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“Intercourse” House Party (Part 2) May 9, 2010

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, entertainment, health, international, PIV, pop culture, rape, sorry!, thats mean, trans, WTF?.
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part one is here.   as i explained before, i am attempting to lay some groundwork, as it were, to any future discussion of dworkin’s “intercourse.”  many people report being unable to understand her, but thats really no excuse, is it, for a failure to dissect and discuss PIV, and its implications for women, as a sexual class, around the world? 

if feminists arent doing this work, its not going to get done.  so, mindful of that, i offer part 2.  and…bear with me, because its really a downer!

intercourse can literally kill you, if you are a woman.  (sorry!  really, i am).  it causes pregnancy, which is a medical event that can last for years (including lactation, and assuming that there were no long-term complications, which there often are).  PIV is the one and only cause of obstetric fistula, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, miscarriage and abortion, and is causative of the illnesses and deaths of hundreds of thousands of women annually (see maternal morbidity and mortality here, and a discussion of “near misses” here).

and the list of risks of being on the pill are as long as my arm, and include the risk of death by blood clot.  and women are more susceptible to STD infections than men are due to biological differences…specifically that we have vaginas that men ejaculate into, and their bacteria and viruses cant be washed away.  and trying to wash them away by douching actually makes it WORSE, because you irritate your tissues and interrupt the normal cleansing process of the vaginal environment.  (i know, its TRANSPHOBIC!!! to talk about womens vaginas, and the consequences to women to having them.  oh well, get over it.  because its true.)

and PIV is known to destroy womens careers, and their livelihoods, as well.  not even considering the “mommy track” that so many women allegedly “choose,” even if you have an early abortion, you are risking getting in trouble at work if you are too sick to come in, in the first weeks and months of pregnancy due to morning sickness.  i mean really.  sitting under your desk puking into a fucking trashcan doesnt look so good, because most people assume you are drunk (although appearing unintentionally knocked up doesnt do a woman any favors, either, in the “i am responsible, just like a man!!!11!!” competition).  and if you are too sick to even drive or take public transportation, you cant even clock in, to humiliate yourself this way.  or to get paid, obvs.

yes, thats right…there are severe consequences to women, but not to men, of engaging in PIV.  and i am not about to blame women for continuing to do it, and i am not going to ask (at least not today) why women are having PIV with men.  what i would like to know, however, is why MEN are continuing to do it, when they know how dangerous it is, for women.  this is not a rhetorical question.

again, since most readers here are women, this can be approached as a thought exercise.  imagine, if you will, that there were no consequences to *you* of having PIV.  but that all the consequences i mentioned above, actually applied to *men* and not to you.  imagine that fucking your husband, or bf, or anyone with a dick really, could literally kill them, or make them very ill.  imagine that they were taking on all the risk, and you werent risking a thing.

would you still do it?  would you ride your mate into the sunset, bucking wildly on his dick and screaming when you were about to come?  (pornified version).  would you tenderly “make love” to him, knowing how potentially fucking screwed he could be, in the weeks and months to come, by virtue of the act you were about to perform on his person i mean with him, lovingly?  (its an “act of love” version).

and in this topsy-turvy world i have created here, where there are consequences of PIV to men but not to women…would you ever pressure him into it?  or expect it?  or demand it?  or “take” it?  (the rape version).  what if he wanted it, and claimed to enjoy it? what if he really, truly did enjoy it?  would that change anything, for you?  would his “consent” be problematic, in your mind, at all?  or would it be a free pass to place him in harms way?

now…what if you knew for a fact that there was very little chance that he was even going to enjoy it?  would that matter to you, at all?  what if it were common knowledge that most men didnt really like PIV anyway, or at least it wasnt their preferred sexual act, and that their bodies werent really built to orgasm this way?  what if the numerous risks of PIV to men were somewhat (or largely) causative of their inability to enjoy it, or to enjoy it fully?

would you still do it?  if so, why, and under what circumstances?  if not, why not?

and finally…what if mens social status was that of, literally, dirt.  of filth.  what if mens corpus, mens bodies, were regarded as disgusting, and filthy too (even though, ironically, you were the one likely to infect *him* with something, and not the other way around).  what if the language women used regarding having PIV with men was synonymous with harming them, and socially men and boys were the thing everyone else wiped their feet on?  what if it had always been this way, and was this way currently, around the world?

if this were the state of things…what would PIV “mean” to you?  what would you imagine that it “meant” to men?  in other words…why do it at all, and is it at all possible that mens and womens “reasons” would differ?

i am just asking.  stay tuned for part 3.

(part 3 is here).


1. sonia - May 9, 2010

what? you mean the sheer power and awesomeness of the violent effects of sex on women aren’t hot? well. clearly I need to set down this handful of Hentai and war video games I’ve been wanking to all day.

oh wait, I’m a woman.

I think that’s why any sort of feminism being equated with something violent like terrorism is so maddening. It’s violent culture that makes men disassociate from themselves, see violent sex as arousing, attack and kill women, feel “powerful” when PIV is this sort of overpowering and wounded experience that women have to “bear.” When men stop equating control and abuse with power and see that power is actually more along the lines of productive and constructive experiences, then real changes will happen.

2. SheilaG - May 9, 2010

Do you really still have to ask why men do this? Men don’t give a damn about women, in the sexual act, women are objects for men.
They don’t think, don’t care, don’t know and never will. You are not dealing with a humane species, you are dealing with a substandard, diseased part of the human species. When women finally awaken to this horrifying realization, feminism will change dramatically.

It is in men’s best interest to sugar coat this, to hide this stuff, to pretend they don’t know. And it is in men’s best interest to see women as objects, because that is the path to genocide, as defined by the United Nations.

3. veganprimate - May 9, 2010

You know, even though I was already with you about PIV, when you turned it around and had all the harm come to men, it really was powerful to read.

Although, at the end, when you talked about men being dirt, that took some of the powerfulness of the message away, b/c obviously, the answer, if men were dirt, was that I’d continue to fuck ’em anyway, b/c I’d be just as brainwashed as the next person.

Of course, that’s the root of the whole problem, isn’t it? Men don’t love women. They don’t care for them or want the best for them or want them to be happy, successful, etc.

This is a great series, FCM!

factcheckme - May 9, 2010

when men “objectify” women, thats not just a word. i know many people use the word, and the fun-fems might give it some lip service, but nobody seems to ever have considered what it is we are talking about, when women are “objectified” by men.

literally, objectification to be is reduced to an object, like a toaster, or a broom. when men objectify women, it means that they regard women as masturbatory devices. as literally objects, to be used. that they want to stick their dicks into us, and ejaculate, and clean themselves off, and leave. when they say “nice tits” or “nice ass” or i would do her or bang her or any of the other disgusting things men say about us, they arent just being “pigs” that like them some poon. they are saying, LITERALLY, that they want to use our tits and our asses as masturbatory devices. that they believe that women are like toasters, or brooms. objects to be used, and used up. and thats it. of course, one of the more disturbing things about “objectification” is that objects have whats called a “useful life” and they can be thrown away when they are used up. that most things literally lose value over time, rather than gaining value. and its not a coincidence that women are treated “like garbage” by men, once they no longer get to fuck them, or once they are too old to be properly fucked.

TOASTER. BROOM. think about it. that is all.

factcheckme - May 9, 2010

veganprimate, i included the part about “dirt” because dworkin writes a whole chapter about it, and i think its imporant if we are to understand the context in which we are engaging (or not engaging) in PIV. and that *is* the whole problem, isnt it? educating men about the harms of PIV isnt going to work, if they mostly think of women as dirt, anyway, as you mentioned. although for me, i am not so sure that i would want anything physically to do with men, if they were regarded as being as filthy as women are regarded to be. i mean really. why would you want to do that?

relatedly, dworkin notes that male circumcision, the number-one “what about teh menzzz!!11!!1” argument advanced by the MRAs (and your average dood too) is only necessary because men are forever burying their dicks in the filth that is women. poor menz, indeed. they *dont* just not fuck us, even though they think we are filthy, with our slime and our crust and our blood and our malodor. why not? this is not a rhetorical question.

4. veganprimate - May 9, 2010

You’re right about objectification, FCM. It has lost its meaning. I had a friend tell me, “I like being objectified. I think most women do.” I said, “No you don’t. And no woman does. What you’re saying is that you like it when men find you attractive. But that’s not objectification. Objectification means that you are no longer a human being in the eyes of someone. You are an object. I guarantee that you don’t like it.”

factcheckme - May 9, 2010

you know, it bothers me greatly that men “hate” women, and i am very sure that there are many, many men who do, and obviously so. but at least as disturbing are the men who “love” women, and even they cannot fathom having a loving relationship with a woman that doesnt include mandatory PIV. even though its so terribly inequitable, and so terribly dangerous, for women.

of course, there are many women who love men, and they love men whether the men love them, or hate them. and all het women are having PIV with men, in the context of their relationships. its horrifying. HORRIFYING to think about.

5. veganprimate - May 10, 2010

I remember when I was in college, I hadn’t had sex, yet (I was 22 when I had sex for the first time), but I was very well read on the subject, and I had masturbated since elementary school. Anyway, I was really bothered by the inequity of intercourse. I knew that most women didn’t orgasm that way, and I really wasn’t thinking about any negatives except that. I felt that it was completely unfair to do that when it wasn’t enjoyable for women. I remember mentioning it to the school counselor. She made it seem like no big deal. Just have the guy give you clitoral stimulation during sex so that you can orgasm. No mention of not having intercourse. It was a requirement.

I remember thinking that I wouldn’t have intercourse with men. I’d just do other things. Well, that didn’t go over so well. When you suggest it to a dude, it’s as if you told him you were going to lock him in a room and not feed him for a month. And frankly, when I was in my 20’s, I just was not a strong person. I caved in. I always got an orgasm, though, but it was almost like I felt I owed them intercourse, since I made them go to the effort to give me an orgasm. Gah, can you believe that shite?

6. sonia - May 10, 2010

veganprimate, you just reminded me of how I would terrorize guys I slept with in high school who didn’t give me an orgasm! Ha ha, hadn’t thought of that in years. Right, they turn into such freaks if they can’t have PIV-on their time, terms, etc. So I’d give it up, but if I didn’t “get mine,” as we so elegantly called it, I’d give them a lecture while we smoked pot or whatever, about how it was fundamental bullshit for him to get off without me getting off. About how would he feel if I got mine and he got nothing and had to sit there and smoke pot and be frustrated. One smart aleck said, “that happens, it’s called blueballs.” anyway, sometimes they’d be convinced after the lecture and offer to help in other ways, but I was usually too pissed off and stoned to really be interested at that point. It’s funny how some women just have that sense of injustice from the gate 🙂 good story btw

factcheckme - May 10, 2010

if there is a straight dude alive who would stay with a woman long-term if she refused to have PIV, i havent heard of it. and i would seriously question whether he was even straight, to begin with, and certainly whether he was being faithful. its THAT ingrained, and THAT mandatory. which is terribly sad, as well as infuriating, because a straight couple could have such a fulfilling sex life that never had to involve PIV, or all the stress that comes with it. they could have guilt- and stress-free orgasms night and day. long make-out sessions like i havent enjoyed since literally *before* i started having PIV with men, because after you start having PIV, why bother making out for hours or weeks or months, right? gah. i used to love that.

an asexual man and a straight, radical feminist would be an interesting match.

factcheckme - May 10, 2010

and you guys are making me laff with your stories. thanks. now you have gone and made me remember one of my pre-PIV relationships, that i hadnt thought about in years, either. i skipped school (10th grade i think) to hang out with him for the day, and we were at his place alone and making out and eating cereal and ramen noodles (there may have been some pot involved too) and i noticed a jar of vaseline on the floor by the bed. i ignored it, and i never had PIV with him, but i think even as a 10th grade virgin i knew that you werent supposed to use vaseline as a vaginal lube. duh. god boys are so fucking stupid, and they just DONT CARE, AT ALL. do they? he was an excellent kisser though. thats what i remember about him, although i shudder now to think that i was alone with him and his fucking vaseline. yuck.

7. mscitrus - May 10, 2010

On the pill: The doctors hand it out like fucking candy. I got on it when I was 14 (cause of shitty cramps) and he didn’t ask about heart conditions or anything. Now that I’m reconsidering intercourse and taking the pill, in my research I find out your chance of stroke “may be increased” if you get migraines. Did the doctor ask if I had migraines? No. Did he look at my medical record, which probably noted that I got them EVERY OTHER DAY in middle school? Fuck no. I still get them once or twice a month. Fucking doctors giving dudes a free pass to PIV. (Because pregnancy is the only problem from PIV that can slightly burden men). And I’m no expert on what shit can be hereditary, but the fact that my mom had a stroke at 20 and has a heart condition says that MAYBE, just MAYBE they should check to see if I have one. I am so pissed at this bullshit.

