Posts Tagged ‘oppression’

listen

We don’t live in a vacuum. Our ideas, our lexicon, and our beliefs are shaped by outside forces like society, culture, environment, and religion. Fields like sociology and anthropology prove that.

Words matter, ok? You said something heterosexist because your parents, the media, and your religion told you; you weren’t born a bigot. Forces like that reflect and shape your ideas. When people like lady gaga say trans phobic things they fuel trans phobia and other people think it is ok because their ideas aren’t challenged. Their bigotry is reinforced every day by outside forces like that. We are conditioned to say things that hurt other people but we don’t change it because it seems like it doesn’t affect your reality.

That’s where privilege comes from. If the dominant culture constantly puts out ideas that reinforce your idea of reality you accept it as such without question because you consider that the norm. You will vehemently defend your privilege and the entitlements you enjoy because you can’t honestly believe another person’s reality is different from your own. You think you’re a good person; anything that happens to other people is the fault of their own.

Just because you aren’t aware of what is happening, doesn’t mean it still isn’t occurring.

I’m setting all this up because i want to get this point: “it’s just a preference” ignores how factors like racism ,sexism ,transphobia shape your ideal of what is beautiful or considered attractive.

Whenever i tell people this they get super upset and deny that this is true. people just think “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but if most of the media features middle to upper class, white, thin able bodied cisgender straight people wouldn’t that shape your idea of beauty? Pop culture is extremely important to us. Of course it will shape how we think.

But there is a lack of diversity in the media and if marginalized groups are in television or movies, it is mostly to be a stock character.

And I don’t want to make it seem like people with privilege aren’t aware of their privileges or entitlements. They know and they will fight for it at all costs. One tacit is acting ignorant or crying political correctness.

For a cheap joke a late night comedian will attacks trans women’s femininity; a TV show will feature male characters joking around about their shrew-like wives and make sexist degrading comments about women’s bodies; a movie will feature a wise talking sassy black woman with little education etc. etc. repeat this 3 million times across every medium. Yet, people have the audacity to act like pop culture or religion doesn’t affect what we consider to be true.

Anyways, “it’s just a preference” really isn’t just a preference. Saying you don’t like black men or fat people or whatever was obviously shaped by some force.

Advertisements

The -Isms in Feminism

I see feminists who don’t think trans women are real women and use the wrong pronouns all the time. I see someone totally disregarding the feelings of pwd by constantly using  slurs like crazy . When they get called out on it , all the other feminists hold their hand and try to convince they are good people. They still ignore the feelings of pwd. The same old argument over hijabs happen without any input from Muslim women.

Feminism isn’t about empowering already privileged women. But that is what it seems like. Actions speak louder than words, being a feminist doesn’t mean you get a pass when saying something oppressive. Part of being a feminist actually means owning up to your mistakes, apologizing and never doing it again. It also means actually trying to learn about other oppressions.

Basically what I’m saying is, feminism isn’t Reganomics. Trying to focus on white cisgender middle to upper class heterosexual women won’t trickle down to marginalized groups. Looking at it from the outside I can understand why someone wouldn’t call themselves a feminist.  Because why would  anyone want to be included in a group where they actively try to deny your existence?

You can have feminist values without actually calling yourself a feminist.