silencing

My feminism will be bullshit and it will be valuable

I’ve been afraid to write about feminism and women’s issues on this blog. When I’ve tried, I’ve been shouted down in ways I haven’t experienced on any other topic. (Including topics on which I’ve made serious mistakes that I’m now embarrassed by.)

And in a number of contexts, I’ve seen very vehement comments along the lines of “my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit.”

And… I’ve noticed that other movements aren’t held to that standard. Especially, other movements aren’t held to that standard in terms of how they treat women. If they were, there wouldn’t be any movements left.

Everything people do contains bullshit. That doesn’t make it worthless. It means that there’s something that needs to get better.

I’m realizing now that I’ve been cowardly in not writing about feminism and women’s issues. So, from now on, I’m going to try to say more.  

As with every other issue I write about, sometimes people will disagree with me, and sometimes they will be angry. Sometimes people who disagree with me will be right, and sometimes they will be wrong. As with everything I write about, I will do my best to know what I’m talking about, and I will take the issues seriously. And I will make mistakes and my views will change over time as I learn new things.

Making mistakes is better than being silent about things that matter. Doing things imperfectly is better than neglecting them.

My feminism will (sometimes) be bullshit, and it will be valuable.

Acknowledging the unfixable

Many people face awful things.

Sometimes, those things aren’t fixable.

Sometimes you can’t make it better. Sometimes all you can do is try to find a way to live with it.

Living and enjoying your life doesn’t make the bad things irrelevant.

Often, people who don’t face the awful things want to pretend that everything is either fixable or already ok.

This leads to pressuring people experiencing awful things to smile and pretend everything is ok.

That doesn’t help. It doesn’t make anything ok. It just means that people are forced to face things alone. This isn’t right.

People shouldn’t force you to pretend that you’re ok when you’re not. People shouldn’t force you to pretend that the world is better than it is. If you’re facing that, I’m sorry that’s happening to you.

Sometimes we can’t fix the bad things. But there are problems we can fix. We can stop silencing people and we can stop isolating people. We can respect people, and stop expecting them to protect us from reality.

We can’t fix everything, but we can stop being jerks to people facing unfixable problems.