People Are Trash: A Guide to Feminist In Fighting

I know that for the sake of the movement, I’m not supposed to talk about this. But, fuck it.

Part of me feels uncomfortable casting women as inherent moral superiors. There are qualities of femininity that I adore, and those qualities are much needed in our male dominated society in order to achieve balance. Femininity in a vacuum is just fine, but we are not in a vacuum. We are currently engaged in a power struggle that is trying to tip the balance from one side to the other.

I appreciate power struggles. Mostly because power needs to be a struggle. Without a struggle, power is too easily won, and then it becomes corrupt. The struggle operates as a natural check to power.

To be clear, I am here for the struggle, not the power. Which is probably why I’ve started to feel some type of way about feminism. Don’t get me wrong – women are still oppressed in society and have a long way to go before we achieve balance in the gender power struggle, much less any sort of feminine majority. But I live in a bubble, and my bubble is ahead of the curve when it comes to feminism and power struggles. We’re making progress out here.

I recently got into a four-line text message tiff with a fellow feminist with whom I had been working on a certain, specific feminist struggle. At the end of those four lines, I felt brushed off, demeaned and undervalued. It was ironic, mostly because we were working against a man who had brushed both of us off, demeaned both of us, and undervalued both of us.

To back track a bit, I want to reference to the new feminist slogan, “Men are trash.” It’s the type of slogan that can get you banned from Facebook or into some sort of Internet comment thread show down. It’s something that I believe and support.

However, after this little argument, I realized: you know what, yes, men are trash. But that’s not big picture enough. Instead, “People are trash.” Including me. Including her. Including you. Including them.

Nowadays, gender seems to be a favorite rallying cry for people engaged in the power struggle. Race, too, and also class. Famously, also: religion. People seem to love to draw arbitrary lines in the sand and claim moral superiority on one side or the other. I get it – to survive is to struggle. We do this because we need to survive.

As I said earlier, I believe in the struggle, not the power. Power, by its very nature, lends itself to corruption and abuses. I support the feminist movement because I support a transfer of power. And, yes, that transfer of power will be specifically beneficial to me. But even if we achieve a matriarchy, there will still be abuses of power. People will still be left on the sidelines. Someone will be oppressed while someone else profits. None of this will ever be perfect. So people like me will continue to fight.

Fighting with someone with whom I am supposed to have solidarity illuminated this idea for me. There will be no rest for the wicked, and all of us are wicked. So prepare yourself for a lifetime of fatigue. Ideological purism can be preached but never enacted. This is the nature of our human existence: nothing has ever been nor will ever be constant. Nothing here is permanent, not even the fight. We will make mistakes, and we will have to ask for forgiveness, and then we will make more mistakes. We will get some things right, and we will celebrate.

These sentiments aren’t intended to undermine the feminist struggle, but, rather, intended as a footnote to sweeping cultural change. Radicals who came before us tried their hardest to make this world the best place it could be – but entropy increases, and this world is still shit. Nothing we can do will ever be enough, and perhaps we just have to sit with that and accept it. This fight will never end.

This is why I’m an anarchist.