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Mar 25 2006

Blog Against Stuff

I love Blog Against Stuff days. What could be more ecumenical than being against stuff, writing about it on the World Wide Web, and having 23 like-minded people read it and cry out, “damn, you so rock”? Take heteronormativity. Nubian at Blac(k)ademic is spearheading Blog Against Heteronormativity Day on April 22. Anti-heteronormativists unite.

Not coincidentally—because I am against practically everything—I am totally against heteronormativity. Heteronormative againstness oozes from my every pore. It is something of a force. In fact, heteronormative ideologies scatter like cockroaches whenever I come sauntering along with my uniboobal spinster ambiguosity. And I am all the time going, “Hey queer girls, resist assimiliation! Reject the boy-girl paradigm of dominance and submission! Repudiate marriage and its subsequent nuclear family, which will only implant a patriarchal control device in your cerebral cortex and consign you to a lifetime of isolation and consumerist serfdom! Oh, and quit calling me ‘bitch.’ ”

I write this now in case I forget to do it on April 22.

Speaking of Nubian, she is contemplating bagging blogging because honky blogs get more recognition than of-color blogs, and she has had it up to here with marginalization. She sensibly hypothesizes that white bloggers only link to her when she writes about “how fucked up white people are,” and that this constitutes white guilt.

Yeah, the irony of my linking to her post in this context does not escape me.

Still, as a small-time feminist blogger who can count on one hand the number of times an article at I Blame The Patriarchy has been acknowledged via linkage by white dude blogs* (let alone of-color blogs of any gender), I can sorta relate. I now paraphrase a dead gay white dude: possibly the only thing worse than being linked to is not being linked to.

I hope Nubian will decide to keep up her blog. The more the merrier.

*most of which only do it to say something like “look at the hysterical humorless hairy feminist.”

58 comments

2 pings

  1. schatze

    “*most of which only do it to say something like “look at the hysterical humorless hairy feminist.””

    You are so not hairy.

  2. Ron Sullivan

    So when’s Blog Against Polysyllabification Day? I’m so down with that.

    I think I’ll join B against H day myself, actually. The very second thing I liked about Berkeley, the moment I knew I was home here, was exactly its much-reduced heteronormativity. It’s incredibly freeing not to have to fit in.

    (The first thing? Riding in at midnight with the zillions of street agapanthuses glowing an unearthly blue under the orange sodium-vapor streetlights and seeing streets named after Chaucer, Addison, and Euclid. Yeah, I was young and easily impressed. And I’d never had to dig up an agapanthus.)

  3. bitchphd

    Yeah, I too was gonna say, “Twisty, you’re not hairy.” In fact, I propose that you take advantage of your not-hairness to make yourself the (albeit temporary) poster child for repudiating the hairy strawfeminist.

  4. flea1

    It’s my fault. It’s my fault she’s thinking about ending the blog. I just found her last week via a link, and I put her under my favorites on the desktop, to be added to the blogroll as soon as I got around to it. I’m not saying this happens every time, but it seems to happen often enough that as soon as I get it into my head to blogroll somebody, they either change their url or give up blogging. *koff*twisty*koff*

    If only I could harness my powers for good!

    Or money.

  5. mrs_enid

    As a member of your limited audience of lunatic fringies , I did get what you were saying over there in Nubian’s comments, about popularity being automatically elusive for non-mainstream bloggers. It is a sad, but true, fact that 99.9% of the population is only interested in hearing viewpoints that validate what they already experience or believe. Liberal blogs that focus on fashionable liberal issues and viewpoints, such as mainsteam environmentalism, gay marriage or bourgeois feminism, will always be more popular than those that represent a marginalized point of view.

    Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see any of the uber-popular lefty blogs regularly dealing with subjects like poverty, transgenderism or issues affecting people of color. I think that may be because the majority of the authors of those blogs don’t have personal experience or expertise regarding those issues and may feel a bit presumptuous blogging about them. Thus, blogs, like this one, that don’t reflect the values of mainstream liberalism will always be marginalized.

    I am admittedly pretty bourgeois, and I don’t blog. However, if I did, I certainly wouldn’t hold myself out as an expert on topics like those I mentioned above. I know I’d sound like a real goofball if I tried to make any sort of profound statement about what poor or disabled people’s experiences are, or how racism affects the lives of people of color. I imagine that most of the white liberals who blog would feel the same way, so they don’t do it. However, I also recognize that self-described liberals should not be comfortable with a blogosphere that marginalizes Twisty, Nubian or others who deal with issues that aren’t necessarily considered fashionable by mainstream liberals. Opening oneself up to a real dialogue about difficult issues that one may not understand isn’t easy or fun. There is a real risk of criticism or public embarassment accompanying those conversations. I’m also not naive enough to believe that people will start having those conversations on any large scale in order to make a point of including or reaching out to marginalized voices.

  6. Twisty

    Bitch PhD:

    Ha!

