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Critique and Commentary about US Sexual and Gender Politics

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This blog exists to challenge white heterosexual male supremacy as an institutionalized ideology and a systematized set of practices which are misogynistic, heterosexist, racist, genocidal, and ecocidal.

image if from here

Part I: Viewpoints and Vision
a. The dominant cultural discourse on
gender and sexual politics is, as far as I call tell, most hatefully expressed by orthodox allegedly heterosexual and
non-trans religious leaders. It is most liberally expressed by
Academics. And there is a kind of liberal-conservative version
expressed in some corporate media and through some law.
b. All of those institutions (dominant
religion, the Academy, corporate media, and Law), and more—such as
marriage and the military–exist to promote and protect CRAP:
corporate, racist, atrocious patriarchy, which is also to say
capitalism, white supremacy, and male supremacy.
c. Seen this way, contemporary
discussions and agendas by marginalised-while-dominant and/or
oppressed-while-advantaged gendered and sexed people are usually
uncritically white-centered, male-centered, and pro-capitalist. They
don’t or won’t offer the larger society, or ourselves, terminology
and campaigns, analysis and understandings, that oppose holding on
tightly to those three pillars of CRAP.
d. If the alleged spokespeople for all
of us who are sex and gender outsiders don’t oppose those three
pillars, among others, of CRAP, what happens to the radical and
CRAP-resisting spokespeople’s voices? Are they heard? By what means
and mechanisms do over-privileged people among us—let alone the
more dominant members of society—listen for them, and more
importantly hear them, and even more importantly take them to be wise
and worth adopting, centrally, into our own politics and cultures?
How likely is it that their/our own alternate analysis and agendas
will be accepted as “the right view” or “the most liberating
project”?
e. Naming and agenda-setting, theory-
and practice-building is happening in communities and through
networks of people who are not white, not male, and not
pro-capitalist. But to hear dominant contemporary conversation online
and off, you wouldn’t easily know it unless you’re already part of
those communities and networks.
f. How progressive or radical is it to
ignore and/or silence the voices of those who are so marginalised
that they don’t even appear in corporate media (and most alternative media either)? How progressive or radical is it to believe and act as though these voices don’t ought not matter to white and male
supremacist spokespeople on matters of gender and sexual politics?
g. If our politics—our viewpoints and
vision, our theory and our practice—is counter-CRAP, is at least
attempting to be CRAP-resistant (if not also explicitly anti-CRAP),
how do those of us who are white, male, and class-advantaged support
and be responsible and accountable allies to the people promoting radical political positions who are not white, are not male, and are
not class-advantaged?
I’m asking.
Part II: Theory and Practice
Contemporary theories and practices
building from transgender, queer, and women’s experiences tend to
protect or deny either the oppressive and genocidal force of white
supremacy, the subordinating and gynocidal power of male supremacy,
or the generally dehumanising and Earth-murdering power of corporate
capitalism.
What I see in plenty of
dominant-while-marginalised Queer and Transgender Theory, is this
idea: that lack of medical, legal, and cultural acceptance and
celebration of “difference” is the central problem to be
addressed by pro-liberation queer and pro-queer activists. Racism,
misogyny, and corporate exploitation are maintained, in part, through
the systematic denial and repression of ethnic and sexual
differences. But this is done for the sole purpose of maintaining the
power of the elites to protect grossly inhumane race, sex, and class
hierarchies. Narrowing our struggle to accepting and celebration of
difference among subordinates without opposing the congealed power of
the (often ignored or enabled) elites in each hierarchy may allow us
increasingly diverse sexual and gendered subcultures but not ones
free the least privileged of us from oppressive and lethal raced,
sexed, and economic force.
In my experience, no mention (let alone
plan) of dismantling these hierarchies is required to come across as
progressive. CRAP-denying policies, practices, and points of view
pretend that diversity of perspectives and identities is the solution
to our problem. In such environments, gender and sexual categories
are self-chosen and individually identified. Meanwhile, CRAP’s
institutions and acted out ideologies force raced, classed, and sexed
“identities” (read: denigrated and disenfranchised positions on a
hierarchy) on us. They are fundamentally imposed and enforced, not
chosen. To highlight the validity of subculturally chosen identities
without also identifying how white and male supremacy are systems of
brute force that exist in and around them, is to enable that raced
and sexed force to continue to rule.
CRAP has demonstrated time and again
that its ruling classes may tolerate (or ignore) many forms of
difference in oppressed and marginalised people as long as the
embodiers of those forms don’t threaten to expose and challenge
CRAP’s key pillars of power-over social control and terrorism.
We have seen how far white,
self-defined gay men can get in CRAP as long as they are (admittedly
or not) anti-feminist, pro-racist, and pro-classist; they cannot
achieve the power of white het men but they can acquire or continue
to exhibit power not allowed to anyone female. In such politic
practices we see how everything from prostitution to sexual sadism is
promoted by white gay men as liberatory. I have seen white gay men
condemn feminist critiques of prostitution and sexual sadism as
virulently homophobic, ignoring how many of the critics are lesbians
who are also harmed by homophobia. Meanwhile, when white het men are
challenged in any way (or just as part of the routine maintenance of
dominant systems of power), they argue that their oppressive
political practice is natural, God-ordained, genetically encoded, or
socially inevitable.
We have seen the resistance of white
feminists, including lesbian feminists, refusing to acknowledge and
center the experiences, voices, and analysis of radical womanist and
feminist women of color, lesbian and not. In such politics we see the
covert and overt maintenance of white power being promoted as
“radical” while the white power that is present is denied. The
naming of this has been understood as anti-feminist and woman-hating
by some white women, as if the radical women of color being ignored
and silenced aren’t women and aren’t working for women’s liberation. But the ignoring and silencing–often enough through overt systematic physical and economic force and chronic murder–is fiercest by white het men.
We have seen how white, non-poor
pro-transgender spokespeople (many of whom are not transgender)
promote a view of sex and gender that is glaringly white and male
supremacist. Women who have always been female, who are socially (and
also often intimately) targeted for being female by non-trans men,
are sometimes portrayed as anti-trans. Some of those pro-trans people
simultaneously neglect to name their threatening, abusive, and
oppressive heterosexist, misogynist, and male supremacist practices.
These self-uncritical practices currently flourish in
gender-conservative and gender-liberal environments, whether
non-queer, queer, non-transgender, or transgender. But the most virulently anti-trans, anti-queer, and anti-lesbian communities are those ruled by white het non-trans men.
Part III: Concluding thoughts
Among liberal communities covertly
protecting white and male power, there is an accepted practice of
promoting “diversity” without radically interrogating such an
idea as unequivocally good, or as unquestionably leading us to
liberation. From what are we liberated through such a practice? How
does a liberal challenge to “the gender binary” with no
concurrent work end to white and male supremacy (race, sexual, and
gender hierarchies) allow females, women, lesbians, and transgender
people to be free from violence and dehumanisation on the collective
level? How do we respond to individualistic understandings of
liberation (usually sexist, classist, and racist) continually
usurping class-based liberation struggles?
Many of these political perspectives
and strategies are lacking a revolutionary practice of radical
self-critique and accountability to those structurally (not morally)
beneath socially advantaged people. These practices are also holding tight to at least one
pillar of CRAP. Not naming these pillars when defining our struggles
doesn’t assist us in the project of liberatory social transformation.
I call on all whites, all men, all pro-queer, pro-feminist, and
pro-trans people, to responsibly seek out and center the analysis and
agendas of Indigenous and non-Indigenous radical feminists and womanists of color.

“An activist and writer at the blog, A Radical Profeminist”.

Read more at A Radical Profeminist



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