Fauxressives: Stealing is ‘rong You Evil Poor Person!

So, there are some commenters on Dan’s post at Womanist Musings that are pissing me off with their self-righteous indignant ranting.

Basically, the theme is this: “OMG you awful moral-less poor person! You’re RUINING society by stealing food to live!”

Then, after their disgusting moralistic rants, they then offer alternatives.

Sigh.

1. “Go to church! Churches feed poor people!” I would really, really like to know what churches these people are talking about, because by and large, they don’t. The church I attended as a child certainly never did–and none of the others I visited ever did, either. Christian churches do not hold Jesus’ teachings to feed and clothe the poor, and ‘treat the least of these’ as you would Christ himself as their prime sacrament and mission. No. Churches are concerned with getting butts to warm the pews and cash to fill the offering plates. That money never goes to feeding the least of these–it goes to buying shiny new equipment, furniture, or renovations–and paying the staff.

1a. Churches don’t much care for LGBTs, or anyone, really, that come and go “as they are.” They’re only interested in those families who make them look good, and can give a big fat tithe. They’re only interested in minorities, however that may manifest itself, to “save” them and hold them up as a posterchild (aka testimony) of how awesome and godly they are.

2. “Just go to a food bank!” Food banks aren’t available in every town and rural area. In fact, unless it’s a large city, I doubt they exist at all–and the food banks in the cities serve so many people you’re lucky to get any. (The one in my city runs out of food by 10:00am. If they have enough supplies for a “full day.” If.)

3. “Discrimation! Sue!” The legal system isn’t open for everyone. (Seriously, one commenter’s solution to Dan’s poverty was to sue the company that fired him for being trans. WUT.) As another commenter pointed out, discrimination cases are hard to win. See: Wal*mart. AND, even if you can find a lawyer to help you, litigation drags out for a long ass time. Suing your former employer isn’t going to get you grocery money that week. And it’s not guaranteed. (Again, see Wal*mart.) It may also make it pretty damn hard to find a job if everyone knows you’re the guy suing a former employer. In this economy, companies can be picky, and you don’t want to do anything that may prompt a potential job offer to go sour.

4. “Just try harder!” IS NOT A FUCKING TIP. Way to go buying into the whole Social Darwinism thing, you jackass.

5. “Think of the children!” Um. Is this like “spread your legs and think of England”? ’cause I don’t know about you, but when I’m starving, I’m definitely NOT thinking about hypothetical children I’m setting a bad example for.

5a. “Think of your COMMUNITY! And that store owner! And those poor employees! And the other customers!” Second verse, same as the first. Also: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

6. “Shop here! It’s cheaper! Use these websites! You can get free stuff!” Good suggestions…for people who live in largely enough populated areas that those stores have a presence in, or that enough locals use sites like freecycle and Craigslist to make them useful on a continuing basis.

6a. There’s also the assumption that people have functioning cars, with money to put in the tank. Or a good public transit system, with money to pay for that. Or a bicycle, and being able-bodied enough to do that. Or have enough money to have the internet at all! (I know. “But he’s writing on a BLOG! He must have internets!” No…One could be using a friend’s laptop, or the public library’s, etc etc.)

Oh, and this is just rich:

“Most of the independents have actually fallen by the wayside,
1.) Because large chains can buy in such huge volumes that the “little guys” can’t compete with the ridiculously low profit margins and the low wages that they pay their employees ( more and more work for less and less pay).
2.) Because dishonest people do things like dent perfectly good cans of food and steal everything they can get their hands on with no regard for the people who actually work hard to keep that store (and all of it’s employees), afloat.

So when you see an article about food deserts and you wonder “Why does that happen? I can see why a large chain might not feel a need to open a store in an economically depressed area, but why doesn’t some independent grocery store go in there and set up shop so that those people have a nice place to purchase decent food?” You can thank yourself and people like you who make it impossible to make a living in some of these neighborhoods because you steal their profits one penny at a time and justify it because you need to have money to dye your hair purple. “

Summary: People have nowhere to buy food because of large chains and you! But mostly you, you can-denting poopy-face!

My eye: it is twitching.

Nope, food deserts don’t happen because a combination of forces, it’s because teh evil purple-haired man stole food so he could fill his belly. Congrats, Dan. That’s a mighty superpower you have there. Now you just need a catchphrase.

 

A Feministe of Christian Feminists

The other day, I read this post on Feministe, and I’ve been keeping up with the comments–yes, all 300+ of them. I haven’t responded on the thread itself–my thoughts have been too disjointed and instinctual, and by this point, it’d get lost in the sheer number of posts, so I will do it here.

I have to say, I am very disappointed with the Christian feminists there–to say the least.

They’re pissing me off.

I’m angry, and I own it. I’m not apologetic, and I will not walk on eggshells for those who are determined to change and participate in a broken, corrupt, misogynistic institution. Trying to save it, redeem it, or “reclaim” it is as hopeless as trying to salvage a building that has been reduced to rubble–or rather, pretending a pile of rocks was ever a building in the first place.

