the point of social activism isn’t equality or loving each other, it’s about breaking down dangerous power systems when are people gonna get this
Some would argue that equality and loving each other ARE a way to break down those systems. I would love to see a good debate on this.
My thoughts are: the oppressed have been told to love their oppressor since the beginning of time. Love your abusive husband, stay with him, a gentle woman’s touch will make him better (translated to - if he doesn’t get better, its your fault). Don’t fight back when people hurt you… even though that is at the expense of your very livelihood (see all colonized peoples, Palestine, police brutality etc.). We have always been told to fight hate with love.
Well guess what. It doesn’t work.
There is an extent to which taking on the traits of the oppressor (women abusing their male partners, etc.) is counterproductive and actually helps UPHOLD the oppressive system. Putting people who were previously oppressed in the seat of the oppressor is NOT the solution at all.
But standing up for yourself, fighting when a fight needs to occur, hitting back when someone attacks you… those are all, albeit violent, acts of resisting oppression. And resisting oppression means resisting the system.
The best way to do this, to break down oppressive systems, is not through compassion for our oppressors. That is what keeps it going. The best way to do it is through constantly bringing our plight to the public eye, not letting anyone forget that the system sucks. This is just my opinion. Don’t let them forget that women, especially women of color, make far less in the US. Don’t let them forget that only 25% of state legislative offices are held by women, less than that for federal offices, putting the US in the lower-middle half of the world. Don’t let them forget that 1 in 6 women will go through an attempted or completed rape. Don’t let them forget that there are children working in sweat shops right now, that the porn they are watching is likely not consensual (rape!), that slavery is still VERY MUCH a thing, that millions of our men and women are currently sitting in prison, Ferguson and other instances of police brutality, that many of the chemicals in US foods are banned in Europe… I could go on for quite a long time. All of these issues are important. All of them need to be on the agenda. Bringing them up and keeping momentum going is sometimes all that we can do.
So the next time someone makes a racist/sexist/homophobic joke, call them out. Get angry. There is nothing wrong with being angry when someone is denying you or other people’s basic humanity, ridiculing them for who they are and upholding the oppressive norms we live in. Get angry. Fuck love. Love has a place in all of this, it does, but it is not and should not be at the center of our strategy.
You can love your abuser/oppressor/etc. all you want. But it isn’t going to change anything… in fact, it is only going to reinforce their actions to them and to the greater society. Counterproductive.