No doubt there'll be flak for this too. - Tactical Ninja
Nov. 11th, 2010
09:57 am - No doubt there'll be flak for this too.
Got my results back. Another A+. Apparently I rock at Social Policy.
Also, Stuff arrived in the mail! Stuff that convinces me I am actually enrolled over the summer trimester and someone realises it. This course has three essays, none of which are due while I'm in Hong Kong, and an exam. The first essay is 500 words.
500 words? *gulp* Who can write anything in 500 words? Just as an example, this post is 1200 words. I'm fucked, basically.
I was also taken aback by the strict parameters around essay presentation - down to how wide the margins have to be, and where I can use italics. It's been a while since I did a 100-level course and I'd forgotten about that. Now I'm going "Arbitrary rules! And so MANY of them! Argh!"
rikan_feral wins at making my sounds go. I was pleased to see that while one problem was a simple fix that I feel a bit silly about, the other was enough to make him scratch his head and purse his lips disapprovingly. I take my hat off to him for not ranting at me about Windows. Anyway:
Sound card goes.
Some tracks mixed.
This counts as a huge win, as my frustration with this had been leading me to lose enthusiasm for djing (as you're aware my confidence at this isn't great anyway and feeling like a dunce with the setup was not increasing it) and consider sending the gear back and admitting defeat.
Luckily, now I don't have to. And asking for help is a skill I've learned in the last few years, mostly from you lot. So I'm kind of proud of myself for that. Even though I swore Mr Feral to secrecy about the silly thing. Because there is a limit. *nods*
The Kid is now in exam mode - he has two next week and one the following week, and then he's on holiday until February. I've gotta say, I don't remember having two and a half months off over summer in the 5th form. Seems like a long time, and I'm envious because I'd love to take 10 weeks off and still be sure I had food/shelter etc.
Maybe that's why summers seemed longer and cooler when I was a kid.
OK, there's been something on my mind lately, and yesterday's 5 minutes of infamy brought it back to me.
There's been a trend in certain feminist circles for women of colour to distance themselves from white women. This is because (amongst other reasons) traditional feminism was by white women for white women and the voices of other women tended to be ignored, silenced or worse, the white women would claim to speak for the other women and get it wrong. So, fair enough to distance themselves, speak for themselves and exclude white women from their spaces if they feel it necessary.
However, a more disturbing trend is one I've noticed where white women are not so much excluded, as scapegoated as examples of everything that's wrong with society. The derailing tactic in which the white person uses their privilege to imply their feelings are more important than the issues of the POC who is speaking and therefore the POC should cease and desist, is called White Women's Tears. Not White People's Tears, White Women's Tears. I can understand how this came about, since the concept emerged in feminist spaces dominated by women, and the people doing this would have by default been mainly women. However, the behaviour it describes is not one solely exhibited by white women.
And the trend lately in quite a few places seems to be to attribute 'white people behaviour' (I'm using this here as a catch-all for the things that are irritating to POC about unacknowledged white privilege) solely to white women. And I have a problem with that.
For a start, it's the same for white women as it is for everyone else - we are not a homogenous group, please stop talking about us as if we are. This should go without saying.
More importantly, there's this mythos being set up in which white women have this power that they unthinkingly abuse, they are hurtful and in some areas are even deliberately manipulative and evil. Sounding familiar yet? Isn't this almost word for word the way that lots of misogynistic men describe women?
And then you get to the bit where white women get called out on their unthinking evilness, and suddenly they become pathetic crybabies, bawww-ing all over the place about their hurt feelings and how they didn't get their way. White women's anger is never strong or valid, it's always butthurt, apparently.
Does that sound familiar?
And then when you start to think about the way in which women of colour are constructed as tough, angry, sassy, courageous and strong, and the way in which white women have been constructed historically as weak and in need of rescuing both from their own nature and from the big world that they can't protect themselves from, things become a bit clearer.
Women of colour DO tend to have tougher lives than white women. And the stereotypes (which admittedly are also damaging) attributed to them makes it so that to be loud, strong and angry is expected, rightly or wrongly. Contrast that with stereotypes about white women who are not taught to be assertive, who are taught that loud is unfeminine, angry is unfeminine, being disagreeable will make people not like you and you need people to like you because you are weak and in need of protection, what do you get?
You get a situation where "White Women's Tears" takes on a whole new meaning, a meaning that allows WOC anger at white people to be expressed in exactly the same misogynistic way that it has been since time immemorial - by picking on the women because they are supposedly weak and their problems are supposedly trivial.
I am not weak. I am not pathetic. I do not cry when I'm called on my privilege. I do not fit the stereotype that's being applied to me any more than you do. And it makes me FUCKING ANGRY to see other women calling me the same names that I've been called by men all my life and getting away with it, because it's somehow better to hear how trivial my problems are, how pathetic I am and how nobody cares about my issues based solely on my gender when it comes from another woman.
So next time you're thinking about white women and how pathetic they are, have a think about how they ended up being constructed that way, whether what you're seeing is transference of your own misogyny, and whether it'd be better to just stfu until you've thought about it some more and figured out whether you actually have a point about white people or you're just being a schoolyard bully because white women are easy to pick on.
*cough* Ok done now. That is very unpolished and I'm not sure it even makes sense, but it's been brewing for a while and it had to come out.
tl:dr Just because history has constructed white women as the weakest people in the world doesn't mean it's actually true and I'm tired of hearing it kthxbye.
Um.. about that local sports team?