Recently(ish), I wrote about how primarily animal-centered activists and primarily human-centered activists can and should be working together towards a future without oppression, violence, or systemic hierarchies and dichotomies. Despite the rampant racism, classism, and sexism in mainstream animal rights activism, I think that the principles underlying racial/gender/economic justice movements are present in some food justice and animal rights movements, and that those coalitions should be expanded.
I still believe that, but I want to provide a (semi-)topical example of someone who makes that kind of coalition-building difficult. Casey Affleck, Oscar winner, (alleged) sexual harasser and assaulter, and vegan/animal rights activist, represents a lot of the problems with mainstream animal rights activism and food-based social movements. It’s very hard for anti-racist and feminist activists to be open to food-based social movements that are truly progressive and radical when Casey Affleck and others like him continue to be the most public faces of veganism and animal rights activism. Casey makes this particularly difficult, both because his activism is simplistic and oppressive and because of the interpersonal violence he himself has perpetrated. Continue reading why i have trust issues with vegans
Thanks to Cosmo’s prolific readership, many of us may have already read at least one analysis of the two progressive white men who recently commented on the politics of abortion and reproductive justice, arguing that, to win elections, Democrats should back off on abortion to appeal to segments of the population that typically vote Republican. One of these men was a professor of theology* at Boston College (and is from Ireland, a notoriously anti-abortion nation); the other was Bernie Sanders (who is from America, also a notoriously anti-abortion nation) (LOL!).
But these are just a couple of misguided left wing white guys! It doesn’t mean there’s a deeper problem.
Sike!!!! Racism and sexism have been problems in leftist movements led by white men since modern leftist movements have existed. Leftist movements were supposed to be spaces that were supposed to be more progressive than the “real world.” Unfortunately, it turned out to be impossible to leave the real world behind, especially when the power structures of that world were recreated within the movements, with white men leading and expecting people of color and women to do caring labor without credit. Identity politics were created in response to the oppression that existed within those movements.
Continue reading fuck a fake leftist
I had a phone call with my mom the other day, and she told me she had listened to a podcast that talked about the animal rights framework and the animal welfare framework. She said that she isn’t really on board with animal rights, if by animal rights, we mean that animals and humans are entitled to the same rights and that we should not legally or morally distinguish between animals and humans. She wants to prioritize humans; she thinks that because we have so many problems with each other already that need to be addressed, why add a whole other axis of oppression to fight? Continue reading resolving tensions between animal rights and human-focused social justice movements
Post-Women’s March, I’m disappointed in white women. Again.
At the marches this past weekend, millions of people turned out in Washington, D.C. and sister marches around the country (and the world!) to protest D.J.T.’s ascendance to the presidency, sexism, racism, economic injustice, xenophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, and homophobia. Sounds incredible, right? In many ways, it was. It was likely the biggest protest in U.S. history, and while the march got off to a shaky start, the official platform of the Women’s March ended up being intersectional, radical, and inclusive.*
This intersectional and inclusive approach was reflected in some of the signs at the marches. Unfortunately, some of these signs were perceived as being too harsh and divisive in a time when unity is paramount. Signs with slogans like “White Women Voted for Trump” really rattled white women who thought the march, and feminism in general, was supposed to be about unity. Critique is uncomfortable, and I know it’s easy to be defensive. However, the white women who worry about the feminist movement becoming divided don’t understand that feminism has always been divided because feminist movements were started by wealthy white women, many of whom actively perpetuated systems of racism and classism.** Continue reading come ON, white women: part deux
I am Asian American. I’m not a model minority. I am queer and a woman. I’m not a reason to go to war or economically devastate another country. I made these specific signs because my people, my groups of people, have been used in service of oppression. Continue reading DO NOT WEAPONIZE US
Yesterday, Libby Chamberlain, founder of the secret, Hillary-supporting Facebook group “Pantsuit Nation,” announced that she was going to publish a book based on the posts in the group. She said that the profits from the book will support her new nonprofit and other progressive organizations, such as the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center. She said that nothing will be published in the book without express, written permission from the poster. The comments exploded. Some are angry that she is going to be making a profit off of the group, even if that profit is not necessarily financial. Others are defending her, claiming that this will amplify the voice of Pantsuit Nation and raise money for good causes.
To be perfectly frank, for me, this is just the cherry on top of a year in which liberal white women* disappointed me more than I could ever have predicted. These disappointments varied in degrees of seriousness, but altogether, they paint a picture of the tightly-woven fabric of liberal white women’s bullshit. Continue reading white women, are you fucking kidding me
The aftermath of the general election has looked something like this: a huge increase in reported hate crimes, a terrifying lineup of potential cabinet appointees, and truly the least passionate, least moving comments about all of this from our president-elect. “Stop it,” he said to hate crime perpetrators. Not the most effective way to end terror, usually.
The aftermath has also looked like this: protests across the country about the results, a huge surge in donations to progressive organizations, and increases in volunteers for these organizations. Some things are good; many things are bad. We need more time than we have, to heal, to organize, to process, to grieve, to plan, to gather our courage and screw it to the sticking place. And yet, even though we lack time, many people are already working and acting to mitigate the negative effects of the future administration and to continue to move forward from where we already are. Continue reading trump and trigger warnings