clearer perceptions

The most physiologically violent act inflicted by white supremacist patriarchy, like all oppressive systems, is curbing the ability to love freely. The woman of color’s identity is inseparable from her skin, and so her worldview is shaped by it; so that she is aware, grimly, that the shadowy invitation of likeness in her lover is not the inviting indication of a soulmate’s semblance, but the trauma of violence and the flight of resistance that has come to forge both the lover and beloved.

9 thoughts on “clearer perceptions

  1. Ra

    I am a gay Muslim immigrant who has been dating a Philly-born, white Christian guy for over three years now and I have been subjected to more violence from people of color than I have from white people. In fact, the only acts of physical violence that I have ever endured in my life have been perpetrated by people of color, with the very first one being at the tender age of ten. So please, oh for the love of God, have some restraint and humility in your discourse — whatever happened to “let not the hatred of others towards you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice”? — lest you incur the risk of becoming one of those “unskilled persons whose eye of intelligence is obscured by the darkness of delusion,” as the classical Buddhist philosopher Buddhapalita once put it, who “conceive of an essence in things and then generate attachment and hostility with regard to them.” Oh, and by the way, my mother converted to Islam to marry my father, a man of color who has not only been “physiologically violent” to her, but physically as well. Her family is Buddhist; that quote I got from my grandfather, whose response to my coming out to him, this old traditional Asian man, was remarkably only unconditional love, which is more than I can say about the reactions that I got from my father and his entire extended Muslim family. I wish they were only “physiologically violent”!

    1. I’m unsure as to your objection. Are you suggesting I shouldn’t describe white supremacist patriarchy as physiologically violent due to your experiences?

      1. Ra

        No, Nahida; only to do so with restraint and humility, two things so consistently lacking in your posts. Without them, you have only grievance, not perspective; justice, not mercy. ““Violent” verses in the Qur’an don’t bother me anymore,” you wrote in one entry. Has it ever occurred to you that is exactly how white people feel whenever many of them hear people like you speak of what you speak of the way you speak of it as if only white people were capable of “supremacist patriarchy,” as if white people were in fact the worst perpetrators of it when the Shafi’is mandate female genital mutilation while the Malikis, the Hanafis, the Hanbalis, and the Ja’afaris consider them meritorious in one way or another (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_on_female_genital_mutilation#Historical_religious_views)? Would you not be offended if you hear white people say that white privilege doesn’t bother them anymore? Of course you would. That would merit another entry, wouldn’t it? “You’re actually not even obligated to do housework,” you wrote so righteously in one such entry, conveniently leaving out what is actually incumbent upon women to do: sex. We all know the hadiths about women who refuse their husbands sex, do we not? And yet in all the wretched lands of “white supremacist patriarchy,” marital rape, or for that matter, just rape generally, is actually a crime. That the reverse is not even remotely true for too many nations ruled by people of color is why we in the West should all learn a little restraint and humility in our supposedly learned railings and rantings. That is my objection.

      2. Ra

        “Manners are small morals.” Even that white supremacist Hobbes had adab. Oh, well, page saved. I’ll be sure to use it in my class one of these days. Thank you. And have a lovely day.

  2. ana

    That was an unbelievable interaction. What were they expecting to happen, coming at you with that condescension about modesty? And then passive aggressively threaten to show this to their class? Wtf? Is that how their students are taught too?

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