Stay on your feet for the world is changing and so are you.
Today is Jeppes birthday.
We spent the whole morning sitting (in the armchairs) debating feminism, oppression and such. We do that, you know out here in the wilderness and I think it´s because we kind of saved our selves, running out here. We have more energy for the world now.
I want to share with you something important he said. A key of sorts.
This is the story:
Last night there was some hefty trolling going on facebook (primarily me trolling myself).
Someone said “There is a hierarchy of oppression and women in this part of the world are generally not really that oppressed”
This affects me because my personal experience as a female in this culture is diminished.
Here it comes into significance who the sender of the above statement is.
If the sender is a rich, privileged male for instance it adds insult to injury; the sender speaks from a position of privilege so when he says “There are generally no problems and this reality is objectively good” he exercises a power, a power of privilege, to describe the state of the world.
So I say “You and your friends might be feeling all fine and dandy but recognize, at least, that you have some advantages and these might shape your perception of the state of the world”
“No” the rich white male says.
(Really it is a question about class and if the rich, white male then goes on to say that the working class is less aware/intelligent than him and his friends… it kind of grinds my gears)
Back on track:
Do not devalue my experience! Do not have the audacity to tell me that my feelings are not important! Or that I am stupid!
I cried this morning as I told him how it affects your confidence to be told over and over again, ever since you were a little girl, that your experience and intelligence is of lesser worth. That your perception of the world is wrong. I cried as I told him about things that have happened to the body.
The rich white male is right though and this was what we were talking about this morning: There IS a hierarchy of oppression. The oppression I experience as a female in this culture (no matter how condescending I am being talked to or how my body is being mishandled) is not on the same level as the oppression women in other parts of the world experience.
I am privileged. Yes.
So why does it affect me so much to witness the injustice here, why does it make me so angry- when I should be much more angry about other issues?
(Let me clear here: I consider this capitalistic culture to be oppressing to ALL of us, not only the women)
First problem: “Never be angry, you are merely spoiled” is, I think, a social control mechanism more damaging than even the surveillance. We are told our experience doesn´t matter. So we shut up. We are privileged. Someone else suffer much more than us. Yes.
And here is the key, here is what he said: “If the privileged accepts injustice, even the smallest, they validate it”
If we, here, us, the 1% in a global perspective accepts the injustice, if we shut up and stop fighting for things we can actually change (in our vicinity and while we can)… we betray the others.
It´s not only about gender. It is also about class. If the working class in my country accepts to be treated as of lesser worth (lower wages, more profit for the bosses, or you lose your job) we validate the system with even greater consequences for those less privileged than us.
This is why it matters. This is why my experience of oppression is not something you can just wave off…. with your discourse of power (let me just cough one name: Foucault)
He continued: “If there is a line …. and in one end of the line we have female trafficking and in the other end of the line we have injustices in the book industry (namely female authors being read and reviewed less than their male colleagues, thus being denied VOICE) then obviously trafficking is more oppressing and a bigger problem. But if you fight for justice in one end of the line you inevitably fight for justice in the other end too” and I said “Yes, because all things are interconnected” and then I smiled.
Like a woman.
I think he is right and I think this is why I become so annoyed and so fierce because the power structures even on “irrelevant”, “small” or “insignificant” facebook threads SPEAK directly in my face. It speaks to you too. And you could speak up.
The big issue here though is to not forget that your own personal battles are much more than your own personal battles. You´re not fighting for yourself. You are fighting the power that keeps us all oppressed.
We have been told we are egotistical and narcissistic, maybe we shouldn´t comply to these stories of the self. Maybe we should insist, always, that to accept one little wrongdoing is to accept a whole system of wrongdoing.
Just a thought.
Or a key.
Anyways: today is his birthday and he continues to give me the biggest gifts.
Today we´re going to sit around the fire with friends. The sun is shining. The wilderness is buzzing with life. This is privilege. Yes.
(ps. sure, I´m going to post some more recipes or pretty pictures, tomorrow maybe, smiley, smiley, rolling-pin)