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Naomi Wolf Addresses Third Wave Feminism March 4, 2010

Posted by FCM in feminisms, MRAs, rape, trans.
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i thought this was interesting, particularly relating to “making their own mistakes.” i dont know what naomi wolf thinks the second wavers did wrong (i hope its not what everyone *else* thinks they did wrong) but i can see from here that the third wavers are fucking up, and badly, when it comes to transactivism and sex-pos. i mean really. they are going to feel so silly in about 30 years.

you know, if there even *is* a feminist movement left, after what they have done and continue to do to it with their essentialist, MRA doublespeak.  but lets try to stay hopeful, hmm?

i also thought this was interesting. its painful, but strangely comforting to watch. because again, i think that documenting change is interesting, and inspires hope. 

germaine greer has clearly changed over time, no?  this old interview makes me cringe, every time i watch it. the guy interviewing her is a fucking rapist, obviously. or at the very least, he very aptly (and naturally) demonstrates a rapists mentality:  he is demonstrating absolute aggression and entitlement, as he attempts to dominate the discussion, and dominate *her*.

in this clip, this aggressive, entitled asswipe absolutely. completely. dominates her.  and i dont mean to be critical of her: i mean to be critical of *him* because what he is doing is fucking disgusting, and absolutely typical.  she may as well not even be there.  does this sound familiar?  it should.  its the narrative of porn.  its the very essence of *rape*.

this would have been a completely different interview, had he been interviewing her 30 years later. after she clearly gave up on men, and on doing battle with them, on their terms.  this is difficult to watch, but follows nicely from the discussion being had over on the “more rad by the day” post.  enjoy.

Comments

1. SamC - March 4, 2010

I actually found the Greer video less difficult to watch than I expected. He clearly tried to dominate her and the discourse but I think she held her own more than I thought she might. Perhaps that says more about me than the video – perhaps I assumed that because that debate took place almost 40 years ago, that it would be in some way different to the abortion debate that we hear today.

In actuality (and I shouldn’t have needed this video to remind me of this) so little has changed in the male-dominated pro-life debate – that argument could have happened in the 1970s or yesterday. In almost 40 years, women still can’t be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies. And they said feminism is dead.

The Naomi Wolf video is interesting. I think the problem with Third Wave feminism is that they seem to think that half the battle is already won. This sex posivity and trans activism seems to come from the idea that now that feminism/women’s lib has already broken down barriers, we’re all free to “choose” what we do with ourselves. You know, if we want to be fucked by men for money, we can “choose” to do that, and because it’s personal choice, it must be fucking fantastic. We’re not tied to the kitchen sink, afterall. And what radfems see is that actually, the barriers haven’t been broken down, they’ve just been moved, and we seem to have fallen for it. A choice isn’t a “choice” when it’s made in the framework of indoctrinated misogyny which is as fighting fit now as it was back when Germaine Greer was a baby. They “choose” to please men (with sex positivity or trans activism) under the guise of feminism while leaving the rest of us in the fucking gutter.

I mean, I don’t know, my experience of mainstream feminism is the likes of Feministing etc. where the likes of us are banned for TRANSPHOBIA! while 101 level discussions and “WHAT ABOUT THE MENZZ!!” is perfectly acceptable (or positively encouraged!). It’s like a fucking twisted joke, it really is.

I’m still really learning feminism so I apologise if my rambles are a bit “duh!”. I’m positively thrilled to find somewhere where honest discussion can take place without derails in defence of men. I rarely posted at the popular fun fem blogs because it always seemed like, I dunno, pointlessly howling into a vacuum or something.

factcheckme - March 5, 2010

re: “holding her own” its tempting to give her credit for having gotten a word in edgewise. and i am certainly not being critical of her. im being critical of him. and i cant help but notice that everything this asshole said, did, felt, and walked away believing would have been the same, had she not even been there. this is important, i think. there are many other contexts in which this dynamic plays out. and many times, these men are leaving a path of destruction in their wake, but are completely oblivious to that, too. as in, oh say PIV-sex. or porn. what the man does would be the same, whether the woman was there or not. but the consequences to women are HUGE.

as for choice…well its always suspicious when we are “choosing” exactly what we would have forced on us, if we didnt comply. isnt it? dieting, for example. PIV-sex. spending all our discretionary income on makeup and cleaning supplies. leaving us physically smaller and weaker than men (ie. better victims); chronically broke (ie. better victims); and pregnant (ie. better victims). how utterly…unoriginal.

