jump to navigation

I Am So Passive, That I Literally Wouldn’t Mind If You Murdered Me. Really! I’m Okay With It. August 19, 2010

Posted by FCM in entertainment, health, liberal dickwads, pop culture, sorry!, WTF?.
Tags: , , , , , ,

i posted this in the “woman hating part 2” comments, but i thought it deserved its own post.  its not because i really hate eminem in particular, or that i am in the mood to dissect media portrayals of domestic male violence.  really, i dont, and i’m not. its that this song has literally been haunting me for a week, and i cant stop thinking about it.  in short, i am trying to pass this earworm onto you all…and spreading the pain around.  sorry!

i first heard this song in the car, without the video images.  i pretty quickly figured out it was eminem, waxing poetic about domestic male violence.  not exactly surprising, whatever.  the womans voice i didnt recognize (its rihanna, for anyone who has been living in a cave even darker and deeper than mine apparently is).  but theres a line towards the end of the song where old em says that if she tries to leave him again, hes going to tie her to the bed and burn the house down.

i am not kidding you, this line just absolutely punched me in the face.  it really fucking did.  and it might be more sick and hateful than anything ive subjected myself to lately, but i dont think thats what was so horrible and shocking about it.  this line doesnt come until the end of the song, but the woman’s voice has been saying “stand there and watch me burn; thats alright, because i like the way it hurts” the whole fucking time. its at this point that we realize that its LITERAL, and that she really wants him to murder her.  or at least, she wouldnt mind.  really!  its ok, dont worry about it.

i have never heard a more passive portrayal of a woman, i dont think.  have you?  *is* there anything more passive, than someone who literally wouldnt mind if you killed them?  if there is, i cant think of it.

and disturbingly, according to the female voice, she also likes his LIES. i dont know if any of you have ever been in a relationship with an addict or a compulsive liar, but i have, and its the lies that make you crazy, absolutely batshit crazy, probably more so than anything else. and here we have a womans voice the whole time saying not only that she likes him lying to her, but that she LOVES it! women love crazy-making too! oh yeah bring on the prozac and the funny farm, cause we LOOOOOVE that the most.

of course, the fact that its rihanna singing the female part added a whole new dimension of fucked up-ness to it, once i found out. i dont know why they used megan fox and the little dude from the hobbit (is that him??)  i mean, why not just have rihanna and chris brown play the abusive couple male batterer and his victim.  now that would be hawt.  and rihanna herself is taking some shit for participating in this, because since chris brown beat her senseless, she is supposed to be “taking a hard line” against “domestic violence” now. which apparently means that “domestic violence” (can i stop doing this now?) victims cant make a living in the music industry anymore, but ABUSERS can. oh the shit just keeps going and going on this one doesnt it?

and i might be the only person on planet earth (seriously) who hadnt seen the video first.  but the song, without the images, was fucking haunting. the womans voice saying she LOVES it, that its all okay, even him murdering her was okay with her fucking ripped me to my core. it really did. but when i watched the video…well it was all very sexy wasnt it? YAY PIV! yay volatile relationships! yay skinny white kids. yay playing house.

and…well the GUY is on fire, in the end. yes, HE is being burned alive by…his passion? while she is being tied to a bed and burned alive, for real. mens emotional pain inflicted on themselves through their own crazy-making obsessiveness and violence, is the same thing as womens physical pain, inflicted on women by men. its THE SAME THING.  its JUST AS BAD. it hurts JUST AS MUCH.

oh sure it does.


1. factcheckme - August 19, 2010

i am not making this up, but when i was writing this, the song started playing and i thought it was coming from my computer, which was very embarassing. but no, it was actually someones ringtone. sexxxay!

2. delphyne - August 19, 2010

The women in the video certainly seem to be getting turned on by domestic violence. It’s even made Rihanna remove her trousers/skirt so she has to sing in her underwear. If anybody needed a blatant pointer that this song is full of it, Rihanna singing in her knickers in the video is it.

I think the song has been written to fetishise Rihanna’s beating at the hands of Chris Brown. I’m pretty sure that that incident was a turn on for Jay-Z and now it turns out for Eminem too.

factcheckme - August 19, 2010

the women being turned on by it, for me, made it seem less horrible than the song, when the intent of the words was so clear. I KNOW THIS IS WRONG, AND THAT THIS IS MY UN-CRITICAL BRAIN RESPONDING TO IT, but thats the impression i was left with. the song haunted me, literally fucking haunted my days for a week straight. the video made it seem like it wasnt that bad. the images somehow blunted the words, and I KNOW THAT WAS THE INTENT. this is always the intent isnt it? isnt this exactly what they do in porn too, when the women are made to act as if they enjoy it? what would we be left with, if all these violent images and stories and words didnt also include women pretending to like it?

its all very confusing, and its intended to be. and even i have an uncritical brain. everyone does.

factcheckme - August 19, 2010

and if it was actually an intentional representation of rhiannas abuse, that is going to be tied with a few other things for being absolutely the most fucked up thing i have ever heard. because i am sure they didnt tell *her* that was their intent. she probably agreed to do it because shes a popstar (or whatever) and wanted to make some money. she probably didnt realize that she was being offered the “opportunity” to be the star in some hip-hop cosmic joke, at her own expense.

oh yes, the shit just keeps going, and going, and going on this one.

3. Level Best - August 19, 2010

Is there an emoticon for speechlessness? I literally felt nauseated when I finished reading about this video, which I hope I never see, even peripherally. Vile. Exploitive to the point of evil.

4. luz - August 19, 2010

If you think Eminem song is bad, then you really need to listen to Kiss with a Fist( yes that is the name of the song) by Florence and the Machine. Its beyond disturbing, especially considering it is a female singing the lead. Both songs have Megan Fox in common. She plays lead in Eminem’s video and she played lead in the movie ( Jennifer’s body) where Kiss with a Fist a popular song from the movie sound track.
Megan Fox tied down, murdered and sacrificed in the movie by a band seeking fame.
Lyrics to Kiss with a Fist
you hit me once
I hit you back
You gave a kick
I gave a slap
You smashed a plate over my head
Then I set fire to our bed

You hit me once
I hit you back
You gave a kick
I gave a slap
You smashed a plate over my head
Then I set fire to our bed

My black eye casts no shadow
Your red eye sees nothing
Your slap don’t stick
Your kicks don’t hit
So we remain the same
Love sticks
Sweat drips
Break the lock if it don’t fit

A kick to the teeth is good for some
A kiss with a fist is better then none

A kiss with a fist is better then none

I broke your jaw once before
I spilled your blood upon the floor
You broke my leg in return
So sit back and watch the bed burn
Love sticks
Sweat drips
Break the lock if it don’t fit

A kick to the teeth is good for some
A kiss with a fist is better then none

5. Level Best - August 19, 2010

DIAF, Eminem, you revolting little weasel.

factcheckme - August 19, 2010

here are the lyrics to “love the way you lie”


factcheckme - August 19, 2010

whats this shit about setting fire to beds? is this the cool thing now or something?

6. Level Best - August 19, 2010

Wow, luz. That’s…something. I’m glad I have only gauzy ideas about current lyrics; cultural obliviousness is one of the blessings of little-old-ladydom.

And the DIAF part of my previous email was a cheap joke.* I don’t wish anyone to DIAF, but I stand by the revolting little weasel part.

*I specify this because on another blog one of my tasteless little quips was taken literally, and a fellow commenter clutched her pearls until she lost consciousness. When she revived she called me a “fun femme,” hand to heart! I don’t want to risk that accusation again.

factcheckme - August 19, 2010

wtf is diaf? i dont even know. and this made me lol:

a fellow commenter clutched her pearls until she lost consciousness. When she revived she called me a “fun femme,” hand to heart! I don’t want to risk that accusation again.


7. sonia - August 19, 2010

Your point on this video, FCM, is exactly the point that people should take away from this video, which is that the general public and many feminists see battered women as passive. That’s the accepted victim blaming strategy that our world holds in areas where the beating is thought to even be a crime.

The truth is that battered women do fight back, and that it’s not their responsibility to leave, IT’S THE MAN’S RESPONSIBILITY TO STOP HITTING THEM. Until America stands squarely behind battered women on THOSE TERMS, not other “just walk away” bullshit, dv will always happen, always worsen, AND ALWAYS KILL WOMEN.

I refuse to even comment on Rihanna’s participation in the project because it takes focus away from WHAT CHRIS BROWN DID and puts it on finding a special set of characteristics or behaviors ON THE PART OF VICTIMS that make them responsible for the male behavior.

Male violence is a male issue.

Yes, I had to yell.

8. Level Best - August 19, 2010

DIAF = “Die in a fire!” in blog speak. Previously I had avoided revealing my occasional forays into Cheapjokesville on this blog, so when I hit post I panicked.

9. sonia - August 19, 2010

Also, domestic violence is the only crime where victims are held accountable for being unable to defend themselves. Rape victims aren’t held to that, though there are other crazy expectations there, mugging victims are never criticized for a lack of character or strength or having secretly wanted to lose their wallet. If your car gets stolen no one tells you it’s because the steel was too weak to withstand a crowbar.

Domestic violence attitudes represent a global mental illness.

10. delphyne - August 19, 2010

That video and song is such a piece of shit propaganda – I haven’t counted but it looks like Megan Fox hits the guy more times than he hits her – because we all know that women are just as bad when it comes to violent relationships. Then all that bullshit about Eminem is singing about how his victim has the same temper as he does and getting Rihanna the victim of male battering to sing “I like the way that it hurts” – absolutely appalling.

I reckon one of the reasons Eminem singing that he’d tie her to the bed and set her on fire if she ever tries to leave again got to you so much, FCM, is that he’s probably said it for real, he’s probably thought about doing it. It’s got the power of truth behind it. He is a wife batterer after all. Eminem’s work is all about mining his own misogyny for his art then his fanboys and fangirls applaud him for being so clever or ironic or something. It’s one of the benefits of male privilege, you can say *exactly* what’s on your mind and in your heart, no matter how violent, disgusting or woman-hating, and people will slap you on the back for doing it.

11. factcheckme - August 19, 2010

Oh, and the ringtone belonged to a 13-year old girl.

factcheckme - August 19, 2010

Or she looked about 13 to me.

12. factcheckme - August 19, 2010

made a few edits. i spelt rihannas name wrong like 6 times (sorry!!!) and changed “domestic violence” to male violence. i tried using “male battering” but it looks to much like “people who batter men” so i just kept it simple. if anyone has a better suggestion for what to call men who batter women, and what they do, let me know.

factcheckme - August 19, 2010

levelbest, dont panic. its okay if you visit shit blogs (i assume you are referring to shakesville?)

13. sonia - August 20, 2010

delphyne made a really interesting point about male violence. How Eminem is saying in this vid that his battered girlfriend has the same anger issue.

I know for myself, I do have an expressive temper, i.e. I tell people to fuck off when it’s warranted and I have an attitude, and I was battered. The thing that people consistently miss in regard to that is that women often develop their attitudes for a survival skill (it’s where i got mine) and that typically battered women are NOT more passive than other women. In fact, many of the battered women I have met have been stronger and more outspoken with their men. I got in trouble a lot in my battery relationship because i talked back and refused to stop pushing for rights that he was trying to obscure or close in on. Most of the time I got hit when I was advocating for myself, otherwise known as “having an attitude,”.

And also, of COURSE your bitch has anger issues. She’s probably been treated like shit by men for years. Whereas you just take out your petty little tyrant ego on physically weaker beings. major fucking difference.

14. sonia - August 20, 2010

Sorry for writing bitch. I forgot to censor myself.

factcheckme - August 20, 2010

Well I’m not going to censor you, that’s for sure. I’ve said bitch here before, when I said that third wave teenaged boys who “criticize” (hahahaahaha!) my work are acting like whiny little bitches who think they know everything. The world didn’t end, and I made my point.

Delphyne made several excellent points here, another one being that eminems words have the power of truth behind them, because hes actually said and thought all this stuff before, in real life. And I suspect thats the absolute truth of it. People so much like to think that all this stuff happens in a vaccuum, but it doesn’t.

15. Level Best - August 20, 2010

“levelbest, dont panic. its okay if you visit shit blogs (i assume you are referring to shakesville?)”–fcm

Shakesville? Shakesville?? Oh, hell, no! It was IBTP, molting spider thread. I unwisely broke my habit of just lurking there, made a joking reference about “Deadly Women” and “Snapped,” since Jill had mentioned them first, and then was accused of being a murderous female who would bring down the wrath of men upon women. You know, since women are responsible for male violence and should be passive little good girls so they won’t kill us all. Yeah, that’s really worked out well the past few thousand years.

I should just keep my yap trap shut there. I must have had too much caffeine that day. 😦

16. delphyne - August 20, 2010

The one that made me think Eminem was definitely writing what he knows was “Now you get to watch her leave, Out the window, Guess that’s why they call it window pane”

I mean how many people are aware that women will jump out of windows to escape male violence when they have to save themselves? It’s not common knowledge, but it does happen – I heard a story of a rape victim who jumped out of a first floor window to escape her rapist (he still got off in court). Eminem’s seen that because he was the guy she was escaping.

Of course there are a whole lot of people out there saying how great it is that Eminem has written a story highlighting domestic violence. They don’t even see what’s right in front of them. So messed up.

factcheckme - August 20, 2010

Haha sorry levelbest! I thought your badjokesville reference indicted them. And someone linked to them lately as making tasteless jokes at radfems expense. Of course, they aren’t known to use “fun fem” as an insult.

What’s up with ibtp lately anyway? You are at least the second person that’s told me that the blamers have lost their ever-loving minds. And pearl clutching until you pass out is a fun-fem trait. Duh!

17. SheilaG - August 20, 2010

“dont panic. its okay if you visit shit blogs (i assume you are referring to shakesville?)”

This just cracked me up!

I’m too afraid to listen to this song or view the video.

18. sonia - August 21, 2010

“when I said that third wave teenaged boys who “criticize” (hahahaahaha!) my work are acting like whiny little bitches who think they know everything. The world didn’t end, and I made my point.”

LMAO. it’s the truth. the b-word is my favorite insult towards men.

it’s *ironic*.

19. Miska - August 21, 2010

I read about this vid before I saw it. The funfems love it because it “explores the passion of fucked up relationships”. Honestly, with feminists like these, who needs mras?

this whole vid is a perfect illustration of how dv is framed in society isnt it? I had a brief relationship with an abusive man when I was younger. One of the things that was so crazy-making about it was how Inbetween his bullshit rages he would always speak of our relationship as if it was one of two fiery, hot-headed drama queens, hence why it was so tempestuous. But actually, our relationship consisted of his anger, jealousy, bullshit and me having to react to it all the time.