    Actually, since the really evil chemo ended a couple months ago (as opposed to the slightly more tolerable chemo that just ended this week) I’m becoming hairier by the day. I now have a full quarter-inch of weird ash-colored down on my head. Also, there are 3 eyebrow hairs, and a sort of blondish stubble on my eyelids where the lashes used to be. It’s all very exciting, this cancer makeover.

    Oh, and Flea, that’s precisely why I don’t have a blogroll. The social ramifications are just too daunting.

  7. jaye

    I wouldn’t mind organizing a “blog against the bastards” day to stick it to male bloggers over sexism. Liberal/Conservative sexism.

    I can’t do graphics, but I am open to suggestions. . .

    Supporting this might hurt your KOUFAX, Twisty.

  8. Chris Clarke

    Twisty: Ha!

    Look at the hysterically humory, hairless feminist!

  9. E.

    “Uniboobal spinster ambiguosity” has to be one of the best self-descriptive phrases I’ve ever heard. Heteronormativity should be afraid, very afraid.

    Twisty, I think it’s fair to say that every day is Blog Against Heteronormativity day at I Blame the Patriarchy.

  10. Kate

    Thanks Twisty for linking over the Nubian’s blog. I have saved her blog and i hope she keeps going or at least finds a way to balance such with her academics. I am one who was guilty of seeing her, posting there once and then not visiting again. I will make it a point to be there more often as i hope I am welcome there. There is the issue of a white person cramming their face into every space a person of color carves out for themselves, so I was cautious and figured her place wasn’t a place I belonged.

    Maybe I don’t. maybe she’s only talking to people of color? I don’t know still.

    The mainstream left is bankrupt in many ways, one of which is that they are inundated with white priviledge and since that is where their money comes from, they have no intention to change their pandering patterns. That’s my experience with them. I used to challenge them alot when I was on funding boards, etc. in the 90′s, but they didn’t need to listen to me. I was just ruffling them up for the day or hour and then they’d go back home, forget it and feel fine tomorrow.

  11. Tam

    I visited there once and left because I just don’t read blogs without capitalisation. It just drives me crazy to read blogs which seem to be written as if the writer were text-messaging on a cell phone. I can stand the occasional typo, but not the trail-of-consciousness i-don’t-do-capitals stuff.

  12. lavalamp

    Tam, your post reminds me of a wimyn-friend I used to know back in the day that was very anti-puntuation and grammar. She claimed it was a tool of the patriarchy. I claimed it was just because she didn’t know how to spell and punctuate…

    Twisty, re your Airstream plans, there’s a couple places out on IH 35 in Buda that I drive by on my way in to Austin that seem to have some in the lot:

    http://www.camperclinic.com/showroom2.asp

    The downside of this is that it’s very near Cabelas- crawling with patriarchy cooties. I get heeby jeebies just driving past the place.

    just a suggestion

  13. Hattie

    Well, I spent the day selling shit at a garage sale, the money to be used to provide college scholarships for local women. It’s the kind of thing bourgie women like me do when we’re not primping and having tea parties.
    I, too, am discriminated against. I may just be the world’s oldest blogger. In fact, I’m thinking of renaming my blog, “The World’s Oldest Blogger,” but that would be false advertising, since old age is not the only thing I blog about.

  14. Pinko Punko

    Well, we link to you all the time, even though our den reeks of junior high, socks, nerdburgers, boy, the faintest whiff of testosterone, and most-likely somewhat inadvertant but all-consuming patriarchy.

  15. Twisty

    “Well, we link to you all the time, even though our den reeks of junior high, socks, nerdburgers, boy, the faintest whiff of testosterone, and most-likely somewhat inadvertant but all-consuming patriarchy.”

    What, you guys are dudes?

  16. hedonistic

    I think all Twisyisms should be added to Wikipedia.

  17. Pony

    Hedonistic

    Wikipedia handlers want to punt anything dicitonary-ish into Wiktionary. But there it has to meet certain criteria. I don’t think Twistyisms will meet the time used criteria.

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Criteria_for_inclusion

  18. thebewilderness

    andy offut, a science fiction writer, popularized all manner of folding spindeling bending and mutilating of IBM punchcards that used to come with our monthly bills. It all started when the hospital did not want to surrender custody of his newborn until he paid the bill. He wrote a short story about a child growing up in the hospital as her parents paid and paid on a bill that went up and up.
    He always published his work with his name in lower case to fuck with the system. It worked at the time because the system had zero flexibility.
    skippythebushkangaroo practices this rebellious activity to this day.

  19. Pinko Punko

    We are only dudes in the sense that all American/scratch that all males, even Chris Clarke (that individual is a dude, right?), have been marinated in Patriarchy. We only add the disclaimer because we feel that our Patriarchy blaming sometimes falls down on the job or is not up to code. Our dudely fibers cannot but have incorporated some patriarchical flavoring. That is why we come to IBTP, it’s like an industrial strength palate/patriarchy cleansing sorbet.

  20. Sara

    This is a great post, deliciously written. Thanks.

