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Black Lives Matter, But Thank You for Flaunting Your Racism

23 Dec

Ew. Ew. Ew. Next time a white male says to me, “All lives matter,” I’m not going to freeze up. I’m going to say, “Check your privileges.” If only I’d said it today. I could have done so much better.

I was at the post office to ship two boxes of gifts—one for a friend who lives in St. Louis. The white male behind the counter said he grew up in St. Louis. He should have stopped with that. That’s a normal thing to say if you see a St. Louis address on a package. But he didn’t stop.

He talked about living in different parts of St. Louis. He talked about moving to different neighborhoods and even mentioned a specific intersection that I tried to picture. He mentioned a family member moving out of the city and into a certain part of the county.

He proudly stated that four of his cousins work for the city of St. Louis. When he said that they work in law enforcement, I started getting uncomfortable. I lived in St. Louis for about a decade, so I know what it’s like to be harassed by St. Louis cops for being female and for having an Indiana license plate. I remember the stories that black and female friends recounted about their experiences being harassed by cops in St. Louis. I’m pretty sure every ticket I’ve gotten was in the St. Louis area, and that was a lot of tickets. A friend of mine called St. Louis “a fascist police state.”

He said that one of his relatives worked twelve hours a day in Ferguson—as in when the cops killed a black kid and there was a huge Black Lives Matter protest that made national news. I saw a powerful play about it. I said, “I’m glad I left St. Louis before that,” because I was thinking about how overtly racist and hostile St. Louis is.

It wasn’t until well after I left that I realized HE WAS BOASTING BECAUSE ONE OF HIS RELATIVES WAS ONE OF THOSE POWER-TRIPPING RACIST COPS IN FERGUSON. You know, the ones with a tank.

It wasn’t until he said, “All lives matter, I say,” that I finally froze up in shock and couldn’t make eye contact with him anymore. He’s lucky I’m so slow to process. I’m ashamed that I didn’t call him out.

I used to work in retail in St. Louis, and I have horrible memories of racist white people coming into my workplace. (Not to mention of course fundamentalist Xians jamming their religion down my throat, anti-vegetarians, ignorant hicks who claimed I have an accent and asked where I’m from and ridiculed me when I said that I was born in Indiana… and sexual harassers.) And that was before that sexual predator neo-Nazi narcissistic sociopath started squatting in the White House and emboldening white surpremacists. But I don’t live there anymore, and today I was on the other side of the counter.

So, yeah: the post office needs to tell their employee to read So You want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Olua … and he and I both need to read the book How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

The last thing he said was, “Merry Christmas.” Another assumption.

I should have replied, “I celebrate Hannukah. But thanks, I look forward to giving feedback.”

Anti-Feminist Bullshit Day

22 Oct

Oh. My. Goddess. When the bar is only 1/8 of an inch above the floor, you should be able to get right over it. It’s not asking too much.

In a writers’ group this morning, one member, a white cisgender male in his sixties or seventies, shared a piece he’d written that listed off bullshit stereotypical descriptions of feminists. No, feminism is about dismantling patriarchy, rape culture, and systemic oppression such as misogyny and racism and gender binary. It’s not about hating men and wanting to have “test tube” babies. Patriarchal males are so narcissistic that even their made-up version of feminism is about them. (Since the 2016 election, I’ve repeatedly noticed patriarchal/misogynistic males wave narcissist red flags.)

As for bra-burners?! That was a misnomer invented by patriarchal mainstream media. Atlanta had a city ordinance against burning trash. Therefore the feminist protestors in question tossed oppressive, sexist things such as girdles and Ladie’s Home Journal into a trash can without actually burning them. Stop repeating a lie that has been repeatedly disproved… and read feminist books and blogs.

Later, I logged onto Facebook and visited a group that I usually enjoy. It’s for participants in National Novel Writing Month. But a female posted, asking if she must have “strong female characters” in her novel (because of something someone, maybe a friend, said) and if this is some “feminist agenda” or a requirement. She said she has a male protagonist and no “strong female characters.” Really? Not one single character in your entire novel can be described as a “strong female character”? She seems to think that because it’s medieval historical fiction, that she shouldn’t have to include strong female characters. This presumably means that her novel will have no major, three-dimensional female characters.

I was utterly flabbergasted, twice in one day (and I don’t even work in customer service anymore–heck, I’m somewhat reclusive nowadays). And I’m not going to read anything by her. Even Joss Whedon has no trouble creating strong female characters. It’s such a low bar. No doubt if she learned about the Bechtel Test, she’d have a heart attack or piss her pants or post about this “feminist agenda.”

Both situations reminded me of what a friend recently said in a feminist discussion: that people really hate us feminists. She’d dropped out of an atheist organization for this very reason. I’ve repeatedly observed that the only people with whom I enjoy socializing are feminists.

Yeah, and I’ll keep writing unabashedly feminist fiction. The funny thing is, this was a NaNoWriMo group, and my NaNoWriMo novel for this year is Feed Misogynists to Dragons, a novel so feminist that the title indicates it. I mean, it’s in your face. I’m going to soooooo wallow in the feminism of this novel and my “feminist agenda.”

The Flores Agreement

22 Oct

The Dump administration is violating the Flores Agreement, which states that children of immigrants should not be detained for more than twenty days. We have until November 6 to give feedback about the Flores Agreement.

You can send your letter via email or snail mail.

For email, the subject line must include: DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002

The letter goes to:  ICE.Regulations@ice.dhs.gov

Or:

Debbie Seguin, Assistant Director, Office of Policy/ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security/ 500 12th Street SW/ Washington, DC 20536

Below is the letter I’m sending (probably by both email and snail mail, actually):

Dear DHS AND HHS,

You need to honor the Flores Agreement. This is just common sense for anyone with a conscience. The agreement allows for twenty days of detainment for immigrant children, and only twenty days…which is twenty too many. Many of these refugee children have been detained considerably longer than that, which is illegal.

