This post has been crossposted to my own blog here. It’s a little more general in regards to oppression than I normally write, but in the face of the recent failures of mainstream feminism and their fallback to “omg I didn’t intend to hurt the transgender and transsexual people!” it is entirely relevant to us.
Warning: This post is sarcastic to such a point as you may actually slip in the pools of sarcasm that are dripping off of it. Please walk carefully. The caution cones are there for your protection. Also, we totally didn’t intend for you to slip so we’re not responsible if you do.
Today, someone said a slur. It actually doesn’t matter what slur it was, because you see, he didn’t intend to hurt anyone and therefore it couldn’t possibly be a slur. Much like how intent magically protects the actions of all privileged fuckjobs, intent means that anything you say, no matter how many groups it hurts, what awful views it enables, no matter what systemic bigotries it props up through the usage of language that enforces social concepts that crush a marginalized group, it mystically negates all of that.
So if you out a trans woman? Your uncanny intent wraps around her and protects her from murder, harassment, degendering and objectification by the people you just outed her to! If you say something ableist, you’re not actually contributing to the system that demeans PWD because your intent will gird your words with alchemical shields, made of eldritch power themselves, that prevent the words from creating and furthering social associations between disability and being bad, wrong, broken or unwanted! I know? Isn’t it grand? I love magic!
See, the great thing about this thaumaturgy is that it protects anything a privileged asshole says! So it fits in line completely with that glorious sense of entitlement that privilege tends to confer, basically, the idea that you can say anything you want and should never have accountability for what you say! Because you see, all privileged people have this ancient eldritch power called “Intent”. In fact, intent is one of the primary elements of the world (see figure 1). Like fire, water, wood, metal, air and earth, Intent helps make up an important part of the very existence of the universe. So when you invoke its ancient might, its tendrils of ephemeral power shift in the very fabric of the ‘verse, creating a magic so powerful that you can manipulate thousands upon thousands of threads of fate, just to protect the person you just said or did something supremely privileged and horrible to.
So say, if you make a bunch of racist jokes, instead of contributing to the systemic oppression of POC, the bewitching might of Intent (I’m capitalizing the I now, to give it proper respect as a primary element) spreads out, blocking every single person from fully hearing the awful racist shit you just said, further preventing them from internalizing it and using it to justify actions. It also prevents it from creating an environment where racist behavior is seen as more acceptable, by twisting the very threads of fate there as well! And, the best part? If you say it in earshot of someone who’s offended or hurt by it, the occult powers of Intent change everything! Now, instead of hearing a hurtful slur or sentiment that reminds of past abuses at the hands of privileged fuckjobs, the marginalized person in question only hears the beautiful natural sound of birds chirping. Or whale noises! Because you see, Intent is just that powerful. It literally keeps anyone from getting hurt by your fuckery!
But you see, it goes further than that.
Intent is so unbelievably epic that it doesn’t just cover slurs. No, it covers actions as well! Because you see, the very threads of fate are not immune to this otherworldly flow of what you meant to do or say. So if you kick a trans woman out of a homeless shelter into the cold because she didn’t fit your views of what a woman should be and she didn’t want to be put in with the menz (where she faces a risk of rape and murder for her, or at least harassment), your Intent literally changes the tapestry of fate so that instead of freezing to death in the cold, she actually is heated by an unexpected fire, lit by a lightning strike from clear skies, onto a pile of garbage that can’t spread the fire to anything else, right next to where she just happened to fall in exhaustion! I know! Isn’t it awesome?!
Intent is a power that you only have if you believe in it. Because so many marginalized people don’t believe in the power of intent when it comes to their/our marginalizations, few of us are able to call on its supernatural strength. Some rare marginalized folk are able to, but only in given situations and generally only in relation to themselves.
But you see, it isn’t even limited to the fuckery of kyriarchy, self applied -ism and/or privilege. It works everywhere else too! Made a really bad business deal that bankrupted your new business but didn’t intend to screw that up? Intent will magically negate the effects of the business deal on your finances! Drove during a foggy night while drunk as fuck and accidentally ran down a college student with your car going at high enough speeds to instantly kill him? Intent’s eldritch power will restart his heart and heal his wounds! Intent has the ability to change everything and anything you do and say to match your intent. That is simply how strong it is as one of the primary elements of the universe. It’s why we’re so darn unreasonable for being mad at the fuckery of privileged assholes, or for even calling them assholes. They didn’t intend to hurt anyone! They didn’t intend to do anything bad! And clearly, due to that Intent, to that thaumaturgic sorcery that spills forth from the mindset of the asshole who claims its power, any harm or bad shit they caused is magically negated!
Because you see, Intent is the ultimate alchemy. It doesn’t change lead to gold, it changes harmful, negative or damaging actions into happy, fun, “everyone hugs and no one is oppressed”, magical unicorn actions. It dips its eerie powers into the pools of time and space and counters each and every ripple of fuckery and pain created by the actions of an unthinking douchebag who was too privileged or self absorbed to see that their actions were a problem.
Isn’t that magical? I sure think so.