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I See What You Did There. Or, “Witchcraze” Pt. 4? June 13, 2013

Posted by FCM in feminisms, gender roles, international, meta, politics.
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so radfem13 went off without a hitch.  mostly.  the event took place and the organizers have issued a postgame statement focusing on the legal issues involved in organizing and meeting as women, in women-only space exclusive of men and trannies.  the title of the piece is “protecting female-only space in the UK.”  an “interim legal statement” was previously published here.  the organizers are quoted extensively in an article on “counterpunch” which you can read here (via gendertrender).

relatedly, melinda tankard reist has been reporting on the saga of young feminist talitha stone taking on a misogynist rapper — i will expound on how this is related below.  the latest installment of this series is here.

theres a lot going on here, and its hard to know where to start.  so lets start at the beginning, which is probably “what are we doing here in the first place” or the point of radical feminism.  and lets be brief about it and come to the analysis quickly.  radical feminism is about locating, exposing and understanding the root of womens oppression by men, so that we can be liberated from male dominance.  so what is the root?  radical feminists understand that the logical endpoint to radical feminist thought is that the root of womens oppression by men is mens sexual and reproductive abuse of women.  this is what it means and what it looks like to be oppressed as women by men as men — men dominate and enslave women based on our reproductive biology and mens demonstrated ability and interest in exploiting it.

this means “othering” and pathologizing womens biology by eroticizing intercourse and separating or falsely separating “sex” from reproduction, where there has been no 100% reliable contraceptive invented and there is unlikely to be one ever.  and by gaslighting women when we experience reasonable anxiety and aversion to penis-centered “sex” and when we become “unintentionally” knocked up, as if there was any other reasonable outcome to eroticized and normalized PIV considering our female biology and how it works.

it means that men grant themselves the power to open the door to formal, institutional and state control of women by doing the one thing that only men do to only women and which we cannot do to anyone — by impregnating us.  note how the big-3 of the patriarchal institutions — medicine, religion and law — all attach to womens bodies and womens lives at the moment of conception, and that this does not happen to men at the moment of conception or ever.  its literally a trap, baited and set by men and producing an outcome intended by men that benefits men — control of women, and control of reproduction, including the terms and conditions of intercourse, pregnancy, birth, and childrearing.

this is what our oppression consists of and what it is.  men get to name it (sex, fucking, knocked up, mother, father) men get to execute it (intercourse, impregnation) and men get to enforce it (rape, heteronormativity, marriage, and legal remedies and lack thereof for sexual and reproductive offenses).  note that i am considering rape to be the violent enforcement by men of womens sex role as fuckholes and breeders.

and there is no legal solution to rape — men rape us, period.  then when we are inevitably impregnated, we are caught in their trap and cannot escape — pregnancy triggers the system of overlapping controls on women (via reproduction) including medicalizing/legislating/moralizing abortion; the medical and other standards of care that apply to pregnant, laboring and lactating women; and laws and customs that allow surveillance and control of caretakers, primarily women, and defining parenthood itself so that men are included, tethering women to the men who impregnate them for life.  all of this is made-up by men and follows no natural (inevitable) law, and is all by patriarchal design.

now, it is important to note that both rape and legal remedies for sexual and reproductive offenses are used by men to enforce their sexual and reproductive control of women.  arent they?  thus, womens relationship to the law specifically regarding issues of sex and reproduction — and therefore the terms and conditions of both our oppression and our liberation — is not merely complicated but demonstrably conflicted where men obviously use rape and then not-punishing rape, as well as restrictive (legal) controls on pregnant, birthing and mothering women, in order to dominate and enslave us.

so.  regarding radfem13, we have organizers statements indicating that “protecting female-only spaces in the UK” is paramount.  whether or not this is the case is a question for the community.  so i present the question this way: does protecting female-only spaces in the UK cease or even affect mens sexual and reproductive abuse of women?  in order to know whether it does or doesnt, or whether radfem13 was radical at all, we must understand what the organizers themselves intend and mean when they say it.  and to figure out what they mean, it helps to read what they have said in their own words about what they were trying to accomplish and why.  they tell us what they mean where they say that they wish to evoke the Equality Act to preserve their right to legally assemble sans men; and they explain that the reason they need to do this is because gender, meaning stereotypes which emanate from a persons born-sex but which arent endemic to either sex.  and that the artificiality and unfairness of “gender” (meaning sex-based stereotypes) apply to both women and men.

so firstly, we have an appeal for legal reform/protections in one country to meet in women-only space; being generous we can assume they mean that they wish to have mens laws interpreted and applied fairly to women generally and globally, although they do not say this.  previously, the organizers released this statement which indicates their intention to fight for our right to meet as females; and another statement here concerning the legal issues and difficulties involved in meeting in female-only space in the UK.  again, no mention is made of why this is necessary; nowhere in these statements is there an acknowledgement of or an appeal to end womens sexual and reproductive abuse by men, or why its important, or how they wish to achieve this.  and (therefore) no mention of anything of any importance to radical feminists or radical feminism as a matter of fact.

from an outsiders perspective (i did not attend) and assuming that it served some legitimate purpose, it seems as if the intent and effect of radfem13 was meta — the purpose of meeting in the UK in women-only space was to prove that they could.  one wonders whether this was fair to women who traveled long distances to attend a radical feminist conference, rather than a reformist one, or one centering the legal situation in the UK which does not affect all or even most women globally.

