By Any Other Name
the tale of Willow

Willow
Date: 08:41PM | Sun, October 30th | 2011
Subject: Oh!
Security: Public
Mood:pissed off pissed off
Tags:#social justice issues, games: mass effect, personal is political, thinky thoughts

So I was watching the story of Mass Effect (minus the fighting etc) and the playthrough was Paragon (by the looks of it) and it irritated me SO DAMN MUCH. In describing it to a friend I realized what it is that bothers me, what I see, possibly because I'm a WoC with many other ism intersections. In the Paragon Path, Shepard has to be 3, 4 times better than anyone else, has to win and save the day, while never being believed, always being questioned, and on that path, also saves the Council. But the ending, really rubbed it in for me. At the end Humanity gets accepted to and given a seat on the Intergalactic Governing Council. And there it is; the model minorityness of it all the myth that stepping and fetching and following the rules, living within stricture, will lead to accomplishment and meritocracy winning out over institutionalized isms.

It's the whole nobility and leadership is in the blood. Mandate from heaven. Show your mandate from heaven in your actions and it will be recognized and you will be let into the club and handed things due you because of your exemplary nature. But the things due are basic respect. Privilege creates a system, where the ability to NOT be seen within the constant frameworks of stereotypes of your class, ethnicity, species, race, gender, ability status, what have you and being taken as an individual is a thing to be EARNED IN THE EYES OF THOSE WITHHOLDING SAME FROM YOU.

Gah, no wonder I can't stand stories where some peasant farm hand is automatically the best and right king or ruler due to BLOOD and not knowledge of political and economic systems and a quick mind and many well trusted advisor.

But still, if someone has the answer to this bullshit, I want to know. Tell me. HOW DOES ONE EARN THEIR WAY OUT OF OPPRESSION? When having you under their foot, and in their control gives someone else power and benefit, how do you become so exemplary, nay, how do you prove your entire SECT to be so exemplary, that those individuals GIVE UP their power and benefit and treat you as an equal.

I maintain it's bloody impossible. That it's a logical fallacy.

All the system does is allow individuals to prove they are willing to put everyone else under their boot, and on THOSE MERITS, be given limited acceptance into the club holding the power. Which is not equality, not even an equality for one. It's totally buying into the system, agreeing with it and claiming that everyone who isn't in the club, deserves to be where they are, because they don't have the whatever to keep others under the boot.

ETA: Maybe the fact that the storytelling goes along these lines is the true demarcation of why Bioware's Dragon Age writers are attempting (though often not very well) to address social justice issues and why Mass Effect has a supposedly ambiguous but very white looking male as their canon lead. Because white, cis, hetero, able bodied males can always show their exemplary status. Yes? But that would be giving the DA writers too much credit, I think.

PPS: I also think it's __ something, that the meritocracy myth ends bare seconds after the Council gives humanity a seat. There should undoubtedly be a list of qualified applicants for such a role, it shouldn't just be Udina alone or Udina vs Anderson. Instead, one individual, gives a hand into the 'club' for another individual and I'm left rolling my eyes. While at the same time pndering what I'll see about how the Elcor and Volus treat and are treated by humans after such a leap, bump, skip.

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Willow
Date: 09:08PM | Mon, December 14th | 2009
Subject: Too Tired
Security: Public
Tags:energy level 2.5, personal is political, question everything

I was originally excited to subscribe to the Tiny House Blog. I'd re-embraced my love of small spaces, a sense of cosiness, a certain chic elegatarian style of living; simplistic and unwasteful and hopefully sustainable. I've been subscribe for about a month and a half now, possibly a bit more and I keep seeing the same things.

1. The need to be a certain economic/social class to even try to have this dream.

2. Or to be incredibly poor and brown and need an organization full of white people to create this dream and sell it to you.

3. An utter lack of accomadation for the disabled; tiny houses have no width for wheelchairs, no ramps to get into them, no consideration as to how to have a small space that includes crutches, canes, walkers, or manual or power mobility devices.

When I come to look at small spaces and dream and marvel, I want to rest. I don't want to think of having to pick up the baton/torch/speaking stick/drum/you name it. So I'm just going to unsubscribe, regretfully but with respect for myself. The places I go to to recharge cannot be addtional places to have to speak up about not seeing myself or people I know reflected anymore.

