The problem with Alas, and other places like Alas, is, there are a whole bunch of people who post in those places who can afford to be courteous and civil and respectful in their discussions and debates. What marginalized, subjugated, subordinated, exhausted-by-the-fight people find outrageous, unbearable and exquisitely, torturously painful every single moment just doesn’t touch them, not where it hurts, not where they live. They can pontificate on at length about it, run endlessly off at the mouth about it, and make themselves look oh-so-good and smart and well-studied in their theoretical “liberalism” and “progressivism” and ally work, so-called, without ever really getting their hands in it, down and dirty, their bodies in it, down and dirty, without ever having to muck around in the the absolute, absolute, abject evil and filth that colonizers send into this earth every moment of every day. They can distance themselves from it, say, gee, I would never do that, I’m not like that, all men are not like that, my husband is not like that, my friends are not like that, see, look at me, I am right here saying all sorts of good stuff, I’m a really nice guy, and if I can be courteous and respectful, you can be, too, don’t raise your voice, don’t get upset, don’t curse, don’t call anybody any names, don’t lose your temper, get yourself together, woman, what are you doing, getting all hysterical, don’t you know it’s all about being civil and respectful around here?
It gets very, very, very, exquisitely, old. I can no longer bring myself to read, for one example of many, threads in which white heterosexual men parse cerebrally out which violations, exactly, constitute rape, and which violations are actually something less than rape, see, there was no penetration, see, they were married, it was a compromise, see, it’s a gray area, see, it wasn’t really rape, it was actually something, that… well, you know, a man could do, and then say, “But I only _____ her, I didn’t rape her.” If I should go into a thread like this again, guaranteed I would lose it in a way I can’t afford to, not anymore, not ever again. I have lost it this way too many times in the past. I have let loose with language which is… not exactly persuasive. I have lashed out, fought back with every rhetorical trick and tool I could imagine, in blind rage, with everything I could think of, could find, so damn frustrated and yeah, might as well admit, it, hurt. Just hurt. I know blind rage doesn’t get me very far. And I don’t want to admit how much this kind of blindness and ignorance hurts me. But I’ll be good- goddamned if I’m going to be told, ever again, by white men who claim to be my allies, or white women who support them and sound just like them, to calm down and respond politely to their civil and courteous discussions of the unspeakable, unspeakable violation, evil, which I and the women I love, and the girls I love, and the women I have never met, and yet love, have had to endure and survive.
I won’t do that. Not ever again. They can have their tete-a-tetes, their mutual admiration societies, their soirees, their parties, hearties, without me, whatever. I can’t stop them. But I don’t want anything to do with that. I can’t take it anymore. The stakes are too high. The work is too damned important. Come the revolution, maybe I’ll talk with those folks, try to work things out. Until then, I’ve got to devote my energy to making revolution, in every way I know how.
With you, bfp, hearing you, respecting you,