January 11, 2019

In 2019: post-patriarchy, cont., or, are there men of color who owe you an apology

Are there men of color who owe you an apology, and if so, what do we do about it.

I’ve been sitting on a lot of emotions about this, cutting toxic masculinity out of my social circles — men who dismiss me, men who repackage and take credit for the things I say. I also internalize a lot, as do many of us. I go through these periods of thinking, “well, maybe I spoke out of turn,” “maybe I should have minded my tone.” Then I get back to my senses. I want to ask, why aren’t they expected to apologize to us for oppressing their own community members. Why aren’t they held accountable.

When we speak out, pay attention to who shuts us down, belittles us, throws blame back at us, straight up act like we didn’t speak at all. How frequently.

Speaking in public for WOC, for Pinays is always going to be thought of as speaking out of turn. Writing in public (i.e. publishing) as WOC, as Pinays, is always going to be thought of as speaking out of turn. Doing these things without permission, speaking and writing without pre-approval of our content, brings consequence.

The softness of tone that is demanded of us is gendered, and it is another way of saying to us, do not say anything controversial or confrontational. Do not say anything of consequence. Do not say anything.

How do we change this.

I am always interested in how we want to place this back on whiteness. I agree that it’s white supremacy and patriarchy at work when we’re shut down for speaking our minds, putting “unapproved” messages out there. But I want to think about who enforces white supremacy and patriarchy among our ranks. Who benefits from our being shut down. How can we call this out without being shut down further.

Or are we OK with perpetually being branded bitches — or crazy bitches, thereby being socially shunned. Is there another way. Where are the places where our bravery is actually valued. You may say, here, and now, we value your bravery. But I want you also to think about how you are afraid of it, how you wish we would just not speak because you are afraid of the consequences brought to you for being associated with our so-called bravery. Whether you’re actually more comfortable viewing this all at a safe distance.

Is there another way, that does not entail internalizing the very value systems which oppress and negate us. I want to hear it.

Or are we always going to have to be the crazy bitches.

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