Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Alternative to What, Exactly ?

[This here's a post from an online feminist pal of long-standing: Nelsolidarida. She hails from England, is an Anarchist, a vegan, and also keeps an avenging army of magical ducks. So don't cross her. She also likes to knit garments and household goods featuring skulls and Deadly Nightshade. I am re-posting this with a few tiny edits and with her express permission, because I love it. A lot of it relates well to online discussion though her main focus in the piece is on IRL events and interactions. Her home page can be found at Solidarida, of course. Enjoy !-- ms_xeno ]

Ok, so i'm out of the 'no blogging while supposed to be working' phase and into a 'maybe this will give me some writing practice and wake my brain up' phase. Don't know how long it will last...

Anyway, 'alternative'. What does it mean? (feel free to contribute here) I don't know what my 'alternative' credentials are, or if i have any. I certainly don't look alternative most of the time. But i'm not convinced i fit the evil, capitalist, tory, tankist, stalinist pig-dog mould that seems to be, if you like, the alternative to alternative.

Know what? I don't hate activists. If you're reading this and i speak to you, bother to engage with you at any level, ever agree with you on anything, etc, then chances are i don't hate you. I don't hate most individual activists, or most of the movements/campaigns i have any common ground with. I don't even hate animal rights activists. I just happen to be around them more and have more scope to be annoyed. Plus, my feelings about particular people or groups don't have a lot of bearing on how I see the issues they represent. I don't stop being a feminist because I'm pissed off with the endless blog wars and general vindictive behaviour, neither are my views on porn changed because certain anti-porn bloggers have behaved obnoxiously at any point. (again, if you're bothering to read this, I probably don't mean you.)

Genuine political convictions, especially ones i agree with, I have no problem with. Unless we're talking BNP-type stuff, natch. [British National Party aka Far Right-Wingers -- ms_xeno] What I do have a huge problem with is the 'scene' that emerges around these, and the policing that goes with that. Yeah, not everyone can go on every demo. Live with it. Stick your guilt trip where the sun doesn't shine. (Seriously, it doesn't shine from there.) Sorry if that sounds bitter. Unless you're one of the people who does this, all. the. time. In which case I'm not remotely sorry.

Also, policing of this sort is unnecessary unless someone's job is totally contradictory to the campaign with which they're getting involved. Or unless it is at odds with having any kind of social conscience. For example, if someone makes electroshock batons, they deserve to be ostracized by everyone except the out-and-out Neo-Nazis who get turned on by such things. Otherwise, maybe excluding somebody from "the movement" because of the job that provides their food and shelter isn't a good thing.

Conversely, geting all single-issue, this is all that matters, everyone else is shit including other activists, is also not a way to get people around to your point of view. No, being a vegan and going to demos doesn't excuse the fact that your mate likes to beat the crap out of his girlfriend. And the person who misses demos because the guy who abused her is there? Maybe not the one you need to crap on.

But the really annoying thing is the people who get all suspicious because you don't 'look' alternative. Newsflash, folks - police informers generally try to blend in. Fake nose studs and all. They have been known to provide a nice little comedy turn at demos when they are really obvious. So maybe, if this is your real reason for looking askance at the person who comes in straight from work in clothes that they wear for a relatively straight job, you could be looking the wrong way. But maybe that isn't why? Guess what. I did look alternative for a long time. I did a long, long, stint of being bullied for it, as well as for having the ideas that went with it. I've had meat waved in my face and attempts made to cut my dreads off from behind. And guess what else? My basic principles haven't changed. The only caving-in was in my own perception of myself - from worth something to worth pretty much nothing. Happy? I hope so, because i've experienced nearly as much grief over being the odd one out in an activist community where i agree with most people on most points as i did in the same position in a group of rather shallow teenagers.

I'm not going to turn into one of those boring people who tells activists that they'll never get their message across if they don't smarten up. Long as i don't see you wearing fur, which is a whole other thing, i seriously don't have a problem. But, please, don't turn being alternative into yet another form of conformity. Closed communities don't change the world. -- Nelsolidarida, April 9th, 2007.


