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Why Am I Always So Tired and Broke? (Do Not Try This At Home, If You Can Help It, At All) August 7, 2010

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, gender roles, health, PIV, pop culture, porn.
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in a frame…this is why.  or its a big fucking part of it.  this drawing is from dworkin’s “woman hating” (see p. 117).  i always had a sense of this, but it finally clicked for me when i saw this drawing, specifically the wrists.  the wrists.  our wrists have to be beautiful fuckable too?  why yes, yes they do.  our wrists! 

i mean, shaving isnt that expensive really.  if you really want to, you can do it with soap and water.  it is time consuming though, which is not a small thing.  but bracelets are fucking expensive: or at least, you can spend literally any amount acquiring them.  its a sliding scale, based on your income.  ie.  opting out is not an option, and you cannot claim that you cant afford it, no matter how little you make.  thanks, claires boutique $5 jewelry (and another $5 when your skin turns green.  and then another.  and another.  its disposable!).  thanks wet-n-wild 99-cent makeup!  (99-cents times 10, to get all the products you need…then another 99-cents times 20 when you realize all the colors you got look terrible with your skin tone, and you have to try again…twice).

importantly…there is nothing comparable that men have to spend their hard-earned cash on.  nothing.  comparable.  if the bracelets and perfume dont bring that point home, then the makeup and hair removal should.  we make less, and we spend more.  if this sounds like a recipe for disaster, it is.

of course, the drawing above also outlines what dworkin calls “oppressive grooming practices.”  in “woman hating”, she discusses in detail a historical practice that was rooted in the deepest misogyny: chinese footbinding.  and she makes the following highly cogent points about that practice (here are the actual pages out of the actual book, with my notes…cause i am too lazy to type it all out):

the art of sex.  male-female harmony.  do we get it now?  earlier in the book, she describes how chinese men for 1000 years suffered from a mass delusion that women with bound feet had yummy, “extra folds” inside their vaginas.  again, it was a MASS DELUSION.  it wasnt real.  but they allegedly saw and felt these nonexistent “extra folds” while they were having PIV with mutilated, footbound women.  physical structures that, of course, werent even fucking there.  because binding the feet has nothing to do with womens vaginas.  HELLO.

only a few pages later, dworkin presents us with the splayed, bedazzled, and deodorized “modern” figure above.  its not hard to see how she got there.  specifically, she observes that male-made beauty standards literally define the dimensions of a womans freedom:

and it very clearly does define everything, for women.  its exactly as dworkin says it is.  how we spend our money, how we spend our time, and literally our agility, stamina, posture, and just about everything else are dictated by these fuckability mandates.  not only that, but most women end the day in agonizing pain due to their shoes, and endure terrible or at least constant and nagging pain throughout the day, through various female-only garments and practices.  (and we pay big bucks for the privilege!  not that any of us can afford to spend our money this way.  but almost all of us do.)

but…what if this wasnt an accident?  its pretty obviously deliberate, when it comes to women spending money we dont have to garner dangerous male attention and to fuel a male economy, while simultaneously making ourselves poorer, and more dependant on dangerous men.  but what if female pain is also deliberate, and required, to properly socialize women to be submissive, and to give men something to fetishize about us, and to differentiate themselves from us, instead of regarding us as human beings:

i think its time that we realized this, on a mass scale.  this shit is deliberate.  its not “my feet are killing me, because i ate too much salt and its really hot out, and it made my feet swell inside my otherwise lovely shoes.”  its “the human foot is made of tissues and fluids, and to the extent that womens shoes do not allow for that, womens shoes are not made for human feet.”

this last page is important, which is why i included the whole thing, even whats in the margins.  i read it a few times, and made a bunch of notes, and then i read it a bunch of times, again (this is what all my books look like, when i am done with them!  libraries are not my friend, but amazon is.)  as everyone who has read her probably knows, dworkin was a visionary, but she believed in action.  she and mackinnon, who is now a law professor at the university of michigan, worked their asses off to write and pass anti-pornography legislation in the 1980s.  they put everything on the line, everything, for the cause.  for women.  they gave up every shred of privacy they ever had, they revealed themselves as “strident” to those who loathe strident feminists (everyone) and they were mercilessly hated and attacked for not only what they said, but for what they thought and believed too.  how dare they have anti-pornography thoughts!!  how dare they believe that women arent fuckholes, for men!!11!!1  and ultimately of course, they also lost.  they lost, in the end.  the legislation didnt pass.  misogyny, and males using and abusing female bodies as male speech, carried the day.  its still carrying the day.

but some of us have been wondering lately what action can we take, as feminists, in real life, thats actually going to help.  and over the last 6 months or so, i have been ruminating over this drawing from dworkins book.  i have become PIV-critical, less concerned with being literally fuckable.  i am starting to realize that female bodies arent for fucking, and they are made of tissues and fluids (you know, like human bodies) and that we are also made of chemicals.  you know?  and when you are in pain, your body is releasing all kinds of chemicals and hormones in response to that, so that womens normal chemical condition isnt anything even resembling whats baseline normal, for a functioning human, who isnt in constant pain.

theres something most of us can do about that part of it, to some degree.  and…its cheaper to disengage from any or all of it, to whatever extent you can.  this is a trap, ladies.  it really fucking is.  that is all.

Comments

1. berryblade - August 7, 2010

Considering that Woman Hating was published in 1974, it’s pretty scary how accurate that drawing is to todays beauty standard.

“and it very clearly does define everything, for women. its exactly as dworkin says it is. how we spend our money, how we spend our time, and literally our agility, stamina, posture, and just about everything else are dictated by these fuckability mandates. ”

Totally, like in the Female Eunch when Greer is describing the skeleton and how it’s subject to stresses and strains of every day life and isn’t as rigid as everyone would like it to believe; i.e how things like corsetting, foot binding, high heels etc is what creates the “feminine silhouette” which robs womyn of opportunity to use their own bodies to their full potential. Not only that but, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it robs of the time and energy to be DOING MORE IMPORTANT THINGS like educating, enlightening and exploring themselves and the world around them.

Also, with the kinds of ridiculous ornaments that womyn must adorn themselves with are used as indicators of virgin/whore stereotypes, socio-economic class etc. It’s used as an alleged indicator of availability (think of all those “she was wearing X” rape apologist excuses) even though womyn aren’t allowed to, or rather, aren’t taught to examine it in that way.

” worked their asses off to write and pass anti-pornography legislation in the 1980s. they put everything on the line, everything, for the cause. for women. they gave up every shred of privacy they ever had, they revealed themselves as “strident” to those who loathe strident feminists (everyone) and they were mercilessly hated and attacked for not only what they said, but for what they thought and believed too.”

Knowing the sacrifices they made, makes it all the more enraging called this “getting into bed with the right” errrrgh.

2. DZA - August 7, 2010

Waiting on my copy from amazon! Long overdue for me to read this and pass it around.

3. Miska - August 7, 2010

For all the advances women have made the fuckability mandate has not eased up at all. It’s as bad as at ever was, and in some ways a lot worse (labiaplasty, anyone?). Every single woman who appears in the media has styled hair, makeup and and a proper outfit. Unless it is news footage.

Working on the all-consuming task of being fuckable is maybe one of the most obvious and concrete ways that women are complicit with the patriarchy. There is just no way to get around it, despite all the funfem cries of “i do it for me!”

I dunno, my relationship with the fuckability mandate has been complex. When I was a little girl I was obsessed with high heels, long painted nails, makeup etc. I longed for the day when I could have these things. Then when I was 13 I got my first pair of heels, and realized it hurt to wear them for more than 10 minutes, so I chucked them at the back of the closet and have never owned a pair of heels since. I cant bear to be uncomfortable. I never wear makeup because I hate the way it feels. I rarely shave or wax anything because I hate the feel of regrowth. Plus I am lazy. my beauty routine consists of dragging a brush through my hair before I leave the house. And then I usually cover it up with a hipster hat anyway.

