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Jessica Valenti, The (Face and) Voice of Third-Wave Feminism and PIV-Positive Rhetoric, Nearly Dies From Pregnancy-Related Complications February 6, 2011

Posted by FCM in feminisms, health, international, PIV, politics, pop culture, WTF?.
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you have got to be fucking kidding me.

jessica valenti, the voice of third-wave PIV-pozzie “young feminists” is stepping down from her position at feministing because she is too old (and elite?) to be the voice of “young non-elitist feminists” anymore.  this in and of itself is practically worthy of its own post.  i mean really.  she gets some respect, some credibility (amongst her own of course), some cash, some security, and her first thought is that its time to pass the torch to someone younger?  of course, because her own stated mission is to “give young feminists a platform to state their position and launch their careers” this was kind of the forseeable result.  we were just discussing this here a few days ago in fact.  shes no spring chicken anymore.  but to build a sunset provision into your own career as a feminist, based on age, is just so heartbreakingly short-sighted and well…pomo.  a perfect example of their own anti-feminist, misogynist ideology biting them in the fucking ass.

as is this:

recently, valenti almost died from pregnancy-related complications, including preeclampsia and resulting liver failure (and one complication that even i had never heard of before, a “variation of preeclampsia” called HELLP syndrome), and delivered a 29-weeks gestated fetus that almost died too.  she now (NOW!) believes that maternal health is an important issue, and she will be addressing it regularly now (NOW!)  i guess these things do matter afterallNOW.  now that its affected her, personally

because the only thing that matters is the personal lived experience of individuals, and not history, not data, and definitely not the lived-experience of anyone that doesnt (or cannot) experience life in a way that supports your own pomo, sex-pozzie agenda.  now, valenti is asking her supporters to donate money to “womendeliver“, an organization that supports (“fights for” in her words…rawr) maternal health.  whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean, and whomever the fuck that is expected to benefit.  this is what we are supposed to take away from all of this?  this is all anyone is supposed to actually do, in the face of actual shit-and-grit live-reporting on the dangers of PIV-centric sexuality and pregnancy-related complications?  as opposed to, say, making some actual connections and bringing radical awareness and change into our own lives?  even wanted pregnancies are fucking dangerous, and what makes women “want” them in the first fucking place is highly suspect. 

this is of course in addition to any possible critique of the unwanted pregnancies women are subjected to all the time, and the dangers (to women) of PIV-centric sex.  i wouldnt expect any of them to blow a lobe examining that part of it, but they cant even bring themselves to critique the dangers of pregnancy itself.  and how it only affects women, and not men, and that it has affected women forever, billions of them, across time and place.  even women they knowindividually.  and this is key.  they arent examining or even acknowledging how PIV-centric sexuality and pregnancy-related complications affect individual women, even though they are interested in examining everything else, on an individual level.  on this issue in particular, they are wearing blinders, and they arent taking them off, even when it affects one of their most beloved characters.  no, they arent interested in examining this one, at all.  i wonder why that would be?

it distresses and saddens me greatly that valenti had to go through what she herself describes as a harrowing and terrifying medical event, and especially one thats pregnancy-related.  it really does.  the inequity of it all just isnt fair, by definition, and i shouldnt have to fucking say it.  but apparently i do.  because what takes second place in the distressing and saddening competition here is probably this: feministe writes about valenti leaving feministing, and what lead up to her decision to leave, without once mentioning the pregnancy-related complications that almost killed her.  even though valenti herself has written about how important that event was in her life, and how it caused her to “take time away to reflect” and that it directly lead to her decision to leave.  this fucking twenty-something fun-fem took the time to write a tribute to her beloved mentor which by her own admission reads like a fucking obituary, (an obituary!  oh god…it burns) and could only mine the story of valentis life and her contributions for the nuggets that benefitted her, and pomo feminism.  like her dedication to young pomo feminists, and helping them get a leg up in the “how to get rich being a feminist” competition/career track, via the mainstream interwebs.

yes, that might be the worst fucking part.  valenti has now passed the torch to a bunch of twenty-something PIV-pozzies who are so hell-bent on feeding their own narcissism building “careers as feminists” where their own ass-biting agenda is to cater to the young and inexperienced, (as opposed to, for example, telling the truth no matter what, or advocating for women as a sexual class, around the world) and to 100% support PIV-centric sexuality, and already, less than a week after shes gone, its been made entirely clear that none of them have learned anything from this old hags “lived experience” with PIV and pregnancy and none of them ever will.

the latest post from feministe: hatin’ on katy perry.  on sunday.  probably their busiest day (or one of them, and less than a week after valenti announced she was leaving) this is what they lead with.  onward and upward, i guess?


1. FCM - February 6, 2011

guess i wasnt totally speechless, afterall.

2. rhondda - February 6, 2011

To tell you the truth FCM, I am not surprised. I sort of got the impression the first time I read her that she was either building a career or trying to find Mr. right. I guess both.
This is not new really. At our local Women’s Center, it was the academic women who thought they were superior to everyone else who took over and made it just an NGO for middle class white employment. Ah, I remember the days when there were First Nations women, East Indian women, welfare women, housewives etc etc. Then there were white middle class women only. None of us undesirables really knew what happened until it did. Sad really. There was so much potential in that group.

3. Undercover Punk - February 6, 2011

The ultimate irony, huh? Patriarchy is all ABOUT reversals. I’m more convinced of it every day.

FCM - February 6, 2011

i wonder if any of them will publish my trackbacks?

4. Loretta Kemsley - February 6, 2011

Sad that she thinks experience requires one to shut up. What do young women know about life yet?

Sure, too many have already been used and abused, but I suspect those who actually want to talk about it in powerful terms aren’t going to be welcome in that forum. But early twenties is still too young to be able to separate yourself and your abuse from the wider vision that helps you portray the causes to your readers. It takes a long time to heal to that point and to gain the knowledge that helps that healing.

It is sad that her life was risked due to pregnancy. It is even sadder that she didn’t see it coming despite all that’s been written by other feminists on the sad state of health care for women. So instead of using this experience to inform younger women (those most likely to be affected), she chooses instead to ask them to donate money? To retreat into silence?

I hope she uses this time to comptemplate what happened to her in the larger context and comes back as a stronger, more valid voice for young women than the one she’s used in the past.

FCM - February 6, 2011

if anything, valentis legacy is that “young feminists” can be heard, IF AND ONLY IF they toe the party line, sucking up to men and furthering democratic politics. she has had what could easily turn out to be an ah-ha moment, and she has decided (and very quickly too) that this event marked the end of an era, and caused her to pass the torch to “younger” feminists. the ones who DONT know better. the ones who HAVENT learned, yet. and i cant say i blame her, at all. i cannot imagine being a part of what she has been a part of all this time, with all the denial, the reversals, and to have this brutal reality come crashing down on her mustve been some kind of hellish nightmare. ON TOP OF it also (of course) being a horrific medical event, and a terrifying near-miss if ever there was one.

the platform that SHE CREATED would have never allowed her to voice any of this, in feminist terms, even if she wanted to. i find her timing a bit strange actually, and i wonder if any of this occured to her, at all, or if she just chose not to see it, for what it is.

5. SheilaG - February 6, 2011

Wow, the whole Jessica Valenti stuff left me slightly 🙂 speechless. I think by elite feminists she probably means Gloria Steinem. I have rarely met 20-something feminists Straight or lesbians that have much of a sense of herstory…
it’s just not there. Or much of a sense of connection to all the generations of women.

It’s why I often turn for inspiration to the feminists of the 19th and 18th century, and read the biographies and autobiographies of women like Mary Daly.

And the painful thing about all of this, including PIV…etc., is that it is often very difficult to reach young women. The other day, I was talking to a woman whose daughter is drifting around…new college grad, doing part time gigs, still living at home, had a bunch of questionable boyfriends…
and there is this huge conflict, because the daughter is not working hard enough in a job search, becomes easily dependent on loser men, and you know what will come down the pike… the pregnancy… the lack of work… the drifting quality, where it would be hard to do anything to help this young woman.

Just like I watched countless other young college women when I was young too waste valuable time with a string of boyfriends, the date rape, the pregnancy and/or abortion…

Elite feminism is kind of an oxymoron, and the women who dedicated their entire lives to the welfare of women–Dworkin, Anthony, Daly to name a few… you have to see how their lives ended.

I don’t know why women sell out feminism so easily, but I rather suspect that Valenti was put through the shock of near death… I notice this is about the only thing that seems to get the talking heads to even talk authentically about anything ever.

In feminism, there is the ideal of the sisterhood of women, the knowledge that if women truly united we could end patriarchy. But when women delude themselves, and refuse to know our own past, it causes this weird sell out mentality. And I’ve never understood it at all really. Being a feminist won’t win you trophies or get you a choice seat on the stock exchange, it will not get you anywhere within patriarchy… it will not get bosses jumping for joy and giving you raises, it won’t earn you the respect of most straight women…heck, they’ll be so insulated that they are unable to even ask about my life most of the time.

Feminism is its own reward, and once you live within its power, it gives you the ability to have insight. Reading what is real in women’s lives is the key to this understanding, and that’s no easy thing, because patriarchy causes women NOT to want to really know the truth, and women have been taught to go along to get along… all of which leads to nothing really. If you want something, you really have to know something.

Mary Daly, for all her academic accomplishments, was fired from her job in the end. She never owned a home, she had no assets, she was never a full professor, and her work is hated and erased by trans MTFs and sell out feminists.

It’s easy to sell out… that’s the whole point of patriarchy… to cause women to be in a state of denial that they could be killed in pregnancy, or to deny that there is a herstory of women’s stuggle all over the world, and we had better learn its lessons. But reading and being honest are very hard work, so when I see these daughters floating around, and the mothers at their wits end… I hear the anger of a late 50-something mother who realizes she has no retirement plan, no property, and that she sacrficed all for a daughter who could be just pregnant and poor… but women wouldn’t know this when they first married or got together with the first man or the 3rd man… a 20-something woman would not know this, a 34 year old won’t know… so I hope the young women reading this blog are really putting two and two together, to really get the risks that they could take or not take.

The biggest risk is being a radical feminist, to step out of malestream and into understanding of what is in your own best interest as a woman, and how to share this with other women. To wake up and step out of the fog of patriarchy… because male supremacy and PIV are always out there trolling for young women, and like a vampire, that is what men do, suck the life out of young women, create walls separating young women from older women. I see this all the time even in the lesbian community, where young lesbians are know it alls, and they don’t want to listen to anything.
This kind of despair is perplexing to me, because I always loved what older dykes had to say, and I wanted to know the past to break into a better present and future.

6. FAB Libber - February 6, 2011

Up is down, down is up, such is the world of the young hip pomo pozzie feminist.

Bloody hell, that tribute to Valenti read like it was some frickin Lifetime Achievement Award (for 7 years of blogging, a book deal for a mediocre book, and not examining any issues beyond their noses).

You are right that she had a major life event, one that only affects women, and rather than analyse what it means to women globally, does not get much beyond personal experience. That first post you linked to in the other thread, was written to garner sympathy rather than analysis.