DavidByron said...

And why was that posted here?

DavidByron said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DavidByron said...

Over at MLW the feminists are trying to explain why the boys in the Duke Lacrosse false accusation case are really rapists after all.

Even so these gender bigot warriors are feeling the pain. One even goes so far as to admit:

Some women are as unscrupulous as men

Wow! Some women -- just one or two mind -- might be as evil as men are. This woman who maliciously tried to frame three boys might be as evil for her crime as the boys are just by virtue of the way they were born!!!!

supersoling said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marisa said...

...because of what they have between their legs? - DavidByron

It's all about what's between your legs to these girls. - DavidByron

What a scream. Lack of attention and sexual stress got DB down to what bothers him.

Down to the nitty gritty.

No surprise.

DavidByron said...

Feminist hysteria and gender hatred seems to have been taking over at MLW recently with a string of invective castrating men under the guise of pushing the usual false image of female victimhood.

DavidByron said...

A whiney diary among whiney diaries asks why other "A list" bloggers haven't been as whiney as a long list of whiney feminist sites have been about Markos' comments. The answer is easy enough. Most liberals who are not feminists just don't buy into feminist lunacy. Sure they give it the lip service required to keep the lunatic feminists off their back but that's all. People want to write about real issues and that is incompatible with writing about feminist victimhood fantasies.

Another diarist says all men are assholes and the only cure is to shut the fuck up if you have a penis and only let women speak for you. Usual feminist hate well received by the usual haters.

Another talks about the "War on women" that men are apparently engaged in. You know. Like the way the Jews are taking over the world according to some people.

Take back the blog is a play on the feminist hate movement that tried to convince women that they should be afraid of all men on campuses for years and years. Fearmongering is a typical hate movement activity and feminists do it in spades.

Naturally any comments challenging the feminist doctrine would be deleted from MLW per the censorship policy over there.

Now do any feminists want to back up supersolings' threats of violence against me?

DavidByron said...

To me this episode is the feminist haters and authoritarians who are the cancer at the heart of the liberal movement attempting to force some subservience and boot-licking from commentators who are increasingly breaking free of feminist influence.

Breaking free not because of some specific challenge to or rejection of feminist hate and lies but just because feminism has no meaning in real life and people have no patience for it.

The feminist authoritarians of course react to this loss of power by blaming the nearest man (which is what they do for everything in their lives) and by trying the usual fallback blackmail position of calling people out as "hating women" unless they give lip service to the ridiculous feminist victim fantasies they trot out.

It will be interesting to see if this blackmail works on any of the so-called "A list" bloggers.

One thing that cannot happen of course is that people will take the opportunity to examine the validity of feminis claims. Feminists simply will not engage on those terms and will respond to any sensible discussion by calling it misogyny. It's that sort of reaction that will drive liberals away from the movement more than an actual frank analysis of feminist sexism and hate.

canberra boy said...

I have deleted two comments in this thread which canvassed death threats, one of which also demeaned women.

supersoling said...

99% of DB's comments are demeaning to women,
if you're going to get sserious about it, you're gonna be busy for a while.

As for my comment,
if I wanted him dead I would have threatened to kill him straight up. Although I guess it's difficult to live without a head even though it was a figure of speech that meant I'd kick his ass if he ever came up to me talking about hitting pregnant women in the stomach with baseball bats. Funny, not really, how a son of a bitch like that can go around saying what he wants and a guy like me who has a nearly two year history with most of you gets accused of making a death threat.
Stop playing his fucking game for him. How about if I spit on him CB? Is that a death threat too since I might catch AIDS some day?

Lot of fucking hypocrisy too around these parts lately, eccept few seem willing to call it across the board or back up shit that I know for a fact that they said. Things I repeated.
Running vendettas and email intrusions over silly fucking gossip. People like Alohaleezy, one of the mose even keeled, loyal and active people being banned from the swamp. No one says a fucking thing. Or they do for a week or two then go on as if everything's just fuckin lovely.

Whatever, the whole blogosphere is turning into a sad joke. And I'm disappointed to see you acting as if I'm a problem. But then again, that list is getting a lot longer these days.