    Yeah, I hope Nubian keeps up her blog, too, even though it holds little interest for me personally. Thing is, the appropriate response to not being heard is not to stop talking.

    That said, please excuse me while I return to my excruciatingly heteronormative lifestyle full of birthday cake and tax returns. You don’t have to come along if you don’t want to, I promise.

  21. hedonistic

    Twisty, I applaud your hairiness. Mazeltov!

  22. Frumious B

    To be quite frank, the whole linking to and fro of blogs baffles me. Koufax awards and TTLB heriarchies baffle me, too. It’s all some huge, cool kids club that people are excited to join, and, I’m sorry, why, again? Why does anyone care that another blog links to theirs? or doesn’t? or whatever? Actually, it’s not just the blog o’ verse that engages in this practice. There are cool kids clubs everywhere I turn, all with a hierarchy, and gods, and syncophants. I get none of them. Whatever it is that you do, there are thousands of people out there don’t give a shit about it, so do it for yourself.

    So Twisty, just curious, what color was your hair before chemo?

  23. Chris Clarke

    Whatever it is that you do, there are thousands of people out there don’t give a shit about it, so do it for yourself.

    I was beginning to wonder if I was the only solipsist around here.

  24. Bitch | Lab

    Nubian (kortney) wasn’t complaining about popularity. She was speaking to a discussion that’s been going on among Women of Color bloggers and assuming, as many of us do, that people who were familiar with the discussions would understand what she was saying without elaboration.

    While it’s certainly easy to be hurried and uninterested in truly understanding someone, I’m more than a little disappointed that people are so unaware of the issues that concern women of color that it wouldn’t be obvious what she was talking about, to wit:

    The lack of substantive discussion about issues that matter to women of color. The things that get people most riled up — huge wars over “breeders” or whether or not to take your husband’s name — is so narrowly focused on the interested of white, middle class women, it’s alienating to those who aren’t middle class white women.

    And, sometimes, it’s not just alienating, but interpreted as thoroughly insensitive to issues such as racism and genocide — as with the thread on zero-population growth. Or the thread on Korean farmers who were described as rednecks, hayseeds, ugly. The problem, furthermore, was attributed to their moral failure (Korean rejects) rather than the global operations of of economy that operates like a juggernaut which shatters people and communities and ancient ways of living, throwing people into turmoil as young people — men and women alike — flee to industrialized cities leaving the eldest sons behind because that is their tradition.

    Imagine you’re Korean reading that Korean men are really hayseeds and rednecks — maybe he’s your brother who you left behind while you get a degree her in the states. Applying the term redneck alone to another culture is insulting. (Using it in this culture is bad enough but it is used with shocking regularity on this blog.)

    Talking about raising families in front of women reading who may have been subject to a history of genocide is not particularly amusing. For many people of color, the family is _not_ seen as the source of their oppression. Instead, it is the place they turn for comfort in a world that shits all over them every step of the way. As women of color, radicalized feminists, they are fully aware of their patriarchal nature of their worlds. They are also fully aware that patriarchy isn’t the only issue: they need to work with men to fight racism and classism.

    Now, I realize that radical feminism is often articulated as an explanatory account of the nature of all oppression such that women’s oppression is primary. Fine, the debate should follow along those lines: which explanatory theory is more adequate to the task of helping us understand how to proceed.

    Women of color, naturally, tend to reject that position and have their own theories and arguments which, as white women and feminist who care about those issues we might want to consider if we truly want to work — together — for a better world.

    Meanwhile, from reading Kortney and other WoC bloggers, they’re not interested in popularity. They’re upset that these blogs are not safe spaces for them, their views. There are at least two comments above that are extremely offensive. Others have simply blown it all off as if it’s unimportant.

    People have been trying to say that they see racism and exclusion going on in terms of content and discussions at major feminists blogs. You can either choose to listen with an open heart or not. I think that, if we choose the latter, then we are only hurting ourselves.

    The question is, do you see your liberation as connected to that of women of color? Or, do you find it “personally” uninteresting. If you see that you cannot be liberated without also working to liberate women of color, then I believe that means choosing the former.

    I’ll leave you with the words of Maria Lugones, working through the concept of “loving perception” (as opposed to arrogant perception):

    “To love my mother was not possible for me while I retained a sense that it was fine for me and others to see her arrogantly. Loving my mother also required that I see with her eyes, that I go into my mother’s world, that I see both of us as we are constructed in her world, that I witness her own sense of herself from within her world. Only through this traveling to her ‘world’ could I identify with her because only then could I cease to ignore her and to be excluded and separate from her. Only then could I see her as a subject even if one subjected and only then could I see at all how meaning could arise fully between us. We are fully dependent on each other for the possibility of being understood and without this understanding we are not intelligible, we do not make sense, we are not solid, visible, integrated; we are lacking. So traveling to each other’s ‘worlds’ would enable us to be through loving each other”

  25. Kate

    I think nubian’s reflections and/or feelings of insignifigance came from a sense of being ignored primarily because she focuses on race issues from the black perspective. She rightly points up that the so-called ‘progressives’ who state they wish to make change in all areas of injustice tend to stick in their predominantly white centers of comfort.

