Tales of A One-Woman Riot, Pt 2

Jenny Asencio

Even cursed as I am with a nuanced worldview that argues in favor of the unjustly downtrodden, and in the face of all the arguments with, and gaslighting and disconnection from, people who I thought knew me way better than that, I discovered voices who said a lot of the same things I did, and who think a lot of the same things I do. I’ve discovered feminists who are with me that the more publicized feminist philosophies are as bad as the misogyny they claim to fight, minorities (even black people, so take that, social justice warriors!) who appreciate my point of view about race. That’s all I’ve written about so far, but I am barely getting started.

Here is a sample of my actual opinions:

Feminist icon denies women have agency. Photo credit: Refinery29

● Modern “feminism” is misandristic and misrepresents what needs to change about gender equality. This has been the thrust of many of my previous essays. My views are that yes, the toxic remnants of the Patriarchal Society linger and still poison our social interactions and views of gender in ways that are literally unhealthy to our physical bodies – especially men’s. While I support a woman’s agency, I also support a man’s, and I think we are often too quick to villainize men based on the same social perceptions feminists object to when they are applied to women. I currently refer to this view as “rational feminism.”

● While discrimination such as racism, anti-gay, and religious or ethnic prejudice (such as Islamophobia) do have victims, current mainstream philosophies are implemented in a way that promotes victimhood of minorities and demonizes white people. I am especially concerned with the liberal application of “white supremacist” as a moniker for anyone white who speaks up on the subject of race, no matter what they actually say. I think the attitude of many white politicians who claim they support equality in these areas, especially with regard to race, have taken a patronizing attitude that really does have an air white superiority. I hate being lumped in with that and hate being villainized for it. It is the same mentality that denies the culpability of African groups in the Atlantic Trade Triangle, applied to modern day, and it is just as enslaving to the people they claim to be protective as that era was. This has been evidenced by a group of white people actually having the nerve to tell a black male writer that he didn’t understand the experience of being a black man. I would have actually kept my mouth shut about race, but after seeing that happen, I must insist on standing up against that kind of actual white privilege. As far as race in general, I accept that I am the majority race in my country, and that with that accident of birth comes added responsibility to ensure minorities are empowered as much as I have been, but that also involves recognizing individual agency, not suppressing it with a smile.

kqpbolIc_400x400.jpgA symbol of my political views. Photo credit: Twitter

● With regards to my political leanings, I am an independent who staunchly supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and left the party as a result of their corrupt practices. This means that I am not a conservative at all, in any way. I am also not a liberal, in that liberalism has returned to its classical roots with regards to private property and carried it to its most ridiculous extreme. I have recently begun to refer to myself as a libertarian socialist, in that I firmly believe that individual liberties can only be guaranteed by working together. Currently we have a collaboration of corporate and state that has become toxic to individual liberties. However, they have also forgotten something important, something they keep telling us we should forget as well, and that is this is a symbiotic relationship. They rely on us as much as we rely on them and even more so – humans survived without government, and we survived without corporations. They make our lives easier, sure, and institutions are definitely a necessity to ensuring personal liberty, but in the end, we faceless masses are the boss, and we’re not so faceless when we’re not dehumanized by labels such as “Democrat,” “conservative,” or “activist.”

○ I think Donald Trump is a great advertiser who used that skill to promote himself to some people with some very radical conservative beliefs, which has stirred them up but showcased no more than an exceptional adeptness at conservative-style greed. He’s pretty much doing what all his competition in the primaries said they would do. A few of those things (the Paris Accord, for example) were not as bad as everyone is making them out to be. Equating him with a Nazi or a white supremacist is moving the goalpost of what a white supremacist is. In general, though, I’m not a big fan of Republicans.