2. tinfoil hattie - March 5, 2010

Aaah, yes. Good old Naomi Wolf, who said Obama is like Christmas, New Year’s, and Hanukah, all rolled into one gigantic present for women.

3. tinfoil hattie - March 5, 2010

There is absolutely no difference betwee that man’s attitudes and behavior and the attitudes and behavior or men today. Radfems acknowledge and SCREAM this from the mountaintops, only to be told we hate men, hate sex, want to murder babies, etc.

factcheckme - March 5, 2010

i hadnt heard that, hattie. but it always disappoints me when any feminist puts her hopes and dreams for women at the feet of a man. ms. magazine did the same thing with its “this is what a feminist looks like” inaugural cover. it was fucking sickening. makes me wonder even more what naomi wolf would identify as the “mistakes” of the second wave. maybe i will even be moved to look it up.

factcheckme - March 5, 2010

well…instead of “this is what a feminist looks like” maybe they should have said “we are watching you, dickface.” that should probably be the default response to *any* man who claims he supports women, or self-identifies as a feminist. since hes the president and all, maybe a “we are watching you dickface i mean mr. president” wouldve satisfied the requisite reverence for the office.

4. DarthVelma - March 5, 2010

This place is such a much needed haven. I spent yesterday getting beaten up on a “feminist” site for not automatically trusting democratic men. *sigh*

It’s so nice to come here and see “we are watching you, dickface”. I LOVE it!

factcheckme - March 5, 2010

automatically trusting democratic men? this is a feminist principle now? fucking christ. i am afraid to know which site you were on. but i imagine it was either feministing, or feministe. feel free to drop a link if you want.

factcheckme - March 5, 2010

heres the link to the feministe hitchhiking article. my comments are still there. surprisingly. and it still makes me fucking sick to see all these fun-fems cheering her on for being so “brave” and challenging peoples assumptions…that men are dangerous. i say, if she was really brave, she would try to live for one fucking hour in a homeless womans shoes. sleep under a bridge with some homeless men, instead of inside her gortex tent with her fellow privileged travellers, having F-U-N ignoring reality, and then writing about it. oh, goody! just what we all need. follow the link at your peril.

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2009/09/18/women-on-the-road/

5. DarthVelma - March 5, 2010

Surprisingly, it wasn’t feministing or feministe. I stopped going to either of those sites years ago.

It was on a discussion at Echidne’s place about EMILY’s list not backing Blanche Lincoln. We got to talking about whether it was more important to have women in office, or only acceptably feminist women. (A questions we never fucking ask about male candidates.)

I admit I lost my shit. I’m really tired of men defining what is a “good” woman candidate. I’m even tireder of being told I should vote for a democratic man (particularly in the primary where he’s running against a democratic woman) because he might be better on women’s issues than she is. *blinks repeatedly* WTF? As if there’s any man of either party that I would trust with my rights at this point. I tried that for a couple of decades and look where it got me…Stupakked, with an anti-choice party chair and a president that thinks women should consult with their clergy to make sure we don’t get a late term abortion just because we’re feeling blue.

Fuck. Them. All.

And screw the 30% solution. I want 51% at a minimum. Hell, I want 100% women in congress for just as long as we had 100% men. But 51% for about 5 decades or so, and then, maybe, we can have a conversation about quality vs quantity in female representatives. Until that day…warm female body is my only requirement. And all the fauxgressive men in the world screaming “Malkin! Coulter! Bachmann! VAGINA VOTER!!!!1111” at me…rolls off like water off of a duck’s back.

