Tuesday, August 15, 2006


"Again and again, I have to insist that feminist solidarity rooted in a commitment to progressive politics must include a space for rigorous critique, for dissent, or we are doomed to reproduce in progressive communities the very forms of domination we seek to oppose."
bell hooks (Outlaw Culture, p78)

I have just started to delve into bell hooks' writing simply because I don't think enough about race and how I'm affected by white privilege. Quite a bit it would seem, as sometimes I think she goes over the top in how black people are victimised by white people. And then it's.... shit! That sounds familiar! What is it men keep saying about feminists again? So I go back, I read again, I try to tackle the prejudices that I must have learnt almost unconsciously and I analyse my thought processes. It's hard but it's necessary. I am a hypocrite if I ask men to question themselves on sexism if I refuse to see my own racism.

The quotation above however, made me think of some arguments in the feminist bloggy-land. The most obvious being the one between porno women and porNO women. As it would be disrespectful for me to go to a pro-porn blog and tell them to change their mind, so would it be disrespectful of someone to come here and tell me to change mine. So we should leave each other be on that topic and assume we came to our decisions all by our pretty little selves. This should leave space to discuss the things we DO agree on, and if we need information on the other's standpoint regarding pornography and prostitution, we ask. As bell hooks says above, we need different voices in this movement. Ostrasization is a way of censoring dissenting opinions and I believe in freedom of speech.

(But not the kind of free speech that involves slapping someone about on camera. Did someone say something?)


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