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Trigger Warning March 31, 2012

Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, prostitution, rape.
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i wrote most of this before the great cotton ceiling debacle of 2012 feminist emergency and ive been thinking about it on and off ever since, when i wasnt thinking or writing about trans.  tending to feminist emergencies is real work too, but the other stuff doesnt stop just because someones picked up the red phone and had good reason to use it.  ive been thinking about “trigger warnings” and going down the rabbit hole of what men are and what men do, and all the obstacles in front of us, preventing us from knowing the real, whole truth.  all of it.

allectos post on big porn inc has haunted me ever since i read it.  whenever i read stuff like that, stuff thats truly, truly “triggering” it changes me.  i dont know where this word “trigger” came from or what people think it means, perhaps especially what its supposed to mean when its used by those who arent being “triggered” (ie. men in feminist spaces mostly, if not exclusively) but i should think that “warning: you are about to be permanently changed by what you are about to know, and you are dangerously close to knowing it but still have the choice to know or not know at this point, its not too late to hold onto your ignorance of this one thing” would seem like a more accurate and honest descriptor, although its long and doesnt exactly roll off the tongue.  and…something to do with size.  like you think the world is the size it feels to you now, but theres actually much, much more to it than that, do you want the world to get bigger immediately?  yes/no?  if not, stop now.

and before you continue, there are no graphic depictions of anything in this post.  im talking about trigger warnings in a meta way, and discussing horrific sexualized violence in a general way.  not giving you an actual trigger warning.

the horrors that men perpetrate on women and children (and non-human animals) are literally beyond any of our (women’s) imagining, i think.  some of “us” and those among us have experienced some of this first hand, some of the horrors that really likely are a 10 on that scale, but even they, i dare say, cannot imagine the many, many other things that men do that are also a 10.  the horror and the magnitude of the horror registers and the memories are there, and the 10 has been acted out on bodies and minds but still, the details must evade us.  mustn’t they?  because men are extremely creative, when it comes to thinking up ways to harm, and actually harming women and children.  creative torturers and death-dealers.  if thats not the most necrophilic thing i have ever heard, then i dont know what is.  its also a reversal of the highest order.  they are destructive, in every way.

and in my travels, as i am sure has happened in most of yours, i have had cause to know about some extremely horrifying things that men do to girls and women.  there are no words to describe the atrocity of these things, not to mention the audacity of the perpetrators, and relaying “just the facts” would provide wanking material to some perv, so i wont do it.  but every single time i heard, saw or read about one of the many things men do to girls and women, it changed me.  the details were always different, and so each instance changed me in a new way.  the only thing that was constant was the horror and the misogyny, and the world getting bigger, and the fact that i identified, always, with the victim, because these things were always being done by men, to women and girls.  it is the truth, and i accept it as the truth.  and i resist and activate when and how i can, and i think my feminist-consciousness and all radical-feminist consciousness is reality-based.

10 was a big year for me. thanks nightly news (rape)! thanks disney version of swiss family robinson (gang rape reference)! thats rated G btw.

but.  i also know that there are things i dont know,  and that there are devils in the details.  and that there are millions, billions of details.  there are literally endless ways that men can harm girls and women, whether its planned beforehand, improvised at the time, or repeated or reenacted from somewhere else.  i suspect that during the throes of misogynistic violence that a kind of “creative” or reverse-creative energy is unleashed and men are able to come up with some truly unimaginable ideas and acts that a person who was not in the throes of misogynistic violence would literally be unable to imagine.  its as if they tap into a collective misogyny or hundreds of thousands of years of history, and coupled with their own sickness and the chemical torrent that accompanies this act and this being, they perpetrate atrocities that are literally beyond imagining.  and then they document it, and pass it along as a part of men-only oral and written history.  they never have to reinvent the wheel, unless they want to.  they can always take it further, and the next guy takes it even further than that.  its literally a kind of industry with its own industrial revolutions, and they are taking each other down that road with advancements in technologies and epistemologies and they are having breakthroughs and they have their own thinkers and geniuses and someone invented the equivalent of “gains from specialization” and another one came up with electricity and its entirely possible that things are getting worse.  from womens perspective anyway.

so anyway, about the details.  every single time i hear of another variation on this theme, it changes me.  the world gets bigger.  and in a very traumatic way.  if i were to force myself to know every detail, for one thing, i couldnt: there would always be something that was unknowable, and advances happening in mens horrific industry of misogyny and sexualized violence all the time so that some of the details would always be out of my reach.  but.   imagine that i dedicated my life to knowing the truth, the whole truth about men and what they do to girls and women, and that the whole truth included the details.  because it does.

i would be changed a hundred times a day, or once for every detail i learned.  every single one, every single time.  the world would get bigger every time, where one second i literally hadnt realized that the world i inhabit is the same world in which that happens, and now i know.  those worlds are the same.  this expanding world would expand infinitely, there would be no end of it.  because of the details.  and where that kind of change would be happening to any of us daily, if we made the commitment to know about it, about the details, everything else would be required to remain the same.  same job.  same dick-pleasing job requirements.  same schedule.  same clothes.  most of our patriarchally-defined worlds are not compatible with this much, or this kind of change.  this is deliberate.

this world could keep expanding forever. do you want it to? why/why not?

you cant stay up all night crying, or your eyes will be all puffy the next day and you really need your sleep because you cant be late; you cant stop eating (or start to eat too much) even temporarily out of the sheer horror of what youve seen, because then your clothes wont fit; you cant call in sick no matter how sick you feel, and how sick you are from the knowing.  you cant.  nothing else would change, but you.  nothing would get bigger except your world.  which is everything, from your perspective; but thats just you.

so, i guess i would suggest that we might start thinking about that, if we havent already; and perhaps even zeroing in on the details of how to create a world for ourselves and other women that is compatible with this kind of constant change, and consistent with knowing the truth, the whole, entire truth about what men do to women and girls.  because what we have right now isnt.  and men benefit from women not knowing.  they probably even depend on it.

Comments

1. Sargasso Sea - March 31, 2012

When you ask a question, you sure do ask a doozy.😉

I’ll be back…

2. Mary Sunshine - March 31, 2012

Nothing to say here, except that you’re right.

The collapse of the money system will have everything to do with the matter of what kind of world(s) women might be able to create for ourselves.

3. yesindeed - March 31, 2012

thanks for putting this into words. allecto’s post had a similar impact on me. and my world got a little bigger a few hours ago after reading an excerpt from a book about a man who was born into, and later escaped from, a north korean gulag.

his mother was given to a male prisoner as a “reward.” he then impregnated her twice, under conditions of nonstop torture and starvation (described as a “liaison” by the male author). how thoughtful.

her rape by a guard, which puts her at risk of becoming pregnant while malnourished in a slave camp and of being executed for “unauthorized sexual contact”, is then blandly described by the male author as “having sex.”

creative torturers and death-dealers is right. do i want to commit myself to knowing more details? is my individual trauma in any way productive, or does it simply make me increasingly unfit to inhabit the world around me? i honestly dont know.

4. karmarad - March 31, 2012

It’s a balance. Women need to understand the extent of sexual perversion and violence (the same topic, I’m sorry to say) against women by elements of the male community. It’s a matter of safety. However, learning about the ways our sisters are destroyed by reading or listening is a trauma in itself. It has to occur in a controlled manner, when we are prepared mentally for the shock. And afterward, when we go to a movie or read a novel, we see, over and over, more destruction of women, glossed over (less and less these days) and romanticized like some kinds of porn.

