Friday, June 22, 2012

Laci Green - I want to like you but I can't because you actually kind of suck.

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[Cross-Posting from Tumblr] TW - Islamophobia, etc.

Something that's been in my head for a while - I have really mixed feelings about Laci Green. I really want to like her, and at first I did, but... She's basically become another Dan Savage to me. (And you know how I feel about Dan fucking Savage.) Like... her sex positive stuff is generally awesome, but... when it comes to other things, she's kind of awful :-\

I mean, seriously. Some of the things she says have been really disgusting... She angered Muslims (especially Muslim women) by insisting their religion oppresses them (this was a year ago), and then when they got upset and tried to talk to her about it (this week) and why what she said was Islamophobic, she called them ignorant about their own religion. If you're offended, you're ignorant, and you're being just as oppressive by calling her an Islamophobe -- what the actual fuck was that.
It's very hard for me to respect someone like that. Someone who will sit there and "I don't know what it's like to be a PoC or a Muslim but this is how I feel about those things, and despite the fact that you are both of those things, the way you feel about them is totally wrong and you are ignorant."
 There are certain experiences I can never speak about, such as actually being Muslim or being a person of color. I can, however, speak about my own, and to argue that I must have dark skin or have been a practicing Muslim in order for me to do so is more of the same oppressive bullshit.
This quote for me is unforgivable. No, it is not the same, you are generalizing your personal experiences with religious members of your family to a larger culture about which you fully admit YOU KNOW NOTHING, and yet you continue to argue that you're totally right and anyone who disagrees with you is just ignorant. You basically pulled the "but I have black friends!!!" card and "I'm a white feminist savior" membership card in the same argument. Oh, and Laci, you are a racist asshat. 

And I'm learning that a lot of people in the trans* community don't like her either. They say she's not all that inclusive, she's a hypocrite, and she comes off as the typical arrogant white liberal feminist. (And I definitely agree with that last part. I started following her, and her posts are just... so off-putting.) The "I know your oppression better than you do" type who will talk about how much she hates hates a culture she doesn't understand but then will say, when confronted about a hurtful comment she made, "don't be hateful; allow people to make mistakes because it's how we grow!" stop yelling at me!1!!

Her actual words, which on a second reading, are really NOT ok: "Allow people to make mistakes, learn, and grow from those mistakes or things will never change in society."
  1. Wow. That is some seriously oppressive bullshit privilege denial right there.
  2. You can't learn from a mistake if no one tells you you've made a mistake.
  3. So when someone continues to be an oppressive asshat, you think the "correct" thing to do is to keep my feelings to myself and never call them out on it? Again, how are they going to know and realize that what they did was wrong?
  4. You think the correct way to respond to someone who is rightfully upset with something you said is to call them hateful and tell them to be more polite or things will never get better?
  5. Fuck you.
  6. In case you missed that - FUCK YOU.
  7. Go fuck yourself.
  9. This reeks of "be nice to us or we won't be your allies anymore." aka you are no fucking ally, you're doing this for the brownie points.
Not to mention that she attacked the asker for being "hateful," when they were really anything but. Not that it should even really matter, because she's still wrong - a) you as a privileged person have no fucking right to tell a non-privileged person how to react or feel about their oppression and b) you have no fucking clue how it feels, and we have every right to feel hateful and upset. Fuck your tone policing.

And then. Oh, and this. Well, I don't actually have time to get into the rest, but I have to say, I'm disappointed. And it's frustrating when all of the most popular sex-ed, body positive, sex positive people are white, cis, thin people who have no idea what it's like to not be that, or say things that seem entirely antithetical to what they say they believe. It's frustrating that someone who gives such incredible and important information about sex ed and has a voice that needs to be heard on those topics also uses that voice to shut down people who are rightfully critical of the problematic shit she says and does. And instead of an apology, the people she hurts are treated to privilege denying apologist bullshit and arrogance.

No one's perfect, and yes, it is a process, but... If you're going to be known as an educator about these things, you can and will be held to a higher standard. And if you think it's ok to silence and belittle and talk over ACTUAL trans* people and Muslim and PoCs and people who actually experience on a day to day basis the things you *think* you know about, you are seriously doing it wrong. And I take issue with that.

If people really want to know why I don't call myself a feminist - because the mainstream feminist movement is full of people like this - privilege denying, angry cissexist white girls who can't understand that the only people their "feminism" is helping is other cis white women (as it adds to the oppression the rest of us face).

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