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The Presence of Absence. An Illustration? April 13, 2013

Posted by FCM in books!, health, news you can use, radical concepts, thats random.
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in pure lust, mary daly talked about the presence of absence/absence of presence whereby women seem “present” in the foreground, but only as male-constructed fembots and handmaidens.  in reality what we see of women in the media, the male identified/dominated/defined workplace, entertainment, our “representation” in the law etc is the complete absence of “female” or anything having anything to do with women at all.

notably, one thing “women” hawk constantly in the foreground is poop, and everything feces related.  jokes on women!  so you want to be an actor, or more specifically a working actor ay?  how badly?  will you literally talk about shit — scooping it, wiping it, dealing with the literal shit and filth of all of humanity and its pets too — even though male actors almost never have to talk about anything anywhere near as degrading, and women are specifically shamed for demonstrating nay possessing gastric function?  thats what we thought.

i wont post actual videos, because there are so many, but see women talking about wiping their own and their familys asses herecat poopfarts.  it also seems as if there are a lot of women lately who cant poop at all or are otherwise suffering from “irregularity” for which there are consumerist remedies specifically targeting women.  honestly, if you ever see a male commercial actor talking about shit, or more specifically wiping it, scooping it, or improving upon it, its an aberration and not the norm.  so while i think there are several things going on here, including deliberately humiliating female actors (hey, at least its not porn, right?  right?  right?  right?) and normalizing and degrading womens role as the shitkeepers of humanity, there is probably a whole vein worth excavating in a presence-of-absence sense.  meaning, we see a lot about women and poop.  therefore, we can probably assume what we are seeing is the absence of women and womens truth about it.  we see a lot about women and “sex” too, but thats another post.  from like 2 years ago. 🙂

walk with me.  i am currently reading gerda lerners 2-part “the creation of patriarchy.”  in part one, she provides a thorough history lesson and concludes that patriarchy — institutionalized male dominance and female submission to male rule — has been around for about 5000 years.  it was modeled after the widespread miniature, private patriarchies of the male-headed household which existed even longer.  this means that women have been dominated by men for a long, long time.  and the institution of slavery itself was modeled after mens oppression of women.  womens oppression predated it.  and women were the first slaves too — knowing how to control their own women (via rape) and utilize their unpaid sexual, domestic and reproductive services, conquering males first enslaved enemy women and killed enemy men.  men they didnt know how to enslave.  men developed tactics to enslave enemy men, but that came later.

interestingly, the conditions that make institutionalized slavery possible include food surpluses — slavery “seldom if ever occurs in hunter/gatherer societies but appears in widely separated regions and periods with the advent of pastoralism (animal husbandry), and later agriculture, urbanization and state formation.”  slavery does not predate agriculture — it came later.  to the extent that women were ever free, their freedom predated slavery — by how many years i dont know.  but after slavery (and agriculture) women were never free.  this is one of the conclusions i have gleaned from this book, although there are others.

now.  i have recently had cause to examine an essentially pre-agricultural diet.  it seems that people with various digestive issues, including serious and even potentially life-threatening diagnoses such as crohns and celiac disease, are helped with a diet devoid of grains, lactose (milk) and sugar.  symptoms of crohns and celiac include gastric complaints such as chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas, and malabsorption/malnutrition which causes osteoporosis among other things.  (think: poop and problems associated with poop).  advocates of this diet call it variations of the “what our ancestors ate” diet — to the extent it is possible to currently do this, and this is not an insignificant qualifier, it may in fact be largely if not fully impossible at this juncture — adherents only eat (approximations of) what was likely available pre-agriculture.  which means meat, berries, and some fruits and vegetables, but which notably excludes grains.  one variation includes dairy but excludes most non-grain starches as well as lactose (hard cheese and 24-hour fermented yogurt are acceptable).

anyway, heres my point.  for months now, i have been aware that if women were ever free, this was a long long time ago — and that the materials and activities in *my* daily life do not mirror theirs at all.  i literally have no idea what its like to be free, because i am not free, but i am also not privy to the everyday experiences and sensations of free women.  all the experiences and sensations i do have are *only* shared between myself and other women who are oppressed.  feeling the seat and steering wheel as i sit in a car.  feeling my feet on cement.  that kind of thing.

in order to experience a sensation, any sensation that was likely also experienced by free women, so that i might feel part of what it felt like to be free i have tried to walk on a dirt path wherever possible.  i have gone outside at night and looked up.  i pick up rocks and branches and smell them.  these sights, sounds, smells are something that free women experienced, and i want to experience them too.  to the extent that sensations lead to thoughts, i want to know what free women thought.  to the extent that sensations evoke memory, i want to remember what free women remembered.  and to the extent that feeling my ass in a car or my hands on a plastic container (and other things) lead to thoughts and evoke memories shared *only* by oppressed women and slaves, and they could do nothing else, i do not want to experience those things anymore at all.  its surely no coincidence that its going to be exceptionally difficult if not impossible to do this completely.

but right in the middle of this sensory experiment i have been conducting, i received this detailed historical lesson about agriculture, and concluded that if women were ever free, it was never in an agricultural context.  and i actually wondered if it would be possible to eat a pre-agricultural diet in order to cultivate a shared dietary experience.  the answer, really, is NO, although the internet explains how you can get as close to that as possible.  but i also began to wonder, to the extent that women are experiencing this, and perhaps especially to the extent that a (modified) pre-agricultural diet alleviates or cures it, are womens “tummy troubles” (poop problems) their bodies literally rejecting patriarchy and the conditions of their own oppression and slavery?  because stranger (equally strange?) things have happened.  see depression.

that is all.

Comments

1. witchwind - April 13, 2013

Very interesting and mindblowing, thanks. you might like this book “hands, tools and weapons” from Paola Tabet which talks about how men hawk tools, food and survival means from women so to hold them captive and impose PIV on women (and therefore force pregnancies). It studies agricultural / hunter gather societies and identifies core patterns. http://www.feministes-radicales.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Paola-Tabet-Hands-tools-and-weapons.pdf

Agriculture is the beginning of male territorial colonisation, to amass and control more food, to exclude women more and more from accessing means of survival / nutrition, therefore monopolise more “power”, to make women more “powerless” as in more dependent on men for survival. The way men plough the earth, make holes in it, cut it up in pieces and share it between themselves, impose artificial and environmentally destructive monocultures on it, is rapism. It’s also to control territory so women don’t escape, so women, girls and animals can be enclosed.

The only sign where women are suspected to have been somewhat free, if not completely free, is during the time where you could only find small female figurines everywhere, and no sign of male ones. That is, at a time where women must have been considered the default humans and life-creating goddesses.

Sensory experiments are very important i think. a lot of what men do is to disconnect us from nature by clotting our lives with dead-ly, toxic stuff and plastic, and to kill our ability to sense things, because this is how we are connected to life. And to disconnect us from life means we can’t escape oppression so much and preserve ourselves from it, because we’re dissociated. Agriculture is really the first stage of advanced patriarchal narcophagism / necrophilia.

I used to have constant “tummy problems” as you say until i stopped eating wheat and dairy products. this alone greatly reduced the disorders i had.

2. mechantechatonne - April 13, 2013

This post literally made me tear up. It’s so sad to be in a world where it’s difficult to even piece together what freedom for women ever was like. I personally find my body rejects a lot of processed food, particularly meat. I stopped eating factory farmed meat and genetically modified vegetables about a year ago, and the depression which has kept me nearly incapacitated for years vanished. All the way gone, as soon as that shit was out of my system. It kind of lines up with the fact that women are frequently impoverished that food that doesn’t contain carcinogenic chemicals, freakish man-made mutations, artificial antibiotics and hormones is nearly impossible to obtain without some financial resources. In poor neighborhoods? Impossible. This modern food causes so much physical and mental illness, and there’s so much evidence of it, yet somehow it all persist, being presented as nourishment.

Of course women would be the only ones interested in regulating or cleaning up shit. As you discussed here, men would literally live surrounded by it without interference. They don’t notice or care about it except to be amused with how disgusting they can be. They don’t have to care about it because they know that we will. If they are constipated, then we’ll have some solution for them, since we care for them as if they are children. If the pets do it all over the house, we’ll take care of that since they could care less one way or the other. I’ve been to men’s houses where there is literally dogshit all over the house. They step over it, tell you to clean it up if it bugs you. Diarrhea? Well if you don’t like cleaning it out of linens, dragging them to the hospital if they dehydrate and cleaning all the shit up all over the bathroom, then I suppose you’ll buy something for that.

FCM - April 14, 2013

this has made me think a lot about “modern life” specifically what has transpired post-agriculture and the meaning and effect of “food surpluses.” i had never thought about that before, but the image of “abundance” and the overflowing cornucopia etc are supposed to make women feel “good” and secure but in reality this comes at the expense of specifically womens freedom. i think we need to consider what this means. food surpluses FOR WOMEN mean something completely different than what they mean for men. abundance, security, all these things are directly related to womens unfreedom and slavery. and yet we want these things so badly, not the least of our reasoning being that it protects us from male violence and being dependent on PIV-entitled men. but does it? maybe in a very short term, modern sense it does, but looking at the big picture it actually causes it, or our vulnerability to it. we actually did better when there WASNT any “extra” and when we were barely getting by. the very notion of “extra” anything seems to be very problematic for women. the concept of private property and ownership is related to this — if there was nothing “extra” there would be nothing to own bc it would all be consumed or used immediately. and WOMEN are property ourselves. all these concepts are so problematic for women but we are supposed to accept them and strive for them anyway. its mansplaining/forced perspective, is what it is. if we saw these things through our own eyes they would look very different. this is what i am seeing now. and chatonne is right — its sad. very sad.

3. WordWoman - April 14, 2013

I have had the opportunity to spend time (several days to a week) totally alone in the woods. Something very, very different happened something that I had no words for and still don’t. It shifted my understanding of myself, though that can get buried. It shifted my understanding of the natural world we were meant to live in and the beings that are part of that world. Though usually buried, it’s still there and your post reminded me of that.

I doubt that the natural spaces to do that kind of exploring still exist. Those places are colonized beyond what they once were. Like women, the natural world is in pain and enslaved. Being murdered. I’m sure that there are some men who don’t like this, just like there are some men who don’t like going to war. It is their system, however, and they think they benefit from it.

It becomes clearer with every scientific report, and with the evidence of our own eyes, that it will all collapse soon. Destroyed beyond repair. You cannot do this to a living system. Men=hubris. Even the ones who don’t like it participate in that hubris.

4. WordWoman - April 14, 2013

Oh, and many of the men who decry the disappearance of the “wilderness” are the ones who just used it to prove how macho they are. They make it in the foreground as an image. The worst of them consume the “wilderness” and make it about jetskis and snowmobiles, and guns. This ripples through the animal and plant kingdoms, through the soil and water, too. They have no sensitivity to what is background to them. They do not perceive the reality of it.

But because gathering/hunting and the consciousness that goes with it requires a low population density, I don’t see how we can even begin to understand.

With low population densities and free (wild) women, shit is not a problem. Patriarchy=forced breeding=inevitable that we are just living in a big toilet bowl. Putting the responsibility for that on women is just one more reversal.

FCM - April 14, 2013

very true that there is likely no way for us to understand/experience anything of hunter/gatherer society, including the consciousness. any sensory or other experiment would only be an approximation, the best we can currently do under the conditions in which we currently live. which is almost completely different than it once was, and not in our control at all to turn back or to change, even if this was possible. so is it useful to try? i dont know. i guess i will find out soon enough.

also, note that both oppressed and free women have walked on the earth, looked up at the night sky etc. but *only* oppressed women have experienced male-centric sexuality, pollution, plastic, and everything most of us experience every day. i dont know what this means for us or for anyone. im still thinking about it.

5. Sargasso Sea - April 14, 2013

A quick comment: lately I have been trying to add things that are circular to my primary living space because all of the right angles of the house are getting on my nerves.

Because we live in the irregularity of a woodsy, natural environment and have lots and lots of right angled windows to view it through, the juxtaposition is jarring. I want a yurt!

FCM - April 14, 2013

the square window! a modern invention surely? free women likely never saw nature through a square window. and a bad idea on commercial airplanes too apparently.

A year after entering commercial service the Comets began suffering problems, with three of them breaking up during mid-flight in well-publicised accidents. This was later found to be due to catastrophic metal fatigue, not well understood at the time, in the airframes. The Comet was withdrawn from service and extensively tested to discover the cause; the first incident had been incorrectly blamed on adverse weather. Design flaws, including dangerous stresses at the corners of the square windows and installation methodology, were ultimately identified; consequently the Comet was extensively redesigned with oval windows, structural reinforcement and other changes. Rival manufacturers meanwhile heeded the lessons learned from the Comet while developing their own aircraft.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Comet

FCM - April 14, 2013

and thanks for the book recommend witchwind!

6. karmarad - April 14, 2013

Hi, the second-to-the-last paragraph of this article is poetic in feeling though with a very modern vernacular. I think I get the experience you are talking about fcm. Recently I have read about women spending weeks at a time alone in a safe forest. I asked myself, where on earth is there something like that? It would be fine if other women were there too of course, but where? Where are the female lands? I do think of Michfest and how precious that is. I also think of nunneries and buddhist retreats that take place in nature, maybe with a silence rule so the men involved are made non-aggressive. It’s still not enough though. My personal fantasy for a long time has been the 200-acre protected place, under my control but really under nature’s.

But I think you are also talking about how everything we do, it seems, can feel tainted by women’s slavery. You want to remember freedom, though I’m not sure we ever had it. For me it is imagining future women who will have it. I think it’s about the same thing. Things I used to take for granted, like driving – why do we have to become half-machines? Why did we stop using the horse, a natural partner? Why must “we” electrify everything? And of course why commodify, why hierarchicalize, every single little thing?

When I read philosophy I’m repulsed by the erasures and unconscious flaming biases. What can I, a woman, take from “human” culture? I’m not in it. What do I care of men’s wars and conquests, other than to count up the bodies of women and children? Have we actually learned anything as a species, fought our way to any truth, or just used logic to congeal and systematize and “valorize” male psychology (and it wasn’t us doing that either)? Seems the best thing might be to dump it all and start clean. What thought can I read that isn’t tainted and false? Until I get to the 1970s and the few texts we have achieved with so much sacrifice? How could we educate girls into freedom, keep them safe from this devastatingly destructive belief-system that controls in a basic sense, all cutures??

7. karmarad - April 14, 2013

Sargasso, you are so right about how right angles grate in a living environment. What do men do best? Make right angles. Thanks, Euclid. They build, and this should be a good thing, this making of shelter, but again, this building instinct is colored by the need to rigidify, to stop time and flow, to externalize nature.Angles, not curves. How many right angles are there in nature? None.