    I find her blog points up a lot of cogent points about racism and sexism and that white people would do well to listen up to the words of black folk a little more often. The oppression of people in a patriarchy doesn’t end with gender, it also divides by any other lines it can muster in order to conquer and control. And lets not ignore that most of the patriarchy of which we speak in our culture is based also on white priviledge as a tool of power.

    To not recognize that and how we as white people play into that is to ignore yet another important part of the engine that drives the patriarchy.

    I don’t know if she’ll keep her blog up, but I know there are many other non-white female blogs out there. A little exercise for the brain never hurt anyone last I knew.

  26. Kate

    Here here bitch! We must have been writing simoutaneously as i didn’t see your post before I posted…

    eloquently put.

  27. Sophist

    I was beginning to wonder if I was the only solipsist around here.

    The problem with writing as if your audience doesn’t exist is that the line between solipsism and onanism so thin.

  28. Pony

    Homosexual issues? Black issues. Just go for the discourse, and never mind the friggin’ dividers.

    I’m here. But I am not a lesbian, nor do I have breast cancer, my hair is thinning but I still got waaaay more then Twisty, and I’m older than all of you (Ron? yes!). None of you NONE OF YOU (capital letters shouting Sunha style) are talking about MY ISSUES.

    Old woman issues.

    Get with my issues. Will ya?

  29. Pony

    I’ll probably get crucified for this (oh wait that’s another thread…) but here goes:

    If you’re interesting to read and saying something no-one else has said, and/or saying it in a way no-one else has said it, and being somewhat inclusive so that no matter how one defines oneself, they see themselves in what you’ve said; you’ll get read.

    Why most of us are here, I’d venture. We don’t give a rat’s ass if the host is Black, homosexual, transgendered, a dude, Injun or Canadian. Do you ever leave a Twisty post without having it all rearranged up there?

    No-one asked but I’d advise the blog du sujet to hone it right down to it’s essence. Bring it in hard.

  30. darkymac

    Keep on talking sister, I’d say to nubian if I wanted to join her commenters, which I don’t because I’m already sharing that stuff with my own darky community.

    However I fancy that blogs are no more and no less than any flesh and blood community and this being so, it’s going to be a long long time before we can include each other without rubbing each other the wrong way. Gee, I can’t go to a local Country Women’s Association meeting yet, even though they pay scholarships for darkies.

    Keep on reminding everybody about your sensitivities bitch|lab. You get heard only if you speak up.
    Will you listen if anyone explains literate southern Texan lesbian feminist anger to you?
    Will you want to know yet?
    Will most of Twisty’s readers want to know about your anger yet?
    They are still sharing their own discovery of the monstrous set-up that their own white patriarchy has shoved them into.
    Twisty’s cutting through much of the US patriarchal bullshit in a poetic way.
    Most certainly Twisty’s singing to the choir but the choir hasn’t heard her harmonies anywhere else.

    Where would this literate woman of colour be (oh what a cringe that term is for me) without the blatant inclusiveness of a gifted writer like Twisty?

    The net?
    Blogs?
    Wadjala* inventions and part of the dominant paradigm.
    What sister nubian’s doing is anticipating something that her co-opting of blogging is working towards.
    Cart before horse, what?

    Blogging is only a few years old.
    Give it time to develop into more than a soapbox corner.

    * Us mob’s** term for ‘whitey’.
    ** Us mob’s term for ‘we Australian aboriginal’s’

  31. Pinko Punko

    To Bitch,

    Mentioning the offensive comments is a passive aggressive stance, only in that you either presume people on this thread are reasonable albeit insensitive to many issues you may educate them about, or you don’t. It is either a key point in your argument in that it should be elaborated so that dialogue may proceed around it, or it should be elided in that in doesn’t distract from your overarching point. I’m not going to try to determine which were the offending comments, but there it is. This comment is not to shout you down, it is to encourage your participation in the debate so we may learn from your views.

    (TF, if you think I’m out of line, please feel free to delete the comment, not that you need my permission, I think you know what I mean).

  32. Vibrating Liz

    Bitch | Lab has been discussing the comments from this thread that she found offensive over on her own blog.

  33. Grace

    No one else has noticed/mentioned that the date chosen is also Earth Day. Which, granted, is a relic of the white, bourgeois, wilderness-porn 1970s brand of environmentalism, but is still the only date that many Americans pay any attention whatsoever to the global environmental crisis. And the capital-fueled anthropocentrist consumer madness that’s currently putting the human enterprise on a collision course with the laws of physics is the seething stew in which all other oppressions (patriarchy, racism, heteronormativity, poverty) are mere ingredients.

    To say it slightly less dramatically, why couldn’t she have picked the 21st?

