So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

26 April, 2008

The Quality of Language is Strained

I just watched a bunch of writers seriously arguing that the usage of the word "gay" to mean, more or less, "something I don't like", is not homophobic.

Because, you know, that usage indicating sub-par quality has gotten so general in the culture that it's unremarkable, it clearly doesn't refer to actual gay people, and its spread and usage has absolutely nothing to do with any sort of underlying flow of homophobia in the culture such that the shape of things might be predisposed to using a word aimed in the generally queer direction as a generalised slur.

I'm ... boggled.

This is a bunch of people supposedly sensitive to word nuance - many of them professionally published - and several of them are seriously arguing that it has no homophobic connotations. "Oh, no, my kids aren't homophobic, they're using a word they don't know what means."

The usage is homophobic. Whoever uses it. Whether or not it's being chosen consciously as a slur. It buys into and supports a cultural universe in which "gay" is equated with subpar, low-quality, obnoxious, broken, defective. It hooks into the same cognitive space as and partially replaces the equivalent usage from my generation - "lame" - which I never noticed as problematic before I saw someone point out how ablist it was. Which is, again, tapping into the extensive cultural characterisation of people with disabilities as being subpar, low-quality, broken, defective.

The clear direct response to this was made by someone I happen to know is queer. Who got nothing in response but "How horrible of you to say that about someone's children", "some gay people have that usage, how dare you!", "you're being an asshole", "the word means happy!", and the like. Someone seriously brought up "When I was a kid, we were taught to say 'jewed down', and I'm not an anti-Semite".

The assumptions of the culture are homophobic, are ablist, are anti-Semitic; to the extent that one takes those in and breathes them out, one will be homophobic, ablist, anti-Semitic. (Racist, sexist, ...) Because that's the baseline for normal: a steady, grinding, degrading wearing-down of groups with less power with a constant grit of low-level disgust.

I left a response saying that the usage was so blatantly homophobic that I was shocked that anyone was arguing otherwise.

Because I am that shocked.

And because nobody should have to stand alone.

18 April, 2008

For Want of Community Or A Bowl of Rice

BFP has written an extensive, heartfelt, and powerful piece about why she is leaving the blogworld.

Belledame has commented upon it. And reading Belle's post, I had one of those oh-shit realisation moments, and now I'm writing.

Quoting BFP here:

I wrote what I wrote in response to all those feminists who, during the Full Frontal Feminism blow up, kept insisting over and over again that if “WOC” want book deals, they should “go get it them themselves.” That publishers weren’t skimming through the blogosphere looking for just anybody who’s a good writer. That you had to work for a book deal—you had to fight for it, show a little initiative, stop complaining, just do it. JUST. DO. IT.

And she talks about the nastiness of the whole JUST. DO. IT. as it gets directed in racist ways. Go read it. Please. I can wait.

Now Belledame:

Because, see, I look at this post by bfp, and what leaps out at me is not the business about "feminism" but the emphasis on community. Specifically, 1) she's got her own, she doesn't NEED a little corner office in the big bland white edifice, no matter how generous it thinks it's being, 2) the overwhelming evidence that as much as certain people might give lip service to the idea, in fact, they were never about community at all. They were about self-aggrandizement, and that's pretty much it. And the only reason they care about, for instance, "feminism," (or gay rights--hi, Andrew Sullivan! hi! or what you will) is because they see whatever-it-is as getting in the way of their rightful ascendancy to the top. Gimme my piece of the pie, OUR piece, OUR pie, excuse me, and make it a big one. What else matters?


Here's the illusion: that you can do it.

That's the illusion I was brought up in. You, yourself, you are one of the ones who will change the world. You have the power: you're smart enough, coming from a position of enough privilege, mighty enough in and of yourself, this weight can rest upon your shoulders.

This isn't "We are the ones we are waiting for"; this is a personal, individual burden laid upon people, often when they're very young, this sense that the thing we must be is special, world-transforming, earthshattering, Important.

I don't know how much this spreads into other cultural communities, but it's fairly common as a thing mentioned by people I know, a community mostly white, mostly educated, mostly left-of-center: "But I was supposed to save the world."


You can't do it.

"Never doubt that a small group of commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead


But ... 'a small group of committed citizens'.

That's not you.

That's -- maybe -- you and some other people.

You can't do it on your own.


Wait, what?

You can't do it on your own.