I’m still conflicted as to whether or not I’m going to have intercourse ever again. I think a lot my hangs up to just giving it up are from social pressure. If I can’t manage to easily give it up with a lover who doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass if we have intercourse, and refuses to have it when I’m undecided or feel bad for not having it, I can’t imagine what it’s like for other women. (I say doesn’t seem to cause you can never 100% know with dudes.) Honestly, I’d say our sex life has been better than ever since we stopped having intercourse. The only thing I miss is being able to finish at the same time. I lack the coordination to do much of anything once I start coming.

Also, yes to long make out sessions. Those are so amazing. I hate how men just STOP all the nice shit once PIV happens. Shows how much they care.

8. sonia - May 10, 2010

I wonder what would happen if the definition of “sex” changed to “successful clitoral orgasm,” and PIV was considered for regeneration purposes only. Like if you wanted a baby, not to get all Catholic or anything, just saying that’s what it’s for.

9. SheilaG - May 10, 2010

Objectify — most fun fems out there and unconscious women think this doesn’t apply to them because they equate this with men being sexually interested in them. It is the eternal insecurity of straight women always wanting “male attention” and they even exhaust me with this nonsense as well. So they don’t know what the word means, and I have to explain that objectify means to make a woman into an object… literally, an object to have sex with.

But again reducing it all to an absense of PIV doesn’t end the idea that men think of women as objects— objects to have sex with, objects to do their housework, cooking, child care, household management 24/7, with no paid vacation or benefits–slave labor is unpaid labor. The whole economy is structured on the unpaid labor of women, the objectification of women. So it’s a much larger issue.

Yesterday, a man talked about the compassion of a 19th century historical figure, how this man tried to aid prostitutes and get women off the streets, in the next breathe, at the end of this, he mentioned in passing his lovely wife who was eye candy. This is how disconnected from women men truly are.

So if women are to end this tyranny, you are talking about trying to train a dog to walk on its hind legs. Or maybe the act of getting a cat to fly. You are dealing with an inherently flawed animal, male, primitive, clueless and I believe they are uneducatable. I see no evidense that they have ever cared about what women think, and now the best they can do is effect some condescending patter about token women in history, or the fact that we have to save the children, but they never mention that they have to save the children from male preditors and men in general.

Women will put up with PIV till the end of time, there will be no change in this whatsoever. We are talking about half the world’s population, where if it actually became radically conscious, that is what men fear. They fear the day all women actually wake up and demand… whatever it is women decide to demand. We all want different things. I want countries with no men in them. Straight women want non-PIV sexuality and for men to stop acting like jerks.
Personally, I’m a whole lot happier with male free zones… seems easiest to me.

10. rechtimbett - May 10, 2010

Great question! So why do men do it? Because they don’t care about women’s well being. But why don’t they care?

Because they’re men and it’s in their genes or something or because they can? Which would either mean that there’s really nothing we can do about it except get rid of them (ideally) or that we would do the same if we were in their position (meaning that there’s something in the human condition that leads humans to think that they’re generally better than other people and deserve to be treated better and therefore others are worth less and deserve to be treated worse).

I like to think that I wouldn’t act the same way if I were in that position but who knows. If I viewed them as worthless, I probably would. But how do you start to think of a group of people as worthless anyway? Of course it’s social conditioning but even that had to start somewhere.

I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something. But I’d really like to know.

factcheckme - May 10, 2010

Re the “why” its tempting to ask and to wonder and ponder and ruminate over it isn’t it? It really is. I would pretty confidently speculate that it was some superstitious bs around menstruation and babies a long time ago, but what happened even before that, where men were clearly regarded as the norm, even then?

The answer has to be, though, that it doesn’t matter why. It *is*, and its not going to change in our lifetimes. So the only question that matters is, what are we going to do with the information we have?

11. SheilaG - May 10, 2010

Seem to me that the first thing to do would be to not engage men. A form of massive ignoring, rejecting. To constantly engage these people after all we now know is insanity. And the whole key to it is just how badly you want freedom? Just what are you willing to tolerate? I know what I don’t tolerate ever. I can only speak for myself.

12. sonia - May 11, 2010

Women are supposed to be in charge of men. Ignoring them won’t make them go away. As has been stated, 50% of the population. If all women started ignoring men, they’d start doing what they originally did to gain our “compliance” and it would be equally horrific. the best thing we can do is assert what we want, and we are on the way to doing it. It is incomplete in stages, but the very presence of blogs like this and UP’s and other women who are still revelating on radical feminism 30 years after it was supposed to have died, and the fact that women like Ayaan Hirsi Ali are writing books denouncing the way women are treated, women are doing so much to proclaim our primacy, our importance. Sometimes I get frustrated with this separatism. Again, you have your separatism at the expense of other women on the front lines. Someone has to deal with men directly. We do it for you as well as us. Acting superior towards het women about it is not cool, and is pretty unfeminist.

13. sonia - May 11, 2010

sorry, FCM, it just seems like there are a few blogs right now where certain women come to just proclaim the glory of separatism and make subtle jabs at feminist women who haven’t chosen the same. I’m sick and tired of reading these long conversion manifestas over and over and over. Yes, some of us are still going about our everyday lives and fighting for our rights. we’re not all sitting on a compound drinking yak butter and massaging each other’s shoulders. that would be great, but there are real issues to deal with and I’m sick of being typed down to because everyone’s not exactly the same. stay on topic, chickens. puhleeze. recognize it’s too late to just run off into the woods. we have to work with men, like it or not, because there are so damn many of them.

14. luz mary - May 11, 2010

I think women have confuse getting pleasure from PIV from the pleasure they get from GIVING pleasure. Does that make sense? We are always trying to make others happy aren’t we?

If most het women are honest with themselves and really think about it ….the in and out action of PIV is really not that enjoyable in itself. Why do we do it? I am not sure.As a married woman I have thought long and hard about Piv sex and how it plays a part in a marriage.I remember reading somewhere were cervical cancer often lead to divorce. Considering that cervical cancer is usually caused by Piv , I was very angry that even wives have no value if their vagina are not in proper working order. Forget about vows and children, hopes and plans for the future… if your pussy dont work, you gotta go. Of course, I like to think that “my nigel” would never to that to me,but who the fuck am I fooling?

15. rainsinger - May 11, 2010

So the only question that matters is, what are we going to do with the information we have?
Men have one big advantage, they ‘bond’ with each other against women. They stand up for each other, right or wrong. Women never do that for each other. We are socially conditioned against it.

In short, its not relationships with men, that will ever bring change. Its developing relationships with women.

factcheckme - May 11, 2010

well, considering that around the world, very few women even have the option of seperating from men, or of disengaging from PIV for that matter, it does seem very elitist to discuss it, and certainly to demand it. but i think its a question that needs asking: if western privileged women who do have these options (to whatever degree we might have them) arent choosing these things, WHY arent they choosing them? clearly, it would eliminate much of the problem as far as DV and unwanted preganancy goes. but sheila’s life frankly doesnt appeal to me on many other levels. she said she stopped going to school for example, where i always knew from the time i was a child that i wanted to finish school and to work in the field in which i am working now. men run academia. men run the licensing boards. men run the world, and they would only be too happy, really, to have women disengage from thier world in certain ways because it leaves more resources for them, to share amongst themselves. and most men would still be having PIV even if most women disengaged from it, or from them, one way or another. they would still prostitute women. they would still rape.

so, i suppose that these blogs are really kind of aimed at western privileged feminists and feminist supporters (and our trolls) but even they need to get their fucking heads out of the sand in certain ways. and i have never asked women to disengage from PIV, not once. like dworkin described, i too am compassionate towards women and the “choices” we make, because the context in which we make them is so fucked up. and i personally appreciate sheilas perspective very much, because it reminds me that there is another way, and that some women have built communities of women and are doing well. good on them. it helps to disengage the mind from men, and imagine its possible, especially when dissecting and discussing PIV. i dont know whether there will be any long-term positive consequences to this blog for example, but many women have thanked me for what i am doing here, and that means something.

just my thoughts this a.m.

16. rainsinger - May 11, 2010

And such great thoughts they are too, FCM:)
Sometimes I think you have to separate the *personal*, from the *political*. Nobody has to follow Sheila, or me or anybody else. Women aren’t made from cookie-cutters, we are not “one-size-fits-all” ( Thank the Goddess – Diversity is better than Uniformity – No?), any more than Black people struggling against racism are all alike, marching in lock-step., particularly in their personal lives.
I was thinking more in a *political* context, rather than a *personal* life context. Its a multi-generational thing. Its fine to re-vision, re-visit and re-evaluate your personal life-choices, and thats very important – Hooray for ‘consciousness-raising’. Thats where I see the value in blogs like yours, FCM. You give space for women to think, to “connect-the-dots” of feminist political theory and analysis, with the reality of their own lives. Personal growth is great, but is, in the end, just one step.
For example, I see separatism, much as many other choices by women, (where choices do exist, as they don’t for the majority of the world’s women) as a *personal* coping strategy. Not a political ‘solution’ at all. Whatever makes your life easier to bear under patriarchy is a “coping mechanism”, and separatism – where available — is one such option that helps *some* individual women cope better with their lives. So does the availability of safe abortion/contraception etc. So did the long struggle for access to paid work, despite all the continuing discrimination in the workplace. Its not a ‘solution’, its not even a ‘Right’ – and often, women aren’t the ones “choosing” either – but its certainly a better option than lack of alternatives. Such rights of access, help women cope in the here-and-now, but they are no *political* solution, and don’t do diddly squat for women’s liberation from male supremacy.
Politically? At some point – Women-as-a-class, or group of oppressed peoples, must do like other groups of oppressed peoples have done, if they really want lasting social change. They have to organise themselves, and unite “in numbers too big to ignore” – and that means putting many of our *personal* life coping strategies aside, to unite on common political ground. To me, I may be pessimistic, but that is so many generations away – if ever. The one thing, that male supremacy does very well – is Divide-and-Conquer.
In the meantime, raising awareness of possibilities for *personal* life-strategies, sharing our stories, and coping mechanisms, is probably the best we can do. Mary Daly’s view, for the longer-term was to build on Female Friendships – build small woman-centred communities, to network with other such communities, and grow a “movement”, so that one day – we will be “in numbers too big to ignore”.

factcheckme - May 11, 2010

i might as well clarify what my intentions are here then, since it seems relevant to this discussion. for me, the reason i launched this blog in the first place is that i was fucking sick and tired of the lefty liberal dickwads and the self-identified “progressive” and democratic elite, who are sick, pornified assholes and outspoken, unabashed misogynists, just like everyone else. this made me furious, when i realized it was true. this is what happened over at newsvine, an allegedly liberal-stronghold owned by MSNBC where the liberal elites who had time on their hand went to discuss the conservatives and how fucked up the conservatives are. oh, and “free peach!” issues. pro-porn etc always came up. loretta and i went toe to toe with these jackasses for months, until i was finally suspended for a week for calling one of them names. so much for free peaches right?

and once i started this blog, i spent a lot of time on the other feminist blogs to see how they were doing it, and what they were talking about. and dropping some links etc. and damned if the fucking self-identified “feminists” werent fucking lying their asses off too! i was outraged. the intellectual dishonesty of the fun-fem blogs, largely due to issues of trans, not unimportantly, absolutely set my hair on fire. damn damn damn! everyone is fucking lying, and everyone is insane. the fun-fem logic fail was too much for me to take.

so, my goal here is not to change the world, really. my goal, in one way, is very narrow: to take aim at the intellectual dishonesty of modern “progressives” and pomo feminsts and gender-blenders, and pull the trigger. they are fucking LYING, and i am telling the truth. or at least, i try to avoid blatant logic-fails, whenever i can. thats all.

in another way, my goals are broad, because its the western privilege of these pomo liars and logically-challenged children (gah!) that is informing much of their politics, and the gender-blenders too. and together, they are taking the focus off of born-women, and cutting the ties to born-women, which we all share. women around the world are oppressed based on their born-sex, not on thier gender. how can you tell? its a reasonable question to ask. the answer, of course, is that the number-one signifier world-wide (and throughout history) of being “female” is being oppressed and sequestered by your male relatives, and being married off and impregnated, whether you like it or not. it has nothing to do with what you wear, or think, or believe, or feel.

and PIV has everything, yes EVERYTHING to do with this. that cannot be ignored. so the sex-pozzies are lying thier fucking asses off too, when they say and do what they say and do, and call it “feminist.” its not feminist. its sex-pozzie. thats all.

i just want to take these pomo liars down a notch, and tell the fucking truth. and i would love it if something else happened as a result of that. but, you know, i cant control everything. this is really just a hobby that i enjoy, and i am lucky enough to be able to make the time to do it. FOR NOW. that might change.

factcheckme - May 11, 2010

also, i would like to call attention to the fact that things have really changed in the last 10 years. i took my eye off the ball for one fucking minute (ok 10 years) and this is what has happened to feminism! i cant just let that slide. this isnt right. its no longer interested in whats true, and whats good for women, as a sexual class, around the world. incomprehensibly, we have let men into the movement, and this is the result (DUH). its no longer women-focused, and now we have feminists (feminsits!) crying, along with the MRAs, what about teh menzzzz!!!11!! its sickening, really. i am old enough to remember when this wasnt the case, and many young women arent. i am just telling stories by the campfire (KIND OF) but jogging our collective memories cant hurt can it? there are a few others out there like me, and its no coincidence that most of them are my age, or older. people “forget” and have “short memories” because they are not the same people who were around, before. they are new here, and they dont know any better.

