Don’t Call Yourself a Revolutionary…
By Infinite Venom
Don’t Call Yourself a Revolutionary…
A Dispatch from Seattle
Don’t call yourself a revolutionary if you respond to allegations of sexual misconduct within your group with denial, character assassination, apologia for patriarchy, jokes that uphold rape culture, or any other infantile behavior that demeans the seriousness of such allegations. No, your group identity is not more important than confronting patriarchy. No, your group identity is not more important than honoring and respecting those who have put time and effort into the work. No, your group identity doesn’t mean shit if you are replicating systems of oppression by refusing to acknowledge the tensions and dysfunction that a patriarchal hierarchy has created. You are counter-revolutionary.
Don’t call yourself a revolutionary if doing the work around confronting sexual assault and patriarchy is not considered worthy of time and effort, yet you can put massive numbers of hours into planning other campaigns that keep you inside of your comfort zone and give you the illusion that you are “productive”. No, you are not being productive if you think winning small victories and keeping yourself seen and heard matters more than tearing down the oppressions that lead to the necessity for doing the campaigns in the first place. No, it is not a matter of capacity or time management. I see what you are doing. You are counter-revolutionary.
Don’t call yourself a revolutionary (or someone who has moved past the gender binary) if you buy into that same old patriarchal shit at every opportunity. No, you are not a feminist if you replicate patriarchy and white supremacy by playing into the social construct of what “woman” is in men’s eyes. No, you are not a master at polyamory or open relationships if you shit all over everyone in the name of “free love”. Polyamory doesn’t mean everyone has to put up with your shit, or forgive acts of disrespect because “hey y’all, I am free to fuck whomever I want”. Bullshit. You are acting like a narcissistic asshole and you are counter-revolutionary.
Don’t call yourself a revolutionary if you can’t comprehend the very simple concept of CONSENT. No, it is not ok to continue having sex with someone if he or she says “STOP” at any time during the encounter. No, it is not ok to have sex with someone who is so intoxicated that they can’t possibly know who you are let alone what is happening. If you think there is a chance you will have to explain what happened to your partner the next morning than you need to show some motherfucking respect and wait for an opportunity to have a discussion when both parties are sober. No, it is not ok to cajole, harass, guilt, shame, or intimidate someone into giving in to your sexual advances. Fuck you – you are counter-revolutionary.
Don’t call yourself a revolutionary if you expect me to behave in a certain way that plays into your need to feel comfortable with yourself. I don’t have to be happy, friendly, polite, nice, considerate, supportive, discreet, quiet, cheerful, endearing, sweet, pleasant, or any of the other things woman are supposed to be. No, I am not going to tone down my anger to make you more comfortable. No, I do not have to modify my behavior because you can’t handle the things I am saying. Scandalizing feminist responses is a classic tool used by patriarchs and those who support them, and it is intended to make us shut the fuck up. No, I won’t shut the fuck up. If I am unhappy then I am allowed to own that feeling and express why, and if you can’t handle it you should examine YOUR response to it and not my actions. No, it is not ok that so many vital conversations get shut down because everyone starts focusing on the responses and not the actual transgressions that have caused the response. I am tired of feeling silenced by others discomfort because they feel the need to maintain the status quo. Fuck the status quo – you are counter-revolutionary.
Don’t call yourself a revolutionary if you say or do things that cause a break in feminist solidarity. Nothing about this behavior is ever okay. If a man acts in such a way that he creates the breaking of socialization of feminist comrades he is definitely counter-revolutionary. If a person attempts to break feminist solidarity by talking shit to a feminist comrade about another feminist comrade, they are definitely counter-revolutionary. One of the many ways patriarchy plays out in our society is the breaking of bonds between those of us who do not benefit from patriarchy (female bodied comrades, for the most part), because how can we fight patriarchy if we are fighting each other? This is one of the most insidious forms of disruption and infiltration of movement work. Patriarchy is our enemy, and if you create barricades to feminist praxis by breaking feminist solidarity you are definitely fucking counter-revolutionary. And when we call you out for it and others support you they are also counter-revolutionary.
Don’t call yourself a revolutionary if you can’t make confronting and dismantling patriarchy one of the basic tenants of your organizing work. We deserve nothing less. If you refuse to acknowledge this you are counter-revolutionary.
~Love, rage, and death to patriarchy