Its a really persistent myth in society – that of the fiery relationship where the turmoil is instigated equally by both parties. Well, I call bullshit on that. I reckon in the vast majority of relationships its a case of someone doing most of the acting/instigating, and the other person reacting to it. And since men are so fixated on having power over women, they are the majority of instigators.

But back to the vid. I hate it when men create “art” about violence against women, whether it be DV, rape etc. They get it so wrong. And they cant help glamorizing it and twisting it into something it isnt. This holds true if it is eminem or whether it is literary nice guys like the author of the “girl with a dragon tattoo” series. Men seem to be entirely incapable of being honest when it comes to portraying male / female relationships, and how women experience them.

Really, I just wish men would stfu. About everything. But especially about women.

factcheckme - August 21, 2010

The fun fems are enjoying old em and his latest then? Good to know. Incidentally, this post is getting mad traffic, but I can’t tell where its coming from. Perhaps some fun fems having a laugh at us nasty old humorless radfems, and how we just dont get it? I wonder. I don’t know why my stats aren’t telling me where all these hits are coming from. WordPress blog stats fucking suck. Just saying.

Anyway, men “getting it wrong” is actually being extremely generous to them isnt it? When framing it this way is actually very beneficial to them, in every way, so we know they have every reason in the world to deliberately lie about it?

How would this be framed, if it were an honest portrayal, and considering the perspective of the woman? Lets see. Getting fired from her job for excessive absences, and her unpleasant looking beat up face that scares the customers. For one. Serious neck and back injuries that don’t heal, are permanently disabling, and that you can’t see, except on an mri. Sexxxay! Medical treatment and lost wages/productivity for victims, to the tune of billions a year in fact. Her emotional despair as she realizes she’s pregnant from all the mandatory piv (and rape) and economically dependant on a man who really might kill her, and her fetus/baby, whether she tries to leave, or whether she tries to stay. Oh, and most abusers and their victims are only average looking, by definition, sorry. And many of them are going to be downright unappealing to look at. So anyone voyeuristically experiencing their alleged make-up sex probably wouldn’t find it all that hot. Sorry, porn dogs! I don’t know, these are just suggestions. I’ve never been beaten up by a man so you know, I’m just trying to use my artistic brain to think of something. Which is more than old em obviously did, when he didnt even bother imagining it except from his own perspective. And as delphyne mentions, his own experience as a real-life batterer.

And how is paying a real-life abuse victim to pretend she likes to be abused, feminist? Or is it just artsy and cool, which is apparently close enough, when you are a fun-fem?

As if I needed another reason to hate fun feminism.

factcheckme - August 21, 2010

heres a typically trite and boring fun-fem take on it. i dont even read the fun-fem blogs anymore, so their “TWIT-IQUE” of this song is all new to me.


i like how they talk about rihannas agency! because agency is always the most important part! whatever you do, though, dont get to the heart of the matter, which is this: just because you could probably get someone to do something for money, doesnt mean you arent a shit of a worthless human for making it so. you could CHOOSE NOT TO EXPLOIT PEOPLE, FOR MONEY. THIS IS ALWAYS AN OPTION IN LIFE. this reminds me of your “all women are whores” post actually miska. just because many women have a price, doesnt mean you should try to purchase them. you could CHOOSE not to. but men never do that, do they? they just never choose NOT to exploit women.

factcheckme - August 21, 2010

oh, and besides my own “artistic brain” i also used THINGS WE ALREADY KNOW ARE FACTS about battering, when i came up with my alternative issue-framing ideas. it was, like, really hard too. i just had to start typing, because i knew them already. theres also google, for artistic-brained people who really want to portray male violence accurately, but arent well-read on the issues, and have a mental block AGAINST THIS ISSUE IN PARTICULAR, even though they are able to place themselves in other peoples shoes and imagine what it would be like in other situations, in order to sing about it. you know, like skinny white guys pretending to be black. and stuff, and things. and men without signficant criminal histories, pretending they have them. and men WITH significant criminal histories, pretending they dont.

was that offensive? SORRY!

factcheckme - August 21, 2010

cath elliot wrote about this too. and she posted this dixie chicks vid as a rebuttal (I LOVE THIS SONG!!!)

i am just reading other commentary on the vid and indeed the whole “controversy” just now, for the first time. a lot of people are talking about it, but so far i havent seen anyone discussing the passivity of the female character. polly said over at caths place that the whole song is supposed to be “ironic” and that its all from the perpetrators perspective, even rihannas part, but that got me thinking. and…NO, ITS NOT. rihannas part is NOT seen from the perps perspective, because actual perps of actual DV KNOW THAT THIER VICTIMS FIGHT BACK, ALMOST ALWAYS. if someone is fighting for their life, they fight back. unless you are incapacitated in some way, you will fight for your life until its taken from you. you cant NOT.

so…if megan fox’s part is supposed to be from the perps POV, as “mutual combat” (and i can see that perhaps it is) WHAT are we to make of rihannas part? this is a serious question. BTW…white men riffing on “irony” is totally privileged. duh.


factcheckme - August 21, 2010

ok, now i am just beside myself with rage. i gather from reading other commentary on this, that i was supposed to begin my discussion of it by addressing its possible IRONY. oh, im sorry! did i just lose all my street cred because i didnt give a man with a history of domestic violence, who depends on the perpetuation of misogynist narratives to earn a living, the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his talent as an artist to…present us a completely banal picture of everyday violence against women and make it seem sexxxay, a picture that encompasses and perpetuates every dangerous stereotype about women and men and DV there is…and tell us (without showing us) that hes being ironic, even though HES DONE IT, IN REAL LIFE. sooooo-rrrryyyyyyyyyyyyy!

but as i said, men being “ironic” about issues that dont affect them except as the perpetrators is fucking disgusting. its no better than a transwoman doing it. and in fact, most men are very talented at making people believe that they are being ironic, even when they arent. old em is talented at putting it to music. i will give him that. concession made.

factcheckme - August 21, 2010

We are deeply, DEEPLY into liberal dickwad territory here people.

20. SheilaG - August 21, 2010

Let’s get back to the basics. Men have no intension of every doing anything or understanding anything from a factual woman’s point of view– only Jane Austin can do that.

And a really radical video would be women fighting back and killing the man, and making that sexy everywhere in America— suddenly we’d have all these cool rap videos where men are getting tortured and killed by women and then the word “sexy” flies up on the screen.
Then we have these videos where male CEOs are beaten up by say Senators, — women preferably. And we do this everywhere… we have serial killer movies where men are the victims all the time of killer women, and it’s cool and hip, and then IRL suddenly more and more men disappear, and this is made fun of as well.

Then we take men’s jobs away, force them out on the streets and they are gang raped and beaten– all to hip rap music naturally, and this become a worldwide artistic movement. Then we throw boys out of school, and they get raped by priests and male religious leaders, all for the cool of it, the entertainment value.

And we go on and on 24 hours a day with this “entertainment” until men are completely terrorized and dehumanized, and then we think up more cruelty to keep this entertainment / artistic movement fully viable for the next 50 years— and that would be letting men off easy wouldn’t it?

factcheckme - August 21, 2010

woo-hoo! liberal dickwads and their IRONY can make anything induce boners! even the holocaust! this was cross-posted over at womanist musings a billion years ago. from what i remember about the ensuing discussion, i was scolded by the fun-fems for calling attention to the fact that jewish women were raped by the SS AND BY JEWISH MEN TOO during the holocaust. oh those fun-fems! as miska said, who needs MRAs when you have them around?


21. FemmeForever - August 21, 2010

and that would be letting men off easy wouldn’t it?

Wow, Sheila has a rich radfem fantasy life.

In that spirit I think women, by virtue of being born female, should have anti-misogyny legislation that allows us a certain legal quota of men to kill. Oh what’s a nice round number? Say a dozen per female lifetime. Not only would that give women a way to fight back against the ubiquitous onslaught of misogyny (DV/torture/rape/murder/financial sabotage) but it would also serve as a nice deterrent for men to control their misogynist behavior. And, BONUS, it should also cut down on the male population which would further reduce the unencumbered sadistic violence against women.

22. sonia - August 21, 2010

oh fuck that, FCM. There has never been any irony in Eminem’s misogyny, however he wants to tout it. from his first hits like that one where the dude ties up his daughter’s mother in the trunk of his car because he mentioned wanting to do it, to actually mentioning *wanting to do it*, it’s the classic boys will be boys, and it’s oh so funny and normal and now even “ironic” to talk about burning and raping and fucking women up physically.

Eminem is not smart or artistic enough to carry off real irony. His best jokes are about how funny it is that he got a blow job from the same woman as Carson Daly.


23. sonia - August 21, 2010

and besides, most of the people who listen to Eminem can’t understand irony and will take it literally anyway. Like that Nirvana song that clowned on meatheads in Seattle that all the meatheads in Seattle went crazy over because they couldn’t understand the…irony…of the lyrics.

factcheckme - August 21, 2010

i was thinking today whether theres even a place for “irony” in hip hop/rap where someone with good intentions could actually attempt to make a dent in the misogynist narrative of hip hop/rap. and i dont think there is. how the fuck would anyone even do this? it would be like cutting out your own legs out from under you. if misogyny went the way of the dinosaur, so would the industry. its exactly like porn in that very way. theres no hope to reform it, even if you wanted to. and no, i dont believe that any man wants to, and i dont believe than eminem wants to because hes a man.

NOT THAT THE ASSHATS AND CHILDREN WHO LISTEN TO IT WOULD GET THE IRONY ANYWAY, like sonia says. 13 year old girls are using this song as their ringtone, and thats just one example.

factcheckme - August 21, 2010

i would really like to know why polly thinks em is being genuine here, and why its unproblematic. where is polly anyway? POOOOOLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYY where art thou?

24. SheilaG - August 21, 2010

Sonia, hey you’re stealing my original material here 🙂
I thought in a feminist state, women would have 10 free kills per lifetime of womanhating men— but only 10. Then women who really wanted to go on this manhating mankilling spree could contract to use the 10 lifetime kills allowed other women. I’d buy up 100 woman’s ‘free kills” easy. Good idea for a screenplay…. Hollywood take note, you could be in on the ground floor of this next movie trend.

Then of course we’d film it all to hip hop music, and it would be ironic and cool! The disappeared men would reduce the population of men, ironic and fun video footage and rap music backdrop… but hey, I’d get sick of hip hop and rap which I hate IRL, and I’d have maybe classical music, a kind of twist on Clockwork Orange– a real 70s womanhating classic if there ever was one.

I don’t like Beethoven, however. So I choose Vivaldi or Corelli or Anonymous from the 17th century 🙂

We’d have a whole man hating man killing man beating and terrorizing industry built up with global copyright– men caught stealing the copyright for any reason would be killed “for laughs” on film… cue in music: Percell, but not Pachivell!

Maybe The Devil’s Trill by Tartini, credit Solerno-Sonnenberg as the violinist.

We’d take over radio stations and have ironic torture men abuse men music all day long, then TV commercials advertising beer, then we’d have disaster pics where we blow up the Superbowl team in mid-air, or gun them down in their victory parade, or blow their spines out and cripple them for life, then pour gas over them and burn them, all to “ironic hip artistic” graphics, and we’d tell everyone that no real men were harmed in the videos, disaster movies as the disclaimer, even though for real they really would have been crippled, burned and murdered all for the entertainment of women worldwide who wanted to join this Oscar winning trend. Funfems might whine and protest, but we’d say, hey get with the program, you’re not cool hip and sexxyy anymore.

MRAs would howl, but again “can’t you take a joke” “hey its first amendment rights” “”religious freedom”– if we kill priests and ministers, “it’s ironic it’s a powerful artistic movement for women’s self expression” “hey it’s academic freedom– our women are getting their PhD credits in “man killing art forms” and wow, let’s have a whole blog commentary on fantasy for radical feminists… yeah, I’m just getting started…. cue in Vivaldi and the four seasons in the background, close up on a man’s face as he screams in agony as his penis is being burned with a red hot poker…. ah, first amendment feminist rights… 🙂

25. FemmeForever - August 22, 2010

That was little old me, not Sonia..

26. sonia - August 22, 2010

What? If I said something u said already I’m sorry! It’s a mental flow, I wasn’t repeating something I read farther up 🙂

27. sonia - August 22, 2010

Sheila seriously can you say what you’re referring to? I have absolutely no idea, but if I ripped u off I’m sorry and I def. want to know where.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

Sheila, I would definitely purchase the soundtrack. That sounds like a hit to me!

I think its irrelevant whether em intended to be ironic. And I can’t even believe people and feminists are discussing it. Sheilas right, it helps to get back to basics here, back to radical feminist theory. I haven’t liked this post up until now actually, and I couldn’t get my head around why. That’s why. It was just me freaking out over a song I heard, that disturbed me deeply, and that i couldn’t get out of my head. And I probably should’ve waited to post anything about it, until I had something more intelligent and theory-based to say about it. But you know. Whevs. So sue me!

Its always irrelevant what men or transwomen intend with their disgusting banter, and constant screw ups and yes intentional misogyny and just boring as hell status quo woman hating bs. ALL BORN-MEN BENEFIT FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. Because all men personally, politically, financially, sexually, and opportunistically and DIRECTLY benefit from women’s subjugation, to men. In normalizing dv, all men also benefit from making something that ONLY THEY PERPETRATE into something that’s normal, and not a crime. Because they are broadening their options in life. You know, just in case! And they are taking options and remedies away from women, when we would only ever use those options and remedies against THEM, to be free of THEM, and to punish THEM.

Therefore, they don’t want it to end. None of them do. There are no exceptions. Period, end of story.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

Sonia, it wasn’t you.

28. SheilaG - August 22, 2010

Sonia, I had said long ago that women should have the option of what I call preemptive self defense. That means a system of law where women can kill men– have a quota, and that there would be no legal action in this quota system — a good movie or screenplay plotline.

I love the idea of women producing videos where we fight back, so I was surprised when you mentioned this–coincidense I think.

And yes, as domestic violence gets normalized that does expand the territory of men, and that’s what they want. They want as much woman degrading stuff as they can get out there– because then it makes porn violence available to all men wanting do use the material “in bed” with their girlfriends. Also it gives them good ideas of what to do to prostitutes, men not being all that bright, they need lots of “visual stimulation” which they later use on real live women.

The women in the porn videos and Internet hook ups are being abused in the films themselves, but men watching this don’t admit that is what they are seeing. Thus men get more brutal access to all women, and they become numb to any human feeling at all, which is what serious porn addiction does to them.