17. SheilaG - May 11, 2010

Well yes, stories around the camp fire are necessary, because a lot of us out there formed women only groups, organizations, rape crisis centers, bookstores, publishing companies, health clinics, bars, restaurants and other feminist inspired organizations for decades upon decades. And I don’t see separatism as a luxury, I see it as a necessity for women. When men came into feminism, it cost us.
When the spotlight was taken off of women it cost us. Just the use of that damn word “gender” cost us!

Just to set the record lesbian, I completed my education, and never would have dropped out of school. I just didn’t feel the need for a degree beyond a four year university. I was excited about getting out and working and building a career, but continued my studies, reading everything, attending seminars, and now I teach frequently myself where needed, including at the university level– with far better reviews from students I might add than the “tenured” on staff at those places.

Separatism is about degrees. How do you spend a day? 24 hours, right? How many hours of this day are devoted to the best interests of women? How you divide up this day, is about the varying degrees of time alloted to women. So I look at separatism by degrees.

Lesbian separatists have done a huge amount of highly productive work over the decades. And we have pushed the envelope of feminism from exclusively het women’s concerns to something far larger, the freedom of women worldwide. This intellectual freedom was so powerful, that even today the great separatists like Daly and Raymond and all the other lesbian academics I know who run women only organizations and groups, continue to produce. We produce visionary material, we live in different galaxies of the mind. All of this is very hard to explain to heteronormative women, who wouldn’t even be able to imagine the lives we have carved out for ourselves.

You might say lesbian nation was a profound artistic and political endeavor. That said, I believe we are returning bit by bit to a more radical center, if you will. We are seeing what happens when men come into feminism, and when male leftist politics goes unchecked.
We are seeing the menace of transwomen out to destroy all that radical feminism built, while liberal pomos, sex pozzies etc. cluelessly derail sisterhood in favor of, you guessed it, men or former men.

If quite a lot of western women do have choices, why aren’t they more powerfully executed? Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s story should give all western women pause. We need to look to the ordinary, and I believe some of the best feminism on earth is coming out of Arab countries, out of women fed up with brutal male supremacy, in a way American women will never know.

All I can say is, when straight women really wake up, and really get it, we’ll have a better world. It really is up to straight women to do this, because us lesbian separatists are a teeny tiny minority. We hear straight women complain about men day in and day out. We watch straight women suffer in badly paid jobs, with kids in tow, barely getting by. Every day, I see women in grocery stores, with children clinging to them, faces already worn down, faces looking like age 38 instead of age 23.

So the lesbian separatist voice is a very powerful voice of hope. We just celebrated the life of Mary Daly, and watched her memorial service via webcast. There was a vision of effortless separatism, and an entire generation of lesbian genius for all to see.

We do have a choice. Feminism is not an option for me. It is not something you opt in and out of as fashion dictates. It is a lifetime commitment to freedom, the kind of commitment Susan B. Anthony and Mary Daly had. The kind of raw courage Andrea Dworkin had.

Young women have plenty of access to older women who were on the front lines. I consider myself in the middle group between old lesbians and young ones, a person who saw all the work lesbians did on behalf of straight women, from the underground abortion clinic days, to pro-choice activism, to nursing, to creation of women’s clinics for all women. Everytime I see separatism dissed by straight feminists, it just makes me wonder.

The real power of radical feminism is in its goal of waking up women worldwide, and that my dear sisters is what men fear night and day. They fear the day, women will literally walk out of the catholic church and never come back. They fear the loss of our slave (I mean volunteer) labor. They fear we will refuse to have children at all. They fear we will rise in numbers so large that men won’t know what hit them. Men fear women’s sexual choices that change the very rules of the game.

I can only sit on the sidelines and watch as women try to recover from the sex pozzie mania, or wake up one day and realize they wasted a lifetime on men who treated them badly. Or perhaps the saddest thing, women wasted the opportunity they had to bond with women in collective radical creativity. Ultimately, I am a product of collective lesbian groups, and integrated groups of straight women and lesbians. We built many things, with small numbers — maybe 15-30 women at a time. It wasn’t some grand non-profit or a 100 woman enterprise. Our work was small, but we did unite and feel unparalleled sisterhood within our radical lesbian groupings.

And I’m sure our commitment to each other sexually and intellectually and spiritually fueled this inspiration, as it does every minute I am with my lesbian sisters. All women who come here, build your own small community — go out and find 15 women to work with or unite with. Don’t just stay in Internet isolation. Sisterhood is a verb to paraphrase Mary Daly, it is meant to be active.

Separatism is simply one aspect that is congenial to lesbians, who for practicality sake want to find other lesbians, and it’s far easier to do this within separatism. It is our cultural solutions that might be of help to struggling straight women. Who knows?

factcheckme - May 11, 2010

I just want to tell the truth. Is that so wrooooong? Haha. snl reference. Honestly, I just want people who call themselves progressives, libs, dems, and feminists to stop fucking lying to themselves, and others. Thats what I want today. Maybe tomorrow I will have lofty ideals like you peeps. You all rock, BTW.

18. SheilaG - May 11, 2010

I can’t speak to the plethora of “feminists” out there. All I can say is that liberals, democrats, progressives, socialists and even anarchists present the male agenda of change. With them it’s always about groups, which don’t really include the central issues for women worldwide.

The central issues of women worldwide, is that largely, they live with men, are subject to sexual colonization by men, and there are no domestic progressive agendas that I know of that really deal with this.

Rape in the home, domestic non-paid servitude, forced pregnancy and sex act that have nothing to do with what make women happy– it is the only colonization worldwide where the oppressed are forced to live with and have sex with their oppressors. That’s the bottom line.

Until this reality is addressed up front and center, and so-called progressive groups really get what this means, those outside “political” worlds have nothing to do with the misery of women all over the world, a misery that is so different from what men suffer, that there are almost no words for it.

Fun fems and dems etc. can funny it up or pretty it up all they want, but the bottom line remains unchanged. As I said before, I’m a tiny minority on the world stage. So it is up to the majority of women worldwide to decide what to do. I can only model at a certain type of feminism, a certain type of life that is joyous and prosperous and lovely. Most women have to be badly brainwashed into believing my way of life won’t work for them, brainwashed to have sex with men from the day they are born. And there has to be constant propaganda telling women to have kids, live with men, give up their youth and intellectual abilities in support of this system of men rule, women clean up.

FCM, I don’t know why all these groups don’t plainly put it. I don’t know why so-called progressive men could care less that men kill, rape, pornify and enslave women. They don’t care, they care more for the right to pornify, than for the victims of pornography. They want to end the sexual trafficking of women, but refuse to name who is doing this to women and children.

I don’t know how fun feminists came to be. I don’t know why transwomen are clueless about basic female biology and what this really means to be born into this.

All I can say is, I’ve been watching this very sorry state of affairs of women for a long time. I don’t even know why most women like men. I really don’t.

factcheckme - May 11, 2010

Actually, expecting the liberal dickwads I mean dems not to lie is very lofty indeed. The only ones out of the group I have any hope for really are the feminists. So this is all really frustrating, as you can imagine.

factcheckme - May 11, 2010

Well, as hank hill said on “king of the hill” affirmative action is all well and good until some white guy loses his job. The lefty liberal dickwads support women’s rights precisely in whatever amount necessary to get dem women to fuck them. They are completely uninterested in giving up their hookers and porn, and god help anyone who tells them that piv in and of itself is a problem. No, that’s where they draw the line. The truth is completely irrelevant.

19. SheilaG - May 12, 2010

Well yes, in patriarchy, truth really is irrelevant. In the U.S., truth is only squeezed out of the guys under oath, which means if they are not under oath and not liable for perjury, they will lie with impunity.
That is the bottom line with American men.

20. m Andrea - May 12, 2010

You’re right about objectification, FCM. It has lost its meaning. I had a friend tell me, “I like being objectified. I think most women do.”

Funfems and misogynists tend to conflate “objectification” with “worship”. Which shouldn’t be all that surprising, really. Patriarchy always takes something which is inherently oppressive, and pretends that it’s empowering.

This post was so… discombobulating, that I dissociated all the way through it. Or something. In some indefinable way, the situation for womyn seems to be getting worse. Women keep finding new ways to invert misogyny on it’s head and pretend it’s just men loving them extra-special. Anyway:

If all women started ignoring men, they’d start doing what they originally did to gain our “compliance” and it would be equally horrific.

Not true and stop saying that, please. We will never achieve world domination with that attitude! Men cannot make the game too obvious lest the facade crack and women perceive men as the psychopaths they are, which would immediately trigger the last thing men want: a search for an alternative. There is no reason for any het woman to “work with men” — that is patriarchal propaganda not wanting you to even DREAM about alternatives.

21. m Andrea - May 12, 2010

Oh fuck that. Really. Sonia is here doing clean up duty for the MRA’s as a Men’s Rights Advocate, lol. Do men feel the need to say they “work with” women even as they use you for masturbatory objects? Then why would you say it? That’s the kind of thing peons always say, it makes them think they are a “colleague” of the boss instead of a doormat.

But thanks, because now I know where that remark of yours originates, the one I quoted. It comes from MRAssociates.

1) Insist that her feelings are hurt by reminders about separatism.
2) Ask that comments be reframed like so.
3) Mention that worse injustice exists somewhere else.
4) Mention that we’re not doing doing feminism right.
5) Mention that patriarchy is womyn’s only option.
6) Tell a story, so it won’t notice you’re concern trolling.

Did I leave any out?

22. m Andrea - May 12, 2010

7) Claim to be a feminist who has never seen an MRA bingo card.

factcheckme - May 12, 2010

sorry you found the post to be discombobulating ms a. thats pretty harsh criticism for a writer, actually, that what they wrote was so confusing that it caused a reader to leave their body. wow! and i assume that you actually tried to understand it, and wanted to understand it. really, you havent said you didnt understand it, just that it caused you to become disoriented. which is interesting. possibly relatedly, this post is getting alot of traffic, but the comments are slow. polly isnt here which accounts for much of it, but probably not all. so….did anyone else find this one confusing/discombobulating? and if so, did you try reading them in order (part one first?)

note to readers: if you see a white light, do NOT go into it. this post might just need a few edits, to make it more clear. not sure yet, but DO NOT GO INTO THE LIGHT. that is all.

factcheckme - May 12, 2010

also, re “working with” men…i think its pretty obvious that seperatism is not an option for most women, world wide. so maybe working “among” men or in spite of them is the better wording, and i am not completely convinced thats not what sonia meant. she can clarify, if she thinks she was misread. but that being the case, the people who are doing the best work in terms of actually helping women and reducing female pain in real time are the people who are developing vaginal antimicrobal gels, for example, so that women in africa can have their mandatory PIV but not get AIDS from it. this is far from revolutionary, though, in that it doesnt challenge mens entitlement to PIV in the first place. but in another way its very revolutionary, in that it acknowleges women and the REALITY they live in, and successfully mitigates female pain, womens suffering.

i hesitate to feel superior to anyone who is actually helping women, when i am just sitting here on this blog and “consciousness raising” for a bunch of pro-feminists who already have it pretty good, by comparison. i dont think there will be a successful revolution, in my lifetime, or in any future generation i can currently imagine. as i said, i just want people who call themselves “feminists” to get off the fucking mind-altering substances, and to stop lying. we arent going to get anywhere, if the people who are in charge of “womens liberation” and feminist theory are drinking the MRA kool aid, and they ALL ARE.

again, you peeps have some lofty ideals. god bless you, really.

23. m Andrea - May 12, 2010

FCM, no, it was because the post was so frickin’ good, made me little head spin, it did. It makes it a little too obvious men are just psychopaths, sorry I wasn’t more clear that it was utter brilliance.

factcheckme - May 12, 2010

Haha. Ok then, carry on.