  34. hedonistic

    I recall a recent debate among feminist bloggers about prostitution. I was very late to the debate and did not participate. However, I noticed that a few bloggers saw the matter through the radical feminist lens while others saw through a primarily Marxist one. It was FASCINATING, because the conclusions of what, if anything, needed to be done about prostitution were different.

    Was one side “wrong?” I don’t know. I have noticed, however, that we all gravitate and remain at the blogs where the authors agree with us, much as we cleave to our friends who share our opinions. To spend time at blogs that frame our issues differently than we do can be uncomfortable.

    So I ask myself, to what extent am I looking to be validated? Do I dare be challenged, especially by those hyperliterates out there who really, and I mean reaaaaaaly, know what they’re talking about?

    So many blogrolls out there look like single issue blogrolls. We’ve become an echo chamber. I’ve only recently started my blog, and don’t have much of a blogroll yet. I’ve decided, however, that it’s gonna be a real mixed bag when I get around to it.

  35. Chris Clarke

    To say it slightly less dramatically, why couldn’t she have picked the 21st?

    I caught some flak for picking the date I did for Blog Against Racism Day. I chose the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ canonical act of civil disobedience. Seemed like a good idea, right? Except that it was also World AIDS day. I was accused of being counterproductive and insensitive. (Both of those allegations are generally true in most situations.)

    And some bloggers wrote about AIDS, and some about racism, and some about both.

    I think many people can hold more than one idea at a time in their heads. I think that until the rest of us learn to do so, the other side will keep winning. What’s more, there is no single day, with the possible exception of December 25, that does not have a number of important issues associated with it. Millions of issues, 365.24 days to the year. There’s no avoiding overlap.

    And a win-win solution exists: write about the connections between heteronormativity and environmental destruction.

  36. Rad Geek

    Pony: If you’re interesting to read and saying something no-one else has said, and/or saying it in a way no-one else has said it, and being somewhat inclusive so that no matter how one defines oneself, they see themselves in what you’ve said; you’ll get read.

    The phrase “If you’re interesting to read” is an interesting choice. Interesting to whom? To you? To the general run of people who happen to be sitting around looking for weblogs on topics that interest them?

    Maybe what some people are trying to suggest that some of these people ought to reconsider what they find interesting.

  37. Piig

    To spend time at blogs that frame our issues differently than we do can be uncomfortable. So I ask myself, to what extent am I looking to be validated?

    Exactly. I read Blac(k)ademic, and other WOC blogs almost daily. I believe that it’s my responsibility as a White woman who opposes racism to listen to women of color. Most of the time I find myself in total agreement, but other times I am challenged and feel a little defensive. I take time out to examine that defensiveness and its roots. And usually it comes down to feeling a little hurt at not being completely trusted and understood as an ally in the struggle. It’s difficult not being trusted by a community of feminists for which I feel solidarity, but the reality of the situation is that I benefit from my white skin and it shields me from the struggles that WOC experience daily. This separates me from them in many ways whether I like it or not, and I have to respect and understand that while continuing to do my part to educate other White people about racism. It’s not about personal interest and comfort, it’s about justice.

  38. Hattie

    Gee, I can’t go to a local Country Women’s Association meeting yet, even though they pay scholarships for darkies.

    How’s that? And who said anything about darkies? I don’t belong to any “exclusive” clubs. The problem is that the groups I do belong to consist mostly of old white women, although we have been picking up some younger more racially diverse members of late. We lobby for clean elections and public financing of elections, (League of Women Voters) and provide scholarships for local women (American Association of University Women). Most of us have spent years in teaching, nursing, and social work, the professions traditionally open to women. I have taught English to immigrants and refugees and prison inmates most of my working life, not exactly an “elite” line of work, although I must confess to a good standard of living thanks to my husband’s profession.
    The fact is that many who could work with organizations like LWV and AAUW don’t do so, because they don’t care to associate with old women. Nonetheless, we get some respect, not for our gray hairs but for our tradition of service. Most of us are pretty shrewd about how people regard us and don’t bother to worry about that. We use our seeming unimportance as leverage to access politicians and the media and public institutions in order to forward our agenda. Our big advantage is that, having nothing to lose, we’re very honest and incorruptible. Some of us may be inclined to vanity, but that’s a small vice, I think.
    So how about you young women and women of color joining the LWV Voters and the AAUW? We could use your help. Sure a lot of us have class and race attitudes that are less than admirable, but we get things done. Don’t you want one person one vote? Don’t you want more women of color to get college educations? Work with us.
    My heroine on the local scene is Helene Hale, a woman of intelligence, stamina, and physical courage. She is finally retiring at the age, I think, of 85, after a lifetime of teaching and social-political activism. Now she has gotten too frail to go on with her job as state legislator. As a young woman she walked into the cane fields and worked to organize for the union at a time when activists were being murdered. She received many death threats but never backed down. She could have taken life easy, but she never did. I’m working on a tribute to her for her retirement party.
    I want to say that this thread is the single most valuable discussion on issues of concern to all women that I have ever read. We must break down the barriers between us. We live in a system that sets us against each other, makes us angry and bitter. We can take charge of a lot of things. Use our power. I know women are overwhelmed. I am, too. Still,we have got to keep working and hoping. Join some good organizations. Find a heroine and follow in her footsteps. It works for me.