I still can’t get over all their ageism, passing the torch to the ‘next generation’ of pomo-pozzies. They are barely adults FFS, I have been an adult for decades. Pass the torch, to say what exactly? That rah-rah Nigels are good? Par-tay? WTF? Pretend Feminism is what it is. And book deals. Note she is going off to write another damn book.

FCM - February 6, 2011

and that was sheila, being speechless. 😛

7. Undercover Punk - February 6, 2011

I miss Sheila G. I do.

FCM - February 6, 2011

just so everyone knows, valenti apparently “gave birth” in august. and noone has talked about it, since. i googled “jessica valenti baby” and “jessical valenti pregnant” and got only a few hits, the most recent was her “my new normal” post i linked to before (from OCTOBER) and no other feminist or other blog has said shit about it, not one fucking time. and they havent said shit about it this week, even after valenti announced she was leaving feministing on feb. 2. the feministe article of course didnt show up because it completely ignored the “baby” part.

heres the “birth announcement” published on feministing from august.

FCM - February 6, 2011

i just googled “jessica valenti complications” and MY POST and this post came up:


a google search of “jessica valenti preeclampsia” reveals MY POST, as well as the “birth announcement.” and THATS IT.

8. joy - February 7, 2011

That post creepily emphasizes the word “young” multiple times. As in “YOUNG feminists.”


9. SheilaG - February 7, 2011

Hey UP and FCM I said “almost” speechless. I’ve had way too much work of late, so my blogging is a logging… but somehow this took the cake… just when I think I’ve heard everything.

I’m just way too old fashioned and out of it, don’t believe in torches, think it’s great when all generations of women are working together, and that we all hear each other. Hey, it’s a big damn deal when I’m lucky enough to meet lesbians in their 70s and 80s for goddess sake, and have always loved my elders. One discussion with a dyke age 83 is worth about 100 talks with 20-something pomos, gender blender studies professors… geez.

Most of this angst between young and old I think stems from the baby boomer mothers of these women, something I know little about because the last time I lived in a hetero home was 1975, and my parents were from the 1930s, and my grandfather fought in WWI– and baby dyke me, I used to wear his helmet and uniform! Very into bayonettes and charging the enemy at age 7 :-)Heck, a TV movie about Quentin Crisp circa 1930s London hit closer to home for me… and a recent re-viewing of the 1975 classic “Word is Out” was too painful to watch after 15 minutes…

So all this pomo homo pozzie ponzie stuff is interesting to read, but I’m not into all the sex, fashions, pomo homo stuff… did finally read Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble” (thanks UP for the recommend.. loved the tough complex philosophy.. Mary Daly is a piece of cake compared to Butler!! yeoww but fun… and she had a good point or two, but again, seemed to not get the basics that women are oppressed as a sex class, and it’s not all that complicated and Levi-Strausish at all… yeah, gender is a performance…yeah women perform, and men are just dull… so what?

I’m wandering here. All I know is, a lot of women I come across are up Sh– creek because they had kids, got dumped by abusive men, game up. Can a woman with a newly minted college degree afford the PIV fool around nonsense?

Women really really need to be completely on their own after school — at least three years, earning food, clothing and shelter by themselves… building a bank account, being self-sufficient… and I’d say this is a must for dykes and straight women. The dependency has to be broken early on, or it’s move in with the boy, PIV for food and groceries, and down the drain it all goes.

Valenti writing some dumb book… yeah they all write these worthless books, all have done little or no work. Even my beloved partner has had a blog for over 5 years… but that is ancillary to her activist work for decades, in the trenches… making women’s groups work, protesting, creating woman centered space and resources… and everyone was included back then… old women, young women, bankers, street women, recently out of prison women… and somehow it all worked fine.

I’m ranting, I know… probably sounding like the dinosaur from the 70s that I am, but if I read one more dumb thing about women having sex with dildos as I deal with women about to lose their damn home to foreclosure, I’m going to scream!!

Death and the threat of death… and still Valenti sees it as naval gazing all about me… you lose a house, and the issue is wall street fraud, not just one person who lost a house… Duh… feminism is so much bigger than the mindless Valentis of the world. I’m mad today sisters, just sick of this stuff!!!

FCM - February 7, 2011

re “YOUNG” feminists, as i said over on the other thread, the internet is anonymous. you dont have to be credentialed, you dont have to be educated, you dont have to have backers or support or funding or anything. all you have to have is something interesting that people will want to read. IN MY DAY, uh i mean when i started this blog…noone knew me from adam. ONE PERSON in my real life knows who i am. i had a small following from newsvine where i had also written anonymously for about a year, people who found me because they were interested in what i was saying. again, this is all ANONYMOUS. so i have NO FUCKING IDEA what any of them are talking about, when they say the “elitist feminists” are being heard, and the young uns arent. its ridiculous! now ok, it seems to be true that 7 years ago when valenti started, things were different. there wasnt a blogging platform like there is now, or at least nowhere near the degree we see now. but all this whining now, and the entitlement mentality that they DESERVE to be heard JUST BECAUSE they are *young* really pisses me right the fuck off.

10. joy - February 7, 2011

It shocks me that they think young feminists AREN’T being heard.

Unless they feel, as they clearly do, that “heard” means “paid”, “made popular”, and “showered with (mostly male) praise.”

For the record, I’m a “young” feminist, and I feel plenty “heard” (by other radical feminists).

11. joy - February 7, 2011

By the actual definition of “heard”, that is. Not the third-wavey capitalist definition that I defined above.

FCM - February 7, 2011

perhaps like MRAs, they believe that being “heard” means being coddled, praised, and defered to.

12. thebewilderness - February 7, 2011

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Dick

What do you do with an epiphany when you have built a career and a following on turning feminism on its head and denying the wisdom and experience of those who came before?

It sounded so just exactly like her when she said they gave her the facts of her medical problem and she denied them because she didn’t “feel” sick.

What choice do you have but to step away, or step up, when you discover you have been celebrating and promoting ignorance as your special brand of feminist wisdom.
I’m sorry she didn’t have the strength of character to step up. Maybe she will.

13. thebewilderness - February 7, 2011

I think the current Humpty Dumpty definition of “heard” is widely published and deferred to.

14. joy - February 7, 2011

Valenti’s own article was shockingly brief and unshockingly devoid of introspection, analysis, or suggestion that she gained any kind of perspective (even as basic as “pregnancy is dangerous”) from her experience.

15. SheilaG - February 7, 2011

You can be heard by certain people; you will not be heard by all. “heard” doesn’t mean fame or book contracts or a spot on MSNBC– heard is about women hearing other women into being… I believe Nelle Morton coined that phrase.

Like early consciousness raising groups, the Internet itself brings women together from everywhere. If we don’t say our age or our race, people will not know anything about us. In fact, my opinions are so diverse that people mistake me for a lot of things, almost all wrong.

I think in our perverse culture of fame and celebrity we forget the common power of ordinary women talking to one another, and I think the Internet provides amazing examples of “being heard.” For example, I don’t know what most straight women are really thinking about all the time, I don’t know what it’s like having sex with men, I don’t know what it’s like being heterosexual at all. So this blog helps me get some clue as to what is going on with straight women. Most straight women are clueless about lesbians, have no cultural reference for us at all, and don’t bother to ask. So straight women will get a variety of lesbian opinions on the Internet that would never have learned about. It’s useful. Not at all encouraging but useful.

It is knowledge… and when women have knowledge of what’s really going on, what the real costs of female life are, we are onto something.

Valenti probably is vapid and shallow. She cued into “hipster” fake feminism or male approved feminism, but she has no self-knowledge. At this time, I just don’t think she has the mental capacity to know what radical feminism is, or its herstorical context. She doesn’t know and doesn’t care to know… it is a typical lack of curiosity rampant in America today…. nothing new there.

16. thebewilderness - February 7, 2011

You frequently mention that straight women do not ask you about your life, Shelia.
I have wondered about that before, so I decided to ask you why you expect them to?
In the little corner of the world where I grew up asking people about their life, outside of the smallest of small talk, is considered rude and intrusive, and I wouldn’t dream of it. So it always surprises me when you mention it.
Do you think it a cultural difference?

17. MAD - February 7, 2011

Yay! She has made women think about feminst issues, who otherwise wouldn’t want to be seen on the same continent with it! She’s doing feminism all wrong! She’s a traitor and she deserves all the crap that our envy can come up with!

18. FAB Libber - February 7, 2011

What choice do you have but to step away, or step up, when you discover you have been celebrating and promoting ignorance as your special brand of feminist wisdom.
I’m sorry she didn’t have the strength of character to step up.

That really appears to be the case thebewilderness.

FCM - February 7, 2011

first of all, i am not “envious” of old jessical valenti, in the least. she is married to a fucking prick of a husband who pooh-poohed her terminal diagnoses in the hospital, for one thing, and now she has a child which is likely to be disabled in some way due its extremely premature birth, and if its not, they got off extremely easy, and have only LUCK to thank for it. this is my worst fucking nightmare, actually, and it always has been.

secondly, jessica valenti has NOT, in fact, encouraged ANYONE to examine “feminist” issues. all she has done is fucking confuse everyone about what “femininsm” even is. noone even knows anymore, if they think that sex-pos, trans, and choosing ones choice are feminist issues. and its fucking ridiculous to say it. i think if anything she has made “feminism” less of a dirty word, but what good is it if the word is now completely devoid of meaning or so full of reversals and doublethink that its come to mean the opposite?

seriously, MAD, i dont know why you are defending these fucking pomo fake feminists on this blog? do you have a reason? and if you think valenti has actually done something “feminist” in her entire fucking life, why dont you tell us what you think it is?

19. FAB Libber - February 7, 2011

Yay! She has made women think about feminst issues

WTF? ‘Feminist’ issues like getting married and having babies? She didn’t even examine it in the slightest anyway.

Upholding the status quo, claiming it to be ‘choice’ or ‘feminist’, is not feminist.

It serves patriarchy well to have a bunch of clueless 20-somethings become the ‘voice’ of feminism – make stuff up as they go along, confuse the hell out of everyone because anything goes, and neatly erase older and previous generations of women/feminists and their work. There is reason why patriarchy ALLOWS the ‘voice’ of ‘young, hip, hawt’ ‘feminism’ – and it is not anything to do with improving the life of women, all women, or feminism.

20. Claire K. - February 7, 2011

“There is reason why patriarchy ALLOWS the ‘voice’ of ‘young, hip, hawt’ ‘feminism’”

I think the “patriarchy allows” part is important. There are plenty of young women who don’t like this version of “feminism” at all, but our voices aren’t heard because that wouldn’t support the popular narrative that young women today are more interested in sex positivism than liberation. Similarly, if there are older women out there who find stripping and porn “empowering,” no one wants to hear from them anyway. It’s not a matter of mindsets changing over generations but of keeping the women judged sexually attractive sexually available (to men, in the ways men want them to be) which is why this same pattern comes up again and again throughout history. Probably everyone here has heard that the first use of the word “postfeminist” was in 1917 (or thereabouts). The arguments of the people using it were the same as those of postfeminists today –a lot of “we’re interested in people now, not women.” And wouldn’t someone who was 20 in 1970 be 61 today? So it seems suspicious that the image of the “young” feminist who rejects those nasty radical feminazis of the ’70s is always a woman in her early twenties, when one would expect women in their forties and even fifties to fall into that category as well.