24. m Andrea - May 12, 2010

My head is just a little too full right now, trying to make sense of a few too many different ideas all vying for my attention, and apparently my synapses were (and are still) overloaded. Plus I hadn’t eaten all day and was exhausted. I thought I was going to come over here and read a nice easy blog post and some nice peeps and instead I find my brain on the floor. Shame on you, LOL. 🙂

25. m Andrea - May 12, 2010

Almost every one of SheilaG’s comments I get the urge to print out and frame, btw.

factcheckme - May 12, 2010

Well I did warn you that it was a downer. If you or anyone else needs some levity, search “miracle whip” in the sidebar, and watch the new miracle whip commercials. They are really stupid. And I laughed to myself when I was writing the “glod” post. Anything under the trans category will be funny, by definition. Good luck.

26. m Andrea - May 12, 2010

And if that if *my* reaction, then imaging how the vanilla girls feel. I’m a feminazi, fer gawd’s sake. Normally, I am not surprised when contemplating how much men objectify women, but this one I could have probably used a trigger warning for some odd and inexplicable reason. WARNING: THIS POST MAY CAUSE TOTAL BRAIN FAILURE.

I’m non-heterosexual, if I’ve never mentioned that before. Men repulse me, but even beyond that automatic reaction I used to spend much time trying to determine if they repulsed me because of my childhood (developed EARLY and the assholes never ever never left me alone and I saw first hand the nature of their two-faced bullshit) or was I sexually attracted to them (because hey everybody is supposed to be het, right?) and I just didn’t want to admit it. But no, no real sexual attraction. It was easier to figure out I was non-lesbian because there’s no social pressure, so where does that leave me? This place is mostly for lesbians, but I enjoy reading anyway.

About the post: the greeks had a name for the love between equals (philia or brotherly love). They also used eros for lust and they even had a special name for the love they showed to the family pet and general servant — storge. Notice who gets the love between equals and who is loved like a dog. Well, the year is now 2010 and they still haven’t changed.

27. m Andrea - May 12, 2010

And if I’m non-heterosexual then why did I have such a strong reaction to this post? Is it only because I’m a product of all that crappy socialization from which I thought I’d already deprogrammed myself? Or do I have some latent vestigial heterosexuality? Apologies for being so plebian, but eeewwww.

Sex is supposed to be an intimate act, and sometimes it’s supposed to be the ultimate expression of love. Het women nigel the hell out of it, sex and love have been so conflated over the years. Women in stable relationships prefer to believe that whatever else men may think of them, at least men will never stop “loving” them. Your post clearly shows that “love-making” between a male and female isn’t even close to matching the social narrative. Even that is an Orwellian hatefest masquerading as the last chance women have to be truly loved by men.

Damn post blew my fucking mind, and you thought I didn’t like it. LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

28. veganprimate - May 12, 2010

It was easier to figure out I was non-lesbian because there’s no social pressure

Oh, I disagree. There is a serious amount of social pressure AGAINST it. I remember when I was younger (like my 20’s), and I was questioning things. I kept getting these little promptings from somewhere, like a little voice that would ask me every so often, “Hey, did you ever think you might be a lesbian?” So, I decided to sit down and really think about it. I came up with the answer pretty quickly. The answer was no. And I remember the feeling I had immediately was immense relief. “Whew! Glad that’s over with. Now I can be normal.” But it wasn’t true. I was just kidding myself.

Anyway, it can be a difficult thing to figure out for some people, b/c sexuality is a complicated thing. I also think it is possible to choose one’s sexuality, although I know a lot of people would disagree. I don’t know about men. They seem more hardwired, but women seem more softwired.

As for separatism, I think that it’s obviously true that it won’t work for every single woman, but I also feel that it really is doable for every woman in a westernized, developed nation. I don’t expect Afghani women to be separatists, for example. But a woman who is college educated, has a job that pays a living wage, etc. can be a separatist. Just b/c you’re straight doesn’t mean you can’t separate. Sex isn’t a need. Partnering up isn’t even natural. And I would say that with a little creativity, even the women who are the worst off in the westernized, developed countries could do it. There’s no reason to get married to some dude b/c you have a minimum wage job and/or kids. Two or three women could get together and rent a house, for example. If women would stop looking to men to be their saviours and started looking to each other, it would be awesome.

29. mscitrus - May 12, 2010

About men being more hardwired, I’d guess that’s because they aren’t conditioned to be attracted to or interested in men for sex. Women, on the other hand, get the dominant heterosexual narrative AND see all the hypersexualized potrayals of women that are directed at men. I think women are affected by those not just in the “I wish I looked that hot” sense, but in that they see women as sexual and sexually available. Super sexualized dudes, though, are pretty rare, so it doesn’t have that effect on dudes. Because the narrative everywhere is woman = sex, AND the narrative for women is marriage + PIV or bust. So, we’re more likely to be “open” to wanting different sexes. Gah, sorry if this is confusing, I’m having a shitty week here.

Sexuality is so fucking complicated. Mine never made sense to me, because I bounce back and forth between being attracted to women and men. My best guess is that I’m turned on by certain personality traits and intelligence, because I’ve never really thought anyone was attractive without meeting them personally. Which definitely would explain why I was only attracted to women for the longest time, since most men are stupid dickwads. And after I start crushing on someone, I’m only attracted to people of that person’s sex and general “type” or just that person. If someone I thought was mega hot does something douchey, suddenly they are ugly as hell to me. Fuck if I know what to call my orientation.

And yes, I dig the idea of several women renting a house and maybe sharing childcare etc etc as needed.

30. Summer - May 12, 2010

FCM, I just want to address your observation that this post is getting a lot of traffic, but not many comments. I can only speak for myself, of course, but I am an avid reader of your blog who, up to this point, has refrained from commenting simply because I am listening and learning, reading and re-reading, thinking, and being profoundly affected by what you’re discussing and exploring here. I can’t thank you enough for these posts on Dworkin. I am a female and a feminist in my 30’s, and — can you believe it? — this is actually my very first exposure to radical feminist ideas. I personally have not found the posts confusing — just challenging to pretty much every norm that I have taken for granted my whole life, and for that I am delighted and grateful. Still too early in my education, however, to have much to contribute. So . . . I just wanted to say hi and let you know that I’m out here . . . and I hope the bulk of your non-commenting traffic is made up of others like me, who, although silent, are being inspired and changed by your work.

Thanks to all who comment here.

factcheckme - May 12, 2010

Summer, thanks for reading, and for posting. I don’t actually have the time to even be doing this, and if I was getting no traffic, I hate to say it, but I would probably stop. I don’t think I would be one of those super committed diarists who would happily blog away, regardless. As long as there is a demand for this stuff, I will try to provide it. And yes, it does make my heart a little glad, ok a lot, but frankly I am tired. Very tired. It’s a good thing you guys have a sense of humor, is all I can say about that.

factcheckme - May 12, 2010

Ms a, I never got the memo about this being a place mostly for lesbians. What does that even mean? And since I have you here, have you read the “glod” post? I think you would appreciate it. The experience of venn-diagramming in anger was so overwhelmingly hilarious that I think everyone should try it. And I know you are a big fan of teh logic. See what you think. It’s right behind this series, in the sidebar.

31. Violet - May 12, 2010

…and I’d like to second Summer’s post. Both you and Miska have interesting blogs that are giving me plenty to chew over and consider, but I don’t really feel qualified to comment much beyond that at the moment.

32. Rachel - May 12, 2010

Almost every one of SheilaG’s comments I get the urge to print out and frame, btw.

Same here. Whoever she is, we should be friends.

33. Rachel - May 12, 2010

P.S. A friend linked to Part 1 on Facebook, so that could be a source of increased traffic.

34. Level Best - May 12, 2010

Educated, westernized women are among those for whom it would be possible, in theory, to become separatists, but every day since our births has been full of heterosexual/religious/social/commercial indoctrination and thus it is unlikely that more than a tiny, tiny fraction of the “possibles” will ever cross the line. It won’t happen.

As I have said elsewhere, though, radical feminist separatists are women’s North Star. All women can steer by them, no matter where they end up, and not be steered wrong. Separatist theory is immensely important, although pretty much all of its partakers will by circumstance or preference or both fall short of achieving much of it. Any part of it that women DO achieve, however, is a net gain. Exposure to radical feminism separatism is important.

What I believe is that much improvement to women’s rights and lives can be gained as a result of “fall out” from radical feminist separatism. It offers immense relief to those few who are able and, once exposed to the theory, willing to live by its lights. Many who will take only part of the theory to heart will nonetheless live better lives and inspire better lives.

Basically I think that those of us who are allowed to vote throughout the world need to vote for women and women’s issues. I have read at political blogs that once 30% of a country’s legislators are female, even if many are female conservatives, the tone of the women’s treatment in the country improves. We CAN aim for that and should aim for that–more women in law and politics. And we need to vigorously get the vote out.

35. veganprimate (who is not logged in at work) - May 12, 2010

And yes, I dig the idea of several women renting a house and maybe sharing childcare etc etc as needed.

Well, yes. The problem is, when women rely on men…especially women with children who are in lower income brackets, instead of getting helped, they end up pregnant again, and then when the dude leaves (which he almost always does), she is stuck with even more children, and there is a net loss, not a gain.

You live with a woman or women, you won’t end up pregnant (unless you still have dalliances with men).

36. mscitrus - May 12, 2010

Oh shit, I can’t believe I didn’t think of that part. Probably didn’t because of my class privilege. No pregnancy seems to be one of the most obvious benefits. Thank you for pointing that out.

The fact women are pretty much always stuck with children, whether they can support them or not, is part of what pisses me off SO MUCH about MRAs whining about women getting custody. They make it out to always be a good thing. (Dudes don’t understand the reality of women’s lives? Whodathunk.) Most men just don’t give a shit about their children and women have to pick up the slack.

Even if someone continued to have sex with men (which is likely, considering conditioning), the other women might be available to help out financially for an abortion or plan B (depending on income of course). Perhaps wrongly, but I have a feeling a dude would be more hesitant to hit or bully his girlfriend if there’s one or more other women around.

37. SheilaG - May 12, 2010

Wommin saying my comments should be framed… 🙂

Of course not all women will be separatists or even partialists. That’s not the point of anything visionary. Separatism is a philosophy and way of life that has gradations. It opens up genuine economic possibilities and creative potential in women.

In western societies now, we have more chances at separatism than ever before. In 19th century Britain, fully 65% of the women involved in radical suffrage organizations were single women.

So in my mind, how badly do women really want freedom? Again, it’s about gradation. You can choose jobs that will increase separatism, you can live with groups of women sharing rent/mortgage/food costs.
Two women sharing resources will get a lot more out of life than one.
Three women or four women banding together can be amazing.

Separatism is a hope, a vision, to wake women up worldwide. It is the end of tyranny as we know it. It is no accident that in the last 40 some years in the U.S. the lesbian population has exploded. Again, once we got out in the streets and created this theory, more women (no surprise there) suddenly realized they were lesbians.

Lesbian presence and power in separatist theory and practice is undeniable. We have created an enormous practical and theoretical body of work. This work is there for all women who long for real change, and men fear the day women walk in large numbers, just as factory owners fear the day a union comes to town.

Men don’t stand a chance to a united women’s revolution and they know it. The question I always have, is why are women so isolated, when they could be so much more prosperous banding together, either as lovers or for sisterhood? So I feel intense love for my lesbian sisters, and a sisterhood with straight women.

We need not worry about whether women are conservative or liberal, because the 30% Level Best talked about radically changes the power equation. I’m not worried about what women’s politics really are, because I know where I’m situated— not a moderate, not a woman who ever lives with men– that’s a conservative choice, and a valid one for women who lack the ability to do something different.

What separatism holds out is hope, real hope. What lesbians hold out is our inimitable ability to be creative in a largely boring heteronormative world, filled with women who are asleep or afraid.
We are not afraid, certainly I don’t fear men, because I’m rarely with them. They hold no allure for me, and I developed my profession so that they are pretty much not there. It was a lot easier than most women might think to do this, very easy in fact.

But I wasn’t interested in what I didn’t want, I was interested in all the ways I can bond and be with women. All the ways I loved women and felt a depth of inspiration among women. It was this inspiration, this lesbian nation, this all women’s legacy that is the power.

I suppose a lot of 30 something women can feel gloomy these days, but to me, I found heaven on earth. I got what I wanted, I helped make my own life possible. Our activism created something powerful.
It is up to the 30 somethings to move it forward. It is up to the 20- somethings to do better than we did, and I have every confidense that if they are fueled by the erotic power of women, they can move mountains.

