15 3 / 2013
"It’s pretty simple. Portman went along with his party’s opposition to gay marriage because it didn’t affect him. He thought about gay rights the way Paul Ryan thinks about health care. And he still obviously thinks about most issues the way Paul Ryan thinks about health care.That Portman turns out to have a gay son is convenient for the gay-rights cause. But why should any of us come away from his conversion trusting that Portman is thinking on any issue about what’s good for all of us, rather than what’s good for himself and the people he knows?"
So also: it’d be nice if some Republican congressman found out he had a hardworking, but still very poor, family member too.
This reminds me of the story that was going around last year about the conservative who moved to Canada and was suddenly a fan of universal healthcare. It seems a lot of these folks lack the ability to care about shit that doesn’t affect them - hell it’s even worse than that, they would actively oppress groups of people until that oppression hits home.
12 11 / 2012
"There are the occasions that men—intellectual men, clever men, engaged men—insist on playing devil’s advocate, desirous of a debate on some aspect of feminist theory or reproductive rights or some other subject generally filed under the heading: Women’s Issues. These intellectual, clever, engaged men want to endlessly probe my argument for weaknesses, want to wrestle over details, want to argue just for fun—and they wonder, these intellectual, clever, engaged men, why my voice keeps raising and why my face is flushed and why, after an hour of fighting my corner, hot tears burn the corners of my eyes. Why do you have to take this stuff so personally? ask the intellectual, clever, and engaged men, who have never considered that the content of the abstract exercise that’s so much fun for them is the stuff of my life."
Melissa McEwan, of course, on the terrible bargain. My life as a woman, as a queer person, as a fat person, is not your thought experiment. (via sanitywatchers)
20 8 / 2012
This is not a ‘DON’T VOTE FOR OBAMA’ post. Vote for him if you want, don’t vote for him if you don’t. Voting is a personal decision and people shouldn’t be browbeaten into being ‘proper citizens.’ As long as you aren’t voting for Romney or aren’t decrying Obama for dumb stupid and racist reasons, I have no beef with what you do in the ballot room.
This is not a post that apologizes for the brutality and the sins of the Obama administration. This is not a post that placates to the simplistic thinking of liberal, establishment politics. This is not a far-left critique that undermines what this administration has meant for women, people of color, and other marginalized folk— nor does it ignore the REALITY that bargaining with the establishment is essential for hundreds of million of people. This post also doesn’t misunderstand How Politics Work— when I say ‘Obama,’ I don’t mean the man, I mean the institution of the American presidency. One man cannot and does not do much.
What I want to do here is talk about the myopic way we criticize Obama and his imperial ventures, and the apologetic way we discuss his presidency w/r/t people of color. But the brunt of this critique is not on marginalized people who are responding to real changes in their life— whether good changes (affordable birth control) or bad changes (families getting deported, homes getting bombed).
It is more about the conceptual space where we interact with Obama and evaluate him as good/bad/unworthy/fantastic, and how we can better understand the limits of such a space.
03 8 / 2012
"When I want to know what misogyny is, I don’t ask a man. When I want to know what racism is, I don’t ask a white person. When I want to know what homophobia is, I don’t ask a heterosexual. When I want to know what transphobia is, I don’t ask a cisgender person. When I want to know what ableism is, I don’t ask an able-bodied person. The contours and definitions of oppression are best articulated by the oppressed."