The resurrection of western collectives giving a fuck (the most recognizable example being Occupy, and more recently, Idle No More) has been exciting for the combat boot wearing, teenage girl I used to be.
The most invigorating part has been watching different sectors of the global community unify around common issues and macro goals, which I never thought I'd see in my life time (I grew up as a child prodigy pessimist-- "gift from God" level). I've experienced times of elation when I've raised my fist and growled, "we're uniting! Being a feminist isn't going to be so lonely anymore!" I was even naive enough to hope to leave feminism behind (the label, the gender specificity, the polarizing "us VS. them" hiccups, the shoulder pads). After all, systemic gender issues are merely a side effect of a larger, more fragrant shit pile, and I was stoked at the prospect of incrementally challenging the origin of the cesspool as a larger, more diverse collective.
Fucking the system is so much fun.
With this gestating social shift has come an increasing presence of independent, DIY "journalism," largely thanks to social media. I started reading a website called I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists, among a slew of others, and I've been following IACWE's Facebook feed for at least a year. At times I've found IACWE to be uncritically biased-- blow-jobbing Obama, excessive anti-gun banter-- but what has really grated on me is the odd, snide comment about women's issues strewn among exposure for, and support of, women's rights. Recently IACWE posted this on their Facebook feed:
A "fan" of this page actually wrote this today during our recent thread on not banning people.
"I think a lot of white men are not used to have women talk back to them probably because they watch to much sadistic porn. They seem think that women are created to serve them and when someone tells them differently they get really angry because they realize how pathetic they are in the real world when they can't pay people to "shut up and take it"."
This is what I refer to as a Feminist Oh-Shit Moment: when someone gets hyped up on middle-finger PCP, and publicly "sticks it to the boys" in some over-generalizing, stereotypical way, and the rest of us think, oh shit.
Did Faceless, Internet Entity just call The White Boys pathetic?
Did Faceless, Internet Entity just bash PORN?
Did Faceless, Internet Entity just bash the White Boys' sexy time with porn?!
Then we swallow the lump of horror in our throats . . .
grab our bug-out bags . . .
and we mother-fucking run.
Because as we already know, anyone who hetero-white-boy bashes in regards to women or gender (no matter how Jersey Shore the bashing may be), automatically becomes an ordained spokesperson for the feminist community and a representative of every feminist on planet earth in the universe. And those man-hating, baby-eating, witch, lesbian, Satanist, "Feminazis" will pay.
So, IACWE dedicated a reactionary segment to "Feminism."
AKA: Revenge-Fuck the Feminists Day
And the passive-aggressive fisting began:
"First - pornography does not create a bunch of anti-feminists. That's one of the most ridiculous things I've heard in a long time. Men and women both watch pornography."
It's true that there isn't one thing that simply "creates" another thing in the arena of social sciences. That being said, there is no way to substantiated the claim that porn does not trigger or compound some people's misogynist mentalities. That, however, does not mean porn is "bad." In the world of, well . . . grade 9 + academia, it is expected that you actually support your argument with some sort of information, and pointing out that men and women both watch porn, fails to challenge or contribute to the validity of either statement.
Critical media analysis skills are vital and consciousness of this is on the up-rise. But porn seems to fall into a DON'T GO THERE zone. I've witnessed otherwise media-critical men shut down intellectual discussion regarding porn as if the mere notion of being media-literate of it, of being aware of its potential down-sides, is absolutely ridiculous, like IACWE did here. When a hefty demographic can acknowledge the role of media in the implementation of class warfare, and yet turn around and hissy-fit when someone takes a jab at porn (and in more moderate and intellectual methods than Faceless Internet Entity did here), it's a red flag that we're dealing with some serious, societal mind-fuck.
My favourite analytical piece on porn is Douglas Haddow's Pornocalypse Now, which was published in Adbusters years ago. Originally I was going to post that link and move on. I don't like critically dipping into porn. I strongly believe in the freedom of sexual expression, and since porn falls into this vast, grey area, and is, in itself hugely diverse, giving intellectual attention to it (as a woman, anyway) inevitably leads to misconstruation and defensiveness. More than anything, I don't want to be tied to a chair weighted down by rocks and thrown into a body of water to see if I'll float.
But while writing this I began reading a book by Chris Hedges called Empire of Illusion, which dedicates 1/5 of its focus to the critical exploration of modern porn. Aside from first-hand accounts from porn actresses discussing HIV, Herpes, HPV; uterus hemorrhages, vaginal and anal tears that require surgery, "women having their insides coming out of them," infections from "ATM," women getting PTSD, etc., Hedge cites the following:
- World wide porn revenues hit $97 billion in 2006 (According to the Internet Filter Review).
- General Motors (owns DIRECTV) and AT&T absorb about 80 percent of all consumer porn dollars.
And the porn industry has nothing to do with class warfare?
For those who are supposedly well-versed in socio-economic and political issues, and who are posing as advocates for freedom, like IACWE, it's "ridiculous" for them to shut down the analysis of porn, or to freeze it out of discussion. Love it or hate it, porn is corporate. Porn is like the cum-crustied poster-child of the elite's ultimate, capitalist lie. Porn is one of the many swords of class warfare.
"Lots of women choose to objectify themselves by working at breastaurants and strip clubs or as escorts. That's their decision and no it is not because "the man" was keeping them down. Make a decision and own it because if you can work in a strip club - you can work at McDonalds. And guys who go to strip clubs aren't worse human beings than people who choose not to frequent them."