  39. Sara

    I’m amused by the number of people here who talk about only reading blogs that agree with them. Really? You do that? Huh.

    I don’t have a lot of time for blogging, but I do find the time to read this blog avidly in spite of the fact that I only agree with Twisty and/or her various commenters about 60-75% of the time. The Great Frisée Debate of 2006 is a stunning example of how disparate our polemics can get yet still hold me enthralled.

    I don’t have time to read blogs about things that bore me, e.g., academia. Sorry. I love blogs that are witty and lively, that pique my intellect, that use the language beautifully and reflect the writers’ full-on, love-powered involvement in life outside of the Internet. These are the ones that grab — and hold — my interest. But that’s just me, one billionth part of the greater blog audience. No one should be threatened or even annoyed by my or anyone else’s lack of interest in any given blog.

    I have my own love-powered involvement in life outside of the Internet which keeps me too busy to read the words of every single person with an issue, even though I might sympathize with or even share the issue. My own blog, to which I’m lucky if I can find time to contribute more than once or twice a month, has a target audience of about six percent of the American population. Do I resent the fact that it only got about 10,000 hits in its first year, about half of which came from porn-seeking acrotomophiliacs and about a third of which were looking for TUK shoes? No. Do I feel voiceless or marginalized because other liberals and feminists and middle-aged suburbanites aren’t there en masse to clap me on the shoulder every time I post about poverty, health care, objectification, gardening, or war? Strangely, no again.

    Meanwhile, I think I’m going to have to pop over to Hattie’s blog sometime and peruse it, even though, no, I don’t agree that “this thread is the single most valuable discusson on issues of concern to all women” and, no again, I also don’t have time right at this moment to think about and discuss others that I think mean more.
    Too bad I can’t find a link to Hattie’s blog here. Anybody know what it is? Uh, Hattie?

    Oh, shucks, maybe nobody’ll read this, and thus I’ll never find out. Naturally, I blame the patriarchy for that, and for my lack of time.

  40. Hattie

    Uh, Twisty. The links to other blogs aren’t working.

  41. Hattie

    Now others seem to work, just not mine.

  42. tigtog

    Cooeee, darkymac!

    I’ve been trying to find some aboriginal aussie blogs without a great deal of success. I read GST but it doesn’t link to any blog but its own, and the didj blogs only link to other didj blogs. Have you got any good links to commentary blogs by aboriginal women? (if you put a link to your blog with your comment above I’m afraid it didn’t work).

  43. Kate

    Those of us who are white would do ourselves well to take the opportunity to listen to the community of color and what it says about US. We as white folk live in a community that values our opinions and thoughts and we live comfortably on the fact that, although we deal with sexism within the patriarchy, we don’t deal with the double blow of racism.

    I have to stretch myself sometimes to understand the meaning of what is said and oftentimes a smackdown may occur in that we find ourselves wrong, or maybe that our voices just don’t want to be heard — i mean, people of color have to hear what WE say everywhere right? Last I knew, white folks pretty much dominate media and culture.

    Why is this important? Right off the top of my head I can think of two reasons: First off, that as persons who share oppression from the system in power — patriarchy, it is in our interest to build alliances and trust and work toward working together to reach shared goals. Does this mean people of color should adopt white attitudes and thinking? No, but I think people of color and us can walk some of the road to justice together.

    Secondly, we need to understand more fully how we as white people can work to stop our tacit or direct participation in racism. We do need to become aware of our white priviledge and how it is seen through other eyes. Learning the language of and the thinking toward ending racism strengthens us and makes us better activists and also increases our humanity. Trust me, if you care about humanity and improving it, then caring about racism and your part in it as a white person is essential.

    Finally, nubian’s posts are far from boring and I’d like to put up one example that I
    listened to last night. A post entitled, “Ayo Damoli and Tim Wise’ , two very important figures in disucssions between ‘black’ and ‘white’ folk about deconstructing racism. Ayo damoli wrote the book, ‘How to Rent a Negro’ and Tim Wise has written quite a few on a white perspective of undoing racism.

    The talk was very intelligent, engaging and not only enlightening, but also just damn fun to listen to. I plugged it in and then went to drawing some plans I needed to get done. No time wasted and a lot of food for thought.

    I highly recommend.

    blackademic.blogspot.com/2006/03/damali-ayo-and-tim-wise.html

    Hattie: I hear your asking people of color to come to your organization, I don’t know if that’s not putting the burden on them a bit much. YOu say your organization is working to bring in more people of color, how is that working out?

  44. Edith

    Personally, I get mighty pissed at the assumptions that the readers of this blog are NOT women of color. Do you assume that the readers of a white woman’s blog must be mostly white? Do you assume that the readers of a Black woman’s blog must be mostly Black? Does male blog = male readership, or female blog = female readership?

