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Male-Identifying Women July 9, 2011

Posted by FCM in books!, radical concepts.
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in pure lust, mary daly dissects the patriarchal process of erasing and replacing womens lived experience and female-centered reality with male-centrism: the psychic castration of women that removes the thorn of female knowledge and experience from the side of patriarchy.  or…removes the burr of femaleness from under the patriarchal saddle?  i dont know.  but apparently womens lived experience as women, constituting sexual class:female and womens awareness of it all is irritating enough to the patriarchal powers that be that they willingly invest much time and energy into subverting and destroying it.

through brainwashing with patriarchal propaganda, and literally murdering women who dont comply with patriarchal mandates, women are taught from day one that womens reality isnt real.  at least, its not the one thats going to get you anywhere, or anywhere worth being, and it could actually get you in quite a lot of trouble.  “male-identify or die” is the law of the land, when you are female.  obviously.

this is such a cliche!

and its not just a mental or a metaphorical erasing and replacing of womens experience either: men very nearly succeed in plastering their own objective experience of womens bodies over womens subjective experience of our own bodies…and the result is something truly bizarre.  kinda like…blasting a tunnel through a mountain, then almost convincing the mountain that the tunnel is really a train-hole. (!!)

almost convincing…but not quite.  the mountain always knows the truth doesnt it?  well, i dont know about that, but i do know that women never forget we are women, not really.  i mean, if you take a birth control pill every day, every day and can remember that much: that you are supposed to take it every day at the same time for some reason, that counts.  doesnt it?  and when a woman is “triggered” by depictions of male violence against women, medical experimentation, sexual torture, very likely because shes already been a victim of it herself…whats being triggered exactly?  this is a serious question.

terrifyingly, men and their patriarchal medical machine can and do literally mold and shape womens bodies in their own image, or the image they have in their own heads when they think about us and experience female bodies, from the outside.  and they have advanced their own medical technology to the point that they can make *us* feel what *they* feel, and they can make *us* experience our own bodies the way men experience womens bodies from the outside.  yes!

a very obvious example of men absolutely outdoing themselves in this department, laying a male-centric perspective over female subjective experience, is breast augmentation.  men imagine womens breasts (because they only ever see them and experience them from the outside, rather than experiencing and having them, from the inside) as two roundish globes, one right beside the other, approximately in the middle of the chest.  kinda like this:

these are not breasts.

however, the experience of subjectively having breasts, and living in a be-breasted body doesnt tend to remind the be-breasted person of fruit does it?  not one single time that i can recall, have my own breasts ever evoked anything fruit-related for me.  nor are they normally evocative of two roundish globes, side by side, approximately in the middle of my chest.  no!  in reality, the experience of having breasts, for me, is something like this, depending on the day and the temperature (among other things!):

what having breasts feels like. feel free to add your own!

yes, one day our breasts are for feeling, and may feel like something approximating icicles or a warm blanket (depending on the day!) and with some medical intervention, the very next day, and every single minute of every day after that, forever and ever until we die (or until we attempt to undo it with another medical intervention) hundreds of thousands of women are made to permanently experience their own breasts like men experience womens breasts: two roundish globes, side by side, right in the middle of our chests.  yep, thats what this probably feels like!  behold:

a freshly-minted male-centric female experience.

horrifying.  just horrifying.  and thats just one example, and an obvious one at that.  all female experience, all female knowledge, even about things that men literally cannot know because they are men, is dismissed and obliterated and replaced with male-centrism and we are all required to go along with the program or face devastating consequences.  this is what we are up against, as female-bodied persons under patriarchal rule.  this is the process of male-identifying women.

stay tuned for part 2.

Comments

1. cherryblossomlife - July 10, 2011

I read that after women have had breast implants they feel *more* sexual with their male partner (more likely to get turned on etc)

How is this possible?
How can a *loss* *of* *nerves* in the breast area make you MORE sexual?

Because if you live, and view yourself, through your man’s eyes, and your sexuality is a reflection of his desires–and nothing more– you have no authentic sexuality of your own.
You get turned on by the fact that *he* is getting turned on. By two round melons.

I considered breast implants when I was fifteen. I wanted them so desperately. I just wanted to look “normal”

FCM - July 10, 2011

yes cherry! very well said: getting turned on because *he* is getting turned on does evince a lack of authentic female sexuality. as does feeling *more* when you are actually feeling less: severed nerves in the breast are literally transmitting less information to the brain, so wheres the information coming from after that?

someone was musing here at one point that most men are really gay…if their idea of a “perfect” female body is really a male body with melons added, this doesnt seem like a stretch does it? thin, lean and muscular with no hips, so ass…and birth control is right out (ie. let her worry about it!)

