Thursday, October 9, 2008


so, i'm beginning to think i may need to re-evaluate my anti-feminist stance. i'm reading shapely prose and come across an article about fat men, which leads me to articles on privilege which leads me to question myself...which is kinda the point of this whole search. i'm white, i'm hetero with bi leanings, i'm monogamous right now but usually live more polyamourous, i was raised in a middle class area except for the few years of jr high. generally i guess i have been pretty privileged.

not a bad thing, i know, but it does make me wonder how many of my attitudes are shaped by where i come from. i had a brief friendship with a girl who, in one of several nasty fights, accused me of being elitist. which i have never thought of myself as. but i want a certain level of financial Independence, a certain level of taste and refinement and creature comfort that i got used to living with my mom and during high school. i want more than top ramen and a place to lay my head... and i want a college degree and to be well read and part of the academia. does this make me elitist? do i think less of those people who don't have those things? who don't want those things?

i think there was a time when i did think those things, and i think a lot of it has to do with where i'm living at the time i do a self evaluation. maybe...i know there was a time when i thought i wanted to become a doctor and i pushed my then partner really hard to pick a direction and go to school and get all professional in something because i didn't want to be a doctor with a husband (we were engaged at the time) who was a welder or mechanic. i didn't think i would be comfortable taking him to high class parties with grease under his nails, or some equally bs fantasy situation that negated who he was as a person and made him into an accessory. and i felt, and still feel, really bad because in pushing him i alienated him and made small of those things that he loved about working with his hands. i've since decided not to go into medicine but i do have plans to go after a doctorate. that past partner and i are friends again, and he still loves working with hot cars and hot metals and i've come to appreciate that about him. and the amount of intelligence it takes to do those things. so am i over being elitist?

probably even less than i've gotten over being white, cause i think in part they go hand in hand. white privilege is why i never got followed around in shopping malls, even dressed in my gothic best. and yeah at 16 and 17 shoplifting is something i did, not totally proud of it but not totally ashamed either. and maybe this is my disconnect from feminism. this fact of being white and privileged and thus not being able to relate to women who have been marginalized for being women. women who have been harassed and objectified because they don't have a dick. as an adult who tends to become friends with older than me people i've had some ageist comments thrown my way, but never felt victimized by them. but maybe it's my inability to internalize that feminist struggle for equality because i've only rarely seen myself as the victim of inequality.

i was raised first by both parents and then by a single mom in a mostly white suburban middle class neighborhood in nice houses. jr high being the exception, when we lived in a mostly hispanic neighborhood in a duplex. and i can remember that being a horrible time in my life because i had no friends and i had this imploding family and i suddenly was home by myself and watching my sister. i went through this really deep depression that first year. i stopped caring about my appearance and my hair and i think i once went a whole week without brushing it or my teeth. but even in that hell hole of jr high, even with the teasing and the rumors and getting spit at and picked on and called nasty names, even in that dark place outside my peer group i was still intrinsically me. still white. still well fed. and i know now that we went through some tight times while my mom struggled to put us back together, but i didn't know how how hard she worked then and once were were out of that patch i just forgot it. we moved, and i didn't have to be that awkward girl anymore. the kids in class no longer called me whetta (white girl in spanish with derogatory over tones).

sure high school was still hard, and you couldn't pay me enough to go back but it was much more of an environment i was part of. not one of the minority white kids, but part of the majority. in the accelerated classes with kids who were all smart like me, all wanted knowledge like me. sure, i was awkward and not very popular but i had a social group i was nominally part of and a few close friends. and i came to a point where i started to like myself a whole lot more.

i still find it hard to put my finger on what my own privileges and prejudices and elitist attitudes are. and i expect that's going to be case for a while as i sort through it all and cram more info into my brain. i lack the fire i read in some posters who are well and truly outraged at the state of society and part of me wonders if maybe i'm dooming myself to that feeling of impotence and becoming another voice raging at the system about the broken things and inequality and oppressive white men. cause i don't want that to be me.

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