This strong sexual component, breaking the terrible taboo of women touching women, as Mary Daly described, fuels a kind of energy, a power, a confidense that is very hard to describe to straight women.
One can be transformed by a dance, by this sense that men don’t exist on a deeply sexual level or on an intellectual level, and I always embrace both simultaneously. It is our inherent power as lesbians, we carry our culture with us throughout time.

We invite all women to consider what freedom from men might actually bring to them — riches beyond belief, the finest wine, the most tender encounter… I don’t know. Just think and discover what is best for you, most powerful for you. Just don’t use up all the energy in service of men, or use the excuse that you can’t make a fantastic living without men present at all. Men don’t control all the wealth or all the business knowledge or all the history. And the more women embrace the desire for self-sufficiency, the greater the benefits that will flow to all women.

But first it starts with the simple realization that once upon a time, we were not born slaves, and if we can’t remember this time, then invent it. Invent the world you want women. We’ll sort out the details as we go along.

factcheckme - May 12, 2010

So I opened up my spam folder today to see what kind of festering excrement was left in there, and lo and behold, a festering turd I did find. I might copy and paste the part where he mansplains to me how piv is not directly causative of gestational diabetes etc due to the availability of contraceptives. Firstly, I would direct him to a fucking dictionary and invite him to look up gestational. And directly. And causative. Anyone else care to take a stab at this troll?

factcheckme - May 13, 2010

and i mean “mansplained” in the most literal sense, as i believe that this particular poster is a transwoman. and sex-pozzie, of course.

38. mscitrus - May 13, 2010

God I am sorry FCM. Mansplainers are the primary reason I’m grateful for having little blog traffic. I’ll take a stab at him.

When a man and a woman “love” each other, they are mandated to have sexual intercourse which can result in sperm fertilizing an egg. Which results in pregnancy. But seriously, we’re not your mommies. You should know where babies come from.

No contraceptives are 100% effective, you dolt. Though, I’m sure your mention of contraceptives is very useful to poor women and women in countries where basic medical care, let alone contraceptives, are unavailable. Which is a pretty fucking large proportion of the world. And did you TOTALLY miss the part of FCM’s post, too, that talks about all the risk factors of contraceptives? Jesus christ. Sometimes I think people HAVE to be delibrately stupid to not get some things. Gah.

factcheckme - May 13, 2010

thanks msc. i am sure it *is* deliberate, and i appreciate it very much that there are people here who read these posts, and the comments too, and think about whats being said, whether they ever comment here or not. deliberately misreading this stuff is so politically motivated, and so disingenuous, because the fact of the matter is that its not fucking brain surgery. i like to think that i create pretty easy posts actually. not baby stuff, as it were, but its not that fucking hard to understand, assuming i am doing my job. and thats to communicate these concepts clearly so that someone with an average intelligence could understand whats being said. and i dont care if anyone “agrees” with me or not, because these arent even opinion pieces, as far as i am concerned. this isnt fucking “spin.” i am using the commonly accepted definitions of words, and diagramming my proofs when necessary (again, see the “glod” post for more on that). if someone cant get from a to b to c, then its because they dont want to. its as simple as that. and i am sure they have their reasons. which is important to understand, BTW. they have reasons.

factcheckme - May 13, 2010

oh, and on “reasons”, a sex-pozzie transwoman would certainly have a few reasons for saying that PIV doesnt cause pregnancy. because *she* has PIV, and a man sticking his dick into her would never make *her* pregnant! and she is all woman, honey. but she doesnt have a vagina, see how that works? her logic i mean wishful-thinking agenda-pushing: “i have PIV and i will never get pregnant, therefore PIV doesnt cause pregnancy, something else causes it, yes thats it!” reality: its not PIV when she does it, because PIV means “penis in vagina” and she doesnt have one.

sorry, dickwad, but thats a stone-cold FAIL.

factcheckme - May 13, 2010

and a non-trans man (meaning just a regular man) would also have every reason in the world to assert that PIV doesnt cause any problems for women. his reasons are pretty obvious though (he wants to keep fucking women, with their “consent” preferably so he doesnt go to jail). transwomens reasons are a little more convoluded, but exactly as self-serving, to born-womens detriment. EXACTLY. AS. in fact, the similarities are uncanny. this isnt a coincidence.

39. polly - May 13, 2010

Hmm you can’t get much more direct causation than PIV and pregnancy I’d wager. As in, barring IVF and artificial insemination by Turkey Baster, or being impregnated by the holy spirit (which I believe has only happened once) it’s more or less required.

40. mscitrus - May 13, 2010

You’re welcome FCM. The delibrate misreading or outright ignoring the select parts of radfem arguments really pisses me off. People hate whenever you bring up messy facts like pregnancy, STDs and just how intercourse is thought of. The idea that they don’t have any privileges over trans women don’t have any privileges over us is ridiculous, really. Pregnancy is such a huge deal, and to erase its importance to women’s situation is sick.

(Rant time): I agree with you that they have their reasons-I know I have so much trouble arguing with them because that’s the SAME MANIPULATIVE SHIT my ex did to get “consent” from me or otherwise shut me up, resulting in my PTSD flaring up. Total red flag. They always fucking do this! Like that thread with Miska a few weeks ago-people were like “ZOMG YOU FORGOT intersex ppl!” even when that was already *discussed.* More than once. Now that I’ve got into the debates I’m amazed at how it happens over and over again. I can’t stand it, ’cause as you say, it’s so disengenous. How anyone can let themselves do that, let alone act feel good about themselves is a mystery to me. (/Rant)

And, y’know, I’ve noticed they never respond to posts point-by-point. It’s either “u r bigot/manhater/fat” or some response to a one-line quote. Sheesh. Everything you say, however true, will somehow be used against you as “proof” you aren’t a real feminist. Tho men can still be real feminists, because they care about empowerfulizing white ladies.

On intercourse, tho, I was thinking about how men sound during it, especially how it’s done in porn. You *never* hear the man moan-it’s always grunts, growling, dirty talk, or some combination of those. They sound like fucking pissed off animals when they do it, I swear! The one who always moans or gives other non-aggro sounding messages is the woman (or in gay porn, the dude getting fucked). So obviously men aren’t incapable of moaning or not sounding like they’re constipated when they have sex. But when they’re *fucking* they seem really aggressive and emotionally absent.

I’m not sure how much porn people here have seen, but that’s how I’ve seen dudes fuck there and how I’ve been fucked. I think this is just more evidence for how it’s not about sexuality to them, it’s about fucking us over and there might be more to it. What do y’all think about that?

factcheckme - May 14, 2010

i have watched more than my share of porn (because it was so much fun) and frankly i am trying pretty hard these days to forget it. but you cant unring a bell now can you? some of the scenes i have in my mind from porn are so horrible i wish i could wash out my brain with bleach. porn tells us about everything we need to know about PIV, and what it means to men: consent is irrelevant; you get to do whatever the fuck you want to her; and STDs and pregnancy are a nonissue, because you are going to be gone before she even knows what happened, and the consequences are hers alone to bear. you know, pretty much like rape. and in this context, “dirty talk” sounds pretty dirty indeed doesnt it? because verbal abuse is very common in rape too. dont make me say the words, you all know them already.

“spicing things up” in the bedroom means being/playing the victim in mens rape fantasies, even under the best circumstances. even if he wants you to dominate *him*, he is telling you that he thinks “rape” is just “rough sex” and that being dominated is actually harmless fun. and if you are spending time alone with men, you are spending time alone with men who think this way, because most of them think this way. if “rape is fun” didnt mesh seamlessly with what they already think, they couldnt and wouldnt watch porn. how could they? its a sickness, truly. this is not ok, none of it. not by a long shot.

41. mscitrus - May 14, 2010

Yeah, we’re in the same boat. I wish I could forget all of what I picked up from it too. It seriously fucks you up. For a long time I used to self-harm using pornography, especially after I had loving sex with present-nigel, because I thought I didn’t deserve it and I had to go back to being the slut I “really was.” And yeah, they do say the same shit in porn they do when they rape. (But it’s consensual and SO SO different, m i rite?)

I remember other victims watched porn to hurt themselves too, partially because it doesn’t leave marks or cuts so people don’t ask questions. Hell, you actually benefit when you hurt yourself that way: you’re seen as “open-minded” and one of the guys. I’ve heard dudes say IN PUBLIC that they prefer fucking fat chicks and rape victims, because their lower self-esteem makes them more “open-minded” and its easier to get them to try stuff.

I know what you’re saying about men wanting to be dominated. Planning on writing a post about the variety of things that motivate men to be “submissive” at some point.

42. SheilaG - May 14, 2010

It’s good to get this public testimony about how harmful pornography is for women to watch. I always hated porn and found the in your face sexuality of the straight world repulsive. We were very early on protesting against porn and prostitution tourism worldwide, and I’m very happy I was involved with Women Against Pornography in the Media in the early 80s.

Now porn is invading (well it’s been here for awhile) the lesbian community, and women are falling victim to this nonsense as well.
It was in large part because of the perversity of gay male culture, and all the sleaze this really represents. Lesbians have a lot of avoiding to do — we need to stay clear of heterosexual norms, and we need to stay clear of porn, and degredation so celebrated by urban gay men.

It’s a mind field for us. This blog helps me understand what has happened, and perhaps some of the inner life of fun fems and what straight women are actually stuck in. My answers were so simple and direct. But the world has changed.

Part of the right wing’s traction with younger women is the very fact that it pretends to be in women’s best interest by standing up against the trash garbage culture of porn. Women need places where it is widely accepted that no exploitation will occur, I need to be in spaces where women are going to be deadly serious about getting things done. I don’t have time for the games, the porn justifying, the fun feminism. It bores me.

43. SheilaG - May 14, 2010

Women Against Violence and Pornography in the Media — I believe that was the group’s name — started in New York but spread worldwide. We developed a slideshow to educate women on what porn was, so that women were alerted to the danger.

If I meet men at some event, I always directly ask them “Do you watch Internet porn?” and then I watch their faces carefully. Most answer truthfully, and if the answer is “yes” then I just say, get out of my space now. And I tell other women in the room. We need to expose male behavior like this, and they need to be booted out of society.

For women to go along with this male sexual agenda is just horrifying to me.

44. Miska - May 14, 2010

Great series, FCM. I’m so glad you brought up the dangers of the pill too. I actually have an unopened box sitting on my nightstand right now. I got a prescription for it a few months ago in order to deal with my way too long periods, and the doctor did not ask me a single question. I’d gone in there for something else and offhandedly asked about the pill and he simply handed me a script. I got it filled and then jumped on the net to refresh my memory about the risks/side effects and the box is still sitting there. Fuck it. Not worth it.

I read jezebel pretty regularly, and every few weeks theres a thread about BC. It will get hundreds of comments where women all discuss the pros and cons of the various pills, IUDs, nuvaring, depo provera – all hormonal contraceptives, and all with risks. Yet not a single woman will even mention condoms. It baffles me. They’re cheap, temporary, available everywhere, dont come with health risks (barring latex allergy), and in my experience, reliable. And most importantly they protect women from STDs, which is SO important considering women are at the most risk here.

Of course, men dont really like them much. Which is all it takes to render them a non-option. It shits me so much. Women have a bunch of valid reasons to not want to use all the hormonal contraceptives available to us, but the same cannot be said of males not wanting to use the option available to them. Its just an inconvenience for them. Not something potentially life threatening.

Again, men get to have their cake and eat it. They get unfettered access to vaginas, and women have to do all the contraceptive work to make this possible. We cant change the fact that PIV is biologically harmful for women, but we can at least mitigate the risks of contraception itself for women. The fact that men will not even do that simply speaks volumes.

It’s win/win for men, and lose/lose for women. All the way down.

45. SheilaG - May 14, 2010

What surprises me is how many women would willingly watch porn, given the implications of this. From an aesthetic view point, you have to be careful what you read and view, because this profoundly affects the sense of self. It is worth reflecting on what is good writing, and what this can do for you.

One of the reasons I see so much gloominess within feminism, is that women who came up in feminism in perhaps the late 80s or 90s, had so little exposure to all that was great about feminism.

My role models were the heroines of the 19th century, the incredible art and poetry that came out of the left bank of Paris, and that lesbian world. To me, contemporary society itself was problematic for women, because it had become so vulgar, so degraded, with women going along with the sexual agenda set by men.

What is it that women want to stand for aesthetically or culturally? Certainly porn destroys the souls of all who engage it. And these degraded sex acts that men so promote worldwide are a deep moral and spiritual danger to women. Men, are beyond redemption in my opinion. They have little to no humanity in them anymore, but women are something entirely different.

Vulgar language, vulgar pictures, out of control self destructive sexuality itself… you won’t feel enobled or full of inner drive and purpose in that mess of a world.

