grow up in a racist patriarchal society or a sexually oppressed society and not come out effected by it in your outlook one way or another. We are all racist, sexist, classist, genderist, or homophobic to some degree, and I do mean every, single, one of us. 

 Now I do not think it is in anyway all to the same degree.  It is impossible to equate the pain of the most oppressed individuals to that of the more privileged.  I in fact think it is the duty of the more privleged, especially my fellow straight white boys, to cop to our internalized prejudices, and there are alot of them.  Due to the expansive  nature of white male privelege we are definitly the ones with the most internalized prejudices, be them mysoginy, racism or bigotry of any kind.  However I do also think these prejudices have been internalized in all other races and in women as well, but I think it is to a lesser degree since society is only currently being restructured to account for them. I also think it is internalized in different ways, and in what ways I cannot vouch for since I do not have that realm of experience. All I can say is I have seen internalized prejudices everywhere, in my non white friends, in the lgbt community, in my feminist mother sister and grandmother, but especially in myself and that is what I acknowledge and wish to reconicle with the most.

I also want to make something else clear, I do not do or say any of this because of guilt. I nor anyone else should apologize for being born into their circumstance, privelege or not. However those of us who do have privelege, do not feel guilty, feel frustrated and then utlize that frustration to take action and listen to those who are oppressed under your privilege on how to help. I stand that white guilt is a wasted emotion in the fight for social justice because social guilt is a selfish act. This is not about your guilt as a white person, it is about the pain of those who lack your privilege, never for get that.  Guilt is not empathy, empathy is feeling the pain of others, guilt is making their pain about your own.

So in the spirit of what I have just said, let me just say my name is James, I consider myself proggressive, but because I am still a byproduct of my time and place in history I must confess that despite all my best efforts I am to some degree racist, sexist, classist, and probably trans or homophobic in ways I do not realize. However I do not want to be any of those things, and I know I will not always say or do things 100% on the right side of history, but I will do my best to listen to the poor, the non white, lgbtqa, and to women. I will not always do it right, but I will always do my best.

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Dear fellow “men” who harass the women in my life

According to FB, 3 women I know, 2 of which are family, have been harassed in the last week. Please excuse me as I suppress my rage at my own gender, humanity, and the world for a bit.
Fellow men, we need to do something about this, number 1 is STOP HARASSING PEOPLE ON THE STREET! and number 2 is stop being friends with people who catcall and harass women on the street, and number 3 is to kick anyones ass you see committing street harassment.

I feel with those three as our priorities, we can really do a lot of good and help women to feel safe when they do something simple and everyday like, oh say, walk down the street?

And I have a message for any man that, harasses, bullies, or rapes, and that is, YOU ARE NOT A MAN AND YOU NEVER WILL BE! REAL MEN DONT NEED TO DOMINATE OTHERS TO FEEL LIKE A MAN! A Man, or anyone for that matter, should have control, dominance and knowledge over themselves, not be attempting to dominate others because it will never be enough.  Sure, you feel good for a bit because you told my cousin or my sister or my friends what you would do to their bodies and got away with it, but what happens when that feeling fades?  You’ll start to realize how pathetic and empty you are again, and then you’ll harass someone else, and then….. do you see the cycle of the problem here?

Plus, ever single one of you has a mother, maybe you should go and ask your mom about her own harassment stories.  I guarantee she has at least one and it will break your heart and fill you with indescribable rage.

And lastly I would like to say, if my post has changed your ways and you vow not to ever harass again, FUCK YOU. IT SHOULD NOT TAKE THE WORD OF ANOTHER MAN TO GET YOU TO TREAT WOMEN WITH RESPECT! 

Seriously, fuck you people.

The shows of my youth make me feel unclean as an adult (a confession)

When I was 12 I loved the Cosby Show. When I was 13 I enjoyed the Girls Next Door and revered men like Hugh Hefner.

Bill Cosby, the “family” comedian is a serial rapist, and appaerently Holly Madison was so miserable with Hugh Hefner and he was so manipulative that she wanted to kill herself. 

Can I have those hours I spent watching these shows back? I keep trying to scrub the shame off but they don’t make water hot enough.  

Let me also say that we as a culture need to stop enabling our entertainers to treat women like objects simply because we at one point enjoyed their work.  The fact that Cosby & Hefner are finally getting called out is the sign that women are standing their ground and we should join them in solidarity.  

Playboy uses women to sell magazines, something by the way which is more exploitative than pornography, yes I said it a woman has more autonomy in porn than in Playboy.  Bill Cosby just uses women, literaly, as play things.

The saddest part is they are not the only ones behaving this way, they are just ones getting called out.  Several men & women like them represent a dying part of our culture that makes excuses to subjecate women and use them to move products, like a an antifeminist rag leftover from the Mad Men era or a crappy reality show.

The fact Holly Madison and the victims of Bill Cosby are standing their ground so adimentaly is one we must all admire and incorporate into our own lives. No matter what race or gender we must stand as a society, nay as a species, with these women to send the message that human beings are not capital, we will not be used anymore.

Dear Fellow Progressives, Remember It’s Not About You

The chains of hatred are always present where there is disenfranchisement.  Whether it is perceived or real, there are always seeds of bigotry in places where the people have a long history of subjectification for the use of those in power.  

Despite being oppressed by the same forces, the people in these groups play into the game of oppression by division.  There is homophobia in the inter cities of Los Angeles’s to a point it can only be described as an epidemic.  In the gay community there is frequent misogyny.  The same white men who are used to keep the status quo blame their fellow victims for perceived advantages in their existence within other oppressed groups, when instead they should be blaming the very people manipulating them into doing their bidding.  There are women who blame all men instead of the few who are fucking things up for everyone, and within all of these groups there are negative attitudes towards women and transpeople even within groups of women themselves.

