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Trannies (Men) Want, Trannies (Men) Get. What ‘Erasure’ Looks Like On the Ground. March 31, 2013

Posted by FCM in feminisms, international, meta, politics.
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ive been doing this awhile now, and i can report that i have been a target from day one or thereabouts, when the fun fems and sex-pozzers first tried to silence me.  this was even before i received my first rape or death threat — it was the women that nearly did me in!  granted, half these “women” were probably men, but not all of them.

in the beginning — notably, before i had even found my voice or gone anywhere near the ends of my thoughts — in order to amass currency and credibility, i was invited to “check my privilege” to the point of nearly (even clearly) identifying myself publicly.  (i declined that invitation.)  in the same vein, accusations were lobbed at me of various “privileges” (and continue to this day) inviting me to reveal details of my life as a “rebuttal” lest i encounter negative outcomes (like losing currency and credibility, due to all the privilege).  or to, you know, ignore it.

this is no accident BTW.  this “privilege checking” business mirrors doxing and outing exactly.  the outcome at least is identical, where the result is to make radical feminist bloggers more vulnerable to violent men in real life, in order to silence us, or cause us to self-censor out of fear.  this outcome — womens identities and personal information being revealed in order to silence radical women or original, female-centered thought — is what men want, and this is what men get.  handed to them on a silver fucking platter.  by us, via “privilege checking.”

luckily, even way back then, although this was my first blog, it was not my first rodeo — i continued.  at some point my focus changed, and i came to realize that what i was doing was qualitatively (and quantitatively) different than what anyone else was doing at this time and place (online, now).  very recently, and very painfully, and painstakingly, and like REALLY SLOWLY, as if i had some kind of mental block against realizing this particular truth as a matter of fact, i realized that reformist-oriented radical feminists have taken over the movement, and are trying very hard to silence dissent.  here is what i mean by that.

i mean that there are radical feminists who are without a doubt radical — they recognize the importance of getting to the root of womens oppression by men.  that is not a small thing.  in order to fulfill that most basic requirement, one must first believe in women and men — in todays pomo, queerified environs, almost everyone who identifies as “feminist” fails.  reformist-oriented radical feminists believe in women and men as sexual classes, and they want to get at the root, and notably, they have chosen to utilize legal and social reform as a tool to dismantle what they consider the root, which is usually identified as dom/sub.  the ugly part of this is not that they are utilizing a specific strategy towards ending male dominance — to each her own.  the ugly part, as it always is, is the disingenuous part, the silencing part.

to wit, and these are but 2 examples, men and trannies have been really pissed off about mary daly and her very existence for a long time — they see her as an “evil” woman (HA!) and resent her audacity in every way.  they have identified her “sexism” against men and her female-centered vision as offensive to themselves and thus they want activate towards complete erasure of daly and her genius and her exceedingly excellent work and legacy from the face of the earth.  indeed, if mary daly were alive today, her work likely wouldnt even be published, and her physical safety would be in serious danger because of the escalating threats and violence of men against women and the attempted and successful silencing of specifically radical feminist ideology.

so within this political and material context, where men vehemently wish activate towards mary daly and her work being wiped from the face of the earth, what does one (relatively) well-known reformist-oriented radical feminist do, in a public letter to the UN (subject: trannie politicking) but throw “essentialists” like mary daly and all feminists who think like mary daly under the bus — we are erased from feminism.  mary daly!  not a feminist!  because she noted that men are unlikely to be changed, and that its likely biological.  thats rich.  no, the real feminists are the social determinists, like gloria steinem — and steinem herself seems especially quotable when she herself is quoting a man.  srsly, read the UN letter if you havent already.  now thats good erasure i mean reformist politicking.

next, and of personal and political significance to myself (and others) men and trannies set their sights on the radfem HUB early on.  they wanted it GONE.  erased.  they activated towards that end mercilessly; notably, they failed.  and yet, be that as it may…has anyone seen the HUB lately?  gee, where did it go, who was involved, and what lead up to it — even more to the point, what has been so distracting, stressful and time consuming of late (erasure complete) for 2 of the most prolific radfem bloggers out there, 2 radfem bloggers who are decidedly against reformist politicking and have been calling shit on both reformism and the tendency of reformist feminists to hold out hope for men against all evidence — and why oh why arent they (they, specifically) writing anything?

and rounding out the picture nicely, including who wants/activates towards what ends for the HUB, and why, is this: “liberation collective” has just today republished a series originally published on the HUB — but “lib coll” doesnt mention the HUB at all, or mention that this is not the first time this series has been published, or where.  its as if HUB never existed, but of course erasing the HUB is the entire reason lib coll exists — it was created a year after HUB was, and hosted exclusively republished/recycled content from the HUB but without acknowledging the HUB at all, or the fact that the posts were *not* first published at lib coll, but in fact were created previously and exclusively for/within a specific context, and were first published “somewhere else.”  and what that “context” was and where that “somewhere else” might be was and is specifically omitted.  get it?  all of that has been erased.  a very fine point has been added now that the HUB itself has been destroyed.  from the inside.

now, anyone can investigate the connections here if they want to: are the organizers of lib coll and the organizers of radfem 2013 the same people?  was the owner and dispositor of the HUB domain involved in any way in either lib coll or radfem 2013?  if so, was it in a “public relations” capacity?  im just asking.

and for those who plan to go, i hope you will report back as to whether the entire point (intent and effect) of radfem 2013 was to advance the agenda and numbers of reformist-oriented radical feminists, while simultaneously erasing and negating the fact that there is any other kind.  and that we were very vocal, once.

this is what “erasure” looks like, on the ground, in real time.  in case anyone has ever wondered.  it looks like reformist activating, or at the very least, reformists and reformist activating routinely and demonstrably produce a very specific result — to erase radical feminism and radical feminists, including our radical feminist history and our work.  do they not?  we are absolutely swimming in the erasure of radical herstory right here, right now.  remember this.

Comments

1. tiamathydra - March 31, 2013

Yes, don’t know if they’re the same people but I have always *known* that Radfem 2013 was evil. Perhaps I’m an instinctive sort of person because I can’t bring any rational justifications for it but I’ve just *known* it. Erasing is their whole point, as long as they can’t eradicate, they erase and invisibilize, and then steal the energy of women who can see the patriarchy and identify the problem (men), and brainwash them into reformism. Lots of female work and sacrifice, again, directed at men, of which men feed like leeches. Nothing revolutionary and that could potentially change the system can ever come from female sacrifice because the entire base of this world as we know it, is female sacrifice. The whole point.

FCM - March 31, 2013

i wouldnt say “evil” but i would — and did — say disingenuous and silencing. i agree with the rest of your comment though, and the part about “female sacrifice” really hits close to home. what a waste.

FCM - March 31, 2013

what i mean is that, in my case, i sacrificed a hell of a lot for the HUB and to keep it going. the point was that we were creating and maintaining a radical archives that would survive over time. i think that in particular is a worthwhile and radical goal, but in the end, it wasnt protected by those to whom it had been entrusted, and was even deliberately undermined multiple times along the way, such as the treatment/erasure by liberation collective (which only or primarily sought to “liberate” certain posts from the HUB, and women from their memories apparently).

dont *i* feel silly! and exhausted, and spent, and a lot of other things. how much energy is being wasted by the ones doing the destroying for that matter? this is really unbelievably disturbing.

2. witchwind - March 31, 2013

The resistance to logic and common sense is always very strong in patriarchy, and it is deliberate: to prevent liberation from male lies, mindbindings. And to resist logic and common sense, it takes silencing others who say what’s logical and common sense, otherwise, to look at the truth in the face, one would need to confront the REASONS why we resist the truth, and therefore confront our own grievances and pain. more than anything else, this is what keeps us away from truth: we don’t want to let go of what we thought gave us an “illusionary” place in the world, a status that men gave us (so we think we have a stake in their system) to falsely compensate for the abuse and annihilation we suffered and still suffer. Only everything men give us from their system is a circular and deadly TRAP, because it feeds on our abused and mindbinded souls, it needs the soul to remain for ever abused, eaten up, mindbinded, crippled, dissociated, whatever – for the patriarchal “reward” to work.

I think truth plays on a very existential level, even if that doesn’t excuse and justify the silencing.

They are silencing other radical feminists as much as they are silencing themselves. organisation is done simply for the sake of organising, to fool themselves and others that something is being done, to fill in what is considered a void (outside male existence), because the background, the innerground is not seen, or does not want to be seen, because to see it means to let go of the maleland. These kind of events transmit anxiety emptyness, or disconnection from life. This is empty ritualism, to act in a compulsive and non-thought way to compensate for lack of being.

Anyway, these are my immediate thoughts.

3. witchwind - March 31, 2013

And I must add that this is not specific to RadFem2013 at all. It is actually the very common, dominant, normal mode in male land. And there are probably very good intentions too. Rigid clinging on lies to keep the truth away because the truth might hurt, and therefore silencing those who say the truth, or try to, is a normal reaction in Patriarchy because this is what we are groomed for. When your whole subjectivity, sense of self, identity, career, life vocation is built on a lie, or on partial perversion or hiding of truth, to rip the lie off might hurt. Protection of lies only go through violence against others and violence against oneself. This works on systemic + individual level.

4. tiamathydra - March 31, 2013

The day women place themselves and their sisters as the center of the universe and the rest at the periphery and decide not to ever allow vampires (i.e. men) to suck their blood, everything will start to change. Reformism is the same as, say, catholicism, or pornography. The energetic paradigms are the exact same. It doesn’t work because it IS patriarchy repeating itself. The best would be embracing the background and go wherever it takes us, I believe.

5. witchwind - March 31, 2013

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to tell the truth though. Because to perpetuate a lie because we fear the other will be hurt by it is at best condescension and assuming we don’t deserve to be told the truth. The truth is always liberating. Always.

6. GallusMag - March 31, 2013

Reblogged this on GenderTrender and commented:
From FCM: ” we are absolutely swimming in the erasure of radical herstory right here, right now. remember this.”
An important post.

7. witchwind - March 31, 2013

Sooo, more and more in my practice in radical feminism I realise that some women are ready to hear what you have to say, and others not so. For those who aren’t, what matters then I think, isn’t so much repeating the truth but to try to work out what is it that keeps them away from it. And also we might encounter resistance at first when it might take years to for the insight to seep in and take ground in our lives.

8. witchwind - March 31, 2013

And this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t protect ourselves from women who silence others and work in destructive ways.

9. witchwind - March 31, 2013

“The energetic paradigms are the exact same. It doesn’t work because it IS patriarchy repeating itself.” I agree!

10. witchwind - March 31, 2013

The structure, relational / energetic pattern and substance is patriarchal. It has the same quality, same feel, same purpose, same effect

11. GallusMag - March 31, 2013

Reformism is a band-aid. I think this post makes an error in assuming that those of us desperately handing out band-aids delusionally believe that doing so will stop the hemorrhage. We do not. At least I don’t.

12. GallusMag - March 31, 2013

” if mary daly were alive today, her work likely wouldnt even be published, and her physical safety would be in serious danger…” That is really true about Mary Daly. That makes me so fucking angry!

FCM - March 31, 2013

its the disingenuousness and the silencing of “the others” thats the problem IMO gallus. if you arent doing either one, then i wasnt talking about you. thanks for clarifying your position.

13. mieprowan - March 31, 2013

Abusers don’t stop unless they have no other choice. To the extent that one sees men as abusive, negotiation and teaching are a waste of time.

FCM - March 31, 2013

in other words, waste your time, what do i care? i DO care however about women coercing and thought terminating other women into believing that this shit actually works, or is likely to work, or is the only option. part of the way this coersion and thought termination is happening RIGHT NOW is by silencing and erasing.

BTW i do think that some reformists are better suited for it than others, and that some work is more valuable or effective than others. not everyone can be a gendertrender, you know? so at the same time all of this is happening, i also think some are being mislead into believing that THEY are being effective alongside the VERY FEW women who are able to be (relatively?) effective reformists — that they feel like they are doing something, when really they are doing NOTHING. i do think that it takes a lot out of all of us, including the women who are good at it though, and so far im not sure what the payoff really is IF ANY. i would like to see a term of service implemented in almost all cases of reformist activating, if not every case, to avoid killing ourselves through lifelong or sustained stress, exhaustion (and ineffectualness).

FCM - April 1, 2013

also, i think that those who “delusionally believe” reformism has a chance or a good chance of working — against all evidence to the contrary — might be more willing to, say, intimate that mary daly wasnt really a feminist, and that gloria steinem really is. those, and perhaps the more blatant liars, who are willing to put forth that IMAGE even though it doesnt correspond with an actual belief for political reasons — to be male pleasing to accomplish a specific goal (not womens liberation from male dominance). this weirdness and hidden/sikkrit agendas or counterintuitive politicking leave others to not understand what just happened, or to think that mary daly was an evol essentialist, or a bad feminist (which isnt true) *and* that saying these things is likely to lead to FEMINIST SUCCESS and not to anything else. like erasure of real feminists, and real feminism.

this is such complete bullshit. i have pretty much had it at this point.

FCM - April 1, 2013

i mean MAYBE if this shit actually WORKED, whats a little LYING and misdirection right? even if its likely to confuse people, or introduce uncomfortable dissonance…OKAY…MAYBE…

but it doesnt even work! thats the thing thats so stupid about it. and why its unambiguously (at this point) WRONG to confuse people this way, or to lie. its literally FOR NOTHING, so we are losing everything if we throw away the truth, including our foremothers and everything we know about them, and know *because* of them. the truth is all we have left.

14. girlsoftheinternet - April 1, 2013

I guess I don’t understand why it is so important to state that men are biologically predisposed to violent oppressive and suppressive behavior towards women (and each other). It is perfectly cogent to believe in the power of social forces while still maintaining that men are very unlikely to change (because the social structure suits them so well), with the same conclusion that we should focus exclusively on women and forget about convincing men to treat us like human beings.

FWIW what I’m hoping to get from radfem2013 is anything but reformist thinking.

(First time poster, long time reader. I’m not privy to the details of the radical HUB/ lib collective split or the ins and outs of the demise of the hub obviously, so feel free to spam. I just get stuck on biological vs reformist issue because I think it is a false dichotomy.)

FCM - April 1, 2013

nice framing of the question. why not ask it this way: why is it so important *to reformist-oriented radical feminists* to deny the existence of essentialists within the movement, as well as the existence of those who dont care either way? because it obviously is. *they* AND ONLY THEY need to pretend and do pretend that they are the only ones who are “real” feminists, even if that means gloria steinem is a real feminist, and mary daly isnt.

this isnt a rhetorical question BTW. it has an answer and needs to be discussed. and *if* reformists actually believed men arent going to change, would they be spending so much time trying to get them to change (and to change the rules)? honestly, i dont think you thought out your question AT ALL before you asked it.

i do hope you find whatever you are looking for at RF13 though. good luck with that!

15. radikit - April 1, 2013

I’m very confused by your post. I’m going to go to radfem 2013 and getting really excited to meet all the women I have so far only spoken to via facebook. What do you mean by “erasing” and “silencing” though? It doesn’t ring a bell, is there something I’m not seeing or I don’t know? It seems that way. I don’t think that a conference like radfem13 is going to abolish patriarchy (duh), but whats wrong with trying to meet and talking about patriarchy and trying to establish some connections for possible future activism?
Also, I read the UN letter but I don’t get where Mary Daly is being erased. I agree though that Gloria Steinem is not the best source to quote (especially when deferentially quoting a dood herself).
Could you elaborate on where you think pro-separatists are being erased? I’m really scratching my head right now.

Also, happy you’re writing again! I was getting really impatient😉

16. girlsoftheinternet - April 1, 2013

I guess I can’t answer that question because it isn’t clear to me exactly who you are talking about. I know that in libfem circles it is an attempt to make feminism less threatening to men (largely due to the dominant prescence of men in the movement) and I believe that other more radical minded feminists are driven by a sense of fairness and an attempt not to alienate people (however misguided). Perhaps a fear of really accepting what is necessary. It may be outright hostility but I’m less inclined to believe that.

From my own perspective, talk of biological inferiority makes me uncomfortable as it has always previously been used as rhetoric for destructive and distinctly un-humanitarian ends. Including towards women as a class. It just doesn’t strike me as radical. I see a huge difference in that it has previously been the dominant group seeking to justify their treatment of an oppressed group, but even so I can’t get behind that rhetoric. Apart from this ethical point, given the social conditioning of women under patriarchy, who knows what women are biologically ‘really’ like to compare to men?

Thanks for the well wishes re:radfem2013. I’m hoping to kick start some changes in my life. Your writings on piv has been invaluable to me recently, incidentally, so thank you.

Oh, and I have thought about this a lot. That doesn’t make my thoughts or conclusions any better, but I am a least approaching it thoughtfully and, hopefully, respectably.

FCM - April 4, 2013

i have removed the password protect and comments will remain open as long as people are discussing. sorry for the delay.

i see from some of the comments here that people are confused about the connections i am making. but i also have reports that it all “swims into focus” upon re-reading. so i encourage re-reading for any who arent clear. i also know that some reading here know what i am talking about immediately. so im sorry if this is specifically and immediately relevant to some readers and not others. let me boil it down.

reformist politicking and reformist politickers kill radical space. we know this is true for non-radical feminists — men and fun fems for example will destroy any radical content they come in contact with. this is seen easily when they are let into our conversations, and its why i dont allow it anymore on this blog.

but we also see that reformist activating WITHIN RADICAL FEMINISM destroys radical work and erases radical feminists. this destruction is literal and more literal. i think some of this destruction is deliberate, as with the destruction of the HUB that occurred when the domain was allowed to expire, as well as the erasure that happened when “lib coll” pillaged the archives of the HUB without giving credit or mentioning the HUB at all.

but i also think that some of this destruction more or less JUST HAPPENS and seems to be an almost inevitable result of reformism. it might not be “deliberate” as much as its just an organic result, like a rotting or spoiling that “just happens.” since some (many? the majority?) of radical feminists engage in reformism, this is something that needs to be discussed. in particular, as its highly relevant right now, scoring points with trannie politickers is not worth throwing mary daly (and other “essentialist” or non-social-determinist radical feminists) under the bus by denying that they are feminists at all. this is inexcusable erasure and frankly lying. and seeing as how reformism doesnt work, its hardly worth it now is it?

FCM - April 4, 2013

i will also note that we see the same result — destruction of radical space — when “privilege checking” is entered into the conversation. the result is to derail, but within a larger context i think its another example of nonradical ideology killing radical space (and conversation). its dangerous to our radical spaces and our safety (DUH) because of the personal information thats likely to be revealed. and therefore, for both reasons, people should cut it out.

FCM - April 4, 2013

and this is the part of the UN letter i was referencing, which denies that “essentialist” thinkers are feminists at all.

I do not wish to dismiss the feelings or experiences of trans* individuals who may sincerely identify with the mythology of femininity (or masculinity). I sympathize with their human pain and firmly believe that everyone has a right to express their “gender” by any and all means possible without social punishment. I agree that being born into a male body does not naturally lead one to act or feel masculine; and that being born into a female body does not naturally lead one to act or feel feminine. In fact, if we were to accept such an antiquated theory of gender essentialism, it would logically require us to conclude that male violence [ii] has a biological component, implicitly justifying the behavior and rendering it inevitable. I do not believe this. Feminists do not believe this.

WRONG. many feminists believe that male violence has a biological component, or may have a biological component. mary daly is one of the most notable. she also didnt think it was as relevant as everyone else does bc her whole life and her whole feminism was not wrapped up in men and thinking and talking about men, or trying to get men to change their behavior or their rules. STOP LYING. saying “feminists do not believe this” is a fucking lie. and its an erasure of radical feminists and radical work. just like the men and trannies want.

17. Sargasso Sea - April 4, 2013

It seems that there is a big push going on (and not just in radfem circles) to pretend that all radical feminists believe that men can be educated or regulated to stop being violent/rapists/gynergy sucks. Again. Last I checked that was just good old fashioned mainstream Feminism. You know, working within a completely failed system from a position of (almost?) no power to change almost nothing except the PERCEPTION that women are gaining ground. That’s all well and good I suppose when you have a personal stake in not wanting to offend those who do have the power because some of us have had actual men in our lives who never raped US and some of us have sweet little boys who couldn’t possibly be biologically prediposed to necrophilia because *I* gave him his life.

What is the great HARM of some women THINKING about IF there MAY be a biologic factor to male egregiousness? What IF that was truly the case after all? What IF we could come up with a *therapy* of some kind – like BC and HRT for women as an example – that would/could solve a whole lot of the woes which plague us?