It’s just who men are, and it is their job to con as many women into believing this nonsense as they can get away with.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

it was femme forever that made the reference sheila

does anyone remember a monty python skit/sketch where one of the guys is getting beaten up or mugged or something, and hes being the perfectly hilariously good-natured english gentleman about it, saying “oh thats alright, dont worry about it, carry on” etc. google is getting me nowhere with this one, probably because my keyword searches suck, and the bbc has copyright challenges on half the python youtube vids.


29. FemmeForever - August 22, 2010


Sheila mistakenly thinks my comment about the kill quota came from you. It’s a misunderstanding.


The comment about the kill quota came from FemmeForever (me) and was just an independent coincidence. Great minds think alike and all that .

30. Cath Elliott - August 22, 2010

Hi factcheckme

I think the sketch you’re after might be this one, from Monty Python and The Holy Grail

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

hi cath! thanks for the video. thats not the one i was thinking about, but it reminds me of the “mutual combat” aspect of the eminem video a little bit, if it were more realistic, and not from the POV of the perpetrator. oh sure it is. mutual. combat. evenly. matched. equal. injuries.

this scene always makes me laugh, its so ridiculous! and the coconuts are hilarious. i dont know how they came up with any of this stuff. so funny.

the video i am thinking about might be a very polite pedestrian being hit by a car actually. does this ring a bell?

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

omg you guys. i commented over at feministe. i went there on a lark, read a fucking terrible article, and I HAD TO. it was a moral imperative. a college woman has let a mansplainer take over her feminist college group…and NOONE in the comments would state the obvious: dont let men into womens spaces. just. dont. do. it.


31. SheilaG - August 22, 2010

FCM, funny you should bring this up re feministe. A friend of mine (age 25) mentioned that her college feminist group had men in it, and they just about ruined it. Don’t let the men in women, come on, this is basic, and don’t let them mansplain and take up all your conversational space, which is what men ALWAYS do.

This is so basic.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

i cant believe i went to feministe!! haha i must have been completely out of my mind.

32. Miska - August 22, 2010

Lol, FCM. Great comment. I saw that post on feministe this morning, and I rolled my eyes re none of the commenters stating the obvious too. Dealing with aggressive mantitlement is an inevitable outcome of inviting men into feminist discussions/spaces.

Since starting my blog my interest in discussing feminism with men has dwindled away. It’s like banging one’s head against a brick wall. They refuse to understand feminist arguments, instead they’ll just pick up the gist of them and then derail, derail, mansplain, derail. Complete waste of time, and I agree with what you wrote – that the time-wasting is sabotage.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

The first person to reply to me was a man. The second was someone who thought I should be disregarded entirely due to my transphobia, even though the thread wasn’t about trans, and neither was my comment. My reputation precedes me! And…fun fems will stop at nothing, absolutely nothing, to put men’s issues before their own. Including issues of transwomen. Which was a complete derail, taking the focus off my woman-centered solution, which is the only thing thats going to work.

The stupid. It burnz.

33. sonia - August 22, 2010

gotcha 😉 whew, feminist accidental ripoff paranoia abated.

34. sonia - August 22, 2010

also, one thing that maybe hasn’t been mentioned is that I’m not sure most men can get off without some degree of violence or forcefulness about the piv, and I think most women are numb to forcefulness because that’s their conceptualization of sex. The hammering is taken to be erotic behavior in this culture. I just think the line between real DV and bedroom “play” is super thin. I am surprised at how common things like “getting choked out” are in popularity with young women. I mean, men have been selling the hammerness forEV, but now dv-play is all part of the hip slick and cool.


35. SheilaG - August 22, 2010

It should be clear now that if men are sincere in their feminism, that they should find men and start their own male only feminist groups. I believe men listen to other men, and it is a waste of time for women to be talking to men about feminism.

If we focus on half the human population with a solid feminist message, men will be forced to concede territory… mind you, they will not change ever, they will simply back down as women form a more united front.

Again, the key is for women to be for women, and for all people to get that feminism is a movement for the freedom of women, it is not designed to benefit men, it is designed to serve women. Men can do other things that would be helpful, but they are not up to speed on feminism, and just hold the rest of us back. I think men have a very hard time really understanding anything about the freedom of women.

Why is it that 40 some years later, this very simple fact is so lost on women? I don’t care if men are feminists or not, I care that women stand up for ourselves, and claim freedom based on sheer numbers for our own.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

They refuse to understand feminist arguments, instead they’ll just pick up the gist of them and then derail, derail, mansplain, derail.

yes, whats with that? getting the “gist” i mean. they give it just a cursory read, dont bother with any of the comments where the ideas are fleshed out (this post is a great example of that, i didnt even have a point in the initial post really) and then RESPOND. is this how they go through life? i kind of expect that it is, actually. even professional and academic men dont REALLY know what the fuck they are talking about, even within their areas of specialty. they are completely lazy, and dont understand things like we understand things. because we have to. we have to be three times as smart, and do three times the work, to be considered half as good. its the same old shit. makes you seriously want to think twice before seeing a male doctor, thats for fucking sure.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

Why is it that 40 some years later, this very simple fact is so lost on women?

sheila, i really think its because so many women are dependant on men. they are dependant on men for love, affection, money, jobs, medical treatment, and every other fucking thing under the sun. and women who want marriage and children are LITERALLY dependant on men, and the belief in male exceptionalism, for their very dreams to come true. i think we need to understand this.

you said something else awhile back that made me think the same thing, when you wondered why we need to keep rehashing and “rediscovering” bits of feminist wisdom, no GENIUS thats already been figured out. why there are basic concepts like “PIV IS PROBLEMATIC” that dworkin has already thoroughly covered, but that so many women still dont know about, and have never thought about, and have a reflexive denial about when they do hear about it, for the first time. thats why. bits of feminist wisdom are like precious diamonds that could make us all very rich! you know, or something. but we live in the desert, and the winds are strong and hot, and the sand is constantly blowing and covering up everything. whats been found is lost again. and its found again, and its lost again. thats what this feels like to me. theres no oral history or something, and all this knowledge is being lost. sure theres a WRITTEN history, this shit is written down in books! and most of it is still in print. but it seems like its not enough. there has to be a better way, but i dont know what that might be. i actually have been feeling somewhat hopeful about anonymous radfem blogging. there are women (and young uns!) here who say they are finally getting this stuff, and i am always so glad to hear it.

the young uns need to know what a sham this all is, BEFORE they make the mistake of becoming dependant on men, to whatever degree they can help it, and especially dependance on an individual man. because when that happens, forget about ever seeing that man, or any man, for what they really are, ever again. your priorities change at that point, and the only thing that matters then is seeing him in a positive light. no matter what hes done, or hasnt done, or wont ever do.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

any of the young uns want to delurk, and make an old ladys day? (sheilas the old lady, not me. heh).

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

PS. this “diamond in the sand” image made me think of chaos. that in addition to being bombarded by misogyny every fucking minute, we are also too busy and all-consumed with other things, particularly with patriarchal demands (like maintaining fuckability, a 40+ hour workweek, pregnancy prevention, caretaking etc) and its impossible to keep up. you know, with the diamonds. (heh) for my part, i am trying to get out from under some of this. my latest endeavor is to remove painful items and practices from my routine, because being in constant pain makes me fucking crazy. it really does. i am allergic to latex, and i am in the process of getting rid of all latex from my wardrobe. i started last winter by getting all new latex-free socks, and at the moment i am working on bras. i was on vacation last week, and i wore a latex-free bra every day and i was so comfortable and relaxed! now that i am back and getting back into my routine, its easier to pick out the things that are causing me grief, and my bras are definitely one of them. buh-bye.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

omg. some fucking asshole has now made an entire post, “respectfully rejecting my suggestion.” this was after he wholeheartedly agreed with me on the feministe thread, then backpedaled when someone accused me of TRANSPHOBIA! “as a man,” dontchaknow, he believes that men have a vital role to play. well, isnt that just the absolutely least-expected utternance of the day, no the week! asshole. AND he links to himself in the comments at feministe (if anyone wants to follow it, i will not be linking to it from here).

why did i bother? seriously. i must have had a momentary laspe of all reason.

36. delphyne - August 22, 2010

Well let’s hope their role really is a vital one, because they’re front and centre at Feministe. That thread seems to consist almost entirely of men having opinions. Is that what fun feminists do, provide a space for men to trample all over feminism?

37. delphyne - August 22, 2010

Ha, did you get a comment from Hugo? He is *such* an asshole. He’s on his third wife, his project is to marry feminism and christianity, and his idea of teaching feminism (yes Hugo gets paid to teach feminism, I bet a few of us could do with that gig) is to set up what he calls a woman-only space for his female students, except Hugo gets to join in too. He’s a blight on feminism and on women, but the fun fems love him.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

set up what he calls a woman-only space for his female students, except Hugo gets to join in too

yes, it was him. and, EEEWWWW!!

and this is what we call CONTEXT. this is why its so important. that is all.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

oh, and it wasnt hugo who initially agreed with me, that was someone else. no, old hugo didnt bother responding to me directly, at all. he just ran off like a little bitch to his own blog, and “respectfully rejected my suggestion” there, where he could control the conversation and mod the comments. not that i will be leaving any.

factcheckme - August 22, 2010

blam! oh someone just left a superior comment over on old hugos blog. therefore, i will post the link:


38. Natalie - August 22, 2010

“any of the young uns want to delurk, and make an old ladys day? (sheilas the old lady, not me. heh).”

I read almost every word of this blog but I never have much to add. You said something about men being lazy and not knowing what’s going on. I have been been thinking a lot about that lately and I was happy to see you mention it.

Women are “sensitive” but men are “able to compartmentalize.” It’s funny that being “sensitive” is considered a negative thing. Being able to sense things, things that are real, is bad. It’s womanly, even.

Men can ignore things that are real. Actually, I believe they can’t even sense these things in the first place. This is described as an ability, they are “better at compartmentalizing” than women are.

So our reaction to this video is really just us being over-sensitive. It’s just a pop song, we’re not meant to listen to the lyrics or look at the video too closely. We should just sit back and enjoy it like men apparently do. WITH EVERYTHING. With life. That’s how men go through life.

Hope that made some sense. You all are awesome!!

39. SheilaG - August 22, 2010

Guess the old lady is going to have to weigh in here! Wow, I feel honored to be the crone 🙂 Hugo, the one man in feminist space… wow, he should move to Saudi Arabia and marry ten wives… the stupidity of these men never ceases to amaze me.

And our poor heroine FCM getting all these “genius” posts from there guys, and still … you are right, men skim and skate on through but are not adept at nuanced feminism. They are even sloppy when it comes to repair jobs, because they assume and make stuff up.

Ask a man if he can do a job, and he’ll answer “yes” even if he doesn’t know. I don’t think men are able to sense the real or the sensitive… they are in many ways insensate.

“well, isnt that just the absolutely least-expected utternance of the day, no the week! asshole”–this quote just made me laugh and laugh, so damn funny.

40. SheilaG - August 22, 2010

Thanks FCM for the explanations of why it is so hard for feminism to get through to women. I guess because I am a lesbian and have never ever had anything to do with men romantically, and have never lived with them since 1979, a lot of this stuff really is incomprehensible to me.

It’s why I read this blog, because I don’t get a lot of what is going on with straight women, and am confused as to why they put up with such obviously creepo husbands. That women, once enmeshed have to “pretend to like” or keep the lie alive makes a lot of sense.

But I really do hope the young women read here and have something to think about. I can say with certainty that you absolutely positively don’t need men to be fully self-supporting, and in fact, if you pick the right craft, trade or profession and work it and keep learning, you will have an incredible life. But you have got to study…. and avoid the stupid teenage traps that are so damaging to women.

It’s an easy thing for lesbians to do, because a lot of us are very self-sufficient and resilient, we have to be to deal with the nightmare that is hetero reality all the time… the upside is we become very shrewd at decoding the world, and applying radical feminist lessons to the real world. This information is worth its weight in gold if you navigate the business world. Even Mary Daly herself was shocked at how I applied her work to business… another story…

So many lesbians I know are really doing well, even in the awful recession because we had already been pretty toughened up just from doing all the heavy lifting fending off homophobia, sexism, racism and whatever else was gunning for us. I’m not saying all lesbians live in utopia, far from it, but there is a sizeable group that really does, because we had opted out of male subsidy long ago.

Live with a boyfriend or husband at your peril, get a degree in the low paying professions… disaster. Get a really good education. Read and study, become very very good at things that produce value.

But DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT have children, do not do childcare, do not do social service non-profit work… puleeezzzz

DO NOT, and I mean DO NOT EVER take drugs. Stay completey away from them.

DO NOT go to events where men are drinking alcohol, do not!

Find women mentors, and LISTEN to them. Show up on time, get off the damn cell phones and learn to listen, study and apply.

And learn the tactics of men and how to predict their moves in advance. They are highly predictable, they are slow witted, and I think easily ignored.

Believe your girlfriends if they warn you about something. Believe it when they tell you a man is abusive or dangerous.

I know, heterosexuality is a huge burden, and I don’t know how to get around it, and won’t advise there. If you are lesbian, see it as a definite advantage, not a disadvantage. That’s how I’ve always seen lesbian life, even lesbians get mad at me for being optimistic… it irritates our ornery species 🙂

Thanks Women, this series of posts is among the best I have ever read. It just is amazing how this has evolved, and all because we took apart Eminem… who knew? 🙂

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

Yes, I have been presenting you all with experiential posts lately and thought exercises, and this one was very experiential for me. I didnt really have a point in the original post, I was just horrified and upset. And you all helped get me refocused on radical feminist theory, that men’s irony is trite, boring and privileged, and that all men benefit from domestic violence, and that no man wants to change it, and no man can be a feminist, ever. And feministe and old Hugo added some comic relief, and proved its all true.

The woman hating thread started having some fun banter too, until DZA showed up, stunk the place up and ruined it. I’m glad we were all still in the mood.

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

i commented on that thread again. my comment is “awaiting moderation.” HAHAHAHHAHAHA im on moderation at feministe, for proposing a woman-centered solution to the problem of men invading feminist space, on a “feminist” blog. how dare i!!!111!!

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

heres what i said, i took that awesome comment from hugos post and replied to it:

another posters comment from hugos website:

Please explain a situation in which you think it would be appropriate for a man to have any kind of leadership role in a feminist organization. Because to be quite honest, women in feminist organizations should not be expected to have the time or the patience to weed through the hundreds and thousands of entitled men to get to the one who might, MIGHT, respect us and feminism enough to check his privilege. And even then, “one of the good ones” is bound to fuck up constantly. That’s how it goes when a privileged person takes it upon themself to be an “ally.”

Remember that you are lucky to teach women’s studies and women’s history, because there is a woman out there who could do your job much better than you can. Women’s studies is not academia, or a job to her, it is her entire life. As invested as you might be in feminism, you will never live it like we do.

