The fraughtness of everyday feminist discourse brought me here to the corner to muse on my own understanding of what feminism is, its aims past and present, what it means to be a woman in a postmodern world where meanings must be re-established in every conversation.
As language became the enemy, I lost my voice. It got lost in a mindless grinding process built on tedious police work. Not the exciting police work of catching and cuffing charismatic sociopaths, chasing them down with conviction of a man who knows the law on his side. It was harassing jay walkers and shivering homeless people, berating kids for skipping school to drink 44 oz sodas and eat Sour Punch Straws. I wasn’t defending the world from violence and chaos, I was defending the world from littering.
The quality of life crimes of feminist discourse are all rooted in language and I was tasked with writing tickets and arresting perpetrators whose only misdeed was asking a pertinent, if ill-posed question. In return I had supposed friends and allies fighting alongside me for a worthy cause. I can’t remember what the cause was now.
I could no longer formulate my own beliefs or positions on issues that were important to me. My facility for sarcasm, performative absurdism and irony remained, and I employed it to passive-aggressively nudge the edges of what my would-be friends found acceptable. I say passive-aggressively because I know of no other way to describe the subtle and terrifying art of attempting to show people in power they are wrong without getting your own head chopped off in turn.
It should be obvious when your friends are people you’re terrified of outing you as a fascist or directing DOS attacks at you or doxing you, when they can’t communicate their differences of opinion without ex-communicating you or accusing you of a violent ideology… those people are not your friends.
And when you’re supposed to arguing and organizing for a cause to bring justice and you cannot actually ask or define what that cause is because language has been curtailed from every direction in the name of avoiding self-contradicting oppression… you’re in a cult and you need to run.
I admit I was stupid about that.