Feminism For Everybody Friday

SPLAINING SO HARD.

 

Hello, beloveds and happy summer. Your professor has been having a fabulous summer so far, basking in her underemployed poverty while watching sportsball and dancing at World Pride and drinking on patios and eating delicious banh mi in parks and getting new beautiful tattoos (shameless plug for Greg Kidd at Sal’s Tattoo on Spadina. My flowers are so beautiful, Ima DIE). It’s been a good summer for this particular supahfemmeidentifiedladypersonbody.

BUT. . .

Shit is going down, beloveds. Bad shit. Take the decision of the SCOTUS to strike down the buffer zone around women’s health care clinics. It’s worth noting that the SCOTUS has a great-big-giant-comfy-park-a-Winnebago-and-many-blue-whales-into-it buffer zone for protestors. It must be nice for all those mandudes in their fancy robes to flow on in there with the terrible majority opinions and erode the freedom of women, all while separated from people who should be yelling their faces off:

“HEY SCALIA, YOU ASSHOLE. . .YOU ARE ERODING THE FREEDOM OF WOMEN. . .WHY DO YOU WANT TO KILL AMERICA? FUCK YOU, TOO– ALITO WHAT WITH YOUR DESIRE TO COLONIZE MY UTERUS AND IMPOSE YOUR SO-CALLED MORALITY UPON IT. ALSO, RECREATIONAL SEX IS SUPER DUPER AWESOME AND Y’ALL SHOULD TOTALLY TRY IT. A LOT. AND LEARN HOW TO GIVE PLEASURE TO YOUR PARTNERS IN AWESOME WAYS, BECAUSE I KIND OF THINK THAT MAYBE YOU ARE LACKING IN THAT DEPARTMENT. JUST MY OPINION, ANYWHO. HAVE A GREAT DAY AT WORK ERODING MY PERSONAL FREEDOMS, YOU FUCKERS.”

Well, at least that’s what I might yell. I would also yell this:

“ZOMG!!!!! JUSTICE BADER GINSBURG I ❤ YOU FOREVER BECAUSE YOUR DISSENTING OPINION IS THE BOMB DIGGITY AND YOU BELIEVE IN JUSTICE AND I AM PRETTY SURE THAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY FROM THEMYSCIRA AND HERE TO SAVE US ALL. PLEASE HAVE AN AWESOME DAY AT WORK DEFENDING MY PERSONAL FREEDOMS AND SIDE-EYEING ALITO AND SCALIA FOR ME. FIGHT THE POWER, OR CORRECTLY DO YOUR JOB OF INTERPRETING THE LAW WITHOUT INJECTION OF YOUR OWN RELIGIOUS AGENDA. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH AND PLEASE NEVER EVER RETIRE OR DIE EVER, BECAUSE YOU ARE FROM THEMYSCIRA AND THEREFORE AN IMMORTAL AMAZON DESCENDED FROM A GODDESS, RIGHT?”

Also, there was the “Hobby Lobby” ruling, and I can’t even talk about it anymore—because it sucks so much. But, please feel free to read the dissent of Justice Bader Ginsburg, my hero, who says exactly what I agree with on this matter.

Which brings me to this:

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Is our topic of the day. Some of you might now what the SPLAINS are already, but some of you don’t. Some of you might even be guilty of this, so that’s why your professor, who loves you all very very much, is here to help.

First off, SPLAINING:

Splaining is essentially when you talk down to another person because you believe that your privilege entitles you to know more than they do.

For example:

Professor LadyPersonBadAss: exceptionally informed opinion, communicated in an intelligent and passionate way.

Notallmenheteromandudecisbro: Yes, but actually, . . .words words words, these words, those words— and then some more words and yes I am actually still talking even though no one else in the room can believe I am actually still talking from a place of absurdly unexamined privilege.

Professor LadyPersonBadAss: (delivered while remembering that Jesus wants her for a sunbeam and with a twitch in her right eye) Well, actually, more exceptionally informed opinions based on lots of facts and reading and also evidence and science and things.

Notallmenheteromandudecisbro: But, the patriarchy has taught me that I need to have the last word all the time, even if I have nothing important or interesting to say so I am still talking and will continue to talk, even after you perhaps have said the actual words “this is really all I actually want to say on this matter, and clearly we need to respectfully agree to disagree.” Which is why the patriarchy also harms heterocismandudebros but I cannot see this because hypermasculinity and. . .

SCENE.

Second off, SPLAINING—it’s not just for heterocismandudebros.

The origin of the term is indeed “MANSPLAINING” but anyone with a position of privilege can SPLAIN so spectacularly hard.

You can ablesplain:

PerkyAblebodiedPolly: Yes, but aren’t we all disabled in some way? I mean once I had a cold and so now I know what you mean when you talk about your fatigue. In reality, the only real disability is a bad attitude.
ProfessorLadyPersonAwesomeCripBadAss: Um, no.

You can privilegesplain:

Gotalottamoneyandneverbeenbroke: I think that if the poor read more Marx, they would stop being complicit in their own oppression.

ProfessorLadyPersonWhiteTrashBadAss: Seriously?

And the list goes on. Odds are, if you have privilege over another group (and you most likely do, not that it’s a contest) you have SPLAINED.

Now you know about splaining. I know now you are wondering: “but Professor. I am nice. I like to consider myself a good person. I don’t want to micro-aggress anybody or be a jerkypants. Please help me.”

So,

HOW NOT TO SPLAIN.

Step one:

STFU. No, seriously. Listen. Actually listen to the other person talking. This is super hard, because often my beloveds are VERY PASSIONATE PEOPLE. That’s why I love y’all so very, very much. The problem is when you are VERY PASSIONATE PEOPLE it is hard to listen. But, practice listening. The first step of listening is: STFU.

Step two:

Listen to yourself, and check your (privilege) self before you wreck your self.
Are you saying something incredibly insensitive? Maybe try not doing that.
Are you telling somebody that their lived experience is not as valuable as something you read on the Huffington Post? FUCKING STOP THAT.

Step three:

STFU.

So, beloveds, that is the lesson of the day. Go forth and splain less. Bonus round: if you see someone SPLAINING SO HARD, use this handy phrase:
“Hey, check your privilege. Not cool.”

Until then, a million rainbow kisses and unicorns carrying baskets of chocolate and delicious hard cider,

Professor LPB

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