Hmm, I think that got a bit convoluted, but the point is young radical feminists are invisible because the sorts of people who worship “youth” don’t want to hear us, not because we don’t exist. I’m glad I have books to read and more experienced women to listen to. Some of us are paying attention, really. (Off topic but kind of cool: one of my professors told me proudly that she was the only person to ever get a letter of recommendation for tenure from Simone de Beauvoir. This prof also told us a lot of anecdotes that started “When I was in the radical feminist movement in France in the ’70s…” And to SheilaG, speaking of lesbians in their 80s, there’s a book I recommend called _Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold_ which is a sort of ethno-history of working class lesbians in the 1940s, using the stories of the women themselves. Tho it’s surely not as interesting as talking with them in person.)

FCM, I just happened across your blog a couple days ago and I’ve been spending hours going through old posts. It really is “refreshingly misandrist” –in the best possible way. Thank you.

21. Undercover Punk - February 7, 2011

FCM, please excuse my erratic commenting. A-hem!

I’ve been thinking about JV ever since I read this post yesterday. It’s just the PERFECT example of how incredibly BLIND 3rd wave/pomo/PIV-loving/sex-poz feminism is. I mean, YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS SHIT UP.

How is she going to experience something so truamatic, so life-changing, so COMMON and NOT make a clear, PUBLIC connection between her feminist beliefs and the PLIGHT of impregnable humans everywhere?? The closest she gets is passing mention of it:

One thousand women die every day from pregnancy-related issues; one of the four major causes is hypertensive disorders like pre-eclampsia. Going through this at a top-notch hospital was a nightmare – I can’t even imagine what it’s like for women who don’t have access to adequate care.

Uh, YEAH. Exactly.

22. Sargassosea - February 7, 2011

In an *article* in the NYT Style Section on their wedding she is quoted as saying, amongst a shit ton of other crap, that she was impressed with this dood because he was “well versed in feminist politics”.

Earlier in this fairy-tale-romance piece it is pointed out that he contacted her wanting her to contribute to Talking Points Memo and that’s how they ended up meeting. Of course he was “well versed”! He’d been reading her stuff and was puking it back at her, telling her what she wanted to hear (and maybe even believing it himself) because her brand of sex-pos *feminism* sounded mighty fine to him, dontchyaknow.

Also, that prick totally co-opted HER pets and HER living space as his the minute they got together.

To Jessica I say: if and when you wake up in 10 or 15 years and realize that you had feminism all mixed up and backward and then sold it to thousands upon thousands of young women who trusted YOU to spearhead the Third Wave yet ended up with the same *freedoms* their mothers and grandmothers had, I hope you’ll have enough self love to publicly acknowledge it. The radical feminist door is always open if you’re willing to do the work.

FCM - February 7, 2011

Well said s4. This entire thing has really just made me fucking sick. I am stunned that noone has talked about any of this, at all. I didn’t even know about it until I read that she was leaving feministing, and why. In case anyone has forgotten, there was a certain male third wave feminist women’s studies professor who started a blogwar with me back in September, and it went on for some time. I and other radfems were subjected to constant trolling, abuse, and linked to in about a dozen posts, voicing vehement disagreement that there was anything wrong or inherently inequitable or dangerous about piv centric sexuality or pregnancy at all, and that we were all crazy. Dworkin and others names were dragged through the mud the entire time.

And Jessica Valenti had given birth in august. And nobody said a motherfucking thing about it.

23. thebewilderness - February 7, 2011

I feel that it was a very personal matter and would have held my tongue were it not for the deeply held commitment to pomo denial in the post that makes me want to shriek.

24. Undercover Punk - February 7, 2011

I am also stunned. STUNNED! I just keep thinking about how wildly IRONIC this all is. And it seems that JV is really DOWN PLAYING the role of her birthing experience in general. Probably so as to avoid criticisms that she is forsaking her successful, beloved, and precious career for a BABY!1!!11!!! As if THAT were worse than speaking the truth about how DANGEROUS pregnancy, and thus PIV, *is.* What a world.

25. SheilaG - February 7, 2011

Just a quick answer to thebewilderness’ question about straight women never asking me about my life.
I’m not talking about anything dramatic or intrusive, I’m talking about caring about me at all.
I can be in groups of straight women babbling on and on about boyfriends, children etc., and women will ask each other there kinds of questions, but they will never ask about my partner, and I almost always have to volunteer this information. It means they are homophobic, and this straight women’s silence is about erasure… it has a very clear quality about it, I’ve dealt with this for decades. Black women also tell me that white women do this to them all the time too, and we’ve compared notes. Again, it’s fear, fear of finding out about lesbian life, fear of even knowing.

Lately, something new has come up– a straight woman will mention an anti-lesbian legal action somewhere, thus opening a door to conversation, or they will make a comment about a teenager who just came out, but then quickly say, “Not that there is anything wrong with being gay”–they always say “gay” and NEVER “lesbian” which apparently is a very scary word for straight women. It is the constant social erasure that is the hallmark of straight women I think…it’s why they aren’t free, why patriarchy doesn’t disappear…

FCM - February 7, 2011

OF COURSE it is the fucking pomo denial that’s the issue here. Yes. It’s not as if she asked for this to happen, or deserved it, or anything else. It’s the audacity of every single writer and every single publication that’s either written about it or ignored it, that all acted in concert to sweep it under the rug, and make it seem like an insignificant unfortunate (yet happy!!!11!1) event that had nothing to do with anything, and was completely unforseeable to boot.

26. rhondda - February 7, 2011

Lesbian is a scary word for straight women, Sheila. Actually, I got quite discombobulated for I could say it, but you know just going out with friends and saying something about “boy people will think we are Lesbians ” was enough for them to stop going for coffee in case they got the label. Others just thought it was just about sex and that you had sex with women instead of men. Now really, sex with women has got to be very different than sex with men considering the physical differences. Also, the women I knew who called themselves lesbian were not feminists and that confused me too. They played the same roles as in heterosexual couples and I thought I wanted neither. Hence I like spinster. However, lately it has come to my attention that alot of people do think I am a lesbian because I am not going after a man. I find this very funny. I was reading Janice Raymond’s A passion for friends and I realized that I too had made the sexual part more important than the friendship part and see that as part of my brainwashing. Wow. What was my concern about that word? You know it was the fear of punishment, so ingrained in me and all the women I know. BAD. All the propaganda in psychology and every damn profession.
I also was reading Marlyn Frye’s Willful Virgin and took comfort in the thought that she too had relationships with men before she became a lesbian. This too is a stumbling block, you see, for if one thinks they are born that way other than becoming that way, there can be a conflict.Perhaps we are all born that way, but are, depending on circumstance, coerced in to heterosexuality. I am starting to believe that.

27. Miska - February 7, 2011

feministe writes about valenti leaving feministing, and what lead up to her decision to leave, without once mentioning the pregnancy-related complications that almost killed her.

I think it is striking how complications in pregnancy are often brushed off or ignored altogether. Not just regarding Valenti, but in general. Almost dying is a big thing, but somehow it doesnt count if it’s because of pregnancy. Why? Is it because as long as you end up with a baby the journey along the way is irrelevant? Is it because almost dying because of pregnancy is something that only happens to women, therefore it’s not as important as Almost Dying from something else? Is it because almost dying during pregnancy/birth is so common that it barely rates a mention?

I’ve never come across anything by valenti that is the least bit challenging or enlightening. Or even interesting. So i guess I’m not surprised that she had nothing of feminist worth to say about Almost Dying from pregnancy. At least she’s consistent.

I dont believe for a second that she’s stepping back because she wants to pass the torch to YOUNG!!!! feminists. I think she has simply run out of things to say. Her kind of feminist fluff can only be drawn out so far, and if she kept going she might end up veering too close to actual, real feminsm (especially in light of her recent experiences). And that would wreck her career as the approachable and unchallenging face of modern feminism.

28. rhondda - February 7, 2011

For all you women who have not had a birthing experience, this is par for the course. Trying to find your equilibrium after a birth takes time. For such a near death situation, it will take her longer. There is not much written on postpartum depression from the mother’s perspective, but I fear since she has been so public, it will be very hard for her.It is not for nothing that in the olden days birthing was equivalent to a warrior. We have forgotten that. Of course pomo people are not going to mention it. Pomo is all about the menz.

29. maggie - February 8, 2011

“Trying to find your equilibrium after a birth takes time.”

I was talking to an older female relative about this after the birth of my third baby (nine years ago). I was saying that it took about two years for the mojo to return (and no that wasn’t a euphemism). She agreed and was angry that so many young women seem to want to bounce back early – like they hadn’t been through this major life change. She thought that they were doing women a disservice. It’s all about the menz allright.

I agree rhondda, for a near death situation it will take longer. But the whole thing just seems to be swept under the carpet with a glib sideways glance to womendeliver.

30. thebewilderness - February 8, 2011

Thanks, Sheila, I get what you mean now.
It is quite clearly the way people talk to those they consider “other”.

As far as JV, it could be people are just trying to let it be to give her time to recover. Probably a good idea. I had one of those almost died months in the hospital experiences and it does indeed take years to find yourself again.

31. FAB Libber - February 8, 2011

and if she kept going she might end up veering too close to actual, real feminsm

LOL oh noes! teh horrors of actual real feminism!

The daughter of a woman that I know was very ill throughout her pregnancy, and had to give up work very early on. She was in and out of the hospital all the way through the pregnancy.

Pomo-feminism like to skip past those parts I guess.

Pregnancy & child birth can be dangerous for any woman, even if she has had previous births. Women have died after giving birth to their third or fourth child even. It has risk. At any time.

32. Mary Tracy - February 8, 2011

Motherhood is not valued amongst “pomo careerist fun feminists” of the “going to grad school and living in New York” kind of lifestyle. Indeed it is remarkable how absent motherhood has been in the so-called “Third Wave”. If anything, any reference to babies tends to be along the lines of “eeek!!! I don’t want to get married and have children I’m living the life, having my career and I’m choosing my choice”.
This kind of feminism is not meant to change anything, or even last very long because it’s not rooted on the ground. No mention of children, motherhood, work, or an alternative conception of “sex”.
It’s sad that she didn’t do more for Feminism, because she was in the position to do great things.

