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Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! On Workplace Sexual Harassment April 20, 2011

Posted by FCM in books!, news you can use, PIV, pop culture, rape, sorry!.
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okay i am feeling a lil bit cynical, so sue me!  the above video is a PBS special on “teenagers” (read: girls) being sexually harassed at work.  this girl got her first job at jamba juice, and within a few months she was run out of the place by a male supervisor twice her age, who aggressively and violently harassed her.  early on, she had a feeling that something was wrong…but she “didnt know enough about how things worked” to know for sure if it was wrong or not, so she let it go.  (note: this *is* how things work, in the world of work, when you are female.  sorry!  really, i am.)  later, when things got really really bad…she still didnt report it, because she wanted to keep the job.  eventually she did report it.  and in the end, even though this doods behavior clearly violated jamba juices corporate policy on sexual harassment and the assistant manager asked her to come back, and promised to fire said dood…dood kept his job.  it ended badly for her, and not for him.  in her words:  “he didnt go, i went.”

yep, that sounds about right!  welcome to the world of work baby girl!  it totally bites!

now…lets just get a few preliminaries out of the way.  first, make no mistake: workplace sexual harassment is all about men asserting male power as rapists and impregnators of women.  okay?  thats obvious.  when women dare venture out into the public sphere, men routinely and immediately threaten them with rape.  they exploit womens specific vulnerability to male bodies, to deliberately elicit a predictable terror response.  male workplace harassers are terrorists.  period.  this is obvious, where they call specific attention to our biological femaleness, using rape threats and allusions to unwanted PIV, when rape (and in fact all PIV) is known to kill us.  rape threats also serve to remind women, specifically, that we are not like men.  that all this bullshit about “equality” is just that: complete and utter bullshit.  that we are there on mens turf for many reasons perhaps, but our “equality” is not one of them.  and that we had better toe whatever line they decide to draw, or we might find ourselves raped impregnated, against our wills. 

take a deep breath, and accept that this is true about both men, and the workplace, if you havent already.  it will save you time.  seriously.

also preliminarily is this: most of what men do to women at work, terroristically, using rape threats, is not against the law.  see for yourself: its not technically (meaning: legally) sexual harassment, unless dood tells you you have to fuck him to keep your job, *or* his behavior is so extreme that it would tend to repulse a dirty old male attorney (yeah its a dubious standard to be sure):

catharine mackinnon has written extensively on workplace sexual harassment: in fact, she made it up.  before her, what women experienced at work, at the hands of sexually predatory men, was just “womens reality.”  workplace sexual harassment didnt even have a name, until she named it.  she wrote about what “reality” is for women, and sexual harassment is a HUGE part of that reality: studying federal workplaces (in the US) for example, she notes that sexual harassment occurs more often than it doesnt.  that is STUNNING, but not surprising.  not for any of us who have ever had a job, anywhere, ever. 

see, women cannot put down roots in any profession, in any environment, because we are constantly, constantly harassed and objectified.  by men.  at work.  it causes us to have less job satisfaction, and NO economic security, as we continuously seek out a better environment (there isnt one) and lose seniority and respect (and money) with every move.  men have no idea what its like to be on the receiving end of this, and yet mens success in the workplace is very much tied to this, to womens transience, low pay and lack of and loss of seniority, caused by being deliberately objectified and continuously sexually harassed and threatened, BY THEM.  and thats the way it fucking is.  we ARE being constantly harassed and threatened, with rape.  the data is there, if only anyone were willing to believe it.  they arent: instead, they prefer to believe gendered fantasies about women “prefering” to stay home and raise kids for example, where they are only fucking sexually harassed by ONE man, and not all men.  but i digress.

but, what i really want to say is this, and i say it to the young uns reading: professionalism, education, student loans etc will not take you out of the system.  all women are stuck within the concentric circles of sexualized oppression that dworkin described in right-wing women, and theres no getting out of it.  none.  its tempting to believe that theres an empowerful-ization attached to education and the career track etc, but theres really not.  because STEP ONE in living in a woman-centered reality has to be this: NEVER become dependant on a man, for any reason.  to be dependant on a man means to be subjected to a male-centered reality, central to which is dangerous PIV-centric sexuality and regarding women, all women, as whores.  they fucking demand it.  they make it so.  but in the workplace, men are everywhere: they are your bosses and colleagues, and you are dependant on them, if you get out here alone, saddled with debt, needing a job.  thats the part i apparently missed when i was planning all of this out.  at the time, i *thought* i was doing the smart thing, but the result is just a variation on the same theme.

i have said it before and i will keep saying it: i now believe that if me, my sister and our best childhood friend had teamed up early on and decided to have a go of it, of taking care of each other and committing to do so always, it wouldve been so much smarter.  my mother could have benefitted from this arrangement too.  the four of us essentially blew it, and with compound interest (and seniority) working like they do, it might be too late to properly cure it.  and thats IF i could get them all on board!  right now, my sister and our friend, arent.

my mom and i now are starting to see what we’ve done, and are exploring a better way for the two of us…but in the meantime we’ve wasted decades.  its so painful to realize, but its true.  professionalism, individualism, empowerfulization, WHATEVER, for women, is not the way out.  it never was.

Comments

1. FAB Libber - April 20, 2011

I am glad you made this post FCM, it is an important message.

Most of the sexual harassment is like a low-level background noise, generally a series of incidents that would seem that the woman was ‘making something out of nothing’ and therefore hard to prove, even if happening fairly regularly.

In the second video, the Californian law, the ‘hostile work environment sexual harassment’, the key he says is that it must be ‘pervasive’. Which is basically the law’s way of telling women, that a certain level of sexual harassment is to be expected and endured. It is not a ‘zero tolerance’ policy. Rather telling don’t you think?

2. FCM - April 20, 2011

i made a small addition this morning:

men have no idea what its like to be on the receiving end of this, and yet mens success in the workplace is very much tied to this, to womens transience, low pay and lack of and loss of seniority, caused by being deliberately objectified and continuously sexually harassed and threatened, BY THEM. and thats the way it fucking is. we ARE being constantly harassed and threatened, with rape. the data is there, if only anyone were willing to believe it. they arent: instead, they prefer to believe gendered fantasies about women “prefering” to stay home and raise kids for example, where they are fucking sexually harassed by ONE man, and not all men. but i digress.

FCM - April 20, 2011

thanks for being supportive fab.

and YES, the video describing the legal standard of whats acceptable and whats not makes it ENTIRELY CLEAR that a certain amount of sexual harassment (or “being inappropriate”) is completely normal, and to be exptected. no matter that once it happens ONCE, the message is clear: you are a walking vagina and uterus, and they could violently sexually attack and impregnate you at any time, and they dont mind calling attention to this fact. and that they are GOING TO call attention to it. its up to you of course to make the connections: WHY are they calling attention to this? gee, i wonder! their intentions just arent clear enough. the effects on all working women as a class just arent predictable (and demonstrable) enough. none of this is enough…OF A REASON FOR MEN TO MAKE OTHER MEN STOP DOING IT, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL DOING IT, AND THEY ARE ALL BENEFITTING FROM IT, AS A SEXUAL CLASS.

now that i know that one of my colleagues for example has extensively searched for and viewed porn on my work computer…i now know, without a shadow of a doubt, what he thinks about women. and BY EXTENSION of course, what he thinks about me. what he thinks ABOUT. see my latest at scum-o-rama for more on that.

and seriously. i do not think DEATH would be too severe a punishment, for workplace sexual terrorists, considering the damage they do. do you?

3. Mary Sunshine - April 20, 2011

Penalties can only be imposed from above. Guess who’s above?

If anyone is going to impose death upon males, it has to be females. Simultaneously, universally, spontaneously. “Deserving” has nothing to do with it. Survival of the female has everything to do with it. Anything else is just making fantasy drawings for ourselves using the spots on the ceiling as we lie flat on our backs.

4. FCM - April 20, 2011

ok i made another addition:

because STEP ONE in living in a woman-centered reality has to be this: NEVER become dependant on a man, for any reason. to be dependant on a man means to be subjected to a male-centered reality, central to which is dangerous PIV-centric sexuality and regarding women, all women, as whores. they fucking demand it. they make it so.

5. FAB Libber - April 20, 2011

It is fucking outrageous that ‘a certain level of sexual harassment’ is both considered ‘normal’ and TO BE EXPECTED no less. What the fuckity fuck?

Clearly, this is the price of entry into the male domain of the workplace and we are to be reminded regularly in various ways, that we dared entered male turf. They could not have made it any clearer if they had marked their territory by pissing around the Xerox machine.

FCM - April 20, 2011

Ironically, once one of these doods outs himself as a harasser or a porn hound, repeatedly referring to him as such would make US guilty of “sexually harassing” the dood. Men make up there rules to benefit themselves. The irony is intentional: sick, cruel humor is what abusive men do best.

6. Sargassosea - April 20, 2011

It seems to me that I mentioned ranted about my experience being “constructively terminated” from a professional (legal) position some years ago for having the fucking audacity to question why a male colleague was making 50% more an hour than I was when I performed 100% more work than him.

I tried to sue them for sex-based wage discrimination but I could not find a single attorney/firm in the entire *world-class* city willing to take the case (although it was agreed that I had been wrongfully terminated) because my former employer didn’t have enough assets to make it worth their while. I mean, you know, Doing the Right Thing and Setting Precedent don’t pay the country club dues NOR the student loans for that matter. (Also, the only time I’ve seen an attorney take a case pro bono was on television.)

As Mary Sunshine said over at scum-o, take your documentation very seriously and guard it with your life. I am focusing a ball of energy for you to gather around yourself should you feel the need. It’s the very least I can do, because you speak for ALL OF US when you demand your rights.

And thank you, Fact, for Doing the Right Thing; it’s the simplest yet hardest thing for a woman to do.

7. FAB Libber - April 20, 2011

repeatedly referring to him as such would make US guilty of “sexually harassing” the dood.

I think it’s called “Pervert Protection”😛
(don’t mind me, I am in a funny mood today)

8. Sargassosea - April 20, 2011

And, of course, I have lots and lots of thoughts about young women thinking ahead and planning for their lives as serious, committed radical feminists cos I have one growing up before my very eyes and it would seem that without YW deliberately planning for their revolutionary future (living the theory) there will be no revolution. Amiright?

Okay, first, I always encourage a 2 year liberal arts program at a community college no matter what because it is inexpensive and it includes all the basics that a *college educated* person is supposed to (and should) have. Also, these programs are very much designed for working folks so you can pretty much take it at your own pace.

Any business in which you and/or your collective of women are the owner/operators is KEY. Also, at least in the US, it’s going to be a service-based economy for the foreseeable future.