When I meet young lesbians, I almost always try to get them to understand that the route of having many sex partners is not the way to go or be. Ultimately, this chips away at the soul of women. It’s bad enough that I am so horrified by the hetero norms of our world, but the pain of seeing a younger generation so wasting their lives can push me over the edge.

My way of dealing with this is through art, music and poetry — for the connection of love and devotion to women, for a kind of divinely inspired attentiveness. More than ever, my heart breaks for the women who fell victim to fun feminism, to a male controlled drug culture, to the porn culture that they wanted to embrace to be “one of the guys” — to use sex the way men do, thinking this was a path to liberation.

I was deeply suspicious of the “sexual revolution” in the 70s, and maybe luckily for me, being a closeted lesbian, nothing in hetero sexual life attracted me at all. The dumb boys girls chased after were ridiculous at best, menacing at worst. All I knew was I wasn’t going to have sex or hang out with those “doods’ to use that boring vernacular.

Debase yourself, and regret will follow, and I say this to all women.
Stay away from porn, avoid that stupid sexuality of men if at all possible. If you must marry men or be with them, be alert.

To me, every word counts. Not being a part of that sexual revolution at all, just watching the slow slide into the degraded that was the life of so many of the girls I knew in college and high school… to sit and watch them lose their lives was very very hard.

It is my hope that the revival of true radical feminism, and all it’s inward transformation can become more of a reality now. The reformed fun feminists can share this wisdom, and perhaps protect a new generation of women. I’m hoping this is the case. It starts with language itself, and the desire for all women to be elevated, to walk out on male dominance, to walk away from men’s degraded ideas of sex and women and porn.

It is a point of honor, and women and honor and self-respect matter.
When you are young, you will be made fun of for not going along with the crowd, or being male pleasing, of sex pozzie, or pick up women in clubs… or whatever it is… to step outside that sex saturated world and say no thank you takes supreme self-posession. People in the past relied on patriarchal religion for this moral protection, I believe feminism needs to develop a more serious commentary so that young women aren’t conned and victimized yet again. And we need to say no more.

factcheckme - May 14, 2010

well, at the time it didnt strike me as particularly repulsive, because i thought it was just watching people fuck, and omg dont be so prudish right? well, i have a LOT of pornographic imagery in my head now, thanks to my several years of fun-fem porn watching/tolerance. and now that i understand that consent is a problem with porn, and you never know what you are watching, really, when you watch porn, i am sickened by these scenes in retrospect when at the time they seemed unproblematic. for every scene i remember, i dont know if she even formally gave her consent, let alone whether she actually wanted the acts that were performed on her body (ok lets face it, wanted and tolerated are two different things too). i dont know if she was of age. i dont know if she was intoxicated. i dont know if she was impregnanted, or infected, or hurt or even badly hurt or killed (!) by what went on.

and thats just the “consent” problem. the larger problem as i see it now, is that vaginas are organs, not fuckholes, for men. so for every scene in my memory now, i see the equivalent, essentially, of some disgusting diseased porn actor sticking his dick in a womans heart, in her lungs. its fucking horrible. its not “sex,” not by a long shot. at the time i just didnt get it. now i do.

46. mscitrus - May 15, 2010

Seriously, I hate the way BC is discussed on mainstream feminist sites. I understand women wanting control over their fertility, but the pill and diaphragms do jack shit for STDs. I dun get it either, especially when you consider that a lot of these people likely live “sex-positively.” All of the women I’ve known who’ve gone on the pill do it because their boyfriend wants to have condomless sex, or because their periods were hell. Later, I find out my mom’s and other women who’ve had those hellish first periods that they chill out a lot after puberty. But of course, doctor failed to mention that. Thinking about it, I wish I could run into a room where a dudes about to have PIV and staple a condom to the base of his dick. Although, some condoms have problems for women too-spermicidal ones have nasty shit on them that can give imbalance your vagina’s cleaning stuff and give you nasty infections. I know I couldn’t use any of the stupid “pre-lubricated” ones because that shit irritated my skin.

On the subject of my incredibly sensitive skin, hilarious personal anecdote time. When my nigel and I were having intercourse (not sure if we will ever again at the moment) we had to use condoms, because I have a sperm allergy. That was a not-so-fun adventure to discover, because it meant that the first time we did it condomless my vag stung and itched like hell. I freaked, and nigel got a big chewing out and a lengthy interrogation about his sexual history. After calming down I realized that no STDs I knew of would show up pronto like that, so I narrowed it down to a sperm allergy. I’m not sure if anyone else will find the idea of a radical feminist literally being ALLERGIC to sperm (metaphorically the essence of men) fucking hilarious, but I sure do.

As FCM said, I think most just see porn as sex. That’s how I saw it at when I first watched it too. I mean, I liked sex, so of course I would watch videos of it. It was only after I was first raped that I started to use it to hurt myself. The idea that most of the men I pass everyday (I think it was 90+% in a recent study I saw of my age group) regularly watch pornography freaks me the fuck out. I honestly hate seeing heterosexual couples, because all I can think about is what he’s probably doing to her.

No one ever tells you that after you watch porn, you can never go back. The images never leave, and because of the nature of porn it requires you to seek out sicker and sicker shit. Stuff that disgusted me the first time I saw it, I became desensitized to, and eventually I would *need* it to get off. It’s truly repulsive what it does to sexuality.

@Sheila G
Since you brought up many sex partners are harmful, do you think poly relationships are always problematic? I know I’m going to always be monogamous just because of how my sexuality works (love someone, only attracted to them until I stop loving them). My gut and experience tell me that poly relationships are problematic, since my worst ex tried to pressure me into one…but, I still hesitate to say they’re inherently so since monogamy is part of the traditional bs forced upon females. But since poly relationships seem to be preferred and advocated by the sexual liberation groups who think prostitution and porn are greeeat, I’m really suspicious of it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

47. SheilaG - May 15, 2010

Actually, I am a far more modest person than the age has become.
So porn seemed just demeaning to the bodies and souls of women.
I am amazed that women would even wear bikinis at a beach, it’s just too forward, too much. I would feel exposed, and it made me very uncomfortable that women’s bodies were always on display and that men just used this. Even at formal events… women have bare skin showing, men are safely in their suits, they don’t go out in world unready for combat on some basic level.

Since I see all men as preditors and rapists, as having eyes that degrade women, it is a vision of men that most women suppress I think. You’d have to be in deep denial to go out in public at night in high heels in a large city, for example.

I would never think of going into a business meeting with men, unless I had my jacket and vest on, for example. I wouldn’t think of wobbling around on high heels; just so undignified, so making fun of women’s stance.

But it is my rather stoic manner, my distaste for foul language, my distaste for a world where women are made into objects that really horrifies me. It may be my anger at the pornification of lesbians that is so part of the male aggression agenda as well. It would horrify me if my partner was harassed by men, that they would violate her with their arrogance.

These are unusual things to feel or see in the world. Feminist blogs themselves have become a kind of vulgar excess in language that I find baffling. The degrading sexual terms thrown around, as if the women have immitated and adopted the language of male sexuality as a form of expression. I tend to think of the details of what people see, how this poisons minds, how women don’t know that they will carry around the vulgarity in the minds and ears forever, and that creating a space for women never to have to deal with this would be liberating in and of itself.

It is a kind of liberation to know that I am in a world of men, that they are aggressors, and that even something as simple as a meeting with them will not go without my jacket, without the power of my unsmiling face, without the power of me never giving in to all that so degrades the world.

It is a deep question of lesbian dignity, and nothing offends me or upsets me more than women playing that game, groveling and objectifiying their very bodies for the satisfaction of men. It is a lesbian nightmare to see my sex so degraded, so exposed, so humiliated. To always know what women will suffer later in life is what troubled me even when I was young and just beginning college.

If nothing else, I wanted my dignity in the face of the horror that was that candy coated, objectified disneyland known as traditional heterosexual norms, the games, the role playing, the unconciousness.

It’s a similar horror that all marginalized groups feel about majorities and the oppressiveness of that colonizing and demeaning culture.

48. Rachel - May 15, 2010

“Molly, do you ever make it with men?”
“Why do you ask that?”
“I don’t know. I guess after making love like that, I hate to think of you wasting it on a man.”
“Well, I do it sometimes, but not very often. Once you know what women are like, men get kind of boring. I’m not trying to put them down; I mean, I like them sometimes as people, but sexually they’re dull. I suppose if a woman doesn’t know any better, she thinks it’s good stuff.”

Brown, Rita Mae. Rubyfruit Jungle. New York: Daughters Publishing Company, 1973.

49. SheilaG - May 15, 2010

I’d go even further, not sexually dull, but inherently and completely dull and dulling. The bore-o-crats, the plug uglies, the colonizers… heaven help women in their enslavement to these beings from another planet.

50. SheilaG - May 15, 2010

Loved the quote from Ruby Fruit Jungle — a lifetime ago.

51. April - May 15, 2010

I found a lot of problematic things in your post, as I do with many of yours, but as usual, once you got to the end, I started to really hear what you were saying.

I fucking love PIV sex with my husband, and that’s not likely to change, but when you turn it around like that– what if we were potentially harming the man, what if it was widely understood that most men don”t care for PIV intercourse or get off on it– would I still try to do it with men? Push it that far with men? Hell no, I wouldn”t.

…But I do want to remind you that relationships, while always influenced to some degree by patriarchy, do not always pan out in the way that would be expected if one were only looking at the general effects of patriarchy on general society. My husband and I are not 100% influenced by patriarchal ideals, because of the simple fact that we’re so acutely aware of patriarchal ideals. Our sex life is what is enjoyable to us presently (and likely will change and evolve as we do), and therefore not able to be hindered or enhanced by something we aren’t already familiar with.

I was excited to see this series because I just bought Intercourse, and am finding it far less “nutty” than how it has been advertised. I”m loving it so far.

factcheckme - May 15, 2010

april…i should have stopped reading after “i do want to remind you” because what followed was just some exceptionalism fun-fem garbage, which is what almost ALWAYS follows when you have the urge to “remind” a radfem of something. as if they had never thought of that, before. wow, my eyes have been opened by you and your nigel, thanks!

look, i am glad if you are enjoying (and understanding) this series, and i am glad that you are reading dworkin. really, i am. but what the fun-fems dont seem to understand about radical feminism (because its exactly what the fun-fems DONT do, and its exactly whats problematic about fun-feminism) is that radical theory is responsive to aggregate male behavior. i dont care if you and your nigel have great sex, when PIV is what it is, for so many women, world wide. i just dont care, and i kinda dont want to hear about it. my reasons might not be completely clear yet, but part 3 will address that.

factcheckme - May 15, 2010

and i am sorry, but why would anyone take the time to type this:

I found a lot of problematic things in your post, as I do with many of yours, but as usual, once you got to the end, I started to really hear what you were saying.

what does this even mean? what i am hearing (and again, my experience with fun-feminists is coloring my perception here…aka i am not a fucking idiot and i know what this is because i have seen it before) is “i pride myself in using the word ‘problematic’ in reference to radfem work, because i am a smart empowerfulized gal, so instead of discussing the material, lets just agree to disagree.” and PS i love my nigel. huh? either something is problematic, or its not. either its sound theory, or something got fucked up along the way. god. why cant fun-fems just speak normally. i will bbl, after i have had my coffee. (!)

factcheckme - May 15, 2010

so i think i will get part 3 out this weekend, and that will finish the series. *i think.” i meant to just have these posts lay the groundwork for a discussion, but i think after 3 parts, i will have said everything i had to say. a 4th part would just be a “so what are your thoughts, now that the series has ended” kind of thing. actually…maybe i will do that. not sure. i am currently looking for a video that i thought would be easier to find, and would give us all a break…but i cant find it anywhere. bbl.

52. rainsinger - May 15, 2010

Oh April – just when I was enjoying the comments too….

Its not about how great your *PERSONAL* life is, take your *PERSONAL* lifestyle choices out of it – its POLITICAL – don’t you female collaborating idiots ever *get it*? Its about women-as-a-class of oppressed people, and the reasons why they are oppressed as a GROUP. Socialism, is about the exploitation of the workingclasses by the ruling employer classes, racism is about exploitation of one race by another. Feminism is about the exploitation of women-as-a-class, by the men-as-a-class.

There are always EXCEPTIONS to any class or group of people.
But, exceptions, like yourself, are Not the Rule.

Nigels like your partner, are like full on white slave-owners, saying I’m not really an oppressor, because I treat my slaves really well, and I am always nice to them – I would never hurt them, and they always say they love me. There were plenty of Black slaves who fought against the end of slavery – and didn’t want to be freed, because their owners were *good guys* who treated them well.

