So Over It

The following post is by Numa and I as a response to Eve Ensler’s post Over It. There are some things you don’t get to be over, Eve Ensler. But if we’re going to play this game, here are some of ours.

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We are over cis white feminists claiming to speak for the rest of us and then shutting us up when we try to fit a word in edgewise. We are over being told that we are splintering a (separatist) movement whenever we bring up things that go just beyond their immediate focus.

We are over feeling left out whenever the talk goes to rape culture, because our rape culture is never addressed, maybe because it would hold you accountable too.

We are over rape being framed as an act done only by men on women, or that it requires a penis to forcibly penetrate a vagina or an anus and all other acts of coercion on other body parts by other bodies don’t matter as much.

We are over cis white feminists using experiences of POC to prove their own humanity. We are over experiences of scores of people in Congo, in Somalia, or any place with poverty tourism becoming a footnote to white feminists’ tales of enlightenment.

We are over cis white feminists using stories from “war torn” areas to woo audiences without addressing or holding their own Governments responsible for the said war.  We are over people making money by writing about the “horrifying” experiences they saw in the [third world nation], narrating stories that are not theirs to tell.

We are over countless (one-sided) dialogues with cis white feminists when they do want to talk about the difference in our rape cultures who simply retort to, “your men are irresponsible and patriarchal! We are just here to help! We can talk about murky consent issues between us some other time”.

We are over white cis women feminists essentialising the experiences of all women everywhere when it suits them but then having no trouble with using an “us” vs. “them” dichotomy against those who don’t agree with them.

We are over being told that we’re too angry and divisive when we direct criticism at the mainstream feminist movement but it’s okay for violent imagery and words to be used to threaten non-white cis women.

And what the fuck is “occupyrape” meant to mean anyway?! We are over people using the terminology of violence and colonisation to sound relevant and cool. How can you occupy an act of violence? How can you reclaim it? We don’t understand.

We are over the assumption that there is a “global paradigm of rape” but there is no recognition that this global paradigm, if there is something so all encompassing, is probably the result of political and socio-economic violation of the racial Other.

To be honest, we’re just over of this type of rallying cry for unity where it’s believed that self-reflexiveness will do harm more than it will do good. Apparently we can’t be critical of issues without also destroying our effectiveness.

We are over people simply drawing back saying “this is not my culture and therefore I will stay silent and complicit” without engaging with us at all.

We are over thousand Eve Enslers who spew shit like this over and over again and then a few others who’ll pretend this is the first time they’ve heard us speak up.

We are over seeing movements perpetuate the same acts of violence we’re meant to be addressing.

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6 Comments

  1. While I cannot understand all of this first hand, I am grateful for your perspective and the shared confusion of the idea behind OccupyRape, the ignorance of the supposed leaders of the feminist movement. This stuff is why I cannot be a feminist.

    Reply
    • Eve Ensler is trying to “occupy rape”, where she’s trying to get women — cis women only mind you — talk of their rape, to be aware, speak out etc etc. Apparently, but February 14 2013 they are going to “occupy” rape. Mainstream western feminism as it exists today needs to fix itself before berating people for not joining in.

      Reply
      • I read her article, my brain still rejects this concept entirely. Does she not realize occupy rape sounds like you will be RAPING people? I just cannot process the information beyond that, it all goes to static and my brain goes “Nope, too stupid, I reject!”

        Mainstream feminism wants people to think that the right to vote came for all women in the 20s, and a lot of other things that preclude the ideals of others. I might have considered feminism once if my inability to walk hadn’t made me invisible at a meeting and then my choice to tell someone being racist made the entire organization look bad AND hurt people, not just you know caring about how we looked, got me shouted down. Mainstream Feminism sure looks like the 1% from where I sit. So of course they would want to occupy Rape.

        Reply
        • KAT HOW COULD YOU SAY SUCH A THING! mainstream feminism supports rape?! You don’t say!

          Feminism for me is a wee different, for me it’s Kamala Das’s poetry, fiction by Mahashveta Devi, hearing Ismat Chughtai’s stories at my grandmum’s feet — I am unwilling to give up the label just because a few (okay well more than a few) fuckwits from other parts of the world are unwilling to see our histories — I am not going anywhere, will remain in the movement and never stop complaining — I’m brown, it comes naturally to me, no? XD

          Reply
          • Oh woops did I say the truth AGAIN? Silly me. I would stop doing that except that leaves wallowing silence.

            I never was a feminist. I just exist between the labels of female activism, since I cannot support feminism based on the Eugenics stuffs. I think rooting the word in our respective cultures shows very different things. Also, I never stop complaining and fighting but I am so white I glow in the dark, can’t be the brown that makes you awesome lady. That’s just a nifty DVD extra.

            One of my great wishes if I had any wish granting objects on hand would be the awareness of what these words mean to people who aren’t the one percent that controls everything. Even in the real Occupy movement, there is an element of privilege in a lot of the advocacy. Its still more open than a lot of previous attempts and that is the success and the start I think.

            Reply
            • I can definitely see why you don’t ID as feminist — and I don’t blame you one bit. Sometimes I feel like disengaing with the label too, but then I have to actively think back and remember what feminism means to *me*, the people I associate with the movement are reasons enough for me to keep on — but when it comes to articulating these concerns online, a whole new story of –isms emerges.

              Oh the #Occupy movements are so deeply racist, cissexist, misogynist etc etc BUT for the first time, the 99% has semblance of voice and agency in mainstream media, and that’s something, no?

              However, this cannot and should not be the *only* thing communities of colour, trans* people, basically the marginalised people in the OWS movement should get out of it — this is Step 1.

              Reply

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