So, The Trades: plumbing, electric, pool/yard maintenance, furniture restoration, excavating/demolition, auto mechanics, etc. A number of trades require the technician to enter the home and it is usually a woman there alone to greet them. (As a woman, and a separatist, I always request a female tech but haven’t had one yet.) This is a huge untapped market!

****

I just realized that I’m really warming to my subject here and if I go on y’all gonna yell at me to get my own blog, already… Seriously though, if one of you would want to host a *guest post* or something I’d be more than happy to go on and on about it; it really is a subject we’ve given a LOT of serious thought and action to.

FCM - April 20, 2011

Feel free to leave it in the comments s4. I think this is a perfect place for it, and the post lends itself to it.

9. Sargasso Sea - April 20, 2011

Okay, cool!

FCM - April 20, 2011

My mom started a contracting business, and you have just described her niche. The bottom fell out due to the economy though. It did work well for her for several years before that, and if 2 or 3 of us were working at it, it might’ve been fine, despite the economy.

10. zeph - April 20, 2011

“i have said it before and i will keep saying it: i now believe that if me, my sister and our best childhood friend had teamed up early on and decided to have a go of it, of taking care of each other and committing to do so always, it wouldve been so much smarter.  my mother could have benefitted from this arrangement too.  the four of us essentially blew it, and with compound interest (and seniority) working like they do, it might be too late to properly cure it.  and thats IF i could get them all on board!  right now, my sister and our friend, aren’t.”

Good post FCM. I agree that living with three or for other women of mixed generations would make life much easier, it would eve make the work place bullies think twice, too many of you to take on. But how we do this takes some thinking about. The old fashioned communal house will work for some, especially if they are related. But buying clusters of flats, or parts of streets is another way forward, especially today when mortgages are more viable for more women. You could even have one or two houses among your cluster owned jointly as an investment in the buy to let market, letting to women only of course! It would be a way to help newbies into cities and single mums, or domestic violence refugees.
When the suffragettes were organising, groups of them would hit a city at once, putting each other up and helping each other get work and independent accommodation. Care has to be taken not to overburden each other and most would need to have the feeling of their own individual space within the feminist complex. Especially kitchens and bathrooms; that is why I tend toward the idea of clusters of flats and houses so everyone can shut their door at night, but have interconnecting alarms in case of trouble. I wish I were an architect it would be nice to design a complex for women. But I believe some of the suffragettes would find run down areas of accommodation and do them up together. There are all sorts of possibilities when people start to think along these lines.

11. Sargasso Sea - April 20, 2011

…and most would need to have the feeling of their own individual space…

Zeph, I couldn’t agree more. Women have always been so dis-allowed any space of their very own that it would be WOMANatory that each has *a space of her own*.

We had rather the same idea in mind for the block we used to live on and were seriously looking into it. Had we done it we would have had a quad of houses capable of housing 10 to 12 individual women in the 1:1 woman to room-with-door set up; way more if it was a more communal bunch, or multi-generational family units.

Something to keep in mind though for those who might be planning/will do, there are those pesky housing discrimination laws which while purportedly there to protect women, children and elders are also rather effectively used by MRA/trans to nip in the bud any such foolishness as women daring to say NO to housing men on property owned by women. Men’s laws, women’s lives and all that.

So know your federal, state and local housing ordinances, sisters. That’s where you’ll find the loopholes!

12. Sargasso Sea - April 20, 2011

Another thing about education and academia for young women:

It’s pretty clear that trans ideology has invaded the universities and that women who would otherwise be being turned on to feminism (as they were in the early 70s) are instead being turned on to what big *Cis-Privilege* they have! and are then taught how to publicly shame themselves and beg forgiveness with the proper amount of genuflecting.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but just about the time that girls started being the majority on college campuses is just about the same time that tuitions started rising, *progressive* thought came under attack, MRAs/Trans started screaming “discrimination” and women’s student loan debt skyrocketed. Oh, and rape too.

In my personal opinion, at this point in time, formal academia for women is a trap of giant proportions unless a young woman has a very specific revolutionary purpose in mind and is backed by a network of women who support that revolutionary purpose.

13. Mary Sunshine - April 20, 2011

Hi Ssss,

Spot on, every bit of it. The only reason for a girl to go to Uni is to study one of the “hard” (woo! woo!) sciences, like math, physics, engineering, any kind of no-fooling-around traditional male field, where ** nothing ** is open to interpretation.

I did that a hundred years ago, got a masters in math, it has given me a basis of confidence that nothing else could have done.

Cred, cred, and more cred. You pull in 100% on a math exam, there are no arguments. It’s amazing to experience deference from males for one’s mastery of an intellectual discipline.

But, yo!!! feck the arts programs, eh? Stay away. No soc, phil, lit, “poli sci”, econ, any kind of crap that can be ideologically twisted by males.

Anything you want to learn, you can learn on your own. Uni is only useful for acquiring and stashing bullet-proof professional scientific credibility. You can even use it as a cash cow.

I would even steer away from the biological sciences, anything that can be twisted by males for their purposes. No pharmacy. Also, forget architecture. Any field where “judgment” is part of the approval-path.

It can be a place to sharpen your wits, if you keep your mouth shut except for when you’re blinding them with science. 🙂

14. FAB Libber - April 20, 2011

zeph, I certainly have thought about housing for other women and how I could get a project off the ground. I might incorporate something in my ‘off-grid’ plan (less outlay).

SarSea, interesting observation on the college fees, rapes and other stuff. I think you might be onto something there. They could not exclude females on grades (superior), so other means were deemed necessary.

15. cherryblossomlife - April 21, 2011

Sorry FCM, that last post messed up. Could you re-post this one instead. Thx XX

Alternative set-ups for women, if we can get enough het women on board, could well be the key to a silent revolution.

Teh tranz will try and invade the spaces of course. In fact, the full imlications of the trans madness keeps hitting me over and over again.

But we can just do what MEN do with US in the workplace i.e tell them they didn’t get the room/flat/place because of- insert irrelevant criteria here- and NOT because they’re trans.

Ultimately, of course, small groups of women seeking alternative lifestyles will not be enough to bring any real change. What we will need is street marches calling for an end to the current political structure.

The beginning of the 21st century has been an utter disaster for women worldwide, with all the neo-liberalism, “I’m all right Jack” governments in power designed to benefit individuals i.e men. Women always suffer under individualist, capitalist systems, which are designed to benefit men, and this model is being rolled out all across the world.

16. zeph - April 21, 2011

“SarSea, interesting observation on the college fees, rapes and other stuff. I think you might be onto something there. They could not exclude females on grades (superior), so other means were deemed necessary.”

I agree over the fees. One thing that most women came out of the second wave with, and still preserve today, is the idea of daughter promotion. Once a family has to consider supporting only one child through university there is a likelihood that that one child will be a boy, because of the pressure from the fathers and because women will wonder how their son is going to get himself a mate if he has nothing financial to contribute.

Hard sciences for definite Mary, anything like art depends on male approval and as you say, they only grant that to each other and a token female or two. I think pharmacy is important though, because we cannot leave all drugs and medicines in men’s hands. It is bad enough that they have almost sole access to black market supplies, of things such as date rape and addiction drugs. Keeping the power of medicine in male hands is one reason why politicians won’t make drugs legal, that and lucrative backhanders. because without keeping addictive drugs expensive and difficult to procure, the women and young men who are hooked on them can’t be driven into prostitution, and prostitution is essential to the maintenance of patriarchy. There is also the issue of contraception, women making it out of their kitchen gardens are liable to arrest if they try to supply in large quantities, and men can pay male doctors to withhold, tamperer, or otherwise deny contraception to women. I knew a woman who’s boyfriend paid or threatened or both, a male doctor to give a false negative on a pregnancy test, apparently he wanted to get her to the point were it was too late to get an abortion. Fortunately the women at the family planning clinic did a second test for her.

“zeph, I certainly have thought about housing for other women and how I could get a project off the ground. I might incorporate something in my ‘off-grid’ plan (less outlay)

“Yes FAB, and getting the idea across to millions of women that they could do this for themselves, just by focusing on a future together in groups, instead of in couples with men.

FCM - April 21, 2011

i am just saying, but sometimes i am gratified JUST BY demonstrating how and why men cannot be feminists. somehow, i think this is key, and its the one thing that might turn some fun-fems rad. i am all for silent revolutions, loud revolutions, etc. but so many women are still tied to unrealistic beliefs about men. SHOWING what male privilege is all about, SHOWING how they use their ability to impregnate women to threaten and intimidate women, including in the workplace seems like the way to go. “sexual harassment” is not some fucking abstract concept, just like “male privilege” isnt abstract. its concrete, its real, its demonstrable, and its SO OBVIOUS, once its pointed out. and yet its so easy to take your eyes off that particular ball.

literally everyone has literally everything invested in this one: that MAAB *isnt* about the ability to cause female-specific harm. and the (IMO) related belief that “male privilege” can be divested, or that certain men can opt out of it. they cant.

FCM - April 21, 2011

but you all know that already. 😛

i am VERY interested in these housing co-op ideas. i also think that women would need thier own space as a rule. it would be tragic if a cooperative failed, simply because women couldnt stand living in extremely constrained quarters with other women they might not particularly like…it wouldnt be fair to expect it either. women are PEOPLE afterall, and YES, we need our SPACE.

17. yttik - April 21, 2011

Women learning to stick together, to buddy up in the world, would be a great start.

“…professionalism, education, student loans etc will not take you out of the system.”

I hear you. I live in a really depressed area, so many women with good educations and professional experience take low paying jobs. But it’s not just the economy, some of these women have deliberately decided to work these jobs because they aren’t invested in them, they aren’t vulnerable. As one woman told me, she feels freer to just walk away, because she’s simply not going to be forced into sex for minimum wage. A big part of the power tripping, (besides the threat of rape or impregnation) is economic. You don’t want to lose a good job, you can’t function without your benefits, so you’re vulnerable and forced to tolerate things you don’t want to. When you’re on the bottom of the economic rung already, what can they threaten you with? You can always find another crappy job.

Needless to say, I’m not advocating this as a solution, but it certainly opened my eyes to more ways that women are economically oppressed and how they cope.

FCM - April 21, 2011

i just wanted to clarify that being overly-educated does have some benefits…as mary sunshine indicated, you might have credibility for example, and depending on your field you might have some earning potential too. not as much as you might have hoped in either case, but there it is. these are not small things. both can be useful, one for building some kind of safety net for yourself, and also *if* you have some revolutionary purpose in mind, surely credibility and earning potential are good things to have. still thinking about how the maximize the revolutionary potential of both, not sure about that yet, maybe s4 can clarify? these things are NOT useless, and not everyone has access to these things, and i want to be clear about that. i am grateful, i suppose, that i had the opportunity, and didnt (for example) have to support my parents or an ill sibling instead of going to school. i craved knowledge, and i wanted the credibility too. i knew i would be better off with both, than i would have been without. i still think thats true. i am dancing around the word “privilege” here because i dont think women have privileges…but i think you can see what i am getting at?

