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A Personal Statement February 28, 2013

Posted by FCM in books!, feminisms, health, meta, politics, WTF?.
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please bother me for the password so you can read my super sikkrit thoughts.  j/k.  (this is not a password protected post.  read on.)

i have experienced a blogging crisis recently.  is this a first-world problem?  oh dear.  actually, its a speech problem, a silencing problem.  women around the world experience this, and i experience it too.  this is why i am a radical feminist, afterall.  because i share class: female with 3.5 billion women globally who are rountinely, systematically and very easily silenced, by men, and by male technology, and you know, rape, and threats of rape.  when we do get a word in edgewise, its precariously positioned indeed.  we are no-platformed globally, and we speak from atop the head of a pin, standing on one foot, juggling knives.  the lucky ones have a getaway-car waiting at the base of the mountain.  sometimes the driver has been shot.  me, i have a bicycle.

a bicycle?  the head of a pin?  is this supposed to be symbolic or something?  no — its just words, meant to convey an image, a feeling and above all, an un-obscured message.  the message might be a feeling, of course.  did it work?

but its not symbolic — i dont do symbolism.  i dont have time, and i was never good at it anyway.  i tried, when i was young and first thought i wanted to write — a play, as i recall.  with symbolism!  hester prynne’s illegitimate (foreign, irritating, secret, precious) daughter was named pearl — get it?  and as i was getting my characters in order, i realized okay, this is going to be a hell of a lot of work.  this is going to take so much research, and there are some things that i — as a 16-year old (and girl) — simply could not know.  like, i wanted one of my characters to be an adult man from new york city (i think?)  how was i supposed to write that?  that project went nowhere, once i realized that.  i had written some notes in a small, extremely cheaply made journal covered in black chinese polyester silk.  i never used the journal for anything after that.  what a waste.

oh, and i just remembered!  my very first big writing project was going to be a book!  i started it when i was 10, over summer vacation.  the only line i recall: a wave of excitement splashed over her body as she…did something.  i know she — a high school aged girl — was going to a dance at school, so she was either entering the school or the gym.  at 3:00 in the afternoon.  because thats what time the dances were, when i was in 4th grade.  somehow i knew i was being naive though, and that high-school dances worked differently, but how?  i never finished the book.  i remember sitting at the table in the air conditioning in a wet bathing suit, typing on an old typewriter with a couple missing keys that poked into my fingers.  like, really bad.  it was almost useless as a typewriter.  my sister and our friend made “tea cakes” for us to eat, in our wet bathing suits in the air conditioning — “cakes” which consisted of the inner parts of whitebread slices balled up in our hands, which we drank with…something.  maybe tea, but probably not.  iced tea maybe.  the swirls in the “tea cakes” (bread-balls) that looked kinda like cinnamon were actually dirty-hand dirt.

i had thought exclusively positive things about all of this — it was fun! — until one of the mothers asked us what “tea cakes” were, and then what the swirls were.  she also asked me what i was writing, and when i replied that i was writing a book, she seemed skeptical!  it hadnt occurred to me to be embarrassed about literally every single thing i was doing there at that table, eating dirty hand-balled whitebread, typing words that would never be a book ever, because there is no possible way.  then, im sure i went swimming.  in a dirty lake.  with fish.  in case anyone was wondering.

anyway, what was i saying?  oh, symbolism.  i dont do it.  what i do is write things, for people to read, and then i converse with them about it.  generally speaking, i speak literally (not metaphorically) and i invoke feeling, as well as convey information.  in every post i write, i include an insight, because otherwise i bore myself to death and see very little point.  these insights come from different places and i dont take credit for most of them — i just work here.  i show up to work here.  luckily, i am frequently inspired.

as a part of this writing-thing, i sustain direct and indirect hits, because for whatever reason, people are actually reading what i am saying.  they are paying attention to it and responding to it in various ways.  i *dont* like attention, but i do like writing things, for people to read, and then discussing it with them.  so i keep doing it.  sometimes i think about ending it so that i dont have to deal with the shitty parts of it anymore, and the shitty part is really fucking shitty.  like, i feel like i am eating some amount of shit every fucking day, or most days.  it feels toxic and alienating.

what i started doing when i feel toxic and alienated — because when i get like this i feel like i have nothing else to read, even though thats not exactly true, but thats how it feels when there is so (relatively) little radical work out there and i just want to feel inspired again, and i am feeling quite alone and frustrated by this point, and the thought of picking up a 30-year old book isnt doing it for me, and i dont want to have to search for anything, wahhhh, poor me — i read my own archives.  okay?  i do.  i read the posts and i read the comments — seriously, i highly highly recommend the comments.  it takes about an hour to read 2 or 3 posts and the conversations that follow, and every time i do this, i think — this is some of the best if not THE BEST writing on the internet.  or something.  you literally cannot get this anywhere else.  okay?  i think this about the posts, and i think this about the comments.  its not the writing as much as the ideas of course, but damn those are some nice words, strung together in a coherent way, intended to make sense to other people.  which is different than being a “good writer” not incidentally.  get it?

and i used to do this with the HUB too.  every time we were under attack or experiencing some crisis or sustaining repeated blows, from within and without, sometimes at the same time, i would pry one hand out of my hair and go a-browsing.  in its early days, i would browse HUB’s front page — it went on forever, and had so much fresh content, it was glorious — and i would think “this is really good work.  i am really happy about this.  excellent.”  or something.  and you know what else i would think about?  as much as i hate to admit it to all you amazing women who might be able to go entire minutes without an old white man popping into your head, i (would and do) think about dave thomas, the creator of the wendy’s hamburger franchise.

okay?  i think about dave freaking thomas and his freaking fast-food restaurants.  because i once saw a biography about him, and he spake into the camera thusly:

every time i feel down, and like this cant possibly succeed (he was competing with the biggies mcdonalds and burger king, dont forget) i go into one of my restaurants, and i have a burger and a frosty and i think “this is really good food.”  and that makes me feel better, and i start to believe this might actually work.

thats a paraphrase, and its rather like “if i build it, they will come” — but with pickles and onions.  get it?  if i build it, they will come.  another dumb 80s reference that has stuck with me all this time, for some reason.  the young ‘uns can google it.

so look.  deep down, im just a hick who remembers stuff, and i find inspiration where i find it.  i involuntarily recall this interview of dave thomas i accidentally saw once, when im feeling down about radical feminist blogging, or when the biggies are about to crush me.  because the biggies are about to crush me, always, and therefore, i sustain blow after blow, from within and without, i end up thinking about hamburgers a lot.  not all the time, but more than i normally would, for sure.  i am thinking about them right now.  and now you are too.  :)

so, is there an actual point to be located anywhere in this post?  yes.  did it come through?  you tell me.  i feel like hammered shit right now, and im thinking about crusty, greasy hamburgers i cant even eat.  because of food allergies, mind you.  my appetite is completely fine.

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Comments

1. FCM - February 28, 2013

please remove the links to the HUB from your blogrolls for now. if the content is made available somewhere else, and i believe it will be, i (and/or others) will let you know where you can find it. thank you.

2. mieprowan - February 28, 2013

What is the point? What is the point of dandelions growing through cracks in concrete, when surely, sooner or later, the concrete-makers will show up and crush them?

The point is that this is what dandelions do. And dandelions have been around a lot longer than the makers of concrete, and may still be around when the pavers are long gone.

Meanwhile, if dandelions just gave up on growing through concrete, how would they ever meet other dandelions?

3. Jo - February 28, 2013

FCM, you are always a source of great inspiration to me. Today, my house is full of men, pounding on the walls, really – not symbolically. I am grateful for your writing, and hope that you continue to do it, if you are willing and able. You are where I go when I need a fix of woman-sanity and an escape from the madness of men.

FCM - February 28, 2013

excellent. thank you. and mieprowan — you nailed it. obviously. :)

4. Anna - February 28, 2013

this is good, i like this. yes, the ideas are what matter but actually, the immediate pleasure you get from the actual words and how they were chosen and if you start thinking of the process that person went through in her mind to come up with that exact lovely sequence of words that is elegant or clumsy or succinct or clever or funny or pretty but anyway just very enjoyable to read and to look at, that really really really matters too.

like for example these words together “it hadnt occurred to me to be embarrassed about literally every single thing i was doing there at that table”.

i don’t know, thank you. keep writing. shame about the hub, you have no idea how much it has helped me recently.

5. GallusMag - February 28, 2013

Reblogged this on GenderTrender.

6. Liz - February 28, 2013

You´re the greatest! I wish you didn´t have reason to feel shitty. Without being able to read your blog, I´d probably have sunken into hopeless despair long ago now. Wish you all the best!!! Love, Liz

FCM - February 28, 2013

BAHAHAHAHAHA — ok this just made me LOL. i havent watched “field of dreams” for years. men are so trite. omg. they have NO IDEA about ANYTHING thats even REMOTELY IMPORTANT. at all. and yet they have this ability to make their stupid bullshit seem *very* important and profound.

FCM - February 28, 2013

and i know that there is absolutely nothing i can say that people (including other women!) wont deliberately misunderstand. so let me nip this one in the bud: i find inspiration from other entrepreneurs, in creating and maintaining original public projects. okay? dave freaking thomas does not inspire my feminism. it is upsetting to me though that i think about men and their ideas at all, but i do. when thinking about creating and maintaining original public projects. get it? good.

7. Liz - February 28, 2013

Well but the difference is that you´re probably not narcisstically trying to stroke your own ego, which is what most men do when they “create” something.

FCM - February 28, 2013

or making money. feminism for profit (and anything that needs funding for that matter) is an enormous problem.

FCM - February 28, 2013

daly used mens ideas as “springboards” too. :) she mentioned that several times in her work.

8. Liz - February 28, 2013

I don´t think there´s anything wrong with using other´s ideas for inspiration. Anyway, men have been doing this for at least centuries but most often they directly steal, which is not the same thing. Anyway they go apeshit about “mental property” and “copyrights” which is used to stiffle any creative process in order so they can hoard all the money for themselves, as you said. Plus I don´t want to know how many women were ripped off by men appropriating their ideas and projects and using them for their own gain.

FCM - February 28, 2013

yes! now that you mention it, its entirely possible isnt it that it was dave thomas’s WIFE who told him to have a burger and frosty when his anxiety was getting the better of him! she probably had a LOT to lose in all these endeavors, (aka his gambling and risk-taking) so she would have every reason in the world to help him. wives do this all the time.

and one thing i remember about field of dreams was the wife being unconditionally supportive of that dood, including performing unpaid services directly and indirectly related to the project, when he threw away their future and their livelihood on some dumb vision i mean auditory hallucination he had. :) wives do this constantly. men couldnt do what they do without them.

FCM - February 28, 2013

lol i probably shouldnt have opened comments to this post. oh well, too late now.

FCM - February 28, 2013

srsly, post em if you got em. i will try to weed through the trolls and MRAs as usual, but obviously my MRA-dar is a little off. :) ah the joys of modding. these kinds of posts do tend to bring out the lurkers, and i dont want to spam anyone unfairly so….we will just let the MRAs out themselves, which they always do after a couple of comments, right liz? thanks for reading.

9. Anne Marie Tobias - March 1, 2013

Thanks for the dip in your stream of consciousness…

10. WordWoman - March 1, 2013

I LOVE your writing. Yes, I love what you say, a lot! but also your writing style is unique. It’s quirky, but honest. I love how you put words together. New. To my mind, each piece of writing should be unique, using words to convey a “just so” meaning for that piece. Your personal voice comes through.

I sometimes write poetry. The process is like painting with words. I mean a painting, not a house. Your prose is like that in some way I absorb but can’t define.

The thing about silencing. Wow. I get disheartened at times. I think it’s from silencing. The story about you as a kid, yes, that’s how it’s done, the shaming. I was shamed as a kid. I did not want to share with my brother. (I suspect he was not expected to share much, no one noticed cause he was a boy). A relative gave me hell for it. I was alienated from her somewhat forever after. Broke a trust with her. Sad.

Or the time I had a physical fight with my best friend. Severe shaming. I never did it again. Yet the boys had these same fights all the time. They made up and got on with it. But, a girl could not, not without being severely shamed for it. Hardly any girls got into physical fights. But it seemed ok at the time. I didn’t hate my friend, it was not vicious. Just a fight. I think taking the fight out of girls is part of silencing them. Kids do fight physically. I don’t mean brutality or bullying.

I think what it would mean to be shameless. (Not shameful, as that word is usually thrown at “loose women.”) Not silenced, not shamed, not disheartened. Shameless, loose.

11. WordWoman - March 1, 2013

P.S. Is there a password or something? I’m confused, but if there is, I’d like it.

FCM - March 1, 2013

hi wordwoman. :) i just clarified that above. no, there is not a password. these are not my super-sikkrit thoughts. but they are my real thoughts. thanks for reading, and for getting what i say, and discussing it. that means a lot to me. i appreciate that so much.

FCM - March 1, 2013

I sometimes write poetry. The process is like painting with words. I mean a painting, not a house. Your prose is like that in some way I absorb but can’t define.

and i am VERY glad to hear this. thanks. thats excellent.

FCM - March 1, 2013

and very interesting about the disheartening being directly related to the silencing. its dehumanizing, its objectifying, so it makes sense that we would respond negatively to this. this contextualizes some of my feelings about blogging actually, and how awful it is sometimes to have these attempted shuttings-down coming from every direction, whether by threats or shunning, or even the thought of self-silencing. thinking about shutting this place down is disheartening too — and i think you have just clarified why. so thanks!

FCM - March 1, 2013

threats, shunning and getting fucked over by other women — cant forget that!

12. WordWoman - March 1, 2013

“threats, shunning and getting fucked over by other women — cant forget that!”

With all this happening, I am thinking also about the women who are reading, but may be so silenced they do not respond. They don’t feel they have much to say or cannot find the words and ideas, or begin to find them. I hope they are reading, reading, reading these blogs.

They may be shocked by some radical feminist ideas, but then as they hold this template up to their lives, a pattern may form. I’m thinking, for instance, of the “simple” idea that penetrative sex is not a given. For so many women this has never been questioned. To first hear it or read about it is shocking indeed. World-shaking. Is going through a phase like this a part of becoming unsilenced? Yes, I think it could be for many. We can only hope they are the silenced majority who will be finding their voices someday.

13. WordWoman - March 1, 2013

“threats, shunning and getting fucked over by other women — cant forget that!”

In the above thing about being shamed for fighting as a child, I was thinking also how women do not learn how to fight, we are prevented from it. Obviously, this disheartens “women as a class” in self-defense when attacked by “men as a class.”

But, the other effect could be that we don’t learn healthy “fight skills” when it comes to other women. I mean how to have good conflicts when we disagree. So I suspect it hurts any community of women and keeps us apart.

Here I’m talking about what could be fair fighting amongst women, constructive. I’m not being all rosy-glasses about this. I’m not saying all women will join in, we’ll have a good fight and all will be well. Happy, happy. There are many other motivations for attacking women that will not be resolved.

As an example removed far from the present, I’m thinking of way back to Anita Bryant attacking second-wave feminists. This would never be resolvable. It did not come from misunderstanding but from deliberate political strategy.

In all of this I’ve been asking myself about how a strong women’s community could come from it. I don’t have answers, but a question anyway.

FCM - March 1, 2013

yes the “deliberate political strategy” of fucking other women over and silencing them cannot be remedied, i dont think. perhaps priority one could be learning to recognize when this has likely happened, and distinguishing that from an innocent argument or misunderstanding. with all the reformism and watered-down university sponsored messages in “radical” feminism right now, there is plenty of room for this to happen within radical feminism. cries of “but shes harming the movement!” may proceed this silencing, for example. and there is no misunderstanding there. if it sounds like this hits a bit close to home, thats because it does.

FCM - March 1, 2013

i know you were talking about a more traditional ideological difference, between right wing women and second wave feminists, but if we want to differentiate political strategizing from “innocent” misunderstandings that can be remedied, there are more subtle political differences at play as well. and these become extremely ugly.

14. Sargasso Sea - March 1, 2013

Reading the archives here is something that I often do, because, yes, this IS some of the best actual, real conversation anywhere – and I’m not just talking about the internet.

Field of Dreams bites, but I always kinda had a shine for Amy Madigan :)

FCM - March 1, 2013

it is *conversation* certainly, but its also writing. i think this is why womens internet presence specifically is so vehemently challenged by men — because we write, in both the posts and the comments. its difficult to see it for what it is, considering the medium, but this is womens writing, baby. and its targeted BIG TIME.

