by Mona Landsberg
“If I Can’t Keep my White Male Privilege, I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution”
Sleepaway camp suuucked, y’all. Must be all the hormones, that pesky uterus of mine whispering mean somethings in my ear: “These fuckers would rather ejaculate on the steps of the federal reserve…”
And all the other ladies who felt unsafe, silenced? Our menstrual flows must have synched up, because certainly no person in their rational mind would turn away from Duncan Plaza as it stood, filled with drunk, shirtless men bursting at the seams with The Right Answer.
The right answer seemed to be verbal attacks on banks, congress, dysfunctional schools– caricatures that represent oppressive power to the mainstream. But when a woman points out a strange power dynamic that plays out in her conversation with a man in camp and asks him to check himself, the defensiveness sets in. And sometimes, as took place at a specific General Assembly, a woman’s got to yell in order to be heard. With what quickness the confrontation became two-sided in the eyes of the campers! “She shouldn’t have yelled at him, we agreed this was a non-violent space.” Well, then. It is too convenient that this space, a space in which a sexual assault or harassment is actually viewed as commonplace, should suddenly become vehemently defended in terms of non-violence the moment that ladies start yelling.
Over the years, various men have taken “my best interest” on as their area of expertise. There is nothing less surprising to me than a group of menfolk who fancy themselves the gatekeepers to the land of revolution also taking on the hefty responsibility of, um…which bills may be posted to said gate. Post no bills that reference race or gender, please!
They are intimidated, you must understand. Be sensitive. You are asking that they let go of their power and that frightens them. Be kind. Remember ladies, make revolution with a smile. The cuter the revolution the better. (Please google Hot Chicks of Occupy Wallstreet)
“I’m just worried that you may be pushing away the people who are really on your side.” This warning from an “ally” after I defected, alienating him with my anger. My side?
How can I describe my side without you thinking I’m running away, tampon tucked between my legs?
I ____________(name) don’t give a shit about the federal reserve.
Stuff I think would make a real revolution possible: stop raping people.
My side? I want to stand with you! And no, no one delegated secretarial tasks to the ladies, but when our problems are not viewed as primary, then here we are again, like in every lefty movement, playing a supporting role. Please understand that your economic status, your debt, your level of unemployment don’t mean shit to me when my best friend was hog-tied and raped at gunpoint by three masked men in her own home. I’m not trying to be dramatic, this is real life for women every day. Show me that this scares you as much as it scares me. Then we can chill together and plot the decline, etc.