I agree with your method of step up/step back, but that does not require being in women’s spaces often, if at all. You need to impart this wisdom on young men, us women are well aware of it and have been since birth

she has it exactly right. in your zeal to be “fair” to men, you are willing to sacrifice hundreds of hours of YOUR PRECIOUS TIME, to sift through the garbage, and seperate out the men who can or MIGHT do good work, from the sabatuers and assclowns like “mike” who deliberately waste your time. in order to be fair to them, you are wasting your time on men. why? how is this “fair” to you? or do you only care about being fair to them? this is a serious question. because if they cared about fairness as much as you care about it, they wouldnt demand access to your space for this very reason, recognizing aggregate male behavior for what it is, and realizing that the net effect would be that you would waste your time trying to figure out which men were good allies and which werent. they would find something else to do, to “help” that wouldnt be so damaging. but most of them arent. hugo isnt. why not? again, this is a serious question. this shit is deliberate. its time we figure that out.

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

Women are “sensitive” but men are “able to compartmentalize.” It’s funny that being “sensitive” is considered a negative thing. Being able to sense things, things that are real, is bad. It’s womanly, even. Men can ignore things that are real. Actually, I believe they can’t even sense these things in the first place. This is described as an ability, they are “better at compartmentalizing” than women are.

yay! a de-lurking young un! natalie, i think you have it exactly right. sensitive = sensing things that are real. yes! it doesnt mean delusional, or making shit up, or being overly dramatic or any of the other negative things associated with it. it means we are sentient human beings, who see whats right in front of our faces, and are able to read or at least recognize SUBTEXT. i think thats why we suffer so much from anxiety and depression. its not because we are crazy; its because we ARENT.

and this compartmentlization is spoken of in many different contexts, sometimes its framed as a good thing, like being “cut-throat” in business. “its just business!” is the battle cry of someone who is about to deliberately fuck someone else over. and then there are the men who are able to rape 6-month old babies, kill them, and then sit down to a nice meal as if they were civilized human beings. somehow, THATS seen as a bastardization (or something) of mens ability to compartmentalize, not a perfect example of it. and deliberately fucking people over in the name of “good business” (including dumping your wife for some younger arm candy, because it makes the man seem more virile and more cut-throat in business) is seen as a positive thing, instead of riffing on the same theme: men sitting down to a meal with viscera all over them. its fucking horrifying, it really is.

sheila has said the same thing about mens ability to lie. the only time many of them tell the truth is when they are in front of congress. any other situation isnt “real” enough to require the truth. mens reality is something thats so completely foreign to most women, and so antithetical to sanity and womens reality, we just dont understand any of this. but we need to start. this is why the fun-fems piss me off so mightily. they dont believe there is any such thing as aggregate male behavior. but there is.

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

Also, sonia, your post about piv and “hammering” was spot on. I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

41. Lillie - August 23, 2010

Another young un here… Well, no, not a “young un” exactly, as I’m already 28 (Gawd, time runs so fast). But I feel young and immature, so please bear with me 😉

There’s something I’ve been wanting to add to the much-discussed point that most hetero women are dependent on men, but I haven’t been able to verbalise my thoughts until now. The thing is: I’m a lucky one. I’m a straight woman, but I’ve never had a boyfriend of any description; I’ve never even held hands with anyone other than my own family. In fact, even the friendly conversations I’ve had with males in my life (again, other than family) are few and far between. (Pointless online debates with mansplainers and misogynists don’t count!) I had two platonic male friends in high school but I always felt vaguely patronised by them, so I gravitated naturally towards girlfriends. Since then, I’ve had many male acquaintances, but none I’d call “friends”. None at all. (Luckiest of all, I’ve never been raped or sexually harassed, but that’s beyond the scope of this comment as it isn’t something I can choose.)

In other words, I grew up apart, and largely independent, from the world of males. I was also lucky in that the men closest to me, my father and grandfather, are in many ways “feminine” men. They’ve always made me feel like I can do absolutely anything, and I’ve never, ever in my life felt like I’m “less than” a male. As Sheila says of lesbians, I’ve grown up tougher in many ways because I have never deferred to males. I’m pretty shrewd, business-minded, and a “cold bitch”, as some people have called me. I can see through anybody spewing bullshit pretty well, I think. Socially, I’m not assertive at all (of that later) but social reclusiveness has come with a certain independence of spirit so I don’t count myself a loser in this trade-off.

I see my good fortune now, but obviously I didn’t see it in high school. I was hopeless at socialising with males and, without splitting hairs, I was ugly as sin. For many years I felt bitterness about not being attractive to the boys I had crushes on, and for equally many years I hated my own face in the mirror. (Interesingly, because I felt invisible to boys I didn’t have any *body* image issues as a young girl. To this day I’m convinced that being aware of being *attractive* to boys is equally harmful to a teenage girl’s body image as being actively bullied for one’s looks.) I’m no longer ugly (was I ever? I *think* I was, but who knows for sure) and, ironically, now that I feel more confident about my looks, I no longer give a fuck about them. Sometimes I experiment with nice-looking, stereotypically feminine clothes, so I’m probably not quite so free as I’d like to be, but perversely, the years of being a total outsider sexually and looks-wise have made me almost impervious to the pressure of most beauty demands. It’s pretty rare for me to feel the pressure acutely (though of course, sometimes I do), because I simply have no reason whatsoever to accommodate such demands; there’s no one for me to please. Again, I know I’m lucky.

After this long preamble (sorry) I finally come to my point, which is that for most straight women, like myself, this kind of fortune – this kind of independence from men and men’s expectations – comes at a cost: a social cost. For all my luck, I’m the most socially isolated person I can think of. Over the years, feminism and simple observation has made me aware of all the bullshit inherent in heterosexual “love”, “desire” and “affection”, and the whole thing feels so remote from me that I don’t miss it one bit. But it doesn’t really matter how I feel about it, because other people have pretty much decided I’m defective as I am. There are some friends who would always, without fail, try to set me up with some man, and not believe me if I said I wasn’t romantically interested in anyone; and there are other friends who are convinced I’m a lesbian, and wouldn’t believe me if I said I’m not. I can’t believe how much our social lives as human beings revolve around the people we’re supposed to be romantically interested in, *even when* we gather in contexts that have nothing to do with love. At some point, the conversation always turns to boyfriends or husbands or crushes or dates, bad and good. (And *then* the babies come along and, boom! the last traces of having-anything-in-common magically disappear.) This is such a crucial bonding exercise. It’s a rather cruel game: you have less and less in common with your friends, you socialise less because you get so little satisfaction from it, and finally those friends keep less and less in touch with you because you seem so strange.

Then you become less and less likely to make new friends because you’ve internalised the fact that you are strange. I’m less lucky in this, as I’m introverted and of extreme social awkwardness among strangers, so I come across as a bit strange anyhow. I’m not likely to get to know new people even when I have things in common with them, and I feel increasingly that I don’t have anything to say to anyone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learnt to live with that – I’m not writing this to complain. But to be honest, I don’t wish this kind of social isolation on anyone, so I can’t really bring myself to judge those heterosexual women, feminist women even, who live their lives as heterosexual women are “supposed” to. It may be that the people I’ve socialised with in the past are not the kind of people I should be socialising with; in fact, I know they aren’t, as I’ve met my best, most like-minded friends online. (They aren’t many, but they’re there, and it warms my heart to know they exist; although they live thousands of miles away from me.) But this is nonetheless the social reality of a large number of women, especially ones who don’t live in big cities where you might reasonably expect to find radfem groups, etc. The people I have socialised with aren’t even stupid, narrowminded people. They’re interested in music and literature and politics, and all kinds of other things I’m interested in. That’s what we always conversed about. Even so, the *structure* of social interaction relies so heavily on dating and coupling that not participating in it is a fault not easily compensated for.

(Sorry for the “me, me, me” of this comment, but it was the only way I could think of to say what I meant.)

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

Holy crap that was a long comment! Bbl to read it. Heh.

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

Ok. Yes. There’s a social cost to removing yourself from the hetero narrative. And its something that’s a problem for straight women, who have nothing to replace it with. I don’t know the solution for that either, particularly for introverts who don’t like people much anyway. I am very much in the same situation myself, except I am partnered, and most of my social contact is with him. I also have a hectic schedule which I hate, and is completely antithetical to my natural rhythms. I am hoping that a few years at this pace will pay off, and i wont have to do it forever, but ultimately i am only helping my career by throwing myself into my work, and its been a long time coming. I worked very hard to get where I am, had a little help along the way, and i was single without children, which is the only way it wouldve worked. This is the fruit of my labor. And this blog (and a few others) are the only places i have in my entire life, where i can tell the truth about what I am thinking. It’s bizarre, it really is. Better than any alternative I can imagine though, except maybe deciding to be a political lesbian at age 12. Things might have been very different for me socially, and as far as feeling supported, instead of utterly alone, which is how I feel now. And being partnered doesnt solve that, because one person does not a support system make.

Anyway, i dont really have a point, just that junior high school especially was a terrible time for me, too, your post is making me recall how terrible! So thanks for that. I think not succumbing so extremely early to fuckability mandates and the hetero narrative worked in my favor too, and doors remained open for me longer, and I was able to walk through them. Because it starts so young, it really does. Doors close on you that you never even knew were there.

42. vaginusdetritus - August 23, 2010

“But DO NOT, and I repeat DO NOT have children, do not do childcare, do not do social service non-profit work… puleeezzzz”

You want to shut down women’s shelters?

You want to shut down libraries?

You don’t believe in interceding to remove girls who are being raped and beaten from their father’s homes?

Or hell, you want to shut down the majority of colleges and universities. Because they’re nonprofits, and could not function without the thousands of low-wage or low-salary workers. Who’s going to handle enrollment? Who’s going to pay the professors? Who’s going to mow the grass? Who’s going to clean the bathrooms? Who’s going to design and assign scholarships — or do you not believe in those?

How do you get your groceries? Because people are stocking the shelves, cleaning, and working the registers.

Do you eat? Do you send mail? Do you register your car? License plates don’t manufacture and distribute themselves, you know.

But you’re a smart cookie. I would guess that you realize the origins of all your luxuries and necessities.

And you just don’t care. You don’t respect us. You “earned” it. You deserve being served, and the working poor deserve to suffer. You’re entitled.

Maybe you’re one of those rich people who derive pleasure from going out to eat — not to have someone else make food, not to be with good company, not to taste something delicious — to complain. To huff and sigh and feel superior. Who can only derive pleasure from flaunting their status.

And that’s fine. It takes all kinds.

Now, I know that all poor people secretly want to be that way. Mm-hmm. Haiti sure brought that shit on themselves. Not to mention Pakistan! Let ’em suffer! And most importantly, don’t work in a nonprofit!

Hell, Mary Daly was shocked about how you applied her work. You forgot to mention how, on her death bed, Ayn Rand grabbed your arm and whispered “SheilaG, you are the messiah . . . bootstraps . . . kill the poor . . . and don’t forget to drop names and incessantly toot your own horn . . . ”

If you are so superior to nonprofit workers, social service workers, “pink ghetto” workers, women’s shelter counselors, foodstamp office clerks, Planned Parenthood receptionists, childcare workers, the wage slaves who built the computers we’re all using, and as far as I can tell basically the entire economy, I have one request. I speak for myself, my many friends, lovers, family members, and even some enemies: Stop using our services and products. Stop buying our lives. Boycott the poor. Go live under a damn rock. You can take your blackberry with you.

Tell me, SheliaG. Do you tip?

43. FemmeForever - August 23, 2010

Lillie, there are so many points of registration between your story and mine that your comment was actually painful to read. A few points really stick out for me…

I have never deferred to males. and

I simply have no reason whatsoever to accommodate such demands; there’s no one for me to please. and

independence from men and men’s expectations – comes at a cost: a social cost. For all my luck, I’m the most socially isolated person I can think of.

It’s like Deja Vu. Thanks for commenting, sister

44. FemmeForever - August 23, 2010

vaginusdetritus, I feel your frustration. And most of what you say is right on and I wouldn’t dispute it AT ALL. But I think you missed the point that Sheila was speaking from a how-to-IDEALLY-design-your-financial-life perspective so you will NEVER be in a position to require male money. I’m sure she understands that the careers you mention are valuable. It’s just that IN A PATRIARCHY they are not paid what they are truly worth thus keeping women, specifically, trapped in poverty.

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

Yes. My thought about all this is, women often buy into the caretaking role so completely, and unconsciously, that they gravitate toward low-paying caretaking jobs, in addition to taking care of everyone they know, in real life. Im talking about educated professionals who spend thousands to get advanced degrees in low-paying fields that will never be financially worth it. Not pink-collar ghetto jobs, where you just need a job, and don’t have much of a choice what kind of salary you are going to make, no matter what path you choose, the pay is shit in every direction. Sheila always speaks to women who have choices, and therefore only to very privileged women. But its something that needs to be discussed, I think. Because if we arent making these choices, and we are the only ones who can, who’s going to? If we aren’t, WHY aren’t we?

The bootstrapping language always, always gets under my skin, and it always will. I have been clear about that, and I absolutely encourage others to be clear about it too. So, thanks!

factcheckme - August 23, 2010

Not that Sheila shouldn’t, or cant, respond for herself, on this issue. Heh.

45. SheilaG - August 24, 2010

Hey, I’m just talking about choices here. Women I meet spend bazillions of dollars on masters degrees of social work for goddess sake. We’re not talking about survival jobs, assembly line work, laying sod etc. etc. — all of which I have done, and for low wages.

I’m talking about women who are actually deciding on what career to choose. .. the caretaking, low wage gravitating stuff is so drilled into women, that they have no idea what hit them by the time they are 44 and working for slave wages at Starbucks. They had a shot at college, they had a shot, and just… I don’t know.

So yes, if you do have some choices, and you do live in the US of A, then at least give a career some thought based on what its income potential actually is. This you do have some choice with. You will not make more than $65,000 probably if you are a social worker. You will not get out of the low wage ghetto if you are doing childcare, ain’t never going to happen.
If you get a huge student loan for a degree in social work these days, heaven help you. That’s all I’m saying. Every time I bring this topic up women fly off the handle for some reason. I’m just telling the young-ins that income matters, that many women (not all but many many) have options, and they blow those options.

Just like many women wake up and realize PIV destroyed them, child bearing made them poor, marriage to men made them poor. Even FCM is trying her damndest to warn against funfeminism-ism… she once was a fun feminist, she knows what she’s talking about.