FCM - March 1, 2013

and yes field of dreams was an awful movie wasnt it! haha! that clip below was just cringeworthy. it was a meme in its time though wasnt it, like wheres the beef. if you build it, they will come. or he will come. or possibly both?

thanks for reading (and conversing) s4!

15. Sargasso Sea - March 1, 2013

I wanted to say too: the HUB had such a diversity of radfem thought and passion that I’ve really just begun to realize how much I miss it – and I say ‘was’ because things changed quite a lot at a certain point. Anyway, Long Live the HUB!!

And – micro-politics is family and we all know that families are *dysfunctional* (ahem) so, yeah, these things do hit close to home. I think that there is not an answer to that as well.

16. WordWoman - March 1, 2013

Fabulous writing here and on the Hub. Really life-changing, or life-saving for many.
xxx

FCM - March 1, 2013

the more “subtle” political differences become magnified through writing too, or they do if you are any good at, because logic, illogic and logical conclusions to trains of thought become very clear. so perhaps women with relatively “subtle” differences could work on a specific project together IRL, but could never put out a publication if the differences were going to bother anyone on either side because they cant be hidden. or, if any of them were invested in pretending there was no difference. or that one position didnt exist at all. oops!

i am talking here about the “there is something very wrong with men and its not likely to ever change” camp versus the “against all evidence” camp, a division which has become very obvious to me over the last year. the “against all evidence” radical (!) feminists dont want to admit that the other kind even exists, or be associated with them at all because we make everyone look bad. HUB going dark, and its entire history, needs to be viewed in that light IMO.

FCM - March 1, 2013

and thanks s4 for stressing that this is about the back-and-forth of it — the “convos” as you say. surely there are those convinced that this post has me patting myself on the back for being such a great writer — even though i expressly said thats not what i meant at all. and i told everyone to read the comments — meaning, those which OTHER PEOPLE write. i hope that was clear. lol.

even express statements of intent are no match for deliberate misunderstanding. this isnt my first rodeo (or yours, obvs). :) so thanks.

FCM - March 1, 2013

also, sorry if anyone gets spammed who isnt an MRA. as i said, my aims a bit off, and seeing new faces around is confusing. :/ i do welcome lurkers though (although i can see how they might feel put out if i put them to spam!) sorry, really i am. thanks for reading!

17. WordWoman - March 1, 2013

Thanks for the clarification, FCM. These more subtle differences were not obvious to me. I don’t do facebook or twitter and sporadic internet use, that may partly be why. I’m still sorting it out.

I do see what you mean about the writing vs. IRL stuff, too. It’s an important distinction.

18. breathe - March 1, 2013

FCM - March 1, 2013

oh that was nice, thanks!

also….does anyone “feel better” after reading this post? someone told me they found it calming. if so, thats a win. :)

19. Sargasso Sea - March 1, 2013

“because we [something-seriously-wrong-with-men camp] make everyone look bad.”

Well it is kind of difficult on the sense of self to know one thing and do another. Most women are caught up in a personal morality struggle every single second of every day because there is a man/boy in her life she *cares* about. I once thought I cared for my brother (I was supposed to, you know – He‘s your brother!) but really he was just a giant family-energy-sucking hole for my entire childhood. And he still is, apparently – I’ve only spoken to him on the phone twice (?) in the last well… twenty years. I don’t communicate with my mom either anymore – pretending that she doesn‘t coddle her 50-something year old son is the cornerstone of her retirement years.

Sob story aside, my point is that if every single male person on the face of the planet disappeared tomorrow (preferably sooner) I wouldn’t miss a beat. So it’s easier for me and other women in similar positions to really RECOGNIZE and ACCEPT and work from the premise that the IS something terribly wrong with men that I doubt will be effectively mitigated (eradicated!!!) any time soon.

To those who do have men/boys in their lives who they do care about yet continue to hold tightly to rationality I deeply, deeply respect you.

FCM - March 1, 2013

rationality is important, and math and logical proofs are dear to my heart as you know. feelings and intuition are also important as well as articulation of abstract “feeling” and intuition so that other people can reasonably understand what you are experiencing. and theres also honesty. so. are the “against all evidence” feminist saying ok, they are cool abandoning all reason and logic BUT their feelings and intuition tell them something else about men — specifically that they are “really” good? assuming these women arent lying about “feeling” that, i would like to know what that sensation (feeling/intuition) feels like, to sit with it for a day and then apply my own interpretation/articulation.

FCM - March 1, 2013

or, are the “against all evidence” women saying nothing of the sort — they dont use rationality but they *also* dont use feelings, intuition or honesty when assessing/addressing this situation? do they really sense on a feeling and intuitive level that there is no hope — and yet they trash other women for daring to say it outloud? sounds reasonable to me. really it does. i just cannot imagine that so many women would “sense” intuitively that men are “good” inside. its more likely that their spidey senses are tingling than that they arent, considering the reality of the situation on a base, survival level — although honestly, drugs and alcohol might affect this.

20. Sargasso Sea - March 1, 2013

Right. That’s an interesting question… I used to have the feeling that *not all men are bad* but when you put it like that, that (some think that) men are actually, *really* good then, no, I’ve never ever felt that way either because I have never seen the slightest evidence of it.

Hmmm. The thought of being in a place where I believe/feel that men ARE *good* contrary to everything I have witnessed and lived my entire life kinda scares me.

21. Sargasso Sea - March 1, 2013

I’d put my money on the latter. As I said, it’s not easy to walk around in life with this *existential* warring inside that’s being set off by the spidey-senses. And yeah, THAT’s what drugs and alcohol are FOR, to keep that shit overflowing all over you of instead of where it belongs.

22. karmarad - March 1, 2013

This article has so many rich places to go for discussing, and the comments open up so many more, that I feel a little overwhelmed commenting. I’m interested in your writing development, fcm; have quite a few stories of my own. I was thinking the other day that my writing career began in 4th grade (age 8), with a teacher who poured encouragement into me. I was fine after that, no matter how much others tried to discourage me. I think that very early when our personalities are just forming is when a little encouragement gets incorporated and can’t be dislodged later.

Also was struck by Sargasso’s comment about the cognitive dissonance for many of us of having men/boys we love in our lives while at the very same time realizing that we live in male-supremacist societies. It’s very difficult.

Andin general it’s extraordinarily difficult to live authentically in a society that does not consider you fully human. You can act human (against your conditioning, which is already a strain), but the reaction will be merciless. So to survive there are many compromises involved, and this tears at the soul.

Which leads me to fcm’s comment about what she is calling “against all evidence” feminists: “do they really sense on a feeling and intuitive level that there is no hope — and yet they trash other women for daring to say it outloud?” I think this is an important formulation of a very basic issue for us: what takes priority, the truth, ugly and overwhelming and destructive and hope-destroying as it may appear, or a strategic set of truths, that is, a set of fictions that keep us from total despair and keep us working and chipping away?

I see both these sides and tend to think each woman looks at the world we live in based on her degree of toleration of hard truths. Some of us feel impelled to find these hard truths before we can move into action; some find them paralyzing and need to act AS IF the situation was different and more malleable.

The particular hard truth I’m referring to is the fact that a great deal of our behavior is probably biologically (genetically)-influenced. I wish sometimes that I could adopt the strategic truth that we are tabula rasa at birth and all male-female distinctions arise after birth. But I have to look deeper, at why these social constructions come about, and my own inquiries always lead me back to instincts, libidos, biological structures and endocrinal functions as the bases.

For some of us women, the intuition and experience that biology plays a fundamental role in our oppression leads to a leap into a conclusion that can only end in despair – that male biological expression, with its relentless hierarchicalism, dominatoriness, territoriality, sexual jealousy, and blood-lust, is unchangeable. This leads to hopelessness, some of us believe, and to avoid that, some of us reject the intuition and experience, and even persuade other women that it is not in our interests to refer to biological bases of society.

But I feel we must discuss this. I say that because I don’t believe human nature is unchangeable at all – I think that leap into that conclusion is not justified. I think hopelessness and paralysis and use of strategic truths are reactions that we can acknowledge and tolerate more as time goes on and the revolutionary effects of female literacy and family planning become more evident globally. We are in a new era of science and medicine. We are developing as a world into societies where intelligence outweighs brute force, and we are biological equals in intelligence. A fundamental readjustment of power relations in this new world is inevitable, not at all a hopeless dream. We may as well dare to say it, and get on with it.

FCM - March 1, 2013

i would also like to point out for all those parroting dworkin (“against all evidence” was a statement SHE made afterall…well part of a statement…made in 1983…exactly 30 years ago now…IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE OF MEN) that i do not think dworkin would expect any of us to ignore 30 ADDITIONAL YEARS of “evidence” (x + 30 rather than just “x” amount of evidence that existed in 1983) that men are in fact not going to stop doing and being what they are doing and being. at the time she said this, maybe there was room for REASONABLE hope. maybe at the time, there was an actual reason to think that 30 years OR SOME NUMBER of years of education, lobbying, consciousness raising etc. would work. well, we are here now. are we going to reassess the situation or not? if not, why not? if we are, what do we conclude AT THIS POINT, knowing what we know? we also dont know what dworkins biases really were, or what she privately thought, and what i am getting at is not that she was dishonest or even unaware of her own bias but that her handlers and editors and the people who signed her paychecks VERY likely prevented her from saying SOMETHING. at some point. at least once. and probably more than once. so whats missing? we dont know the whole story. more importantly, we dont have to know because WE are free to BUILD ON her work, and take it to its logical conclusion NOW.

mary daly definitely would not condone women parroting 30-year old (or any) work instead of doing actual real work themselves, including mental labor as well as listening to feeling/intuition. this was always meant to be LIVING WORK. not deadwork. jesus.

http://nametheproblem.com/2013/03/01/24-hours/

23. karmarad - March 1, 2013

I like that idea – that it is time for a radical reassessment. We need to explore and adopt common premises, and stop fracturing.

FCM - March 1, 2013

thanks for that karma! i was just reading on tumblr for example that trans-critical feminists are fighting with the trannies about “meaningful difference” in male vs female brains. the trans critical feminists are saying, well, males have been pushing the FALLACY of meaningful brain difference for a long time, in order to oppress women (which is true) but that an actual study of brain difference reveals that although there are differences, like in size for example, and other differences, there really are no MEANINGFUL brain-differences which would explain differences in behavior. (this is the “feminist” position remember). in other words, a male and a female brain SITTING IN A JAR ON A TABLE, if they had agency and corporeality (bodies) would probably “act” the same way. but our brains arent sitting on tables are they? our brains are in actual bodies. and there is actual difference in our bodies which could have consequences to how our brains “cause” or influence us to act. or perhaps our bodies SOMEHOW influence us to act, or produce sensations that are acted on. its also possible that “conditioning” simply wouldnt “take” if what we are calling the “socialization of men” or “learned masculinity” were applied to female-bodied people. it is WISHFUL THINKING to assume otherwise. it is HONEST to admit this difference is possible. or even likely IMO.

to illustrate, brownmiller documented IN MENS OWN WORDS what was going in their own minds when they raped and murdered women during wartime. one man said that HE DIDNT KNOW WHY he picked up a gun and shot the women he had just been raping in the head — just that his buddy had just done the same thing to the woman HE just raped (just murdered her right there with absolutely no warning or provocation or “reason”) and “something” overtook him and he acted in lockstep with the other man without even thinking about it. this evinces a pack mentality, or not even a “mentality” but a “pack activity” that bypasses thought or even consciousness. or something! i dont know what this means, but i do not think its wise to ignore this, or assume it is likely to change, especially considering we dont know what the hell it is! ON WHAT would we even base an opinion that this is malleable? right now its indistinguishable from voodoo as far as we are concerned. we do not know what we are dealing with, but we also dont WANT to know. and that is NOWHERE to start the looking.

24. Sargasso Sea - March 1, 2013

(So much to convo with Karma about re ‘despair’ in all its facets, but I’ll have to think on that for a bit… :) )

This I can say right now: when I read 24 hours for the first time I thought it powerful and a true clarion call to the future. Only a tiny handful of men actually heard that speech. Does anyone think it moved them truly? And even if it did, 30 years ago, manage to to change the behaviors of ALL of them, they would have been but a ‘spit in the ocean’, right?

Yes, I think it is high time to discuss, openly and honestly, where we stand now.

25. Laura - March 1, 2013

WordWoman said:
“With all this happening, I am thinking also about the women who are reading, but may be so silenced they do not respond. They don’t feel they have much to say or cannot find the words and ideas, or begin to find them. I hope they are reading, reading, reading these blogs.

They may be shocked by some radical feminist ideas, but then as they hold this template up to their lives, a pattern may form. I’m thinking, for instance, of the “simple” idea that penetrative sex is not a given. For so many women this has never been questioned. To first hear it or read about it is shocking indeed. World-shaking.”

This is so true. I am one of those women, reading.
This blog’s archives have been sustaining me for some months now, helping me to learn that I am not alone in feeling PIV-critical. And helping me get to the point where I am no longer merely critical, but opting out. I even got inspired to call my Mom and discuss PIV-critical thought with her (and she is no feminist). To my surprise, she feels the same way that I do, and has actually been PIV-free for some years herself. I am now realizing that there must be many, many more of us than I originally assumed.

Thank you FCM for opening my eyes. And thank you WordWoman for posting the comment that encouraged me to finally de-lurk.

26. radikit - March 1, 2013

Please don’t stop writing! I think your blog is excellent and I come here EVERY week seeking to read another brilliant piece. This IS the best writing thats currently out there, hands down.

FCM - March 1, 2013

i appreciate praise as much as the next gal, but what would be really great is if *every* comment added something to the discussion, including from tentative de-lurkers. you have to understand my position: i have MRAs and trannies reading here, who would just LOVE to see their words published on my blog. they assume that kissing my ass-type comments will be automatically approved by me because they assume i am as egotistical as they are, and that way they can make fun of me for being arrogant as well as foolish when i publish their comments. get it? when the reality is that the quick and dirty “you rule!” comments left by unknown users make me extremely uncomfortable, and the *only* reason i publish them is bc i dont want to unfairly send an actual well-meaning woman to spam.

so it would help *me* if you would add a substantive comment, if at all possible. thank you!

FCM - March 1, 2013

also, if you read that dworkin quote, you will see that she states plainly that “we” (women) have long worked to end mens violence against us but that “we cannot do it anymore.” that was 30 years ago. and yet we still do it. AND women are apparently using this quote by dworkin to support their own position that we should keep doing this forever, and that its likely to work. wtf?

FCM - March 1, 2013

dont you hate it when people misuse quotes from famous feminists to support their political agendas? “dworkin believed women should activate for social and legal reforms literally forever!” seems about as accurate as this “quote” from someone else:

simone

27. WordWoman - March 1, 2013

To hear men talk about their own behavior in war is a real eye-opener. There are some books out there. I’ve read similar things to what you are talking about, FCM. But not by feminists, by men who are alarmed by it in themselves and in other men as well.

I don’t mean fighting to survive or even striking out in anger. Most of us can understand that. But tons of other behavior that I do not think can be understood easily by many women.

There are a few women sociopaths who might do similar things. But the majority of women would not, I believe. Men appear to do this, as a class. Women as a class do not. Are there exceptions? Yes, there are usually exceptions to any rule, I think. But hoping for exceptionalisms is counterproductive.

My opinion: If there are good men out there, they would be supporting radical feminism. I don’t mean the funfem version or even a watered-down version. They would not do this as a ploy for attention or other bullshit. They would be smart enough to see that it is in their best interest. Survival time for them, too I think those books I’ve mentioned were written by men who want to survive, but they are unwilling to countenance radical feminism. Or even watered down feminism. Where are they? I’ve never seen them.

Naming this allows us to think about the problem more clearly. It is not hating all males or anything like that. It is just calling attention to what is out there. When we do this, it is likely to cause us to become conscious of the despair we already feel. Despair we have lived with all our lives, anyway. Perhaps covered over with drinking, drugs, caretaking, shop-till-you-drop and all the rest.

28. WordWoman - March 1, 2013

Laura, I remember when I was a girl, most of the older married women were quite open about not wanting PIV. They were pretty much “done with that” and relieved about it. Then the lobbying for “sexual liberation” came around. I suspect most older women in heterosexual relationships are not thrilled about drugs like viagra, either.

