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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

You realize, of course, that this means war.

The language of intimidation and abuse being leveled against the rest of America by the conservative right currently is no novelty to me. I grew up in a Lesbian feminist household in Reagan's America. I've been hearing it since I was a child.

There is no difference between what's being said about liberal and progressive Americans now and what was said of my family members then. The feminist, queer, and civil rights communities have heard it a thousand times before. We can sing the refrain.

Starting from the top. Tell me when these stop sounding familiar:


  1. You're shrill.
  2. You're exaggerating how bad things are.
  3. You're destructive to families.
  4. You're humanists (You place the well-being of people over God's Law, in other words.)
  5. You're irrational.
  6. Your arguments are specious.
  7. You're ugly.
  8. You just need a good dicking and you'll see the light.
  9. We're doing this for your own good.
  10. You're mentally ill.
  11. You're morally reprehensible.
  12. You should shut up, stay out of sight, and let decent people get on with their lives.
  13. You want to upset the natural order of things.
  14. You're going to Hell.
  15. This is God's punishment for your sins.
  16. You spread disease.
  17. You deserve whatever you get.
  18. Get over it.



I could go on. But I think the point is made.

Silence still equals death.

Before anybody gets into this fight, however, they should know that not staying silent can be equally deadly. They will try to take your children away. In some cases, they will succeed. They will blacken your name. They will send you to jail on trumped-up charges. They will have you beaten to death in alleys. They will fight to the last man, because this isn't about morality, and it isn't about religion, and it never has been. Those are just weapons they use, and we can't be distracted by mistaking the weapon for the arm that wields it.

This is about privilege. And it always has been. This is about whites defending their status from people of color, and about straights defending their privilege from queers, and this is about men defending their status from women, and the classes defending themselves from the masses (and using the masses against themselves).

It doesn't look like a zero-sum game to us, but it does to them, because if we gain status, then they feel like they're losing it.

Do not make the mistake of thinking it's about anything else. Do not be distracted. Do not look down. Do not blink.

Eyes on the prize.



ETA, pursuant to requests to copy/disseminate:

Copyright 2004 Elizabeth Bear. Permission is granted to duplicate and propagate at will, so long as no changes are made to the text and this copyright notice remains intact. Online copies will please link the original journal entry at http://www.livejournal.com/users/matociquala/407295.html

Comments

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I adore you.
It's mutual, of course.

I may have woken up sober this morning by accident, or something. Fortunately, though there's a little dust on my shit-kicking boots, I still have them.
Bravo!
Did I mention we're shrill?

Pass me the megaphone, baby.
I always like telling them that I've had a good dicking, thanks, and it just made me more determined that good dickings should be available to anybody who wants them.

Sigh. Here we go again....

hrmity

this morning the news tells me that gay marriage should be legalized (it's in a formality stage at the mo') canada-wide at the start of the new year.

if you drive north, you will get here. I highly recommend it.

Re: hrmity

Somebody on my friends list linked that earlier in the week--go Canada! I'm pleased to hear it went well....

I figure I'll stick around long enough to make a nuisance of myself, at least. Although it scares me; the intimidation works.
Kickass post. Thank you.


Faith would be proud!
*g* Thanks!
As for the other thing... well, we *can* do something about that. Which is continue writing books and short stories featuring irreverent takes on religious topics, and queer characters (that's queer in the inclusive sense) in positive roles, and patronize queer-friendly (Hell, even queer-exploitative, which is my personal definition of QEftSG) entertainment and media.

And be vocal. And stay vocal, even when it's scary. And it's going to get scary. And the people who don't want to hear our voices are going to try to silence us.

Don't let them.


Good advice. I'm on it!
What really ticks me off about #4 is that the "God's Law" they prate about says that the well-being of people is the most important thing. But these people don't want to see that. As you say, it's really not about God at all.

I generally try to live by the Golden Rule and the Witch's Rede. (Do unto others as thou wouldst have others do unto thee [and] Do as thou wilt, an it harm none.) I figure that any heaven I can't get into with those policies is not a club I want to belong to. *g*
I'm not shrill. Nor am I ugly. Nor am I anti-family (I just define the word differently than those people do).

What I am, however, is not going away.

And the thought of me beign silent... will amuse anyone who has ever met me. *wry smile*

I thought long and hard about Canada. Still do think about it. But not yet.


Almost makes me nostalgic for the good old Republican party. Remember? The one that said government should have no hand in mandating social issues? The one that said less government, not more." *sigh*

When I was a child, Malcolm x and MLK (and a lot of other brave people)walked forth upon the land. Many of my relatives in Mississippi were deeply troubled by all of this, and some still are. Now, not to say that racism's a dead issue in this country now, but I haven't seen a "white/colored only" sign outside of a museum or a television history program in many long years. What have I, as a white woman, lost by the death of Jim Crow? Diddly. What have I gained? Lots. Too much to list within the constraints of a LJ comment box. What will I, as a straight, lose to gay rights? More of that diddly, there. What will I gain? Going by previous example, lots. I just can't see how letting gays marry will weaken any of the marriages in my immediate family. I can't approve of treating other people as sex toys, as if they were nothing more than an object that needed batteries, or inflating, but that's a failing open to all persuasions.

