Be young and shut up

A blog about student activism.

Some points of clarification about criticisms of the left and my own conduct

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Apologies for the self-centredness of some of the below.

So about four or five months ago someone I have a lot of political and personal differences with said that I ‘silence other women’ by talking about sexual violence, which is triggering.

If/when I have described acts without the consent of people around me to go into details then I really apologise, I know I have once or twice and I immediately apologised. I apologise for that again, and if there are any other instances then I unreservedly apologise for them too.

I don’t apologise for talking about sexual violence or for using my own experiences to inform my life, because we have to talk about it, and because it changed my understanding of the world.

I’m also not sorry for talking about my mental health problems, which I never use for ‘political capital’, as I’ve been accused of, as far as I’m aware, except to draw attention to accessibility issues and to explain why I sometimes have to leave the room due to an episode or anxiety attack.

I’m not making up the violence I was subjected to, but also know that as a woman my experiences are far from abnormal. (Which is abhorrent in itself.) I’m not making up my mental health problems or ‘going out to get attention’.

Around the same time some people were offended by comments I made about various organisations, which I’m not sorry for at all. Even if other women disagree with those comments those are my opinions and we are allowed to disagree.

I apologise again about some of the phrasing I used in the past that was insensitive, and that was borne out of white privilege. Although I still think the points I was trying to get across pretty much still stand.

After a long time thinking about the ways in which I and others politically disagree with people I’m of the opinion that there are a few main problems on ‘the left’:

– The attitude of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’, or people feeling the necessity to support the lesser of two evils, which is why Galloway justified supporting Saddam Hussein and why he still supports Bashar al-Assad.
(By the way, watch videos of him debating Syrians on TV, in which he talks down to them, puts on a weird voice and generally is a douchebag.)

– Endemic misogyny, which results in rape apologism, trying to muddy the waters of cases like Assange’s when those waters are actually very clear. Also results in survivors not being believed, which allows sexual violence to continue without question in leftwing circles. Also just loads of creepiness-bordering-on-sexual-harassment, which I for one have experienced recently, and that needs to be called out.

– Rating certain causes over others, such as saying that because Galloway is anti-imperialist we have to support him despite him being anti-choice, a massive homophobe and someone who cosies up to corrupt leaders for cash and favours. (Embarrassing that loads of the left only renounced him a couple of weeks ago.)

– Conspiracy theory bullshit mixed up with anti-Semitism. Undoubtedly a lot of society is very Islamophobic and there is a lot of disgusting hatred of Muslims about but this doesn’t mean that anti-Semitism doesn’t exist or that it’s okay.

– Cultural relativism. This mixes in with a lot of the above. As one of my friends said, it’s racist to hold your own society up to certain standards without holding them up in others. Further, cultural differences are borne out of socialisation not out of any inherent difference between the people living in different areas, countries or societies. But it’s still racist to act or speak in a way that places queer rights in Britain or the West higher than queer rights in the global South.


Written by CakeCakeCakeCakeCake

September 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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