FCM - April 14, 2013

glad the message came through for you karma. 🙂 and good point about imagining “future” women being free, i agree its really the same thing. we need to be able to at least imagine this dont we? otherwise how will it ever happen in the present or the future?

reading lerners book, i did get the sense that at one time, women were free. meaning, that very early human females were “wild” and not ruled by males or anyone. this is the image she conveys, who know whats actually true but this seems to be her conclusion and it makes sense to me that at one point, there were few humans and therefore few males, and relations were “unstructured and voluntary.” food surpluses and leisure time seem to have been what did us in — men took possession of both and used them destructively and abusively. they still do this today as a matter of fact. populations rose at that time, including the population of males. this also suggests that asserting ownership/entitlement over surpluses and leisure time and using both destructively and abusively (which they still do today) originally came naturally for human males. who taught them how to do this or suggested it? no one, thats who.

FCM - April 14, 2013

also, part of what i am hoping for these sensory experiments is that sensation might lead to action — that if we can somehow experience sensations that free women had, it will lead us to act as free women acted. in whatever way that might be and whatever that might mean. i wrote before about males self-reporting that physical sensation lead them to act — my moms ex boyfriend for example reported that “wanting sex” felt like a hot pepper in his mouth whose imaginary capsaicin would only be deactivated through fucking. wtf. “feminists” would say well thats all well good (the ones who dont tell men they are self-reporting incorrectly, and many feminists do this — physical sensations being essentialist apparently) but you can CHOOSE not to act on them, in this case men can choose NOT to rape women to relieve their own (self-reported, possibly imaginary) pain. which is true. however. are oppressed women acting partially in response to physical sensations which are caused partially or fully by the conditions of our own slavery? if we “felt” something else, would we act differently? i dont know the answers to any of this, as i said, i am still thinking about it.

8. karmarad - April 14, 2013

I see Michfest as trying to offer that. It’s unique, unless you’re a nun (speaking of which, another radfem mentioned that when transfolk start asking to be nuns and priests, we’ll see them getting serious at last and going after the right perpetrators. Can’t wait til a pious trans”woman” files a civil rights complaint for not being allowed to become a priest. Of course religious groups have a special exemption. Does freedom of religion mean it’s ok to discriminate against transpeople? I think it would help focus and clarify the issues here to watch such a suit in progress. And be a barrel of laughs besides.)

But no, women are not as scary to attack. Which of course is why the exclusion of transfolk from Michfest is a flashpoint. Next will come a discrimination lawsuit by some white dude. It’s intolerable to them. Some of us say, why are they bothering with this little obscure festival? Nooo. The symbolism is colossal. WBW must be vanquished first, as a sort of flank battle. Get us properly under control and maybe just maybe they will be able to work up the courage to go after the men who actually kill and beat them. Then again, maybe it will be enough just to colonize women and collaborate in the male oppression club.

Seems we need a radfem wbw convo in the country next year, not in a gigantic intimidating city like London. Instead of art and celebration like michfest we could talk theory, but we would also be able to walk safely outdoors and take our refuge in nature. I would be willing to form a group to work on something like this (would prefer it be in the U.S.)

9. karmarad - April 14, 2013

Wait, I goofed above. I meant, “I can’t wait til a pious trans”woman” files a complaint for not being able to become a nun.” And vice versa, if anyone can figure all these absurd reversals out.

FCM - April 14, 2013

i should also add that im not “victim blaming” here as if women acting or not acting this way or that is what causes our oppression. i simply mean that i have heard the refrain “what do we DO?” all too often, and all too often the only thing anyone can come up with is “lets do reformism” and then they do it. but reformism doesnt work. we need to come up with something better, but how?

10. Sargasso Sea - April 15, 2013

London is not exactly my idea of a great women’s *conference* space. It’s expensive – it’d cost me more than 2K to attend – and, yes, it IS the city which really, really seems antithetical to my way of thinking.

But then again, I guess that’s pretty obvious by now 🙂

11. WordWoman - April 15, 2013

FCM said “and all too often the only thing anyone can come up with is “lets do reformism” and then they do it. but reformism doesnt work. we need to come up with something better, but how?”

Sometimes the urge to “do something,” “anything is better than nothing” can act against us.

Also, if we were to try and create women’s space and did it in a public way, it would be invaded. Then no more women’s space. No more women’s agenda. Just sociopaths taking it over. One of the things about Michfest is that a bunch of women get focused on someone else’s agenda. It’s a time waster to get focused on someone else’s agenda, especially people who want the spotlight. People who are publicity hounds. People who love drama. Why give it to them on our dime, on our gynergy? Just withdraw. To nowhere.

Perhaps we just need to build slowly and solidly, but not in a public way. Just slowly gather women together in a quiet way. Build a strong foundation. Perhaps just get together for coffee. Or tea. Or to help another woman in some way. Build a community. Of women. Talk face-to-face. I LOVE your blog and a few others and have benefited from them. How do we communicate this to women in our communities? How do we form a strong, solid “background?”

Male radicals are always talking about an “underground.” We don’t need it. Women are already invisible when we get together. Doing the things women naturally do. Perhaps we don’t need to do much at all. Just share, strengthen the background. Once that is built, we will know what to do. Perhaps we can have community that is not virtual. I think IRL communities may be something rare and powerful in the future. There’s a lot of really toxic stuff online, and I think it’s part of the medium. The old “the medium is the message” and the medium may be part of the problem. Not that there’s no value in it. Clearly there is. but we are looking at something new, too.

Listening is part of it. We know what to listen for. Less talking, arguing, IRL. I don’t think it will look like the second wave. I’m betting women are ready to wake up, but they need other women attuned to a radical truth. That could include things we discover from the natural world, too.

I say all this thinking we have very little time. But rushing to nowhere will get us nowhere. Just my thoughts, triggered by your post and the discussion here.

12. WordWoman - April 15, 2013

Uh oh, I used “nowhere” with two different meanings in that last post. I meant something different for each. Just to avoid confusion, I’m noting that.

FCM - April 15, 2013

yes, i think we are on the same page about the urge to “do something” and how deleterious it can be. these sensory exercises for me are not to get to the point where i can “act” or at least thats not the point — its something i wondered about later. but there is something there isnt there? i already assumed that sensation can lead to thoughts and memories, and this is what i am exploring for now. so far, ive only had the sensation part, and it hasnt lead to anything except “knowing” that it was a shared experience. people have *always* walked barefoot on the beach for example, and i can know this and acknowledge it but so far, thats all. but sensation causing action, or causing a motivation or urge to act is another possibility. what would a free woman do? is it possible to know this? like karma said, its as if everything is tainted with our slavery now. women think and act like slaves. phyllis chesler, kate millet and others have noted that “horizontal hostility” is the behavior of slaves, and this is but one example.

really, i think my body and mind are completely rejecting patriarchy now. so its not as if i have much of a choice but to try to find another way of being. i am completely rejecting being objectified which means i dont want to go out, i dont want to work, i dont want to wear painful or restricting clothing. i have always suffered with this (patriarchy anxiety disorder) but its only increased over time. the cognitive dissonance of relying on the male infrastructure which i know is a flimsy facade rings at a high pitch. mensworld is absolute insanity, it seems to be at a critical mass now for reasons we have discussed previously, and i cannot tolerate these things anymore. and reformism DOESNT WORK. i also think womens community wont work, and i am not striving for that personally. so…

FCM - April 15, 2013

and i am still thinking along the lines of “survival” where no one feels anyone is shitting on them if they break up into small units (or individuals) and “save themselves.”

13. WordWoman - April 15, 2013

thanks for your thoughts. I re-read my last comment after reading yours (after #12). Parts of my comment still rang true to me, but the part about forming community in the background sounded as if it was born of the desperation to “do something.” Just watching the world go down in flames is difficult. I do crave the company of women on that true level, and do want to build those connections. I plan to try. But, on reflection, it is not to try and “build community.” Perhaps that part is over for me, it is an externalist view, a patriarchal view, more “doing something.”

I hear what you are saying about patriarchy anxiety disorder. I have felt this, too.

FCM - April 15, 2013

actually i can report that these sensory experiments have indeed led to thoughts, although it wasnt what i was expecting. the *thought* i had is that i should KEEP doing them.

and i would like to note that, if we are saying that only pre-agricultural women were (possibly) free, this means that free women never wrote, and they certainly never blogged. its something to think about. google is telling me that agriculture has been around since 8000-7000 BC and that cuneiform appeared around 4000 BC. this means that *only* oppressed women have ever written anything, and for that matter, only oppressed women have ever practiced reformism, and only oppressed women have ever been feminists. these experiences are *only* shared by oppressed women and were never had by free women. becoming attached to any of these things is to become attached to the conditions of our own slavery. isnt it? im not saying im going to give up writing anytime soon, but its something to think about.

14. witchwind - April 15, 2013

Wordwoman said: “Listening is part of it. We know what to listen for. Less talking, arguing, IRL. I don’t think it will look like the second wave. I’m betting women are ready to wake up, but they need other women attuned to a radical truth. That could include things we discover from the natural world, too.”

I have recently come to a similar point where i think that we have to move beyond what the second wavers have achieved, and go further. While their legacy is why i’m here in the first place, i see much of it as stuck in reformism, in “doing” according to what men do and are rather than “being”, and repeating processes and patterns of violence. many of the 70-80’s radfem activism seemed external to the activists themselves, their lives and the own abuse they had survived, as if once they had understood it, they could leave it behind and go fighting. But the reason they went fighting is precisely because they were disconnected to some level. I think the activist model required so much self-sacrifice, and disconnection from self, that it isn’t viable for women at all to even do it, regardless of results (though the results follow from this too). As far as I can see, much of the second wave emerged from women who first learned “activism” in male left circles, and then left these circles to form women only ones.

I will never give up on talking with other women because this is how my thoughts have grown ever since i discovered feminism. Though listening has been a very important part of feminism to me too. Especially to LEARN to listen. Listen to myself, first of all, to the signs of my body, to my sensations and feelings, to situations, to my relationships to women, to the messages that they send me, and to nature around me. this has been very powerful in my life.

This goes to what you say FCM: I think sensory experiences are crucial. It means we begin to naturally reject everything patriarchal. We just can’t stand it anymore. I can’t stand working for men either. I barely go out too, except to see friends, and buy food, or walk in the woods, the countryside. It also means we begin to connect to the very things men do everything in their power to prevent us from connecting ourselves to. to our freedom. To non-slave mind and being. Because it leads to thoughts and experiences that men don’t want us to have. This is why we need to continue this way. finding our way home.

15. screaming banshee - April 15, 2013

I figured this out like, years ago. Paleo diet, and an unbelievable number of things started falling into place like, in a single week not working at the government job I was doing back then.

It’s the sort of choosey choice I can’t quite post about: vegans who reject meat for personal moral reasons in particular do not want to hear me blather on about the four hundred thousand years we spent evolving most of our species’ notable survival adaptations and advantages at the foot of glaciers.

Dammit. Now I itch to blog about this… again.

Our foremothers invented math.

Our foremothers had birth control.

Our foremothers invented humanity.

Men are going to destroy it, and they are going to drag as much of the planet down with them as they can.

16. WordWoman - April 15, 2013

the agriculture thing is tricky. There is land owning and “large scale agriculture.” (I don’t mean factory farms, just regular farms)> Then there is tending some plants. Many tribes tended some plants, but did not have agriculture as we know it. They did not plow a field and so this would not be recognizable as agriculture. There’s a name for this, but I forget it. I think some number of hunters and gatherers also planted some things. I say this because I like tending plants and planting some, but would not like large-scale farming or gardening in the same way.

17. WordWoman - April 15, 2013

Just looking at plants or animals (In the wild only, not in zoos) makes me feel happy.

18. Sargasso Sea - April 15, 2013

I think FW did record things in a semi-permanent way. Perhaps not writing per se, but akin to it. And I think (as with just about everything) men have stolen OUR forms of communication and have put them to purposes that never were OUR intent. IOW just because men say that there was no written communication until whenever doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there long before and that it was indeed OURS.

A Poop example🙂 – backpackers often mark poopspots with a small stack of rocks or sticks or whatever is at hand. The obvious unnatural configuration of natural elements tells us that there is something *here*. There’s no need for written “Beware of Poop” sign.

FCM - April 15, 2013

the years are important if only to give us an accurate idea of how long we have been oppressed. the truth of it. i might revisit the details in “creation” part one to see if she gives exact dates for what she means by “agriculture” but really i think the point is “food surpluses” which couldve existed before the plough and was surely the whole point of cultivating plants right? to have something “extra” and to sustain/make possible a growing population that didnt previously exist. the growing population became necessary as agricultural labor. a vicious cycle at the expense of womens health and autonomy. but yes, its true that im not 100% sure what she means here or how long ago this happened.

i think its important to note that although it seems like everyone from mary daly and sonia johnson to gerda lerner herself seem to use “5000 years” as the age of patriarchy, what they seeem to mean is institutionalized patriarchy but this wasnt the starting point for womens oppression. instead it appears that institutionalized patriarchy was only the codification and formalization (meaning essentially the creation of “laws” and religious dogma) of the normalized patriarchal relations that were already happening everywhere anyway, where men owned and sold their wives and children for a price (esp daughters for a “bride price”) where there were strict controls on womens autonomy and behavior and different, less or none on mens. this hideous condition for women has existed for a LONG long time. if the conditions for institutionalized slavery became possible in 8000 BC (with food surpluses, whenever that was) and if womens oppression predated and provided the model for it, then womens oppression has been around much longer than 5000 years and perhaps 10,000 years or more. im not sure why, then, everyone has chosen to cite the 5000 years as particularly significant while ignoring the other part. this is troubling.

FCM - April 15, 2013

in light of this, i can certainly see why karma or anyone would wonder if women were “ever” free. the seeming insistence (or implication) that we were free 5000 years ago — before institutionalized patriarchy took hold — seems to be verifyably false.

19. witchwind - April 15, 2013

I think there might have been a time where women could better regulate men or had a bit more control over them, and children and reproduction. But to be free of men would mean there being no men at all i guess. This must have been possible before animals became sexed, before maleness existed.

and 5000 years is just the landmark for modern patriarchy, when it hit its advanced, modern and more deadly and sophisticated stage, but it definitely isn’t the beginning of patriarchy. I would say, patriarchy as a “civilisation” (rule governing humans) is at LEAST 50,000 years old.

Surplus is key to understanding patriarchal mechanisms of hierarchy, monopoly of power and means of survival by men, to ensure the slavery of women. If you read Paola Tabet it’s exactly what she talks about, she analyses this at length. Basically capitalism is just this surplus model explanded to a more complex stage, but it’s one of the foundation of slavery of women to men.