5. tiamathydra - March 31, 2012

I was with three female classmates last week having lunch and then one of them said she was upset because she had found out that her nigel uses porn (apparently in southern European countries porn is not as widespread and normalized as in anglosaxon countries, even though young generations of men do watch it, and increasingly they are becoming pornsick because of globalization and we do live in a porn culture, but here there are still many girls and women who are shocked to find out that their nigel uses it), so then the other two girls started the ”oh don’t worry, it’s natural, most guys use porn etc.” and one told her: ”consider yourself lucky, because from now on he will be able use the techniques that he’ll learn from porn to give you more pleasure”. I swear to Goddess it wasn’t an irony and she wasn’t kidding.

Then I thought exactly what you say in this post: how much do men benefit from women not knowing? A lot, definitely. And many women don’t want to know because to know equals agony and despair and that’s 100% true. If you don’t know you’re also going to suffer, but at least you don’t get ostracized and you’re awarded cookies from time to time.

I do relate a lot to the trigger part. Knowing (or having lived) something that has changed and scarred you forever, as a female, and has changed your perception of the world and of men and of everything, and that will haunt you forever, and by forever I mean eternally across time and space, because you will never be able to forget it, because it’s impossible for your identity as a female to ever forget that information.

6. cherryblossomlife - April 1, 2012

I remember reading some news item on the net about 18 months ago, which was then being discussed in a chat forum. There was nothing particularly unique about it, but I remember going to the cupboard and pouring myself a huge glass of red wine and sitting at my computer drinking it. It was the first alcoholic drink I’d had since my second child was born.

And I remember thinking, “This has been going on all along”. ANd it reminded me of Greer, who wrote that when women were finally allowed access to education, it was not the studying that stressed out their little feminine minds (as men had warned it would be), it was actually what they learned from books that triggered their awakening. WHen they learned what men had been writing about them over the years. In one fell swoop, women were suddenly privy to hundreds of years of misogyny.

I think the sudden information glut of the internet will have exactly the same effect today on women as being taught to read had a few centuries ago. The intricacies and creativeness of men’s cruelty is just absolutely everywhere. It is infinite. Before we had access to the net, this information was closed off to us, but now there’s really no denying it.

7. mechantechatonne - April 1, 2012

Being confronted by how bad it is, how bad it gets, and the knowledge that it can be, and in some places we haven’t stumbled across yet is worse than we can possibly wrap our heads around is sometimes a bit paralyzing for me. The fun fem “our world is not equal, there’s just some balance that needs sorting out” view doesn’t come close to the hate and degradation that are out there. Patriarchy doesn’t come close to it, since ruling people doesn’t carry the implication that you’re kept up at night by fantasies of desecrating and dismembering them.

The internet is definitely a big part of my feminist awakening because it was how I found fun feminism, how I found out it didn’t go where I need to be, and conversely how I found out how hateful misogyny really is. I never really understood the connection between fucking, domination and destruction before seeing it clearly laid out, all I had before was a vague feeling of discomfort and frustration. Without the presence of both the rankest misogyny and clarifying feminism on the internet I wonder if I had ever made it through the breadcrumbs before being destroyed and having only to look at what’s left of myself to see the answer, at which point it’s a bit late.

I think that we hit one of those Newspeak, no words, walls when it comes to trying to talk about the creativity of men’s elaborate destruction of things, by the way.

FCM - April 1, 2012

Yes, there is a very noticeable deficit of language with which to talk about these things. The rape-word for example, while it strikes terror in all women’s hearts in every language does not sound at all like what it really is. Especially when its used interchangeably with the sex-word, and this happens all the time. The proper language does not exist to convey the proper horror and the reality of what men do and what girls and women’s lives are really like, and when we describe “what happened” bc that’s all our language offers, it just resembles so much porn. It’s a real problem. A real, serious problem of language which is one of the biggest problems (or successes, depending on your perspective) there is in life. Orwell knew this, as you say.

FCM - April 1, 2012

Knowing that our real life horrors resemble porn and are actually used as porn should give some people a clue but it doesn’t. Male doctors, psychiatrists, cops, lawyers and judges get erections from our relaying our stories to them when we go to them for help. This is completely unacceptable and could and should be remedied immediately by female only communities and female only professionals who deal with these kinds of stories and these kinds of crimes. Cue the mra, trans and fun fem whining about how unfair that is to men now.

8. ethicalequinox - April 1, 2012

This is just how low an opinion men have of us: they hand us a bowl filled with shit and then expect us to eat that shit as though it were the richest fudge you could find. After we’re done, must smile and simper and beg for more, lest they consider *us* cruel for refusing to revel in the male attention that they’ve been so kind to give to us.

“and men benefit from women not knowing. they probably even depend on it”

They absolutely depend on it, as these sadists seem to have found that the best *victims* are unaware masochists.

9. yesindeed - April 1, 2012

Male doctors, psychiatrists, cops, lawyers and judges get erections from our relaying our stories to them when we go to them for help
indeed they do. here’s a story from just a few days ago about a doctor getting off on his patient’s childhood sexual trauma. and then raping her. note the deliberately obfuscating headline.

xttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9169243/Doctor-had-sex-with-patient-to-save-her-marriage.html

10. tiamathydra - April 1, 2012

FCM, there is a lot of trouble with language regarding our lived experience and our perceptions, there is no language and that’s why we usually find it so difficult to express ourselves. The language in itself (all of them) is inherently charged with a boycott to women’s reality, that’s why I consider Mary Daly among others to be such a genius in creating a woman-identified slang in a patriarchal language. Hell, what can we expect from languages (’cause it happens in all the languages I speak) where people refer to the female external genitalia (vulva) by the word ‘vagina’ or where ‘vagina’ literally means ”sheath” in Latin? ‘Rape’ in the couple Romanic/Latin languages I speak, is called a word which equals ‘violation’, and I consider it to be more accurate than ‘rape’, but still… I don’t know. The language inherently boycotting the female experiences under a patriarchy IS an important political strategy and has been done on purpose.

And I’m also constantly surprised by how creative men are when it comes to destroying. It’s the polarity to women’s creavity isn’t it? Women are infinitely creative when it comes to inventing life, creating it, sustaining it, protecting it and dignifying it and men are creative when it comes to numbing life, maiming it, mutilating it, distorting it and degrading it. Perpetrating an holocaust to everything women create and are (‘holocaust’ is one of my favorite words to refer to what women go through under patriarchy, but still it’s not exactly what I mean).

Yes, our experiences are porn to men. They always think of women as porn. Every situation, every action that each of us do everyday, every part of our bodies, every word that we say, every breath that we take, is instantly processed by their senses as porn. Because in their ideology there’s no other way a woman can exist and she has no other place in life which isn’t the sex class. And women spend their lives trying to forget it because it’s an hostile paradigm, but men ALWAYS keep in mind the skeletal form of patriarchal relationships, woman = whore. Women like to think that men do sometimes forget it, even for a moment, but the truth is they don’t.