FCM - April 4, 2013

that is worth parsing i think. what INDEED is the “harm” FROM REFORMISTS PERSPECTIVE. since they are the ones with the big old problem with it. if we put ourselves in their position and think it through, what do we get? this might be particularly troublesome for the trannie politickers innit. since it completely undermines their argument against “sex-based personality theory” apparently, according to UN letter #2 author e hungerford. sorry, but thats not a good enough reason. where is the concern for the truth?

http://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/5271/#comment-20195

FCM - April 4, 2013

linda radfem writes about the difference between radical and reformist here. she seems to say/imply that reformist-oriented radical feminists are actually liberal bc of the shared belief in reformism and that men can/will change. i am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for the reasons i outlined in my post, despite the obvious problems they cause, because unlike liberal feminists, reformist-oriented radical feminists believe in women and men and can therefore actually conceptualize the root of WOMENS oppression by MEN. i think this is important, but perhaps the proof is in the pudding. maybe its a distinction without a difference, and reformism is simply a dead end no matter what the intent? if thats true, does it change anything for us? what would it mean?

http://apublicblogging.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/what-is-a-radical-feminist/

FCM - April 4, 2013

i hope cherry comes back soon. ❤ ❤ ❤

18. karmarad - April 4, 2013

As so often happens in responding to your fertile thoughts, fcm, I have so many associations I hardly know where to start in responding. There are some issues you raise that I have to let go for now. I don’t know what to say about the 2013 conference and I have to abstain on taking a position there. We need such conferences so badly, but they are bound to be imperfect in both conception and execution. They must not be run so as to stifle ongoing important theoretical differences.

As for the HUB, I salute its existence and your sacrifice and the pain you went through, as well the contributions and pain of others. That was a major achievement. It may not be over yet, it may return, or its loss may be permanent. What’s important to me is that it existed and remains a model for future radfem consolidation and development. The very ferociousness of the attacks against it, including the doxxing by butthurt MRAs, point to it as a model, setting out crucial truths, one after the other. We can learn from all that happened, to set up another HUB with the strongest possible confidentiality for commenters, and with coordinators who are close enough ideologically to keep it running smoothly. If that doesn’t occur for a while because radfems are working as individual bloggers to develop new breakthrough insights, that is understandable too.

Now I get to the issues you raise which are I think the most important issues. First, you point out unequivocally that the theoretical question of whether there is a biological base in human behavior, one that largely explains the intractability of male violence and dominating behavior against women, has NOT been resolved and is a matter of growing debate in the radfem community at this time. There have been many developments in the sciences, in academia, in politics, and in our own consciousness-raising that, I agree, require that this debate go on, though some of us take the position that it was debated and put to bed in the ’80s.

You say, and I agree, that “truth is all we have left”. That phrase you use brings up a lot of emotion in me. The truth is the root, the only place we can start from that will lead to permanent complete effective change. The search for the truth, as you and so many of us say, fcm, is what distinguishes radical feminism from other feminisms, which adopt more limited strategic goals aimed at dealing with outgrowths from the root. I agree that we must talk about this question again, at great length. We must figure out together and unflinchingly why male violence still rages on across this planet after all the extraordinary reformist work of the past half-century.

We must not get lost in confusion or fear that if the truth concerns biological bases of behavior, we will have dug ourselves our own graves and somehow conceded that male violence and domination are inevitable results. We have to look again at this question of biological predispositions (I do not, and I don’t think any radfem does, agree with some strict notion of “biological determinism”), because many of us have found that the social constructionist approach is not working, and we have to know why it is not working, and look at the conspicuous alternative.

The truth is all we have left. Let’s dig for it, and when we know enough, let’s make it work for our full liberation globally. Let’s perform this task together, respecting each other, and please, above all, not trying to prevent any of us from contributing to the discussion. I’m not an organizer for radfem 2013 and have not decided whether to attend, though I have made a contribution. I would like to ask why this question is not on the programme.

19. Sargasso Sea - April 4, 2013

“I’m not at all sorry for what I said: biological determinism is in direct conflict with my gender-abolition arguments.” – E Hungerford

And that’s that – those of us who contemplate the possibility of a biological factor at play in males flies in the face of *her* gender arguments. But that – gender – doesn’t have anything to do with the reality of male/female biology in the long run. Does it?

20. Sargasso Sea - April 4, 2013

Also, Linda’s post is great🙂

And (((Cherry)))

21. karmarad - April 4, 2013

I forgot to say that I had read Linda Radfem’s post and was referring to it when I said so many of us agree that the search for truth is paramount for radical feminists. Thanks to Linda for her post and thanks for bringing it up, SS, it’s good to read you. And yes, Cherry, come back, the water’s warm!

FCM - April 4, 2013

yes that is an excellent question karma — why isnt it on the programme for rf13? it very easily and reasonably COULD be, couldnt it. but its not. why not? there is still time to make room for this, and whether they do make room for it after its been called to their attention will be more evidence of their motivation and position on that issue. including whether they HAVE a position on it (get it?) exclusion is not evidence of neutrality. at all.

and thanks for the concise quote s4 (those words from e hungerford were waaaay down at the bottom of that link — sorry bout that!) ignoring the blatant and intentional disregard for the truth “because reasons” which she herself admits are completely selfish and exclusive to HERSELF (or not…*her* arguments lol) i agree that considering biology doesnt “exactly” negate trans critical arguments. not the good ones anyway, like that SEX MATTERS and that womens global oppression by men is based on our impregnability and mens exploitation and abuse of that. if anything, “sex based personality theory” conflates personality with behavior which is completely unneccessary. so we have men who allegedly “feel like” or identify as women behaving just as rapey and violent as any man. the shared behavioral characteristics (separate from “personality”) as well as the need to dominate, surveil, etc could very easily be explained by shared male biology. feminists original POINT in objecting to MEN naturalizing their SEXUALIZED ABUSE OF WOMEN was that it went against WOMENS natures to be dominated this way. NOT that it was against MENS natures to dominate. for fucks sake. if anything, we are only seeing more and more proof that this is mens nature exactly, and that they will never ever stop.

22. Sargasso Sea - April 4, 2013

Respect for all of our voices is just KEY and it troubles me to know that many of us are indeed being, if not silenced, disavowed for our thoughts.

(I wanted to make clear too that I’m not trying to *call out* E for the work that she does – went by way of example of the trend I’ve been seeing lately.)

FCM - April 4, 2013

also, im kind of confused as to where linda radfem would fall on the issue of, say, anti pornstitution activists and trans critical activists that definitely arent liberal, but definitely are reformist. are they seeking the truth, or not? are they radical feminists or not? she doesnt exactly say, and i actually think i mightve made this category up and that its not widely used (reformist-oriented radical feminist). but as ive said, i think the distinction is useful. at least they recognize sex as a meaningful distinction and a political class. the liberals dont.

FCM - April 4, 2013

s4, disavowal is ugly and hurts, but SILENCING is really happening. the HUB is gone. cherry is gone, or “gone missing”. this is a real thing. just want to point that out.

FCM - April 4, 2013

and *i* havent had much to say lately either. been busy with other stuff. get it? keeping women “busy” is the best way to silence them since always.

FCM - April 4, 2013

puts a lot of internally created crises in context doesnt it. SORRY! I DIDNT MEAN TO DO THAT! yeah right.

23. Sargasso Sea - April 4, 2013

Oh yes silencing IS actually happening! No doubt about it…

Grrr.😦

FCM - April 4, 2013

and “liberation collective” could get some kind of response to all of this together if they wanted to, and post it on their blog. they could provide justification upon justification for why they dont like ME or my “management style” or didnt like the way the politics of the HUB were evolving or whatever. and that THATS why they undermined and erased it. none of which would ACTUALLY justify undermining, erasing or destroying HUB of course. they couldve just left, or done something OTHER than undermine and erase it. but they could TRY to respond to my criticisms of them as a group and take some kind of position on this if they wanted to.

can those of us left at the HUB make the same kind of group or position statement on the HUB? or say anything on HUB at all? NO. because HUB is gone.

24. WordWoman - April 4, 2013

Wow, I’m glad to see this available. I haven’t read all the comments yet, but will post when I do. My initial thought is that some actions may be intentional sabotage and not even well-intentioned. We don’t know who we are dealing with online, it could be MRAs, right-wingers, or anyone who wants to keep women disorganized. Masquerading as radical or liberal feminists. Mainly to be disruptive.

25. tiamathydra - April 4, 2013

”feminists original POINT in objecting to MEN naturalizing their SEXUALIZED ABUSE OF WOMEN was that it went against WOMENS natures to be dominated this way.”

Exactly. The most intellectually (and spiritually) liberating thing for me has been to come to this realization. That we are not, shouldn’t, and it wasn’t our original intent to be talking about men and centering around men because actually men are something alien to us, because we are female not male (this inevitably gets accusations of essentialism). The intent of radical feminism was to go to the core of ourselves and stop living in fragmented consciousness, re-membering ourselves. When we do that, we realize it is not in our nature to be dominated, let alone to want to be dominated or to be submissive, let alone masochistic.

But we still aren’t making the fallacious analogy that if our nature is to be free, men’s nature is to not want to dominate us as well. We can’t say that because, again, we are not men, and we do not know about that, and *all evidence* points to the fact that men do strive to dominate and do successfully dominate us in many ways (and that women hate it, too).

There is nothing out of patriarchy that dictates that men and women should be a harmonic yin yang, and actually *all evidence* indicates that our natures are indeed opposed and irreconcilable. Men in patriarchy talk this discourse about ”nature” all the time, but they invisibilize they’re talking about male nature all the time. There are two versions of ”nature” and the Other is female, ours. Only we can attest to its existence and to its fundamental difference with the male version.

What these people can’t stand is that feminism’s original point was not about men at all. It was ALL about us.

26. witchwind - April 4, 2013

“very recently, and very painfully, and painstakingly, and like REALLY SLOWLY, as if i had some kind of mental block against realizing this particular truth as a matter of fact, i realized that reformist-oriented radical feminists have taken over the movement, and are trying very hard to silence dissent.”

Thanks for wording that. It took me a long time too to figure out the logic of the destructiveness, for a long time it didn’t make sense to me. To understand how it works and that it’s necessary to protect ourselves from it is one thing, but to understand that it actually participates within a reformist framework and that it’s related to that is another. Of course there are also individual reasons to believe reformism is the only solution and silence dissent, but that’s another discussion. I knew some were pro male reformism, but i assumed that many others weren’t or that the differences were accepted amongst radical feminists.

i think reformism is a dead end and necessarily patriarchal / destructive no matter what. I observe this at every possible level. I would need a graph to explain it properly, but basically, each patriarchal institution has its pattern of violence, which serves male domination over women. the institution has its own set of rules, hierarchy and system of violence to maintain oppressive relationships. There is NO patriarchal institution for which this is not the case. If you want to act within that frame, to change the frame, you have to abide to the rules, even to a certain extent. If you don’t immediately comply, it’s simple: the frame (the people within) chuck you out in no time, and make sure to trash you for example, to warn others what will happen if you don’t comply. So to have to “adapt” to the patriarchal framework in order to change, means the frame has changed YOU before you could even do anything. And by then it’s too late. The damage is done, the only hope for yourself is to get away from it before it intoxicates your brain any further. That means your soul is tramped on, bound, abused and put in a box by the time you reach a position whereby you would have some power to make a few changes. Any change, if there is some, will only be cosmetic, and actually its only function will be to con women into believing that men and their crap institutions can be reformed, and that they do sometimes care for women.

Abiding to patriarchal rules is violence, because each and every rule in patriarchal institutions are crafted against women for men. They can only be applied through violence. To figure out men’s rules and systems is in itself psychological torture because nothing makes sense in what they do. It is meant to shut the eyes and to silence us. It is mindnumbing.

The only thing that keeps us in there despite it being a shithole and a trap for women, is the HOPE, the carrot that men dangle in front of our wounded, abandonist egos that we have a place there, somewhere, somehow. That we are rewarded, even if it rings hollow, even if it’s addictive instead of warming and liberating. To believe in it, to keep clinging on it against all evidence because it’s lie, means we have to shut down opposition.

mieprowan - April 4, 2013

“MRA” eluded me for some unknown reason, but that meant I got to read the (by far most upvoted) top seven definitions on the Urban Dictionary page, which was entertaining.

27. Sargasso Sea - April 4, 2013

The hub may be gone, but I’m not. And it looks like we’re making our group statement right now. A house doesn’t alawys make a home after all.
🙂

FCM - April 4, 2013

🙂 indeed s4. very well said.

FCM - April 4, 2013

honestly i think this puts a lot of context to the general destructiveness of so many womens spaces including womens communities and the unabashedly toxic facebook groups etc out there that do nothing but trash women and turn over members. so many women who have tried these groups and group projects report the same thing. as witchwind suggests a “logic to the destructiveness.” with a capital D. holy fucking shit. like napalm in the morning (and noon and night).

28. karmarad - April 4, 2013

“Abiding to patriarchal rules is violence, because each and every rule in patriarchal institutions are crafted against women for men. They can only be applied through violence.”

Witchwind, I get a chill from your statement. This chill comes to me whenever I read a radical feminist getting at an unspoken truth.
I ask myself, WHY does there still have to be so much violence to keep women performing our assigned subjugated gender roles? How is it that, if we are only creatures who are constructed by the societal roles we fall into at birth (and I am thinking here of a theory that Cordelia Fine talks about in Delusions of Grandeur, that the effect of prenatal sex hormones is to cause both men and women to arrive as blank slates predisposed to take on whatever behaviors they are handed based on their genitalia), that the system has to use so much violence throughout our lives, against so many of us, to keep us in line?

How is it that we are not tamed by the social constructions laid on us, if social constructions are all people are? What is She that resists and must be violently suppressed?

There must be some irreducible essence here, people, a human female essence that exists from birth, and refuses to be tamed, that keeps us struggling and resisting even after all that social constructionism can do to us. How can it be said that we women are only “genders”, that we don’t exist as born women, a different sex? Look how we struggle, and look at the measures that male-dominated society has to take to control or destroy us.

I would propose that patriarchal rules HAVE TO BE applied through violence because women are NOT in large part socially constructed, that we are born with a sense that we are fully human, and that we do not give up that sense until the threat or actuality of violence prevents us from acting accordingly.

Thanks, Witchwind, and I hope I’m being fair to the spirit of your statement.

29. Sargasso Sea - April 4, 2013

From girlsoftheinternet above: “…talk of biological inferiority makes me uncomfortable as it has always previously been used as rhetoric for destructive and distinctly un-humanitarian ends.”

She also says that this type of talk just doesn’t strike her as “radical”.

No offense GOTI, but this is exactly what I’m talking about when I reference the dilution of radical feminism that’s been going on for… well… at least the 35+ years I’ve been aware of it and it just keeps getting worse. Being pro humanitarian is not feminism, it’s pro human which means pro male (and then maybe pro female if YOU happen to luck out). I guess we’re really at the point where *radical feminism* really is whatever anyone wants it to be including endlessly pleading with men for – crap – equality.

All of that to illustrate that I think that (although it was an excellent coinage) reformist-oriented radical feminists can not BE. Reformism is destined to failure. That is unless a whole bunch of our history is just a bad dream. Or we just weren’t doing it right and some jesus-ita will save us. Or something.

30. WordWoman - April 4, 2013

The whole point appears to be disruption, as I said above. Also confusion and attempts to dissuade any onlookers (lurkers) from joining in. Whenever there is a radical, effective movement, one can expect this. I wonder how much of some of this is a theatrical performance online by the disruptors. It seems like it to me. I’m not on facebook, twitter, etc. Nor was I a Hub insider, so I don’t know all the players or stories or backstories. Not enough to make specific accusations or anything like that. But as an outsider looking at the broad strokes, this is what I see.

We may want to consider whether it is just trashing, political disagreement, one or more bad apples, etc. which is bad enough, or something more than that.

Just saying, these things happened regularly in the 60’s with the radical movements then. I’m not necessarily comparing what we do to those (male movements mostly), except to look at the tactics used and the ways of outside groups disrupting from within. Turning people against one another. When I see this now a little bell is going off in my head.

The focus on the truth seems the right direction, not to be distracted by the dramas. There may be more of this at Radfem 2013 from what you all are saying. I don’t think we can expect much from that event, from what you are describing, FCM and others.

One thing is to expect these kinds of attacks. Just be observant. I don’t have any good advice except what you have said, stick to the truth.

I, too, miss Cherry.

FCM - April 5, 2013

i would like to clarify that i do support rf13 in that they are bringing *different* ideas to the marketplace. they should be allowed to do this freely and unabated so that women interests are at least somewhat represented in the manketplace of broideas. whatever thats worth.

but i agree with whats been said above. women being social constructs, even social constructs with female reproductive organs, does not explain womens resistance to male dominance across time and place. it does not explain how miserable women are and how much women hate being oppressed, or how much we want to be free. notably, while we have women protesting globally mens treatment of us, what we do not have is a global, regional or even local protest by males of the requirement that they be violent “because social conditioning.” why, is the question. men are not resisting this, they do not hate it, and they are not refusing to do it anymore, consequences be damned. what we see in fact is men who resent having any social controls on themselves at all. they want even more freedom to rape and abuse women with impunity and they are becoming increasingly violent, dominant and insane over time. and those men who “conscientiously object” to some kinds of violence only object to it in some situations, its not a problem they have with violence in general. we know this bc they go home and rape and abuse their wives and daughters, and impregnate them against their wills. “peaceful” men dominate and abuse within their own social justice groups. its not because they hate it. its because they like it, or it suits them or is consistent with their constitutions in at least a basic way. if it wasnt, their bodies and minds would reject it like womens bodies and minds reject our servitude. we rail against it. we have every reason in the world to believe this is true. believe it.

FCM - April 5, 2013

honestly, it gives me a happy to think about men absolutely choking on their bile as radfem13 happens, and goes off without a hitch whether the men like it or not. FUCK YOU ASSHOLES and your manketplace of broideas. choke on it.

but this does not mean that rf13 is going to be either effective or radical. i dont know what it means, but it does not mean that.

31. karmarad - April 5, 2013

” notably, while we have women protesting globally mens treatment of us, what we do not have is a global, regional or even local protest by males of the requirement that they be violent “because social conditioning.”

Yes, this takes the thought one step further. If women protest the violence against them, why is the response of male-dominated society so lackluster? Why is rape and domestic violence, for instance, tolerated across the planet? Why don’t men simply see the violence they are inflicting is wrong in every sense of the word and stop it, as “Moral” social constructionism might demand? If women are human, how can male-dominated society permit this torture?

Answer (feminist, since men don’t even attempt to answer): we can’t help it.

Biology. Let’s look at that answer. let’s deconstruct it. let’s consider if it’s really true any more, that the Boy Can’t Help It.

32. WordWoman - April 5, 2013

FCM: “women being social constructs, even social constructs with female reproductive organs, does not explain womens resistance to male dominance across time and place”

Women’s reistance: it’s always there at some level. Even when it looks like it is not.

33. Sargasso Sea - April 5, 2013

Exactly, Karma, because “we can’t help it”. We have no choice.

But they do (???) and choose not to apply it.

FCM - April 5, 2013

also, re whether “reformist-oriented radical feminists” are a real thing, i still cant get over the fact that they seem to satisfy the definition, which is that they seek to get to the root of womens oppression by men. unlike liberals, they believe in women and men, for one thing. this automatically places them in on a different foundation than the fun fems. so is it what theyve identified as the “root” thats the problem? i actually think theyve got it wrong if they identify the root generically as “dom/sub” rather than specifically “womens sexual and reproductive abuse by men.” i think thats the root of WOMENS oppression by MEN and that dom/sub is too generic bc it describes the way men oppress other men. dom/sub is certainly the intent and effect FROM MEN TO OTHER MEN when men rape each others women. but as for the intent and effect of the rapes from men to women, the intent and effect is to impregnate and kill us. complete control and silencing and erasure, not just dominance, or “unequal” position which is what dom/sub implies. (flag thrown for equality activating!) if that and not dom/sub were identified as the root by reformists, what would reformism look like? im just asking. maybe they got the root wrong?

at any rate, we cant call them liberals. this is not about naming and categorizing for their own sake. its a matter of some importance that we understand clearly what the hell is going on here, and why 100 years of doing “it” hasnt worked to liberate women from male dominance.

FCM - April 5, 2013

BTW i say 100 years instead of 30 or 50 bc “the spinster and her enemies” described the work of early reformists and suffragettes (as early as late 1800s) and others who have activated towards womens liberation from male dominance way before the 1960s-70s. interestingly, according to jeffreys, the suffragettes wanted the vote not because men had it (equality) but because they identified womens sexual and reproductive abuse by men as the root of womens oppression by men (or at least noted that it was a very bad problem for girls and women) and they noted that men use the law to protect abusers and perpetuate abuse. they wanted the vote so they could get legal protections for girls and women from men raping them. a nice thought, but it didnt work. the only thing that happened is…we got the vote. EVENTUALLY. 100 years later, and another 30 since dworkin and mackinnon first tried a similar tack with anti porn legislation and other attempts at legal and even social reformism, we have met with sustained unsuccess. why? or rather, why is this not talked about, or the subject of any misunderstanding at all, or used as evidence that reformism works or is likely to work ever?

