White supremacy & sex work

Juniper Fitzgerald has a wonderful long-form review of the meeting point between white supremacy, white feminism, and sex work:

The inherent racism of white womanhood escapes notice precisely because doing white femininity entails curbing accountability. Eschewing agency, especially sexual agency, is essential for the performance of white womanhood. It’s why so many white feminists harbor disdain for sex workers—sex workers put a price on performances of femininity which are typically demanded of femme-presenting people for free and without full consent. Think of it this way—there is a reason Christian Grey is not a Black man. Rape fantasies like 50 Shades of Grey appeal to white women because doing white femininity means abating all culpability. White womanhood fetishizes submission to white men because it allows white women to skirt responsibility for all things unbecoming a “good girl”— namely, again, sexual agency. The toxicity of white womanhood is evident in TERF and SWERF feminisms; I’m sure I’m not surprising any Tits and Sass readers with my analysis thus far. What receives far less attention, at least in circles of predominantly white cis sex workers, is how we—white cis women—propagate the institution of white womanhood at the expense of marginalized sex workers.

It is perhaps unsurprising that white cis sex workers exhibit racism, sexism, transmisogyny, and whorephobia, even while rejecting the ethos of TERF and SWERF feminism. In fact, it is precisely in times like these, when we face the potential for extinction itself, that people are likely to salvage what little privilege they have left, and always at the expense of those without it. In her 1984 essay “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality”, Gayle Rubin argues that in times of great social unrest, particularly in times of war, people become dangerously obsessed with sex. This obsession mirrors classic projection—scapegoating others assuages one’s own fear of demise (or at least serves as a momentary distraction). When you live in a society that criminalizes sexual behavior, behavior that is believed to be incongruent with white supremacy and patriarchy, there is no better scapegoat than a sexual “deviant.” And when you’re busy raiding a pizza place on account of unsubstantiated evidence of sex trafficking, you don’t have to think too deeply about fascism.

White womanhood is essential to this equation—through institutions of white supremacy, we measure sexual value and bodily worth by its proximity to whiteness. Black women “fail” at femininity because the institution of white womanhood needs a barometer of respectability. Sex workers “fail” at femininity because the institution of white womanhood is reliant upon free sexual labor and the way that labor is constructed as virtuous. Trans women “fail” at femininity because the pillar of white womanhood rests on the currency of genitals.

I thoroughly recommend the piece. Read more here.

-Shiv

There is no new fascism

One of the frustrating things about mainstream punditry on white nationalist protests is the absolute refusal to engage with their historical or even contemporary context. As I’ve written before, the targets of the movement prototypes have been savvy to their intentions for years, so all the “surprised” centrism is quite tedious in our eyes.

Joshua Clover gives us a brief review:

These factors have been mobilized incessantly by the movement itself to produce a cloud of unknowing, precisely so that each gathering can go about its corrupt business without bearing responsibility for the last. Richard Spencer’s famous on-camera punch was preceded directly by his fatuous claim, “Neo-Nazis don’t love me, they kind of hate me.” Nah, my man. Just: nah. And yet a version of that dissimulation has been offered by every manner of white nationalist party planner over the last few months, while organizing the next white nationalist party. We don’t know whoever was responsible for the last violent episode. We have nothing to do with them. We just want to discuss some contentious views. Nothing here to see here but the marketplace of ideas. It’s the fash version of “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” Seemingly ensorcelled, people acted over and over as if they believed such arrant nonsense.

All of this has led to perhaps the most bizarre political impasse of our moment: otherwise intelligent people seem unable to evaluate any given white nationalist event in the context of what has preceded it. One need not reach back to the horrors of Tulsa in 1921, as Claudia Rankine did so eloquently in the New York Times. One could just look at the previous month and draw a goddamned line. This has proved strangely challenging for pundits, politicians, and university administrators. The world begins anew each day. Each further provocation is treated as without history and thus presumptively legitimate.

It is as if the world’s oncologists, each time they encountered a sarcoma, were to say, “well, maybe this one is a nice tumor, how are we to know? It probably just wants to exercise its speech rights.”

Read more here.

-Shiv

Libelous fascist to run Conservative 2019 campaign

Ah, but I repeat myself:

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer just appointed one of the founding directors of the alt-right Rebel Media website to run his 2019 election campaign.

Hamish Marshall, who helped Ezra Levant launch Rebel Media in 2015, was still listed as a Rebel Media director until only a few days before Scheer appointed him the 2019 Conservative campaign chair this week.

One day earlier, the Globe and Mail reported Marshall managed Scheer’s leadership campaign from an office inside Rebel Media’s Toronto studio – when questioned by reporters this week, Scheer offered a stuttering response and abruptly ended a press conference.

Conservatives are trying to downplay Marshall’s important role at Rebel Media.

Scheer recently portrayed the founding director of Rebel Media as simply a “small business owner” while Conservative surrogaters try to convince people Marshall was only the money man at a website which, for the record, one Conservative MPs recently described as “anti-Semitic” and “white supremacist.”