Changing the world, saving the world, whatever you want to call it, is intrinsically a matter of community. It's not something that you do. It's something that y'all do.

"If I have seen farther than others it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants." --Sir Isaac Newton

Anything we can build, anything we can do, is built over foundations laid by those who came before us. The materials we use are drawn from other people, other strengths, collaborators or contractors at the best, but also often victims of theft. The labor for assembling each new floor may be shared and joyous or compelled from the enslaved or a wide range between. But it's not something done on its own, isolated, without the support of others.

And the most fertile things, the most productive and inclined to make progress, the rich wealth of cross-pollination, comes of actual living, thriving communities, people sharing their own things, enriching their work with the relections and support of others, sharing the burdens of caretaking and the efforts of labor and the costs and trials.

The best families do this. The best neighborhoods do this. The best communities do this. People pool their strengths, divide up their weaknesses, synergise, grow.

There is no JUST DO IT, which denies the necessity of support, of roots set in fertile ground, of the ecosystem of the mind.

There is WE'LL DO IT.

And a large part of my own falling-out with feminism was in the difference between the illusion and a community, because the illusion that JUST DO IT is real breaks so easily when what's needed is the two little hands, or when what's needed is the ability to bend a little and not hold out for the lonely impossible solitudes of the illusory notion that one is fundamentally alone.

17 April, 2008

Same As It Ever Was

So, Renegade Evolution is a cranky, controversial-in-some-circles porn actress and stripper.

She has been butting heads for a long time with people who seem to want to characterise her as some sort of brainwashed minion who will only harm women everywhere by doing work that she enjoys a great deal. This tends to make her even more cranky.

One of the things that she's wished for for a long time is the opportunity to meet her detractors in an honest debate where they're actually forced to deal with sex workers in the flesh rather than as theoretical abstracts.

It appears that she had that opportunity at last.

Note, should you follow that link, in the comments a statement by one Anthony Kennerson, that begins:

Why do I get the feeling that Sam Berg will get seriously cold feet and attempt to pull out in the end, citing the usual stated policy against debating "pro-porn" activist lest they "legitimize abuse and murder"??

Which turns out to be sort of one of those prophetic things, now, doesn't it? Sam Berg is pulling a "I won't come to your panel if Ren is there", justifying it because Ren lost her temper pretty badly a while back.

The person who's trying to pull this together is trying to talk sense into the senseless.

Meanwhile, anyone who has any reasonable leverage with William and Mary College? Alumni, colleagues, people who can write a good letter? If you could lean on 'em a little, so that maybe one side of the debate won't be coerced into the silence of absence and talked about rather than talked with ....

13 April, 2008

Category Airing

I've got a fair amount of stuff rattling around in my head in response to Dev's post about female submission, and a lot of it is horrifyingly fraught and such, so I'm going to try to get what I said in the comments there coherent and see if I can deal with the rest of it later when I'm feeling less like bleeding on the carpet about it.

I am not a female submissive.

I am a woman. I am submissive.

Spotting the difference matters.

I'm on a couple of BDSM communities on livejournal, and every so often someone will pop up with "I read on male_dom" or "femdom" or "humbled_females" or something else linking sex or gender to power exchange. And while I'm pretty easy for communities, none of these have ever even remotely tempted me, not even as a place to lurk. They don't offer me anything I value, that I can value. I just ... not only is this not my kink, it's a kink that makes me uncomfortable.

And some of that discomfort is being genderqueer enough that any sort of sex-based essentialism tends to throw me out of the conversation entirely, because I'm either miscategorised or in that neither-fish-nor-fowl place where somehow, in the discussion being had, I don't exist. And not existing is a nasty, uncomfortable place to keep winding up being, so I prefer to stick to fields where my status as an extant being doesn't throw errors everywhere.

The thing is, these things aren't descriptive to me, stuff like "M/f" or "F/m"; they don't seem to describe systems where those just happen to be the relationships those people have, but rather something where it is important that The Person Of One Sex Is Dominant, and The Person Of The Other Sex Is Submissive. It's a particular gendering fetish, and it's not one that I share; it's not one I want to be involved with, either. ("Your kink may be okay, but I'll go over there now.")

If one isn't treating the sexes of the people involved as something that matters, then there isn't a need to specify. Those facts will come up as relevant, and if they're not relevant, they won't, and there's no sense bringing them up. There's no need to make a marked case of it. Someone reading for detail can probably pick out the facts of various interactions, to some level, and make guesses about others, especially as I do not go to any particular effort to conceal stray data (partially as a political act), but unless it matters, that's just data kicking around.

