On being an ally to oppressed people not for your comfort or reassurance
Women who don’t try to make you feel good non-stop, Blacks who don’t smile, Blue-color workers who make fun of you, Jews who don’t apologize, Gays who don’t try to be ‘normal,’ children who say what they think, people with a handicap who’re not so grateful, can you still be their ally?
There is something so oppressive in wanting to be an oppressed people’s ally but conditionally. Hoping they’ll smile, won’t get angry, or irritated.
Such an ally-ship is self-serving. It’s for your peace of mind, not for them.
Understandably, you crave your imagined privileged position and honor. But, take your humble place. They might first want to be with each other.
It can be tough. So, seek other allies to be buddies with. Don’t stay alone.
You think it unnecessary for women to be sour-faced? Well, consider this.
Before Feminism, women in the West were expected to marry men, have kids, and take care of their every need, and if they as much as complained were labeled hysterics. This is what a woman ‘naturally’ longed to do.
They had to be pregnant, give birth, breastfeed, play nanny, cook, clean, be psychologist to everyone else, lend sexual services to the boss, nurse, be contact person (and driver) to the schools, all for free with no breaks, no end of shift, no vacations, or social benefits. A nice boss was a bonus.
Then came Feminism. Now they could demand their husbands to chip in, which most of them did reluctantly for a short while if at all. And they could demand working outside of the house. So, that came on top of it.
Having a paying career lifted their lives above the status of someone who does everything for free, just for a hobby. Now they had also some money to spend without having to justify it. But if she now complained it was too much, she was ungrateful with her ‘freedom.’ She should be less selfish and understand the Boss was tired too (especially after a beer or smoke).
You would cry too if it happened to you.
First of all, kudos to any oppressed not trying to constantly appease allies.
Let them be nervous a bit for a change. It’s their turn to be uncomfortable.
Not for revenge (although a little revenge can be charming too), but you are not their slave anymore. Wasn’t that the whole point?
You’ll help and appreciate them eventually, but not as if they do you an unbelievable favor. If they are just nice because they don’t want you to be angry at them, that’s not being an ally. They must feel that being there for you is because they insist to live in a better world, not from pity for you.
Yes, it can be tough to break the oppressive mold. But that’s the only way.
What about ‘reverse oppression’?
Men are not allowed to cry, even talk about their emotions. Men are treated as expendable: “Women and children first.”
● Well, for starters, these men are not oppressed by women.
● Secondly, if you don’t behave in the oppressor role (fearless, ruthless), you will be oppressed like a woman (plus get Gay-oppression). That’s not men’s oppression. That’s Sexism. Yet another reason to end this.
● Thirdly, when you are trained to become an oppressor of women, you are oppressed but not as a man. You’re oppressed as a child, a male child. When you’re taught that the best men die at the battlefield, you’re not oppressed as a man but as a working-class boy. When you as a White hear or see racism for the first time, you’re a powerless kid (or baby) and all you can do is distance yourself from and mistrust White people and your own body. Blacks did not stop you from dancing or running well. You did. Blacks did not make you feel bad (or arrogant) about your skin color. Whites did. Blacks did not make you isolated and obsessed with sex. You had to.
● Fourthly, you must hurt kids repeatedly very deeply, while blocking their chances to heal (‘Stop crying!’), to get them to act as ‘willing’ agents of oppressions. So much so that men die earlier, Whites have fewer friends, etc. Yet, Sexism targets and kills women, not men, Racism kills Blacks.
(Also, you must hurt kids repeatedly very deeply, while blocking their chances to heal (‘Stop crying!’), to get them to act as ‘willing’ victims of oppressions. But not cooperating with an oppression doesn’t take it away. Yet, people targeted by oppressions tend to fight them off more and more while guilt feelings hinder that in people conditioned to oppress. That doesn’t mean that the oppressors can now play the new victims. The old ones are still there and there is no equivalence between the two groups.)
So, there’s no ‘reverse oppression.’ But systemic chronic mistreatment of younger people exists, to condition them into their oppressor roles.
So, men are trained to think of themselves as worthless unless they sacrificed themselves for women and children or king and nation. This explains how men can expect women to sacrifice themselves their whole lives. But women are the ones whose lives are nullified every day from the morning to the evening. When heart attacks were killing men, no funding was too large to stop this. Then it was found that women die from heart attacks too but they have different symptoms. For decades, no one cared.
Jews don’t oppress Germans, women don’t oppress men, Blacks don’t oppress Whites, Jews don’t oppress Christians or Muslims, Gays don’t oppress Straights, kids don’t oppress grownups. It’s easier to complain about our victim status but if we want a better world, we must have a hard look at that someone is doing the oppressing, who should stop it. You too.
Let’s end on a terribly sour but necessary note. Yesterday, yet another woman got murdered by her male spouse. Happens about twice every month in Israel. He then killed himself. The news calls it murder-suicide.
I have a problem with calling this murder-suicide.
When someone shoots up a school or a brothel and then kills himself, you don’t call it a murder-suicide. This is murder. Also here. Murder of yet another woman by a close relative — her spouse. That he then committed suicide is not to be equated to his murder. It’s almost irrelevant.