Yeah, okay, it's late and I wasn't going to try to unpack all that until the morning, but I think I'm too pissed for that and libelulle got it started, plus I don't want the conversation to leave me behind in my sleeping hours, so let's have a look at the things you're saying, shall we?
This is important to address first:
I'm going to submit this, and I'm going to get flamed.
This is a silencing tactic. You just defined all critical responses to your post as flames, thereby delegitimizing them. kinigget, you just did the same thing. Criticisms are not flames: don't lump them together. This is a silencing tactic.
michaelandjimi wrote:As soon as Quixotess started swearing, I went "Blow this for a game of soldiers" and skipped it. I'm a feminist. I generally have a lot of time for Quixotess, and it is interesting to hear what she is saying. But being needlessly aggressive completely blew it out of the water for me.
You mentioned a feminism spidey sense earlier? This is one of those cases. I know the fact that you chose to announce that you skipped over my post and chose to follow that with defensive statements such as "usually I don't" and "I'm a feminist" is not right, but I'm not sure why.
I have no such uncertainty about what's wrong that coupled with this, though:
michaelandjimi wrote:I agree with MLK with the non-violent direct action, but you'll notice this: He is eloquent. He makes his arguments, and though he might be angry, the way he delivers them makes me want to listen. This isn't a personal attack against you, by the way - primarily you do the same as he does - but the aggressive people, including Felstaff's soapboxer, are not.
Like hell you're not talking about me. You just said you skipped over what I read because of the way I put it; MLK makes you want to listen; the dichotomy is clear. You *did* say I was needlessly aggressive, and the further implication of the juxtaposition of your sentences is that I wasn't eloquent either, and while I'm no Andrea Dworkin, I do know that's not right to imply given that you already said you didn't read my post.
Now, *I'm* not very interested in talking about me. I'm not particularly torn up if someone chooses to skip something I read or if they think mean thoughts about me or whatever. But what you just tried to do with that edit was disingenuous.
michaelandjimi wrote:We don't owe it to anybody to tell them about feminism and the problems of a patriarchal society. We certainly have the right to get angry, and don't owe it to anybody not to get angry. Actually, that's not true. We owe it to ourselves. It turns people off and that is precisely not what we want, however you want to spin it.
So now it's gone from "don't express your anger" to "don't even get
me wrote:Yes, what is with those UPPITY women who keep getting SO ANGRY about things like objectification, unequal pay, reproductive oppression, rape, and murder? WHY THE HELL ARE THEY SO ANGRY? WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY, FEMINISTS, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY REASON TO BE! YOUR ANGER MAKES ME SOOOOOO UNCOMFORTABLE, ALMOST LIKE YOU THINK I SHOULD BE ANGRY TOO IF I WERE ANYTHING RESEMBLING A DECENT HUMAN BEING.
I owe it to myself to get angry, actually, because anything else means I have no self-respect; I don't think I'm worth getting angry over. Guess how that extrapolates?
That's what it is to me. They're "turned off" by my self-respect.
So this "we" that you're talking about excludes a hell of a lot of rightfully angry feminists. What "we" want? An end to violence. Citizenship. Suffrage. Freedom. Safety.
These things will never be achieved without us feeling anger and us expressing anger as aggression. Trying to silence our anger works directly against the goals of feminism. Trying to make feminism acceptable to patriarchy is not only impossible, but harmful. Choosing to discourage us from expressing our anger inevitably delegitimizes our anger and, therefore, the reason for our movement. Feminists need to be sent the message that anger is acceptable. That is at least as important to me as attracting new allies, and certainly more important than attracting new allies who are turned off as soon as [a feminist] start[s] swearing.
And apparently, to you, this is all "spin."
Of course, if more people would support that anger, and validate it, rather than playing the concern troll and saying "Oh boo, you'll never change anyone's mind that way" there might actually be some momentum there.
Because, as it turns out, saying "I agree with you, but you should be nicer about it" is pretty much paraphrasing King's moderate White.
Hell yes would this be amazing. If it worked that way, I would be straight behind it. But it's human nature to not sympathise with extremely angry people.
Yeah, apologies to Belial if what I'm about to say here misinterprets you.
MaJ, you're being completely nonsensical. The point of that bit you just quoted is that people (Felstaff earlier, concern trolls in general, and now you) who claim they understand that anger is justified (so these aren't people who might want to be convinced, these are people who self-identify as already having been convinced) continue to make the choice to say, not "your anger turns me off" but "your anger will turn other people
Actually, that isn't naturally true, and now I'm going to Godwin it up in this thread. Generally, people aren't turned off by someone who is angry about the Holocaust. Generally, people aren't turned off by someone who expresses anger at the fact that someone lit their kitten on fire. Generally, people aren't turned off by someone who expresses a lot of fucking anger
at the fact that someone just punched them in the face and stole their cellphone and their wallet.
(Note how lopsided the severity of those three things are.)
Because everyone agrees that these things are horrible and wrong.
That these are problems.
That they should never have happened.
Everyone, listen very closely: The anger is not the problem. The problem is that people don't think anger about this specific topic is warranted. It is not societally acceptable to be angry about patriarchy. This seems like a "duh" sort of concept.
So. The point of what Belial is saying? This is, in part, on you.
Because instead legitimizing our anger, you attempt to silence it. Oppressed people are not responsible for the fact that their anger turns off people who don't take their problems seriously. King's white moderate is responsible for that, and so are you. And ascribing that to "human nature" is an attempt to deny that you have a choice, either to contribute to the societal acceptability of anger about feminist issues, or to silence that anger.
Make a different choice. Stop being part of the problem. Come. Fight with me.
Raise up the torch and light the way.