@karmarad, I agree with the balance. I often find myself receiving some terrible information (often through the internet, yes) and spend days obsessing about it and trying to unpuzzle patriarchy more through it and then somehow I need a break. It comes quite balanced, after some days or weeks of relaxing and just trying to enjoy life and do my things, I get some intense feminist calling which makes me miserable but I can’t ignore it either. That’s how it works for me.

@Cherryblossomlife… that’s what I wish, that the internet would awaken women collectively and have faith that someday it will, but nowadays… I don’t know what to tell you. I know a lot of young women who are perfectly aware of internet misogyny and internet porn and they are either male-identified and male-pleasing (some are even into violent porn to appear ”cool” and ”edgy” to the doods) or they keep the illusion that the guys are kidding and all guys in real life are not like that. They keep seeking male-approval at all costs. I’m devastated every time I see that young women are willing to do incredibly energy-consuming mental gymnastics in order to twist such obvious in-your-face misogyny into ”unimportant jokes” or even ”funny jokes that if I also say, I will get male aproval”. I’m depressed from the level of capitulation I see from young women on the internet, and if I ever post on boards with doods I often get the title of ”femiNAZI” so women don’t want the doods to associate them with the ”femiNAZI” of course… just disappointed, sorry. Many seem to think that if they capitulate enough, they’ll be considered the Special Woman superior to all of us little stupid women, it’s a cult ideology. I instinctively know that these young women as much as they think they have something to gain from capitulating, deep down are accumulating the information in their patriarchal files… my hope is that when they realize they’ve simply been abused and vampirized, there will be a breaking point and they’ll become furies like us.

11. Mia XX - April 1, 2012

FCM, I wonder if you did look at this stuff, whether you would have developed your feminist macro-analysis and understanding to the same extent as you have, and in the same direction? I mean you in particular here. Because it may well be that you would find yourself focussing on the abuse of babies and other harms, because it is shocking, and you wouldn’t see to focus on the normalised, standard reproductive harms; they wouldn’t seem so significant.

FCM - April 1, 2012

I have looked at it though. And I learned some things very early, probably too early bc my parents were both medical professionals and told me things they had seen that I was probably too young to know.

12. Mia XX - April 1, 2012

Hi FCM, I was confused about where I had got that idea from then I realised I was working off your comment on the Big Porn article at the hub where you said you were not very well-read in the areas of pornstitution or rape-crimes. Maybe things have changed for you since then. At any rate I don’t think your analysis suffers for it. Just in terms of usefulness maybe it’s better to have some radfems who do look at this stuff and some who don’t. Because I think looking at it can blind you too, like staring at a bright light. Doesn’t mean the bright light isn’t there or shouldn’t be acknowledged, but it can make it hard to see other stuff.

13. llaff - April 1, 2012

They absolutely depend on it! When the truth is found out, and it will be, their hideous game is THROUGH because the truth is not compatible with most things we do.

Going to the store, wearing fashion, watching TV, working some shit job: all are outcomes of the original lie, the lie that they are necessary somehow. They’re really just insinuating themselves into our lives and proclaiming their necessity to continue abusing us.

FCM - April 1, 2012

Ok, but well read compared to whom? Sorry if you got the wrong impression. Sheila jeffreys reads these blogs, as do other well known radfems, and as do others of us who have read just as much as they have on those issues. Exited prostituted women read these blogs. I am not well read or well versed compared to them is what I meant. I didn’t mean to imply that I knew nothing and was unencumbered by this imagery. We all know what we know, and some of us actively seek out these narratives and these details, or at least they don’t shy away from them. I’m not one of those people, even though I have had cause to know more than I ever wanted to know, in school, in my profession, in my radfem reading and in life. It’s not been my thing. I know others know a lot more of the details bc they have sought them out, or even experienced them firsthand. I was just never compelled to seek out narrative after narrative after narrative (although many found me) bc not only was it debilitating for me, I didn’t see the point because it was obvious to me that there wouldn’t be an endpoint to knowing the details. They are literally endless.

So what is the point? And is the fact that its the truth enough of a reason to seek out the details, no matter what? These are serious questions that I have. I value the truth very much, and it bothers me very much that there are obstacles to us knowing the whole truth, and valid reasons that I personally have for stopping short of knowing all the details. It bothers me that in this area, my life is not compatible with knowing the whole truth. And its not.

FCM - April 2, 2012

Also, whatever leads us to our specializations, I think specializing can be a good thing, as you say. It takes all kinds. Gains from specialization is known to increase productivity. Men know this and use it to their own benefit, and while they are obviously using it abusively, we could probably take that idea and do something useful with it, to benefit ourselves.

14. tiamathydra - April 2, 2012

Exactly! For some time I’ve been thinking that the radfem community should have several tentacles just as patriarchy does (replicate their own structures but against them) with radfem women specialized in the different patriarchal institutions… whatever female biology/reproductive rights/sexual politics, pornography/prostitution, medical institutions, law, psychology, media… etc.

15. DavinaSquirrel - April 2, 2012

Regarding specialisations, yes many radfems do. Perhaps this feeds into the topic of the post, in that it is impossible to know the details of absolutely every single abuse and crime against women that men do.

However, there is a difference between ‘specialisation radfem’ and ‘single issue feminist’. A specialisation radfem has a basic grounding of all areas, an understanding via radfem analysis, and will not undermine any other area (as less important etc). A single issue feminist will frequently undermine other areas of (rad)fem work as less important, and promote their issue as being the most important – this is counterproductive in the grand scheme of things.

And it is fine to be a general radfem too, and I think this happens early on in the radfem process, and the ‘proto radfem’ will probably gravitate towards one or two areas of speciality in the future.

16. Mia XX - April 2, 2012

I think some people find it easier to deal with knowing horrific details than others, too. I know I handle it better than some (and wrose than others). People in my life tell me things because they believe that I will be able to handle it. I don’t know why they think this, but they do. And I usually do handle it, because I don’t feel I have a choice. And I dump on other people because I feel they can handle it, and sometimes they do handle it, and if they do I rely on them again. As harsh as it works out for the people who are capable of dealing with it, ‘from each according to her ability’ does work. It’s how we work anyway, right? Women who need to confide about abuse they have suffered seek out women who they feel can handle it, and tell them. In real life. Maybe that’s how feminism works on the internet too.

17. Mia XX - April 2, 2012

Also, in terms of truth, there is a difference in positions between ‘I know this really awful stuff happens, and I know the nature of it, but I don’t want to know the details’ and ‘this awful stuff doesn’t happen at all, and if it does it’s because the victims want it, and it’s insignificant to the current status quo and it’s nothing to do with me’. Basically choosing not to seek out all the details is not the same as denial. And it won’t limit your thinking in the same way that being invested in denial would.

18. cherryblossomlife - April 2, 2012

In her memoir Heartbreak, Andrea Dworkin briefly a few details from *one* harrowing incident she’d heard about from the conversations she’d had with prostituted (pimped) women. (It was about the baby girl of one of those women.)
She only mentions this one.
Now I don’t know how typical the incident was among all the stories she managed to listen to over the years, but she seemed to be telling us that because this incident HAD taken place then…well, this is all we need to know about men’s cruelty and the extent of it (that it is infinite, and infinitely creative).
I’m not sure what my point is sorry, just that one detail can tell us as much as a billion details.

