In Which I Make a Fantastical Leap May 8, 2013Posted by FCM in books!, gender roles, international, liberal dickwads, MRAs, trans.
Tags: jaws, male violence, silencing, steven spielberg, waterboarding
stuff like this is why the organizers/PR machine for radfem13 publish stuff like this: as an example of the MRA/tranny anti-radfem propaganda campaign, the radfem13 organizers state that MRAs and others are guilty of
Singling out individual women who call themselves radical feminist and claiming that they represent radical feminism or all radical feminist views (In fact, the movement is diverse and many claim to be radical feminist but, of course, as a movement for social change, we’d wish to discuss those differences internally)
lol. see what they did there? more denial and erasure of non-social determinist radical feminists by social determinist/reformist radical feminists. of course, like a lot of good PR, this is partly true — non-social determinist radfems are indeed all the time being attacked by MRAs. we are teh evol, you see, and apparently, reformist radfems and MRAs/trannies are mostly in agreement on that point. d’oh!
also, we are so busy calling ourselves radical feminists, making buttons, banners and the like (i myself have a tattoo) that there is no time to do any actual work demonstrating a motivation and ability to get to the root of womens oppression by men, in order to liberate us from male dominance. we just “call ourselves” various random things all the time even though they arent true at all. on my days off — from falsely identifying as a radical feminist — i identify as a pickle. i produce no actual work demonstrating that im one of those either. i mean, what could i even do to show that i was a pickle? my various random identifications are all equally ludicrous, and completely subjective. but i digress.
really, i wanted to stop by briefly and make a fantastical leap so that the last remaining shred of my
radfem credibility reformist political capital can be washed away forever. to wit, i recently learned that actress sarah jessica parkers ancestor, one esther elwell, was accused of witchcraft during the salem witch trials of 1692. there was a warrant out for her arrest and she narrowly escaped trial on a technicality — “trial” in this context being a euphemism for days and weeks of torture, sexualized violence and crazy-making by men against women under the guise of legal process. i can only imagine that this was terrifying for esther, as it was for all women who were alive during the burning times. but lets look more closely at what this means.
i am currently reading anne llewellyn barstow’s “witchcraze” for anyone who wants to follow along. in her study of the european witch hunts (to which her writing is limited — it doesnt specifically include the american witch trials) she elucidates and enumerates what women who were accused of witchcraft had in common, and it was often that they were “doting, scolds, mad, divelish; … so firme and steadfast in their opinions, as whoever shall onlie have respect to the constancie of their words uttered, would easilie beleeve they were true indeed.” barstow summarizes this as meaning “uppity women — women given to speaking out, to a bold tongue and independent spirit…quarrelsomeness, a refusal to be put down. they talked back to their neighbors, their ministers, even to their judges and executioners.” (p. 27)
i would also add, although i am not exactly fluent in ye olde english, that this seems to say that these women were not only outspoken, they actually made sense. as in, if you actually listened to them, you could tell that they were telling the truth, or making sense of things that were previously confusing or deliberately obscured. kinda like what radical feminists do, when it comes to exposing the truth about men and what they do to us, and getting to the root of womens oppression by men. get it?
notably, female heretics often received the same treatment — and defying or denying biblical dictates about womens natures counted as heresy, where the bible dictated that womens nature was to be fuckholes and slaves for men. women often did this anyway, at their peril. get it? publicly (or privately) protesting mens lies about womens “natures” could get you brutally tortured and killed. incredibly, women have been criticizing the bible anyway for 1000 years by now. both before and after the burning times. although we do see a divergence from that history in newer feminist thought which protests “stereotypes” of male behavior too. men arent
naturally really the way they appear, you see, even though men created the patriarchal world and all its brutality in their own image because they like it this way. because equality. again, i digress.
