What liberals don’t understand is that 90 percent of oppression is consensual. As Florynce Kennedy wrote, ‘There can be no really pervasive system of oppression… without the consent of the oppressed.’ This does *not* mean that it is our fault, that the system will crumble if we withdraw consent, or that the oppressed are responsible for their oppression. All it means is that the powerful— capitalists, white supremacists, colonialists, masculinists— can’t stand over vast numbers of people twenty-four hours a day with guns. Luckily for them and depressingly for the rest of us, they don’t have to.
"People withstand oppression using three psychological methods: denial, accommodation, and consent. Anyone on the receiving end of domination learns early in life to stay in line or risk the consequences. Those consequences only have to be applied once in a while to be effective: the traumatized psyche will then police itself. In the battered women’s movement, it’s generally acknowledged that one beating a year will keep a woman down.
"his eyes are so blue when he prays.
like the imprint of lightning against
closed eyes, and they glow; you’ve never
seen anyone love so much, so beautifully.
you think maybe that’s why you’re going to die.
because you’re hollow, poured out and empty
and you’ll never love them the way he does. they do.
your hands stopped shaking three days ago but
your spine still feels like it’s cracking, back, back
until your neck bends in a loop and his teeth, his teeth
are so sharp. your skin breaks and you sigh at the release.
i’m going to kill you, one day.
maybe once you would’ve called that a threat
but today, today it falls on your ears like a gift.
you cannot imagine an honor higher than when
he’ll spill your blood against the altar, red, red
and shining with all the love you couldn’t give
up, couldn’t give in no matter how many times you
sank your nails into your body like teeth, opening
your skin to the heavens and whispering his name.
it’s not the same.
it’s like you never knew yourself until he took
you in his arms, like your name wasn’t real until
it fell from his lips and your body was made of mist
before he slid inside, like a brand, like a promise.
you’ve never felt so good (you’ve never felt so vacant)
you’ve never felt so free (you’ve forgotten how to breathe)
you never knew how much your blood could mean
(until it glistened on the floor beneath your feet).
i’m going to kill you one day.
something like pride beats a tattoo against your rib cage
and his mouth looks so red against the moonlight
and his hands are on your face because you are art
and you’ve got claw marks on your belly
and you’ve got teeth marks on your neck
and you’re ready.
"I’m not a “sex-positive” feminist, inasmuch as that term is used to refer to the kinds of people who believe that women, by adapting themselves the piggish sexual attitudes of men and becoming complicit in their own objectification, can fuck their way to being treated like human beings. In fact, I say piss on that misleading term altogether. It’s just another guise by which women are tricked into believing that the road to equality is paved with thongs and used jimmy hats. Using your sexuality to manipulate men does not equality make, nor does it even amount to controlling your own sexual destiny, because in order to manipulate men through sex you have to fulfill their pornographic fantasies, very few of which revolve around anything but a one-dimensional and completely fictional conception of female sexuality and nearly all of which completely ignore actual female pleasure. Fulfilling male fantasies is not feminism; no matter how many times you show them your tits, they’ll still run the government and all the corporations and institutions that make sure your life revolves around obsessing over your appearance and making 75 cents on the dollar for what they make."