but still, is it possible that, once attendees gathered inside, this conference became radical, or less reformist?  sadly, organizers statements made elsewhere indicate that it probably didnt.  while all radical feminists must agree that “sex matters” and that trans and queer politickers misuse “gender” essentially as a euphemism for sex, albeit “brain sex” (or as voluntary “performance”) the obviously reformist-oriented radical feminists we see organizing radfem13 and elsewhere misuse both “sex” and “gender” to mean essentially sex-based stereotypes.  “stereotypes” which, according to them, are oppressive to both men and women, or at least reflective of the biology or essence of neither, even as we see male violence — and mens sexual and reproductive control of women enforced with male violence — as a global phenomenon that transcends social conditioning, and men across time and place embracing it and manifesting it in various ways.  even the “good guys” and men in less violent and “less patriarchal” cultures do this in their own way and we fucking well know it.

and even as we see women, globally and throughout time, dissonating with, negotiating within and around, and ultimately rejecting our sex (not gender) role as mens fuckholes and slaves.  equating women with men — against all evidence — is a false equivalence and simply is not rigorous, logical analysis or honest intellectual labor.  and conflating “sex” with “sex-based stereotypes” does nothing to locate the root of womens oppression by men — our sexual and reproductive abuse as women, by men as men — in order to liberate women from male dominance.

and finally, i bring up melinda tankard reist’s recent reporting of the young feminist who is single-handedly taking on a notoriously misogynistic american rapper because this is yet another manifestation of reformist-oriented politicking, what it consists of and where it leads.  on her blog, reist says,

One of the great rewards of this work is seeing a growing wave of young women go into battle against violence against women in all its brutal manifestations, calling out and naming this violence as unacceptable. One such woman is 24-year-old Talitha Stone. […]  Talitha’s passion and gutsy activism gives me hope that things can change.

okay.  here, we have reist, a well-known, seasoned radical feminist who makes money on radical feminism as a speaker and writer, applauding and encouraging individual women who dont make money on it and who in fact may have little or nothing to gain from it, to engage in “gutsy activism” (and everything that entails including the very real danger of physical and emotional violence by men) by taking on a misogynistic industry and all misogynists everywhere — in this case by protesting rap lyrics that describe the sexual abuse of women by men.  how and indeed whether this instance or this kind of activism is likely to liberate women from male dominance is never made clear.  and frankly, giving well-known seasoned radical feminists who make money from radical feminism hope that things can change, in the complete absence of evidence that this is true, or even that radical feminism informs this activism, how, and why, is not a good enough reason for anyone to do it or to expect anyone to do it, or to applaud those who do it at great cost to themselves.

indeed, if a woman throwing herself on the pyre in this manner inspires hope, and i think this is an apt metaphor, one might wonder “hope for what, exactly?”  hope that the next generation of women will fall into the same reformist traps, creating paying “radical feminist” jobs and opportunities for MOAR ACTIVISM, and more meta — the continuance of reformism itself, in other words, as opposed to identifying the root of and liberating women from male dominance — is what it sounds like to me.

Comments

1. FCM - June 13, 2013

BTW i am currently reading The First Sex by Elizabeth Gould Davis and she describes what she believes is evidence of prehistorical and early historical “gynocentric” communities. one thing she keeps using as evidence of “gynocentrism” is that the women had access to contraception and abortion, although it was not legislated/medicalized/moralized like it is now. my question is this: why, in a gynocentric community (that understood where babies came from) would unwanted pregnancies even occur? why, in a gynocentric community, would womens reproductive biology be “othered” by eroticizing intercourse or doing it for pleasures sake when the woman did not wish to become pregnant? sorry, but this makes no sense at all. wishful thinking, i think.

2. rubyfruit2 - June 13, 2013

Hi FCM, we have not conversed before but let me make two important points,

1. The legal articles published in the blog “sisterhoodispowerful” were not written by the “organisers” of radfem2013 but by an ex-organiser, supported by numerous other ex-organisers. Those involved in the organisation of radfem2013 do not speak with one voice. Far from it.

2. We, those of us who carried out the legal work and others who supported it, know only too well that legislation under patriarchy is limited and the article you quote makes that entirely clear. It says this:

“As radical feminists, we know that the true source of women’s oppression, and other oppressions, are embedded in the institutions, systems and structures of society and that this, together with cultural norms, creates “patriarchy”. We know, therefore, that any legislation will be limited, at best, and used against us, at worst”

You are making so many false assumptions about us and our “reformist” politics that it really is insulting. How you get, from any of the posts on that blog, that there is a desire among us to “equate” women with men, I really don’t know. Or that we aren’t entirely with you when you say that the purpose of radical feminism is to expose and end men’s sexual and reproductive abuse of women. However, if patriarchal laws are used against us to stop us from coming together, then we can’t identify our political goals and work towards the destruction of male domination.

Shame you can’t be glad for sisters who’ve had a small-scale victory for radical feminism, within all the limited conditions of patriarchy (which we are only too well aware of).

We know too well that overthrowing patriarchy is a big job and won’t happen over night. It is entirely in keeping with radical feminism to make small dents in the sides of patriarchy – whilst being fully aware that’s what they are. Otherwise, because the job is too big, there’s a danger of doing nothing at all – except sit around and write blog posts about how everyone else is doing radical feminism wrong.

3. mieprowan - June 13, 2013

FCM: you make good points about radfem2013 being basically a social event. But seeds can be planted at such.

Also I agree that needlessly martyring one’s self is not helpful. Misogynist men who are looking for attention will only thrive on such.

I do believe that real change can be effected by throwing off the patriarchal blinders and developing better relationships with other women, making them one’s primary focus. It may not address huge issues of misogynistic abuse, but for any woman one befriends, helps, or otherwise is supportive of, her life has been changed that much by one’s caring and actions.