20. karmarad - April 15, 2013

It’s extremely hard to know what evidence there might be that women had more freedom pre-Bronze Age. Not only were almost no languages written, the evidence out there, such as the Venus figurines, isn’t interpretable unequivocally. We don’t really know their significance or what they mean in terms of power relations.

But the biggest impediment is that research into the question has been, and is, stifled. Archaeology and anthropology are still heavily dominated by male paradigms and theories from before feminist consciousness raised these questions. To get research funding is very difficult. If you do the research and write about the possibility of a power arrangement not as favorable to men as they prefer, you get criticized and practically drummed out of the profession. See Marija Gimbutas. Riane Eisler’s strongest points have been shouted down just because she relies somewhat on Gimbutas, in her book The Chalice and the Blade.

I have to think the theory of a different power relationship in prehistory remains a theory only. BUT this is one of those remarkable trends in human history – advancement in consciousness of equality for all humans – that makes me think there is such a thing as progress. I can’t believe the earth will ever return to the unquestioned slavery of African-Americans and others, because I just don’t think the recordation techniques we have now can be erased even if a global totalitarian pro-slavery government somehow took over in the future. Similarly, I think while women may get shoved back into their family holes at some point, and feminism outlawed even, it will be impossible to lose all the information we now have, and the progress in human values toward a belief in equality will endure at some level. I think humanity has matured as a species somewhat in this regard, and I’m glad I’m part of the rights movement that has contributed so much to this advance in human consciousness. Now let’s hold on to it and work together to continue the public-law advances into the area of “personal laws” as inequitable family/religious laws are called in India.

21. witchwind - April 15, 2013

I agree it’s difficult however the fact that men were completely absent from the figurines does say something about the status of women and who was considered default human. And we know for a fact that patriarchy has progressed over time, that is, that each generation of men learned from the previous one and expanded on previous oppression. And we know that patriarchy reached critical points when small women figurines started being replaced by massive phallic male figurines. It just got worse and worse through the centuries

As I said I doubt that women were ever completely free when men where there. But we do know they were freer than we are now. Even in the middle ages women were freer than we are now.

I quite like Sonia’s theory on maleness, that women invented language and then writing out of pity for men, to enable them to communicate, because they couldn’t do telepathy.

22. WordWoman - April 15, 2013

Ok, here’s something on wikipedia about horticulture.
“The origins of horticulture lie in the transition of human communities from nomadic hunter-gatherers to sedentary or semi-sedentary horticultural communities, cultivating a variety of crops on a small scale around their dwellings or in specialized plots visited occasionally during migrations from one area to the next (such as the “milpa” or maize field of Mesoamerican cultures).[16]. . . .

Horticulture primarily differs from agriculture in two ways. First, it generally encompasses a smaller scale of cultivation, using small plots of mixed crops rather than large fields of single crops. Secondly, horticultural cultivations generally include a wide variety of crops, even including fruit trees with ground crops. Agricultural cultivations however as a rule focus on one primary crop.”

I don’t think you get big surpluses from this type of horticulture. Perhaps some dried berries for the winter, etc. I think it would be possible for women to be free or wild in this kind of system. It is small scale. Also it does not damage the ecosystem the way agriculture and monocropping do. Mainly the idea with this is that you try for a surplus. That’s when slavery and the enslavement of women come into it. Perhaps this is a fiction, but it makes some sense to me. You are not ripping off the environment to squeeze every last nutrient out of it.

This kind of horticulture does not leave a record (of destruction from exploitation) and so has been ignored by the male historians. Also, such a system may escape the notice of colonizers. Since it is mixed and diverse, they would see it as simply wilderness. (Another example of the background).

Actually, this idea means a lot to me. It means that it *might* be possible to have a culture where women are free and the earth is not being damaged. Women would have to cut way back on breeding to get the right population balance. Less than once was.

If you look at the records of the Kalahari studies, you will see that they had lots of leisure and everyone (women included) worked way less than we do in so called “advanced” societies. They were relatively healthy. This was a modern-day society that still existed because the land they lived on was so hostile no one else wanted it.

23. witchwind - April 15, 2013

there’s more to just surplus in agriculture though. there’s also an element of destruction and “raping” the earth and controlling all land in an expansive, colonial way so women can’t plant themselves or gather, and so the group becomes dependent on constant “labour” for survival, which is way to occupy women’s time 24/7 with meaningless tasks, when horticulture must have required much less work and allowed more leisure time (inventing meaningless and degrading tasks to women to do so to deprive women of leisure time is a large part of patriarchal organisation too). monoculture and large monocropping are inherently destructive, as well as ploughing the earth.

24. witchwind - April 15, 2013

and as agriculture requires constant labour, it also forces the group to remain in one place which allowed men to have more control over women, children and animals and plants: it makes it easier to keep them captive.

However there is evidence that men controlled women’s reproductive functions in nomadic groups too, through regular PIV, forced birthing control, selling and buying of women, and organisation of women in different reproductive functions (birthing, lactation, PIV, slavery). Paola Tabet mentions men forcing women to put small stones in women’s uterus during the travelling periods so they wouldn’t become pregnant, because having too many children wasn’t possible for the survival of the group. This is the ancestor of the iud, and it was controlled and imposed by men. They would do the same thing to female cattle.

FCM - April 15, 2013

yes witchwind, and lets be clear what we are talking about here. according to lerner, food surpluses were one precondition to the formation of institutionalized slavery of both women and men. this is not the same thing as mens oppression of women within families and communities which predated institutionalized slavery. so food surpluses were bad for women for sure, but didnt cause mens oppression of women, at least this cannot be concluded from lerners book.

FCM - April 15, 2013

has there been a terrorist attack at the boston marathon? fucking hell.

25. screaming banshee - April 16, 2013

Yes. There has. Men hate us.

Bet you didn’t see that coming.

—–

The oldest known pot is ~7,000 years old.

A wooly mammoth weighed as much as a dump truck. It is unlikely hunting megafauna was a gendered task until men started making up fanciful peenie tales about prehistoric people in the 70’s to drown out the much less convenient Aquatic Ape theory.

The Ice Age winter lasted for 5-6 months.

Permafrost is called that because it’s permanently frozen.

Humans produce no enzymes needed to break down woody plant fibers.

Chimps (great chimp) using weapons to hunt – except for a single juvenile male, this is an exclusively female behavior.

The oldest known “counting bone” is ~35,000 years old, is from Africa, and is scored with 29 marks divided with prime numbers grouped up together in clear and deliberate patterns. Males have exactly 0 reason to give a fuck about the number 29.

FCM - April 16, 2013

yes they are saying terrorism now, but unsure whether it was foreign or domestic. in the first minutes and hours they were just saying “explosions”. what they will never say is “male violence” of course, even though other distinctions are very important and to ignore them would demonstrate a lack of journalistic integrity. explosions versus bombs. foreign versus domestic. male versus female? who cares? no loss of integrity there!

anyhoo, not sure what killed this convo, sorry if it was anything i said. 🙂 lots to google here screaming banchee, thanks. i am currently reading part 2 of this series which is called “the creation of feminist consciousness.” the gist so far is that feminist women are constantly reinventing the wheel due to being unaware of previous feminist works and womens history; and women having to get “authority” from somewhere, be it visions from god, motherhood or elsewhere in order to justify the fact that they are thinking persons, and thinking persons who want to write.

FCM - April 16, 2013

also, i would like to state for the record that fred (“mister”) rogers said about seeing bad things on the news “look for the helpers” BUT HE WAS QUOTING HIS MOTHER. this was her idea, and something she said to him when he was a little boy.

stop attributing this quote to fred fucking rogers. a proper citation format would be “fred rogers, quoting his mother, mrs. rogers.” or whatever her name was. THANK YOU!

FCM - April 16, 2013

http://entertainment.time.com/2013/04/16/the-backstory-the-moving-mr-rogers-clip-everyone-is-talking-about/

not sure if this includes the clip where he credits his mom, but there is a vid out there somewhere where mr. rogers explains to GOD AND EVERYONE that this is something HIS MOTHER said to him when he was a little boy. and NO ONE ever credits her, they all credit HIM. because male exceptionalism. not all men are bad. theres hope for men yet. etc etc.

i will try to locate the clip later.

26. WordWoman - April 16, 2013

Yes, it was the terrorism comment. I didn’t know what to say except, “it’s a male/males” and that seemed way too obvious to even note.

But about feminist theory being erased. I think they have an ongoing project to erase it. Just look at current feminist thought on these blogs. Intense effort to shut them down/ to shut up women.

Also, the whole brainwashing of women is very intense, more than any other group, since women cannot gather together without men present. it’s a particular kind of brainwashing all tradition-y, romanticiced, etc. (What other group has to live with their oppressors in domestic life? I mean pretty much all members of the group, not just a few. Perhaps I missed something, if anyone knows, name them.) So, each generation has to reverse the brainwashing but this only happens with time as women get older/more experience of men to see the lies are not true at all. That’s why women are discounted as they age, to separate them from the younger women so they don’t catch on.

I’d heard about that bone with the markings, Banshee, but forgot it. It seemed that women invented mathematics, early math anyway. From what I heard.

27. JE - April 16, 2013

“not sure if this includes the clip where he credits his mom, but there is a vid out there somewhere where mr. rogers explains to GOD AND EVERYONE that this is something HIS MOTHER said to him when he was a little boy. and NO ONE ever credits her, they all credit HIM. because male exceptionalism. not all men are bad. theres hope for men yet. etc etc.”

Fred Rogers credited his mother, and he’s not no one…

FCM - April 16, 2013

yes and lets give him 10k cookies for doing the right thing. because male exceptionalism. way to prove my point. and lets completely ignore everything else, including the FACT that his mom said it and not him, and that this FACT is never reported. i dont even know if anyone KNOWS about it. i think i actually had to watch a half hour vid to see this for myself. and i have an actual attention span whereas many people dont. its been completely buried as far as i can tell.

28. witchwind - April 16, 2013

I wouldn’t have anything to add, perhaps because this discussion asks more questions than it answers in a way, because i don’t know yet where such sensory experiments will take us (to which extent can it take us home for example?) except that i know it’s important to have them and to seek them and listen to them, and such experiments have certainly led me to where i am now, and led me to feminism, partly.

29. karmarad - April 16, 2013

Heh heh, reminds me of erin pizzey’s claim to fame : “my dog was shot by feminists”, which turns out to be, I had a lot of enemies 30 years ago. Somebody shot at my dog, which survived, and, without any evidence, I’ve maintained for decades to come that it was “feminists.” Yessir, here is the only known violence feminists ever “inflicted” on anybody right cheer. Violence. Feminists. Dog. Bugaboo city,mang.

OK, I’m gonna stop lying right here and now on this reddit AMA thread in April 2013 and admit I don’t have a clue how my dog got shot. I lived in a rural area, there were hunters, I had several animals. But wait, I also got death threats from feminists, I totally did, though the details are getting a little funny as the centuries go by. I can’t, like, quote them and never have, they are too awful for the ears of you gentle MRAs. I can’t prove any were from feminists, but that’s not as important as the fact that I actually never got any. But whatever, I am a martyr to feminism, a living exemplar that feminists are violent. Not only did they protest my politics non-violently, they shot my dog symbolically and sent me death threats symbolically! This totes justifies you MRAs threatening women with murder and rape, because feminists are VIOLENT so it’s just like necessary to respond in kind, it’s defensive only.

Sorry, don’t post this if it’s too far off-topic.

30. Sargasso Sea - April 16, 2013

Attention span?! Memory for the truth that is often reported during unfolding events before they get scrubbed and hero-ized and spun into History? No – it’s not anything you said, I just wanted to place my bets on what I thought was happening/happened. I’ve seen enough for now to know that it wasn’t the local girl scouts group or the radical feminist nuns the new pope is on about🙂

So. Where were we before some man decided he’d been mishandled by Male Social Construction and killed and maimed people to PROVE IT? Right: women’s freedom…

FCM - April 17, 2013

speaking of info being released and then scrubbed…initially there were reports that there was either a suspect or a person of interest being held and/or questioned at the “bringham AND WOMENS hospital” in boston. if you didnt know what they were saying it sounded like “blah blah womens hospital” which sounds like a womens hospital even though it isnt one, and implies that a woman was being held on suspicions of being a terrorist. doesnt it? thing is, it wasnt even true (get it?) and the report was corrected at the first presser. at least that? i guess? one does wonder how these things get started, doesnt one.

FCM - April 17, 2013
FCM - April 17, 2013

heres a report that actually (correctly) quotes mr rogers:

http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/04/16/mister-rogers-look-helpers?hpt=hp_bn17

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

but heres the headline (punchline?): In tragedy, Mr. Rogers’ words vital — and viral.

FCM - April 17, 2013

and thanks for trying to get us back on track s4. 🙂

31. JE - April 17, 2013

Bitter and angry about Mister Rogers?

You will never find happiness, FCM.

32. WordWoman - April 17, 2013

For me, one value of thinking about the long distant past is the idea that there was a time when women walked free. When we were not objectified, murdered, fetishized, etc. When we were the default humans. Plus, a very cooperative connection with all other women. I think all women have a longing to be with other women in this way. Not necessarily sexual, but bonded. It also implies a different relationship with the natural world of plants, animals, water, wind, soil. Again, a bonded “being a part of” relationship. Because I have a small taste of this, I know how very different it would be, beyond my imagining (the detail). But the feel of it, the yearning for it is embedded in my cells, I think.

I think some women who have hopes for men have something similar, a time when men were gentle, brave, kind. Non-entitled, non-narcissistic, non-violent. But to me that is the bigger fiction. If somehow men were to get back to this state, that would be fine. But even if they did, I would still want the same thing, to be free, wild, together with women. I would not want to be focused on men in any case. Even the thought makes me tired. In this past imagined world, men did not get all the focus.

33. WordWoman - April 17, 2013

P.S. I said “back to” this state. I don’t assume they ever were in that state, but I think that’s what many women think. I don’t know either way, but in any case, it’s somewhat incidental. Men are not central.

FCM - April 17, 2013

yep, thats me! bitter and angry. about mr. rogers.

listen very carefully because im only going to say this A THOUSAND (and one!) TIMES, IN A THOUSAND (and one!) DIFFERENT WAYS. mr. rogers stands out from the (male) crowd. think about it.

also, sorry about your penis JE. or is it an honorary penis? its hard to tell sometimes, but the “bitter” word reveals a lot. the belief in male exceptionalism and obvious identification with an exceptional male kinda makes me think MTF. as well as the fact that JE has posted here before under another name. always very short comments that add little to nothing to the conversation. i posted THIS ONE because the idea of mr. rogers as an illustration of male exceptionalism was too good to pass up. it may or may not have been worth it in the end.

