Heteronormativity isn’t just about the presumption that everyone is heterosexual. The expectation that boys woo girls feeds into your mind the expectation that relationships are necessary for fulfilment, and you are less than if you are not having particular kinds of sex with a particular, and a particular kind of, person at particular intervals. It’s about what Lauren Berlant calls the love plot, in which love is produced as a generic text enabling society to interpret your life as following certain conventions. It’s not about what you want, it’s about what you’re supposed to want. You’re not encouraged to think about what you want in relationships, if anything, so much as you are encouraged to fit a script. Heteronormativity messes things up for everyone, straight people included.
People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.
America was built on two monumental crimes: the genocide of the Native American and the enslavement of the African American. The tendency of official America is to memorialize other peoples’ crimes and to forget its own - to seek a high moral ground as a pretext to ignore real issues.
I swear to the Lord
I still can’t see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.
The clearest effects of US empire building in the domestic arena are thus evident in the way citizenship has been restructured, civil rights violated and borders repoliced since the commencement of the war of drugs, and now the war on terrorism and the establishment of the homeland security regime. While the US imperial project calls for civilizing brown and black (and now Arab) men and rescuing their women outside its borders, the very same state engages in killing, imprisoning, and criminalizing black and brown and now Muslim and Arab peoples within its own borders.
A racist woman is not a feminist; she doesn’t care about helping women, just the women who look like her and can buy the same things she can.
A transphobic woman is not a feminist; she is overly concerned with policing the bodies and expressions of others.
A woman against reproductive rights — to use bell hook’s own example, and an issue close to your heart — is not a feminist; she prioritizes her dogma or her disgust over the bodies of others.
An ableist woman is not a feminist; she holds some Platonic ideal of what a physically or mentally “whole” person should be and tries to force the world to fit inside it.
I’ve told the kids in the ghettos that violence won’t solve their problems, but then they ask me, and rightly so; “Why does the government use massive doses of violence to bring about the change it wants in the world?” After this I knew that I could no longer speak against the violence in the ghettos without also speaking against the violence of my government