I refuse to do this beauty shit … I. Just. Wont. Do. It. Even if it means having a random young woman call me “disgusting” because I dared to go to the supermarket in a sleeveless top without shaving. True story, that. I know I partly get away with it cause I still fit the fuckability mandate ok by virtue of being thin, white and youngish etc. I do wonder if I will feel more pressure as I get older though.

Anyway, enough about my “lived experience”, lol. That’s such an interesting point about chemicals and pain FCM, I’d never drawn that connection before. I like the way you’ve used a scan of your book for this post too – great notes!

factcheckme - August 7, 2010

ah yes miska, but assuming you are still doing basic maintenance/hygeine, do you also buy mens bath products? because if you dont, you are paying more for the exact same thing. this made the news here a few months back. google “women pay more for products” and you will get a ton of hits. heres a sample:

It’s no secret woman make less money than men, only 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. So why do women pay 20, 30, sometimes even 40 percent more for personal items like body wash or expensive cologne? It’s not fair, but you’ll be surprised at how often it happens. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker shopped undercover for a random sampling of items women use every day.

http://cbs2chicago.com/consumer/womens.mens.products.2.1567131.html

this is something i considered putting in the original post, but it was getting too long as it was. if anyone is already going “beauty-free” then it wont be that big a change to start buying mens products, which are significantly cheaper. mens shampoo, mens deodorant, mens everything. see? because even as they have to do less, they have to spend less on what little shit they actually do. shaving cream without the “special rust-free bottom” for a dollar, instead of $4.99. that kind of thing. theres alot you can do with OTC meds too, if you know what you are doing. instead of buying cold medicine, just take a few generic advil and a few generic sudafed at the same time. and according to one of these articles, “midol” is basically just pain killers and caffeine. so…a few generic advil (ibuprofen) and a no-doz (caffeine) or a cup of coffee would do the same thing, for nothing.

i might to a “news you can use” post on this actually. you can also make your own household cleaners for practically nothing, although i dont completely trust people not to blow themselves up while doing it. i have started using a bleach/baking soda mixture to clean the toilet and shower (DO NOT MIX BLEACH WITH ANYTHING, EVER, EXCEPT FOR BAKING SODA). and a white vinegar and dish soap mixture to clean surfaces (just vinegar and water in a spray bottle for glass). i dont even clean that much, but over the years i estimate i have probably spent at least $1000 on “specialty” cleaning products (tub/tile cleaner, toilet cleaner etc). probably even more. and for what? shit. i wish i had that $1000 back today, let me tell you.

factcheckme - August 7, 2010

also, its not just a matter of having that $1000 back. thanks to compound interest, i am literally losing money every day on money i spent years ago…because i spent it and didnt save it in an interest-bearing account. that $1000 would be $2000 eventually…but now its $0, and i literally (LITERALLY!) flushed it down the toilet on toilet cleaner.

compound interest

http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/finworks/fmfutval.htm

4. Miska - August 7, 2010

Also, women dont just pay a “lady tax” on personal care products. Women also pay more for haircuts and drycleaning (I saw a segment on some news show where they got a man and a woman to take the same basic white shirt to a drycleaner. The woman was charged more). Women also end up paying more for cars and also pay more for car maintenance. Oftentimes women pay more for health insurance too. You know, because of our pathological femaleness.

It makes me sick.

5. sonia - August 7, 2010

And then there’s the psychological price tag you pay for being bound and fluffed and buffed and heeled and spray tanned and lipsticked, i.e. the total inability to think straight. It really does create a psychological film.

Plus my mom always said, “how the hell are you going to outrun a rapist in those shoes, sweetie?”
😦

6. Laurel - August 7, 2010

I have a navel ring and a plethora of ear piercings, and I wash and condition my hair with some pricey-ass salon product because it’s gotten frizzier than I want it to be in middle age (and yes, I DO feel stupid paying 13 bucks for a bottle of shampoo). I use men’s deodorant because I like the way it smells and Ivory soap so I don’t get hives. Haircut, including tip, at Fantastic Sam’s=twenty bucks, and I put those off for as long as possible. I don’t bother with anything else except trimming my nails and taking care of my teeth.

My adolescence/teen years were hellish, even though I shaved and wore make-up for brief periods. I was unpopular, “ugly,” and all the rest of it because I was not sufficiently feminine. I’m still not sure why I didn’t try to be more fuckable then, but I suspect my self esteem was so low I felt it wouldn’t have helped. I’m not sure this is the right way to put it but, looking back, I’m glad everyone hated me. It was freeing. And once I got a little older I found I didn’t have to change a thing in order to date, get married, and so forth.

I’m not kidding myself (I hope?). I’m pretty sure I “get/got away with it” because I was “blessed” with clear, pale skin, a teensy nose that turns up, C-cup tits, and an upper middle-class background. I’m 45 now, I am treated with respect and courtesy by almost everyone, and I haven’t bothered with a man in several years. However, I suspect that age will make the fuckability factor as important as youth did, if that makes sense?

For instance, the two times I bought new cars, the salesmen stopped talking to the men I was with (once ex-hub, once dad) and started talking to me very early on because it was obvious I was the person who would be paying and who had done the homework before walking onto the lot.

But is that going to matter a few years from now, when not using cosmetics will make me an “old bag lady”? Is my intelligence, education, politeness, and so forth going to mean anything then? I very much doubt it.

7. kristina - August 7, 2010

not to be a shit head, but what about bras? My breasts hurt when I don’t wear one.

factcheckme - August 7, 2010

Plus my mom always said, “how the hell are you going to outrun a rapist in those shoes, sweetie?”

exactly. the thing about footbinding specifically was and is about having a sexual slave who cant get away. dworkin describes what it was like for a footbound woman to walk, and it must have been a horriffic spectacle: one step she was falling forward, and the next step she was catching herself. theres a powerplay involved there that men and women have both clearly eroticised: he could catch her and fuck her, if he wanted to (“he” being literally anyone) and theres nothing she could do about it. it also makes not-raping someone into an act of charity and chivalry in itself. oh teh menz are so good to us! men arent not-raping women in heels because they are afraid the women will kick their fucking asses if they try, thats for sure.

8. Laurel - August 7, 2010

@ kristina, nice call on the bras! I can’t really do without the support either, but damn, what a racket bras are! Is there any legit reason for them to cost so much? And apparently I’m supposed to buy new ones every six months…?

Is there any kind of “make your own bras” movement (a la using menstrual cups instead of buying tons of paper products you only throw away)?

factcheckme - August 7, 2010

not to be a shit head, but what about bras? My breasts hurt when I don’t wear one.

this question astounds me. it really does. what does this have to do with anything? so wear a fucking bra, be my guest. since you dont have the option *not* to wear one though, it doesnt seem like much of a choice. are you trying to say that it is? seriously, is there a question in there somewhere? or are you making a statement? i am confused.

i am allergic to latex and have dd-cups, so for the size and support, i have to wear an elasticised undergarment that literally cuts into my skin and leaves an allergic rash from front to back, which just barely heals by morning, when i have to put it back on again. there are a few latex-free undergarments on the market which i am trying one by one, but they are expensive and unflattering under my clothes. so my breasts hurt when i dont wear a bra (probably because i always have worn one and they arent used to it, which is important to note) and my breasts, chest, underarms and back break out in a rash when i do. yay bras!

seriously, WTF? i am still confused by this comment.

factcheckme - August 7, 2010

“make your own bras” made me LOL. like on a saturday night, all us hairy, manhating dykes i mean fed-up straight women can get together and make bras out of old…older bras. and then burn them. and buy new ones, because we cant afford to look dumpy at work monday. or something.

i think sports bras are terrific, and i have found latex-free bra-like undergarments that are fine on the weekend. but neither are good under business attire, or under anything really except a v-neck t-shirt, lest you display the dreaded uni-boob. we are going on vacation this week, where i plan to wear a sports bra and v-neck tshirt every fucking day. i am taking a boob-cation.

factcheckme - August 7, 2010

and YES, it absolutely is a racket. i once tried on a $300 bra, just for kicks. and let me tell you that it was comfortable as hell, and my mammary glands have never looked…so much like 2 mammary glands. seriously. no uni-boob there! it was astounding. and it made me realize that you get what you pay for, when it comes to undergarments, and that AS USUAL, its a sliding scale, based on your income. there is NO LIMIT to what you can spend. they recommended that you buy enough so that you never have to wear the same bra 2 days in a row, (ie. 2 styles, each in both nude and black, and another set for when you are laundering those for a total of 8…at $300 apeice) and that you replace them every 6 months. too bad my boobs dont have their own job, because we would need another income to “support” that habit!