19. cherryblossomlife - April 2, 2012

briefly *mentions* a few details

FCM - April 2, 2012

Yes cherry, I read heartbreak and I know the situation you are referencing. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. She apparently had women approaching her in the street telling her about their lives, and she made a committment to listen to them, to whatever they wanted to tell her. I read a conversation once where some haters were talking about Dworkin and how looking into her eyes (through photographs I’m assuming) reveals that she was a damaged woman and THEREFORE we shouldn’t listen or defer to her. What the fuck? If they had read anything she ever wrote, they would know some of what she had seen and heard in her work, and that the truth can be damaging. The truth. And where the fuck do they get off on commenting on her appearance or her eyes or whether she was damaged or anything about her? I was so angry when I read that.

Because of that knowledge Dworkin gave me, I was unsurprised to hear that a baby girl was among the victims of the long island serial killer and was believed to be the daughter of one of the prostituted women who was also killed. There was some special on tv awhile about it and the cop who was explaining how that could be actually said “I know its difficult to believe, but prostitutes often take their babies along with them on calls.” Well, not only is that not difficult to believe at all, but the johns don’t necessarily leave the babies alone. Even though he was clearly implying that it was more of a lack of a babysitter situation, rather than the fact that johns often rape prostituted women’s babies. Even though being a cop, he probably knew the truth too. But he pretended really well. If I hadn’t already known better, I would’ve totally bought the half truth he was selling.

Anyway, when Dworkin drops something like that into her work, it raises my consciousness, although I dissociate for weeks afterwards. There have been a few of those for me with her, but just a few. I haven’t read “pornography” yet, or “in harms way.” Both are sitting on my shelf.

FCM - April 2, 2012

this was the special. it was uploaded onto youtube elsewhere but a&e copyright blocked it

http://www.aetv.com/news/a-e-presents-a-two-hour-original-crime-special-the-long-island-serial-killer-17203300

in the description they say the DOCUMENTARY is “a tense, psychological thriller about the search for a missing woman that launched a massive manhunt, turning up body after body — but not hers. Now the families of those murder victims become detectives themselves, trying to discover not only who killed their daughters, but how they were lured into this dangerous underworld of online escort work.” a thriller. its thrilling. these asshats know this is real life right? afterall, they are the ones who interviewed all the cops and bereaved family members.

and as an update, 2 more bodies have been found in the same area. its not apparently known whether they are related to the case.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/long-island-serial-killer-manorville-body-discovered-march-2012_n_1373150.html

20. DavinaSquirrel - April 2, 2012

a thriller. its thrilling. these asshats know this is real life right? afterall, they are the ones who interviewed all the cops and bereaved family members.

Yeah, of course they know. But, as was said above, all crimes against women are entertainment, pornography, entertainment value – hence the Long Island murders described in entertainment value terms. Patriarchy/menz just get sicker with each passing year. I stupidly think they cannot surpass a certain level, and they do, continually.

FCM - April 2, 2012

choosing not to seek out all the details is not the same as denial. And it won’t limit your thinking in the same way that being invested in denial would.

yes, i think this is true. its not the same thing. but i dont know of any other area where knowing the truth and knowing the whole truth are so drastically different. usually the truth means “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” doesnt it? its usually implied that they are one in the same. i do find it ironic of course that this “oath” of truthfulness (that its the whole truth and nothing but) was invented by men and the standard in american legal proceedings. this is also the context where girls and women are expected to reveal the porny details — all of them — of what happened to them in cases of sexual crime. and if they dont, or cant, or if they cant remember, there often is no crime. coincidence? yeah right. there is also no room for womens resistance to being pornified in that context. we have to submit to being pornified, or rapists go free…even when they usually go free anyway, no matter what we say.

21. Mia XX - April 2, 2012

‘i dont know of any other area where knowing the truth and knowing the whole truth are so drastically different. usually the truth means “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” doesnt it?’

I don’t know about that. I’m reading Scapegoat at the moment… (Andrea Dworkin definitely went for the WHOLE truth.) The Holocaust is something I thought I knew the whole truth of, but it turns out I didn’t. I think the same is probably true of apartheid South Africa, and of the slave trade, and of segregation in America. All of these things are things I feel like I know the truth of, and a lot of people feel they know the truth of, but the details and the experiences are still obscure, and are still raw and shocking when you discover them. I think this applies to lots of things. Sometimes there’s just too much information. Sometimes people just don’t WANT to know.

FCM - April 2, 2012

do those “shocking” details also include examples of mens endlessly creative death-dealing, torture and and sexualized violence? i think theres a pattern here.

FCM - April 2, 2012

also, there are those who claim to be experts in the very things you mention, but who never address the uniquely-female suffering at mens hands in any of those contexts. dworkin noticed that this was the case at the holocaust museum. jewish womens unique sexualized oppression and history in that context was completely ignored and erased. its very notably one kind of detail thats always left out.

FCM - April 2, 2012

BTW i am not trying to be difficult. this is something that has bothered me for awhile and i would like to get to the bottom of it, if that is possible.

22. Cynical Cynthia - April 2, 2012

I have a friend who was severely scarred by the time in her past when she was living in Vietnam due to her parents being in the military and a friend of hers was captured by men working in human trafficking. She luckily got away, but it happened at a young age and caused her to have emotional issues and even multiple identity disorder.

But the men who do this continue to just see the money involved and some probably get off with it. It’s stuff like this that utterly terrifies me and scares me from looking into more of it, but it’s still reality even if I try to avoid it.

That said, you see this shit in movies and other forms of media where it happens to women and children and only other men can fight against these “evil men” and remedy it, of course. This only serves to give the false image that there are actually men out there that are “good,” but in reality the “good men” just want some sort of praise for their “heroics.” That’s why they “always get the girl” and shit like that.

Which is why a lot of movies piss me off, but I digress. The point here is that this shit is ever-spawning and never-stopping, and sometimes thinking about it and looking into it is just absolutely impossible to stand.

23. Cynical Cynthia - April 2, 2012

However, we must endure knowing at times if we ever hope to stop it, because men are certainly not going to stop for us.

(merge this with my previous comment if you don’t mind FCM, as it should have been there at the end. I got sidetracked while commenting and lost my larger point. ;x)

24. tiamathydra - April 2, 2012

I think just as non-feminist women have an oath to denial (and men have an oath to violence since they’re kids), radical feminists have an oath to truth and that is a cross to carry sometimes, but in my life for example I see absolutely no sense in being an actress, it’s a huge waste of time. I feel that I need the truth, and since I have quite an obsessive personality I often find myself also wanting to go to the bottom of things and investigating, because if you ignore a problem can you tell me how the hell are you going to solve it? That’s why I can’t stand people who don’t want to focus on the bad things and are invested into positive thinking or whatever self-help bullshit. If there’s a problem you must solve it, and for me the greatest problem the world has right now is patriarchy and it’s impossible to ignore what kind of hideous monsters most men are and try and pursue a life with one of them. It makes no sense at all. As for the details, I have some tolerance for them and can stomach a lot of them, because I have received -and sought- terrible information for a long time, but everything has a cost… it does break my heart as well. Sometimes the misery just overwhelms you.

