torsdag 17 augusti 2017

You don't need my approval

Hi, I'm one of the highest ranking larp feminist in Sweden*. And you don't need my approval to be a larp feminist. You can do your own thing and that thing is very seldom reliant on whether I like it or not. Do you take a risk of me disapproving if you don't check with me? Sure. But you are a grown up and you will just have to take your chances. I'm not your feminist mom (ok maybe to some of you I am).
Wanna check with me anyway? I have a donations account. All donations go towards a full plate armor, and maybe coffee now and then.
You mainly need my enthusiastic consent if you wanna to do stuff to my body (or my body of work), because bodily integrity is totally a thing.
To quote Elin Dalstål, take risks, play boldly.***

I don't wanna be friends**

I think we try a little too hard to all be friends in the larp sphere. And we really don't need to be. Now, not needing to be friends with a another larper, another larp critic or another larp feminist does not mean we have to be enemies either. Sure it's a human instinct to want to have friends that share some of our passions. But that does not mean we need to be friends with everyone who shares our passions. Few things can be as grating as someone who shares our passions "the wrong way".

I think that diversity in feminism is sometimes hindered by us wanting to be liked by our peers, maybe even be friends with them and how we sometimes mistake the social fall outs as being the same as ideological fall outs. Social fall outs happen because if life.
But feminism is not about being part of a special social circle made up of other feminists. Some changes sure are easier to make happen if you are part of a group, but to engage in group actions, you don't really need the group to be made up out of your personal friends. You don't even need to like the other people as long as you agree on ideological principles.

I have friends I disagree with on an ideological level (as long as they are not racists, transphobes or woman haters) and we are still friends. I have people who I agree with on a ideological level but that I don't have the energy to have any kind of relations with. I'm one of those people that don't see love or care as an unlimited resource. There are only so many hours to a day, days to a year and there are only so many social energy points I can give out in a day. First and foremost I owe those points to my children and my partner. I have a line of work that take a lot of my social energy points since I work with humans. Then I have close friends, and some people who I've taken a special interest in.
When those social energy points are gone, they are gone until they are refuel.

The demands for emotional work are already high on women.
The demand is even higher on emotional work and ideological "purity" on female feminists.

I am not pure

We can demand that to be a feminist you need to be in favor of the equal rights of women (since that is the basis of feminism). But to demand that female feminists are absolutely adherent to a standard, they might not even know you are holding them to, will end up with you punishing them for existing and surviving in a patriarchy. This is in part linked to my term PreUtopian Feminism which has to do with merging ideals and Utopian dreams and utilizing practical pragmatism to get forward towards a better tomorrow without burning out. This can be a way to avoid being crushed by demands to live like you are already in the utopian tomorrow. PreUtopian feminists believe in a better tomorrow but they allow themselves to live today and utilize tools and accept that they will find them self in circumstances that might be less than perfect.

And also like Elin Dalstål says "Self Care comes first"****.

I'm not here to be pleasant. And neither are you.

I'm just a person, a woman in the patriarchy. Basically surviving can be kind of activism some days and often leaves me grumpy and unpleasant. Every other kind of activism is extra. And I don't like when I have higher demands placed on me to also be emotionally available to a wide network of friends, to stay very informed on all kind of social justice categories outside of intersectional feminism (which are valid and important but there are other activist that are better at them.) I don't even know if I'm a intersectional feminist since I focus on such a narrow field as larp feminism, and by proxy those hobbies near larp. Well that and countering ableism as much as I can.

So how do I handle these perceived higher and higher demands, and from in my turn putting too high demands on my fellow larp feminists? How do I release them from the fear that I might disapprove of something they do or don't do?

By running away from them.

I feel some are trying to make me play nice and adhere to the way they think I should be. And I will probably never be that.
They are welcome to my events, they are welcome to take part my freely published thoughts (I'll try to be better at not just having them on social media). But maybe they don't need access to me on my private social media. Maybe they don't need to know the ups and downs of my daily personal life. I don't hate them. Some have disappointed me, but that probably had to do with me having the wrong expectations on them, and I will get over it as bleakness and time creeps in.

Let's just be feminist colleagues? Ok?

* The way to be highest ranking is by inventing your own category and ranking system.
** Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
*** Elin Dalstål  Play Boldly
**** Elin Dalstål Self Care Comes first

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