Scheer himself was unwilling to go that far – following Rebel Media’s sympathetic coverage of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August, the Conservative leader would only commit to a temporary pause on interviews until Rebel Media’s “editorial direction” changes.

Yet Scheer appeared as a Rebel Media guest several times as it broadcasted blatantly racist and hateful videos, something the Conservative leader would have you believe he was totally unaware of because he doesn’t “look at every story they write.”

Scheer, they are famous for lying. Badly, at that. Of course that’s entirely consistent with previous Conservative campaigning, so this isn’t totally surprising.

Rebel Media’s Gavin McInnes earned high praise from neo-Nazis and a Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard when he filmed a rambling video in Israel questioning the Holocaustand suggesting “the Jews” were responsible for the Ukrainian genocide and starting World War II. McInnes also published videos on Rebel Media titled “A Nazi take on Israel” and “10 things I hate about Jews,” generating embarrassing headlines around the globe.

Goldy also travelled to Charlottesville, Virginia in August to attend a deadly white supremacist rally. Filming herself on a live stream, Goldy proudly declared that “there has been a rising in white racial consciousness” only moments before a neo-Nazi crashed his car into a crowd of people a few steps away from Goldy, killing one person.

One day after a white nationalist terror attack on a Québec City mosque that left six dead, Ezra Levant used the tragedy for a fundraising e-mail. Levant questioned whether “the mainstream media” was telling “the truth” about who the terrorist really was and, without evidence, speculated that the attacker might in fact be a Muslim. The e-mail then concluded by soliciting donations “to uncover the truth.”

Sounds like prime campaign management material.

For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, former Rebel Media host Lauren Southern offered a head scratching defence of fascism, a political philosophy she thinks has been unfairly tarnished by Hitler – um, sorry, what?

Oh please, the Conservatives will hire Tomi Lahren North to be their talking head, a sort of hellish Canuck version of Ann Poultergeist.

Then there was the time New York-based Rebel Media correspondent Laura Loomer, whose salary was subsidized through a fellowship from an American anti-Muslim think tank, was arrested after disrupting a performance of Shakespeare in the Park. As Loomer stormed the stage to denounce Julius Caesar’s alleged anti-Trump bias, former Rebel Media White House correspondent Jack Posobiec screamed at the audience: “You are all Goebbels! You are all Nazis like Joseph Goebbels … You are inciting terrorists!”

Sure. This is exactly the crowd I want running my campaign for global domination.

More migraines here.

-Shiv

Yes, obviously the one thing free speech is missing is a mandate

Imagine you don’t get an invitation to a particular party, and someone actually thinks the government should force them to invite you.

Well, you don’t have to imagine. This is what the freeze peachers want.

On Thursday, Universities Minister Jo Johnson put forward proposals for a consultation about challenging so-called safe spaces culture, clamping down on student unions that “no platform” speakers, and uphold free speech. Yes, that’s right – actual government ministers are now spending time examining the great civil rights struggle of our age: the right of a bunch of C-list transphobes and racists to prattle on over a glass of Echo Falls in Lecture Theatre 2 in the Chemistry School to an audience of teenagers who, in most cases, don’t want them there. Because – let’s be honest – the people who are actually popular always get to speak in the end. I mean, I dislike Germaine Greer as much as the next trans person who transitioned to murder and exorcise the ghost of their mother (admit it, Germaine, you just stole your theories from trans women from the plot of Psycho) but I recognise she can still pull a crowd. Which is why her heavily contested talk at Cardiff University in 2015 actually went ahead. That’s the thing you see – for all this talk of censorship many of these “controversial figures” do actually get a lot of airtime.

And why is that? Largely because of the societal advantages of those being “silenced”. I regularly ask for open mic slots on the stand-up comedy circuit and pitch publications with ideas. I’m regularly turned down or get my booking cancelled. But no one cares or calls that censorship because I don’t have a column in the national media to loudly complain about it. I don’t understand myself to have an entitlement to be booked. Student societies and unions are autonomous, self-governing structures – many have their own constitution and elected officers with decision-making abilities. If, for whatever reason, that process results in someone being blocked by a society or union from an invitation it’s for members of those societies who disagree with the decision to take it up with their representatives. In fact – a majority of students agree with this approach even if they won’t agree with every individual result it produces. So it all seems pretty democratic to me. The mainstream media and now government officials getting involved seems petty at best, sinister at worst.

Every day the New York Times doesn’t publish the pitches I’ve sent them is a day I am personally being censored by the Illuminati. This is a totally reasonable opinion that we should ceaselessly debate and every day someone does not pay me to whinge about it on stage is a day where I am being de-platformed.

If you can stomach the freeze peach nonsense, read more here.