2. Undercover Punk - July 10, 2011

YES. Feeling dis-embodied! It’s a PROBLEM for females. The normalcy of breast implants is a perfect example of it. I love the pics of authentic breast feelings! Scratchy pine cones, and super filled balloon, and sleeping lamby. YES! ALL of that!

And Cherry said:

if you live, and view yourself, through your man’s eyes, and your sexuality is a reflection of his desires–and nothing more– you have no authentic sexuality of your own.
You get turned on by the fact that *he* is getting turned on.

This is the problem I sometimes call “vicarious sexuality.” Female arousal necessarily becomes more mentally or emotionally focused, rather than responsive to specific physical stimulation– as male sexuality is. Further, it becomes more female performative as the male experience of the female body becomes the sole or primary focus of sexual interaction between the parties.

3. Undercover Punk - July 10, 2011

oh yeah, and I love this too:

men very nearly succeed in plastering their own objective experience of womens bodies over womens subjective experience of our own bodies…and the result is something truly bizarre.

ha! plastering male aesthetic standards over the natural landscape of the female body is exactly what makeup and hair dye, and tanning, and perfumes, and tight pants and high heels ::AKA FEMININITY:: is supposed to look like! what the fuck. it’s UGLY. and stinky. bodily comfort and function (health and safety, too!!) are ALWAYS more important than the external experience of “beauty.” one must truly feel out-of-body to value the way her body looks over the way it feels to her. it’s so sad.😦 (I feel it too sometimes.)

4. yttik - July 10, 2011

Everything is male centered and perceived through male eyes, including biology and reproduction. For men, having a kid is just a 3 second muscle spasm and that’s how they view a female’s investment in it, too. That’s part of the reason why they think we have to be monitored and controlled so we don’t just casually kill all our fetuses or murder our children. Because they would, because their investment in the whole process is so negligible.

5. Arghugala - July 11, 2011

Here’s the most recent post on a blog I stumbled on recently. She goes into enlightening detail about the circumstances and realities of her “breast prosthetics” (her apt term, not mine), which she was recently able to have removed.
http://phitmomma.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/think-implants-will-make-you-feel-more-like-a-woman/

6. maggie - July 11, 2011

Absolutely spot on. Women become reactionary to the desire they create in men because they conform to femininity. The natural landscape of a woman’s body is moulded to form that which upholds the male perfection and gaze.

Waxing: legs, pubes, underarm hair, hair on face, eyebrows

Facial makeup: cleansers, primer, foundation, shimmer, blusher, mascara, eyebrow pencil, eye makeup, lipstick.

Body: body lotion, pedicure, nail varnish, buffering, cellulite, tan.

Hair: extensions, dye, products too numerous to mention, straighteners, curlers, perm, shampoo, conditioner, relaxers.

Surgery: liposuction, botox, breast augmentation, labioplasty, anal bleaching, teeth, nosejobs, facelifts.

I vote we start a campaign to protect natural bodily landscapes – CPNBL. The list of ‘corrections’ is far from comprehensive, I’ve not even started on underwear/outerwear.

All the above to feel loved and sexy.

FCM - July 11, 2011

Thanks for the link argh. I’ve seen more than enough pics of boob jobs over the last few days, and hesitated to even post any here, but they are illustrative as hell aren’t they? We need to see the things we are talking about sometimes, before it really makes sense. Like Dworkin and mackinnon analyzing porn and the porn industry, and the pics and interviews with survivors they waded through to get there…its so hard to look at.

7. pmsrhino - July 11, 2011

This post just made me think of one of my new favorite tumblrs Boobs Don’t Work That Way. It’s both hilarious and sad at the same time.

8. pmsrhino - July 11, 2011

And to add to the above image, my breasts usually feel like really heavy water balloons on most days. On other day they tend to just feel like any other fleshy bit of me.😛

I tend to have a love/hate relationship with my breasts. I like them well enough and feel no real need to change them, but I HATE the way it makes men look at me. If I were to do anything in the future it would be a breast reduction, but even then I’m hesitant because I really just do not want to alter my body because other people are assholes about it. My breasts hold me back a lot when it comes to things like working out or just being more active, mostly because they bounce a great deal and it feels really uncomfortable both physically (for example, jumping jacks actually HURT unless I hold my boobs down with an arm which brings even more attention to the bouncing going on) and just mentally because I feel like everyone is just looking at me while I jiggle and bounce. I stopped going to the gym recently (mostly for financial reasons, but also for reasons listed above) and have just stuck to walking the dogs and free weights for exercise, but sometimes I wonder if other women have the same issues I do, where they don’t go to the gym because of things like that, either feeling objectified as they jump around in a room surrounded by mirrors and windows or because they’re breasts actually hurt from so much movement. I never noticed any other women in my group classes needing to further restrain their breasts, so it’s always been kind of a nagging question in the back of my mind.