I once did heavy labor and assembly line work…. believe me, I didn’t want to get stuck with that for the rest of my life. And I was MORE money motivated because I didn’t want to be evicted from an apartment because of my ahem … sexual orientation, so I was simply more driven to get the financial act together, because I wasn’t relying on male subsidy, BIG difference, believe me. NO MALE SUBSIDY is a reality check. Oy

Honestly, just telling women to not settle here really riles up the hornets, doesn’t it!

46. sonia - August 24, 2010

LOLz. Like I throw up now every time some dude tries to take me out to din-din so he can pork-PIV me.

To throw my two cents on the Hugo issue, it’s everything that has said plus maybe… can a man even really ever understand feminism in his soul/heart/whatever? It’s like if I sat around for like 30 years reading everything I could about race relations and how white men are leading a campaign of horror against people of color etc etc, even no matter what I read I’d never have the experiential movement inside of myself to grow racial freedom. I can support/stand aside, as was said, but a man being at the helm of any feminist scenario is a clear example of irony and cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation of the slightly almost thing that women barely sort of have but is dying fast but are clinging onto with our effing BLOOD.

It just reeks.

47. sonia - August 24, 2010

And it’s one and both.

DON’T do caretaking if you need caretaking. However, if you have your shit all taken care of, together and boxed the fuck up, and you feel compelled, go work at a shelter. But it’s true that too many women do it because they can’t be nicely selfish. It should be a giving thing, not a martyr thing. There is a huge potential for caretaking done on an empty emotional tank to become abusive or just unhappy.

factcheckme - August 24, 2010

Men wanting and demanding access to women’s and feminist spaces reeks, absolutely fucking reeks to high heaven of their need to colonize and dominate us. Their insistance on it, and demanding to be seen AS THEY SEE THEMSELVES, even when they are lying about even that, should be a huge fucking red flag. And no, I don’t accept that any man can or will or even wants to fully, truly grasp radical feminism. If anything, they see it as something to be mastered, and conquored, BY THEM. It’s irony times ten. So all their intentional irony pales in comparison, it really does.

factcheckme - August 24, 2010

And the woman who commented about time-wasting over on old hugos blog had it exactly right. The time and effort it takes to sort out the men who MIGHT be good allies from the ones who never will, and even then having to constantly monitor and correct even the “good” ones is a waste of time. In the case of nonprofits that exist to serve women, this also translates into a waste of money. Any man who fucking cared the least little bit about anything besides themselves, woud care about that. But most of them don’t.

48. Rachel - August 24, 2010

Thank you, vaginusdetritus.

My sister is currently getting her master’s degree in social work because she wants to help people like me: mentally ill with a history of poverty, homelessness, and abuse. She knows she’ll never get rich in this profession (though $65,000 sounds like a ton of money to me, who’s mostly made under $10,000), but she’s more passionate about people than profit. Men are less likely to be of this mindset, so if women stopped entering the low-paying caring professions, I doubt they’d pick up the slack. And as someone who has needed the services of a social worker, I’m glad they’re usually women, since I prefer to avoid men.

I’d hardly characterize critiques of your apparent classism as “flying off the handle”. Keep in mind that a disproportionate number of lesbians work in the non-profit sector, social services, and education. Even Mary Daly was intentionally kept at a comparably low salary for 30 years as part of Boston College’s ongoing effort to drive her out. (Wouldn’t want those Catholic girls getting any radical ideas!)

49. Level Best - August 24, 2010

Rachel, I formerly knew a lot of social workers and social work administrators, and they knew the field didn’t pay as much money as some other fields before they got into it, but they genuinely wanted to help women and children. And they certainly did. The ones I knew were not burn-outs, but energetic and sincere. It sounds like your sister is one of those good people.

factcheckme - August 24, 2010

Just so everyone’s clear, the history of women’s charitable work in the us at least is that it was something that rich women did, for kicks, because they had nothing but free time, saw it as a social function, and to make their husbands and fathers look good. These jobs never paid well, if they paid anything at all, because the women didn’t need money. And the nonprofits in large American cities still operate the same way. They are full of rich women and young people who are still supported by mom and dad, to a large degree. And get this: some of them deliberately pay below-sustinence wages, in order to “force perspective” on their nonprofit workers to relate to their clients, who live in poverty. Meaning, the workers are rich, OR ARE ASSUMED TO BE, because they are assumed to be unable to draw from personal experience in empathizing and finding solutions for poor clients.

Meanwhile of course, the directors are getting rich.

So when i hear women in nonprofits saying “its not about the money” I want to tell them yes, actually, it is. There’s a whole history specifically surrounding money, and assumptions about money. And it SHOULD be about money, for women, when they are choosing their careers. Lawyers and doctors “help people” too. But they aren’t expected to fuck themselves over, on the process, at all. Gee, I wonder why??

50. sonia - August 24, 2010

That’s right. It should be about the money. For women today, EVERY CHOICE WE MAKE should be about money because as you have pointed out many times, FCM, financial independence means sexual choice, and usually if you have enough money you can choose consciously not to service men sexually. Of course you might get raped, but you can probably eliminate 80% of the situations where it’s likely to happen. Everything we do should be about getting our money up, right and functional. If we don’t have financial stability, we can’t give a sister a leg up. It’s like that shit they do on the plane before you take off. You abs have to put your air mask on first, even before you do your child, because if you can’t breathe you can’t do shit to save someone else.

51. sonia - August 24, 2010

BTW I am ONLY referring to Sheila as “The Messiah” from now on 😉

52. vaginusdetritus - August 24, 2010

For anybody who hasn’t read them, I recommend Women and Voluntarism by Doris B. Gold (short article), and certainly The Nonprofit Industrial Complex, edited by INCITE!. The Compassion Trap by Margaret Adams would be relevant, too.

“And the nonprofits in large American cities still operate the same way. They are full of rich women and young people who are still supported by mom and dad, to a large degree.”

To a large degree, yes, absolutely. When it comes to hospitals, cancer orgs, etc., then I doubt there’s a single damn exception to that. Their fund-raisers make my head explode. “Galas” that raise $100,000 from 300 people in one night? I can’t comprehend that kind of wealth.

The disturbing part is the suspicion and hostility with which people who are too “low class” are treated. Wealthy and rich people often project their own dark sides on the poor. “Wait, this is poor people helping other poor people? Must be a scam. I’ll call the Better Business Bureau.” And yes, that has actually happened.

Wasn’t there some study recently showing that the poor are more generous? Ah ha, here: http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/facbios/file/Piff%20Kraus%20C%C3%B4t%C3%A9%20Cheng%20Keltner%20JPSP%20in%20press.pdf Actually 4 studies showing that poor people are more generous, more charitable, more trusting, and more helpful than their upper-class counterparts.

I coulda toldya that, but thank god I’ve got more than my anecdotal evidence now.

And the constant obstacles put in the way of poor people. Incorporating ain’t free, and the application for 501(c)(3) status is $750 dollars. It will be $850 in 2011. That is damn near insurmountable. I’ve never made that much in a month. Whereas rich people don’t blink about the filing fee, and they just hire (or are, or know) an attorney to handle the filing.

“And get this: some of them deliberately pay below-sustinence wages, in order to “force perspective” on their nonprofit workers to relate to their clients, who live in poverty. Meaning, the workers are rich, OR ARE ASSUMED TO BE, because they are assumed to be unable to draw from personal experience in empathizing and finding solutions for poor clients.”

Haha. I’ve actually considered trying to get Americorps to hire me and place me in my own nonprofit.

Oh well, $0.11 an hour it is, for now.

53. vaginusdetritus - August 24, 2010

By the way, SheilaG, you didn’t answer my question, so I will assume you don’t tip.

54. sonia - August 24, 2010

it’s awesome to be committed to doing good works, but I think the basic point was simply, don’t feel you need to do that because you’re a woman. Women have major issues about mandatory caretaking and feeling useless and selfish when they make self serving decisions.

I’m not saying abolish help work, because personally I’ve benefitted from social services esp for domestic violence, but aren’t both messages important? The god of patriarchy IS money, no matter what they want you to think, and the reality of patriarchy is unless you HAVE some, as a woman you are FUKT.

55. Level Best - August 24, 2010

“it’s awesome to be committed to doing good works, but I think the basic point was simply, don’t feel you need to do that because you’re a woman.”–sonia

I totally agree.

56. vaginusdetritus - August 24, 2010

Well, yeah.

But there’s no hope of our situation improving if women don’t tangibly help each other.

57. SheilaG - August 24, 2010

Women are forced by guilt tripping into doing low paid work. Just as women are forced by society to have PIV. That’s all I’m saying.

Just met another woman today who, got a degree in social work, has two small kids, and is doing the “hobby fantasy business routine.”
Totally dependent on husband, says she is not a feminist, didn’t face discrimination, already has her husband’s last name… if husband leaves her 12 years from now, wow. It’s a real set up.

Someone asked about tipping– exceptional service and I give 25%, 15% for very good, and 10% for just basic get the job done but with no concentration. Totally screwed up homophobic service and 0% is the rule. Sit the lesbian couple next to the kitchen when the place is not very full…. wow, I tell them upfront, move me and you get the tip, seat us at the lesbian table… whewww….

So no, I will not do work that doesn’t pay decent wages ever, just refuse to do this. Everyone else, be my guest, but I see no honor in women getting low wages, and especially lesbians, who are the low wage downwardly mobile champions of the world… not kidding here, three friends are just about homeless, I’ve known them for years… told them for years… not a pretty sight. Geez, baby boomers… get a clue here.

58. SheilaG - August 24, 2010

Women are shamed by other women into accepting low wage work.
Wanting to better yourself and not accept rock bottom wages is considered unfeminist for some reason.

I hate this attitude, no patience whatsoever. Blah 😦

59. Social Worker - August 24, 2010

The LESBIAN table?! Are you freaking kidding me? Who does this?
I worked in the restaurant business for several years before becoming, sorry Sheila, a Social Worker. It would never have OCCURRED to me to seat anybody at a less desirable table when there were others available.
Where do you live? 1943?
I guess I’ll have to call privilege on myself on this one or maybe it’s just living in the L.A. area where there is more general open-mindedness about most people.

By the way, I’ve had years where I’ve cleared $100K as a Social Worker. In private practice, assuming you can make it there, not hard to clear $60-70K+.
That doesn’t negate Sheila’s point though, about women needing to focus towards higher-paying careers.

factcheckme - August 24, 2010

$60k in los angeles money ain’t that much social worker. Just sayin.

factcheckme - August 24, 2010

And that doesn’t take into consideration the student loans you probably took on, where you will be paying $500 a month (or whatever) for the next 30 years!

60. FemmeForever - August 24, 2010

I will not do work that doesn’t pay decent wages ever, just refuse to do this.

Me too. If I need to I will get a survival job temporarily but I will not accept an underemployed job in my field. This is career sabotage and is built into the system to keep wages low. And it fosters the slave mentality that employers want workers to fall into. Employer as God.

Wanting to better yourself and not accept rock bottom wages is considered unfeminist for some reason.

Yep. And also considered uppity, arrogant, and diva-ish – for protecting one’s hard earned livelihood and forward mobility. Whereas when men do this it is considered shrewd career management.

The LESBIAN table?!

I have no problem believing in the concept of the lesbian table. As someone who patronizes restaurants, a lot, and alone, I too get the back corner table by the kitchen. If I were to accept it, but I don’t. All my regular haunts know that I will only accept a front and center table. They’ve even gotten good at picking a table for me even before I hit the door, now.

But new places or fru fru places? Different story. At Easter I was on staycation in my fav beach town and I went to my fav restaurant there that is practically on the sand with spectacular ocean views. The only reason to go to this restaurant is the view. I went for Easter brunch. When I got there I requested a water-front table. I was told that other people were waiting for the good seats and it would be a long wait. Actually, the restaurant wasn’t crowded at all and several good tables were empty with no one waiting. They just didn’t want a plus-sized WOC sitting at one of their premium tables. I was in a hurry and on vacation (attempting drama-free time) so I let them get away with it. They sat me next door in the neighboring restaurant upstairs in the back where I had a long range ocean view through glass and several rows of other diners. A total waste of my Easter brunch money. And it wasn’t a cheap meal.

61. Natalie - August 25, 2010

I’m determined not to take out any student loans. I see all my friends doing it. They think it will pay off, and maybe it will for them, but I have no faith in that idea. I don’t care if college takes me 10 years, I’ll work through it and pay as I go as much as possible.

That said, I’m majoring in English, which is probably a bad idea. Errrg.

Sorry for the MEMEME! post but I’m just a confused young ‘un trying to absorb what you all are saying.

62. sonia - August 25, 2010

social worker, I dig ya but that’s the first and only time I have ever heard anyone claim L.A. as being less-asshole-y than, well, anywhere on earth.
they may like gay people but they’ll slit your throat before they let u in traffic, right? And you better do your hair. LOL. But I’m from the Bay, so I’m biased.

I do see the point about leg-upping one another- both have got to be true. I do intend to help other women, but i want to be well off enough to tell any dude to fuck off unconditionally before I do it. It’s dog eat dog, baby.

63. vaginusdetritus - August 25, 2010

Okay, I don’t know how much income tax is on $60,000. So I knocked off $10,000 for taxes. $50,000 comes out to $4167 a month. If you’re paying $500 a month into loans, that’s still $3667 a month. So, okay, we’ll say $2000 in rent and utilities for a 1 bedroom in LA. You’ve still got $1667. Optional car payment, $200, and car insurance, $100. You’ve still got $1337. (LEET!)

Where I live, you could get a fancy-ass apartment for $800. So even with $500 a month for student loans, and even $300 for a new car and insurance, you’ve got $2567 left over. Groceries for one person are $100 or less per month. I’ll give a generous $300 for utilities and a phone. Is $2167 a month is not a comfortable living? I’ve never made $2167 in a month, even while working full time and doing porn, so it’s just beyond my sphere of reality, I guess.

Anyway, make as much money as you want, sheesh, of course. I never said women should have shit jobs or low wages.

But do volunteer work, or pay for it. This conversation is seriously taxing my solidarity with economically privileged women. Maybe you should look at that study I linked. Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean I’m guilt-tripping you.

And if you EVER don’t tip, you’re a classhole. Period. 10% is an insult. 20% is a minimum. I’d spit in your food.

64. Social Worker - August 25, 2010

Good point on the $60K, FCM. I’ve often said that, in another field, my education/training, etc., would be getting me at least double what I make.

No student loans, though, yay! The wonders of the California public university system. I was able to work my way through without garnering any loans.
I do see friends of mine struggling to pay those back years later, so another good point.

65. sonia - August 25, 2010

“But do volunteer work, or pay for it. This conversation is seriously taxing my solidarity with economically privileged women. Maybe you should look at that study I linked. Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean I’m guilt-tripping you.”