And every so often I get in my tracking someone doing a websearch for 'femsub' (and that's, I believe, the first time that appears in this blog; I just googled and got this for the search result, which doesn't contain it), and I sort of wince and want to shake the boxes a little, make space in which I can be a submissive without being a "femsub". Because I'm not one, and no amount of treating someone who fits two categories, who is 'female' and 'submissive', as thereby going into a category that links the two will make me stop existing for the convenience of the categorisers.

And all this leaves me awkwardly on the edge of discussions of differences in perspective on seeing a male submissive or a female submissive. For reasons that I think have a lot in common with people who have conceptual issues with the two -- that I'm deeply uncomfortable with stuff that looks like it's framing 'power' and 'sex|gender' as being intrinsically linked in a particular way -- but from my usual Klein perspective. Because I don't approach or perceive power as gendered, I can't meaningfully take part in a conversation in which the gendering of power is present as an axiom. It erases me from the discourse.

It most particularly erases my power. When my submission is gendered, it feels to me like it turns it into something that's about-womanness, rather than about-power. And I can't understand that as anything other than a caricature, because it's so alien to me, so it feels like treating me as a cardboard cutout, making my status as a woman the first and most important thing about me in a context where I feel the most important thing is my status as a submissive.

And yes, there's a fuckton of problematic stuff out there about power, especially in this context sexualised power, and sex|gender. I don't deny that, because I'm not a damned fool. But my submission is not about womanhood, it's not about femininity, it's not about genitalia; it's about loyalty, dedication, oathmaking and oathkeeping, being a pillar of support, service, strength, and trust.

These are not incompatible with being a woman, but they are not female. Focusing on my femaleness uncenters the perception from my power.

And it's all about the power.

12 April, 2008

Triggering the Kiss

He told me once what it was like, in sketches, from his side, filling in my memory with reflection; a few weeks of increasingly focused flirting finally winding up nestled facing each other under a blanket, staring, me full of fright, him seeing that and trying a soft, tentative kiss, a light stroking of my neck, not understanding then why his hand on my neck produced such an intensity of not-responding because we were so far away from talking about kink and reactions and still building the shapes of the trust that would come of that. He told me about wondering at my restraint, my anxious awkwardness, perhaps because I had pursued him until that point and had come all over shy, unwilling to kiss deeply, full of tension.

Knowing he can read the fear and be gentle with it helps, even on nights like this when I want to duck and hide and bury my face and be not kissed, not kissed at all, certainly not deeply; the bites along my shoulder are fine, the holding, the knot of rope grinding into the small of my back, but no kisses, none. And he kisses me anyway, and I recognise that and choose trust with the conscious work of will and ride the surge of things holding tightly to that trust and nonetheless breathe much easier when the kissing is done, when I don't have to fight with myself to have it, when I can let go.

I am not always so fearful. So rarely so, now, with him; hard to trigger, working at healing, save for the rough and fragile days when all the covering on old wounds is thin and no padding at all, when I turn away from being kissed.

Let me spin you a memory: an awkward woman-child, shy and hungry for learning how to be human, settled into her high school's auditorium seats to watch the county's selection of teenaged bands perform. The friend she came with is dancing; the boy she pines after is off with his girlfriend; that boy's friend, from a different school, is sitting with her, one arm around her shoulders.

She is terrified. Frozen up, uncertain, able to respond in an anxious laughter at times, mind racing. She watches the bands, perhaps this one a friend's performance, others from people she never will see again.

His fingers shift a little, tracing a circle on her still-developing left breast. This is a pleasant sensation; she considers relaxing a little, but still does not know him, know whether she wants to be with him at all, or how to reject him gracefully if she does not, and oh, that feels good, and it's so nice to have someone offering something other than scorn, and at the same time what should a Good girl be doing to be Safe, and shouldn't someone talk, not that she knows what the words would be, and ...

... he leans in to kiss her. And this is too much, too much to think about, obliterating thought already quite tangled trying to make sense of sensation. His tongue probes, hitting teeth. Eventually encouraging something more, deeper, with greater intensity, leaving her only able to think of the unpleasant slickness of it, trying to parse this against the knowledge that This Is What Lovers Do, trying to figure out if it will become okay with practice, if the shape of it will be different ...