a close, personal experience/association with the burning times, a time of unparalleled misogyny and widespread sexualized violence — a global terror campaign by men against women — is this womans legacy. isnt it? a legacy we now know was inherited by sarah jessica parker through her ancestral relation to esther elwell. parker reveals that she wasnt aware of this history, but heres where i make my leap: interestingly, sarah jessica parker doesnt complain. about anything, apparently. and im suggesting that her compliance/non-complaining *might be* related to her connection to the burning times, either through her lineage or collectively, as a member of the female sex class.
you see, around the same time that we learned of her ancestry and her association with the burning times, we also learned that SJP has been permanently hobbled due to years of wearing disabling footwear as a part of her job. she wore high heels on the set of “sex and the city” for 18-hours a day “and didnt complain.” this not-complaining is considered a favorable trait in women and definitely (if not particularly) in actresses, isnt it?
on that note, see the transcript from “jaws: the inside story” here, starting at 45:49 where steven spielberg is described as having poured water down the throat of a female actress while she screamed. to make it sound like the watery female screams spielberg heard in his head, and obviously enjoyed enough to want to share with the entire world. see hollywood dickwad richard dreyfuss conclude laughingly that this practice is “now” known as waterboarding, and that spielberg is therefore guilty of a war crime. but not really!!!!11!!1234 because reasons! (honestly, this could be its own post, and if i had known that the transcript was available i surely wouldve written that post by now. its not on youtube, likely because copyright violation. they obviously didnt have a problem broadcasting it on television where all the men involved were making tons of money on the advertising and whatnot, and its almost (!) as if they arent ashamed of this at all, or even trying to hide or obfuscate what this might say about themselves *as men* or even as people. hmm.)
of course, the thing about associations with the burning times is that they are passed down through families as all legacies are, but in this case, its also womens collective history — a collective history of a global terror campaign by men against women, and its no joke. its also ongoing. and while barstow concludes that women “kept a low profile” for literally centuries after the period of the “official” burning times, i would suggest to anyone who assumes or believes that this silencing effect ended at some point that we are probably still too close to it to see the whole picture. and that we consider the evidence that women are still laying low, and that we still have very good reason to.
and to those who would counter with well, thats not fair because everything any woman has done in the past 300 years, or will do into an indeterminate date in the future, she does “after the burning times” therefore causation problem…i would agree with the assertion, if not the implicit point. there *is* a causation problem, yes indeed. but the implicit point is twofold: therefore none of this matters, and we cant or at least shouldnt discuss it. anywhere. even on feminist blogs. this is what radical feminism (and radical feminists) have been reduced to, apparently? sheesh. and i just made all those buttons and everything.
1000 Years of This. 40 Years of That. April 25, 2013Posted by FCM in books!, gender roles, international.
Tags: essentialism, gerda lerner, male violence, the creation of feminist consciousness
i just finished reading gerda lerners “the creation of feminist consciousness” which is part 2 of her 2-part series. part one, “the creation of patriarchy” was previously discussed here. this series is an excellent history lesson and one i appreciated very much, although i admit skipping/skimming many of the details and getting straight to the conclusions/insights which is what i read feminist works for afterall. the big picture. when i see something that fascinates me, such as the material and social conditions that make slavery possible, i go back and try to grok the details the best i can.
in this case, i went back and tried to grok the details of 1000 years of feminist bible criticism, by which lerner demonstrates feminists tendency to reinvent the wheel when it comes to feminist reasoning and conclusions, and why this is. she concludes that womens history is lost to us via silencing and erasing feminists and feminist work, which stunts and thwarts the development of a global feminist consciousness over time. and that this erasure of history is one reason women have remained oppressed for so much longer than any other oppressed group on earth. she notes that despite starting from scratch every time, women have long struggled to be free of male oppression and have resisted it, and have tried to think and reason their way out of it even when they thought they were the first and only ones to do it and at great cost to themselves in terms of mental labor and personal risk, up to and including death. this is striking, yes.
