This post contains my account as a survivor of rape. I’m not looking for public expressions of sympathy nor to argue the specifics of my situation. For context, despite my feminine name, I grew up as a boy and am genderqueer.
“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
“Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
“Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”
So say the Lord’s prayer, Martin Luther King Jr., Yoda, and some random picture I found when I image searched “forgiveness meme” while researching this article. There’s no shortage of cultural wisdom extolling the virtues of forgiving people. There’s a lot there I agree with — as someone who desires to live in a society with neither prisons nor constant warfare, forgiveness is an important part of my political practice. I’m no pacifist, either, but I think the cycle of how violence begets violence is damn important for revolutionaries to understand.
Continue reading How I Learned to Hate My Rapist
Hi. I’m coming out as genderqueer.
For people who know me, and people who know what genderqueer means, this probably isn’t some big surprise. I told a couple of my friends that I was going to come out — like this, in writing — and they just assumed I was already out.
According to the New Oxford American Dictionary (yes, that one that comes with Mac), genderqueer as an adjective is: “denoting or relating to a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.”
Continue reading Coming Out as Genderqueer
I ran across this article today, A Few Things To Stop Doing When You Find A Feminist Blog. It’s all stuff that ought to be basic don’t-be-a-shithead 101 stuff but of course hasn’t been. I highly recommend reading it: it’s thorough and well-thought-out. Some highlights:
Coming into a feminist conversation with, “Have you considered that sometimes women acquire free drinks at bars?” is like walking into graduate school during Philosophy finals and saying, “Have you considered that the color blue that I see may not be the color blue that you see?”
If we live in a culture in which certain abuses are always, inherently, unforgivably horrible and wrong, then the responsibility for those abuses always rests upon the perpetrator, who has done something horrible and wrong.
If we live in a culture in which some people are unvalued enough that we are allowed to commit certain abuses upon their bodies without those abuses being considered horrible and wrong, then the responsibility lies with those unvalued people for acting/living/being in unvalued ways, and “choosing” to be unvalued becomes the thing that is horrible and wrong, because it was the existence of an unvalued person that created the abuse and the rape (instead of the existence of a perpetrator).
My first political issue was probably gender liberation and feminism. It helped that so many of my friends in high school were women. And one of the things that immediately drew me to anarchism was that the anarchist culture had a very healthy respect for feminism, and I believe offered some critical solutions to the issue of patriarchy that hadn’t been brought up by more liberal feminist and queer rights folks.
Almost four years ago, I wrote a zine, Said The Pot to the Kettle: Feminist Theory for Anarchist Men (link goes to a page of links to pdfs). At the time, it was hard to find anarcha-feminist resources, particularly printed ones. There is and was an excellent collection online, Sally Darity on anarcha.org. And there’s Quiet Rumours: An Anarcha-Feminist Reader, but everything in that book is at least decades old. Not that our his/herstory ain’t important, mind you, but I was trying to find things more relevant to our modern culture. And I love printed things. There were a few zines, and now there are plenty more, which is a good thing.
At least from what the internets makes me think, eastern europe (and europe in general) has got a more thriving anarcha-feminist scene and culture. In Romania this year, there will be the fourth LoveKills Anarcha-Feminist Festival, this one which will be a week-long campout. The same collective regularly puts out a zine, LoveKills, and once a year they do a compilation of articles in english (link to page of pdfs) for those of us who don’t speak Romanian. I’m gonna be printing those ones out and reading them today.
A group in Germany puts out a guide to anarcha-feminist resources around the world.