9. Laurel - August 7, 2010

Three hundred? Holy harpy man-hatin’ Hades–I just want to be able to walk around in not-pain like the humans (read: doods) do. I went without for many years as a young’un, but I can’t now: it hurts. I don’t have a latex allergy, but I have reacted to new bras before, and had to spend several days slathering Benadryl cream all over my thorax.

I just couldn’t help but wonder whether there isn’t some alternative–not that I’m not up for the hairy-legged bra-recycling encounter group thing, cause that would be aces.

factcheckme - August 7, 2010

Lol @ laurel. Srsly. Walking around not in pain would be great.

10. FemmeForever - August 7, 2010

My breasts hurt when I don’t wear one.

May I offer my sincere condolences to all who suffer this cruel predicament.

The very first thing I do upon arrival at home (after freeing my toes) is free my girls. And they are oh so grateful for free, unencumbered motion.

11. SheilaG - August 8, 2010

Loved the graph of the money wasted. I think I have been saying this to women for about 30 years now. I am amazed that women buy make-up, buy shirts that cost more to dry clean, buy dozens of shoes… on and on it goes. How could they afford this junk? I often wondered. I never ever felt the need to do all this “feminine” stuff to get on with my life, earn a living or advance. I wanted to save as much money as I could from the get go, so that I could spend many years investing this. And believe me, it’s a hell of a lot easier to do this over 30 years, than to constantly get stuck in the heteronormative trap.

I just don’t get it. You don’t have to shave your legs, you never have to wear make-up, bras, dresses, high heels… none of that ever. You can get an economical Super Cut for $14-$21 — you can buy good quality clothes that last 17 years or more, and be very buttoned down and professional. It’s been my way of life all my life. I simply couldn’t figure out why women were so forced into all of that nonsense. It doesn’t get you better jobs or more money… focus and you will make a lot more money than most women. You do have to think about this, and not do work that will not pay well. You have to really think of income potential, and investment potential.

We could be focusing much more attention on creating a women’s economy. There would be plenty for all women– but we’d just have to end our infatuation with the fashion industry, with male pleasing, and head into a whole new worldview. Regardless of homophobia, butch hatred, all that stuff, I never ever wavered in my commitment to those long range goals. In many ways, I was just indifferent to that heteronormative reality… the shoes, the make-up, the endless jewelry… hey, this was not getting straight women anywhere financially, not really. Most of these women now are divorced.

What was the point? What was the brainwashing? Maybe being a lesbian puts you so far outside so much of what is considered “normal” for women, it makes one so supremely indifferent to that world… maybe we are a completely different type of human being. All of this can be done, all women in America can do this without getting stoned, underpaid…. etc.

12. berryblade - August 8, 2010

@Miskha

“For all the advances women have made the fuckability mandate has not eased up at all.”

I can’t remember where I’ve read it, but I know somewhere there’s a line about the more economic and political progress womyn make, the more pressure there is for them to engage in harmful beauty practices. I mean, think of the increase of depilation + cosmetics industries in the 1920’s after most womyn world wide got the vote.

@FCM
“ah yes miska, but assuming you are still doing basic maintenance/hygeine, do you also buy mens bath products? because if you dont, you are paying more for the exact same thing. this made the news here a few months back. google “women pay more for products” and you will get a ton of hits. heres a sample:”

Holy crap, did not know this at ALL. I already brought mens deodorant because I’ve always found womyn’s to not be as effective, but didn’t realise things like body washes etc would be more so!

@Kristina
“My breasts hurt when I don’t wear one.”
Also, seriously thought I was the only one who had this predicament, it sucks, I’ve had breasts since I was like 8 or 9 and been wearing a bra since I was at least 10. The agony you get not wearing one is just ridiculous.

13. Laurel - August 8, 2010

I never felt the _need_ either, but I believe I’m fortunate to have been raised in a family that didn’t pressure me to do/buy the feminine stuff. The rest of the world did and does, my indifference be damned. Playing along makes women’s lives easier overall, just as acting like “a real man” gets men further in a man’s world than “acting like a faggot/pussy/slur of your choice” does.

Playing along makes women’s lives worse overall too, of course, because we can never obtain perfect sex objecthood–and if we did, we’d still be objects. Say, it’s almost like somebody set this game up such that we can’t win. (-:

I think I get less guff about this stuff in part because I have almost always worked in female-dominated fields. In general, what that has meant is that the price I pay for not playing feminine is a financial one: my master’s degree in English, a subject every college student must take, generally nets me less than 10K a year because my field is bloated with MAs and PhDs, most of whom are women.

The price I pay is also a privilege, though, because the price isn’t steep enough to make me yank parts of my eyebrows out with tweezers or put on a skirt. Not playing along is, at least in part, a luxury, as is my current ability to stick to my principles for less than 10K a year. Denied the privilege of my class, 10K/year would barely allow me to live under an overpass giving blow jobs for a “living.”

So yeah, I’m loving the women’s economy idea.

14. SheilaG - August 8, 2010

One thing I’ve never been able to quite figure out is why women really think that not going along with all of this “feminine” conditioning leads to a low income. Whether you wear high heels or not, if you are an English teacher, you will make less than a surgeon who doesn’t wear high heels.

It is the choice of career or the complete lack of financial literacy that can be such a crisis for women overall. I don’t think clothing has anything much to do with it. Women imagine this, they feel socially pressured to do all this stuff, and there must be a boat load of hetero conditioning that I am completely indifferent to.

Math and science, and really working long term in fields that pay well are more indicative I think. I come across many lesbians in the sciences, math, finance, the law and medicine– we might take careers and earning power a lot more seriously precisely because we don’t have “male” subsidy to fall back on. We really do have to be much more focused this way.

What undermines women the most, in my opinion, is the desire for men in the first place. The constantly negating yourself to get male approval. Male approval is not necessary if you are very good at math or science, and in the fields where proven ability rules, women’s poverty will be less evident.

But to get back to the post– the cost of all that female adornment is outrageous. Go to bed bath and beyond or any of those stores, and they are loaded with women shoppers. The price of cosmetics is so high, and yet in the middle of a recession… it will always be a mystery to me.

Feminism does a terrible job with economics and business; I think its greatest shortcoming is in this area. I see the real price of cosmetics, high heels and the like— really bad retirement planning.

factcheckme - August 9, 2010

well, if anyone needed more evidence that the fun fems arent really feminist, this would be it. this whole “empowefulized” heels and lipstick schtick is just bullshit consumerism. and thats all it is. CONSUMERISM. supporting a male economy that relies on women to literally buy into it, to our own detriment. to the point that we are more dependant on men, and occupy a lower social/economic status, both now and in the future. so that we cant see or find a way out, ever. and thats assuming an individual woman ever wakes up, and most of them dont. but even if you do wake up, you have already dug yourself into such a tremendous hole, that the only affect is that you know you are trapped, and cant do anything about it! its like a nightmare. it really is. and this is whats passing as feminism today! thats the kicker. women spending their hard-earned cash, being fuckable to men, instead of building wealth, and financial independance = feminist. ugh.

and these painful beauty rituals, as i mentioned, literally change our biology in many ways. literally creating and perpetuating actual, biological gender difference, where none would otherwise exist. and we are paying big bucks for the privilege. stress hormones make you fat, and increase your risk of disease. and pain is stressful on the body, so that you will have a constant flood of stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol) that people who are not in constant pain (MEN) dont have. so…we dont even know how we are supposed to feel. we literally, LITERALLY do not know what it feels like, to be human, to be functioning at a basline normal for human beings. if we stopped the madness in this area, and got our chemicals and hormones back on track, who knows what would happen? we might start seeing things very differently. how you feel physically has so much to do with everything, it really does.