but what particularly struck me was the substance of womens 1000-year history of criticizing the bible, where women specifically protested its prescriptions/proscriptions about womens natures, including womens roles in a patriarchal culture (thats redundant of course. patriarchy *is* culture). remember that institutionalized patriarchy, where legal and religious texts merely codified preexisting patriarchal relations that had already existed for a long time, is not the beginning-point of womens oppression by men. institutionalized patriarchy appeared about 5000 years ago, but male dominance over women, including mens control of womens reproduction and mens self-granted right to define womens role has been around much, much longer. (this is discussed in part one). so in reality, women were protesting something that had been around for perhaps 10,000 years or longer: womens role as fuckholes and slaves for men. and each woman who did this thought that she was the first to do it. women rarely built on previous womens work because they didnt know about it.
now, i ask you. where did this resistance and core-deep courage come from? how could each woman, who believed that she was a cognitive minority of one (or some other very small number) gather the gumption and conviction to realize, believe and assert that womens nature was *not* to be fuckholes and slaves to men, but was something else entirely?
note that for 1000 years, while women were resisting what
the bible patriarchy said about womens nature, these women were not saying that mens nature had been misrepresented at all. although lerner concludes that early feminist thinkers articulated the difference between sex and gender, and that *both* mens and womens “gender roles” were arbitrary and socially-prescribed, i would note the complete absence of the assertion that men were not naturally violent, necrophilic and parasitic for example. in my own estimation, these have nothing to do with the male gender, and everything to with the male sex. i think early feminists knew that only too well, and that the ways this played out on womens bodies and lives (in the absence of relatively-reliable birth control for example) made the reality and unalterability of mens despicable natures more than obvious.
behold an early feminists articulation of gender. in the context of arguing that women were fit for the ministry, she asserts:
…that intellect is not sexed; that strength of mind is not sexed; and that our views about the duties of men and the duties of women, the sphere of man and the sphere of woman, are mere arbitrary opinions, differing in different ages and countries, and dependent solely on the will and judgement of erring mortals.
this from a woman named sarah grimke who lived from 1792-1873. she is talking about jobs, and roles. she was notably not talking about mens demonstrated tendency to be violent necrophiles, sexual abusers and predators across time and place. and frankly gerder presents *no* evidence in this history lesson that any early feminists disputed this at all, or conflated male behavior, specifically male violence, with culturally-determined gendered roles such as who can and should do what job. get it?
in fact, grimke astutely notes that mens enslavement of women was deliberate, disgusting and dickish. she notably does not suggest that men were acted upon by aliens, or were acting against mens own natures when they did this:
Men have not only degraded women, but have made them mere instruments for their own comfort. They have enslaved women’s minds, deprived them of education, and finally robbed them of the knowledge of their equal humanity.
and “equal” here does not really seem to mean “equal” in any modern way. for example, does grimke seem to suggest that women are attempting to gain political, social and interpersonal standing so that they can indulge “equally” in the enslavement, deprivation and robbery that all humans are prone to? i dont see it.
hilariously, in the 1500s, a woman named jane anger (!) describes and documents mens parasitic, filthy natures when she asserts that men are “comforted by our means. Without our care they lie in their beds as dogs in litter and go like lousy mackerel swimming in the heat of summer.” without women, men would lie in their own shit and be completely uninterested or unable to perform self-care. not because aliens, and not because “gender” either.
so whats my point? i guess i have two. feminist-thinking women have been asserting for over a millenia that womens nature is misrepresented by patriarchy (and via patriarchal institutions such as religion) and that this is a deliberate ploy on behalf of men who want to dominate and enslave us. women know, somehow, that this is not our true nature and we resist this propaganda/terror campaign bravely, actively and passionately. we can feel that this is true, and we know that men are lying about us. and we notably have *never* as far as i can tell tried to convince anyone that mens true nature wasnt and isnt exactly what it appears to be, and what men demonstrate by their own behavior, institutions and dictates across time and place.
this rather significant addition to feminist thought appears to be new. this is not our history, but a recent development that seems to have appeared with equality rhetoric, and certainly after the burning times, where women learned more and more (not less and less) what men were capable of, and what they did to women who said and did things men didnt like. and following a global campaign to silence and erase feminist thought, including women who for 1000 years (or more) have been documenting what appears to be a universal model of male behavior that doesnt differ *at all* across time and place, including males *acting out* parasitism, necrophilia, violence and rape, regardless of what jobs they do, clothes they wear or anything else. i think this needs to be discussed. that is all.