Not to mention the weird quirk of realizing that you have to be middle class/have access to a certain measure of money in order to live simply in the first place. Live simply as in intentinally, vs making do with a touch of innovation because one is poor.

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Willow
Date: 05:07PM | Sun, December 13th | 2009
Subject: PSA
Security: Public
Tags:bite my flat arse, personal is political, rant, wtf!

Don't talk to me about VB.

I stopped being able to care years ago and all that happens now is a slight cramp until I remind myself that me being who I am, and being honest about it, is not the same as someone taking my words to create an identity for themselves.

I have seen posts where apparently people are being asshatty about pronoun use, to which I point out that VB also qualifies as an individual with mental illness problems and if you're going to judge an entire world population of people trying to manage and deal with their mental illnesses by VB, just as you're apparently judging all trans individuals everywhere and making yourself the authority on whether or not someone is truly trans - GTFO of my journal, defriend, ban me from -your- journal and let us part ways.

VB is VB

Mental Illness is Mental Illness'

Transgender Identity is Transgender Identity.

VB != Mental Illness != Trans Identity.

And people playing that logic game can go shoot themselves in the head.

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Willow
Date: 08:46PM | Wed, September 9th | 2009
Subject: Oh SciFi Fiction. Can't Stand Anyone Not White Straight (and usually) Male
Security: Public
Tags:#queer issues: q is for queer, personal is political

Flash Fiction Online = Homophobic editors, with some seriously bigoted ideas. Example? Gayness = sex (non procreation centered sex at that - oh the misguided horror of humanity).

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Willow
Date: 09:31PM | Fri, August 7th | 2009
Subject: Parsing News & Information
Security: Public
Tags:personal is political, the world: 2009, wtf!

I'm currently reading up and watching clips to do with the mortgage crisis / real estate bubble. I'm not sure how I ended up spending time on this, but I am. And it breaks me down into tears, because I only had myself to rely on when I kept telling my mother things didn't sound right and I was scared of what could happen in the future, that I felt I needed to be more stable before purchasing a home.

What's hitting me the hardest is the realization that it's all not over. What hit me first was realizing that there's a reason for brand new houses and renovated houses into apartments, in my neighbourhood/on my street, standing empty. There's a reason they still have the auction signs on them from months ago and no one's bought them. What's hitting me now is realizing that two years ago when I was talking to Zvi's father about it, that was just the beginning. That there's still five to possibly ten more years of people's adjustable rate mortgages reaching the point where they can no longer pay, because the new monthly amount will be far too high. And that's not counting more and more people being laid off and unable to pay even the price they'd measured out as being reasonable for a few more years yet.

Watching a clip of 'Trash Outs' where folks come in to clean the house out in four to five hours so it's sell ready again and there's nothing left behind and seeing how much is left behind; electronics, clothes, photographs, furniture. And hearing the clean out people say they suspect by the time people have to leave what had been their dream home (or close enough to it) that they're too depressed and too broke to take their belongings a majority of the time. They can't afford the truck, or they have no space in their new place, or they're crashing at relatives and can't bring much of anything, or, I'd guess, it makes no sense for them to now have to pay rent AND storage facility fees.

I don't believe most people have had the experience in their lives of needing to be able to live out of a duffle bag - if it can't fit in there, then it's not important. This must be unbelievably difficult for them.

And yet, I'm still having the shocked, possibly selfish reaction of - omg where did I find the strength to defy my mother? I'm so glad I found the strength to defy my mother. I'm glad I have the strength to still defy her. That I still think the house prices are still ridiculous.

Because reading about what's happening to FHA loans....

And just...where I am isn't California (and omg Califnornia wtf - it's totally crazy sounding over there).

But strength. Mother. Defiance. That's dominating my thoughts right now. That mixed with a bunch of marveling - at bail outs, at banks still dancing merrily all unregulated and happy to go for the quick dangerous buck again, at people actually refusing universal health care...

Right now it all makes me want a glass of milk and a warm blueberry muffin and a blanky.

