Hello world!


Pervert Justice is a blog devoted to increasing justice in our world through increasing understanding and self-awareness. Each of us has significant capacity to increase justice, but without recognition of these capacities we will neither make the most of our opportunities nor fully, accurately value ourselves.

Over time, Pervert Justice will address a number of themes repeatedly, while touching on uncountable others. In order to ensure that I achieve what I aim to achieve, I’d like to set out some goals publicly.

  1. Using the opportunities provided by current events and by hot topics on FtB, I will explore the purposes of oppression and oppressive behaviors. We do a good job on FtB of identifying oppression and its effects. We don’t spend much time on the purposes that motivate oppressive statements and behaviors. I think our efforts to combat oppression can benefit from a better understanding of those purposes.
  2. When disagreements occur within feminism and among feminists, as a conflict-solving measure I will explain the roots of different feminist perspectives. In particular, I wish to explore the meta-ethics of feminism. For those not in the know, our ethics are our rules about what is good and what is bad. Our meta-ethics are our processes for deciding whether something is good or something is bad. Meta-ethics also includes some other points: how we categorize different ethical systems, the process of studying others’ ethics or our own, and more. In this context though, studying what values and assumptions are used by different feminisms in the process of understanding something as good or bad can help us see the strengths and weaknesses of different feminisms. Hopefully this will also permit us the insight necessary to solve the conflicts prompt our meta-ethical musings.
  3. Perhaps almost a 2.1 rather than a separate point 3, I believe that the meta-ethics of different feminisms constitute a much better basis for categorizing them than the historical eras of their birth/prominence. As such, I hold a different view of the so-called “Wave-Theory of Feminisms” than others. Over time, I’d like to construct a related set of posts that can serve as an explanation of the meta-ethics of various waves. With sufficient explanation of various systems of ethics, hopefully it will become apparent to readers even before conflict emerges that on some topic feminist opinion is likely to diverge. At that point, readers will be ready to make strong contributions to any ethical conversations which take place within feminism and also to make strong contributions back to this blog and to the FtB community about the ethical systems of liberation movements I have not studied.
  4. This can lead to a study of individual meta-ethics: not merely whether each of us should adopt some ethical position, but why each of us should do so. With experience in these conversations, perhaps we can convince each other to value things that we value that others do not (yet) and, on the other side, when coming to understand the value of something previously undervalued, perhaps we will be better at identifying how a value can change one’s ethics without leading to a fear that one is somehow losing one’s ethical balance.
  5. In a community consciously aware that different ethical systems and values are being used, we can engage the topic of Intersectionality. Intersectionality as originally proposed by Kimberlee Crenshaw is a different idea that employs the same metaphor as Intersectionality as commonly understood today. I’d like to examine the origins of Intersectionality as well as its current usages. From people that significantly predate Crenshaw (Maxine Hong Kingston, for instance) to contemporary teachers and activists we have seen many articulations of these ideas, but the more popular current usages are more popular in part because they better fit the metaphor, thus are better communicated by the metaphor, thus are spread more easily. This does not mean, however, that they are better or more important ideas. Unfortunately, the use of the same term means that too many believe that they understand the importance and significance of Crenshaw’s ideas when they may not.
  6. This leads to the question of whether to increase focus on changing (hopefully by multiplying) the understandings of Intersectionality or whether to repackage some of those old ideas into a new metaphor, hopefully one that can better communicate the depth of insight of Crenshaw and her forebears. For many years I’ve taken the route of adopting a new metaphor, the metaphor/model of Confluence. I would like this blog to become a source of information about Confluence Theory and a place to discuss it.
  7. Transfeminism is actively employed all over the world these days, but I’d like this blog to become a resource not merely for transfeminist ethics (i.e. is this-or-that current event a BadThing™ from a transfeminist point of view), but for transfeminist meta-ethics. What does the trans* perspective tell us about ethical systems themselves? How should we advocate for ethical systems to change, given the wisdom and knowledge gained from trans* experiences and trans* histories? Mary Daly gave us Gyn/Ecology not merely to hand down from on high a new list of feminist ethical positions, but to encourage each of us to think about women, to think as women where possible, when deciding how to live our ethics, live our lives. As often as possible, I wish to encourage a parallel quest through the meta-ethics of transfeminism.
  8. While secondary to the quest above, I would also like this blog to become a space where we document a history of transfeminism. I wish people to come here to record what they know of their own and/or others transfeminist efforts. Part of being an invisibilized population is doing invisible work. This blog should make that work visible.
  9. Finally, I would like this blog to be a place where people come to appreciate their own value. I have made a name for myself elsewhere through mercilessly shredding bad ideas, bad statements, bad arguments. While that will certainly continue here, I want the work of this blog to create self-awareness and self-appreciation. At its best, I hope the blog will increase self-love.

Recording these goals gives me a record against which to compare my blogging practices, a record which will hopefully help me remain productive and remain consistent with my values. It also gives any readers better tools to hold me accountable: if I am undermining any of the above goals, please let me know. I only become better through being made aware of my mistakes.

Recording these goals also provides something else: a mark against which to note my growth. Should I be lucky enough to continue blogging for years, it is inevitable that I’ll see some change in these goals. Though I will never wish to undermine them, some of these have the possibility of being sufficiently completed that they will no longer function as priorities. When that happens, I hope to set new goals, new priorities. If I’m very, very lucky, I’ll have a readership that will educate me enough that their perspectives will help determine those goals.

Thank you for reading. I hope always to be worth your time.

 

Comments

  1. Raucous Indignation says

    I see you will be challenging my overprivileged self on a number of levels. That’s good.

  2. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    oooh
    Seedy’s got her own FtB digs!
    yay!
    .
    .
    .
    I am never going to get all my bookmarks sorted.

  3. --bill says

    How do you disentangle ethics from meta-ethics?
    Ethics are our rules about what is good and what is bad;
    meta-ethics are processes for deciding what is good and what is bad.
    But the determination of whether a process is itself good or bad is an ethical choice.

  4. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Whether a particular meta-ethical system is good or bad (Divine command theorists might believe that it is an evil act to merely consider whether something is good or bad according to John Stuart Mill) can be separated from notion of whether it is meta-ethical or ethical.

    It’s easier to understand this after some practice explicitly exploring ethical questions, and it would be easier for me to explain it to you if I knew your history of explicitly exploring ethical questions. Some help might be gained, though, by thinking about what background knowledge does a person need to have and/or use in order to answer a question of ethics?

    If the ethical question is, “Is it right or wrong for me to build an addition onto my house?” then some ethically relevant facts might be whether or not you own the land adjacent to your house, whether or not God has commanded that house-additions may never be built, and whether or not building the addition will make you happy. When you make a choice that one of these facts is relevant (or not) or that one of these facts is more (or less) important than another one of these facts, you’re making meta-ethical choices and answering meta-ethical questions on your way to answering the ethical question.

  5. janicot says

    I’m very pleased to see you. Thank you in advance for your time and effort. I’m a long-time mostly lurker who has been reading your comments since before there was a FTB.
    I’m looking forward to added access to your thoughts as opposed to the more piecemeal picture that comes with ad hoc comments about other people’s topics. Again, thank you for the effort.

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