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Newsflash, Ladies: Fun-Feminism May Be Hazardous To Your Health (And By “May Be” I Mean “Very Obviously Is”) March 20, 2010

Posted by FCM in feminisms, health, kids, liberal dickwads, PIV, pop culture, self-identified feminist men, thats mean, WTF?.
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i have been processing this for several weeks, and trying to decide how and whether to write about it.  a few weeks ago, i heard from a very old and dear friend, with whom i hadnt spoken in several years.  we were roommates in college, and i credit her with introducing me to feminism.  two things about her feminism stand out clearly in my memory: one, she had andrea dworkin’s book “intercourse” on her bookshelf, and one day i asked her about it.  she told me that andrea dworkin believed that all acts of PIV within a framework of capitopatriarchy and misogyny were rape.  (mind.  blown.)

the other thing was this: one night we were laying in bed talking, and she was telling me about her ex-husband and their sex life together.  she said that he had had over 70 sexual partners, before her.  i was 18 at the time and from a little nowhere town, she was 25 and from the big city.  i didnt even know 70 people, i said.  “wow” i said.  “fuck your wow” she told me.  grow the fuck up already, its just sex.

i consider that to be my introduction to fun-feminism (although she actually “got” what andrea dworkin was saying, unlike most fun-fems and all transactivists, today).  how empowerfulizing!  how freeing!  “its just sex” rang my head like a bell.  thats not what *i* had been hearing, all my life, and i liked *that* perspective a lot better.  yay!  to make a long story short, somehow, my friend reconciled what she knew about rape and sex into the following: open relationships are a good idea, because the pressure on me to be constantly available for intercourse is off.  (because any ridiculous belief system is “feminist” as long as someone who calls themselves a “feminist” says it is!)

fast-forward to 15 years later, to our most recent correspondence.  she has been remarried for 10 years, has a young child, and her husband has been battling full-blown AIDS for several years.  theyd had an open relationship where he was free to have sex with other people whenever he wanted, as to not pressure my friend for sex (she was free to do the same, although i dont know whether she ever, or regularly did).  but *he* sure as fuck did.  and he seems to have preferred fucking other men.  and she knew that, and supported it.  how fun!  how empowerfulizing!  lets all pat ourselves on the back for being so.  fucking.  feminist.

you know, its feminism!  where women are so modern and openminded as to not question mens entitlement to fuck us, and to fuck us over, in any way.  feminism!  where men are constantly placing women in harms way, and we ignore it, because calling attention to it is “prudish” and we are empowerfulized and strong, donchaknow (because “power” is synonymous with “permissive” and above all, “deference”.  it is!  look it up!).

my friend and their son have both tested negative.  and they now believe that her husband contracted HIV sometime after they were married, even though he was practicing “safe sex.”  yeah, right.  frankly, i suspect he had a slip-up or 10 (or 1000, who knows), but if he didnt, its even fucking worse, isnt it?  because that means he was “enlightened” enough to do everything he could do *not* to fuck his wife over, within the framework of an allegedly “feminist” relationship, and even he couldnt contemplate the obvious.  that *not* exposing himself to other peoples bodily fluids was in his wife’s (and child’s) best interests.

and that means that even an allegedly feminist man, in an egalitarian relationship with a feminist woman, cant bring himself to consider her life, or her health, important enough to keep his dick in his pants.  that the cost of keeping her safe, at the expense of getting his sexxxay on, was simply too high.

and obviously, neither of them could contemplate that a heterosexual relationship did not have to include mandatory PIV; or that it was unacceptable for the male partner to assume that he was entitled to sex on demand, from anyone, whether he was married to them or not.

welp.  so much for feminist men.  and so much for fun-feminism being “fun” in the end, for women.  its fun for men, though.  which is really the whole point.

Comments

1. Jo - March 21, 2010

and obviously, neither of them could contemplate that a heterosexual relationship did not have to include mandatory PIV; or that it was unacceptable for the male partner to assume that he was entitled to sex on demand, from anyone, whether he was married to them or not.

THIS.

Swear I’d almost be grateful for the heaping dose of PTSD so I’d get to this point, if it hadn’t been the patriarchy doing the heaping in the first place.

But yeah. If I don’t get to live a life free of sex (PIV or any other kind) until I want it and say so? Not. Fucking. Feminist.

2. berryblade - March 21, 2010

Holy shit, I can’t believe that I read that. I’ve NEVER understood why anyone would want to be in an open relationship? Monogamy might be in a fucked up state, but it’s the best way to minimise STIs and a whole bunch of other problems IMHO.

“and obviously, neither of them could contemplate that a heterosexual relationship did not have to include mandatory PIV; or that it was unacceptable for the male partner to assume that he was entitled to sex on demand, from anyone, whether he was married to them or not.”

Word. My other gigantic problem with “open relationships” as they exist now is the whole idea that both people are entitled to PIV sex whenever they want, wherever they want and with whomever they want. PIV and sex ARE NOT rights.

I’ve known so many womyn who have been in “open relationships” with men and that translates to the guy can fuck any gal he wants, whereas she is can only fuck other womyn. Usually with the guy around. This makes me think of a situation I was in a few years ago eavesdropping to a group of guys conversation and they were saying how it’s okay for the womon to fuck other womyn because it’s hot and all that and it’s okay for him to have PIV with other womyn but if she were to fuck other guys it would just be “two people fucking, and not really a relationship at all.”

Sorry that was so long-winded but seriously, FUCK THAT. How can people not see that for the fucked up quest for domination that it is?

“welp. so much for feminist men. and so much for fun-feminism being “fun” in the end, for women. its fun for men, though. which is really the whole point.”

A real pro-feminist male is about as real as a unicorn :S

factcheckme - March 21, 2010

I’ve known so many womyn who have been in “open relationships” with men and that translates to the guy can fuck any gal he wants, whereas she is can only fuck other womyn.

how fortunate for the men, right? since lesbian sex is unlikely to result in STDs and pregnancies. she wont bring AIDS into the home OR create any unwanted children that will sap their combined income for the rest of their lives.

i think the game is inherently rigged, and most people understand that. but like all fun-fem credos, it requires that alot be ignored. for example, women on average have much less free time than men do, so when are they going to have time to go around meeting and fucking other people? i mean really. and women have so much more to consider, and so much more to lose, like finding a safe situaiton where she wont be raped, beaten or killed. and once she finds one, whos to say that she wont just want to stay with that guy exclusively? maybe thats what the guys are afraid of. they know they are mostly interchangeable, and the number-one best quality in a man is that he doesnt rape, beat or murder women. or, frequently, that he beats and rapes her *less* than the guy shes currently with. thats a pretty low bar, when you think about it.

and lets not forget that PIV only creates orgasms in what, 5% of women? so as usual, the payoff for women is so much less. and in general its SO. NOT. WORTH IT. add in multiple partners, and the law of diminishing returns applies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminishing_returns
http://www.answers.com/topic/law-of-diminishing-returns

3. veganprimate - March 21, 2010

Men who are into open relationships want to have it both ways. They want the status that society accords married men and the omnipresent domestic care by the wife, but they also want the freedom of a single dude, preying on all the nubile women in his environs.

Women who let men talk them into accepting infidelity on his part are saps. They will gain absolutely nothing from the deal, and in fact, could lose quite a bit. If I weren’t so introverted, I’d love to take a sabbatical from work and tour the country, giving lectures to adolescent girls on what they should and shouldn’t accept in behavior from boys. I doubt one lecture will change their minds, but it would help, considering they get fed propaganda 24/7 by the patriarchy.

4. LuraH - March 22, 2010

I’ve never understood the so-called sexual revolution, and most certainly, I’ve never seen women benefit from open relationships. Heck, I rarely see lesbians benefit from serial monogamy or open relationships either.

