Moving Forward & Digging Deeper; third in a series
September 5, 2008
So, finally, it went differently. We were all very tempted to take the bait, but we didn’t (well, Lisa, you kinda did). I *would have taken the bait* if I hadn’t seen other people not do it, despite having just called out the dynamic, because it is so deeply ingrained into my head that my place in feminism, in ‘woman,’ and in fact in humanity, is precarious and must be defended at all times.
And we broke that. We kept having our own conversation. We talked about m Andrea, not with her. We said, no, not this time. no, not here.
So, while this is partially falling prey to this very same trap, I’m interested in analyzing the dynamic further.
1)m Andrea comments at QT, not here. That is, she comments not at the source of the criticism, but at the place people congregate, the place where there would likely be a conversation otherwise, the place where she can disrupt. She doesn’t want to start a conversation, she wants to prevent one, disrupt one.
2)Her comment is practically boilerplate. No, seriously:
i Hi Lisa!
ii Lots of declarative statements in your post, without any supporting reasons.
iii I’m particularly interested in the assumption that the only options are inclusion into women-only spaces or death.
iv Every oppressed group has had to justify themselves — why does transgenderism get to be the lone exception? Women are used to having our every right to equality questioned, and the requirement that we prove our assertions is taken as a given after thousands of years of constant criticism; so it appears quite peculiar to many of us that transgender people claim a special exemption.
i)pretext, since she has no intention of actually engaging with Lisa, but it makes her comment look a bit more like it’s about this post, which it isn’t.
ii)Really? Really? Like what? If you had *any intention of engaging in discussion*, would you maybe bring up a specific point you thought was unsupported?
Translation: “You’re stupid and you can’t form real arguments. You are an incompetent feminist, you are making shit up, you are fake.”
–This has nothing to do with the actual post. She could have put that *anywhere*.
iii)Where does Lisa say this? Where has she [edit: m Andrea] proposed any other option? If she and those like her are responsible for spaces that turn away folks who are desperately marginalized, aren’t they responsible for coming up with that answer?
Translation: “You are incompetent and incapable of analysis/rational thought. You are the one failing trans women because you’re so stupid you can’t come up with a way to help them, which is your responsibility”.
–Again, nothing to do with the actual post. This reads as if it was copy and pasted from some other comment she made in another blog where she thought we wouldn’t be reading.
iv)Is she arguing for hazing, or is she seriously arguing in favor of the oppression of women? I suppose she could be pretending that everything we say is just whining about how it’s not fair as opposed to demanding change, but does she really believe that?
But again, this is a classic conflation of dominance and support, accountability and subordination. It’s totally obvious that not having to justify oneself is support/having to do it is subordination, but she claims that our not liking it is dominance.
Translation: “You are ignorant and stupid. You don’t have a clue about feminism or oppression, and you need to accept the basic facts of life. You believe you deserve a basic need because you’re unaware of the basic facts of life; you believe you deserve a basic need because you’re privileged, which makes you morally abhorrent. The fact that I am oppressed in this way justifies me oppressing you this way. ”
–While this engages with the post, 1)it only does so in a totally superficial way and 2)it could easily have been written having only read the first paragraph, and mentions *nothing* after the opening quote. She didn’t even scroll down.
I don’t think she read the rest of the post. I don’t think she cared. She went to the absolute minimum effort. She commented *for no other reason than to make the space unsafe, to prevent meaningful conversation from happening, and to waste our time*.
She’s a troll, plain and simple. She wants to hurt us, shut us up, and get rid of us, nothing more.
Think about the *extremely patronizing* language in her “logic” post “proving” we weren’t legit. She is saying: you’re stupid, you don’t know feminism, anyone who argrees with you can’t form an argument or think their way out of a paper bag, etc etc.
This is what they do. This is why what they say is damaging *even if their points are refuted*. Because they say, over and over again, that we are stupid, incompetent, and worthless–and all that kind of abuse needs to function is repetition. All it needs to sneak into your heart is to be taken seriously.
Who’s being shouted down and unable to speak, again?
PS m Andrea, don’t even bother trying to comment here.