You know what you did…

So what is it?

it’s been a weird and difficult year, but before we hit January 1st & everyone starts talking about what you’re certainly going to do this next year, let’s take a minute to contemplate what we did this past year.

Did you beat cancer into remission? Introduce your kids to your favorite hiking trail? Read an excellent book? Finish a degree? Reorganize that closet so you can actually find the things you need when you need them? Actually get a picture of that rare bird you see two or three times per year, but only when you don’t have your camera?

We’ve all complained about 2020, but a year is a long time. I know everyone has done things that they are proud or happy to have accomplished. I know that I’m happy to have been a part of the protests in Portland. I have deep roots there and what happens in Oregon generally and Portland specifically matters to me. Barriers related to disability can get in the way of getting a lot of things done, and when the new wave of protests began in the aftermath of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, I wished I could do more. But I wasn’t really doing much.

Then things continued to get worse, and suddenly I found it in me: I did do more, for three hard weeks. It required help from a number of people (thank you all!) but I was able to maintain a presence there for a crucial period of time. And that mattered. Whatever else I did or didn’t do, I can say that I am both proud and happy that in 2020 I did that.

So, what did you do this year?

A Minor Major Victory: Trump Steps Back From Child Isolation Policy

Trump is now planning to end child isolation by permitting children to stay in the same prison as their accompanying parent. This is a huge victory for the children affected while still being entirely inadequate.

Now is not the time to back down. Now is the time to press both the administration and congress. Trump should still be impeached, in my view, for various important reasons from his refusal to safeguard US elections to his blatant violations of two vitally important treaties (one on torture, the other on refugees) to his deeply corrupt campaign. He probably won’t be impeached until Mueller releases more info because impeachment is a political exercise and no matter how definitive is the evidence that congress can see, if they can’t yet show it to the public I doubt it will count as “admissible evidence” (metaphorically, if you understand my meaning here) for congress’ impeachment efforts.

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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.