Melodramatic confessions

Hi everyone! This month I’m looking to do guest posts for people of colour. Please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment or messaging me on my Facebook page if you’d like to do a guest post and share your story. Why guest posts?

I am certain Carla Louise’s heart is in the right place. I have allowed her to reblog. And I fear what she does is terribly objectionable. She is a white woman with a husband. She speaks from a position of straight privilege and white privilege. She seeks to act as an ally, fighting racism, cissexism and heteronormativity, as well as a feminist fighting sexism.

Here, she publishes this meme:

press pictures meme

then comments, a white rapist? He has a nice school photo used in the newspapers, not a mugshot. A black kid buying food who is murdered? We’ll do our best to make him look like he deserved it. But, to whom? A white boy wears a tie and a smile, a black boy wears a hoodie. This only makes the black boy look like he deserved it if you think black males in hoodies look like criminals, or white males in ties and jackets do not- remember Enron? To me, the meme is more racist than the media- as if putting the black boy in a tie would make him look more innocent than a hoodie does. The rapist is Brock Turner, whose victim’s statement is so beautiful and powerful, and amazing at his psychopathy. That is what psychopaths look like! We need to know that!

Here’s the ally thing. I am being an ally here, the white person Speaking Up for Persons of Colour. We allies have to be careful. Don’t make the middle-class straight white person the default, so that how such a person sees things is how they are, or how that person presents is the proper way to present. And- that picture of Brock Turner does engender sympathy for him, in more people than I would wish. And- I think it is because Brock Turner is a jock rapist, a Stanford athlete. White mugshots get published.

Here, she comments on Malala Yousafzai: her burqa empowers her. A nude selfie or slut walk would be too much. Except the picture shows a hijab, only covering the hair and chest, rather than a burqa, which is the Afghan normal, even covering the eyes behind a grille. Malala is breaking the oppressive rules of her country within limits often accepted in her religion. I am not certain Carla Louise understands what rules Malala breaks or keeps. She points out that oppressed people should pick our own ways of resistance, and not be judged for not using alternatives privileged people might use; should this need saying?

You see, I did not realise. I do want my story heard. I took the opportunity; but my need to be heard and understood- my vulnerability- comes from my queerness, my Otherness. If I felt normal, I would not need so much to be heard. This Normal person picks out the Others, who need the support of her blog- first LGBTTQ (sic) then Persons of Colour.

We have places where our stories may be heard. We queers have high profile websites, like Pink News, and oodles of blogs. Queer people write our experiences from a position of equality, more or less, in mainstream straight publications such as The Guardian, one of the major British news sites.

I am not sure. Does a straight person publishing a queer person’s story count as oppressive? If always, then we can only be published by other queers, and are stuck in the ghetto. If the audience is interested to hear another’s experience, and sympathise, rather than to gawk at the weirdo, that will take away a lot of my objection.

Positive discrimination? More is published by the privileged, so a special effort should be made to hear the underprivileged-

I am uncomfortable, and cannot fully articulate my objection. I am always glad when someone seeks to be an ally. I respect anger at allies. Oh, and Carla is Australian! I assumed she was American.

26 thoughts on “Melodramatic confessions

    • I still don’t know the name of the man in the hoodie. I only found the man in the tie on Tuesday. But when I said on facebook ties do not indicate innocence, nor hoodies guilt, I was called a contrarian. Considering the coverage, the “All-American Swimmer” does seem to be portrayed in an intentionally favourable light, and this means he has supporters, after his conviction.

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        • Oh wow. Well, that proves my point. The man on the left: that is what rapists look like. The man on the right: that is what innocent men look like. As well as other things. Now the mugshots have been released, the rapist looks still like a middle-class boy- a bit confused, perhaps. You can’t tell his criminality by his looks.

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          • Dear Carla, please do tell why you do guest posts- or link to your own post explaining, if you like. Generally, I find guest posts fine; I was considering your specific request as a straight woman for queer voices on your blog. As you say, I process by writing. I did not feel angry or upset, but perhaps I was, underneath: well, it came over as an attack to you, and had not felt like that to me. You are still inviting me onto your territory, to address you- your blog, your facebook page- and I am happy on my own, thanks.

