I don’t know what’s happening in the universe this week but I spent a lot of time being feminist on the internet. In a low level way- local stuff, small group stuff.
So I watched a lot of fights blow up. About such specific stuff, even if I wanted to tell you what the fights were about, I’d have to fill you in on so much group history and politics it wouldn’t be worth it. You’d get bored 3 minutes in, I’d be disheartened and depressed 4 minutes in, whatever.
People’s political worldviews don’t seem to be very tied to goals anymore. I think that’s why we fight so much. Because there’s nothing we’re waiting until we make happen to get to fight each other after. That’s how campaigns work, you meet a bunch of assholes and then you’re like “ooooohh once this campaign is over I’m going to buy a billboard and let everyone know what a piece of shit you are.” Then hopefully you win the campaign, and in the glow of actually winning something you decide to let the billboard thing go.
But on some level you go through enough shit you stop believing you can win anything, ever, so you just start picking fights because you need to assert some control over your world, even if it’s self-destructive to make an interaction about your control. You stop believing you can make a strategy, follow it through, and get in a better place than you were before.
I may have stopped believing in strategy in a lot of aspects of my life. My money is still a mess. I’m an un-focused late with everything slacker at school. With comedy- I still don’t understand why I’m doing comedy at all, I just keep doing it. I’m not going on dates anymore. Without access to an emergency psychiatrist it’s just not a good idea to create those situations of risk in my life.
It’s hard when you’ve been blown around so much to get back to believing the things you do today can set you up for a more pleasant time tomorrow. It’s especially hard to believe that about your relationships. That you could watch how you speak, and what you speak about, and deepen the trust and affection in a relationship so that the relationship can handle more tomorrow.
A lot of the time feminists talk to each other on the internet like we’re looking for a reason to throw our relationship with each other away.
It’s an attractive illusion, that one person really speaking the truth, really getting the world and it’s systems of power down on paper correctly, could change the world. But it looks like groups of people who can barely stand each other but collaborate for limited amounts of time to make a specific goal happen actually change the world.
Maybe not. I’ve never been good at politics. I’m really bad at working with people I can’t stand. And since my time in trans-land I really try to insulate myself from politics. But at the same time I know I won’t ever be able to pay off my student loans and so they need to go away. I wake up with that number hanging over my head every day. Managing my student debt has become the foundation I base all my future plans on. I feel like I’m willing to work with truly despicable people to make my student loans go away. Most of the people I know feel the same way about their student loans. It’s just we don’t really believe participating in the anti-debt organizing happen will actually be worth our time. Like we’re just fighting about language all the time because we don’t actually believe our real lives can be less hopeless.
I guess it’s the mark of hopeless people, acting in a way that reveals you don’t believe you have any power. I don’t know if I really believe we can do anything or if it’s just another way to meet a bunch of assholes.