Friday, January 03, 2014

On calling out the shit in the middle of the room…

Happy 2014, y’all!

I’ve been absent from the internets for a long spell. Between a starting a new job (yay!), dealing with some personal drama (not so yay, but getting better), and news that Betsey the sorta-beagle is in the process of dying from cancer (sob)…well, there’s been a lot of offline distractitude in my world.

Sigh.

But I’m back, so…

…shall we?

***pause…sip coffee and snuggle Betsey the sorta-beagle…continue***

I’ve observed several recent Twitter-based corrections within the feminist world and I’ve noticed a pattern. 

More accurately, I’ve noticed a continuation of an offline pattern take place online.

Someone within the movement indulges in a public display of privilege/bigotry, people point it out and express their outrage/shock/pain/disappointment, and then other folk start talking about tolerance and how we shouldn’t eat our own.

Cue chaos…more outrage/shock/pain/disappointment…and folk fretting about how all of this is bad for feminism because the world is watching.

I’ve been blogging for some eight years (gasp) and this ain’t new. Longtime readers know that I’m not a fan of the school of tolerance. One tolerates a stench and hopes it goes away. I don’t know many folk who want to be the stench of feminism.   

When a person takes a shit in the middle of the room tis important to everyone within that room that 1) that shit gets cleaned up, 2) the source of the shit understands that shitting in the middle of the room isn’t acceptable or productive and is the very definition of insulting and disturbing, and 3) that folk appreciate that the room shitter, through the act of shitting in the middle of the room, has reset reality and will have to prove over time that they understand that and aren’t going to gleefully take a public crap again.

We all get this. 

It isn’t confusing. 

We’ve all watched some amazing Twitter-based and/or online actions calling out room shitters.

Nope, this isn’t confusing…until we encounter a situation where the shit in the middle of the room originated from someone on the left.

Did I mention that this ain’t new?

This fumble over how to address wrongness from within keeps flaring up…and tis why I’m committed to making 2014 a year of realness.

Y’all, it is beyond important that we encourage and respect authentic responses to public displays of bigotry and privilege. 

If women of color had a dollar for every time we’ve been told to give someone a break after they just took us out at the knees, we might be able to fund an international multi-media campaign to educate the masses on why we ain’t trying to hear that shit.

And it is critical that we cease tolerating and explaining away displays of bigotry and/or privilege from within.

The whole world is indeed watching and nothing damages a movement like hypocrisy. That’s why we are quick to gleefully point that mess out when conservatives do it!

Lawd knows I’m a better activist for having been told about myself along the way…for being forced to look at my shit in the middle of the room and clean it the hell up…and for being given the gift of an opportunity to learn and grow.

Toodles.

7 comments:

leota2 said...

Great to have you back!

Love the post and heartily agree.

Jeffrey Ricker said...

Amen! (And welcome back!) Please give Betsey a big hug from me. You know I feel your pain on this count.

Anonymous said...

So. Let me get this straight.

You want to call out the shit/shitter in the room and whip them into shape so that you can get on with "gleefully" calling out
conservatives for their hypocrisy (I guess by blaming them for never reaching out to people who don't think the same way they do)?

I think hypocrisy begets more hypocrisy. I don't think the left is going to run out of it any time soon. Nor is the right, for that matter. With the huge number of people we have shitting in the room, I think it would just be smarter to leave the room.......

Anonymous said...

I think the difference is, when people from "the left" shit up a room, they care enough about the people they've dumped their shit on to be sorry afterwards, whereas people from "the right" tend to be rather proud of taking a public dump in the middle of a crowded room.

Going after reluctant accidental rug shitters doesn't give one the same gleeful feeling that going after gleeful rug shitters does.

TruthSmidgen said...

I've been reading about feminist controversies today. I came by to see what my favorite controversial leftist had been up to lately. This post...I needed it.

Anonymous said...


Hi,
My name is Alex and I just had a quick question about your blog. Please email me back at your earliest convenience!
Alexandra@barnard.edu

haggis said...

I've just discovered your blog via a comment on a post about Syria on my newsfeed. I hail from Scotland... Enjoyed going through your blogs. Sorry about your wee dog.. Look forward to future blogs May 2014 be a good year for you..Hettie aka Haggis :-)