15. berryblade - August 9, 2010

@fcm have you read beauty and misogyny by Sheila jeffreys? Really recommend it especiallyafter your consumerism comment

16. Wise Words from a Wise Womon | anti social butterfly (IMHO) - August 9, 2010

[…] Fact Check Me. This womon always strikes the nail on the head so […]

factcheckme - August 9, 2010

omg. YAWN! i have been getting quite a bit of traffic from this site, its an “open letter” to MEEEEE! apparently, i am destroying feminism with my transphobia and anti-feminism. HA! (are the MRAs destroying feminism too then? because they are transphobic and anti-feminist too). the thing about these open letters to me (and there have been a few) is this: there are people having lightbulb moments over here. *i* am having fucking lightbulb moments. i am reading books and sharing them with people, people who claim that they were unable to previously understand this material are saying that they understand it *now*. there is actual work being done here, and connections are being made.

when was the last time anyone had a lightbulb moment over a fun-fem post? never? oh gee, i wonder why. its because their posts are fucking boring as hell, and they dont say anything. thats why. the most compelling aspect of any trans- or fun-fem blog is the soap-opera like sharing of “personal expewience” which is exactly as compelling as reading someones diary. its not necessarily feminist (HA! understatement) and theres nothing there that anyone else can use, because theres no theory.

heres a link:

http://womensglib.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/dear-factcheckme/

17. berryblade - August 9, 2010

“The fact that the woman has a dog and the man doesn’t shows sexist beliefs. ”

Hahahhahahahah dude what the fuck.

That entry is just so. Urgh, have these people ever picked up an actual feminist book? Probably not seeing as they’re so worried about teh poor menz and teh poor trannies and how us tyrannical mean nasty rad-fems are killing their boners. I mean, ‘destroying a movement” hahahaha. yeah right.

18. Laurel - August 9, 2010

“[H]aving parts doesn’t make you a woman, it’s something much deeper than only an individual can express.”

Fine. What DOES “make you a woman”? Just…saying so? Great! I’m a man. I’m and individual and I am expressing that. So where’s my privilege, pay raise, and unquestioned certainty that the world revolves around me? I mean, if there’s such a thing as a “lesbian cock” there must be a “gay-man-clit,” right? That’s what I have! So gather round, Fellas, and let me tell you all about how it feels to be a man in today’s society.

I also simply don’t buy the notion that trans people are doing something for us all by “destroying the tyranny of the gender binary.” Trying to leap from one pole to the other _reinforces_ the gender binary. The way you destroy a binary is, you legitimize all the points between the poles.

@Sheila, I didn’t quite mean to say I don’t make money because I don’t wear heels. I meant to say I think it’s easier for me not to wear heels in a female-dominated job. But yes, the fact that I don’t care about pleasing men much more than I do money helps an awful lot.

19. SheilaG - August 9, 2010

Yes, this is a feminist site where I got some really great light bulb moments, and I haven’t had that happen in quite sometime out in feminist blogland. And also, explaining complex feminist books like Dworkin’s helps women who are too intimidated by them, or maybe just didn’t have the time to read them.

To explain a book, and invite commentary encourages loads of women who come here to go out and read Dworkin, for example. I’ve read all the radical feminists, but I like revisiting this stuff here, to see how it plays out 25 some years later.

We are doing dynamic work by actually building on a past, building on women’s writing, and not losing site of our feminist past. Just trying to preserve feminist literary genius is a huge step forward.

I have friends who just don’t want to read this stuff… I don’t know what the deal is with them. They are feminists, but they just don’t want to study I guess.

Anyway, keep up the good work. Sad to say, if you have the MRA and fun feminists and trans gang going after you wtih “open letters” you must be on the right path.

20. delphyne - August 9, 2010

“Feminism respects gender identity”

Have they spent any time in feminism at all? Feminism works to dismantle gender because it’s a hierarchy (not a binary) that sets men over women. Basic stuff – someone send them to feminism school.

I’ve also had a few lightbulb moments here, particularly through the vagina as fuckhole series. Sometimes you know this stuff theoretically but it needs spelling out to make it real. You’ve certainly made it real FCM.

21. Social Worker - August 10, 2010

Oh, FCM, go post on their blog! Pleeeeeease! Just for funsies.

I am giggling to myself even thinking about what you might say.

factcheckme - August 10, 2010

Nah social worker, i dont bother myself with trans and fun-fem blogs anymore. I shouldn’t even click on the sites giving me traffic, but sometimes i do. And its always, ALWAYS something like this. When its not the mras and more aggressive trans blogs that is, with their rapey death threats. The fun fems schtick is always a riff on this theme, and its always so boring. It really is. Like the line berryblade picked out, its largely nonsensical, utter reading comprehension fails, with a chorus of YOU’RE BEING MEAN, STOP IT JUST STOP IT!!!!11!1! It’s insulting frankly, but not the way the intend it to be. There’s simply no legitimate criticism there to even respond to, even if i wanted to. Which i dont. But you know, as a writer, I try to make my work comprehensible, digestible. And these clowns clearly dont understand a word i have said. They never do.

factcheckme - August 10, 2010

Thanks delphyne!

22. delphyne - August 10, 2010

Did you see that the pipsqueak from WomensGlib who decided that your feminism isn’t feminist is in fact an eighteen year old “genderqueer” bloke called Chad, FCM?

Because obviously that’s what feminism needs – more men, even the most junior versions, telling us women what’s what.

factcheckme - August 10, 2010

excellent point…even male babies now know better than women. nice. what ever happened to respecting your elders, sonny? or is acting with even a modicum of fucking respect for women who know of what they fucking speak and have the life experience to back up what they are saying…ageist? and acting like a whiny little bitch who knows everything is, like, the third wave, baby.

actually, as soon as i saw the title “womens GLIB” i knew it was a fucking fun-fem site, i knew it was fucking male-identified, and i knew it was trans/gender queer. because of the IRONY. see? womens LIBERATION isnt interesting enough, because it doesnt make it clear that MEN: GET BLOW JOBS HERE. whereas the IRONY makes it clear as day. men: you will get your dicks sucked, blown, coddled, ridden, and bowed-down-to here. probably by a transwoman.

someone tell me thats not EXACTLY what “irony” in this context conveys. this isnt my first day, people.

factcheckme - August 11, 2010

also, speaking of male-identified trans blogs, the “sorry, sex positive transwomen” post has been getting a ton of traffic the last week or so. thats the one that womens GLIB glommed onto. they are all very late to the party arent they? i turned off the comments to all posts that are >90 days old, to cut down on drive-bys and trolling. its probably going to force more of these “open letters to MEEEEE” though. oh well. as miska said, theres nothing funnier than impotent internet men and transwomen who have no power over you, at all, and cant control what you say, how you say it, or who you invite to the party. shes right, you know. watching them sulk and shooting these pathetic “responses” out into the ether its fucking funny as hell.

23. maria - August 11, 2010

SheilaG is saying so much of what I’ve been thinking lately. I stopped shaving over a year ago and had to psych myself up to wear skirts etc that didn’t hide it, but what I noticed more than anything was that no one cared. I’m coming to the conclusion that the conditioning of women has led more to their downfall than actual conditions of the world.

I’ve been reading “Ambition -a woman’s guide..” and the author has made a strong case that women are perpetuating the glass ceiling by underselling themselves. This is an oversimplification, but my experience has been that opting out of status-quo is a lot easier than I was led to believe… therein lies the problem: much of the patriarchal structure is only operative because women have internalized it.
After I read Gyn/Ecology I felt like Gulliver when he woke up in Lilliput and tore off the small ropes that they had tied to him… I was only effectively bound while asleep. I can’t figure out how to wake up others unfortunately, even to the extent of reading a single radfem book. Has anyone had any luck or effective methods in converting others?

24. michaeleriksson - August 11, 2010

My view, as a man (and while I cannot guarantee that I speak for the majority, I do speak for many others):

If women would spend less time and money on their looks, I would be quite happy. Apart from shaving, most of what a woman needs to do for men are things that she should do anyway—for the sake of her health and hygien. Break-legs heels, stinky perfume, too much make-up, weight-obsessions, whatnot, have a negative net-effect.

