The other day, I found this on Tumblr. Apparently, all of the women who’d loved and idolized Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill now hate her because she is, among other things, an “asshole” and “trans-misogynistic,” and the fact that she was maybe not this way before but is now is a direct affront to her former fans who spent their youths unknowingly idolizing someone like that.
Today, I found another post from the same Tumblr claiming that Tina Fey is somehow a female-hating slut-shamer because she apparently said “we should all be better than that” in regards to sex work. The post then went on to claim that if Tina Fey or anyone who shared her opinion really cared about sex workers, then they should pay said sex workers to live and pursue degrees in order to get out of the sex industry.
I don’t follow sexandjender on Tumblr; I see the posts because they are sometimes reblogged by people I follow, and some of the people I follow don’t share every single one of my opinions about every single piece of the universe. Not because I am, as it has named Kathleen Hanna and Tina Fey, an asshole anti-feminist trans-misogynist who’s actively working to set my own gender back a couple of hundred years. Mostly, I don’t follow sexandjender because I don’t see the point in pissing myself off, and because I think that sexandjender is full of shit, clicking that follow button and allowing all of its* posts to show up in my feed would most certainly piss me off.
This is the problem with feminism. And when I say “this is the problem with feminism,” what I mean is “this is the problem with the way some people cause others to perceive most causes, in this case feminism.” Because it’s one thing to have an opinion, and quite another to call that opinion a denouncement of equality. Kathleen Hanna isn’t an asshole just because she played at a festival that didn’t recognize transgendered people in its name. Tina Fey isn’t an anti-female slut shamer just because she expressed her desire that people should transcend a profession that is, for the most part, horribly degrading and damaging to its participants, most of whom are not there by choice.
I don’t see how either of these people harmed women with their actions, and I think that someone who does see this is probably in the habit of blaming others for every perceived misfortune in their life. This is why “the personal is political” annoys the shit out of me. Not every single facet of your life needs to be politicized. Sometimes, things just are. A male driver doesn’t cut me off in traffic because he wants to subjugate a woman, he cuts me off in traffic because he’s a shitty fucking driver. A family member who says they like my hair better long isn’t trying to restrict me to an unfairly narrow and caucasian standard of feminine beauty, they just liked my hair long and don’t have manners. Politicizing every single facet of your life is narcissistic in the extreme, and it makes it easier for your particular cause (which is actually yourself if you’re being honest) to be attacked by narcissists on the other side who would see your opinions as a personal attack on them. It’s like the racist lunatics who send letters to the president demanding to know why there’s no White History Month, seemingly oblivious to the fact that every month is White History Month. It’s like the people who have jobs — menial, low-paying jobs with ever-shrinking retirement and pension plans — complaining that Occupy Wall Street protestors should just get jobs too and then they’d stop bitching. There’s no intellect there. No discourse with people like this. There is yelling and blaming and the utter refusal to consider any opinions or factors outside the self. People are selfish enough, and too few of them demand equal treatment. They demand special treatment.
Another thing, sexandjender. I’m really sad for you that your adolescent idol and a woman who happens to be smart and successful as fuck don’t share all of your opinions. That must be really sad for you. But maybe expecting a person to speak for you for the entirety of their career is stupid. And maybe if you understood that it is not the law of the natural universe for everyone to always consider you in their thoughts and actions, then maybe you’d get that stick out of your ass (wait, is that offensive to people who enjoy sticks up their asses? Am I being insensitive right now?) one of these days.
*I say “its” because I don’t know if sexandjender is a male or a female, or if dividing the whole of the human race into two genders is offensive in its own way, because clearly nothing making sense in this world and I can’t be blamed for what happens.