    Many blogs that I read that are dedicated to women of color come from a Black woman’s perspective. Now, I love reading about a diversity of perspectives, but it’s interesting how in some blogs, being Black means you are automatically representing all people “of color” even if you don’t specifically mention Asians, Latin@s, Indians, etc. very often or nearly as often as you mention “Blacks.” However, a white woman’s blog is accused of being Eurocentric if failing to mention the same groups that are often not mention on a Black woman’s blog (as well as, of course, Blacks themselves).

    I don’t like the casual use of “darkies” as slang for women of color, because not all women of color are “dark.” I don’t like Asian women and Native women and Middle Eastern women being discussed as though they are not, somehow, as “important” to the race discourse as Black women.

    I’m NOT trying to come across like I think there’s some conspiracy of Black women not recognizing other women of color on the ‘net! I just think that when we ask others to be more conscious of race, we should really pose that question to ourselves first.

  45. Hattie

    Hattie: I hear your asking people of color to come to your organization, I don’t know if that’s not putting the burden on them a bit much. YOu say your organization is working to bring in more people of color, how is that working out?

    I live in Hawaii, and the race and class dynamics are different here. We are a “majority minority state” but with few African Americans. I don’t have the time now to explain about race issues here, except to say that Blacks I’ve spoken to say they feel relief here from the constant racial tension they live under in other parts of America.

    This is probably not the place to go into detail about all of this. But it’s sensitive, very sensitive, as the hurt feelings and misunderstandings here show.

  46. darkymac

    Howdy tigtog,

    I regret that I don’t know of a single blog written by an indigenous Australian that I care to read. The Groucho echo there is not unintended.
    I don’t blog.
    My network of darky women is reinforced and informed by mailing lists, that old standby, and by our kinship system – where news flies as quickly as any trackback.
    For the kind of emotional boost that we readers get from Twisty’s stuff, I go to literature.
    You see, a writer’s got to be a writer before I will take the time.
    Fremantle Press is a wonderful source for abo voices if you haven’t found it yet.
    And I go to dance and song for when I really need to moan with my mob.
    Same as your mob.
    Same all over.

    You want to understand more? I don’t think it’s yet possible by web reading. Gee, not even the great numbers of US, European, and – not so many in Australia – Australasian feminist bloggers appear to have invited notice, let alone polite constructive participation by the patriarchy.
    I’ll be interested to see the voices from Asia and Sth America when or if translation permits.
    But it’s early days.
    Which is the point I attempted in the previous post.

    I don’t believe that I am a typical commenter on a blog but I so enjoy Twisty’s writing that I speak up whenever I perceive it is getting threatened.

    Just saying. (I hope I’m using that correctly in the sense that I really am not qualified to be a commenter on any blog).

  47. Chris Clarke

    I don’t believe that I am a typical commenter on a blog but I so enjoy Twisty’s writing that I speak up whenever I perceive it is getting threatened.

    Just saying. (I hope I’m using that correctly in the sense that I really am not qualified to be a commenter on any blog).

    Darkymac, I make a point of reading your comments wherever and whenever I see them. If you had a blog, I’d read it often. Just saying.

  48. Pony

    “You see, a writer’s got to be a writer before I will take the time.”

    ** !! **

  49. tigtog

    darkymac:I regret that I don’t know of a single blog written by an indigenous Australian that I care to read. The Groucho echo there is not unintended.
    I don’t blog.
    [...]
    You want to understand more? I don’t think it’s yet possible by web reading.

    I would like to understand more. Australia is more racist than I could ever have believed when I was youngster mooning over David Gulpilil, and because indigenous people are such a small minority it’s very easy to overlook for us whites most of the time.

    One of the reasons we stayed in the inner west and sent our kids to a school with a diverse student body is so that at least they wouldn’t end up in one of those “nice place to raise kids” enclaves (i.e. everybody looks just like we do) that are such hotbeds for intolerance. I certainly don’t think they’ll ever forget the Immigration officers coming to school to cart off two of their schoolmates to an immigrant detention centre last year.

    I’ve learnt some by interacting with parents of colour at school, noting my own initial prejudices when we first met and having those prejudices lose their edge with familiarity. I noticed how much easier it was for WASP me to interact with African parents of colour compared to indigenous parents in the beginning, and to realise how much racism I absorbed just growing up and living white. But I don’t, and probably never can entirely, understand just how it is to deal with those prejudices every day with white Australians, like those that walked past the Elder woman suffering a stroke at the bus stop without helping, and I don’t know what I and others like me can do to help it change.

    Like Chris, if you had a blog I’d read it darkymac.

  50. zuzu

    I live in Hawaii, and the race and class dynamics are different here. We are a “majority minority state” but with few African Americans. I don’t have the time now to explain about race issues here, except to say that Blacks I’ve spoken to say they feel relief here from the constant racial tension they live under in other parts of America.

    Hattie, my sister (white) spent about 10 years in Hawaii, and it really opened her eyes to racial issues, because for the first time in her life, she was in a racial minority. More than that, she got a taste of what it was like to be addressed as haole with contempt.