By the by, unlike what is claimed above, there is something that men spend similar amounts of money on—drinks, dinners, movie tickets, whatnot to get women.

25. nonny - August 11, 2010

Haha, I’m new here. I’ve coincidentally put some traffic on your “sorry, sex positive transwomen” post this past week coming back to re-read and use the links. A tiny drop in the bucket, but from a supporter. Got all revved up and ready to jump into the comment thread but it was closed. Don’t blame you.

Oh, and about whether conforming to feminine beauty norms has an effect on income: down here in the US minimum wage food service and retail world, it is crucial. For instance, restaurant jobs are hard to come by. With very few exceptions, they hire women only to front-of-house jobs, and they only hire women who are good at beauty — extra points if you’re white and young.

At the best-paying job I’ve ever had ($6.25/hr + about 8% tips), you were not allowed to cut your hair, get a tattoo, or otherwise alter your appearance without first getting approval from the male owner. If you’re working for tips, you’d damn well better be dolled up anyway. In that situation, tips were split, so if your tips were consistently low you’d be quietly dropped from the schedule or “put out to pasture” on bad shifts.

Anecdotes, et cetera. Just sayin’ that it’s not universal. A lot of us receive direct economic punishment for being uncooperative. I’m homeless and unemployed and trying to gather money for some deodorant and makeup and a bra and shit. Bootstraps! Ha. If you’re covered in scars and missing some teeth, you’d better look like you’re trying, damnit.

factcheckme - August 11, 2010

AaaaaahahahahHahahahahaha! HAHAHAHAHAHHA!! Anyone care to take a crack at this clown? I’m a little busy at the moment. Remember: he speaks for many others. But my guess is, he listens for none.

26. michaeleriksson - August 11, 2010

Since when is bringing in a perspective that you lack being a clown? Since when is it OK to use vague and unfounded ad hominem attacks against people you do not even know?

(I can, by the way, assure that I listen to far more people and opinions than the typical person.)

factcheckme - August 11, 2010

Yes, and you are demonstrating your fine listening skills now. By continuing to talk. I may or may not deal with you later, and others may or may not respond to you as well. In the meantime, this is the sound of you, shutting the fuck up.

27. sonia - August 11, 2010

“Since when is it OK to use vague and unfounded ad hominem attacks against people you do not even know?”

Oooh! Oooh! I know! I know!

When that person doesn’t have a penis?

28. sonia - August 11, 2010

I just want to say this, douche lord.

THE ENTIRE FUCKING POINT OF THIS BLOG IS THAT WOMEN DON’T HAVE TO “DO” ANYTHING “FOR MEN.”

Except, apparently, get schooled in perspectives we “lack.”

The fact that you think you can speak on the experience of women in a definitive way makes you a misogynist.

29. Laurel - August 11, 2010

Michael, the rest of the known universe belongs to and caters to YOU. The rest of the world is where YOU get to tell women how to dress and groom themselves, and what pleases and does not please YOU about what women do and who we are and our looks and our brains and our pussies and everything else. Some women in the rest of the world will even listen to YOU and take YOUR sad little opinion into account like it matters, because that’s how the patriarchy works.

This is not there. I know that bothers YOU, because the world has always been YOUR oyster, hasn’t it, Punkin? Unfortunately for YOU, this is one of the few places anywhere ever in which nobody owes YOU the time of day, seeing as how YOU have not even been bothered to get YOUR 101 on.

People who know how to listen demonstrate their ability by listening, not by wandering out of the internet ether somewhere and dropping turds of wisdom on subjects they have no clue about. Really, have you read any other posts here? Have you ever read anything claiming to be a feminist book, blog, website, anything? Then what makes you think you have a right to waltz in and tell us all whether or not you approve of our appearances and be treated nicely for that? What makes you think we give a red rodent’s rectum about the arcs delineated by A) the swing of your mighty meatstick or B) its ropy, manly pissing?

But I’m being harsh, aren’t I? I feel for ya, Honey, I do. Once you bought a woman you’d never met a drink, and she acted like she didn’t even owe you a piece for your trouble, and that balances out untold centuries of oppression you didn’t even do anyway because you’re Nice. Sure it does.

Also, it’s only an ad hom if it substitutes for a critique of your position. If I say “you’re an asshole” without regard to your argument, that’s an ad hom. If I say you’re an asshole because of your argument, well, that’s merely an insult.

It’s not my blog, because if it were I’d tell you to go chase yourself. Downhill. With a team of Belgians.

30. Laurel - August 11, 2010

……by which, of course, I mean a team of Belgian MARES.

31. SheilaG - August 11, 2010

Maria, you have hit the nail on the head. All of this “policing” of women is internalized. You don’t have to buy one stick of lipstick, you never have to shave anything, you never have to wear a skirt or dress, you never have to wear any make-up whatsoever. You never have to do any of that stuff.

What you do have to do, is become very skilled and focused on earning a decent living, and staying way away from the low paid female ghetto jobs. You need above all to be focused, educated, and not afraid to move ahead. The money you save and invest (getting nails painted is $40 in our town), and avoid spending on all that man pleasing nonsense will provide you a small forture after 25 some years. 20-something women— pay attention here!

Nothing bad happens women! You become experts, you stay away from as much male domination and control as you’re able to figure out, and you don’t have children. Remember, the world’s population has doubled in the last 50 some years. This baby making obsession is going to bring the world down eventually.

Be strong, get out of the female product buy buy buy traps, stay out of malls…. get the heck out of that world, and you’ll be so much better off.

Maria, you’ve made a great discovery. Keep on learning!

32. SheilaG - August 11, 2010

100% of the time, men who come onto this blog are clueless anti-feminist idiots. I can’t think of a time when I have ever read some man get feminist right, ever. And especially in places where women rule and control the conversation space, and men have no power at all, which is the case here!

thanks Femonade for taking all the power and being proud of it!
It’s just so refreshing to have complex feminist discussion here way beyond the male pleasing 101 stuff. I really do think the male brain is incapable of understanding any of this, that it doesn’t care about women at all, and that it is only interested in exploiting and using women. It’s greatest fear is that women worldwide will wake up, and then the gig will be up!

Men on the Internet can actually read all of this writing, and they could actually learn and change because of this. But they won’t ever. Women can change and wake up, and that is the greatest challenge for feminists, to inspire and create places for women to awaken to freedom!

factcheckme - August 11, 2010

you gals are awesome. thanks! also, nonny got caught in the crossfire there, just wanted to say “hi” to a new reader, and welcome aboard. carry on, you all rock.

33. sonia - August 11, 2010

I think that’s the most important take away message, and one that fun fems seems totally oblivious to. In terms of what Sheila is saying, and not to derail: ALL of this shit- what we are required to listen to, accept, do, buy, and what we wind up doing with our bodies for comfort and nurturance or conversely, money or support, all boils down to how much money a woman has. That’s why I’m spending all my time investing in my bank accounts and education, and refuse to have further PIV. If women can avoid babies or HIV or marriage long enough to get financially secure, our decisions will all be different. Especially the sexual ones, and then there would be less fun fem bullshit about sexual empowerment. “Sexual empowerment” is a merry-go round. Financial empowerment is a reality. When you rely on no one else for money, you begin to stop lying to yourself about what you like or want to accept.

factcheckme - August 11, 2010

ok, heres what i wanted to say regarding michaels comment (not “to” michael, since i dont give a flying fuck whether he reads it, or not).

first, his “perspective” is completely banal. its 100% the mainstream “perspective.” radical feminism is a response TO IT. ie. i already know what he thinks, how he thinks, what he is going to say, everything he has ever said, and everything he will ever say. i dont need anyone coming in here “revealing” whats already been revealed to me, just by living, and what i and other feminists are already VERY OBVIOUSLY responding to. it tells me, immediately, that he DOESNT GET IT. and that he isnt interested in getting it, and he never will get it. i really dont even need to go on, but…

If women would spend less time and money on their looks, I would be quite happy.