FCM - April 17, 2013

and the conflation of happiness and freedom. classic misunderstanding about what feminism is really all about. and “MOAR HAPPY!” is a classic MTF motivation. i would still expect some amount of unhappiness in a state of political, personal and interpersonal FREEDOM FROM MALE DOMINANCE. when a loved one died for example, or in times of scarcity, although without maleness (which includes the concepts of ownership, or overwhelming maleness which brings overpopulation) scarcity might not exist. i think true freedom would be really freaking great though, and that a lot of the reasons for womens unhappiness and depression would no longer exist. men and maleness, in other words.

FCM - April 17, 2013

also, cherrys blog has been made private.

since there is so little conversation happening right now, and so few spaces for it, i am tempted to leave comments open here indefinitely. i will try it and see how it goes. the reason i dont do that anymore is bc its exhausting to always have to monitor this space and to always be inviting contact, especially when the comments are few and far between as this increases the odds that any one comment will be trolling.

34. WordWoman - April 17, 2013

Interesting, I somehow missed the original post by JE and so the Mr. Rogers theme was a bit puzzling. But then I noticed how my comments seemed to fit the dialog anyway. 😉 Freedom. . . (a long and difficult task, happiness not being central to that task).

35. WordWoman - April 17, 2013

Sorry to see that, but want to respect Cherry’s decision. I hope the open comments works out here, but if not, I want to see your time and energy protected and certainly understand the need for that.

FCM - April 17, 2013

sorry about the derail. 🙂 i would also encourage lurkers to come out, if they want to. if not this post, then in the future. post em if you got em. radical conversation is a rare and precious thing, and its only as good (and sustainable) as the contributors. thanks to everyone who is participating in and adding so much to these discussions. i really appreciate it.

36. Sargasso Sea - April 17, 2013

Also sorry to hear about Cherry’s blog but I guess we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.

Since you seem up to leaving comments open I would also encourage lurkers to speak up!🙂

37. Sargasso Sea - April 17, 2013

Also: sorry to hear that you’re so damn unhappy with your state of being female in a man’s world – golly, what’s YOUR problem?! lol

FCM - April 17, 2013

no, im bitter and angry ABOUT MR. ROGERS s4. lol thats been my problem this whole time.

38. radikit - April 17, 2013

This is a great discussion and I’m so glad it is happening! The idea of feeling our way back home is something I have also had recently. I think this synchronocity might be a sign of a shift in female consciousness. I want to say more but have to think more about it and FEEL about it when in nature listening to the birds. Glad the comments will remain open for a while. This is SUCH an important idea to discuss. Changin the world by being differently in the world, by feeling differently about ourselves. Shifting consciousness.

39. WordWoman - April 17, 2013

It may be a sacrilege, but I always felt Mr. Rogers’ tone was patronizing. Might that mean I’m bitter, too? lol

I do love the main topic of this post and am eager to hear what others have to say, including lurkers🙂

FCM - April 17, 2013

haha! you dare insult the patron saint of good-guy tranny males. well done.

40. WordWoman - April 17, 2013

Egged on. . .

I can only add that if you think you live in a safe neighborhood with many beautiful days therein, you were probably not a girl and probably not poor. Teach judo instead!

FCM - April 17, 2013

i also think its a terrible idea to teach children to trust adult males. i mean really. speaking of, i was nearly abducted from a public park when i was 4 years old by an old man who looked exactly like santa claus. they arent that uncommon afterall. fat old white men who dont shave are all over the place. and the ones who are unusually interested in children seem even more like santa dont they. *shiver*

41. WordWoman - April 17, 2013

Yes, scary.

42. Sargasso Sea - April 18, 2013

My mom taught me to look for a woman (preferably one with children) if I ever needed help. She was also wary of cops – and that was way before they were a bunch of endless-war vets – so they were a no-go in her “Helpers” book.

43. background spinner - April 18, 2013

Enjoying this conversation. I have nothing much to add right now, except to say this jumped out at me early on…

FCM: “and i am still thinking along the lines of “survival” where no one feels anyone is shitting on them if they break up into small units (or individuals) and “save themselves.””

I’d love to see a discussion around surviving, and if we manage that, sustaining life, whether in groups or own our own.

44. background spinner - April 18, 2013

‘on’ our own, obv.

And to clarify, by ‘sustaining life’ I really mean sustaining *our* lives, not in some i’ll-take-you-to-my-bosom-and-make-Earth-green-again-because-i-am-Mother-to-all kind of way.

45. Nadege - April 18, 2013

I haven’t been reading this blog for very long, but it’s one of my favorites. I appreciate the amount of work you put into it, FCM. Even before I was introduced to radical feminism, I believe I was trying to connect to what it must have felt like to be female and free. I think this started when I was six. I remember lying on my back in the snow at the park and staring at the stars, when I was 16, searching for something like… maybe a connection. I remember trying to learn about my grandmother who was considered a witch in the Caribbean and wanting to be more like her. I guess I felt she had more power and control than I did; though now when I look back, I see that she didn’t and that she probably had less. I didn’t know back then that I had to go back further than centuries, that I’d have to go back millennia to find women who were actually free.

I agree that this connection is important, but I don’t have the words to express why I feel this way yet. The women above do this well already anyway.

I do want to say though, that as a newcomer to radical feminism, I believe that something like a community is needed, or else how will those of us who just found radical feminism survive? I live in a city where even the women who go to michfest find trans-criticism appalling. I don’t know. I’m new here, so I don’t have the right words to express myself yet.

46. Nadege - April 18, 2013

Of course we have to go beyond the second wave, but does this mean we have to abandon action and community? Why not have a community? I understand that some forms of “doing something” are patriarchal, macho, but how does feminism (real feminism, not that other stuff) work if we’re all by ourselves…? … isolated…? Doesn’t that sound a little… well, liberal? Isn’t what isolation what patriarchy wants so that it never gets smashed?

FCM - April 18, 2013

reformism doesnt work. period. why are so few women willing to put a “.” after that sentence? its demonstrably true, and there is enough evidence by now to support this conclusion that the statement stands on its own. think about this for as long as it takes to sink in, and to be meaningful and (perhaps?) evoke feelings and maybe even thoughts. based in truth. im not kidding. cannot most people just sit with an uncomfortable truth for half a second? how about a whole day or week or month? if we cant do this, why not?

as far as “action” i have found that i have to constantly either ignore or defend myself against accusations (from reformists) that radical WRITING is not radical, and its also not an act. the words just magically appear on the page, apparently, and i am a lazy asshole (and they arent — because reformist action yay!) despite 100 years of evidence that reformism doesnt work they consistently assert both things are true (reformism works and radical writing is not radical and appears effortlessly as if by magic) when in reality neither are true. doesnt that sound a little…well, insane?

as for wanting to get the hell away from men and realizing that, based on years of EVIDENCE that womens communities are largely doomed is the same thing as “isolation” and “liberalism” well i will save that for another day, except to say that there might be other concepts that are more useful here. and we might not have words for them yet.

47. WordWoman - April 18, 2013

Nadege, you said “Of course we have to go beyond the second wave, but does this mean we have to abandon. . .community? Why not have a community?”

I always think of Mary Daly, who did have a strong community. I don’t think this would happen today in the same way, since there was so much backlash. And many counter forces. I think there will always be backlash, and working around that backlash without getting focused on it/without it becoming the agenda is key. Perhaps what happens to reformists and even funfems is that they become focused on the backlash as the agenda. (Appeasement, e.g)

I do intend to be part of a women’s community. However, at this point building it around a reformist model does not make sense to me. I don’t have words for it yet, but a strong interest in building a community irl. These convos (particularly this blog) are a type of community (I appreciate!). I think they are more powerful than we imagine. What will radical feminists look like in the future in a community irl? Some ideas about this come to the surface here online at times, though not directly, rather as sparks, some of which may ignite into community. I do honor those who have tried community in the past, some of these still around. But I think a different kind of community is in our future. Conditions are different than they once were.

I’ve been dealing with my own impatience and sense of urgency, looking at the world around. Community coming out of that will not be as strong or solid as one that comes out of something else. Still, survival is closer to the bone than ever before.

I still think it will be difficult to be in community at times. Not all rainbows and unicorns. But something about getting back to our roots would be satisfying in a different way and make it worth it.

FCM - April 18, 2013

yes thats a good point wordwoman. building community around reformist activating, which is the predominant model (isnt it?) seems like a bad idea and doomed to fail since reformist activating is doomed to fail. and “community” is not the same as “womens land” or living arrangements that have proven to not work due to power issues, lack of property ownership by women globally, etc. it can mean something else, even if we dont have the words for this now.

48. WordWoman - April 18, 2013

FCM, you said, “. im not kidding. cannot most people just sit with an uncomfortable truth for half a second? how about a whole day or week or month? if we cant do this, why not?”

This is exactly what I am thinking. If there is to be any kind of a solid community, something different than ever, it will take both time and thought. The process you mention is sorely lacking.

Just take one of the first lines of thinking in this blog. PIV is harmful, not an act of love. Feels like love because trauma bonding. Enslavement. These ideas take time to sink in. Many other ideas since. They may be quite uncomfortable when they do. Or men as a class benefit from men’s violence toward women as a class. Even nonviolent men. They will never change voluntarily. Another uncomfortable truth. Takes some time to absorb.

And yes, writing is work. Important work. If it were inconsequential, why would writers be attacked for a given new idea? For a minute, talk about male writers here. Put under death threats for writing. Do women feel some radical feminist writing is less important than these men (Russian revolutionaries, e.g.)? Is it more important because it is a global class, women? Seems logical to me. Who are everywhere oppressed? In every culture, class? Important work not given it’s due, since it is “womens wrting” like “women’s work.”

49. witchwind - April 18, 2013

What do you mean by that? I don’t understand the link between

“as for wanting to get the hell away from men and realizing that”

and

“based on years of EVIDENCE that womens communities are largely doomed”

I read what you said as: we want to get away from men as a reaction to the evidence that women’s communities are doomed.

This doesn’t make sense to me. Also which evidence are thinking about that women’s communities are doomed? Because of the property problem? Because everything is male-controlled? If we look at women’s communities now or in the past, it’s easy to spot where things went wrong, and to learn from it. I do think some kind of positive evolution is possible, an opening, a way.

I still think safe, healthy, trusting and radfem female bonding is possible in collective ways, and that creative alternatives / backgrounds can emerge from this. Maybe not in the classic community sense, as in, all of us living together in one place. More in a network, connection sense. To develop ties and bonds that nothing will break, the kind of calm friendships that go beyond time.

FCM - April 18, 2013

those were two separate thoughts witchwind. both are categorized as “isolationism” and “liberalism” by nadege, from what i read.

FCM - April 18, 2013

or i should say that the idea of getting the hell away from men, unless its in a “community” arrangement with women is considered isolationist, and an individual solution which is considered liberal. i think these are useless concepts and do not apply to this discussion where we are thinking about NEW ways to be, perhaps leading to action and perhaps not, based on a shared desire to be free.

FCM - April 18, 2013

its also offensive and tiresome to have someone come onto MY BLOG and tell me that i am advocating “abandoning action”. or bashing me, meaning MY ONLINE PRESENCE for not doing anything. if that were true, there would be no platform HERE for anyone to tell me im not “acting”. and i wouldnt have an online presence, or not the same one i do. get it? i dont even know how many times this has happened by now but its been a lot.

its as if most people simply cannot fathom reflecting and contemplating, or ACTING in a way that is not reformist, or coming from a place of specifically rejecting reformism. they cannot do it. in the absence of reformist action there is not only NO action, there is NOTHING. the mind draws a blank.

50. Sargasso Sea - April 18, 2013

“..we are thinking about NEW ways to be..”

That’s what I’m in this (and other) discussion for: the NEW, the based-on-history/herstory, the taking into account the 21st century Feminist (the Radical-to-Mainstream-transformation is all but complete) *zeitgeist*, the absoulte NEED for our survival and just HOW we might go about that from this day forward.

And JUST for us. Right?

51. Nadege - April 18, 2013

My comments were misunderstood. Wordwoman, you expressed what I meant in a much clearer way than I could. I realize that its best that I continue to just lurk.

FCM - April 19, 2013

i agree that wordwomans comment was very good. also, considering that this medium requires communication via the written word, if people cant even express their true thoughts and positions in a basic way using words its going to make things very difficult. i understand that its going to seem “risky” for lurkers to come out which is unfortunate. i have another comment from a “lurker” sitting in the trash right now bc its so long and rambly i felt like someone just barfed on me. its so rude. i couldnt even finish it, and yet before i can publish anything here i have to read and comprehend every single word bc the first time i dont it will be the time some joker plants a dirty limerick in words 1733-1799 of a 3000 word comment. come on people.

52. Sargasso Sea - April 19, 2013

Agreeing that Wordwoman’s comment was thoughtful. It takes a lot not to be shied off by a *criticism*.

53. Sargasso Sea - April 19, 2013

Darn – that came off wrong😦

What I mean to say is that Wordwoman speaks her mind as clearly as anyone I’ve ever read and what she says is always thoughtful to the subject. Yay!

Also: just say what *you* really mean and be ready to have an actual conversation. Simple as that.

54. WordWoman - April 19, 2013

Thanks for the kind thoughts all. It’s interesting. Writing on this blog challenges me and helps me to clarify/expand my thoughts in a way I could never do writing alone. This particular blog more than others. I really think about these convos a lot during my daily life. I sometimes think my comments are too long or too many, but love the discourse.

Also, FCM makes it easy for readers with her continuous work of weeding out the chaff. It is a women-only space for us and that makes a big difference for thoughts to be born. Also, I may in the foreseeable future not have internet access as regularly as I do now, so if I don’t post for a while/or sporadically you will know why.

55. witchwind - April 19, 2013

Thanks for clarifying that FCM, ok i understand. Yes the rest of your comment was very clear and i do agree that while many benefit from radfem online discussions, the fact that it’s action and requires a lot of work is often neglected or not considered “real”, probably because it “only” concerns US. As everything patriarchal, what is considered real is what relates to male reality. If it doesn’t relate or react or interact on the same level with male reality to some degree (ie if it’s not reformist), then it doesn’t exist, it isn’t considered real or as having impact on reality, because women aren’t considered real hence our reality doesn’t count. This runs very deep.

i’m very aware here (in my place) that the classical community arrangement is not a feasible option right now and it’s definitely not a safe emergency survival plan for women. it’s something that would take years and years to set up, find women i’d trust, find a place that is suitable and as cheap as possible, etc. This isn’t something i would jump into in a hurry to escape some abusive partner for instance, because it would be sure to collapse some time after.

