Monday, November 18, 2013

Always Needing More

So I'm watching the live stream of the "Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can Choose" fundraiser to support abortion access organizations here in Texas, given the dire situation of our laws. It's an interesting thing...activists in New York, led by Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead, are holding an online telethon for us (Texans.) It's kinda great because, let's be real, many of us here in the Lone Star state working on this issue are fatigued--emotionally, financially, and physically, and we need the help and support. (Especially the support from celebrities who can draw a lot of attention.) And it's nice that it's not totally framed in a condescending "ew, we hate ass-backwards Texas" feels like a fairly genuine gesture of friendship and goodwill and that's awesome.


On the other hand, I'm just watching all this and cringing so hard.

As as intersectional feminist, I am really, deeply disturbed by ALL the ableist and cissexist language. There's all kinds of "crazy"-s being thrown around. And the whole night has been framed as for Texas WOMEN, down to the hashtag, #TexasWomenForever. It's a lot of the same issues that the original coalition this summer faced.

Let's be clear about it: when we feminists play by the same exclusive terms as the patriarchy, our work is incomplete and perpetuates oppression. 

When I mention these things, I'm often met with a lot of hostility from other feminists. I'm told that I should be thankful for the progress that is being made and that I should accept the "at leasts." At least they're doing something. At least they're trying. At least their hearts are in the right place...and while all that might be true...I can't help it, I DO need more.

I need a reproductive rights movement that acknowledges that trans* and non-binary people exist and access these services too. I need language which doesn't shame, stigmatize, OR erase anyone. I can offer that feedback and demand better while still expressing thanks and appreciating the spirit of this event and its fundraising successes, right? I mean, if even just one person hears my "complaining" and modifies their language to be more inclusive, that's a win, right?

So sorry, not sorry. I will always need more from mainstream feminism. No one's perfect. It's OK to ask more of each other.

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