-Shiv

Child Welfare is complicated

I Have Forgiven Jesus has a post up on their experiences of the child welfare system from the inside in the state of Wisconsin. I thoroughly recommend reading it:

Social services workers are almost always overworked, underpaid, and very unappreciated. There are no TV shows or movies celebrating what they do. If they’re ever portrayed it’s usually as exhausted and mildly incompetent, with the latter usually being a direct consequence of the former. Compared to other public servants, such as the police, firemen, nurses, and even teachers, they’re largely invisible, little thought of, and certainly not worthy of fetishization by popular culture, as opposed to the aforementioned.

Generally, the only time the general public is aware of anything relating to child welfare is when something horrible happens – a child dying in foster care, or a social worker clearing a family for child abuse or neglect only for one or more children dying. At the same time there is a nagging, and not entirely undeserved perception of child welfare workers breaking apart and ruining families – after all, they are paid representatives of sociopolitical structures that have historically oppressed people unluckily born into bad situations not of their making [3].

Throwing services at people is analogous to putting bandages on gaping wounds. The child welfare system is a reactionary multifaceted entity that does not, and indeed cannot address and rectify the deep underlying issues relating to institutionalized racism and income inequality. Until these issues are meaningfully addressed, we should expect little to change. The best we as a society can hope for is the ongoing refinement of what works, and the ceasing of what doesn’t.

Ambivalence about granting the government the authority to break your family apart is healthy skepticism. As the post states, the two competing reasons for a child welfare case to be opened are substantiated allegations of sexual abuse, and substantiated allegations of neglect. But are poor parents truly neglecting their children in the way we typically think of the word? There was a local story in my news, for example, of a mother who was referred to Children & Family Services for “dental neglect.” But dentistry is not included in Alberta’s socialized medicine. If the mom cannot afford an appointment, surely that merits a different response than an allegation of sexual abuse. Yet if the family lives in poverty, the effects of that accumulate, and a worker may deem this “danger to the child.”

Like the post says, this is victimizing people for trying to play the hand they’ve been dealt. The service has its uses, but societal inequality has to be addressed to make it more just.

Read more here.

-Shiv

BREAKING NEWS: Jason Kenney lies.

Listen, certain political pundits who shall not be named figured out United Conservative Party leadership candidate Jason Kenney’s number a while ago. He’s not exactly subtle. If the news wants to hire a pundit that’s actually correct about things, they can pay me their mediocre white dude’s salary:

United Conservative Party leadership candidate Brian Jean on Wednesday accused Jason Kenney’s campaign team of spreading lies about him.

“My vision is a positive vision and I believe a positive vision is what most Albertans, including millennials, want,” Jean said during a UCP leadership debate in Fort McMurray.

The latter remark is a bit of a stretch given that millennials have been straining under the pressure of boomer greed our entire lives, but okay Jean.

“You see, they’re sick and tired of politicians lying about each other.

I don’t really care about what they do to each other, actually. I’m sick of them lying to me.

In fact, right now there is a politician on this stage that his team is lying about me, lying about my Christian values, lying about my position on Bill 6 … even lying about other things.”

When asked after the debate about Jean’s remarks, Kenney said he had no idea what his opponent was talking about.

Jean confirmed after the debate he was referring to Kenney’s campaign. He said someone on Kenney’s team has also falsely alleged he is against gun owners.

“I don’t think anybody else has rifles here except for me,” Jean said. “I’ve had them most of my life.”

Only in a Conservative leadership race could “look at all my guns” be a relevant talking point.

“If he has a particular complaint about something, he should say what it is, but we’ve been running a positive campaign. I’m proud of that,” Kenney said.

FACT CHECK: No he fucking hasn’t.

Jean has said he is a “church-going, God-fearing Baptist” who attended a Christian high school prior to university.

There is no part of that sentence that doesn’t make me gag. Didn’t Jean get the memo the millennials are the gayest godless generation yet?

The winner will be announced Oct. 28.

Theocrat or kleptocrat. Such inspiring politics.

-Shiv

I henceforth declare Jordan Peterson beyond parody

Bill C-16 came and passed, and now that Jordan Peterson has no steam for his conspiratorial ramblings about trans people, he’s taken a totally and completely unexpected turn to advocating for domestic violence.

University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson went on a “little tirade” about “female insanity” and what he thinks is “undermining the masculine power of the culture” in a “fatal” way.

Peterson is a controversial U of T psychologist who has been making headlines for the last year over his refusal to recognize students’ use of gender-neutral pronouns.

Since then, Peterson has become a cult figure in corners of Canada’s conservative movement and the online alt-right, making an appearance at last year’s Manning Centre conference in Ottawa where he celebrated disgraced Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulous, as well as crowdsourcing funds with the help of Rebel Media’s Ezra Levant, testifying at a Senate committee on human rights legislation and even inspiring policies adopted by Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

A pedophile apologist, a thrice-libelous leaking ass-pimple, and a reboot of Harper’s software in marginally younger hardware. What unbiased company he keeps.

We’re going to disgest Peterson in brief nuggets here:

[Read more…]