This is not to say that I won’t continue to work until everyone, from every walk of life, is able to enjoy all the rights and privileges that a human being deserves. This is also not to say that I will be identifying myself with any anti-feminist movements. I am simply going to strive to be a compassionate person. It’s funny, actually. It seems that there needn’t be a movement for that at all, rather it should simply be the way things are.
Lately, I have noticed that the feminist movement has really diverged from my initial understanding of it. Many feminists are arguing back and forth, or with potential assets, over what is politically correct and what is offensive. Feminists claim to fight for sympathy, compassion, understanding and equality, but I’ve noticed that a large amount of discrimination and accusation actually comes from a lot of feminists. This place should be an outlet for discussion, but it’s really just a battlefield disguised as one!
Do you see what you are doing? You have one of the greatest tools in the history of the world at your fingertips. You have the power to reach out to thousands of people with your words in less than 24 hours! Lucretia Mott and Emma Goldman would have lunged at the opportunity to spread awareness through such an incredible tool as the internet. Do you think they would have used their words as hateful artillery toward people who only wanted to help, or even to those who disagreed? I doubt it.
One thing I would like to address, as I have previously, is the use of the word “privilege” as an argumentative strategy. I think it is important to make you all understand how that turns a person off to your movement, and how not only is it a fallacious argument — it is completely antithetical to the principle of understanding, which is so important if you want to spread your ideas to others. You can’t really begin to understand a person’s privileges until you understand them as a person.
Someone being a white male does not automatically make them “privileged”. Someone having a job does not make them “privileged” by default. Until you have asked about a person’s struggles, you cannot accuse them of being “privileged” based solely on the fact that they are able-bodied.
I have discussed this in detail before, but a lot of people have accused my boyfriend of being “privileged”, and yet he does still identify with the feminist movement. People have used this term without asking him about his life. Did they know he was homeless for a time? Did they know that he suffers from an anxiety disorder? Did they know he experienced some abuse in the home when he was a child? Or do these things not matter, simply because he is a white male who now has a home, with food on the table?
Some people are discriminating against some very valuable assets, and I for one consider it a miracle that these assets have chosen to remain with the movement.
What is the point of trying to convince us to join your movement if we are not allowed to speak because we are somehow “privileged”? What is the point of a movement at all if you cannot allow discussion?
I seriously doubt that this letter of renouncement will have much effect on the feminist community. But, I do feel that I am representing a large group of voices who have gone silent because of the staggering amount of in-fighting in the movement.
These are very real issues. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t be a prejudiced shit head sometimes. Worth the read.
Sad, but I understand. I still call myself a feminist (well, sometimes) despite these issues, but it does bother me a lot.
I disagree with the OP’s definition of privilege (though I do agree that the ‘privilege card’ is overused and derails a lot of discussions), but otherwise this is spot-on. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
One of my main problems with feminism. The obsession with labeling others as privileged (as opposed to focusing on those discriminated against/ oppressed) and the political correctness dominating the feminist discourse.
“Subjected to nine days of torture after her detention, Ms Gormezi described how she was beaten across the face with electric cables, kept in a tiny, freezing cell and forced to clean lavatories with her bare hands. All the while, she was beaten on the head and the body until she lost consciousness. “Many of the guards were Yemenis and Jordanians,” she said…. The second night she was placed in another cell with the two vents for air conditioning producing freezing air. She was taken out for regular beatings. “I was very frightened,” she said. “But I did not think they would kill me because every time I lost consciousness from the beatings, they called a doctor.”—Poet jailed in protests claims she was beaten by Bahraini royal | The Independent, July 18, 2011
are you married? and if not, why not? Do you believe in a Mr. Right (soul mate) or must people make do with whatever they get in order to not be lonely?
I’m not married because I haven’t found the right person, and also because I’m 24 and that’s considered too early for marriage in Israel, so I don’t feel pressure to start looking. I think the concept of soul mates is somewhat of an invention. All relationships require work and there isn’t one person who would be a “perfect” partner. But of course, some people fit well together and others don’t.
I think there’s a difference between being lonely and being single. One can be single and not feel lonely, and one can be in a relationship and even married and still feel lonely. So I definitely don’t think people should “do with whatever they get”. People should enjoy being single and enter into relationships only if they feel like there’s a real connection with the person (emotional, intellectual and physical).
Brief update about upcoming undemocratic legislation in the Knesset
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office is now working hard to block several pieces of un-democratic legislation that were set to be voted on next week in the plenum/committees. The PMO wants to get through to the recess in three weeks with no additional PR nightmare laws. Among the pieces of legislation PMO is blocking: MK Akunis & MK Kirshenbaum’s law prohibiting NGOs from accepting contributions larger than 20K NIS from foreign governments, and MK Kirshenbaum’s proposal that would force NGOs that aren’t supported by the government to pay a 45% tax on all contributions.
Netanyahu is also reportedly furious at Yisrael Beytenu for pushing for the vote in the plenum for their proposal to establish committees to investigate leftist NGOs (the so-called “McCarthy bill”). The voting on the bill was postponed several times and was now resurrected because Yisrael Beytenu wants to upstage Netanyahu and embarrass Likud MKs who might vote against the bill, thus alienating their voters (in recent months, an increasing number of even more right-wing voters, including a large number of “National religious” Israelis have joined Likud). The bill will be voted on in the plenum on Wednesday and it isn’t expected to pass because Netanyahu isn’t enforcing coalition or party discipline, which means HaAtzmaut (Barak’s party) and some Likud MKs will vote against it or simply not attend the vote (as Netanyahu plans on doing). Lieberman has already declared that Bibi’s decision not to enforce coalition discipline would be seen as an attack on Yisrael Beytenu because in the anti-boycott bill vote, coalition discipline was enforced officially (in practice, HaAtzmaut didn’t show up for the vote as did some Likud ministers).
It’s unclear whether the PMO will block MK Kirshenbaum’s bill that was prepared in committee for the final votes in the plenum. The law would force home owners to pay for the demolition of their illegally-built homes. During the committee hearings an amendment by MK Zeev Elkin (who authored the anti-boycott law) was added to the bill that specifically excludes illegally-built homes in the settlements.
Out of their utter confusion between international criticism of Israeli policies and existential danger for Israel, the more moderate rightwingers look for a scapegoat for Israel’s unprecedented isolation. The Israeli left and human rights organisations are an easy target. Rightwingers claim that these provide the international community with ammunition for criticising Israel, and are trying to silence them.