the fabulous life of a queer femme in action
When I realized that my love affair with feminism was going to be a lifelong relationship, I also opened the door to a fireball of rage. The feminist glasses got superglued to my face and wherever I turned I saw misogyny parading around as if it was its goddamn birthright. Once I opened my mouth to scream I just couldn’t stop. I felt a constant disappointment towards my male friends for not giving up their privileges and joining the struggle as allies, and I was sick to the bone of being expected to walk around like a 24/7 information station educating them about sexism and homophobia. “Just read a fucking book for fuck’s sake! If you are really seriously interested in fighting discrimination then just do something! Start your own political groups instead of moping around when we respectfully ask you to not come to our meetings taking up all the space with your feelings of guilt for belonging to the group who gets the most cake although you never asked for it. And no, I am not interested in being the token lesbian feminist at your events so that you can feel better about yourselves for being so supportive and open minded!” I had the right to air my anger without having to add an “except for you, of course” every time I screamed something about male privilege. So it came to me as a shock followed by a very embarrassed red face when I realized I myself behaved like those “nice and decent dudes” whose response to criticism was (is) to feel hurt and wrongfully accused. “Queer Vienna is a nice and cuddly little bubble and everybody is invited to come and play!” (My own words.) Bull. Shit. Yeah, sure, the door is open but you gotta count on a heavy dose of everyday “innocent” racism starting the minute you step in, because that’s just the way things are and people just don’t know better and if you try to call them on it, you are being overly sensitive and just ruining the party!
Allies out there (including myself ): Shut up and listen. Open your mouth and say something. Just learn when to do which. Life is an ongoing learning process, there is no graduation. We are bound to make mistakes, and when that happens we apologize and do (or fail) better next time. Don’t go hide, licking your wounds and behaving like you got your fingers slapped.
Denice believes in hilariously funny political satire without assholery. She also wonders when white folks deciding whether a joke is racist or not came back in fashion. WTF?