this isnt about michael, and its not about what will make michael happy. see how everything revolves around michael, in michaels world? THIS ISNT ABOUT YOU DICKWAD. this is 100% typical, standard-issue MANSPLAINING. its also a reading comprehension fail: THE POST WAS ABOUT PAIN. men like michael might claim that they dont like it when women waste their (the mens!! this is eating into THEIR time, and THEIR cash too once they are partnered and married) time and money on painful beauty rituals…but they surely like the SUBMISSIVENESS that dworkin suggests is caused and perpetuated by painful beauty rituals. they surely like the PIV that comes with it. they surely like the lower social/economic status women are forced into, because we cant save and spend our money at the same time. THEY LIKE IT. OH YES THEY DO. they fucking love it. and they 100% NEED (require) women to support the male economy with our money.

they might wish that we would do it all on our own fucking time, and on our own fucking dime, so they dont have to know about any of it…but men fucking love it. and any of them who says otherwise is a goddamned fucking liar, or they have no imagination, because they cant figure out what life would be like for them if women STOPPED ALL THIS. it would be like ripples in a pond. big fucking ripples, in a big fucking pond. people would have to change their entire ways of life. men would lose their jobs, and their PIV, and their unpaid domestic labor. the economy as we know it would CRUMBLE. oh yes it would.

By the by, unlike what is claimed above, there is something that men spend similar amounts of money on—drinks, dinners, movie tickets, whatnot to get women.

READING COMPREHENSION FAIL! i never said anything remotely like this. i dont doubt, however, that michael thought he read this, and will attribute it to me. when what i actually said was that men have nothing COMPARABLE on which to spend their money. and they dont. theres unlimited things to blow your cash on, in a capitalist economy. you could spend millions on cookies and milk, if you wanted to. but for men, theres NOTHING EVEN REMOTELY APPROACHING the fuckability mandates and painful biology-altering ritual torture that require womens time, energy, and cash. NOTHING.

so…michael can go fuck himself. i published his comment because i thought a few here might like to have a go at him (and you all did a fine job!) but also i wanted to make a few points. those are they. carry on.

34. SheilaG - August 12, 2010

“those are they”… hur-ray! Love that old time feminist preach it religion! Love it love it and more love it! Cheered me up today–we are going to win this revolution women. All the world’s women are going to wake up, and then those male industries of “fashion” etc. are going to crumble just like Lehman Brothers! And bailouts won’t be possible. It’s going to happen. And that big piece of Greenland that fell off, I hope it lands on some idiot man’s head!

And on a side note: What if all women going to catholic churches boycotted them for one Sunday a month, just to show solidarity to the abused children, and to show our anger at the Vatican’s inane comments. Just once, women could walk out, but for a short time… show our power now and then. See what this does, and then move on…

factcheckme - August 12, 2010

i would also add that it matters a great deal, actually, what kind of career or life situation you are in, whether these things matter in a real, tangible, economic way, or whether its just (“just”) an internalized hurdle. as in, the waitress who has to ask her male boss before she can get a hair cut (THATS THE CREEPIEST THING I HAVE HEARD ALL WEEK, SO THANKS FOR THAT!) flight attendants, waitresses, bartenders, k-12 teachers…female dominated fields, where women have MEN for supervision and to set the rules…absolutely have to do this shit, its not optional, and its not just some internalized mindfuck the women are doing to themselves. absolutely not. and i really object to characterizing any of this as a battle that women fight with ourselves, in our minds. i think women know very well whats required of us. and its not “just” men who are in positions of power over us in the workplace. its that “men like women who take care of themselves.” as lovers and wives, just as dworkin says. and…in other roles too.

the trick is, i think, to take a path thats not going to leave you dependant on some PIV-entitled fuckface. thats number one! and, to get an education or vacational training that might allow you out of the pink-collar ghetto, as sheila says. just dont be waitresses and flight attendants anymore. its a nice thought, but you know, some of “those women” are reading here, and at least one of them is telling us that this isnt all in her mind, and its nothing that can be changed, and shes absolutely right.

35. maria - August 12, 2010

FCM -I tried to leave a comment that was succinct without being overly simplistic, but it is hard to do both. You give excellent examples, my sister worked for an airline and had to wear makeup for some bs reason about ‘not looking pale during an emergency’. I’ve been reading every radfem blog out there for over a year now and am just recently trying to chime in, so I understand that my voice is not well established, but in no way do I place blame on women in these situations and I want to be clear on that.

Unfortunately, there are many situations where the fear of consequences prevents women’s mobility more than anything that’s behind the curtain. Sometimes the boundaries only become visible when we try to cross them and other times the boundaries that are so clearly marked aren’t really in place at all. It’s a gamble for sure, but we need to constantly test those fences otherwise we’re doing the work for them.

36. SheilaG - August 12, 2010

This is for the young women reading here who haven’t had children yet, aren’t get messed over with PIV, and might still be in the early stages of college or high school. Avoid all badly paying jobs– find out what is well compensated, and what doesn’t require all this expensive female dress code stuff. STUDY, don’t date or do drugs, but hit the books! You can find salary ranges on the Internet or go out and seek women who are in those professions that you aspire to.

I love it when some young woman wants to know about my job and how to break the 100k barrier. Love it when some woman actually wants to know real stuff about real money. Love it!

37. FemmeForever - August 12, 2010

I have a question that might be OT but the comments here made me wonder. If one is raising a daughter/granddaughter/niece how would one go about ensuring that she learned to see men realistically? I don’t know how one does this given that many children tend to rebel against whatever ideology they are directly taught. And I don’t think I could survive if I ended up with a fun fem child.

In fact, I can’t explain why any of us were able to see the light. We are immersed in patriarchal propaganda from birth and it’s a miracle any girl or woman ever sees her way through the lies to clarity. So how does one teach it deliberately?

38. FemmeForever - August 12, 2010

True (rad) feminism is so rare that it almost seems like a fluke that any of us made our way to the truth.

factcheckme - August 12, 2010

i dont know the answer to that FF. i did recall a convo i had with my mom though, when i was in college and making minimum wage (and working my fucking ass off for it) and i told her that when i went shopping, and i picked up a lipstick, i was thinking THIS IS AN HOUR OF MY WORK! THE WORK THAT I HATE! I COULD WORK AN HOUR LESS, IF I JUST DIDNT BUY THIS! and she said…”you are going to make yourself crazy if you think about it like that. the way this works is, you work your 40 hours, you make your budget, and you spend your spending money.”

and the truth of it is that i WOULDNT just be able to work an hour less, and i knew it. if i could have, i might have made that change immediately, because i fucking hate a 40 hour workweek (seems like cake to me now with my 15 hour days though) and i would love to just work part time and have it work, but theres no such thing as say a 39 hour workweek. it just doesnt work that way. i would have been working the full 40 hours, hating every fucking minute of it, and not spending a dime “on myself” which would have made me feel like a slave.

and theres something to that, for the lower and middle classes. we need relatively low-price trinkets (again, its a sliding scale) as part of a reward-system, in which we get very (VERY) little reward. many lower and middle class people use food this way, which is a big part of why they are fat, and upper class people (WOMEN especially) are thin. rich people can spend a grand at a spa when they want to “feel better,” poor people get big macs and ice cream. but women dont even get trinkets to make us feel better, and we arent supposed to eat. we get make-up that makes us feel “sexy.” its so fucked up, it really is. we never get a fucking break!

factcheckme - August 12, 2010

ANYHOO, i was having these thoughts early on. i dont know why. i can tell you for sure that the specifics of them didnt come from my parents, who hadnt a clue what the fuck i was thinking. i dont know where it came from.

39. DarthVelma - August 12, 2010

I know this is off topic, but this was just about the only place I could think of to rant about this.

How fucking annoying is it to have a trans woman on an allegedly “feminist” site make a fucking joke at the expense of “humorless feminazis”. *sigh*

http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2010/08/pillow-talk-with-kate.html

Why I continue to even periodically check in at that place is beyond me.

factcheckme - August 12, 2010

Yeah well, they can lick my natal clit, because I am funny as hell. Goddammit!