I also often wonder if women who get breast implants actually regret it after a while. Not just in a “my boobs don’t feel like part of me anymore” way, but also in a “I hate the way men look at me now” kinda way. I never hear women say anything NEGATIVE about breast implants (other than surgery horror stories, but then that’s almost always a fault of the surgeon and never the procedure). Is it like hearing negative testimony about women in porn, it just gets covered up or never gets heard?

9. FCM - July 11, 2011

just wanted to repost this link from argh above:

http://phitmomma.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/think-implants-will-make-you-feel-more-like-a-woman/

i just read about a dozen posts from “phitmomma” about her breast implants and removal, and it was really very moving. thank you for the link.

10. T. Laurel Sulfate, Snarkurchin - July 13, 2011

Bit O/T(or maybe not!), but has anyone in the radosphere addressed this horror story (and it is horrific)

http://www.good.is/post/how-violent-sex-helped-ease-my-ptsd/

and the horrific fakefem reactions to it? Gawrsh, so empowerfulizing and ZOMG we are NOT going to say a single bad word about BDSM which we are totally not even talking about anyway so shut up. I’ve seen blog entries refer to people’s criticism, but I haven’t seen the criticism, just the gushing praise.

I actually got nauseated reading this. The porntastic description of the rape (sorry, “violent sex”) at the end was bad enough, but the whole thing got to me. Her writing style (‘screaming” is much more powerful and more serious if you type it “SCREEAMING” don’tchaknow), her complete lack of introspection, the way she sees nothing wrong with describing a black gang rape victim’s terror as “eye rolling.” You know, like Eddie Anderson when he saw that ghost in that movie.

Is this the male identified woman phenomenon taken to its logical ends? a female therapist advising a female client to go get herself beaten up because she choicily chooses that?

11. FCM - July 13, 2011

t. laurel, i have seen that linked to but havent seen a real takedown of it yet…i will however quote myself from a few weeks ago (and YES its the perfect example of male-identified/identifying women, and dood-centric problem solving):

the key to understanding dood-centric problem solving is understanding this: they begin with the premise that the “problem” with many things is women complaining about it, causing noise pollution and irritation to men. mens solution, therefore, is simple: get women to stop complaining about it, and the “problem” (of women complaining about it) goes away. problem solved! we can see this strategy at work everywhere, once we see it for what it is. women have been complaining about PIV for centuries, and have been suffering it for millenia: it hurts (or it doesnt feel that good, compared to how dangerous it is); it causes disease, it causes unwanted pregnancy, its coerced and forced etc etc. those are the reasons we are complaining about it: those are the problems with PIV, for us.

the problem for men is that they have to listen to women bitch, and we are constantly threatening to take away their sexxxay. you know, by saying no, and for prosecuting men for rape, and stuff, and things. so…if they can get women to like PIV, and rape, and male violence, to want it, to need it, to resign themselves to it completely, the problem (of women complaining about all of these things, which we have been doing for a long time) goes away. for men.

the “problem” of women complaining about PIV is therefore solved by PIV-positive rhetoric. its all in the way you look at it! its not really or inherently problematic, not really. the solution to the ”problem” of women complaining about mens sexual violence against us, is acceptance of BDSM, and increasingly violent “sexual” encounters being framed as “adventurous” and progressive (progressively more violent). women complaining about rape requires a double-barrelled approach (cause its a big one! we bitch about this one a lot): destroying women who do complain about it…and normalizing porn, which doesnt even pass the consent-test men have drawn up for it (ie. it normalizes men sticking their dicks into women under dubious circumstances, often with extreme violence, and features obviously painful PIV-centric encounters in which no consent-negotiation is visible to the viewer and the circumstances do not imply it).

but we cannot let the men who are doing this to us, frame the issues to benefit themselves.

im pretty sure i ripped about half of that off from sheila jeffreys in “spinster.”