FCM - June 13, 2013

rubyfruit, if you have no idea what i am talking about then i really cant help you can i? you really, really have no idea? none at all? try harder, is my advice. for my part, *i* actually read and understood every article i linked to, including the one on counterpunch in which multiple radfem organizers and speakers were quoted and referenced. and where they clearly referenced GENDER and sex-based stereotypes as being the problem — for both women and men. it is NECESSARILY IMPLIED here that men = women and women = men. a false equivalence which reformist radfems use constantly. essentially, the argument looks like this: A = B; B = C; therefore A = C. where A = “men” and B = “women” and C = “doesnt exist in their natural state”.

in english, the argument (including the implicit assumption thats never said aloud) looks like this:

if men and women are the same, and women do not currently exist in our natural state, then men do not currently exist in their natural state either.

the problem is that A = B (men = women) is, in fact, demonstrably false. this is equality-activating, plain and simple. and its not radical. we have discussed this before multiple times on this blog and others.

theres a difference between “telling women they are doing radical feminism wrong” and pointing out that what certain people are doing isnt radical feminism at all, and that there are obvious tangible differences, and where theyve gone wrong and why. sorry if that hurts your feelings. and radical writing and clear (and correct) issue framing isnt “nothing” although thats another tired line the reformists (who dont write anything or dont frame issues clearly or correctly) use all the time too.

for background on the problem of the false equivalence:

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/false-equivalence-part-2/
https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/lets-recap/

and DONT act like im the only one thats critical of this. even if no one else comes forward because they are trashed and isolated for criticising you, or for any or no reason, there are others.

FCM - June 13, 2013

ok miep. i wouldnt have categorized it as a social event, but since you did, i have no problem with social events, or networking, or hanging out. of course not, thats great! however. were women told that they would be paying for international travel and lodging (where applicable) to attend a social event? was this vetted and made part of the informed consent of the participants who were potentially sacrificing their time and money, not to mention their anonymity and safety to attend? this really bothers me, and its not just what the organizers and speakers have said in the links but what theyve been saying this whole time and their weird queerified gender politicking — we are all just social constructs, albeit with reproductive organs — and implying that, if properly socialized to do so, women could or would be “just as bad” as the poor men who only treat us so badly because they are taught to, and its really not “how men are” at all. the problem, of course, is that that might not be true, and its pretty obviously not true! where does this leave us as far as solutions, when 100 years of reformist activating (and “teaching” men the opposite) hasnt worked, and men are actually getting worse, not better?

last year i agonized over the decision of whether to attend these conferences, and the issue was a cost-benefit analysis. is it worth it to go, considering that the sacrifice is likely to be so great? whats the payout, in other words? this year i didnt even consider going but other women probably did and they probably had the same concerns i did. these women risked quite a lot, and for what? this is my question. i am sure some magic was forthcoming, but also fairly certain that *if* it was, it wasnt because of the conference or the reformist bullshitting. and that it could and would happen anyway, wherever radical women meet, including meeting for free and in private, without throwing themselves on the pyre and without getting derailed into unwittingly activating towards (pulled into) the legality of women only space in the UK and other reformist agendas including this gender bullshit. i am really upset about this.

mieprowan - June 13, 2013

FCM: the learning curve has been fast and sometimes difficult for me over these last few weeks. I’m not inclined to tar all men with the same brush, but at the same time I consider them all guilty until proven innocent, at this point.

As for the transwomen question, I don’t know what they are, though I’ve seen some interesting ideas bandied about. Feminine gay men who caved to social pressure? Autogynephiles? Mentally disabled people of some sort? Abusive fakers? All of the above? One thing they’re not is women, so we can agree on that.

Women are women, woman is a real defined thing to be, not just an idea one can take on at whim or become obsessed with.

I think women go along with the transwomen thing because we’re trained to be accomodating, and because it would be nice not to be treated like women by men, so we kind of internalize the idea, except in reverse.

What you’re getting at is a different flavor of gender essentialism, and you don’t need me to tell you this bothers some feminists. Are you right? I don’t know. You do strike me as courageous, though. You are asking the question so many feminists are afraid to address: what if men *are* inherently violent? What do we do then? Is there any way out?

And even if they’re not, and even if there isn’t, asking these questions is appropriate and otherwise valid. Men have not overall demonstrated any inclination to significantly do anything about widespread abuse of women (and children), and when one brings this up, one is generally told to STFU. I applaud your being willing to do so (address this, not STFU).

As far as the conference goes, I can only assume that the attendees are capable of making their own decisions about risks vs. benefits. But I hear you about making one’s self a target. Still, that’s one’s right. We all make our own paths.

FCM - June 13, 2013

im not intending to change anyones mind here, and i am aware that this will be a controversial post, and that i am repeating myself a bit. i dont give a fuck. and if radical feminism comes down to “individuals deciding to make themselves targets for the cause of reformism, because reasons (including the financial and other gains of the more well-known seasoned politickers)” then thats what its come to i guess. however, i think it should be discussed.

mieprowan - June 13, 2013

FCM: controversial posts are what you do. They’re your metiere. You’re good at this. You do excellent analyses and you’re not afraid to ferret out and confront taboos.

Also, oral history is highly repetitive and thusly effective. The Internet is a lot like oral history in some ways and places.

In this culture there’s always somebody looking to make a dime off of somebody else’s troubles, so you have a point there too, unpleasant though it is to think about in this context. But you’re right, it should be discussed. Radfems could work all this stuff out in private venues and there would be no legal issues at all and lots less stalking.

So maybe we should focus more upon acquiring private venues. Hell, if I want to invite a bunch of women over to my house to talk about women stuff, I can tell any non-women to go away.