There is absolutely no excuse for treating desperate asylum seekers like criminals and separating their children from them, let alone continuing to keep their children separated from them, let alone keeping the children in cages.

Only under extremely desperate circumstances do people take their children and leave their country of origin to enter this country. They’re fleeing from, for instance, a domestic violence situation in which the entire town sides with their abuser against them, and their life and that of their children is in danger.

The refugees—including the children—are already traumatized. Tearing children from their parents and treating them like criminals is child abuse. While the children are detained, in some cases they are subject to psychological, physical, and even sexual abuse. These are many layers of abuse and trauma, and this country is contributing to much of it. Even during the Japanese internment camps, children remained with their parents.

And by the way, insisting that people write letters like this in English is just more racism and xenophobia.

Cordially,

Susan E. Wigget

Dietland Fan Fiction

6 Oct
Sarai Walker wrote a wonderful feminist novel called Dietland, which is a lot more than a criticism of fatphobia and diet culture.
Below is a tiny bit of fan fiction I wrote, possibly the beginning of something:
Jennifer straightened up over the mound of dirt, leaned on the shovel, and surveyed her work. The mound was an oval, about six feet long, and covered the remains of a sexual predator whom overtly misogynistic politicians elected for the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. Yup, the entitled parasite wouldn’t be getting away with anything ever again, not in this lifetime. Jennifer sighs in relief and smiles faintly.
Her smile fades, and her sigh becomes shaky, as she mentally reminds herself: so many more sexual predators and their supporters to go. I can’t dilly-dally here.

As if I haven’t had enough Gaslighting

5 Oct
Every woman and girl in every patriarchal country has been gaslighted since the day she was born. The past two weeks have been a nightmare, not unlike being in an abusive relationship.
Today I realized that, emotionally, the past two weeks have felt like being in an abusive relationship.
The abuser in this relationship is the Senate judiciary committee. The abuser is the government of this fucking country, which has told every woman and girl, and every survivor of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or rape, that they don’t matter and that they are invalid. It has told yet another sexual predator that he’s so fucking valid that he’s fucking entitled to be on the Supreme Court, taking away women’s reproductive rights.
This calls for a REVOLUTION.
Facebook had an event on September 27: a rally in Portland, in support of Christine Blasey Ford, across from the courthouse. It began at noon, and I didn’t get organized in time to leave by 10 am…so I posted a comment on the event page.
“It’s too late for me to drive the 2 hours, so instead of attending, I’ll be revising a story about sexual harassment. But I’ll be with you in spirit.”
Just this morning–days later–an entitled male troll fucking reacted with a “laughing face” and commented, “What do you mean revise? Make stuff up?”
I became so furious that my hands were shaking as I typed. At first, I was going to reply before blocking the fucking piece of shit, but I remembered my usual policy of not replying to trolls. I didn’t want this smug and arrogant misogynist and possible sexual predator to have the satisfaction of thinking he’d succeeded. So I deleted what I’d started to write with very shaky hands, blocked the parasite….yelled KILL ALL MISOGYNISTS a few times, and then found the event again and posted this comment:
“The only good troll is the one under the Fremont Bridge. “Revising” doesn’t fucking mean “making stuff up.” It means revising, asshole. As in adding more details. Your attempts to gaslight and invalidate me only prove that you’re devoid of any redeeming quality.”
 I then posted a variation onto my Facebook page:
“The only good troll is the one under the Fremont Bridge.
“Revising” an autobiographical story about sexual harassment doesn’t fucking mean “making stuff up.” It means revising, asshole. As in ADDING MORE DETAILS. Your attempts to gaslight and invalidate me only prove that you’re devoid of any redeeming quality.
And I really, really enjoyed blocking your evil, soulless, entitled ass.”
As a fiction writer, I do indeed make things up. I look forward to writing a story in which a group of vigilante feminists chop rapists, sexual predators, the politicians who gaslight us and reward sexual predators, and gaslighters. At the very least, I could post it on a fan fiction site as Dietland (by Sarai Walker) fan fiction.

Orwellian homophobia

30 Jul

Here’s a letter I just wrote to my senators and representative (and since I’m a bit behind, I have at least two more letters to write out to them–I typically compose them on my laptop and hand-write them in triplicate):

Dear Senator,

Today’s program is sponsored by the phrase “separation of homophobia and state.” Oh, did I just write “homophobia” instead of “church”? How…. not careless of me. Clearly for fundamentalist Xian homophobes/transphobes like (ew, yuck) Jeff Sessions (or is that “Missions”?), “separation of church and state” and “separation of homophobia and state” amount to much the same thing.

I am utterly horrified to learn…well, about anything to do with Jeff Sessions. I’m especially horrified, however, that he’s come up with a “Religious Liberty Tax Force” to protect hate groups and bigoted businesses. He uses Orwellian doublespeak to justify protecting the “right” of homophobic fundamentalist Xians to oppress people who don’t embrace what Adrienne Rich called “compulsory heterosexuality.”

As your constituent, I demand that you do all you can to prevent this beyond-absurd and hateful task force from coming into existence.

Injustice to All

12 Jul

New letter to my senators and rep–just a short one:

Dear Senator,

It is absolutely necessary that Brad Kavanaugh doesn’t become a Supreme Court Injustice. He is against women (especially our reproductive rights such as contraceptives and abortion), against people of color, against poor people, and against LGBTQIA people. Like all of Donald Dump’s unqualified and unconscionable picks, he is against justice.