Yes, Dworkin was damaged, and so are all of us to some extent, so what? Since when it’s not legitimate or worthwhile to listen to a damaged person? (Oh I forgot, since we’re in patriarchy). I often find that it’s damaged people’s stories which are the key to understanding the wicked political system that sits on top of us. I read somewhere that Dworkin said something along the lines of ”I have learnt the hard way that in the patriarchy, objectivity means that it doesn’t happen to you”. And it’s true, I’m very skeptical of anything from ”objective” people who ”haven’t been damaged and therefore are sane” (LOL), I think the key are people who have been viscerally damaged and are willing to tell you the truth of what happened to their very beings. Because that’s the truth of the world, not some rich doods who go whoring debating left/right-wing absurdities on TV. ‘Anecdotal evidence’ is also a term that most radfems (and Dworkin made a lot of emphasis on it) think is very important, which is victim’s stories, but as is obvious, here in the patriarchy it’s usually dismissed as ”subjective” and the victims’ stories end up being masturbatory material for men. I believe that all prostitutes are radfems, because they live the hellish truth of this system, right from the bottom of it. So for me it would be much more worthwhile to listen to a prostituted woman than a male politician for example, ’cause privileged (and therefore undamaged) people are profoundly alienated and have an oath to manipulation since the most you manipulate the higher you’ll get in the hierarchy.

Regarding specialization I think most radfems are ‘general’ because our misogyny detector is activated and when you see misogyny in any of its forms, you recognize it. But yes, we could gain a lot from specializing, and it’s been happening for quite some time as well, but not at the necessary level to really change things.

25. cherryblossomlife - April 3, 2012

It’s not an answer to your question but Greer’s chapter on sorrow is quite helpful when it comes to processing the horror of the fact that while women GRIEVE each time they hear a new piece of information men regard it as insignificant, at best, and at worst, titillating porn.

“If we can agree that sadness is rational and that strong feelings are a kind of power in themselves, we should consider the possibility of deploying grief as a subversive force. If a woman bursts into a restaurant and stands over the table where her ex-lover is dining with his new flame and sobs and rails, we realize that her action is aggressive and powerfully disconcerting. The sobbing woman is out of order, embarrassing, unreasonable….

…When feminists protested against the Vietnam war they joined in men’s chants, “Hey! Hey! LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?” The words were inflammatory; the style was confrontational. The demonstrators invited retaliation and got it, with sticks and clubs and arrests. IF women had mourned aloud, if they had wailed and beaten their breasts until tears drowned the wind, the police would have found it almost impossible to beat up on them. If the next time our governments propose to make war on a helpless civillian population we were to uncover our grief and guilt instead of our anger, how much difference might it make? If millions of people can weep uncontrollably for days on end about the death of an Asian dictator, we should be able to manage mourning aloud for a day or two about the violent deaths of women and children…

…For thirty years we have tried to run the feminist movement on women’s rage but it was never present in sufficient quantities to drive us forward. IF we can find the ways of harvesting the energy in women’s oceanic grief we shall move mountains.”

26. cathybluejazz - April 3, 2012

“creative torturers and death-dealers is right. do i want to commit myself to knowing more details? is my individual trauma in any way productive, or does it simply make me increasingly unfit to inhabit the world around me? i honestly dont know.” — yesindeed

I’ve been grappling with that same question. Reading about the cruel treatment of the 18 yo girl in Ukraine, and seeing that video posted here about women abused on porn set, has given me a serious headache. For some reason, I feel that I must know everything; but as I find out it becomes harder to function. Yet when I was young and ignorant, it was so easy for men to take advantage of me. Either way, I lose.

27. witchwind - April 3, 2012

It’s funny but details never opened my world. Feminist ways of understanding them did. What makes my world bigger every day is new ways of understanding male violence, how they work, how patriarchy holds together, the structure. It’s when I connect the details together, when the fragments are put next to each other and understood as a system, this is what opens up my conscience each day a bit more, I always found it liberating. When I was like 11-12 years old, I was spent hours researching different ways in which “humanity’ did horrible things. I looked up histories of torture, genocide, rape, ecological disasters, it didn’t affect me so much because I was depressive and suicidal so I felt I was like these people suffering, it actually helped me to see I wasn’t alone suffering.

Then came the feminist “opening”, it cracked up my whole life, everything was turned upside down. I realised that all the horrors I ever read, everything I ever learned about genocide, war, terror, dictatorships, neoliberalism, colonialism, ecological disasters was because of men, and that all this existed only because they hated women, that women-hatred, appropriation of women by men mainly by rape/PIV was the ciment of all this. And that my whole life was determined by men hating me.

What I found most hard about knowing all this is how all of a sudden it projected me miles away from everybody and everything I knew. Everything was misogyny and death, all my friends, my entire world, everything I was eating, reading, breathing. What is unbearable is the dissonance between my sense of emergency and that we’re at war, and the tranquility of everyone else around me, I felt like shaking everyone and shouting at them, but I couldn’t. At every step further on the radfem road, the further away from people I went. This spinning further is what I find difficult to deal with on a daily basis because I can’t just transmit it to people at the pace I’m learning, which means I feel like I’m hearing a deafening alarm bell all the time but they don’t hear it, and have an interest shutting me up. Them not knowing (or pretending to) is antagonistic to my knowing. It’s quite possible that I’m numbed by the details, but less now than before. I cry at least once a day because I read more horrors, but they don’t open up my world. Dunno if this makes sense

28. Elin - April 3, 2012

“But, as was said above, all crimes against women are entertainment, pornography, entertainment value – hence the Long Island murders described in entertainment value terms. Patriarchy/menz just get sicker with each passing year.”

So true. Recently a Dutch child molestor (earlier having lived in Latvia and Germany) who sexually molested infants between the ages of 19 days and 5 years, and filmed it, called his fims “works of art”. ( http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=nl&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bnr.nl%2Fprogramma%2Fjuridischezaken%2F843494-1203%2Frobert-m.-kinderporno-is-kunstwerk&act=url )
It is not very hard to imagine where he would get that line of reasoning from, is it?

Everything he says makes it appear that he feels that great injustice has been done to him, and he emphasizes his “orientation” because it must be quite clear to him that that’s the only distinction between him and an awful lot of other males. And not a very relevant distinction either, given the state of many women in porn.

29. tiamathydra - April 3, 2012

I’ve been in a trial of battery charges this morning as a witness for a woman neighbor who is 54 years old and has been psychologically abused, raped and battered for a long time during her (now over) 12-year-old marriage, and impregnated against her will twice (she has 4 kids) by the piece of shit that her ex husband is, and it was striking how the women in the trial (the defense counsel and the prosecuting attorney, as well as other witness who is her psychologist -and I believe is a feminist since she also works in a battered women’s shelter) were much more sympathethic to this woman than the men. The defense counsel of the accused was a dood, and he only said bullshit to try to prove that the victim was delusional and hysterical because she was crying during her declaration and because her allegation was ‘incoherent’, LOL, men are so predictable. He also said it’s ”incomprehensible” that she hadn’t sued before, when she actually said that she was very scared and she had no family or friends or financial support AT ALL in her town or near because her family live in another part of the country quite far.