FCM - February 8, 2011

i think its all well and good that people may have wanted to give her space or whatever to recover from this event. people. close friends and family, and perhaps fans. fine. BUT. the fact remains that in doing so, they (and she) have all seemed to turn it into a non-event. and that turning it into a non-event is 100% supportive of their bullshit fun-fem agenda, so their motivations are highly suspect arent they?

i cannot, however, extend any understanding to writers or publications who ignored this, especially ones that claim to be interested in womens issues, womens lives, and live-reporting on “feminist issues”. even writers that know her, and even publications that are associated with her, should not be given a free pass on this one, and should not have ignored it. that is fucking unforgivable as far as i am concerned. whatever happened to telling the fucking truth? whatever happened to addressing issues that affect your readers and that might be interesting (or even mind-blowing) to discuss? valenti waited 6 months before making her announcement, and that just happened on feb. 2. its in the public fucking domain now, and has been for a week. and still, they are fucking ignoring it.

i am particularly incensed that those motherfuckers over at hugos place ALMOST CERTAINLY KNEW ABOUT THIS last september, being the “fans” and feministing readers they are (and i believe that old hugo knows valenti personally), and they proceeded regardless to attack and misconstrue my work, dworkins work, and ALL radical feminist work as passe, irrelevant, and “sex-nagative” when they fucking knew that this had happened. they knew i was right, and that there is something to this PIV-critical stuff, afterall. they knew. somewhere in all of that, i recall that someone told both berryblade and ms. citrus they were damaged goods because they didnt want to have PIV anymore. ms. citrus was banned from hugos blog, for standing up for herself, and all radical feminists, and radical feminist work.

and hugo knew. and all of them knew. i am just absolutely fucking disgusted right now. this pomo feminism-as-a-career shit is the lie of all lies, and the reversal to end all reverals. they are liars and obfuscators, and self-serving careerist motherfuckers, and if anyone was unsure about any of that, i hope they arent anymore.

FCM - February 8, 2011

damn i am pissed!

FCM - February 8, 2011

heres a link to the “on credibility” post, that seems just as relevant now as it was when i first wrote it. in response to old liverlips, and his credibility problem. and the credibility problem of ALL third wave femininst men, and all pomo careerists for that matter.


33. joy - February 8, 2011

I don’t know, Mary Tracy, all the ones I know are against having babies in their twenties because they want to screw around, but most eventually want to settle down and live their parents’ lives, “except more stylishly.” With more fake retro shit.

Or else they wind up partnering with a dude, and not realizing that babies are either required or happen anyway, and then they end up with 2.5 kids (and often no money, and often no money -and- no dude) anyway.

I’m a twentysomething, and I’m one of maybe three of the twentysomething or teenaged women I know who absolutely do not wish to have children. And the three of us all have political motives for being childfree, and are thus silenced for “motherhatred.”

After all, it wouldn’t serve the dudes if women really did stand up en masse and say “No more babies.” Because really, the only way to enforce that is, “no more PIV.”

34. thebewilderness - February 8, 2011

“…they proceeded regardless to attack and misconstrue my work, dworkins work, and ALL radical feminist work as passe, irrelevant, and “sex-nagative” when they fucking knew that this had happened. they knew i was right, and that there is something to this PIV-critical stuff, afterall. they knew. ”

All the more reason to shout you down then, innit?
You were right. How very dare you! They had evidence in front of them that they were wrong so they turned up the volume.
Pls pardon my cynicism but that is how it is done yanno.

FCM - February 8, 2011

That’s good cynicism tbw. Of course you are right.

35. SheilaG - February 8, 2011

I think you are giving people way too much credit.
I seriously doubt that men put two and two together about Jessica Valenti’s pregnancy, and men like liver lips can know things, but again, their male supremacy default is so strong, that they don’t have the mental capacity to understand the dangers of pregnancy. They can know that millions of women are raped by men, that men are the “violence” in “domestic” violence. One legal site I looked at recently — they do cases with “domestic” violence finally admitted that it is men who commit the vast majority of the “domestic” violence– the stats were so overwhelming that even men had to admit this on their legal site..that and the desire to make money off of women clients no doubt…
Men tune out the horror because they ARE the horror. And they try to get women to tune it out too…like Valenti. Bottom line, very few straight women I encounter will say straight out–no pun intended there– that having children is economic suicide, and why women do this is completely baffling to me. It will trap you economically for 18 some years, it will ensure that you have no retirement savings, unless you win a big divorce settlement… 50% chance of divorce, and it’s a roll of the dice about child support. Men know all this, women live in eternal denial…

36. SheilaG - February 8, 2011

From a lesbian point of view, straight women live a life of complete insanity.

37. FAB Libber - February 8, 2011

that having children is economic suicide, and why women do this is completely baffling to me. It will trap you economically for 18 some years, it will ensure that you have no retirement savings, unless you win a big divorce settlement… 50% chance of divorce, and it’s a roll of the dice about child support. Men know all this, women live in eternal denial…

Absolutely. Good summation.
They are certainly in big denial particularly that Nigel will stick around, when 50% divorce rates say otherwise. They are pretty hefty odds that she will be left with junior(s) and have to fend for themselves.

38. Sargassosea - February 8, 2011

“From a lesbian point of view, straight women live a life of complete insanity.”

Hi, Sheila! Geez, I was starting to think that your ‘New Years Resolution’ was to kick the radfem habit! 😉

But, absolutely yes; a het woman’s life is certifiably insane. You know it’s been almost 20 years since I was a het woman and I look back on it now and it’s like a fucking bad trip. And what’s so completely SICK about it is that I didn’t even “have it that bad” compared to most yet it was bad enough, thank you very much.

It hurts so badly to realize that you weren’t as smart and tough and cool as you thought you were and even harder to come to grips with how you were used, and harder yet to learn to forgive yourself. Shit – all these years later and I still feel stupid.

And fucking pissed off.

39. calliope - February 8, 2011

“Pre-eclampsia may progress to eclampsia, characterized by the appearance of tonic-clonic seizures. This happens only very rarely with proper treatment.

Although eclampsia is potentially fatal, pre-eclampsia is often asymptomatic, and so its detection depends on signs or investigations. Nonetheless, one symptom is crucially important because it is often misinterpreted. The epigastric pain, which reflects hepatic involvement and is typical of the HELLP syndrome, may easily be confused with heartburn, a very common problem of pregnancy. It can be distinguished from heartburn when it is not burning in quality, does not spread upwards towards the throat, is associated with hepatic tenderness, may radiate through to the back, and is not relieved by giving antacids. It is often very severe, described by sufferers as the worst pain they have ever experienced. Affected women are not uncommonly referred to general surgeons as suffering from an acute abdomen (for example, acute cholecystitis).”

And they call us mentally ill when we’re afraid of pregnancy (or PIV by logical extension).

40. maggie - February 8, 2011

So, In the good ole USA it is 50% divorce rate, which isn’t a chance I’d want to take – who would? Valenti did. In the UK it’s 1 in 3. Still in a woman’s favour. however we in the UK have child benefit – being currently eroded for the wealthy (? 40grand is hardly wealthy in UK) and no longer universal which you could argue is a progessive policy – (I don’t). The simple fact is that being in receipt of child benefit contributes to a woman’s pension. Those ‘wealthy’ women therefore will be left even more at the economic mercy of their husbands.

Does it boil down to money? Yes. If women had economic superiorty (don’t bet on it soon btw despite the fact that young women outperfrom young men acedemically), then WE would get to call the sex shots. We would get to decide when PIV (if it ever, other than the first lust and insemination to satisfy a need for children – if that even exists -, took place in the first instance) – they, the menz, would be the needy sex. Now how’s that for a fantassaay? And it can only happen in a het relationship – the irony is not lost on me. Revolution anyone?

41. maggie - February 8, 2011

Yeah and who cares if he’s ‘henpecked’?


42. FAB Libber - February 8, 2011

YES! to all of that S4.

43. Undercover Punk - February 8, 2011

Does it boil down to money? Yes. If women had economic superiority (don’t bet on it soon btw despite the fact that young women outperform young men academically), then WE would get to call the sex shots.

I don’t know, Maggie, I gotta disagree. I think female oppression is more complicated than our economic domination. Women suffer from physical vulnerabilities as well (ie, impregnability!). We are also CONDITIONED from birth (or before!) to be EMOTIONALLY DEPENDENT on men, to value their attention above all else, to be “incomplete” and harbor an intense sense of longing and emptiness without a male “partner” to call your own. I’ve known more than a few financially stable women who continue to lust after men who are no good for them (read: assholes of any variety). I WISH that if we could correct economic inequality, everything else would fall beautifully into place! Sadly, that just isn’t happening. And it’s because patriarchy’s techniques of oppression are so complex and its *values* are so deeply ingrained in us all. 😦

44. maggie - February 8, 2011

I agree UP. My pipe dream has been crushed. And so back to reality and the fact, as you rightly point out, that women who are ecomonic denizens in a relationship are still thinking that they are emotionally dependent on THEIR man. Ownership? Hell that has something to do with it. and all the attendant kudos it brings. If it’s 50/50 in a het relationship, not forgetting the emotional dependancy, and the di falls in your favour then – you ARE a winner with a bonus extra in a capitalist system and a free market. I say that rule applies regardless of your economic situation.

45. FAB Libber - February 8, 2011

I think female oppression is more complicated than our economic domination.

Actually UP, it is ALL of it, together, intertwined.

First starts the conditioning (I want to call it GROOMING) – ‘awww cute baby dolls and stories of Prince Charming’. This is from 0 to about 14. Then comes ‘must look pwetty/hawt to attract Prince Charming’ during the teens.

Sometime between late teens to mid twenties, the next phase kicks in – haz found Prince Nigel, some more grooming with wedding fever, followed shortly after by baybee fever.

Prince Nigel is only likely to stick around in 30-50% of cases, leaving our heroine with a small cluster of kids. She has already screwed her career track by having the kids. Nigel has pissed off into the sunset footloose and fancy free. He will only have anything to do with the kids if it is a good way to make her life hell.

Our heroine, with fucked up career, has to go on benefits or low level job. The other option is to marry Nigel Mark#2.

Financial dependence (on a Nigel) and career-sabotage, is a very important part to keep the Nigel-dependence going.

The het women who went through the earlier phases of this, and remained child-free, usually come out slightly better.

There are a lot of women who fully take to the earlier brainwashing of wanting baybees. Most know they have to find a Nigel, any Nigel, to do it, because it not financially viable to do it solo. If it was financially viable, this lot would get impregnanted and skip the Nigel part.

Ask yourself why women routinely still only get 85% of a male wage for doing the same job. It keeps women at a financial disadvantage, and they generally need a Nigel, even without kids. Why the hell else would you marry a Nigel? They have little going for them.

46. FAB Libber - February 8, 2011

Oh, that was the bad scenario.

The ‘good’ scenario is if Nigel does actually stick around. Kids grow up. He decides he wants a newer, sportier model, dumps wifey.

So, after 20 years out of the career market, she has no skills, no pension, and little chance of a fair divorce settlement.

That was the ‘best case’ scenario. Not pretty.

47. Miska - February 8, 2011

I seriously doubt that men put two and two together about Jessica Valenti’s pregnancy, and men like liver lips can know things, but again, their male supremacy default is so strong, that they don’t have the mental capacity to understand the dangers of pregnancy.

