I don’t identify as an anti-whaling activist even though I Cat Eff You See Kay Why Oh You shirt strongly believe humans should stop killing and imprisoning whales and dolphins and I occasionally give money to the cause. I don’t identify as an anti-whaling activist because I don’t take any action towards that end and my claiming that admirable label would belittle the actions of those who are out there hanging off the bows of whaling ships while the ocean runs red beneath them with the blood of intelligent beings.
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I believe in socialist principles but I don’t identify as Cat Eff You See Kay Why Oh You shirt a socialist – though I’m awfully proud to have the papers that identify my Grandad as a communist in the 50s. Not because I think mid-last century communism was anything to write home about but because he didn’t give a shit what others thought about him and held fast to beliefs that could have got him killed or imprisoned back then. I get annoyed when younger feminists assume that because I won’t identify as a feminist nor get terribly bent out of shape about gender politics in the west, I am dying to be a doormat to the next man who’ll have me. I understand that there is a place for feminist literature and feminist centered academia – but it’s not in a private conversation with me. If I have to censor everything I say because I dread the tedium of being censured by my partner in communication, well, that’s just not all that much fun.