To me, sexuality is exhaulted, it is not about exploitation, but it is a depth of connection. Since I have never been straight, and have very little social contact with straight men, and am usually horrified by the vulgar worlds of gay men, I feel for what straight women are subjected to night and day.

There is 24/7 propaganda to perform sex acts with men, and fun feminism, I think was merely an accomodation younger women made, maybe out of rebellion against their mothers, who might very well have been second wave feminists…although true second wavers are in their 70s and 80s now, and a thirty something young woman would not exactly be the child of a second wave feminist?

We can talk to young women, we can have a caring ear. We can simply be in the world with them, knowing what they’re up against.
As a lesbian looking at this from the outside, I feel sad for straight women, because straight women have such huge numbers in the world. While we lifetime lesbians are a sub-group even within lesbian worlds. The majority of women get so hooked into hook-up, so manipulated by older male preditors, so conditioned, almost like cattle on farms, being fed poison and then killed.

Since I was never ever a part of a sexual revolution, had no desire to pick up women, or take drugs or be around men, well, I don’t know what to make of all the ruin of women’s lives, the emptiness, the seemingly hopeless battle against aggressive male owned porn machines in mass media form. To brainwash straight women into accepting the penis as having anything at all to do with the liberation of women is beyond me competely.

factcheckme - March 22, 2010

To brainwash straight women into accepting the penis as having anything at all to do with the liberation of women is beyond me competely

me too, now. although i did at one point feel “liberated” by having sex. as i have mentioned here before, a large part of it was that i wasnt *as* afraid of being raped anymore, since i knew i was going to give it away “consensually” anyway. how utterly fucked up is that? our whole conversation about “consent” is just about keeping men out of prison, and nothing whatsoever to do with womens desire, and certainly not our “liberation” from anything. and older feminists can attest to the fact that the sexual “revolution” was about mens liberation, not womens. most women cant even orgasm from PIV which is not a fucking coincidence, at all. its because we KNOW its fucking harmful, and the risk we are taking literally with our very LIVES. if the man doesnt purposefully harm us at some point, we may end up pregnant which is a legitimate medical event. its fucking dangerous to be pregnant. just the morning sickness alone can cause you to lose your job, if you cant come in. and we are more likely than men to be infected with STDs during PIV due to our anatomy. no fucking wonder we cant come, really. which makes it even MORE ridiculous that we continue to do it. with so little to gain and so much to lose, this should be obvious. but its not. it took me a long time. i can only imagine how bizarre this must all appear, to a lifelong lesbian. sheilaG has said the same things. because in many ways, you are able to see what we are not: that there are no legitimate reasons to play this game with our lives, and that there is another way.

5. LuraH - March 22, 2010

There is always another way. But since there are so many ways that I am not a part of the female / male system, or its interactions…
I think because I found men so physically and intellectually repulsive, and this goes way back to just observing how boys act, that there was no temptation to have anything to do with them at all. I literally couldn’t imagine what women were seeing in men, or what caused women to take such risks having sex with beings who clearly had little to no humanity at all.

It was crazy to watch this, so it’s kind of refreshing to read women who are beginning to understand this, and at least make valid attempts to get out of that world one step at a time.

I actually think that one reason straight women and lesbians started to go separate ways… maybe around the 80s, but possibly as early as the 70s, is that we didn’t care about men, and became increasingly indifferent to all the sexual stuff going on between women and men.
I could clearly see that there was no advantage that I could see to consorting with those beings, who in every way imaginable see women as objects at best or child producers at…? Well I don’t have the words for this.

I am sorry to see so many straight women positively waste their youth on these beings, to be so cut off from sisterhood, to be so into men.
Now, it’s interesting… I meet so many older straight women who just about every time I’m with them in a woman only situation say how relieved they are just to be together without men present at all. Late in life straight women actually live lesbian separatism to a greater degree than most young lesbians these days. Interesting how we’ve come full circle isn’t it.

6. FemmeForever - March 22, 2010

@ berryblade, veganprimate, LuraH

I made the point about open relationships being bad for women and good for men over on a womanistmusings thread about Oscar winner Monique’s statement about her open marriage. I was stalked and harassed by an aggressive, poly, trans man who called me a bigot for making these same points. I think TheDeviantE is his name.

7. pj - March 22, 2010

YOU SAID THAT SO WELL! I’m so excited you summed this up is SUCH a wonderful post and its so refreshing to not feel alone!! right to the point, next time you wonder if you should open your mouth PLEASE DO🙂 You do a lot of good with your powerful words!

As a women of Iraqi heritage, who considers themselves a feminist and who is constantly trying to explain to western women why women from nonwestern cultures often (not always, but often) look at western feminism like it gave us an option other than “slave” but that option is “whore” and that we would maybe rather stay slaves if those are the options! at least a slave has some moral high-ground (i say this with the experience of leaving a situation of being like a slave to my family thinking I would be free in America but realizing I was treated like a total object and that the men on the outside of my home were more likely to harm me much worse than those I ran away from and there was no real way to protect myself alone–that is a rude awakening!) . What is up with using the same thing that guys have always devalued us for (our sexuality) and devaluing it ourselves and somehow pretending thats freedom? I call it “freedom through objectification feminism” and it is not feminism, it is a pathology. There is a path other than “slave” or “whore”, its called being a person, a human being.

8. pj - March 22, 2010

p.s. I don’t know if i actually have to clarify this, but I don’t mean to use the word “whore” in the sense of putting down women who own their sexuality, but, as we are talking here, more of the phenomenon of women being the “whore” they want us to be and so very much not owning their sexuality but catering ever more to the ever more unrealistic and uncaring demands of men at the expense of even starting to realize what “we” want. I hope that clarifies that, i would hate to offend someone when I didn’t mean what they thought.

9. Big Fat Feminist - March 22, 2010

Whores don’t “own” their sexuality. It’s in fact the very definition of “whore.” What are you talking about ? No woman owns her sexuality.

10. berryblade - March 22, 2010

@FactCheckMe

“and lets not forget that PIV only creates orgasms in what, 5% of women? so as usual, the payoff for women is so much less. and in general its SO. NOT. WORTH IT. add in multiple partners, and the law of diminishing returns applies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminishing_returns
http://www.answers.com/topic/law-of-diminishing-returns

Holy shit, I did not even know the part about diminishing returns, i knew there was more to it, I just didn’t think there was an actual name for it.

” our whole conversation about “consent” is just about keeping men out of prison,”

Fucking word!

@BBB

“If I weren’t so introverted, I’d love to take a sabbatical from work and tour the country, giving lectures to adolescent girls on what they should and shouldn’t accept in behavior from boys. I doubt one lecture will change their minds, but it would help, considering they get fed propaganda 24/7 by the patriarchy.”

I wish there were more people like this everywhere. I’d love to go to a lecture/seminar/XYZ by you!

@FemmeForever

Holy shit, just googled that man, and what a screwball. I’m so sorry you had to deal with his shit.

@PJ

“As a women of Iraqi heritage, who considers themselves a feminist and who is constantly trying to explain to western women why women from nonwestern cultures often (not always, but often) look at western feminism like it gave us an option other than “slave” but that option is “whore” and that we would maybe rather stay slaves if those are the options!”

I could not agree more, I’m a white womon but I hate having to explain to so many people this basic principle! I think you might like the play the Burqa & the Bikini by Sabina England of deadamericandream dot blogspot dot com – she’s an Indian Muslim Anarchist and a really talented writer.

@Big Fat Feminist

“Whores don’t “own” their sexuality. It’s in fact the very definition of “whore.” What are you talking about ? No woman owns her sexuality.”