29. Sargasso Sea - March 1, 2013

Not that I want to latch on to “despair“, but it is an apt descriptor of a certain *ascension* that happens – it’s like what psychologists have labeled the stages of grieving – that we have this feeling of hopelessness at this particular stage of realization…

But since we have been conditioned (or whatever) to believe that men are our end-all, be-all salvation since forever, and when it is realized that they are not all that, then it follows that we must (?) grieve the loss of basically everything we have ever known as girls/women. Personally, with that stage behind me, I find myself more free, and less despairing, than I think I have ever been. :)

30. karmarad - March 2, 2013

Hi, Word,

Viagra. Interesting topic.I have known several older men who use it. It’s a problem for the older woman, but they don’t care. They are too busy modifying their natural sexuality, which is winding down, with modern science. Their partner, who is not modifying hers, is supposed to endure it. She’s even supposed to pretend she’s happy about it, as media propaganda insists.

But let someone say a word about men modifying their natural aggression, and the expressions of horror begin. One, Viagra, gives them pleasure, at the expense of their partners, who really don’t care for 4-hour erections. The other would save untold lives and unutterable pain. Let’s just say, no one is trying to develop a non-aggression pill.

31. karmarad - March 2, 2013

In fact, the TV ads by Big Pharma suggesting that just about all men need testosterone are multiplying rapidly.

32. witchwind - March 2, 2013

Having read “life and death” recently, it was as powerful as I always find it, but it was also disconcerting to read about her faith in men. It seemed to me that her faith in justice, that is, justice within a male system or perhaps paradigm, was what kept her going. I remember reading that.

And I also remember you FCM, or maybe someone else say in a comment somewhere, maybe on Cherry’s blog, that perhaps the reason why reading Andrea Dworkin felt less hopeful is because she did believe to some extent (which?) in the goodness of men. And it strikes me now that it might be that you can’t believe that men can change (or are good) and at the same time have complete faith in women and in the world we can create without them. Or in other words, have hope for a new world, instead of justice within this world.

Because in fact I find the knowledge that men are going extinct far more hopeful than the knowledge, or maybe belief, that they will change one day. The fact is, if they could really change, and if that is the only solution and hope, then we are most likely in a big shit, because even they themselves can do nothing to their system, it’s built like steel, to be even stronger than themselves, beyond what they could do individually. It is beyond any kind of repair or containment at this point. And the second fact is that any energy given to them is lost energy, whichever way we turn it round. Hoping for something to happen outside of ourselves, as in waiting for them to change, is still waiting for prince charming. I think to mourn the belief, or to let go of the belief that to focus on changing men (or their systems, which amounts to the same thing) is difficult. It means letting go of many things we may had to cling on to for our lives, for a long time. It is so with everything men have set up. It is done so that we believe there is nothing behind, and that by letting go of their lies, of their reversals and illusions, our lives will crumble down. In fact they don’t, and we may discover that life unfolds instead of crumbling down.

I do think that the best hope we have of getting out of this horror is them disappearing, by whichever means that might be.

I love the commitment to writing, insights and honesty that I find here too, because these discussions take me one step further each time. It brings lots of peace to my life.

33. witchwind - March 2, 2013

LOL!!! That quote is hilarious!!! It just came up properly on my computer.

34. NigelSwanSong - March 2, 2013

Yes, the fact that there’s something wrong with men is definitely a blind spot for women, even radical feminists.

I read an article in french a few weeks ago about rape, based on a study between different cultures , mostly in Asia and Africa. The article was supposed to debunk the idea that men are naturally violent and thus that rape is in their “nature”. It compared the amount of rape in patriarchal cultures vs “matriarchal” ( well more like matri-focal) ones. It was a positive and hopeful article that provoked of course agreement from male commenters, and from women….more like relief, interestingly.

It was “nice” indeed, very reassuring, and after reading or hearing irl, on tv, or internet yet another dude saying that men won’t change, so women should just accept the constant state of fear and despair we live in I can understand the appeal.

It left me speechless, and I stared at my screen in disbelief for several minutes, rereading it, wondering if I came from another planet, or if someone would finally speak about the not-elephant-more-like-a-fucking-whale-in the room.

The study did not find any culture without rape. Not one.
It only showed that men in matri-focal societies were less prone to rape… and since nothing better was found , that those cultures should be considered the ideal, “rapeless” cultures.

Seriously.
That’s exactly the conclusion : “well men’s violence against women is only cultural, not biological and we can prove it because in non patriarchal societies were men are not educated to rape there is less rape so it doesn’t count as rape because it’s just cultural and matri-central cultures are not patriarchal.”

And it seemed logic to everyone. Yep

The only fact it proves is that where there are men , there is rape, no matter the context and that we can, for now, only reduce the harm, not prevent it. it literally prove the opposite of its original claim; and that there is more than just culture to men’s violence.

But no one saw it. Total blind spot

( that’s just an exemple among many I see, not only on internet but with my friends and some women of my family too, but this one was particularly striking.)

35. NigelSwanSong - March 2, 2013

Another interesting thing is that when we speak of less violent cultures, there is always this idea that men good behavior is due to their “original” good nature, and has nothing to do with the fact that in those societies, women have more power and authority and thus that rape is much more risky , since the crime is always punished.

36. witchwind - March 2, 2013

“But since we have been conditioned (or whatever) to believe that men are our end-all, be-all salvation since forever, and when it is realized that they are not all that, then it follows that we must (?) grieve the loss of basically everything we have ever known as girls/women. Personally, with that stage behind me, I find myself more free, and less despairing, than I think I have ever been. :)”

YES!! this is exactly it!! It feels like a big weight being taken off from your shoulders. You feel so much freer! It means you stop waiting and you are less trauma-bonded and don’t feel so ripped off from yourself and from self-love. It’s excruciating and painful to be in this constant waiting position, trauma-bonded disposition. I said mourning but grieving was the word I was looking for, thanks S4. Once I grieved and let go of the belief that I would “fall in love” with a man and that he would too, and that only this way would my life be complete – my life actually became more complete haha. And men disappeared from my life, almost. I have said this before, that men disappeared “naturally” from my life – that grieving / freedom was part of it too.

FCM - March 2, 2013

i love this thread. :) people wanted me to make some kind of a “statement” and i did, but i made the statement personal. a bit too personal, probably, for those who didnt *really* want to know what i was actually thinking about recent events, they just wanted me to shit talk, but here ya go! my thoughts. in all their (non)glory. and according to one source, the message had a “calming” effect, which i was very glad to hear.

then, in talking about it a bit, without actually shit talking ever, what actually happened to the HUB has been more or less revealed — the big picture of its entire history, not just what happened in the last few days. information that might actually be helpful, in other words — context. it makes a kind of sense, yes? there is no way i couldve just put all of this into a statement is there? it wouldve been foolish for me to even try. i hope this has been helpful. its been helpful to me to talk more about this “divide” and to really parse it, which normally isnt allowed. and connecting the “disheartening” to silencing, including self-silencing — brilliant. really, that explains so much, including why i (we) didnt just archive the HUB long ago, when it began to look like there was no possible way it could continue, and including why i havent shut this place down yet, even though i have had moments where i wanted to.

excellent.

37. WordWoman - March 2, 2013

For me there are two kinds of despair. There’s a personal kind of despair, but for me that is not so much the issue. The real issue is the death of the planet. Patriarchal culture has gone too far. The planet is dying and we will die with it. I’m talking about the planet that supports our life. Even their lives. For a long while I read books by men about this. They understand it, at least some of them. But other men fight the ones who do understand. It’s a whole man thing all over again. It’s in their nature to compete, not to cooperate to solve problems.

I see this from the outside now, no longer trying to do environmental work with men. Because those women trying to save the trees, birds, etc. in league with men get raped a lot. By assholes. Or they are asked to do grunt work. Women are silenced in those movements. So the whole thing is just falling to shit. Disgusting. But also it means we all will die. Look at just one part, that climate change is supposed to make New York hotter than Bahrain in the near future. Lots of other places, too. Multiply this by so many other terminal problems and you see it. Malesystem in action.

The window of opportunity to stop widespread destruction of the ecosystem is gone. I worked for years to change it. No stopping it now. That’s my despair. The whole malesystem is a terminal illness. But at least we can speak the truth. that’s all.

Actually, speaking this does not offer comfort, but it clears my mind at least.

38. WordWoman - March 2, 2013

FCM, sorry, I posted on top of your comment without realizing it. Perhaps a bit off topic, but also part of the big picture of why it seems there is no hope for men. I wanted to veer things back to your post. I am really appreciating your posting about this and the way we have thought about it together and you have articulated the history of the hub. Also, this discussion has been important for me, helping me put together some things in my world as well.

FCM - March 2, 2013

sonia johnson mentions the environment a lot in her books, and says that radical feminism is literally humanity’s last best chance to save itself and to reverse and correct the environmental damage men have caused. this is of course true, but whats debateable is whether its already too late. and it really might be. the planet will survive of course, but *we* wont, and we will take a hell of a lot of species down with us.

male environmentalists ENRAGE me. the one thing they will *never* do is give up PIV, and thats the one thing that might actually work, considering global overpopulation, pollution, famine, maternal morbidity and mortality and so many other harms and sources of suffering and justifications for further environmental damage and pillaging. therefore, absolutely every word out of their mouths is unmitigated bullshit and mansplaining. they should all go fuck themselves, and each other, and STOP sticking their dicks into women. and they need to start a GLOBAL anti-PIV campaign as part of their environmental message — but they wont.

FCM - March 2, 2013

the environment is not off topic at all. its very much on topic actually, if we are talking about HOPE and whether men are serious about fixing this global shithole they have created. obviously they arent. OBVIOUSLY. they show us they arent every fucking day, with every breath and every mansplanation about how “we” got to where we are now, and how it could and should be fixed. every word of it is mens lies. and good to know male “environmentalists” actually RAPE women in the movement too — kinda like the military in that way isnt it? just like occupy. just like EVERYTHING men do, including how they organize and work for “peace” (and the environment, including overpopulation!) and stuff, and things. how utterly unsurprising.

39. WordWoman - March 2, 2013

Yes, my last argument with a man in an environmental group was about just that. He was actually against birth control! Wanted to ignore the issue of population control altogether. No one else spoke up. He was a leader in a nearby community. A few years ago. That was my “click” moment. I was done. At the time, it had the effect of gaslighting in an odd sort of way.

And it’s a good thing that sperm count is going down because the environment can’t handle more people. But they want viagra, perhaps so they can still impregnate.

I could not agree more. If they were serious they’d start an anti-PIV campaign. Their dicks are more important than their own survival. stupidity.

40. WordWoman - March 2, 2013

“male “environmentalists” actually RAPE women in the movement too — kinda like the military in that way isnt it? just like occupy. just like EVERYTHING men do, including how they organize and work for “peace” (and the environment, including overpopulation!) and stuff, and things. how utterly unsurprising.”

I actually cannot understand that they do this. Something about their functioning is beyond my comprehension.

I got the Sonia Johnson book and want to start reading them soon.

FCM - March 2, 2013

destroying the entire world with their dicks is exactly what they are doing. literally. the phallic “symbolism” of the missiles, the nukes, guns, swords etc — how much damage have those caused globally in comparison to PIV and rape and all the consequences of that?

procreation has been reversed, by necrophilic men, and now its literally leading to our demise as a species. it has long been deadly for women of course, largely thanks to medical interventions and things like malnourishment of the mother caused by man-ufactured famine (and misogyny). women die from birthing injuries and obstructed labor CONSTANTLY. many times the babies die too, especially in the case of “child brides” (men purchasing, then raping and impregnating very young girls) and in many parts of the world it is common for girls and women to have not “babies” they “give birth to” but rather, they have dead fetuses pulled out of their uteruses, cervixes and vaginas causing permanent damage to the girls/women. these are not babies because they are never born, so in practice they are just large, irregular and sharp pieces of (dead) bone and cartilege that have to pass through a womans reproductive tract somehow, (like a kind of waste really) hopefully before she dies of sepsis. many girls and women go through this more than once, if they survive that is, bc their “husbands” turn around and impregnate them again. if the girl dies, the man buys another girl and does the same thing to her. this is not “procreation” in any real or rational sense. it is horrifying to think about the reality of reproduction under these conditions.

FCM - March 2, 2013

google “fistula foundation” for more info on birthing injuries and the problem of very young and malnourished girls being impregnated by men. “a walk to beautiful” is an excellent documentary about this charity and what it does to surgically repair birthing injuries — for girls and women who can get themselves to the hospital for treatment. seriously, this video put me on the course i am on now with my PIV-criticism. and you can no longer confuse “sex” and “gender” after seeing the UNMITIGATED effects of intercourse on female-bodied people. it really couldnt be more obvious.

FCM - March 2, 2013

i used to have a widget in the sidebar that would take you to the fistula foundation website, but the image i used in the widget was a HUB media file so its gone now. i will redo the widget shortly.

41. WordWoman - March 2, 2013

I did look at that and their videos a while back. really horrifying.

42. karmarad - March 2, 2013

fcm, why does your blog say you have 74 comments right now, but I can only see 41? I would like to see the whole discussion.

FCM - March 2, 2013

everything is publically visible karma. look again. :)

43. witchwind - March 2, 2013

99% of environmentalist men don’t even recognise that it’s their own shit they’re cleaning. Many blame women for (being groomed by men) to wear animal fur. Even those that go a bit further than that (anti nuclear, anti war, anti whatever planet destruction) won’t admit that it’s a male problem. And those 1% that do see and say it’s a male problem, well, as you say none of them stop sticking their dicks into women, ad therefore, none of them genuinely wants destruction to stop. Maybe they want a clean planet once more so they can destroy all over again?

As all destruction is modelled on this violation, as everything men do to the planet and the universe and to all life on earth is literally and metaphorically to stick their dicks / penetrate / in a woman. Their primary relationship to the world is that of rape. It’s as if the universe around them were a giant woman to penetrate endlessly, to impregnate and parasite, to kill, to turn into a dead corpse and to consume. When they destroy the planet, kill the animals, it means they’re raping the planet, raping living beings. Agriculture, war, capitalism, whatever men constructed, the foundational bone structure of it is the rape model – and all that goes with it: digging holes into, exploding, penetrating, splitting, fragmentation, othering, occupying, colonising, killing – death. This is the core of all male destruction.

44. “Against all evidence” | some of this must be true - March 2, 2013

[...] the comment thread to this post, FCM makes a distinction between two types of radical feminist: the “there is something very [...]

45. karmarad - March 2, 2013

Oh..silly me, your comments aren’t numbered! Never noticed that before.

46. ibleedpurple - March 2, 2013

It was “nice” indeed, very reassuring, and after reading or hearing irl, on tv, or internet yet another dude saying that men won’t change, so women should just accept the constant state of fear and despair we live in I can understand the appeal.

One quick note on this: violence against women is one of the best predictors for the amount of inter- and intra-state conflicts. (see. Valerie Hudson et al: Sex and World Peace). The more secure women’s existence is the less violent societies become.

If men do not voluntarily conform to feminist demands it will become a boomerang. It will mean the resurgence of masculinist warfare and its intensification. With the war technology currently available the destruction of large areas of land might become all too possible.

How funny it is that while spouting all the evo-psych they can find to justify their cruelty and violence against women & children men do not see that they are actually campaigning for their own downfall and, probably, that of humankind, too.

I think that even Darwin was worried about men’s propensity for violence. Something no Kanazawa or Baron-Cohen would ever mention.

FCM - March 2, 2013

thanks IBP for responding to nigelswansong’s excellent comment. NSS: i have noticed this too that “less prevalent” is read AND PUSHED as “nonexistent” which is a complete lie and obfuscation of the data OBVIOUSLY! people want to believe obvious lies so badly, or defer automatically, or fear the repercussions of speaking and knowing the truth about rape and what men do to women. i am so tired of the lies.

i have seen ev psychs advocate for extreme punishments for violent men, as their position is that men have an extreme drive to be violent which would seem to require an equally extreme deterrent for class: male, as well as extreme punishments for individual violent offenders bc they are likely to reoffend. i dont recall the details of these “extreme punishments” or even if any details were forthcoming, but one would assume they mean violent punishments including the death penalty or corporal punishment, or locking them up FOREVER for any transgression. the ev psychs suggest that this might work AND that what we are doing now never will. what i have *never* seen suggested by them is that women just give up on men altogether, or refuse to give birth to males at all, (or any radical solution or one outside the male-defined “justice system”) because there is so little hope for them. but their work clearly suggests that this would be not only reasonable, but wise and even unavoidable.

