Thursday, October 6, 2011

Silenced by those who should love us

Somewhere, out there, people are afraid to voice opinion.

I know this for fact, because so many have asked where I get my "courage."

We're living through a sad and anxious time, when those who disagree are shamed into silence, and those who bully are allowed to advance.  Ideas still matter.  Words still hurt.  No two people see the world in the same way.  And without the freedom to advance a contrary opinion, we are all slaves.

This past week, I've received violent, angry, frightening emails and phone messages from obviously inebriated, drugged and illogical people, threatening me because I spoke my opinion on the Slutwalk.

Without contrary opinion, we are all slaves.
Their rage and threats concern me; not for the reason one might expect.

I'm not intimidated by obscenity or conflict.  Nor am I silenced by irrational people.

I do know, however, many people who choose to not speak because they are afraid of the backlash.  I know strong, forthright men and women who have been bullied into silence, who shy from discussion, sharing of ideas and dialogue because they cannot countenance the anger they inspire in others.

And I wish, oh how I wish, those who disagree could put their little private hurts aside, and learn to listen and grow.

I have no doubt that Slutwalking women have a great deal to teach me.

They cannot teach, however, with hate speech.

Odd - how the people who want to do away with violence can, without intention, perpetuate its evil arch.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Media, message and misogyny - Slutwalk hurts Minnesota women.

Don't ask.  I won't be there.

Don't try to sell me a tee shirt.  I don't want your bumper sticker.  

I'm not a slut.  Nope.  Never have been.  Never will be.

And I don't think the "Slutwalk" teaches anyone anything.  (Click this link to see my interview with Kare 11 news.)

The men lined up along the side of the road, wearing "I love sluts" tee shirts are a bit too titillated by this thing to make me comfortable.

In my experience; when men are amused, women lose.

Slutwalk organizers don't agree.  They like the attention - from the men, from the media, from the mob.

The organizers actually say the following as a justification for using the "s" word: "Now that we have your attention. . ."

Too late.  Too sad.

Too ignorant of message, media and the politics of misogyny.

I'm afraid this whole thing is too insulting and demeaning to teach anything to anyone.

No - this "march" will not change a single rapist's mind. It will, however, please and tease the men (and women) who think all women's issues are a joke.
When men are amused, women lose.

Slutwalk, organized by a generation of women ignorant of the real work of feminism,  is a frat party gone sour.

Its meaning is lost, lost, lost in its delivery.

But hey - - if the prevalent world-wide "rape culture" disappears because women prance down our streets in lingerie and fishnet, I'm happy to eat my words.

Meanwhile, the whole thing makes me sad.  And it makes my little sisters look stupid, desperate and ignorant of our common history and the fragile, ever-eroding political power of Minnesota feminism.

It's come to this.  Young women can think of no other way to get their message out.

Unable to recognize the power of their choices, they chose folly over ferocity.  Unable to recognize how they are being victimized, they jump into the cage and call themselves free.

Young women, uninformed women, well intended women hungry for feminist affiliation, driven by limited vision and manipulated by media - show their communities how little they ask by way of respect, humanity or decency.

They don't want justice - if they did, the cry for justice would be louder than their self-depreciation.  

Ignorant of message, media and misogyny.
 They don't want fairness - if they did, their ranks would be filled with the women who are most vulnerable to sexual assault; women of color, disabled women, elderly women, poor women.

No.  They want attention.  And they are willing to stoop, stoop, stoop to get it.

This is how low they go.

This is how they break their sisters' hearts.

Really?  Who cares.