On Tactics Re: Oppression

Okidokey. Look, I know I’m a cis-gendered white male, so I get that I have privilege issues, and I need to acknowledge that up front. If you don’t feel like listening to what I have to say, that’s your right.

So at least I'm not guily of this one (at the moment)
So at least I’m not guilty of this one (at the moment)

On the other hand, I’m gay and atheist, and unlike the new generation, I grew up when that meant being spit on, beat up, raped or killed for being who I am – far more so than it does today.

Thanks to people like these.  Hey, Is it wrong that I think the one second from the right is unimaginably cute? - Probably. But hey, at least I'm not participating in ageism, since that photo was taken before I was born.
Thanks to people like these.
Hey, Is it wrong that I think the one second from the right is unimaginably cute? – Probably. But at least I’m not participating in ageism, since that photo was taken before I was born.

I’ve lived in terror, learned to fight back, worked to change public opinion, been beaten, used, taken advantage of sexually; I’ve been told by people in uniform that since I was gay it probably wasn’t REALLY rape, was it, now. I’ve been shouted at by evangelicals and Phelps clones, been told I am dirty, disgusting, an offense against the creator, an abomination only worthy of death. I’ve protested against treating people Of ANY gender, genetic origin, political creed or gender preference, in a discriminatory fashion. And I agree that there are some serious issues with how women are treated – in public and in private – by cis-gendered hetero men of all origins. I also agree that as a man I am only capable of understanding a small portion of what it means to be a woman.

Oh, Oliver. Why must you feed into the patriarchy?
Oh, Oliver. Why must you feed into the patriarchy?

You can probably tell I’m leading up to a ‘but’ here, though. So here is my caveat:

The thing is that just like with the treatment of gays, lesbians, transgendered and otherwise queer individuals, the problems won’t stop unless we win hearts and minds. – ACT UP didn’t accomplish as much for gay rights as the nationwide movement to come out to parents, siblings, and friends, and put a personal, friendly, relatable face on the problem.

As opposed to this.
As opposed to this.

There are times when the hatred of an oppressor is justified – indeed, the only thing that is capable of sustaining one through a dark time. I’m not disputing that – I’ve been there in my own way.

But that hatred becomes self-defeating when it helps your oppressors create caricatures of you, and you of them; it stops dialogue and change dead.

It becomes a hindrance when it blinds you to potential allies – people who may be privileged in one way or another, but who abhor what is being done to you.

And it becomes delusional when it allows you to engage in the same hate speech against your oppressors that they would use against you in your place. I’m speaking to you, Michelle.

There are people both outside and inside the feminist movement who understand this: people like Theresa Warburton and Joshua Cerretti, who wrote an insightful article on white privilege, and also Dr. Nerdlove. – I don’t always agree with everything they say, but they aren’t vilifying me for existing, and seem interested in engaging all comers in a dialogue; that’s all I really ask of anyone.

discussing privilege - ur doin it right
Discussing privilege – Ur doin it right

I have lived on both sides of privilege – And I know that I can never be free of that taint, because many hardcore feminists will only see me for my gender and the color of my skin. They will name me oppressor. They will argue that I’m serving to uphold white male privilege – when I’ve spent my life (and blood – literally) working against it. It reminds me very much of how I was treated when I wore a dress or held hands with another man or marched for civil rights for alternative gender preferences. And it makes me sad that anyone part of a people oppressed would turn to oppression themselves.

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In honor of those who fight unselfishly for what they believe is right.

I’m not fond of comparing the revolutions in the Middle East with the Occupy movement, even though there are some obvious parallels – The reason being that in any comparison, the occupy movement comes off as a weaker, diluted cousin. The stakes are lower, the motive is lesser, and the majority of the people involved in the occupy movement are far more privileged.

That said, the fact that there are any parallels at all between the way the American government and the governments of corrupt dictatorships in the Middle East are treating citizens exercising free speech… that speaks volumes. So to all the people around the world who are fighting peacefully for what they believe is right, I say, hold on. Keep fighting. You are not alone. The fight is worthwhile. We believe in you.

An intellectual argument.

I have a failing.

If I like a video enough, especially if it’s a video about science or technology, I can’t help but read a few of the peanut gallery responses to the video.

That last video I posted up… you know, the one from TED? yeah, I read some responses.

Like this one.

Mar 16 2009: If you look at the progression of the human race in the last 100 years, with every major advancement in technology, it seems to be accompanied with even greater stories of crime, paedophilia, drug misuse, man-made disasters, and climate change. I’m not saying that technology is bad — far from it — but major advancements need to be watched carefully because the misuse of power can wreck people’s lives, even disrupt entire nations!

If you could biologically enhance yourself or reconfigure your genome, imagine how people might misuse such power? It is a sad fact that most people are naturally selfish, motivated by their own lusts.

Since I disagree wholeheartedly with his statement,  for obvious and logical reasons, I *sigh* created an account and posted up a reply.

And since the reply was lengthy, and I sweated a little over my phraseology, I figured I’d share it wit’ youse guys, since I’m basically lazy/morally bankrupt. ^^

My response:

“Less than 5 minutes ago:

I’d like to see your statistics for those statements about crime. From what I can remember of my history and sociology classes, crime rates are (and have been for the last hundred years or so) on a comparative downswing, with an illusory upswing as crime detection technology improves. For example, while pedophilia was certainly just as rampant in Victorian England as today, there were comparatively few trials, and very little public acknowledgment that such things were even possible.
In other words, the reason we see so much more crime is because we catch it much more effectively now than a hundred years ago.
Of course I could be wrong. However, whether or not crime is on an upswing, it’s extremely unlikely technology has anything to do with it.
As any economics student can tell you, drawing a causal link between two isolated data sets borders on hubris if done without strong outside evidence.”

CIA…. they did what?!

You know, I never thought even for the slightest moment that the Bond movies were an accurate representation of spy work.

I thought the days would be filled with tension and boredom, and the nights with bad dreams about what ‘they’ would do when (not if) they caught me.

I was wrong. But Bond is too cool of an analogy for the truth. The truth is far more ‘Get Smart’ than James Bond.

Check it out, Here.

And for illustrations, Here.