Monday, January 14, 2013

Caron's Corkers Special - a bit of empathy and goodness from the internet

As I said yesterday, I wanted to throw a few posts filled with understanding and empathy in order to counteract the hate and negativity put out there by Suzanne Moore and Julie Burchill.

And so, here is a selection of posts from the last few days.

First of all, the word "intersectionality" was being thrown around the place. If, like me, you were wondering what that's all about, Den of the Hyena explains it for us - and tells us why things that are different about us shouldn't divide us:
It is time for people to realise that there need be no conflict between recognition of social minority issues and of class issues, between fighting or social change and upholding liberal values. The belief that such a conflict is necessary has been a gift to the traditionalist right. It is not giving due consideration to intersectionality that divides us – it is getting into petty arguments over it. The way to avoid this is not to shut down minority voices but to listen, learn, and move on. To respect that those voices matter, that they are part of us. To show solidarity.
A brilliant piece from Girl on the net on "Julie Burchill, hatred and a massive crisis in empathy" just asking us to communicate with a bit more understanding and less insult throwing:

Sometimes I’ll say things you disagree with. Sometimes I’ll use words you don’t like. Sometimes (and this may be one of those times) you’ll want to hurl your laptop out of the window in frustration at the way I have callously dismissed or ignored something that’s precious to you.
But I promise you this: I will never deliberately say hateful, horrible things that ignore my privilege and make life harder for you. I will always try to empathise and – if you correct me – I’ll try to clarify what I’m saying, or apologise if I’m wrong. If you tell me about my mistakes I can correct and clarify. If you call me a hateful psycho bitch-whore, I’ll never fucking learn.
I’m just a girl, standing in front of an angry internet, asking you all to be a bit more understanding. That goes for the writers as well as the commenters and all of the people who retweet us and keep us afloat. 

Paris Lees wrote an open letter to Suzanne Moore, as a fan of hers,asking her to understand why so many trans people were angered by her comment. If I were Moore, I'd be mortified:
And you, Suzanne, are a very clever woman. You know about patriarchy, and rape culture, and racism, and capitalism and every other system of oppression, of signs and actions that contribute violence to the unlucky minorities they persecute. I don't think it is difficult for you to understand the frustration trans people feel from living in a culture that relentlessly ridicules them, at every level of society. I know you must feel the injustice of this. And I know you never set out to hurt anyone. It's been another long day for me. Once again I'm reminded of the wallpaper in my mind; that ever-present knowledge that trans people are objects of ridicule in public life, things to be referred to and smirked at, not real, valid living human beings with fears and weaknesses and hopes and dreams and all the other things that you and I and every one else on the planet feels. And I find I don't want to be angry; I don't want you to be just another person making off comments about trans people. I want you to be Suzanne Moore, my hero. You're so much better than the article Julie Burchill wrote in your defence. But I want people to stop ridiculing people like me - and I want today to be the day they stop.

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