... and it never changes, not in all the long months ...

... and eventually that relationship dies in the burning of coercion and pain and terror and loss and shattering shattering shattering ...

... leaving revenants haunting so many things, most especially the kiss.

And eventually she learns, as she grows into woman from child, that it can mean Hunger instead of slime, and there are times when she can hear Hunger without remembering those first forced kisses, those kisses and the entire cascade of everything that came after; even sometimes she can say it, though those are rarer, harder, edged with other fears.

But Hunger is terrifying, and it comes with ghosts.

11 April, 2008

Scale to Skin

There is a snake on my leg. A winged snake, coiled to protect an egg.

She is wrought in blood and ink and time, from my initial vision and the skilled hands of an artist who knows how to work flesh.

She is a sacred snake, a royal python, who guards her eggs when she lays them. She is a sacred snake, winged like the uraeus, the guardian of the king (though the uraeus is a cobra).

I was born in her year, the Snake, though just at its transition; my summer boyfriend when I was sixteen, four days younger than I, was born a Horse. When I was a child, we caught a garter snake once, kept it in a jar a while to study it and learn to have no fear, released it in the stump at the bottom of the yard, into which it wriggled and vanished like a mystery.

She is wise, is the snake, a liminal creature. She knows the mysteries of rebirth, shedding her skin to be made anew over and over again, many times in her life. She is a primordial, one of the first gods, guardian of secrets. There were times she bargained with people, to live in their homes and keep them free of vermin, in exchange for the warmth of their hearth, the protection of their children. She gave oracles, sometimes in the dangerous edges of the effects of her venom. Her reputation as a healer is multicultural, touching many worlds, many serpents.

She spreads her green, feathered wings widely, wrapping my leg in a gesture of benediction; green for life, living, birth, rich against her fertile browns. She can freely move in any direction she chooses, and chooses to mantle protectively over one egg, tucked luminous dark into her coils.

The egg she protects is a pisanka, an egg of old, old tradition among certain of my ancestors. An egg now marking and celebrating the mysteries of life and death, the shedding of the skin, being born into salvation. Blue for breath, breath for soul, ruach the colour of sky; the starburst sun in white and gold, pure and joyous and the brightness of the laughter of children.

She is my ancestor mark, my protector always with me. She is my memory of those who came before, my promise to those who come after. She is wrought in flesh and bone and blood and breath, etched under skin, holding close and gentle.

When the healing skin peels away, it will look and feel just like snakeskin.

(As I started writing this, some weeks ago before the work was done, Stephen Bodio's Querencia linked to this post at Atomic Nerds about ink and the shapes and meanings thereof, and what people will see.)

10 April, 2008

Silence is Complicity

It's hard, at times, sitting on the edge of known space, not involved enough in things to have anything useful to say, not far enough away to claim ignorance, to not know.

And I wasn't going to say anything, because I have no words of my own, and so much is about letting those who do have words speak them. And at the same time, ... whose side are you on?


Other people have words. I will let them speak for themselves. I'm not asking for a fight, as the wounded party has asked to be let go without a fight. I'm asking for a witness. These things are happening. They have been happening for a long time, in many fields, in many forms. Pay attention.

[Added] Get some perspective.

My own words now: stop. Think. Listen.

Know were you came from.

Maybe then you'll know where the fuck you're going.

09 April, 2008


When I was doing my Feri apprenticeship, we spent several seasons doing focused work with the lemniscate gods of that tradition. And I found myself completely foiled by trying to work with Mari. Call it mommy issues, call it whatever; I could not fathom that goddess.

And as I lay in half-meditation last night, thinking about motherhood and children and all the things that come with them, I turned my thoughts towards Mari, and for the first time, I beheld the goddess.

I have spent much of my day in a half-haze from unrelated sleeplessness, contemplating the goddess, contemplating my vision of Her. Shaping images with my mind in preparation for attempting to shape them with my hands, oh, gods, I need my studio working, need to build, need to get my tools, my hands into earth again, how I have missed it.

And I was meditating on goddesses in the subway, on Mari and the Star Goddess, on the ways They interplay with Hetharu, on all these things, considering the black mirror of the train windows like the black arc of space, contemplating what I had learned of the body of the goddess, embodying the goddess, in the span of that vision.

And the train slowly filled up, from nearly empty when I got on at the end of the line, to each row of seats with two, then three people. And I looked up, saw a tall, lanky, grizzled black man scanning the train, looking for a place to sit.