4. mieprowan - June 13, 2013

But at the same time, women used to gather privately and got targeted, speaking of witchcrazes. So we’re kind of damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

FCM - June 13, 2013

indeed they were miep. indeed they were. and yet, have we learned nothing about men and what they do, why, and whether they are likely to ever stop?

mieprowan - June 13, 2013

FCM: one of the most interesting things to me about your discussions and those elsewhere of how to make men less dangerous, is that men never seem to show up with suggestions about how they be made less dangerous. Mostly we just get “If you’d just be nicer, we wouldn’t have to be so mean”, which is obviously classic abuse nonsense.

They ask, “What do women want?” Well, we’d like you to leave us the hell alone unless summoned, and also we want just about all of the best land that you haven’t destroyed. We’d like you outcast unless you earn the privilege of being part of a community that is dedicated to caring for life. And that will be revocable if you revert. Meanwhile go live in the deserts you made while we work on trying to fix this mess.

FCM - June 13, 2013

speaking of the witchcraze, i have become even more sensitive to this gender bullshit since reading that after 300 years of persecution, sexualized torture including rape, and murder of accused witches (WOMEN) by men, that american and european women went from STEREOTYPICAL female behavior and mannerisms of bawdiness, wittiness and shrewdness to STEREOTYPICAL female behavior and mannerisms of coquettishness, timidity, and deference. and the fucking gender crew continue to insist that “both women and men are TAUGHT stereotypical behaviors” and guess what they define as stereotypically female? not the pre-witchcraze “””stereotype””” but the post-witchcraze one. but mens hasnt changed much over time and place has it? gee, i wonder why?

and the language of teaching and learning is applied in both cases as if we are sitting in a classroom learning this stuff and being taught and learning in the same ways, with the SAME (equal) meaning and implications regardless of sex. its a robotic application of the same standard to both women and men and they dont even seem to know they are doing it. and vehemently deny thats the case when its pointed out, like ruby did above. for example. when feminists (and queerists and trannies) say that men are TAUGHT “masculinity” what they mean is that men seem to enforce and normalize violence and aggression in men using violence and aggression. and women are taught “femininity” when men enforce and normalize coquettishness, timidity and deference in women using violence and aggression. however, what we actually see here is men as a class acting aggressive and violent across the board, toward themselves and everyone. where is the teaching here FOR MEN, and how does one separate the teaching and the learning when its all just male violence and aggression all day long? we can easily see where this is FORCED on women, we are stepped on like bugs if we get out of line. but men are the boot, not the bug. so whats it mean when one boot steps on another boot? and why do WE just assume thats even whats happening, or believe men when they tell us they “feel” stepped on, and assume its the same “feeling” we feel when it happens to us and the exact same mechanism in fact? its fucking ludicrous.

5. Sargasso Sea - June 13, 2013

Interestingly I was looking for follow-up on radfem13 – perhaps a reprint of one of the *keynote* addresses – but what I found was rubyfruit2’s post on the legal issues. Which I read. Now, I AM an advocate for women being informed of the legalities which restrain (oppress) us but only in the sense that we know them in order to AVOID becoming entangled by them.

So, yes, from an outsider’s view it does appear as if the entire purpose of rf13 was to simply have rf13 and frankly I am 100% tired of seeing the same thing happen year after year – it’s like watching a hamster on a wheel. How much energy was expended on *fighting* the same old fight? How much energy is now being expended on *helping* other women do the same thing over and over and over and…?

FCM - June 13, 2013

yes i saw that! if you FUNDRAISE to cover our expenses, you too can be schooled in the art of reformist bullshitting and getting righteously entangled in legal battles (but righteously!) with men forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

6. Sargasso Sea - June 13, 2013

One of my all time favorite radfem posts (from October of 2011 referring back to a *radfem* conference in June of that year) :

http://lesbonaut.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/reactions-to-a-radical-feminist-conference/

Again, the more things change the more they stay the same?

FCM - June 13, 2013

thanks for the link! i missed that one the first time around? i miss joy and ballbuster.

FCM - June 13, 2013

how typical (as you say) that legitimate political criticisms and COMPLETELY FUCKING OBVIOUS ideological differences (even when the ones deviating DONT EVEN KNOW THEYRE DOING IT) are dismissed as infighting, horizontal hostility, and divisive. women are such catty bitches arent they? they just cant get along no matter what!

FCM - June 13, 2013

and as for feeling “insulted” i find it insulting that the organizers of radfem13 and indeed all reformist-oriented radical feminists everywhere seem to think that women are so fucking stupid that they cant even tell when their own politics are or arent internally consistent or that they dont care (or arent allowed to or supposed to care) about having a coherent theory that *correctly* identifies the root or what it means or does when you dont. or what it means when a radical feminist event (and indeed an entire group, *the* group) of radfems seems obsessed with GENDER and the LEGALITY of anything or of any one thing in particular. or that this is a pattern of behavior over time, which includes destroying and erasing (and silencing) radical writers and their work. its no surprise to see that rubyfruit thinks radical writing is worthless for example. and we are not supposed to identify any patterns here or make connections or even try to figure out whats going on here and what all of this means. or they think we are so stupid that we CANT.

7. Sargasso Sea - June 13, 2013

I miss Joy and Ballbuster too. A lot. And one of them said quite plainly in that comment thread that the notion of horizontal hostility et al was male-mindedness crap anyway. To which I say: right on.

So, yeah, when some of us (no, you’re not alone!) say that it may be foolish to continue banging *our* heads against the wall or otherwise endlessly run in *our* wheel then we’re just all sour grapes. Or something.

