Thursday, 15 August 2013
The politics of "solidarity".
Or how multiple minorities are systematically silenced from objecting to bigotry within any given group by a hierarchy.
Solidarity is a very problematic concept within social justice circles, it's often used to excuse bigotry within circles. Those of us presumed to be women are encouraged not to object to the Transphobia/Racism/Disabilism/Classism in Feminism because it wouldn't be "solidarity" to call out our peers for being bigoted wankstains. Same for GLBTQ groups with disabilism and sexism in particular, I've been tossed from quite a few GLBTQ groups for pointing out slur usage that casually demeans mentally illpeople, disabled people and people presumed to be women. Apparently telling your peers that their genitals are disgusting is okay, but saying that's offensive and bigoted is not acceptable because it's not "solidarity".
The PoC community also suffers from this standard as well. With all other identities being seen as coming dead last.
The concept of "Solidarity" being more important than "divisiveness" aka objecting to problems within social justice isn't just limited to within minority groups though. It's become broadly incorporated into the bigger social justice society. Away from the bastions of bigoted thinking, individual social justice advocates come under tremendous pressure to tolerate bigotry from other minorities in the name of "solidarity". To the point where social justice is evolving a hierarchy of who is allowed to be bigoted to others based on who is thought to be more oppressed. So we end up with a case of "more oppressed than thou because my one oppression is worse than all of yours", which doesn't help.
Yet we consistently do not talk about the role "Solidarity" plays in actually dividing us. All my Identities are equally important to me, if someone demeans one, then they are also demeaning the one they share with me by saying I am not actually an equal and that my equality with them depends on me accepting them demeaning me in other ways. That is not acceptable, and this status quo needs to change for all people with multiple minorities, because true Solidarity is not saying shit that makes your peers feel awful. Minority members who piss all over members of their minorities that have other oppressions are the ones who lack in solidarity, not the minorities that point out this.