An Open Letter To Everyday Feminism

Dear EverydayFeminism,

You’ll probably never read this, but I need some outlet for these emotions. To be blunt I don’t think it was right that you changed the name of your article ‘Forget Gal Godet Here Are 5 Palestinian Wonder Women You Need To Know About,’ to ‘Here Are 5 Palestinian Wonder Women You Need To Know About.’  The erasure of Gal Gadot’s name weakens the impact and however long your letter at the front is if the readers who wrote to you complaining about ‘anti-semitism,’ over an article that praises people for standing-up for their rights and lives offended them, they were zionists to begin with. This is white tears. Israel is an Apartheid state. They treat Arabs and black Jews as second-class citizens. (Much like we do in the US.) The ‘Jews,’ who wrote to you are Zionists and you are trying to appease a Zionist agenda.

As for them experiencing ‘intergenerational trauma,’ tell them to tell it to the Palestinians who are still being occupied and murdered by this regime.

Here’s what Norman Finkelstein, a human rights activist and the son of two Nazi holocaust survivors says about matters like this, “I don’t respect that any more. I don’t respect the crocodile tears… My late father was in Auschwitz concentration camp, my late mother was in Majdanek concentration camp. Every single member of my family on both sides, was exterminated. Both of my parents were in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. And it’s precisely and exactly because of the lessons my parents taught me and my two siblings that I will not be silent when Israel daily commits its crimes against the Palestinians. And I consider nothing more despicable than to use their suffering and their martyrdom to try to justify the torture, the brutalization, the demolition of homes that Israel daily commits against the Palestinians. So, I refuse any longer to intimidated or brow beaten by the tears. If you had any heart in you, you would be crying for the Palestinians.”  (Emphasis my own.)

You may not agree with everything Finkelstein says (he does not support BDS for instance) but with this type of wild accusations of ‘anti-semitism,’ he is spot-on. And it has everything to do with Palestine. These people know damn well the article was not anti-Jewish. I am also uneasy about your vow to have more articles on ‘anti-semitism.’ Why? Muslims and blacks are the primary target of all violent hate crimes. You already have many articles on anti-semitism if you remember Arabic is a semitic language. There are healthy ways of dealing with the anguish after Charlottesville, appeasing Zionists (whom are worse and far more powerful than the Klan) is not one of them. Trump won’t last and he is as much a Zionist as any of them, but these deeper issues will remain. Damn whatever he said about the hate crime, his words would’ve been worthless either way. Damn whatever your Zionist readers wrote about to you, whom I’m sure are not frequent readers. Even if they are who cares. Intersectional feminism welcomes many, bigots not among them.

Let the fact Trump like his predecessors, are pledging billions of dollars of our tax money to Israel to continue this occupation, comfort them. You’ve barely had any articles published on Palestine, Jews (at least white ones) are still protected by mainstream society. They are still the most successful ethnic group in the US. Don’t be fooled by these crocodile tears.

As for the timing issue I say this to them: When will be a good time to give a voice to Palestinian women?

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How To Get Dates

Light stuff this time and this may come off as very heteronormative, but I will try to use inclusive language. I just wanted to say I have rarely/never seen good dating advice. Frankly, the whole concept about giving someone advice for starting one of the most intimate and personal relationship(s) in your life is pretty stupid if you think about it. How would a total stranger know what the person you’re attracted to wants? Granted there are general cultural norms, but those tend to be fairly regressive if not outright oppressive. Well, really it is fairly obvious why people tend to dish out this kind of advice: exploitation of insecurities in order to profit off them. For the most part. Also sexism. Ever notice a lot of this advice about proper dating is geared to cis women? Why are they so many advice columns for cis women by cis men? You pretty much never see the reverse. Though there are lady-types who give it advice the audience is usually still cis-women. Even when cis men do seek this advice it’s usually from other cis men.

 

Anyway, after all that here’s advice from a trigender  person, whose been a relationship with another trans/genderfluid person for seven years: My advice for trying to get a date? Don’t try to get a date.

 

All the stupid following of gender stereotyped scripts in the world will get you nowhere. (At least probably nowhere you want to be.) And for as much as people talk about letting ‘the man,’ trying to take the lead it is really the female who has to put in all the work. From dressing correctly, to “getting him,” to “chase you,” (really you can’t just ask him out yourself?), don’t be too forward, too flirty, too fat, don’t “scare him,” away, it’s all just commodified nonsense.

 

In general, like all relationships they need to be built over time and require honesty. Even if it’s just a one-night stand, occasional hook-ups, friends-with-benefits, etc. These are all acceptable relationships as well. The hetero-mono-intraracial-sexual-cis-middle-class-romantic partnership that of course ends in marriage, is not the only path. We need to stop putting it on a pedestal. And stop saying people have ‘no respect for marriage,’ anymore. Its original purpose was political and a way for females to be owned. People just have more respect for themselves and just because people break-up does not necessarily mean they hate each other. They just may have realized their relationship no longer works for them.

