Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
To survive, subjugated people must understand people with power, but the reverse is not true. When members of devalued groups have a critical awareness of their positions, they earn a standpoint that may allow them to see the world with less bias.
Standpoint theory claims that marginalized groups can generate unique insights into how a society works. Women, minorities, gays and lesbians, people of lower socioeconomic class, intersexuals, transsexuals, and others who are outside the cultural center may see the society from perspectives that are less distorted, less biased, and more layered than those who occupy more central social locations. Marginalized perspectives can inform all of us about how our society operates. Maria Lugones and Elizabeth Spelman (1983) point out that dominant groups have the luxury of not having to understand the perspective of less privileged groups.
They don’t need to learn about others in order to survive."
- Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, & Culture,
Julia T. Wood (via lola-forizzle)
Another reason why I’ve never truly envied my oppressors. Who’d wanna condemn themselves to an entire life of such ignorance and ineptitude?
If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Dommingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”
And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.
And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.
It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.
The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.
As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that."
I love how white people will tell PoC to take responsibility and do better but as SOON as you call them on their racism they want to say something like "but it's not my fault I wasn't taught!!!" I honestly try to say that I don't hate white people because that would be wrong of me,but deep down (actually not so deep down now) I do. I reeeeally do. And they don't understand nor will they ever understand in this lifetime. -sigh- God please help me ( actually please help them).
#they could spend their entire life “reading #they still wouldn’t fucking get it #because “reading” without action is just another fucking attempt to own the situation #yet again
petition to rename allies sidekicks
- sidekicks help u win ur fights but are never the heros
- sidekick sounds more sporty
- sidekicks are expected to screw up occasionally
- u can fire ur sidekick
- 'straight sidekick' is way more alliterative
#makes sense since sidekicks who can’t cut it usually come back as villains (via motherfuckingsassmaster)
I really like this. It automatically centers the marginalized and positions the members of oppressor classes on the side of good as supportive secondaries. It also implies action: the sidekick isn’t just someone who agrees with the hero’s cause and hopes they accomplish their goals, the sidekick is the spunky teenager who takes orders and helps out.
and main characters are usually and justifiably mad reluctant to take on them on so the sidekick has to EARN their place by them because it’s truly an honor to help the real heroes, to “take orders and help out” YES.
Too bad oppressors are by definition far more interested in leading and “saving” the oppressed rather than alleviating oppression tho.
I hate it when people act like anger invalidates a cause, because when it comes down to it the privileged are the only ones who can afford to remain calm.
What the less-privileged have to say is usually not accorded much importance, critical thought, or respect, and yet they are supposed to prioritize, be patient with, and generally assign more importance to views, values and norms that are not their own. People in marginalized communities are often expected to educate the more privileged majority. They may be expected to patiently explain basic concepts, sometimes repeatedly. And if those with more privilege decide that they do not agree (with the less-privileged group’s tone, focus, or any number of other things other than the actual argument that is being made), those with less privilege are told, with varying degrees of subtlety, to shut the fuck up.
All the while, the perspectives, attitudes, norms and values of those with more privilege are made neutral. The power dynamics are rendered invisible, because that’s just the way things are, so there’s no point in trying to change any of it. Why are you so angry? You’re just looking for things to get mad about. You just like being offended. Why can’t you focus on other/more important things? It wasn’t meant that way. You need to hold your tongue until you’ve done x, y and z. Quit taking it personally. You’re ruining everyone’s good time. Stop trying to make everyone pay attention to your pet issue, because it doesn’t affect anyone other than you. Your demands are unreasonable. Stop complaining. Shut up."
a million times yes
Page 1 of 5