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Sexism Is Eating Me Alive

I really need some help and advice.  I want to know ways to effectively COMBAT sexism or develop a sense of social justice in my life, instead of just sitting here constantly enraged, thinking about it and hearing people complain about it. 

(I am a black woman. ) I think it's really really unfair how racism is that all-important, all-comsumming, vaunted problem especially in the black community, but that men can get away with being sexist.  For example you can call women *****, *******, and hos, but you can't call black men *******, coons, or spooks.

Look at these quotes:

"If civilization were left to female hands, we'd still be living in grass huts" -Camille Paglia

"Women should lose the right to vote, because they vote so stupidly." Ann Coulter

Now replace the words female and women with "black" and tell me: would anyone get away with saying these things about blacks?  Or would they lose their reputations, be forced to apologize, and risk losing their livelihoods?

WHY ARE WOMEN JUST SITTING THERE AND LETTING PEOPLE GET AWAY WITH PUBLICLY RIDICULING THEM!!  It's gotten to the point where I don't even like to show my face in public, I hate people for their sexism and I am ashamed because they see me as a weak woman.  And they're right.  Because I have been brooding about this for years and have yet to come up with ONE CONCRETE SOLUTION to the problem that is of the caliber of how racial issues are addressed.

Elle2k Elle2k 22-25 1 Response Aug 16, 2008

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I am encouraged to hear that, because, as a white woman, I've wondered that before but felt unable to state the concern for fear of being perceived as insensitive to another serious social problem.



-On the first comment, I believe that women are the bigger enemy to women right now. I only find 1 out of every 15 men who isn't all for womens' rights and wishes they were perceived as a partner in this effort, instead of the enemy. Women though, who should be insulted and concerned with reality, are too busy being turned on by the Patriarchy, and are clawing up other women to get to the top of this disaster.



Alanis has some extremely well-written songs on this issue. "Sister Blister" and "A Man" address both of the above perspectives beautifully, and really need to be heard at least once.



Now.



Ahh....how refreshing to hear your insight. And my, how I feel you...You remind me of myself as a fresh, new feminist. Wide-eyed and broken-hearted. Mocked all the time for my insightful frustration (by the ignorant of every people group). Pre-judged wrongly for my passion and enthusiasm (at every turn). Reading voraciously and listening to amazing new music for emotional survival (every chance I got)...



I can offer these things:



1) Read the book "The Political Mind" by George Lakoff to understand how we think as humans, and begin to accept that you don't have the power -or the commission- to convert the ignorant. Focus instead on creating your own harmony and success first. -Try, I know this sounds petty, but honestly try to have mercy on people for their ignorance. We feminists are perceived as angry, power-hungry lesbians and we have to fight this perception wherever it hinders our goal. It's like George Herbert said, "Living well is the best revenge." (-Or like Sinatra said, "The best revenge is MASSIVE success.")



2) The above book is not about sexual inequality, but in it he says a lot which applies to our situation, like: "Learn to think outside the archaic reasoning rules of the Enlightenment, learn to argue powerfully and emotionally from the New Enlightenment frame, argue on a proud, proper, and patriotic basis which does not allow anyone to place you in frames which are incorrect, truly give up on the power/no power and left-to-right scales because they are myths, never accept conservative framing on issues, always start from own moral position instead..." This book will be enlightening and exciting for you, I have no doubt.



3) Promote education locally (vote, get on email lists to join rallies or petitions, activate any local school opportunities), personally (talk about it constantly, get around and connect with people who share this passion, hold others to this standard of excellence and don't excuse improper treatment from anyone), and globally (support the orgs you stand for and do the easy things they need to make change happen, run for office, watch the news), do any of these any way you can, however often you can. It's important for you to be active because 1-you have understanding that not everyone who suffers has, and 2-so that you feel you are part of your own solutions and not undermined by that which you seek to eliminate. *Whatever the specific orgs, phrases, websites, terms you stumble onto are, they are the steps on your path which lead you to your higher purpose. Follow them, however random or odd. We all start somewhere with them, and by them are immersed into the sea of academia and progress that we have something to add to. :)



This disease is not obvious, it is not clear, and the very perpetuating agents are the ones it so subtly harms and dis-empowers! As such, we will not cure it with guns or muscles or really strong emotions. We must treat the condition with the medicine of wisdom, dressed in the armor of education, and wielding the saving knowledge of the intellectual.



Otherwise we will stay enraged, they will stay in the dark, and we will all stay lodged in this rut which history intends for us to move past.



Click around this page to check out these orgs for a start ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Feminist_organizations



A few of my personal faves are:

-The White House Project

-feminist.com

-feministing.com

-FINCA International

-NOW (Nat'l Org of Women)

-and of course good 'ole NAWSA



Namaste~