            Having processed, the clearest I can put it is that it feels like you are doing us a favour. We don’t need that. If you want LGBT+ experience, read it on all the places you can. There are lots of places I can be read: I have my own blog, and if I ever crack HuffPo Gay Voices I will be proud and happy. You can do the research, without needing anyone to write on your blog. We can write elsewhere. Tell us of your experience of clinical depression and severe anxiety. We need those personal messages, too, not just POC and LGBT. I felt slightly uncomfortable, but unable to identify why; now, I feel more uncomfortable.

            I googled, and found your second T in LGBTTQ, which I thought an error, stands for Two-Spirit, at least in Manitoba. I don’t know if only those who have that cultural heritage should use the term, but it does not appeal as a self-identifier to me. Perhaps we should talk of “sex(uality) and gender diversity”, or even “Queer”.

            I am glad you have not experienced great hostility. You may yet hear harsher messages than mine, and some people may see your blog and just move on. I go far less to the homophobic Christian blogs now I no longer have to process my rage, and internalised transphobia. I wish you well. I repeat, I see quite clearly that you mean well.

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            • If you read my blog, you would see I posted, “Why Do I Do Guest Blogs?” https://themelodramaticconfessionsofcarlalouise.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/why-do-i-do-guest-posts/
              Any way you spin it, it’s an attack. You can pretend it’s not, you can say you didn’t feel that way, but it is.
              I don’t do it because I’m doing anyone a ‘favour’. I’m doing it because I want to share stories I can’t tell. To share opinions on things I’ve never heard before, because I can’t experience them. Don’t tell me what to write, and what not to write.
              Also, while you’re at it, perhaps check the comment section of my blog: everyone else thinks what I do is great. They know the motives behind my post, and they think it’s fantastic. You don’t want to post on my blog? Don’t. Don’t do a guest post. I’m not saying you have to. I’m giving people an opportunity to tell their story. If I’ve written about something and they don’t agree, or they want to expand on that, that’s what I offer. I’m not offering a “privilege” or a “favour” or “look at how awesome I am”. I realised that I can’t write about certain experiences, so I wanted to give the opportunity to those who can.
              No, it’s not an error. It stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Transsexual and Queer”. You’ll see a lot of people within the community write “LGBTTQ” – including Kat Blaque, who is a transgender black woman (and quite proud of it).
              Perhaps you need to research more about your gay pride, because as a ‘straight white woman’, I seem to understand a lot more than you do.
              You talked about allies. Well, guess what, honey? That means you need people who don’t fit the “LGBTTQ” umbrella to be on your side. What would you have us do? Not get involved in these types of issues? Do you even understand the lack of logic?
              I am not just going to write about my personal experiences. Ever. I’m all about intersectional feminism, and equality. That means writing about everyone, and making sure their stories are heard. I’ve written how I feel personally about gay marriage (favourable, obviously), and how annoyed I am that Australia still hasn’t legalised it. Unlike you, I’m open to everyone’s stories and don’t try and dictate what someone can or can’t write.
              I’m not doing anyone a ‘favour’. They’re doing me one. Stop making assumptions about things you don’t.
              Also, the only reason I mentioned my Facebook page, or commenting on my blog, instead of making a public page attack for everyone to see. That’s it. I don’t give a shit if you read my blog, or don’t. All I ask for decent maturity and some kind of respect when addressing such a big issue. I think the most fair thing to do would have been to ask, don’t you? Considering everything you wrote was wrong, taken out of context, and based on assumptions that aren’t even true.
              Also, perhaps you should read Rae’s post on being an ally – who is a black woman, because you seem to have a problem with people who are writing about things that don’t belong in certain categories – because she kind of says it all. That being an ally means we need to listen (which is what I’m doing when I ask for guest posts) and not always presume things because we can’t fucking experience them. Maybe you should try it sometime? https://bookmarkchronicles.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/raes-rules-to-remember-33-being-an-ally/

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            • “TT” for “Transgender Transsexual”? The whole point of T for Trans is that it is inclusive, not making divisions between trans people, and easy to understand: I find people who need “LGBT” explained. Oh, and that in Manitoba TT includes Two-spirit. And because sex and gender are confused, and some people have very definite ideas about the differences between them.