BUT. my point here is that its not a way OUT OF THE SYSTEM. and its not. you might be better off with an education in some or even many ways, but its FOOLISH (and i was foolish) to think that its really going to change the game. its not. women are STILL fuckholes for men, and prostitutes-in-waiting, and we will be, until the day we fucking die, no matter how highly-credentialed be become. what might have HELPED would have been for say 4 of us to do this together. even if we all went to school and had all the debt that comes with it, maybe the one of us that was being sexually harassed THE MOST could afford to quit our job while we looked for a new one. that way, only 3 of us would be being harrassed, instead of all 4. our suffering, as a group, would be reduced by a QUARTER. and one dood out there would not be able to get his jollies off of one of us, anymore. that kind of thing.

its hard to imagine 4 women getting together, and ALL OF THEM wanting to go to school, but picking one of them to go while the others supported her. this feels too much like a traditional set-up (and i do mean setup) where you put all your eggs in someone elses basket. doesnt it?

18. cherryblossomlife - April 21, 2011

Yes, too much like a traditional set up. Co-operating with other women works until a point, but the system itself must be crushed, as Dworkin pointed out, and the only way to do that is to change the political and economic structures.

There is no reason for kids to have to pay for college in our rich countries. Education should be free, and it used to be in many countries, including the UK. Universal healthcare, again, should be free. There are so many ways that the system can be changed to alleviate women’s vulnerability within it. We’re looking at some sort of socialism.
The 21st century has started out badly for women.

So my daughter ( though still only tiny) is going to study maths or science and she has no choice about it (I live in Asia where you can do that kind of thing)

Except, as I mentioned on my blog, Maths is a GIRL’S subject in Japan, you know, for all that book-keeping they have to do to balance the family books. ANyway, it’s considered a girl’s subject, while literature is for more creative minds and must therefore be male.

So the solution is, I will save up for her to study maths in Europe or the U.S..!!

19. Sargassosea - April 21, 2011

No doubt that higher education can be mighty. Although I never did *earn* my degree (doh!), simply being at Uni connected me to the people and situations that sent me on my way. However, what I ended up doing for a living was a trade that I could have also entered through my connections at community college. I only did Uni because my parents had pinned a lot of expectations on me because my brother was (is) a double plus loser, they were footing most of the bill and San Francisco is simply divine, dahling. Sounds “privileged“, don’t it?

So I guess I bring higher education into the mix because since I agree it will NOT magically transport a woman to Equality Land (which is what they’ve been selling at such inflated prices and young women keep buying) I find it unwise for the majority of women to overextend their time, energy and money on something that in all likelihood will not be worth the all the costs both financial and emotional. Well, and physical too. (recent 60 Minutes piece: 95% of campus rapes go unreported) That time, energy and money could be building that small woman-owned, woman-operated business Assets, baby, assets!

Because if there is ONE thing that men do understand, it’s the power that is Assets.

I have a separate thought on the *support network*…

20. Undercover Punk - April 21, 2011

I love this conversation!! So. GOOD.

I’ve been thinking about communal woman-living in terms of how I co-habitate with my beloved. Would I be as happy with my sister? Or a dear friend? What would be different? I think there’s something easier about living with your lover…but I can’t articulate it…must be in my conditioning…?

I definitely need my own space, and I like the idea of multiple units in the same building or neighborhood block.

I also have lots to say about my law degree and my educational debt and my current job. I have a lot of freedoms that low-skill jobs do not offer. Obviously. I’m typing this comment from my desk. I’ll be back for more!

FCM - April 21, 2011

Yes, there are some freedoms, its true. Leisure time is one of them. Free time to read and blog and think about this stuff, without constant demands and interruptions, and deliberate distractions from those who don’t want us to think or talk about this stuff. It’s a tremendous plus, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not a way out, is all. And I think s4 is absolutely right, that education IS being sold to women as a way out, but it ultimately can’t deliver.

FCM - April 21, 2011

And it IS striking, isn’t it, that just as soon as all the women were on board with the education-as-freedom scam/plan, suddenly radical feminism is nowhere to be found in academia. Nowhere. All the women’s studies programs have disintegrated into gender studies (trans) then degraded from there to sexuality studies (read: bdsm). Excellent point s4. And YES, its also the perfect victim pool for mass rape.

21. zeph - April 21, 2011

“Yes, too much like a traditional set up. Co-operating with other women works until a point, but the system itself must be crushed, as Dworkin pointed out, and the only way to do that is to change the political and economic structures.”

We need socialism as much as we ever did, but it will fail women as long as it remains within a patriarchal structure. Co-operating with other women is the only way to get enough power to dismantle the system, we have after all had root and branch change of political systems before, and many civil wars to implement them, but without the group power of women they will always fail, and tend to revert to economic exploitation.
Not all parts of our political systems are bad, some important ground has been gained or should I say regained by social reformers and revolutionaries of the past. Democracy is one of those re-gains and because it is not perfect (there is no such thing as perfect) we should not dismiss its many merits or assume it to be essentially patriarchal.

Democracy was not invented by the Greeks, how could any political system that denied the vote to fifty percent of its population be described as the cradle of democracy? The Hellenic Greeks inherited the concept of democracy from the civilisations which preceded them and there is good evidence that these civilisations may have been ruled by egalitarian female co-operatives. The patriarchal Hellenic invaders burned a lot of books leaving us Homer and beyond him nothing much. But archaeology has revealed the Minoan civilisation in all its glory, as it has revealed other civilisations of the near east.
Some men, of course will seek to overthrow female led societies by breaking our alliances with violence, that is how they did it in the first place. So we need to discover all the elements that caused this, so that we can prevent it happening again. Easier said than done.

22. cherryblossomlife - April 22, 2011

Yes, there needs to be a new *form* of socialism, invented by women, with women at the helm.

We need new female political theorists to work out the masterplan.

““… in all economic theories and models [the] life-producing and life- preserving work of women appears as a “free good” or a free resource, like air, water, sunshine. it appears to flow “naturally” from women’s body.” Mies”

Male political structures- whether capitalist, commmunist, socialist- are DESIGNED to make women’s labour invisible.

OUr work is to envisage a structure where women’s work will be given its place in the system and valued for what it is.

23. A New Political order Part 3: Our work « Cherryblossomlife - April 22, 2011

[…] is a post I just made at femonade, which is the spark I need to kindle the flame for Part 3. Here are Part 1 and Part 2. “.. […]

24. maggie - April 22, 2011

A few tips for young uns who may be reading.

Never, ever make the tea or the coffee. No matter what your position (this was discussed on Women’s Hour BBC Radio 4 today and even female directors were asked to make tea/coffee.

Get as much qualifications as you can possibly afford. Do it when you’re young. Worry about the debt later. DO IT. The more qualified you are the more you piss off the menz.

If someone harasses you go immediately to the Human Resource and complain. The person doing the harassment will call you a bit*h anyway.

25. Sargasso Sea - April 22, 2011

Hang on there a minute Maggie.

Suggesting that women incur debt and worry about it later is not helpful in any way. And to do something because as a bonus it pisses off the menz is just redundant and foolhardy because our very existence pisses them off; we needn‘t lift another finger.

We were exploring how young women could begin to think about their futures in a very different way, a way of living a decent life without a ton of debt (too much student loan debt can EXCLUDE you from a job and it’s hard enough for women to get the job in the first place – one of the sisters recently posted unemployment numbers which show that women are being squeezed out of the workforce in favor of men due to the global recession) and without having to work and live directly with/for men.

Not every company is a MegaCorp with a huMAN resources department; huMAN resources is charged with keeping the boat on an even keel and normally the way they do this is to smooth over the victimized party, promise her all sorts of things, not actually do anything then wait for her to quit out of fear and/or frustration. In reality most sexually harassed women have no one to complain to but the harasser himself and not a single one of those women is concerned about whether some fucking pervert calls her a bitch when her livelihood and safety is on the line. Jesus.

FCM - April 22, 2011

yes, “worry about the debt later” is pretty much the mindset that got me where i am today. educated, yes…and deeply in debt, with so support system and realizing that the heteronormative life i had always assumed was in my future isnt what it was cracked up to be in the first fucking place. i know now that i always assumed i would have a husband, and so didnt need close girlfriends for example, and i didnt need to plan for a future with (GASP!) my mother or my sister. and assuming that they would also be making lives with men, somewhere else, without needing me either. and that this was the only way to do it, AND a good way. its not!

“worry about it later” assumes alot, namely that your situation will just magically improve by doing nothing. which is rarely the case for women, is it? or, that the education, IN ITSELF, will be the improvement. thats also not the case, ESPECIALLY for women who chose fields that dont pay anything! this makes NO FUCKING SENSE at all does it? again, i think the assumption is that the education itself will be the game changer, but the fact of the matter is that there IS NOTHING THAT WILL CHANGE THE GAME, not without busting it down, like dworkin illustrated. porn has to go. prostitution has to go. but being in servitude to a bunch of sexually predatory men who use porn and think of you as a whore, men who ALSO happen to be your bosses and colleagues just looks like more of the same shit doesnt it? THATS the point of this post.

26. SheilaG - April 22, 2011

Wow FCM, your post above explains everything (almost). Just last week, I was hanging with a group of friends, and one of the women mentioned how she liked to hang out with our gang, because when her husband wasn’t in town, she had a place to go. I found that statement from a het woman so telling, because even though I have a woman partner, I take all women seriously, and collectively as a lesbian feminist the larger world of women is just as important. Our relationship is not het immitative or hide in the suburbs.

I never ever imagined I would be married to a man, took all my female friends seriously, and knew that i would support myself to the day I died. I had many female relatives who were teachers, and I saw those incomes as largely useless. I couldn’t fathom why women got degrees in education and psychology, and why they avoided math and science, when being proficient in math was the key to just about everything. A lesbian doesn’t have this idea that we can let someone else “take care” of us, nor do we see men as people we would ever want to live with. The does change our outlook on life, and I think it is a large source of conflict with straight women, because we perceive them as not reliable, and too attached to men, so they will not commit to the sisterhood 100%. 40 years of radical feminism, and women still have this idea that they will marry some man and not develop serious lifelong friendships and devote the time to women collectively. It’s a really sad state of affairs, and I see young women doing the same damn things all over again.

Debt, it is a worry, and it does need to be examined. You can’t incur the student loan debts today and still get a masters in English… it’s economic suicide… that and all teaching jobs!