34. Catherine Orian - April 5, 2013

You may be interested to read this post of mine on essentialism, which is relevant to this discussion:

http://awreathonhergrave.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/feminism-and-biology/

(to summarise, whether we believe in essentialism or not doesn’t really have much of an effect on our WORK, which leaves me thinking that this whole reformist vs. radical feminist division is a false dichotomy.)

35. Catherine Orian - April 5, 2013

And by WORK I mean the range of things that feminists can possibly do to try and change things.

FCM - April 5, 2013

please clarify how you think this is relevant to this discussion, where we have stated that the truth is important, and that it does have an enormous impact on our “work” as radical feminists since radical feminism is truth and reality-based.

i also think that the point is that we need to get the hell away from men bc they arent likely to change. which is the opposite of what the reformists are doing by continually engaging them, and pleading with them to change their behavior and their rules. our “work” therefore is going to be very different depending on what you think is true, or likely to be untrue about that. an actual dichotomy, in other words, and not a false one.

36. karmarad - April 5, 2013

Yes, Catherine, I read your post – it was thoughtful – could you please expand on the question of whether the truth matters, or if only political expediency should be considered, in getting at the roots of women’s oppression?

37. WordWoman - April 5, 2013

Is it that reform only makes sense if there is something worth reforming? Does the system have any substance? If the entire system is based on false premises. A house of cards that will tumble without the foundation of women’s oppression. Also, the model of women’s oppression is the one that forms the foundation for all the other systems.

So it may make “sense” to men of oppressed groups to reform the system. They still end up with the same system (misogyny), only better for them. Not for the women of any group, though. Their “deal” stays the same.

For women, reform can only be about harm-reduction. I’m in favor of that, but it’s just stopgap and subject to disappear at any time.

FCM - April 5, 2013

regarding “expediency” i dont know if its “political” or not, but if we were to decide to get the hell away from men RIGHT NOW because they arent likely to change and its folly not to, from a SURVIVALIST perspective, i would think this would be as expeditious as we could get. and if we did that, it wouldnt matter if we were conceding the CAUSE of their refusal (inability) to change, just that they arent going to and its beyond debate.

this is the only scenario i can imagine in which the truth doesnt really matter *and* we are able to successfully protect women from (male) violence and mensworld, or at least give a reasonable attempt at survival. the reformists, however, are never going to do that by definition. therefore there is NO scenario i can imagine where the truth is irrelevant.

38. WordWoman - April 5, 2013

We have been fed the myth of progress. This is the hope of reformists. That women are so much better off.

Are there statistics that show this. If all the women in the world are my daughters, can I say they (as a group) are better off, safer, than they were at some other point in the “unenlightened” past. I mean, relative to men and men’s crimes against them. How many are sold into slavery? aborted for being female? Sold to sweatshops? Raped? things like that. Is there really progress for women as a class?

(Not attributable standards of living in first world countries or technology or those things. Also not women working. Women in the workplace is also due to the decrease in real wealth, needing two family incomes, etc. Working class women have always worked. Hard.).

39. karmarad - April 5, 2013

I think the truth is very relevant in that scenario, fcm. I think that if it is found that male biology strongly predisposes to violence against women, that a strong logical option for women would be complete separation. That wouldn’t be a matter of expediency but of thought-out fact, and the knowledge of that truth would give us the strength and persistence to make it happen.

If we content ourselves with what seems expedient, we need to know that what is expedient today may not be expedient tomorrow. Separation would be hard to keep up if only based on expediency, I’m thinking.

FCM - April 5, 2013

thats interesting word woman — is the definition they are using “getting at the root of womens oppression by men in order to reform it?” bc if so, we have a huge problem there bc reformism is built into the definition. i have in fact heard it described/defined that way, but the way i would define it would be “getting at the root of womens oppresion by men in order to liberate women from male dominance.” very different meaning. and the correct one, i might add.

and can you “reform” or fix something thats not broken, but rather is working exactly as intended? no. i dont think you can, not unless you are using the word “reform” to mean something it doesnt ordinarily mean. hello pomo.

FCM - April 5, 2013

i see what you are saying karma. i was assuming that once we did it, it was permanent, a done deal, and didnt require perpetual additional motivation to continue. obviously if it were well-reasoned as well it would be better, but it wouldnt HAVE to be reasoned at all if we just made this the cut-off point of the grand reformist experiment. it didnt work, who cares why. get out now.

FCM - April 5, 2013

the reformists are welcome to jump aboard that train obvs! and theres plenty of evidence that they should IMO, even if they think that reformism could theoretically still work. the point is, it hasnt, and we dont know why, or not EXACTLY, and women are dying. this should be good enough, but its not. why not? this is completely distressing, but for SOME REASON this not enough for them to give up on men.

40. WordWoman - April 5, 2013

” is the definition they are using “getting at the root at womens oppression by men in order to reform it?” bc if so, we have a huge problem there bc reformism is built into the definition. i have in fact heard it described/defined that way, but the way i would define it would be “getting at the root of womens oppresion by men in order to liberate women from male dominance.” very different meaning. and the correct one, i might add.

Great clarification!

41. witchwind - April 5, 2013

very interesting points. I was going to add too that sticking to seeking truth (with everything that it entails: integrating the truth within ourselves and trust that the leaps will lead us where we need to go, or if this is not possible, understand why and where the fear comes from to work on it) is the sure way to go.

If you stick to seeking the truth, and focus on that, there’s no need to engage in destructive work because it’s going to distract you from it. Truth matters, I agree. It’s fundamental. Because truth informs your being, your actions. In fact there is no action action without thought, actions can go no further than what you think. Hence freedom of conscience being the fundamental freedom, and mental colonisation (psychological violence and soul annihilation, silencing and brainwashing, or mindbinding as Mary Daly would say – which functions through everything “conceptual” men have created, from language, religion, family, laws, to their art, or whatever) being fundamental in maintaining women’s servitude to men. Men do everything in their power to prevent us from thinking, going to the end of our thoughts, from seeing the truth, from identifying them for what they are, so we don’t act, so we don’t RUN AWAY FROM THEM. And psychological violence is all about exercising violence in ways that the victim isn’t aware that she’s being abused, instead the violence is experienced subsconsciously, internalised. This way she can’t identify men as the enemy. She can’t see the truth about his violence and intentions. Men know that truth is fundamental because they go to extreme lengths to prevent us from seeking it.

Very true that “reformist radfems” very probably got the root wrong. dom/sub is an *outcome* of men using women’s reproductive organs through rape/PIV. Dom/sub is there to SUSTAIN men using women’s reproductive organs, it is set up deliberately by them so that women can’t escape PIV/rape/forced impregnation. What’s more, dom-sub is MODELLED on the way the way they rape & forcibly impregnate women. As far as I know, this has never been addressed in any radfem conference these last years, so it’s probably fair to assume that it’s not seen as the root. It’s a bit like beating around the bush really. (not that i want the bush to be beaten, this expression is horrible).

42. witchwind - April 5, 2013

I think that when it comes to women we should quit discussion of “socialisation” and “identity”. Women have no “identity” within patriarchy because by definition what is imposed on us strips us of any subjectivity, and is meant to. What destroys the subject cannot be constitutive of the subject at the same time. Only men are socialised because only they can have an identity that makes them subject, an individual which presumed to be non-violable, closed, human. even if it’s a crappy and limited subjectivity, based on possessing the other, it’s still a subjectivity.

what is called “femininity” is only a infinite set of torture practices (that range from psychological abuse / humiliation, brainwashing and physical / sexual abuse + all the other institutional, economic abuse and exploitation) inflicted on women by men collectively and individually from day zero, meant to maim and cripple us psychically, emotionally, socially and physically.

No woman, in fact no living being (female! male, wouldn’t pronounce myself) is a blank page. That is, we have a subjectivity that is DESTROYED year by year, contained, atrophied, prevented from developing itself. So as long as we are alive, that is that we’re not dead, we resist to violence, because the body isn’t meant to be subjected to violence. We might not be conscious that we resist, but we do at every second. Every second, the body and mind finds ways to resist and survive the violence. Complying is in itself a way to resist, because it’s a way to survive and avoid what we are made to perceive are worse outcomes (imposed by terror, repression). Physical and emotional symptoms are in themselves forms of resistance to the violence. It’s the alarm bell ringing constantly to say STOP!!!

43. witchwind - April 5, 2013

We would not be colonisable if there were no subjectivity to colonise. We would just be robots. They could not kill us if we were not alive.

44. girlsoftheinternet - April 5, 2013

Sargasso Sea, as I stated in my previous comment, I am of the opinion that women should get the hell away from men because they are unlikely to change. We certainly shouldn’t base our own efforts at liberation on the assumption that they will change to even the tiniest extent. If, then, my desire not to rally around the notion of inherent biological inferiority is indicative of the dilution of radical feminism then so be it.

45. Sargasso Sea - April 5, 2013

It’s like they’ve lost the plot although maybe the “root” was never actually fully defined/agreed upon. Reform is all anyone can think to do and almost nobody ever stops and says: quit focusing all of your energy on men and their system (which I agree works just fine – for them). Nothing like being a hamster on a wheel.

FCM - April 5, 2013

its the notion that the truth doesnt matter, and the misunderstanding as to what “radical” actually means which were evinced in your comment that were the problem GOTI. although i think your conclusion is correct.

i still think we need to parse the whys and wherefores around the demonstrable fact that so many of “us” publically proclaim the truth to be irrelevant. its the damnedest thing. SINCE WHEN is the truth irrelevant? since this issue, appears to be the answer. on this issue and this issue only (?) people dont care to know the truth. they dont care to ask it, to consider it, to have it answered, or to act knowing the truth. ON THIS ISSUE SPECIFICALLY. jesus.

46. WordWoman - April 5, 2013

GOTI said: “From my own perspective, talk of biological inferiority makes me uncomfortable as it has always previously been used as rhetoric for destructive and distinctly un-humanitarian ends. Including towards women as a class. ”

In the case of women, could this be a reversal of something like that. yes, it has been used to dehumanize women. But it still might be true of males. Claims of dehumanization are used by many groups in a reversal kind of way.

The classic case, of course, is what the Nazis did with claiming a superior race and genocide following those claims. That was pretty transparent. I think fear of doing this has made people tiptoe around every time something like this is brought up.

Currently, there is talk in the environmental movement about “carrying capacity.” This is the factual situation. Any species cannot permanently go beyond the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. But then, there is an argument that we should not bring this up because it means some kind of genocide. Yet, we still have to face the harsh situation. It is my opinion that not facing it it more likely to lead to genocide.

This is not a side issue, but directly related. If men keep impregnating women what does it lead to? Killing the whole planet. Yet they are unwilling or unable to stop. I think our best chance (and a slim one, at that) is to look directly at all these facts. Genocide is less likely if we see all this.

Voluntary birth control (by no PIV, especially) is more likely if women are able to face all these facts.

Any population has variations in characteristics. If women face this, perhaps they will choose to mate only with less violent men. Perhaps breed out the violent genes by so doing, but by doing so in a peaceful way. So if most women never had PIV and the ones who decided to have children were very picky about the genes they carried forward, we might have a slim chance.

This is only one result of facing the truth of things. Perhaps we could have a chance to begin to save the 200 species that go extinct each day. (according to Lierre Keith, and it may be higher by now)

47. Maggie - April 5, 2013

I commented on the 3 posts of my 3-part series at Liberation Collective, FCM. In my comments, I gave the Hub the recognition it deserved –as you voiced in this post. It’s a shame the Hub went down. I truly loved that site, and admired the effort you had put into it. Take care. I hope you are well.

48. WordWoman - April 5, 2013

Sorry, the above did not follow clearly enough. When I said “In the case of women, could this be a reversal of something like that. yes, it has been used to dehumanize women. But it still might be true of males. Claims of dehumanization are used by many groups in a reversal kind of way. ” I then went to discuss the Nazis. Many groups claim that others are nazis. Feminazi comes to mind. Environmentalist are also tagged this way. These are reversals. The groups claiming this are not kindly folks, but bent on destruction. (of women, of the environment)

The Nazi thing (and other genocidal groups) was not a reversal but a rationale. You all probably got that, but I wanted to be clearer.

FCM - April 5, 2013

thanks maggie. but the issue is not that the series was republished. the issue is that it was done in a way that further erased the HUB and that the way lib coll handled that and the other “republishing” they did (as well as other things) evinces a policy and practice by lib coll to erase and deny the HUB ever existed. the big picture became plainly obvious (the pattern of repeatedly bringing about a particular result over time, which is evidence of policy and practice) when they did it AGAIN. thats why i said something NOW. you also couldve said something in the extensive endnotes of your post, or in another way but you didnt. but you only did it once. they did it repeatedly, and with a particular and by now clearly obvious intent.

49. Maggie - April 5, 2013

PS If the Hub ever came back up, or at least as an archived blog, with my posts in it (available at the Hub again) I told the Lib Collective admins that they would be free to take their own versions down. I just wanted to be clear about this. I just want my work to be available out there, that’s all, for women to see.

FCM - April 5, 2013

well they are also “free” to take down all the work they “republished” from the HUB arent they? but not much would be left if they did. and it would be completely antithetical to the entire point of lib coll, which is to erase the HUB. they are only publishing NOW as PR for the radfem 2013 for fucks sake. lib coll was never intended to be a publication. it was intended to be something else.

50. Maggie - April 5, 2013

I know nothing about the other posts, as I’m not on the blogosphere often (only sometimes to look at their blog, your blog and a few other radfem blogs now and again), sorry. But they did say they would agree to take the versions down (as per my request) should the Hub ever come back up with my posts in it (and they did publish the comments I posted there today) –and I would request the posts to come down as soon as I see the Hub go back up with my work in it, because that’s where the posts were originally so that’s where they would be. I believe it would be truly awesome if the Hub ever went back up. It was one of my favourite sites. I think Lib Collective is a great site too, in its own right (in my opinion) and I personally believe it wouldn’t erase the Hub -certainly not if the Hub went back up. I would love to see the Hub return to the blogosphere someday. I think the Hub and Lib Collective are just two different radfem websites that are collectively taken care of by different people, but that’s my opinion, hey, don’t worry.🙂 I just typically don’t get involved in conflict, and wanted to let you know that it was not my intent. Just wanted a publisher, that’s all, and if one day it’s the Hub again, so be it.

FCM - April 5, 2013

wordwoman, thanks for clarifying and restating that excellent point. dehumanizing women is wrong, and claiming that women are naturally, biologically predisposed to masochism is wrong, and a reversal. but it might not be wrong to dehumanize men — men as a class, not sub-groups of men or saying that some men are more human than others which isnt true (and thats what the nazis did). indeed, if we used “female” as the default human and then compared men to women, men would not seem very human at all. and it also isnt necessarily wrong to make claims about mens nature — claims which are in fact supported by a great deal of evidence by this point (which is not the case with “biological” claims made against women, against all evidence — that we like what men do to us or need it). because men do not equal women and women do not equal men. we should not think “if its good (or bad) for the goose its good (or bad) for the gander” here because thats a false equivalence. and thats what GOTI is doing, and what a lot of people are doing when they dismiss “essentialism” out of hand just bc they dont like it when men do it to us. is not the same thing at all.

FCM - April 5, 2013

i love how this is being reduced to a “conflict” when i have specifically outlined a political intent and effect to what lib coll is doing, and that political (not personal) issue and the erasure of radical work is the entire point of this post. im also on my period 5 weeks out of the month, which explains why i am such a bitch all the time. or does it?

“conflict” and personality clashes etc does not come close to explaining whats going on here mkay. and the HUB is GONE. the erasure i am talking about is literal. lets be clear about this. thank you.

mieprowan - April 5, 2013

Good points, wordwoman. A worthy goal is a culture where for any given woman, at any given time, it’s an option to have nothing at all to do with men, without this resulting in hardship for the woman. This would be closer to working outside the system and it would create true leverage, since the system runs to a great extent on the backs of women. It could not function if even a large percentage of women had this option. This would truly work towards the goal of it not being about men, where interaction with the patriarchy would be much more about undermining it than trying to fix it.

Also when working within the system, one is much more vulnerable to this “reverse discrimination” nonsense.

51. WordWoman - April 5, 2013

” that we like what men do to us or need it). because men do not equal women and women do not equal men. we should not think “if its good (or bad) for the goose its good (or bad) for the gander” here because thats a false equivalence. and thats what GOTI is doing, and what a lot of people are doing when they dismiss “essentialism” out of hand just bc they dont like it when men do it to us. is not the same thing at all.”

Yes, FCM. If we say Women=peaceful, non-violent group. Men=violent, warlike group. Women do not equal men. So, if we say this, if it not very likely that women will start killing men if we admit that violence is a part of their nature. If we think about this from a non-patriarchal frame, is it more likely that genocide could be stopped (eventually). Through refusal to breed indiscriminately for one thing.

52. Mary Sunshine - April 5, 2013

The takedown of the hub was and is now celebrated by several women in the “radfem” blog world. That fact has been and is now facebooked. I’m not the screenshot type (too old and broken) but in my life that has been and is an observable fact.

FCM - April 5, 2013

thanks mary. speaking the truth is often enough i think bc it creates a context and a collective memory. even without the screenshots. im sure you arent the only one whose seen that.

53. WordWoman - April 5, 2013

Yes, mieprowan, I think strategy/goals toward something very different will be quite important. I’m not sure what all of it will look like or what it should look like, but I do know that the template of every woman living with a man does not lend itself to good strategizing. That’s why men try to prevent women’s spaces. They are afraid that women will catch on (and even in traditional women’s spaces it’s right under the surface, I remember the older grandmother generation when they got together. even the eyeball rolling was part of the acknowledgement of it. None of them liked PIV, from what I remember as a young girl).

What have other groups had that women as a group haven’t? Time and space together. To strategize. Blacks in the American civil rights movement had this. Working class people had this with the unions. etc. But the elephant in the room is that women in groups are prohibited. Partly by overwork and partly by the integration of women with men all the time. Separation from one another.

54. Sargasso Sea - April 5, 2013

Collective memory is another KEY as are honesty and truth and respect.

Yes, I’m quite sure that some are dancing on the grave of the hub as is to be expected… mission accomplished!

I’d like to thank everyone who is contributing to this conversation because it obviously really, really needs to be had.🙂

55. girlsoftheinternet - April 5, 2013

I see what you mean FCM. Yes it does seem like I misused the term ‘radical’ there. I retract that statement. Thanks for clarifying and my apologies.

FCM - April 5, 2013

also mary, what do you mean by “radfems” (quote unquote)? do you mean reformist oriented radical feminists and/or those on the shortlist with the professional journalists and academics? many (or all) of whom are linked to rf13? thats what i thought.

56. Mary Sunshine - April 5, 2013

FCM, I did quote-unquote because of the term being tossed around loosely ( as all terms are ) ; all the women raising a cheer to see the hub go down run in the facebook “radfem” circles. Generally, anti-porn/prostitution/sexpozzie anti-trans-anything as opposed to “general” feminists who are choosey-choice anything-can-be-anything.

FCM - April 5, 2013

disgusting. absolutely disgusting that they would applaud the unavailability of original radical content. disgusting that they would cheer the loss of hundreds if not thousands of hours of gynergy. sickening (literally, i feel sick) that they are happy about the erasure of our herstory. i hope everyone is taking very serious note of all of this.

mieprowan - April 5, 2013

Wordwoman: again, very good points. When women do gather in groups, or pairs, in my experience, what they want to do a lot of is casually complain about their male partners, or talk about sex with men. This always seems to come up, it’s scripted. That’s allowed.

But also you make a good point as to what goes on below the surface, and older cultures where women allied more. With more of this sort of thing, women would become bolder and more honest, and more important to each other and less dependent on men. But “hen parties,” as men call them, really do scare men to pieces. They are really terrified of the idea of our allying with each other and shutting them out.

And it does take practice to know how to behave in an all-woman group, because for many it’s such a novel experience, and because the patriarchy is so insidious and rewards one for internalizing it.

Living with men seems to almost always result in more work for women. The man himself is perceived to be the payoff: his presence may offer some protection from rape by OTHER men, and it increases one’s social status in male-dominated groups. For this you pay by taking care of the man. This is worse than just prostitution, it’s a kind of social blackmail.