Again, too true. The only person who can own a womon’s sexuality in this day and age is her john/boyfriend/pimp/client/ANYONE BUT HER

factcheckme - March 22, 2010

berryblade, diminishing returns is an economic concept wherein the “output” or desired result only increases to a certain point, then plateaus and decreases in proportion to the energy expended to produce it. think about if you have ever worked overtime at time and a half your regular pay. the first 20 hours are great, and you are making mad bank. then you get tired. the next 10 hours are really fucking hard. 10 more after that and you think “this is so not worth it, im going home.” the “returns” you are getting in the beginning are worth it, or at least they are worth it *to you* in comparison to what you are going through to get it. after a certain point, its not.

diminishing returns applies to everything where you have to expend energy to acheive a desired result. for women in sexual relationships, we have to be hypervigilant to keep ourselves safe; we have to show the men what we like; and fight like hell to get it, if we get it at all. etc etc etc. in return, we might get some companionship, some pleasure, some stablility. but it takes a termendous amount of energy. doing all this for 1 man is exhausting enough, but doing it for 2 is less worth it, and doing it for 5 or 10…you get the picture.

as for “owing” our sexuality, i agree with BFF that this is a meaningless concept, really. its a fun-fem term for a woman who engages in various sex acts, allegedly on her own terms. but in reality, theres no such thing as “her own terms”. and its indeed ironinc that we call these same sexually active women “whores”. when in point of fact, we are all whores, for the very reason BFF mentions. none of us owns our sexuality. some of us get paid better, thats all.

11. pmsrhino - March 22, 2010

See, I’ve always taken issue with open relationships but never really been able to explain why. I think the big part of that was I could never discuss it with other feminists because the second you say anything negative about open relationships they get so fucking pissed. Same when you mention anything positive (or even just neutral) about virginity. “How dare you judge women who choose to have sex and not live in the social confines of marriage and monogamy?!” they scream. Choices are feminist just because a woman makes them, right?

But dammit, open relationships are ALWAYS more beneficial to the man that the women. ALWAYS. Damn is it refreshing to be able to say that in a public forum and not have to expect flaming arrows to come down upon me. The risk for women having sex with multiple partners is frightening. And even if the woman in the open relationship doesn’t go out and have sex with every man she meets she STILL has to deal with the shit her husband/partner brings home with him.

One time I was watching TV with my family and a commercial for Gardasil came on TV. My dad scoffed at it and questioned why anyone would need it when marriage and monogamous relationships and blah blah blah were much better ways to prevent HPV than a vaccine. And I had to point out that marriage and monogamy are no guarantees that one will never face STIs or cancer or HPV. What about a woman who gets into a marriage, she totally monogamous and faithful while her husband cheats on her at every turn? She could easily get HPV in this situation (and it is a common situation) and she did everything correct. And if she didn’t get the vaccine or something like it then she’s just throwing her life and health into the hands of a man who may not give two shits and only thinks about his sexual gratification.

Open relationships are complete fucking bullshit. Men are not entitled to go fuck whatever they want while the wife stays at home and cleans and works and takes care of any children that may be around (’cause someone’s gotta take care of the house work since when is the guy gonna find the time when he’s out getting laid and meeting women to get laid with?). And it’s so easy to see the horrible dynamics in such relationships when you get into the guys talking about how “oh, it’s totally cool if she fucks other women. That’s hawt. But if she’s fucking other dudes then I take some issue with that.” The woman in the relationship isn’t probably talking about how her partner is only allowed to fuck other dudes or else she’ll get pissed. Women are expected to take that kind of double standard and even go so far as to call it feminist.

It. Is. Not. Feminist. Period. I would never call anything that puts women in such danger feminist. It may be her choice, sure, but it is not feminist and that guy who brings HIV into their relationship is not feminist. An entitlement to any woman you want is not feminist. When did the feminist get so out of whack that anyone can even consider this shit feminist?😦

And seriously, thank you for the space to actually talk about this shit without fear of getting attacked for an in depth discussion on sexuality. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been yelled at and called a prude or whatever on other “feminist” blogs for trying to voice my opinion or whatever on open relationships or virginity.

factcheckme - March 22, 2010

regarding the burqua etc, the naomi wolf video i posted previously addresses that a little bit. she mentions that feminists in those cultures dont get why western feminists think its “freeing” to walk around half naked, and why these same western feminists think its the opposite to be fully covered in a burqua. well frankly…as long as there are predatory men out there, none of us are free, because none of us are safe. it doesnt matter a tiny little fucking bit how we “feel” about that, either. it doesnt change it. i dont know why women in burquas feel “free” in their burquas any more than i get why any woman wearing anything anywhere would feel free. we are not free. and feeling “sexy” or “sexual” within a context where we arent even “free” is extremely disquieting. because that means that we are nothing more than ignorant, sexual slaves.

as an aside, this article was extremely troubling for me to write. i pondered over it for literally weeks, before i decided what i wanted to say. it sounds “prudish” to me, even as the author. but to hell with it, its the fucking truth, and i am not going to pretend its not. also, i started reading dworkin’s “intercourse” today. i have never read it all the way through, and what i did read was years ago. i am sure i will have more to say, as i read more. its fun reinventing the wheel and all…but life is short. women have been speaking the truth about this shit for awhile, and i have decided that i want to know whats been said.

12. pj - March 22, 2010

@factcheckme
I agree, I don’t think women anywhere probably feel “free” – I really wish i could think of an example of some group or something that does come close. Women like you and others who come here might be the closest thing that I have ever come across, and I don’t mean you actually are free, but this type of thinking is the only EVEN ATTEMPT at actual freedom, truthful pursuit of freedom, I know of. I visit other feminist blogs, but they just don’t seem as honest. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a safe place for this.

I am studying law at the moment and really really really hope this can be an avenue to being able to help a little, but there is just NOTHING but opposition to this thinking (by “this” thinking, it is shorthand for what seems to be consistent like this post and a recent post you made on porn etc.). Anyway, by conspiracy or coincidence, I don’t normally feel like I am in the company of others who even see where I’m coming from let alone agree with me and see it too. This article is a dollop of encouragement, and a dollop of encouragement is enough to get me through today.

factcheckme - March 22, 2010

i find it funny that more than one person has said they feel “safe” here. when over at the fun-fem blogs, they strive to make “safe spaces” but they do it by lying, spinning, and sucking transwomens dicks. and anything trans-critical is presumed to be DANGEROUS, and to literally incite murder. shiver!

i really dont get the draw of a “safe space” at the expense of calling a spade a spade, i really dont. because what they mean, of course, is that they are willing to put womens issues and womens needs behind everyone elses, to make everyone else feel “safe” in revealing that they are complete and utter misogynists, assholes, and dupes. oh wait, i guess i do get the draw. nevermind. WHO is drawn to this, and why, should stand out like a beacon, but it doesnt.

i am glad i am not the only one who finds that approach unappealing AT BEST. thanks for reading.

13. FemmeForever - March 22, 2010

i really dont get the draw of a “safe space” at the expense of calling a spade a spade, i really dont. because what they mean, of course, is that they are willing to put womens issues and womens needs behind everyone elses, to make everyone else feel “safe” in revealing that they are complete and utter misogynists, assholes, and dupes.

Here, here.

There is one blog that I really like because the writing and the issue coverage is good. But I was thoroughly disappointed and saddened to realize that all but one of the major contributors to that blog are men. Men are given power to silence women on a feminist blog. WTF is that?!

factcheckme - March 23, 2010

men who think they are better feminists than women-feminists can fucking bite me! god, i hate that. its not that i have a problem with men who can understand feminist theory, no, in fact i wish more of them *did.* its their fucking need to DOMINATE, in everything they do. including totally pwning feminism. they dont get it, they just dont. they can score 100 on every feminist test, they can totally get it in an academic sense, they can be excellent writers and profound speakers but GUESS WHAT ASSHOLES. you dont get the recognition or domination you crave, here. not this way. not now, and not ever. GOT IT? GOOD!