Did I mention fuck them all?

6. ashley - March 5, 2010

There is absolutely no difference betwee that man’s attitudes and behavior and the attitudes and behavior or men today

Precisely. In typical MRA fashion, he tells Greer, a feminist woman, that she doesn’t “speak for women”, then HE turns right around and speaks for women. Exactly like they are today.

7. delphyne - March 6, 2010

How very unsurprising that Naomi doesn’t like the idea of a “rigorous” definition for third wave feminism – no thinking involved for Naomi. Not much of a shock either that her definition of third wave feminism came down to age. A young woman might not have much in the way of decent political analysis but at least she has her youth to rub in the faces of older women.

She’s also being highly dishonest about the hijab given that she wrote an article about how sexy it was for a woman to cover her hair for her husband. Like the way she mentions the veil being oppressive to so many women almost as a complete afterthought – she can obviously feel a few second wavers still breathing down her neck or maybe she wouldn’t have mentioned it at all.

That man talking over Greer looked and sounded like a zombie dead-man.

8. tinfoil hattie - March 6, 2010

Re: funfeminists and hitchhiking: reading Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear literally made me cry with relief. Here is a man who says, basically, “Don’t trust men. Sorry, but most violent crimes are committed by men. Sorry, but most pedophiles are men. Women have been socialized into being so polite to everyone that their politeness quashes their instinct and their natural, lifesaving fear.”

I love that book, and I think it should be required reading for all women.

9. zeph - March 6, 2010

The first video is all presentation and no substance, the second is all substance if low on presentation. Germaine actually wins the argument despite bombast from boar from hell, and second wave feminism won enormous gains for women: abortion clinics, contraception rights, legal and educational rights. The achievements of third wave feminism thus far count; loss of the first female president of the US, lessening of abortion access in some states, increased difficulty in purchasing contraception. In the UK, loss of rape crises centres, lowering of rape conviction rates. This is just off the top of my head, someone, so inclined could easily research and compile a list.

This is not the fault of young feminists, many like the women who write here are downright amazing. One reason is, I think, that too much male rhetoric has been allowed into the mix. So along with the big achievement of third wave feminism; the re-raising of feminist consciousness after years of corporate nonsense had washed away the memory of resistance, both feminist and socialist, we have been blighted by a constant feed of distractions and diversions from men. The internet has facilitated both.

As noted in a comment above too much hope has been placed in men changing, merging, morphing and various other bizarre notions. Back in the day, though there was hope of change from men, it was assumed we were going to have to use practical and political means too make them.

Still, I think the third wave has yet to hit the beach and we may well see some fundamental changes for the better when it does.

10. SpeakingSusan - March 6, 2010

I would’ve mentioned the kidnapping of Colleen Stan on that feministe hitchhiking article.

Have them explain to her that it isn’t dangerous.

Clearly, when discussing things like not hitchhiking we aren’t saying, “live in fear!” We are saying, “be aware that men are evil.”

Colleen Stan got into the car because there was another women in it. She even turned down other rides because they didn’t look safe. And, what happened? Kidnapped and held as a sex slave.

I have a friend who was asked to hang out with a guy she recently met. She made sure that other girls were going to be there before she agreed to go over to his place. He raped her there.

Men are evil.

factcheckme - March 6, 2010

hattie, i own debeckers book, i should dig it out and re-read it. i read it probably 20 years ago, and my response was also absolute relief. again, i think many of us know intellectual honesty when we see it. when we read something that is intellectually honest, it is freeing, we are taken “to the end of our thoughts” as loretta says. its a wonderful place. when i re-read the hitchhiking article and the comments, it was actually painful to see the dishonesty there. to see these people deliberately taking the disingenuous path, walking through the muck of lies, trying to re-wire their bullshit detectors to accept something they know isnt real. and for what? i mean really. maybe i could choke down a pound of bullshit if something good was going to come of it. i eat a few bites daily, just to keep my job, and keep from exploding on people, etc. but just to accomodate men? to stroke the egoes of “male feminists”? to make myself feel better about stripping my way through college? (i did that, by the way, but i never lied to myself about feeling “empowered” by it.) fucking shit. read the comments over there, and see if you cant feel and smell and taste the struggle, and the desperation. its what happens to people when they are turning off their intellects, and teaching others to do the same.