57. Catherine Orian - April 5, 2013

I don’t think that the truth is irrelevant, but here we have (at least) two different candidates competing for the status of “truth” (loosely, biological essentialism and social construction). Both positions are reasoned conclusions based on the available evidence. Given this fact, it’s utterly ridiculous to imply that women who disagree with you are delusional and condemn everything they propose short of complete separatism as “reform”.

This is especially true given that the two different conclusions are functionally identical (or at least overlap) in many ways. I don’t agree with your essentialist notions of masculinity, but I do think that separatism is a useful strategy. I do think that a world where not doing PIV is an option for every woman, and where many women do choose this option, is a desirable end point. But women can, and DO, make this choice through coming to an understanding of EITHER of the candidates for truth that we have going here.

Perhaps the disappearance of the Hub demonstrates the limits of the possibilities for cooperation between adherents of the two options, but it’s difficult to know without having seen what happened behind the scenes. Personally, I doubt it.

FCM - April 5, 2013

catherine, your reading comprehension issues are your own. and you do not understand my position, and yet you criticize it. typical.

as for your assertion that its equally as likely that men are “taught” to be rapists, abductors, batterers, parasites, warmongers, whoremongers, weapons stockpilers, killers and mass killers and babykillers, necrophiles, liars, thieves, all manners of major and minor criminals, pedophiles, impregnators, drunks, negligent actors, advantage takers, abusers of power, perverts, pimps, misogynists, torturers, animal experimenters, environmental destructors, deadbeat dads, street harassers, workplace harassers, sexual harassers, emotional abusers, verbal abusers…as it is likely that it is their NATURES to be this way…is that even true? where is all this “teaching” taking place, and why arent men railing against it if its against their natures? also, if someone attempted to teach women how to BE all these things, you must think it would stick. wheres there any evidence this is true at all?

i think what most people assume is “teaching” such as what happens amongst men in male-centric institutions is really just helping them organize their (preexisting) thoughts for maximum efficiency. its not really teaching in any true sense. i mean really.

58. Catherine Orian - April 5, 2013

“i think what most people assume is “teaching” such as what happens amongst men in male-centric institutions is really just helping them organize their (preexisting) thoughts for maximum efficiency.”

There you go. That’s what *you* think. I think it really is teaching (or, more accurately, I think it is MORE LIKELY that it really is teaching – I think we can’t ever know for sure, and I think it is *possible* that it is biological – I have never said the two options were “equally likely”). Where does it happen? Pretty much every second from the moment it is clear that a child is male (even before birth, in some cases). The ways in which this teaching is done has been well documented by decades of feminist work and there is no reason for me to go into it in more detail here, but for you to act as if this work doesn’t exist is disingenuous.

Just because we disagree over the relative importance of this teaching, as opposed to possible inherent qualities, does not mean that I am stupid and wrong.

FCM - April 5, 2013

Personally, I doubt it.

also, this made me LOL. based on what EVIDENCE are you making this conclusion? or is it just a feeling? anyway, you, being a reformist yourself (correct?) wouldnt even recognize it if you destroyed radical space, as long as it wasnt intentional. nonradical people kill radical space. they just do. its similar to derailing, which you are also doing with your reading comprehension fails and general failure to add anything to the discussion, but there more to it than just that. its similar to the way men cannot be privy to the background, i think. their being there changes it. and no one has to take my word for it that this happens all the time. its obvious to anyone who is paying attention, or if they know what to look for.

FCM - April 5, 2013

if you dont understand the difference between “complete separatism” and pro-separatism, you dont understand my position at all. and you have misrepresented my position here more than once, and on more than one thread. so cut it out.

also, i am allowed to talk about IDEAS, including what i think, on my own fucking blog, thank you very much.

59. Catherine Orian - April 5, 2013

The evidence I’m basing it on is what I have read here, and what I have heard from others who were involved. But as I said above, I don’t *know*, and it’s possible. “Personally, I doubt it” meant that I don’t think that just because the hub collapsed doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for women from the two sides of this ideological divide to work together. Lots of negatives there, so I’ll clarify: even though the Hub collapsed/was disappeared, I think it is still possible that biological essentialists and social constructionists can work together.

See, there’s really no point even commenting here if you’re someone who disagrees with you, FCM. When I tried it here today, all that happened is that I was told I was a reformist, nonradical, derailing, a killer of radical space, unable to read. Frankly, that looks like an attempt to silence people who disagree with you.

FCM - April 5, 2013

haha! oh, sorry, when you said both would be reasonable conclusions based on the evidence, i thought you meant equally likely, but thats not what you said is it? even then, you mean its MORE LIKELY THAN NOT that its social, and not natural. and yet you have nothing really to back this up — just the “absence of evidence” of meaningful sex-based brain difference. right? forgive me if i dont give the absence of evidence the same weight as actual, real evidence of a global tendency of biological males that transcends time and place as well as transcending patriarchy (men rape in non patriarchal cultures too). and the actual, real evidence that men created “patriarchy” because it suited them.

has the issue ever been seriously addressed as to whether it would even be POSSIBLE to “teach” females the things we are talking about here — the horrible things that are mens province across time and place? has the distinction EVER been made, besides just here, just now, that grooming and socializing men is not exactly the same thing as “teaching” and what that might mean? because ive never seen it. you are acting as if these issues are well settled, but thats just not true.

your shooting down this very interesting development is very revealing isnt it? its also boring, and doesnt fit the culture of this blog. this is more and more evidence of exactly what i am fucking talking about.

FCM - April 5, 2013

i have approved all your comments. on my private/personal blog. this is the same thing as silencing to you? when the HUB has disappeared, and we have been talking about that — what real, actual silencing looks like — for 2 days? im just shaking my damn head right now. omg.

FCM - April 6, 2013

patriarchy. because thats the way (uh huh, uh huh) they like it (uh huh, uh huh)!

FCM - April 6, 2013

honestly. there is no evidence whatsoever that women even COULD be “taught” to be and do all the terrible things men do every day, and then have women as a group sustain that activity over 5000 years. this means that what we are calling “teaching” might not really be teaching in any traditional sense of the word. this is interesting.

and the part about making it sustainable over time is important. what we call “patriarchy” and mens violent systems and behaviors is not just something a few or even many of them have to do once. this is something that has to be, and in fact has proven to be sustainable to men as a class over long periods of time. globally. more evidence that its just they way they are, or at least that its not inconsistent with their “natures” or whatever in at least a basic way. otherwise it would not be sustainable. as it is, the likely endpoint to it all now is that they will blow up the world, or produce so many unwanted children via mandatory PIV and rape that we all die. its not they who are stopping this at all. they are all-in. and 100 years of “teaching” them the “opposite” has not only had no demonstrable, positive effect at all, but things are actually getting worse over time.

60. mieprowan - April 6, 2013

FCM, I do hope you keep posting. I don’t think I agree with you on everything, but I don’t expect that from anyone. What I do appreciate from you is your good thinking and brave analyses. If you are feeling a little backed into a corner now (and I’m not saying you are, I don’t really know you too well) please don’t give up. You take on some difficult stuff, and discussions tend to stagnate without such writing. You are helping, even when people say you are not. Perhaps most when people say you are not.

Far as I can see, you have thought through a lot of the same stuff I have, and come to an inexorable conclusion that is not that far off from mine. Men are the problem, especially the ones who won’t admit that men are the problem, which is almost all of them. After over a hundred years of women pointing out that men are problematic, men are if anything more problematic than ever. This is reality, everything else is just waffling.

FCM - April 6, 2013

and if all we are is social constructs, who “taught” women to rebel? who taught us to activate for our own freedom, and to hate what men do to us and to resist it with every fiber of our beings, even when this is manifested as depression and suicide? and speaking of suicide, what are men “resisting” (if anything) when they shoot themselves in the head? are they resisting being violent pricks? no, they are not.

mieprowan - April 6, 2013

Yep FCM I read your back-and-forth with Catherine and found your argument extremely strong. Men are about spreading the seed, so they are about rape, they have to be curtailed if any of us are to survive. It really is biological.

A few men get a grip on this, but very few, nowhere near enough. We have to make it be about women, education, support, being there for women. Wading through the wretched ways their minds and bodies have been brutalized by the patriarchy, and help our sisters out of this mess of pollution.

There really isn’t anything else to do worth doing, other than the stuff women have always been about doing, caring, tending.

Thanks for helping me see what it is I need to be doing. I’ve been having trouble working through that these last fifteen years or so (I’m 55).

Mostly now I need to totally rework how I interact with women. The patriarchy got to me bigtime.

I’ve known this for some years but big change takes time. Thanks again.

61. bluejeans - April 6, 2013

One of the things that scares me about reformism is seeing what it has done to “mainstream” feminism. Even the libfems were less coddling of men not too long ago, and now a huge chunk of their entire movement is about empowering males. I don’t want to see this happen to radical feminism (though I think the reformists are planting that seed?)

In mammals, males tend to be more violent than females. I am pretty sure this is a well-established fact in biology/zoology, and is related to testosterone. Human beings are indeed on a higher level of thinking than any other animal that we know of, but we’re still subject to our biology. We ARE our biology.

That point you made above about how worldwide, across time and space, women have been subjugated by men, is so important. Females are vulnerable, biologically, because we’re (perceived to be) impregnable. That men tend to be stronger physically, and lack this vulnerability, as well as have high levels of testosterone (known to cause anger problems) is a biological fact. Women, generally lacking high levels of testosterone, are on the whole less prone to violence (another vulnerability). This dynamic must be why patriarchy has manifested in nearly every culture. /armchair anthropology

Why is this a sacred cow, then? Why can’t we look at the epidemic of male violence and find ways to treat the problem? And I am not advocating eugenics, but there’s got to be something that can be done (some kind of therapy like a poster above stated) to address the problem of male violence.

62. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2013

Yes, just who “taught” some of us to say NO alot and often about a whole lot of things and to keep telling *our* stories and truth almost always to some kind of detriment to ourselves and to women/girls at-large?

And just who is teaching young women within higher-learning institutions to look closely at male biology as it relates to violence or pedophilia (or any of the luandry list of examples Fact mentioned earlier) perpetrated by men? Who is supporting women who want to look into this as a matter of biology and science? More tellingly, just who is supplying the money that is required for that research??

mieprowan - April 6, 2013

Bluejeans: yes! But I agree with these women who post here that men are the problem, so I can see fewer men being helpful, if we could work towards fewer men.

I have read that female sperm live about five days, while male sperm live about three days (but are faster)

If women were free from rape and economic dependence upon men, fertile women could arrange their sexual access to sperm and tilt the balance towards girl children. Then we could work towards more women, fewer men, less reproduction, and a more healthy planet, since human reproduction is chewing Earth up.

FCM - April 6, 2013

i would also add about “teaching” that women are actually “taught” (and punished for noncompliance) to do, say, and be various unnatural things (like fuckholes and slaves) but that doesnt mean that mens “socialization” works the same way, or involves “teaching” them things that are unnatural to themselves. as i said, men might just be shown how to organize their naturally occurring thoughts for the sake of expedience and efficiency. this is not the same as teaching, and we should not assume that its the same mechanism (all just “socialization”) for males and females.

mieprowan - April 6, 2013

FCM: I was impressed by your original comment(s) where you argue that men are biologically predisposed to be violent. The ball is in their court; if they want to convince us that this precept is untrue, they should work wholeheartedly to change the behaviors of their own gender, not just hang around whining at us about how they’ll be good this time, towards women.

Meanwhile, women should keep working to take down the lies we have been sold by the patriarchy. That’s step number one, and it will never be over until it’s all over and we have a matriarchy.

Matriarchies don’t start wars, they don’t engage in casual acts of oppressive violence. Matriarchies are about protecting the women and children and insistng that the men have some other role that cannot interfere with all of that.

63. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2013

Mieprowan, as much as I concur with so very much of what you say I find it sort of odd that you are using “gender” instead of sex (because that IS what we’re really trying to talk about here) and “Matriarchies” which is in most everyone’s mind the *opposite* of Patriarchy/ies and I that’s pretty problematic (as they say!).

So, it seems to me that if we are also trying to move beyond reformist/patriarchal thinking that we’d best served by reverting to the *best* language available to us.

64. thebewilderness - April 6, 2013

I really appreciate this post, FCM. I have been trying to figure out WTF was going on. Women were saying things that made no sense to me and you laid it out in such a way that it jelled.
Men assigned women the responsibility to reform men a few thousand years ago. Srsly. It’s in all the books they write. You can check. It is the basis for holding women responsible for what men do to us.
I think several thousand years of history is sufficient evidence that reformation of men by women is not only a wasted effort but a con game. Either cut the best deal you can with them on an individual basis the way right wing women do or separate.

FCM - April 6, 2013

about taking down the lies, i am currently reading sonia johnsons’s “out of this world” and this is what this book is all about. its billed as “a fictionalized true life adventure” and im pretty sure its true, and its probably the goddamnedest thing i have ever read in my life. and literally at that. if there was really a patriarchal god, “HE” would strike it down immediately as the most evil, blasphemous thing ever written. ITS THAT GOOD. i should preface this by saying, as i have said before about sonia johnsons books, that its very poorly written IMO, and there are editing errors, and its self-published. its not a “good book” by any usual standard, but it doesnt matter. and it reveals what our standards of “good writing” actually are, and what (patriarchal) “writing” is really all about which i could write an entire post about too. because this book is completely woman-centric, theres not a drop of misogyny in it, and it has altered my worldview in just a few days of reading.

in this book, sonia and her partner have dedicated their entire lives to getting patriarchy out of their heads. they are lesbians, living on womens land, and appear to be self-employed, so they have at least a pro-sep thing happening (i dont think true sep is possible for anyone right now). but this is not enough. they want to remove patriarchy and everything woman-hating and antithetical to women and womens natures from their minds and bodies, including relationships, sex, sadomasochism, and all the lies theyve been told about everything. they go to great lengths to do this, they use “experiments” that include non-sexual touching and pooping in front of each other in order to experience themselves and each other as they “really are” and to them, this means how women were before men and maleness ever existed. not just the absence of patriarchy, but the reality of womens world. it is fascinating, and although im not quite done with the book, im getting the feeling that they succeed in the end. its unlike anything i have ever read or imagined, and im sure this book is another one that just HAD to be self-published. it wouldve never been published by any publishing house. because its not a very good book. get it? 🙂

FCM - April 6, 2013

thanks for that TBW. good to see you again. 🙂

mieprowan - April 6, 2013

Sargasso Sea: Matriarchies are what we should be working for, i.e. women in the roles men are now. Gender is complicated by transpeople. I believe that they really do believe they are not of their biological gender. But they cannot be made into their wanted
gender. Mary Daly was right on that, I found her entry on Wikipedia and read about her saying what I figured, that one cannot duplicate the experience of growing up female in a misogyist culture.

Please tell me how you see sex and gender different. I know that I’m coming from a more liberal culture, with which I am furious. I see sex as something people kept trying to hassle me into, and now I don’t see those people anymore. I don’t know what to do with people I like who say they are transgender, especially people who say they are tramsmen. I don’t want to hate on them.

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your writing, I note it carefully.

Miep

FCM - April 6, 2013

in womens world, almost all of the “roles” we have now wouldnt exist. like…heads of corporations. military. gynecologists and psychiatrists. would not exist. so no need to fill them at all. thats what we are talking about miep. womens culture/womens world is not a matriarchy. its just life, and one that doesnt end up with the earth a smoking cinder this time. a pipe dream perhaps.

FCM - April 6, 2013

or…men blow it up anyway, but at least we are having a nice picnic with our loved wims when it happens instead of sitting in traffic trying to get to some job where we can be sexually harassed for the millionth day in a row. not exactly a pipe dream, but better than the alternative innit.

mieprowan - April 6, 2013

“about taking down the lies, i am currently reading sonia johnsons’s “out of this world” and this is what this book is all about. its billed as “a fictionalized true life adventure” and im pretty sure its true, and its probably the goddamnedest things i have ever read in my life. and literally at that. if there was really a patriarchal god, “HE” would strike it down immediately as the most evil, blasphemous thing ever written. ITS THAT GOOD. i should preface this by saying, as i have said before about sonia johnsons books, that its very poorly written IMO, and there are editing errors, and its self-published. its not a “good book” by any usual standard, but it doesnt matter. and it reveals what our standards of “good writing” actually are, which i could write an entire post about too. because this book is completely woman-centric, theres not a drop of misogyny in it, and it has altered my worldview in just a few days of reading.”

Thanks! I always appreciate books recs.

And yes, writing true is much more important than writing with style. I recently came across an autistic WordPress blogger who goes by “Gareeth” who is just stellar as an author, but she’s a little slow going. But once one gets to settling down and reading her, she’s like poetry, so beautiful and real.

http://gareeth.wordpress.com/

She’s a hermit, like me.

We’re good.

Miep

mieprowan - April 6, 2013

Agree entirely. Women’s world gets back to caring, tending. We need lots fewer humans though. Some light hunting for meat.

And many, many fewer men. I was also struck by your writing about why don’t we just back off and not get in the way of the men endlessly killing each other?

Nobody, but nobody, posts stuff like that, FCM.

But indeed, why not? Go ahead, kill each other, if that’s what lifts your skirts up, men.

The collateral damage is the problem. The fringe murders. The weddings. The children.

You know that. You write this stuff to bring up discourse. That is excellent. Good work.

mieprowan - April 6, 2013

65. radikit - April 6, 2013

There is a well respected german matriarchy researcher who has devoted her life to matriarchy research who maintains that the way we are taught to conceptualize “matriarchy” (–> mere reversal of positions of men and women with women dominating like men do now) is actually a patriarchal reversal. The Greek word arche has a double meaning. It initially used to mean “origin”. Later, when men usurped all social power, a second meaning was coined, arche now also meaning “rule”. Men invented the concept of “ruling”, after all.

So matriarchy really means “mothers at the/as the origin/beginning”. A matriarchal culture is centered around mothers and their children and their needs, in accordance with the needs of the ecological environment around them. Since women don’t want to destroy life but create more life (not only physically), a culture based on women’s values would not be necrophiliac.

I too, in my visions of such a biophilic culture, picture there being much fewer men, and men of a different sort, too. And they would live mostly separated from the women. Or at least, women living without men would be one completely normal and viable option. There would be a culture of moral and sexual intelligence, as described by Dworkin in Right Wing Women. Moral intelligence not being the same as moralism (the patriarchal version), but simply the ability to see/feel the ethical truth of things and act accordingly. Same with sexual intelligence.

A society based on moral and sexual intelligence and integrity would not know rape (or, extreeeeeemly rarely, with immediate exclusion of the perpetrator upon the crime), at least wouldn’t know it as normalized and even eroticized part of “normal” sexuality or just reality of women’s lives.

How do we get there? I think getting a critical mass of women to renounce intercourse and reproduction with males publicly and politically might do the trick, but I don’t think time is ready for this yet. Before women can actually do this there have to be some reforms not only as harm reduction for the time until liberation, but also as further stepping stone, enabling women to separate from men by empowering them financially, or by building networks between women, and by somehow making ourselves less dependent on the work-money system, too. Not that I know how to achieve this, exactly. But I think what women are doing, for example by meeting at radfem13, or even now organizing in facebook groups, or helping each other one on one, to survive, so that we can put some energy into raising each other’s consciousnessess, writing blog posts, organizing discussion groups, setting up feminist spiritual groups, talking to women on the bus about male violence etc…is GOOD and helpful too!

Also thank you fcm for bringing up the question of whether we have identified the right root (the root of the root) or even if so, if we have drawn the right conclusions from our analysis of the root. In other words, your “are they trying to change the problem (male violence)”? made me think. Are we? Isn’t it a matter of survival to figure out what the reason for male violence is and how we can eradicate it? But leaving men has to be the consequence either way. And then IF there is anything to be done about men’s biological urge to rape women, we can try to work on it from a position of distance and safety.

Maybe the planet will help us by destroying civilization within the near future. If so, we need to get ready.

66. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2013

Well Miep it looks Fact has well described my take on “matriarchy”. Thanks Fact and well said🙂

As for sex/gender it’s pretty simple. Sex is biologic, male/female – a corporeal state of being rather than an act that male-minded people try to hassle you into (which is rapey as hell, btw).

Gender is patriarchal semantics as far as I’m concerned. I mean I understand the concept – any number of women have done excellent analysis on this issue – yet still find the whole masculine/feminine thing irritating. But that’s probably because I’ve been chafing against labels my whole life and personally find it to be a giant waste of time.

I’ve commented about the major switcheroo of sex/gender in the mainstream before. There was actually a time when news reports and work applications and statistical forms etc. used the word “sex” to mean Female or Male and it no one really thought it was a Yes or No question… It started sometime in the ’90s I think when a strange confluence of postmodernism started taking over *liberal* thought, the “T” was added to the homo-bet soup and the fundamental religious folk were complaining mightily that their children were hearing way too much “sex” stuff everywhere.