We always like to believe these people are the minorities misrepresenting the majority of the people within their group, who even if they demonstrate ignorance will usually demonstrate tolerance.

I have always considered myself “intolerant of intolerance,” and as such I brought on a sense of self confidence thanks to the fact I would not let racist, sexist, or homophobic actions be tolerated in my presence.  In other words, I felt like I confirmed myself as a good person because of my reactions to external stimuli.

This was a mistake.  Instead of looking within myself, instead of finding the roots and causes of my own sexism, racism, or generally intolerant ideas.  While I have always considered myself a progressive, as you can see from the general tone of this essay, I had confirmed this identity through confirmation of my reaction and the reactions of others of intolerant acts.  Again, this is a mistake.  We cannot make any real progress so long as we don’t channel and navigate the hate and negativity within ourselves.  The reason I sought confirmation from the external in these situations was because I failed to do exactly as I mention above, I had not navigated and answered the questions of my own negative thoughts.

I have had racist, sexist, and even homophobic thoughts in my past.  But I felt as long as I had people around me, seeing me resist intolerance with intolerance, congratulating me on being so adamant, I felt confirmed that I was in-fact the opposite of the person I had just humiliated and established as a good human being.

The error in this is not only seeking my confirmation of my self from the external instead from the internal, but it also prevents any true progress from being made to unite all oppressed peoples against this seemingly invisible enemy that tricks us into division.  It is simple to see that keeping the people divided amongst themselves allows the rich and powerful to go to the bank with minimal interference.  But the falsehood of establishing confirmed identities always prevents any true progress.  

It is all well and good to be vocal about feminism, gay rights, or the new Jim Crow and anti immigration use of our prison system.  It is important to be vocal about inequality, but when you do it for the sake of establishing yourself with the identity of someone who stands against inequality, you are robbing us all of true progress.  To remove the hypocrisy of this we must remove the idea of the self from the equation of inequality.  When you attempt to act against inequality for the sake of the valor you are benefiting from the inequality as the oppressors are.  

Do not do things for the sake of establishing an identity as a rebel or as a tolerant being, just be a tolerant being.  It’s okay to be vocal and stand up to acts of hatred but don’t do so for selfish means, and only do it when it will actually accomplish quenching the hatred.  We cannot begot the hate with our own hatred of hatred itself.  My hatred of hatred did nothing to stop hatred itself but only inflated my own ego of being someone who stands against hatred.  I shouldn’t add the needs of my own identity to a place where the issue is not fixing my identity as a white straight male but the fact that my fellow beings are suffering, being robbed of something that is a privilege to me but instead should be no one’s privilege but the right of every single human being.  I am writing this with the hope that I will hold myself accountable by not holding myself to anything at all.  I will not do things to establish my identity as a white man who stands against hatred.  I will simply stand against hatred and will always welcome a dialogue and perspective from those most effected by these issues with the hopes I can come to an understanding with myself and my own hurtful and hateful thoughts and actions.

This must be the goal of everyone who has this privilege, do not buy into our masters game and use the privilege you do have blame those who have no privilege for the few things your privilege lacks.  Dialogue and an absence of hatred and attempts to abandon prejudice coming into these dialogues is the start, but where we cannot abandon our prejudices we must at least acknowledge them and ask ourselves how do we transcend these conditionings.  That is the beginning, that is where we finally stop seeking confirmation from the external and find our answers internally.  It is only here, when we navigate the negativity from within us can we find answers to the negativity outside of us that effect all of us as a whole, and not just individually.

That is the ultimate goal, that is the ultimate message of these words.  While epidemics of hatred are more inclusive than the acts of hatred themselves plague our society, blinding us to the intersectionality of all our oppression, we cannot forget we perpetuate this oppression when we use the oppression to create our own identity.  We are literally doing exactly that, exactly what the enemy does, we are USING OPPRESSION for our own means.  Do the right thing because it’s the right thing, if you know and are comfortable with who you are you don’t need the confirmation of self that comes from acting progressively.  Just be, channel the negativity within ourselves, answer your own questions before stomping out answers for others, and then and only then can we as a planet of beings make any kind of progress as a whole.

To the People who are actually defending the UCSB shooter….

Go fuck yourselves.  Seriously.  I saw on twitter that there are pathetic excuses for “men” actually defending this guy, saying things like; “I blame blondes, not guns, for this one” “Well girls this is what you get for treating another nice guy like this” ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!!!??? Last time I checked, NICE GUYS DON’T PICK UP A GUN BECAUSE THEY CAN’T HANDLE REJECTION!!! You want to know why girls don’t like you? It’s because you post angry videos ranting about how girls don’t like you.  If a girl doesn’t like you, shut the fuck up, get over it, and go find a girl who does. To me anyone who picks up a gun is telling the world that they are a coward.  To me anyone who attacks women because he is over entitled and doesn’t have control over himself is a coward.  Combine the two into one and you have the textbook definition of cowards and cowardice.  And if you defend either of these actions your are more than a coward.  You are a living part of the problem that is rape culture, and you should do the world a favor by shutting the fuck up and staying out of the way for the rest of us.  The attacks you feel on your self don’t even compare to the slut shaming and sexualized violence and objectification that women have to face every day.  So shut the fuck up and go away.  Take your precious guns and fuck yourself with them because no one else is going to fuck you until you deserve it.  I am sick of these cowards, these pathetic excuses for men going around giving real men, like me or my friends, a bad name. I hate guns, I hate men who hate women, and I hate unnecessary violence.  These are the things that are destroying our culture and our humanity.  It must be stopped.