SDS Womyn's Caucus Blog

Posts Tagged ‘privilege

Posted by Robin, Philly

hugging salt n pepper

A person-shaped salt shaker and pepper shaker hug each other, the salt shaker looks a bit taken aback.

This is post #2 in a series called I.N.A.Y.: It’s Not About You. I.N.A.Y. #1: “Effectively” Calling Out Patriarchy can be found here.

Recently, I had a series of discussions with a new male acquaintance about touching. Basically, I had tried to communicate that I disliked him touching me, and he kept doing it anyway. When he was confronted about this, his explanation was that he thinks people in our society are too isolated from each other, and in an effort to bridge our isolation, he goes out of his way to touch people.

The guy is certainly not the first person in my life to repeatedly touch me when I’ve tried to make it clear I don’t want them to, but I’ll give it to him that he’s the first person to have apparently put so much thought into it, indeed to have a theory around it.

The problem is, by reducing it to a formulaic theory (we’ve talked about the link between theory and patriarchy on here before), he is putting his ideology before the desires of actual people in his life. He is being harmfully dogmatic, his actions say “I know best what is good for you, better than you do. Even if you ask me not to touch you, I will because I know what you need.” I.E., he’s being paternalistic and entitled.

Read the rest of this entry »

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by Christa (Philly)

Words…

The words I choose became a much bigger deal when I went to college (moving from a conservative area to a liberal one) and especially once I became an organizer.  I had cut out retarded long ago…but I learned why words like bitch, gay, gypped and lame are problematic.  I’ve heard many reasons why offensive language is or isn’t important by radicals and non-radicals alike (as well as privileged and oppressed folks) but I’d still rather stick with better safe than sorry.  I don’t like when people say “fag” or “that’s so gay” so I’m going to do onto others how I want to be treated. Read the rest of this entry »