I agree. Pregnancy is just an abstract concept to men. The dangers of PIV are just abstract to them. Rape culture is just abstract to them. Which is why I have lost all interest in ANYTHING men may have to say about these things. All of it. It’s just abstract bullshit to them, which means anything they say about it is abstract bullshit too.

48. SheilaG - February 8, 2011

Sargassosea, I didn’t have a new year’s resolution to kick the radfem habit 🙂 That sure made me laugh!! I didn’t feel qualified to talk about a lot of the stuff here. But somehow the Valenti stuff just left me “ALMOST” (UP) speechless.

And whoever said there would be an easy economic solution if women started doubling incomes, becoming financially free. I agree with those above who said this was much more complex. I meet economically well off women, and they still have very messed up het lives, when I get to know them better. One of my colleagues who is amazingly successful just is going out with this guy and goes along with his nonsense. And this incredible dependency on men that het women have is very very mystifying to me. But it is a pathological dependency that is groomed into women from a very early age.
You break its hold in a variety of ways: a)be a lifelong lesbian from the get go and NEVER EVER have sex with men (the ideal naturally), b) never live with men and be a spinster c)win the lottery at birth (Natalie Clifforn Barney, Romaine Brooks, Ellen) so you have the financial freedom to avoid the whole het marriage trap to begin with d)if you must have sex with men do not have them live with you, and maintain separate accounts and living spaces… develope a very good friendship network with women, and avoid men if possible– again, even having men in the room with you is dangerous, because it causes het women to go into this fake male pleasing song and dance… I literally get sick to my stomach watching it. I love het women all the more when I never see them interacting with men period… the ideal for me.

This emotional dependence is the biggest obstacle, this obsession with prince charming, the myth of the big wedding…happily ever after…all of this illusion (heck even the giant engagement ring)–all male illusion to corral women at an early age, and trauma bond them…. make them pregnant…the myth that having children is worthwhile…this really throws me…the goo goo gaa gaa over babies– a trait in women I hate to watch!!

It is an indoctrination machine from the get-go. But again, if you are lesbian, het life is insanity from the get go too..you literally have no idea what het women see in the men they are with. Now granted to be fair here, there are many lesbian couples who are weird together too, but at least they are equals to a degree although a highly mismatched pair (probably due to the shortage of suitable lesbian partners out in the world). So het women have this HUGE and I mean HUGE dating pool, and still they pick 50% losers… you gotta wonder. Lesbian split up drama are the stuff of much humor etc., but again, our public out and proud dating pool is miniscule.
So there you have it sisters!! I don’t think this is very articulate, but het life is insane to me, and I’ll never get it I guess.

FCM - February 8, 2011

this is where the fun-fems bring out the “what about teh menz” in full force. they act like whether men are deliberately ignorant or just ignorant-ignorant really fucking matters, at all, and this is whats at the heart of the “nature vs nurture” debate, when it comes to men. whether they are capable of even being decent humans, or not.

radfems are the only ones that are getting off this dizzying ride. we dont give a shit generally (do we?) whether male ignorance and all the harms they do are “deliberate” or not, or whether men can change, and whether they can or will ever get any of this stuff. the only thing that matters is the FACT that they DONT get it, and they DO harm, and they always have, and they are continuing to do it. “men are evil” or disgusting or stupid or whatever is what passes as “essentialism” in fun-fem town, but its not essentalist if you dont fucking care if its “natural” or not. it just IS. end of.

i will only add here that many of old liverlips’ insane clown posse are women. male-identified yes, but women nonetheless. and they were shooting all of this radfem PIV criticism down too, and none of them mentioned the news about valenti either, even though they surely had all heard about it. even though pregnancy and PIV-related harms are NOT abstract concepts, to them. this is perhaps where the “turn up the volume” came into play, as bewildnerness mentions.

49. Miska - February 8, 2011

We are also CONDITIONED from birth (or before!) to be EMOTIONALLY DEPENDENT on men, to value their attention above all else, to be “incomplete” and harbor an intense sense of longing and emptiness without a male “partner” to call your own. I’ve known more than a few financially stable women who continue to lust after men who are no good for them (read: assholes of any variety).

Ew, yes. I also came across a study once which suggested that women who earn more than their partner in a het relationship tend to do more housework compared with their partner, relative to those women who are not earning more than their partner.

Even though these women have the financial upperhand, they end up compensating for it in other ways, I guess to alleviate the feelings of emasculation the dude feels because his wife is more successful than him. The poor dear.

I wish it were as simple as economic disparity. Not that it isnt really, really important though.

FCM - February 8, 2011

ironically of course, dworkin herself suspected or hoped that men could change. and shes one of (if not THE) most hated feminist who ever lived, because of what she said about PIV.

50. Undercover Punk - February 8, 2011

FCM said “insane clown possee”!!!1!1!1 ahahahahahahahahaaaaa!! That was tooooo funny! Ima be laughing bout that shit all night.

FCM - February 8, 2011

ok not everyone is going to get this, but heres a video from “insane clown posse” remaking “LETS GO ALL THE WAY.” its fitting, although absolutely unwatchable. hugo is the skinny one. 😛

FCM - February 9, 2011

also, i absolutely agree that heterosexuality would not die, even if women were more economically secure. BUT. i do think that het relations and heterosex itself would look a hell of a lot different, and be less PIV-centric, if women were allowed to refuse PIV or redefine their relationships, and they werent afraid of the financial implications of making their male parters unhappy in general.

what i am thinking at the moment is that very early PIV indoctrination, including actual PIV activity, is very important in maintaining all of this. once you start having PIV, its very difficult to stop, because (as we have discussed on other threads) you are essentially ROBBED of an authentic sexuality, and have a male-centric viewpoint plastered over your own, and it doesnt go away. whats going on today with the EXTREMELY early onset of PIV-centric sex is basically shoring this up for all girls and women who are alive today, about age 12 and older. its already done, or very nearly so. these girls are going to be stuck in this PIV rut, this hetero nightmare, and most of them are never going to get out, no matter how much money or success or anything they ever attain. not that enough of them will ever attain even that.

has anyone seen that new show “skins” on MTV? apparently, the actors are all underage and there is so much nudity and “sexuality” (read: PIV-centrism) shown that people are asking whether they are violating child pornography laws, and advertisers are pulling their ads. its fucking sickening to think about. it really fucking is.

51. joy - February 9, 2011

Heterosexuality is almost certainly upheld and maintained by indoctrination and threats. Anyone who understands anything about acculturation and marketing can figure that out.

So basically, you’re just following the logic train to the logical end of the tracks here.

Now, what do we do about it, since women don’t seem to want to revolt? (And many women can’t even though they want to, ie, they are poor and/or disabled and/or unarmed.)

FCM - February 9, 2011

well, someone recently told me that she has been finding common ground with those who have always “hated feminists” because they are seeing the horrors being perpertated on their girl children and are at the end of their ropes. they are turning to the feminists, the ones who never bought into the BS in the first place, for help. THIS might be how bad things have gotten. although even assuming this is the case, what can parents really do about it?

i wonder if women gaining the economic security needed to redefine some of this and/or kick their nigels to the curb (and thats *if* they can ever manage to see through the PIV and hetero fog AT ALL) will be the best we will ever be able to do, on any kind of scale? i mean really. i just dont know the answer to that. i didnt have PIV until i was 19 years old, and i can still barely remember what my authentic sexuality was like. but i *do* remember it. some others here have reclaimed theirs too, and some never bought into any of this, in the first place. why? thats a really good question.

52. Jilla - February 9, 2011

Really SheilaG? You think if straight women don’t ask about your partner they are homophobic? I don’t ask about anyone’s partner, ever. You never know if they’re still together, or you’ve got the wrong person, or frankly really, I don’t give a shit. I say How’s Chuck’s new job going, and she says (in my ears) blah blah blah blah”. And I say damn, he sure is talented.” Next topic. I’d feel the same way about your partner, unless I knew her. And I still might feel that way. I hear younger women talking all the time about each other most intimate and private moments, and I think they’re idiots.

Hi there TBW.

53. Jilla - February 9, 2011

Valenti’s child most certainly will be developmentally disabled. She may already know that.

FCM - February 9, 2011

Valenti’s child most certainly will be developmentally disabled. She may already know that.

her “new normal” post may have been in code actually, meaning this very thing. i believe i have heard this before, in the context of “families” learning to cope with either developmentally disabled children, or traumatic brain and other permanently disabling injuries from war or car accidents etc. i hope this is not the case for her, but it may well be, and its the case for many, many wives and mothers, and it happens all the damn time.

54. Jilla - February 9, 2011

In the olden days—since this has been hurled at me about my opinion several times in the past few weeks I have decided to embrace it, with raw, emotional honesty which I know will move you deeply (sic)– the babies born so early died. This is not a tragedy. It’s Mother Nature practicing medicine.

I had to smirk (being the hard-hearted second waver I am) to note they finally have something real happening in their lives, all these mud-flap girls.

55. FAB Libber - February 9, 2011

her “new normal” post may have been in code actually, meaning this very thing

I believe you are likely right. Given that the baby was delivered at 29 weeks, only weighed 2lbs, and only 4lbs now (still only 2/3rds or 1/2 of what they should weigh) – does not sound good.

She does hint about the health problems, but at the end indicates ‘mother & baby healthy’. So not clear. It still might be way too early to tell if the baby will go onto to develop problems.

56. pmsrhino - February 9, 2011

But feminism is about choice! Even if the choice is a bad choice based on lack of information and critical thinking! What do you monsters have against choice?! AAAAAAUUUGHCHOICEBLAAAARGH!!! D:

Her turn to focusing on things that are suddenly affecting her makes me think of those rich people who only start donating to certain charities because suddenly they or someone they love is affected by a particular disease or discrimination. It seems that most people can really only think within their own personal sphere. Never mind thinking about the big picture, it’s all about me me me and what affects my life. Which isn’t a horrible thing, donating to charity is donating to charity, but why weren’t these people already working to help those people in need? Why don’t people often work to help those that are outside their own country or their own community or just those that they share no real similarities with?

Is it because most developed countries put such a big emphasis on the individual? I know in the US for many people it’s all about the individual person and their choices and how that person turned their life into shit. Nothing about systematic anything, it’s all about bootstraps and me me me. My choices aren’t affect by anything other than me, right? They certainly aren’t affected by my race of gender or class. Or by economic factors in my life and systems that work to keep me in a specific place. This is (for example) why we know sex workers LOVE their work because if they didn’t they would just choose to leave, right? Because we all have choice and we all live in a vacuum where we aren’t influenced by the media and people’s prejudices and a broken system that is becoming more broken by the day.

Some days I just want to scream at everyone I see that they need to wake the fuck up and realize that no person is a fucking island.

But everyone wants to believe they are a special snowflake and that they aren’t affected by any outside forces. So if they can be a special snowflake then why can’t everyone else be a special snowflake too?

Ugh, it just gets on my nerves. That is all I hear from blogs like Feministing. So much focus on the privileged and their problems and individual choice without any real depth to the analysis of what affects women outside of their nice and shiney middle class white female sphere who may lack the privilege of choice. And their constant need to bring men into the conversation, like it’s men who need help escaping from the patriarchy. What a laugh!

