So, I just saw something rather troubling on the internet that prompted me to serve up a rant for y’all if you care to hear me out on this. The image that bothered me enough to immediately start stringing these thoughts together was a meme featuring a quote from activist/author Robin Morgan of the Feminist Majority Foundation and the American Women’s Movement, among other similarly-minded collectivist groups.
I’ll warn you in advance about its occasional profanity and subject matter. I realize that this may very well offend some people, but I just needed to say it, and in just such a way. First, though, here’s the image that sent me flying into such a tizzy, so you have an idea of the context:
Anyway, here goes!
First of all, I just have to say that this lady is as pathologically fucked-up as the anti-masturbation crusader John Harvey Kellogg. For those who may not know, Dr. Kellogg was the guy who invented corn flakes in order to create a food so impossibly bland that it had the power to prevent sexual arousal. This unfortunate psycho spent his entire adult life working to shame both himself and others for feeling sexual urges, and doing anything he could to curb such instincts. Anyway, this was just a personal observation that I felt the need to make about Morgan’s glaringly obvious internal cognitive dissonance. That’s not really the point of the statement I’m trying to make here, though. There’s more.
So, I’m all for inter-cultural prosperity and freedom from oppression in all its forms (not to mention, gender equality on the basis of individual merit), but come on now. Shaming yourself for being who you are sounds pretty fucking oppressive to me, in and of itself. What kind of outlook is that for anyone to have, let alone an “activist” and ideological talking head like Robin Morgan? From my perspective, Morgan’s outlook is hardly any different from girls who dress and act a certain way (or even starve themselves) in order to cater to male objectification, perpetually telling themselves that they are inadequate or downright worthless, altogether.
Maybe Robin Morgan should consider joining the military or finding a way to get herself into prison if she’s having personal troubles stemming from not feeling “oppressed enough.” There are plenty of state employees working for the U.S. government who would be more than happy to help her feel more oppressed.
Or better yet, why doesn’t she go live somewhere that is oppressed to the max–like Iraq or Afghanistan, for example. It sounds like maybe the level of oppression being brought to the people of those countries (courtesy of the weapons and armies of “priveleged” “white people”) might be good for her conscience–especially since she’s taken it upon herself to share in their personal responsibility for having blood on their hands. At least if she did any of these things I’ve suggested, she’d sound less like such a bourgeois, intellectually-charlatan hyprocrite.
If you’re looking for oppression, Robin, the world is your oyster: believe me! Carpe diem, girlfriend! Just pick your personal favorite flavor of it and follow your dreams wherever they may take you!
However, if the truth of the matter is that you don’t actually want that kind of oppression for yourself or anyone else, then perhaps a good first step to take would be to stop propagating self-shaming and inverse class-ism, especially if in practice you’re not actually willing to sacrifice those “privileges” you say you hate! Talk about inconsistency. Man, oh man.
Anyway, long story short, the underlying message of this rant is really just, “love thyself, and cause harm to none.”
And if you can’t do that, then at least don’t encourage similarly unhealthy thought patterns in others–especially so hypocritically. YOU as an individual are not responsible for the atrocities of any collective group (whether racial, cultural, economic, or otherwise) that anyone else might claim that you belong to. Unless YOU personally choose to willingly participate in the crimes of any such collective and deliberately commit acts of oppression against others, you are an agent of world peace like the rest of us.
In reality, there is no “we” doing any oppressing; there is no collective responsibility or guilt. Either you’re an oppressor, or you’re not, and that’s your choice to make based on your own moral code. Stop encouraging people to hate themselves and share in your irrational sense of personal guilt over the actions of others. It’s not healthy for you or anyone else, and at the end of the day, it’s just another form of oppression. Actually, self-loathing and internalized shame might just be the most crippling of all of its forms.