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/dood-centric-problem-solving/

12. T. Laurel Sulfate, Snarkurchin - July 13, 2011

Had read that before, enjoyed reading it again. (-: I don’t comment often, but I visit often because I don’t find much sanity anywhere else.

I didn’t despair completely until one of the commentors on Feministe (I think?) said BDSM is good because it helped her trust her man and got her through some of her shit. Such a perfect illustration of what you wrote above.

Yes, Stockholm syndrome does inspire trust in your oppressor. Yes, your inability to trust men, which is a perfectly rational reaction to the world around you, is shit because it might keep some guy from getting his dick wet someday.

13. KatieS - July 13, 2011

Rather than helping someone recover from PTSD, it sounds like they are re-enacting their trauma, getting re-traumatized. These women are victims, to my mind, much like women who experience incest as children and are targets for men who want to prostitute them or get them involved in pron. It’s really sad. I do not blame these women at all.

On the other hand, it is a heinous philosophy, this so-called new feminism. It is not, of course, feminism. We give no quarter to this anti-feminist philosophy. I blame the people who espouse this philosophy as part of a whole structure. That’s why I’m glad for sites like these, an antidote.

14. Milly - July 14, 2011

Love that imagery, FCM. The soft blanket and the cuddly lamb especially. Wish I had the skills to counter with my own, but some that popped into my head include;

Gushing fire hydrant

The feeling of the water rising in a warm bath

A collection of hard rocks ( not the shape) but the feeling of hard, lumpiness.

The rubber end of a pencil, bitten and chewed.

Not surprisingly, they’re all breastfeeding related, because that’s generally what I’m doing when I’m reading blogs🙂.

T. Laurel, I was hoping someone would do a takedown of that too. I had a go on an Australian feminist mothering blog I frequent, but gave up pretty quickly, they just don’t want to get it I reckon. It seems so blatantly obvious to me. What I find is so weird is that they can talk about rape culture but not see that article and BDSM as an example of such. Mind boggling. Sometimes I think I just need to stay away from those blogs.

15. T. Laurel Sulfate, Snarkurchin - July 14, 2011

@ Milly, there are a lot of blogs I used to read that I simply can’t anymore. IBTP, for example. )-:<

This mess is just so damned sick. He said "I love you, OK?" before he beat and abused the journalist, striking her hard enough that he had to, according to her, put a pillow on her face so that when he hit her jaw he would not break it. (Such a thoughtful fellow!) Then he told her "You are so strong" (while I read "You are such a tool") over and over.

I maintain that nobody who loves you can keep an erection while hitting you, and that nobody who respects you can beat you because you ask him to. These things seem blatantly obvious to me too, but [sigh].

FCM - July 14, 2011

yes, the questions we should ask ourselves here (and radfems always do) is what kind of a person would do these things even if they were asked to do them? an even lower level of “coersion” to do horrible things to another person is that the person gives you “consent” to do horrible things to them. why would you WANT to do horrible things to someone? and why do MEN do horrible things to women when the women want it, when the women are ambivalent about it, and even when the women expressly DONT WANT IT? whats the common denominator here? its men doing terrible things to women. THATS the problem. the problem is NOT that SOME women want it, or like it, or have become accustomed to it or resigned themselves to it or whatever. if men didnt do horrible things to women, most of the horrible things that are done to women (and ALL the female-specific harms perpetrated on women) wouldnt happen. THATS the problem.

and this bullshit exceptionalism (one woman reports being HELPED by physical abuse in some extremely dubious way) obfuscates the real problem, and makes it seem like its an individual “kink” or whatever (or “therapy”) instead of a massive global problem where millions of women ARENT helped by it and are actually severely harmed by it. “choose your victim better” is the message to male abusers. same with all consent-rhetoric.

16. Milly - July 14, 2011

Thank you T Laurel and FCM! So great to hear the plain, honest, truth.

” you are such a tool”. Yep

And ” choose your victim better” indeed!

FCM - July 14, 2011

also, thanks everyone who added their own imagery! overfilled water balloons and chewed pencil eraser…i can see that. i downloaded a picture of a family having dinner too but didnt use it…i have never felt that about my own breasts (never used them to feed anyone) but i know some women have in fact used their breasts to FEED PEOPLE. what a concept!

FCM - July 14, 2011

of course, i mean to include just regular-old PIV when i say “do horrible things to people” with our without their consent did everyone get that? GOOD. 😛

17. artemix - July 15, 2011

Women don’t have to buy into this crap. Unlike rape you have to really cooperate to get your body mutilated like this. How about a movement like the one we had in the 70s that refuses to let the patriarchal consumerist culture define us.