14. ashley - March 23, 2010

@pj #7, thank you. i remember in school, i studied with several women from the middle east and s. asia, and while some of them had cultures that restricted their access to men, that particular aspect of their culture worked out quite well for them. they were more focused on education than on either f—ing dudes, (or being sad about not f—ing dudes) than many western secular/non-religious or christian women. of course, none of us want to switch one version of patriarchy for the other, they both suck. but i saw a lot of western secular/non-religious and christian women so focused on getting a man/men’s approval that even the ones with conservative upbringing had values that placed pleasing men so high above all else, including (admittedly patriarchal) sexual “morals”, not to mention school, it was just pathetic. I’m not offended at all when you said women from nonwestern cultures often (not always, but often) look at western feminism like it gave us an option other than “slave” but that option is “whore” and that we would maybe rather stay slaves if those are the options! . I agree.
@fcm, I also feel sometimes, when I think about this, i get this nagging feeling like I’m being conservative and supporting patriarchal anti-sex views. so thank you for this forum, where this complexity is understood. you and others have already done a better job explaining all this than I ever could. I don’t want to go into talking about my former hetero-practicing experiences, because it’s disgusting to many lesbians and straight non-fun fems alike. Not to mention BOR-ing. But I’ll tell everyone, It certainly was much less unpleasant before I saw any porno and realized what dudes think of women, and then came along the internet, and that really blew it up. that woke my naive ass up.
@LuruH yes! it starts very young, even before the sexual pressure, the heterosexism starts in. girls aren’t allowed to have fun, their concern must be mitigated to their appearance, their weight, how “feminine” they act. girls, even very young, are policed by men and boys, and then by girls who learn to police each other. girls are there as accessories for boys, not independent beings with their own interests and dreams. girls, back then anyway, maybe still today, weren’t allowed to have our own interests, we had to project them onto the boys. i think that is actually much of what hetero girls mistake as an attraction to boys. it’s not an authentic attraction to them; it is an attraction to the freedom they have. a projection.

15. ashley - March 23, 2010

@Femmeforever #6
I bet you got lectured about how “privileged” you are compared to your harasser, too.

16. LuraH - March 23, 2010

And why would women ever expect the masters to get the freedom the slaves always desired? When does a boss ever get where the employees are coming from?
No, men don’t get feminism, and women are brainwashed into having sex with men, and living with these cretans. I just don’t get why women (half the damn population) don’t rise up and overthrow the patriarchs, or just stop having sex with these inhumane disease carrying, non-monogamous slogs. I just don’t know what it would take for straight women to stop catering to my bitter, knock down drag out hated enemies. I get so frustrated at this I could scream to the four winds. Women wake up! Men are not your friends, they don’t love you, they have nothing but compete and utter contempt for you. You are nothing but sex toys, fools and slaves to men. If you can’t get this by now, after 40 years of radical lesbian theory and activism, and all the radical lesbian activists who got the damn vote in the 19th century, well, just how are we going to overthrow the rapists and cretins! Enough, get them out of your house, out of your life, stop the collusion. Would freedom be worth abstaining from the rapists, boyfriends, bastards, blithering idiots? Would being completely and utterly male free be too much to ask? This lesbian wants to know when the male pleasing will end? Is sex with the enemy really that compelling?

factcheckme - March 23, 2010

well lura, and i think this is where sheilaG got stuck too as a lifelong lesbian, theres the whole “love” thing. not everyone can will themselves into being a lesbian, and for those who cant, you are literally asking them to be celibate. to be childless. to be alone, forever. and frankly, thats a lot to ask, particularly when so many women dont see what even the straight feminists see, or what the straight atheist feminists see. what about religious women? they would fear burning in hell for eternity, if they attempted to do what you ask, and they would only ever be doing it *for* you since they simply do not see what you see. not gonna happen. then there are women like myself, who found a compatible partner before making the transition to radical feminism, and frankly i dont have much of a problem with him. we have a peaceful coexistance that i enjoy very much, most of the time. and he has never pressured me into PIV, it was always me pressuring him. now that that dynamic is gone, all the better.

BTW i am reading dworkin’s intercourse as i mentioned earlier. apparently, she self-identified as a lesbian, but after her death it was revealed that she and her longtime male companion were actually, legally, married. and he always self-identified as gay, and now has a male domestic partner. he and dworkin were together for 30 years. theres some speculation that they married for practical reasons, as she was in poor health for many years and her medical bills wouldve ruined them both, had they not married and she been placed on his health insurance.

but the truth of the matter is this: even lifelong lesbians get that there are some benefits to being hetero, and having the option to marry. thats why theres this whole “gay marriage” cultural war going on in the US. if lifelong lesbians didnt want the hetero benefits for themselves, they wouldnt care about entering this debate, but they do. so lets not pretend that its entirely a mystery why straight women do what they do. in the end, many of us dont really have a choice. worldwide, women DO NOT have a choice, period. its a position of extreme privilege to even be discussing it, or in a position to consider what you appear to be asking all women to consider, worldwide (as you mention “half the world’s population”). thats never going to happen, and a big reason for that is that women are depandant on men, and a major cause of *that* is that they are forced into motherhood, and more often than not this occurs whehter the women want it, or not. in most places in the world, theres no such fucking thing as a lesbian. heterosexuality, wifery and motherhood are as strictly enforced on women as is their born-sex. meaning utterly, completely, and theres literally no escape.

17. FemmeForever - March 23, 2010

Women wake up! Men are not your friends, they don’t love you, they have nothing but compete and utter contempt for you. You are nothing but sex toys, fools and slaves to men.

Lura, I share each and every frustration you mention point for point and I’m not lesbian. I choose solitude rather than hitch my wagon to someone who hates me. Unfortunately, most women just don’t have the level of enlightenment, intestinal fortitude, or financial independence to pull off that lifestyle. So you’re shouting from the lesbian camp, women wake up. I’m shouting from within the hetero camp and feminism inches or should I say millimeters along. It really doesn’t have anything to do with lesbianism at all.

I must say I am surprised to hear that a lesbian feels so strongly about this. I never believed the patriarchal hype that lesbians are man haters. I assumed instead that the lesbian community, like every other community on this planet, was just as enamored of dudes as everyone else, save the sex part. So let me ask. Do you think most lesbians share your views on men or do you have to keep those views under wraps like I do? I know some lesbians male-identify and I presumed that was a form of solidarity or kinship with the male. I’m curious what you think.

18. LuraH - March 23, 2010

These are all very good points FCM, but the bottom line is what will it take women worldwide to get freedom? And that is an essential question to ask. So either straight women complain too much about men, and they really aren’t that bad to live with after all, or they truly are bad. It’s very hard for me to tell. So you have found a man who is easy to live with, and I think that is highly likely for many women obviously. But that means the larger society remains exactly the same, and that is difficult for feminists to admit.
As for religious communities, lesbians created them all over the world, and lesbians have been very clever throughout history to create these worlds of our own. Even today, straight women don’t have access to those worlds, because they would (unwittingly mind you and with no malicious intent) be a grave threat to their existence.