              I read Rae’s post- not how I would put it- and yours and the comments there. Aw. Poor you. Someone attacked and misrepresented you? Read some of the attacks LGBT people suffer. If you don’t get the objection, you don’t get it. That’s OK.

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            • I think Rae understands what it means to be an ally for better than you do. You might not agree with her, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t right. Being an ally is listening to other people. You don’t seem to get that. Nor does anyone really seem to understand your objections. And I’m not saying that because I like Rae, or I liked her post better than yours, but because it’s the truth. You can’t have it both ways.

              Also, stop assuming that I know nothing of the “queer” community, as you call it. Not only do I have friends and family members that are gay, I have taught children who have come to me for advice for being gay (or, in one case, struggling with their gender identity). This is a particularly hard feat for the children, which takes immense bravery, as I teach in Catholic schools, where being gay isn’t often accepted by everyone. Those children sought me because they knew I’d stand up for them, listen to them, and accept them.

              Also, just because I’m straight, doesn’t mean I haven’t had any sexual curiosities of my own. I went through a large phase – that lasted for several years – where I was with several women. Sure, I know my sexuality now. But stop with the goddamn assumptions. I know what it’s like, at least on some level, to be questioned by everyone – and even shunned by some – as you’re sorting through your sexuality.

              Thirdly, if you read my blog and comments like you said, I don’t know what the fuck your problem is. Unlike you, I never attacked you. I never mentioned you by name. I simply explained why I do guest posts, which is something I’ve done before, but I’ve recently had more followers. It was actually suggested to me by a friend who’s bisexual and pansexual, who read your post and was disgusted, and thought it best to ‘clear the air’ – especially because I have recently received a lot more followers.

              If you read the comments, you’d notice that I defended you. The only time I gave out your link was so people could see your side. I clearly stated that I hadn’t originally posted your link because I didn’t want people bashing you; however, at the same time, I wanted them to have the opportunity to see your side. It’s not my fault that no one agreed with you, and thought the blog you wrote was wrong. It’s not my fault that people like the fact that I do guest posts, and encourage me to continue. You can be pissy about that, but I didn’t start it, and I handled it far more maturely than you have. I also made it damn clear that you had the right to your opinion – even if I didn’t understand it.

              So, I don’t get your problem. At all. And stop making fucking assumptions about people. You don’t like being attacked because of your sexuality? Or people making assumptions about you based on your sexuality?

              Guess what? No one likes it. So stop doing it. All you’re doing is the same thing that others have done to you to someone else.

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            • I’m not. I swear frequently – all the time in my blogs. It’s part of my vocab. I could say sorry you don’t like it … but assumptions are our own projections right? So, I’m not attacking you. You’re assuming I am. It’s just a projection, right?

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            • Poor little Carla. She has gay friends, you know. She has even been nice to trans people occasionally. That entitles her to my gratitude?

              Where did I say that you know nothing of the queer community?

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            • You haven’t stopped saying that, or at least implying it. You act like I can’t speak about the community, because I’m not gay or bi or anything of the sort. But seriously, “Poor little Carla? She has gay friends, you know?” You make no sense. You’re pissed because I swore in a sentence at you, and because of equality … but when I try and make things clearer, you still get pissed. I’m not asking for your gratitude. I don’t want your gratitude and I don’t know what the fuck your problem is. Seriously. I’m not sure anyone, at this point, does.

              I’m not asking for gratitude. I’m saying stop making assumptions.

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            • That sounds like a good idea.

              However, am confused. For future reference: am I not ‘interesting’ enough to follow, and we’re done and this is a ‘ceasefire’ per se? Or is this a genuine ‘we’ll try to establish our points tomorrow’? Because I’m not sure which I should be following, as you just told me I was not interesting or worth following. I’m cool with that … but I just want to know if this is a polite ‘fuck this shit’ or if this a change of heart and a realisation that maybe we’re both escalating too much?

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            • This is a realisation that I am escalating. My very long comment threads tend to be arguments. This comment thread generates more heat than light, and so is not particularly interesting. “You are not interesting” was me wound up, I don’t really mean that. In the notification box I have mixed up comments on our respective blogs.

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            • Fair enough. Thank you for both the clarification and the apology. I’m sorry too – I wasn’t trying to cause offense. I genuinely just swear a lot. If that upset you, please let me know, and I’ll try and control it around you.