FCM - April 6, 2013

i too remember when “sex” was on every form. it is unfortunate that “we” use the same word for intercourse, bc i dont like seeing it (a euphemism for intercourse) everywhere, especially on a work-related document. but then again impregnator/impregnatee wouldnt make me feel any better in that context and would only remind me of my rapeability. in a work-related context. if course its hard to avoid that once you actually get to the interview and they look you up and down like a piece of meat, or god forbid you actually get the job, where the real corporate (rape) culture, sexual harassment pornography use (aka rape threats) start.

i always briefly consider going into an incoherent special-snowflake tirade about my “gender identity” when asked my gender. lol but its hardly worth the trouble. everyone means “biological sex” when they ask the question, i get it. everyone except the internets!

67. girlsoftheinternet - April 6, 2013

I just wanted to say I’m really glad that this discussion is ongoing and I’m content to read what others are saying and learn from it. WordWoman, your comments re: the equivalence of the essentialist argument levied at women and other marginalized groups vs those made towards men make a lot of sense to me. And the importance of the truth, rather than what we would like the truth to be is another well taken point.

FCM - April 6, 2013

thanks for your comment radikit. the only problem i see with your suggestion is the part about “before we can do/have xyz, we need some reforms that will empower women.” but reformism doesnt work. they never happen the way we want them to happen, and this is partly because we dont control language, where we think we are asking for one thing, but it can really be “read” in multiple ways (and multiple disingenuous ways) so that when we say “equality” and mean “we want to survive and thrive like men do” what it “really” means is “women equal men and men equal women.” we also dont control enforcement so in practice this comes to mean “neither women nor men can discriminate against men” and the even more attenuated “no one can deprive men of the things they want” and that is in fact what we are dealing with now, and the result of equality activating. this is just one example. womens hard won “right” to work for pay has been used to fuck us over too. our “right” to vote for one misogynist or the other. etc etc. dont forget these things are overlapping too, so a “gain” in one area can be quickly and easily negated by only slight changes somewhere else. in the case of rape for example, marital rape is illegal now, but we have every “expert” under the sun telling women they cant say no to their husbands various escalating perversions because trendy reasons. things like that.

reforms will NEVER empower women. so if we are waiting for them to, “before” we can do, be or have something else, we will be waiting a very long time. forever actually. thats the problem.

FCM - April 6, 2013

the waiting forever part is an obvious problem, as well as the vast amounts of gynergy being spent on things that wont and indeed cannot work. AND may i add that the whole thing gets very convoluted and confusing over time, where the plot is lost. this is all intentional i think. its part of reformism, inherent to it, and why men allow us to do it at all.

FCM - April 6, 2013

also, i keep going back to what mary said on another thread, and what has stuck with me, about it being a matter of survival at this point. what does everyone seem to say when it gets to the very end, like the END end, where things have gone to shit and there is no plan D or whatever, its no longer controlled chaos but has become out of control so that your thinking brain no longer matters as much as your intuition, will to live, and frankly how lucky you are. in the movies, everyone says “save yourselves.” of course the movies represent male-centric reality and values, but even in documentaries about survival situations (natural disasters or 9/11 for example) we see reports that this is in fact what happens. people break down into very small units, families or pairs, or even as individuals, and they try to survive. they might come together later or end up in a common meeting place but that happens later, out of the immediacy of it. its a very localized response thats highly specific to a tiny area. from the perspective of the individual or pair, only YOU know what you really need to do because you are there. this makes me think that, if things have gotten to this point, and its a matter of survival now, the responses will more or less naturally become very localized out of necessity and instinct. and if its a global disaster, there will of course be a global response but it wont look like what you would expect. we wont be “waiting” to make sure every woman in the world is on board before we act to save ourselves. if we did, WE would be the stupid ones bc eventually when the stories came out, we would see that they were taking care of themselves while we stood there and did nothing. the supreme idiocy of our policy (of waiting and large-scale organizing) would be obvious. of course, after complete breakdowns like this, things always become very dangerous for women.

anyway, these are my thoughts about survival. are we at this point yet of uncontrolled chaos? are very localized solutions appropriate, and if so, will they happen regardless of anything we might try to do or plan? women globally are realizing that its a bad idea to give birth to male children. this is a very localized response to whats happening in their own communities. i have seen this in the mainstream media exactly twice. it must be happening a lot more than is being reported. i think thats interesting.

68. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2013

“Pro-seperatism” is the only hope I see for any short-term improvement for female lives and the life of the planet itself. Because I agree that Sepaeratism is not exactly feasible/possible the way things stand right now.

So perhaps it would be good to begin to define what we mean by pro-sep? Everyone knows what reformism is and almost everyone has the idea that Seperatists are backwoods lesbians passing the communal hummus bowl (lol) which also isn’t terribly feasible in addition to it not necessarily being the reality.

I think that we (feminists of all stripes) ARE at controlled (by men) chaos. And there are only a handful of us trying to get out of that minset to think of a possible reality for when the shit really hits the fan. And the silencing and disavowal of our thinking is the PROOF that we are indeed at the controlled chaos point.

69. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2013

(good heavens my typing is terrible lately!)

70. karmarad - April 6, 2013

Hi, 4S, I like your thought above about “Pro-Separatism”. I think it’s a realistic formulation of a possible solution to male violence because it removes a lot of unrealistic discussion that the absolutist-sounding Separatism raises, like, where would we go, us 3.5 billion people? (though I do like writing poetry and stories about that topic, and I end up putting us on another planet sometimes). I agree that it would be good to take a step back and define “Pro-Separatism”. Some of the subjects that would be covered might be: what is the relationship of sexual activity to Pro-Sep (is it irrelevant, or how would we handle het sex, for instance, or male family members)? Are there any laws that need to be changed immediately that prevent voluntary separation by groups of women? What are possible models for group separation within a society? What are some places in the world that are most receptive to the idea? What kind of legal entities could we form to maximize our protection (e.g., foundation, non-profit, corporation, partnership)? The Women’s Pro-Separation Society? I’m not aware of any studies of modern women living apart as well-defined groups form men (except nuns and some attempts at women’s communes that I can never find out much about). I think women living separately keep a verrry low profile – in fact, they want to be invisible for their protection, and this would need to be an issue under discussion.

71. witchwind - April 6, 2013

I wouldn’t think that the distinction between pro-sep and sep be necessary, if you take into account that as long as maledom and maleness is still present, 100% separatism is IMPOSSIBLE. Separatism will never describe the fact that we’ve already separated (because that would mean men have gone – oh wow!) but an ongoing disposition of total letting go of male world and maleness, and ongoing disposition of women-centredness – it’s a question of what you focus yourself on. Things follow naturally from then on – if you’re self-centred and focused on our liberation as women, it follows that being with men derails and keeps you away from that goal.

So we might as well say separatism (as it’s easier and shorter to say than pro-sep).

72. witchwind - April 6, 2013

“they want to remove patriarchy and everything woman-hating and antithetical to women and womens natures from their minds and bodies, including relationships, sex, sadomasochism, and all the lies theyve been told about everything. they go to great lengths to do this, they use “experiments” that include non-sexual touching and pooping in front of each other in order to experience themselves and each other as they “really are” and to them”.

I love Sonia, i mean, what she writes. Reading her books feels exactly like the discussions and experiments i have in my own life. Every time I read her questionings and experiments it comes at a time i’m through those stuff too. I’ve rarely so closely identified to a radfem writer.

Particularly her search for non-sexual touching, or for de-sexualising / de-objectifying affection and touching, i find it great that she writes about it and especially about what she tries and how it feels like, because i’ve seen it nowhere else and it’s kind of the the taboo thing to talk about too even amongst radfems.

73. witchwind - April 6, 2013

As to men being biologically predisposed to violence – I think men are a biological abomination, that is, the antithesis of life. However they are somewhat, say 90% or 99% (or whatever, I’m not a scientist so can’t say accurately) female, that is human. Which does make them part human. Which means they still suffer effects of violence and grooming, but what’s obvious is that violence ans grooming affects them differently as it affects women.

Basically as i see, men make the most of male destructiveness by adding loads of violence to the equation (man + brought up through violence = super-violent rapist-killer man = keeps male supremacy better in place). this, despite the negative effects it has on men (obviously, especially as children, they suffer, this undeniable if you look at the way boys are abused) men are prepared to endure this drawback or even exploitation, alienation from other men, to preserve the system they have, to keep raping/PIV and impregnating women. That is, this “drawback” (it’s incomparable to what women suffer of course but its existence and function shouldn’t be ignored) is the price they are prepared to pay to keep their system going – it is necessary for their system to sustain itself, and especially, it magnifies their destructiveness tenfold, which is beneficial for global maledom.

FCM - April 6, 2013

i think pro-sep is a useful distinction because it makes it obvious that theres a distinction to be made. this leaves it open for others to consider that we arent talking about an impossibility, and to try to work through this in their own minds. of course, there will be some who read the distinction and dont see it, or equate it with “complete separatism” anyway. but it makes it a bit more obvious who is approaching this with integrity and who is just trying to be antagonistic and disingenuous. for me, when i read “separatism” in previous discussions, particularly when it was mixed with obvious het bashing and self-congratulation by women who werent even separate themselves bc they were either wealthy or on benefits for example, it sounded hypocritical and hateful. to this day i dont know WTF they were even talking about, or if they were just delusional about their own (and all of our) material realities and who and what they were still dependent on.

where im getting stuck is on karmas suggestions below, which seem to suggest engaging in reformism (activating for legal or social change) that will be supportive of womens eventual, legitimate, literal separatism from men. there is no reformism of which i can think that is separatist, bc by definition it requires our engaging with men and male systems. is there any thats pro-sep? that seems like a bottomless pit to me bc any “gains” are going to be elusive and the goal posts are always shifting to undermine our progress. the same as reformism proper actually. the problem is it doesnt work, and there is no end to it.

74. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2013

On just one point: Yes, the Laws. That’s part of why I advocate for knowing the how the law works, how to read and interpret the law, how to anticipate how The Law will react in a given locality… Not so much to see how to change/reform it ahead of time or be prepared when forced to respond to an *infringement* although that’s darn impostant, but to AVOID it all together – weave through it and keep a low profile. But en masse at some sort of sustainable level.

To that end I see “pro-sep” as a (political, linguistic, reality-based) thinking bridge to carry a larger number of women’s/girl’s thoughts to, if nothing else, *believeing* in another way. A FRESH way that holds out some other sort of hope than pretending to get somewhere for the n’th century in a row.

I’m so glad we’re talking about all of this! Again, thanks everyone🙂

75. Sargasso Sea - April 6, 2013

(ah, it’s the notepad program on this computer making me seem like I’m drunk! sorry all)

76. WordWoman - April 6, 2013

I like the pro-sep label. It does say all those things to me. Anyway, I think we cannot be “pure” in the sense that there is no way to avoid patriarchal systems since they control the food, clothing, shelter, etc., as you point out, FCM (paychecks and all that). I wonder if we should be thinking more about building women’s culture and being pro-sep. If we do this well, then the next stage will come easily compared to always being under direct attack.

BTW, this is one thing that bothered me more about the whole hub fiasco. Were we under attack from outside or from within? It is hard to tell, this being the internet. It would also be hard to tell irl, but at least we would see more than online personas, some of which may be constructed by males and not just individuals. Was there a deliberate strategy?

Remember, men have been taught to strategize. Women have not. In fact, when culture sees men doing it, they are seen as savvy. If women do it, they are just schemers/devious/untrustworthy. These are the stereotypes. I think strategy is very important, but building a pro-sep culture that doesn’t involve trying to do a lot of activism seems the first step in the strategy. Perhaps something like what Sonia J is discussing in the book is the first step (or maybe other ones, too).

To use an example of the women-schemers, men-savvy stereotype, look at Hilary Clinton. It is very easy for her opponents to cast her as a devious, untrustworthy, scheming women. Look at any one of her opponents. They strategize and everyone gives them a thumbs up for their savvy. I’m going into this because I hope we will begin to think more of strategizing as a general principle and not shy away from it. It could be one way to avoid massive wasting of our gynergy. To negotiate the part of patriarchy that we need to put bread on the table while still being pro-sep. While still building women’s culture.

FCM - April 6, 2013

a thinking bridge, yes! thanks for that. it could also be used as a statement of motivation/purpose from which all decisions are made. all decisions, personal decisions as well as decisions as to how best use our gynergy to activate towards womens liberation from male dominance. is this supportive of (or antithetical to) our separating or creating womens world?

77. WordWoman - April 6, 2013

as I was writing, you posted again, FCM. I like the idea of “weaving” better than “negotiate.” I didn’t mean “negotiate” as in “sit down at a table and negoitate” but more like “negotiating traffic during rush hour to get home as quickly as possible.” So, yes, weaving is a clearer term.

78. karmarad - April 6, 2013

Yes, and haha, fcm, I don’t mean liberal reformism, I don’t mean dealing with men at all, except via legal counsel. I mean disentangling in a savvy way that does not offer any opportunity for patriarchy to persecute/hunt us down/make war on as criminals. This is a real danger. The reaction when the patriarchal system becomes aware that we are separating must be dealt with. The corporate bridge would get us where we want to go. Corporations are so beloved, so “legit”, so protected, so free…why should we not become a global corporation? Low tax rates, privacy, patriarchal-mirrors that take advantage of the system, while we disentangle? Heck, as a corporation we could publish our thoughts, accept donations, get loans, develop property, do all sorts of creative real estate deals. We could set up subsidiaries, hide reserves, make money through our talents, give dividends that would support women going through the disentanglement process. We could have our own legal counsel, sue to keep ourselves safe while maintaining individual confidentiality, We could have an elected government (“Board of Directors”). Corporations are mini-governments and are the elite patriarchal structure, IMHO. So why not use a Corporation as the bridge to liberation? Is this reformism? Or is it savvy working the System as we move away from it, the Bridge?

Liberal feminists, in the end, want to make it tolerable to live within the patriarchal system. If they don’t want to stick around for another few centuries of agonizing over how to change men, and if we don’t want violence, maybe they would support a branch of feminists moving out, moving on. What I like about radical feminism: we are establishers of new paradigms. Liberal feminism should support us all the way as we move OUT OF CONTROL. There is so much more to say about this. Thanks for keeping this discussion goin.

FCM - April 7, 2013

ah ok. so you dont mean trying to get the laws changed where they exist to prevent more than 4 unrelated women living together (for example) correct? interesting idea to just set up a corporation for whatever purpose and make it work under the existing laws. i like it.

79. Sargasso Sea - April 7, 2013

That’s the way I’m *experimenting* in my life, I guess: I try to think about how I would go about a certain task or whatever in the most separatist (ha ha that’s a double superlative or something?!) way I can given the obstacles. At the very least I am TRYING to envision it and think it through – this is where I see the points which need to be “navigated”😉 in order to get the job done with the least amount of patriarchal influence possible.

THIS is the mental bridge space – where we can clearly see how things are, how they could be and how we will do our best to get as close to the “could be” as we can right now. And every time I go through that process (which becomes virtually automatic over time) I am DOING something.

80. karmarad - April 7, 2013

Plppph…BS stuff from the victorian era…EZ to crush.

Real modern life. Real power. The weird thing is that so many of us have access to it, yet find it so difficult to use it for our purposes. Maybe it’s too new. I am sympathetic and have this problem myself. Maybe it’s my social conditioning – don’t use power! Yet I know how it works and I can use it. How weird.

81. Sargasso Sea - April 7, 2013

Oh yes Karma🙂 Coprorations are *people*! At least in the US anyway.

82. karmarad - April 7, 2013

Let me formulate that last thought I just posted a little better. So many of us are now educated. We understand the wielding of power. We see the underpinnings. We have been (reluctantly) trained in how to wield it ourselves. But we are AFRAID to do so. Yes. Afraid. Another block. They just get deeper and deeper. These blockages are so engrained in us, It sometimes feels as if we’ll never get to the bottom.

That is what the system intends.

This is why liberal feminism is so terribly limited. Radical feminism goes so deep. It goes beyond law, beyond social mores. It goes to developmental psychology. it goes to hideous truths. It goes to necrophilia, the death-wish, in the male. See, Freud, Civilization and its Discontents. Please, everyone, read this. Freud was a genius. Like all patriarchal geniuses, he made some honking errors, like “penis envy” and “delusional reports of sexual abuse by women as children”. But he discovered many things, and the male death-wish he discovered needs to be discussed, to be highlighted.It explains so much.

FCM - April 7, 2013

the male death wish is fascinating to me because we have no idea what it really is. there is a lot that is unexplained about men and maleness, even though they are assumed to be the default human and women are the weirdos for not being (mysterious?) like men. oh, okay! one of my moms old boyfriends once described to her what its like to be a teenage boy thinking about “sex.” he said it was like having the hottest hot pepper in your mouth and the only thing that will relieve the pain is fucking. he was describing a physical sensation. that part is interesting to me. now, even if a woman had a REAL (not imagined) hot pepper in her mouth i dont think it would ever cause her to rape anyone. but who knows, maybe for men they justify everything as long as it relieves their own suffering. maybe they dont bother justifying it at all, they just do it. i agree that ACTING on these impulses probably involves a degree of conscious choice which could be proven after the fact (was he lucid enough to operate buttons and zippers? did he attack a woman and not a man, or a flank steak. that kind of thing). but reformist feminists have their work cut out for them if they intend to fix something as mysterious as a man feeling and acting as if he has a hot pepper in his mouth when he doesnt. an imaginary hot pepper that can only be deactivated by fucking. WTF. i think they are making a huge mistake if they dont take these bizarre self-reports seriously, but they dont do they?

FCM - April 7, 2013

instead, they insist everything is about dom/sub. as if they say it enough times it will become true.

83. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

Your’s is one of the first radfem blogs I read. Been making a lot of a friends on twitter but they are all reformist. I couldn’t put my finger on why their ideas bothered me so much but I think I do now. Sometimes I shame myself for being ‘bored’ with blogs that call themselves radical feminist but I’m not with your’s my soul can sense the truth. I don’t want to point out any names here but a reformist told me that the idea (and likely reality) that men are biologically inferior and violent ‘takes away the whole point of feminism because nothing can be accomplished’ she also has a space where she educates young womyn interested in radfem who don’t know better. I don’t want to waste my time giving false hope to these laws and policies. I want to write stories about what a womyn centric world would look like and have people read them and plant the seed. i too miss cherry blossom i have been a lurker but your blogs and her’s resonate to the core of my soul even when some who call themselves radfem do not. Your words give me hope even though I have a phobia of poop which u mentioned in the comments do you think such a condition could exist outside of patriarchy? i hope my comment made sense. peace.

84. radikit - April 7, 2013

I agree, men obviously have some sort of inborn rape urge. Whether or not they act on it, as you said, involves some conscious choice. But the URGE is there, always there, BEFORE.
I think libfems and some radfems are often reluctant to admit to a biologicla foundation of male sexual violence because they draw faulty inferences; like, “if men are natural rapists then that means all is lost and we have to let them keep doing it and give up”. Or something.
This makes me mad! All it means if men are natural rapists is that we need to find a way to render them incapable of hurting us, lock them up, castrate them, get women to SECEDE FROM MEN and form protective women’s communities. Stuff like that. I really think its a logic fail on their part if they maintain that if male sexual violence is biological this means it will be inevitable. In fact, it means we need to assess the situation differently, starting with the realization that men as a class are our ENEMIES, individual men who seem to get it and are pro-separatist pro-feminist (like the 2 or 3 there are of them) nonwithstanding.
I think openly stating that you think men are naturally women’s enemies scares a lot of women who are invested in “official” “respectable” postitions in patriarchal institutions. They are afraid to lose their credibility with the “reasonable” people. Thus the absurd accusations of misandry which are meant to discredit radfems (“you are all just man-haters, therefore your argument can’t be rational”). Well, I hate men, and I’ve come to this conviction by RATIONALLY looking at men’s behaviour, as a class, globally and historically, as well as individually. They suck. They also love destroying. Doesn’t mean we should allow them to destroy everything, does it?

85. Mary Sunshine - April 7, 2013

Lesbian-separatism-phobia seems to be part of “pro-separatism”.

I am a lesbian separatist.

Radical feminism can kiss my ass.