For having been around quite a few women-only communities now, I’m very aware that women living together in a same space in a separatist intent deosn’t mean much in terms of freedom and survival, especially freedom from violence. If the only aim is to get away from men and to live with women in a same space, and it doesn’t go further than that (ie where it’s assumed that just living together will magically resolve maledom, traumatic memory, internalised hatred / horizontal violence, property (etc) and that healthy relationships and group dynamics will magically unfold), well, i do think it’s doomed to fail in this case. And every community i’ve seen, been to, was replete with anti-woman violence because it didn’t go any further than the idea of women living alongside each other in a closed space (even with a somewhat common political background). I think it’s a very big mistake to think that we can just be together and things will resolve magically.

and it goes the same with any women-only group i create too (i don’t create any other kind of groups), for feminists projects (i don’t do anything else than that right now). It takes months, years to build trust, to gain stability, to learn to work together, to find ways of working that aren’t destructive to each other, that makes creativity possible.

I do think creativity plays a very important part in getting women together away from men, and creating safe spaces, something that we can build on in the background.

56. witchwind - April 19, 2013

it’s not just men we need to get away from but also women that are hurtful to other women, too, in situations where we have no power to change their behaviour because they believe they have a stake in staying that way (that is, they believe in male reality and their fake rewards). Because spending our time running after them or trying to change them or negotiating around them or reacting to the horrible things they do is just the same as reformism. their destruction caters directly to men, they work for male power.

I don’t think we can afford to do that either.

57. Sargasso Sea - April 19, 2013

Thanks witchwind for both of those comments🙂

There does seem to be the (false) notion that *we* are thinking that some utopia would happen if women just lived together – I think *we* are smarter than that and that’s EXACTLY why we are insisting on having these conversations.

We simply have to think/act in different ways than we have before. Which is, of course, not to say that there has not been binding-breaking thought before us but that we obviously need to move differently these days.

FCM - April 20, 2013

yes to *creativity* being a way forward witchwind. it is a force to be reckoned with isnt it?

FCM - April 20, 2013

also, i wanted to expound a bit on the symptoms of crohns and other inflammatory bowel conditions that appear to respond to a pre-agricultural diet. in addition to those i mentioned in the post, also included is abdominal pain including right lower abdominal pain which can mimic appendicitis. this is very serious indeed, since medical protocol for suspected appendicitis appears to be emergency appendectomy or laproscopy — unnecessary surgery if you dont actually have appendicitis, and additional abdominal/intestinal trauma which can be devastating to anyone who has crohns bc it causes intestinal adhesions and makes everything worse. emergency surgery seems even more likely if you have right lower ab pain in conjunction with other symptoms of appendicitis such as loss of appetite and diarrhea (also classic crohns symptoms), or if you happen to have a fever that day for some reason. get it? this can all be very confusing for everyone esp if you dont have a diagnosis yet, and the doctors will need to cover their own asses…and err on the side of assuming its appendicitis until its proven its not — by holding it in their hands and examining it. and they might still take it out even if it looks fine since they are in there anyway, and the appendix is a “useless organ.” these are my conclusions from googling and reviewing medical literature, you can investigate it for yourself if you are interested.

also, there is such a thing as “fistulizing crohns” which causes fistula to form between the intestine and bladder, or between the intestine and vagina which cause fecal incontinence and/or passing stool through the urethra (and UTI infections obvs!). good luck getting treatment for any of this, even if you are leaking stool from your vagina, if you have no health insurance. no, im not kidding. look it up.

heres more on the “specific carbohydrate diet” for anyone who is interested.

http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/

58. WordWoman - April 20, 2013

Here’s another website, about testing for gluten in non-invasive ways and some other info. Apparently most doctors don’t give the best tests. It’s complicated and they want simple and are influenced by the insurers, even if you don’t have insurance. The site gives some other good info about the relationship between gluten and other disorders, which can mimic them, which can be triggered by them, etc. https://sites.google.com/site/jccglutenfree/

It might be other grains implicated as well, though she doesn’t say this, it’s worth thinking about. A lot of people cannot eat corn and gluten for instance. A very close friend of mine has this issue (most dairy, too). I don’t seem to have all this, but other stuff and who knows what is really the issue when I seem to have other things going on. I do have intense, but luckily brief, right side pain sometimes, for years, no doctor has ever given me a clear picture of why. I don’t think they know. I will look at the website you provided and see what I can do. Limited budget and availability is always a problem.

FCM - April 20, 2013

good luck wordwoman, i hope you can find something that works for you! glad your symptoms seem to be infrequent. lets hope they stay that way, or at least dont get worse. also, the book describes how “celiac” is often not cured or resolved long-term by going gluten-free and requires abstaining from other grains, and even other starches and sugars as well. and the objective tests for crohns often give false negatives! as you say, this indicates that docs dont in fact know what the hell is going on in the gut which isnt really a surprise. many things are a mystery to them.

from what i have read, ALL grains and indeed most starches, even non-grain based starches, and sugar, are implicated in IBD bc they provide too much “food” for intestinal bacteria and result in an overgrowth, and trigger a “vicious cycle” which is very destructive to the intestinal tract. you can read about at the link i provided (or in the book). corroborating this is the fact that antibiotics are often prescribed in addition to anti-inflammatories for crohns and IBD even though docs do not know why antibiotics work — theoretically they shouldnt bc there is no known bacterial component to crohns/IBD. but they often do work. interesting ay?

and the “specific carbohydrate diet” i linked to stresses the importance of repopulating the gut with “good bacteria” even as you are starving off the bad, so it teaches you how to make homemade yogurt. a useful skill, even if the diet doesnt work i guess? honestly, all this “diet” stuff seems a bit kooky, but it wouldnt if other things werent completely normalized. its not as if anyone is pushing “cleanses” or howling at the moon — its all about a pre-agricultural diet, and how grains affect many people. since the meds for these diseases are highly toxic as well, it makes sense to try everything you can to heal without long-term medical intervention.

59. WordWoman - April 20, 2013

Yes, I agree about trying to heal without long-term medical intervention. I’d take those measures if in a crisis situation, but chronic diseases are something I’d rather find other ways, since the more natural, the easier it is on other parts of the system. I do plan to explore the link you gave. It looks helpful. If nothing else, I’d like to get rid of the apple-shape-bad-fat around my middle. My guess is that bad carbs contribute heavily to that. Not to look better, but to avoid long term damage to other systems, like cardio. Prevention, iow.

I hope you find answers to your problems, too. And yes, I agree about the drugs that help but we don’t know why. I try to figure out how to do it more naturally if possible. For practical reasons, I’m no purist. But I never make people feel guilty about taking medications that they need. That just doubles the difficulty for them and the risk as well. Do what we can with what we have.

60. WordWoman - April 20, 2013

Oh, and you know how women, especially older ones are often made fun of for talking so much about conditions like these and a whole lot of others? I think it’s because we do have intuitions and a sense of how to help people heal. In the future culture of women, I see women again taking this role. They tried to stop women from doing this with the oppression of midwives and the male professionals who often don’t know diddly-shit. I try to choose women physicians when at all possible. Some still have that natural perception that they use as practitioners.

FCM - April 20, 2013

yes. 🙂 and with so many people (women) without insurance in this new economy, women are having to go without medical treatment. this obviously has a downside (!) but might it also have an upside? i think it probably will. what i dont know is if the good will outweigh the bad. i hope so.

61. Sargasso Sea - April 20, 2013

I’ve also had some health issues – almost died last year from long-term, slow intestinal bleeding in fact – that have led me to become way more involved with the Medical Industrial Complex than I ever wanted to be.

It seems that since the US no longer really produces *things* we are now at the point of feeding off of our own in the sense that our food is engineered (real food costs a fortune! I go to the grocery store and feel like there is NO FOOD in it) and it’s obviously bad for us which makes us sick which sends us to the Medical/Pharma prong which is fed by the Education prong and the Insurance prong…

ALL of the women I know who are over the age of forty are on at least 5 different kinds of prescription drugs (if they haven’t been *diagnosed* with cancer, ffs) and, with no offense to women who are being helped by their drugs, the Complex gets it’s way with women because we’ve been conditioned to not question *authority*.

FCM - April 20, 2013

honestly, as i do not have dependents relying on me to (attempt to) protect them from predatory men, which is a large part of what motherhood is afterall, if i died of natural causes at a relatively young age i dont think it would be the worst thing in the world. and i might refuse treatment for some things, especially cancer where the treatment can be equally as or even more miserable than the disease and a treatment “success” is not a cure, but where the patient is still alive in 5 years. wtf.

however, what exactly constitutes a “natural” cause under the current system is debateable isnt it? where would i draw the line really, considering that so much cancer is really manmade for example? i dont know. i imagine at some point i will have the opportunity to make that decision.

FCM - April 20, 2013

that is, assuming i have insurance and/or live long enough to qualify for medicare! otherwise its not much of a decision is it?

62. WordWoman - April 21, 2013

I’ve read that once upon a time, older women were quite valued for their wisdom, especially their wisdom with healing. My guess is that this is something that naturally would deepen with age. herbs, roots, knowing how to use them was a lifelong endeavor and in older age one taught the younger ones what one knew. Irl, I’ve had some contact with an herbalist and I can tell you there is much to know, many fine points. Because these women were especially valued, I think it helped them to live longer. Just the opposite under patriarchal systems. Older women increasingly ignored, then are drugged in nursing “care” faciiities. In a stable women’s community of the future, those women born BCP (before cell phones) might understand a different non-electronic world that younger women would not. I know that’s far from what you are talking about, FCM, with a memory of the stars and soil, but it’s something different from what those younger women would know.

63. WordWoman - April 21, 2013

What triggered the above comment, FCM, is that it might be likely you would be one of the valued women by the time you reached medicare age. If there is a medicare or even any medical insurance at all by then, only treatment for the rich and super rich, who will probably be focused on cryogenics so they can become immortal (only half joking here).

64. karmarad - April 21, 2013

Thanks for your wise words about older women, WordWoman. It is so refreshing to come here and be with women, just like the heading on this site says!

FCM - April 21, 2013

lots to think about in there wordwoman! thanks! BCP…i think about this often. we used to know what this was like, to not be tethered to people or places (or virtual places, which are nowhere) by cell phones, social networking, mobile hotspots etc. these things did not exist. we had to be home before it got dark, and stay within a certain predetermined area (a few square miles probably) but other than that we were relatively free. there has to be an effect on young womens psyches of this constant tethering, this 24/7 surveillance even if it is reversed to make it appear as if they are willingly giving up their freedom. its not like they have much choice, or know another way. this has only happened in the last few years. they literally do not know anything else. very relevant to this post. although its not as if *we* were free either, these things happen by degrees dont they? and we grew up before 24/7 internet porn, before video games where men can exercise (not exorcise) their demons and demonstrate their true natures as zombies bathing in electricity. this is “reality” now and it is horrifying for those of us who can remember how it used to be…and it wasnt THAT great for us either!

and yes, your comment about older women and what we might value if things were different was much appreciated. for those of us for whom suicide is a retirement plan, it is another reminder of how our choices are just harm reduction and our idea of “control” over own own lives, and our own ends, is an illusion. we are not in control of any of this. if we were, all of this would be different.

FCM - April 21, 2013

its all very literal now isnt it? men have created technology in their own image to turn the entire world into themselves, and to literally SHOW us whats inside their minds. their fantasies, including what they want women to be, and the future of the world. futuristic movies are all apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, or in space. there are no trees or natural areas ANYWHERE. women are robots, uniformed “honorary men”, rape objects put to work repopulating the species, or do not exist at all. and PORN. increasingly violent and dehumanizing to the woman. this is what men see when they close their eyes. they dream about it, fantasize about it, and this is what their “creativity” looks like. again, this is happening by degrees, although we have discussed before how we seem to be at a critical mass of male insanity now. surely girls and women have to be progressively sedated/euthenized in order not to see any of this, to not be disturbed by it or to not care. not knowing our history helps. and this is exactly what i am reading about at the moment. part 2 of gerda lerners “the creation of patriarchy” which is called “the creation of feminist consciousness” is all about womens history and how its been lost.

FCM - April 21, 2013

also, i have always found it fascinating and kind of funny that women do report feeling “refreshed” here. i feel refreshed being here and writing and discussing here. this is what i was going for and i knew it when i set it up, including the theme. while for men, this place is like the seventh circle of hell, a “hate site” and is generally terrifying, upsetting and ugly. this is what they see when they see womens world, and womens reality. our interests are directly oppositional to their own. the machines becoming self-aware. we know this terrifies them and that they have nightmares about it. we have discussed this before.

65. karmarad - April 21, 2013

This is a stark vision, fcm, and an original point. In each epoch the male-dominating institutions and “flavor”, you might say, of the male-constructed society changes. Since around 1850 certainly, and probably since the colonization period, there has been a global rather than local flavor.

The Industrial Revolution, with the advent of steam and electricity, had a global influence. Industrial society, coming after feudalism and agrarian societies in the west, introduced some new kinds of oppression, and now we are in a post-industrial, information-based era, and again there are new problems for women.

The Net is rapidly becoming a masculine institution, complete with organized suppression of women’s voices and the spread of male culture such as pornography. Whether on balance this era will have turned out to improve women’s historical condition overall remains to be seen, I think. We have achieved some formal/legal equality in some countries, and the Net theoretically opens an avenue for women worldwide to speak, but there is unfortunately the question of other impacts from the opportunities the Net offers, as you wrote.

The Net may be used, on balance, primarily as a tool for rigidifying destructive masculine institutions such as State surveillance and warmongering, and exacerbating male sexual nviolence by offering a constant diet of pornography and other strengtheners of gender roles and inequities. The opportunities for mass propaganda and brainwashing via the media onslaught online could include backsliding on the progress we have made.

The genre of apocalyptic films in which dead people (zombies) and robots rule a scorched earth takes on a sinister light when I read your words about how this genre may reflect the inner world of at least some men. This would make interesting fodder for psychologists.

66. WordWoman - April 21, 2013

karmarad, you said “This is a stark vision, fcm, and an original point. In each epoch the male-dominating institutions and “flavor”, you might say, of the male-constructed society changes. Since around 1850 certainly, and probably since the colonization period, there has been a global rather than local flavor. ”

Yes, this seems clearer all the time. Second wave feminists were able to form coalitions/community that included both radical and more liberal elements. I think the movement was informed by the radical elements in some ways. I don’t mean everyone went along with these radical elements, and some women were frightened by them, but they seeped into the mainstream movement anyway. There was no “virtual reality” at that time, just the written word.