              That’s fair enough. Sometimes it’s tricky going back and forth.

              Just so you know, I want to be an ally. I have the best intentions, and I do this for the right reason. Not for gratitude, not for thankfulness, not to feel superior, or to have people owe me favours. I do it to share stories that I can’t. If no one wants to participate, I’m cool with that. If someone decides they want to participate three months later, I’m also cool with that. It’s not about me. It’s about sharing stories others want. Sometimes it’s because they’ve started a blog about books and feel like that’s what they focus on – whereas, I’m more general and am used to being attacked, so I generally don’t give a shit. Sometimes, they just like the idea. I’m not sure. But I do know it’s not for me. It’s their story, and it’s what they want to tell and how they want to tell it. All my job is to do is listen. To try and understand the things I’ll never understand, not truly, not really.

              Let’s put this to rest, yeah? Even if you don’t like that I do guest blogs, that’s fine. But I don’t see it getting us anywhere. If you don’t like, and others do, there’s not much else that can happen. Maybe it’s a topic we just respectfully avoid? I read about you and your blog, and you do the same. If you see a blog that’s a guest post, just avoid it. I tend to write ‘Guest Post’ in the title, so it should make it easier for you to bypass.

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  1. Clare,
    If you were so uncomfortable, I don’t know why you didn’t say something maturely and actually speak to me. Or address your concerns in any way.
    I ask for guest posts so people can tell the stories I can’t. I can write about what I see, and how I don’t like it. I can write about racism, or what I think about LGBTTQ people and their experiences, but I can never actually experience it. Which is why I started the guest post thing in the first place. I write about these things, but I think it’s more meaningful when it comes from someone who actually has that first-hand experience. If no one wants to submit, that’s fine. I don’t mind. But I do it so that my blog is not one-sided, not just a white married cis woman’s point of view. That’s why.
    Secondly, I know exactly what Malala is wearing. I read her memoir, “I Am Malala”. In her memoir, she states that she likes to wear burqas for special occasions – the burqa she wears, however, isn’t black. It’s filled with different colours, and requires a different ‘look’ to the oppressive black burqa we’ve come to know. She details it in depths – she says that her mother wears it frequently, and wishes Malala would, but she prefers to only wear it for special occasions. What you read – and what I explained, in the comments – is what Malala actually said. Perhaps instead of judging my supposed ignorance, you read “I Am Malala”? Also, when you’re going to paraphrase from my blogs, please take the whole context, and not random parts that you feel will do the most ‘damage’. As someone who not only has read Malala’s memoir more than once, we actually teach her in school. I’m pretty familiar with her background, so I find it rather insulting that you’re trying to make it seem like I don’t understand anything, by taking things out of context.
    I am not the only one outraged by that meme, by those pictures. But you should know it’s incredibly common that black people have mugshots, and white people have nice photos. It’s not the first time it’s happened. That’s the point it’s trying to make. Perhaps try reading, “It’s Only Stealing If You’re Black” to see the way the media routinely highlights white people and black people in different lights.
    I don’t have a huge amount of followers, so while I’m privileged in many ways, not too many people are going to hear anyone’s guest post. I don’t do it to be some ‘martyr’, I do it to try and make sure my blog doesn’t come as one-sided. That it’s not always a white, straight woman’s opinions.
    Also, what does which country I come from have to do with anything? What’s with the, ‘Of, you’re Australian’, bullshit? Yes, I’m Australian. Woop-de-fucking-do.

    You know, I really admired and respected your blog. Really, truly. Since I’ve subscribed, I’ve tried to read it every chance I get. Clearly, that feeling is not mutual. I’m sorry you feel this way, and I wish you’d actually raised this point with me in a mature manner.

    Perhaps, as my blog is so offensive to you, you’re best not reading it anymore, yeah?

    Also: next time you have a problem with someone, maybe raise it with them. That way, instead of making assumptions and taking statements out of context, you might actually get the answers instead of bashing someone on the internet … because it makes you feel better?

    On the bright side, I see you have well over a thousand followers. Thank you so much to directing so much traffic to me today 🙂

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      • Uhh … I am not sure what your point is? Literally, I don’t get your point. Is it to see how much I know about the LGBTTQ community? Is it to point out … what, exactly?

