I Am Incapable
I am incapable of seeing, of knowing, of understanding, of interpreting,
Of perceiving, of writing, of communicating, of creating, of seeking, of
Without seeing, knowing, understanding, interpreting, perceiving, writing,
Communicating, creating, seeking, fighting, advocating, agitating,
Through a prism of inequality.
The anger, the pain, shared and communicated everywhere.
Via memes, poems, stories, jokes.
Aaaah, the jokes.
Harmless, meaningless, little bits of funny.
No. They hurt, the rape jokes, the ‘pretty’ jokes, the constant comparison,
Holding the oppression of one culture up against the oppression of another,
Judging each culture on the different type of oppression it submits its
Women, disabled, transgender, race, culture, sexuality,
*insert discriminated against group here*
It doesn’t make one oppression any better to be compared to another.
It simply shows that both cultures have a very long way to go.
I am incapable of not interpreting through a prism of inequality.
I can’t laugh off discrimination.
I don’t want to.
I want to fight. For my sisters, my daughters, my brothers, my sons.
My nieces, nephews, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend.
No-one should be discriminated against.
A joke is funny only to those who are not oppressed by it.
A rape joke hurts, it perpetuates the blaming, it nullifies the hate and
Fear that the survivor feels.
The ideal of beauty is subjective, we are told. Culturally subjective.
Doesn’t matter. It still controls and suppresses and reduces to a
Two-dimensional object of no importance.
I am incapable.
I am happy to be incapable.
I am derided for it, told I am a ‘rampant feminist’.
Although that image conjured up strange and overt thoughts for some time
And I don’t really know exactly what it means.
But I take it and will take it as a compliment.
To my activism. I take it as a thank you for my personal fight, my activism,
My continuing to see, perceive, understand, know and oppose
All inequality. Intersectional inequality.
I am incapable, and you are welcome.
(c) Tina Price-Johnson 29.3.13
Written after watching a poetry-slam. I have never performed my poetry and do not currently have the confidence that I might be, or that my poetry is, good enough to perform. This was written in a format that could be ranted at people, and I ‘spoke’ it as I wrote it. It is a stream of consciousness, and I have not edited it because of this, it is exactly as it came out of my head in about 2 minutes.
It is my anger at inequality, and my annoyance/gratitude at not being able to interact without analysing that interaction. The closer one is to someone, the more that you know and understand them, and the less analysis occurs, for which reason I am grateful to have so many wonderful friends and family. The downside to that is the shock when I perceive an inequality being perpetuated through them. Of course, I have my privileges (listed in the ‘Who Am I?’ section of this blog) and perpetuate inequalities because of that, and I am very grateful to anyone who pulls me up when I do so.
It sometimes pains me to be incapable in this way. I understand benign perpetuation of inequality, the blinkered privilege that continues discrimination, I am a victim/perpetuator myself. But ultimately, I am glad to be incapable.
This blog can be, and I hope it is, shared. The copyright is simply to stop anyone copying and pasting without attributing my words to me. On the other hand, I doubt very much anyone would want to take credit for my words! Still, better safe than sorry…