FCM - April 22, 2011

sheila, i always feel like you are putting words in my mouth, and that its YOUR words that are “making sense” of het womens lives, to YOU. i never said (for example) that i EVER assumed that i would have a man to support me. i have said here repeatedly that i ALWAYS knew i would have to work, and that i NEVER wanted to be financially dependant on a man. i learned this from my father, who held a blackbelt and 3 doctorates in humiliating women, over money. i wasnt stupid, and i was paying attention to this one for the 20 years he did this to my mom, and to his own children, while he and my mother were married, and later over issues of child support.

RATHER, i always assumed that i would be married/partnered to one person, and that *we* would be our own support system, to each other, and that we didnt need anyone else. 2 people family units are whats sold to us as a “support system” and this is what i assumed i would have, and that it would be enough. its not. ALSO, this may come as a shock to a lifelong lesbian (actually no, you seem to get it, so lets see if you get it when *i* say it and stop acting like you fucking invented the concept) straight-female-friends are NOT to be relied on, anyway. straight women go off and leave, and partner with men. i did and i DO have close female friends, but we arent geographically-close anymore, because after high school, we all scattered to the wind. and after college too. when i talk about how much better everything would have been if i would have just stayed with my mom, my sister and my friend, i KEEP SAYING that it wasnt even an option back then, because even if *i* had wanted to do this 20 years ago, THEY DIDNT. they were not on board. my mom is JUST starting to see how badly things have gotten, and she never even mentioned it to me, until *i* said it, first.

NOBODY is fucking doing this, sheila. nobody *except* the lesbians, which are a pretty distinct minority. and DEFINITELY noone is suggesting that ANYONE partner up with ANYONE, UNLESS THEY ARE FUCKING REGULARLY. maybe if lesbian sex werent fucking required for female partnerships, things would look very different than they do today. life-partnerships are still all about romantic relationships and sex, and therefore het women are going to life-partner with men, always. and not with women.

27. Undercover Punk - April 22, 2011

NOBODY is fucking doing this, sheila. nobody *except* the lesbians, which are a pretty distinct minority. and DEFINITELY noone is suggesting that ANYONE partner up with ANYONE, UNLESS THEY ARE FUCKING REGULARLY. maybe if lesbian sex werent fucking required for female partnerships, things would look very different than they do today.

Ok, this is what I was alluding to, above. It’s not the SEX that enables lesbian women to sustain long-term co-habitation. I really do NOT believe that sex is the unifying or vital factor. Anyone? Lesbians in the house? I mean, is EVERY couple that’s been together for 20 years having so much sex that it just KEEPS them together? I don’t think that’s it. Sex may be related, as I DO think that skin-to-skin/physical intimacy CREATES emotional connections, but it’s MORE than that. It’s something about the STRUCTURE of the relationship… I can’t articulate it! I mean, there are plenty of long term couples who hardly have sex at all, right?? But they make it work. What IS it about “monogamy” that enables and SUSTAINS long-term cohabitation? I think it’s something about the expectations of monogamy, the appearance of being “all set” with your situation (the participants are not always feeling pressure/unfulfilled desire to partner up even if they aren’t having sex, to everyone else’s eyes they’re already *there)… and MORE….??

28. thebewilderness - April 22, 2011

FCM - April 22, 2011

of course, couples that have been together for a long time, or for some length of time, might not have sex *as much* as they once did. or maybe they dont have much sex at all, and they never did. BUT. a close, loving and yet sexless partnership that is sexless from the get-go, is not anything that anyone seems interested in is it?

considering that most women are straight, this is a significant problem, if we are discussing long-term partnerships with other women as a survivial strategy. and YES, i fully agree that in the complete absence of INTERNALIZED MISOGYNY (ie self-hating women) its likely that more women would be lesbians, and/or more open to having sex with other women. BUT self-hatred among women IS a significant problem thats not going away either. i would think that getting women to life-partner with other women would be more likely to work if sex and romantic relationships existed OUTSIDE the life-parnership, perhaps ONLY outside it. ie. people NEVER co-habitated with their sexual partners. at the VERY least, this would be a better model for straight women than the status quo, wouldnt it?

29. yttik - April 22, 2011

“A lesbian doesn’t have this idea that we can let someone else “take care” of us..”

It’s actually much more complicated then that. Het women know perfectly well they can’t let someone else take care of them, in fact, they’re pretty darn aware that in spite of the cultural myths that say otherwise, they will be the ones taking care of everyone else, even if they aren’t working outside the home. Having a man around can be like having the worst possible dependent, a huge drain on your time, energy, and resources. And those are the good men.

It’s not financial dependence that hooks women so much, as it is our compassion. We care about men, we love them, we see how screwed up they are because of patriarchy, and to the detriment of ourselves, we think we can create something better for them. In domestic violence work, we used to call it “hope rearing it’s ugly head.” If a lesbian loved somebody who was a terrible alcoholic, they might spend all their time bailing her out of jail, picking her up at bars, calling in sick for her at work, and basically screwing themselves over in favor of this other person’s illness. Lesbians can do incredibly stupid and co-dependent things, too. For het women, we’re trained from birth to do this, it’s ingrained in us from day one, and it is our reality in every single damn relationship, every single day. Het women are not stupid, we’re not co-dependent, we’re guilty of having too much compassion and trying to love a group of whom the majority is made up of extremely dysfunctional human beings.

Myself, indeed, even right wing women, are capable of acknowledging this reality about men. Believe it or not, in my experience it’s not lesbian women who truly understand it. LOL, for example, I’m currently tossed out of 3 blogs run by lesbians because I’m allegedly such a misandrist and a hater. They talk a good line about separatism, but when push comes to shove, they whine that men are people too and should be treated “equally” within feminism, and then they proceed to throw women under the bus. Flat out, they don’t know men like I do or they wouldn’t fall for so many of their petty tricks.

So, lesbian and het women must align themselves with each other, not as if one were better than the other, but because we can only see this nightmare through our own filters, and we need each other’s perceptions and the strength that comes from building a sisterhood.

FCM - April 22, 2011

tbw that was hilarious. thanks!

FCM - April 22, 2011

i would also add that we ALL NEED SOMEONE to “take care of us.” to believe otherwise is fucking stupid, and evidence that someone has bought into the cult of individualism thats being pushed on all of us, all the time…BY MEN who have all the support in the world, but somehow manage to believe that they become successful on their own. they dont. everybody needs somebody sometimes! and if you never have…well you just havent lived long enough yet.

women of course are the ones that frequently outlive our “caretakers” if we are partnered with men. this is a significant problem (FOR US, not for men). men are well taken care of by loving, capable and committed hands, literally from cradle to grave. the passage from RWW that i scanned for RWW part 3-d really hammered this one home. its fucking haunted me actually. its a real problem. FOR REALS!

30. Undercover Punk - April 22, 2011

Well, yeah, I guess for straight women, it would be.

This is getting into theories of sexuality. As we ALL KNOW, I’m not into that innate shit. AND I know it isn’t hip or feminist to be into monogamy, but I AM. I have one body and it connects most effectively with one *other* body. For the shared sex act, I mean. THEN, from that act, as I mentioned above, flows oxytocin and emotional connection. Not always, but MANY times. Enough to be considered a foreseeable result. I think that savoring and purposefully fostering these connections is valuable for those who enjoy them. And tbh, I can only handle one woman at a time. Serious. As you can probably imagine, I’m not a joy to deal with all the time. The connection my wife and I have gets DEEPER over time. Which is cool, right? You can’t MAKE such a relationship happen, but if or when it does, I think it’s AWESOME. And beautiful. And not baaaad, as some anti-monogamy feminists believe.

So while having sex outside the “relationship” might be good for straight women, in general, it wouldn’t be good for me. No, no, no. I see sex as a means to strengthen your relationship with someone, not as a purely physical indulgence, as it would be if happening in a “casual” or “disinterested” way– outside of a friendship. Sorry, I feel like I’ve gone way off track now!

FCM - April 22, 2011

yes, UP, agreed. i hereby decree that there will be NO discussions of “theories of sexuality” on this blog. seriously. its been dang done.

radical feminists are the BEST at dealing with REALITY, arent we? no sugar coating. we arent into “harm-reduction” either, at least, we acknowledge that harm-reduction strategies arent theory-based. SO. i have to say that life-partnering with men is NOT a good idea for women, *and* that partnering with just-one woman isnt that great either, because 2 people does not a support system make. (its better than NO support system, and its better than partnering with a PIV-entited prick, but there it is. its still not ideal is it?). i also cannot pretend that having sex (PIV) with men is a good thing EVER, even if it were outside a committed life-partnership, where that partnership was with a woman, or several women. it would be LESS HARMFUL, but again, its not really rad enough…

so what about this: women (preferably several women) committing to take care of each other forever, and they can “date” and have non-PIV sex with men on the side, IF NECESSARY.

lesbian seperatists would have NONE of this of course, because anyone having relations with men, and having men come around at all, would be placing them all in danger of rape. radical feminists wouldnt be too keen on it either, for the same reason: i dont want strange doods around, PERIOD. so…here we have a rather radical solution that radical feminists would NEVER participate in…and i am back to square one. HA! what a waste of time!

FCM - April 22, 2011

oh, and happy lesbian couples wouldnt want to do this either i guess? i dont think i would want a bunch of other people around all the time, if i were in a perfectly happy couple-ship with my one favorite person…even if it werent really a support system proper…so WHO would do this business with multiple-women committing to each other? HA! noone!

31. Undercover Punk - April 22, 2011

I still like the idea of multiple units in one building and/or houses on the same block. If you had a partner, you could co-hab with her, if ya didn’t, you could live alone but next to everyone OR you could pair/triple/etc up with other women for the co-hab. I don’t know about the PIV-on-the-side thing, though, that is a very complicating matter…. esp. cause watching straight women get excited about seeing men makes me throw up. Even talking about menz and what they might be doing (who cares!!) agitates me when I’m not in an especially good mood.

FCM - April 22, 2011

non-PIV on the side UP. non-PIV. and YES, the dating-behaviors would make me sick too…and i would always ASSUME that the dood wasnt going to hold up his end of the bargain, even if he was willing to “consent” to a non-PIV based relationship. meaning, he could rape her or any one of us, at any time.

32. thebewilderness - April 22, 2011

We are conditioned to partner romantically to the exclusion of all others. We grow up learning that women cannot be trusted by men or other women. That we are shallow petty greedy gossipy needy selfish creatures.
So I ask you, who would want to hang out with people like that? What? You mean women are not like that? People are, some people are.
Most women have never had the experience of living with peers. A society structured on dominance and submission at every level is going to provide very little opportunity to try anything else.
About ten years ago a friend split the blanket with her beau. She had gone from an authoritarian family to an authoritarian marriage two children another marriage and now a split with another charming beau.
She stayed with mum and I for two months. For years afterward she remarked that she had never experienced anything like it. Peaceful, easy, no drama except on the teevee. No nagging no arguing no pressure.
We build peer relationships in spite of society and early childhood conditioning. I think that may be why they are so hard to sustain. We have to reinvent the wheel while overcoming the conditioning. By the time we figure it out it is almost too late to marshal the resources necessary to create that healthy environment we know we want.