Also, out of pure curiosity – I would hope that rubyfruit or someone else with similar knowledge would respond – how do you become an “ex-organizer” of a conference? Is it because the conference is over? Because many of you bowed-out for whatever reason? Because of the venue change?

mieprowan - June 13, 2013

Thanks for the link, Sargasso Sea. I read through the piece and all the comments. I thought Joy presented herself articulately. It’s sad to see how difficult it can be to present a space that feels safe for everyone involved. One bad apple, such as the woman referred to who said such hateful things to her, can really poison things badly. Also I’d be absolutely appalled at attending such a production where porn was shown. Did the organizers really think the participants needed to see that? If one wants to know what porn looks like, assistance is not required. It’s not exactly difficult to find.

I thought witchwind’s comments towards the end of the thread were especially insightful.

mieprowan - June 13, 2013

Interesting point, FCM. It’s basically hierarchical with white men at the top. In this cultural and economic system, somebody has to be the slaves. It does not work without slaves. So it’s a matter of who is easier to enslave, and who has been traditionally enslaved.

The change in what was accepted as women’s behavior is put into historical context in Witchcraze. There were population pressures developing and also political and religious developments. But even when it was acceptable for women to be more outspoken, they were still kind of below the radar, not even legally recognized as individuals, just as property. It’s striking that it was necessary to change that in order to try them as witches.

Black men will be able to tell you what the white male boot is for them. But the whole thing is a kind of system of enabling and entitlement: it is okay to bully these people, it is okay to believe one’s self entitled to their services. One can point out that slaves are not naturally slaves, and owners not naturally owners, that this is socialized, but the owners are likely to be unimpressed, and the slaves likely already are aware of this to some extent.

Some slaves act as enforcers because doing so can result in conferred advantages. Easy to criticize, but if you’re a slave, it’s all about survival.

In a system that is run on the back of slaves, the only ways to unslave women are to give women slaves (unethical solution that only goes so far, in any case, since it just enslaves more women) or to get rid of systems that require slaves.

8. GallusMag - June 13, 2013

It looks like comments are closed on Rubyfruit’s post. I was hoping someone could clarify something for me. FCM I hope you will allow me to post my query unedited in your space.

First I would like to congratulate the organizers and attendees of Radfem2013 and Radfem2013 for managing to create conferences for feminism, which I define loosely (and at minimum) as a social justice movement for women that acknowledges that pornography, rape, reproductive exploitation, sex trafficking, and hierarchical social sex roles are harmful to women. I would also like to praise these conferences for increasing awareness of this movement among women.

My question is: was Radfem2013 a female-only conference?

The Radfem2013 venue, Camden Centre, has repeatedly issued statements saying that the conference was open to males who “identified as” female, and that such assurances were put in the contract by organizers. Is that true?

From the CamdenNewJournal (although similar statements have been published elsewhere):

“Given the nature of the event, as with all bookings, a contract was signed between the council and organisers setting out acceptable behaviour. This included allowing admittance to members of the transgender community who wished to attend.”

http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2013/jun/battle-sexes-over-‘radical-feminism’-conference-venue

If organizers agreed legally, and in contract, to admit transgender males, than the framing of the event as an exercise in the legal rights of women to female-only spaces in the UK would seem to be incorrect.
I was hoping to get some clarification on this point. Thank you.

9. Monique Louicellier Lesbos-Activist - June 14, 2013

Hello Femonade and all!
It has been a long time I did not watch so carefully your posts Femonade, but this one is excellent, I like it, it teaches me things.. (Femonade, often I can’t find time to read you, and especially if you write with slang, as I am not English speaking native. But to me your ideas are brillant in this post since some months, 1 or 2 years maybe..). Thanks.
Monique

FCM - June 14, 2013

well that is an interesting point isnt it? i recall on the radfem13 website that they indicated that the conference was women only, and that they supported trans rights to organize elsewhere and to be afforded civil rights.

FCM - June 14, 2013

the website is still up and has this to say (and this is what i remember from reading it before):

WHO IS THIS CONFERENCE FOR?

We welcome radical feminists and those women who want to learn more about radical feminism. It is women-only because we believe that we need to organise autonomously in order to fight for our freedom from patriarchy. We aim to make the conference a safe space for female victims/survivors to talk about multiple experiences of male violence and oppression. We need women-only (female) spaces to do that. We will actively promote radical feminism and radical feminists.

http://radfem2013.moonfruit.com/#/about/4572228606

FCM - June 14, 2013

hi monique! long time no see. thanks for reading! 🙂

FCM - June 14, 2013

so both before and after the conference it was framed as female-only. but theres evidence that it actually wasnt, or that trannies were allowed if they wished to attend. asking whether any did, and whether they were indeed welcome, seems reasonable!

10. luckynkl - June 14, 2013

I’m interested in knowing the answer to this question as well. Did organizers agree to this contract or not?

11. GallusMag - June 14, 2013

Meant to read “Radfem 2012 and Radfem2013”. Sorry for typo.

FCM - June 14, 2013

i knew what you meant. 🙂

12. ibleedpurple - June 14, 2013

I have the suspicion that the statement by Camden Council might have something to do with some organizers now being ex-organizers.

Anyway, if it is true that trans males were allowed entrance from the beginning we can be glad that none of them seems to have actually shown up. Can you imagine…?

13. rubyfruit2 - June 14, 2013

Hi,

The conference, as stated numerous times, was female-only and only open to radical feminists or those open to learning about radical feminism. This is lawful in the UK. Of course, this includes being open to hearing why radical feminists seek the abolition of gender. At no time was there ever an agreement beyond this.