FCM - March 2, 2013

also, proponents of “ev psych” generally accept the conclusion that men are naturally violent, but they pick and choose what of the ev psychs work they are going to support and publicize. this is common across all fields of study of course and only the most basic ideas find their way into the mainstream while the details (and often the real points) are lost. so while we have some people agreeing that male violence is probably (or definitely) natural, they CHOOSE to also conclude that there is nothing that can be done about it. furthermore we have people like MRAs saying that its “discriminatory” against men to criminalize or problematize what men more or less naturally do — in this context they admit that men are rapists and that they think rape is sex. i have seen this a thousand times. they NEVER mention or accept the conclusions drawn by (some) ev psychs about adpoting MERCILESS social controls on men because they need an extreme deterrent to curb their deviance and violence. no one EVER addresses that part of it. they lie in fact, and suggest that the ev psychs (all of them) recommend letting men do whatever the hell they want and to get used to it bc theres no stopping them.

47. Sargasso Sea - March 2, 2013

“people want to believe obvious lies so badly”

Oh hell yeah because it makes it so much easier to not have to take responsibility for either your actions or tacitly supporting others’ actions as in, not my nigel-ing. Every woman says it’s not her nigel. Well, fucking great then! Problem solved!!

Except, no. No it’s not. It’s trite as hell, but the truth shall set you free.

48. Sargasso Sea - March 2, 2013

Also: thanks for your most recent comment there, witchwind. Yes.

FCM - March 2, 2013

in joanna russ’s “the female man” she writes one line about “uneasy aggression” and she wasnt even talking about men, i dont think. but the character was from another time/place where ONLY women lived, and she came to our culture and saw how we operated and she was like WTF — all this “uneasy aggression” here in this culture (ie. in patriarchy). ever since i read that line, i see mens “uneasy aggression” everywhere. they cannot get comfortable, they pace, pant, make fists, grit their teeth, curse under their breath FOR NO FUCKING DISCERNABLE REASON AT ALL. it is anxiety producing and annoying. its scary. if you catch one in the middle of one of these fits he will deny he was having a fit. it seems to be unconscious and they are not “angry” and yet physically they are raging. all this “anecdotal evidence” points to something doesnt it? funny that the “scientists” and pop-scientists on the internet dont like that kind of evidence — so they say this is not evidence. of anything. even though various themes arise from this anecdotal evidence and these themes appear to be more or less global (read: cross-cultural) phenomenon many times. like the “pack mentality/activity” in wartime, like rape and woman-murder, and like a million other things we all know about men because we see them doing it every day.

FCM - March 2, 2013

and i am sick of playing “gotcha” games with men (including MRAs and trannies) on this issue. like GOTCHA! no meaningful brain-difference to explain sex-difference in behavior has been found! this is supposed to be a feminist “win” bc men have been lying about this, in order to oppress women. but THATS the point really, isnt it? they want to lie, and they want to oppress women, so they do. GLOBALLY. in fact, its entirely possible that now they have gotten all the gains out of pretending the opposite was true, they dont WANT to find meaningful brain differences bc look how it benefits them not to — it seems to support the idea that all of this is cultural (although they dont bother trying to change themselves assuming they are so malleable/influence-able — they like things the way they are. obviously).

when are we going to examine the fact that men are all the time oppressing women and the EVIDENCE that they will use any and all justification, obfuscation etc to accomplish this? THAT is the real issue. and it does not support the conclusion that there is any hope for men.

49. Sargasso Sea - March 2, 2013

Oh! Seriously. I am all the time saying that men want (and have) everything every which way and the minute they’re done pounding some stupid Profound Idea into the ground and declaring it Truth they go about *proving* exactly the opposite.

I used to think that they did this to waste our time and make us crazy but I’m not thinking that any more – I’m thinking that they’re stuck on auto-stupid or something and the worst part of that is that they actually think they’re masters of the universe and supercool. It’s so lame that it doesn’t even register on the pathos meter.

FCM - March 2, 2013

i would also mention that its not necessary (is it?) to accept “evolutionary psychology” as the explanation for WHY men might be biologically predisposed to commit violence, including sexualized violence against women. for example, as i recall, ev psychs use the language and framework of evolutionary theory including “beneficial mutations” and assume (no, PUSH the idea) that behavioral deviance acts like “beneficial mutations” in the same way that physical mutations do when its not clear whether its the same mechanism at all — this is part of the weirdness and in-credibility of ev psych, is it not? and as far as “evolution” goes, the reality might be that the Y chrom is actually degrading over time and going extinct, which isnt exactly a beneficial mutation — at least not in the way they would like to think. specifically, it might indeed be beneficial for humanity that the Y chrom cease to exist, but its not the same mechanism as (for example) developing opposable thumbs now is it?

ETA: sorry, i just edited this comment like 10 times.

FCM - March 2, 2013

the minute they’re done pounding some stupid Profound Idea into the ground and declaring it Truth they go about *proving* exactly the opposite.

this is because the truth is irrelevant. the point is oppression, and maintaining an environment (policy and practice) of perpetual oppression of women, the point is not necessarily maintaining the same lie or supporting the same rationalization forever and ever. thats why trying to debunk their lies is a trap, and hasnt worked yet to free us. we have missed the point entirely unless we focus on the fact that they will oppress us no matter what.

50. WordWoman - March 2, 2013

I wrote a loooong post on the “some of this may be true” blog about the science as I understand it. It’s awaiting moderation. One could argue that philosophy overarches science (and some academics do so argue). I argue that evidence based in science is only one kind of evidence and not even always the best kind of evidence. The question becomes, “what evidence is needed to best understand any given topic.” Some things are not easily studied scientifically and all science is not equal. Setting aside the intentional cheaters in science, the paradigm that currently shapes science has built-in shortcomings. Methodology, too. Also the statement “no evidence” is always a red flag for me. Just because evidence has not been found does not mean it’s not there.

My way of approaching this is that we are primarily dealing with philosophy. Radfem philosophy. Just a short synopsis of what I said.

51. Sargasso Sea - March 2, 2013

Yes. They will continue to oppress no matter what. That’s a given, I think.

And realizing and accepting that is the superstructure upon which we need to build.

52. WordWoman - March 2, 2013

S4, you said “as in, not my nigel-ing. Every woman says it’s not her nigel. Well, fucking great then! Problem solved!!

Except, no. No it’s not. It’s trite as hell, but the truth shall set you free.”

But also understandable. Mothers and sons, for instance. I remember when the adoptive mom of that Batman movie murderer was first contacted. They caught her by off guard and she blurted out something indicating that she was not surprised. She knew about her son and was dreading that. My heart went out to her knowing it was her nigel and had feared this for some time. or the mom of that elementary school shooting. She seemed to know and fear this. She was murdered by him and also blamed for his actions. Reversals abounding! It’s a no-win under patriarchy. If either of these moms had sought help it was probably brushed under the rug. Was there a remedy, or like a classic tragedy, was it doomed from the start?

53. Sargasso Sea - March 3, 2013

Wordwoman – when I was a girl there was a serial rapist hunting in our neighborhoods. That experience (composite sketches in elevators and post offices and on the news, everywhere) has shaped so much of my understaning of male behavior.

Personally? I think it is too far gone for even tragedy… I hope I’m wrong :)

FCM - March 3, 2013

wordwoman your entire comment about science, “evidence” and philosophy was very well said. there are different kinds of evidence, and “science” (and law for that matter) picks and chooses which kinds they will use and which kind they will (conveniently?) ignore. for example, silence — the inability to speak — is a known consequence of sexual abuse. but when is a womans silence considered evidence that she has been raped? if anything, her apparent “refusal” to testify would be used against her, and as “evidence” that the rape never happened at all. and anecdotal evidence is very relevant to some issues isnt it? ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE *IS* EVIDENCE. funny how they accept all the evidence that works in their own favor, and discount everything else that makes them look like shits. and, SPECIFICALLY, like rapists.

FCM - March 3, 2013

BTW i will leave the comments open on this thread for as long as people are actively discussing it. this conversation needs to be had, and its being had here. so thanks!

54. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

One trouble (for the patriarchy) with “anecdotal” evidence is that it cannot be measured. Anything that cannot be measured is essentially invisible to science. This does not mean that measurement is necessarily bad. It’s just a certain way of thinking that loses

55. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

oops. . .
that loses the richness and much of the intelligence. Science becomes a religion (another partriarchal religion :( ). It strips all uniqueness away. It substitutes numbers for experience and wisdom, to my mind.

We look to science to save us from current enviromental crises. FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I once read that peoples who had no formal educations could routinely speak 5 or 6 languages, fluently, Not the exception, but the rule. Tribal societies. Those with formal educations could not. I’m no linguist, but this always seemed a metaphor for the kind of richness we have given up for formal science. Instead we can produce drones that kill people with impunity. This is now accepted by most americans. It is insane. I’m not antiscience, but think having it become a religion is wrong. Plus technology are just little boy’s toys to do more killing

Another example is midwifery. Midwives had experience and wisdom if they had been around for a while. A different kind of knowledge.

56. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

S4, that’s interesting. In our neighborhood there was a flasher. And a guy who peeped in windows and pooped outside. Ugh, ugh, ugh.. I wonder if every girl had this experience when young in some way or another. There was also a serial rapist when I was a teen. I don’t remember any women in these categories. It shaped my view of males, too. Along with lots of other “minor” things. Like boys trying to see up girls skirts, etc.

57. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

Thank you, FCM. This is certainly an important conversation for me. I woke up this morning feeling different in some way (a good way) and thinking about this convo. I usually can’t think of that much to say.

FCM - March 3, 2013

if you have anything else to say about philosophy overarching science i would love to hear it?

FCM - March 3, 2013

also, has anyone ever had the extreme displeasure of working for/with a female entrepreneur? they are TEH BITCHEZ!

58. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

Did you read the other blog? I notice that my comment is now approved. On “Against all evidence/some of this must be true?” I did a more detailed thing there with some numbered bullet points. See what you think of it.

I’ve thought about science for years and have had debates with a friend who is a doctoral-level chemist. She is hardline science and shut me up many times with the “right view”, but made me think, I have always felt frustrated, but that caused me to work out my own view more clearly. Oddly, though, she goes to a spiritual healer. A man who I am quite sure is a total fraud and also very weird. Go figure. Wow! I’d never go to that guy! I think it is because her view of evidence is so narrow that she cannot critically analyse things outside her paradigm. I’ve seen this with others who have tunnel vision in the sciences.

I have never convinced her. I think it is because she exists (in her intellectual world) in the patriarchal paradigm. The paradigm I’m talking about is mostly invisible if you live there. But on this blog and some other it is visible.

59. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

FCM, actually I did work for several female entrepreneurs. Briefly. It was the best job I ever had. But then, they were (second wave) feminist activists, too. :) I had no idea how rare this was and did not fully appreciate it at the time. Today everything is different, I’d wager. Based on the whole yahoo thing. Malesystem at its worst.

FCM - March 3, 2013

interesting! why was the relationship “brief” if i may ask, if it was so good? i have worked for 3 so far, and they were all awful. ive worked for 2 male entrepreneurs — both allowed their female employees to be sexually harassed and didnt do anything about it, both maintained dangerous workplaces where employees were actually injured on the job, and one was a fraud, incompetent, and a moron to boot. but the women were TEH BITCHEZ! even though in all 3 cases of female entrepreneurs, sexual harassment wasnt even an issue, the workplaces were not dangerous or injurious, and the women were extraordinarily capable and WAY smart. funny how the perceptions are so different, and how “traumatizing” or paralyzing or whatever it is to work for a bitch while being subjected to sexual predation, physical injury and incompetence at the hands of a male barely even registers, or is quickly forgotten about, or something? notably, i never had any female “bosses” that werent entrepreneurs, (ive had 3 female bosses and all were entrepreneurs) but ive had dozens of male bosses that werent entrepreneurs (and only 2 that were). interesting ay?

anyway i was thinking about “entrepreneurs” when i wrote this post and ive been thinking about it since. i think my perspective of myself as kind of an entrepreneur and these writing projects as entrepreneurial endeavors probably comes as a surprise to some reading here, and that people might be feeling confused (or think they have my number) wrt my “REAL MOTIVATIONS” or whatever, and why i do this. like, in my last post, i said that radical feminism/sexual politics is the only ideology and the only political platform that is likely to free us from male dominance, and *that* is why we do it (meaning, why we are radical feminists and promote a radical ideology/analysis). but in this post i said i keep this blog up “because hamburgers.” which is true. and since almost day one, i have been regarded as a controversial figure, an imposter, or like many female entrepreneurs — a bitch. coincidence?

anyway, im still thinking on this, but perhaps i should make a follow-up post to this one. i will call it “moron myself.” :)

FCM - March 3, 2013

at any rate, i dont think this “statement” was the statement that anyone was expecting. i do think it had the intended effect, which (among other things) was to throw some cold water on the insanity of/around recent events, and to give the impression that i do not exist here as an object to be continuously abused without consequence, and how fragile these writing projects really are, and why. and to give some of the backstory, including my motivations, which is relevant in times of (existential?) crisis. so far, we have not gone deeply into any of this here in the comments, and thats ok — maybe nothing more needs to be said. it was kind of an experimental/experiential post, and conveying a *feeling* was the message too. i hope it came through. this has been really traumatic for a lot of people, including myself obvs, and i am still thinking about it.

60. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

“anyway, im still thinking on this, but perhaps i should make a follow-up post to this one. i will call it “moron myself.” :)
HAHA,

Not sure why people would see you as a bitch. You’re damn funny, for one thing. Sharp humor. Perhaps saying PIV is obsolete? Is harmful? etc. Because you are outspoken? Speak your mind? MRAs and the like.

I also think that there is an attack mode that seems to have arisen as internet culture. It’s a weird space sometimes. Attacking women who are feminists, all that. Women attacking one another. I don’t quite understand it, but there it is. Why I don’t like the internet a lot of the time. But it has some gems, too.

I’ve worked for women and nearly always liked it. Learned from them, sometimes rough edges. Except one. I didn’t think of her as a bitch, though. A toxic person. Sociopath. Cheater and liar. Yes. All those things. Seen a few coworkers like this. Most women coworkers are ok to great, though. Men–never understand where they are coming from, power plays, nonsense mostly. Also, sexual harrassment as ubiquitous. I’d rather work for women. But good ones.

I’ve been reading bits of Daly’s “beyond god the father.” She talks about work, about working on the edges. Chapter 2, I think. Fascinating.

My job: the “brief” part is that they went out of business. That sucked. WAh!

Also, if you’ll email me, I’ll give you some references about the science stuff. It will take some time to pull together, though. Also, any other thoughts I have on the overarching stuff.

FCM - March 3, 2013

hi, i dont email people, but thanks for the offer! i would love to hear more on the overarching, and if you want to post references/links here please do. im sure others would like to see them too.

61. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

FCM you said “at any rate, i dont think this “statement” was the statement that anyone was expecting. i do think it had the intended effect, which (among other things) was to throw some cold water on the insanity of/around recent events, and to give the impression that i do not exist here as an object to be continuously abused without consequence, and how fragile these writing projects really are, and why. and to give some of the backstory, including my motivations, which is relevant in times of (existential?) crisis. ”

I admired your intuition to do this and the way you did it. Wow! Not sure how to make the internet a better space. The whole silencing thing is hugely important.

62. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

Ok, I will when I get them together.

FCM - March 3, 2013

one lesson i learned from a female entrepreneur — for which i was blasted by another blogger early on — was that you have to “train your customers” regarding what services you are willing to provide and what you arent, and the parameters of your business and your relationship. if they come knocking on your door a half hour before you open, you dont let them in (if you do, they will try this every day). post your hours clearly and then stick to it. as a moderator, i had someone ask me to fix a very minor typo in a comment she had left, and i wouldnt do it — i stated that my policy was to only correct very egregious errors where the meaning was affected or unclear, and that i refused to correct every typo anyone leaves (i have 10,000 comments just on this blog!) bc otherwise i would have to do this constantly. it wasnt taken well. haha! AZZHOLE! thats me! thats just one example. of course, there are people who appreciate me too, including when i take a hard line (and even especially then). i shouldnt say i am universally hated bc thats simply not true. :)

63. Feuerwerferin - March 3, 2013

“To hear men talk about their own behavior in war is a real eye-opener. There are some books out there. I’ve read similar things to what you are talking about, FCM. But not by feminists, by men who are alarmed by it in themselves and in other men as well.”

This happened to me too.

“That’s exactly the conclusion : “well men’s violence against women is only cultural, not biological and we can prove it because in non patriarchal societies were men are not educated to rape there is less rape so it doesn’t count as rape because it’s just cultural and matri-central cultures are not patriarchal.”
And it seemed logic to everyone. Yep
The only fact it proves is that where there are men , there is rape, no matter the context and that we can, for now, only reduce the harm, not prevent it. it literally prove the opposite of its original claim; and that there is more than just culture to men’s violence.”