I moved my bag off the seat next to me, and he accepted the granted space, sitting on the other side of the now-open seat and setting his armload of newspapers, folded and not, between us.

He picked up a newspaper, folded it carefully down the center, added it to the pile of folded ones. Picked up another, folded it. Issue upon issue of the Spare Change News, a newspaper addressing the concerns of the homeless, primarily sold by the homeless.

I found a dollar in my pocket and offered it to him. He accepted it, handed me the just-folded newspaper, and tucked the dollar away into his pocket; I started to read. Anti-war articles; unionization in a co-op grocery; local matters of concern to the homeless; the Lusty Lady reorganisation; musicians perform at a veterans' shelter; a pro-Clinton piece; a pro-Obama piece; concerns of immigrants; where there are meals; disability benefits. Poetry. A political cartoon. A crossword and a sudoku, and me without a pen.

I read, and he folded. And I wondered what he thought of me, the dazed white woman who made for him a little space and bought his newspaper without him having to ask, as I read. All the divides between us with their potential for awkwardness, for politely turned away eyes and pretending not to see, but we maybe managed a little space where we could be human to each other, two people on the subway. Space for a little kindness.

(And it is finally becoming spring here, at last; warm enough for a man with a guitar to sing "Mercy Street" in the square where the ice cream shop is giving away free ice cream in honor of the home opener, the baseball season striking me as so akin to the growing season as I think of it watching the queue for ice cream and trying to decide if I want some.)

When I got up at my stop, he wished me well, and I wished him well. Two people on the subway, embodying our own particular gods, and we blessed each other.

May you be a blessing.

07 April, 2008

The Whys of Teeth

"May I mark you?"

There's a fragility in being owned, at times, in belonging; the way that sort of power goes has the vector nature, it flows one way. To be claimed is not to claim, and the obligations of one's master towards caretaking are not the same thing as a hand twined in hair, not the same thing as the weight of the pin or the feel of knots ground into one's breastbone.

To say "my master" is not the thing of pride of ownership that "my slave" or whatever other title might be; it is relational, not possessive. This is the one who may command; what claims may be made upon that person are limited, at least, by protocol. It cannot express possessiveness.

It's not a thing with much space for holding; it is a word of being held.

"May I mark you?"

There's a fragility in being engaged, at times, too, at least as a woman using somewhat culturally-familiar protocols. The meaning of the ring is obscured, perhaps, by the wedding band on my other hand, less obvious to the observer, but at the same time, I am marked by it and know myself to be so, and if someone were to ask me what it was, I would tell them.

I have the mark to touch, to remind me of promises made, intentions declared, to make a show of these to those who notice such things.

There will be no such signs for him before the vow-taking.

"May I mark you?"


There is a fragility in exposing the weakness that lies here, in being, in so many things, the one held, not the one with the authority to hold. Such a deep fragility, felt so keenly.

And there is protocol.

And with permission, the fear gone into reds and bloody golds and intense needfulness, teeth to shoulder, breath half-stifled in a halo of hair, a moment of wrestling here and a retaliatory nip (perhaps to prove that permission is not authority), the adjustment of his torc there so I could nuzzle roughness into the perfect curve of neck, and the holding on so tightly.

And he laughed at me, and was the one to hold on then, when he asked if that was enough, and I said, softly, fiercely, not for the first time, "Mine, damnit."

The marks will fade.

But right now, there is no fragility.

Right now, there is that dark, sweet, savage feeling, that tastes like pride.

06 April, 2008

Seven Potato, Or

So there was a reasonably sane and rational discussion of polygamy/polyamory issues at Scalzi's Whatever. (For the record, I am pretty much in agreement with Scalzi's layout of the issues involved.)

And then someone notes that the bloody FLDS raid is relevant to the general population. And the thread is mostly dead, so it's not really a hijack, and I'm too tired and cranky to start it up again, even if anyone were likely to be listening in the out of sight, out of mind attention span of the blogworld.

Just, the whole damn thing depresses me.

Let's see. In this corner we have a sect of crazy religious schismatics who have decided that patriarchal polygyny is required by their god, and perpetrate it by coercing underage girls into marriages and exiling young teen boys so that they have enough adolescent poontang for the elites (who didn't get kicked out), as well as bonus indoctrination, physical and sexual abuse, and all the stuff that comes of living in a crazed isolationist compound because if someone outside the group notices that they're pulling this shit the gummint will come down on them like a ton of bricks. We have extensive welfare fraud because the marriages have to be kept secret and thus the mothers claim absent father, too, in yet another one of those unintended-consequences fun times.

In this corner we have adults conducting relationships with other adults, under the same circumstances of misogyny and abuse as are present in the ordinary monogamous world (in other words, too damn much anyway, but not bloody mandatory).

Why the fuck am I supposed to be answerable for the behaviours of the fanatics, again? "Dance, monkey, dance; you're weird in a way that might be claimed relevant to this question so explain those people in a way that makes me believe you're not one of them!"

I'm burned out on this shit. I haven't done much poly-activism for years, and I'm burned out on this shit. I'd like to, y'know, point out things like not only is it not legal to marry more than one person, it's a felony to suggest that it might be a nice idea in Michigan, and that sort of thing, if I were doing activist shit, but whenever I poky my head out from under my rock, I keep running into "What about the FLDS?"

What about them? I think they're godawful perpetrators of a system that destroys lives. I think that the criminalisation of polygamy probably makes it worse, because they are driven more thoroughly to hide what they're doing and perpetrate their fraud and abuse in ways that encourage it to get worse and keep any sort of social oversight from being present -- but that falls in with my whole position on "consensual crime". I think Jeffs is a fuckwit and at best a repeated accessory to rape. I think their theology is wacked, that they have a right to believe wacked things, and that their established system of dealing with their batshittery abuses their young people horribly and unforgiveably in criminal ways most of which would still be criminal ways if their marriages were legal.

I think I'm tired of people who abuse children and adolescents being used to shut down or hijack discussions about what adults choose to do with each other.

(The relevance of this point to other discussions kicking around the blogworld is left as an exercise to the reader.)

01 April, 2008

Revolution And A Couple Bucks Will Buy You A Latte

A friend wrote, in a locked post on livejournal, regarding Dharma Bums:

Because that book, he bums around from place to place, and he and his male buddies are crashing in places in California, and they are living with these *women* who hold down crappy jobs, and eating their food and drinking the wine they pay for, and then he goes back home and lives with his mom for a while, and eventually he gets a summer gig watching for forest fires, and I'm like, finally. But if I remember correctly, he goes back to crashing with these women. (It's been a long time; I'm a little fuzzy on the details.)

And, I mean. That's not really "down with The Man!" living. That's still inside society; it's just pushing your labor off onto a group of people who have historically been *even more oppressed than you*. If he went and joined a commune and pulled his weight planting beans or whatever, I'd be right behind that. But I refuse to take "I'm engaged on this great experimental way of living and it requires me not to do anything that the society I live in will reward me with money for, so *you* do it instead and I will live off your labor and not give anything back to you!" as revolutionary. In fact, I find it the *opposite* of revolutionary.

(Quoted with permission.)

What price revolution?

I don't really have my thoughts about this entirely articulate, to be honest, so I'm going to wave my hands around a bit and pretend that I'm coherent.

What price revolution?

I know people who try to live in as self-sustaining manner as possible. Not entirely off the grid, but people who run woodfired furnaces, grow significant portions of their food and focus on buying the rest as locally as they can.

I know people who pool their resources and incomes for greater efficiency in intentional communities and shared households. Hell, my own family does that a little bit, with partially shared grocery bills between the two physical locations in which we reside.

I know people who try to stand for what they believe in, even when it breaks and bleeds. I know people who are out of their closets, in order to push for a world where closets are less necessary, maybe even not necessary at all. I know people who volunteer their time and energy at domestic violence shelters, soup kitchens, a variety of other places.

What price revolution?

Revolutions are bought in blood and sweat, the work of people doing things, giving things up, suffering, working, rejoicing together at each inch won. That is the case when they are violent revolutions, and just as much the case when the struggle has fewer gunshot wounds and broken noses.

What price revolution?

Revolution does not go unbought by somebody. And I see people who want to offload the price of their transformation onto other people, generally invisible, ignorable people, like those women in crappy jobs, so that they can be free.

How much of that organically grown produce owes its status to the labor of migrant farm workers? How about the end of sex work as we know it getting offloaded in its consequences onto sex workers? How many "political lesbians" are crankily expecting straight women to go celibate for the sake of world domination?

If the suffering, effort, privation, or work for your revolution is borne by someone else, check your goddamn work.