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Forest Pool by M.K. Hajdin

Forest Pool by M.K. Hajdin

There are two kinds of people:  those who have spent most of their adult lives partnered, and those who have not.

I’m one of the latter, and I feel like we’re a minority among all the happy (or happy-seeming) couples out there. But I have found a number of other people who have spent their adult lives alone, too, and it helped me to feel less weird about it.

I wonder if there are any reading my blog and if they’d like to share their stories. It doesn’t matter if you are willingly or unwillingly without a partner.

chloeholt

By Chloe Holt.

This is a painting of sunlight falling on preserve pots, by UK artist Chloe Holt.

Chloe Holt can be found on Twitter as @ChloeHoltArt

and her website is here.

Not okay

notokay

I’m not okay with men trying to tell me how to do feminism, or that my kind of feminism is wrong, or that I should stop thinking and talking about the oppression of women and be more “positive” so they don’t ever have to endure any discomfort or think about what it means to be a member of a dominant class that is actively hurting and killing women every day.

On oppression

Drained Dustbowl Oceans by M.K. Hajdin

Drained Dustbowl Oceans by M.K. Hajdin

Oppression is a very specific social condition related to resource extraction on a class-wide basis. It has nothing to do with personal feelings or individual experiences.  — Jonah Mix

Men do most of the killing, especially men in the power racial castes. If you are not in a socially defined caste that does by far most of the killing, you have no ethical obligation to fix this. If you are in a caste that catches much of such violence, you are under no ethical obligation to do anything other than protect yourself, and indeed that might be the best strategy. — Miep Rowan O’Brien

 

Oppression: not a feeling.

Also, people can’t oppress themselves.

 

nopersonisyourfriendalicewalker

On male violence

The light breaks by M.K. Hajdin

The light breaks by M.K. Hajdin

“For every one female killer, about nine men are murderers. For every one woman who kills another unrelated woman, about 30 men kill an unrelated man. The gender imbalance in the killing of same-sex acquaintances or strangers is one of the most extreme behavioral differences known between the sexes.”

— David Rowe, “Biology and Crime”  via Via Bailey

The idea of the lurking monster is no doubt a useful myth, one we can use to defuse any fear of the women we love being hurt, without the need to examine ourselves or our male-dominated society. It is also an excuse to implement a set of rules for women on “how not to get raped”, which is a strange cocktail of naiveté and cynicism. It is naïve because it views rapists as a monolithic group of thigh-rubbing predators with a checklist rather than the bloke you just passed in the office, pub or gym, and cynical because these rules allow us to classify victims. If the victim was wearing x or drinking y well then of course the monster is going to attack – didn’t she read the rules? I have often come up against people on this point who claim that they’re just being “realistic”. While it may come from a place of concern, if we’re being realistic we need to look at how and where rape and violence actually occur, and how troubling it is that we use a nebulous term like “reality” to condone the imposition of dress codes, acceptable behaviours, and living spaces on women to avoid a mythical rape-monster.

– Tom Meagher, The Danger of the Monster Myth

On empathy, part 2

wild

Because we live in a world where it is so easy to detach, to isolate ourselves from others, we have to work on empathy, that most fundamental of human qualities.  We have to remind ourselves to exercise our ability to connect our humanity with another, to travel to that person’s world and try to feel along with another human being.

Robert Jensen, Getting Off

It takes work to undo the effects of violent masculine socialization.  Many men don’t want to do this work.  They would rather compartmentalize away any suffering they might perceive in a woman than admit that they had any hand in causing it.

Read On Empathy, Part 1.

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