I’m not really in the marriage activist camp, have no desire to have the things straight women have, and I think you’ll find lifelong lesbians to be an extremely (some would say too extremely🙂 self-sufficient.
Nevertheless, I find the heroic battle of straight women to take control of their bodies, and their sexual expression encouraging.
I remember thinking how weird it was when they invented viagra. “Well you don’t need a penis to have wonderful sex, and even men can experience sexuality in a whole new way.” That is what perplexed me at the time. So this discussion probably has been going on for a long time, I just don’t talk about sexual issues with straight women… and my life is largely invisible to them, so the ships sail on…
There are lesbians all over the world, and each society comes up with its unique woman loving solutions. Any time you have same sex religious communities or the idea of celibacy, it is often a cover for women who want nothing to do with men, and they can escape family pressures to marry or have children by joining a variety of religious orders. This goes back quite far in herstory. They may not even be having sex with women, but they are most certainly lesbians.
So no, lesbians are not unique, we aren’t even very rare out in the world. If you do want self-sufficiency, there is a bit more effort involved. I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the esteemed women on this site, but I don’t see hetero life as all that interesting or attractive.
I see a lot of women very tied down and overworked, and women carry some incredible burdens. What I do have faith in (call me old fashioned🙂 is true sisterhood among all women. I feel this when I’m in all women’s worlds, whether we are straight or lesbian or even bi.
In most cultures and societies, you really do have to be a lesbian to meet the other lesbians, for obvious reasons. Straight women can unwittingly expose me to a lot of risk and danger, and I do have to be somewhat careful…too complex for a blog I’m afraid, but a sad reality I often experience.

factcheckme - March 23, 2010

the bottom line is what will it take women worldwide to get freedom? And that is an essential question to ask.

yes, it is the question to ask. and most feminists arent asking it, because they are so concerned with “gender” and “oh but patriarchy hurts men too” and “oh the poor transwomen.” HOWEVER. since most women, worldwide, are oppressed based on thier born-sex, and NOT on their gender, i honestly think the solution will be ultimately biologically-based. as in, no unwanted pregnancies, very little maternal morbidity and mortality, and no rape, and no fear of unwanted pregnancies or rape, either. so womens health care, including birth control and abortion are going to be key players, always (or until theres no such thing as a “single mother” but rather “the healthy children that society needs to survive and thrive”). and i really, really think theres something about PIV thats going to need to be addressed. it MUST be understood, at a deep level (and one that even *i* never got until just a few months ago) that vaginas are organs, and not fuckholes for men. that womens vaginas are organs, and that they work perfectly fine without a dick in them, and most of the time putting a dick in one is dangerous, and should not be done. MOST OF THE TIME.

i am absolutely on a rampage against PIV, ever since i fucking woke up to what it *means.* and very obviously (now its obvious) it means that both women AND men think that vaginas are just fuckholes, for men. that vaginas are only good for one thing. that our ORGANS exist only to moisten mens dicks, and arent on par with our hearts, and livers, and lungs. but vaginas ARE on par with our hearts and livers and lungs, and with mens hearts and livers and lungs too. and its fucking time we started treating them as such. noone douches their fucking lungs. you would NEVER want someone else’s diseased bodily fluids inside your heart. anyone who tried would be considered insane, and putting their lives and their health in grave danger. GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM. hell-fucking-o.

They may not even be having sex with women, but they are most certainly lesbians.

yeah, i should have said that “in most parts of the world, theres no such fucking thing as a lesbian, not as we know it.” because thats the whole point. i am very sure that there are women around the world who want nothing to do with men, and some of those are sexually attracted to women exclusively. AND most of them are married with children, or otherwise enslaved by men in a subservient female role, and their wants and needs and identities are never considered, at all. thats literally the whole problem, and why we are so privileged that we have a choice, to the extent we do have one.

19. LuraH - March 23, 2010

Again, the key thought in all of this, is what will it take for women to gain freedom worldwide? I’ve never really understood a lot of what became of this basic concept, or why everyone else’s issues were more important than what women could and are doing for each other.
Gender to me, is just another way for people to avoid dealing with the central reality that women are not free, and the attrocity is what women suffer in every race, social class and nationality in the world.

Everything that doesn’t address women’s needs as central is a grand political waste of time IMHO. To me, this is obvious, because what inspired me was sisterhood, it was my connection to other women, and it was all the things we created for ourselves.

I really like the idea that the vagina is an organ connected to the heart and lungs. I like the power as women describe who they are bodily and mentally, and what this means for our sense of self grounded in the world. I’ve always felt a kind of reverence for women, for the incredible power and beauty of women fully alive in the world. To me, the world is one giant sisterhood to be discovered and connected to. It is about women’s sexuality not being available to colonizers, penis’ or degredation. It is about women finding freedom through the collective, and through a kind of mediation on the love of women.
The less you see of men, the more time you spend in the embrace of women, the more powerful this becomes.

I have felt the most inspired by all the women I have had the pleasure of knowing; how they become alive, how women come to love one another, how women wake up to oppression and actually go out and do something about it. The more one spends time with women, the more patriarchy kind of fades into the sunset. Men become more and more irrelevant as women awaken. To see this great awakening every day is a joy to behold. “And all that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes.” In the aspect of awkening to freedom, in the discovery women have when they fall in love with each other and literally on some deep level walk out of patriarchy, just walk out. Maybe that is the gift of a small minority to women worldwide, who can say? It is the smallest of groups that awaken the largest of groups to possibilities anyway.

factcheckme - March 24, 2010

i *still* have fucking transwomen commenting over on the neo-vagina monologues post. they are *still* going on and on (and on and on, as men do) about how “gender is fluid” and “organs dont matter.” yeah, they fucking well dont, as long as you werent born with a fucking babymaker, in a rape culture. these assholes are going right into my spam folder now. the latest TWO accused me of displaying “male privilege.” i cant believe that a single feminist anywhere would entertain these DELUSIONS for one second. and yet this is the shit thats been allowed to take center stage in the last 10 years.

i am linking once again to an old post: https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/you-go-hillary/

i hope anyone who hasnt seen the embeds will take the opportunity to watch them. they are THAT GOOD. i have never said anything more profound that whats contained in these vids, and i never will, so please. dont waste your time with me, if you have to make a choice. watch these vids instead. below is the documentary that inspired the post (and is one of the embeds) i saw on NOVA a year ago that really changed my perspective on women and how central our “mere organs” are to our very lives, and wellbeing. its about obstetric fistula (birthing injuries). it helped me move away from my western-privileged mindset, the one thats absolutely required for fun-feminism and transactivism BTW, and into the perspective of womens shared experience as born-women, worldwide. the experience we share because we were all born with babymakers, in a rape culture (aka. as women, almost anywhere in the world). and how lucky we western-privileged women really are, that we have access to at least basic medical care (but birthing injuries happen here too. obstetric fistula is not uncommon here, its just usually repaired immediately when we are still on the table from giving birth).

how “fluid” is the experience of being female, for these born-women? answer: its not, their experiences are the same (just varying degrees of horribleness. the youngest and smallest woman is unable to have her fistula repaired).

factcheckme - March 24, 2010

as an FYI, if any youtube embeds are not viewing properly, you can right click and select “watch on you tube”.

20. Laurelin - April 6, 2010

‘it’s just sex’ rings in my head too. It produces a sort of splitting in me.

I’m just gonna think through my reactions here, hope you don’t mind.

On the one hand, ‘it’s just sex’ is a sentiment I really understand. After all, it’s just sex, it’s not the be-all and end-all of life, it is a part of life for those who want it, but it is not necessary to any individual’s life, good sex can improve a good life, but it’s not enough to transform a bad life. It is, after all, just sex.

On the other: ‘it’s just sex’ terrifies me. It’s not ‘just sex’, it’s one’s body, it concerns a person’s most intimate feelings and emotions, bad sex can do incredible damage to a person’s physical and emotional integrity, is poison to the soul. It involves one’s personal space, and violations of one’s intimacy/ personal space can be hideous.

To hear a woman say ‘it’s just sex’, with reference to her own sex life, scares me. It is as though she is saying her body is nothing. I know I would have said something very similar at various points in life, and meant, precisely, *my body is unimportant* or *I don’t matter.* I can recall the deadening feeling, the emotions of not-caring, of self-abnegation.