 

That’s it.

Stop Defending Trump Supporters

Ever since the election all I’ve been hearing lately is calls for ‘unity,’ and ‘understanding,’ how we need to ‘just move-on.’ This coming from people who said ‘Make America Great, Again,’? Who should be moving-on? I’m tired of hearing about the ‘white working class.’ Who gives a shit? Really? The majority of people making $50,000 a year or less voted for Hillary. Hell, the majority of Americans voted for Hillary period. As usual those with high-income voted Republican, those with lower income went Democratic. The biggest divide, beyond even education I think comes down to one thing: Race.

Had whites not been allowed to vote Trump would not have won a single state. That’s a fact. Despite Bernie Sander’s rhetoric, you can not separate economic issues from social issues. People are tired of working two jobs and not having billionaires pay their fair share? Most of them educated or not voted for Hillary. The biggest lead of either politician was Trump with uneducated whites. The only group of whites that mostly went with Hillary were educated white women. Even a close friend of mine a teacher, was saying ‘Oh well, you can’t talk down to these working class people.’ Well, apparently you can provided they’re not white.

I’m sick of people acting like Progressives and Liberals label people as bigots and thus exclude them. People exclude themselves when they defend someone who spouts bigoted, hateful speech. When they vote for a party that holds up such ideals they tell us they are indifferent or perhaps even benefit from our oppression. When they ignore facts and mumble about how ‘Trump can’t/wouldn’t really do all that,’ they tell us they’re willing to risk other American’s lives so they have a slight chance of getting ‘their,’ jobs back. If a group of people fundamentally does not respect other people’s different cultures, beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, religious/secular beliefs, reproductive rights, family values, identities, etc, they make it clear they do not want to share in our company. They can’t stand being around, LGBTQIA+ people, people of color, Muslims, immigrants, anyone whose different from them. Of course they’re excluded. They exclude themselves.

At the end of the day we need to reach out to the communities that are genuinely threatened and indeed have suffered since the founding of this country. We need to hear their stories and empathize and sympathize with their perspectives. We’ve heard enough about white people. Poor or not. Educated or not.

Things We Need To Stop Saying After the Election

  1. Saying ‘It’s going to be okay’- No it’s not. And it has not been okay for a long time. This has been decades in the making. We have two million people locked-up in prison, more than China, more than the Soviet Union and its gulag system. They are much more likely to be people of color, poor and incarcerated for non-violent crimes. We have more people of color locked-up than Apartheid South Africa. The police were already being militarized to begin with. This is not going to get better if we do nothing.
  2. Saying ‘It’s Hillary’s Fault’– Actually she won the popular vote. For all her faults it’s not her fault. Really, she does deserve credit for her tireless work and she really did break down barriers for women and others. She deserves respect for that. And Democrats actually won the popular vote in the Senate as well. The people want more liberalism. They’re fine with a woman being President. We just need to organize and not blame each other. Remember Republicans spent years sabotaging Obama. Update: Never mind. I did not mean to associate Obama or Hilary with liberalism. Both are in practice moderate conservatives.
  3. Asking ‘What Should We Tell Our Children?’ I think one Black Lives Matter activist put it best: “Tell them the truth. That we live in a racist, white supremacist, society.” I would add that they need to think for themselves and ask if they want to be like the President-Elect or if they want to be different. At least that’s what my father always did for me. Letting me think for myself.
  4. Telling Protesters to ‘Grow-up’- No. How about we freaking wake-up? Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Assembly, Freedom of the Press. We have those rights. Hundreds of thousands of people are using those rights. Protest is about solidarity and speaking-out. It does not magically change everything by itself and no one is expecting it to. People are scared and they have every right to be. The hate-speech and threats he actually said during the campaign are not okay even if he ‘didn’t mean them.’ This is going to be some people’s only source of comfort, that they’re not alone.
  5. I Don’t Want Him to Fail- He is a failure of the United States. He’s already failed. We need to be strong. Our ‘leader,’ is not.

Why I Won’t Be Seeing the ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie

Gal Gadot. I’ve gone back and forth on this one. I have soul-searched and all the usual steps. Ultimately, I think I can not reconcile being a critic of Israel and supporter of Palestinian rights, while watching a former IDF member play a character who is supposed to be a feminist icon and a symbol of peace for everyone. That peace and feminism should belong to every woman, not just white women, not just Israeli women, but everyone. Someone who spent two years in the IDF being part of the oppression of another people, (yes service is required, but there is such a thing as a conscientious objector)  is not someone’s face whom I wish to associate with the Princess of the Amazons.