        He says he’s not. If he is, he is. If he’s not, he’s not. Regardless, we’ll find out one way or another. His publisher asked us to respect his privacy, so why don’t we do just that?

        And while we’re respecting his privacy, perhaps you could explain your point?

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          • Yeah, it was in a statement that was released a few hours ago. It said he wasn’t transitioning and to please respect his privacy. I have no idea if that’s code for, “Yeah, he is, but we’re not telling you now”, or something else is going on, or he’s just really not.

            All I know is, it’s not my place to speculate. I hope that helps 🙂

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    • Hello, Carla. Welcome. Thank you for commenting.

      I could have commented on your blog, but not emailed you as I didn’t have your email address: you had read, but not commented. I have 1200 followers, but only thirty page views for this so far, and three clicks to your blog. I am contacting you through social media, as you do.

      I am ambivalent. I try to get over my ambivalence in what I write. I don’t see it as an attack, more of a statement of issues- how can people act as allies?

      I do a lot of self-deprecation. “I assumed she was American” was a dig at myself and not you.

      “Admired and respected”- I mean no irony here- thank you for your warm words.

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      • Whether you like it or not, it is an attack. You can phrase it any way you want, but it’s an attack. Does it bother me? No. I’ve seen, read and heard worse. Regardless, it’s an attack. If you want to discuss allies, you could have done so easily without personally attacking me multiple times. If you wanted to discuss guest posts, you could have easily discussed you opinions on guest posts and those who offer them without ever personally attacking me.

        This entire post is an attack, no matter which way you put it. And that’s fine. But you could have contacted me so many other ways. I have a Facebook page, which I’ve mentioned more than once. You could have commented and asked if you could speak to me privately, which I would have given you my email, or directed you to my public Facebook page for you to send a message that way. Or you could have simply commented on my guest bog posts, raising your opinions and thoughts – similar to what Daisy did, when she asked why white people weren’t included. When I responded, and so did another, she was incredibly happy with that response and reasoning.

        Whilst I’m not angry or upset in any way, this isn’t right, or fair. No one deserves an entire post written about them when they had no idea someone had an issue with it. I clicked on this post today, excited to see what you’d written (because I actually enjoy following your blog), and was really shocked by it. Not hurt, or angry, but really confused.

        If you’re confused about how you feel, then write that. Don’t launch an assault on someone because you’re confused about how you feel. And perhaps question the reasons behind their motives, because that might help to clear up your confusion. I would have been more than happy to have addressed any and all concerns, and taken your feedback on board.

        However, you’re the only person that appears to have this gripe. Many of my followers that fit into different minorities are happy that I offer guest posts and enjoy the themes.

        If your blog is going to continue along the theme of attacking people – and I don’t mean me, just in general – than I have no interest in following you. I understand that’s how you process – I process via writing too – but I have never once shamed someone, not directly.

        Whilst I did respect and admire your blog, your posts, your thoughts and feelings, today I lost a lot of that. Not because you created a blog post all about me that was negative, but because you made so many assumptions, took things out of context, and never asked once what I actually thought, or why I do guest posts (which I’ve explained more than once in previous posts).

        I am happy to pass this up as a ‘misunderstanding’ and move on, and I’m sure this will mean next to nothing to you, but if there’s another ‘misunderstanding’, I’ll be done. People don’t deserve to be treated like this, or caught out like this, and if this is what you base your blog on, then that’s just cruel.

        Again, no apology is necessary (if that’s what you think I’m aiming for) – my feelings are not hurt, and I am not angry. But just because it doesn’t affect me, doesn’t mean this behaviour doesn’t affect others.

        As someone who suffers from clinical depression and severe anxiety, the smallest things have set me off in the past. Imagine what someone going through that would feel after you wrote a post trashing them, and they had no warning.

        Whilst I respect your way of processing, perhaps you should bear that in mind before you launch into an attack that might seriously hurt someone in the future.

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  2. Sorry, it randomly posted the same comment (well, half of it) again! I don’t know what happened there. The first reply is the reply. The second reply is most of the first reply … just reposted. My internet’s pretty slow, so maybe it was a screw up with that?? It’s been acting odd the past few days. Anyway, I just wanted to say sorry, and ignore the second-same reply!

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