Friday, June 10, 2016

Voting with women of color...

is a modest change that I can and will make. It is so simple and so obvious that I'm still rather flummoxed at my failure to consider it before now.

Maybe the obviousness of it exemplifies the way invisibility works because it certainly...now anyway...seems incredibly apparent to me. I've never seen it presented anywhere else...maybe it was and I missed it...but it seems incredibly important...and easy...and way under publicized as a path for white men who are anti-racist and anti-misogynist. 

This little graphic I saw perfectly illustrates a fact that has been obvious to me for a long long time and that I've struggled with and worried over how to counter it.

Yup...the figure on the far right drives most of the human caused harm and horror that afflicts mother Earth. And...I'm one of the group represented by that figure.

What can I do to counter some of this awful truth?

Well...I can do the work necessary to determine who or what women of color support in any election and make sure I cast my vote in accordance with their wishes.

Zip zoop...in one act I opt out of using my vote to support white privilege and male privilege.

I realize this is a small thing...and I realize that at times it might be problematic (for instance the preferences of women of color might run counter to what I perceive to be the best stance for Earthings who aren't human beings) but...all in all...this seems to me to be an obvious...and just...thing to do. It sure beats the heck out of not doing this.

Why didn't I think of this before now? Jeez.

One sad and almost funny thing happened when I shared this notion in a facebook group I belong to that's ostensibly devoted to countering racism. A male (I think he's racialized as white...but I'm not certain) saw my suggestion and told me that if I really understood white supremacy and misogyny then I wouldn't need any poll to tell me what women of color preferred...I would just "know" and that polls were oppressive and misleading anyway.

Look...one thing I've become thoroughly convinced of over the past couple of years is that we're all subjected to relentless social conditioning that supports both white supremacy and male supremacy (as well as human supremacy) and that stuff is incredibly effective at screwing up perceptions and understandings and comprehensions. At least it has played hell with mine. So...I don't trust my own judgement in many situations...especially those involving race and sex...hence my desire to look at some external reference like a poll or something.

His assertion that polls are flawed is likely true in many instances...but...my judgement is just as suspect and also and probably more so. I've seen many polls where the preferences of women of color have run counter to the preferences of the majority...especially they have often run counter to the preferences of white people...therefore...I will use them (because I don't have anything better) as a proxy for my judgement.

I refuse to fall into the trap of thinking I "know" what women of color prefer.

I fear that the man who pooh poohed my idea of using polls is way over estimating the excellence of his judgement if he thinks he "knows" what women of color prefer in an election (notwithstanding his racial uniform). I fear he is obliviously asserting male privilege that's he's been relentlessly socialized to support. 

He's not a woman of color nor am I and it seems really really dubious that a man "knowing" what women of color prefer where that knowing runs counter to what a (reputable) poll suggests is (to me anyway) an exercise of male privilege via the absurd meme of "I know what women want" of "I know what's best for women". I don't have that kind of perceptiveness and I am fairly sure he doesn't either. Maybe he does...if so more power to him but I definitely do not so I will look to informational sources outside of myself.

Obviously aligning my vote with women of color is only one thing I can do to counter or resist oppression...there's lots more for me to do...but...it's a step in the direction of lending support to those who are oppressed...and...as far as I can see it does not recreate oppression elsewhere. Good stuff.

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