The Camden Journal did a dreadful and inaccurate piece previously and you can see the MRE bias in this article too. It is to be hoped radical feminists would believe the radical feminist social media above a patriarchal, malestream press.

14. witchwind - June 14, 2013

Thank you for saying this FCM.

To those who are critical of these kinds of posts, i do not find that this is gratuitious trashing of events. It is necessary and simple pointing out of facts, taking women’s words and actions seriously and challenging them where they appear to be flawed. It is a sign of respect to women and to what we say and do, to take things seriously. It’s an exercise in rigour. Such challenges should be taken seriously in turn and responded to with intellectual honesty and truth-seeking.

It’s also necessary to point out inconsistencies, flaws, mistakes, false equivalences as well as practices that appear to be destructive or counterproductive to our liberation/ safety from men. It means we can’t just keep saying anything and do anything we want and get away with it all the time. It means we are to be held accountable for what we say and do publicly in the name of radical feminism, and it also gives us a chance to improve on it for the next time. We can’t close our eyes and accept anything on the grounds that it presents itself as radfem and is done by women. questioning things, pointing out reversals, mindbindings, pursuing critical thinking might sometimes be difficult and painful, but it’s healthy.

It’s ok to be challenged on an ideological / political basis if someone thinks we did / said something wrong. If we believe we’re right, we should then explain why we think we’re right and why the challenge is inaccurate. This has not been the case above. Instead ruby’s reply is “this is insulting” and “I don’t know where you get this from” and “we don’t speak with one voice”, which avoids responding directly to FCM’s arguments, and avoids taking responsibility for the statement. We have yet to see a satisfying response to it.

FCM - June 14, 2013

we are being asked to “believe” quite a lot arent we? others can pursue the issue of whether the event welcomed trannies (or if it did on paper) and this is indeed an interesting development for several reasons of which i can immediately think.

but as far as believing things, how about this from the about page:

The aim of this conference is to re-build a radical feminist movement and support the re-emerging interest in radical feminism among women.

We will:

■ Raise awareness and increase understanding about radical feminism
■ Increase networks and connections between Radical feminists
■ Improve activist skills and knowledge among attendees

http://radfem2013.moonfruit.com/#/about/4572228606

WE WILL INCREASE UNDERSTANDING ABOUT RADICAL FEMINISM. following on ww’s point above, this was not a generic “feminist” conference or a conference “for women” but one specifically designed to be and publically billed as being educational and reflective of radical feminist theory, including what we identify as the root of male dominance and of womens oppression by men. so, we are being asked to BELIEVE that the organizers of this event know what they are talking about and that they are doing this correctly. above, ruby asks us to BELIEVE that the orgs agree that “the purpose of radical feminism is to expose and end men’s sexual and reproductive abuse of women.” but do they really?

more:

WHAT IS RADICAL FEMINISM?

Radical feminism goes to the heart of female oppression by naming male domination and violence as being responsible for women’s subordination.

the organizers of radfem13 identify “male domination and violence” as the root. they do not identify mens sexual and reproductive abuse of women as the root. they go on to rhapsodize about GENDER ROLES which they conflate with both sex and gender constantly, as i mention in my post. i believe that this is an academic watering-down of the real issues because it lets men off the hook as victims of their “socialization” without challenging or examining that assumption or considering that it might not be true. and obviously a criticism of “gender roles” does not center mens sexual and reproductive abuse of women and how that works and what its for.

OPPOSITION TO GENDER ROLES

Radical feminists believe gender roles are harmful to women. We seek freedom from “femininity” and “masculinity”. Gender only exists for the benefit of men, as a class, at the expense of women, as a class.

radical feminists seek freedom from masculinity? really? how about we seek freedom from misogyny and from mens sexual and reproductive abuse which MIGHT NOT have anything to do with gender and obviously has a lot to do with sex, including WOMENS sex (not gender) role as fuckholes, breeders and slaves? or, how about saying that we wish to be free from FEMININITY and what that means and why, instead of including the poor, poor men who are victims of gender TOOOOOOOO? jesus fucking christ.

they go on to say that “male domination, violence and control” has many faces when thats not fucking true at all, or at least its not true WHERE WOMEN ARE CONCERNED and only true WHERE OTHER MEN ARE CONCERNED. where women are concerned, male domination, control and violence only has ONE face and thats sexual and reproductive abuse of women and how that works and what its for. more bullshit watering-down and male-pleasing from the academics and reformists:

THE FOCUS OF RADICAL FEMINISM

Radical feminism names, and brings attention to, all forms of male domination, violence and control, including:

■ Women’s exploitation, degradation and torture within prostitution and pornography,
■ Sexual violence towards women and the way this is culturally normalised,
■ Compulsory heterosexuality as an institution which oppresses women
■ Ways in which women are controlled and harmed by gender roles
■ Control and exploitation of women’s biology and reproductive abilities

INCLUDING. meaning, including but not limited to, right? whats wrong with limiting it and framing these issues correctly and narrowly so that women can see whats really going on? why all the weasel-words and gender bullshit?

and more to the point, if the organizers agree that “the purpose of radical feminism is to expose and end men’s sexual and reproductive abuse of women” why dont they just say it?

FCM - June 14, 2013

THE FOCUS OF RADICAL FEMINISM

Radical feminism names, and brings attention to, all forms of male domination, violence and control, including:

male violence against other men; male violence against themselves, including suicide, castration and sterilization of men which would actually benefit women in demonstrable ways that we specifically care about, meaning mens sexual and reproductive abuse of women; the sport of archery; and meat and meat by-products.

right?

