Anger as a Revolutionary Tool

Natascha Hamman – Blog Post 1

I firmly stand with the belief of both Lorde and Anonymous that people facing oppression have a right to be angry. That has never been something I have ever questioned nor has my opinion changed by reading either piece.

However, the notion of “every time we fuck, we win” is one that I have a hard time grasping (Anonymous 2.) I do not believe sex to be an inherently revolutionary act. I do not think that simply having sex with who you want to have sex with, publicly, or as Anonymous puts it, “every street… [becoming] our sexual geography,” is going to dismantle heteronormative ideals or destroy capitalism (Anonymous 2.) I don’t think sex-negativity is the issue, nor do I think homophobia is as simple as a fear of queers having sex. I do not think that an act that angers the right is revolutionary just because it angers the right. Engage in whatever sexual practices you want and I could care less, but I do not find them radical.

Regardless of my discomfort with this one aspect of the piece, I can understand why Anonymous would feel the way they feel regarding the injustices they have faced. I have seen arguments from both sides – polite queers arguing that our point is drowned when we use anger as a tool, and angry queers arguing that our point is not diminished simply because someone does not like our tone.

I signed up for this particular blog post because I yet remain conflicted. From personal experience, anger does frighten me because of anger that has been thrown my way by oppressive forces. As Lorde put it, “for woman raised to fear, anger threatens annihilation” – maybe that’s my issue, maybe as a woman I have been taught to fear anger and that is why I avoid utilizing it as a tool (Lorde 131).

However, I believe that when we use terms such as “tone policing” to dismiss people being uncomfortable with the way something is stated, things get a bit muddy – verging, at times, into the realm of “gas lighting.” On the other hand, however, I do not feel the need to be polite in order to avoid angering my allies – I do not believe that “the only way to win a war is with allies” is a fact, as was stated in a blog post by Jim earlier today.

I chose to write about these two pieces in hopes that by writing about them I would gain further insight into where I stand on the issue. I have gained some vague ideas but no complete arguments to back them up at this time. I’m hopeful throughout the course of this class those ideas will continue to develop.

Questions:

  1. How do you feel about my ideas regarding sex not being a political tool? Do you agree?
  2. Have you ever heard the term “tone policing?” Can you think of any scenarios where tone policing could end up being dangerous, ESPECIALLY inside queer communities?
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One thought on “Anger as a Revolutionary Tool

  1. I do too find it odd to use sex as a political tool. When I think of sex I imagine of it being a deep intimate act between two who love each other and not something people would use to further their political agendas like a protest or petition. It would just seem odd to try and make it that way. I feel there are other ways to go about trying to dismantle heterenormitivity and prove your point. From there, I also really find myself agreeing with you on the part in which you find yourself conflicted between the idea of anger being a tool and anger causing our voice to be not heard, but instead ignored. On the one hand when I find myself on the receiving end of one’s anger or being yelled at I would tend to shut down, but then on the other hand I feel that it is necessary to get angry in this context This is because of the fact that just because you’re emotional about a topic does not mean that the issues and points that you are addressing any less valid. I think it’s nice to reflect on the fact that throughout time nobody was given rights by politely asking for them, so at times anger is totally justifiable, even if at times people find it uncomfortable.

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