I’m not the “okay if she does it” sort. I understand that some actions aren’t equivalent when they’re aimed at a woman versus a man, all other sorts of privilege being equal. I don’t, however, think bad behavior becomes not bad behavior when done by the less privileged.
That said, WilloNyx has a piece up that is making me think about the subject a bit more.
Another admission: Some untimely-ripped-from-the-arms-of-their-loved-ones deaths are justice for me. Sometimes I wish it upon a person. Sometimes I sit back crossing my fingers in the hope a person will die before they have the chance to further negatively influence my life. Sometimes I hope someone will kill them and do the world a favor. I don’t hope it without consequence. I do feel bad for my mental victims’ families. I would never gloat to a grieving family that my karmic victim “got what they deserved.” I might express relief to my peers which may seem like gloating, but really it is the sigh of relief washing through my body.
These wishes come from a place of fear. They come from a history of victimization and a desire to fight back. They exist even though I am not a violent person. I could never actually enact the revenge I not-so-secretly wish in my head. The act of wishing alone provides me the needed catharsis while living unprivileged in a privileged world.
It is that way for most people. When non-violent people desire violence on others either internally or externally, we do so from a place of fear. We fear the power others may have on us, either real or perceived. We do so as a manner of maintaining internal or external control over a situation where we otherwise feel powerless. We do so to survive as unprivileged people in a privileged world.
Maybe the issue is that I’m not really a pacifist, just someone who sees violence as a terrible tool to achieve most goals. That makes this a new perspective and one I’ll be pondering for a while. Go read the whole thing.