Okay, first, the boring clarification: I am fine, all is well, but again I find I need money, and again I recall that I never put up AdSense or anything like that, so again I kick myself and again I commit to typing more doctors.
Second, in order but not importance: Holy crumb, is there some good discussion here or what? And yes: Like all good discussions, it is lengthy. If you absolutely must have a short version, Blackamazon follows up and highlights some favorite points here.
I stay out, I mean far, far out, of the sex-pos/radfem debates. And stop your typing fingers right there, missy, because I know the very terms themselves are a problem, not so much radfem as "sex-pos," and I know in real life feminists don't always line up neatly into one category or the other, and in fact, that is my point: Neither do I. I like both. I reserve the right to agree with anyone at any time for any reason, whether it makes sense to anyone else or not. And you can substitute "disagree" for "agree" in the preceding sentence and have it be equally true, as some disappointed team players learned last week.
That said, you can probably tell from what I write and who I link to that I lean slightly towards the radical feminist side. I attribute this to my being a little old and a lot prudey, and I don't care. I will turn 38 in a week, and that's old enough to have reached a comfort zone with my own desire level, and--this is the best part--to understand and accept that my comfort zone and your comfort zone may not intersect at all, AND THAT IS OKAY. Get your freak on! I'll be over here with a book. Or I may be getting my own freak on, but you are not going to read about that here because my policy is, no posting about my girl parts unless I do something spectacularly stupid with them, at which point they become a comedy prop, and, why, just call me Gallagher. But be honest: You're grateful I'm not pitching this particular prop at the audience, now, aren't you? See, so am I.
And that is my position in general on the sex wars: I refuse to assume any position, ho, ho.
But I am more definite about cultural appropriation. My position on that is that white people (1) do too much of it; (2) are seldom honest about what they're doing upon being caught doing it; and (3) when they do admit to appropriating, too often follow it up by telling you their very good, unimpeachable by reasonable persons, reasons for doing it.
Case in point, this fella.
I found that by reading this interview with Chris Crocker in The Stranger, via Chaos Theory (Lauren, Lauren, what have you done?). And reading the interview, my heart did bleed:
. . . Chris took me to the nearby mall, a small cavern of beige floor tiles and pasty patrons, and gave me a tour that offered a new way of looking at this video, a way that made it much less funny. As we walked around, past the Sunglass Hut, past the pushy smells of scented candles and baking cookies, people stared hatefully at us, and mostly at him. They stared hard, with the kind of presumed right to glare that people in more sophisticated places wouldn't dare show.
. . .
Most young men like Chris, at loggerheads with their families and unwelcome in their communities, quickly give up. They either adapt to a closeted lifestyle or they run off to a big city, locate that city's gay neighborhood, take a job in a coffeeshop or bar or theater, and start anew. Chris may still do that. He's given himself until mid-June, the anniversary of his first internet video, to leverage enough money and opportunity out of his internet fame to escape his small town. If that doesn't work, he says, he'll consider doing something more old-fashioned, like buying a bus ticket.
Okay: I can't say "I get it" as in, "I've been in this situation," because plainly I haven't. But so far as I'm able to get it, I get it. I get that Chris is a young gay man stuck in what the interviewer describes as a town that "seems to hate him." I get that he has black friends online and I get that not all black people find videos like the one above offensive.
And I get also that when white people are being stomped on by other white people, for whatever reason, the seemingly logical thing for them to do is to draw support from people with even more experience in being oppressed by white people, and those sadly experienced people do tend to be nonwhites.
Finally, I get that some cultural mixing goes on anyhow, and probably always will, and if I really thought it were such a terrible thing, I'd have to give up eating tamales just to be able to sleep at night, and me giving up tamales, that is not going to happen.
The problem is that it's almost always one way. I've been trying off and on all night to come up with an example of resistance initiated by whites against other whites that wasn't originally borrowed from people of color, and I can't think of too many. Why, white people, when we rebel, do we always have to jump someone else's oppression train? And how many of us, once we're feeling a little better, once we've escaped our repressive Bible Belt towns for Hollywood or New York or Paris, jump right back off that train and wave bye-bye to the people still riding it, shouting after them some nicey-nice version of "So long, suckers"?
Thanks for letting me borrow your Compton slang. It really helped me tell my youth minister to fuck off in a creative way.
Thanks for telling me about Cesar Chavez. I may have to quote that guy the next time Harvey complains about doing his share of the housework.
Thanks for the book on Tantric tradition! So like is it true you can have sex for eight hours with this stuff? My lover is so busy these days, I'm lucky to get eight minutes.
I know there are whole schools of theory on this stuff about which I know nothing, nothing, but how hard is it not to ABS: Always Be Stealing? Or is the above video not stealing at all? Am I wrong to view it as stealing? I don't know, honestly, but something doesn't feel right to me. It feels to me as though once again, someone out there is confusing entitlement with empowerment.