○ The Democrats are a whole other story but the only thing I’m going to comment about here is Russiagate, and how if there’s smoke, there’s fire – or there’s an “anonymous source” setting a smoke bomb so that everyone is outraged about something. The Russians didn’t hack the DNC nor did they attack our sacrosanct electoral process, and Donald Trump won the election because more of the Electoral College picked him than Hillary Clinton based on the distribution of the popular vote. I think the system worked, even though I don’t like the results, because I think Hillary Clinton rigged the DNC primary so she would be in that position to begin with, and was convinced she had enough influence to rig the general election as well, especially after her hubby’s tarmac visit with Loretta Lynch. I will, despite my distaste for his actions, admit that Trump’s election thrilled me because it proved I was wrong about Clinton’s albeit wide influence.

● Because of everything in the other bullet points, a lot of the same kind of people who supported Clinton are making excuses to attack free speech. White supremacy is an insidious and dehumanizing worldview, but it is not an excuse to ban it. Given the number of times I’ve been called a Nazi and a white supremacist by these same people for my views, I do not trust their judgment as far as what qualifies as hate speech, especially since failing to support Clinton was “internalized misogyny.” Guess what? Supporting free speech does not make me a white supremacist, or allied with white supremacists. That is comparing apples and scrambled eggs. The only weapon against people saying things you don’t like is saying things back, not silencing them. In fact, one of the writers whose work inspired me seems to have disappeared from Medium, to be replaced with “recommended articles” and unavailable stories.

Jason Ortego on Unsplash

● Much of my own worldview is informed by my spiritual views, and these come from a study of religion that quite literally began around the age of 4 with my thoughts about the answers to my inquiries about God; years of informal education and spiritual experience is now culminating in formalizing my education through pursuit of a dual major in religious studies and psychology. The two most basic spiritual teachings I see are that every moral in the Universe is literally presented to us by concepts within the Universe and in nature; and that humans should treat one another and any other being with emotional comprehension with dignity and respect, including the being we often apply this to the least – ourselves. I believe in freedom of spiritual expression, but as far as religion goes the closest established one I claim is Zen Buddhism. In the past, I’ve more whimsically called myself a Jedi, but apparently that is the #2 religion in New Zealand and the #5 in the UK, so maybe there’s something to that as well. I have a very Eastern, pluralistic view about religion because the majority of them actually do have spiritual value contained within even the most offensive or strange dogmas. I wear many different spiritual hats, and a lot of Westerners might question the sincerity of my practice because we are used to having only one religion per person, but spirituality is about individual agency, not adhering to dogmas, and not about religion.

So there you have it.

I’m a big Game of Thrones fan (I’ve read the novels as well – yeah, I’m one of those people), and one of my (many) favorite characters in the show is, of course, Tyrion Lannister. Even people who haven’t seen the show knows he drinks and “knows things,” so it is with his sage advice in mind that I leave you before we go on:

I am, indeed, a one-woman riot. I embrace that, because it is not only the armor that defends me from those who wish to silence me, it is the sword and shield with which I fight for my nuanced opinions that I’m so willing to share. I do not fit into any of the little political clubs like Democrat or liberal or what passes for feminist right now. I am something alternative, I am something independent, and I am something unique.

But what I am not, friends, is alone. The work of other one-person riots with nuanced views like mine has reached me via independent media shared by other friends and groups. And I know that if I was sanctioned so hard by people who disagreed with me that I second-guessed myself so strongly despite having the knowledge that I was right and they were wrong, there is someone else out there that happened to as well. Right now, someone else is submitting to conformity like one of Solomon Asch’s test subjects, someone who is questioning their perception, their judgment, and maybe even their own sanity. They might also think they are alone. They might even be told that they are alone, or conflated with views they abhor.

So I will not shut up in order to honor all of those whose work inspired me to write, by adding my writing to the movement and discussing my views on some things we are told it is not okay to discuss (especially religion and politics!). I will not shut up in order to reach out to all of those who are ready to stop conforming, despite the seeming wall of unanimity that has been erected around you. I will be that one dissenting voice who is confirming that yes, I see what you see, and yes, it is okay to admit it. I will not shut up because I learned the one secret their wall protects the most, their One Ring, their ventilation shaft on the Death Star, their weakest weakness:
There is no wall.

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