David said...

I don't know if they were mine but I'm guessing they were deleted to show the petty minded fascism of cabana boy. I doubt anyone is bothered about hiding supersoling's threats of violence towards me.

Sure it's embarassing to be trying to score petty points off Kos in one thread and be ignoring death threats by a member in another but nobody ever went broke betting on feminist hypocrisy did they?

alohaleezy said...

Love you Super!!!

supersoling said...

I got a stack of 2's at BT the other night because I said some not so nice things to one of the chosen ones, i.e. priveleged friends. The first one, from CG, came almost instantaneously. Personally, I care little to nothing about getting downrated at that place and chose not to continue arguing there out of respect for Steven D. Others chose to disregard Steven's wishes and piled on afterwords. A truly dKos like habit. But even that didn't bother me. What did bother me was knowing how quick CG was to downrate me for a comment she took to be an attack on her friend while i don't recall her ever downrating any of MT's out and out abusive posts and comments. I don't even really care about the failure to rate her comments appropriatly. But if you're gonna do it at all you better be trying to at least give the impression, false or not, of evenhandedness.

ms_xeno said...

You mocked catnip because she got a death thread, and now you're upset because we aren't all sufficiently upset because aloha got booted from Booman to go run over there and tell him off ?

Nice, super. Really nice. Ever hear of the concept of reciprocity ?

supersoling said...

re Alohaleezy, I wasn't talking about you ms_xeno. In fact you have very little if anything to do with anything I said. I've only known of you for a very short time. I'm talking more or less about members and former members of BT, which was everyone here, before you arrived.

For my response to Catnip,
that was the worst thing i could have done and I've been thinking about it a lot for a few weeks now, but unfortunately didn't do the right thing and apologize for it. You're right to point it out. My reaction was not based on dismissing a threat against her though that's what I did. It was based in other things and my opinion of her history, added to my frustration that she refused to answer the questions that I put to her. I thought she was taking advantage of that threat to shut down my questions. Whether she did or not isn't important. I was wrong. Very wrong, and it went against everything I believe in and is opposite of my history on blogs and in my online relationships, which for a long time included Catnip.

ms_xeno said...

super, thanks for the clarification. Honestly, I hate seeing people booted from spaces where they have something constructive to offer, but Booman doesn't know me from Eve. Glad you understand why I'd just as soon keep it that way. He doesn't sound like a very good listener even to people who he does have a history with.

Being booted sucks. At least when you walk off, it's your choice to go and nobody else makes the final decision. Aloha probably doesn't believe me, but I'm sorry if he sent her packing when she really wanted to stay.

ms_xeno said...

Oh, and Canberra, step up to the plate and tell us how your family is taking your name change ? Also, where in Oz is "Cabana ?" I just can't seem to find it on the map. ;)

alohaleezy said...

Just for the record ...I left and wanted my account deleted and BooMan would not do that. Said it was too much work. Then he claims I called him a liar and decided to ban me. Oh I can read and rec but no posting or comments. Keeps the numbers up.

James said...

Super, I seriously doubt you're "one of the problems" here - yeah, there may have been a falling out between you and some folks here. Shit happens. My guess is since you're history with many here is lengthy and positive, a couple of your comments seemed out of character - came as shocking to a few folks (could go into a whole long lecture on the psychology of expectancy violations, but I'll kindly spare everyone and just chalk it up to human nature). Your contributions here and elsewhere on the internets have been consistently of value; same for aloha. Both of you are class acts as far as I'm concerned (yes, even when you're griping at me).

Hang in there.

alohaleezy said...

James...thank you for the kind words.You and I have disagreed in the past but I always felt it was a respectful exchange. Again, thank you for the kind words. Haven't heard too many of those from folks on the blogs these days. Now, back to the really important issues of the day. The Gonzalez lie fest is about to resume. Adios!

supersoling said...

Despite apparently violating someone(s) expectations of how I should be predicted to act I stand by everything I've said here with the obvious exception of dismissing the death threat against Catnip.
I appreciate what you've said though James.