I also noticed that the victim’s defense counsel (a woman) asked the accused ”is it true that you used to call your ex wife ”whore” in front of your daughters?” and immediately the (male) judge said ”I can’t accept that question as valid because in a 12-year marriage that word needs to be contextualized since even that word can be said in different senses” and the woman lawyer answered ”but I’ve made the question because in the exploration the daughters have said that he repeatedly called their mother whore and slut”, and the judge still said he can’t accept it. She protested. I was enraged because I found that particular detail to be very important since in all the cases of battery I’ve seen, the man calls the woman those words, which are never an individual insult to a particular woman. The jurisdiction of all countries needs more women in it because all men do is to jerk off to women’s stories and support male aggression, and all this bastard can be condemned to is 1 FUCKING YEAR AND A HALF OF JAIL. I’m pissed off.

FCM - April 3, 2012

Yes WW that’s a great description of what its like to live in a state of emergency when you’re the only one who knows about it! Reminded me of more than one scene in more than one movie actually, which means that men can only dream and imagine these things and make movies about it while girls and women are living it every day. Or are they mocking us?

I know what you mean about expanding your feminist consciousness too, and its definitely a different feeling than the feeling I get when hearing the details and learning the whole real truth about the world. What do the details do to your perception, if anything? What did they do to you before you became numb? Did you feel smaller? That’s a size related perception which could be one interpretation of an expansive event. Just thinking out loud here.

Could be that a change in size is just my own perception and noone else shares it too. That’s just what I came up with when I tried to draw it and its pretty close to what I think when I think about it. When diagramming with circles and intersecting and concentric circles, concentric circles literally mean that ALL “x” are “y” where circle x is inside circle y. So here the circles mean generally that everything I knew at age 10 is included in what I knew at 10.5 but that there are some things that I knew at age 10.5 that I didn’t know at age 10. Or literally that “all my world at age 10 is included in a world where rape happens” and “all my world at age 10 and the world in which rape happens is included in the world where gang rape happens.” I wrote them that way bc I learned about rape before I learned about gang rape. The outward motion represents learning over time. Everything you know today is included in what you will know tomorrow, but there are things you will (or could) know tomorrow that you don’t know today. Visually I think that’s what this looks like and logically I think the circles are correct. I wonder why the difference in perception? That’s interesting.

FCM - April 3, 2012

it occurs to me that forgetting stuff would throw the concentric circles into chaos. LOL surely thats why men like it when women forget. i’ll keep my “baggage” thanks!

30. llaff - April 3, 2012

“I also noticed that the victim’s defense counsel (a woman) asked the accused ”is it true that you used to call your ex wife ”whore” in front of your daughters?” and immediately the (male) judge said ”I can’t accept that question as valid because in a 12-year marriage that word needs to be contextualized since even that word can be said in different senses”

Just goes to show that when it comes down to the wire, most males will defend their own every time at the expense of a female. This is a game for them.

FCM - April 3, 2012

Female jurors are notoriously hard on female rape victims. It’s a damned either way situation for female victims. Handmaidens of the p are fucking dangerous, and are often very devout in policing other women, and embracing the belief that if she does everything right, nothing bad will happen to her. It’s a survival strategy under the p.

31. cherryblossomlife - April 4, 2012

“What is unbearable is the dissonance between my sense of emergency and that we’re at war, and the tranquility of everyone else around me, I felt like shaking everyone and shouting at them, but I couldn’t. ”

Gosh, yes. This is disconcerting isn’t it! This is the biggest mind-fuck of all. If anything is going to eventually drive me mad it’s not going to be the details, it’s going to be this.

32. witchwind - April 4, 2012

Interesting about the difference between knowing the details and the analyses of the details.
I realise know that I think of it that there’s definitely a difference as to how I react to details at the beginning of my feminism, and now.

This constant state of survival, distress and war I was living in when I was a kid and which continued over time, even though it lessened a bit, probably explains why any form of atrocity seemed so normal to me. It was part of my world and part of the system. Nothing seemed to surprise me, I learned early on that suffering, loneliness and death was part of this world. I remember every step I learned a bit more about patriarchy, it always felt like I had already seen it, heard it, felt it, like it maked perfect sense. Perhaps I’d always put details into a larger picture because if it didn’t make sense it’d just be too violent to cope.

Now that I live more inside my body and relate my bodily feelings to the situations I experience, and experience my emotions more immediately, I react with much more sensisivity to details – I feel the reaction immediately in body whereas before it would just add a drop in my general melancholy. But what creates the change in size in knowing details (in my case) is the fact that I always put the details in a larger system, or perhaps it enlightens a part of the system that wasn’t obvious so far – whichever way I have to somehow see things in a systemic way otherwise they don’t make sense to me, and if I don’t understand them then I work on it until it makes sense. It’s kind of autistic really.

33. tiamathydra - April 4, 2012

Illaf, when the male judge said that I instantly thought that men like to dream that ”in some contexts” (i.e. sexual) women enjoy being called whores, sluts etc. Even if it’s a derogatory term in other areas, because patriarchal ideology is so absurdly dissociative.

FCM, handmaidens of the p can be almost as dangerous as men (I say almost because they can’t impregnate you and usually don’t have that much power, but think of Angela Merkel and her neoliberalism ruling almost the whole of Europe right now). As a kid I was bullied by two girls and I now realize the structures of the bullying they did to me were 100% patriarchal, dom/sub.

I also feel like shaking everyone around me and every morning when I wake up I have the same feeling that I can’t stand 1 more day of patriarchy, 1 more day of seeing my body exposed and humiliated in the ads on the streets, of seeing tv commercials about cleaning products by women who are portrayed as happy being slaves, of seeing female friends of mine self-destruct in order to be less hated but more despised, of seeing prostituted women from eastern Europe on the road while I drive, of environmental destruction and wars and poverty. And knowing that most people around me -mostly men- think the world even if a little unjust is ok, and most women because of ignorance, indoctrination or lack of resources not knowing that most of their misfortunes come from the evil system on top of their heads… it’s exhausting.

34. cherryblossomlife - April 5, 2012

It reminds me of this extract from Robin Morgan’s poem, Monster:

“Compassion for the suicidal impulse in our killers? Well,
on a plane ride once, the man across the aisle –
who was a World War Two paraplegic,
dead totally from the waist down,
wheeled in and out of the cabin — spent the whole trip avidly
devouring first newspaper sports pages
and then sports magazines,
loudly pointing out to anyone who would listen
(mostly the stewardesses) which athlete was a “real man.”

Two men in the seats directly behind me talked the whole time
about which Caribbean islands were the best for whoring, and
which color of ass was hotter and more pliant.
The stewardess smiled and served them coffee.
I gripped the arms of my seat more than once
to stop my getting up and screaming to the entire planeload
of human beings what was torturing us all — stopped because I knew
they’d take me for a crazy, an incipient
hijacker perhaps, and wrestle me down until Bellevue Hospital
could receive me at our landing in New York.
(No hijacker, I understood then, ever really wants to take
the plane. She/he wants to take passengers’ minds, to turn
them inside out, to create the revolution
35,000 feet above sea level
and land with a magical flying cadre
and, oh, yes, to win.)
Stopping myself is becoming a tactical luxury,
going fast

FCM - April 5, 2012

Thanks cherry. 🙂

35. Amananta - April 5, 2012

You know, I don’t need to be accused of denial for wanting a trigger warning on something. I am not in denial of anything. I know how bad things can get. I don’t think the trigger warning means what you think it does, given your post and interpretation of it. The trigger warning exists so those of us who have ALREADY EXPERIENCED violence do not need to inadvertently be pushed into a PTSD fugue state when we are not prepared for it. It exists as a fucking courtesy because you should know that a large number of your female readers are not simply privileged, safe bystanders to what you are describing, but survivors of it, and we have nightmares about it every night, and we may be in such a fragile mental state right now that reading one more description of it unprepared is going to send us for the pill bottle or a set of razor blades. That isn’t an exaggeration. This is reality for survivors. Okay?