. . . . . . oh, sorry. I was busy filling out my application for employment at McDonalds. I just read that McDonalds' wages now match the wage of sex workers, and fuck, am I ever stoked. I'm also stoked for all those unemployed, middle-class born, American white dudes with $50, 000 worth of student debt who are complaining about "class warfare." They can also work at McDonalds-- it's not like "the man" is keeping them down.
It's interesting to read that, according to IACWE, all women who work in the sex industry have consciously "chosen to objectify themselves" instead of following other feasible opportunities. Apparently IACWE is overlooking, or just doesn't give a shit about the potential interplay of deeper, systemic issues, such as:
- The social conditioning (largely via media) that a woman's number one asset is her appearance and sexuality, which is constantly reinforced ad nauseum, and is financially rewarded.
- The possibility that entry level (typically part-time) jobs, like jobs in the fast food industry, may not offer wages that would allow for financial sustainability.
- Women with histories that involve childhood abuse, homelessness and severe poverty, drug abuse, etc.
. . . . . . to name a few examples.
But the truly cold part of IACWE's poorly conceptualized statement is the notion that while women are responsible for their own objectification in these roles, the men who "frequently" utilize the services of these women are void of any responsibility for objectifying them.
Sure, I can half-assedly get behind Fantasia Cockateaze owning her career gig, but listen here, mother-fuckers, if you're "frequently" paying Fantasia Cockateaze to grind her ass in your face and pretend she likes you, you better own that shit, too.
'Cause that, my friends, is a shining example of gender bias and gently packaged slut-shaming.
"What does being a feminist mean to you and can it go to far? I've always considered myself a feminist but I do hate when someone blames everyone else for their circumstances as in using it to deflect responsibility."
Too hypocritically narcissistic for me to comment on.
"I see that women are more than likely to remain in poverty than men; I think that has everything to do with their being more likely to be the caretaker of children. A guy pays child support (if the woman is lucky) but that is far, far easier to do than taking care of a kid by yourself. Were the "gender roles" reversed and men had to get pregnant and then breastfeed and take care of the children .... I suspect that men would be more likely to be in poverty. That's just my gut feeling."
IACWE seems confused as to what gender roles are. Biological factors, such as conception/ pregnancy is not a gender role. An extreme example of a gender role is, "bitch go make me a sandwich." While some gender roles may stem from common feminine or masculine traits, gender roles are a transformative social construction, and vary among cultures.
The amalgamation of child birth, child care, and traditional gender roles does play a role in women's impoverishment, but it's not really about the babies. And I say that because indigenous, matriarchal cultures do still exist. What this is really about is capitalist-industrialism, which partners with the patriarchal political system. One characteristic of the development of the working class, which came about in the nineteenth century, was the segmentation of the working class by race, religion, ethnicity, age, and gender; women and children were assigned to the lowest paying and crappiest work. There are many facets to women and poverty (and race and poverty) that vary from culture to culture, and transform over time, but all lead back to one thing: the notion that some groups are less than. There is a lot of literature on this topic that extends beyond someone's "gut feeling," but yeah, IACWE, . . . babies . . . a gut feeling . . . totally.
"#1 - Who is more responsible for "slut shaming" in American society - women or men?
#2 - Should "slut shaming" exist in a modern society where we denounce gender stereotypes?
#3 - Are self proclaimed "feminists" more likely or less likely to support promiscuity?
#4 - Is it better or worse to live in a world where a woman is able to pursue her sexuality without having to be pigeon holed as being a slut?"
I just had a bore-gasm; does that make me a slut?!
If we're truly at the consensus that people should have equal rights and freedoms regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation (something IACWE supposedly advocates), how the fuck are these discussion prompts not patronizingly hypocritical? "Should slut-shamming exist?"-- REALLY? Slut-shaming, whether displayed by men or women, is a control tactic that stems from fear. It has history, and it is systemic. If you clean off the bullshit surrounding prompt #4, what they're really asking is, "is it good or bad to live in a world where women have the same sexual freedoms as men?" Imagine the shit-show if the sexes were reversed in that prompt.
Instead of acknowledging sexual gender biases and inciting exploratory discussion surrounding "slut-shaming," IACWE has actually validated sexual gender biases as potentially being substantiated, of potentially having worth, and in doing so, have given them power.
IACWE may only be one independent media source, but their "revenge-fuck" was a reality check. While I don't expect every Joe Schmo to have an interest/ understanding of this stuff, I do expect understanding from people who are speaking to 132,000 followers (oh sorry, 138, 000 now) and posing as experts of class warfare. If the education is not there, I expect humility and empathy. I expect an interest to learn. I expect a display of humanity that exceeds the lame-ness of our political forefathers. Or Fox News. I expect this because I have a brain and a heart, a self-esteem, and a standard for moral justice.
Feminism is acknowledging class warfare; feminists were fighting for freedom and equality, and debunking systemic bullshit long before these Gen Y Amurikans began feeling personally slighted by the system. For IACWE to patronize feminists is a betrayal. While I'm typically perceived as the Gentle Feminist, making cock jokes with the boys and embracing commonalities regardless of where people's values may lay (if we latch onto our differences rather than our similarities, we're fucked), I'm also not going to play the part of some boys club appeasing sell-out who smiles while waiting for the mind-fucked sheeple to stop degrading me. To stop degrading us.
So . . .
Fuck you, I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists.
No, you heard me-- f-u-c-k y-o-u.
We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders. - Maya Angelou