by Guest Contributor CVT, originally published at Choptensils
A while back, I wrote a post (here and at Racialicious) that covered my tendency to channel emotions like anger and frustration into my art and teaching, using those so-called “negative” feelings as fuel for anti-oppressive works. I made references to being “violently peaceful” and how I often thought of my words as verbal punches against oppression.
My readers had a lot of different thoughts on that piece, positive and otherwise, but one Racialicious commenter’s words, in particular, really stuck with me. In short, this commenter basically touched on – what should have been – an obvious point: that my piece, although I intended it to be applicable to women as well as men, came from a very “standard” masculine point of view; a male culture that is taught to embrace violence in many ways. With that in mind, my intentions meant little in regard to the fact that I was really playing up to a “masculine” ideal and quite possibly dismissing half of the world’s population. (*1)
Let’s just say I’ve been digesting and working over these thoughts for months now (doing other things, too, of course), and I think I’m finally ready to write about it.
This post is going to examine the culture of violence in one man’s life (mine), with a focus on this question: “How does a man of color struggle against oppression without using violent imagery?” Continue reading