"The women of Bikini Kill let guitarist Billy Karren be in their feminist punk band, but only if he's willing to just "do some shit." Being a feminist dude is like that. We may ask you to "do some shit" for the band, but you don't get to be Kathleen Hannah."--@heatherurehere

Monday, August 01, 2011

Why Intersectionality Matters, and Why I Am Frustrated With (Some) Social-Justice Xians

This morning I watched with rapt attention the press conference given by Nafissatou Diallo, the person who is risking so much to continue to speak out about the violence that she endured from Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and I'm saddened by her plight, yet inspired to see somebody fighting back against the powerfully corrupt. Volumes have already been written about the violence that happened to her, and I'm not here to discuss the veracity of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's side of the story. It's clear to me that this woman is not in a power position, Dominique Strauss-Kahn is (in *so many* ways), and, because I can't know exactly what happened in that hotel room (though I can make an educated guess), I want at the very least for Diallo to be able to safely tell her side of the story, without being maligned at every turn, and without any additional physical or emotional harm coming to her or her daughter.

Watch the press conference and try to imagine that Dominique Strauss-Kahn isn't a lying douchebag.

And yet, to add to the misery of the situation, Diallo holds the press conference at the Christian Cultural Center, and is introduced by A.R. Bernard, pastor of that church. Unfortunately, Bernard and his church are the types of Xians who think they need to fight a "gay agenda"--and that being gay is like being a thief, or an adulterer. It's the same old love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin bullshit that is hatred masked as love. Jesus, who said not a word about homosexuality, though he did talk about stealing and adultery, would smack these folks silly:
"So, I make a distinction between the lifestyle that the person has chosen, and the person himself. God loves the person, but He rejects the lifestyle, just like He rejects adultery or sex outside the context of marriage." Nor does Bernard elevate homosexuality as a unique or higher degree of sin. "We condemn it just as we condemn lying or cheating," he says. "Our society has elevated the issue because that segment is trying to gain moral acceptance. But that is contrary to the biblical, moral code that we live by. [Because] they can't get moral acceptance, they are trying to earn acceptance through legislation."

Oppressions intersect. Women are oppressed. Queer folks are oppressed. These are related. Patriarchy (or kyriarchy, if you prefer), ties them together, and the more we recognize this, the more feminist work we can do--the more social justice work in general we can do. Standing up for women in a space that hates on gay people is a Bad Plan.

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