The anger of the oppressed

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Googling i rise without quotes produces this poem as the first hit, deservedly so. It is beautiful. I heard Tony read it yesterday. He could not make it boring, but there was none of the passion I would put into it. I don’t know what Tony has faced, but it seemed the white, cis-het(?) man had not felt broken [with] bowed head and lowered eyes in nights of terror and fear. I would put contempt, and rage, and passion, prowling like an animal as I said it, feeling the triumph. Tony did not include the verse on diamonds, because there was a girl of eight present- I would let her make of it what she would.

But I am not sure I should recite it. I can enjoy it, and cheer Maya Angelou on, but it is not for me.

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I cheer her on as a fellow human being, but not as “Sister” in this case, for this is not my heritage.

A problem with free speech is that the loudest voices are those of the privileged. They have the access to print and the education to express comfortable ideas in exquisite prose. The voices which need heard are those of the excluded, pushing back against the clichés of the Kyriarchy with authentic human feeling.

So, this comment thread. I responded rudely, angrily, dismissively, and at only one point offensively, when I was triggered by a comment about a ridiculous, obvious cross-dresser at a bus stop- plunged right back into that brokenness and misery and lashing out. Seeing this, my enemy sought to trigger me again. But I laughed at him.

Beside this the hurt anger of the privileged, that what they have always believed is challenged, has no value. Waken up and show some empathy, and then repent of your claimed hurt.

A commenter railed against the ‘regressive left’ that uses such bullying techniques as banning under the banner of protecting delicate snowflakes from legitimate criticism deemed offensive under the label of tolerance and respect and sensitivity by practicing intolerance, disrespect, and insensitivity. I am not a delicate snowflake- if I were, I would have melted.

That commenter gave as an example of the Regressive Left the University of Ottawa student leaders cancelling a yoga class because it could be “cultural appropriation”. I am unsure of that one. Christianity, generally, proselytises; I have an idea that Hinduism does not. Mindfulness is a religious practice common at least to Christianity, Islam, at least its Sufi branch, Buddhism and others. Stretching exercises are widespread. Yet the privileged take what they want and dismiss the rest, and the outsider must “Integrate” to be accepted.

I rise.

Blake, Inferno, the harpies and suicides

5 thoughts on “The anger of the oppressed

  1. I’ll be perfectly honest, even though I (kind of get… as a cis), your frustration, I have to be critical of rudeness. Sorry, but I think militancy within the LGBT+ movement is only going to end in tears… for the LGBT+. However, I do get the anger. I get angry when I read/ hear offensive statements about the LGBT+. Being asexual myself, it just gets to me. I’m not the confrontational type though, so I tend to stay silent, or try and make arguments that are facts based, rather than emotional (sometimes holding back tears, I admit).

    Argue with facts, your personal perspective, but not insults. To me, if you resort to insults, then you lose an argument. I’m sorry if I sound like I’m attacking you Clare. I’m not trying to, honest. Just make sure that your arguments don’t backfire on you, that’s all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my case, it is rather that I feel listened to. Yesterday I had a facebook debate, starting with someone sharing a video of Dr Greer on Newsnight and commenting Greet [sic] gate is nonsense . Everything she says is spot on ( almost ). Comments below included the claim that Caitlyn Jenner is cultural appropriation. I responded eirenically (that’s a good word, innit). My fbfnd, whom I met once six months ago, was defending Dr Greer, a major intellectual and cultural figure.

      I don’t know what got to me then: Possibly how I was feeling about other stuff, possibly Roughseas’ post and what she linked, possibly Kia saying he’d duck and cover. Anyway, I respond articulately and passionately, and get rebuked for anger, by Ruth and other-Violet as well.

      Anger is sad’s bodyguard- I got that one from fb too.

      So when I feel particularly hurt is when I get kicked. I can see that could become a vicious spiral. Feeling heard, elsewhere, I can be reasonable; feeling not heard I pick on someone hostile, and feel a terrible need to be heard by them.


      • Greer’s a bit of an idiot. Her writing was a real eye-opener for me a long time ago, and I can hardly remember any of it, but I do remember thinking half the book explained everything about my mother and the other half was sheer nonsense. So I’m not surprised she’s still spouting nonsense. I’ll go back and read it again one day to see how I feel now.

        I was surprised at the lack of support for you on that post, I think it was buddy related and shock at your swearing and anger. You should really get a dog, you’ll lose the need to be heard by the clueless.


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