In a Word, No. January 3, 2013Posted by FCM in books!, feminisms, gender roles, pop culture, porn.
Tags: arlie russell hochschild, equality, housework, marriage, the second shift
i just finished reading “the second shift” by arlie russell hochschild in which “two-income” married het couples were interviewed extensively regarding who performs the lions share of the household labor in the context of what the author called the “stalled revolution” of the 1980s. in this book, the author claims that there had been gains made by women and feminists over the years causing womens lives to change drastically, but men were slow to catch up, leaving working married women caught in a stressful, life-sucking bind where they perform the equivalent of an extra month of work every year and their husbands dont.
fascinatingly, according to the author herself, her most important finding was also a very elusive one and the data was difficult to make any sense of at all: that there was no apparent or straighforward economic-based relationship between the wage gap and the leisure gap had apparently confused researchers for a long time. to summarize the data, women who outearn their husbands end up doing even more around the house — with their economically challenged husbands also being domestically challenged, what great catches ay? — than women who earn less than or the same as their husbands, but this makes no economic sense. it would make more economic sense, it is said, if a greater income bought a worker leisure time at home, where the lower-earning spouse allowed the higher-earning spouse to relax around the house to recharge their batteries in preparation for having to go to work the next day. *that* would at least make some kind of sense, it is said. and this is in fact what happens when the man makes more: outearning men were less likely to share the domestic load (21% of them shared somewhat — gee thanks doods!) than were the men who made the same amount (30% of those shared somewhat) as their wives. interestingly, both groups of earners shared some.
what made no sense at all, it had been said, was the fact that the only men who dont share in the second shift at all were those men who made less than their wives. some of the other men interviewed shared the household duties somewhat, but none of the underearning men shared at all.
for her part, this (female) author and researcher realized that there was an “economics of gratitude” at play, which is patriarchal and misogynist at its core: women who outearn their husbands have to properly simper and soothe their husbands castrated egos by doing literally *all* the household chores themselves. i’m sorry! she also noted throughout the book that it is the harsh realities of the patriarchal, misogynistic meat market known as “dating” combined with womens economic insecurity due to workplace sexual harassment and discrimination and lower wages which keep women trapped in all marriages, simpering and soothing, no matter how bad the marriages are. and that married women who desire “equality” in the domestic realm literally start making shit up — creating “family myths” that are not reality-based in order to make any of this palateable to themselves, so they dont leave their husbands, or cause their husbands to leave them by demanding anything from the privileged bastards, or go insane or succumb to the misery and the dreadful, exhausting inequality of the married het partnership.
after all that, she closes with a question: “has the turmoil of the 1970s and 1980s been a temporary phase in preparation for a new kind of marriage in the future? or will [the young people of the 1970s and 1980s] also live in a revolution that is stalled?”
being that its 2013 now, a full 24 years since she first published her question, i think we can probably answer it in a word: and that word would be NO. NO, the inequality of the het partnership does not appear to have been temporary, or if it was, 24 fucking years is too short a time to see any significant change in the institution and realities of marriage from womens perspective, let alone a “new kind of marriage” of which the very idea seems laughable now; and NO, there is no stalled revolution, because if theres no revolution, then theres nothing to stall.
mkay? seriously, what revolution? if anything, she is talking about equality rhetoric, and lets examine — shall we? — what 24 fucking years of equality rhetoric has done for us, or to the quality of womens lives. this includes the extra month of domestic labor working women have traditionally performed as well as the very cogent reasons women have for staying with their men. where are we now? its a fair question to ask, and ima ask it.
for one thing, we now have married men and all men unabashedly using degrading and violent porn, this has only gotten worse over time hasnt it? and more than ever it seems, the entire world comes to bear on women who dont like mens porn use and demand that men change it. things have gotten worse in this area, not better, and this apparent worsening of male behavior and values and culture in particular is seriously problematic to any notion of “shared” or equal parenting, considering that its now extremely toxic and pornsick men that we are hoping will help us raise children. hello!
