I recently posted a link to an article on “Trashing” on this blog’s Tumblr face, and someone asked if I could open up a space for conversation here due to the limiting factors of Tumblr’s conversation/reblogging features.
The comments below this post are that space. Conversation will be moderated according to the normal moderation policy of this blog, though a little more relaxed than usual. Please note, though, that this is not a space to complain about how nobody’s allowed to be racist any more or similar arguments. Take that to the Daily Male.
Here’s the original post:
What is “trashing,” this colloquial term that expresses so much, yet explains so little? It is not disagreement; it is not conflict; it is not opposition. These are perfectly ordinary phenomena which, when engaged in mutually, honestly, and not excessively, are necessary to keep an organism or organization healthy and active. Trashing is a particularly vicious form of character assassination which amounts to psychological rape. It is manipulative, dishonest, and excessive. It is occasionally disguised by the rhetoric of honest conflict, or covered up by denying that any disapproval exists at all. But it is not done to expose disagreements or resolve differences. It is done to disparage and destroy.
I’d like to see more talk about the difference between trashing and what it is that happens when a woman does, for example, something racist, and refuses to be accountable for it.
I’m uncomfortable with Joreen’s use of the term “psychological rape” because while we know as feminists to believe women who say somebody has raped them, I suspect that trashing accusations are more complex.
I have very little sympathy for the various articles that have appeared recently decrying so-called “callout culture”. I think they’re mostly very silencing. I’d prefer to see more talk about “not being racist to people culture”.
In particular, I’m not a fan of analyses of conflict between women which pretend we’re all on a level and that there aren’t power dynamics between us, often massive, institutionalised ones, that amplify some acts and can be used to make others invisible.
But how do we know when someone’s being trashed as opposed to called out? Is it possible to be both trashed and called out? How, as feminists, should we feel about that? What should we do?