Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Anger in Context

"I'm not a member of Dworkin's target audience, but (or therefore) she really pissed me off. Statements like "left alone on a desert island, men would fuck mud" (to pick one example that stuck in my mind) are true but also irrelevant or falsifying: left alone on a desert island, would women not use dildoes? What exactly is the difference?

I found her rhetoric very unpleasant because it came IMHO close to pure hatemongering. She said things about men that would have had her (rightly) imprisoned if said about blacks. Again, what is the difference?"

Udge makes a good point in my comments below. Much of what Dworkin had to say would be viewed as hate speak in today's moderatey tolerant world.

But to get to the interesting, really interesting question, what is the difference between anger from women directed at men and that of whites against blacks, etc? Is hate not hate?

I believe there is a difference and it is based on context. If you are looking at, say, Malcolm X - some of what he had to say would not be tolerated in today's society. Why? Because there is not a clear correlation between the anger and events that warrant that anger.

At the time, Malcolm X had experienced incredible doses of prejudice and white ignorance. He had lived through violence of oppression. His wrath toward white culture, in context, is generally accepted today and understand as an appropriate response to the realty of living as a black person in his time.

Therefore we understand the nature of his rage, even if we do not agree with acts of violence or hateful retaliation. Unless, of course, you believe in an eye for an eye.

I believe Dworkin, like Malcolm X, grew up in a time when women stepped up to the plate and said, "Enough." Her anger towards men, in my view, was justified. Women have lived under the fist of male violence for thousands of years. Men are still the perpetrators of most violent crime. Whether or not you agree with her statements, you must admit that given her generation, her anger was appropriate in context.

Again, I am not advocating behavior or call to violent uprising here. But understanding what motivates is important.

Udge, you suggest that there's no difference between a skinhead's angry sentiments or feelings and Dworkin's anti-male discourse? I would suggest that racial bigotry, in the case of whites against people of color, is universally without context. In other words, statistically there is no reality to back up their anger. They claim that their jobs are being taken or their neighborhoods are being criminalized, but that is just statistically invalid. Further to that, most black violence is black on black. It's absurd to suggest that minorities are doing harm to whites. Period.

Subjectivity comes into play of course, but looking at the context is key to understanding people.

Ward Churchill's recent statement about the United States is another intriguing example of anger in context and as historically relevant.


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