FCM - April 7, 2013

I think openly stating that you think men are naturally women’s enemies scares a lot of women who are invested in “official” “respectable” postitions in patriarchal institutions. They are afraid to lose their credibility with the “reasonable” people.

public relations, in other words. at the expense of the truth, or truth-seeking, or even considering the question.

mens urges and their self-proclaimed right to live in accordance with their male natures — which they do globally — trumps womens right to live in accordance with ours. mens urges trump womens safety. mens urges trump womens sanity. our rights. our children. our lives. thats what it comes down to really. mens interests are in direct opposition to our own, and this makes them the enemy. i think we need to seriously consider what this means. because as of right now they have yet to admit this in a way that makes them culpable for it — THEY proclaim that if this is really how they are then we just need to let them do and be how they will. THEY have yet to say yes, this is how we are AND we see that our way interferes with your way, and this is not fair. because if they did that, either we or they would remove their victim pool. so its not just their “natures” that they feel entitled to, like, let them fret alone with their “urges” where they cant hurt anyone. NO. they create a fantasy where its OUR natures to be members of the victim pool, but this is not true. this is the dom/sub fallacy but dom/sub really isnt the point is it? the point is a value judgement has been made, and women lost. to see that this has happened, that its been deliberate, and a choice between 2 or more outcomes (one could be that men fretted alone and women were far away, men could implement this) and that we “have to” continue to engage with men anyway is devastating. but seeing the situation for what it is is revealing and illuminating.

FCM - April 7, 2013

lesbianism is not possible for me, and separatism is not possible for any woman in patriarchy from what i can tell. so i dont even know what you mean by that mary. interestingly, i just finished my book where sonia johnson and her partner reject feminism near the end. they say its the womens auxilliary and im sure shes aware of the existence of radical feminists and she rejects them just as completely as she rejects lib fems and fun fems. im beginning to see her point. she also rejects lesbianism and says she isnt one. her female companion says the same thing. not being a lesbian, and not having a female companion, i suppose i should stay out of that one. but she explains very well what she means by that, and i understand what shes saying. i hope others read the book (“out of this world” a fictionalized true life adventure”) and see for themselves if they are interested.

FCM - April 7, 2013

she also rejects “separatism” even though they way she describes her life is as separatist as one could possibly get, and certainly “pro-sep” in that her decisionmaking seems motivated by her desire to continue her life the way it is, which is with her and her partner living how they want, and having nothing to do with men, and making womens world together. she says the concept is reactive, which i suppose it is. the way a bridge is a reaction to a gorge, where people want and need to get to the other side. 🙂

FCM - April 7, 2013

and every other day or so it strikes me that when we lost the HUB, we lost one of the only places *in life* that was free of men and maleness, or as close to it as many of us are likely to see and experience in our lifetimes. and certainly one of the only woman-centric, female-only spaces on the open internet. we lost a female-only space. and there are WOMEN and “radfems” who are celebrating and applauding this loss. its fucking stunning. this is telling me more than i probably wanted to know about this community. this development has been both revealing and devastating.

86. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

this is the response i got when i asked in a blog basically for ppl new to radfem what the biological inferority of males means for feminism. i also felt pressured to agree with a commenter asserting like ‘boy children are blameless’ and really my own little brother has said very savage downright sociopathic things from a young age i think there is something wrong with males from day one honestly. response is below i was starting to get confused tbh but reading your words again brought me back to what truly makes sense to me ‘I read it. Not a big fan of thinking of people as ‘biologically flawed’. I can’t really get down with it when people dwell on this chromosome issue too much. I like to hold men responsible for their faults and crimes instead of judging them based on their biology, as they have done to us all these millennia and as white people have done to people of color for a very long time as well. Categorizing people as flawed-from-birth and “inferior” seems pretty Social Darwinist and like biological essentialism. The current state of evolution means that the human species requires both female and male to continue existing. If the Y chromosome is really disappearing, all I can do when I think about it is shrug, because I don’t know what the species will become when that process has progressed further. I won’t be around to see it, and neither will the next generation. I like to think about what is happening now and how to deal with that. It seems like so much speculation, and for what? It hardly makes a difference. I’m not about to shout from the rooftops that we deserve to live in a matriarchy because of inferior genetic material in males’

FCM - April 7, 2013

honestly, from my experience, including what i am learning about private radfem FB groups celebrating the loss of the HUB, i would say to stay as far away from these groups AND FROM THESE WOMEN as possible.

87. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

i believe young womyn are becoming interested in radfem more now because like me they have felt inside themselves something was not right with how womyn are treated, looked up feminism and got caught up in libfem and felt that was wrong too and then perhaps even found reformist blogs who still misled them on what radical feminism is about. its sad this is at least what happened for me. so many bloggers appropriating the term radical with stupidity like ‘radical sex positive feminist’ ‘radical transfeminism’ but when something is right you just know and what you and cherry write is truly radical, it is the root of our suffering. do you believe all womyn are naturally lesbians and then conditioned into heterosexuality?

88. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

thanks fcm their blogs were confusing the hell out of me and i actually have trouble reading them i find them boring how they go on about every single oppression and how bc i am white i can never be a good feminist and i am ‘contributing’ to racism despite colonialism being a product of what men did. i have a hard time believing womyn where the ones colonizing things because well… they didn’t! i dont want to sound stupid and ask for radfem blogs with views similar to yours bc you have links on the side but it doesn’t feel like enough to me. your kind of writing i could read for a long time and do and re read because it is so true. i think maybe it is waste of gynergy and a lot of ppl feel bad they cant go to radfem they have to make it a special club not everyone can afford that they are just adding to the stigma that all radfems are upper middle class white. which is so not true but ya know.

89. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

i dont want to sound like an idiot leaving so many comments this was probably asked before but is the hub lost forever or is this radical writing preserved. would have LOVED to have a site like that when first finding radfem. i dont think your gynergy in this project was a waste though. it sounded very valuable and i am sure many womyn had a feminist awakening.

FCM - April 7, 2013

my understanding is that the HUB will be brought back as an archives. i do not know when this will happen.

as for womens sexuality, as i said i have just finished reading a book that introduced me to a very different perspective that i will share. sonia johnson believes that women are not naturally sexual at all, and that men are sexual, and have forced women to comply/receive/become mens sexuality. men have attached unnatural sexual meaning to womens bodies, to the parts THEY are interested in, particularly breasts, vulvas and anuses and we need to reject mens sexualizing our body parts as a part of getting patriarchy out of our heads and bodies. and since male sexuality is a perversion, they associate breasts, vulvas and anuses with perversion (filth and shame) and invite us to view them the same way. that way there is nothing to further “defile” when men fuck us — these parts are already defiled. we separate those body parts (sexualize them) and let men colonize them completely. this is “sex” in patriarchy.

before everyone blows a lobe, i should clarify that she does not mean that in the absence of patriarchy, women would not touch each other. she means that in “womens world” which predates maleness, women touched each other freely and communicated primarily by touch, and that this is our natural state. (language and writing are also a male perversion). but that this touching was not “sexualized” as it is now, where sex is a male perversion and a male urge. she and her partner do “experiments” with touching which include the breasts, vulva and anus but which they reject as sexual, but rather frame as women experiencing themselves and each other as they always did before men. (this touching can include arousal and/or orgasm but its doesnt have to, and its not the point.) and that we can do this again. she plays with a “time travel” concept like mary daly did, and believes that women existed before men and that we do not share the same beginnings and therefore do not need to share the same ends. “sisterwitch conspiracy” explains the time travel and “different beginnings” ideas thoroughly. you really have to read it to see what she means. she doesnt hide the ball at all, and i am still processing what she said about this.

anyway, thats one perspective. commence lobe-blowing, as it does kind of erase lesbianism? i guess?

90. karmarad - April 7, 2013

Wow, now that’s radical! The thing is, the question of women’s sexual desire, what it is, its intensity, what we need in short to be happy as sexual beings, is seldom addressed in feminist lit, maybe because it’s too explosive and that there will obviously be different opinions based on the orientation of our desire. To me, celibacy is possible and desirable and in fact easy at this point in my life. But I have to look back at periods when I was what I’d consider half-mad with sexual urges, and then I realize how big a deal this is, and not solvable by everybody just backing off like me and saying, we;ll just retire from the sex wars. The problem of female sexual desire has to be addressed, but damn, it is explosive.

91. karmarad - April 7, 2013

Just to clarify, Johnson’s notion that women are not naturally sexual is what brings up the thoughts I stated above. Can any of us support that statement, that we have no natural sexual urges, based on our personal experiences? BTW I’m not looking for particulars here and everyone please remember this blog is read by a lot of hostile readers, so keep it general.

FCM - April 7, 2013

one of the things that was obvious in this book is that sonias desire to get patriarchy out of her head supercedes anything and everything else, as a means to getting to womens world which was her goal. she dedicated her life to it and these experiments were grueling and challenging and frankly alienating and confusing to many people. she and her partner were so dedicated to this that no one else satisfied their criteria for “womens world” except themselves and even though she owned a large property and had women lining up to move in, she refused everyone who asked bc they werent dedicated enough, and it wasnt womans world to her if there was any residual maleness at all that was left beyond scrutiny and exorcism. if this seemed harsh or dogmatic to others, she didnt care. the book ends with sonia and her partner saying “i love you” to each other. sonia had said previously that she refused to say this word until she understood what “love” was to women before men and maleness perverted it. so in the end, it seems as if they were successful in their goal. its fascinating and hopeful.

92. amazonmancrusher - April 7, 2013

The vast majority of Radfem 2013 organisers (several of whom are Mary Daly fans) have had nothing at all to do with the development or administration of either the Hub or LC (although I want to acknowledge that the one or two organisers who were involved involved in one or the other or both are highly valued in the organising group), and nobody leading putting the programme together for rf2013 was involved in either the Hub or LC. The organising collective have been generally very baffled by this post, trying to figure out where you are coming from on several things. We have an email address radfem2013@hotmail.co.uk, women are welcome to contact us to discuss these kind of issues. As one of the main programmers, I know that the aim has been to develop a radical feminist programme with a range of speakers, workshops, actions and strategy sessions.

FCM - April 7, 2013

i think the point was that women used to touch freely, and this included all our “parts” and excluded sadomasochism or the one-upmanship thats part of patriarchal sex. touching which included breasts, vulvas and anuses was just life and didnt need a name, naming which implies that it is separate and distinct from anything else. again i can see where mens new age religion has perverted these concepts, bc new age also says that “sex” should just be a natural part of life and not separate and distinct from life. what THEY mean when they say it is that women should be “open” to fucking men all the time. this is decidedly not what sonia and her partner mean when they say *almost* the same thing. they mean pretty much the opposite, in fact.

FCM - April 7, 2013

amazonmancrusher, it doesnt take a “vast majority” to undermine radical space. and there are plenty of women who know exactly what i am talking about and who arent baffled at all.

thanks for providing an address where women can contact you to discuss this as they wish. i stand by my post.

93. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

My grandmere is french and often communicates through touch it is never sexual or perverted of course not it is warm, nurturing, loving and understanding. If all women could touch each other like that the world would be a better place I think. Sexuality seems by nature predatory does anyone else find this? I think men are better suited for fucking each other. This pornographic rise is hetero anal sex is really frightening. I have often heard of girls who were with a guy that stuck his dick in there without asking. I would feel so violated… goddess I hate men. I think the portrayal of Hera as so jealous and vengeful is a corrupt of who she once was to womyn, I have heard she was a river goddess.

FCM - April 7, 2013

also, i hope that, since the organizers of rf13 are reading here, that they will recognize and acknowledge that women who have contributed to and/or are coming to the conference are interested in talking about the issue of biological roots of male domination of women, as well as whether radfems have incorrectly identified the root and fallen into reformist traps. and to NOT wait to receive email correspondence before they recognize and ACT on the fact that these concerns exist. its not too late to add it to the program if you wish.

94. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

following the person who wrote the letter on her fb she listed reasons why she likes radfem and the last reason is ‘And a belief in humanity – that someday even men will understand that violence and oppression are not the answer’ *facepalm* radfem2013 is hopeless.

95. delphyne - April 7, 2013

The final outcome for social constructionist radical feminism is that after the abolition of gender, the category woman will become meaningless and our future will be living with males in one undifferentiated mass:

(the last minute or so is all you need to watch to get the key point)

This sounds a lot like trans, and their attempts to erase any meaning or reality from “woman”, in particular women’s political reality with regards to men. It’s odd to see radical feminists jumping on that train.

FCM - April 7, 2013

thanks for that delphyne.

FCM - April 7, 2013

this is deep green resistance — lierre keith’s organization. correct?

96. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

you comment about womyns natural language of non sexual touching got me thinking I have been diagnosed with something called non verbal learning disability reading about it to remind myself it seems like these people who have it many whom are womyn have very ‘male minded’ way of thinking and using information. i wonder why this mutation occurred. i am smart but it can be downright impairing and it bothers me to think how male minded my natural thought process is.
http://www.nldontheweb.org/nldentrylevelreading/nvldanemergingprofile.html
your post actually inspired me to take biology in uni and then i dedicate my studies to why men are biologically violent and likely to rape. maybe womyn like me are born because they understand the male thought process intimately and can share it with other womyn and use it conspire against patriarchy? this is a great post and thank you for publishing my comments. i always hear i dont have good enough things to say but your posts always make me think hard for a long time after which is much more than most other feminist blogs i have read including rad reformers.

97. delphyne - April 7, 2013

That’s right, it’s Lierre Keith’s organisation.

98. witchwind - April 7, 2013

I’m glad there’s this discussion on sexuality, i’ve been wanting to discuss it for a long time. I think male sexuality, as men have crafted it, is a mixture of predation, addictive rushes as a reaction to the predation intrusiveness of the acts and trauma bonding. The almost unbearable intensity of the feelings we may get through male sexuality (whether with a man or a woman, although with a man it’s always worse), as I have analysed it with my self and other women with whom i’ve talked about it, is a sign that it’s pain, and destructive, imprisoning.

I don’t think it’s possible actually to rebuild relationships with women around touching if we haven’t undone ourselves from male sexuality, male perversions and fetishisation of women’s body parts, because otherwise all we do is repeat the same mechanism of invasion / intense feeling-addictive high / followed by a low / trauma bonding / painful sense of loss. So long as I have these feelings i know that i’m not in a balanced, healthy relationship with a woman. And desexualising touch takes a lot of time and de-conditioning. For instance the entire notion that you should touch one woman in one way (partner) and others in a more distant way (your friends) makes no sense to me. Surely if touching in a sexual way meant love and desire, why is not acceptable to do it with all women once you get closer? I think because inherently sexualising someone is humiliating and dehumanising, it’s instrumentalising someone for something you want to do of her. It’s tied to male invasion, them holding one woman captive to whom they have constant access, as opposed to others whose integrity he respects

The whole notion of desire is male too IMO. To desire a person is to want that person, it’s possessive, i find that really violent and dehumanising, because it reduces the person to what you project on her, it’s unilateral – even if two unilateral desires may happen to coincide.

The only possible love is love to women, that has been true in my life and this is why i am lesbian. this said, i have sometimes been appalled by the way lesbianism is practised even by lesbian separatists i have met, that is, by the way they jump from het relationships to lesbian relationships without having taken the time to undo the former, and basically reproduce similar dynamics of possession and trauma bonding. This is the contrary of liberation IMO.

FCM - April 7, 2013

so lierre keiths organization is espousing weird tranified gender politics and social constructionist radical feminism in a 101 format, ie. as if its the only kind. lierre keith is a presenter at rf13. there is clearly a pattern here, and yet amazon mancrusher feels “baffled” that anyone notices it? jfc.

99. witchwind - April 7, 2013

i didn’t know where lierre keith stood on that point, well now i do. One thing that bothered me with deep green resistance though is the involvement of that man (what’s his name? why isn’t it woman-only???), and the fact agriculture and capitalism is seen as separate from patriarchy, as if it weren’t only men who did it and as if it didn’t function to increase their global power over women-as-property, to destroy and consume everything female, and as if agriculture and capitalism weren’t rapism. I mean, nothing men did is separate from patriarchy and rapism/PIV. With all my respect for the work that’s done, I thought there was a serious problem in the analysis of maledom.

100. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

Some people who are going have been lying then I have seen tweets that clearly state rf13 would be a female only space. Thats weird.

101. gynodesss - April 7, 2013

I agree with witchwind there is so much that needs to be undone to truly have female centric ‘sex’ sex itself is a patriarchal concept too so perhaps a better word would be ‘intimacy’ or love? on the 101 blog thing i asked a question ‘what does female centred sexuality look like?’ and basically got the response ‘anything that women do sexually together bc my lesbian friend said so’ and that felt wrong. i think lesbian bdsm is just a real insult and a shame and certainly comes to mind as clearly non female centric and loving.

FCM - April 7, 2013

AFAIK rf13 is woman-only. deep green resistance, lierre keiths environmental activist organization, is not woman-only.

FCM - April 7, 2013

i will likely close comments soon if people are done discussing. so, post em if you got em. thanks to all who participated, as s4 said this is/was a very good conversation and one that needed to be had. thank you.

FCM - April 7, 2013

recognizing patterns is a huge part of radical feminism, and viewing and understanding the world through a radical feminist lens. it bothers me that we are being asked not to see patterns that are clearly there, WRT reformist activists within the movement. this reeks to high heaven in fact. women arent stupid, and im not stupid. mkay? good.

102. witchwind - April 7, 2013

LOL. if there’s a pattern you can be sure it’s male / patriarchal in fact. Only male stuff repeat themselves over time, are fixed, static, linear / circular / repetitive through patterns. Life unhinged and unbroken by violence evolves and spirals.

103. WordWoman - April 7, 2013

I have not read quite all the comments but wanted to comment before closure. SJ’s view of sexuality makes complete sense to me. Why label things from the outside? Including seeing ourselves as objects? For example, you say
“Johnson believes that women are not naturally sexual at all, and that men are sexual, and have forced women to comply/receive/become mens sexuality. men have attached unnatural sexual meaning to womens bodies, to the parts THEY are interested in, particularly breasts, vulvas and anuses and we need to reject mens sexualizing our body parts as a part of getting patriarchy out of our heads and bodies. and since male sexuality is a perversion, they associate breasts, vulvas and anuses with perversion (filth and shame) and invite us to view them the same way. “

104. WordWoman - April 7, 2013

What I’m getting at is what has been labeled “love” and “sexual feelings” are all wrong if they are seen from the observer position. Instead, from the active position (seen from within) why do we have to label them, if they are just natural. I think there is a level of fear and trauma bonding. I don’t see us completely escaping it if we grow up in patriarchy. It can feel intense and then is labeled as “sex” or “love” That’s how BDSM got into the picture for lesbians. Lots of this is about power and some fear related to this. It can feel exciting, but is not natural. I’m not speaking for everyone else since I don’t know the experience of other women lesbians or not.

FCM - April 7, 2013

i will leave them open overnight at least, if that helps? i am happy leave it open even longer, as long as people are “actively discussing.” several comments in an hour would demonstrate continued interest IMO. its more of a guideline than a rule, and i close them so i dont have to constantly monitor it for random latecomers. i made this change last year and its worked for me. this is an exception to my general rule of closing comments after 3 days.

105. karmarad - April 7, 2013

Thanks for an enlightening convo, fcm…

FCM - April 7, 2013

also, i agree that environmental organizations should be woman-only if they are to have any credibility at all. i understand that this is not “realistic” however lets examine what this means. in the case of deep green resistance, because DGR includes men, it makes perfect sense that their official stance on “gender” (read: male violence and male behavior in general) is social constructionist, bc thats the ONLY position that is palateable to progressive males. they might repeat it more often than anyone in fact, as if the more they say it, the more likely it is to be/come true. derrek jensen pushes this view, and so does owen lloyd.

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/moron-mansplainingwomens-perspective-is-wrong/
http://reallyrad.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/the-man-box-and-the-cult-of-masculinity/

106. witchwind - April 7, 2013

if an action to a women were natural and respectful, my feeling is that it would automatically apply to all affectionate relationships, and be considered as respectful to all women. there wouldn’t be an exceptional status to it, whereby it would be considered disloyal, disrespectful or boundary-intrusive in all situations except the “couple situation”. This state of exception whereby you have one person to whom you can have access and it is more or less prohibited for others – is patriarchal, because it comes from the model of a man holding one woman captive to have exclusive access to her vagina and reproductive functions.
It means that this state whereby you have constant access to a person in a “sexualised” way is to be abolished i think, or completely unthought to rethink relationships outside of this patriarchal box.

also, if couplehood / current model of sexuality were natural it wouldn’t be stressful or potentially cause loss or painful separation or trauma bonding. The fact that “couple relationships” (lesbian) may be so often painful, especially after break-ups, shows that there’s something to be thought about. The very fact that you need to “break up” from a relationship is in itself a sign to me that it was forcefully and artificially set up in the first place, in that it placates an unnatural relationship of “belonging” and physically sticking to each other because we feel we have to as a couple and that’s the way couples behave to signify to ourselves and others that we are “together” – instead of following the flow of a relationship that would evolve by itself. if it wasn’t based on some form of possession or violence, there would be no need to break free from it. You’d just evolve out of it the day new doors and spheres have opened up to you and that person no longer brings what you were looking for at a given time (some transcend all stages of life).

that said, the only one frightening thing about sonia johnson is the fact that she appears to live alone with her partner, and isolated. To not develop strong emotional dependency on the partner must be really hard i imagine. I can’t imagine living with just one person to rely on in my life, it’s too scary to me, given how traumatic and annihilating depending on parents then men is in patriarchy. But i still have to read the book you’re talking about, maybe she addresses that point.