That’s what it says to me, anyway.

factcheckme - April 6, 2010

yay! laurelins back! yes, it bothers me too. obvs. it was such a relief, for a time, to think and feel this way about sex. but you know what? it was also a total lie, and that came to the surface occasionally. only to be tamped back down again…until i couldnt and decided i wouldnt tamp it down anymore. that only happened (not coincidentally) *after* i realized literally for the first time in my life that vaginas arent fuckholes, for men. the next step, to “wait, PIV-sex IS a big deal if you are born-female” became the logical step, after that.

as an example of it rising to the surface before, i was dating someone in grad school who had a drinking problem, was in multiple relationships with other women (some of which i knew about) and tended to disappear on occasion, and was unable to be reached for weeks or months at a time. i was ok with this because i was extremely busy, didnt have time or energy for a “real” relationship anyway, and i thought i was having FUN!!!11!!1 well, one day after he reappeared again, we were hanging out and i told him it was a real problem for me when he disappeared, because what if i needed to get ahold of him for something? specifically, what if i got pregnant? he said “well thats a risk you take.” and i thought “i thought it was a risk *we* were taking?” of course, i was wrong about that, in many ways. in a very real way, women are the only ones taking this risk, even under the best of circumstances, and with the most supportive of partners. but when we are just having “just sex” with men, no, its not *we* who are taking the risk, at all. its only *us.” the women, and not the men.

unfortunately, it took me another 6 years to become awake to these things. and let me tell you, its been such a painful awakening in some ways. this relationship in particular causes me a particular agony, when i think about it. i feel physically sickened when i think about the things i did with him, and the things i let him do. and not “just sexual” things, but certianly those too. it was the last relationship i had before i found my current partner, and we have been together almost 8 years. and to think about what i put up with, and what i exposed myself to in that last FUN!!!11!!!-relationship (including diseases) really makes me want to crawl into the nearest corner and die. its that horrible to think about. i might write more about that later, but in point of fact, i suspect that he was HIV-positive, and i have reasons for thinking so. and he purposefully exposed me to his fluids, even though we had agreed to be safe. its kept me up at night more than once.

21. Laurelin - April 6, 2010

I think we’ve had similar experiences, Factcheckme. A lot of the things you’re saying really resonate with me. The HIV thing must be very scary.

I’ve been thinking about this more today, and I’ve been considering especially the fun-fem rhetoric surrounding sexuality. One problem we always hit our heads on is the excessive individuality of it. The fear of being judged seems to have left fun-fems in a position where we have to ignore our deepest feelings about things and replace them with ‘well that’s just me.’ One thing feminist consciousness-raising has always revealed to women is that it’s never *just* *you*. We’re programmed to say ‘well that’s just my experience, and not yours, so I won’t have any opinion on what you’ve just told me about your experiences’. (I’ve also noticed that the word ‘experience’ is being used as a euphemism in many places – where the word ‘abuse’ or ‘rape’ would be more fitting). We all become individuals who have individual ‘experiences’ which are nothing to do with anyone else, and so no-one is responsible and you mustn’t make any comments that make anyone else uncomfortable. This is *precisely* what patriarchy does; isolates women from one another and makes them believe that whatever problems they have are to do with their own individual failings – not to do with their political position as subordinate human beings.

So I’m meant to say, when a friend tells me ‘it’s just sex’, ‘oh well that’s your experience and you are not me’, etc., and ignore that horrible feeling of recognition, that sickness in the pit of my stomach that says I’ve Been There. We’re meant to ignore our own feelings as irrelevant, or regard them as a personal ‘squick’ (back to that in a minute), rather than following what they are telling us. We’re meant to turn off our critical faculties and nod sweetly, and take everything at face value, instead of feeling the implications. Since when did feminism demand we divorce our selves from our emotions? To expect us to say ‘oh well that’s fine if you say so’, and to choke down our visceral reactions that come from the shared experience of oppression is to ask women to become automatons, distrusting personal feelings and discarding empathy in the drive to be ‘tolerant’ or cool.

After all, no-one wants to look like the prude right? In a sex-obsessed society that refuses to tell the truth about men, everyone hates to be a ‘prude’.

On ‘squick’: this is a word I’ve come across in BDSM discussions and whatnot. It tends to occur in ‘well Sex Act X squicks me out, but I know you like it and that’s just dandy’ type situations. Complex emotional responses to degrading or painful sexual acts are reduced to a feeling of ‘squick’, characterised in an unpleasant sound, as meaningless as the fake word itself. That squicks me out: like being squeamish about blood or something. The use of the term trivilaises and neutralises female responses to sexual activities which they find uncomfortable. It pushes the woman experiencing the ‘squick’ to feel herself to be irrational.

factcheckme - April 7, 2010

yes, to everything you have said here laurelin. there *is* an excessiveness regarding the individuality, and i know for a fact (having practised it myself) that this is a deliberate response to women being lumped-in together politically and socially. and its an attempt at rejecting essentialism. of course, what is conspicuously ignored here is that women are lumped-in together as a political and social underclass, that we dont choose and cant change. and that we share experiences with all other women, around the world, not because of “essentialism” or our uterii, ovaries per se, but because we were born with fucking babymakers, in a rape culture. almost all women in every country and territory in the world share this experience, of being dominated by men due to our sex organs (and theirs). but the fun-fems use “experience” only as you say: to isolate themselves from other women, by “owning” their own experiences as if they are unique, or original, or irrelevant. they arent.

anyway, i cant improve on what you said or how you said it. you are absolutely right about this individuality issue. its a real problem, not of “morality” (as the fun-fems always bandy about when speaking of radfems and our alleged penchant for RULES) but of humanity, and community. of CONTEXT. thats where radfems and fun-fems part ways, and theres no reconciling us when it comes to context. we are all about the context. to them, its all about “perception.” COMPLETELY DIFFERENT perspective. polar opposites in fact.

factcheckme - April 8, 2010

just as an FYI, the stats for this post have exploded in the last few days. its been linked at several sites and its getting mad traffic. if theres anything you want to say to the lib fems, porn-actors and progressives, nows your chance because they are reading.

22. m Andrea - April 9, 2010

Most excellent post, and comments of course. Does any lesbian ever become a funfem, or does being a lesbian render one immune? I’m asexual myself but hate to discuss it as I know there’s quite a few people who assume that asexuality isn’t possible — they assume that the asexual person had a trauma and now doesn’t like sex. But you know, sexuality is on a continuum and some people hit that middle mark just perfectly.

Anyway, it’s refreshing to hear these types of thoughts expressed so freely and just wanted to say thank you. and can I say men suck. 🙂

factcheckme - April 9, 2010

hey miss a, i posted this over on the “yes organs matter” thread. thanks for trying to ask these morons a legitimate and cogent question, for real. because the fact that they respond to you EXACTLY as they respond to me tells me that its NOT my delivery, as the men and misogynists always claim. as in, if your *tone* was more pleasant, people would respond to you better. when in reality, its the content of the message, and the reading comprehension and agenda of the listener. and has nothing to do with any other of their bullshit distractions, like hurtfulness, evil, transphobia, misandry or anything else.

yeah, they really *dont know how to read, do they? at least, they dont know how to LISTEN. all they ever want to do is talk. heres a perfect example. miss andrea left a pretty stunningly logical and unemotional response that laid it out all perfectly, when she said this:

Eh, fun feminism isn’t just limited to the BarbieBimbo clothes, at least to me. It’s the idea that stripping and prostitution, and BDSM, etc etc etc, are empowering.

Btw, there’s nothing “wrong” with wanting to be attractive, attract one’s preferred sex partner, or just have fun expressing oneself in a creative way. The bit which seems “wrong” to me is the idea that there is any authentic power which accrues to those who engage in stripping, BDSM, etc.

Authentic or “real” power requires the presence of a specific quality. If that quality is not present, then authentic power cannot exist. What is this mysterious quality?