i mean really. considering all mens porn use, i think we need to seriously consider whether we want men anywhere near children at all, which means that the entire patriarchal institution of fatherhood — fatherhood as we currently know it — is problematic and needs examining (and discarding, now, IMO — but lets consider and discuss first, sure why not?). where does this leave women and “equality” rhetoric, when all working women used to want is for men to take on half the responsibility of the domestic sphere, including childrearing? what the hell are we supposed to do now, now that so many fathers are hopelessly pornsick, and literally cannot look at a vagina or an anus without thinking about penetrating that vagina or anus, and where men clearly agree with and positively-value patriarchy’s pornified sexualization of very young girls, and even babies?
what were we thinking then, for that matter, when we thought that men — the penetrators — would be able to change a diaper the same way women would, without thinking about and being reminded of penetration? we were way, way off. like way. i think we made a serious mistake. and this equality-rhetoric, not only has it failed to achieve what we wanted — womens liberation from male dominance — and its created devastating anti-feminist consequences to boot (the criminalization of female-only organizing for one thing) but 24, 34, 64, 104 years into it, have we even stopped to consider whether its working, or likely to work if we just keep trying (forever), or if “equality” is still what we want? how far can society be reformed, and on what interval will we be reevaluating our assumptions and examining both our losses and gains?
or are we just expected to activate towards “equality” forever, without reevaluating our goals, achievements and efforts at all, and without ever asking ourselves if its working, or what the backlash has been, or *if* its worked *how* and *in what way* has it worked and is it likely to continue working in the future? whatever else it mightve done, i think this equality rhetoric and the ensuing battles have served as an enormous distraction from a pretty obvious truth, and that truth is that things are getting worse, not better. and by THINGS i mean men. and by “pretty obvious” i mean HELLO.
this policy of equality-activating might need a sunset provision. that is all.
Rock This Town November 13, 2012Posted by FCM in feminisms, gender roles, health, logic, politics, pop culture.
Tags: handmaidens, rock this town, sandra fluke, sarah palin, stray cats
does anyone notice a difference when female vocalists cover this song, as compared to the original version where a man-band performs the exact same thing? heres the original manly version:
maybe its just me, but im pretty sure that the women are actually talking about rocking. this town. and that the man isnt, and therefore — since its his song — this song isnt a song about rocking. this town. its a song about something else entirely.
we have text, and subtext, you see. text, and context. text, and pretext. the women are saying the words, but it just doesnt mean the same thing when they say it, because women arent rapey bastards swinging their male privilege — to rape and impregnate females — around and making rape culture and calling it culture. women are something else entirely.
being that this is the case — and it is — i am just not going to get that excited about a woman who stumps for right-wing men by “covering” mens anti-abortion platform. in fact, i am willing to give right-wing women the benefit of the doubt that when they say it, even when they parrot mens words exactly, the womens meaning is somewhat different. i am willing to believe that unlike right-wing men, anti-abortion right-wing women really are talking about babies, and normalizing womens reproductive function rather than pathologizing it, and generally take into consideration a female perspective, including what it takes to reduce the harm to women of misogynistic and male-centric policies and practices under patriarchy.
the fact that it will not be womens intent, meaning, or interpretation of the words that carries the day and informs the political policy and practice — it will be mens — is not womens fault. when men say “rock this town” it is mens meaning and interpretation that will carry the day, and impact the culture, even if that meaning is so misogynistic and offensive that most women would never even conceive of it. and it often is. which is the danger to women of covering male bands, and stumping for male-centric politics too.
ps. sandra fluke is a handmaiden too, for stumping for leftist politics and for not telling the world exactly *why* women as a class so desperately need birth control. and im not that excited about that, either, although the inconsistent policy and logic-fail of calling out palin but not fluke (or any number of left-wing dickpleasers like oh say gloria steinem) is a bit obvious. that is all.