You may really enjoy your life, and good luck to you – really, but you ain’t no feminist – you are a traitor, and a collaborator – because you dont give a damn about the other 99.99% of the female population.

53. veganprimate - May 15, 2010

“Reminding” someone of something is condescending and insulting, even though it’s dressed up to be non-insulting. By reminding someone, you’re implying that they already knew it but just forgot it, which is supposedly better than assuming they didn’t know something in the first place. But it comes across condescending, anyway.

…”But I do want to remind you that relationships, while always influenced to some degree by patriarchy, do not always pan out in the way that would be expected if one were only looking at the general effects of patriarchy on general society.”

May I take a moment to remind you that even within an oppressive system like patriarchy, there are people who are privileged or just plain lucky, and just b/c you yourself never got an STD or never got raped, doesn’t mean that PIV is not problematic for women, that it’s not a tool of the patriarchy.

If every single woman within patriarchy was oppressed to such a terrible degree, it would be really obvious that something was wrong and the women would start rioting. As it is, the ones with privilege chalk up their good fortune to their fine character and smarts and other women’s misfortune to their lack of judgment and bad character.

And you do realize, that since loving PIV makes your life a lot easier in some ways, that that constitutes strong pressure to keep it that way. Let’s imagine a statistically average woman. She’s got a decent job, let’s say she’s a nurse. They’re paid really well. But she got married and had a couple kids, so now she just works part-time. She’s able to keep it together only b/c she’s married to a dude who is the primary breadwinner. She could support herself with a full-time nursing job, but with a couple of kids, it would be difficult, b/c she’d need to pay for their care while she’s at work. Some nurses work 12-hour shifts. That could get pretty dicey. Now, if she suddenly realized that she really disliked intercourse and maybe it’s actually a wee bit physically uncomfortable for her, what are the chances she’s gonna say anything? You cut off free access to your vagina, and you can kiss your husband good-bye. She can’t afford to do that, so maybe she has convinced herself that she really likes it, and maybe even through some twisted mental exercise convinces herself that the discomfort feels good.

54. polly - May 15, 2010

I’m pleased you and your husband are so progressive and go ahead April. The real question though is, are you 0% influenced by patriarchal ideals? If not, what percentage are we talking. 50? 70? 99.99?

If you are completely uninfluenced by outside society though, social scientists should be studying you, really, because you’re fucking unique.

factcheckme - May 15, 2010

Srsly polly. Fun fems are all unique snowflakes, and somehow their nigels always are too. I am different, like everyone else!!1!1 with all the people walking around in plastic bubbles, you would expect to hear about more bubble-on-bubble accidents. Strangely, you never do.

55. SheilaG - May 15, 2010

The basics are simple — radical feminism speaks to women and men as a class of people. Men collectively as a class oppress women.
I don’t know why this is so hard for women to get, but apparently it is.

We have to look to slavery and workers and owners, and even when we are crystal clear as radical feminists, we still get the “oh my husband is wonderful” stuff. Lots of working class women are extremely happy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t oppressed and underpaid. It doesn’t negate the responsibility to recognize what work does, and who owns this process.

I can be close to black friends, and deeply love them, but that doesn’t make me not racist, or not benefitting in a racist system, that changes everything when I’m out in public with them in certain places. To not be aware of this would be to place my friends in danger, and to blissfully ignore this while we are friends is shameful and complicite and ostrich in the sand behavior.

I find that people are having an awfully hard time getting a larger analysis and are stuck in the personal. I have a million personal exceptional stories about my life, but this doesn’t change for one minute the condition of women worldwide. I can make change on small levels, I can defend the rights of fun fems who are clueless about their economic condition, but I cannot change the fact that women have to have sex with their husbands to keep them.

I can’t say if this is the case with lesbians or not because I really don’t know many lesbian couples at all, just individuals. But that’s another story. I’m sure someone out there would know the answer. I can say that my partner would never coerce me into having sex, or force me to do this. It never happens, we are very attuned to the personhood of the other. But I don’t know the big picture of what most lesbians do.

It is not about a personal life. Slavery didn’t end in America because of personal transformation, it ended with a war, and even then it did not end, it simply morphed into what we have today, which is still a kind of slavery.

April, I’d like to see you argue from a larger position and really get this, because if you did, you might be able to help us all do something about this. The first step always is for the oppressed to really see what the oppression is. To really look it in the eye. If you can’t even do that, and I do think this is hard for a lot of women.

Why do you think patriarchy has survived so long? Because it is like the AIDS virus or any virus, it is adept at changing, and men change as a class when women push hard. But there is no change without the pushing and shoving, and there is no male outrage that women are raped daily and hourly. I never hear male outrage at the condition of women, never hear it.

Please continue to study and think April. Reflect on the big picture, because quite frankly, women won’t get our freedom unless all of us are fully engaged in the process of freedom. It’s what we are doing here. Having a nice master is not the end of slavery, start there.

factcheckme - May 15, 2010

part 3 is up. enjoy.

factcheckme - May 15, 2010

oh, and april has been spammed, for a whiny passive aggressive tirade she went on after some posters here called her out. and for future reference, anyone who refers to andrea dworkin as any kind of “nutty” will be spammed immediately, without a thought. thanks.

56. mscitrus - May 15, 2010

Seriously, whatever the hell is so problematic, just say it and make a goddamn argument about why its problematic, instead of passive-aggressively telling FCM she’s wrong. That’s part of what comments are for. Unless, you know, you’re just trying to come off as above her by giving actual critiques…which considering your stupid “reminder” seems to be your goal. I think people say that crap because they want to keep disagreeing but can’t find a reason to or find holes in your logic.

I do want to remind you that even if you do “enjoy” PIV with your oh so special and feminist nigel, that’s likely because you are western and incredibly privileged and have access to various health institutions. It’s also worth reminding you that you cannot know why your nigel enjoys PIV-its not just about you enjoying it. You’re making his choice and enjoyment invisible, letting a man off the hook. He continues to have it, and enjoy it, despite it being risky for you. I think that says something.

Seriously tho, I think everyone with a nigel should at least TRY refusing/going without PIV for a longish period of time. It’s not the end of the world if you stop having intercourse; it makes you have to think more, since its the go-to thing in sex. Their reaction tells you a hell of a lot about them. If he starts being whining about missing PIV or asks for it after already agreeing to go without, it’s pretty obvious nigel is an entitled dickwad and needs to hit the curb.

57. sonia - May 17, 2010

ha ha, just saw this. you can kiss my ass, M Andrea, you’re living in a fantasy world.

58. sonia - May 17, 2010

I actually did none of the above, but simpy called out the sanctimoniousness and non-feminist behavior of separatists, which you’ve just exemplified pretty well in your snotty little pseudo intellectual yet incorrect assessment of my realistic perspective.

59. sonia - May 17, 2010

and p.p.s. my “Feelings hurt?” these separatist women do nothing but moan about how other women aren’t holding up the golden invisible commandments of lesbian truth. give a break. you’re just as oppressive as anything I’ve ever dealt with.

there’s real, and then there’s stupid.

60. sonia - May 17, 2010

I should say that Undercover Punk does a nice job of not being judgmental. Sheila G, Polly, and M Andrea could take a lesson.

are you about women, or about you? check into it.

factcheckme - May 17, 2010

Well clearly its a western privileged perspective to believe that seperatism is an option. And I really don’t know what lifelong lesbians expect straight women to do, or how we are supposed to make the same choices they made, when these things get started so early in life, and straight women weren’t lesbians when we were 10 or 15 or even 20 or 25 or ever. Once you start walking through doors, they close behind you, and there’s nothing you can do about that. You make your choices, and certain other outcomes become impossible. Sheila has said that when she was 12, she was already plotting a life of lesbian seperatism. When I was 12, I still assumed I would be married, with children. I still thought that at 25 and 30. Now I am not so sure, but my options to be seperatist or lesbian for that matter are significantly narrowed. Real lesbians wouldn’t want anything to do with a collaborator like me anyway. And I still am not sexually attracted to women.

factcheckme - May 17, 2010

Men aren’t looking so appealing these days either, for obvious reasons.

61. veganprimate - May 17, 2010

And I really don’t know what lifelong lesbians expect straight women to do,

Well, sometimes I get the impression that they want straight women to fuck the hell off. There’s often a lot of hatred of straight women bubbling just under the surface of what is said.

or how we are supposed to make the same choices they made, when these things get started so early in life, and straight women weren’t lesbians when we were 10 or 15 or even 20 or 25 or ever. Once you start walking through doors, they close behind you, and there’s nothing you can do about that. You make your choices, and certain other outcomes become impossible. Sheila has said that when she was 12, she was already plotting a life of lesbian seperatism. When I was 12, I still assumed I would be married, with children. I still thought that at 25 and 30.

Well, there’s a difference between thinking you would get married at 25 or 30 (which I thought as well) and already being married. If you aren’t married, you still have a choice.

I don’t think the doors close all the way. The actress Meredith Baxter-Birney came out at the age of 60. I came out at the age of 40. Yeah, we’re both nasty, contaminated ex-het lesbos, but whatever. UP is an ex-het lesbo, but no one would doubt her commitment to women.

I found this article interesting:


And I can’t find another article I read before, but it was about how you can choose your sexuality, but women feel compelled to rewrite their history to reflect that they’d always been lesbians and just didn’t know it. (I notice Meredith did that in the interview she had with Matt Lauer) It was about how it’s perfectly legitimate to choose your sexuality.

Anyway, I think even if you decide to stay straight, separatism can be done in degrees. The most obvious thing is not to be married. Or, if you do marry, keep your name, keep separate bank accounts, etc. I would advise against cohabitating. You can date a man without letting him colonize you. It’s hard. It’s easier to have nothing to do with men than to stand up for yourself, set boundaries, and keep him at a distance. The guy may start moping, or he’ll get angry, claim you don’t really care about him, you aren’t committed, blah, blah, blah.

Yeah, I feel that the I-can’t-help-it-I’m-straight argument doesn’t fly, but at the same time, I don’t see how being hateful towards straight women is feminist.

I just thought of something. Take vegetarians/vegans. They believe that what they are doing is The Way Forward (if I may borrow UP’s wonderful expression). And therefore, they want everyone to be vegetarian, too. They may be obnoxious about it at times, but their intention is to add to the fold. Contrast that with lesbians who think lesbian separatism is The Way Forward. There’s only one lesbian who parallels the vegan mentality and wishes others would join the team, and that’s UP. Others act like it’s a private restricted club and no one else is allowed unless they show their pedigree papers.

Now, just to set the record straight, I’m not denying that ex-het lesbians have a history of privilege. They do. And I’m not saying it’s not ridiculous for straight women to go into lesbian bars and try to get a lesbian to have a threesome with her and her nigel. It is. But when we’re on the internet dealing with sister feminists, we need to figure out how to work together and how to support each other. If you knew of a lesbian who was being abused by her partner, you’d probably find a way to help. But who was it that said straight women deserve whatever they get for sleeping with the enemy? That was uncalled for. I would help any of my straight female friends if they were being mistreated by their partner. I try to to convince them that they can stand on their own two feet (especially the ones I work with since I know they make enough money to support themselves), but I’m not turning my back on them just b/c they aren’t separatists.

factcheckme - May 17, 2010

It was dirt that said straight women get what they deserve. Then she came back to take a shot at Dworkin, calling her a raped vagina, and reducing her work to some psychological defect and rape trauma, as someone very astutely pointed out. Several women here called dirt out for that, and I am glad they did.

Now, I have said here before that I have been partnered for 8 years to someone who has been mostly a decent partner to me. We have accumulated debt together, and been through a lot together. I am not going to leave him, just because I have gone rad. If he were demanding piv from me, it would be a completely different story, because I have really come to grips with what piv means, and I absolutely will never be expected to put out, ever again. But so far, we are still compatible, which is amazing. I would hope he wouldn’t leave me too after all these years, if he had some kind of change of heart, if there was any chance it could be resolved.

That all aside, Sheila told me that she has no suggestions for me though, due to the fact that I’m an introvert, and hate people. Apparently, you have to be a people person, to surround yourself with a community of women. When I would rather be left alone most hours of most days.

factcheckme - May 17, 2010

Also, if anyone has any thoughts on dworkin or the intercourse series, feel free to post them. Part 3 was the last part. It was really interesting to write, and I hope that they were interesting to read. Dworkin loved literature, and I read somewhere that she modeled intercourse after dantes inferno, taking her readers through the circles of hell, each one being worse than the one before it. She also realized that all the greats were absolutely soaked with misogyny, but long after she had already read them all, and knew what they said, and how things were said. She felt betrayed, as a lover of literature, that the authors were all such sick pieces of shit. Her writing reflects all of this. Post em if you got em.