FCM - June 14, 2013

and its becoming more and more obvious why reformist politickers and others would disregard radical writing and consider it “nothing” and not activism. its because you cant hide anything or bullshit people in writing, or do cant do it easily, and any bullshit is easily debunked in a written response. writing is logical and leads you to an endpoint, and that endpoint cannot be easily or completely hidden either, at least not if readers are willing to do the work. what a mistake giving control of the HUB to a reformist or a group of reformists, for example, and what a foreseeable result that the HUB was sabotaged not once but multiple times. how foreseeable that ruby would come here and denigrate radical writing and any criticism of these events, including the written materials THEY provided. radical writing is a waste of precious time, you see. time which would be better spent confusing everyone about what the real issues are, so that men arent so offended they cut off anyones salary. they still refuse to book our events though, and threaten to kill each and every one of us, despite the watering down. which makes the reformist aversion to radical writing even more suspect doesnt it? whats going on here? is this really just about money? or what?

15. GallusMag - June 14, 2013

Thank you for clarifying that point for me Rubyfruit!

“It is to be hoped radical feminists would believe the radical feminist social media above a patriarchal, malestream press.”

Can you show me where this is happening? Is it on Facebook? This is the first time I’ve seen any organizer response to the Camden Centre’s claims posted anywhere. Are there radical feminists who are disbelieving a previously issued statement posted on social media debunking the venue’s claims? This is the first I’m hearing of it. Thank you.

Thank you for allowing me the space FCM. 🙂

16. GallusMag - June 14, 2013

lol the sport of archery.

FCM - June 14, 2013

they could provide a PDF of the contract. if this has been done on social media, i havent seen it.

FCM - June 14, 2013

and im sorry, but knowing who the organizers were, asking us to TRUST WOMEN and them specifically and on these specific points of concern is fucking gaslighting. omg. shameful.

17. WordWoman - June 14, 2013

FCM: “how typical (as you say) that legitimate political criticisms and COMPLETELY FUCKING OBVIOUS ideological differences (even when the ones deviating DONT EVEN KNOW THEYRE DOING IT) are dismissed as infighting, horizontal hostility, and divisive. women are such catty bitches arent they? they just cant get along no matter what!”

Sargasso Sea: “. And one of them said quite plainly in that comment thread that the notion of horizontal hostility et al was male-mindedness crap anyway. To which I say: right on.”

Wow, horizontal hostility explained. Could it be that this is the whole thing behind trashing? 1. Women learn fear from the earliest ages. 2. Women learn to “color inside the lines” for safety. 3. Women watch other women to make sure they do the same. To do otherwise, makes them frightened. And they are already frightened because they are coloring outside some of the lines. 4.Straightforwardly exploring even the smallest radical thought makes nearly any women begin to feel the fear that is there. it’s like someone who is raised in a strict religious home. When she says something like “God is a woman.” Or “God is really Goddess.” She expects lightening to strike her dead. But this fear is more pervasive than that. 5. At the same time, women need the safety of numbers of other women. We feel this intuitively and logically, examined, it also makes sense.

But how are we to get the numbers of women?

Because of the fear and the wanting to appeal to numbers, Those women who seem to have “dangerous ideas” are attacked. I don’t mean attacking their logic, etc. I mean ad hominem attacks like, “except sit around and write blog posts about how everyone else is doing radical feminism wrong.” (rubyfruit) Actually, writers and purveyors of radical ideas are always at most risk when the political crackdowns come. So, it’s not sitting around doing nothing. It is psychologically difficult at best.

Saying how one disagrees with others who claim to be radical feminists could be clarifying. What’s wrong with that as a logical process? I’d rather see rubyfruit address which points she felt you were making that she did not agree with and argue her case against those points. Present opposing points. Then the reader can make up her own mind about the ideas.

When you step outside the realm of ideas and try to apply them, there will always be some inconsistencies. I have no problem with that. The women who do this, even if imperfect, should also be appreciated. But if you badmouth those who brave new territory in radfem though as having “unacceptable” ideas, then there is no place to go

I appreciate what any of these conferences attempt to do. If they caved on letting anyone except wbw in, though, I’m more than disappointed. That’s really not ok in any way, shape, or form. It would be acknowledging that “radical feminism” is something that it is not. I don’t want this to stay in the realm of rumor. If it is so, someone please let us know. If it’s not, it’s important to put any rumors to rest.

18. WordWoman - June 14, 2013

A bunch of posts while I was writing mine.

19. Sargasso Sea - June 14, 2013

Well put WW – I couldn’t agree more.

And: ” they still refuse to book our events though, and threaten to kill each and every one of us, despite the watering down.”

Even though it’s all legally contracted and everything…

Seriously, how is it not OBVIOUS that the *laws* have nothing to offer us in any concrete way? Laws are not designed to *afford* us anything – they are deigned to CONTROL us. Our bodies, minds and energies.

gah😦

FCM - June 14, 2013

i would add to ww’s excellent comment above that taking womens work seriously, and challenging it as an act of rigour also includes locating and investigating the backstory as much as possible and trying to figure out what we “mean” and the answers for ourselves. that way we come to the table with specific concerns or responses to concerns instead of just “i dunno what you are talking about!” which frankly is often disingenuous, and a trolling tactic. as a writer, and a prolific writer, and a clear writer (i think and i am told my writing is clear, or generally clear, or as clear as possible considering often difficult subject matter for which there is often no common language but with some room for improvement🙂 ) i can report that UNCEASING QUESTIONS are boring, and a waste of time. i prefer statements and explorations rather than questions. so for THAT too, rubys response was completely ungratifying. (she didnt KNOW what i meant by “false equivalence” in this context? really? cause ive only written about it like a thousand times.) i wont say it was pointless, bc that precludes the possibility that she was being disingenuous on purpose.

