Monday, December 7, 2009

Renting space in Aunt Esther's head (UPDATED)

Well it would seem that April Ryan isn't so bad after all. In my last post I discussed the recent skirmish she had with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. In that post in my commentary my position was that she had the wrong approach with her line of questioning. Well, it's good to know that April is woman enough to admit that she was wrong in the way she handled the situation:

Well, don't tell that to my good friend Renee author of the blog Womanist Musings who actually was the focus of my last blog and not April Ryan. You see, just like I mentioned in that post about people missing the message because they're more focused on shooting the messenger? Renee did just that as I expected. Yes, she took the bait hook line and sinker with my last post as I designed. Yep, and did she ever! Today I was the subject of her blog once again...

READ: When Black Men and White Men Partner in Sexism

You see, Renee has a problem when it comes to communication as do many people. I've pointed this out to her in a recent exchange on my blog and on Twitter, but me having a penis, she didn't take to my advice about her approach. Like April Ryan above, she occasionally visits this blog and unappropriately engages with me (and other commenters) as she pushes "her agenda" and derails the conversation piece of the post at hand - she has done this on more than one occasion. Rarely has she ever showed up here and commented on anything without championing her womanist battle cry. Which is funny because what she does here, you're not allowed to do at her blog without being threatened to be banned from commenting on her blog ever again.

But I forgot, unlike my blog, hers has standards as she told one commenter.

I've visited her blog recently and asked a question in regards to something she said in a blog she wrote, and I was told "I don't do education on this blog, I do discussions," and then told that I'm ignorant and I should use Google to educate myself. How's that for communication skills? I guess she's still a bit salty because I told her once on this blog that her approach to discussions doesn't do well to dispel the stereotype of the Angry Black Bitch as black women are often perceived to be. You know, just like April Ryan did at the White House briefing?

Well, Renee has once again taken a paragraph or two from my last post (as she has done before) to further advance her cause of Womanism. She has mentioned me as sexist, and also a misogynist; one time she went as far as to insinuate that I hate fat people, as evidenced by my choice of pic on one of my recent posts [you can read our exchange here & here]. I swear I had no idea that  I'm supposed to seek approval from her on whatever I do here on her my blog as far as posting is concerned. Seriously, I had no fucking idea, and I wish somebody would have told me when I started this blog 2yrs ago - nobody told me about the blog police.

Look, I'm not trying to spend too much time on this as I already have. But I must admit that it's good to know that I'm able to live rent free in the mind of a person I've never met, who never has anything positive to bring to the table as far as this blog, or thinks by reading 500 words on a page that they know me. In my lifetime I've become a pretty good judge of character, and I understand people like Renee. You might say she's a woman passionate about her cause, but I'd say you're incorrect. Renee isn't passionate, she's driven - driven by childhood un-grieved anger. Ask any professional or practitioner in the area of psychology and they'll tell you the same thing

Some people take to substance abuse or lead dysfunctional self-destructive lives as a result of un-grieved childhood anger; and some people run around the internet married to a cause and act as bullies as they lash out in anger. The anonymity of the internet has become a playground for people like this. Which is really scary because they're not too different from right wing extremists; you know, like the very white supremacists they're supposed to be rallying against? The real tragedy about Renee and people like her, is that she feels the need to lash out to promote a very serious issue, but by their approach they do very little  foster the change they seek.

James Baldwin once said "You write in order to change the world ... if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it," and as far as this blog, like it or not, this is what I do. So while Renee, and the rest of you who read the title to the last post and took the bait, I laughed. I laughed because my "experiment" was as successful as I predicted; and quite frankly, if you don't laugh it means you're not paying attention, or paying attention to the wrong stuff. In the end, it's good to see that April Ryan paid attention and owned her shit as she did in the video above.

The people who were drawn in by the title of my last post and reacted to it, helped me to prove my point about how much people pay attention. More importantly, reading some of the comments it proved how reactionary some people can be, and thus unable to properly communicate thoughts and ideas.

I might be an asshole, but I'm a pretty clever one, don't you think?

UPDATE: Further helping to prove my point, Renee has now published this post: Tune in Tuesday: Queen Latifah Ladies First, in response to what you read above. Here is what she had to say:

After reading Renting space in aunt Esther’s Head, this song came to mind.  As a Womanist blogger I often engage in conversations that make many people uncomfortable.  You see it is easier to live in a world of illusion, than face the fact that not only is the society we live in deeply flawed but its human inhabitants as well.  To some degree we all exist with a modicum of privilege, even as we are often faced with multiple sites of oppression.  It is far easier to recognize the ways in which we are oppressed because it effects us personally, than to realize the ways in which we maintain a hierarchy of bodies, which is the root of coercive power.  

Black women in particular face a unique set of challenges in this life because we are marginalized by both race and gender.  At times both isms may combine to create us as disposable, unrapeable, oversexualized, angry etc.,  When we respond to these stereotypes with justified rage, the desire to silence is quick.  Those that should be our natural allies are often well schooled in the discipline of betrayal.  These are simple basic truths for which much explanation should not be necessary.

In attempting to speak to our own humanity we must engage in battle.  This battle comes at a cost to us because even when we do prove our point, it is trying on the soul.  Whether it is hate e-mail or nasty inaccurate blog posts from others, the constant need to defend is part of how the master wears down hir opponent.  There are days when I simply have no desire to engage, or I have become weary of stating the same 101 facts REPEATEDLY.  It is far easier for an oppressor to live with assumptions based in an uneducated opinion than to take the effort to learn.  Why should I give you freely that which has come to me at a cost?

Ignorance is a choice and unfortunately it is a choice that far to many make on a daily basis.  Though most of the language that I use is fairly common, much of what I write comes from a theoretical position.  There is a difference between theory and opinion.  Theory is based in research and while I do not negate the importance of the personal narrative, theory certainly has its place in our discussions.  My issue is that the narrative that is often employed has it basis in othering thereby placing privileged bodies in positions of control.
Ayo, let me take it from here, Queen...

Excuse me but I think I'm about do

To get into precisely what I am about to do

I'm conversating to the folks that have no whatsoever clue

So listen very carefully as I break it down for you
It is a sign of privilege that you enter a space and expect to be taught.  It is a sign of privilege to assume that you have the right to demand answers as though we exist for your servitude.  It is a sign of privilege to deny the ways in which you benefit from a systemic ism even as you attempt to make the conversation about you.  It is a sign of privilege that you can deny the pain that your words and or actions inflict upon others and then claim that they angry, bitchy or oversensitive.  You cannot stand for social justice until you recognize that even as you hurt others hurt alongside you; as you are a victim so to are you a victimizer.  No hands remain free from of stain because we are all steeped in the politics of oppression from birth. 
Now you tell me, after reading that, was I wrong about her?

I found this line especially telling: You cannot stand for social justice until you recognize that even as you hurt others hurt alongside you; as you are a victim so to are you a victimizer

It's just too sad that she doesn't see herself in that last line. I say that because it damn sure doesn't help the "womanist movement" that she adopts this approach. I wonder where we would be today if Martin Luther King Jr. and others adopted this "method" of activism when they too like her sought equality for marginalized people of all color?


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