And this also.

Thus I accepted the truth.

I think feminists are a lot like true socialists concerning one important aspect. Both start out believing that a good society is possible, that people/men can improve and that it will happen someday. We need this believe in order to start, don’t we? At least most people need it. Thus this credo is protected with all our might and conservatives/right-wing women think that we’re stupid and naiv. They are partly (or totally?) right. Later on, some of us accept that we were wrong previously. To the newbees and others we look like right-wingers/conservatives (and they think we’re stupid) and to the latter we still look stupid anyway. :D
I really think it’s funny.

FCM - March 3, 2013

maybe some never need to stop at “a better world is possible.” are these the true separatists perhaps? they know better right away, for whatever reason, and live their entire lives as if a (larger) better world is NOT possible, because of men, and seek to create a tolerable or even wonderful smaller world of their own? if there are women who do this, “feminists” might never know about them. “feminism” being largely comprised of reformism, horizontal hostility, and man-lovin. even allegedly radical feminism, unfortunately.

also, i would like to add that i think that the “there is something very wrong with men and its not likely to change” camp consists of those who think its biological (as in, reasonably likely to be biological to some degree, perhaps in addition to other factors) AS WELL AS those who dont care either way, or dont think its provable or knowable, but who have come to believe that REGARDLESS, men arent going to stop raping us AS WELL AS those who would be willing to tinker with mens bodies to make them more agreeable (like research and create a pharamceutical or other cure for what obviously ails them if this is possible). i think this camp are largely sepratists, or pro-separatists for that reason. and that the “against all evidence” camp are straight-up reformists. they believe that men are likely to be convinced to change — notably, this camp would never consider medicating men to induce this “change” even if it were possible because they think its is 100% cultural and that they have every reason in the world to believe that. therefore, i think this camp is largely insane (see nigel swan song’s comment about rape STILL exiting even in matri-focal communities as well as their own commitment to abandoning all reason — they believe in mens humanity “against all evidence.” otherwise known as a shared delusion, or perhaps deliberate ignorance, or just plain stubbornness.)

so we have separatists/pro seps versus reformists. yes/no?

FCM - March 3, 2013

i think those “willing to tinker” or find a cure for men are the extreme minority, being that they believe its biological AND malleable, *and* that these are less-separatist than the others, but that they would fall into the first camp anyway and not the second, because the second camp refuses to consider a biological component AT ALL even if it could be used to reform society via reforming (modifying) male behavior. does this sound accurate?

at any rate it is VERY astute to note that biological does NOT mean not-malleable. this is a very common fallacy pushed by the reformists and those unwilling to accept a biological/natural origin of male deviance/violence — the conclusion that therefore, we cannot (or should not) do anything about it is not logical, or necessary.

FCM - March 3, 2013

oh, and then there are the deliberate politickers who have a political agenda as their first priority and not the truth. those would fall into the second camp, (reformists) bc their agenda is a reformist-agenda regardless of what they might privately believe or suspect, or have reason (if not the resources) to investigate. the university professors and professional lobbyists and journalists who advocate women (and themselves) working FOREVER toward social reform (because if they concluded there was no hope they would literally be out of a job) are this type, i think.

FCM - March 3, 2013

the deliberate politickers arent insane, but they are liars. or duplicitous, at the very least. they have reasons for not engaging in this discussion or entertaining or reaching certain conclusions that have nothing to do with the truth. their own survival is often at stake, including their livelihoods, so they cannot really be blamed, but still. they confuse the issue, and promote muddy or illogical thinking which is very irritating.

64. Sargasso Sea - March 3, 2013

(I haven’t read the last few comments carefully, some not at all, so…)

It’s important for me to say right now – as I often do irl – that it DOESN’T EVEN MATTER anymore why or how they are f.u.b.a.humanity, IT JUST IS and we have to deal with it.

FCM - March 3, 2013

i think this is relevant. from todays cnn.com. does this mans lies sound even remotely believable to ANYONE? perhaps especially the part about how he is a father, a husband, a brother, and a son and THEREFORE he would never deliberately promote rape, no way, how dare you accuse me of that, it was an accident, really i oppose the practice, its an abomination etc.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/02/tech/amazon-rape-t-shirt/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

Company removes ‘rape’ shirt listed on Amazon

(CNN) — Twitter users erupted in anger Saturday after discovering shirts listed on Amazon with a slogan that appeared to promote rape and violence against women.

The shirt read “Keep Calm and Rape On” and was available on Amazon’s UK website. The company that prints the shirts, U.S.-based Solid Gold Bomb, removed the listing after it was notified of the slogan.

The company also removed a shirt with the slogan “Keep Calm and Hit Her.”

Solid Gold Bomb apologized, saying the slogans were computer-generated and the company did not deliberately create them.

Founder Michael Fowler posted a message on the company’s website saying he was “extremely sorry” for the issue.

“We simply do not produce poor humor or offensive products,” Fowler wrote. “As a father, husband, brother and son, I would never promote such product in our company and it was clear to see this when looking across the millions of T-shirts that we offer or can produce on demand. Had these items ever sold, we would have immediately pulled the series and are doing so on our own and Amazon channels worldwide.”

His explanation came too late for many on Twitter who called the shirts “disgusting.”

“@solidgoldbomb 1/4 women will be the victims of sexual violence. Yay you for trivialising it so heinously,” wrote @Seja75.

“When will industries take responsibility for messages they put into the world?” wrote Twitter user Kate Merrick.

Users also focused their anger on Amazon for listing the shirts. “Amazon fail,” tweeted user Richard Machtel.

Amazon’s spokesman in Britain, Ben Howes, gave a statement to CNN saying, “I can confirm that those items are not available for sale.”

The shirts were never actually printed, explained Pete Ashton, a blogger in Birmingham, England, who writes about the Internet.

Companies such as Solid Gold Bomb offer slogans and designs for their apparel, and they are printed on demand when a customer orders one, he said on his site, iam.peteashton.com.

There are more than 540,000 Solid Gold Bomb items for sale on Amazon, which indicates they can’t all be waiting in a warehouse for shipment.

“The shirts don’t exist,” Ashton writes. “All that exists is a graphics file on a computer ready to be printed onto a shirt if an order comes through. Still, you might say, someone had to make that file, to type those words and click save. Not necessarily.”

Company founder Fowler says the slogans were started a year ago as a parody of the British wartime slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On,” which was intended to encourage Britons to keep up their spirits.

Company computers created a combination of words that played off the slogan, taking into account character length and graphic resemblance to the original phrase, he said.

Said Ashton, “Yes, Amazon shouldn’t be advertising these shirts. Yes, Solid Gold Bomb should have checked through their verb list before starting the algorithm. But as mistakes go it’s a fairly excusable one, assuming they now act on it.”

FCM - March 3, 2013

the part about this being a completely random word-association created by a computer algorithm seems unlikely, but so long as they can create REASONABLE (any) doubt its all good, right? you cant prove it, neener neener neener.

65. Sargasso Sea - March 3, 2013

Okay, I’m caught up now :)

Yes, separatist/pro-separitist/looking every day reality in the face and naming it.

And I really, really have no intention of talking shit/trashing women who have chosen the academic route (I was FORCED to do it even though it was a waste of time and money in my case) – it was sold, after all, for years and years as THE way to *achieve*, especially for young women. Now the MRAs whine about how boys are not graduating from college in the vast numbers that girls are!!! I’d posit that that’s because they are just fucking lazy, their moms and girlfriends and sisters do everything for them anyway… why bother?

Exactly WHO is holding the giant school loan debt these days? Women who have ever-lazy men, children, jobs and households to support.

FCM - March 3, 2013

agreed s4 — trashing is not reasonable or necessary (or feminist) BUT clarifying the issues, including calling attention to motivations is important i think. and god knows *they* have shittalked everyone else over the years, but they have notably not clarified anything for anyone (except that you will be the “feminist” equivalent of a leper if you decide there is something very wrong with men, and that they are not likely to change).

66. Mary Sunshine - March 3, 2013

You might want to google up: “The Violent Sex: Male Psychobiology and the Evolution of Consciousness” by Laurel Holliday. 1978 (You can also find it by googling : Laurel Holliday Violent Sex ).

I got it when it first came out, then lost it to moving around, and have just recently purchased it again through internet used books. Very timely and pertinent to this discussion.

I’ll make an effort to scan in a few pages, and make them available.

She talks about the biological determination, and the necessity to “work with” it. There’s a nice section at the end about parthenogenesis. :-D

FCM - March 3, 2013

welcome back mary. :) thanks for the recommend.

FCM - March 3, 2013

wow. some people just cant read can they? at all.

http://awreathonhergrave.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/against-all-evidence/comment-page-1/#comment-190

[complete misstatement of the issue as well as the argument] which is what FCM and others argue.

FCM - March 3, 2013

in case this is in any way unclear, let me clarify. again. the “evidence” of which i speak is the evidence that men are not going to stop raping us, despite our educating them, and despite relatively recent social and legal “gains” which have been unsuccessful in liberating women from male dominance.

the point is that we should reassess our approach in light of the last 100 years of reformist activating which has failed its larger purpose. we know this now — we have evidence that its failed. the evidence is that it hasnt worked, and that women are still oppressed by men.

the debate between feminist “camps” as described here is whether we should keep activating for social and legal reforms, or change our approach.

67. Catherine Orian - March 3, 2013

FCM wrote “also, i would like to add that i think that the “there is something very wrong with men and its not likely to change” camp consists of those who think its biological (as in, reasonably likely to be biological to some degree, perhaps in addition to other factors) AS WELL AS those who dont care either way, or dont think its provable or knowable, but who have come to believe that REGARDLESS, men arent going to stop raping us AS WELL AS those who would be willing to tinker with mens bodies to make them more agreeable (like research and create a pharamceutical or other cure for what obviously ails them if this is possible).”

This is important. Where I don’t agree with this camp is the belief that whatever the problem is, it DEFINITELY comes from something inherent to men, biological or otherwise (I have yet to see any evidence – scientific or otherwise – for this), as opposed to from some source outside men, or some source that is not unique to men. But whether it is inherent to men or not is not necessarily relevant.

Sargasso Sea wrote “it DOESN’T EVEN MATTER anymore why or how they are f.u.b.a.humanity, IT JUST IS and we have to deal with it.”

Totally agreed.

By the way, I thought this was an excellent statement and I did feel better after reading it.

FCM - March 3, 2013

then you dont understand the position of this camp. which is truly aggravating since its been made entirely clear in this thread and others, and not that hard to understand.

sorry, but in my mind this “misunderstanding” it pretty unforgivable, considering that we havent been hiding the ball about what we think AND that its been anti-feminists, MRAs and trannies that have been pushing their deliberate misunderstanding of our arguments, and that even “feminists” have tended to believe their lies.

i will step back though and let others discuss this with you, if they are less prickly about it than i am. :(

FCM - March 3, 2013

complicating matters of course is that the reformist camp doesnt *exactly* admit that theres even a debate happening or any issue here worth parsing. they are trying very hard to pretend the other camp doesnt exist, remember.

to illustrate, in her recent videos, australian academic and feminist betty mclellan tells her audience that its very important for radical feminists not to become isolated, and that we should stay out in the mainstream *so that* we can stay abreast of and in tune with what other women are experiencing under patriarchy. this is presented as a grounding/motivational exercise, and a remedy to our despair or an antidote to activist burnout. but it also suggests (doesnt it?) that she recognizes that some of us isolate or desire to isolate (separate) BECAUSE we see that reformist activating doesnt work, and that we are still oppressed despite 100 years of educating, lobbying, reforming etc. what she doesnt do is present her argument AGAINST SEPARATISM as a political argument, or indicate that there is another viable or reasonable position, and one thats oppositional to her own (separatism or pro-separatism) or that there is even any debate about this.

interestingly, betty mclellan once wrote a post for the HUB entitled “The Question on Nobody’s Lips” which addresses the issue of “what the hell is wrong with men” very directly. if the HUB was still up, i could link you to it. she took some shit for writing this, and one of her colleagues (a prominent MRA and male physician and lecturer) quit his job over it! so its not as if she completely avoids controversy. but the issue is complicated, and political. are the vids, see what you think.

68. Sargasso Sea - March 3, 2013

Perhaps I should further *define* what I mean by “deal with it”?

Dealing with it means that we must expose our girls/women to LIFE ENHANCING strategies which have nothing to do with how we might go about *fixing* male people. It’s a damn waste of time/energy. Period. How much MORE evidence do we need, of ANY kind, to reinforce what we already know??

Splitting hairs about if it’s “intrinsic” or “biologic” is downright navel-gazing. In order for any kind of serious discussion about this to happen we have to observe what is really happening, right NOW and how that will end up contorting into the next level of female hating crap in the future.

FCM - March 3, 2013

i would also mention that AFAIK, mclellan did NOT throw the HUB under the bus (or disavow her article) even when she was taken to task for it by this bastard who tried so hard to silence her, or get her punished by the university for daring to ask this question or for associating with the transphobic man-hatin HUB (and a project that was associated with me, a known separatist/pro separatist). AFAIK she stood her ground firmly, and made fun of this dood for being such a crybaby which was an excellent, effective and just a lovely response. i am not shittalking her here. but seriously, watch the vids and see for yourself how she deals with this issue. and its not just her.

69. WordWoman - March 3, 2013

I only read partway since late last night, and wanted to comment on this:
FCM says “also, i would like to add that i think that the “there is something very wrong with men and its not likely to change” camp consists of those who think its biological (as in, reasonably likely to be biological to some degree, perhaps in addition to other factors) AS WELL AS those who dont care either way, or dont think its provable or knowable, but who have come to believe that REGARDLESS, men arent going to stop raping us”

I think this is a great point. I will continue reading, but just wanted to appreciate this point about the different groups that call themselves radical feminists, and that are distinct from “funfems.”

70. witchwind - March 3, 2013

I think for instance that there’s a massive difference between believing you can tinker with men’s biology (that it could work and we should use it) and believing that men are definitely a lost cause (for whichever reasons) and we should only focus on women / getting away from men.

I would not choose the “tinkering with men” option for the following reasons:
FIRST, even if it could work from a scientific point of view, we would need to be *already* liberated from men to be able to enforce it on them. As oppressed and genocided people, we have no enforcement power over men whatsoever, no financial or political means at all to even set up the labs and create the necessary amount of injections. So there’s no way this is a realistic emancipation / liberation strategy.

SECOND, have come to the conclusion that men are inherently destructive to some extent and did happen to have the means to enforce male body-modification, I see no point in keeping them alive or birthing them, and spending so much energy and resources in controlling their levels of destructiveness. In the end they would still keep this horrible parasitism and gynergy-sucking quality, and we would continue to organise our lives around them. This sounds a very awful prospective to me, and not freeing at all. We have far better to do! Women are already spending all their time and energy in negotiating and mitigating men’s destructiveness. This is the problem, and this is what we need to brake free from.

THIRD, I think this option doesn’t go out of patriarchal mindset, that is, of control, destruction, domination and subordination. A solution that is forced through mutilating bodies (even male) to me isn’t a real solution. Men tinker with our bodies for power and control over us, to control our reproductive functions. We don’t want to control male reproductive functions because they don’t have any, but to enforce those injections on all men would require us having some power *over* them, controlling them by force / violence, to some extent. Do we want that kind of power and control over men? What effect would it have on us, and on the society we’d create? I’m really not interested in it. It sounds like the most boring and lifeless, destructive outcome to me. I would rather, again, them not be there at all (through whichever means) than having to control them through time, because it would destroy my life, and it wouldn’t be a viable living system. And this brings me back to my question: if there’s something really wrong with them, why insist in living around them at all?

The thing is, I’m not interested in men at all. Even the thought of having to have something to do with them is violent to me, let alone injecting stuff in their bodies.

I think the differences in position do make a big difference, in that it changes what we focus on: men or women. It makes all the difference in the world.

71. witchwind - March 4, 2013

I think the first step is to stop focusing on men altogether and to focus on what we can do and be ourselves, together as women, individually and / or collectively. And focus on creativity, on getting rid of patriarchal trauma and colonisation in our lives, and focus on building viable alternatives of being and trusting that we can (and many other things), even if it’s millimetre by millimetre, if it means going through hard lessons, and oftentimes being slapped in the face. It may sound wishy washy, but this far and looking back, this is what has changed my life and other women’s lives most significantly.

