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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crunk Feminist Collective on MHP and eloquent rage.

I have to thank a FB friend for posting a link to The Crunk Feminist Collective's insightful short piece on Melissa Harris-Perry losing her cool at Monica Mehta. A video of the moment in question is embedded in that article, and you can find the longer segment at the website for MHP's show.

I was watching that episode, and I was absolutely thrilled when the moment occurred, both because MHP was right, and because Mehta had been saying *horrible* things the entire time, and I had only been able to yell at my TV screen. But, I've avoided looking into coverage of the moment, because I couldn't voluntarily subject myself to the inevitable "Angry (Black) Woman" stereotype reinforcement that I presumed would follow, or having to explain, over and over, why responding to this through the lens of "irrational women" or "overly sensitive Black people and their bad tempers" is both inappropriate and either deeply misguided or intentionally distracting. As The Collective wrote:

One of the ways White supremacy and sexism works is through a putative disavowal of emotion as a legitimate form for expressing thought. Women and Black people are overly emotional, so the conventional wisdom goes. We have been taught to overcompensate for this stereotype by being overly composed, even when anger is warranted. 

I don't think people should be in the habit of shouting each other down on a regular basis -- it's a terrible way to run a discourse. But sometimes you shout because someone has refused to actually participate when you tried to have discourse. Sometimes, you shout because you've been pushed too far to allow propriety to be used in service of misinformation, narrow-minded selfishness, condescension, and a thoroughgoing lack of empathy. Sometimes, asked to hold one more offense, your cup runs over.

So, thanks, A., for posting a link to something I could read without getting enraged. With election season now in full gear, I'll have plenty or reasons to rage, and should probably save what little eloquence I have for that.