In the spirit of exactly what I was talking about in my last post, wrapped up in a incredibly condescending guise of “grace”, this post represents the very definition of disingenuousness. Except that this is the feminist version of not recognizing the very real personal emotions that are being shared by WOC.
The story has by now gotten very long, and many bloggers have weighed in on the subject. Sudy’s got a pretty good summary of the specifics of this particular episode of ugliness exposure. But again, what strikes me most–again–is that the tone of that post by Apostate, and the horrendous things she says about others, and about one woman in particular (Black Amazon), exactly parallels the kind of crap that anti-feminists say about women all the time.
“You’re all just looking for something to complain about” = “I didn’t owe anyone a blogwar, and they were all gearing up for one” (note how we’ve already created a “they”, nothing from this side of the fence is seen as cooperative and participatory…contrast that with Sudy’s post and the posts she links to, including the original “offending” post by Black Amazon and the multiple responses she posted later)
“Feminists don’t actually want equality; they want superiority–now they’re working to dominate and oppress us” = “These WOC have apparently been so oppressed, with their Ivy League educations and whatever else, that it’s their turn to oppress others.”
“Over emotional, hysterical, bitter, hateful women need to get a life. It is such a waste of time to talk about these petty gripes and victim politics” = “I’ve simply got more important things to do than lend a platform to spiteful tantrums.”
“Women don’t realize how much men are scared to bother speaking up these days, because of the PC-machine and all of that feminist anger” = “Judging from the supportive emails I’ve gotten, a lot of folks out there feel silenced.” (Bonus points for the logical flaw of arguing truth from consensus).
In this case, this isn’t a mainstream white feminist blogger from a mainstream white background who is being dismissive. But it is someone who is further entrenching herself in her own position upon questioning and confrontation, rather than stopping, listening and empathizing. It’s the sense that context can be dismissed, that her own hurt feelings are much, much bigger than any others, and that there’s essentially a zero-sum win-lose game going on here. It’s a lack of empathy, it’s an unwillingness to step outside the self, and it’s a refusal to engage in a cooperative, discursive manner.
And it makes me very, very sad.