First of all, you need to know who you’re talking to before you refer to someone as economically privileged. If you need to go there, “sheesh,” I’m sure your checking account beats mine.

Who’s guilty? You seem like the kind of woman who does have guilt around financial success and you seemed to be throwing it up all over everyone else. I think some of us were just trying to normalize that.

Hope that doesn’t tax your solidarity.

66. sonia - August 25, 2010

and also- anyone who wants to act stuck up or rude and expect a tip, kiss my ass. I’ll stiff someone faster than they can press “total” if they think that I’m paying extra for their working class martyrdom. I work a shit job too, and it doesn’t mean I think I can act douchy and then stick my hand out. get over yourself.

67. Rachel - August 25, 2010

I always tip at least 20% regardless of service. Now what did you say about the poor being more generous? 😉

68. FemmeForever - August 25, 2010

And if you EVER don’t tip, you’re a classhole. Period. 10% is an insult. 20% is a minimum.

So, if you do spit in my food. Or ignore me because you’re racist or homophobic or you drop my food in my lap or you screw up my order 17 ways to Sunday, I’m supposed to tip you 20% regardless? Pshaw.

Actually, servers are not automatically entitled to any tip. Most people including myself tip something anyway as long as the problem isn’t blatant rudeness. Personally, I don’t ding people for incompetence, unless it’s ridiculously over the top. I definitely do ding people for rudeness.

The problem here is that the responsibility for paying servers a living wage lies with restaurants, not with the consumer. So the restaurant should pay you at least minimum wage at entry level and then go up from there according to experience, just like every other profession. I don’t really know how the food industry is able to legally skirt the minimum wage laws but it needs to stop. Servers deserve to be paid a living wage by the restaurant and then they can stop viewing tips as salary which they were never intended to be and start viewing tips as bonus money for a job well done.

69. SheilaG - August 25, 2010

FemmeForever… thanks for your comments. Single women and lesbian couples get treated very badly in restaurants. It took me awhile to catch on to this system of give me the worst table in the house routinely. So now I speak up in advance or just go to the table I want if no one is in the place. And you should see what happens if I go out to eat with black lesbian friends… who eeee.

A lot of places my partner and I have psyched out for years, and everything is fine. But new places, always a bit of a danger unless we pay careful attention.

And you do have to pay careful attention to career moves, and income, and where you need to be to do X Y or Z. Always somewhat ill at ease — I don’t want my partner as a domestic partner on my health plan, in case I get laid off. So there are somethings I pay more for because, well, it is lesbian benefits defensive driving. We used to pay double for things like AAA membership, because our partnership wasn’t consider a hetero marriage, and more for car insurance, and more for entrance fees, and on and on it went. The bad news is we paid big bucks to that hetero system, the good news is it made me more determined not to settle for second best anything. Just wasn’t going to do it.

Women often settle, and I see this all the time. If there is no objective, no analysis, the money will just float around. Paid my dues with interest for several decades… not going to do it anymore, sorry.
Volunteer work fine, but again not at my expense, not at the cost of lost wages, sorry folks, het people ain’t gonna take care of me in my old age. Don’t trust the hetero system farther than I can … well spit.

factcheckme - August 25, 2010

Ok, just making a mental note here, as a topic that blew the roof off. Lesbian seperatism was the first, on intercourse part 3. Now this. Aaaaannnnd done. Ok.

I don’t really know where we are going here. I lived on $400-500 a month for the first say 3 years on my own. My portion of the rent was exactly half my income, and that was the cheapest rent in town, with a roommate covering the other half. That was 15 years ago, and in different parts of the country, so you have to make some adjustments, but you get the idea. If you can get a kick-ass apartment where you are for $800, then you could probably get what I had for $500, and I had to share it with another person. And my income equalled the total cost of the full rent…so where you are today, my income would be $500 a month, after taxes. Which is less than minimum wage. I was on food stamps, I was on Medicaid, too. I ate baked potatoes every night for dinner. I installed a deadbolt on my bedroom door, because one of my roommates was bipolar and an addict, and picked up guys in bars and brought them “home” to our shared space, putting us both in danger. I had a male roommate who brought over male friends. I never went hungry though, and if I got sick i went to the emergency room, fuck it. I wasn’t going to fuck around with my health.

Luckily for me, i was generally very healthy. That’s one thing i think “successful” people always take for granted is their health. They do bitch and moan about the hours and how hard they work, no sleep etc, but there are a lot of people in this country alone who are not physically or mentally well enough to work at all, let alone to “work their asses off” like accomplished people always demand to be recognized for. That always makes me so angry, it really does. My brother was terminally ill, so I think I always had a sense of that, and never took it for granted. But many people do. Some people were fed coffee mate in their baby bottles, when they were supposed to be developing physically, mentally, intellectually, and in every other way. My parents were medical professionals, and fed us healthy food, and took care of us. We were so lucky, we really were. Some kids have to take care of their parents, or their siblings, or themselves. Some babies are born to addicted prostitutes, and are penetrated by bottles, and penises, and animals from the time they were born! Some of them survive. Dworkin writes about this. She uncovered some of the most horrifying histories of sexual abuse you will ever hear, by listening to women who wanted to tell her about it, because she was the only one who ever wanted to know. She didnt even ask, she just made it known through her work that she wanted to know the fucking truth about women’s lives. And women found her, and told her.

So anyway, if you are here reading this, you are privileged, in at least 3 ways that I can immediately think of. If you were healthy enough to work full time and do porn, same thing. If you are damaged from your experience, and its limiting you now, even when you no longer do it, then it could be a cautionary tale to the young uns, who are being told every fucking day of their lives that porn is glamorous, and can make you rich.

In short, bootstrapping language pisses me off, no doubt about it. But that’s only one dimension of this conversation that’s skeeving me out.

factcheckme - August 25, 2010

oh, and the first time i made over $10k a year, i was over 30, and out of graduate school. when say i was making $400-500 for the first 3 years, it was after that that i started taking out student loans to subsidize my income. i needed my own place so i could sleep and study in peace, if i was ever going to get through school, and i fucking well knew it. people are insane, and cant be counted on for shit! no more roommates, if i can help it, ever again. guess now i have my nigel for that though.

as an aside, anyone who has ever had a roommate knows that it sucks, and that you will end up taking on more than your share of responsibility if you are the responsible one. it will cost you more, in the long run, than you will ever get out of it, which is a privileged perspective indeed, as poor people can only ever afford to plan short-term, not long. BUT. this is one reason we keep our nigels around i think. if we have to have a roommate anyway, and you are going to get fucked over anyway, may as well just keep him, even if hes not pulling his weight! better than getting fucked over by a stranger. you know, or something.

70. berryblade - August 25, 2010

@FCM I read that feministe article as well. I was tempted to comment but realised it’d be more productive for me to direct that rage towards my uni work 😉


“is to set up what he calls a woman-only space for his female students, except Hugo gets to join in too. He’s a blight on feminism and on women, but the fun fems love him.”

Whaaaaaaaat? Do these people seriously never see the huge logic fail right in their face? This guy sounds like a creepy jerk.

All this talk on tipping makes me just want to point out that over here, in Australia, PEOPLE DON’T GET TIPS. You could be earning a shitty amount an hour and you still won’t get them. At my last job I was earning around $14 an hour (which for a 21 year old, here, is fucking shite) and I wasn’t allowed to keep my tips. I had to put them into the “tip jar” which then went right to the (male) managers pockets.

And holy shit, Eminem just makes me fucking sick, thinks he’s so fucking clever and edgy but really he’s just spitting forth the same old status quo message of horseshit. I just kinda pity Rhianna.

factcheckme - August 25, 2010

Yes berryblade, you will never go wrong if you channel your rage into your school work! I must’ve just lost my entire ever-loving mind, to think that my comment would be heard at feministe. And my second comment wasnt even published. Ha!

factcheckme - August 25, 2010

And…was this post about eminem? I had almost forgotten about that. I didn’t really like this post, as I’ve said. The convos are always good though, regardless. So, thanks!

factcheckme - August 25, 2010

Did anyone like this post, or find it useful? I don’t know. I guess dissecting pop culture stuff isn’t really my thing anymore. This song just really, really got to me.

71. Rachel - August 25, 2010

berryblade, if $14 is “shite” there in Australia, I can’t imagine how high the cost of living is. I’ve never made that much an hour (without doing something illegal) in my life.

Back to Eminem, here’s what Jackson Katz has to say:


72. berryblade - August 25, 2010

Really? Holy crap, that’s so… strange? I’ve always heard stories from friends who live in Canada about how they get like $5 an hour + tips and my jaw was pretty much on the floor. The cost of living in the city I live is fucking ridiculous high (It’s like $1.30 a litre for petrol), and I had to move back home cos I couldn’t afford rent when I did live out of home. Maybe it’s just the crappy city I live in though?

As for that article, I honestly stopped reading after he called Eminem “art”, seriously, wtf?

73. berryblade - August 25, 2010

P.S I’ve just gone through the lecture notes for the class I’m supposed to be doing on feminism later this semester and it lists BETTY FUCKING FRIEDAN as the ‘main’ thinker for feminist thought. That kinda makes me rage, and the textbooks vague and fucked up pseudo-understanding of radical feminism is just making me rage harder.

If I can’t turn to knowledge enhancement where can I turn? Hahah 😦

74. Level Best - August 25, 2010

“Did anyone like this post, or find it useful?”–fcm

The subject of the post was highly disturbing, so I can’t say I LIKED it, because it produced a bad emotional reaction from me when I read it. I did find it useful, though, because sometimes I need a bootheel on my buttocks to commit me more to being countercultural, because, yea, verily, the culture stinks. The post was a jolt which helped me reaffirm my against the current status. The thread that followed has been fascinating and at times highly enjoyable, so I’ve certainly liked the thread.

We’re all coming from a lot of different places, obviously, but we’re all pro-women.

75. Level Best - August 25, 2010

And, oh, SheilaG, I live in Appalachia, and when I go out with obviously butch friends, we DO often get seated in funky places and sometimes not served well. I am surprised you get treated like that in a huge, reputedly hip, city like LA, though. But hip doesn’t mean progressive, necessarily, right?

76. Miska - August 25, 2010

I took a women’s studies, sorry, GENDER studies subject earlier this year. Some things about it were good. It covered feminist history quite well, but at the end of the day it was all very liberal. My essays kept coming back with little notes in the margins saying “Good point, but do you think this might be taking things too far?” etc. It’s like, ffs. This is feminism. Human rights are at stake. Aint no such thing as “taking things too far” in my book.

Really? Holy crap, that’s so… strange? I’ve always heard stories from friends who live in Canada about how they get like $5 an hour + tips and my jaw was pretty much on the floor. The cost of living in the city I live is fucking ridiculous high (It’s like $1.30 a litre for petrol), and I had to move back home cos I couldn’t afford rent when I did live out of home. Maybe it’s just the crappy city I live in though?

You live in the magical mining-boom state don’t you? I heard its gotten really expensive over there. If its any consolation its not much better where I am. inner city rent has gone up by about $100 in the last year. For reals, its kind of scary. But I think all aus cities are expensive now … except maybe hobart? LOL

factcheckme - August 25, 2010

Taking things too far means critical of aggregate male behavior, and/or offensive to MAABs. I would consider that an A. Well done!

factcheckme - August 25, 2010

Thanks for the feedback levelbest. One question though: aren’t all my posts based on disturbing subject matter? Miska said recently that she thinks radfem blogging is hard, because you are writing and thinking about gnarley, disturbing subject matter every minute of every day. And I think that’s true. The weird thing to me about this post is that there’s not a lot of analysis to it, its just so blatantly obvious when you watch the video that the entire fucking world is MAD. I don’t know, it just seemed way too easy or something. Like, I didn’t even bother quoting Dworkin, and her breakdown of fairytale heroines (aka good women) as inert, passive, sleeping, or dead (I don’t mind if you kill me! Really, its ok!) I just couldnt bring myself to do it, and i was hoping that was clear. (Haha! I did it now though.) And her statement that the men are heroes, no matter what they do, or don’t do.

Maybe there’s just not a lot to say, particularly if you refuse to indulge the alleged/assumed/possible irony. Maybe it is just a shock to the system, like you say. Still thinking on this one.

77. sonia - August 25, 2010

Well, sorry if my attitude derailed anything. It just bothers me when people want to come around and be combative instead of focusing on the issues. If you want to start calling people out THE FIRST TIME YOU COMMENT SOMEWHERE, I’m probably going to say something. Sorry.

It was a good post and Eminem is a douche. I just think that in order to get paid to do a music video you have to BE misogynist, so I try to ignore them AMAP.

78. Rachel - August 25, 2010

“Art” is a neutral term. I happen to think most art sucks. It’s worth reading the article to the end for this:

“Eminem has been skillfully marketed as a ‘rebel’ to whom many young people — especially white boys — can relate. But what exactly is he rebelling against? Powerful women who oppress weak and vulnerable men? Omnipotent gays and lesbians who make life a living hell for straight people? Eminem’s misogyny and homophobia, far from being ‘rebellious’, are actually extremely traditional and conservative.”

Really, he’s about as rebellious as Pat Robertson.

The more I learn about contemporary Women’s Studies programs, the more certain I become that college is the absolute worst place to learn about feminism. Most of the professors don’t even have a solid theoretical grasp of the subject, so they end up churning out funfems by the dozens. To be fair, if they’re going to teach Friedan, they ought to also teach the Lavender Menace.

79. Level Best - August 25, 2010

“One question though: aren’t all my posts based on disturbing subject matter? Miska said recently that she thinks radfem blogging is hard, because you are writing and thinking about gnarley, disturbing subject matter every minute of every day.”–fcm

You know, you’re right and Miska’s right. And I’ve been reading radfem lit since the 70’s, and it all deals with the spectrum from unjust to horrendus, and generally I just take it all in and say, “Yup.” Radfem truths reflect the truths I’ve noticed all of my life, so they’re actually affirming to me, no matter how gnarley.

So I’ve been sitting here wondering why this subject matter so particularly repulsed me, and I think it’s because I am always horrified to hear about people being burn victims. I think of the sheer unceasing pain of burns over large areas of one’s body, the godawful burn treatments and grafts, and how one looks after suffering extensive burns and surviving, and how people are sometimes repelled by burn survivors’ appearances, which is a social stigma piling suckdom on top of suckdom. It’s just a personal phobia with me, although the only third-degree burn I ever had was confined to an area on one hand and bizarrely healed without a scar (which I’ll never understand, because it took forever for that burn to heal and even a medical doctor let out an “Ooooh!” at first sight of it), so I really have never suffered from fire. It’s a compassion thing for me: living through or dying in a fire just would be so awful, and here is a STUPID video trying to make it SEXAY. Insensitive jerks.