FCM - April 22, 2011

i like the idea of the whole building/whole block too. its exactly what my mom and i are discussing actually, although her idea was to buy a quad, and have our nigels there too, but have us each in a seperate unit. then if the nigel(s) left the picture for whatever reason, we could just rent out the other units.

33. Undercover Punk - April 22, 2011

LOL! My deepest apologies for the faux pas!! NON-PIV. NO-PIV!! So sorry. I’m a lesbian, I claim ignorance!1!1!! Jk, jk.

34. Undercover Punk - April 22, 2011

TBW, you are totally onto something! Relationship structure, experience, and expectation are all problems. I hate it when I don’t have the words to explain important stufffff!

35. cherryblossomlife - April 23, 2011

THe problem for many women is that the patriarchy has fucked their mothers up so much that they’re unbearable to live with.
Many women who fall into prostitution not just because there is an abusive man in the childhood home, but often simply because their MOTHER has internalized the misogyny meted out onto her sex, and she takes her self-loathing out on her daughter. In the interest of self-preservation the daughter has no choice but to leave home penniless.

I would have done ANYTHING to escape my mother’s clutches, my childhood was spent dreaming of running away, but luckily I had the werewithall to stick it out and get an education first.

So the mother-daughter relationship is another key to women’s liberation. FCM, it’s really heartwarming to see that you have a good relationship with your mother.

My mother was financially independant and I admire her for that.

One thing that has been angering me a lot is how women are punished by the patriarchy for having babies. Although some Good Mothers are put on pedastols to keep other women in line, women are severely punished when they choose to excercise their life-creating powers.
It would be nice to envisage a set-up where two female friends would be happy to live with one another and take care of the other when she had a baby, I suppose like lesbians do. I really feel like the patriarchy has WON when they make it impossible for women to have babies without relying on men, or alternatively, circling the poverty trap. It’s deliberate, of course.

36. cherryblossomlife - April 23, 2011

when I said “get an education first” I meant a high-school education. In my country you can leave school at 16, but if you want to study more you can stay until 18.

FCM - April 23, 2011

my relationship with my mother is actually very complicated, and we would have NEVER been able to live together before, without a specific consciousness about it. it might not work now, but i think we have a better chance at it now than we ever would have before. she threw my sister and i both out when we were 18 and never let us come back. she was very deliberate and very cold about this: it was not only for our own good, it was for HER good too, because it was not within her personality to raise children. she never wanted them, and she was glad when we were gone. she shamed me and made me feel terrible for not finding a man early in life, although she couched it in terms of my not “being responsible/an adult” and her particular favorite “you arent successful and/because you dont have any money.” and all the while i was in school, and working for minimum wage (and later, stripping). i think really it was because she felt guilty for not being able to emotionally or financially support any of her kids, and she had to rely on my dad for everything, and he punished us all brutally for our dependance. he also never came through, so for him it was a win/win. he got to torture us, without having to actually help us. really fucked up stuff: i learned all about male supremecy from a seasoned, deliberate sadist, and misogynist.

one of the worst fights my mom and i ever had was when i went to live with her for what ended up being just under a year between college and grad school, (it was just miserable for us both) and she was just screaming at me because i wasnt “a success.” i literally laughed at her, it was so ridiculous, and said “pfft, ARE YOU?” real, real ugly stuff. gah, now i am reliving it! it was horrible. like i said, i am not even sure we could do it, and i KNOW it would take a very specific consciousness that we might actually have now. we definitely didnt then. no freaking way. plus, she was still very sure she was going to meet a dood. and i was still in my early-mid 20s and had every reason to believe that i would meet one too.

37. FAB Libber - April 23, 2011

Many great points in your comment yttik.

There is a lot to be said for being ex-het, as far as being a motivator. Ex-hets had the opportunity to study dudes up close and personal, and so (usually) become aware of the more subtle control methods they use (even like sulking to get their way).

FCM, having (actively) het women in your apartment block complex won’t work, because dudes always managed to insert themselves into female friendships. I know this from the last place I lived, my best friend lived in the ground floor flat, I lived in the 2nd floor flat. It has to be a total no-dude policy. The good news is that as you get older, many women have wised up and avoid dudes (becoming re-spinsterised I like to call it).

FCM - April 23, 2011

oh, and i actually lived with some dood i met at the strip club for about 6 months after college, because i literally had nowhere else to go, and i didnt want to have to go back to live with my mom. i wasnt welcome anyway. i dont even remember what lead to my acutally going to stay with her, i might have told her how bad it was and she caved. i dont remember. i do recall that when i got there, i unpacked and then slept for about a month, and scared the crap out of her because i was so exhausted and depressed from being in school and stripping and living with that dood…this was all in the year following my brothers death too, so we were both pretty bad off. i know i was still having flashbacks and stuff (PTSD) and she probably was too. interestingly, i have heard other women say that its very difficult to make a coop work, when all the women are fucking traumatized, on top of everything else. and they often are.

38. SheilaG - April 23, 2011

I don’t have an obsession with monogamy or non-monogamy within a lesbian context, and it’s not that I don’t believe straight women when they say they know they have to be self-supporting… I think what the deal is with straight women is that they subconsciously think some man is going to pay the bills. And I’ve lost many straight women friends the minute they met some man, jumped into bed with him, and he started paying the bills… uh oh.

Lesbian relationships as measured in some psychological studies are the most egalitarian on earth… compared with gay men, het women, bi folks etc. THE MOST EGALITARIAN… it means we live this day in and day out. I take it for granted that my partner and I am equals, and I take it for granted that we’re going to have lesbian friends fall on hard times, and we’ll have a place for them to stay. For us, we are safety nets for many of our friends, and we don’t take this for granted. I moved very far away from where I grew up, so I had no expectation of sharing quarters with high school or college women I knew. Every place I’ve lived has had lesbian communities, communal living arrangements, job sharing… that sort of thing.

I think UP has said something to this effect, but I do believe there is some powerful bonding element between lesbians… I feel a powerful connection to any lesbian I happen to meet on the street even. This has nothing to do with me ever having sex with women, it has to do with the safety and sisterhood I feel with dykes all over the place. I just don’t feel this way with straight women, again, because they are so male identified, so male accomodating, and even when they seemingly break free of this, they kind of bond with men. Or there are straight women who seem to break free, but they tend to be isolationists, and unable to come together for collective things the way lesbians so easily do.

Lesbians are more accustomed to the collective… and I wish I had the language to explain this… UP and I have to come up with something. But it is very powerful and very real, and we have put our lives in the hands of our sisters. In this, even our subconscious kind of burned the bridge to ever giving into men… we knew in a very determined way that we would make our way in the world. We had far less social priviledge than any straight woman could ever imagine, so there was no room for major failure… it results in early death for lesbians. It puts us at risk in male controlled medical worlds, and we can’t trust straight women, because they will let the men in, and all men are rapists in my mind… no exceptions no nigels, we just don’t want them around.

I don’t know the answer, I do know that sisterhood bonding between lesbians goes everywhere easily. In every single country I have ever visited the sisterhood is there. Even a stranger on a street will be there. This type of powerful connection is killed for straight women because they broke with pure sisterhood to bond with men. This breaks a crucial chain I think, a psychic bond, a trust… I’m not sure what exactly.

But the bottom line is our desire as lesbians for freedom is not coming from the het system or het indoctrination. I believe it comes from some place of depth that has no words, but is very real.

It makes the alliance with straight women highly problematic I think, and one that could be dealt with. I just see no real effort on the part of straight women to take lesbian nation seriously, or our insights into sisterhood, or why we find men so repulsive. While straight women claim they have to earn their own way for life, it’s not how I see them behave in the world. In fact, I always have to find out if a straight woman who is taking up my time is fully self-supporting or owned by a man or subsidized by a man. It changes how I see that woman.

FCM - April 23, 2011

well fab, i am trying to figure out just WHO this coop might work for…and that might be the answer. older women, who have already been through the fucking ringer, and have decided NO MORE. it seems like a waste though, because the way compound interest works, you need TIME to build your empire. and wasting 20 years figuring this shit out it literally money down the drain. it might even be too late after 20 years. i dont know how the fuck my mom and i are ever going to afford a quad, it might just be a pipe dream at this point! seriously. and we arent even cutting expenses by living together now, while we save, we are both living with fucking nigels, seperately, and paying through the nose for the privilege. ie. almost all our incomes. which is, in fact, how much it costs to live these days.

39. SheilaG - April 23, 2011

P.S. I just met a straight woman who is retired. She recently told me she moved cross country to move in with her boyfriend, and that she had every expectation of marrying him. Only no dice, he doesn’t want to marry her, he just wants a live in woman to have sex with. Not her words. She was 62 years old, and still a sucker for this romantic marry happily ever after myth.

I told her that her boyfriend had no incentive to marry her because he was already getting what she wanted. She felt she wasn’t “respectable” if she wasn’t married. I was confused by this. Until the crucial point in the conversation… said man was paying ALL THE RENT AND ALL THE FOOD BILLS, thus enabling this deluded 60-something woman to live in this kind of retirement. And she was stuck… but still entralled by happily ever after with prince charming… hey 30 years later and a new royal wedding is out there for het propaganda machine. What can I say? These are real straight women, and this is what they do.

40. FAB Libber - April 23, 2011

it seems like a waste though, because the way compound interest works, you need TIME to build your empire. and wasting 20 years figuring this shit out it literally money down the drain. it might even be too late after 20 years.

Certainly it is better if you can figure this out by your 20s or 30s. It seems to be 40s-50s for most, and some never wake up and smell the patriarchy. Blogs like this one, might hopefully get the message out to some young women at least, not to repeat the mistakes (like hooking up with dudes).

But yeah, the ‘co-op’ needs to be dude-free. Somehow, sometime, a dude will always muck things up for any/all the women involved. Night follows day.

41. FAB Libber - April 23, 2011

ps: And the absolute tricky one, that was a biggie during the 2nd wave separatist communities – women with children – male children are a problem (and these days, earlier and more so).

FCM - April 23, 2011

i know how to pronounce it, fab.