FCM - April 5, 2012

That’s what you got out of this post?

I didn’t hear anyone say what you say you heard: that survivors are in denial. What? If I see a trigger warning on something, unless I’m prepared to dissociate for the next several days, I won’t read it. Most of us have experienced violence and dissociate when reading these things don’t we? That’s my whole point. Probably the only people who don’t dissociate and become traumatized from these images are men, and when they see “TW” they can’t wait to read it bc its just porn to them. Reading these things sends us all into fugue states. I will not say that those of us who have never experienced a 10 are privileged bystanders to mens sexualized violence against women, sorry. All women have experienced sexual violence under patriarchy, its part of the experience for all of us. I do wonder though why trigger warnings seem so prevalent on the fun fem blogs when they are mostly writing for men (the perps) and women who are all so enamored of the cock and convinced that none of what men do is that harmful. It’s like they are telling you if you dissociate from reading it, you’re the only one and that its bc you are EXCEPTIONALLY DAMAGED. When clearly that’s not true at all. I think the whole thing reeks.

36. Sargasso Sea - April 5, 2012

On a planet owned and operated by men trigger warnings are a sick joke.

Where was the trigger warning before I went into the store yesterday and had some cheesy perv checking me out like I was a piece of porn-ified meat? Where’s the trigger warning on my tv? Radio? Where’s the trigger warning ahead of the 400 millionth story about Trayvon Martin and how he’s being <victim blamed (oh noes!!) when 400 million girls and women have been victim blamed and 400 million more will be and no one gives a flying fuck, perhaps especially *triggering* when it’s a ground-breaking roundtable of “feminist” women (including Jessica Valenti) on Melissa Harris-Perry‘s new political show not giving said flying fuck?!

One doesn’t come to radical feminism *clutching her pearls*, she comes precisely because she has to know the truth, literally, as a matter of life or death.

37. Sargasso Sea - April 5, 2012

(oops! forgot to finish my tags!)

FCM - April 5, 2012

Seriously. It’s not as if its a rare occurence, its only a matter of degree. If we can accept that we’ve all experienced men’s sexual violence to whatever degree, and that we all therefore dissociate daily to whatever degree in response to the triggering things we see, hear and read every day, a lot of other things kind of make sense. That vacant stare shared by every female model for example is what men like to see on us, and it is what they see on us, if whatever they are doing in our presence is triggering and it usually is. I don’t even look at men anymore if I don’t absolutely have to. “Women in dissociative states” is what they think we are and what we look like all the time, but the truth is that we look that way bc they are there and bc something has triggered us. They probably think the fridge light stays on all the time too. Idiots. And if we aren’t actively dissociating, we look like angry unapproachable bitches. TO THEM. Bc the only thing that matters is what THEY see, and we are what THEY think we are.

FCM - April 5, 2012

It’s like pageant-face. And men trying to mimick pageant-face never quite get it right do they? There’s a reason for that. They literally don’t have what it takes to dissociate properly, so you can almost always tell. That, and the Adams Apple.

http://radfemworldnews.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/transgender-contestant-to-compete-in-miss-universe-pageant-afterall/

38. cherryblossomlife - April 5, 2012

I was going to write something about trigger warnings being pointless and/or a joke, so i’m glad someone else has mentioned it. Walk into a make-up section of a department store and you’ll find the ads covering the WALLS are BDSM themed: chains, ropes, whatever. It’s “art” innit. YOu can’T get through the day without being triggered. I mean, MAKE-UP! The woman is *already* conforming, but no, apparently that is not enough.

FCM - April 5, 2012

its only a matter of degree, and i do appreciate things like what allecto wrote about (things that are a 10 on the scale of horrors) having a trigger warning so that i can come back to it if and when i am ready to read it. BUT. dworkin never gave trigger warnings in her books. there are no trigger warnings in any radfem book that i have ever read, although i havent read all of them, and i havent read more recent ones like big porn inc. is this something that any radfem author uses? when i have read dworkin (or others) and she put something in there like that, i would read it and then involuntarily i would curse her for putting something in there so horrible that it made it difficult for me to function for the rest of the day; i would usually read her on my lunch breaks at work and i really did need to be highly functional for the rest of the day and i was compromised after that. but i was also overcome with admiration for her for telling the fucking truth. NO ONE else is talking about this stuff. no one. and many of the victims have died. we arent supposed to know about it and there are obstacles placed in our way at every turn. i still havent gotten an answer to that one, although i didnt expect to. im glad we are talking about it. i really think, for this reason and for the reason that it will better serve womens interests generally, that we need more flexibility and more free time. having to be highly functional and “on” all the time is antithetical to knowing the truth. its also antithetical to many women working at all, or enough to live on even when there is work available. the regular everyday dissociations are debilitating enough and are even too much many days.

39. Mia XX - April 5, 2012

‘Where’s the trigger warning ahead of the 400 millionth story about Trayvon Martin and how he’s being <victim blamed (oh noes!!)'

Ah, are you for real? Why say this as though it doesn't matter and doesn't count for anything?

40. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2012

Yes I am and no, I don’t Mia XX.

I’m speaking from a radical feminist position and I think it matters very much when ANY victim is held responsible in ANY way for the crime/abuse/murder/rape perpetrated against them.

When was the last time you remember a teen girl’s *profiled* (rape and) murder and her (sexist and possibly racist) post-mortum victim blaming get this much national attention?

FCM - April 6, 2012

Yes that’s a good question s4. The answer is, of course, that I literally can’t remember that ever happening one time. Kinda puts it in perspective when you come right out and say it like that. All rapes and rape-murders of women are based on profiling, and we are always blamed for everything. Men aren’t. Period.

41. cherryblossomlife - April 6, 2012

“i really think, for this reason and for the reason that it will better serve womens interests generally, that we need more flexibility and more free time”

Yes, women are kept running around on a hamster wheel in the workplace and they’re going nowhere. I got this fairly early on, and knew that young boys would be promoted over my head no matter how good I was at my job, but didn’t know what the answer was. I bailed out and got married [one for the feminist cause😆 ]The anti-capitalist in me was at peace with becoming a “housewife” (bleurgh, sorry, awful word)… but then I sort of went slightly batty, so that wasn’t good was it.
HOWEVER, I did have LOTS and LOTS of time on my hands… when you’re pregnant no-one expects you to be “on” and, yes, this mental space *definitely* contributed to my radical feminists awakening. I was in a kind of cocoon for a short time (until I realised that when you live with a Nigel you’ve actually got the enemy/oppressor in the house… but it took a few more layers of the onion ring to come off, a few more of the mindbindings to unpeel, before I actually noticed that bit.)

DISCLAIMER to young radfems reading this: definitely don’t go about things the way I did.

42. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2012

Thanks, Fact, for carrying out my point on *profiled*.

YES, females are targeted because they are female FIRST and anything else second. The 17 year old girl of color who is raped and murdered in her neighborhood does not get anyone’s attention because it was a crime against a female FIRST.

Trayvon’s case is creating such an outcry because he was a MALE person of color – the fact that he was *profiled* only matters because he was MALE.

43. Mary Sunshine - April 6, 2012

I don’t even look at men anymore if I don’t absolutely have to.

That is the only way I can survive having to be outside of my apartment at all.

44. tiamathydra - April 6, 2012

It takes a lot of poductivity and time to dissociate, and sometimes I just don’t, I’m not good at it and I think it’s because of feminist arrogance (which I think is a good trait), I feel that we have the right not to dis-member ourselves.

There are times when men check me out in the street (for example), then I give them the evil eye and some laugh at me (maybe trying to hide that they’re intimidated), but others seem intimidated. There’s a guy in my group of friends who pretends to be a leftist pro-feminist but is a misogynist pornsick douchebag and we both know it – he and I. Most girls like him and enjoy being around him because he’s handsome and appears to be very kind and ‘hilarious’ (not to me anyways) at first, but I can see right through him and he knows it – he can’t even hold my glance, he is nervous and does spend enegry trying to hide his fear of me (and no, he doesn’t have a crush on me or anything, we’ve known each other from school), because I’m the only awakened woman around him, I intergere with his sense of masculinity and scare him. It’s happened with other males too. Men are scared of revolting hags, so what we need is more women to become radical.

Doesn’t it happen to you that since you’re a radfem you feel as if you can read men’s minds? It happens to me and it sucks, but at the same time it’s a kind of protection. There are very few males of whom I have a good opinion right now because of that.

It’s true that having to be ‘on’ all the time interferes with liberation and knowing the truth, but I guess we’re back at harm reduction. We live under capitalism so it’s either to have a job or to be a domestic fembot, which is direct slavery in your house as Cherryblossomlife said. It sucks. But at least with a job you can try to specialize in helping women through it, too, and spend some of your free time trying to know as much as you can of the truth. It sucks but for me right now it’s my only option.

45. cherryblossomlife - April 6, 2012

I just think there is a correlation between spare time to dream, and a revolutionary instinct. So it’s not at all a coincidence that women are the workers of society, the ones who never have a single moment to themselves, whereas leisure time (which men have in abundance) is regarded as a sign of status. It’s a strategy, which is encouraged by gender discrimination and various other policies (such as the Labour government’s policy in Britain of getting single mothers out to work ASAP after the birth, as though they didn’t already have a full-time job !)

46. tiamathydra - April 7, 2012

I also think that. That’s why they have no problem with women working, even though they feel threatened by the aspect of financial independence from them, but they’re ok with women being busier than ever and all for exploiting jobs under the glass ceiling (they know this after all).

But what can we do? Choose the lesser evil, that’s why I and want to work as most young women, because what we surely don’t want is to depend on a man or anybody financially. Gender also has a lot to do with it… just read a magazine for women and our assigned lifestyle is trying to achieve (patriarchally-defined) ”perfection” in everything: be good at work, be a ”good” mother (since women are always considered bad mothers in the p), be a good lover to fulfill your partner’s porn fantasies, be a good caretaker of the big baby (your partner), buy a lot of beauty products and clothes to be fuckable etc., it’s a time-consuming, money-consuming stressful lifestyle to keep us busy all the time so that we DON’T THINK. That’s the real deal. Making us dissociate is also a good strategy, and also making us compartmentalize our time and energy. When I have the time I read some magazines for both men and women (Cosmo etc.) and if you read between lines, they can be extremely enlightening about how patriarchy manipulates men and women into gender roles.
I’ve also realized that here as the recession continues and there are more people losing their jobs or losing money, most of the ads on TV are for women, mostly about cosmetics (hair products, make-up, creams, shaving products etc.), cleaning products, pads/tampons and whatever else ”for women” -the patriarchy knows we are the most lobotomized self-hating class and they expect to get most money from us in times of recession (even though we’re the poorest class).

47. sheela - April 9, 2012

“Doesn’t it happen to you that since you’re a radfem you feel as if you can read men’s minds? It happens to me and it sucks, but at the same time it’s a kind of protection.”

i feel that a lot, Tiamathydra. Protected by my knowledge of exactly what men think about women. It’s one of the strengths of being an rf, that we know the truth about men; they know we know it; we don’t need their approval (I think it was the great Robin Morgan –love that poem above btw! — who called it MAD Male Approval Desire). We can get on with optimizing our chances for survival and building our revolution. Our awareness can help to inoculate us.

I’ve been an rf for many years, but for years I’ve had to be cautious of who i came out to. Thanks to discovering this and other blogs, been feeling more bolshy about coming back out!

48. tiamathydra - April 10, 2012

Definitely, the protection aspect is there and is powerful, it is really a blessing that I every night pray for more women to be open to. The thought that men might really have grown up internalizing a very different ideology to yours and the minds of even the nicest of them might be full of crap is alarming and horrendous and women don’t want to really think about it, but it’s the truth, so despite the MAD, the truth is out there… it’s going to get you someday and you’ll realize you’ve lost your life being a fembot for brainwashed mutants (males) who didn’t even see or perceive you (who you are) at all. So the truth is the only thing that really sets free, even if it’s horrendous.

I also don’t come out to people usually, but I have an intolerance for oppression/injustice so it’s hard for me to remain peaceful if I see some patriarchal injustice. It makes my blood boil and it’s the only thing that brings out the temperamental violence in me viscerally because it touches the depths of who I am as a female (my dignity) and I know they know they’re wrong but it’s still socially approved that I shut up and they mansplain to me. I’ve been called ‘radical’ (here it’s very bad connotations, as in ”fanatic”), ‘feminazi’, ‘fascist tyrant’, loony and so on. But fuck them! I don’t mind about having a good reputation for misogynists… actually, having a bad reputation in patriarchy is a good sign! (I realized recently), the problem with many women is that they’ve so internalized the MAD, that they think getting the MA means getting ”support and love”, when it actually doesn’t, it means exploitation and despise because that’s the only way men interact with us, so what do they expect from misogynists? I don’t care about being considered a loony by doods and handmaidens, the people who appreciate who I am love me both as person and female. The problem of the entire cult-like structure is that women realize it’s a losing game when they’re in their dying beds and since herstory is erased we fall into the traps over and over again. Some writing by Dworkin said something about the patriarchy being a stone and women being trapped in it and the stench of the decaying female carcasses is becoming so vile to us that we don’t want to be buried in the stone anymore… I printed it and have it in my bedroom because I envisioned something similar in a dream, the patriarchy being a stone thrown on every female life and body for millennia, and women struggling to get up. Today I’ve been talking with a woman with whom many times I talk about the patriarchy (she’s not into feminism but has a feminist consciousness and has been battered), and she’s into spirituality and believes in past lifes so she says women must have some sort of a cellular memory of their oppression and it must be all ”recorded” there and even if herstory is erased, we somehow will get fed up with it one day, all of us, and smash patriarchy. It’s a hopeful point of view, but I don’t really know what to think, maybe it’s just wishful thinking. But maybe it’s not and the end of the p is closer than we think.


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