Doctor: Well, after a careful review of your symptoms, it seems you’ve been right all along - I’m afraid you do have cancer.
Patient: That’s what I’ve been trying to tell everyone. You’re like the fifth doctor I’ve explained this to.
Doctor: Well the good news is it’s totally treatable.
Patient: Great, so sign me up.
Doctor: Well, hang on a moment. We can’t just give out cancer treatment to anyone.
Patient: But I’m not just anyone, I’m a person with cancer.
Doctor: Even still, we need to make sure you definitely don’t want to have cancer. You might be happy to live with cancer and not treat it.
Patient: I’m pretty sure I don’t want to have cancer, but fine. How do I demonstrate to you that I definitely don’t want to have cancer?
Doctor: Well, we need you to live your life as if you were a person without cancer.
Patient: I don’t understand… what does that even mean?
Doctor: Well you know, go and do all those things people without cancer do. Like join a non-cancer club, wear non-cancer clothes. When people ask you “do you have cancer?” say “no.” Maybe change your name to something like “Sam Who-doesn’t-have-cancer” so it will be obvious to people.
Patient: That’s the most rediculous thing I’ve ever heard.
Doctor: Well unfortunately it’s a requirement in order to qualify for treatment.
Patient: Okay, how long to I have to do this for?
Doctor: About a year or two.
Patient: A YEAR?
Doctor: I know it seems like a long time, but not having cancer is a life-long thing.
Patient: Is this really the best way to treat my cancer?
Doctor: It’s not really about treating cancer. Our primary concern is to reassure people who don’t have cancer that there is no possible they could accidentally end up getting treated for it.
Patient: Are you even a real doctor?
Doctor: Yeah, but my course didn’t really cover cancer stuff.
Vitamin pills are a waste of money, offer no health benefits and could be harmful - study -
Evidence from the 450,000 person study suggested that ‘supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults…has no clear benefit and might even be harmful’
Well this is pretty damning.
Are you a young woman who campaigns on anarchist/environmental issues? -
Rose Holyoak, a Sociology PhD student at the University of Leicester, is researching young women’s experiences of social movement activism in anarchist and environmental groups in the UK.
Young women are frequently branded as apolitical and apathetic, yet we personally know that they get involved in political and social activism with enthusiasm and conviction. All too often women’s voices, and those of young women in particular, are silenced or sidelined, and their experiences are rendered invisible.
Rose’s project hopes to address some of these omissions by asking young women themselves about their experiences of social movement politics.
Get in touch with her if you’re interested, or find out more.
Anonymous asked: Does anyone else have days where their dysphoria is really low, and instead of feeling better you get scared and feel worse?
Yes! I think it’s an internalization of the shaming we get from the party line push propelling more binary trans identities. If I have a week or so where I feel very comfortable in boy mode, sometimes I feel like, am I a fraud? Like somehow not constantly suffering from dysphoria makes it illegitimate when I am.
Not feeling this way is something I’ve had to work hard to overcome. I feel like I get shouted down by binary trans types a lot (some, not all!) when I try to talk about it.
Are binary trans folk really the ones to push this line, though? Obviously, you’ve said that they’re the ones shouting you down, so there’s clearly a lot of participation from them in it. But are they the ones who make it unacceptable to experience non-binary identities?
Like, I totally feel the feels that this anon is feeling. I don’t talk about myself in terms of dysphoria, because I’ve yet to sit down and actually pick apart what that looks like in me, but I do come across some things that put me deep into ‘not feeling feminine/wanting to pass as male’ mode because they scare me, and being in that mode itself is also scary. It’s like the old bisexual conundrum of being judged for being with someone of the same gender, and also being judged for being with someone of another gender.
But it’s not trans people that worry me (except for the truscum, and thank goodness they’re not a representative sample). It’s everyone else in my life. Like, how do I explain that to them? How do I navigate pronouns for my friends who desperately want to do the right thing by me but aren’t inside me head, when ‘they/them’ doesn’t feel right, but sometimes neither does ‘she/her’? How do I explain something that is completely inexplicable to someone who’s never seriously, critically, examined gender? If anyone understands the fact that gender isn’t cut-and-dry, it’s trans people. The narratives that say we can only be men or women come from cis people, and from institutions like the cissexist medical industry.
I’ve come across a number of trans people online who wish that they’d had the opportunity to express themselves and identify in a more non-binary fashion, but due to the overwhelming pressure to be ‘good trans people’ or even just to get past gatekeepers, they couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a fairly widespread experience, and of course some of these people are going to maintain a strict man/woman dichotomy, because that’s what cis gatekeepers have taught them.
So yeah, I agree that there’s a party line, but in this post it sounds like it was a *trans* party line you’re talking about(?) and I thought that was worth unpacking. I apologize if I’ve misinterpreted your post, and I agree that there’s totally individual trans people or even groups thereof who buy into the narrative, but they’re not necessarily the ones with the power to force it on the rest of us. Cis people are the ones with an interest in locking us into clear boxes, and they’re the ones with all the powers of state and industry behind them to make it happen. Even the super-feminine trans women or super-masculine trans men, truscum or otherwise, get screwed over by the binary narrative.
