Sunday, February 5, 2017

How much does the messenger matter?

This question has really been nagging me lately. A lot of despicable people do (often isolated) great things and a lot of great people do (often isolated) despicable things. Generally, we choose where they belong based on the weight of their greatness vs. despicability. Some people seem to be right on the line. Some people are generally great, but their views on certain issues are so awful, it may very well undo all of their greatness. For example, if Bill Gates came out as an actual Nazi.........

How do we decide? Really, I'm asking. I'm very conflicted.....

It shouldn't need to be pointed out but, minute by minute, women are losing reproductive rights globally. In the United States, Arkansas just passed a law that would give a spouse, partner, legal guardian, or perpetrator the right to sue women to halt abortions. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. In other words, a father could rape his daughter, impregnate her, then sue her in order to force her to give birth. Yes, you read that right.

This in itself is heinous, as are the many attacks on reproductive rights that occur by the second. Knowing all of this sucks is not the conundrum I'm facing. The conundrum is that it seems like TERFs are the only ones writing about this or at least are the only ones getting any notoriety for writing about it. For those who are unaware, a TERF is a Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. This takes on a spectrum of meanings from, "I support trans rights, but trans women are not real women," all the way to, "Trans women are mentally ill male creepers who just want to perv on women in bathrooms and thus deserve no rights and should be institutionalized."

I don't support TERFism, but I would be remiss if I didn't admit that I support some TERFs' views on several other topics. I tweeted an article (which crossposted to my FB) that gave details and criticism of this act of terrorism against women known as Bill 45. A friend of mine kindly pointed out that the author is an outspoken TERF as is the person I retweeted the article from.

The other problem is, when I read non-TERFs, they support things I find to be as horrible (or more horrible) than TERFism, such as full legalization of prostitution (no, I am not arguing with anyone about why putting a stranger's dick up your ass is fundamentally different from flipping a burger, that supporting the purchase, consumption, and disposal of women's bodies is NOT good for ANYONE, but mostly women, why prostituted women are SLAVES more often than not, how there is no such thing as a "youth sex worker," and if you are one of the very few and proud women who genuinely CHOOSE prostitution, you're way too privileged for me to give a fuck about because most women end up their because they are sold by their own families, partners, or just plain can't do anything else to make money).

How much does the messenger matter? If someone like Janet Mock, noted hypocrite prostitution survivor who supports full legalization of human slavery prostitution even though she admits she only did it because she had no choice, writes a fantastic article about reproductive rights, do I disregard it because she's despicable when it comes to prostitution? Similarly, if someone like Julie Bindel, a noted TERF who has been deplatformed from many, many feminist events for her vocal anti-trans views, writes a fantastic article on the same subject, do I disregard it because she's despicable when it comes to trans rights?

Seriously, I'm asking for advice here. So few people seem to share my views (that porn and are terrorism against women that harm more than just the women personally involved in those businesses, that reproductive rights are the crown priority for feminism because all other women's rights are pointless without reproductive rights, that black rights are essential to feminism, that LGBTQ rights are essential to feminism, that trans people are real and they COUNT, that the personal is political, that intersectionality MATTERS, that intersecionality is perhaps the ONLY part of third wave feminism that's worth a good goddamn). If I only take into account people whose views are completely parallel with mine, I listen to no one. Who SHOULD I be following? Should I still take in the ideas of people I don't like and just keep in mind, "But this person IS an asshole?" Should I acknowledge the bad ideas of people I do like and keep in mind, "Yes, this idea sucks, but this IS a good person?"

...I mean, I DID say that I support Donald Trump's thoughts on term limits (that we have yet to see any action on), though I do believe him to be an absolutely DESPICABLE human being with no redeeming qualities.

Stolen from YouAreOneofUs on Deviantart


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