107. WordWoman - April 7, 2013

I appreciated the video, Delphyne. I’ve been reading the DRG book (Lierre’s parts mostly). I have much appreciated the things she had to say about misogyny and how it relates to the destruction of the environment. The sticking point for me was always being in organizations with males to stop the damage of the environment. I’m not willing to do that. (I already did that for way too long. Huge, frustrating waste of gynergy). But I do think Lierre has been outstanding in shedding some light on the very direct connections between the destruction of our ecosystem and patriarchy/misogyny. In one sense, DGR is sounding the alarm, giving facts, etc. that everyone needs to hear. If the whole ecosystem collapses, we simply won’t be around anymore. And I think that’s the most likely outcome. I don’t take this lightly.

I watched most of the video and agreed with many of the young woman’s points. She has moved away from liberal feminism (and slutwalk!) and has seen through much of it. Except her conclusion that there will someday be an amorphous group where everyone (M and F) is pretty much the same. That is just a sour note. I see this young woman as being anti-constructivist in terms of the pomos, etc. But then she shifts it. At the end. That’s where I don’t agree.

Also, she appears to say that women’s oppression equates to classism, racism, etc I don’t think they are parallel concepts. It is not structured like that, where you can just throw them all in a pot where there are the same. For example, for decades I’ve thought that if I were a member of some those other groups, I could move to a country where mostly my own people were. To even hear that there is a “women’s country” with only women would have been remarkable. No safe place for women, not ever in history. It is being an alien everywhere. Hence the central issue of women’s space.

What is needed is a separatist activism for environmental concerns. I just don’t trust any organization with a majority of men, or with men in the leadership. It can never come out right. They don’t get it. Even if there are seemingly benign men in leadership, once they make progress who will take over? Will it be women? Or the most violent of men?

I don’t think radical feminists should ignore the very close, very likely destruction of the ecosystem. I don’t see anyone else doing what Lierre is doing. But I’m seeing the differences between her argument (and other DGR feminists) and those of some others of us. I do think that the only viable action on the environment would be born out of separatist space, safe women’s space. Perhaps if the women in DGR have an unsatisfactory experience with it, they will decide that separatist women’s space would provide something very different.

108. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

yes, a enlightening convo, FCM. Great!

FCM - April 8, 2013

witchwind, sonia johnson addresses the issue but im not sure it would satisfy your concerns? she and her partner reject the idea that they are in a “relationship” at all. i think the idea is that once you remove s/m from the equation, there is nothing left that resembles or indeed functions as a “relationship” anymore. just like when s/m is removed there is no more “sex” as we have all come to know it. this was sonias hypothesis and through experimenting she found that she was right. (in the book her character is called “sonia” so im not sure how to address her, and its not technically an autobiography but a “fictionalized true life adventure” so….) anyway as far as being isolated, perhaps, but according to them it is not the same as being in a primary relationship isolated from others. they are completely free and they do everything they want, and nothing they dont.

FCM - April 8, 2013

thanks for that wordwoman. i too wondered what the women in DGR would do if they found that their politics changed to where they couldnt work with men, or found the dissonance too bothersome of having PIV-entitled males talking about overpopulation (or ignoring the issue), or if they ultimately reject the social constructionist stuff, or otherwise began to have an “unsatisfactory” experience within the group. surely the men wouldnt be ousted, and probably the women wouldnt be allowed to move into authority positions in that case with the mens roles subordinated, even if they should be. as is usually the case, would the women be forced to leave? im just assuming thats how it would work, even though they tackle feminist issues and as you say, not every environmental org does what they are doing. are they really that different? it bothers me bc the men are talking about feminist issues (owen lloyed was cross-posted at feminist current) but clearly, if the organization includes men, separatism is off the table. this means that the women will be enticed to not go to the ends of their thoughts regarding men and maleness and male behavior, within the context of mens global environmental destruction and a global rape/PIV culture. this bothers me. you are right that they might consider forming a separatist org if they come to this crossroads, which is hopeful, but the coerciveness of all of it is very obvious to me. they have to accept men, including mens mansplaining and bullshit assessment of the situation, complete with conflicts of interest which are never adequately addressed bc they cant be, or they can leave, and hand the whole thing over to the men. if this is the situation, and i dont see how it could be otherwise, thats not fair. and stifling womens thought, especially when it comes to men and maleness, is completely antithetical to actually arriving at an environmental solution. hello.

anyway, thanks for your comment. your comments on this issue before, including your past experience with men in the environmental movement have been helpful to me and good food for thought. thanks.

FCM - April 8, 2013

this link i posted above is an example of exactly what im talking about. owen lloyd writes for DGR news service how he becomes enraged at other mens ability to be peaceful. LOL this is my summation of his position, and i think its accurate. follow the links within to lloyds original work. they write these things and they do not recognize any issue with it. its stunning.

this is particularly relevant to the topic of this discussion in fact. mens default response to almost anything is to become enraged. in every context, including anti violence work, including (allegedly) feminist work. think about what this means. is it because men are predisposed to becoming enraged? clearly this is the case, but is it a biological predisposition? it may well be. in either case, should they be doing certain kinds of work at all? wouldnt women be better suited on their face? why/why not?

enraged

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/moron-mansplainingwomens-perspective-is-wrong/

109. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

Yes, I remember reading this at the time, just reviewed it again. I didn’t connect the dots so much then.

The thing is, this discussion has given me a new perspective. Women in their own space, women thinking about the environment and what to do about it. I was a member of a group once that had a bunch of us women get together (outside the group) we recruited other women and got more of us together. We basically finally got something DONE for a change. It was a bit (just a tiny bit) of gynergy. But powerful. I remember it as being so distinct from the usual male energy that dominates if even one male is present.

Women, even with the barest amount of resources, get together and do brilliant things. Usually these are under the radar, because men will try to stop us by coming in with some harebrained ideas or figuring out how to get their signature on it somehow. They seem to have a keen sense for gynergy and then co-opt it. These weren’t even radfems, perhaps not even identifying as feminists. But still, we had this great connection and space together. But if a man comes into it, “Poof!” All goes away.

I think that’s what the guy in this post that you posted doesn’t get. How even his presence destroys that creative power. For some reason, I’m pretty attuned to this when I think back on it. Those things really stand out. Those times when I got together with women when men were not present. It’s about the “background”. Cherry described that so well in that one post, very memorable.

Wow, I’ve been in so many boring useless meetings run by men. And those were the best of the lot. Boredom is preferable to some other stuff. Like, some assholes who think they can “feed the world” by some impractical harebrained schemes. Instead, why not just stop PIV? Low tech. Cost-effective. Who could object?😉

I do think the DGR material is worth reading for women who are radfems and who are interested in the enviroment. Some good ideas and stories. Also frightening statistics designed to wake people up. I did like the one about how all the members of the concentration camp escaped, but no one knew of the plans except a very few until the moments of the escape. Not for every radfem, possibly. I do read various things and glean what I can.

I ordered Sonias book, btw. For me, women’s community has to be the thing now. So, I’m not sure about going off with one other person, but that may be fictional. I think of Mary Daly and the community around her. These women had women’s space but that’s harder to come by now. But, perhaps these two women are just a stand in for some way that all women’s connections could be. I suspect it would be that. But I’ll have to read the book.

110. delphyne - April 8, 2013

I think I’d probably disagree that the abolition of women and a future stuck with males who we can’t escape from or even identify is merely a sour note WordWoman. It’s also not simply the analysis of the young woman in that video. She repeatedly states that her arguments are the Deep Green Resistance position on gender. The arguments been given the stamp of authority by that organisation, and they are now being disseminated by the same organisation as if they represent radical feminism.

Coupled with the fact that feminists who don’t stop their thoughts at social construction but continue the analysis based on the evidence, are being attacked, marginalised or even having their work wiped out, it is a worrying development. Social constructionism is being institutionalised as the only form of radical feminism, and in this case it’s being institutionalised in an organisation which is led by two men as well as one woman. The two men, as FCM notes, probably being key to why the analysis is taking this form.

Abolition of women can’t be a radical feminist goal. If it is, there is something seriously wrong with our movement.

111. delphyne - April 8, 2013

I do agree that radical feminists need to be examining men’s destruction of the environment as part of our politics. There is already a large body of feminist work on this.

It’s not clear however that DGR is a movement that women should be taking a lead from. From these pages at least on their website, they seem to be promoting the usual male apocalyptic end of the world masturbation fodder, with added opportunities to blow things up and use martial language, but no analysis at all that men are responsible for the ongoing destruction of our planet and its life:

http://www.deepgreenresistance.org/dew/

Mary Daly said men’s attacks on and destruction of the environment exist in order to separate women from our true selves and power, and the world around us. Environmental destruction also removes opportunities for women to enter the background. To me that’s where the analysis must begin.

112. luckynkl - April 8, 2013

The patriarchal stance is biological determinism and essentialism. Men are runaway freight trains without any brakes and can’t help themselves. They’re just hard-wired that way and are natural born rapists and killers and it’s just natural that men are superior and meant to dominate. It’s stamped on their Y chromosome or something. Which would be a pretty neat trick considering the Y chromosome only has a mere 20 characteristics, all of them having to do with being male – which is a reproductive category. As for behavior, sorry, wrong end.

The radical position is that male behavior is due to social constructs and gender roles, not biology. Feminists have been battling against essentialism, determinism, and gender roles for at least 150 years now and seek to eradicate it. Mary Daly, btw, was not a biological essentialist. She recognized biophilic males and worked with them. She saw no redeeming qualities for men as a class tho and didn’t waste her time on them.

I contend it’s both. Violence is part of our natural world. Not only is violence inherent in men, it’s also inherent in most every living creature on this planet – including women. All living things must eat and defend themselves for survival. However, natural human violence is no where near the extreme we see in men today. Basically men took natural human violence, left it unchecked in males, and then pumped it up on steroids via training, conditioning and gender roles, while at the same time, deprived women of their natural violence which was necessary to defend themselves. The result is a polarization of the sexes.

Humans are also both selfish and social. Joke’s on us because these two things contradict each other. Humans must be selfish in order to get their basic human needs met. One of those 5 basic needs is love and affection – not to be confused with sex. (Sex in fact is a poor substitute and has nothing to do with love and ffection). Deprived of love and affection, humans, like all primates,
become psychotic. In order to get this need met, humans must be social. In order to be social, one can’t be too selfish. So it becomes a balancing act. One keeps the other in check.

Humans are not animals. Unlike animals, humans do not live by instinct. Babies aren’t born knowing jack. Infants are born selfish and self-centered. They must learn everything under the sun. Including empathy, caring, and sharing. So what happens when we teach one sex these things, but not the other? Enter gender roles. Empathy, caring, and sharing are considered feminine. Love and affection is also considered feminine. Love and affection is replaced by the masculine – sex (PIV). See above. Sex has nothing to do with love and affection. And what happens when humans are deprived of love and affection? Answer: They become psychotic. At the same time, women are deprived of the masculine – selfishness. As a result, women are not getting their basic human needs met.

Put it all together and we have a recipe for disaster. In males – selfishness and unchecked natural human violence pumped up on steroids, devoid of empathy, caring and sharing, and psychotic from the deprivation of love and affection, which is substituted with the masculine PIV. It is the making of a sociopath. The men-in-charge want soldiers, you see, who can kill without guilt, conscience or remorse. At this point in time, it doesn’t much matter if it’s nature or nurture. Patriarchy is now a global paradigm. Generations of men have been raised to be sociopaths. All humanity is beaten out of them before they get through primary school. Even if some men wanted to change, they couldn’t. The other men wouldn’t allow it.

It is inevitable that masculinity will devour all that is considered feminine if not countered or kept in check. Women had better come up with something to counter it, because we are on a crash
course with destruction. I have a few ideas on how to do it. But I’ll save it for another post.

Freud, btw, was a misogynist and a crack head, not a genius. Men have a death wish because they have been trained to worship death and taught that there is glory and honor in death. They are made heroes in death. Not to mention, the life they can expect after death, courtesy of invisible little fairies and magical sky dudes.

That’ll be 50 cents for the analysis. It becomes rather obvious most of you folks have little to no experience with children and as a result, don’t know much about men either. If you did have a bit of experience with children, you’d know that boys aren’t any more inherently violent than girls are. In fact, I’d give the edge to girls. However, if you pay close attention, you can actually see the little bastards learning it. Children’s brains move at roughly the speed the light. Much faster than an adult’s. They pick up on and absorb their environment, culture and gender roles in no time flat. So fast, that by the time a boy is 4, he will tell you boys are better than girls – even tho he can’t tell the difference between a boy and a girl yet. It happens so young that folks think these things are inherent. But nah, that gives you a clue just how fast the human brain learns. And what? You don’t think the patriarchy knows this? Damn right they do.

113. whataboutthemen - April 8, 2013

I think there are strong links between the reformist agenda and the mass movement delusion. If we need a mass movement to push through reforms we can justify the exclusion of the meanie bad apples pushing uncomfortable truths because they will put women off joining up.
We can push things like ‘radically transparent public’ conferences when actually small private meetings of women already on board with radical ideas are a very effective model,combined with public action and sharing of ideas via blogging etc.
The thing is,the exclusion of truth-speaking radical feminists seems to mostly be accomplished via public undermining on a personal level as well as private trashing. I have seen this in so many groups now. This combined with a focus on faux-sisterly niceness meaning no boundaries when someone is clearly being destructive – surely it will put women off the mass movement they seek to build. Questioning,intelligent women,anyway.

114. Sargasso Sea - April 8, 2013

Lesbian-separatism-phobia seems to be part of “pro-separatism”. – Mary Sunshine

Because some women are contemplating a move TOWARD a form of separatism inviting to ALL women (the imaginings and so far seem perfectly clear to me) without committing to the idea of Lesbianism or *pure* separatism or a combination thereof is being phobic?

How utterly absurd.

115. Sargasso Sea - April 8, 2013

To elaborate: where in this excellent thread have we seen any of us wondering how we would be able to manage to continue to be having intercourse with men and still be pro-sep? It MUST be acknowledged that many, many women want to (are aching to) have separate lives from men, to live in a more peaceful, calm and safe way than we can being co-mingled with them – to live with women, work with women and die more happily with women regardless of their male-defined *sexuality*.

What exactly about wanting to be apart from men and together with women is INCOMPATIBLE with lesbianism?

116. Rididill - April 8, 2013

Glad I got to comment here before it closed. In response to the earlier comments more than the later ones, I think Witchwind got it in one:

“The only thing that keeps us in there despite it being a shithole and a trap for women, is the HOPE, the carrot that men dangle in front of our wounded, abandonist egos that we have a place there, somewhere, somehow. That we are rewarded, even if it rings hollow, even if it’s addictive instead of warming and liberating. To believe in it, to keep clinging on it against all evidence because it’s lie, means we have to shut down opposition.”

In my mind, pro-sep is about changing your default position to ‘no’ with regards to men. No assumptions about a future with men, no commitment to living with men, no hopes about ever changing men. It completely changes the way you live life even though in material terms complete separation might be a long, long way off.

As Witchwind said, the main effect of this continued commitment to a future with men is frantic efforts at self delusion. It’s a very recognizable feeling. Anyone read “getting angry” by Susi Kaplow? There is one thing she says there that really struck a chord. About how women get angry about misogyny but what really fuels the anger is the fear that men are right about women. Instability in your own beliefs.

I think that feeling always comes about when there is some level of cognitive dissonance going on. You are fearful of the truth of your own beliefs because deep down you know you are believing in something that there is overwhelming evidence against. Even if women could reform this system, how many years, how much life, how much energy would have to be sacrificed? We all know deep down that nothing is going to change for us in our lifetimes on this route, and that the end point is deeply uncertain. It might be a total waste. If you look at the evidence, you must conclude it will be a total waste. And so, you get the reactive anger and lashing out that comes with this dissonance. You silence the dissent in yourself and in others because the one thing that makes it all worth it, makes it seem possible, is so bloody fragile. It’s the biggest, craziest leap of faith there is. If there was ever any case to be made for the irrationality of women it’s the fact that they keep believing in ‘men’s humanity, against all the evidence’. What kind of crazy strategy is that? Believing in something against all the evidence? Isn’t that the definition of insanity? To keep doing something over and over again and expecting to get a different result.

Once you detach yourself from this commitment the world looks completely different. The unthinkable becomes thinkable and you stop refusing to see things because they eliminate the only hope you have. The situation of reformist feminism is the situation of an abused woman who stays with her man believing he can change. That she can change him if she just loves him enough, or that she can change him if she just stands up for herself enough. But we all know this doesn’t work in abusive relationships, so why would it work society-wide?

A woman survivor of husband abuse told me that she couldn’t believe how weak and pathetic he had become now she had left. How he couldn’t cope, that he seemed broken. And she couldn’t believe it because he’d been so powerfully dominating in the relationship, but now she was gone he had no power left at all. But that’s how it works – while she was there, while she still had a desire to change him, he still had power over her and he fed off that. No amount of persuasion within the relationship would have changed anything. All she had do to was leave and it changed him more than anything she could have done within the relationship. But then it had already become irrelevant to her, which was the most powerful thing of all. I appreciate that often women leaving abusers get killed and that the abuse doesn’t end there. But the point is that while men know we are committed to a future with them, there’s no incentive to change. The irony is that we will only produce change by giving up on changing men, and then it will have become irrelevant anyway.

FCM - April 8, 2013

here lucky, let me fix this for you.

The patriarchal stance is biological determinism and essentialism. Men are runaway freight trains without any brakes and can’t help themselves. They’re just hard-wired that way and are natural born rapists and killers and it’s just natural that men are superior and meant to dominate.

but it doesnt stop there. the patriarchal bio determinist stance includes pushing the idea that men hate the way they are, they wish they could be more peaceful (war is hell etc) but they cant help it! and trying to stop mens biological inclinations using biological agents is not an option/will be unsuccessful because reasons. and we should structure society so that its consistent with mens natures so men are as comfortable as possible at all times. and that men hate how weak and pathetic women are compared to men, which explains mens misogyny. whereas women are naturally fuckholes and slaves to men, and women dont want to help it because they like it. its ok to tinker with womens biology if men want to. we should structure society so that it makes women as uncomfortable as possible at all times, or at the very least, if womens interests conflict with mens, the men win. also, women love how men are, all violent and rapey and stuff. can you spot the political propaganda in there with the bio determinism? i can.

The radical position is that male behavior is due to social constructs and gender roles, not biology.

WRONG. the radical feminist position is that THE FEMALE SEX ROLE of being fuckholes and slaves to men is against WOMENS nature, which is to be free. the original FEMINIST position was infiltrated and perverted with equality rhetoric later, and now includes the false equivalence men=women=men which isnt true. for example, womens sex role as fuckholes and slaves is unnatural to women, THEREFORE mens sex role as dominators and abusers is unnatural to men. except we already know that women DO NOT EQUAL men and men DO NOT EQUAL women. LOGIC FAIL!

as for “human nature” well thats male-centric garbage and equality-rhetoric that radical feminists reject on its face.

FCM - April 8, 2013

mass movement delusion! i like it.

117. karmarad - April 8, 2013

Really impressed by these late comments, 4S, Lucky, Rididill, Delphyne, Wordwoman. This is truth-speaking!

118. karmarad - April 8, 2013

I agree with your logic wholeheartedly, fcm. I acknowledge, though, that those of us who are interested in a biological component in male violence need to do more research and writing to explain clearly why this is relevant, why it is not determinism, how it can help us decide what to do, how this idea impacts postmodernist/academic and transactivist attempts to erase women as a distinct class, and how such an idea can be empirically studied.

FCM - April 8, 2013

i would also like to add that, having reviewed owen lloyds piece and my own response to it (linked above) that i think owen lloyd is fucking terrifying. and that any woman/women who has had to work with him is/are probably trauma bonded to him due to his freakish rage, weird emotive fits and wildly inappropriate responses to situations. including his tendency to become enraged at the sight of women, existing. jesus. welcome to the freak show! here we go!