It requires that the Empowered Person is free from coercive brainwashing. When someone is brainwashed from birth to believe that activity X is the most fun thing ever, it’s not surprising when an individual derives more pleasure from activity X then what actually exists. Without a coercive environment, the individual may take some pleasure in activity X, but not as much.

Authentic power is when you are pleasantly occupied doing whatever the hell you want without any brainwashing coercion being present, and when you tell someone to jump, they ask “how high?” Faux power is when you have to meet or exceed THEIR requirements BEFORE they would ever consider responding with “how high would you like me to jump?” Barbie has to meet somebody else’s stringent requirements before she can order that other person around.

I’m genuinely asking, what part of that didn’t make any sense, or what part is objectionable?

then this:

To clarify, it seems that “funfeminists” (and gee I’d like to find a less insulting term) clearly recognize the part where Barbie “gets” someone else to do something for her, but funfeminists ignore the part where Barbie had to do something for the other person first. I wondering how the funfeminists can assume, first of all, that Barbie is “empowered” by a reciprocal exchange. Why would “empowerment” mean “equal”? Power actually means that someone has power over another, it doesn’t mean equal.

The other thing I’m wondering about, is how funfeminists can assume that the end result is more beneficial to Barbie than the guy. Personally, I find focusing attention on my sexuality only reduces me to a collection of mastatorbory aids — my humanity is ignored. The guy gets a simpering fool, and what exactly did he give up in order to get this?

It’s the answer to that last question which makes me think that he has all, or most, of the power. Which means Barbie has little or no power, which means she isn’t empowered at all. I’m sincerely trying to understand the perspective of the funfeminists (yes I want a less insulting term) and understand how they are reasoning through this dynamic.

here was the immediate response:

Hm funny, all the people damning “Fun feminism” seem to hate transgendered people too,

Andrea: I have to say that you’re the one being rather demeaning to those who may actually be involved with sex work or BDSM. No, really:I’m not joking.

and another:

m Andrea mentions BDSM in the first sentence in her first comment. And I suspect Jenny was referring to Factcheckme and m Andrea, both of whom have posted some pretty hateful, transphobic, and misogynist things about trans women, and constantly impose their own fictional narratives about trans people over trans people’s real lived experiences for pure rhetorical convenience.

what. the. fuck. they didnt even read what m andrea said, at all. and it was one of the most clearly-phrased questions i have ever seen, from a radfem directed at a funfem, or a funfem sympathizer. its not going to get any better than that. and they still cant answer it, and they still think “TRANSPHOBIC!” is an appropriate response.

http://punkassblog.com/2010/04/01/fun-feminism-part-one/comment-page-1/#comment-573238

23. Polly - April 9, 2010

Hmm well I am a ‘transgendered’ person apparently. I mean I fit all the criteria, I ‘cross dress’ (apart from believing I’m transgendered, but even that’s optional according to some people http://www.bilerico.com/2010/04/a_prom_and_pretty_ugly_things.php ).

Does that mean I get to have an opinion on anything? Or are only certain people allowed to have opinions? Who decides who gets to have an opinion? Why are there more questions than answers?

As I said before. Ad hominem attacks are so much easier than responding to the point being made.

24. polly - April 10, 2010

Oh and can the people who think HIV infection is just some personal choice style thing please consider the FACT that women are a hell of a lot more likely to be infected by PIV sex than men are and that BME women are more likely to be affected than white women.

http://www.thebody.com/content/whatis/art40927.html

I read this yesterday:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article7092337.ece

So no it’s never ‘just sex’, it’s Russian Roulette. Even for those who aren’t in a ‘high risk’ group.

But despite this three quarters of young women DON’T practise safe sex (link next to avoid the spamulator).

25. polly - April 10, 2010

http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/health/164925/women-not-practising-safe-sex.html

You see things BECOME a women’s issue when women’s pesky biology means that they’re put more at risk by something than men are. Oh no it’s those organs again!

26. A Simple K - April 28, 2010

I just found this blog the other day, and I’ve been reading all the posts and all the comments.

I am firmly convinced that 99% of sex-positivism is really about saying, “Guys like women who are sexually accessible to men, therefore they’re better.” That theme is regurgitated over and over and over again in the posts and comments on feministing and feministe and other sites. Women who have sex with men (or on male terms) are “sexual beings” who “own” their sexuality; women mention how they’re sex workers of some sort or another in order to give some sort of “street cred” to their posts because only someone who’s been in sex work can know the “real truth” about how it’s not bad at all and totally empowering, blah blah blah; women who represent “virginal” stereotypes or attitudes are completely ripped to shreds but people link to $pread magazine….

And this is how it fucked me up:

I had been a thoroughly happy sexual being for most of my teen years. I had not had any sexual relationships, but I knew many ways to make myself orgasm and loved my body. I never met anyone with whom I wanted to have sex, and therefore never had sex. Easy, huh? Enter “fun-fems” (how I love that word) in late high school, and people telling me that my not-having-had-sex-with-another status was because I was ashamed of my body and sexuality. Women telling me I didn’t know anything about sex because I’d never had a penis in my vagina. That I wasn’t empowered because I wasn’t having enough sex. That “adventures” and “fun” require (1) alcohol and (2) male organs being inserted into my body, and that if I don’t agree it’s because I’m inhibited. That I would have regret in the future if I didn’t “take advantage” of the “opportunity” to have many male sexual partners. Hell, I didn’t even have a chance to consider sexual attraction, really, because in that climate if a woman who hadn’t had sex with a man didn’t already identify as a sexually-active lesbian she was just an ignorant het virgin.

I fell in love with a man (who was decent enough, and is now about as pro-feminist as most men can get, I think), and had good sex, and everything was fine…until I got married. Then I was attacked for getting married, for “sacrificing my youth” because I hadn’t had sex with ENOUGH men and therefore would never have fond memories of ENJOYING myself. And it kept up for years…and years…and years…. The comments: “only one man? I feel sorry for you” ad nauseum.

This all made. me. feel. like. a. piece. of. shit. It’s bad enough being a woman, now I was a DUMB woman who was presumed to not know anything about the very essence of “womanhood”, which to them is sex (with men).

I was depressed. I couldn’t enjoy my body any more. I had knee-jerk reactions to any mention of sex. I stopped being able to bring myself to orgasm. I was in hell.

What finally began to help fix this was me getting to the breaking point, almost suicidal, and I told my husband I wanted an open relationship, on my terms – I would be able to have whatever relationships I wanted, and he could have whatever relationships with MEN he wanted. He could not have relationships with women, and I would have to meet the men beforehand. He agreed (though never acted on it). I thought, maybe if I let myself be “sexually liberated” that would help; maybe I really did have “hang-ups” and that was my problem.

That made me I look around, for the first time, with the eyes of a woman who was considering men as prospective romantic partners but didn’t feel any need or social pressure to date. And I realized every man I met treated me as an object. I tried really hard to find a man who always saw women as adult persons rather than toys, animals, or slightly stupid children.

I could not find a single one, including my husband.

It really was like the sun suddenly came up – a huge realization: “I don’t need men.” There is no strength in having sex with someone who doesn’t respect you as a person – THAT pressure was what was killing me. I should not let men (either directly or through their female enforcers) to define womanhood for me, or define my sexuality. It wasn’t ME who made me unhappy except in so far as I LET THEM DO THAT TO ME.

An open relationship definitely gave me sexual freedom, but it was NOT in the way they thought it would.

And now, with this blog and others, I have a place to express that without fear.

So, thank you, FCM and others.

27. joy - June 11, 2010

FCM, I just got here via link from berryblade/Aileen (hats off to you too, btw) and have been reading your archives. This is, as others have said, a nicely safe space.