But now, as you say FCM, and you comment, karma, women are isolated but it feels like they are connected to the whole world. Very easy to sell an idea of “feminism” that is enslavement, nothing about community, but is sold as “freedom” and “choice”. Are these electronics causing women to be self-centered thinking it is “freedom.” men have a different self-centered virtual reality a violent, dystopian horror. I think it’s justified as pleasure and choice (a choice of sick sex of various types and also killing fantasies). but hard to distinguish this virtual reality from irl. harder all the time. There’s something about the recent Boston event that speaks to this, and the whole thing seems steeped in “virtual reality.”

I’m struggling to put something into words here, sorry if this seems vague. Perhaps it is vague by its nature.

67. WordWoman - April 21, 2013

What I was trying to say is that these virtual reality things are more than just tools in the usual sense, not propaganda like WWII propaganda films/pamphlets and their offspring in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Rather like getting inside ones boundaries much more, becoming intertwined as “self.” Kind of like trauma bonding, but also different. Leading to the legitimation of identity politics in a different sense than we usually mean it. Special snowflake for everyone (and their handheld device). A group of one, each person feels themselves to be. There is no group anymore, just virual connection of these snowflakes. Enough! I get too creeped out thinking about this very much.

68. karmarad - April 21, 2013

If you don’t mind, I’ll respond with something vague, too, WW. These intuitions are hard to articulate.

Sanity depends on having a stable identity. A stable identity is a person bounded inside her/his body, related by sensual perceptions to nature.

Insanity is when the identity loses that relation to nature and interacts only with ideas to other ideas. It’s the definition of psychotic.

Feminism has insisted on mind and embodiment never being divorceable from each other, in talking about women as a caste or class. If “mind” is all there is and the external world is just idealism, projections, then we have a post-modern world in which women do not exist as definable beings in a specific historic and spatial situation, so feminism and other human rights movements may as well pack it up.

Videogamers may live in a virtual world 16 hours a day. The content of the games may become “reality”, and their virtual identities become their identities, and body and nature no longer influence the mind. The same may happen with inveterate pornography viewers. With the Net, they can disappear as external beings into fantasy. This confusion does spill over in their embodied world. I forget what it’s called now online – “meat- something.

At some point, we go over a line into a place where we fantasize that our identities are entirely artificially constructed. Because there’s an inadequate external connection, our flimsy, imaginary identities can be manipulated. Post-modernism harks back to this old idealism and is therefore a pre-modern philosophy in actuality. Certain trans positions, such as the notion that people are whatever their minds may decide, without resort to their externality, including their bodies, ally with this pre-Modern philosophy. It’s attractive and feels like freedom. But it’s not stable, and it’s not real.

So I agree that “identity politics” needs some examining due to the new circumstance of these virtualizations of our embodied identities.

FCM - April 21, 2013

a good convo about agriculture/pre agriculture here (in the comments)

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/the-language-of-consent/

FCM - April 21, 2013

ideas relating to ideas — this is so creepy karma. if this is the definition of psychotic, then its the definition of trans nation too, and these two are the same. arent they? trans persons being just ideas, with no corporeal or physical reality, bumping up against other ideas.

69. Sargasso Sea - April 21, 2013

The last few comments are something I’ll need to think about for awhile🙂

(staying open for a while?)

FCM - April 21, 2013

yes 🙂

70. witchwind - April 22, 2013

that’s very interesting karma. ideational abstractism is very male. why? when you abstract things from experiential reality, it’s easier to oppress and be oppressed. And to tell and believe lies about reality. And to believe that a fake, virtual reality is reality.

The media and all male media is all about creating feelings about something that’s not really happening, something that is fictional, not occuring in front of you, nor anywhere else, but that is completely constructed. It means you have emotions and feelings for something that doesn’t exist. and this forms part of your reality, which means it necessarily disconnects you from the reality that surrounds you. You become influenced by things that don’t exist around you, you loose therefore the ability to relate to your own reality in immediate ways. Men get to see the world around them as they experience it in fake media, as unreal. which means men can kill or see killings, and they’ll experience it the same way they do in their videogames. media reflects male experience of reality: of things being not tangible but only existing insofar as it’s in their mind, and reality being shaped according to their thoughts. Because they *are* the reality, as dominants. it’s the product of male being in the world, as a dominant caste.

71. witchwind - April 22, 2013

and it’s very interesting the way you put it: ideas relating to ideas being psychotic. It certainly is, and all of male intellectualism and academential babble is psychosis.

72. witchwind - April 22, 2013

if you look at any behaviourial disorder in fact, the male system is founded on disorders, works through disorders and works to maintain disorders. All such disorders are patriarchal. I don’t think there would be psychoses outside maledom.

73. karmarad - April 22, 2013

My thinking has been influenced by a famous essay by Catherine MacKinnon in Are Women Human? The Essay is called “Postmodernism and Human Rights.” I wish I could find it on the Net. It is short sweet & brilliant. Hope to bring in some quotes tomorrow. I’m also re-reading about the notion of the death-drive in Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents. Also Karen Horney, Feminine Psychology, pioneering work on the deep psychology, essence if you will, of men and women. Lots to respond to in your comments witchwind, and I do agree generally regarding the abstraction.

74. WordWoman - April 22, 2013

FCM “ideas relating to ideas — this is so creepy karma. if this is the definition of psychotic, then its the definition of trans nation too, and these two are the same. arent they? trans persons being just ideas, with no corporeal or physical reality, bumping up against other ideas.”

Looked at this way, the current trans phenomenon (youtube playing such a central role, etc) could be seen as a manifestation of this other thing that is going on, unrealizing reality and (especially the young people) trying to figure out who they are in the absence of the world of stars and soil. It is a particular form of patriarchy, one that has gone very far off base. That’s why the first and second wave won’t work.

In contrast, think about what Mary Daly talked about and also those ancient women who tracked 29 marks on bone.

75. WordWoman - April 22, 2013

Witchwind, they make lotsa money on those disorders. Many caused by patriarchy, maybe logical outcomes of it. Maybe sane responses to it seen in this frame. Some maybe caused by pollution, etc.

76. doublevez - April 22, 2013

FCM have a look at the book Perfect Health Diet, by Paul Jaminet Ph.D. and Shou-Ching Jaminet, Ph.D. Somewhat along the same lines as Cordain and other Paleo proponents, but less arrogant. Way less. Available at perfecthealthdiet.com.

*Disclaimer: I read these things, I don’t do them.

77. karmarad - April 22, 2013

1, Male essences. A lot needs to be said about the new masculine society being built, fcm, as you mentioned. Deep psychology can look at what it might be in the male psyche that finds metal, weaponry, artificialization, alienation from nature, machines, robots, digitalization, quantification, and so on, so irresistible. Is there a collective masculine fear of fecundity and life? Is there a masculine denial and sublimation involved in the turning away from the uncontrolled, the unquantifiable? What are the deep psychological consequences of Horney’s “womb envy”?

2. Female essences. We are shouted down if we even start to look again at “essentialism.” It gets equated with biological determinism among confused people, but that definition of essentialism disappeared from public discourse well over a century ago. Now there’s a new definition, the abolishment of the whole notion that women have any essence or being at all, and it’s amazing that we are the only group I know of countering it.

Hard to know where to start with the impact of postmodernism on feminism, but “unrealizing reality” might be the place. Feminist theory, MacKinnon says, began with an analysis of external reality, “Beginning in the early 1970’s, direct engagement with this social reality – not reality in the abstract, this reality in the broken-down immediate socially lived-out concrete” exposed the regularities and widespread extent and trauma…” of women…”This practical confrontation with the specific realities of sexual and physical violation created feminist theory…That these realities were gendered was not assumed…or imagined.”

“Our minds could know it was real because our bodies, collectively, lived through it…nor did its diversity undermine its reality…The movement quickly became global as women everywhere identified sex inequality in their own experience and its place in denying them whole lives.

“Everything about this theory was…particular. It was not general. It was concrete. It was not abstract…it was a complex whole…” “Identity was not our issue. Inside, we knew who we were to a considerable extent.” “Women turned the realities of powerlessness into a form of power: credibility. And reality supported us. What we said was credible because it was real.”

“Not many openly disputed that what we had uncovered did, in fact, exist. WHAT WAS SAID INSTEAD WAS THAT, IN SOCIETY, NOTHING EXISTS.” “POSTMODERNISM…DE-REALIZES SOCIAL REALITY BY IGNORING IT, BY REFUSING TO BE ACCOUNTABLE TO IT, AND IN A SOMEWHAT NEW MOVE, BY OPENLY REPUDIATING ANY CONNECTION WITH AN “IT” BY CLAIMING “IT” IS NOT THERE.”

Postmodernism’s rejection of universals, has been described by Lyotard…as ‘incredulity toward metanarratives’. In its feminist guise, this theme runs under the criticism of ‘the grand narratives’ of feminist theory, questioning in the name of ‘differences’ whether ‘women’ exist and can be spoken of or died with ‘man’. ..Antiessentialism is one facet of this objection: the view that there is no such thing as ‘women’ because there are always other aspects to women’s identities and bases other than sex [to explain] their oppressions…When feminism makes its ‘women’ from the ground up…rather from the top down, out of abstractions, this so-called essentialism problem cannot occur.”

So there’s a start. There are no classes, no universals, and therefore no humanity, no human rights that can be fought for. When women begin to demand that they as a class be liberated, suddenly there’s no class! It would be funny…it is funny…but the French male philosophers started out this fiction divorced from reality, then it was picked up by American academics, including women academics, then it trickled into politics. It had some uses. Anti-feminists picked it up, trans activists picked it up. Feminist factions that didn’t understand what the term ‘essentialist” means banished all such theory. And here we are, talking to male institutions that are pushing a fiction that contemptuously ignores our lived experience and kills women as a class that can be liberated. Here we are, treated as if there’s something wrong with our “ideas”. Our ideas are rooted in the real. Their ideas are not rooted in anything but empty BS.

78. WordWoman - April 23, 2013

karmarad, did the French male philosophers get it from Heidegger? Of course, bc Heidegger was a Nazi and they were the “resistance” they did not give him due “credit.” But it seemed that this may have grown out of a totalitarian milieu. Or reinforce it. In some way, the unreality of the Nazi regime seems a bit like the current rigid mindset we are referring to here. Somehow the current stripped-of-all reality images that now construct (virtual) reality remind me of the Nazis. Not that I know directly, but you know, from old newsreel footage and some films of those eras. I’m just kind of free-associating😉 here.

FCM - April 23, 2013

im not sure how much needs to be said about masculine culture. we are all being gaslighted about it at this point — dont believe your lying eyes! gender neutral! men arent really like this etc. obviously everyone subscribes to the “alien chip” theory ala the x-files. the aliens made all this up, and men are just their puppets! can anything anyone could possibly say about this shake people out of this delusion? im all ears, honestly. but i dont see it happening anytime soon. whereas the radfem concept of “necrophilia” describes what is happening very well and explains a lot, without having to prove anything. the proof is in the pudding. things start to fall into place when one realizes that men simply love death (and that this cannot be changed).

speaking of the x-files, there was one episode where there is a serial killer on the loose, and he doesnt understand why he does what he does. a psychic is on his trail and they meet up at the end. the killer asks the psychic “why do i do these horrible things? why do i kill people?” and the psychic replies “because youre a homicidal maniac.” the killer contemplates this and is relieved of his wonderment, concluding “that does explain a lot.”

how much more can be said about a “culture” that pipes 24/7 violent porn into every nook, cranny and crevice of the populated world? where men rape and murder infants, children, teens, adults, and the elderly too. and fuck corpses with some regularity. and video games. and war. and. and. and. this is a serious question. what do you propose “saying” about all of this, and what would be the goal in trying?

whereas i am *very* interested in the idea of womens “essence” and particularly the point that we definitely ARENT naturally fuckholes and slaves for men. we know this to be true, and moreover, as MEN have created this role for us and WE have not had the power to create anything, there is plenty of evidence that we are right, or at least that womens essence is unknown/unknowable under patriarchy. the same OBVIOUSLY cannot be said of men and mens natures, since they created all of this to suit themselves. DUH.

79. karmarad - April 23, 2013

Regarding studying the male “essence”, yeah, fcm, it’s fairly easy, you just look at male-dominated global society. I still think it’s not enough to just look quickly or superficially at it, though. You need an external standpoint to be able to see it clearly, and women researchers have an advantage, if they can manage to get past all the obstacles that will be presented to keep them from making a clear analysis and bringing it into print. We have the need to know things that men may not want to know about themselves, and that information may require some digging.

We have to understand male violence, as a friend said to me tonight, in order to lay this shit to rest. We have talked about this before. We need to study the impact in male psychology of biological predisposition, including developmental psychosexual drives such as the death-drive posited by Freud. We can’t just take on faith that laws, law enforcement, education, and other methods of changing social mores will be effective. Maybe we will decide, based on such an analysis, that we should prioritize law enforcement over education efforts, for instance. Maybe separatism of some kind or duration will look very attractive.

A note on Freud: my personal thought about him is that he was a genius on male psychology. He was strongly culture-bound though and never was able to see that when he used the word “man” or mankind he was not necessarily describing anything about women. It took Karen Horney do that.

In his discussion of the “death-drive” in Civilization and its Discontents, Freud talked about how defensively “society” (male-dominated society) would react to this concept. He compared not facing the issue of the “inborn human [sic] inclination to badness, to aggressiveness and destructiveness, and so to cruelty as well”, to children only wanting to hear their happy lullabye. He then said very flatly: “In all that follows I adopt the standpoint, therefore, that the inclination to aggression is an original, self-subsisting instinctual disposition in man {sic}, and I return to my view that it constitutes the greatest impediment to civilization…And now, I think, the meaning of the evolution of civilization is no longer obscure to us. It must present the struggle between Eros and Death, between the instinct of life and the instinct of destruction, as it works itself out in the human species. This struggle is what all life essentially consists of, and the evolution of civilization may therefore be simply described as the struggle for life of the human species. And it is this battle of the giants that our nursemaids try to appease with their lullabye…”

I keep struggling to express this on my own but have finally had to resort to this long quote from a guy a lot of feminists reject entirely. This struggle seems strongly related to what many radfems call biophilic versus necrophilic tendencies that seem to be present in very different levels in women and men. Why is this so?

_________________

Wordwoman, I only have a sketchy understanding of Heidegger so far. I was drawn to a short selection of his work called “The Question of the Essence of Being” in a book called The Existential Mind (ed. by F.Karl and L. Hamalian). My impression is that the Existentialists claimed him as their first great philosopher (though he later repudiated Sartre), the Nazis claimed him (though some excusing of his Nazi sympathies seems to be going on these days), and the Post-Modernists claimed him for his emphasis on the relationship between Being (our existence in this world) and language. Judith Butler was heavily influenced by Heidegger when she studied in Germany, though I’d have to do a lot more reading to figure out the linkages.