Apart from that, though, I totally agree about those feelings and the internalisation of shame, etc! I’m sending much love and good feelings to anon. <3
It’d be great to see more discussion of these feelings on the Tumblrnets, because dammit, sometimes I get real confused and scared, and I don’t entirely understand it myself.
good point well made imo
25 stories of Indigenous resilience that you might've missed in 2013 -
With the sheer number of abuses and attacks that Indigenous Peoples face around the world, we don’t often come by stories of hope and resilience—stories that speak of long-fought struggles coming to a just end, peaceful exchanges between Nations who live in different parts of the world, and assertions of Traditional authority that governments and corporations simply accept without challenge or condition. Here’s a few of those stories that you might have missed over the past 12 months..
Woop, messages of joy!
Prawer Plan moves forward with its aims of ethnic cleansing, despite Israeli gov't freezing the proposed bill -
Prawer Plan, canceled by PM last week due to stiff opposition from both left and right, makes mysterious reappearance in Knesset committee.
shit shit shit shit
The Nostalgic Left | Andrew Flood -
The nostalgic left is a bit of shorthand I’ve started using for those on the left who have reacted to the disintegration of the old left by wishing for idealised simpler times. And perhaps more strangely blaming the collapse on what they see as threatening new developments, like intersectionality. They hold such newfangled nonsense responsible for the current failure of the left to get an echo from the general population.
The nostalgic left wishes for the simpler times of the ‘good old days’. The days when the grouping of massive numbers of workers into mines and factories made the process of class self identification simple, indeed through their eyes automatic. A time when workers looked very different from capitalists but when, as they imagine it, those workers were not differentiated by sex or race. So the complexities of what they term ‘identity politics’ were gloriously absent, submerged in a uniform proletariat. A time when the intellectual leadership of ‘the party’ could lead an undifferented mass of workers into the final conflict with the bosses.
These were the wonderful days before the internet when left intellectuals could write without fear of participants in the movements they were writing about responding and challenging their right to represent them. A time when commentators who could be heard were calm, rational & polite. Those who were allowed to communicate with the masses first passed through a process that took away that hammer of spontaneous unfocused anger and replaced it with the stiletto of intellectual putdowns, phrased in the correct polite terms to leave a wound that was deep but also invisible to spectators. Not for them the ugly sight of the crushed skull, just the suddenly slumped body and trickle of blood. The right to have ones writing communicated had to be performed for, publication in the party press, the academic journal or the op-ed pages of the mainstream press was not a given, unlike that out-of-control blogosphere or worse still the twitterati of today.
These were the days when leaders of mass movement could operate without their problematic ‘personal behaviours’ being challenged because everyone knew to put the good of the movement first and the few who didn’t were denied a voice. After all Gerry Healy never had to fear the ‘dark side of the internet’, it was only the massive accumulation of rape allegations that eventually brought him down.
The nostalgic left are often neo-social democrats, and in that guise, see the voice subalterns have today to be the problem that is holding back the possibility of social democracy. It seems more straightforward to see the end of that project in the ideological triumph of neoliberalism and the technical triumphs that have driven capitalist globalisation. Even in then imperialist heartlands social democracy on the national scale now seems almost impossible. Placing the problem instead at the feet of some people who make angry harsh posts on twitter about people that the nostalgic left would prefer to see left unchallenged seems odd to say the least. But this also reflects another aspect of the nostalgic left, a yearning to be back in the days when only those at the top of mass parties could say critical things about others and be heard. The role of the rest of us was simply to choose sides in such disputes and Go Team our chosen side to victory.
The nostalgic left can also be revolutionary marxists who dream of the days when appeals to party discipline could shut up internal dissent. They forget the chants of ‘discipline, discipline’ that drowned out the Soviet tanks as they rolled into Hungary in ’56. Or sometimes they may even be anarchists, dreaming of syndicalist unions of muscular white guys wielding tools, forgetting that Mujeres Libres arose of necessity out of the machismo of the CNT.
What brings these fragments together is a common howl against the complexities of modern movements, against the many voices that are now heard. Like nostalgic movements of the right they have no meaningful program, the change after all has has happened. The wish for a return to left wing victorian values, when bearded men polemicised by pamphlet, only serves to block the development of movements that might make a difference.
The nostalgic left has forgotten so quickly that the 20th century left was drowned in blood when the leaders who rose unchallenged to the top became paranoid psychopaths in power, murdering the former comrades by the tens of thousands. Like all nostalgia’s the bad parts of the past are forgotten in the wish for a simpler times.
When times are hard its often simple to dream of the imaginary easy days of childhood, to those false memories of endless summer and carefree lives. But to change the world ‘that is’, the very complex world ‘that is’, it’s the future and not the past we need to embrace. Nostalgia may be a comfort blanket but it is also the blindfold of the executioner.
(Source: america-wakiewakie, via class-struggle-anarchism)
Anonymous asked: You left something out from the "How to deal with being called out" guidelines page. Everything has to be moved down a letter so that "A" can be something along the lines of, "Remember, if someone calls you out over oppressive behavior, they are always correct." Your entire analysis flows from that main point, so leaving it out is a bit dicey.
well-thought out post, anon, kudos!
you have managed to spectacularly miss the point of the post, which is that (a) people calling you out for oppressive behaviour aren’t necessarily correct, but that (b) IF YOU LIVE WITH PRIVILEGE, YOU ARE PROBABLY A SHIT JUDGE OF WHETHER WHAT YOU’RE BEING CALLED OUT ON WAS ACTUALLY BAD OR NOT.