Basically if we keep our eyes stuck only on what we want to avoid, then we’ll head straight into it. It’s true with driving, but i think it’s true in general, it’s quite mechanical. To focus on one thing takes energy, and there is no space nor time in the mind to focus on other things while all your being is focused on that one thing.

Well, if we focus all our being on reacting against men, then there will be no more space and energy left on thinking about and creating the alternatives we need to get out of patriarchy, to get away from of men. And worse, focusing on men keeps us in danger, because rather than staying away from them we constantly go back to the danger and confront it, when we have no power to stop it in our current position. And our emergency is to protect ourselves from male violence and male presence and all form of violence for that matter. This requires being focused on ourselves and on women, and putting all our mind and energy to this task.

So separatism from men, to me is a sine qua non condition. I would define it as a disposition in which I refuse to respond to men in any possible way, give them my energy to them and cease to give a shit about their existence. This is necessary for my survival. I liked Sonia Johnson’s idea to see them as flowerpots in the street. I applied this in my everyday life and it actually makes it nicer. Then, once this step is taken, at least integrated, starts the real work with women, and with myself – both are linked.

FCM - March 4, 2013

i agree with you ww, i think the “tinkering” option is a bad idea, but thats its good as a thought exercise and adds to the discussion. for example, it demonstrates that the idea that “its biological” does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that “its not malleable” or “its inevitable” and therefore makes it all too obvious that those who conclude this anyway are being disingenuous. to wit, those feminists who say that if we knew it was biological we would all have to give up and go home are not being honest. in reality, they dont want to know that its biological bc it would cause them to despair and feel alienated from men — these are not good reasons to not seek the truth, or to conclude “against all evidence” that men will change willingly.

also, the “tinkering” possibility also demonstrates (doesnt it?) that men are not serious about changing themselves bc as you say, only men could ever implement the tinkering. and they are not even exploring the possibility. this makes men look like liars (about wanting to change) and shits, which they are.

FCM - March 4, 2013

i think the tinkering option also demonstrates that even bothering to endeavor to change men would be an ENORMOUS task, and that they frankly do not deserve the consideration. and we dont have it to give, anyway. we need to focus on ourselves. your comment spells out the enormity of it and all of that plainly, so thanks for doing that.

72. witchwind - March 4, 2013

Well, if we say they are going extinct, extinction will be inevitable lol. And so what? That’s fine with me. The thought of it makes me very happy.
Actually I don’t even feel the need to respond to the conclusion of the “against all evidence” that it’s “not malleable”, because this might well be true, whether we see it from a biological or sociological point of view. What they mean by this counter argument is that if we believe men are inherently violent, then there is no hope we can get away from it. This is the assumption is flawed IMO, whichever way we put it, because it assumes that if men could change, they would. This is wrong.
1. Because if men could change willingly, all evidence points to the fact that they don’t and won’t. And they won’t change willingly.
2. If men could change but we’d have to force them to change, either biologically or socially (which has many similarities IMO even if the long term result wouldn’t be the same and the assumptions about men differ), we don’t have the power to enforce it and it is undesirable to do so even if we did have that power (though history has proven that this strategy has been very unsuccessful and counterproductive, so there’s no point considering it).

The conclusion is that men aren’t malleable. So what? Does this mean we have no hope of getting away from men? I don’t think so. But one thing I do know for sure: we definitely have no chance of getting away from men if we keep trying to change them. And the reason for refusing to get into this argument is not the fear that men aren’t malleable IMO, but the refusal to let go of men, to grieve men and the male world / aspects of it / their lies, illusions and hope of recognition, fusion with another person, etc. It’s understandable and intentionally organised by men so that we stay with them, to some extent, so that we think we have a stake in their society and deadly values, so that we don’t trust ourselves enough.

73. Rididill - March 4, 2013

So many things to respond to here. I have been feeling like I have ‘nothing much to say’ (referring to a comment upthread) for quite some time… I think this has much to do with the feeling of pointlessness in reformism which deep down I somehow knew. Now I can write about separatism I suddenly have a lot more… inspiration.

I always wondered too why I spent more time and energy writing about fake feminism than about actual patriarchy on my blog. I felt bad about it, like I was just picking on other women because they were easier targets instead of focusing on the real enemy. That isn’t it though, now that I think about it.

I could document the atrocities, sure, it’s a worthwhile project but my sanity can’t stand it. I can’t stand to read over and over the rapes, the murders, the torture, the destruction that men perpetrate, and the sheer joy they take in it so often as well. The jokes about violence, the promotion of violence, the making violence sexy, the making sex and violence the same thing. It seems to pointless to document it seeing as I am trying to avoid seeing it everyday just to survive. It seems pointless because it is infinite. You don’t have to try hard to see male violence we are swimming in it, drowning in it, burned to death by it.

Seeing the violence is not a problem. Violence is everywhere. Taking it seriously is the problem. Because it’s been made into so much of a fucking joke, or celebration even as it’s ‘officially’ condemned. Or that all we need to do is change the way we feel about it and suddenly a punch in the face is just as good as a hug. Yay pomo.

Fake feminism is what every women does just to live in this world: try to convince themselves that it’s not that bad, that there is hope, that we can live with it because it’s not as bad as it looks. Radical feminism is admitting that it IS as bad as it looks, and then figuring out where to go from there.

Powerlessness creates self-delusion, it has to. It’s the only way to survive. As long as women hold on to the necessity of associating with men, of being a part of male society, we will continue delude ourselves. One of the conditions of developing Stockholm Syndrome is the inability to escape. As long as women (real or perceived) are unable to escape then delusion is a must. Every damaging relationship I ever had, I could not see that person for who they really were until I countenanced dropping them from my life forever. Then suddenly I could see my self-delusion. Then suddenly they did not have such power over me, they couldn’t gaslight me, they couldn’t fuck with my perceptions anymore. Even the prospect of separatism, even without (before?) the reality is so crucial to surviving under patriarchy.

And yeah, what the fuck is up with that ‘we’ shit when it comes to destroying the environment? I love how they exclude women’s contributions from science and technological advancement from the history books, and try and keep women out altogether, but as soon as it all fucks up they’re all like, oh ‘we’ did this, ‘we’ humanity. Yeah right. YOU did this. But thanks for the inclusion bros! Women are only allowed on the ship as soon as men know it’s already sinking.

Anyone notice how education used to be an awesome prestigious thing that got funded by the government because it was important (at least in Europe?) and those that got a university education were guaranteed jobs? And as soon as women came to predominate, BOOM. There goes the funding. Now it’s just debt, debt, debt for a worthless degree and you still have to provide free labour for some company anyway until they’ll even look at you. Oh, and fewer men are succeeding, because they know it’s worthless now. Not because they are ‘excluded’. They’re still paid more. They know what a mug’s game our marketized education system is.

Anyone notice how prestigious the social sciences, literature and the arts used to be? Women were only allowed to predominate in those fields because they were already in decline (with the exception of econ, of course, which became an honorary natural science). The rise of science, tech and economics was due to their power potential – that’s where you make the guns and the shit to sell, and how you learn to control the distribution of wealth. That’s why men kept women out. Social science used to have liberatory potential too. But now it’s been converted either into a branch of economics, where you can learn to see people as things to manipulate or dehumanized self-seeking rational actors, or it’s become pointless pomo crap where you just wander up your own arsehole and contemplate the intricacies of the view. So they had become useless for even an elementary understanding of oppression, in fact useless for anything at all. And now they are being de-funded and de-legitimized, of course.

Women are the rats on men’s sinking ships. They know as soon as they see us to get the fuck out. That is all reformism, that is all ‘inclusion’ and ‘access’ ever got us. Oh, and the destruction of women only spaces. At least under more feudal-misogynist social orders there were more spaces to just escape from men and men’s influence and men’s ideas. Surveillance= mindfuck. And not a woman alive would deny the dangers of PIV.

I appreciate your work immensely FCM and you have inspired me to start writing again. I don’t know if I’m of the ‘biology’ camp but the ‘against all evidence’ camp is looking less and less convincing. Right now I don’t care whether men CAN change. They certainly don’t seem to want to. The question is, is it worth wasting energy on trying to make them? And I really don’t think so.

A friend of mine told me about how her mum developed multiple sclerosis and her dad still wouldn’t lift a finger around the house so she divorced him. Now he just rots in his own shit and every single cleaning company in his town has blacklisted him because he is so filthy. Now she is trying to ‘teach’ him to look after himself. She insists he just needs to ‘learn’. Yeah, a grown man, with a 26 year old daughter just lives in his own shit because no one ‘taught’ him. Well, I learned to clean up after myself and I didn’t need a fucking teacher. I just got tired of the mess so I did something about it. Men don’t get tired of the mess because they don’t care enough to change it themselves. If they want to rot in their own shit why the hell should we stand in their way?

Sorry for the essay, probably should have just written a post on my own blog…

74. Rididill - March 4, 2013

Hah. In the time it took me to write that Witch Wind just made all the right points better than me. But yeah, the point is that as long as we are committed to making men change, our lives will just be a tremendous waste of energy and full of false hope. That commitment keeps us in self delusion. Accepting things as biological only makes it hopeless in the context of maintaining women’s commitment to men. Otherwise it leads to the conclusion that we just need to get the fuck away as quickly as possible.

75. karmarad - March 4, 2013

Hi, I appreciate this frank discussion. I’m of the opinion that scientific research would probably show that aggression is at least as much influenced by biology as culture. I have read your blog, Catherine, and thought about responding to your thoughtful writing at length by challenging your assertion that there is no evidence of that (I’m conflating aggression and violence here, which is somewhat inaccurate, sorry).

I could go around one more time and laboriously pull in the cites from sources such as animal husbandry, medical reviews of changes in transsexual people treated with hormones and sterilized, psychiatric studies of men confined to mental hospitals for sexually aggressive behaviors, studies of incarated populations by biocriminologists, statements from respected sources such as Stephen Pinker, Bryan Sykes, John Money, Griet Vandermassen, Elizabeth Wilson and many more. I’m kinda tired right now so will have to content myself with this statement from the evolutionary biologist Greit Vandermassen: “If feminists continue to reject the mounting evidence from the biological sciences, e.g., genetics, behavioral genetics, neurophysiology, endocrinology, evolutionary biology, [as well as] the social sciences, e.g., cognitive psychology, neurolinguistics, artificial intelligence) with regard to the biological underpinnings of human behavior, they back themselves into an embarrassingly uninformed corner.” I wouldn’t say your position is entirely uninformed, Catherine, because you raise two very serious scientific problems, first, that there is inadequate research on this issue of the bases of male violence and aggression (for obvious reasons), and second,there is great difficulty in getting past the confounding factor that we have no non-violent society, no non-aggressive society, no non-patriarchal society, to compare and contrast so that we can separate nature from nurture.

Looking at our alternatives, this is what I see: first of all, that biology is probably the underpinning; that medicalizing the problem of male violence has already been done in part; that biological predispositions can be modified; and that to modify male violence would require either male cooperation, which I join with everybody here in not betting the farm on, or involuntary treatment, which women do not have the power, and most likely the stomach, to promote, at least in this century.

Second,at this point a lot of us are ready to stop talking about trying to change men and want simply to disassociate ourselves from men entirely, to use our energy better and give up a lost cause, but then we are left twisting in the wind, because in this global patriarchy men are in control of the farm, out protecting their territories, enforcing male dominance, and generally assuring we CAN’T get away. Or can we?

One thing I see almost all of us agreeing on is that the third alternative, to reform the patriarchy from within, which has resulted in some relief for women in developed societies, will not result in full liberation of women in this millennium, if then.

So – I take the long, long view that ultimately women will be liberated on way or the other, perhaps after an apocalyptic war between men that resets power relations, perhaps when…but I won’t go on with various scenarios. I guess this makes me an optimist compared to those among us who believe it will never happen, but then again, we all have to come back to the Now and what is to be done, both the optimists and the pessimists.

Is there a fourth alternative?

Nobody is talking about simply going to war with men, since we aren’t built that way, so I’m scratching that for now.

OK, then, I pick going for separatism. I will again suggest that any of us worldwide who can, should move to Iceland and first build a separate society, then attempt to bring the rest of the world along. Greenland’s empty and getting warmer…hmmm. I see this Women’s Diaspora as being very similar to other diasporas of persecuted peoples to lands where they can live more freely.

And if it has to be that Iceland takes a while, and all we manage is to find 4 women to live together as far from male control as possible, with many compromises necessary, ok , some of us are already that far along, and it could go viral.

If that’s pie in the sky (i’m full of cliches tonight), well it’s our pie in the sky and the sky is a lot lower than it used to be, more reachable. Male violence is intolerable, something has to give, and separatism is a pretty good direction, with all its difficulties.

76. Mary Sunshine - March 4, 2013

This discussion is so soothing to an old Lesbian Separatist’s heart. Thank you sweet sisters, and good night. See you in the morning.
♥ ♥ ♥

FCM - March 4, 2013

i wish the reformist camp didnt seem to require a lifetime committment from everyone, where we are coerced into infinite servitude or blamed for “killing women” or shitting on them if we dont activate for reform literally forever, even after we’ve concluded that its completely hopeless or at least an unreasonable goal CONSIDERING THE EVIDENCE. like, i would love it if the reformist camp would organize itself similarly to a “peace corps” type model of a term of service and specific projects, where we can all commit 2 years — one year to learn the issues, one year to teach others, and then get out and move on to do other womens-culture type things. its important that we know what we are up against, yes, and that we can perform these analyses and recognize the issues and how patriarchy works etc. and i do think that the reformists bringing their ideas to the marketplace and protesting male-centric policies and practice could serve a purpose, if only in a symbolic or tokenistic way — to make sure our interests are represented. but the lifetime committment and the coerciveness of feminist reformist activating/politicking are right out.

FCM - March 4, 2013

rididill, youve been inspired to write again? that is a WIN! thanks for telling me that. i look forward to seeing what you have to say.

77. WordWoman - March 4, 2013

This is such a fabulous discussion! We have a lot to do. In writing a response to the considerations of “against all evidence” by Catherine O, it became clearer and clearer to me that we need to develop new systems, new science, new arts, etc. I used the work of Kuhn who wrote “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.” Here are some main points:

1. “Proof” does not exist in science. (It exists in some other places, notably in math/logic). In science you have theories and evidence for those theories. Here’s a summary and a quote from Kuhn about science and theories from Wikipedia:
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn)

“Kuhn made several notable claims concerning the progress of scientific knowledge: that scientific fields undergo periodic “paradigm shifts” rather than solely progressing in a linear and continuous way; that these paradigm shifts open up new approaches to understanding that scientists would never have considered valid before; and that the notion of scientific truth, at any given moment, cannot be established solely by objective criteria but is defined by a consensus of a scientific community. Competing paradigms are frequently incommensurable; that is, they are competing accounts of reality which cannot be coherently reconciled. Thus, our comprehension of science can never rely on full “objectivity”; we must account for subjective perspectives as well.”

2. Spinning off these comments for a moment, I’d suggest that there is an overarching paradigm that goes unrecognized in science and other fields. Radical feminists recognize that as patriarchy. I’d further suggest that science as we understand it, i.e., the science paradigm that is inherently patriarchal is incommensurable with what would be a radical feminist science paradigm.

3. Kuhn said nothing about patriarchy, but I would suggest that this is a larger paradigm within which science as we understand it exists. Ideas like “objectivity” and “scientific method” that go along with privileging science makes invisible a lot of other evidence. This is why scientists cannot “see” lots of evidence. Some of this is deliberate, for self-interest, of course. But that is not what I’m talking about here. It is the idea that some things cannot be seen, accounted for, or understood using patriarchal paradigms. Not only things that hurt women, but also anything that doesn’t fit in their system. If you are outside that system looking in, say you are trained in the sciences, you may well have this view. I have friends in the sciences that fit this description.

4. Where I think we need to put our energy as radical feminists is in creating a paradigm (more accurately, filling in the blanks for that radfem existing paradigm) that we can use instead of patriarchy. What exists within that? So, what would radfem science look like? It’s not lib fem science (which is to study things like women’s health using the same system). And it’s not an anti-science attitude either. It’s not reforming science as it currently exists. I do not have a clear picture of this except I’d like to see it, to consider it. I don’t mean only science, but building a different paradigm. When I read Mary Daly, that was the impression I got. She was doing that. What would it look like to do it in other ways?

I hope this is not abstruse, but anyway that’s where I’m at now. I read Kuhn decades ago, but have popped other ideas into the basic one about systems and how they operate since then. Right now Kuhn is the only reference I can think of. When others come to mind, I’ll mention them.