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Willow
Date: 01:42AM | Sat, June 27th | 2009
Subject: Jenna 6! Free!
Security: Public
Tags:#race issues: general, personal is political, whee!

Do not ask me to be coherent n'stuff!

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Willow
Date: 07:49PM | Mon, May 18th | 2009
Subject: Things I Would Like To Tell My President
Security: Public
Tags:letters to nowhere, personal is political

Dear President Obama,

The Republicans, as a general broad conservative group, don't like you. It doesn't matter that you've turned around and are letting them ride bareback in your nether regions, without lube, in public, while they film it.

Making concessions on things like DADT and not prosecuting/exposing those who approved torture will not get your healthcare bill passed. Appealing to the public, however, just might.

I understand that you are not the second coming. I understand that you are a politician in a very complicated situation and that you want a full eight years to stem the tide of blood America is hemorrhaging from the wound the previous Administration so callously ripped into her side. But slowly becoming a Mean Girl (TM) while Pledging the Republican Sorority won't actually help with that.

It might be heady to have such a high approval rating right now. But your campaign stirred people to movement, and they're still moving. Moving means they're observing their power to create change as much as they're observing you.

Please, go back to being a leader. Bipartisanship is not a dirty word, but America needs a true Statesman more than it needs a Politician. Where did your certainty of that fact go?

-Willow

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Willow
Date: 06:38PM | Sat, May 2nd | 2009
Subject: Cause Hetero Folk Be Working My Nerves
Security: Public
Tags:.deewee, personal is political

Hmm maybe I should crosspost with comments only on DW? That option didn't occur to me until right this second. Anyway angry thoughts here.

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Willow
Date: 02:26PM | Sun, November 16th | 2008
Subject: Deep Breath & Move On
Security: Public
Mood:incredulous incredulous
Tags:#queer issues: q is for queer, #race issues: general, personal is political

I think I need to disengage from the crazy woman. Because she's a patronizing idiot.

Her:

What needed to happen was what did. My dad said, "Oh for heaven's sake, Auntie. Nothing is going to happen!" And she listened because it came from someone she trusted.

I'm truly sorry that you see reaching out to people and building bridges as ass kissing. Perhaps you think I'm kissing your ass that I think that you are important to talk to? That I think we are on the same side and need to be able to work together?


Me:

Talking to a black woman about the tone of her argument and why can't she see reason about changing said tone in talking to her oppressors is not the smartest thing you have ever done in your life. Ever.

http://zvi-likes-tv.livejournal.com/429727.html


Though really, she started off comparing protest marches to KKK rallies. So right off the damn bat I saw the crazy and probably shouldn't have engaged in the first place. But you know, I think sometimes you just can't believe the crazy right in front of your eyes. I think the other thing was my disbelief that someone would actually bring the tone argument up during 2008 when we've HAD that discussion, not just about fandom and fannish things, but about the ELECTION OF THE POTUS. The whole damn world seemed to be having that conversation.

Willow's thoughts on tone.

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Willow
Date: 12:57AM | Sun, November 16th | 2008
Subject: I AM PROTESTING
Security: Public
Mood:outraged outraged
Tags:#queer issues: q is for queer, personal is political

For the record. My journal is not the place to espouse the POS Argument that sweet talk and white family values will win voters to equal marriage, equal rights.

The suffragettes weren't nice and polite and trying to win men to let them vote. They starved. They chanted. They walked. They shouted.

Blacks in America didn't get anywhere by waiting for Mr. Whitey to decide they were worth being treated equally. They fought. They're still fighting, everyone of recent (historically) African heritage/descent is still raising voice and raising money and trying to raise hope.

The colonies of Britain in the West Indies did not say "Pretty please give us self determination and independence while we live quiet lives like you want us to live."

Ghandi's fasting? Was an act of PROTEST.

Nelson Mandela is A MAN OF PROTEST.

The women risking cruel brutal death in Afghanistan by living their daily lives and doing their jobs, THEIR HEARTS BEAT EVERY MOMENT IN PROTEST.

Anyone who compares the lifting of voice and showing of presence in protest against a wrong, as being akin to a KKK KLAN RALLY is sick in the head and full of privilege and needs to get the hell off my side.