40. SheilaG - August 12, 2010

You know FemmeForever, that is a very interesting question, about having a daughter, and how you would actually educate that daughter.
And how we all realized a radical feminist consciousness.

All I know, is that when I was younger, I found kids my age rather dull.
They just didn’t engage me intellectually. So that was one disconnect.
Also I was serious by nature, and didn’t fit in well with the giggly teenage culture to begin with.

I was exposed to radical feminism in my early 20s, and had a very highly developed political awareness even at the age of 10. To this day, I continue with a rather rigorous reading schedule, and I do pretty high level math as a part of my job.

Radical feminism loves intellectuals and ideas, and since it was invented by lesbians largely, I feel naturally drawn to it.

If I had a daughter, I would encourage her a lot, and expose her to great literature, politics, music and art. I probably would get rid of the TV set in her early years, knowing that a child who at least reaches the age of 4 or 5 without TV will be well ahead of the culture.

And as for FCM and the discovery of the expensive hour of your life lipstick… I agree, I don’t know how people can manage 40 hour or more work weeks. It’s something that I never want to do, unless I have a major project and get excited about it, then I’ll work long hours on it. I stayed away from low paying jobs, and created a lot of my own types of jobs when I was in college. I can’t say why at such an early age I was so engaged with saving money, and learning about investments. My family wasn’t involved in that world, but I love the idea that money makes money, and that wages were a form of slavery.
Once you get an idea like that in your head, and you see how math really works, you avoid the economic traps that women fall into. And it really helps to be a lesbian…no men, no children, no distractions, and exposure to radical feminism. It’s a good package deal I think for properity.

41. Level Best - August 12, 2010

SheilaG, you were most fortunate to have educated yourself back in the days when could actually lead to a decent job that would be around decades later. Bootstrapping is a distant dream for most. It’s a whole different world in America now, so any young’un reading here who feels guilty for not having managed to snag a profitable, less-than-40-hours-per-week job, stop the self-blaming. I say this as an old bird lucky enough to have gotten a basement-level state job in the 70’s and retained it until this day. I was just LUCKY. The one percent that own this country have hamstrung the economy and young people’s opportunities. No amount of hittin’ the old books can compensate for those things.

factcheckme - August 12, 2010

Thanks level best. The bootstrapping talk gets on my last nerve too, and as a lifelong pessimist frankly I am not sure where optimism ends, and bootstrapping beliefs begin. I let it go for that reason, depending on where the speaker is coming from, and other reasons. It’s an imperfect, arbitrary system on my part.

42. SheilaG - August 12, 2010

Folks it’s just math. If you think mathematically, you can do things in new ways. I am an optimist by nature, and right now I am in a very happy mood. Judge Walker has just ended the stay on lesbian and gay marriage. While I can look back for decades, and see how this lack of social acceptance affected me, it also, as an outsider, made me do the math differently.

As I said before, my feminism is about optimism. I just don’t sit around and let straight people dictate what my income will be or how I will live. I actually believe it was my desire to have more time for myself, and less time around bosses and men that caused me to do things differently.

One math formula that really inspired me in the late 80s was: “Can I make as much money in one month as I did in a year?” I’d never thought of this before, but once I heard the idea, it really excited me.
I love numbers and challenges…they are kind of like puzzles to be solved.

But, it’s just a kind of game I enjoy. Working for wages is not going to get you as far as investing will. It just isn’t in my opinion.

43. FemmeForever - August 12, 2010

I just noticed “NIPPLES rouged” from the figure.

WTF?????

factcheckme - August 12, 2010

I have heard of nipple rouging before, but I don’t remember where. I guess its something from the 70s or pre-70s that hasn’t survived, and its really the only thing that’s changed since Dworkin published this graphic in 1974 (berryblade dated it, I’m actually not sure) and todays beauty standard. It’s remarkably the same, some 40 years later.

Anyone have any experience or info on nipple rouging? Is this one of those “let me freshen up” before piv things, where we are supposed to disappear into the bathroom for ten minutes, with the baby wipes?

44. sonia - August 13, 2010

@FF- I think a lot of people rebel initially, but if what they are taught resonates with them they return to it later. I was raised radfem/pagan,
so in high school I wore heels and miniskirts and pancake makeup and went to church. I had no philosophy except making my mother mad (she had offered me $1000 if I waited til I was 18 to decide to shave my legs). However, after finding out that she was right about basically everything, I rediscovered my roots. Because feminism is the truth, I think girls who are raised with it will return to it. There’s a song, “daughters of feminists,” that says those girls always yearn for femininity worse than girls who are forced to practice it. however, the experience of performing gender will fall away over time for girls who are offered an opportunity otherwise. IMHO.

45. vaginusdetritus - August 13, 2010

As for bootstraps, meh. I dug this one up, but I don’t have time to search further at the moment. http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2010/06/08/the-growing-wealth-gap-between-blacks-and-whites-2/ I really have no patience for Horatio Alger right now. Naughty of me to join a thread without patience, but there it is.

Not very eloquent right now.

“I love the idea that money makes money, and that wages were a form of slavery. Once you get an idea like that in your head, and you see how math really works, you avoid the economic traps that women fall into.”

Wages ARE slavery, not a “wages were a form of slavery.” Plenty of poor women understand how math works. Poverty is not voluntary.

And I’m done. Oh, lemme just bust in on your blog and start arguing. Sorry.

Thanks, everyone, for the welcome and support. Wasn’t expecting that.

But! Nipple rouging! Ha. I thought I had made it up myself, but of course not. No, I did that for porn in this decade. It’s not all airbrushing — my whole body was coated in foundation. Legs and shaved pubic hair and all. So generally you go back over yourself with rouge on your nipples and inner labia. It’s that high-contrast effect you’ve probably seen.

46. vaginusdetritus - August 13, 2010

Oh, and I was nonny.

47. FemmeForever - August 13, 2010

@ sonia

Yes, but did you rediscover it when you were still young enough to avoid the serious pitfalls of womanhood under patriarchy? Or did you have to do decades of trial and error before you got there?

48. vaginusdetritus - August 13, 2010

sonia: That’s really interesting for me to read. I was raised fundamentalist dysfunctional christian and thought “feminism” was the same as “feminine,” which I detested. I rebelled, yes, and hard, but wasn’t presented any alternatives. Funny that we’ve come from nearly opposite ends of the spectrum and ended up in the same place.

49. sonia - August 13, 2010

FCM- you can rouge them with lipstick or blush. I’ve done it,however I think it was mostly a prostitute practice in past cultures. It’s not that smart because it’s going to come off during the PIV. Yes, it’s just to “enhance” the color. Because females’ pink parts get pinker during sexual arousal, it’s another simulation of arousal designed to praise male ego.

50. berryblade - August 13, 2010

Re: nipple rouging, would say these days it would come under body make up, but a snopes search led me to:

“Rouging the nipples? Historically, it was assocatied with sex workers. Normally, you’d apply a thin lipstick or liquid rouge and rub it in. I’ve used wine on mine before (taste and pretty colour)”

And

http://www.hennaking.com/areola.php

Which is a site that sells it. So there you have it, another cultural practice originating in, and encouraging the subordination of womyn.

51. vaginusdetritus - August 13, 2010

Nipple piercings could arguably be added to the list, although it isn’t as widespread a practice as the others. Probably more common than nipple rouging these days, though.

