Perfect Is the Enemy of Good

Jumping down the throats of people who are politically on the same side over freaking word games is an exercise in narcissistic one-up-manship that is the opposite of activism.  Indeed it might make one a star but it destroys the political ability to actually win any fights that involve any one outside of the anointed in-crowd.

When Patricia Arquette spoke out regarding the economic oppression of women a bunch of activists in their own mind  professional microphone hogs and beggers started bad mouthing her.  all the more oppressed than thou folks started trotting out their oppression olympics medals, jealous of how someone might get more attention than they do.

Patricia Arquette spoke the truth.

So did Madonna when she said in Out Magazine: The Many Heresies of Madonna Louise Ciccone

Gay rights are way more advanced than women’s rights,” Madonna told Out, saying that the situation for women has remained relatively stagnant since 1983. “People are a lot more open-minded to the gay community than they are to women, period. It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass. To me, the last great frontier is women.”

The 56-year-old takes particular issue with the physical and sexual paradigms women are expected to mirror.

“Women are still the most marginalized group. They’re still the group that people won’t let change. [To be successful] you must fit into this box: You must behave this way, dress this way,” she said, adding, “You’re still categorized — you’re still either a virgin or a whore. If you’re a certain age, you’re not allowed to express your sexuality, be single, or date younger men.”

In an interview with Instagram, Madonna echoed similar sentiments. She acknowledged the progress made in terms of gay rights, ageism and sexism, but she thinks society is moving backwards at the same time — and that, as Instagram put it, “artists are no longer allowed to speak as freely or be the provocateurs they once were.”

When I listen to trans-folks  I get the impression that many think the biggest problem with feminism is how a few self anointed radical feminists won’t accept trans-folks.  I also get the feeling many fail to recognize the oppression of women in general, how the violence experienced by trans-women who do sex work is just part of the violence against women who do sex work.

“Hard is the fortune of all womankind, she’s always controlled, always confined.”  Wagoneer’s Lad sung by Joan Baez

From Huffington Post: Dear Queer People: Let’s Stop Making Straight People Walk on Eggshells


02/23/2015

From a heterosexual, male rapper singing about LGBT equality to the disturbing trend of straight people asking about our coming out stories, the queer community really has a lot to be outraged about.

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m being sarcastic. But on a serious note, this lesbian has been pushed to her breaking point by factions of our community launching attacks on well-meaning straight people. We are making many of our allies and potential future allies feel as though they have to walk on eggshells because they don’t know the latest LGBTQIA lingo (full disclosure: neither do I), aren’t properly addressing their “privilege” when doing something positive for the queer community or — here comes the most egregious insult — are asking gay people “When did you know?”

It has gotten to the point that when a straight friend or colleague wants to ask me a perfectly legitimate question about my own story or the community in general, they usually preface it by saying something like “I hope this doesn’t offend you, but…” or “I hope it’s okay to ask this, but…” Is this what we want, to make people nervous about engaging in dialogue? I hate to think about all the teachable moments that never happened because someone was afraid to ask me — or any of us — a question.

I myself have been subjected to much worse offenses than being asked when I knew I was gay — I have had a family member tell me they’re “too embarrassed” to tell their friends I’m a lesbian; I’ve been physically attacked along with an ex-girlfriend on a New York City street by three people calling us anti-gay slurs; and, I’ve been kicked out of a cab in Manhattan during Pride Week because kissing another woman in the backseat was deemed to be “suspicious activity” by the driver.

And as a community, we certainly have much bigger fish to fry than attacking curious straight allies. In the first seven weeks of 2015 alone, for example, at least six transgender women were killed. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and a quarter of trans youth report having made a suicide attempt. And in 13 states in the U.S., same-sex couples still cannot legally marry the person they love. If you want to include the international community, being gay is punishable by death in five countries.

From Bilerico: Perfect Is the Enemy of Good

Micah Escobedo
March 02, 2015

The 2015 Academy Awards has become one of the most talked about award shows in recent history. I couldn’t scroll through social media feeds or news reports without reading about it. Coverage of the Oscars crept into every nook and cranny of our digital lives like a zombie virus. I expected Alice from Resident Evil to storm the stage at one point.

Content wise, it was also a success. Neil Patrick Harris brought his signature biting-yet-Hollywood-approved shtick to the stage. Lady GaGa reminded everyone that she’s a classically trained, eclectic artist in a moving tribute to Julie Andrews. Oprah threw some shade. John Legend made an uncomfortable but vital point about race relations in America. Patricia Arquette made a powerful statement on gender wage inequality. Graham Moore delivered what was probably the best speech of the night by encouraging those who are seen by others as “weird” and “different” to embrace and love themselves just as they are.

All in all, it was a good night for Oscar. The Web seemed to say, “Good show. Next.”

But this is 2015, the Age of Perpetual Outrage. Deep within the bowels of the Internet outrage machine, self-appointed social justice warriors told us that the Oscars were actually “problematic” outside of the meaningful and much-needed discussion about the Academy’s lack of diversity.

Cue the Indignation!

Some people will find anything to be outraged and offended over. In the age of Buzzfeed, attention getting headlines and provocative pseudo-think pieces are quickly becoming the way to build traffic.

The Oscars were no exception. The biggest offense: Patricia Arquette’s feminist statements. Here’s what she said, both on stage and when she was asked about her comments backstage:

“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

“It’s inexcusable we go around the world talking about equal rights for women in other countries…and we don’t have equal rights for women in America. The truth is even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, there are huge issues that are at play that really do affect women. It’s time for all…the gay people and people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

To nearly everyone who heard both the original and later comments, Arquette’s passionate defense of womens’ rights and equality came across as intended – empowering and thought provoking.

Welcome to Modern Identity Politics 101

Some activists, however, claimed Arquette committed an ergregious sin: Arquette, a white woman, told lesbian and transgender women of color that their concerns aren’t equal to those of white women according to them. Even worse, she didn’t point out that some people of color are, of course, women or transgender!

Follow the links to the original articles.  I’ve grown so tired of all the bullshit I’ve retired from activism.

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