As a woman, I want me some of those women's rights things--to some I'm guilty of being selfishly single and childless, when I could be laboring to make some unlucky man my lord and master, and birth his get--and I'm damn proud of it, because I doubt I'd be a happy, willing worker there, and it wouldn't be a pretty sight. I want to be free of your religious beliefs, whoever you are--and I guess you ought to be allowed to be free of mine.

And staying in control, remaining masters of the world? That was never as true as they dream. Most of those who yearn for those wondrous days of yore weren't among the masters of creation then, and they won't be now. That won't stop them from screwing the rest of us over in their struggle to get there, though.

Even if you don't think this your fight, it is. See Niemoeller. Shrillness is nothing to be ashamed of. Many wise people are shrill right now. In fact, shrill is good, and it may save your life--that's why sirens are high-pitched, AKA shrill--so they'll get people's attention when danger threatens. If you're shrill, Bear, then you're a siren.
"Shrill" allows Them to dismiss you. It's not a word I'm trying to reclaim (as opposed to 'bitch,' which I wear as a word of honor -- a bitch is a fiecely loyal, strong-minded pack animal who will fight unto the death for the safety of her pack, but also allow you to share the kill and cuddle for warmth if you treat her with respect and love).

I'm loud, heaven knows. Loud and proud. And did I mention opinionated? :-)


> You just need a good dicking and you'll see the light.

::snorts:: That's what the last 4 years have been, and we're looking at another 4... and, honestly, that's *why* we're complaining.

Yeah, I know, not what they meant, but, well, screw them. It's the same shit they've been repeating for years, the only thing that changes is the target du jour.
The last four years have been a dicking...I don't know that I'd say they were a GOOD one, however.
Thank you.

If you were in my 502 class (where this is exactly what we discussed all semester) I would definitely give you an A. ::grins::
502?
14 years ago today, Lech Walesa became president of Poland. Things can change, as long as we don't give up.
44 years ago, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became prime minister of sri lanka
38 years ago, Indira Ghandi became Prime Minister of India
35 years ago, Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel
30 years ago, Isabel Peron became President of Argentina

let's not forget margaret thatcher, kim campbell or any of the other strong wome who have led their countires. hell yeah things can change... they've been changing for years, we've just gotta keep the ball rolling.
Nice to realise there are others than me able to really burst with anger and indignation and who never will accept "the world as it is"...

The funny thing is that a few years ago, I probably would have defined myself as "mildly conservative"; I'd never could say it now, when I see what the word means in some mouths...

Though, until now, a conservative European was mainly trying to conserve...liberal values! (against all kinds of totalitarisms)

But I observe that, more and more, the "Neo Cons" doctrines are spreading and winning adepts and it worries me a lot when I think that usually US societal trends reach us within five years (much faster for fashion)

Five years ago I would have called myself a moderate social liberal, with some conservative leanings on the fiscal side.

These days, I'm apparently a pinko commie. Amazing.
Nice to realize there are others than me able to really burst with anger and indignation and who never will accept "the world as it is"...

The funny thing is that a few years ago, I probably would have defined myself as "mildly conservative"; I'd never could say it now, when I see what the word means in some mouths...

Though, until now, a conservative European was mainly trying to conserve...liberal values! (against all kinds of totalitarianisms)

But I observe that, more and more, the "Neo Cons" doctrines are spreading and winning adepts and it worries me a lot when I think that usually US societal trends reach us within five years (much faster for fashions)

The language of abuse and intimidation being levelled on the rest of America by the liberal left is nothing new, either.

Stop me when this sounds familiar:

1. You're all the same.
2. You're ignorant.
3. You're an idiot.
4. How can you be so heartless?
5. Homophobe.
6. You're just suffering from "het panic."
7. This isn't about what you yourself believe, it's about privilege.
8. You're a racist.
9. You're a sexist.
10. You want to take away my civil liberties.
11. You'd be happier if we were all dead.
12. You don't know what you're doing; the elite should be running this country.
13. We don't want to change things as much as you're afraid of.
14. You believe in some mythical sky fairy.
15. You're a redneck/drooling simpleton.
16. Get over it.

Should I go on? Because I can. Heard or read all of this stuff, more times than I care to count. The crass generalizations, abusive stereotypes, and language of intimidation are not just the domain of the "They" of which you are so afraid. It makes a rousing refrain, but at the same time, you're just as guilty for using such sweeping generalizations to characterize millions upon millions of people. The blogs were rife with such crap following the elections, and I'm saddened to see that attitude being enshrined as Truth: those that oppose you only do so out of ignorance, idiocy, and intolerance.

But hey, "anything for my side, because we're righteous," eh?
The elite *are* running this country. Much to my chagrin.

And frankly, anybody who tells me that, as a woman or a queer or a person of color, I should not have access to *exactly* the same rights, responsibilities, and privileges as a straight white male *is* a sexist, racist homophobe, no matter whether he realizes that himself, or not.

And if that includes you, then it includes you, and I won't apologize: the way to remove the definition is simple. Change your attitude, and accept that "separate" is not and cannot ever be equal.

Has anyone ever threatened to take your child away because of who you chose as a life partner? Threatened to beat you up because you were straight?

Because if that hasn't happened to you, then your experience of intimidation is very different from mine.
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