I can has real feminist revolution? Plz?

57. SheilaG - February 9, 2011

Sorry Jilla social erasure is homophobia at its most incideous, and straight women perfect this type of social rejection of lesbians. It’s why a lot of radical lesbian feminists get so disgusted with straight feminists. It’s the same way that white women negate socially black women, and we’ve compared notes on the similarity of this experience. It goes far beyond your rather limited understanding of what a true conversation between equals is…in fact your view is as shallow as Jessica Valenti.

FCM - February 9, 2011

Some asshat linked to me in the comments section of the guardian. Radfems is misandrist!!111!1

58. Sargassosea - February 9, 2011

Well, how’s THAT for breaking news?!

59. Undercover Punk - February 9, 2011

Sorry about your Guardian link, FCM. 😦 Haters gonna hate, you know!

Misandry?? Men are so wildly self-centered; this is NOT ABOUT THEM.

60. SheilaG - February 9, 2011

Ah the curse of links. The whole idea of mysandrist is bizaar to me. I’m sure I hear about thousands of men everyday running from homes to battered men’s shelters, getting raped at gunpoint, being subjected to violent porn… it’s a real woman’s world where we control everything, and just standing up for women’s human rights is considered anti-male. Yup male hating…

FCM - February 9, 2011

It’s really telling, isn’t it, that they think the opposite of woman-hatred is man-hatred. Instead of woman-loving. Is there even a word for that? If it ends in -philia it might make me puke, so beware.

Yes, everything is all about teh menz, and they are literally, LITERALLY incapable of seeing things any other way.

61. maggie - February 9, 2011

I was going to link you as a good example of radical feminism. But then thought *not a good idea* as you would be deluged by the frothing, foaming misogynistic doods that sit on their asses all day with nothing better to do than spill forth their vitrolic hate towards women via Guardian CIF.

62. maggie - February 9, 2011

Checked out who linked you. So it was THAT asshat. He loves his porn, is an ally (no pun intended) of pomo feminism (see the correlation anyone?) and is of course an objectionable little shit.

FCM - February 9, 2011

Figures. Go ahead and link if you want. I’m not afraid.

FCM - February 9, 2011

Jilla and Sheila, cut it out mkay great.

63. Jilla - February 9, 2011

SheilaG, I didn’t mean what you understood. I’m very sorry. I shouldn’t have been so flipant. I do not disagree with you one iota on your comment about straight women and lesbians. In fact, I have no context, except for online, but I’ll take your word.

I don’t know any black women.

Please let this through FCM.

64. SheilaG - February 9, 2011

Apology accepted Jilla…

Back to the matter at hand… I’ve never seen a case where linking a radfem sight to a general site gets us anywhere. I really don’t think any men know what radical feminism is, and then we have people like Valenti that seem to believe that feminism is some career choice or bookselling route…geez

FCM - February 9, 2011

I won’t approve comments from newbies and trolls who follow links over here, but I don’t mind people reading. Why would I?

65. SheilaG - February 9, 2011

Earlier up the thread… there is no distinction between whether someone was ignorant of the law or not… so why would sex poz funfeminists make these distinctions of men’s ignorance or knowledge of womanhatred? A man kills another man… he didn’t know the gun went off, didn’t know it was loaded… to bad, the end result is murder.

With women, the end result of male tryanny is massive rape worldwide, death in childbirth, sex slavery, lack of access to global power systems, massive illiteracy, and rape… all of which these liberal liver lips men seem to have no knowledge of.

Doesn’t matter what they know or don’t know, this is the end result of male tyranny worldwide… so to reverse this and say women are man haters for pointing this out is absurd in the extreme. I don’t give a damn, men benefit from this system, and therefore collude in womanhatred worldwide.

66. thebewilderness - February 9, 2011

I’m not sure what there is to say to, or about, a man who enjoys watching women being tortured and raped.
I don’t hate rabid dogs either. I just want them treated or put out of their misery so they can’t harm others.

FCM - February 9, 2011

That’s the thing isn’t it? Do you want to remedy the problem, and ameliorate the threat? Or do you want to waste your blood, sweat and tears wondering why its happening and worrying about it? Who cares why? It’s so painfully clear, but everyone acts like its not.

67. SheilaG - February 10, 2011

Bottom line, you need to treat these guys for the threat they are, and that is it! Do straight women want to continue this charade of proping up monsters? Yeah go out and marry any one, have more kids, go in the dumpster after Mr. Idiot bashes your head in. And repeat this process over and over again, century after century, expecting these monsters who rape you, bash you, kill you in childbirth, and still there are the excuses.
We know as radical feminists that women need to talk about this, that we need to kick the monsters off our blogs so that we can get this info out there. And we are perhaps the only oppressed group on planet earth that still wants to placate our oppressors, murderers, rapists… and on and on and on and on…. and I’ll tell you, I just don’t get this level of complete stupidity, I’ll never get it ever.

68. zeph - February 10, 2011

“I’m not sure what there is to say to, or about, a man who enjoys watching women being tortured and raped.”

It would be quicker to count those that don’t enjoy watching women being tortured, than those that do.

“I don’t hate rabid dogs either. I just want them treated or put out of their misery so they can’t harm others.”

It would require killing on an industrial scale. Many men are aroused by women suffering, even if they wish they weren’t. Which explains the ever popular carnage that is porn.

Women, on mass are safer outside marriage; where most rape, killing and child abuse goes on. Extended familiar female communities, have worked well in other societies, such as the Mosuo, where rape and violence between men and women are hardly heard off. But the women never marry and inherit their homes from their mothers. This constrains men who have to be polite and courtly if they want to visit with their woman for the night.

FCM - February 10, 2011

just as an FYI, twisty (IBTP) has apparently declared that FAAB is a meaningless category, and suggested that transwomen are women. as far as shes concerned. some excellent commenters attemped to intervene. it didnt take. 😦

69. Jilla - February 10, 2011

Twisty’s had that point of view for some years. She would block any discussion of it. Several radical feminists were blocked from her blog, simply because they held the FAB point of view and could argue it well. I’ve always maintained that Twisty is a woman-hater.

70. thebewilderness - February 10, 2011

It never has.
She wants no more blog wars. If peeps would read the archives they would know better than to have started this fight for the umpteenth time.
Her blog, her rules.

71. joy - February 10, 2011

Oh, it was awesome, let me tell you. We all got called uneducated. Because clearly, if we were just better INFORMED about trans issues, we’d all be on the happy funtime train together!

Everyone else, even people who have experience with harm, is apparently just hatin’.

72. joy - February 10, 2011

(Does this sound like anything else? Anyone?)

FCM - February 10, 2011

How did I miss that?

There might just be multiple forces working in concert now, to inspire me to write more trans stuff.

73. joy - February 10, 2011

A noob started the comment war. Either a noob or a troll or a deliberate agent provocateur.

Then a transfan responded to it, and several FAB agitators (which I’m using in the positive sense, agitating as in ‘provoking dialogue’, not agitating as in ‘irritating’)responded to the transfan and the noob.

Resulting in a dialogue in which, somehow, we are meant to believe that being trans is a biological emergency, even though we can agree that it’s caused by ‘gender’ and gender is a concept that radical feminists don’t believe in.

I’m just tired of being called ignorant and uneducated, when I’m one of the people who have been subjected to trans counseling (“if you’re unhappy about being oppressed, then that just means you’re an oppressor inside! congrats!”) — and of seeing women who’ve lived oppression being told that their oppression wasn’t so bad. By people who have experienced little to none of these things, and are merely doing feminism as an intellectual exercise.

My insides don’t match my outsides either. Inside, I’m a human being. Outside, I’m a woman. I must need drugs and some sort of treatment.

74. joy - February 10, 2011

By the way, it apparently hasn’t connected with rich liberal het feminists — transgenderism is another way that pharma and the medical industry can get money out of and control us.

1951 — Dissatisfied with your female role? Hate rape? Don’t want to get or be pregnant? Here’s a prescription for Mother’s Little Helper.

2011 — Dissatisfied with your female role? Hate rape? Don’t want to get or be pregnant? Here’s a prescription for testosterone and sex reassignment.

It stinks eerily of “drug them into compliance in order to maintain a sex class of women, who we can delude ourselves (and many of them) into thinking they love being abused! Look, we can even make them abuse THEMSELVES!”

FCM - February 10, 2011

my first guest-post over at miskas…inspired by teh trans business.


75. Jilla - February 10, 2011

It’s also very telling about what the pat psych doctors consider to be female/woman. Stick boobs on it, chop something off, and shazam; it’s a woman! A few dissemble lessons and how to walk in fuck me shoes. You’ve come a long way baby.

76. Jilla - February 10, 2011

It’s not because “she wants no more blog wars” in my opinion. It’s because she’s a trans supporter and wants no contra on the subject. So you post there, you support her. That’s my point of view.

Are we going to have anti-porn blogs where we don’t discuss the harms of pornography; black women’s blogs where racists are welcome. Twisty’ fosters women hate.

And the war I remember had trans supporters coming on and attacking women. She invited them on, and refused to stop them. She used them to route us out. It was fucking patriarchal what she did.

Never forget, Twisty is a rich white woman with acres of privilege and she swags it around when she choses, and she choses to do it to women. Not pretend women, real women.

77. Sargassosea - February 10, 2011

My memory must be worse than I thought it was. Seriously, you could have knocked me over with a feather after reading Twisty’s takedown of us “TRANSPHOBES”.

Holy shit; first a racist, now a transphobe. What’s next?

78. Jilla - February 10, 2011

This month’s winner in the “What about the men” sweepstakes.

from, “evie” on IBPT:

“Transsexuality is ‘hot’ only in the sense that our culture pornifies trans women even more than cis women –”

79. joy - February 10, 2011

Your chart sums it up pretty well, FCM. It’s freakish how dudes fetishize pregnancy, thinking it’s “the only power they don’t have!!!”

… when, as you’ve demonstrated here, pregnancy is anything but a “power.” It can mean abuse and death.

80. Undercover Punk - February 10, 2011

Amen, Jilla. Trans women are MORE PORNIFIED than “cis” women?? I mean, FAABs. WTFF kind of delusional bullshit is that?? Anyways, who cares if they are, which they are NOT: Trans women can’t get pregnant. That’s the whole fucking problem with reducing FAABS to fuckholes and pornifying us: it GLORIFIES our FEMALE vulnerability. Ah! ah! ah! Incoherent rage.

81. joy - February 10, 2011

““Transsexuality is ‘hot’ only in the sense that our culture pornifies trans women even more than cis women –””

Since when, and according to whom?!

82. Jilla - February 10, 2011
83. Mary Sunshine - February 10, 2011

Well, remember, she thinks of us all as cunts.

84. FAB Libber - February 10, 2011

“Transsexuality is ‘hot’ only in the sense that our culture pornifies trans women even more than cis women –”

TWs make better ‘women’ than FAABs
TWs say so.

