I'm getting into a bit of discussion in the comments to my post "Facebook" on the topic of "transgression."
In that post, I use the dreaded T-word to describe part of the point of my recent post "Roaring."
People don't like that. They don't like that at all.
It's a hot little buzzword in feminist circles, and it's usually said derisively. It's supposedly something ignorant people do. Young people, who fancy themselves rebels and aren't actually resisting anything. This is contrasted with real work for social change, which as described is less flashy, less attention-grabbing... and, perhaps most importantly, less personal. Transgression is something someone does to be shocking; revolution is for the good of the People.
Commenters to "Roaring" are, therefore, quite displeased with me for using the T-word to describe it. On the one hand, I'm pleased they consider my personal story politically important enough that they'd cough and sputter "You? Transgressive? Oh, honey, you're much more intelligent/important/interesting than that!"
On the other, I used the word for a reason. I intended to get people thinking -- and it seems I failed.
I wanted to say "Yeah, this has those personal elements of that disgusting T-word all over it. I'm not just talking about how F/m dynamics don't fit the cozy thirty-year-old 'radical' 'feminist' 'theory.' I'm also talking about having fun. Fucking with people's heads. Laughing and defying their expectations."
I'm saying, in "Roaring," not just that that can be important, but that it's also fun. That it turns me on. That it makes me laugh.
I'm being "the fun kind." I'm letting myself be, despite the gasps and tremors even from my allies.
I'm doing so to make a point. And that is that just as the personal can be political (and I'd encourage everyone to actually look up Hanisch's work and get a firm bead on what that phrase actually means, as it's very often misused), so can fun be. So can very personal and rather selfish kinds of "rebellion."
Not because feeling daring, by itself, changes the world...
...but because it's only people who feel daring enough who would try to change the world in the first place.
If we really want shock troops eager to take down the Patriarchy, it's very odd that certain feminisms have so little interest in those troops' morale. "Activist burnout" is common. "Blogging burnout" is more common still.
And perhaps this is just my strange brain making odd connections, but I think the constant de-emphasizing of pleasure, the constant aping of "...not the fun kind" as though that were in fact a point of pride, has something to do with it.
No, feminists should not be "the fun kind" if that means "backing down when things get ugly."
But if not being "the fun kind" means we don't get to take pride in our defiance, laugh about our defiance, omg she's gonna say it get off on our defiance, we're not gonna last long.
Yep. I'm "transgressive." For those who want to toss tomatoes, the line forms around the corner.
Take your best shot.