I guess everyone has a tipping point for some personal squick. Fortunately a few other radfem topics reporting terrible categories of mysogny that formerly touched me to the quick because of my personal experience of living through them no longer affect me on a deep emotional level, although they will always make me resent the hell out of men inflicting such suffering on women. I’ve been through my nervous breakdowns (not exaggerating here–official, medically treated stuff) over them already, gotten to the other side, and concluded the two most important things are enjoying my life and being supportive to women/girls every day possible. I’m happy now, go figure!

80. SheilaG - August 25, 2010

To summarize… It is helpful to think outside the box if you are a lesbian. And believe it or not Level Best, there is very bad service in a lot of places in this town for lesbians. Won’t bore with the economic analysis, obviously everyone here is far wiser than I on this account.
Some people here think that homophobes should be tipped. I do not have that civilized world view, sorry.

I don’t know where people get this idea that big cities are kind to lesbians but Appalachia is not. Hetero cruelty exists everywhere I’m afraid.

And back on topic, sorry… I still think it might be fun for feminists to fight fire with fire with our own videos attacking Eminem’s. I think it’s being done. Again, back to the basics, trying to get the word out so that women avoid all this stuff. Women buy as much of this garbage as men do, even when it is woman hating…. like the curse of fun feminists, it hard to get women’s attention, even if it is in our own best interests. Perhaps it’s just penis contamination of some sort… the drinking water?

81. FemmeForever - August 25, 2010

This thread is awesome. The original content and the resulting discussion. Thanks FCM and everyone. Do you know how long I could read another blog before a discussion this awesome developed. Oh let me think, um, a year or maybe never, I’m still waiting for a meaty convo on some blogs. Yeah. I know. It’s never going to happen.

factcheckme - August 25, 2010

Just to clarify, *I* didn’t do any analysis here. That’s why I didn’t like this post. You all are free to analyze or not analyze anything you read here. And I dont think anyone was derailing. I think this fucking post plunged me into despair, is what it did. That happens sometimes. Like, the entire fucking world is mad, simply mad. Mad! When Dworkin talked about men penetrating babies with objects etc, I had a similar response. I once read about a gang rape of a woman who died while being raped, from head injuries inflicted before and during the rape; the men kept raping her, even as her bowels and bladder were evacuating all over them. They laughed about it. Similar response. These are some of if not the most horrible things I have ever heard, ever. It almost renders me…speechless. Its like we are living in a nightmare. But its real. And this one was set to music, and portrayed the victim as being as passive as a corpse, even while she was still alive. Oh goody!

Re burns, yes, burning someone is probably the cruelest thing you can do to a person or an animal. The metaphorical images of course are annihilation, obliteration, consumption. The reality is that its a painful death, and in fact you often survive your own execution as it were, to a lifetime of medical procedures, pain, stigma, and you can still succumb to your injuries months or years later. It’s someone taking over your life and changing it, forever. The ownership and control aspects of it are extreme. Thanks for talking about that levelbest. You are absolutely right to notice it. And I wouldn’t call that a personal squick either. Not the least little bit.

82. vaginusdetritus - August 26, 2010

“First of all, you need to know who you’re talking to before you refer to someone as economically privileged. If you need to go there, “sheesh,” I’m sure your checking account beats mine.”

I was talking about SheilaG. If you’d like to send me the $100 it takes to open a checking account, I guess we can have the competition you suggest.

“Who’s guilty? You seem like the kind of woman who does have guilt around financial success and you seemed to be throwing it up all over everyone else. I think some of us were just trying to normalize that.

Hope that doesn’t tax your solidarity.”

I don’t feel guilty for being poor, though I know a lot of people who do, maybe in part because of this pervasive bootstraps bullshit.

Anyway, for everyone arguing that it’s the restaurant’s duty to pay a living wage — great! Activism is much needed there. You could do that volunteer work, or donate to the unions or other organizations who do that work. Maybe you have a worker’s justice center in your area, or an arm of the IWW or the SFWU, or someone to express your concerns to and strategically work with.

Of course, if restaurants had to pay a living wage — or even minimum wage — then they would raise their menu prices significantly to cover it. In the current system, just add 20%. It’s the same thing, until customers decide to discipline employees — and nearly every damn one has a complaint and a power trip, so servers are in a double bind. You’re not friendly enough, you’re too annoying. You’re not pretty enough, you’re too ditsy. You’re homophobic, you seated the gay couple next to the church crowd.

Restaurants SHOULD just pay a living wage, but they don’t. They realized they could exploit the pro-social behavior of poor people (nodding, making eye contact, mirroring gestures, etc.) and the self-righteous anti-social entitled vengeance of rich people to create a class of sniveling, emotionally broken slaves — and the class who sniff about deserving to be be “serviced” well. And, of course, the self-perceived “upwardly mobile” traitors. But they generally make it to management, which is more up their individualist authoritarian alley, anyway.

If you see a $20.00 pizza on the menu, move the decimal place, double the result, and add it on. It’s $24.00, and that’s just how much it costs. This is how to read a menu. Too bad they don’t teach that in college. A $10 plate is $12.

People also don’t seem to realize how often tips are split across every worker on the shift. If you stiff the server, you’re often stiffing the whole kitchen and bar, who you may not have a problem with anyway.

Tip wage here is $2.63 per hour. If you don’t tip properly, we’re not making a living wage. That blood is on your hands. If you don’t like it, change it.

Tips are the price of that person spending their life to be there, bringing you shit you want, whether her best friend just died or she’s got a migraine or she’s in a good mood or not. There are a million and a half places a worker would rather be, and I’m sure you can all relate to that. If you don’t pay for that access to a portion of someone’s life, and the restaurant isn’t obligated to, and you knowingly tip low or not at all — you are stealing.

If you’re unhappy with the “service” or food, then just pay up, compulsory tip and all, don’t go back, and get over it. *ptooey*

As one last note, the consensus among delivery drivers I know is that anything under $5 is a waste of their time. So if 20% is under $5, tip $5.

83. vaginusdetritus - August 26, 2010

“All this talk on tipping makes me just want to point out that over here, in Australia, PEOPLE DON’T GET TIPS. You could be earning a shitty amount an hour and you still won’t get them. At my last job I was earning around $14 an hour (which for a 21 year old, here, is fucking shite) and I wasn’t allowed to keep my tips. I had to put them into the “tip jar” which then went right to the (male) managers pockets.”

That’s fucked up. I’m sorry to hear that. Starbucks workers have been through some similar issues here, but have had some spotty success with lawsuits. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23736754/

84. vaginusdetritus - August 26, 2010

And I was privileged to be pimped out as a 12 to 18 year old girl? Wow.

85. FemmeForever - August 26, 2010

You know, I just keep thinking how HI-larius it would be to try this whole “I DEMAND my 20%” argument on the WWII generation, many of whom grew up in “no joke” poverty for reals. I could get my parents to recognize the concept of tipping. I just couldn’t get them to the idea that you have to tip a minimum amount. It’s hard to explain to people who know what it’s like to go hungry for days or worse that they have to voluntarily tack on more money to the huge mandatory bill they already have to pay. Many times I had to tip toe back to the table and leave a proper tip where their dollar or so had been. It wasn’t because they were jerks. It was because they just couldn’t conceive of “wasting” precious money like that.

86. berryblade - August 26, 2010


“I took a women’s studies, sorry, GENDER studies subject earlier this year. Some things about it were good. It covered feminist history quite well, but at the end of the day it was all very liberal. My essays kept coming back with little notes in the margins saying “Good point, but do you think this might be taking things too far?” etc. It’s like, ffs. This is feminism. Human rights are at stake. Aint no such thing as “taking things too far” in my book.”

Hahaha the same thing happened to me in my “women’s studies” class earlier this year. That and I was the only person in my class who even knew who Germaine Greer was (and I had womyn who were old enough to be around during the second wave in it) or Andrea Dworkin or Mary Daly or Sheila Jeffreys. The womyn who were closest to my age idolised womyn like Violet Blue and Jessica Valenti (if they had heard of any feminist writers at all)

“You live in the magical mining-boom state don’t you? I heard its gotten really expensive over there. If its any consolation its not much better where I am. inner city rent has gone up by about $100 in the last year. For reals, its kind of scary. But I think all aus cities are expensive now … except maybe hobart? LOL’

Sure do, it’s ridiculous. I’m lucky though, I live with my folks (even though I pay board) and about a ten minute bus trip from my university. I’ve heard it’s expensive Australia wide, and as for Tasmania, well, why live there when you can just live in W.A? It’s the same thing, but with more land hahahha 😛

Fuck this city.


“Tip wage here is $2.63 per hour. If you don’t tip properly, we’re not making a living wage. That blood is on your hands. If you don’t like it, change it.”

Oh my goddess, that is just wrong, $2.63 an hour? That is so fucking wrong. What’s the story with minimum wage where you live? It’s also totally wrong that you were pimped out, I’m so sorry to read/hear that. Thankfully I have a better job now where the earnings are pretty fucking good and I get to keep my tips! And I’m getting paid to listen to rock and roll all night helll yessss
Now I just need to learn how to manage my money for the first time hahahah.

Thankfully there’s no Starbucks where I live.

factcheckme - August 26, 2010

And I was privileged to be pimped out as a 12 to 18 year old girl? Wow.

i always like to wake up to a well-reasoned statement. one that doesnt tax my patience at all, and shows reading comprehension, and good faith on the part of a reader. like this one. so, thanks!

factcheckme - August 26, 2010

I find radfem truths to be affirming too levelbest. Absolutely. No matter how awful, telling the truth about women’s lives and our reality is affirming, and helps put the pieces together, and explains a lot, including our own anxiety and depression, fear, uneasy feelings etc that everyone else is telling us is pathological, and unique to the individual. It’s not.

87. DarthVelma - August 26, 2010

I’ve been contemplating this video for a while now. Yes, it upsets me on a visceral level because burns are just so…I don’t have words. I’ve had nightmares of being burned alive my entire life. And I’ve worked in a hospital and seen them up close and personal.

But what has me livid about this video is that it seems like payback for “The Burning Bed”. A “we’ll show you bitchez” slap in the face kind of thing. It’s like they want to make DAMN sure this generation of young people associates fire with killing the woman.

factcheckme - August 26, 2010

I thought about “the burning bed” too. Of course, from what I remember about it, she set him on fire when he was passed out drunk. Not as painful when you’re unconscious is it? The bed wasn’t even symbolic in that case really, it was where the bastard fell, and its not like she could’ve moved him. Everyone made it seem symbolic though, and sensationalized the hell out of it. But old em couldve chosen to “tie her” to the couch, or the kitchen table or really anything, being as its his own fantasy, and he could overpower her in real life. The bed was just sexxxay-er, and made the image even stronger that it was a passionate act for him, and not a coldly calculated kidnapping, torture and murder. Which is always how these things are framed, no matter how obvious it is that it was premeditated.

Rebellious, ay? How about totally typical, and banal.

factcheckme - August 26, 2010

Oh sorry. I should’ve said its always framed as a passionate act when men do it. When women kill their partners, she’s always made out to be a calculating bitch, no matter how much evidence there is that it was an act of desperation, or self-defense. My bad!

factcheckme - August 26, 2010

And…it would ACTUALLY BE rebellious, if women did it, or if women sang about doing it. But noone would ever characterize it that way, even though its true. The lies and obfuscation. They burn. Heh.

88. joy - August 29, 2010

“Most of the time I got hit when I was advocating for myself, otherwise known as “having an attitude,”.

And also, of COURSE your bitch has anger issues. She’s probably been treated like shit by men for years. Whereas you just take out your petty little tyrant ego on physically weaker beings. major fucking difference.”

This and Miska’s comment about DV, absolutely.

I’m an indie music fanatic* and on a total media fast (other than this blog and Rage Against the Man-Chine; I’ll sometimes read IBTP to see what Jill has to say, but yeah, some of her “blamers” have really gone off the board in a lot of ways). So I don’t get pop culture in my face, other than when I see subway ads, and those disturb me/I can immediately pick them apart.

But I currently live in a low-income (I’m another low-income, as in >10k/year, food-stamps person) neighborhood that’s really, really entrenched in “urban”, mainstream pop culture. As in, nobody has ever even thought to critique it (other than the lesbian Latina woman who lives next door).
A lot of bad pop music gets played all the time, at extreme volumes, on my block. Eminem among it. So I heard the song in question for the first time about a week ago, and it immediately struck me the same way it did you, FCM. I was stricken with revulsion and despair.

And no. The target audience of this song does not see it as “irony.” The target audience of this song might not even know what “irony” means. Only hipsters (many of whom are funfems or antifeminists) deal in irony, and they only deal in it as an excuse to revel in things they know on some level are repulsive.

*Not to say that indie music is not misogynist. I have to cherry-pick pretty heavily. I’ve axed more bands out of my music library than I’d like to count because of an interview or personal experience that outed them as fun-fems or overt misogynists, not like those aren’t almost synonymous terms.
For example, Deep Sea Diver is a fun-fem/nonfeminist. mr. Gnome likes porn. Phosphorescent doesn’t do dishes. The Black Keys go to strip clubs. I could go on, but won’t. It wouldn’t surprise anyone.
The pickins are slim. I’m not left with a lot, even in the supposedly radical scene (again, not a surprise for anyone). There is even one band that I still like despite a few songs that are not feminist; only because I know them and know what they were trying to do with those songs. But it really says something about the scene that they didn’t get the axe, and an impassioned earful (which they are still gonna get, someday, from me), as soon as I first heard the songs.
It sucks, and try talking about this with anyone else who’s passionate about music. It’s nearly impossible. “But it’s art!” Fuck no, it’s not. If art is that trite, then art is not only dead, but utterly without merit as well.

89. berryblade - August 29, 2010

And also, of COURSE your bitch has anger issues. She’s probably been treated like shit by men for years. Whereas you just take out your petty little tyrant ego on physically weaker beings. major fucking difference

Yes, yes yes! Whenever you try and explain this to anyone non-feministy though they will always try and bring this shit back to “choice” gaaah. I had this conversation earlier today and I had to walk away because the womon I was talking to had internalised misogyny so badly she was convinced “some womyn really do go out of their way to wind their men up”

Ahhh Joy I totally have that problem with music as well. I love metal + gothique but so much of that is so necrophiliac and womon hating and that’s the stuff that IS done by womyn. Dave Ghrol, for all intensive purposes, sucks, but he calls himself a lefty and yet he still had suicidegirls in a videoclip for his band Probot. Good radical feminist metal is SO hard to come by.