So there. *pokes out tongue*

That pretty much sums up why TWs can never be real allies with FAABs, primarily they insist that they have it far worse than FAABs (Oppression Olympics gold medalists), and anything that happens to FAABs is never as bad as when it happens to TWs (like rape and murder, apparently less of an inconvenience for FAABs?)

The ‘twanzphobic’ label they hurl at radfems is crap. We don’t deny TWs right to exist, and exist free of violence, we don’t care what the hell they do to THEIR OWN bodies. It is when they promote all of this to others, to harm themselves surgically and chemically, that it becomes a political issue and fundamentally anti-radfem. Like Valenti, she can do, marry, screw whomever – the line cross is when she promotes any of this to others without specifying the HARM.

That Twisty is pro-tranz? Very old news in these parts.

85. Jilla - February 10, 2011

Thread hijack alert.

Mary dear sister. I hope you are well and happy. Did you go, are you posting from, where you planned to go?


86. thebewilderness - February 10, 2011

I feel that I should know you but your ID is not ringing a bell. Is it a new one?

One of the great ironies of the trans debate is that mAndrea, the #1 most often called transphobic radical feminist in the blogosphere seems to also be the one who discusses the issue with trans person on her blog reasonably, thoughtfully, and courteously.

No screaming, no STFU, no name calling. Just discussing the issue as though you wanted to sort it out and come to an understanding.

Well now, I guess that explains it after all.

87. Mary Sunshine - February 10, 2011

Hey, Jilla, I don’t recognize you by that screen name. Email me at MarySunshine the google place, gmail.com

88. Jilla - February 10, 2011

“Well now, I guess that explains it after all.”

No idea what this means TBW. Could you elaborate and clarify?

89. Jilla - February 10, 2011


At one time, I had hooves.

90. Jilla - February 11, 2011

“It’s impossible to feel like a woman without knowing what being a woman is supposed to feel like. And what being a woman is supposed to feel like is a social construct existing in the collective mind of a society.”

Gosh. I just can’t keep up. I’m going to have to put in another order for plaques, or trophies.

I’m pretty sure breasts that leak milk (sometimes even when you’re not pregnant, or could never be) and cramps and menstruation and oh a whole host of other things could be called “what a woman feels like”. And in this make-believe world where no-one knows what being a woman feels like, I think there are probably some women giving each other subtle looks at the water well. Maybe even finding each other where those leaves grow (you know the ones) down by the river? A million other ways.

91. zeph - February 11, 2011

“Her blog, her rules.”

Absolutely bewilderness.
I am not anti trans I am anti trans in women’s spaces. Partly because they claim to be women but keep pointing out they are trans! Diverting feminist energy on to their specific issues. I am for the greatest good for the greatest number of women and you have to work within loose, if flawed categories to achieve that, not focus on the exceptions.

I agree with about ninety per cent of what Twisty says, that is pretty good by any standards, and I am glad she is out there saying it, in the brilliant way she does, on behalf of women.

92. Jilla - February 11, 2011

I don’t think my (anyone’s?) disagreement is with Twisty’s rules for Twisty’s blog. It’s with her stance, which kind of came out of the blue for her loyal followers.

She allowed some really nasty shit slinging toward us, and did not remonstrate with the posters let alone ban them as she did us. So it wasn’t behavior she was banning, it was radical feminism. And those trans posters didn’t just find us surfing. She invited them in to do just what they did.

93. FAB Libber - February 11, 2011

Radfems seem to make a career out of getting banned from blogs. Most of the time it is due to the trans stuff. Sometimes it is from the funfem blogs because they don’t like a reality hit.

Hi Jilla. Good to see you back in action.
Mary will clue you in.

FCM - February 11, 2011

noone has to do anything they dont want to do, on their own damn blog. thats obvious. but why would anyone WANT to ignore the trans-stuff, or the PIV stuff or the fun-fem stuff for that matter. why would anyone NOT want to examine it. repeatedly. until its done. and then do it again. i mean really. its kinda important.

FCM - February 11, 2011

oh well more fun for me i guess.

94. FAB Libber - February 11, 2011

The trans topic is frequently one of those deal breakers for radfems. The other one is defending some Nice Nigel and making the choice between (rad)feminism and Nigel/PIV.

Hence, most funfem (or feminist-lite) blogs either avoid this, or defend it all to the hilt.

It’s a waste of time just pretending to be a feminist if you ask me.

95. thebewilderness - February 11, 2011

I think because they do not seem to be able to discuss the matter. It has to be a debate with winners and losers and a healthy dose of outrage if you disagree with anything and you must be a transphobe. Cuz no way you could just be a person who disagrees about the age old question that the menz all pretend they need to find the answer to.

What Women Want!!!

If we weren’t all such disobedient transphobes we would want what we are told to want by those who know what we ought to want.
Whirled peas.

96. thebewilderness - February 11, 2011

And misandrist man hater. I forgot that part.

97. Mary Sunshine - February 11, 2011

I’m guessing that “Phil” is the girlfriend that Twisty used to have, and that (I’m guessing) she *still* has, except that “she” is now a “he”. So, is Twisty now het? Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Crap. I’ve forgotten that gf’s name. Senior moment. Anyone remember it? It was kind of a spiffy name she’d made up for herself. She was a sharp “butchy” dresser. Thin (as in, not pudgy). They’re both rich, used to go out to fancy places together.

98. kurukurushoujo - February 11, 2011


I wasn’t talking about material reality. You know that transsexuals define women with the help of social constructs. When transpeople talk about “feeling like a woman” they don’t talk about bodily pain and real risks to someone’s livelihood.
Outside of the circle of radical feminists most people don’t automtically think of menstrual pain and leaking breasts when they hear the phrase “to feel like a woman” because the sexes are primarily understood through the social construct of gender. “Feeling like a man” is sometimes understood to be tied to ejaculating or growing a beard but this is because of the value attached to these comparatively mundane event in a patriarchal society (just as some women feel less feminine if they don’t have large breasts some men would probably feel less masculine if they couldn’t ejaculate anymore).
Ejaculating/growing a beard and menstrual pain/leaking breasts are part of being a man/woman. This is why MTFs/FTMs are so busy denying physical reality- they can never be men or women. Because of this they talk about their identity being an inherently female/male essence or their hard-wired inherently female/male brains while AT THE SAME TIME saying that they aren’t sexist. They don’t understand that identities are constructed through interacting with other people and the environment. The moment the doctor looks at your gentitals and decides that you’re a girl or boy is the first and ultimately decisive social interaction. I know that pregnancy and the events leading up to it are inherent to the female condition but all the differential treatment we receive apart from this is because we are an oppressed class. (Nobody would ever get the idea to use as a brood mares if it weren’t for patriarchy.)
As a woman the fact that I have menstrual cramps is a regular part of life for me because it’s a natural outcome of my sex. I don’t need to define it as the pinnacle of womanhood although I might choose to do so in the context of glorification of female fertility and goddess religions. But I’m not spiritual so I don’t care.

I don’t know if I managed to make my opinion more clear but I think it’s important to keep in mind that biology does not automatically lead to an identity that aligns with your sex. Especially not in a society like ours with all those gender codes. I didn’t have all these qualms with trans-activism if they could just admit that they take hormones and get surgery because they want to change their body according to a construct. They would be far less ignorant of reality if this was the case. I suspect that a majority of transsexuals never really had to think about their bodies at all because they never had to really use them or were forced to do so in a sex-specific context because of their very privileged position which gives them the illusion of a a totally free choice.

99. Level Best - February 11, 2011

Mary Sunshine, are you thinking of her friend Stingray? She became some kind of winery expert.

100. Jilla - February 11, 2011

Hi KK. I know you weren’t but I was. What I said is only part of the whole, but it’s the reason we’re the sex class: our uteri. Whether they work for the man or not, they belong to the man. Please continue with your contributions. I learn.

FCM - February 11, 2011

I think because they do not seem to be able to discuss the matter. It has to be a debate with winners and losers and a healthy dose of outrage if you disagree with anything and you must be a transphobe. Cuz no way you could just be a person who disagrees about the age old question that the menz all pretend they need to find the answer to.

they = MAABs, and male-identified fun-fems though. if you moderate comments so that there is a female-identified radical feminist conversation happening in general, these “fights” simply do not occur.

so the question becomes, why let MAABs and male-identified fun-fems comment, at all? this is a serious question. they dont bring anything to the discussion, and they IN FACT shut down and shit all over anything interesting or spontaneous that might occur. its a goddamn tragedy, is what it is.

which is why i am allowing some of THESE comments to happen on this thread, as a matter of fact, even though there are some people here who are seriously trying my damn patience. because the commenters here, generally comment WELL. for the good of future discussions, i will allow some reconnecting and cryptic personal-messaging on MY blog from the AROOO crowd. but this is not a fucking coffee klatch. it never was, and everyone here knows better. i recommend putting an end to the bullshitting and personal messaging by the end of the weekend, in fact. COMMENT BETTER.

FCM - February 11, 2011

that goes double for you level best.

101. Undercover Punk - February 11, 2011

KK, I like your mention of fetishizing the act of ejaculation itself. I think it has relevancy to the intersection of lesbians, dildos, and penetration as the primary sex act. But that’s another topic!


“I didn’t have all these qualms with trans-activism if they could just admit that they take hormones and get surgery because they want to change their body according to a construct.”


Also, Stingray=Phil?? Of COURSE. Why didn’t *I* think of that? And it entirely explains why Twisty won’t OWN being a dyke. Which has ALWAYS pissed me off.

102. Sargassosea - February 11, 2011

I have so much I want to say about this crap at IBTK but I reminded myself that this thread started out being about Jessica Valenti, so naturally I’m trying to find a way to link them together so I can continue to bitch ‘n moan about Twisty 🙂

Seriously, how can this woman get away with sticking it to the pomos and funfems for dragging us down when she’s advocating (by false *silence*) inclusion of m-to-effers as Women ™ on a radical feminist blog? I mean WTF?!

Full circle: I can’t tell the difference between Jill and Jessica.

FCM - February 11, 2011

Bottom line is that MAABs and male-identified women wreck radical discourse. Destroy it. I didn’t quite get how profound the destruction was, until I stopped allowing it here, and these convos got so good. A few times I had to be reminded, but it still keeps being true. It’s really wild actually. Just amazing.

103. Sargassosea - February 11, 2011

“Also, Stingray=Phil?? Of COURSE.”

That’s the conclusion we’ve come to at Honky Chateau. Just, eww.

What’s wrong with being a dyke anyway?! :p

104. FAB Libber - February 11, 2011

If the stingray/phil/twisty thing is as some have guessed, then it is all rather homophobic (anti-lesbian specifically). You don’t need M + an F to = a relationship (or FtM + F). F + F is just fine.

105. Noanodyne - February 11, 2011

This comment thread is just lovely to behold.

@FCM: “noone has to do anything they dont want to do, on their own damn blog. thats obvious. but why would anyone WANT to ignore the trans-stuff, or the PIV stuff or the fun-fem stuff for that matter. why would anyone NOT want to examine it. repeatedly. until its done. and then do it again. i mean really. its kinda important.”


