Probably, a lot of Feministe readers already read Tiger Beatdown. So maybe this is redundant, but I just had to boost the signal anyway. Sady Doyle’s recent post, The Percentages: A Biography of Class, is great. It’s a very intense storytime-type post, but also highly theoretical.
Here’s a snip from the end, but please do read the whole thing:
I don’t begin for a second to think that what I’ve described for you is a comprehensive idea of The Working Class, or can speak to that huge idea in any comprehensive way. It is only what it is: One history. It comes from a specific location, a specific state and town; it comes from whiteness; it comes from femaleness; it comes from a history. Which is one history, which cannot be exchanged for any other.
But I believe in the value of specific histories. The more I write, the more I know this: “Objectivity” is nowhere to be found on this Earth. Everything you are, as a writer or an activist — every place you come from, everything you’ve learned — is called upon, every time you set forth to speak or to change the world. The less we know what we carry, the more it undermines everything we do. And to write from one’s own experience, to construct a biography, is to understand where one connects with the world. This is specifically a biography of class. But I see gender, in this history, very clearly; I see heterosexuality, and I see race, and I see disability; I see location in time and space, and don’t believe any of these things are fundamentally separate from the ways money and culture (and culture is money, of course, always was; “taste” has never been an absolute good, never divorced from the reality of production and consumers) construct our lives in the world.
I have friends who are Occupying Wall Street. Good friends; people I trust. And I respect them, and I know the work they’re doing is good. But I’ve confessed, to at least one of them, that it scares me a bit, uniting behind a banner of the “99 percent.” I worry that this erases differences, erases histories, puts us into a position where all that matters is whether you are extremely wealthy or not, and I can’t match that up with my understanding of how class works, how it gets tangled up in all of these separate identities and oppressions. I realize now that this is the opposite of why they’re there; they want to bring the differences to light and make them connect without erasing each other, to create some model of solidarity that actually works. This is good work; this is necessary work. But before I can think of joining them in doing it, I have to do this, here. I have to begin to break that 99 percent apart, to speak to why it scares me.
[hat tip to No Seriously, What About Teh Menz]