FCM - July 15, 2011

well, i seriously doubt many or even any radical feminists are having breast augmentations done, but fun-feminism is another story entirely. fun-feminism *is* consumerist, thats what it is and thats what it does. and yes, breast augmentation is part of that: everythings empowerfulizing if you choose it, including supporting patriarchal beauty mandates and spending your retirement savings on fetish gear. it is, because they say it is.

but seriously, the consumerism is deadly, just deadly, to women, because we cannot afford it. we make less, and we spend more, and for what? to attract and secure male attention? the most dangerous thing there is, when you are female, and exactly the thing thats going to make everything worse, by almost inevitably draining you of every resource, mental, emotional, financial and physical, and not the least of which includes constant pregnancy scares, birth control “issues” and unwanted or ambivalent children. its horrifying. it really is.

18. KatieS - July 15, 2011

The problem with consumerism, too, is that certain things become the norm. Take teeth whitening, something harmful, but some women have it, then more do, both women and even some men, then you can buy the shit in the drugstore and do it at home. After a while, if you have a job interview, you may not get hired if you don’t whiten your teeth because you will look unhealthy at some level that people aren’t conscious of. It starts out being about male-pleasing and it becomes necessary to get a job.

Multiply this times hundreds, and women feeling bad about their bodies and not even knowing why. I just hated it when the tooth-whitening thing took hold, another crappy expensive thing that will cause women harm and money. It seems minor but it also pollutes the water, etc.

19. cherryblossomlife - July 15, 2011

artemix,
as I mentioned above, at the age of 15 I was desperate for breast implants. I wasn’t an idiot. It wasn’t as though I believed breasts should just be picked from a catalogue. But I was desperate.
MY breasts hadn’t even begun developing and yet I already believed the only way out of the misery: the bullying and the sense of shame for not having two fruit-looking globes on my chest, was by calling one of the phone numbers at the back of my teen magazines and booking myself in to see a surgeon.
It’s really not about choice. It’s about female shame, and cultural brainwashing. The marketing messages are insidious. It doesn’t matter how bright, or pretty, or het, or ric
h, or white you are, you cannot escape the female-loathing culture. We’re talking about a culture that promotes eugenics, a culture which thinks nothing of chopping females into shapes it deems more acceptable, according to what men have *decided* women should look like. A culture that insists the female torso looks better with two raised scars filled with chemicals on it than living tissue.
Some women manage to escape the brainwashing, and I should imagine those are the ones with supportive mothers or grandmothers around…
But, I really understand why women go down the FTM route. It’s more than brainwashing. It’s a sort of culturally imposed psychosis.

FCM - July 15, 2011

thats terrible cherry, and completely understandable. women arent crazy if they think their bodies are betraying them, and that the way they look can keep them down: women are RIGHT about this. they are just acknowledging reality.

and its not like your breasts didnt WORK! they worked fine, FOR FEELING, and indeed for be-ing breasts. they were both. but as you say, men prefer the melons, and we are made to prefer melons too. it scares me to think how many women would get boob jobs if they could afford them, or if they were covered by health insurance. i am very glad for AT LEAST that: medical interventions are out of reach of many. this includes SRS too obviously, although some countries do pay for this as part of healthcare. the US definitely does NOT, as we dont even get necessary medical care here, unless we can afford it, or unless medicaid/medicare picks up the tab.

20. cherryblossomlife - July 16, 2011

yes, my breasts work perfectly. They’re feeding a baby right now. I just cannot even begin to IMAGINE how traumatized I would be today, if I had gone through unecessary surgery that would have prevented me from breastfeeding.

I am seriously upset about all these FTMS going for hysterectomies. Not because they won’t be able to have children, lots of women don’t want kids after all. BUt because it will throw them into IMMEDIATE menopause, which means they will automatically be living in the body of a middle-aged women. THey’re at risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and an array of cancers. I KNOW they’re going to regret it. It makes me feel sick. IT’s just awful that men are butchering young women like this.
I hate them.

21. Feuerwerferin - July 16, 2011

Again a post that was very enlightening, thank you. I never thought about this before. And you are right about exposing men’s thinking. Fun fems manage not do it. When they talk about individual experiences of womyn (and purposely avoid men because they think it’s feminist to live in a bubble), men get out of focus. Which is a way to delude themselves about men’s intentions. Feminists need to adress men.


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