I can’t remember where I read it, but I do remember hearing that Modest Mouse (or one of their members) had rape allegations brought up against them, even if it didn’t go anywhere.

factcheckme - August 29, 2010

So glad you are still around joy! Yes, revulsion and despair about sum it up for me. And this fucking song is on the radio constantly, and get this: the radio edit bleeps out the word “fucking” when he says he’s going to tie her to the fucking bed, and burn the house down. The implied rape there before he kills her, and the overt reference to premeditated murder of his female partner of course aren’t bleeped out at all. Cause that’s the art! Whereas the swear word is…what? Offensive, gratuitous, and might have a corrupting influence on children? Sure.

Despair, I tell you. I might not be done with this one either, so stay tuned.

90. Lillie - August 29, 2010

(I know the discussion has moved on, but I just wanted to thank you, Femme Forever and FCM, for your replies, though I’m sorry you feel isolated too. And FCM, I know having a partner doesn’t change it one bit: I imagine it would make the feeling of isolation even worse, to depend on one person for company. (Or to be married with children, isolated with only a baby for company most of the time. Shudder.) I don’t really envy women in relationships for their partners’ companionship, but for the social network that might follow from a socially accepted relationship. Though I realise there’s an equal chance it might not.)

Re: music and misogyny – see, this is why I mostly listen to music with cryptic lyrics and lots of instrumental parts, and refuse to read any interviews with the musicians. I write songs to my own amusement and I find a perverse thrill in being inspired in ways that the creators of the music I listen to didn’t necessarily mean to inspire me. I mean, I recently heard one of my favourite songs is “apparently” about a stripper. I say “apparently” because I still stick to my own, better interpretation! Luckily melodies can’t be misogynistic: a song may be “about” anything, but the bass line or guitar riff is a thing of beauty, and isn’t there a poetic justice about a woman turning the song around and using it to one’s own ends?

(Not that I could listen to any blatantly misogynist songs, though… hence the preference for cryptic lyrics, heh.)

91. Lillie - August 29, 2010

berryblade, do you like Die So Fluid? I wouldn’t call them unproblematic from a feminist standpoint (I hate the emphasis on the singer’s sexy image… in fetish gear, of all things) but I find the strength in her voice hugely inspiring. Whatever the song actually “means”, their “Bitterness By Discipline” is my personal feminist anthem – especially the part that goes “Don’t try to turn me… now I see clearly”

(The song is from an older album (their best, IMO) but it’s on their MySpace playlist, if anyone’s interested: http://www.myspace.com/diesofluid )

92. joy - August 29, 2010

Yep, still around, FCM! Glad you are too!
I have a really ancient computer (like, 2002 Macbook, ’cause it’s what I could afford), and for some reason it’s started running really slow on your site. So I can’t always comment when I want to, but I still read whenever possible.

Yeah, berryblade, I honestly can’t even imagine trying to be into metal. I like folk and “punkgrass”, and even that is often really shitty. (A lot of people are trying to redux Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, those misogynists extraordinaire.)

And yes, Isaac whatthefuckever from Modest Mouse was accused of rape (ie, is definitely a rapist). I don’t even think he ever bothered to deny it, although of course it never went to court. I stopped listening to Modest Mouse about two years ago, when I found out.

Lillie, I like the cryptic lyrics and pretty melodies too. I’ve found about two modern bands that I can listen to that please me on those fronts, and also aren’t in-your-face misogynist: Over The Rhine, a hetero couple who are theological scholars and literary academics; and Gus “A.A.” Bondy, who’s a blues-folk guitarist and the only male musician I have *ever* met who *looks me in the eye* when we interact.

Isn’t that very, very sad and telling? A pair of religious scholars, and a guy who manages to grant women -the most very basic tenets of human dignity-, are the best I’ve come by. In years and years and years of doing music, interacting with other musicians, and listening to music like my life depends upon it.

There are a few other acts that I just don’t know anything about, and a few that ride the fence (ie, treat women decently but almost certainly don’t see them as equals, fucking duh, etc.), but yeah. That’s the best I’ve come up with. The absolute best. People who treat others well because they believe an otherwordly force compels them to, and someone who can look a woman in the eye as opposed to leering her up and down like meat.
And that pretty much sums up my interactions with all human beings. As in, I don’t know of anybody who can top that in my regular day-to-day face-to-face life, either. To say the least, I’m underwhelmed.

93. Is Eminem a Transwoman? « femonade - August 29, 2010

[…] posted old em’s latest video here.  as we might recall (unfortunately its rather hard to forget) he waxes poetic about male sexual […]

94. Lillie - August 29, 2010

Well, joy, there are some saving graces to being into metal. This, for instance:

I’m still waiting for an excuse to use “prostate gods” in a sentence…

I hope the music discussion isn’t derailing things too much, but I’ll look up those musicians you mentioned – so thank you. I agree that it’s sad and laughable, the way we should be pleasantly surprised with basic decency in human interaction. Though it considerably limits my experience of music, I consider myself lucky overall that I don’t go to any live shows and have never met any of my favourites in person. (Which is not to say I’ve never met any musicians at all. From those few experiences I’d say no-name metal bands are just as horrendously misogynist as one would expect them to be… though, oddly, one ridiculously handsome lead singer I once knew was one of the few truly decent, treating-women-as-humans males I’ve met in my life. I didn’t have a crush on him or anything, I was just astounded by his general decency towards women, as being so handsome he could have “afforded” to be the most misogynist prick imaginable and still have adoring fans. Too bad the other musicians more than made up for that with their casual misogyny, though.)

95. joy - August 29, 2010

Haha, the Prostate Gods Challenge!

I’m sorry if I’m derailing too, but honestly I never get to talk about this. Even with supposedly feminist people.

For example, I wrote an essay on my former blog discussing the songs I mentioned above, and why they are sexist songs. I got a lot of shit from the other music bloggers I knew, especially the ‘feminist.’
“But it’s art! They’re doing it for the irony! They’re writing in the style of old blues songs, where women got killed all the time as a metaphorical device!” etc.

The thing is, I know that probably at least two of the guys in this other band would never -really- kill a woman (unlike Eminem). They would probably never even hurt a woman on purpose (again, unlike Eminem) or fantasize about it. (Again, isn’t it sad that I have to say ‘probably’? Even with people in my general acquaintance? Because you never know.) I wasn’t trying to say that I really think they’d kill a woman.
But seriously. Ian, the songwriter, is some kind of fucking genius — all of his songs are like five-minute novels. And yet their most requested song at shows isn’t the one comparing St. Stephen to a murdered circus elephant … or the one about a young man who traffics narcotics to pay for his mother’s prescription medication and winds up serving life in Attica … it’s his brother’s send-up of a blues song wherein a guy gets loaded on whiskey and kills a woman at a dance hall.

Even when people -are- genuinely doing something “as art”, IT’S NOT FUCKING ‘ART’ WHEN IT’S -OUR LIVES- being brutally ruined IN REAL LIFE. Sorry. Think up something else.
Second, irony is only as effective as the audience for which it’s intended. Just like nobody in the mainstream listens to Eminem’s disgusting trainwreck and thinks “That poor woman … what a psychopathic man!” — the douchebag hipsters who go to Felice Brothers shows and shout for “Whiskey In My Whiskey” aren’t thinking, “That poor woman, I can’t believe he killed her like that!”

They want to hear it so they can glory in the fact that “the bitch gets hers.”

Whether the “artist” actually is a wifebeating, wannabe woman-murdering son of a shitstain like Eminem, or is just an oblivious boy from rural America who’s trying to write a catchy blues song but (probably) wouldn’t (purposefully) hurt a woman (although you never know), it all sounds the same to me.
And it sounds like the suffering of women, at the hands of men.

It’s shocking to me, how few people understand that.

factcheckme - August 29, 2010

hey yall, i posted another one about eminem, if you are interested. enjoy!

96. joy - August 29, 2010

PS: Level Best –

“I unwisely broke my habit of just lurking there, made a joking reference about “Deadly Women” and “Snapped,” since Jill had mentioned them first, and then was accused of being a murderous female who would bring down the wrath of men upon women. You know, since women are responsible for male violence and should be passive little good girls so they won’t kill us all. Yeah, that’s really worked out well the past few thousand years.”

I was there for that, and personally I thought, ‘Woo doggy!’ in agreement with you.

The main thing I have realized about IBTP is that, while Jill may be a radical radical (ie, calling for revolution), many of the commenters are not. Especially the one who called you out, a reformist who still actually believes change can be wrought via the current political system.

Fuck that.

When I was a little girl, about 7 or 8, my mom put herself back through college. She was a former religious scholar herself, who came from a very conservative background, and she took a women’s studies course. (This was almost 20 years ago, when that still nominally meant something.)
I attended class with her a lot, because she couldn’t afford a babysitter and I was a genius anyway (sorry … it sucked the bag big time, though), and I read all of her course books. “The Burning Bed” was one of them, and a book about Lorena Bobbitt, and an anthology called “Women Who Kill.”

I can remember, even then, being the child of a single mother (who hated men because of all the shit they’d done to her), thinking, “Fuck yes! Sometimes they don’t kill us — sometimes we kill them first.”

While there are obvious flaws with that thought, I still kind of think it.
Fuck yes. Sometimes we kill them before they can kill us. Maybe more of us should do it, and then maybe they’ll get the fucking picture. Either that, or enough of us will be encouraged to stand up for ourselves that we’ll fucking kill off all the men on this planet, or at least start those separatist communities.

The idea, now as it did then, gives me a small measure of comfort. Sometimes it’s all we have.

Humorously enough, my mother (the former theologian) and I (the seven-year-old) were the only pupils who paid attention in and engaged with that WS class. The professor, a second-wave lesbian, was really heartened by my existence.
I got cowed for a while by the idea that men might hurt me worse if I was a radical, and shied away from feminism for a while in my teens — I hope I haven’t let her down.

factcheckme - August 30, 2010

Joy and levelbest, I would love to have dinner with the two of you. That would be such a hoot. Srsly.

97. joy - August 30, 2010

It’s an honor, FCM. For real.

98. Level Best - September 1, 2010

Ha, I just now thought “Maybe there’s some more comments on the Passive thread”–and there were! Yay! And thank you, joy and fcm, for the kind comments. I am there with you all the way on what you’ve said here, joy, including your saying that fcm’s virtual dinner invitation is an honor. When I read this blog, I “feast at your table.” 🙂

factcheckme - September 1, 2010

You guys are too much. Srsly. Actually, i cant eat with other humans, because I cant eat most things that humans eat. Today for lunch I had quinoa and lentils. I think the combination has potential, but as it was, it was practically inedible. Maybe ice cream? If we had a dairy queen here, I would live in it. It could double as radfem central. Heh.

99. factcheckme - September 3, 2010

i think having radfem headquarters operating out of a dairy queen might just be the best idea i have ever had, or will ever have. i should just quit while i am ahead, and make this happen, cause i am never going to have a better idea than that.

100. Level Best - September 3, 2010

Yes, that idea is gold. So says I, who went into mourning when the DQ in my part of town was converted into a Japanese fresh grill. My Buster Bar source is sorely missed.

101. berryblade - September 3, 2010

I love the idea for a rad fem ice cream palour sanctuary. One question, having not been to dairy queen, do they have a good assortment of soy ice creams?

102. SheilaG - September 3, 2010

Hey what if we had RadFem DQ and combined it with RadFem coffee house?

I know I know, I’m pushing it here, but I really wanted to have RadFem five star restaurant too 🙂

factcheckme - September 3, 2010

Sorry Sheila. I dont want to be exposed to the kinds of people who frequent coffee houses, or 5-star anything. Dairy queen lovers are my peeps!

103. SheilaG - September 3, 2010

Hey, I love the idea of a five star lesbian restaurant. I’m tired of the nightmare service my partner still have to deal with out in the straight world!

DQ– well, if they serve coffee I’m there 🙂

104. news article does not fail for a change. | anti social butterfly - September 7, 2010

[…] I’ve never understood why so many people, well, men, fail to grasp this argument when it is extended towards adult, female, human beings. Replace “child” with womon and it is still the same. Also, recall how I wrote about the continuum of violence against womyn and how it starts early? Well, instead of worrying about the long term effects of the violence against the teenage girl, they are worried about the poor boys psychological health. Even though it’s common to say that domestically violent relationships are in fact a demonstration of love. I personally, do not give a fuck for his defense lawyers excuse. Her abuse was not his, nor was it his rage to be used. Male violence against womyn is not “Hollywood” although, you could have fooled me into thinking otherwise, seeing as relationships aren’t relationships without some dash of fear. And even then, it’s something that’s artistic and appropriate because a good womon is a dead womon. […]

105. joy - September 25, 2010

I’ve been thinking more about this, and I think another layer of this terrible song is:

Women who are being abused and think there is no way out, that is all they deserve, they need a man to survive and all men are abusive, etc., must rationalize their abuse.

His lies hurt … but, no, they love the way he lies. Because they have to, or else they will have to face how badly they are hurting.

He’s a good man inside, really. I mean, really. Because if they understand that he’s not — where are they left?

I’m seeing this right now, in two different situations. It’s sad and scary.

This is why radical feminism hasn’t made too many inroads. It needs to make more.

factcheckme - September 25, 2010

yes, i think this is the case with women putting up with ALL mens shit. its because they are dependant on their partners financially, and they are dependant on men as a sexual class to fulfil their fantasies of being happy (and heterosexual!) housewives and mothers. they literally cannot afford to see the truth, about thier own partner, or about men in general. women live with fucking serial rapists and murderers of women for decades sometimes (like the BTK killer) and when it comes to light what he has been and done for all those years, theres the wife sitting there saying “i had no idea of any of it!” and its frankly very difficult to believe. my feeling is that its hard to believe, becuase its probably not true. she probably had many clues over the years, and chose to ignore them, for her own safety and security too. women who are dependant on men are deliberately blinded to what they are. its a matter of their own survival at that point, and thats not a small thing. women are excellent survivors, in general. because we have to be.

106. joy - September 25, 2010

I know you’ve talked about this before, and I’ve agreed then as well.

I’ve just got it in my face all the time right now. In the big American cities, the big “liberal” cities like Portland/SF/NYC, the pervading thought is ‘all women belong to all men.’

In backwoods, podunk USA, of course, the thought is that ‘each woman belongs to one man.*’

Even if that one man is an abuser of you, your children, or other women. Even if. He is the best you can do, the best you deserve (if not better! you dumb whore/Child of Eve/weak li’l woman), and better than nothing.

*Unless he dies, of course, and then you can marry one of his brothers or something. And if he leaves you, then you can become a slave to another man, although it may be a sin to do so. For you, of course. Not for him.

I grew up there, in Nowheretown America, but the memory had faded with time/I’d directed my energies elsewhere/thought about it the wrong way.

Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: