I try never to say “it’s so easy” when talking about avoiding bigoted language. Partially because avoiding bigoted language is not easy, for me. I work and have worked really fucking hard to find words that are as hostile and dismissive as “stupid” and “psychotic;” sometimes…
“She says that it is as if they are both held together in a book and that when the book is finished they will return to the adulterated city, separate again.”—Marguerite Duras, Les Yeux bleus, cheveux noirs, translated by proustitute (via proustitute)
in the interest of being “that bitch,” questions that seem to problematize easy statements like this:
-which social body is conferring these “rights”? (this isn’t a question of the language of rights, but a question of the actions that constitute securing a “right.”)
-when is the exception to “always” created? is it possible or probable to maintain this right 100% of the time?
-who are rapists actually held accountable to? what happens when this body is silent? what happens when the “right” extends beyond the wishes of the survivor? what happens when both people can make a claim to the rights conferred upon survivors?
-who does the community keep safe? who actually receives rights?
-what would a response to rape look like where neither survivor or rapist had a right to anything? would allowing for nothing but the desires and ethical considerations of all those involved allow for something more workable than the discourse of rights/accountability processes? or would it just function as more silence in which patriarchy can operate? could avoiding the latter possibility be done, and if so how?
Thank you for this— these are really important things to be thinking about, and there obviously aren’t any simple answers.
Pop music had often cast women as sweet, bright creatures, but Winehouse’s lyrics revealed something mulchier, messier. Here was a woman who refused to conform – not in the eccentric mad woman in the attic mould of Kate Bush or Björk, but a woman who chose to live a little wild, follow her heart and sing of the simple stew of being female. Her songs were filled with broad talk, cussing, drink and drugs and dicks, songs that could hinge on one magnificent, unladylike question: “What kind of fuckery is this?”
love this piece
oh bog off amy winehouse and your legions of suck-ups. I would rather be represented by madwomen in the attic than a stupid junkie. Dying at 27 from an overdose is the opposite of empowered.
Wow, that’s a very uninformed, reactionary perspective. I don’t imagine you’ll change your position, because it presents, honestly, as wilful ignorance, but here are some things to think about:
Are we to dismiss the art of all those who die in less socially acceptable, less ‘neat’, ways? Is art only art if someone leads an unhurried life in a bell jar; a pristine existence? Who the hell are you—who is anyone—to judge that? Does her untimely death negate what her creative output explores—what it achieves? Certainly, i think the argument that her death enhances it is spurious (if popular), but Amy Winehouse’s death does not weaken the content or, really, the impact of her oeuvre.
[O]ne element of bad philosophy often leads to another; that is, in an environment that consistently fails to produce adequate learning in its students one should not be surprised to find a slogan used as a mantra which asserts that “knowledge is power.” The problem with this idea is that nothing could be further from the truth. Knowledge and Power, in fact, have virtually nothing to do with each other; one cannot be defined in terms of the other; and there is no sense at all in the assertion that they are equivalent to each other. Power, for instance, cannot be defined at all without recourse to hierarchical structure. In fact, if hierarchy were removed from consideration altogether in this or that context, power itself would vanish along with it. Knowledge, on the other hand, while one might be able to say that this or that individual has more or less of it than someone else, and use that fact to create a semblance of hierarchical structure, ranking the person with more higher than the one with less, knowledge, in and of itself, does not depend on this or that state of rank for its existence. Knowledge of a lesser kind does not cease being knowledge simply because someone values a different kind more highly. Power of a lesser kind, however, always assumes weakness as its mantle instead.
People who claim that “knowledge is power” are mostly concerned with justifying their use of naked aggression when they exercise it against those who have none at all or possess so little of it that they are essentially defenseless against its use. Aggression is no virtue when it is used against the powerless but always seems less offensive when its use is justified by knowledge. I have knowledge, which is the source of my power, and when I use it against you by depriving you of what you deserve, I cannot be blamed for my naked aggression because I know what is best for all concerned. You, on the other hand, know nothing at all. I know this is true because you do not have the power to resist my will.
Power is power. Knowledge is knowledge. They are not equivalent. One does not bestow or confer the other. People who mask their exercise of one by claiming to possess the other are simply dangerous to the well-being of the common good. A final question: if power and knowledge were truly interchangeable, one the same as the other, would George W. Bush be President?