    Hawaii’s definitely an interesting place.

  51. Ruby

    Hattie,

    I received one of those AAUW scholarships while I was finishing my degree. I was a single mother at the time and I attended several of their functions. I was hoping I could persuade them to consider an alternative form of assistance for students/single mothers like myself: childcare assistance. I had been turned down for a childcare subsidy by public assistance because in order to qualify you have to work a certain number of hours per week. As a college student I didn’t qualify, and it bothered me (not surprised, though) that the system doesn’t reward poor mothers for making an effort to improve their prospects by earning a degree.

    Much to my dismay, the women at the AAUW weren’t interested in my idea. Although I will give them credit for treating me very politely even though I showed up at their dinner party with all my hair buzzed off. Or maybe that’s why they didn’t like my ideas? I’ll never know.

    I’d also like to point out that I wasn’t turned off by the AAUW women because they were old, but because they were rich. Really fucking rich (this was Sarasota, FL after all). My thrift store clothes never felt so shabby.

  52. jjg

    Didn’t feel like elaborating? Why not? If one has a blog and doesn’t feel like elaborating, then say so and get on to the next thing.

    Disappointed abut “the lack of substantive discussion about issues that matter to women of color”? Now that Nubian’s blog has been made known to me, I know of at least one place where there is probably substantive discussion about these issues. Unless she takes her marbles and goes home.

    “They are also fully aware that patriarchy isn’t the only issue: they need to work with men to fight racism and classism.”

    No kidding.

    “Women of color, naturally, tend to reject that position and have their own theories and arguments which, as white women and feminist who care about those issues we might want to consider if we truly want to work — together — for a better world.”

    I do care. And what Pony said:

    “Homosexual issues? Black issues. Just go for the discourse, and never mind the friggin’ dividers.

    I’m here. But I am not a lesbian, nor do I have breast cancer, my hair is thinning but I still got waaaay more then Twisty, and I’m older than all of you…”

    I’ve been in an online-community for a bit over 6 years. We’ve collectively learned that we need to, if we want to keep the discussion going, not let the “energy-creatures” (as they’ve been dubbed) derail the discussion. Lots of groups fall victim to this. I get the idea that Nubian’s entry was really targeted to people who wanted to derail the discussion and leave hurtful comments to raise the ire of the group by making it seem an unsafe place. Just a suspicion, I don’t know for sure.

  53. Kate

    “As a college student I didn’t qualify, and it bothered me (not surprised, though) that the system doesn’t reward poor mothers for making an effort to improve their prospects by earning a degree.”

    Abso-fucking-lutely! I tried, damn I tried and fought to stay in school but couldn’t do it because the welfare system wanted to cut me off and didn’t give a hoot about my increased earnings potential if i had a degree. work! work! We don’t care if you can support your family! We don’t care if you can’t pay your rent with that seven dollar an hour check or afford childcare that friggin’ seven bucks an hour!

    Like the banner over the gate to Austwitzch — “Work is Freedom”. The great lie told to the poor and the secret is that its not YOUR freedom you’re working for.

    “but because they were rich. Really fucking rich (this was Sarasota, FL after all). My thrift store clothes never felt so shabby.”

    Oh and haven’t I felt that so many times when I tried to ‘fit in’ and deny classism.

  54. No Blood for Hubris

    I’m against stuff.

  55. Pony

    You simply cannot, Rad Geek, demand, legislate or otherwise harangue anyone into finding you interesting.

    This is a written medium. Read what darkymac had to say on this.

    What I say is: Fish or cut bait.

  56. Hissy Cat

    Personally, I get mighty pissed at the assumptions that the readers of this blog are NOT women of color.

    Here, here! Furthermore, I hereby withdraw myself from all above ‘we’s such as may be present in the construction ‘we as white women’ and variations thereof. Need we remind ourselves that we so neither speak on behalf of the Blaming community nor pen editorials for the New York of Times? Cut it out already.

  57. kactus

    Like the banner over the gate to Austwitzch — “Work is Freedom”. The great lie told to the poor and the secret is that its not YOUR freedom you’re working for.

    Kate, here in Milwaukee one of the welfare agencies is the YWCA, and they actually had a sign on the wall enumerating all the ways in which work would save your soul. Feeling blue? Work. Sick? Keep working. And yes, it actually said (although not in those words), work will set you free.

    When I complained about the sign and its Nazi associations, I was met with blank stares. Nobody I spoke to was able to connect the dots at all.

  58. Pony

    Work can set you free from having to depend on someone else for your groceries et al. Work can also lift depression because we are animals; we are meant to move, to do. Move the body, endorphins float around the brain, cortisol drops, and other neat biochemical things happen that are healthy. But regarding the phrase, the idea of work as good existed long before the nazis co-opted it (as did the swastika symbol). The previous several generations had a work ethic that we may not exactly want to copy, but I think it beats the present work ethic.

  1. Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Link Farm and Open Thread #16

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