jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

And was reminded of why I usually don't.

I'm a fan of the kind of intersectional feminism I usually see advocated on the Geek Feminism blog, even if I think it doesn't go far enough (it's annoying to hear people equate "human" with "person"). My experience with Tumblr social justice activism, though, has been much more negative.

It's not about people there being young, queer, or angry, or being whatever kind of person isn't allowed to have an opinion. It's not about being called on my privilege, either.

It's the mind-readers.

Tumblr social justice mind-readers know that you're being yourself just to upset them. Your identity is either a roleplaying character bio or proof that you "need help." You are appropriating them and their marginalized identity by being who you are, and you need to stop it right now.

This is hard for me to deal with, because it's the same kind of crap that I've gotten from my parents of origin and from religious authority figures my whole life. The person I am, they say, is unacceptable to them, is a performance I'm deliberately putting on just to offend them. I can choose to stop any time I want, and the fact that I haven't yet is proof that I'm terrible.

This really gets to me. Because deep down, I feel like the correct response is to disappear for their benefit, even if I have to kill myself to do so.

It takes a conscious effort for me to tell myself that no matter who someone is, no matter what authority they claim, and no matter what they're accusing me of, if the choice is between upsetting them and dying then I have to flip them the bird. Because that really does not come naturally for us.

Even though we're part protobird.

If our saying that upsets someone, or our using the first-person plural whenever we feel like it upsets someone, the most I can do for them is apologize for the confusion. I don't have the time or emotional resources to educate everyone who challenges me to a debate and then argues in bad faith. I'm not obligated to justify my existence to anyone.

The only obligation I feel is to explain who I am, what is important to me, and why. For my benefit, and for the benefit of anyone else who's having trouble finding the courage to be themselves.

Date: 2014-04-10 01:20 pm (UTC)
yourdeer: (kenn monster)
From: [personal profile] yourdeer
I've read a few critical and, I think, dead-on articles at this point that make it very clear that "Tumblr social justice" bloggers are often no better in their behavior than conservative bullies.
One of them, the first one I came across and the one that was the most memorable to me since I had just started using Tumblr at the time, is here. It does mention the Westboro Baptist Church and the author's mother's use of transphobic language, but I can't think of any other content warnings, and in general find the criticism to be thoughtful and accurate.
Edited (html fail) Date: 2014-04-10 01:20 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-04-13 09:00 pm (UTC)
burning_ground: Nataraja with feminine figure. (Default)
From: [personal profile] burning_ground
Tumblr social justice mind-readers know that you're being yourself just to upset them. Your identity is either a roleplaying character bio or proof that you "need help." You are appropriating them and their marginalized identity by being who you are, and you need to stop it right now.

Yeah, I saw someone the other day claiming that being otherkin was an appropriation of Native American beliefs and I was like, no.

Appropriation is using a marginalized group's cultural elements to *get ahead*, right? Like, to make money, or to increase one's social standing? I don't think that exploring identity in itself—apart from trying to increase social standing (because sometimes people try to do both simultaneously)—can amount to appropriation if it incorporates elements of other cultures.

Date: 2014-04-15 02:01 am (UTC)
burning_ground: Nataraja with feminine figure. (Default)
From: [personal profile] burning_ground
*nods* I suppose steering clear really is the only sane thing a person can do after a certain point.

I was thinking about the Native American point today, and as a result thinking about transethnicity in general, and what it might amount to. I actually gathered that in a multicultural society a lot of people are transethnic to some extent. Non-Jews adopt Jewish customs like Passover meals, for reasons all their own. People who take up traditional Japanese sword fighting and tea ceremonies adopt a lot of Japanese culture for themselves, sometimes. People who marry into culture's family may be considered honorary-whatever-ethnicity as a kind of endearment and a source of curiosity and humor.

I know that subject is difficult for a lot of people, but I guess I just don't see how it's so far off from what already happens so often naturally, in a country like the USA.

A lot of people don't want to play the "how is this so different" game.

Edit: Though, derp, culture and ethnicity aren't the same thing, though they're usually connected. Still, in the case of someone who adopts a lot of the cultural trappings connected with a given ethnicity, it isn't at all hard to see how one would make the leap to considering themselves transethnic.
Edited Date: 2014-04-15 02:10 am (UTC)

About us

Furry, fantasy, and fanfiction writer. Miniatures hobbyist, Mi'qote White Mage, 4E DM. Windows gamer, fangirl, and developer. Pronouns she/her, they/their.

Transfemale plurality, otherkin, fictive. Polyamorous pansexual. Proud introvert. Inari worshiper; xenotheist.

We wrote Jewelfox's Otherkin FAQ.

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