52. MAD - August 13, 2010

A key moment in my ‘radfem’ upbringing/education, when I was still too young to know the chronology of the lives of parents and children (about 8 yrs. old): my father telling me that if I did my best at school I could get a better education than he and go to work as his boss. I remember imagining what fun we would have together at work. It made a good education look very attractive.
They both pushed me to have my own life, whatever it would be, because they had tried and failed, trapped in ‘marriage with kids’. And I rebeled against them, I did, but never against that part.
Now he’s dead and she is old, frail and dimming, but my parents are the jewels of my life.
And that while both would probably have thought ‘Radfem’ was some kind of cleaning product.

factcheckme - August 13, 2010

i think ANY adornment can be added to this list. unless you cut a hole in yourself and put a twig in it, you are paying for the adornment. and even *if* you make the hole yourself, you are causing yourself pain, which is going to put you right back into this endorphin/cortisol/adrenaline chemical brew. STOP THE MADNESS PEOPLE!

now…i should add here that i still spend money on fuckability mandates. yes i do. i feel the pressure to “take care of myself” as a youngish professional in my particular field. there are a few women in my business who dont take care of themselves…and i am watching them now. i want to see how they do it, and what i might be able to learn from them. you know, without actually asking them about the benefits and logistics of their supreme, glorious dumpiness. heh. but i am seeing it differently now. it *is* glorious. it really is. they are older and more experienced than me, which can only help them i think. this is the benefit of living in my particular educated, professional world (i am sure not all educations and professions offer this, but some do): older and experienced actually means something, for women. we arent so easily discarded.

i would also add that i *am* however spending a lot less than i ever have, and it feels terriffic. i am making all my own cleaning products (as i mentioned earlier) and getting clothing and shoes repaired, instead of replacing them. i stopped trying to build a jewlery collection (no more adornments. NONE). and i learned a trick from a woman i met, about how to spend wisely. she and her family are rather wealthy, which isnt a coincidence by the way. wealthy people dont get that way by being stupid about money. her trick is to make a list of things you need (as in, dont already have, that you would get a lot of use out of) and then stick to the list. its very simple, but its really, really effective. theres no blowing money on things that just disappear into the back of the closet, or into the pantry or utility closet or whatever. you get only what you need, and they make your life easier, more comfortable, or more convenient in some way.

what i wont do anymore is wear uncomfortable shoes. NO WAY. this one i can thank sheila for, because she said something months ago about “female pain” and its stuck with me. this post was about female pain, and dworkin addresses it directly, and specifically. this might be more important than the other stuff, in that we could literally change our biology, our chemical makeup, if we refused to be in constant pain, anymore. we might start to see the other things differently, if we started there. a change in perception is invaluable, it really is. and this one could be so easy, and so unbelievably drastic, i think its worth it to us all to give it a try.

factcheckme - August 13, 2010

PS. the “all porn is rape” post is getting mega traffic lately. the trans/fun-fems have found it (AGAIN!! jeez, cant they get it together? they have found it now like 5 times, and each time they act as if its the first) and its also been linked to by (get this) some COMIC BOOK FORUM. ugh. so we have apparently several hundred comic book nerds on this site as we speak, reading about porn, on the same computers they undoubtedly use to watch porn, like, a dozen or more hours a day, is my guess. i feel sick. is there any chance at all that they will actually learn something? i seriously, SERIOUSLY doubt it.

53. vaginusdetritus - August 13, 2010

True, true. I pointed nipple piercings out as particularly worrisome because they are a permanent modification (a lifetime of smegma-oozing scars? Yum, I can’t wait), rather than temporary adornment. If your nipples are “too flat” or “too small” or “too pale” or “not sensitive enough” (you know, because women are all supposed to writhe and squeal orgasmically whenever some egomaniacal schmuck graces them with “foreplay” and if that doesn’t do it for you, ladies, you’re defective) — get them pierced. But high heels and shit will definitely permanently modify your body, too, so hey.

Anyway, I didn’t come to add to an infinite list of misogynist atrocities.

I came bearing poems! Or, rather, poem. And hell no I’m not about to subject you to my own writing. Here’s a Marge Piercy tidbit that’s probably only new to me.

A Work of Artifice

The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener
carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he
whittles back the branches
the gardener croons,
It is your nature
to be small and cozy,
domestic and weak;
how lucky, little tree,
to have a pot to grow in.
With living creatures
one must begin very early
to dwarf their growth:
the bound feet,
the crippled brain,
the hair in curlers,
the hands you
love to touch.

54. SheilaG - August 13, 2010

Hey Marge Piercy… glad you discovered her!
A Japanese friend once said she hated bonsai for that very reason.
We were actually walking in a bonsai garden as I described that poem… geezz time marches on that was decades ago…yeowww.

55. factcheckme - August 17, 2010
56. Scarlo - August 18, 2010

It’ is women, not men, that are shallow and focus only on looks, it is they who abuse and shun each other simply becuase they arre not ‘fuckable enough’ as you call it.

It is women who give me hell every day of my life becuase I do not shave, wear braces, do not wear perfume, or jewelry.
They are the ones call me skank (filthy) and say I will never be a woman, becuase I do not “look like one”
To women I am an amoeba, a speck, wearing chip fat on your lips and putting silicone in your breasts makes you a person, for women.
To men I am a woman, for them being caring sensitive makes you a person.

factcheckme - August 19, 2010

the women you are talking about are known as the “handmaidens of the patriarchy.” and the men you are talking about…well lets just say they dont see you as a person, as much as an orifice. sorry.

57. FemmeForever - August 19, 2010

((((Scarlo))))

I’m sorry but FCM is absolutely right. Most women have their heads so far embedded in the colons of men that they have ceased to have any independent thinking of their own long ago. These women sound and behave just like men. When they talk, if you weren’t sitting in front of them you would swear they were men.

I am targeted by these women as well for having the unmitigated gall to be romantically disinterested in their men friends and family members. Their attitude is how dare you not fall on your knees with gratitude for random douche’s attentions. I didn’t and they still hate me with remarkable intensity and longevity ten to fifteen years after the fact. Really healthy and rational, huh.

FCM’s right about the men, too.

factcheckme - August 19, 2010

thanks for that compassionate reply ff. these kinds of comments really irritate me, and i thought about spamming it but it was from an actual woman who is being railroaded by the big p so i let it through. unlike another which directly followed it, from someone claiming to be female, who was absolutely sure that men loved their gfs and their kids too, and said this entire site and all the commenters and discussions here were “disgusting” and “shameful”. and theres nothing to even work with, there. its spam-tastic! and trolling.

58. MAD - August 19, 2010

Dearest FCM, these women ARE ‘taking care of themselves’. Taking care. Of themselves. Not in the media/pr/’professional’/porn sense of ‘taking care of yourself’, but in the way that those words really mean.
Love.

59. veganprimate - August 23, 2010

SheilaG said: “One thing I’ve never been able to quite figure out is why women really think that not going along with all of this “feminine” conditioning leads to a low income. Whether you wear high heels or not, if you are an English teacher, you will make less than a surgeon who doesn’t wear high heels.

It is the choice of career or the complete lack of financial literacy that can be such a crisis for women overall.”

I agree with this. I’m in the medical laboratory field, and it’s female dominated, and most of the women in my department were free of makeup and fancy hairdos and clothes. We’re allowed to wear street clothes or scrubs, and so there was a plethora of jeans and plain t-shirts. There was only one or two women who were uberfeminine with nice clothes and makeup and a dye job.

I don’t make fantastic money, but it’s pretty decent. I’m frugal, so I was able to live on 32 hours a week. I didn’t need full-time.

60. veganprimate - August 23, 2010

Miska said: “I know I partly get away with it cause I still fit the fuckability mandate ok by virtue of being thin, white and youngish etc. I do wonder if I will feel more pressure as I get older though.”

If by “get away with” you mean people don’t say things or harrass you, then as you get older, you’ll feel even LESS pressure, because you’ll be invisible. A young woman not trying to be fuckable is an abomination, but no one wants to fuck an old woman anyway, so no one will even notice that you aren’t trying to be fuckable.

61. advertising, fairy tales and pornography | anti social butterfly - August 26, 2010

[…] how much male attention they can gather; forced to compete with one another – no one wants to tell us how much of a losing game this really […]

62. Cora - September 15, 2010

I’ve had a lightbulb moment with this post, and I have decided not to give jewellery, perfumes and the like as presents ever again. Because it’s as awful as a man giving his wife some cooking tools on valentine’s day.

factcheckme - September 16, 2010

the drawing in dworkins book was really a lightbulb moment for me. sometimes you just need an image, or a tone, or someone elses description of whats happening, before you see it for yourself. thats what “woman hating” was for me, especially regarding oppressive beauty practices, and how it limits womens physical freedom. and obviously, our financial wellbeing.


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