I tried to do it myself. I was a child, a preteen, and then a teenager, trying to convince misogynistic adults that I deserved respect–no matter what I wore, no matter what lay between my legs, no matter what crime Eve committed.

I failed.

I gained nothing by staying–people I loved and trusted, respected and revered, hurt me spiritually and emotionally unapologetically. I was a Daughter of Eve, so I deserved it.

Well.

Fuck that noise.

I also internalized that shit, and consequently hurt myself, hurt one of my dearest friends, and probably hurt numerous others, too. By sixteen, I was over it. I had an across-town move and a busy schedule as my excuse, and I attended less and less frequently until I disappeared. I hardly needed an excuse, however. No one bothered to call and check in, or stop by and see how I was doing–once I ceased to be of use, as a volunteer and as a poster-child, they ceased to care.

I learned what it was like to have people who cared–sincerely and unconditionally. I learned what it was like to simply go about my life without a war being waged over my shorts. I learned what it was like to have friendships with male-identified people without having to defend my character. I learned what it was like to be attracted to and fall in love with men, and I experienced the subsequent joys and sorrows without a crowd of bystanders judging me and harassing me for it–thank GOODNESS. (I’m grateful I left Christianity before that happened–I saw and participated in what Christians did to women who did before I left.)

I began a personal journey and subsequently discovered what a real connection to all things spiritual felt like–rituals, meditations, the internal connection to a higher power, the earth, and other people–how different it felt from the manufactured performance that Christianity gave me! Oh, I thought it was real at the time. I felt those spiritual highs, the worship-induced breakdowns, the revivals–and I thought I was really feeling a connection to Jesus. I thought I did. I thought, too, that it was an innate part of me, that I couldn’t be without Christianity. I too felt insulted and indignant when someone criticized Christians or Christianity, let alone God. I thought they were attacking me.

Then I left the church. I took a long, hard look at myself and my personal beliefs. I was ruthless. It was hard. It took months. I constantly found myself doing, saying, thinking things that I had learned while a Christian–and then I broke those down too. When I say it was hard, I mean it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I felt, at times, like a bad person for challenging even the most basic beliefs and morals, but I made myself do it. I asked myself, over and over, “Do I really believe this?” “Is this something that is really right, or is it something that Christianity told me was right?” I made myself justify everything outside of a Christian context. If I couldn’t, it was gone.

So do not tell me it cannot be done–that your religiosity is an innate and instinctual part of yourself that cannot be changed. I was there. I believed it, too. But I did it. It’s not.

And I reaped the consequences.

I lost friends. I lost family. I faced people who believed the most horrible things about me because I uttered the words “I am not a Christian.” I was harassed. I was rejected. And more.

Do not tell me that I do not understand–that it could be costly to leave a religion that is the most powerful in a particular society. I know.

And do NOT proceed to litany all the good that Christianity and Christians have done and do. I know. But it does not negate the bad, and it means jack shit to one whose life has been made miserable by Christians. I also have to say–all that good? Done with ulterior motives. So I’m not going to give you the validating pat on the head you so crave.

A question popped up again and again in that thread: How can you be a feminist and a Christian? Easy. You can be anything you want to be. However, in this thread, the feminist Christians are behaving like typical Christians, only using feminist language. Attacking someone’s identity/experience/personhood? Disregarding culture? Appropriation? Please.

The tolerance/respect is a whole other monster. I do not respect Christianity. I do not, and cannot, after my experiences both within, and while leaving, the church. Demanding I do is a veritable flood of entitlement, audacity, and privilege. That demand doesn’t compel me to respect the person making it, either. Slap a fishie on your car, I will laugh. Act like a jerk, claim your religion told you to, and I will call you out and criticize the religion. Rant about the meanie apostates like me who just won’t see all the “Good Christians” (like you) and the good things Christians do (like you) because we focus on the bad, and not only will I call you out, I will also mock you. Feminist or not, you’re acting like the Christians you’re trying to disassociate with.

Claiming feminism doesn’t give you a shield from the criticisms of Christianity. Claiming Christianity and feminism at the same time doesn’t make you a super-special ultra-awesome person. You’re just you. (Now with privilege!)

The actual post, by a super-special ultra-awesome female Christian priest, will have to wait until later.

Weinergate? Please.

If you want to know why Breitbart and his cronies set their sights on Congressman Anthony Weiner, check out this excellent piece by Allan at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

Seriously, click it.

If you need another reason to discredit the Congressman’s detractors (other than the victim’s statement saying she doesn’t believe for a minute Weiner sent her the photo, Weiner’s denials, the demonstrations of the ease of hacking Yfrog, the mismatch between “the photo” and other photos the Congressman has uploaded, the fact that the only person who saw the tweet was harassing both Weiner and Cordova, et cetera and so on.) this piece is the golden nail in the coffin.