42. maggie - April 23, 2011

While I’m a sucker for monogamy, I don’t believe for one minute that a strong relationship is based on sex. On the contrary I believe that a strong relationship is one based on mutual respect for each other. A deep caring that goes beyond sex. Of course by sex I don’t mean PIV. Sex for me is the touch of hands, embraces, hugs, ‘the naked touch of the mind’, and a raw passion that binds each other. But PIV, manadatory, takes the fun out of a relationship. It becomes an imprisonment, a duty and it forces inequality. It also ruins the notion of monogamy.

Back to the workplace. I think institutional sexism is as a result of mandatory PIV. Bromide in the tea is needed (with the menz serving it of course).

43. cherryblossomlife - April 23, 2011

The way the mother-daughter relationship is destroyed under patriarchy is really worthy of a mass-scale study.

As for sleeping for a month once you reach a place of relative safety… I have had that experience too. It reminded me of Jenny in Forest Gump. It was a man’s place though, a man who I was having PIV with, of course.

FCM - April 23, 2011

did anyone besides fab think ive been saying “coop” this whole time? like with yttiks chickens? not that it wouldnt work that way too i guess…

44. cherryblossomlife - April 23, 2011

LOL!

Could be a tomayto/tomahto thing. Cooperative and Co-operative are both valid.

45. FAB Libber - April 23, 2011

Probably not FCM, not even me!
I am just in the habit of always putting in the hyphen for clarity even when spelling it in full.

I can see why you thought I was making a point of it, but the quote marks were (bad) shorthand for ‘co-op or similar arrangement’. But that was only clear in my own bwain. It was late…

46. Asian Honky - April 23, 2011

Yes FCM, I certainly did. Aren’t we discussing where we hens will go to roost without the roosters?

*chuckles*

47. FAB Libber - April 23, 2011

Does it mean that we are allowed to peck interlopers to death?
I shall sharpen my beak.😛

FCM - April 23, 2011

asian honky, i LOVE your new avatar. so cute! 😛

48. Sargasso Sea - April 23, 2011

I knew what you meant, Fact. It was code for: Radical Chicks, RISE!😛 And dammit that’s MY avatar!!!! see below!

Just this past week, after a lot (years) of thought and anguish and working toward some better *solution*, I had to tell my mom that the damage to our relationship is so severe and her willingness to work with me is so non-existent that I quit. I just QUIT.

I feel badly, very badly about it but only because I know I’ve left her in the hands of my idiot, perv brother when she gets to the age that she’ll need an advocate. At the same time I realize that my mom is a classic emotional abuser (thanks patriarchy! way to sink it all the way to the hilt!) and that if she’s not willing to be a part of the solution, I will no longer be a part (the target part) of the problem.

So, I’m with CB in saying that I’m heartened that you and your mom are at least beginning to think about working together like two adult women.

(And, hey, Asian Honky why don‘t you go get your own gravatar instead of sneaking mine?!1!)

49. maggie - April 23, 2011

RE my earlier comment. In the good ole u s of a you pay dearly for an education. In the good old UK we are adopting that strategy. I know couples already who won’t send their daughters to Uni because it’s too dear. How fucked up is that? Way to get equality. Sorry in the UK it’s now termed FAIRNESS. Which equals absolutely horse shit. apologies to horses and horse lovers.

50. zeph - April 23, 2011

“We are conditioned to partner romantically to the exclusion of all others.

So true, TBW.

“I have one body and it connects most effectively with one *other* body. For the shared sex act, I mean. THEN, from that act, as I mentioned above, flows oxytocin and emotional connection.”

Women’s bodies are designed for deep intimacy, but not with men, with babies. We crave this intimacy because it is our direct route to immortality, until we all have a tardis, raising babies is our only way to cross time. I always thought the tardis was like a womb and Well’s “Time Machine”, passing by the window with the female mannequin changing fashions as he travelled through the generations, were male ways of understanding how life sustains itself in the forth dimension, in other words they see us as their time machines. Rather a linear limited view I think.
But women are always going to have to cope with, and properly direct our need for intimacy toward babies or other women who have the potential to really respond to us.

UP, I don’t think sex really creates bonds, I think unless it is handled carefully it can alienate, men can certainly be alienated by it, Their ideal seems to be to charge at a woman, shout and swear lot, avoid unnecessary contact, and run away again; until the next time. They do better than this most of the time of course and they do seem to have a sense that once they have had sex, they might have some sort of investment in that woman.
One of the ways patriarchy brainwashes teenage boys is by implying that this basic, quick in out method, and exchange of money, might actually produce results, young men are fooled into thinking you can get babies in brothels and that is all that is required of them until marriage, they don’t realise the one they marry is the only one who is going to bear and raise their children, unless they have enough money to buy surrogacy. In both teenage males and females natural urges are played upon and distorted, allowing the sexes to be controlled when young; so men over forty continue to rule us all.
I totally agree that sensual touching and affection does create bonds and oxytocin in women, but don’t think men are appropriate objects to lavish these attentions on. So loving your woman is good for you, but couples of any sort, need wider political support systems.

“radical feminists are the BEST at dealing with REALITY, aren’t we? no sugar coating. we aren’t into “harm-reduction” either, at least, we acknowledge that harm-reduction strategies aren’t theory-based. SO. i have to say that life-partnering with men is NOT a good idea for women, *and* that partnering with just-one woman isn’t that great either, because 2 people does not a support system make.”

I think this is so well said FCM.
Re the quadrangle, I think we would have to allow women who want men, to have them as visitors to their own apartments, but men should not be allowed to live with the women they have sex with; brothers and sons only, were baby bonds exist. I would like to say no men at all because they only have to meet for five minutes and they are giving each other glances behind our backs and colluding. But realistically we are going to have to come to some arrangement with them as they do constitute a significant force.

51. FAB Libber - April 23, 2011

Brothers and sons can be just as disruptive. I know of at least one case of a son in DV refuge sexually assaulting the daughter of another refuge resident. And I think the young dude was under 12 as well (although, could have been 14).

I personally would not join a coop with any males allowed. Even sons.

52. zeph - April 23, 2011

“I personally would not join a coop with any males allowed. Even sons.”

I would not either, first we start conceptualising a means of living so that we can better support each other, then we have to extend that into a functioning society for everyone. Sons raised by mothers within a powerful female group, would be very different from sons raised in patriarchy today. I suppose it is the difference between a personal solution and a cultural one.

Personally I agree with you, but that leaves the problem of what we do with the men, we can’t just run away and leave other women to take the flack. At best that is a short term solution for the few.

53. FCM - April 23, 2011
54. cherryblossomlife - April 24, 2011

zeph, what you say about women and intimacy..I have finally understood in the last month that a woman will *never* have true intimacy with a man, neither sexually nor emotionally nor spiritually. Only with other women or babies. Love this :

“Like a passionate affair that ends and gets redefined as a fluke, a mother also learns to forget the erotic bond she once had with her baby- a perfect intimacy that may never be recaptured” Marni Jackson.

I do agree with Dworkin, (not SheilaG!) that there *is* hope for males, but they are castrated from birth by patriarchy. LIttle boys *do* see life in flowers and butterflies, but by the time they hit their teens they can’t even see life in a prostitute’s eyes.

So yes sons raised outside of patriarchy would be different, but while patriarchy is still around then no, you can’t have male babies and children around

55. veganprimate - April 24, 2011

So much to think about. I read through all the comments, but don’t feel like going back to copy and paste, so I’ll just reference them.

As for women figuring it out in their 20’s, that would be ideal, but I really don’t see it happening. I’ve always fantasized about traveling around, giving talks to girls in primary/middle school (like when they put all the girls in the gymnasium to watch the “period movie.”) But it wouldn’t work. The girls would be thinking to themselves, “Well, she’s kinda plain looking. Heck, at the right angle, she’s even kinda unattractive. That’s why she’s telling us not to pair up with men. She’s too ugly to get a man and wants us to suffer with her. If she would lose 20 lbs, she’s totally get a husband. She should just eat less instead of spending time trying to convince us to be losers, too.” They would pick and pick and find fault with the presenter and find a way to disregard what was said.

As for things like plumber or electrician, don’t you need to apprentice for so long? Since those are male-dominated fields, I think the apprenticeship would likely be a nightmare. Once that’s over, though, and the woman was working at her own business, I can see where that would really be successful. I’d love to take my car to a female mechanic or have female technicians come into my home.

As for living together, I do like the idea of encouraging non-sexual relationships between and among women. We are so brainwashed with the idea of the sexual diad that people think the only choices are straight woman living with and fucking a dude and lesbian living with and fucking a woman.

I think the reason it’s easier to live with a partner is simply convention, brainwashing, propaganda, cultural norms and expectations, etc. We really need to learn how to get along and live with peers, which I think TBW referenced above. The way the economy is, I really dislike this idea of shoving the kids out the door by 18 or as soon as they graduate college and thinking that one has failed if it doesn’t happen. Parents and children (or maybe just mothers and daughters) need to find new ways to relate to each other as peers and stop thinking of living in a heteronormative or heteroaping relationship as the pinnacle of success. Sick and/or infirm adults shouldn’t feel like failures for having to move in with children, and children shouldn’t be criminalized for not earning as much money as their parents did.

FCM - April 24, 2011

when i was just starting college, my best friends dad (a lifelong fireman) told me that i should apply to be a fireman, and then sue their asses off for sexual harassment and discrimination when (NOT IF) it happened. then travel around the country doing this to every firehouse in the nation. i was so physically strong back then that i probably could have legitimately done the training etc too, but i knew that mentally theres no way i wanted to make my living suing firehouses for harassing me during training, and not hiring me when it was done, even though i passed.

also, i agree that there is very little chance that women in large numbers are going to get this, without first experiencing the hetero nightmare up close and dirty, for themselves. IF THEY GET IT, EVER. i am starting to feel very relieved that at least i “got it” before 40. although i know there are some young uns reading here (or there used to be!) that gives me some hope!

kicking daughters out of the house at any age evinces a lack of familial and social support, and is a recipe for poverty, and therefore heteronormativity. parents shouldnt do this ever. sometimes things are so bad at home that the girls leave on their own, or dont feel badly when they are kicked out. thats pretty much how i felt about it, i wouldve left the first chance i got anyway. i would have returned a few times to regroup and save money though, if my mom wouldve let me.

56. veganprimate - April 24, 2011

“I don’t think sex really creates bonds, I think unless it is handled carefully it can alienate, men can certainly be alienated by it,”

I think that oxytocin is released during orgasm, no? That would help to create bonds between the participants.

I think men are alienated by sex b/c they have such a negative attitude about it. I think religion should take a lot of the blame for that. When men degrade women during sex and/or during the making of porn, it’s not b/c women deserve to be degraded, although unfortunately, a lot of women absorb that idea.