In 2014 when Israel launched its attack on Gaza, again continuing its illegal blockade that has been in place since 1989 tightening and restricting. By the end about 2,100-2,300 Palestinian civilians were killed, about 10,000 injured 3,000 of which ended up permanently disabled. Even according to Israel at least 50% were innocent civilians. THe Healthy Ministry in Gaza, the UN and several human rights groups estimated more like 75% were innocents.

Gal Gadot’s reaction is to post a picture of her and her daughter praying for Israel (which suffered 5 civilian casualties and 66 IDF deaths) and writing that she prays for fellow Israeli citizens, (from what? Rocket attack?  The rockets are about as harmful as firecrackers) and “Especially to all the boys and girls risking their lives to protect my country,” Really? ‘Boys and girls’? The IDF enlists children then? And shouldn’t that be “our” country? As in the United State’s considering how nearly all of your equipment and support comes from us? She goes on to say Hamas commits ‘horrific acts’ and ‘hiding like cowards behind women and children.’ Really Gadot? As an actress its her job to be able to imagine being in someone else’s shoes.She really can’t comprehend Palestinians feel they have the right to exist? She’s never considered Israel should not be using a collective punishment against all of Gaza and the West Bank, which includes women and children? And the idea of Hamas using human shields is a complete myth anyway.

Really, she can’t understand her daughter will likely grow-up safe and comfortable unlike Mayar, Aya, Noor, and Bessan Abuelaish the daughters and niece of Izzeldin Abuelaish, the first Gazan doctor to practice medicine in two Israeli hospitals, treating Israelis and Palestinians alike? His daughters and niece were killed in the 2009 in the Israeli raid Operation Cast Lead. He saw his own daughters blown to bits, their heads torn off, Gadot gets to kiss her daughter’s still very attached head goodnight. Dr. Abuelaish is most famous though probably for his reaction and his book, I Shall Not Hate, saying he was still devoted to peace and reconciliation. I doubt it will work, but in the spirit of Dr. Abuelaish I want to make it clear I don’t hate Gal Gadot and I don’t know if I would behave much differently were I in her place but as it is I find it would be shameful of me knowing what I know to lend support to someone even if in such a small way that supports the abuse and torture of one and a half million people.

Also I would like to applaud those like Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz whom along with several other Hollywood celebrities wrote an open letter condemning Israel’s actions rightfully calling them genocide, during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.We need more people like them in the world.

What Annoys Me About Defensive Sexists

Rape experienced by men when committed by a woman is a terrible crime and completely overlooked in our society. Same when men suffer from domestic violence or rarely are able to gain full custody of their children in divorce settlement. That masculinity is equated with violence. These are all horrible issues which stem from imagined gender roles forced on people. Yet any time I read a feminist article listing all the ways society is still sexist (cissexist, racist, bigoted in anyway) someone always says something along the lines of “Oh well, bad stuff happens, to men, white people,straight people too so, this make your point invalid.” Usually, written much less intelligently or persuasively, but I don’t want to sink to the level of willfully ignorant.

I will focus primarily on sexism as that is the title of the article however, I believe this applies to other forms of bigotry as well. The reason this defensive reaction is not helpful to anyone is because it’s meant as a way to dismiss the opinions of others and end the conversation rather than expand on it or be more inclusive. Feminism is a movement I will always be proud to be a part of, but it has its history of flaws. In many cases it has been very cis, white and hetero focused as opposed the intersectionality we strive for today. Yet often with these types of comments they focus primarily on the experiences of men. We’ve all heard the complaints I don’t think I need to bother to repeat them, but ultimately it comes back to either implicitly or explicitly saying, “you’re just man-hating.” This ad hominem attack is an irrational, but effective response to criticism.Without challenging what was actually said, it still effectively changes the subject to something irrelevant such as a person’s inner feelings toward men.

Where I would argue this defensive argument comes from is an irrational fear and slothful complacency to maintain the status quo. As I pointed out it is meant to halt the conversation and dismiss the experiences of others, rather than contribute to the conversation effectively. Ultimately, it does not lead to progress for women and others’, but nor does it open the window toward progress for men.

It also ignores the many male feminists and non-binary people who strive toward the same goal (perhaps they don’t count?) and ultimately if a bit ironically, does nothing to  truly bring to light these issues which affect men. Issues that above all are rooted in the same patriarchal ideas that oppress women and minorities. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt. Suppose women (because apparently it’s only women) who identify as feminists have deep psychological problems or are misandrists. What does it prove? What does it matter? Can one really deny women are taught to fear being raped yet if they do, it’s their own fault? That men ‘always want it’ therefore could not possibly be raped by a woman? Can you really deny women and minorities are not underrepresented in all forms of media? If so then why are you trying to stop others from discussing or doing anything about it?

This all simply shows when people try to speak of ‘man-hating’ feminists they say far more about themselves than others. They say they do not care for women or men. (I doubt they acknowledge other gender identities.) They are simply intellectually lazy and complacent in the way things are, unwilling to change even if it would help them and others.