I especially think it is important to think about how systems render certain kinds of information/evidence invisible.

78. Miep O'Brien - March 4, 2013
79. Morgan - March 4, 2013

karmarad said: “Second,at this point a lot of us are ready to stop talking about trying to change men and want simply to disassociate ourselves from men entirely, to use our energy better and give up a lost cause, but then we are left twisting in the wind, because in this global patriarchy men are in control of the farm, out protecting their territories, enforcing male dominance, and generally assuring we CAN’T get away. Or can we?”

For some reason this made me think of all that positive thinking BS and Ekhart Toll-e or whatever, and how it was so heavily promoted to women, to accept your life as is and be “at peace” or whatever with it, which I find plays nicely into the whole line of “it’s social and therefore can be changed and we should therefore keep TRYING to change it” as in – don’t give up on things, keep at it no matter how things are… in spite of all the evidence. Added to it the idea that somehow we control our lives, or our attitude controls our lives, which leads to the conclusion that if your life sucks it’s your fault, which is convenient to get women to believe, isn’t it, forever blaming ourselves for shit we didn’t create, and getting us to believe if we just change our minds things will be better!! We just need to see the situation differently, and TRY HARDER, and things will be better! (It’s social! Men can change! Just add enough love/education/etc!) We CAN’T get away if our heads are in this line of thought, we can’t get away if we’ve invested too heavily of ourselves – there’s a term for it, when you’ve invested so much money into something, well this is investing so much time/energy into something, that you don’t feel like you can abandon it, or else where is the justification for all that time/energy you seemingly “wasted”/wasted… All the different ways we get to that “can’t”. But karmarad ends that paragraph with, “Or can we?” And that’s the bit that sticks out, that echos around in my head, that feels like the REAL hope, the REAL possibility. I am so greatful to/for blogs like these and the women who contribute to/create them.

Anyway commenting freaks me out, I can rarely make my thoughts clear and everyone says it better than I can, and yet I went ahead and made an attempt anyway. Thanks FCM for your work, and for this space.

80. luckynkl - March 4, 2013

I’ve been wanting to comment but my real life keeps rudely interrupting. I’ve been reading along in my spare moments tho.

Re: Reformism
Can the system be reformed? LOL, I would not be able to call myself a radical feminist if I believed in that silly notion. Master’s tools and all that rot, the system cannot be reformed. The system was not meant to serve the people or to promote equality. Systems are created by the powerful, for the powerful, to serve and protect the interests of the powerful, and to make sure the powerful remain powerful. IOWs, the 1%. Systems are founded and based on hierarchy and inequality and were created to make sure it stays that way. Trying to reform such a system is a futile endeavor. The powerful have no interest in equality and no intention of giving up power. It may throw the masses a few scraps to keep the people from revolting, but that’s all it will ever be. Scraps. Which the 1% giveth and taketh away at their own discretion.

RFism does not believe the system can be reformed and needs to be nuked. Reformism and equality feminism are liberal/libertarian ideas, not radical ideas. It’s not even feminism. It’s just liberalism/libertarianism applied to women. The ladies’ auxiliary, if you will. The default being male. Like all male politics and systems, liberalism and libertarianism were created by and for men. It just expands its base a little is all. To serve and protect the interests of the 15 to 20% instead of just the 1%. Sure, liberalism and libertarianism promote equality. The equality of MEN. Women and children need not apply. Which is why liberals address every oppression under the sun except the oppression of women. When it comes to women, the only real difference between conservatives and liberals is that conservatives view women as private property while liberals view women as public property. Radical feminism is the radical notion that women aren’t property at all.

In any case, replacing one form of patriarchy with another is not revolutionary. It’s still patriarchy. The caste system and the enslavement of women as property and as a sex class remains intact.

FCM - March 4, 2013

thanks for that lucky. do you disagree that there is this divide among radical feminists at this point? or would you say that the “reformist” variation isnt even radical at all? would you also (therefore) say that the university professors arent radical feminists, that the anti-pornstitution activists arent radical feminists, that even dworkin wasnt to the extent that she activated for a legal solution to pornography etc?

ive been thinking about this a lot. radical feminists want to get to the root of womens oppression by men, and so they focus on dominance/submission including sexual and reproductive abuse. i think we are all on the same page about that, although *i* dont think dom/sub is the problem exactly and that this is male-centric issue framing bc dom/sub includes what men do to other men too. dom/sub problematizes sexual and reproductive abuse of women not because these things CAN only be done to women by men and therefore ARE the root of WOMENS OPPRESSION BY MEN — but i think that *is* why they are problematic. rape isnt harmful to women *just* because it hurts our feelings, or is unfair, or puts us in the one-down position in a general way, you know? these harms are female-specific, and only men can perpetrate them on us. they need to stop doing that. dom/sub and other hierarchies are modeled on that one, arent they? this is men relating to other men and to the entire world as a male relates to a female — as a rapist (as ww says above in her comment about male environmentalists). and yet dom/sub in general is not the same thing at all, and the specific function of the sexual and reproductive abuse AGAINST WOMEN BY MEN is pushed into the background when we frame the issue that way. i think this is a mistake.

ANYWAY, the reformist variation do try to get to the root of womens oppression by men. they are using social and legal reformism as a tool to get to the root, or what they believe to be the root — dom/sub and importantly they INCLUDE (not exclude) mens sexual and reproductive abuse of women in that. they are not fun feminists who believe in individualism, male feminists, and PIV-positivity, and who in fact encourage dom/sub and sexual and reproductive abuse of women as long as its “consensual” and who shit talk dworkin, daly etc. i am unwilling to say that the reformist variation of radical feminists are the same as fun fems, or are not radical, because they are trying to get at the root. however. i think they are going at it the wrong way by this point and that there is evidence that its not working out like they had hoped. and that at any rate not all of us ever needed to be using social and legal reformism to get at the root — it shouldve only ever been ONE tool to try to get us where we wanted to be. and i think the appeal of the professional-feminist position worked against us here, bc it was too appealing for women to want to do reformist-type feminism forever, and to get paid for it as a way to reduce the harm to THEMSELVES and to not have to get an actual (more blatantly patriarchal) job, or as a remedy to our poverty and fear of rape that comes with it. and that these professional feminists are stuck now, bc to maintain their own relevance they have to convince everyone that they are doing the correct thing and that its likely to work (someday) or that its working now — against all evidence. its understandable, but i think its time to reassess where we are now. we are in a rut and the “tool” has taken over the whole movement.

thoughts?

81. Mary Sunshine - March 4, 2013

FCM, thank you for articulating that so perfectly.

FCM - March 4, 2013

:)

FCM - March 4, 2013

maybe the problem really is that the issue has been framed as one of dom/sub with the female-specific harms of the penis only being included as a subset of that (instead of regarded as the whole point/problem, which i believe it is)? bc dom/sub implies a problem of EQUALITY does it not? in/equality of position, or in/equality of power, with the goal being that the heirarchical aspect is eliminated. this is dangerous territory because “equality” activating is not radical. perhaps we need to expressly center (or recenter) the problem of mens sexual and reproductive abuse of women, and clearly articulate why this is the root. bc i think it definitely is.

FCM - March 4, 2013

BTW i have heard that radical feminists in general have shied away from talking about “intercourse” after seeing how dworkin was so demonized for writing about it very directly (although she wasnt the first one to criticize compulsory heterosexuality and dangerous male sexuality). maybe it was the directness that did it, or that an entire book was written about it, or that dworkins style was so effective — the issue became explosive and toxic. especially if anyone was hoping to make a living off this stuff they would certainly avoid this topic after that. and most writers arent exactly dworkins now are they? i have heard that this is why radfems went into anti-pornstitution work instead.

Rididill - March 4, 2013

The term is ‘sunk costs’. Yes you are right, there is a lot of that.

82. WordWoman - March 4, 2013

In “Beyond God the Father” (Chapter 2), Mary Daly talks about this.
“collective refusal of all cooptation of women’s energies to reinforce the structures and ideologies of patriarchy. This refusal will be most effective if it is active and positive, that is, not merely a negative withdrawal but creative existence on the boundary of these structures. I would hasten to add that such creative living on the boundary should not be confused with having one’s cake
and eating it too – a subtle perversion of “the real thing” which may resemble it superficially. Real boundary living is a refusal of tokenism and absorption, and therefore it is genuinely dangerous.”

She discusses how all organizations are patriarchal, though in different ways. With some organizations where it is not so blatant, there is a seductiveness. It is easier to get confused and sucked in. Remaining on the boundary is always the strategy, though. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, with this discussion. It relates to feminists in academia. I’d rather see them there than the funfems, but the boundary issue is pretty tricky, as you note, FCM.

83. Rididill - March 4, 2013

Sorry that reply above was to Morgan, I thought it would come out below but now it’s just hanging there. FCM, that is very true. I have been encountering such a divide in my relationships with offline feminist activists, they were completely unwilling to consider PIV-related harm, only the dom/sub nature. Well if you can even call them feminists, they are actually communists so in spite of their apparent radicalism they are stuck in cult-like devotion to their commie man-messiah who is apparently going to liberate us all and has said more things that are profound about women’s liberation than any woman or anyone ever. WTF.

84. Sargasso Sea - March 4, 2013

Crap :( I just wrote this really nice thing that disappeared because I hit some wrong key or something :(

Long story short: Morgan, you make perfect sense. It’s good to Rididill rocking it and I totally dig the idea of a Term of Service in the 21st Century Consciousness Raising Corps! :)

FCM - March 4, 2013

sorry your comment went *poof* s4! :( im sure it was about to be really good too. but your summation works.

FCM - March 4, 2013

also, i cant seem to bring myself to go too deeply into this, and would rather bang my head on a wall about a thousand times…but does anyone care to speculate (or share, if they have experience with this) how problematizing dom/sub and heirarchies themselves, even in the absence of sexual and reproductive harm by men against women, would cause issues for women-only activating and complex feminist projects which more or less require a “project manager” or (ahem) a “leader” of sorts? oh dear.

85. WordWoman - March 4, 2013

Morgan, I was thinking about the phrase, “Don’t throw good money after bad.” Sunk costs is more technical.

FCM - March 4, 2013

i mean, i have heard of more than one “feminist” project that literally never got off the ground bc all decisions were to be made by consensus….and they literally couldnt agree on a single thing, even the most basic thing like (for example) which “theme” to use when starting a group blog. so they didnt start one. i can see the appeal of having no power dynamics at all in a separatist community that had all the resources they needed, and thus no real need to organize anything or get anything done (or only very minor consequences if things dont get done) but other than that, some hierarchies seem functionally necessary. dont they? its not our fault either, if this is the reality of it. its not like we all WANT to be doing this. i would love to never have to make another feminist statement or do feminist activism ever again bc feminism has become unnecessary and obsolete. heaven.

86. WordWoman - March 4, 2013

I think that different models can work ok if you take out the power dynamics that are from patriarchy. Not that we can automatically do this, of course. Something to work at.

I also like a collaborative model. It’s not necessarily consensus, but it does involve hearing from everyone and finding ways to handle differing perspectives. I have seen consensus work well, too. Not just the horror stories of when it doesn’t work. It works all the time informally with groups of women I’ve known for things like having lunch together. But often, with consensus working it means that there is an informal leader. A leader in the sense of the word of having meaningful ideas, prodding certain people, etc. Perhaps this seems more difficult than it should be because patriarchy training.

One thing is to agree on a model and understand the model, consensus and whatever else. Also having procedures for how to get certain things done. One group I was a part of portioned out tasks based on a list. Each person had a go around and got to choose what they wanted, then another rotation and on till the list was gone. That way, no one ended up with all the undesirable jobs.

87. luckynkl - March 4, 2013

Do I think there’s a divide among radical feminists at this point? LOL, is this a trick question?

I find identity politics a slippery slope and very problematic. I’m labeled a classic radical feminist. Does that make everything I say, think or do radical? Of course not. I consistently take the radical stance is all. So if I espouse 100 radical views and 10 liberal views, it doesn’t now make those 10 liberal views radical. Those 10 liberal views remain liberal. This is part of the problem with identity politics. So a better way to frame things is: is there a divide in the radical view of an issue? The answer is no. There is no divide in the radical point of view. The divide only occurs when every Tom, Dick and Harriet identifies as a radical feminist, even when their views aren’t radical. Piss on identify politics, names and labels, which are causing serious problems and divides in the movement – much of it, quite intentional. What matters is where you stand on an issue, not what you identify as. So align yourself with those who are on the same page as you are, think about what you want done, rally support, and then go do it.

I’ll get to some of your other questions when I get some time if the comments are still open.

FCM - March 4, 2013

its not a trick question lucky. radical feminism means “getting to the root of womens oppression by men.” the reformist variation i am talking about here are trying to get to the root of womens oppression by men. i just think they’ve gotten stuck in a rut and recruited too many people by now — their chosen “tool” seems to be legal and social deterrents/obstacles to men dominating women, including sexual and reproductive abuse. it just hasnt worked is all, and now almost everyone is on board this train to nowhere. its not as if their intent and ideology (not identity) wasnt radical. is it?

it troubles me to consider though, have the fun fems identified “lack of perceived agency” as the root of womens oppression by men? how far off the mark can we be in identifying our “root” before we arent even in-good-faith (or effective) radicals/feminists at all? i dont know, but the fun fems dont even believe in women and men. so no, they arent radical (or feminist). reformist-variety radfems (if there even is such a thing!) believe in women and men, and they know its important to get at the root of womens oppression by men, but if they have been wrong all this time about dom/sub being the root thats kind of a big problem.

88. WordWoman - March 4, 2013

FCM, you said “i mean, i have heard of more than one “feminist” project that literally never got off the ground bc all decisions were to be made by consensus….and they literally couldnt agree on a single thing, even the most basic thing.”

Thinking more about this, I’d be suspicious. Are there women or a woman in the group who are intentionally trying to mess up the project? I think this happened during the second wave more than we know.

Yes, it could be just strong minded women, but also it could be an intentional ploy. Radical activists of all stripes have had this happen for a long time.

FCM - March 5, 2013

yes thats an excellent point isnt it? it might be deliberate! nonradical people kill radical space. we know this. and the power plays just get extremely ugly, to where the health and wellbeing of the project is no longer the focus, or is deliberately sabotaged.

89. Sargasso Sea - March 5, 2013

Wanting to believe that the internal knee-capping of radical spaces/thought is why I identify as a cynical pollyannna: there has been almost no evidence (in the past 4 years at least, and in my personal experience trying to collaborate) that actual projects will actually come to fruition but that doesn’t ever stop me from trying.

The HUB was an exception to the rule for some period of time though, and as a group effort it was damn sweet :) Mind you, I was privy to any number of *factional* dialogues during that era (that I am, of course, not at liberty to discuss…) and what I learned there is part of why I’ve landed pretty much where I am right now – which is *alomost* completely on my own.

90. Sargasso Sea - March 5, 2013

*internal knee-capping will NOT continue forevvver,

91. Sargasso Sea - March 5, 2013

Oh! Heavens. I mean privy to talk surrounding the creation of the HUB…

92. Rididill - March 5, 2013

Thanks for the support! Although, Sargasso sea I don’t quite understand your comment but seems positive. Yes wordwoman you are right I have been reading too much econ.

I don’t think funfems think ‘lack of perceived agency’ is the root of women’s oppression b/c they don’t believe in things like roots. They are all pomo so it’s all about multiplicities of meaning, overlapping contradictory fragmented identities, transgressive performativity, syncretistic bricolage and other such bullshit. The idea of an essential beginning, purpose or origin just does not exist in their framework.

I don’t think division of labour necessarily requires hierarchy, at least in the patriarchal sense, but I do think organization requires division of labour which in turn will require division of decisions, because decisions are part of work. Couldn’t even agree on a blog? That is ridiculous. I mean seriously. I question the real commitment of people who could get bogged down in such a tiny issue, so yes I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in bad faith. Personally I think the best way is to collectively agree on decision-making frameworks or work-allocation frameworks. Pretending structurelessness just creates hidden informal hierarchies. Better to get them out in the open.

FCM - March 5, 2013

theres also such a thing as talking a project into the ground with the beginning-stuff when people most want to get on to the more exciting substantive part. the beginning part is important and getting together a coherent project that makes sense and has forward momentum is key and takes planning, discussion and vision. but the “what do you think? i dont know, what do you think?” or endlessly introducing additional options that are not any better than the others, just for the sake of (what? i really dont know. sabotage perhaps, yes) can go on forever so that people just get burned out on each other and lose steam.

