Not sure why I am writing a blog since I see so many incredible radfems writing articles that just hit the mark with no wasted words and put my writing to shame! GenderTrender, Mancheeze and Feminist Current are just three of the radfem blogs that have covered stuff that I want to write about so much better than I can hope to. I guess that some days I just want to let thoughts and fingers fly and hope that I make some sense. So here I go again.
My avatar on another platform is a horse. A beast of burden. Strikes a chord with me because I have often felt like I was the one tasked to carry burdens other family members were free from. An older brother was expected to go off, support himself (and only himself, if that was his choice) and live his life without being asked to help with child care or elder care or taking care of less fortunate relatives. An older sister who got involved with a bad man when she was too young and became too wrapped up in the drama of her own life to help anybody else much.
I became the one called upon when somebody needed help. And looking back on my life, at a time when I have one last family obligation to complete, being asked to bear other people’s burdens limited what I could do with my own life but also forced me to become strong. Some of the people I helped were grateful and would help me in turn when they could. I got opportunities in life because of my reputation as the hard worker. I learned to concentrate my energies on the people who really mattered to me and who I was able to help.
Most importantly, I learned that part of being useful was being willing to be “the bad guy” when nobody else would. [Yes, the bad guy is a sexist trope and I know that but will use because it is an understood bit of cultural reference] When one person’s behavior was selfish and impeding a more disadvantaged person getting help, I became the person in the family (and in some workplaces) to be the bad guy, the mayor of No-Funnington, the one ordering all competing issues to be dealt with or not as needed. Now a woman willing to be the bad guy is not always going to be popular but she will get stuff done.
Enough background. Since getting back into social media, I have noticed all kinds of groups who are happy to tell me what to do, what I have to do, what I must do, to make their lives better. Endless lists of things I must do and think that benefits them but that may hurt me and the people I actually care about.
So, once again, say hello to the bad guy! These are some of the burdens I am refusing to carry:
Men, sorry, some of you are really great but I am a woman and a radfem and I look out for my own first. If you do things that help my cause, fine, but I have no cookies in my saddle-bags. I truly believe that my cause will help men out in the long run and that is all I am going to do for you now.
Trans folks, you have your own journey in life and need to find your own spaces. I cannot disregard truth to conform to the fantasies of men being women or women being men. Calling me names or trying to bully me is not going to work. I have been threatened by men in IRL and that has failed to impress me, either. So I am shrugging off the burden of trying to validate your beliefs.
Religious folks, you cannot sway me with the good your own religion has done or make me so afraid of other religions that I turn to you for protection. I don’t fear your hell or believe in your afterlife. You have a right to your beliefs but I have a right to be free from the burden of your beliefs being loaded onto my life.
Libfems, hope you come to your senses some day. Until then, don’t try to burden me with carrying all the causes of people who do nothing for me and actively harm other women.
Mainstream atheists, just because I don’t believe in deities does not make me one of you and I won’t burden myself with your battles. I have seen that too many of you are happy to worship the false idols of bad science, misogyny and injustice.
Well, I could probably think of a lot more groups but the point has been beaten to the ground by now, I think. Say goodnight to the bad guy! 😉