you broke the ocean in
half to be here
only to meet nothing that wants you.
A brief bibliography of some of the compelling multidisciplinary research coming from The Wu-Tang Lab:
Cash Rules Everything Around Me: The History of Hollywood
Protect Ya Neck: The Use Of Corticosteroids In Cervical and Thoratic Trauma
The Mystery of Chessboxing: Exploring the Origins of Esoteric Forms of Sport
Method Man: How The Method Actor Shaped The Future of Cinema
Can It Be All So Simple: An Argument For Single Payer From The Economic, Social, & Compassionate Position
Verbal Intercourse: The Revolution of the Talkies
Incarcerated Scarfaces: Medical Bankruptcy And The Return of Debtor’s Prisons
Bring The Pain: The Evolution of Horror Cinema
In the Front, in the Back, Killer Bees on Attack: Geographical Extent of the Africanized Honey Bee and Resultant Public Health Risks
Brooklyn Zoo: Hollywood and “Urban Cinema”
The Heart Gently Weeps: Mitral Valve Prolapse And Valvular Regurgitation
4th Chamber: Guns and Popular Cinema
Shadowboxin’: The Themes and Tropes of Boxing Films
Iron God Chamber: Best Negative Pressure Ventilation Techniques
individual action vs. collective action by women’s movements
So that “my dream action for the women’s movement is a smile boycott” quote by Shulamith Firestone is doing the rounds. Because I posted it, I see most of the reblogs on my dash, and I wanted to comment on a particular response I’m seeing repeatedly.
The comments include:
- “I still haven’t mastered this”
- “I’m going to do this”
- “I really need to work on this”
- “I am actively working on this”
- “I need to work on this”
And I really wonder what’s going on here, in that these responses seem kinda unrelated to the quote. It can be very powerful to find one’s scope of individual action on this kind of thing. But that’s not what the quote is about.
Firestone is suggesting an action for the women’s movement. She’s suggesting a smile strike. That is, an organised, concerted effort, taken by a great number of women acting in solidarity with each other.
But it seems like the only way many people are able to hear quotes like that is, “this is something more individual women should do”.
I wonder if that’s because a lot of people on Tumblr are fairly young and haven’t had the chance to see women’s collective action (for example, Greenham Common), or perhaps haven’t even heard about it?
Or is it because of a more insidious takeover of this kind of individual, liberal idea of what feminism is, because we’ve lost a sense that a “women’s movement” is a thing which exists, or if it exists, we don’t believe it can act.
I worry that women are beating themselves up about not being able to, individually, resist an entire social system which is designed (among other things) to force them to emotionally service men, including servicing them with smiles.
I’d be interested in hearing back from some of the women who made that kind of comment (or had that kind of thought on reading this or similar quotes). This is totally not meant as an attack on you, by the way!
I’d love to hear if it’s that you recognise what Firestone’s saying, and that kicked off separate thoughts of individual action? Or is it that you mistook her as calling for individual action? If so, why?