Why I Am Not a Feminist by Jessa Crispin

Why I Am Not a Feminist by Jessa Crispin

Author:Jessa Crispin
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Schwartz Publishing Pty. Ltd

It is also worth examining the effect such projection has on each respective group—both the projector and the projected upon. Defining a group by their negative characteristics in order to define yourself as “at least not that” has a way of hardening that exact unwanted characteristic.

When the Serbs wanted to demonize the Bosnians, one way was to emphasize their Muslim identity. Before the war, Bosnian Muslims were mostly secular in attitude and dress. After the war, there was an increase in veiling women and religious observance. It’s an act of defiance, a way of reclaiming what has been dismissed or, in this case, demonized. Traditions that had been falling out of fashion were suddenly deemed important: This is why they hated us. Best to celebrate what they hate.

As for the group doing the projecting, once you start projecting, it excuses you from examining your own ability to do harm. If they’re the bad guys, then you’re the good guys, and so anything you do against them is for the greater good. It’s why anyone who disagrees with you in political discourse is immediately Hitler. It doesn’t matter what you do or say against Hitler. Just by him or her being Hitler, you are immediately the good soul. Even if your methods to bring this person down are dirty, this person is Hitler. The ends justify the means, and the ends are justified by this projection.

Whenever we feel superior to anyone else, we take away that person’s humanity in order to bolster our own sense of self and worth. We take directly from them what we need to compensate for our own lack. We see their confidence, their certainty, as surplus. We need it, and so we find reasons to take it.

Once an oppressor’s power starts to slip, it is very easy to switch places and adopt the same behavior. In order to oppress us, they had to dehumanize us. And we dehumanized them back, while we were at their mercy. After all, only monsters could treat human beings so. This is easier than trying to understand the way a human becomes an oppressor, the process by which anyone, including our own special selves, can find ourselves in that role. When the power changes hands, as it always eventually does, it is easy to continue to think of these humans as monsters, as we dole out punishment or revenge. If they are monsters, it doesn’t matter what we say or do to them, or think about them. In our minds, they are the oppressor, we are the victims.

It is a dangerous thing to combine a victim mentality with a dehumanizing outlook. Now we become the persecutor, but backed up with our absolute certainty that we are the persecuted, we are the dehumanized, we are the victims. This victim mentality becomes a shield, so we do not have to examine what it is we are doing. It’s for our protection, obviously. Much in the same way our “monsters” took up this view



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