Women are not degraded b/c they are inherently bad/wrong/dirty. If they are degraded by having sex with men, it’s b/c the men are dirty. Men view sex as bad/wrong/dirty and themselves as bad/wrong/dirty. When a woman agrees to have sex with a man, she must therefore be bad/wrong/dirty, too. Then, she is therefore deserving of further degrading (using dood logic).

That’s why so many men can’t handle a woman who likes sex or initiates sex. I dated a dood who actually said that if he didn’t have to wear down the woman, he couldn’t get aroused. He didn’t want a woman who was eager to have sex. The whole madonna/whore thing. A good woman doesn’t like sex and only gives in to please her man.

I also kinda think that that’s the reason for the surge in anal sex amongst hetero dudes. They think their penises are so dirty that they deserve to be in a dirty place.

I feel like I’m kinda rewinding back to my college days when I was into psychology, but I really think there is something to this. You know the old trope about how you can’t love others until you love yourself? Well, I think the reverse is true. You can’t hate others, unless you already hate yourself first. A lot of self-hatred happening with the menz, methinks.

57. zeph - April 25, 2011

“I do agree with Dworkin, (not SheilaG!) that there *is* hope for males, but they are castrated from birth by patriarchy. LIttle boys *do* see life in flowers and butterflies, but by the time they hit their teens they can’t even see life in a prostitute’s eyes.

So yes sons raised outside of patriarchy would be different, but while patriarchy is still around then no, you can’t have male babies and children around”

Ah, Cherry, Andrea had a lot more faith in the reformability of men than I have. I believe within certain social structures they can be better contained, and that if we can give all children abuse free childhoods, when the boys hit hormonal derangement at puberty, they will be better able to contend with it. But this would require radical reorganisation, a return to matrilineal families, and different living arrangements such as the ones we have discussed above.

58. zeph - April 25, 2011

“I think men are alienated by sex b/c they have such a negative attitude about it. I think religion should take a lot of the blame for that. When men degrade women during sex and/or during the making of porn, it’s not b/c women deserve to be degraded, although unfortunately, a lot of women absorb that idea.”

Men have felt alienated after sex since long before religions were negative about it. I don’t believe women deserve to be degraded, quite the reverse. Men degrade women because it arouses them.
I agree they suffer from self loathing, the way they treat women it would be impossible for them not to self loath to some extent. But the alienation they feel toward women and our bodies, is primarily a self defence mechanism. Sex is dangerous to both parties, for women dangerous most usually in the aftermath, because of pregnancy, though also in the act, if she finds her self lumbered with a violent male. For men there has always been an age old danger to being in the proximity of mating: being killed by other males. Men come with a built in danger aversion to women that activates at puberty, from then on their perception of women changes. The whole point is it is nothing to do with women, though man (especially young ones) try and are encouraged to blame it on us. If only we were, thinner, plumper, more deferential, less deferential, taller, Shorter, more of what their buddies see as fashionable, etc. Then maybe they would be able to feel differently towards us. Anything rather than admit it is them, and if we were to leave the world altogether, they would relegate other men to be sex objects and be almost as nasty to them.

To me the important thing is that women should stop trying to change themselves through surgery and clothes, wondering why ‘it’s’ not happening for them, and they should stop trying to mend men psychologically, an impossible task, after the age of eight. They should see themselves with their own eyes and not allow men to distort this vision with their post puberty twisted (for innate reasons of self preservation) perception.

59. Undercover Punk - April 25, 2011

UP, I don’t think sex really creates bonds, I think unless it is handled carefully it can alienate, men can certainly be alienated by it, Their ideal seems to be to charge at a woman, shout and swear lot, avoid unnecessary contact, and run away again; until the next time.

Hi Zeph, sorry, I didn’t mean PIV sex or even, specifically, sex with men. I meant Ideal Sex, as you say, handled carefully. To be honest, I would not advise women to have sex with men at all. Even the non-PIV kind; men are master emotional manipulators within hetero relations. It’s just too risky.

I think of sexual intimacy as existing on a continuum of physical intimacy/touch that, when consensual and desired, is good for all beings. At the non-sexual end, I would put petting cats and such. Animals love touch! It’s good for humans too. As touch becomes more intimate, sexual arousal may occur (or not). I think that emotional connections are POSSIBLE– not inevitable– at all points on the physical touch continuum. This is why you might touch someone’s arm when you speak to them, or to support something they’ve said. Indeed, even assaultive touch can result in undesired emotional connection. I hope that’s clearer.

60. Mary Sunshine - April 25, 2011

With respect to what Zeph said, I agree, and I see it as mammalian psychology which in the human species has demonstrably led to the imminent destruction of all but a few forms of life on Earth.

Human females must act on that awareness. Not on hopes and dreams of magic sparkle fairy dust that will, after all these millenia, eliminate that aspect of physiology inherent to the human genome.

We don’t get to develop a new genome. We get to deal with the one which is now threatening *all* of our lives.

61. zeph - April 25, 2011

“Hi Zeph, sorry, I didn’t mean PIV sex or even, specifically, sex with men. I meant Ideal Sex, as you say, handled carefully. To be honest, I would not advise women to have sex with men at all. Even the non-PIV kind; men are master emotional manipulators within hetero relations. It’s just too risky.”

Yes, if you let men close enough to trigger your baby love mechanisms you can be in deep trouble. A woman should never suffer or die for a man. But sometimes she may risk her life for her baby especially, if biologically she is past having other babies. Once the big hairy man becomes her baby cuckoo, she is in danger of enduring anything, including pain and injury for him. These behaviours can make her a successful mother, but a complete loser in relationships with men. The right qualities, inappropriately applied.

I knew you meant as you have stated above, UP. But just thought it was useful to expand on your point and add that intimate touching alone, triggers bonds in women. You can get lost in that intimacy, without it extending to genital sex. In het sex, a woman can be made to see genital contact (with or without orgasm) as the reason she enjoyed the experience, when in fact, it was the kissing and cuddling.
As you say, the dangers with men far outweigh any pleasure they might give even, if they are inclined to do so, which most of them aren’t, because real live orgasming women are just too terrifying for them. Not because they don’t know how, they all know how. With women, when it is right, it is really right, once you have been truly loved by a woman you never look back. Of course a lot of women find themselves in lesbian relationships for all sorts of reasons, other than really wanting to be there. Sometimes they try on homosexuality because nothing else seems to fit! Male supremacy is a maze in which we are meant to get lost.

62. Undercover Punk - April 25, 2011

…intimate touching alone, triggers bonds in women. You can get lost in that intimacy, without it extending to genital sex.

YES, zeph!!

63. FAB Libber - April 25, 2011

The right qualities, inappropriately applied.

Excellent point. I always maintain that males use females’ good qualities against them (for male benefit).

‘Baby cuckoo’ LOL yes! They do.

64. Undercover Punk - April 25, 2011

The right qualities, inappropriately applied.

And: I always maintain that males use females’ good qualities against them (for male benefit).

THAT is the paradox of “femininity.” Oh yeah, that’s my new catch phrase!

65. veganprimate - April 25, 2011

“For men there has always been an age old danger to being in the proximity of mating: being killed by other males. Men come with a built in danger aversion to women that activates at puberty, from then on their perception of women changes. The whole point is it is nothing to do with women, though man (especially young ones) try and are encouraged to blame it on us.”

That seems similar to the idea that riding bicycles is dangerous. It’s not the bikes that are dangerous, but the cars.

I know you’ve said that before, zeph, that men are at risk of getting killed by other men during mating, but I just don’t see that happening. I can imagine a chimpanzee trying to attack a mating male, but humans don’t have the same risk in that respect.

FCM - April 25, 2011

fathers, brothers and uncles should be inclined to kill men who fuck with young women, shouldnt they? they all know what men (as a group) do, and they all know what men (as a group) are. IF there is any aversion to other males, could this be where its coming from? there is obviously a tension here, between fucking women and fucking women over, and not having your property (and/or female genetic relatives) damaged, by other men. this is the whole purpose of rape law afterall. men SHOULD be fucking terrified, when they are harming women. they should be afraid of the women, and they should be afraid of other men too. i personally am not convinced that they are afraid, but it is an interesting thought.

66. veganprimate - April 25, 2011

I can understand fear of competition with other men. As zeph has mentioned before, patriarchy allows even the worst specimens to pair up with a wife. If left to our own devices, women would be more choosy and lots of men wouldn’t get chosen. So, I can see fear in that respect that a better men would come along and the woman would just up and leave and go have a dalliance with the better dude. So, fear of a better man coming along makes sense, but I just don’t see the fear of being killed.

I hope you’ll elaborate more, zeph, b/c it is an intriguing concept. I think there might be something to it, but at this point, I can’t wrap my mind around it.

67. zeph - April 26, 2011

“I know you’ve said that before, zeph, that men are at risk of getting killed by other men during mating, but I just don’t see that happening. I can imagine a chimpanzee trying to attack a mating male, but humans don’t have the same risk in that respect.”

It is odd to me that you see males as being so affected by religion (in what is now a very secular society) that they want to approach women in a violent manner, and suffer from madonna and whore complexes ( I think they see us all as whores). But you don’t see the fabric of their evolution having any relevance at all. I think both things have relevance. Though religion in our society is becoming progressively less influential and was itself invented by the manner of creature that we are.

Humans have war! They have Mafias, VP, what do you think lies at the bottom of gangland, at its most basic, what underpins its motives and its profits? Access to female reproductive systems.

Males, at puberty are very vulnerable they are small and yet fertile, the females don’t want them around anymore because they might try to grab an unearned mating opportunity, and large males will try to kill them if they find them in proximity to females.
Young male elephants despite their strong mother bonds leave the herd and few make the grade and come back to mate. They sort their ranks out between themselves and only the strongest show up for the contest when the females come into season.

Males must walk back into a strong headwind of fear, in order to mate. When A female is fertile, displaying strong sexual signals, males think they are in a war zone, and throughout time they have been. Human males have formed a faustian pact together forcing us to reproduce whoever they dictate (through the edicts of marriage) and so keep an uneasy peace with each other. Despite the inordinate suffering and sacrifice of women under this system, it does not really work, collapsing continually into war and thuggery.

But humans have had other social systems, one where males lived freely and accepted female choice where mating was concerned. There was no marriage and a woman was able to take a man when she chose, neither were under any obligation to be faithful, but some of these relationships lasted a long time anyway. This system worked in a realistic way, ours does not. It functions as series of illusions sustained by violence, it cannot promote the human genome healthily, it cannot sustain its exploitation of the resources of the earth, it is an entirely male worldview a hopeless distortion of ultimate reality.

68. zeph - April 26, 2011

“fathers, brothers and uncles should be inclined to kill men who fuck with young women, shouldnt they? they all know what men (as a group) do, and they all know what men (as a group) are.”

