Tuesday, September 24, 2013

9.24.13 When "identity politics" trump misogyny

People who excuse misogyny by saying "oh it's okay for him to say 'bitches' because he identifies as female sometimes" need a long lesson in what misogyny is. If a woman uses derogatory language to refer to herself or other women, she is participating in her own oppression. Likely you would tell her this, right?


So, why is it okay for men to be derogatory towards women simply because they "identify" as women? If their far-fetched identity politics held any water and they are in fact women (they're not) then hypothetically they would be participating in their own oppression, right? Just like when men try to appropriate words like "cunt" to describe their penises/sphincters (I'm looking at you, local dude). It's not okay with me for these men to say these things (appropriation of womanhood aside). It likewise shouldn't be okay with queer theorists either. Unless, of course, they are misogynists or have internalized a great deal of misogyny themselves (if they're female).

Call out misogyny - regardless of WHO is saying it or how they supposedly "identify." Misogyny is everyone's problem, and men will often do anything to get away with it.

Please note that I have, on more than one occasion, referred to myself as an "evil lesbian/feminist bitch" solely tongue-in-cheek, dripping with sarcasm, because these are the insults hurled at me when I speak up.  This is NOT me trying to "reclaim slurs."  This is me demonstrating the kinds of vile things that are said about me.


Anonymous said...

When someone calls me "bitch" what I hear is: strong, outspoken, courages and "I will not stand by". Why shouldn't you be "reclaiming slurrs"? Being a bitch shouldn't be looked down upon because we'll always be afraid of it if we are fighting against it. Of course when people call you a bitch, they mean you are prudish, pmsing or crazy, however it's finally time to stand up and say "NO! YOU ARE WRONG". Stand up with me.

Heath Atom Russell said...

Why can't we just call those women strong, outspoken, and courageous instead of needing to use a word that has such negative patriarchal denigration associated with it? I see no point to reclaiming the word bitch for that particular use. Besides, any time a sincere effort is made at "reclaiming" a word that was used to hurt in the past, only legitimizes that word continuing to be used at all. Yes, I believe in that scene of "Mean Girls" the scene that everybody forgets to mention when they quote that film. "Girls, you've gotta stop calling each other bitches and sluts, because it only makes it okay for boys to call you that."

There is no merit in internalizing misogyny. Believe me. No merit whatsoever in internalizing misogyny.