62. polly - May 17, 2010

Sonia, I’m not about to start a fight with you, however much you want to start one. This is the second time you’ve pulled this stunt (the first was on UP’s blog). If you want a scrap with lesbians, please look elsewhere.

63. veganprimate - May 17, 2010

If he were demanding piv from me, it would be a completely different story, because I have really come to grips with what piv means, and I absolutely will never be expected to put out, ever again. But so far, we are still compatible, which is amazing.

So, do you guys still have sex, just not PIV? That’s great if you’ve pulled that off.

due to the fact that I’m an introvert, and hate people. Apparently, you have to be a people person, to surround yourself with a community of women. When I would rather be left alone most hours of most days.

Introverts rock! I totally love my alone time. I don’t agree that you have to be a people person to live in a community. What the fuck do you think we live in now? A community. A community in patriarchy, but a community nonetheless. I think we all have something to contribute, we just need to figure out how to contribute with the personality and character traits that we have. Introverts are totally valuable to a community. Who’s gonna do all the deep thinking required to make a change? The chatty extraverts who can’t be alone for 5 minutes lest their heads explode? Fuck no!

I would love to live in a community of women. I don’t think I have to be extraverted at all. Introverts, by the way, make up 57% of the population. Yes, you read that right. FIFTY-SEVEN PERCENT. That old statistic of 33% or even 25% is not correct. So, since we’re in the majority, I would assume a community of women would be comprised of quite a few introverts who would have enough sense not to bother people all day long with their talky-talky nonsense. In fact, there’s only one thing about an all-female community that makes me even the slightest bit twitchy, and that’s having to help babysit someone’s kid. And what about the male kids? Nope. Ain’t doin’ it. Take your privileged spawn somewhere else.

64. veganprimate - May 17, 2010

Oh, and FCM, I’d be interested to hear how you broached the subject of no more PIV with your partner. What things did you say? How did you present it? What did he say in response? Obviously, this is personal, and you don’t have to tell me, but I’m curious. It might be helpful to other straight women confronting the same problem.

65. polly - May 17, 2010

Oh and at the risk of reviving an unutterably stupid discussion all over again, can I point out that neither I, M Andrea, Sheila or anyone else is queen of the lesbians. If people want to go to lesbian clubs and social spaces, or have a relationship with a woman, none of us are stopping you – nor do we have the power to, not least because I’m on a different continent from most of you. Most of the lesbians I know have had sex with bisexual women, or at the very least women who’ve slept with men. And some of them have slept with men as well, though it’s worth pointing out that a large number HAVEN’T. So if you think the mean internetz lesbians are stopping you being a lesbian, we aren’t. If you want a sexual relationship with a woman, all you need is a woman willing to have a sexual relationship with you. Full stop.

factcheckme - May 17, 2010

actually VP, he was never that into it in the first place, and i nearly dumped him weekly for the first 7 years because of it. it made me feel awful, that he didnt want that with me literally all the time. whereas i wanted it 24/7, and its all i ever wanted from a partner, and noone would ever give it to me! for years, even though i was completely into it, they only wanted to do it once, once in awhile, and go to sleep. completely lame, and unsatisfying. actually i always suspected that part of the thrill for them was “getting” sex from a woman who really didnt want it, and since i wanted it, it wasnt as interesting to them. i have heard the same thing from other women actually, its just more rape fantasy bullshit thats so entwined with PIV in mens minds. anyway, now that i have stopped bugging him for it, its no longer an issue. we havent been sexual with each other since the last time we had PIV, which was probably 6 months ago. so, i dont know how this is going to pan out really. i would like it if we went back to having long makeout sessions, like we did before we started having “sex”. we havent really discussed it.

factcheckme - May 17, 2010

well polly, i dont want a sexual relationship with a woman. i really dont. i cant even imagine a scenario in my mind in which that would happen, and where i would completely embrace it as a possibility. i am like elaine on seinfeld, where she was “accused” of being a lesbian. she said “i am not a lesbian! i hate men, but i’m not a lesbian!” its a bizarre way of being, i wont deny that. its absolutely bizarre.

66. polly - May 17, 2010

Most straight women I know over 50 hate men. And a significant proportion under 50.

67. veganprimate - May 17, 2010

actually i always suspected that part of the thrill for them was “getting” sex from a woman who really didnt want it, and since i wanted it, it wasnt as interesting to them.

Amen. I totally have had the same thing happen to me. I was pretty randy some years ago, and the biggest turn-off for men seems to be the woman initiating sex. Yet, the typical male complaint is that their girlfriend/wife/partner doesn’t want to have with them. Men are so insane it’s not even funny.

68. veganprimate - May 18, 2010

For the record, I don’t give a rip if some anonymous dykes on the internet approve of my lifestyle choice or not. I don’t need their permission. My beef is that I see quite of bit of subtle and non-so-subtle pot shots being taken at straight women. And these divisions…straight, lesbian, ex-het lesbian, gold star lesbian…are just divisive. I liken this to the issues between black feminists and white feminists. If black feminists want to have their own spaces to vent their spleens, I’m all for it. I can understand how they might feel that white women take over and make it all about them or whatever. But I don’t agree that white feminists are oppressing them. I think we all need to work together for the common good. Same with dykes and straights. Instead of shouting from the rooftops how superior you are because you’re a gold star and taking pot shots at straight women, how about we all work together? If gold stars want to gather away from straights, bi’s, and ex-hets to share stories and vent, I’m all for it.

We’re all women. We’re all oppressed by the patriarchy. We should support each other.

69. DZAtal - May 18, 2010

I have to say that the re-framing of the dangers of PIV in terms of men (i.e., what if it was ya’ll dealing with this?) was quite a dose of the hard truth. Talk about withdrawing the Wizard’s curtain. Bravo.

70. mscitrus - May 18, 2010

Veganprimate, I’m not sure how appropriate this is, as I feel I might be interjecting myself in the conversation, so just skip this if it is annoying/uncalled for. I still have sex with my nigel and we don’t have PIV anymore. I think it’s been 2ish months now, and the frequency with which we have sex hasn’t decreased at all, but we only get to see each other once a week and usually end up doing something twice during the day. I first brought up the idea of skipping it altogether while I was reading intercourse, due to the risks it presents for women and how its conceptualized (tho we had discussed that some prior). He said he was totally chill with no more PIV or no more sex period, but I decided I wanted to continue so we didn’t quit having intercourse then. Tho I think its important to note that I only continued because he never proposed or brought up having intercourse, since he knew I might feel pressured or obligated if he did.

When he said he wanted to stop till he read intercourse, I was hesitant to agree because a part of me (mostly unconscious at that time) still felt like I was denying him something then. Honestly, the major reason I agreed to it at the time was to see if he would keep up what he said once I stopped saying I wanted intercourse. I was always the one to initiate it for the previous reasons, but I figured once I stopped he’d probably initiate it himself. So far he hasn’t said jackshit about wanting it back. I think the foundation for giving up intercourse was already laid when we discussed what sex is and how heterocentric it is to define it as PIV, and concluded its anything that makes both people feel good sexually. I dun mind going into more detail on this because like you said, it might help other straight women. Again, sorry if this is intrusive or I’m butting in too much about my nigel (I kinda feel like I am), I just figured more anecdotes might be helpful or interesting.

FCM, I totally get what you mean about wanting PIV from your boyfriend. That was almost a deal breaker for me with my last boyfriend for the same reasons you listed. It made me feel like I was fugly. Of course, now I think it’s because he preferred blowjobs for the degradation, knowing I couldn’t get off that way, and that he wasn’t comfortable with abortion. (my potential babiez!!!11) Now that you mention it, since I was the one to bring up PIV, I wonder if that’s why he didn’t want it. What a douche.

71. Level Best - May 18, 2010

“Apparently, you have to be a people person, to surround yourself with a community of women. When I would rather be left alone most hours of most days.”–fcm

“I don’t agree that you have to be a people person to live in a community. . . . I think we all have something to contribute, we just need to figure out how to contribute with the personality and character traits that we have.”–vp

As a congenital introvert who nonetheless aspires to feminist sisterhood, this interchange has made my day! Thanks, giant-brained women; I haz a happy now. 🙂

factcheckme - May 18, 2010

Hehe levelbest haz a happy. That’s awesome lb, enjoy it! Although I am not convinced that the lesbian sisterhood would leave me alone to entertain myself. Every community I have ever been a part of required facetime, from family to summer camp to workplace. I just want to be left alone, Srsly. The only communities that don’t require it are the ones that you find yourself in unintentionally, like a neighborhood you rent in. And even then I have neighbors inviting me over for wine and cheese. Ffs. It would probably be fun, and i am sure they are very nice. I just don’t want to go, and thinking about it, even, makes me a wee bit ill.

72. polly - May 18, 2010

I do think white women oppress black women though. And I don’t really see how saying you personally don’t want a relationship with person x, y, or z is “shouting from the rooftops about how superior you are” – that’s an interpretation that is being placed upon someone saying they don’t want a relationship with certain people. By the same token I don’t think FCM saying she’s heterosexual and isn’t sexually attracted to women is homophobic. It’s honest is what it is.

And for the umpteenth time, neither I, nor anyone I know, uses the phrase ‘gold star lesbian’.

factcheckme - May 18, 2010

doesnt anyone want to talk about part 3?? but seriously, i have seen “gold star lesbian” at least twice in the last few weeks. either UP or sheila or both (i think) have used that term. i remember bc it kind of made me LOL…theres a name for gold-star lesbians in the het vernacular: VIRGINS!

73. SheilaG - May 23, 2010

Someone said the phrase “gold star lesbians.” It’s from the T.V. show “The L-Word” and I have never used it in conversation. In fact, I really don’t hear lesbians IRL talking about this.

As for introverts, my partner is an introvert. We each have very different lives, and things we do together. A select few of my friends are allowed into the house, because they are respectful, and my partner gets to leave the room when people wear her down, which is often. I like groups of women, meetings, networking, public speaking, dinner parties, and all kinds of cultural events.

We have to use our energy how it best suits us. I get a lot of energy from other people, and conversations fuel inspiration and give me ideas. My work is very much idea centered, so it’s important for me to know what’s on people’s minds directly, and not have human voices filtered through the news media.

I have always loved small women’s groups — straight, lesbian and a combination, and all our joint projects. I like projects and a sense of purpose with other women, and to see all the wonderful things we can do together. To me feminism is very collective.

There have always been difficult lesbians out there, the misanthropic introverted difficults. The older I get, the more I tend to stay away from overly negative mean women IRL, they’re just energy drains. I’m more of a “what can we actually get done” type of person.

I found the term virgin kind of funny, FCM, because again, it uses PIV as a description of sex. Since lesbians often don’t even care about this version of sex, it is a rather meaningless term. That said, I tend to play with theology a bit, speculating that the birth of the son of god did not come about through PIV, but lesbian parthenogenesis.

My partner has never particularly needed group validity or groups. She’s very productive all on her own. However, we do recognize the needs of each other… I like wheeling and dealing in the world, and find interacting with all sort of people endlessly fascinating, and have always loved people. Who wants everyone to be the same? That would be dull. However, we do have an active partnership of sharing worldviews, her inner life, and what I learn by talking to people. It works very well.

74. SheilaG - May 23, 2010

Someone said that white women don’t oppress black women. Got news for you, I get to hear some very racist comments coming out of the mouths of white women. Since I am white, I get to hear my group really be mean. I also know of the struggles of black women friends, how they’re shunned and made to feel unwelcome. When I’m with them I see this mean behavior of other white women towards them.

So there won’t be as powerful a feminism unless these issues are openly and honestly addressed. It may be hard for majorities to hear minorities, but if it’s not done, we don’t have authentic feminism, we have a repeat of how men act in the world.

The other day, I heard some women refer to Mexican Americans as “wet backs.” All this AZ law stuff has brought out real ugly in your face racism — pretty shocking, because these women would consider themselves liberal. They called the mayor of Los Angeles a wet back. My challenges and horror were met with indifference and meanness. To deny racism among white feminists, is akin to men denying sexism. To deny anti-lesbian attitudes among straight women is a bit naieve, but again, if you’re not on the receiving end of this social death, a word that people who study genocide call anti-lesbian social attitudes, well….

I try to see what is the lesbian advantage in the world, what gives me more rather than less power. I get bored with the “oh lesbians are so oppressed” and find that lacking in creative energy. We have much to be very proud of. I certainly feel my life has gone the way I wanted it to go, if not far further than I ever imagined. All the feminist work paid off, it lead to a better life, it saved me the economic disaster of having children or wasting time with men. Lesbian self helped me to turn inwardly for my sense of validation and purpose in the world; I personally am happy with all of this.

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