The trouble is fcm, that without forcing women into cages, father is a false category. They had to team up and confine us to our houses before they could even begin to think they could establish a father line. At least one of the kings of England was thought to be the son of a handsome archer. Only the mother line is true.

“men SHOULD be fucking terrified, when they are harming women. they should be afraid of the women, and they should be afraid of other men too.”

They are afraid, that is why stranger rape is much rarer, than acquaintance and partnership rape; they are not sure which men may come after them. How they operate, whether they will just complained to the police or take matters into their own hands. Men know how sadistic other men are, they know the kind of things that will happen to them if they have messed with the wrong ones. Men are terrified of each other, most will hand us over pretty quickly to defend themselves. Thats the system really, hand the women out and save yourselves.

69. FAB Libber - April 26, 2011

They are afraid, that is why stranger rape is much rarer, than acquaintance and partnership rape; they are not sure which men may come after them.

Yes, I would agree zeph. Also, another layer of intrigue is that stranger rapes are taken moar seriously for investigation. Perhaps it is to reinforce the class structure?

The elephant thing is a bit speculative, but we do not really know. There is one thing we do know, the level that they hate us, and the collective bond they have with each other to confine and enslave us. It is all a very unnatural set-up, including the marriage thing.

The patriarchical line makes no sense at all, it is way too easy to be subverted. Many males regard cuckolding as some sort of hobby too. There is that old saying “you always know who your mother is, but you can never be sure who your father is”.

Certainly (as per FCM’s earlier post) rape was seen as a property crime against another dude (the victim as irrelevant/evidence). It many ways, I think it still is, particularly given the ‘guilt’ assigned to the victim, and only ‘certain’ victims are deemed worthy of justice. That would indicate a collective ownership of females by one group or class of males, and anything goes within that class/group. This is where stranger rapes are regarded more seriously, when there is a chance some dude may have ignored the group ownership convention, and ‘shopped’ outside.

FCM - April 26, 2011

I love the cuckoo image zeph. If that’s not just completely spot on, I don’t know what is. It’s fucking horrifying to think about though, because I have fallen for this one more than once. And so has every other woman I know. Ugh.

70. zeph - April 26, 2011

The elephant thing is a bit speculative, but we do not really know.

Well, the elephants are more illustrative than speculative. Though other mammals are not humans, they are males and females, clearly there is some parity of experience between males, they face a similar set of reproductive problems. In the same way that there is some parity of experience between a elephant female and a human female, in giving birth. Our social conditioning is so complete that it is sometimes easier for us to approach a subject obliquely. Hence the cuckoos and elephants.

“only ‘certain’ victims are deemed worthy of justice. That would indicate a collective ownership of females by one group or class of males, and anything goes within that class/group. This is where stranger rapes are regarded more seriously, when there is a chance some dude may have ignored the group ownership convention, and ‘shopped’ outside”.

Spot on, the organised acceptable rape of women and children, and the stranger rape which crosses the boundaries of other groups of men. We can rape ours and you must rape your own. In male supremacy, the woman is always owned by the group and never by the individual. So even the most powerful men have to share their woman or substitutes, with the group members that support their power.

“I have fallen for this one more than once. And so has every other woman I know. Ugh.”

Yes, most of us have, it is nothing to be ashamed off, every productive, constructive, ability in the world, has some less constructive creatures, beady eye upon it.

71. maggie - April 26, 2011

“intimate touching alone, triggers bonds in women. You can get lost in that intimacy, without it extending to genital sex.”

Dworkin described it as “the erotic diffusion of women”. So right she was. There is a portrait in the national gallery in London of a woman painted by her mother. There is immediately on viewing a closeness, an intimacy and above all trust. There was no way this painting was done by a man on a muse. That much I knew on viewing. The blurb confirmed it. Beautiful painting. Have been trying to find out the name all day.

72. maggie - April 27, 2011

Well I’m there in May and will post back the actual picture which is priceless and so anti patriarchy.

This is a picture that spells bonding. I want to do one in 21st century of my son. in the same manner.

FCM - April 27, 2011

Thanks Maggie. I’m very curious about what painting you are describing, I wonder if I’ve seen it? A painting did that to me once, it absolutely stopped me in my tracks. It was the lighting, believe it or not! Whoever was painting the painting included the light that was bouncing off his subject, big ceramic vases or something, and painted exactly what the light looked like…it was a reflection of the windows behind him, bouncing off the still-life. You could see the windows behind the painter, and the sunlight coming through, and it was the most amazing effect. I felt like I had traveled through time. I of course don’t recall the name of the painting either.

FCM - April 27, 2011

I do obviously assume the artist was male.

FCM - April 27, 2011

It was in a museum in Amsterdam, dont remember anything else.

73. cherryblossomlife - April 28, 2011

After reading about that spanish woman who murdered her daughter’s rapist, I’ve been wondering why men don’t tend to kill their daughters’ rapists, as a rule. Why don’t rapists live in fear of an (blood-line) uncle, or a father or a son coming to avenge the rape or death?
And I think it’s because men don’t possess the type of honour as that woman did. THey don’t avenge a daughters’ pain. The best they will do is get her a good lawyer.
Men kill and hurt for other reasons: for medals, for glory, for sadism. Despite what the propaganda tells us, I don’T think men would know what *honour* was if it hit them on the head.

74. m Andrea - May 2, 2011

Okay I finally realized you might be embarrassed all to hell every time someone mentions how utterly fabulous you are FCM, so er, apologies. You’re just so utterly awesome, thank you so much for this post.

And now I’m wondering why funfems never ever ever cover workplace harrassment, or do they and I just miss it? They do so like to pretend that we’re all equal now and the only injustice left is how we can’t dance around the stripper pole as much as we’d like.

This is EXACTLY the sort of thing young girls need to hear about. I try to tell ’em and most of them just act like this would never happen to them, as if men are so wunnerful that workplace discrimination hardly ever happens. And then they’re so unprepared when it does.

75. m Andrea - May 2, 2011

It’s worth bookmarking, is what I’m trying to say.

76. FCM - May 2, 2011

Hey ms.a

Honestly, my response to any kind of praise is highly dependant on who its coming from. So, thanks!

FCM - May 2, 2011

Also, to respond to your question, I don’t read the fun fem blogs regularly enough to know whether they address workplace sexual harassment or not. I suspect it would be a difficult topic to broach in that forum, as it gets in the way of literally ALL their arguments…like that we are living in a post feminist world…that men as a group don’t suck…that consumerism is good (so clock those hours gals!) that you SHOULDN’T partner up with female friends and relatives, that het partnerships and the 2-person family unit are the ideal. And of course, that piv-centric sexuality can be and in fact is empowering for women, rather than the CAUSE of almost all our suffering, and certainly 100% of female-specific suffering, and female-specific harm.

77. m Andrea - May 2, 2011

I do believe there is some powerful bonding element between lesbians… I feel a powerful connection to any lesbian I happen to meet on the street even. This has nothing to do with me ever having sex with women, it has to do with the safety and sisterhood I feel with dykes all over the place. I just don’t feel this way with straight women, again, because they are so male identified, so male accomodating, and even when they seemingly break free of this, they kind of bond with men. Or there are straight women who seem to break free, but they tend to be isolationists, and unable to come together for collective things the way lesbians so easily do.

No offense, because up to a point what you say is true. But it is only true up to a point and then it becomes false. Because it’s invisibilizing something kinda important.

How we react to other people in turn effects how they react to us. We are not simply reacting to them from a vacuum, and they are not either. It’s a continuous cycle of attitudes and expectations constantly reinforcing each other. When we expect EVERY non-lesbian to dump our group the minute she meets some dude, we’re forgetting all those times we said or did something which excluded her, or which let her know that we held her in contempt.

We simply did not notice when we said something contemptious, but SHE did, and considering all the societal brainwashing which tells non-lesbian women they need a man, well it’s not surprising that she eventually jumps ship because really, the contempt in which het women are held is something they learn to expect from het folks and lesbians. Except heteronormativity actually does provide her with more tangible benefits than she gets from a group of lesbians.

Really, please read the bit in italics again. Apparently, only gold star lesbians have “positive energy”. You’re not even limiting it to people you want to fuck, you are apparently quite proud to claim that every woman has negative energy if they’re not fucking lesbians.

Sheila, could you please define “negative energy”.

FCM - May 2, 2011

That tree has been thoroughly shaken ms.a. Sheila makes ridiculous claims she can’t back up, and even ones that can’t possibly be true, like that she is biologically different from straight women, YET simultaneously all her gains in life have been merit based. And straight women get what they deserve, even though we are biologically inferior. Very unfair of her isn’t it? No compassion for us poor retarded, at all.

78. m Andrea - May 2, 2011

er, that last bit came off as more argumentative than I intended. My point, is that you keep saying all when it’s not possible for “every” non-lesbian to have negative energy. Logically there’s no way this is actually possible. Plus by comparison it positions all lesbians as possessing only positive energy, and frankly I’ve known some seriously arogant and toxic lesbians who would throw any woman under the bus at the drop of a hat.

And yet it is true that many het women are so full of male supremacy it literally makes me sick to be around them. Anyway, I personally get around this delimma by referring to them as funfems, which come to find out is more accurate just cos all that male supremacy does tend to come as a set.

79. m Andrea - May 2, 2011

well I actually like Shelia. 🙂 and I have been dropping links to this post all over town, btw. Most excellent.

80. m Andrea - May 2, 2011

and I didn’t want to be rude, is what I meant. People tell me I sound rude when I’m just asking for clarification.

FCM - May 2, 2011

I like her too. I never said I didn’t. Thanks for the linkage!

81. Undercover Punk - May 3, 2011

I’m so glad mA commented on this post again, as it prompted more thinking! There are a LOT of words here on this web page, so please excuse me if I am repeating something that has already been said.

Sexual harassment, and the effects thereof, are directly CONTRARY to capitalist delusions of MERITOCRACY. It’s a threat to the entire structure of “work hard and you will succeed” because it makes obvious that not all persons are treated the same. Systemically, speaking. So to the extent that funfems are convinced that women HAVE succeeded in professional equality with men, sexual harassment is incompatible with their view of female success/acting like men.

I hope that makes some sense. I’ve been thinking about it….

82. So much for that « Cherryblossomlife - May 3, 2011

[…] from being forced to sell their body  to live. She gives an example in a further post “Welcome to the WOrld baby Girl“, elaborating on how women are forced to endure sexual harassment in the workplace in order […]

FCM - May 3, 2011

yes UP i agree. and i am glad we got to talk about it again too. the fucking fun-fems DO in fact seem to be avoiding this one like the plague, and as is always the case, there are REASONS. there are always REASONS! for everything! hello! thanks to ms.a for pointing this one out. its a glaring omission on the fun fems part. duh.


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