93. Sargasso Sea - March 5, 2013

Yes, thank you for saying it, running a project into the ground – that’s part of what I’m trying to express (and failing!!). I think that generally speaking women can not help but over-think themselves and their projects because… What Will People Think?

FCM - March 5, 2013

not many people probably envy me my position of being constantly trashed by other women. i never cared a whole lot about that part, but i know others do, so yes, the “what will people think” is a big part of it. my concern is that the fear of being trashed will prevent other women from even trying individual projects, let alone a group project. honestly, i think observing trashing, even if you dont participate in it and even if you arent being trashed (right now) is very destructive and counterproductive to anyone ever doing anything. gee thanks facebook.

94. luckynkl - March 5, 2013

I remember one day I went out to the kitchen to see if my mother needed any help. It wasn’t my habit to do such things. My mother had a thing about gender roles. She thought they really sucked. Especially for girls. So her rule of thumb was: if my brothers didn’t have to do it, then neither did I. Since my brothers weren’t offering to help, then I shouldn’t be offering to help either. My mother didn’t mind if I sat in the kitchen and talked with her. I could do that all the live long day. But helping? That was a different matter. On this particular occasion, I thought I’d throw the protocols aside and offered to help. My mother declined my offer. When I asked why, my mother said this: “There can only be one queen bee in the kitchen.”

Now I’m an only girl in a family full of boys and was raised and conditioned like most boys are. As a result, I’m sadly lacking in girl codes and have a lot of difficulty identifying with and understanding the ways of girls/women. But with that one statement made by my mother, it gave me a whole lot of insight into girls/women.

So what’s up with all the divides and infighting among radical feminists? It’s pretty elementary, my dear Watson. There’s way too many queen bees in the hive! Sorry folks, but there can only be one queen bee to a hive. I mean, we can’t even get to 3 women to agree on and decide what color to paint a room, but we think we can organize an entire movement and have a consensus?! LOL, good luck with that.

I think RFs need to know their limitations and how to get around those limitations. Since a good number of radical women are queen bees, we need to rethink our grouping and organization or the problems will continue.

95. luckynkl - March 5, 2013

P.S. My mother’s statement was “There can be only one queen bee to a house” not a kitchen.

96. Sargasso Sea - March 5, 2013

Oh good god Lucky. Sure am glad I waited around for that…

FCM - March 5, 2013

i was staying with my mom for awhile after college, and one time i took her car out and left it outside overnight instead of putting it in the garage. she burst through my bedroom door very early in the morning and screamed her fucking head off about it, it was really shocking considering i was dead asleep .001 seconds before that, and its not a bad neighborhood, and not even a very nice car. i was stunned and i said “what? did something happen to it?” and she said well, NO and just throttled me about it until she was done, and then she left. i locked my bedroom door after that.

what i think about this stuff (and the “queen bee” issue you mention) is that all women come to a conclusion at some point that they are fresh meat and its a fucking rapefest out there. individual women get a plan (or lifemap or script or something) together that includes priorities, emergency/contingency options, concessions, theories of cause/effect and its all very complicated but its completely private and known only to her, based on the circumstances of her own life and situation. and it becomes very routine at some point. if another woman comes in and starts fucking shit up, its a huge issue indeed. even though *she* has her own rape-avoidance lifemap and its as good as any other, (TO HER, considering her own life) and might not necessarily center the exact same things. and i dont think women can see the consequences of every little thing, long-term, in other womens lives or the intricacies of each others plans/scripts. and none of us ever talk about them or acknowledge that we have them, or even know that this is what we are doing most of the time.

i think in my moms lifemap/script, her car was very important to her. (DUH) and the fact that it *was* a crappy car was actually a very good reason to keep it safe bc if she could afford to replace it, she wouldve. get it? i dont think leaving it outside ONE NIGHT was that big of a deal, even knowing what i know/suspect now about the grand-importance of it, but i never trusted her to be reasonable or treat me well or fairly after that. it ended up being a very big deal in that way, which really sucks too because creating an emotional rift with your own daughter (or with your mother) is probably a bad idea, survival-wise too.

FCM - March 5, 2013

anyway, i dont think this queen-bee stuff AT ALL explains the rift in radical feminism, unless anyone thinks that we are trying to avoid being raped. OH, wait….

i think the “rift” as described here is a problem of ideologies and competing interests, and not recognizing these things for what they are, and not being honest about it. and that people have their reasons for doing what they do. and that women who are doing this for money have a lot to lose (their livelihoods) and ALL OF US knows what that means, for female-bodied people, under patriarchy.

dont pretend we are just egomaniacal bitches mkay? thanks.

FCM - March 5, 2013

i just want to get away from these rapey pricks SO BAD…and lies, thought-termination and irrational or inconsistent theory drive me up a wall.

97. Sargasso Sea - March 5, 2013

“ideologies and competing interests”

Something that I think we really need to talk about is WHY *we* have competition at all. Seriously, WHY can’t each of the arms of the movement do their own thing? Without, of course, being accused of tone-policing or queen-bee-ing or butch-bashing or whatever from within ffs.

Hierarchies, imagined or real, are pure patriarchal bullshit.

FCM - March 5, 2013

for my part, i think the academics (and others) are leading everyone down a bad road, and that your average jane has NOTHING to gain from reformist politicking but the academics and wannabe academics do (money, jobs, and possibly other things) and the academics arent being honest about what those gains are and they are trying very hard to invisiblize the “other arm” (seps and pro-seps) so this dynamic is largely invisible, as is the possibility that there might be (or is) another way.

i am trying to clarify the issues so that women can make an informed choice, understanding that they are never going to get any money from this so they should SERIOUSLY consider what the likely gains are for themselves (or other women) and that they are NOT in the same position as the more visible feminists so they shouldnt pretend like they are. the decision on whether OR NOT to continue reformist activating, OR FOR HOW LONG, OR WHY, being a very important individual and collective decision, should be made considering ALL the evidence, including how successful 100 years of reformist activating has really been to liberate women from male dominance.

thats what i am trying to do here, but thats just me.

FCM - March 5, 2013

IOW theres no doing your own thing and letting the others do theirs if its unobvious that there is more than one way. i am suggesting that theres more than one way AND that the “reformist” way doesnt need as many people as it has. they ONLY have almost-everyone on board bc they havent let people consider leaving or modifying their approach. this is bullshit, and unfair.

98. Sargasso Sea - March 5, 2013

Informed choices are absolutely necessary :)

Academia (I’ve long said) is nothing but trouble for women all the way around – as a paying student, as a *career path*, as a ticket to greener financial pastures, etc. And I mean no disrespect to women who have followed that path because it was/is the common path to travel. Just because, I guess.

I see college as a very strategic choice (core curriculum at junior college is cool – if you can afford even that) but further pursuit should be laser-guided for a particular (radical, not financial) goal otherwise you do run the extreme risk of becoming a patriarchal purpose vomit machine. Even if you think you are actually bucking the system. Been there :(

FCM - March 5, 2013

now that i think about it more i am starting to see mclellan’s “motivational/grounding excercise” where she steers women away from “isolating” as being intentional thought-termination. and its really pissing me off.

did you watch the vids?

99. WordWoman - March 5, 2013

FCM, I found this statement important
“part of it. my concern is that the fear of being trashed will prevent other women from even trying individual projects, let alone a group project. honestly, i think observing trashing, even if you dont participate in it and even if you arent being trashed (right now) is very destructive and counterproductive to anyone ever doing anything.”

Obviously one of the core reasons to do something like the Hub is to reach out to other women who are fed up and want to speak up. (Or some other individual project.) I very much agree that creating a toxic atmosphere prevents this from happening. Patriarchy means to confuse us. So we see this stuff that looks like infighting and then have to figure that out, too. It drains energy and keeps us confused.

I want to say that I think that radical feminism can be fun. It does not have to be this dreary thing where everyone is fighting. At least that is what Mary Daly seemed to convey. Of course it will be difficult at times! I don’t say this lightly knowing what women go through (arape avoidance strategies, for example). One of the great things about your blog overall is the lightheartedness at times, quirky humor, etc. combined with the nitty-gritty, illuminating the awfulness that is misogyny.

FCM - March 5, 2013

i think its fun too wordwoman. :) thanks for that.

100. Sargasso Sea - March 5, 2013

Yes! Radical feminism has at its core observational humor! :) It’s a big part of what keeps us going, I think.

About the videos: I started watching the first one but really *shut down* (a failing of mine?) because of the very acedemic delivery of the material.
IRL I absolutely prefer a storytelling/entertainment approach to important subjects and that’s why some music and some films and some cartoons can be the best *education* ever.

101. WordWoman - March 5, 2013

FCM said “interestingly, betty mclellan once wrote a post for the HUB entitled “The Question on Nobody’s Lips” which addresses the issue of “what the hell is wrong with men” very directly. if the HUB was still up, i could link you to it.”

Here’s the link from archives:
http://web.archive.org/web/20120222122027/http://radicalhub.com/2011/06/01/guest-post-betty-mclellan/

I remember reading this when the hub was up and it made quite an impression on me.

102. WordWoman - March 5, 2013

One of my favorite quotes from that article, (entitled, “The Question on Nobody’s Lips.”)

“What is it about men?

Even in the face of horrendous violence by men against women and children. . .; even with all the evidence we have that something’s not quite right with the male of the species, there is still impenetrable resistance to focusing on men’s behaviour and asking: what is it about men? It seems that the only people with the courage to ask that question are radical feminists.

The ability of mainstream, including mainstream feminists, to ignore the elephant in the room is mind-boggling.

The thing is that patriarchy depends for its very existence on the notion that men are our heroes, our protectors, our leaders and, because of that, it is imperative that men be portrayed in a positive light at all times.”

FCM - March 5, 2013

thanks for the link! funny that some dood thought this was so awful she ought to be fired over it — and she didnt even come to OR SUGGEST a single conclusion did she? all she did was ask the question, and he thought she should pay and tried very hard to make that happen. notably, when the university didnt give him what he wanted, and refused to censor/censure her, HE QUIT HIS JOB in protest. LOL allegedly. i suppose its also possible he was fired or asked to leave for being a human stain, and he has likely behaved badly in the past. but assuming he quit over it like he claims — gee, entitled much ASSHOLE? in the midst of a global recession a privileged white male quits his job bc he doesnt like what a colleague does in her spare time. if the same privilege applied to me i would literally never work again, since i dislike mens porn use and literally every single man alive uses porn in his spare time (and at work too).

103. luckynkl - March 6, 2013

The reaction to my queen bee comment was interesting. Sounds like some folks have seen too many Disney movies, lol. Queens are all evil, right? Because your daddy tells you so!

But actually what the comment was referring to was the natural pecking order in a family or community. Like it or not, there is a pecking order and there are alpha females just like there are alpha males. I just called the female alphas queen bees is all, but it means the same thing. Pecking orders and alphas are not only found in humans, but in much of the animal kingdom as well. Put the alphas together in a group, grab some popcorn, find a seat, and then kick back and watch the show. Dollars to donuts there will be fireworks!

That about sums up what happened to the Hub. The problem was not political differences. The problem was personality clashes. The personality clashes and divides were going on long before any political differences started to surface.

The lesson to be learned? Having a common politic is not enough. In order to work together, folks must also have personalities compatible enough to get along.

FCM - March 6, 2013

sorry lucky, but thats just total bullshit. actually, things started falling apart behind the scenes when the hungerford/brennan letter to the UN was published on the HUB. the first nonradical piece we ever published, as well as the first appearance of an admitted nonradical “lesbian activist.” on a radical feminist publication. a two-fer!

personality clashes? please. check your sources, seriously.

FCM - March 6, 2013

oh, and publishing pieces from the academics caused problems too. these rifts brought out “strong feelings” on both sides which could be referred to as “personality clashes” if anyone wanted to obscure the reality of it and delete our herstory. but thats not what they were at all.

FCM - March 6, 2013

also, “personality clashes” has been used by more than one person, and *i* have even used it as a euphemism for “FCM is a total bitch!” see the discussion above about “female entrepreneurs” for more on that. women who create things and take a hard line to protect what they’ve created are like impossible to work with man. everyone knows that.

104. Sargasso Sea - March 6, 2013

We could chalk all of our problems up to personality clashes because… our daddies tell us so?! Or is it just that Fairy Tales tell us so?

Gosh, Lucky you sure do seem to have a whole lot of personal data about certain *folks*….

I think the point (?) is taken already: some of us aren’t worthy of our thoughts. Period, because YOU say so.

FCM - March 6, 2013

honestly, knowing what i know now, i would *never* attempt something as insane and likely to die a gruesome hideous death as a radical feminist group blog. or at least i dont think i would. the politics of it as well as the very predictable “personality clashes” that were sure to arise (aka FCM is an asshole lets burn her!) doomed it to fail from the start. i was INSANE AND NAIVE to think otherwise.

but HUB was a living being in a way. it was natural and magical, and it wanted to BE. it just did. again, im really afraid that seeing what happened to HUB (and to me) will prevent other women from doing insane and naive (and magical and natural) things in the future. and it *was* gruesome and hideous at times. hideous!

one of the biggest lessons i have learned from all this (and all the blogs ive been involved with) is that some things arent meant to be permanent or even long term. even *i* wouldve ended up not writing for the HUB at some point bc the kinds of posts i was doing were (largely) radical analyses of news items and media images. but i started seeing that as a short-term goal only, or a project where a term of service was more appropriate. the more “living work” i always did on my own blog and i dont think i couldve done living work on both. really, i think the biggest mistake was that we didnt just let it die a natural death. it became zombified and had me by the ankles, but thats not the same as being alive. i know that now. and this discussion really clarifies a lot of this for me, so thanks to everyone who is participating.

FCM - March 6, 2013

thanks s4. seriously lucky, these last few comments of yours are really beneath you. wtf?

FCM - March 6, 2013

tales from the crypt: when you hear of a feminist project failing due to “personality clashes” (or failure of consensus for that matter!) suspect there is something else going on. srsly.

105. WordWoman - March 6, 2013

Just a side note: The concept of the alpha male has been disavowed by the guy who did the reasearch on it. Pretty much all the people who know this stuff agree. It was studied and applied to wolf behavior (and later used in training dogs). The research was poorly done. It was done on unrelated wolves in zoos. These animals, locked in cruel conditions and put in with animals they have no connection to, do evidence such behavior, in a highly stressful situation. They have since studied many wolf packs in their natural habit and found that, actually, wolf packs are headed by the parents. There is no jockeying for dominance in wolf packs in the wild.

Google it and you will find a bunch of stuff. The guy who did the research/wrote the book on it has asked the publisher to stop publishing it. They refuse. Still a big moneymaker. As a dog training technique it falls very short and makes animals neurotic. If you go to a dog trainer and they try to use this, find someone better trained in their field.

I think it has received such an enthusiastic reception, like the book still selling, because it fits well with patriarical ideas. I hate to see animals maligned. The ones shut up in zoos are very unhappy. Of course, zoos are a creation of the patriarchy.

(I’m not jumping on you Lucky, just want to set the record straight in the interests of non-human world.)

106. Sargasso Sea - March 6, 2013

Looking back on everything I’ve contributed to this comment thread (rf endeavor) it’s important to me to make clear posterity wise that I opted out of contributing to the HUB (for a variety of reasons, mostly personal, some stupid) until I produced a piece that was published there. :)

IOW, mostly, I was on the outskirts of the HUBs birth but had some experience of the *outside* dynamics at the time.

107. WordWoman - March 6, 2013

I do think that the hub was wonderful and opened up a lot of areas. it had a good energy, seen from the outside by someone who just read it sometimes. It was clear that there were some glitches, but overall it was wonderful. All those great ideas/observations. I can see how it did have a life cycle. Thanks for sharing your perspective, FCM.

(Adding on to the post about animals in zoos. Don’t let anyone tell you that modern zoos are fine. Slightly better than a tiny cage, obviously. But the animals in those zoos are unhappy, too. Neurotic. The zoos represent a patriarchal approach to life. Cage strong, free, and beautiful living things for your own entertainment. Sound familiar?)

FCM - March 6, 2013

i think i know whats going on. lucky thinks she has my number bc she remembers a convo like a year ago where i said “personality clashes” (actually im pretty sure i said personality CONFLICTS) lead to my giving the HUB over to a new owner. but since then, considering all the evidence, including that HUB didnt improve at all after i left, i know thats not true. i KNOW what happened to HUB bc i was there, and i still talk about it with other women who were there. the “personality conflicts” hypothesis is bullshit.

FCM - March 6, 2013

im closing comments now as the activity has died down. :) thank you all for a lovely conversation. see you soon!


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