And I get where y’all are coming from re: Phil/Stingray, but they have been seen in the same room together (so to speak). Phil has been around at least as long as Stingray, who moved to CA and has a business there that you can hire for wine matters. She has her picture all over her web site and there are some recent ones of her in Twisty’s flickr photos, too.

But the fact remains: She outed Phil as trans and herself as a self-hating lesbian. And that pretty much threw cold water on her claim to be arguing from a purely reasoned stance (her favorite idea of herself) – which m Andrea proceeded to finish off beautifully.

106. veganprimate - February 11, 2011

You gals still read over at Twisty’s? I stopped reading her stupid blog after the whole “cuntalina” thing.

107. veganprimate - February 11, 2011

“(Nobody would ever get the idea to use as a brood mares if it weren’t for patriarchy.)”

Just to highlight the fact that speciesism came before patriarchy, nobody would ever get the idea to use women as brood mares if there weren’t already brood mares.

108. veganprimate - February 11, 2011

“So het women have this HUGE and I mean HUGE dating pool, and still they pick 50% losers… you gotta wonder. Lesbian split up drama are the stuff of much humor etc., but again, our public out and proud dating pool is miniscule.”

Well, Sheila, I guess we need to start recruiting the straight women so we have a larger dating pool, eh? It’s a win-win for everyone. 😉

109. Undercover Punk - February 11, 2011

Hey, VP. 🙂 Not usually, but sometimes “my sources” tip me off to shit. And who doesn’t love a good trainwreck, huh?? Come on!

But what I really want to say is: REMEMBER THAT TIME when you commmented here at femonade along the lines of
as soon as humans figured out that PIV=baby, we should have STOPPED having PIV except for the EXPLICIT purpose of procreation?

Remember that? It was brilliant. And I will never forget it. So obvious, and yet so invisible. I love to share it with others IRL.

110. Sargassosea - February 11, 2011

“But the fact remains: She outed Phil as trans and herself as a self-hating lesbian.”

You’re right noanodyne, Phil and Stingray have been *seen together* now that I think about it.

STILL, no one over there is interested in schooling me on the radfem virtues of F to Emming even though I‘ve asked more than once. Hmm.

Also, because I am somewhat removed from the hip transworld of the 21st century, can someone catch me up on how m-to-effers view f-to-emmers and vice versa?

111. SheilaG - February 11, 2011

Veganprimate made me laugh. I have no desire to recruit straight women into lesbian nation… UP does the propaganda department 🙂

But still the idea strikes me as funny somehow.

And whoa, confused as heck most of the time in the past over IBTP– believe I was banned over there too. 🙂 It’s all too weird for my feeble minded little radfem brain to handle… black and white thinker that I am 🙂 Poor Jessica Valeni, guess her 15 minutes of fame are up here 🙂 🙂 🙂 Carry on women!!

112. Savage Rabbit - February 12, 2011

Lol, I just read veganprimate’s post. I was going to post:

People can still read Twisty? I got turned off years ago when she declared that she didn’t have to care about animals because she still wanted to eat them and their secretions.

Recruit recruit recruit!!! Campaign #1:

[Photo of smegma-ridden penis]




113. Savage Rabbit - February 12, 2011

Oh, and in terms of Valenti… I have to agree with whoever said it about “nature practicing medicine.” I am admittedly a bit of a health determinist – I think that if you can’t have a healthy pregnancy, you basically shouldn’t be having one at all.

Valenti is held up as this feminist icon but I was always just so unimpressed with her. I also got the same impression as someone else – that she was building a career or looking for Mr. Right, but that feminism and women’s rights were just this academic exercise to her. Because, again, “choice” matters jack shit when you don’t have the privilege that Valenti does in the first place. I wonder if she’d give underprivileged women the choice to stay away from men…

Anyway, I hope this doesn’t come off as callous, but I hope that the kid dies if they run into any serious problems. It always perturbs me when people are so terrified of death that they are willing to emotionally and physically torture people so they don’t have to face it.

114. Miska - February 12, 2011

Outside of the circle of radical feminists most people don’t automtically think of menstrual pain and leaking breasts when they hear the phrase “to feel like a woman” because the sexes are primarily understood through the social construct of gender.

Exactly, and that social construct was constructed by men, for their benefit. What constitutes “feeling like a woman” is and has always been self-servingly defined by males. Hence any male who insists he “feels like a woman” is simply drawing upon a patriarchal idea anyway, so radical feminists can dismiss it out of hand, on that basis alone.

Incidentally, this week I read Dale Spender’s Man Made Language (I recommend it to all). So I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about how men have always defined female reality for us via the language itself. It’s just far too convenient that as soon as women started defining our own reality via the feminist movement, along come a group of males who insist that they have exclusive rights to defining female experience and womanhood for us, because they are trans. And now we have self-described “radical” feminists defending the right of males to define female reality. What a fucking joke.

115. yesindeed - February 12, 2011

well, I’m a bit late to the thread — but I think I too was a bit speechless at first.

Yes, it’s disturbing that with all of this emphasis on “youth”, Valenti basically gave herself a built-in expiration date as a feminist. It fits nicely with the self-negation that patriarchy demands of women: cater to the needs of everyone else (aka men) before yourself, and shut up as soon as wisdom and experience may have given you something worth sharing (women’s ideas and words being inherently worth less, of course).

It also seems to me that the fixation on “feminist stars” also betrays an ignorance of recent feminist history: the attack on so-called “elitist feminists” was one of (many) factors that undermined the women’s movement in the 70s. From Ruth Rosen’s The World Split Open:

To stand out in any way was to risk being attacked. Fear of feminist “stars” shadowed the movement for years. Looking back, Naomi Weisstein felt that “the kind of radical egalitarianism which doesn’t let each member of a group use her gift in service of the movement is simply destructive. The implications of that distrust of stars was very damaging.”

Weisstein, a charismatic speaker who had helped created a speakers’ bureau, agreed that different women should speak in public. But, over time, some members of Chicago Women’s Liberation Union asked her not to speak so often, to which she agreed.

One of the strangest consequences of such anti-elitism was that activists pressured one another to write without bylines. Writing anonymously had been required of modest ladies of the nineteenth century. Now, in the name of solidarity, some women’s liberationists asked that no woman take credit for her words. In 1970, a fed-up Robin Morgan decided to leave the Rat alternative newspaper collective. “I had been told that I wrote too well and that people were buying the newspaper to read me and that all I could do was to take my name off the piece. …”

Emphasis mine.

Self-silencing and stepping aside as soon as you might have something to say — it’s what we’ve been groomed for since birth. That Valenti has succumbed to it too is sad (that’s what her entire platform was based on, after all) but not in any way surprising.

FCM - February 12, 2011

re developmentally disabled babies being allowed to die…yes. it its striking, isnt it, that mens medicine, mens technology and mens religion have all acted in concert to “preserve life” at all costs, leaving WOMEN tethered to caretaking duties of the very very old, the born-too-soon, and forty-year-old-infants that will never grow up. WOMEN get to do this, but women are never allowed to make any of the actual decisions regarding when life should end, nor when (or if) it should begin, and indeed even what is or is not a life worth living, at all. this is of course deliberate. having unconscious or noncommunicative children and adults everywhere also makes a nice victim pool, and men do in fact sexually and violently victimize women and children in these disabled states all the time.

116. Jilla - February 12, 2011

I don’t think Valenti “wrote too well”. Please don’t put in in the same sentence as Robin Morgin. Anyway, Valenti’s stature with the MFG was that the menz approved, thought she was hot and urged MFGs to listen to her. She was doing a type of pole dance thang there.

(I hope I have said something worthy).

117. FAB Libber - February 12, 2011

mens technology and mens religion have all acted in concert to “preserve life” at all costs, leaving WOMEN tethered to caretaking duties of the very very old, the born-too-soon, and forty-year-old-infants that will never grow up.

That is an excellent point. Men’s technology and religion also OVERRIDE the individual’s wishes in that area as well (like the terminally ill wishing to end their suffering by swift and painless means).

118. Jilla - February 12, 2011

This version of women we see created by psychiatry is so telling of their misogyny. A little bit of this, a dab of that, shake it and stir it about: it’s a woman!

FAB Libber they will never be able to create the chemical cocktail that our ovaries/uteri do, nor the cells that respond to that uniqueness. It’s not to do with fertility, more complex as you’ve said.

But how perfect. The majority of women won’t kiss their patriarchal asses any more, so they create “women” (from womb man) who understand how important men are, being men themselves.

119. yesindeed - February 12, 2011

Jilla, I didn’t say that, at all. I am no fan of Valenti’s malecentric choose-my-choice brand of feminism. (Also, what is an MFG?)

I was trying to point out that demonizing so-called “elite feminists” (see Valenti’s statement about finding it “unfair” that only an “elite few were listened to”) is not a particularly new way of shutting up older/wiser/more experienced/etc feminists. Women being “too skilled” at patriarchal mythbusting (or anything, really) doesn’t show the required amount of female self-effacement/deference to male interests and must be stopped.

The irony being, of course, now that Valenti is older and more experienced – the very moment when she might have something to say (in her case, might, but probably not) – she has to step down, according to the values of her own youth and inexperience fetishizing platform. It’s a uniquely female type of self-erasure that serves patriarchy all too well.

120. Sargassosea - February 12, 2011

“having unconscious or noncommunicative children and adults everywhere also makes a nice victim pool,”

Ah, yes. That’s ALWAYS something to keep in mind; the more vulnerable the better.

FCM - February 12, 2011

yesindeed, i understood your comment, and i agree with you. thank you. the silencing of women, especially ones that are effective and good at what they do, represents the keys to the kingdom. if they could figure out a way to be 100% successful at this, they would win. which is why they put so much energy into trying. women who censor themselves are their favorite, because it takes less effort to get the same result.

121. Jilla - February 12, 2011

I wonder if she’s blaming herself for this? That would be typical. The pat has seeded that in for us all. Something she did she shouldn’t have done, something she should have done she didn’t, something she took, didn’t take, and now is promising the pat gods to be the bestest mom. Probably we can expect her to turn up on the mommy blogs. Delphyne will help her out. Heh. Or, over at B*tch PhD, were cool fun moms hang.

122. Jilla - February 12, 2011

Also, if a mom follows a certain suicide girls’ editor’s lead, she can cling to the funfem ideology for a time. But that only works if you’ve had a healthy child.

It won’t look properly contrite and guilty for this tragedy she surely “caused” if she wears f-me boots and writes porny posts when the kid might die any minute, would it?

123. SheilaG - February 13, 2011

Their narcissistic attentions spans are very short–Valenti being well just a careerist who thought you could make money from feminism.
Mommy blogs indeed.

124. Projection … and reversals | twanzphobic since forever - March 28, 2011

[…] as an expression of ‘love’. Considering the woman has to take all or most of the risk in regular PIV, and males apparently cannot tell the difference between rape and PIV, PIV is more […]

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