Rigid? Not sure about that. I tend to think that the current postmodern mind set is afflicted with terminal blobbiness. Very little of substance or application is being said. It seems sloppy and lazy and nihilistic to me, with its notions of playfully deconstructing just about everything. It is indeterminate, boundaryless, indulgent, amoral, and refuses to take a stand or take responsibility. It’s a tobacco-puffing insolent French attitude that used to appeal to me too, in college. It will be laughed at in fifty years. I’m surprised that a thinker of Butler’s calibre, has spent her career in this attitude.

And now I’m going to go away, with apologies for my wordiness.

80. gynodesss - April 23, 2013

You and Gallus are nothing but bullies. No wonder so many feminists don’t post here. Not one deserved to be attacked for using their voice or treated like they are an idiot. I will not be silenced or harassed by people like you anymore. I’m going to have to find better radfems to look up to. Also fuck you and Gallus, everything u say has already been said b4.

81. Sargasso Sea - April 23, 2013

Thanks for that from MacKinnon, Karma🙂

Last night on Rachael Maddow’s show she was talking about the boston bombing/school shootings/theatre massacres blah blah blah and whether or not it is necessary to ascribe *motive* to these acts when clearly the perps are sociopaths and that seems to be the ONLY thing they have in common… Seriously? Crazy’s the ONLY thing? What’s more she never called them “men” or “boys” – they were bombers/shooters/sociopaths/PEOPLE.

What if someone were to make a photo collage of all of these “people” and ask the question: What is the common factor here? Don’t you think the most common response would be: MALE

82. WordWoman - April 23, 2013

“there is plenty of evidence that we are right, or at least that womens essence is unknown/unknowable under patriarchy.”

Absolutely, and trying to discern it is an important goal. Bits and pieces that begin to help us wake up/understand. Or how we go about this project.

FCM - April 23, 2013

re gynodesssss above, it appears as if there are some women protesting my modding policy over at gallus’s. LOL its in the comments on the “dirt” post if anyone wants to see it. gallus responds to this better than i ever could (or would) so i will defer to her comment. and gynodesssss reveals her true colors by placing gallus in the same “elitist” category as me and namecalling and attacking us both. when clearly i am the MOSTEST ELITESTEST and the BIGGEREST BULLY. gallus is really nice and inclusive compared to me. duh.

obviously it takes another high-volume blogger to appreciate the WORK that goes into this, and to grok the utter frustration that boils up when others in the “community” who are doing exactly ZERO actual work themselves in terms of creating and maintaining interactive online space, have the unmitigated gall to think they get to make the rules and dictate the parameters and purpose of someone elses space. and to scream “silencing!” if they dont get their way. obviously this means us actual bloggers/faciliatators are supposed to be approving and engaging with comments just because they are there. AS IF we have the time, energy or inclination to do this according to everyones (often conflicting and self-centering) expectations. open up your own damn blog, and more power to you if you do. this is a patently reasonable response. PS. enjoy the HARD WORK. try not to be too surprised and overwhelmed when it finally occurs to you what this blogging lark really entails. and likely, find a way to BLAME FCM for the result, whatever (bad thing) happens.

i will also say that the accusations of “silencing” are profoundly stupid, considering the context we are all working within, where actual, real silencing is happening from all directions. TO WIT. the HUB is gone. (actual real silencing of non-social-determinist feminists by reformists and others). lierre keith has been no-platformed in the manketplace of broideas i mean the university circuit. (actual real silencing of social-determinist feminists by patriarchal institutions, men and trannies). the concept of “silencing” has been defined and demonstrated conclusively, and it doesnt mean what people INSIST it means — that a blogger doesnt approve and engage with every fucking comment just because its there, or indeed has any modding policy at all. silencing? really? sorry, but i think there are some people reading these blogs who really *must* be stupid. there is no other explanation for this failure to comprehend. unless they are lying? i guess?

83. WordWoman - April 23, 2013

You determine how you want your blog to be. Just like if I invited a couple of neighbors over for coffee. There might be some neighbors not invited. Would they think they had the right to somehow be there? Would it be silencing them not to invite them? Perhaps I wanted to talk about certain topics, like lawn care with those neighbors, but the others didn’t even care about lawns. Well, this is a lawn-care only space, my coffee group. Plus the others only want to talk about the PTA and I don’t even have kids, just a lawn.

Ok, a mundane/even rather stupid example, but it does apply to blogs which are obv a huge amount of work, to have a women’s-only space, for example. As GM noted, to provide a coherent discussion from a particular viewpoint. Learning about that viewpoint and then commenting in the spirit of that, even (politely) challenging. It does help extend the understanding of radical feminism. Very valuable. Not a public utility.

Thanks for your work🙂. I like to read GM’s blog, too and find it important/informative. Like many blogs. Useful points of view.

FCM - April 23, 2013

AND ON THAT NOTE, let me further illustrate the concept of silencing by pointing to lierre keiths response to the university that silenced her. she ERASES non-social-determinist feminists in her letter by setting up social-determinist-feminism as “feminism” and goes on to explain the “feminist” position on gender, which is actually the liberal/progressive position. that women and men will be androgynous “humans” after “gender” is abolished. but there is simply no evidence whatsoever that this is true. she also uses “human” and “civilization” to refer to both women and men, and the behavior of both. not so fast.

and yet OBVIOUSLY i support her right to bring DIFFERENT ideas to the manketplace of broideas. or…the transketplace of transsanity. the university should not have no-platformed her. keiths letter and the details of keiths no-platforming are posted at gendertrender.

FCM - April 23, 2013

it does seem bizarre that the liberals/progressives have adopted this tranny nonsense about “lady brains” which seems “essentialist” while simultaneously believing that physical sex doesnt matter and we are all just “humans”. we dont need to follow them into this pit however. if their position is not even internally consistent, and i dont think it is, then they look stupid. but so do we, if we are going to insist that men and women are androgynous “humans” deep down inside (equality rhetoric) while simultaneously insisting that physical sex does matter *and therefore* centering womens experience and not mens. which is what some of us do. isnt it? i will note that those who insist on the androgyny position might not center womens experience — women — as much as others. and that they center “masculinity” and gender babble instead, which often conflates “gendered” personality/clothing options etc with CLEARLY SEXED BEHAVIOR. such as oh say MALE VIOLENCE. FAIL.

84. Sargasso Sea - April 23, 2013

This thread has me thinking a lot about the movie Soylent Green. And not only because: Soylent Green is PEOPLE! lol

The scene in which the old guy goes to the *euthanization center* he’s in a room with a huge panoramic screen that is showing scenes from nature (a nature that is long gone in this particular post-apocolyptic setting where we are literally eating each other) and that it is supposed to be comforting for the soon-to-be dead/consumed. And that’s really the only scene that I clearly remember to this day and I saw it at the drive-in, first run, in 1973…

FCM - April 23, 2013

thanks wordwoman. 🙂

85. Sargasso Sea - April 23, 2013

Re: GM’s response to gynodess – Brilliant!

FCM - April 23, 2013

what a gross image s4, thanks! 🙂 it makes perfect sense from a necrophilic perspective doesnt it? “nature” projected on a screen is not nature. nature is dead, and a mindfuck/reversal (nature is artificial) accompanies and softens your own man-ufactured death. nauseating!

FCM - April 23, 2013

indeed gallus was brilliant. its really a pleasure to watch some women work, and/or doing what they do best. TELLING IT. not slapping down trolls. although sometimes those paths do cross.

i almost said “intersect” but didnt want it to be misinterpreted as snarky. intersect is the better word though.

FCM - April 23, 2013

also, re “sisterhood” and “community” these are more or less euphemisms for the following: let other women walk all over you. center *everyone* and more specifically their individual needs, even when their needs are unreasonable/unreasoned or contradictory/conflicting with everyone elses *except* do not center your own needs ever. successes belong to the community and to individuals within even those who didnt do anything, or did the least, while failures are the fault of the person who did the most, especially when the failure is directly related to the failure of non-acting people to act. and when projects threaten to or do actually implode and die over issues of “power” and “leadership” the nonpowerful nonleaders who object to power and leadership become the new leaders and this is considered objectively preferable to the previous situation where other people were leaders. even when the previous “leaders” were just actors, acting and werent trying to be leaders at all, and they had to act, didnt they, because if they didnt do it no one would.

sorry if im not your sister. because i really really want to be, under these exact conditions, and it hurts me a lot that im not. not!

FCM - April 23, 2013

read about shulamith firestones experience with the “sisterhood” here:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/04/15/130415fa_fact_faludi?currentPage=all

FCM - April 23, 2013

oh! and trying to craft a coherent, accurate and internally-consistent theory, or insisting on one, at the expense of other womens alleged right to have an incoherent, inaccurate, internally-inconsistent theory (or NO theory, by definition) is divisive of the movement, elitest, and mean. yeah, thats it.

86. roxy - April 23, 2013

Seriously, fuck you. You should really get some help, getting this angry with people who disagree with you can’t be healthy. If you want to exclude all the women who dare not meet your intellectual standards, by all means do so. Sorry to have to break it to you, but you show a hostility towards women that’s very reminiscent of men.
You’re not a feminist-you’re a bully who wants to create an exclusive, elitist set. Real feminists hate you and your woman bashing.

FCM - April 23, 2013

wow, thats quite a comment from a first-time commenter! sorry to break it to you, but logic is not particularly intellectual and this is not an “intellectual” blog. and anger issues? fuck me? you hate me? stop hurting my feelings, seriously. i might write about how hurt i feel someday on my own blog and decidedly NOT go to other peoples blogs and fill the comments section up with projections and fuck-yous and whatnot. but i guess thats just me.

FCM - April 23, 2013

sorry, me and a few others. not everyone spews irrelevant and incorrect bullshit on others peoples blogs.

FCM - April 23, 2013

oh i get it — this isnt a first time commenter is it? its someone who was previously spammed, getting around modding controls by using YET ANOTHER alias. which is reminiscent of MEN BTW…luckily “reminiscent of” doesnt tend to send me into orbit. women arent as bad as men. sex matters. end of.

FCM - April 23, 2013

honestly, why the resistance and indeed flat refusal to craft a coherent theory? this is a serious question. i have questioned lierre keiths “logic” before, and no one was able (or willing) to tell me how i was wrong, or how what keith was saying made any damn rational, consistent (or radical feminist) sense at all. delphyne called attention to the weird androgyny endpoint to keiths and DGR’s gender politics on another thread, so i know im not alone in finding something very wrong here. to question it is taboo. but look. if we cannot work through these things, its because we dont understand our own positions. this is an enormous problem, perhaps the least of which being that we are not going to get anywhere if we dont even know what the hell we are doing, or what we are even talking about, or what we believe and why. sorry if thats an elitist proposition to anyone. my feminism will make some goddamn sense, and be coherent and consistent, or it will be…senseless incoherent and inconsistent. sorry!!!! but not really.

87. WordWoman - April 23, 2013

I do appreciate Lierre Keith’s bravery (very much, in fact), but find I don’t agree with her theory. I hadn’t paid much attention to her complete theory before recently, though I appreciated her speaking out about women and the enviro movement. I appreciated what she had said about trans, too. But then looked closer and found the socialization thing. Saying that it’s all socialization does not make sense to me. There is too much evidence to the contrary. Male rape and violence being ubiquitous, for one thing. Women mass murderers, for instance being so very rare, and usually a man is involved. I’m not saying there’s *no* socialization. But, I’m of the opinion that there is something else that is not socialization. Something important.

Ever since reading your blog and about PIV, etc etc and that Hub post “What is it about men” I have been noticing the differences between women and men. Really, they are HUGE. Noticing it IRL but also noticing all the statistics. About violence and rape, but other stuff too.

Today on NPR I heard a snippet, something about women going to those strip clubs where men strip. The women just make a big joke about it and get funny-rowdy. (I took it to mean some kind of female bonding/”fun”). And the difference in the audiences between those and men’s strip clubs. In those the men are all caught up in their own private worlds. The whole porn thing is going on. In their heads. The description made them sound pretty creepy and the women sounded pretty normal (given the abnormal setting). Not that I’d want to go to either kind (ugh). But there it was, another example of the difference. It’s all over the place.

FCM - April 24, 2013

yes to all of that wordwoman. i agree with your position (obviously) and disagree with keiths and DGRs. i think there is too much evidence of the universality of male behavior, AND that its unnecessary equality rhetoric to state that BOTH womens and mens natures cannot be known under patriarchy.

but what i dont understand is *how* folks come to the conclusion that keiths theory is internally consistent, regardless of whether they agree with it. HOW can someone believe that “sex matters” and therefore that “woman” is a meaningful category due to biological difference…the radfem position…AND simultaneously state that androgyny is our (radical feminist) goal? i think the DGR video actually said we will ideally discard “categories” of man and woman. and keiths letter to the university outlines her position well. its heavy on the androgyny and absent on the “sex matters” isnt it? without the juxtaposition of the “sex matters” this isnt just an inconsistent theory, its a straight-up liberal one. isnt it?

HOW is this not the equal-and-opposite (equally wrong and internally inconsistent, if not in the same ways) to the liberal position that brain sex exists and matters, but reproductive sex doesnt? both have androgyny as their goal while simultaneously embracing the essentialist positions they like (and rejecting the rest). the liberal position would make more sense if they rejected this tranny brain-sex nonsense or “feeling” like thus and so, but they wont reject it for political reasons even though it creates an internal inconsistency. i see radfems embracing social constructionism as the same thing. its political, and creates an internal inconsistency that cannot be remedied. if its NOT the same thing, why not?

FCM - April 24, 2013

sorry if i mistated the content/gist of keiths letter, i only read it once. without reading it again, thats what i remember.

88. WordWoman - April 24, 2013

In some cases, I think that women will mention the parts of their theory that is more comfortable, not wanting to alienate women who are moving into feminism. Or maybe if they do it in working for political change, so as not to be too inflammatory. I’m not saying Keith does this, just that it’s a general impression that I have about some writing.

But if it is the truth, about a difference that is not socialization, then shying away from it has consequences, too. Let’s assume that we understand that men have these characteristics but a woman is raising sons. Since socialization can help, that woman, knowing all this, might not say things like “boys will be boys” as if bad behavior were cute/accepted/expected. Instead she will make sure her sons get the best socialization possible to prevent them being violent, etc.

But if the woman has a daughter, she could make it very clear to her daughter What she needs to learn to protect herself from rape, violence, etc. There is no more looking for “nigel the exception.” No more “beautiful day in the neighborhood” but rather !Karate Kid! Harm reduction but with no “softening” ideas about androgeny and equality.

