Here's what can.
Can I ask roughly where this dance club was?
I am glad that broader society is finally understanding what ahead of his time George Wallace was trying to say - the area at the back of the bus is reserved as a safe space for Black folks.
(True fact - George Wallace won his last two elections with an overwhelming majority of the Black vote. He would not have been elected without them .. it was his most reliable and loyal constituency at the end - something never mentioned by the main stream national press .. not even at the time. Just to say life is not a narrative.).
My shorthand for this is "conduct not category."
What you may also consider is the cessation of the language of violence in these conversations. “Safe spaces” imply that any mixed spaces are inherently “unsafe,” which just reinforces this paranoiac urgency to be free from violence when there, generally speaking, isn’t any present.
The idea that any of my area’s gay clubs are “unsafe” for anybody is patently absurd. Anybody being rough, let alone actually violent, will be promptly ejected by large security guards or other patrons.
Using this life or death language is a huge part of the problem, and this illusion that these spaces are solving literal violence is why they get away with this shit, never mind the fact that it’s pure fantasy.
Are marginalized people sometimes abused or killed? Yes, no one is denying that. Is it so pervasive that anyone of a non-normative identity should dart from safe space to safe space like awnings in a thunderstorm? Absolutely, empirically not. The numbers are in, “actual” violence, distinct from say, online harassment, is vanishingly rare.
So stop shackling yourselves to this absurd narrative of extreme victimhood. Not only is it disingenuous and deeply offensive to the millions of people in other countries who are enslaved, persecuted, jailed, beaten, thrown off rooftops, set on fire, castrated, etc. But it makes life a permanent prison.
No one can be happy like that.
I don’t wish to be rude, but I wish you were aware of how exhausting and useless it sounds to define yourself by “gender expression” (ie, clothing and haircuts), let alone to arrange one’s social life around it.
Don’t you see you’ve been duped by capitalism? You no longer define yourself by what you ARE or what you DO, but rather by consumer items like clothing, hair products, gendered toiletries, and makeup. These products, which you buy for money, now constitute your identity, rather than your internal self (which is free). The fact that capitalism now passes this type of consumerism off as progressive and woke is nothing short of amazing.
Re: "When ...the left shows them nothing but contempt, the alt-right is in a perfect position to recruit them." You know what else is perfectly positioned to recruit them? Liberalism, broadly speaking. Sanity. Decency. Leftism, Conservatism, etc.
This is great. Something related to this I've been thinking about that you speak to a bit with the bowling night : does someone have to be unsafe for people to not like them? If no, would that bother us less? I wonder if the language of "this is a BIPOC safe space" adds such gravity in some situations where it's not as deep, like if people simply want to have an all-Black pool party. If you just don't like hanging out with men, or white people, or straight people, etc. I find that much less my (or anyone's) business than if there is political reasoning.
So well said again Kier. I’m interested in what this means for the future of identity based politics- is it time that we started to base our lives around a shared humanity rather than what separates us? This is far too simplistic of course- but it seems to me that we should be opposed to all kinds of repression and disadvantage - according to people’s real life situations rather than according to whether or not we can tick various identity boxes. Anything else is kind of bound to result in injustice. Surely?
"In order for this to work, we will need to treat one another as adults"
Yes, yes, yes. In progressive (and non-progressive) spaces I often see so much smug and un-self-aware condescension that it makes me grind my teeth.
I remember one discussion in which someone pedantically explained how the use of the word "tribe" should be reserved only for First Nations-related uses, and that all other uses were colonialism and white supremacy. When someone pointed out, "Hey, I am Jewish and we do that all of the time", the pedant hemmed, hawwed, and then finally allowed that Jewish people were allowed to use the word, assuming they used it ONLY in reference to each other. I was utterly flabbergasted, and I had to just about hold my jaw shut to prevent myself from saying, "Are you aware that other people exist, or do you live entirely in your own head?"