FCM - April 8, 2013

my own experience with detaching from individual males has indeed been that once the parasitic/abusive connection is severed, many truths become evident. the men are tiny, pathetic, ewww, what was i thinking etc. its very much as if a spell has been broken, probably due to severing the trauma bond (aka. feelings of love and bonding). the sense that i had just survived a war, and that i had been life-sucked almost to death came to the front of my consciousness even though i didnt at that time have any words for this, or fully realize that there is indeed a WAR going on in het relationships where competing interests exist on every level, and i had yet to read about the parasitic nature of men as written about in SCUM manifesto and other places. and “separating” from males as a sexual class, to the extent i have been able to, even if only in my own mind/consciousness where i dont give them any attention at all in public, dont humor/defer to them etc. has had a similar effect on how i view males as a sexual class. they look different now.

its also clearly the case that when women withdraw their energies from individual men, the men actually do “deflate” in a tangible way. many women have speculated/observed by now that this is because men are parasitic, and womens energy fills them up. when that is removed, you can see the effects. its really something.

119. ibleedpurple - April 8, 2013

I do not feel ready to participate in the general discussion because my view is not sufficiently well-developed, however, as someone who is knowledegable in sociology (where social constructionism) originates) I want to offer some theoretical notes. Social constructionism is not really what a lot of radical feminists make it out to be.

Basicaly, it is a stance used to explain social organization on the basis of repeated interaction. It does NOT negate the existence of material realities, e.g. sex. It’s true that constructionism has always had some kind of ambition to serve as a general model to explain beahvior but you NOT need to use it in such a way. Even constructionists would make the case that sex is a significant social factor seeing as the vast majority of women are able to become pregnant. Therefore, it makes sense to establish social norms regulating this biological predisposition. From a constructionist viewpoint, we should spent more time thinking about how the inevitable, i.e. the socially significant fact of sexual dimorphism, can be evaluated in such a way as not to disadvantage women.

The wish to live together with men in some kind of amorphous, a-sexual mass is simply not tenable. You cannot pretend that a certain group of people (women) bleed just by accident, become pregnant just by accident, miscarry just by accident etc. etc.

Personally speaking, men need to be socially controlled much more than they are at the moment. Our problems would vanish if their social control was guaranteed. This would require women to make their antagonism obvious and unwavering. Unfortunately, I do not see that happening. Not buying that “shared responsibility” and “equality out of essential sameness” crap would be a first step, though.

120. delphyne - April 8, 2013

It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that men bred ultra-violence, sadism and rapism into themselves as a conscious political tactic against women. Given what they are prepared do to animals with breeding e.g. produce a dog for every occasion, maybe they did something similar to themselves as well. I also have a sense that male sadism towards and destruction of women has a spiritual element too, although that thought goes no further at the moment.

121. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

So much brilliance, here.

Delphyne, thanks for your comments. I’ll have to review the materials again to see what you are saying. Not sure that I understand what DGR women are saying. I saw Lierre’s letter about transexuals and constructionism and thought it made sense. But if some other kind of constructionism is creeping in, that’s not ok. Still, I haven’t heard much about women in the environmental movement except that women are supposed to be all self-sacrificing in the best interests of the environment and ignore feminism as a distraction. This, of course, makes no sense, so when I saw Lierre’s statements about misogyny as the foundation of enviro destruction it seemed great. But, I’ll admit I’m not qualified to speak about DGR, but will study it a bit more just to get a better grasp of the issues. I do think some of this is a step forward for women in these movements, and maybe will help them consider other isssues.

I would not be willing to work with men in a resistance movement. No point in it, just a further waste of gynergy. That’s the primary reason that DGR is not at all attractive to me.

You point out that “they seem to be promoting the usual male apocalyptic end of the world masturbation fodder, with added opportunities to blow things up and use martial language, but no analysis at all that men are responsible for the ongoing destruction of our planet and its life” I agree that they are doing this in the typical way that men often do to get power. However, I also think that we are facing an apocalyptic situation, one that will be worse for women than for men. Because of this I want to do more than just understand the issues. A clear understanding is essential, hence this dialogue (to become as clear as possible). I do think action is important and I don’t think we have a lot of time. I have no idea whatsoever what this action should be for others.

The “apocalyptic masturbation fodder” is so typical of male organizing. I think one thing it does is to promote trauma-bonding. It is obviously the wrong approach. I see the kind of energy that exists in women-only spaces, gynergy as being destroyed exactly by this.

122. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

oops, posted too soon. What I meant to add is that I still take seriously all the scientific reports about climate change, environmental destruction, etc. etc. I do think that women can take this into account without turning it into a trauma-bonding direction. I’d rather not be trauma bonded to anyone. It’s a serious adult concern, one that takes future generations into account. Perhaps thinking of grandmother energy here. Not the adolescent boy version that leftie males are wont to do. (Also, trauma bonding=one reason BDSM bs needs to be kicked out of the lesbian community. And the funfems, too, need to wake up).

123. FemmeForever - April 8, 2013

I just want to say that separatism is possible right now today. Because it does not require female islands or countries. It requires female households. Ask me how I know. This is not difficult in any way it’s just not desired. And yea, lesbianism is not an option for me either but staying the fuck away from men is.

124. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

Lucky, you said, “Violence is part of our natural world. Not only is violence inherent in men, it’s also inherent in most every living creature on this planet – including women. All living things must eat and defend themselves for survival.”

I would not define it in this way. I think seeing nature as “red in tooth and claw” is a widespread view, though, but one that is patriarchal propaganda. Probably justification and encouragement. Animals do kill to eat, but they rarely viciously attack their own species with the intent to harm, maim and slaughter apart from hunting for food. Animal studies carried out in zoos may record this behavior, but this is not found in natural habitats. The famous “alpha male” studies have been discredited for a long while now. . . by the researcher who formulated that concept. Violence/aggression are things with the intent to harm/maim/kill. Other species don’t do this in the way human males do. I do think that overcrowding combined with rape/forced marriage has resulted in something genetic that is unlike anything in nature.

I’m not sure it is all on the Y chromosome. There are other genes that interact with hormones like testosterone during development and beyond. I don’t think they know all the ins and outs.

Plus, I do remember boys from my childhood. Not like the girls. And I didn’t find girls to be particularly violent. Rarely were there physical fights amongst girls.

I assume that the social conditions and conditioning just adds fuel to the fire. but it seems to pop out regardless of the culture. That, to me, is telling.

However, if the future proves me wrong on this, and we end up with males who understand gynergy (for instance) and know how to interact in groups the way women do, I’ll be happy. And happy to admit I’m wrong. However, my expectation of this happening are near zilch. (I actually wish it were otherwise).

FCM - April 8, 2013

thanks for that IBP. its always the case that only the most watered down, basic understanding of academic issues make it to the mainstream so much so that the common understanding can be a flat out reversal. for example, i have read academic material on the subject of evolutionary psychology where the authors (ev psychs themselves) conclude that men are so “naturally” and increasingly violent and rapey by this point that we need to slap MERCILESS social controls on them immediately, and anything short of that will not work to contain their destructiveness. the message that reaches the mainstream: let men do whatever they want.

its good to know that social constructionism doesnt mean what most people think it means.

125. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

Femmeforever, I think this gets at the definition of separatism. Most of us need to earn money to eat and have a place to live. That involves some contact with the patriarchal system at some level. That is quite possible, though finding women to do this with is not easy. It has been possible for centuries, since some women have done this. (Like the marriage resisters in China, for instance). But these women have always been subject to male violence or erasure. A reason that these pockets of resistence are not widely known. Looking at these models is something I want to begin to do. For practical reasons and for inspiration.

126. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

Delphyne, we cross-posted, the above was in response to comment# 110. I also want to respond to your comment #120. That intentional breeding thing is really frightening, but given that men want to breed for war and intentional domination, it could make sense.

Also you say, ” I also have a sense that male sadism towards and destruction of women has a spiritual element too, although that thought goes no further at the moment.” I’d venture to say that for them trauma-bonding is likely part of it. Only framed as a “religious experience.”

127. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

FCM, ” i have read academic material on the subject of evolutionary psychology where the authors (ev psychs themselves) conclude that men are so “naturally” and increasingly violent and rapey by this point that we need to slap MERCILESS social controls on them immediately, and anything short of that will not work to contain their destructiveness.”

Hear, hear!

128. Sargasso Sea - April 8, 2013

Ah yes Delphyne, the breeding thought. Whether it’s conscious or not (sort of moot at this point in time) it IS happening when you think about the vast numbers of living results of their partner rape/incestuous rape and their global limiting of ALL help for women and girls who are the (unwilling) bearers of the next *generation*.😦

And Femmeforever: “And yea, lesbianism is not an option for me either but staying the fuck away from men is.” The second part of that thought is something that I say to the girl in my life. Often.

129. witchwind - April 8, 2013

I agree here with Ibleedpurple that saying men are groomed (or rather, that adult men groom younger generations of men through a mixture of well organised violence and rewards) doesn’t negate seeing biological components to male domination. To me it seems that men chose to reinforce their already existing deadly, rapist, sadist and destructive potential.
once we look at who started the grooming in the first place and try to understand why it started, what it represents, what is its function, and who it serves – well it very much emerges from (or is a result of) men’s biological condition compared to women and their reaction to it. and what they set up is fitted in every way to male biology, built around their biological male characteristics (male society is a constant description or symbolic representation of penis / ejaculating or penetrating penis) even though this “fitting to them” means that men must endure a certain amount of violence or alienation, which is the downside they must suck up to – whereas there is no possible way where it can suit female biology, even slightly: it is inherently genocidal to women in every possible way.

maleness or male characteristics certainly limits the biophilia (femaleness) men have in themselves (since biophilia = female). And male grooming further limits and atrophies it to the extent that it turns them into living-dead killing machines.

The thing is, men, given their biological condition, means that they can never be trusted to be responsible for any life form, because they are not life nor originators of life = they have a potential to death, murder and rape that women don’t have (not even talking about testosterone but merely the fact that all life is female and maleness is an artefact – basically 20 empty data shells that hang on female life to survive, and as individual men, they are dependant on impregnating women to perpetuate their species). life origination is not a constituent part of who they are, so it means it’s outside of them – they (or maleness, those 20 male characteristics) need life from an external source to live. so inexistence / void / death partly constitutes them. This is related to the fact that they are doomed to be extinct: a dead-end is part of who they are / what maleness is.
regardless actually whether they can be socialised to be sweet lambs or not, i would never trust a man not to be enraged about his condition one fine day and punish women for his own impotency and insignificance in life – which is a possibility as long as maleness exists IMO. Men remain always a potential danger to women and life, because of their separation from life – because maleness is not life itself but dependent on external source of life.

Adult men, in a society where men are at reduced numbers and everything is determined by women and in the interest of life, where PIV is abolished (etc) may be sweet at best but nothing to do with the life, power and creativity that emanates from women, even in a patriarchal society where men are at war with us non-stop.

130. witchwind - April 8, 2013

And very good point Delphyne about intentional breeding. That’s exactly the point of forcibly imporegnating women. By forcibly impregnating a woman, they ensure that not only the woman is destroyed but also the boys and girls that come out of it. Breed more killers and breed more breeders of killers.

One thing that violence does is that it gets into the genes. Some scientists in switzerland have very recently found that violence can change certain aspects of DNA and this DNA is transmitted to the next generation. It’s also called cellular memory, or traumatic memory that transmits from one generation to another. however this is not male specific as it works for both males and females and it can be seen as a continuum of grooming men and women to patriarchy, and it can be cured if the original traumatic is cured. I see this use of violence to transmit to following generations as one of many men’s tools to sustain their system.

However, one hypothesis would be to think that because of the gradual depletion of male characteristics generation after generation (copies of copies get worse after time), the fact maleness is fixed and has no life autonomy, it’s possible that the memory of violence sticks on men / male characteristics in ways that it doesn’t on women. So it’s quite possible that violence accumulates or that each generation becomes more and more violent and that once it’s in their genes, because of their fixed nature and deterioration, they become more violent, defunct / destructive over centuries. I’m just thinking as i’m writing

131. Rididill - April 8, 2013

From Wordwoman comment 76
“Remember, men have been taught to strategize. Women have not. In fact, when culture sees men doing it, they are seen as savvy. If women do it, they are just schemers/devious/untrustworthy…It is very easy for [Hillary Clinton’s] opponents to cast her as a devious, untrustworthy, scheming women. Look at any one of her opponents. They strategize and everyone gives them a thumbs up for their savvy.”

I think this is very important and very much linked with discussions of separatism here.

What does it mean to strategize politically? In the sense Wordwoman is referring to, it means to treat people instrumentally, to treat them as means to your end. Fundamentally it implies a certain disrespect for their humanity, or at least coming from a position that their needs and desires are unimportant relative to what they can be made to do for you. It is a relationship without emphathy and without honesty. An empathic, honest relationship requires being transparent about your intentions. Political strategizing requires the opposite. A successful strategizer is one who has used others to gain power.

This is one vision of strategy, the predominant patriarchal form. When phrased like this, is it any wonder that such behaviour is decried in women? Women are expected to be transparent and empathic at all times out of respect for the other person (regardless of the cost to ourselves). Men are expected to be dominating and manipulative, this is the ‘savvy’ that is being applauded. Like, look at how men have these crazy myths about women with hidden agendas aiming to ‘trap’ them into marriage and some such, while the same men will see no problem with manipulating women into sleeping with them. The manipulative women trope is a patriarchal reversal – you know, like how men get everything out in a fair bout of fisticuffs while women scheme and manipulate and refuse direct, honest confrontation (often deployed in relation to the allegedly vicious figure of the teenage girl)? When in fact men are manipulative and disingenuous about their intentions ALL the fucking time and are applauded for this as being ‘savvy’.

The problem with reformist feminism happens because part of the agenda is saying that this method of relating to one another is unjust/dehumanizing. And so it would seem hypocritical to act in the same way. Masters tools and the masters house and all that. Except, what happens when you try to fight an enemy that is entirely disingenuous about their intentions, that is strategizing in this way AGAINST you all the time?! By feeling empathy with them you only leave yourself vulnerable, by being transparent you only give them the tools to attack you better. Men strategize like this because they know if they proceed from personal honesty, transparency and empathy they are extremely vulnerable to those who don’t. So they don’t, because it would be fucking STUPID to do so.

Pro-sep to me is changing the means of strategy from one of empathy and respect to a more instrumental relationship; it takes away the presumption of relating on empathic transparent terms and so is much more self-protective. It does not abolish the possibility of resuming to a more empathic relationship, but that isn’t really the point, is it. Reformism is so draining because it is done through honest strategizing, which involves extreme vulnerability and exposure (not to mention disillusionment) and it is met with dishonest, instrumental strategizing. Instrumental strategizing takes much less energy because there is no emotional caring built into the outcome, only a more technical, detached sense of success or failure. So men are able to strategize in a much less energy-intensive way while reformists are like leaky energy-dams.

132. Kill, Slay, Destroy the Orcs - April 8, 2013

On the topic of nature vs nurture, I fully believe men’s behavior toward women is based in biology. I do not understand why there is a debate among women who call themselves radical feminists on something so obvious…. Other then some of them have loyalties to one of those “good men” or see-we-let-women-in-eventually institutions of course!

Just look at studies and observations done on non-human great apes. They all have well documented cases of male-on-female violence. Young male chimps will isolate a female chimp (often violently) away from the group so they can get around the older males and breed.They are known to bond over hunting down and “coercing” females. Male gorillas harm females to goad other males. Just look into this topic and you will find a lot more. Does any of this sound familiar? Yes, human males have been doing these kind of things all over the world since forever! Their behavior is in line with other male great apes and mammalian males in general (more territorial and aggressive).

Men are a lost cause. The only way for women to be liberated is to remove men from our presence. But because of men’s nature, simply walking away does not work. Refusing to think about men or spend any energy on them is not a feasible option right now. Look at the trouble facing the women’s village in Kenya. Once they succeeded in making a permanent settlement and (of course) outdoing the men, the men began attacking them and stealing from them. They have separated from men, but are not liberated from them!

I think reformism and equality could work as a trojan horse to get men to biologically alter themselves, so eventually we can do away with them. But that is not what is happening and that’s why it was Kenya with few equality measures that has had the first sustainable women’s land and not anywhere in the West. They have problems with men but still continue to support themselves and their children. Equality measures prevent women from excluding men.

Men’s biology must be changed or their numbers significantly reduced before women have any real hope. I have no idea how this could be successfully done without men being duped into altering themselves (things like male hormonal birth control and promoting castration to avoid likely testicular cancer maybe? Get them to go along with little things and then build up from there) or waiting for some global catastrophe to wipe a bunch of them out.

133. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

Wow, Rididill! Thanks for your well-reasoned take on this. Another use of strategy for women is harm reduction. Transparency leads to great harm if you are dealing with an essentially sociopathic culture. It’s the opposite of what is needed. I’m reminded of what others in this discussion are saying about abusive relationships/marriages. One of the things women in such a situation need to do is to have a strategy for leaving. Being transparent can often mean death to the woman and/or her children, or perhaps “just” her pets. Yet the sociopathic husband (which many abusers are) will cultivate that quality of empathy and transparency in the abused wife. Will look for a wife with those qualities. It allows greater control which is what they are after. So, if we assume that the culture is sociopathic and women as a group are trying to escape the abusive relationship, it seems clear that strategy for leaving and being safe is essential.

FCM - April 8, 2013

dworkin noted that abused women self-reported staying with abusive cohabitative partners because the women often owned the home or were at least heavily invested in it (financially, gynergetically, or other ways) and refused to just leave that all behind and let their abusers essentially steal from them. she becomes homeless and he gets to stay in the home and eat all her food, destroy her stuff etc. this struck me the first time i read it bc it flies in the face of almost everything we “know” about battered women and why they stay, they are masochistic, they are afraid, they love him and want to change him, they dont think they deserve to be happy etc. needless to say, i thought the juxtaposition was very interesting. i can report hearing this EXACT THING from my mother in fact, and i have mentioned that here before. he refuses to leave, and she refuses to leave the home SHE OWNS, bc she knows he will destroy it, either deliberately or out of his sheer neglect and piggishness which she can keep in check as long as shes there.

anyway, if we are applying these individual relations to the bigger picture of womens relation to men as a class, perhaps there are issues of “equity” that keep us from leaving or separating. its not fair to give everything over to men, we shouldnt have to do that, we’ve worked too hard to give up now etc etc. i can see that being the case, at least partially. this has a lot to do with equality activating actually and the idea of “rights” where we feel entitled to participate in mainstream “life” and own property, have lucrative careers etc. as if thats even possible for the majority of women — its not, and yet we have this notion of “rights” to deal with now, like its the principle of the matter or something. maybe we need to let some of this go.

FCM - April 8, 2013

im not suggesting this will be easy either. i suggested that my mom just get over it, that she just leave temporarily until she can get him out, and let him do what hes going to do to the house and deal with the damage later. she refused, and it was very much the principle of the thing, the devastating inequity of it mostly which had her sobbing so hard she could barely breathe. in her case, the idea of having to shoulder the financial fallout of this loss, where was she going to live in the meantime etc were considerations too, but nothing compared to the literally breathtaking inequity of HER leaving when it is HIM thats the problem. she simply could not allow it.

134. WordWoman - April 8, 2013

FCM, I’m sorry to hear about your mom and was when you first mentioned it, too. It brings up my frustration at this kind of thing, too. Really, with all female relatives that we care about, grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters, granddaughters, cousins, nieces, etc., once we have figured out some measure of separatism, it is frustrating and saddening to see them with men. We often know the inside story of these relationships, not the polite public face of “couplehood.” I wonder what the lives of at least some of these women would be like if there were stable women’s communities in place, places to go and have a better life of companionship and gynergy. How many women would stay in these bad situations if there were an attractive alternative.

I do think your point is quite interesting, too. The idea of not wanting to leave a situation because of the investment in it. This could apply to other situations, too. Perhaps a career where one does not want to abandon something that one built because of a harassing boss for example. Or perhaps an environmental group.

also, some of these things become part of one’s identity, a house, a job, etc. So the man is encroaching on a woman’s boundaries and I’m sure many of them know it and it is exactly their intent. It’s more than being a moocher. It’s exerting power in that situation. When I think of it, it makes me so mad I could spit!

FCM - April 8, 2013

the “giving up” is part of it, like an ego thing, but the “giving it away” to the abuser, where he essentially steals from her, is the key i think. it is patently unfair. it is brutal, and yes, more than mooching but a stealing at that point. exerting power at the same time he is soaking it up from her. even dealing the death blow perhaps, after she has given so much “voluntarily” because he has been parasitically sucking the life out of her for years. all of this fits the bigger picture i think. and giving the world away to men, especially knowing the damage they are likely to cause if we arent there to stop them…i can see all of this applying to individual relationships and to class relations. women fearing what men are likely to do if we arent here — okay, but its not a very good reason to stay either is it? or to hold out hope for men?


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