eva reblogged one of my posts recently about how “nonviolence” and “pacifism” is sort of a made-up idea wrt how it’s applied to the hero characters in narratives about how to effectively oppose oppression, and it’s been fascinating watching it get bounced around with various comments appended. the people who are furious at me for saying the suffragettes punched cops, broke windows and built bombs, and that the poop should be scared, as in, frightened for its physical safety. that this is how shit gets done. the civil rights movement, women’s suffrage, and gandhi all had armies backing them up, people who were willing and able to engage in (mostly, but not entirely) defensive violence, a fact which is “curiously” overlooked in modern american public school texts. so you get these mostly very young, mostly very white people, having graduated high school just stuffed to the gills with the twinkly idea of “no resistance but nonviolent resistance” and how “effective” it is, and how all political action must somehow be boneless or else not morally pure, just horrified at the completely historical idea that the ruling class really has no incentive to bend to public will unless they’re staring down the barrel of a literal or metaphorical gun.
what’s extra weird is that they somehow manage to maintain this concept even after running through the approved curriculum on the American Revolution from the hated British Oppressors (won by candle vigils, signature-gathering, and office sit-ins, no doubt), and the American Civil War, where the popular public school rhetoric (at least in the liberal northern enclaves where i got my public schooling) goes something like, “we punched a bunch of Dixie freaks until they stopped being racist”. Again, not a lot of pacifism involved. But somehow these conflicts are considered “different”.
You’re allowed to learn certain versions of historical events, but not to apply them to modernity or your own life. Confronted with the question of whether the Boston Tea Party (an event every american schoolchild is familiar with) was automatically invalid as a political action because it involved that most forbidden of transgressions: the Destruction of Government/Private Property, no 10th grader will say yes. which is odd, because they’ll be shocked if someone tells them the Suffragettes had a hand-to-hand combat unit specifically to punch cops who tried to attack marchers and protestors who, you will learn in those articles, had no problem breaking windows.
and then a gang of queers, non-whites, and other at-risk people are in the notes too, making the weary but necessary counter-arguments, most of which are rooted in the reality of being physically and politically exploited by the police, and everyone else. just looking into the race/class/sexuality/gender/life experience cohorts of each side probably tells you most of what you need to know about the veracity of each position.
This International Women’s Day I would like to acknowledge that white women in this continent didn’t get the vote without punching some cops and breaking some cop windows. Women, even the most privileged, did not get to be considered “persons” without resistance, by being “dainty little ladies” that the state and (the heavily white supremacist, elitist, fatphobic, ableist) popular culture still want us to be. Some of that resistance involved directly attacking the state (which should be considered self-defence when you consider why those attacks happen). Much of that resistance involved self-defence, which the state still wants to call aggression, violence, unlawfulness.
I would like to acknowledge all forms of resistance, not just the ones that involve escaping one’s abuser and finding, building a happier home (as an example). I would, on a personal level, like to tell all folks who have not experienced systemic, long-standing violence to not tell survivors that their acts of self-defence is ‘sinful,’ ‘violent,’ or ‘abuse.’
How the fuck are we supposed to begin healing or organizing effectively when folks prefer to maintain a morality of ‘pacifism’ (which, I’d have to say, has always been a part of my morality, but more specifically, my political ideal) at the expensive of secondary victimization and perpetuating further gas-lighting?!
KINDLY SIT YOUR BUM ALL THE WAY DOWN INTO THE TOILET.
But I would also like to acknowledge that Gandhi violated many women while initiating broader decolonizing efforts. Maintaining the illusion that Gandhi was solely at the forefront of ‘non-violent’ movements, sexual violence is again used as a tool to erase, discredit, and silence women who deserve credit but are seen as burdens to the movement.
It’s possible to err on the side of non-violent resistance (though definitely not most of the time), but how does it help our analysis to a) fail to represent violent resistance, b) fail to represent violence within movements which undermine movements and isolate individual activists (i.e. violence against marginalized peoples/lateral oppression)? Of course the state wants us all to be dainty little folks healing only to re-establish a family within a hetero-patriarchal white supremacist framework and working to maintain the racist state apparatus that upholds this framework. Meanwhile, I prefer to put the FIST in pacifist. >:)
"Sometimes I eat things!"
"Sometimes I eat too many things”
eating too many things?
there is no such thing as eating too many things
the great bear rainforest in british columbia is one of the largest coastal temperate rain forests in the world, with twenty five thousand square miles of mist shrouded fjords and densely forested islands that are home to black bears with white fur.
neither albino nor polar bear, these rare black bears (there are fewer than five hundred) are known as kermode bears, or what the gitga’at first nation call mooksgm’ol, the spirit bear — a word no first nations person spoke of to european fur traders lest they be discovered and hunted. to this day, it remains taboo to hunt a spirit bear, or to mention them to outsiders.
the white fur in these bears is triggered by a recessive mutation of the same gene associated with red hair and fair skin in humans. though it remains unclear as to how the trait arose (or disappeared), it is especially pronounced on certain islands, and is known to confer a day time fishing advantage over the black furred bears (consider the first photo).