“Bad feminists” or “bad lesbians” – becoming a topic of interest, amongst others at a panel at SchwuZ (a queer club in Berlin).
On the Facebook page one finds criticism and discussions regarding that topic. Many activists are using their energy and ressources to educate about their own perspectives for free. The opposing side strikes back with discriminating pseudo-arguments.
Different people were invited to this panel, who are supposed to represent those outsiders and so far I like that topic.
I’ve been experiencing lesbian spaces for a long time now as extremely exclusive. At the L-Tunes events I felt out of place so I stayed away often. My femmeness didn’t match the dress code, my Blackness is not read as queer anyway.
Also the event flyers of – explicitly lesbian, not queer – spaces are always sounding at least a little like white feminism of the 70’s. “Us women, women’s bodies, women who love women…” and i try to read it as if not only cisgendered women, monosexuals or not only those who align with white beauty standards were meant.
But those flyers have a clear imagery: short haired, thin and white cis-normativ beauty privileges. Somehow there is seldom_never someone like me or someone like my queer circle of friends on that flyers.
For that reason i thought of that panel to be consisting of people who are either_and: trans, trans*, non-binary, two-spirit, queer, femme, latin@/latinix, agender, inter, fat, lower class, freeedom fighters, without papers, migratized, pan, bi, asexual, disabled, pathologized, mothers, fathers, old and so on.
this topic is so, so important, of course it keeps getting in the way of white cisgendered women, it’s their last bastion.
Still, i have no sympathy for them. Whenever someone drops an argument like “everything was better way back”, ” not on my turf” or “i won’t let you turn me PC” those opposing “Genderism” should take a step back and start to google in who’s company they’re keeping (SPOILER: right wings and masculinists). They should also, despite of all the sadness not to be the least privileged group in the room anymore, just cheer up a bit.
Wait what? Being happy about reflecting on ones own privileges? Yes! Why? Because we can only learn from the older generation and their fights ,if they see and love us and if they reflect on themselves.
I’m not making this up as i go, i learnt that amongst other things from the older generation. Angela Davis even explitcitely challenges the younger generation to question their heroines of the movement.
Movements change, groups that have been excluded for decades find strategies to point out exclusions. It’s entirely up to you whether you behave like a German clichee-Tourist-Dude on vacation who invokes the towel which he placed on the sun lounger at SIX AM or give way, communicate and understand: You made mistakes.
People make mistakes.
All movements exclude all the time. Therefore every movement should debate exactly this all of the time.
Yet, to call out exclusions, discriminatory bahavior and the hurt it costs is not the same as to oppress.
Magda Albrecht once put it nicely “immer einmal schlimmer” which means “it’s always one time worse”.
Of course it hurts to be called out on ones own discriminatory behavior, but to be the one experiencing the oppression is – always one time worse.
Monika Herrmann isn´t just any person, she´s a politician. Her policies harm siblings, humans, brothers, sisters, lesbians, gays, dis_abled.
Those who rant to perceive her as a lesbian, who beg to be acknowledged as dis_abled lesbian women: Exactly those were excluded by her. From exactly those she took the housing, the life-existence, the air to breathe, let the police try starving them out, waggle with banana-slices and maltreat them for days.
She´s not a bad lesbian, not a bad feminist. First of all she´s a person who let all this happen.
Pretty unpleasant, isn´t it?
But it is irrelevant, PC, dogmatic, condescending and anything if we point that out.
Because thereby we criticize a white body.
What if the #ohlauer wouldn´t be occupied Black / PoC? What if it would have been about a lesbian white house project?
The problem is not in the lacking empathy of queer/trans/Trans*/PoC/Black people, it is your lacking empathy towards us, because our lacking stereotypeness finds no space in your lesbian.
Because you make being-lesbian something it shouldn´t be.
The towel of the Cis white German, who really wants to keep the sun lounger at the pool.
*translated by sanya and akjo with some changes by SchwarzRund