I was in a coffee shoppe t’other day, listening to music I like – Gogol Bordello’s “Immigradiada (We’re Coming Rougher)” is my new jam – and I decided to hit some old faves, so I called up Babes In Toyland and rang through a few tunes, including “Bruise Violet”, which is reportedly about Courtney Love, who was once associated with Babes, but who left for greener pastures and then sold out harder than 40 Mule Team, eventually becoming the plastic surgery shitshow she is now. The song is a prime example of the kinda raucous, crashing, fuzz-boxed punk rawk racket that a buncha angry women were blasting in the 90’s, at a point when I was gobbling it up because I was desperate to survive my own self-destruction and, for some reason, it was what worked. Babes In Toyland, Team Dresch, 7 Year Bitch and Bikini Kill were the tops, and the ones that never let me down. There were some others that I dabbled in, but then they turned out to be duds – I’ll leave those unnamed. So, I wrote a quick note in the comments section about what I remembered as a sweet moment in the Third Wave of this here feminist movement, and didn’t think any more about it ‘til a couple days later when I got a notice in my inbox that someone had responded to my comment. I clicked and found out that I had been called out for “mansplaining” and called “patriarchal”. Whuh?
I will admit, I reacted. In retrospect, I was not nearly as unnecessarily aggro as I mighta been – I am being slowly transformed by my relationship with the Prince of Peace – but I am a workingclass redneck-turned-punk who has been battling for life more often than not for a good handful of decades, and I do have an automatic sugar-for-sugar/salt-for-salt response. To quote the Clash, “when I get aggression, I give it two times back”. That’s from “Hate & War” – as a Christian, I’m trying to do somethin’ other.
But I reacted, and it was not necessary. Still, the criticism was purty dumb. I recently left the restaurant where I was working – and which I was a part owner of – because I was trapped in a cycle of criticism and reaction. One SJW in particular had decided that I was an ignorant savage and that I had to go. He started digging at me and kept on for two years, and I didn’t see what was happening. I kept thinking we had resolved the issue, but he just kept on. I was on the ropes for a long time. He got other people in on it. I finally saw what was happening and filed a harassment report, but that went nowhere. It ended up with him and his cronies drawing a line in the sand and me deciding to just go. I was trying to get out anyway, and it was just time to quit. I got a decent bit of scratch when I cashed out, so I’m on vacation right now.
Anyhow, still getting over that, I got that stupid comment on my comment. So I came out swinging.
And it is a stupid comment on my comment. No reasonable person could think that I was making a full statement about What Feminism Means To Me, as if the comment section under a video was the place for that. I was just riffing my love of a specific song. But somebody decided to project their shit on me. And didn’t even get it right – what I did was not an example of “mansplaining”.
And my reaction was what I meant to say – feminism has been hijacked by petty sniping and in-fighting. Somebody decided to attack me because they perceived me as male and therefore, the enemy. Certainly, I been a feminist presenting as male for thirty years and I’m used to being attacked by born-females with a grudge. I’ve been called out on my privilege by younger, better educated females who never had to worry about money more times than I can remember. Its gotten worse – I used to get the benefit of the doubt when I showed up at feminist conferences and female punk band shows. I dunno if it’s ‘cause feminism has been dragged down or because I’m older and therefore look more like the evil old white man of myth. Prob’ly a combination of the two.
I’m honestly not sure if I oughta fight that battle. No – I am. I’ma keep on stepping up when someone challenges my right to be a feminist and state my mind because that’s a big part of what feminism is – and Jesus paid extra-special attention to marginalized peoples which makes me think He would be cool with me stepping up. I been marginalized by the marginals all my life.
Trying to get a job in peer recovery, or at the local low-barrier homeless shelter. The outcast, rejected and shit-upon are my peeps.
We’re coming rougher.