None of this, of course, gets at your original questions about how to help her daughter find out what it might be like to live unsocialized by patriarchy. Though some new fairy tales might be a start. Plus, no electronic device 24/7 sidekick.

89. WordWoman - April 24, 2013

Also, I’m not sure if there’s a DGR position that is uniform. I would not assume that the video and Keith’s position are the same. I would need to find out that there was a uniform position first.

90. WordWoman - April 24, 2013

karmarad, I nearly missed your comment #79. you said “Rigid? Not sure about that. I tend to think that the current postmodern mind set is afflicted with terminal blobbiness. Very little of substance or application is being said. It seems sloppy and lazy and nihilistic to me, with its notions of playfully deconstructing just about everything. It is indeterminate, boundaryless, indulgent, amoral, and refuses to take a stand or take responsibility. ”

Yes, I think it very much looks this way, but of course that playfulness and deconstructing could also cover something rather sinister and rigid. (As we’ve seen with the (de)construction of the concept of woman). Years ago I read a book on Heiddeger and the Nazis, I wish I could find it. He never renounced the Nazi connection, as some people like Jung later did. I think that Freud wrote Civilization when he came face to face with the Nazi evil. I hope this doesn’t seem too off track, but I do think the idea of necrophilia is embedded in all of this, even the things that look blobby and sloppy.

FCM - April 24, 2013

yes karmas comment got a bit buried, sorry! reading through the excellent comments on this thread gives me hope. honestly. a lot of good thinking, info and spinning/spiraling here. there always has been, and its nothing that i have ever seen anywhere else, now or ever. this means that what we are doing here, and what *i* am doing here is working. thats good enough for me. if anyone doesnt like it, tough shit.

FCM - April 24, 2013

i will likely close comments tomorrow. if anyone has anything more to say, post em if you got em!

FCM - April 24, 2013

BTW i suspect both my trolls, gynodesss and roxy, are male. and that roxy, aka scaldingmay, is ALSO posting as “choco” on gallus’s blog. thats one person posting under THREE aliases in one day. yay! at gallus’s place, “choco” says that “reformists” are at the top of my shitlist, after trannies. but thats not true, and i think any woman would know that. all men are at the top of my shitlist, and there are plenty of other men besides trannies. get it? MRAs, liberal dickwads and conservative men, for example, are more hated than are reformist women. ive never said i hated reformist women or any women, although “roxy” said “she” hated me, and that all real feminists hate me. what a coincidence that MRAs, trannies and liberal dickwads HATE me too. HATE? really? sorry, but thats just a bit too weird.

FCM - April 24, 2013

and when “roxy” said i am hated for my woman-bashing, i suspect “she” was actually referring to transmisogyny. call it a hunch.

FCM - April 24, 2013

and gynodesss has also posted here under another alias. its fun to make up fake girl names innit?

FCM - April 24, 2013

and JE! cant forget about him! *also* a multiple-username poster. call me crazy. this thread has been infested by maleness. i shouldve just spammed them all. for derailing/failing to add to the convo if nothing else. sorry bout that!

91. WordWoman - April 24, 2013

It doesn’t hurt to see what we are up against. And the assinine stuff (and worse) from men that you deal with in running a decent convo that stays on track. In my opinion, it didn’t derail the good stuff. Ad hominem attacks against particular feminists or against feminists as a group are always suspect. (As opposed to disagreeing with theoretical positions).

I did appreciate the article about Shulamith Firestone. Wow! My conclusion was how very difficult psychologically it is to do this work. And the family she had to deal with. Luckily, one good sister.

I agree about you not hating women, instead you admitted to feeling betrayed/hurt etc. I admired you admitting this, btw. But also learning from it and trying to understand the difference in positions of radfems.

My opinion is that any woman, regardless of her position on feminism, can come to see it in a different light. After all, that’s what most of us have done. And still trying to clarify/understand what we, as women, might be like “in the wild” (ie., without patriarchies).

92. WordWoman - April 24, 2013

BTW, I know women irl who consider themselves feminists. Mostly their views are a mishmash of various positions. Not logically consistent. Most of them are “old-fashioned” feminists and sound in their approach to life in many ways as a result. But they get tripped up, too. I only know one “fun-fem” and I must say I was utterly confused by her, why she was always on about sex, for one thing. (Till reading these blogs). Also, she is the only one I personally keep at a distance since she has been very, very toxic and did a lot of damage to other women. The others are more likely to be quite loyal women and the cause of women. Though also to men as a group and this trips them up (both straight and lesbian women show this loyalty). Hoping to reform the men leads to heartbreak and wasted energy.

One of the real values of your blog and some others past and present is that they have helped me be clearer on these issues. One of the things I have experienced is a release of my energy now that I have given up hope of reform or looking for “better men” to ally with in projects.

If there are better men, they’ll be trying to resocialize other men. Not to make them androgynous, but as damage control. Not expecting women to do it, or advertising it for women to admire. I do think socializing and social control of men’s natures benefits them more than any claims to them being feminist. More than any ideas of equality. It’s logical, since men are killed by other men, not usually by women (except in self defense). Cannon fodder, for instance. So, in a sense, admitting the situation with men benefits them, too. And expecting women to do the heavy lifting with men is clearly a dead end for them, too.

93. radikit - April 24, 2013

I’d also love to talk about female and male essence, or in other words the specific way men and women express qualities like creativity, seeing and telling the truth, being intelligent and sharing knowledge, and wielding justice differently. because I’m convinced they do it differently and that this cannot be explained away by socialization alone. I think we need to un-cover those female qualities and affirm them. Sorry if it sounds vague, I’m just writing out thoughts..

FCM - April 24, 2013

i would hesitate to ascribe ANYTHING to women at this point. seriously. on what would we be basing our observations? that womens nature is to be free and out from under male rule seems a safe bet considering womens resistance to what men have done to us for so long. but what else?

perhaps step one will be to ascribe the very obvious to MEN and then refrain from making any generalizations/oppositions etc about women. it seems reflexive at this point, so maybe retraining ourselves not to “go there” with the opposite-garbage, or giving up the idea that we can POSSIBLY know the details about women would be a good place to start? so many are still hesitant to recognize or give men full credit for their (mens) essence/nature, so just doing that would be an excellent exercise too. its not as easy as you think, even for me. this is specifically SOCIALIZED out of us, i think.

FCM - April 24, 2013

for example, if womens essence/nature is to be free, isnt it possible that we might be capable and natural at a lot of behaviors/manifestations and that we wouldnt have just one that was shared with all women, or one that we individually would stay true to forever? whereas men are clearly capable of one general type with the infrequent outlier (the “good guys”). thats not necessarily true for us, just bc its true for them.

FCM - April 24, 2013

and even the good guys arent that good, and still dominate/penetrate etc. so maybe one general type with NO outliers.

FCM - April 24, 2013

if this is true about women, that our nature is to be free that that this entails us changing behaviors/interests etc over time, then certain male ideas such as “careers” would make no sense for us. trades would be better, or something that we could learn quickly and then do for a short time before learning something else. i think this would suit me very well actually, but thats just me. 🙂 another thing that would make no sense for us might be lifelong bonds, including (patriarchal) motherhood. joanna russ in “the female man” envisioned womens world where mothers and daughters would live together for the first 5 years of the girls life, then the girl would leave and become a child of the world under the care of all women. in this world, there were no boys or men, who need or at least require constant care from cradle to grave, so i can actually see this working in a female world! not all women would want to give up their daughters, so this might not be a perfect solution for each individual, but i can see it being very good for girls and women as a whole. if our nature is to be free, that is.

FCM - April 24, 2013

if individual women were unhappy with that arrangement, it would be a matter of happiness versus freedom, understanding that OUR goal is to be FREE and that happiness would follow to the extent that womens collective and individual unhappiness is related to our being unfree and slaves. but also understanding that unhappiness would probably still exist and could not be eradicated completely, and that happiness in itself isnt the central point. thats an important distinction i think.

94. Morgan - April 24, 2013

FCM you’ve hit on something that’s been floating around in front of me but I’ve never quite been able to describe. I have had so much trouble settling into ONE area as a career or focus in life, I am constantly finding interest but then losing it after a period of time and feeling stuck/trapped. I never considered this may be part of woman’s “nature” or whatever. It’s never appealed to me to have one skill or ability and to just stay with it for ever. It seems in nature, in a different (free?) world we’d likely need to call upon many skills and abilities and not have this ridiculous rigidity and segmentation to literally everything. Medicine is a really great example of dividing and conquering, of viewing the parts separate from the whole, as if you can take one element of a system, do whatever you want to it, and not have it impact any other part. Everything is fluid and must be accounted for. I’ve always thought medicine was kind of sick and frankenstein-like in its approach, mind you I’ve had the necessity of its use and been glad, but wonder what medicine might look like if it had been left in women’s hands. Such as SCD, leave it to a woman to seek out an education on biology and really figure this stuff out, why avoiding certain foods might/does work, the effects on the body, the recognition that what we eat affects not just the digestive tract but also mood and the mind (and probably everything). Understand all the parts, not just the microflora. Or at least understand that changes in microflora have the ability to affect all the parts.

Anyway. And your hesitation to ascribe anything to women at this point, yes yes yes exactly yes. Your arguments make so much sense on this and I have not much to add there.

95. karmarad - April 24, 2013

One way to approach it might be to identify some pretty clear male metaphors that inform culture at a deep level. You mention Career. I think of Battle, as in “she died after a brave battle with cancer: What if Battling things was not part of our culture? Death might be a much gentler thing, to be accepted with comfort and company to the dying person. “She’s Battling her weight.” “Battle of the Bands”. It gets back to competing, with a side of violence. Most things in life, I think, don’t require Battle. It’s not the most effective approach, it’s just a masculine approach. We could work on taking that outside stance by going at deep seated metaphors this way.

96. delphyne - April 24, 2013

I think the idea behind the liberal rad fem position is that sex is simply another physical characteristic, in the way of blue eyes or brown eyes, thus it’s arbitrary to divide us into categories based on the characteristic and assign qualities or hierarchies to the people within them. The sex of our bodies is significant, but only while it’s being used to put us in the category woman. Once our oppression is ended, noticing sex differences will be unimportant and the categories man and woman can disappear, because they were created for the purpose of oppression and nothing else. Instead we all revert back to being humans, and women will no longer exist (erased). It also means that we’ll still be able to live with our boyfriends although we won’t have to call them men, because they’ve stopped being our oppressors. That’s the logic as far as I’ve been able to grasp it.

In other words we’re all living in the Stanford Prison Experiment – some of us will become prisoners and some of us will be guards and our behaviour will depend solely on which group we’ve been placed into, with no other factors involved.

There’s another connection between postmodernism/deconstruction and Nazi ideology in Paul de Man, who brought the ideas of Derrida et al to Yale and from there helped make sure that every Western academic in the humanities had to sign up to postmodernism in order to be taken seriously and progress in their careers. He wrote for an anti-semitic journal in Belgium during WWII. What better way to hide your jew-hating past, than promote a philosophy which argues that truth and reality are subjective, limited or non-existent?:

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/02/19/books/books-of-the-times-the-pro-nazi-past-of-a-leading-literary-critic.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/08/28/magazine/the-case-of-paul-de-man.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

There’s always an agenda.

97. Sargasso Sea - April 24, 2013

I was thinking more about what karma’s been saying about Freud and s. jeffries touches on him too in Spinsters. As we know, men often tell the truth and it wouldn’t hurt a thing for us to *analyze* THEM a bit for a change. Because I agree that we’re at a place where we know that we’re not free and that we want to be – and as one of our interloping fellows reminded us: all of this has been said b4!!1!🙂 What hasn’t been said (en masse and in depth) for a long, long time? MEN ARE VIOLENT. That’s something to talk about.

Also, being the birther of a female person, I began to wish for a world where she could just hit the road and become a ‘sister of the world’ when she was about 7 or 8 imagining that all doors would be open to her as our door would be open for other little sisters of the world… Alas.

FCM - April 24, 2013

excellent delphyne, thanks for that! the “prison experiment” analogy is a good one, very descriptive. i suppose the “preservation of the species” part of reproduction and PIV will just go away then, if we are no longer assigned these arbitrary roles (prisoner/guard) at birth. yes thats right, im hinting that rape might indeed be inevitable. other animals know it as “mating” which is likely to occur whether or not the female wants it. i mean really. a conversation about PIV will not survive 6 seconds in mixed company without “preservation of the species” being raised as an issue. and it is an issue isnt it?

google “duck rape” and review the literature on a particularly rapey species. male ducks might even be worse than human males which is hard to imagine, but apparently, female ducks have had to evolve very complicated vaginas to thwart these rapey assholes and their unwanted sperm. the literature refers to duck rape as “rape” BTW. with not-really-rape quotation marks, indicating a “mating attempt unwanted by the female.” i know humans arent ducks, but we have been lead to believe that other animals dont rape, in order to support this “socialization of masculinity” theory whereby men are simply TAUGHT to rape and that they can unlearn it. ignoring everything else about that proposition that stinks to high heaven, “other animals” actually do rape mkay, so thats a lie. the “preservation of the species” problem is addressed very matter-of-factly in joanna russ’s “we who are about to” about a futuristic, post-patriarchal unintentional “colony” of humans who crash-land on an uninhabited planet. so much for post-patriarchy — patriarchy, or at least male dominance and male control of female reproduction reappears within days, rape included, when humans are faced with a survival scenario. and it would, wouldnt it? that book gave me the chills.

FCM - April 25, 2013

also, morgan thanks for your excellent comment as well. a short bio of the creator of the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) elaine gottschall is located here:

http://btvc.webfactional.com/p/about-the-author/

she was the mother and caretaker of a severely ill young girl in the 1950s and the girl wasnt being helped by traditional medical interventions at all. this mother went to great lengths to find a cure for her child and yes, she entered the academy at age 47 and started earning degrees so that she could find out what was going on biochemically and at the cellular level in cases of IBD and crohns, and why a nutrition-based remedy seemed to work. interesting ay?

FCM - April 25, 2013

according to wiki, dr. sidney haas “created” it while elaine gottschall “popularized” it. interesting way of saying that haas provided only anecdotal evidence of the diets efficacy and may or may not have been laughed out of his profession while gottschall was able to provide actual evidence that it worked and why.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_Carbohydrate_Diet

98. 1000 Years of This. 40 Years of That. | femonade - April 25, 2013

[…] of her 2-part series.  part one, “the creation of patriarchy” was previously discussed here.  this series is an excellent history lesson and one i appreciated very much, although i admit […]

FCM - April 25, 2013

i have a new post up that is related to this one. anyone who wants to continue this convo is welcome to comment over there. (link above). thanks for reading!


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