Moving Day Requires Procrastination … but not too much

So I’m moving on Tuesday, and it’s been very hard to write anything for the last 10 days because of the upcoming move, but rest assured, we’ll be getting back to important topics soon.

In the meantime, I was reminded of Helen Pluckrose’s work at Aeromagazine by someone whom I will not blame, because I’m taking the high road here.

As a result, I feel compelled to write about how wrong Pluckrose is about certain important aspects of intersectionality. And yet, I don’t actually have time right now, plus I have an aversion to giving Pluckrose’s thoughts any more specific attention (such as might occur during an actual critique of any specific article).

Thus, I will limit myself to saying that the metaphor/theoretical model of Intersectionality was introduced by Crenshaw in the late 80s, but not the concept. The concept of intersectionality is at least as old as, “Ain’t I a woman?” as anyone questing for Truth might easily find.

I will also say that Crenshaw’s metaphor/model of intersectionality was not invented as a way to encourage listening. Nor was it crafted because she was opposed to the idea of a future society devoid of power structures that encourage scrutiny of race or gender. Intersectionality was crafted as a response to a practical problem in lawsuits seeking remedy for discrimination against Black women in the workplace:

If it is not completely obvious, what the courts have constructed, and what Crenshaw decries, is a series of justifications that both protects those who discriminate on the basis of (legal) sex if it just might be that the bigots discriminated against a particular plaintiff on the basis of race and also protects those who discriminate on the basis of race if it just might be that the bigots discriminated against a particular plaintiff on the basis of sex. Of course, Black men were not required to prove that their discrimination was racial only, not a combination of race and sex, vice versa for white women.

If you haven’t already, go back and read some of the other articles in my series On the Corner, so you don’t end up having conversations just as misconceived and misinformed as those of Pluckrose.

Off to make lunch and do more packing and cleaning!




Lost Days: Wrist/Thumb Edition

So, once again I’ve gone without posting for a few days in a row. This will happen for nearly all writers, of course, but happens a bit more frequently here at Pervert Justice. I have a bone condition that causes chronic pain, this is most noticeable in my knees and lower back where humans carry a great deal of skeletal stress. It doesn’t leave me unable to walk but makes all walking painful. I use a variety of techniques to avoid or minimize that pain, including using assistive devices and personal vehicles (like wheelchairs and scooters) for longer distances, more painful days, and other unusual situations. But in most cases, I still have good contact with the outside world because of the marvels of personal computing.

Alas, despite the bone problems being most noticeable in particular places, they aren’t limited to them, and last week I dramatically aggravated my right wrist & thumb (though how I did it, I don’t know) leading to a complete inability to type without screaming agony. Though I am still having higher pain than normal in that area, I’m back to typing again with regular content resuming later tonight or early tomorrow. Sorry about the gap & thanks for reading.

Feminist Friday: Countdown

Feminist waves have been endlessly debated, and wave theory has been perpetually (and perhaps deliberately) misunderstood amongst the public generally and anti-feminists specifically. To give feminists the credit they are due and also to help clear up consistent misunderstandings, I have encouraged you all, my wonderful readers, to name feminists about whom you’d like to know more.

My series on the ethics and thought of various feminists will (I hope) be a regular Frigga’s Day feature here, but for various reasons it will not start until next week. In the meantime, I hope that you celebrate this Friday by reading (if you haven’t already) my post on the Seneca Falls convention which gave contractarian feminisms their initial shape, the document produced by the Seneca Falls attendees, my writing on why Crenshaw first elaborated the metaphor of intersectionality and how it is/was useful, or my thoughts on the limits of her initial articulation of intersectionality.

Or, perhaps, you could simply give me more ideas for which feminists deserve the attention of Pervert Justice in the comments of this post or the original announcement of this effort.

In the meantime, have a good Friday and a good weekend!

More Hospital Fun

Lots going on in BC this weekend, including the Folk Fest, which I’ll be attending in part. Also going into the hospital very briefly for some tests, may not even be there overnight. But together it means sparse/no posting until maybe Tuesday.

In the meantime, please feel free to keep suggesting the names of feminists whose ethics and thought you’d like to see this blog to explore. We’ll soon start have our first entry in the new Feminist Friday series with one feminist you’ve nominated.

…And a Suffragist To Be Named Later

Pierce R Butler, a regular reader of this blog and the author of many thoughtful comments around FtB, recently asked an important question about Margaret Sanger, one which I answered in the comments of Killing Black Agency. But it also got me thinking about a project in which I’ve been interested for some time: writing about individual feminists’ philosophies and ethics.

[Read more…]

My Twitter Ignorance

Okay, I’ve never used twitter and am kinda stupid about this. I would think that one’s twitter “handle” is one’s chosen name on twitter, and where that diverges (which it does not do in many cases) from the “@certainwordshere” bit needed to direct your tweet to a particular destination, there would be another word – address? – for the collection of traffic-directing characters. Yet I hear people use “handle” seemingly to mean both the name used and the collection of traffic-directing characters and wonder if I am missing something; is one the handle and the other not? Even my google-fu failed at the task of finding the a single, identifiably-correct term be for the one that is not a “handle”?

So I’m crowdsourcing this one: what is one to call the “name” on one’s twitter account (especially when it is an obvious pseudonym) and what is one to call the traffic-directing characters?

I’d tend to say “twitter handle” and “twitter address” but I am afraid I might be very, very wrong in this and would like my readership to actually understand whatever the hell it is I’m trying to say. That’s not guaranteed just because I get twitter terms right, but after this maybe I can learn how to create individual sentences of less than twenty words each.

Spam Spam Spam Spam

Cleaning out the spam filter there was an advertisement for an on-line sex-toy retailer. Unfortunately for them, I would probably have been happy to give their site a nod if they had simply sent a request directly to me, but I am not happy to give their site a nod for the glorious accomplishment of being caught in the spam trap.

Still, you can’t beat dildo retailers for their charm and civility these days. As proof, I give you this well-done slice of Spam:

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[url=http://****.**/]online sex toys[/url] portal,

[url=http://****.**/]email server[/url] , buy

[url=http://****.**/c.html?c=22/]Buy Dildo[/url]

Pervert Justice is now an Honoured Website. Who knew?

NelC gives Pervert Justice it’s first Header

Reader NelC has given Pervert Justice it’s first header. Don’t think this is recent, either. NelC gave this to us a month and a half ago, but after a flurry of activity the first week I had this blog, I’ve been adding nothing to it. I’m back, and though I will likely always blog inconsistently, it’s time to update the look, praise the generosity of someone with an artistic vision and photoshop skills that I lack, and get on with adding a bit of new content.

Thanks again, NelC. The header is lovely and I appreciate your work…even if I didn’t appreciate it very promptly!

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.