Monday, April 26, 2010

But pathetic mud-slinging is all we have!

Jebus. After the Greens-Liberal deal, the tireless ‘legalisedrugslegalisedrugslegalisedrugs’ tirade that gets rolled out every election, and the simple fact that there is no actual reason why lefties should keep voting Labor, those bloody hippies should’ve gotten the point; that we are going to keep smearing them with every ridiculous fictional attack until the end of time itself.

But no. Instead, that jackass Richard Di Natale is trying to get all parties to sign pledges not to smear each other! Did you hear him? “There’s been a trend, I think, over a number of years for increasingly deceptive and misleading conduct in election campaigns…it’s really quite easy of all political persuasions to lie, to deceive and to make false allegations.” Get stuffed, you communist.

Look Richie, haven’t you seen the headlines on the Spencer Street Soviet? The Myki fiasco? The cronyism, secrecy and corruption that’s continually leaking out? The millions wasted on the North-South pipeline and the comically expensive desal plant? The urban sprawl where we’ve done nothing to support public transport? Do you actually think most voters would still support Vic Labor after 10 years of increasing incompetence?

Of bloody course not. Especially when we are still pushing further to the right to take Liberal seats, and our own seats are at risk of being taken by you dope smokers. There’s no way we’re not going to hit you with everything we have and hope that the electorate is dumb enough to buy it (which is likely, given that they have been buying it for the past few elections in other states).

Or, as I put so well, “The November election will be decided on the issues…we will be campaigning honestly on the issues and keeping other parties accountable for their alternative election promises.” In other words, sending out leaflets claiming that voting Greens will result in the destruction of civilisation itself. Hey, these idiots bought those all other smears, why would they see through this one?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why Feministing is teh awesome.

Because sometimes, other people say what you think in ways better than you could ever imagine.

Slut. What a word. It simultaneously describes and dominates, classifies and corrodes its subject. Its most basic use is to describe someone who is sexually promiscuous, but it has come to entail so much more these days--worthlessness, dirtiness, even the very state of being a woman.

Who is it used by? It's used by men to justify their insecurity about the power they see in women's sexuality. It's used by women to establish their own superiority over other women. It's used by rich people to hold onto and exercise their privilege. It's used by poor people to grasp at having value in a society that often makes them feel invisible. In other words, it's used by people with an agenda. A self-serving agenda. You know, that thing they're accusing you of having by being such a slutty slut? In the real world, the "dirtiest", "easiest" thing anyone can do is degrade another person by feeding into the social and cultural oppression that already exists against them.

So their intentions aren't exactly "pure", but...are they right? Let me set the record straight, right here, right now, for good: People who call other people "sluts" are always, inherently, insufferably wrong. No matter the sexual history of the person they are addressing. Because people who buy into the concept of a slut- that someone who has more sex is worse than someone who has less sex- are fundamentally, logically, morally, spiritually erroneous. Having sex doesn't make you a bad person. Having sex doesn't make you a bad person. Having sex doesn't make you a bad person. (Yes, I'm going for a Good Will Hunting moment here!) Having sex doesn't make you anything other than a person who has sex. The end. I promise!

In reality, purity is a myth. You are not weaker, or stupider, or less important, for each time you choose to have sex with someone. That's not to say there aren't universal social truths about good and bad behavior that you should be accountable to- there are. But these "positives" and "negatives" don't correspond with numbers of sexual partners- that would be ridiculous and meaningless. They revolve around things like kindness, intelligence, compassion, and wellness. These things matter inside and outside the bedroom. Having sex does not define who you are or what you do in any arena other than your sex life! There is no simple dichotomy where more sex equals bad and less sex equals good. There is only you. Your state of mind, your experiences, your health and well being, your contribution to this world. It is a more complicated, more nuanced, more evolved system of valuing people. Which should tell you right there it is probably right.

But that voice. That voice inside and outside your head is saying "I know what you're saying is right, but deep down inside I don't believe you. Why would the whole world keep telling me I'm worth less because of my sexual history if it weren't even a little bit true?

That is a good question. Why do people call other people sluts? In my experience, I have found that it is because they are scared. They are scared that they won't be able to find a partner that they love who will love them back, and they would like to be able to have someone else to shoulder that terrifying responsibility. They are scared of their own sexual desires, and what those desires say about their true selves. They are scared of living a life based on a value system that will be proven by time to be false, cruel, and unjust, so they work even harder and more ferociously to justify and reinforce it, to prove to themselves that they, their parents, their grandparents, are on the right side of history (they are not). They are scared of women who are free, because it reminds them of the ways that they themselves are not. And of course, they are scared of their own mortality, and so they grasp at anything that could guarantee them immunity, moral superiority, or holy benevolence in the face of the ultimate terror- death.

This fear drives them to great extremes. Fear is powerful, and many people's lives are completely dominated by it. Women, in particular, are an easy target for people who are very scared, because there are already social checks in place to make women less threatening, less powerful, less scary. So they latch onto this, and contribute to it, and perpetuate it. They actively degrade women. They take satisfaction from putting them in their place, and from taking away their power. They remind them over and over that their bodies, their sexuality, their autonomy, their choices, and their power, are not their own. They exert control- over their own lives, and over the behavior of others, as well as they know how- by perpetuating fear and pain.

I have been called a slut many times in my life, along with many women, but never by someone who I suspected was genuinely interested in my well being, nor by anyone who was very brave, or who loved themselves very much.

Ok, you are saying, even if I am convinced of this myself, it still hurts to operate in a world in which not everyone is on the same page as this. Being viewed as a slut by others still hurts, and still has real negative ramifications for me in this world. How can one find comfort, truth, and transcendence in such an unjust system?

Love yourself, love others, find feminism. In that order!