A Simple K,

“It really was like the sun suddenly came up – a huge realization: “I don’t need men.” There is no strength in having sex with someone who doesn’t respect you as a person – THAT pressure was what was killing me. I should not let men (either directly or through their female enforcers) to define womanhood for me, or define my sexuality.”

Thanks for putting that realization into words!

To all, an anecdote about how Radfeminism Saves Lives:

I had the same realization some time ago, and am still having it. Bad relationships, rape, domestic abuse — I got myself into all the worst situations even after I became a radical feminist, because I thought it was all I deserved (childhood trauma + repressive misogynist single mother shamed for giving birth to me at all + Growing Up Patriarchy = poor self-image).

Once I got out of the abusive common-law marriage (he went to jail, but only for trying to kill another man while trying publicly to kill me), I thought I should probably think about having sex, eg, submitting to PIV in exchange for male affection, again.
But looking around for a suitable partner, any suitable partner, just made me feel sad. I had a couple of ‘encounters’ that were wholly jerkish and unsatisfying, and it finally sunk in — my own oppression matters, not just that of other women. And I don’t need men.

I’m pretty happy with it. Recently I had bad PTSD times and regretted standing up for myself with the most recent dude (he was quiet, radical in theory, and ‘nice enough’, but would not touch me other than PIV — literally would not touch me with his hands except to put my hands onto his dick — and I stood up to him about that, which led to him immediately telling me to get out) … but then it dawned upon me that, like most other women, I don’t enjoy most PIV and only ever give into it to please the oppressor.
What I wanted, what I want, was and is someone to hold me and reassure me, not someone to invade and prod me before ejaculating and calling it sex.

And that’s not a shameful or prudish thing. If someone deems it so, I am proud to wear the label of prude in their eyes, because I know what is good for me and why.

To hell with pleasing the oppressor. I’d known that all along but not allowed myself to practice it.
By virtue of being a disabled person (severe PTSD) of radical post-punk/anarcho leanings and no money (my disability checks cover rent, food stamps cover food, and I have little other needs), I can largely be a separatist. A lone separatist. To hell with everyone else, because everyone else colludes to hurt people like me and like you.
But it does sometimes get lonely, and that’s where internet radical feminist blogs come in.

Over at 9/2’s I recently advocated for separatism. I think lone separatism can be a great way to go, although communities might work too if it’s the right situation. I’ll have to figure out how to deal with the loneliness (sometimes I get so lonely that I spend all day inside writing, which is good for easing PTSD but not so good for “functionality” or “living life vs. merely surviving”) and get back to you. I view it as an experiment.
As for “sex drive” = masturbation. Way better than PIV anyway.

28. joy - June 11, 2010

Also:

I love the funfem assertion that “if you’re not Doing It (eg, PIV), you’re not healthy!”
That can sometimes be the case, maybe, but quite often it’s the reverse. Doing It makes you UNhealthy. Possibly even dead.

Funfeminism, as I recently realized via commentary over at Jill’s/I Blame, is just a way for people to deny rape and say Not-My-Sex-Practice so they can continue to dissociate from reality and live in the comfort provided by a patriarchy-approved lifestyle.

ie, all sex all the time, all women property of all men, woo hoo burlesque! Show me some titties.

It’s horrifying. There may be a way to enjoy sex, even heterosex*, but funfeminism and PIV is not that way.

* I’m, I suppose one could call it bisexual, but my experiences with women have been equally bad due to the poor choices I make — and it hurts worse when it’s women doing the hurting, so I’ve stuck with men because at least I can see the shitstorm coming.

Until yesterday or perhaps today when I found this blog, I’d felt really shitty when the accusation “prude” was leveled my way. (Some friends, after I bitched out Mr I-Won’t-Touch-You, defended his behavior as normal in even the “radical” hook-up culture and said “girls who like sex don’t mind.” That hurt me a whole fucking lot, for some reason.)

But as I said, now — if they wish to call me prude, I will wear it proudly. If they wish to say I don’t like “sex,” I’ll remind myself that they mean PIV, and no I don’t like that shit. There’s not even a REASON to like that shit.

Also, anyone else who’s ‘quit’ PIV: did you ever notice that you felt -nothing- during intercourse?
I definitely did, for the last year during which I had it. The final two partners, I noticed the numbness; there was definitely a time (after I had been raped, even) when I felt something during PIV, but those last two, not a thing. Except sometimes discomfort or pain.

Could be due to the spousal rapes, during which I learned even more efficiently how to dissociate, and the fact that he got me pregnant, after which I underwent an extremely painful and traumatic late-first-trimester abortion. Experiencing those things really made it clear how little women stand to gain from PIV and most, if not all, hetero interactions.

29. Rebecca - June 11, 2010

joy, it sounds like we a lot in common. I’d love to talk to you!
I’ve been practicing “lone seperatism” for quite a while now. I feel like such a weirdo, not seeking men, casual sex or marriage -but as a traumatized straight woman who wants a loving partner who sees me as an equal…it looks like the best solution right now.

As for vaginal sex, I’ve never felt anything but numbness or pain, ever. The idea of PIV as the standard sex act is hurtful on so many levels. What is the standard sexscene in mainstream movies? Dude on top of woman performing PIV, woman orgasming all over the place because of his vigorous prodding. It’s the one portrayal of sex that is shown over, and over, and over again in media. There must be countless women out there thinking they had to endure it because otherwise they aren’t normal, since all other normal women love PIV!! (lies.)

30. joy - June 11, 2010

“I feel like such a weirdo, not seeking men, casual sex or marriage -but as a traumatized straight woman who wants a loving partner who sees me as an equal…it looks like the best solution right now.”

Agreed. Except for the ‘feeling like a weirdo’ part. For whatever reason, I managed to never drink the patria-Kool Aid re, marriage and children. People have for eternity told me I’ll change my mind someday, but never once in my life have I wanted to be married* or imagined myself being married “someday.”

I actually imagine living out the rest of my life alone, and have imagined so since I was about sixteen.

Anarcho politics help, although I would call myself less of an anarchist and more of an idealist progressive radical. We don’t HAVE to get married, marriage is a regressive tool of the patriarchy (see * below), and there’s nothing wrong with not getting married.

However, even in anarcho/radical scenes, as I described in a previous comment, people have weird ideas about sex (by which they ALSO mean PIV or DIV). There is a lot of love for BDSM and ‘casual sex’, meaning “he (or she, but typically he) gets to stick his dick in you, not touch you, and then ignore you or treat you like shit.”
Wanting something other than PIV is often seen as “square” or “lame” (yeah, I know, way to be ablist too). For some reason, people think not wanting PIV is regressive, or that it’s been taught to women by conservatives.

No! For one thing, my family was conservative (my mother was a Lutheran theologian and pastor), and girls are never taught to want cuddling, other sex acts, or any kind of physical affection. PIV with your husband, everything else ever (including hugs! I was taught not to hug!) is dirty and wrong.

The mainstream society tells women to want PIV all the time, with either one man (boyfriend/husband) or lots of men (hookups). I’m not sure why people can’t grasp that.

I still feel like a weirdo, or, less like a weirdo and more like I’m not “coping” well (with childhood molestation, abuse, repeated rapes, domestic abuse …), for not wanting to seek out casual sex. It’s not satisfying to me — but not because, as my “friends” tried to say, I want a super-square uber-1950s monogamous dating relationship/marriage.
It’s because I want someone to want me for something other than my vagina. No one would want someone who was only interested in her stomach, or her lungs, or her kidney. I don’t want someone who only wants my vagina, and I daresay no one should.

* Re, marriage — I believe that people can form partnerships that are healthy and loving, and that this can actually be radical and progressive. I would do that kind of thing. However, it’s hard to do, even harder to find the right person to begin with, and it’s not what I would call “marriage.”


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