relatedly, i spent some time exploring new-age religion in college and thats exactly what it felt like. fucking lies, and choking down bullshit i knew wasnt real, for nothing. you struggle in the beginning, but those who are successful start to teach others how to do it, too. so while the teachers are comfortable there, theres always someone in the room thats struggling to choke down the lies. thats the best way i can think to describe it. the indoctrination process is fucking palpable.

11. tinfoil hattie - March 6, 2010

and for what?

I guess, to “prove” to the world that all we women need to do is act as though we are safe, and we will be! No more self-imposed imprisonment because we’re just so darned wimpy that we refuse to defy danger!

factcheckme - March 6, 2010

even oprah eventually denounced the principles in the book “the secret” and oprah is one of the biggest and most well known pushers of wishful thinking, on women. in “the secret” the author told women that everything bad in their lives was due to the womens own “negative thinking” and that the cure was to change their perception. this apparently included stopping chemotherapy, for women who had caused their own cancer by having terrible attitudes, and thinking cancer-free “happy thoughts” instead. even that was too much for oprah, although i suspect it was her lawyers that told her to stop telling women to quit their meds, and to read a book instead. i dont think she would have come up with that, on her own. she is one of the worst cases of indoctrination i have ever seen. and shes the one doing the preaching at this point, although you can tell that she believes every word her own gurus are telling her, and they are still preaching her the new-age “empowerfulized!” gospel after all this time. and you can sense the struggle there.

i dont imagine i have to draw anyone here a picture, but i will anyway. it must be terribly counterintuitive for a black woman in this country to be told and to eventually come to believe that we are all in complete control of the outcome, and “we all get what we deserve.” but for whatever reason, she is paying people alot of money to convince her that this is the case. a dozen careers have been launched, in the process. dr. phil and marrianne williamson are two of the worst. and the author of the secret, obvs. fucking feministe would love “a course in miracles.” according to wiki, its “a step-by-step method for choosing love over fear.” oh, goody! and, pass the lube.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Return_to_Love

12. Sonia - March 11, 2010

wow. that second video is crayyy. I’m nore sure he’s so much dominating her as he is making an ass of himself. I think at that time in the women’s movement there was a premium placed for high profile feminists like Greer on remaining calm, i.e. not allowing the male to emotionally incite them. I’ve watched my mother do this when I was growing up a lot with misogynists=for her something about being able to say calm made a situation a victory for her.

I personally don’t agree with that tack, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being angry or looking angry or acting “irrationally” when men apply that kind of intentioned propaganda-I mean, seriously. Even that jackass knows what he’s saying is narrow minded. You can tell. I think what he’s doing is trying to piss her off, and she seems aware of it. But I agree it looks like he “won”.

13. Loretta Kemsley - March 13, 2010

I couldn’t watch the second video. Got a notice that it is copyright protected and can’t be shown in the US.

The next step in feminism isn’t to learn to live with men. It’s to ignore men and fashion our own lives, rules and principles. Until we can step outside of patriarchy, we are forced to frame every new idea using patriarchy’s underpinnings. How does that help us? Patriarchy will never provide women with rights because its very definition is male superior, female inferior.

When we refuse to even acknowledge the discussion using male referenced terms, then — and only then — will we finally become free and equal. There just isn’t any other way.

factcheckme - March 13, 2010

thanks for the heads up loretta. i cant view it now either. it was a good one too, i will try to find it somewhere else. it was what you were saying on the “more rad by the day” post that made me want to post it. it was an example, i thought, of how we can change the way we relate to men, and that we can refuse to engage them on their terms. and also, that even intelligent, ardent and life-long feminists had to learn this lesson the hard way. it was painful to watch, but i wish you couldve seen it. i will post it here, if i find another link.


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