And my comment to her?

I'm not nice, I'm not friendly, I'm kind to who I choose and I'm sure as hell not ordinary. I should STILL have equality in who I decide to marry if I decide to marry. Equality isn't about being Miss Sunshine Cakes vs being Scrooge. It's about things being EQUAL for both because human beings are all equal.


ETA:

A comment to someone in the threads over there. [info]ethrosdemon said within a comment:

I see no reason at all to tell US to pipe down and play nice when this same advice would never be given to a PoC or feminists (I hope) in the same circumstance.

My response:


Just so you know, people call PoC on 'tone' all the damn time.

- If you'd only come to me rationally and reasonably and not so angry and not calling me a bigot but saying my actions were bigoted, then I wouldn't have thought you were just another crazy angry black < insert gender here >.

- Why are you demanding something? Why can't you just ask? (Translation - Why you being so uppity darky?)

It's happened in fandom around fics, around shows, around things actors and producers have said, around art. It happens all the time. The argument about tone is a way of trying to make the person calling you on your bullshit feel guilty and PoC face it every day of their lives, not just online.

It's part of why I'm so amazingly disbelieving and pissed off at her thoughts. Cause I LIVE THIS SHIT and I know saying 'Please Massa Majority' hasn't won anyone jack shit but more boots to the face.

There is no reason to raise up a community or person who is groveling at your feet. In the eyes of the majority they're already where they belong.


PS: My response regarding tone.

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Willow
Date: 12:00AM | Tue, August 26th | 2008
Subject: When the personal is political
Security: Public
Mood:thoughtful thoughtful
Tags:food as medicine, personal is political

I seem to have hit a nerve talking about food prices and healthy eating. [info]telesilla put it best: as usual, healthy, globally sustainable eating is the privilege of the rich

It sucks too especially when you have all these books telling you that if only you ate better than maybe everything wrong with you would sort itself out. I'm not kicking on those books. One of them just helped me immensely and was recced by my therapist as something to help me look at food differently. To which I seem to be leaning towards food as medicine to change how I relate to it.

But all this reminds me of the experiment some members of congress did last year - they attempted to live for a week on what someone on foodstamps can afford. And by the end of it they realized just exactly why people on lower and limited incomes ARE so tired all the time and ARE so exhausted and beset with health problems. They CAN'T just eat better, because eating better doesn't win out over easing the gnawing sensation in one's gut. If it's fatty processed foods so that they can feel full and do what they have to do, and so their children can feel full and do what they need to do via school - then that's what they'll choose. They can't afford to eat a salad with minimal meat as a whole meal, because they're not eating four and six times a day. They're lucky if they eat solidly ONCE.

Thing is, it was only those three individuals who did this project and only for a week. They got to deal face to face with the fact that senators and congressmen are fed all the bloody time in Washington; a breakfast here, a fancy lunch there, a business dinner there. But it's just the three of them with this awareness, shared via blogging with the public who KNOWS already how hard it is. Makes me wish there could be some kind of law that once you get sworn into congress you HAVE to spend a week once a year living at the basic level and/or being treated in hospital as someone without or with limited insurance.

The whole John McCain has 7 houses doesn't even BEGIN to describe how out of step he is with daily reality. The whole '5 million dollars means you're rich' on the other hand is closer to showing that he and his would have absolutely no idea that the working man and woman, can't just afford to spend $9 a pound on meat so that they're healthier.

I haven't been all that political via the election etc on this journal. But this topic just really hit home for me tonight. It does too matter that the 7 homes are part of a Trust. How many people can afford to pay lawyers to set up a trust? How many black people have enough assets to even pass on to their children?

It may be that for the first time I'm emotionally mature enough to follow the advice given about food to the best of my ability without subconsciously thinking it's all my fault that I can't afford better or I can't walk the walk. Walking the bloody walk costs more than dealing with pesticides and having to use a grocery service that's half ass because the only other place is 30 mins to an hour away - there's another problem that doesn't get enough play on the news and which I think McCaine would fail to understand. He'd probably tell folk to just get in their car and drive.

Eta: The sad update on that week on $21

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By Any Other Name
of Willow
January 2016