20. WordWoman - June 14, 2013

Witchwind (post 14.) said what I wanted to say. I think when S4 and FCM refer to WW, they meant that post, not mine. You can call me “wordy”😉 instead to WW, for clarity, lol.

Also, your mention of tabitha stone going after that rapper reminded me of Frank Sinatra (haha). Now, he wasn’t in my generation, but most everyone still knows who he was. He sang many so-called romantic songs, like “Strangers in the Night” and “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Bewitched.”

Now the rapper is violent and overtly rapey, but from a radical feminist standpoint, Sinatra easily demonstrates this point from your original post, FCM: “this is what it means and what it looks like to be oppressed as women by men as men — men dominate and enslave women based on our reproductive biology and mens demonstrated ability and interest in exploiting it.”

“this means “othering” and pathologizing womens biology by eroticizing intercourse and separating or falsely separating “sex” from reproduction”

Look again at the sinister Sinatra titles alone. Strangers in the Night (rape/stalking), The Way You Look Tonight (objectification/fetishizing), Bewitched (Who says the Witchcraze is over?). Sinatra does a better job of falsely separating “sex” from “reproduction” than the rapper, I’d say.

FCM - June 14, 2013

oh sorry! yes ww=witchwind but since wordwoman has shown up i usually spell them out for exactly that reason. sorry bout that! and YES wordwoman thats an excellent point isnt it? women are throwing themselves on the pyre for the OVERTLY sexually/reproductively abusive things, but the overtness isnt really the problem or the core problem. so again i ask WHY are they doing it, and being encouraged to do it?

21. Sargasso Sea - June 14, 2013

Just noticed the WW overlap myself🙂

Yes, the times change and the delivery changes but the message *remains the same*.

Why are they encouraged to do it? I’d guess that it’s simply because it FEELS LIKE something is being done. Certainly preferable to “doing nothing”…

22. Nadege - June 14, 2013

Wordwoman, thank you so much for pointing this out. Most songs, almost all, written by men are sooo rapey, not just rappers. And some songs written by women romanticize the rapiness. Why just point to the rappers?

23. SheilaG - June 14, 2013

Good point Nadege. I’ve often thought creepy “romantic” songs by Sinatra, Crosby and others to be about the subtext of rape–Baby Its Cold Outside- an infamous Christmas song. “Having my baby, what a wonderful way to say that I love you…” subtext, antiabortion, Paul Anka sang that early 70s gem. It’s all about HIM “my baby.” All songs that refer to women as babies and babe–I’ve got you babe– Sony and Cher infantilizes the girlfriend who it dependent on the boyfriend.. a load of songs like that.

And the whole rock group tour, screaming girls, the whole music industry is a huge degredation of women.

To see what men actually do to women under the guise of these songs is horrifying. Frank Sinatra did not treat his wives well, Bing Crosby was abusive to his children… all the songs a giant lie.

24. witchwind - June 14, 2013

FCM: “how typical (as you say) that legitimate political criticisms and COMPLETELY FUCKING OBVIOUS ideological differences (even when the ones deviating DONT EVEN KNOW THEYRE DOING IT) are dismissed as infighting, horizontal hostility, and divisive. women are such catty bitches arent they? they just cant get along no matter what!”

Sargasso Sea: “. And one of them said quite plainly in that comment thread that the notion of horizontal hostility et al was male-mindedness crap anyway. To which I say: right on.”

re-reading my comment at joy’s on the thread on SPC, in the light of this thread and your comments quoted here (S4 and FCM), and remembering what i wanted to say; i wasn’t very clear and i wouldn’t say it the same way today.

What i meant is that when such so called “violence occurs in feminist conferences, groups, etc: it’s always, necessarily anti-woman and therefore not feminist / radical feminist. It is also always political, that is, with the intent and function of eliminating woman-freeing action, gathering and thought. To prevent women from exploring freedom. There is no other purpose of violence between women than that, I don’t think.

I agree with Wordy that the reason some women prevent other women from exploring freedom or attempt to control other women, is fear. this doesn’t justify it or take away the responsibility of having to stop it, but it’s fear nonetheless: fear that losing control over other women will bring us back to a dreaded state of powerlessness, solitude and abandonment. fear of losing monopoly over some male-given power or status perceived as essential for our survival. Fear that letting go of dysfunctional, man-constricted survival strategies will make our world collapse. Fear of confronting our vulnerability in this male world. Lots of different fears, caused by men’s violence that endanger our lives from since we are born, and kill many of us. These are normal consequences of men’s global violence.

Knowing this, do we have ways of unblocking such situations? I don’t know. Where with men it’s impossible not to protect ourselves from them entirely and exclude them completely because any projection of feelings or empathy on them is dangerous for us, it’s less the case for women who want to control other women in one way or another. While we must refuse this violence from women against women, name it and protect ourselves and each other from it, at least with women there can be some, even very slight, room for change / evolution / understanding. I think.

25. witchwind - June 14, 2013

in other words:

i think with women it’s possible to look into the real conditions / violence that make us (at some point) refuse to understand political ideas that would lead us closer to freedom from men. As in, it’s possible to think about this and discuss this without putting ourselves in danger of trying to change abusive people at our expense (as opposed to with men).

26. witchwind - June 14, 2013

S4:

Why are they encouraged to do it? I’d guess that it’s simply because it FEELS LIKE something is being done. Certainly preferable to “doing nothing”…

Yes very true. This “doing anything rather than doing nothing” is based on a male lie: that the opposite of activism is doing nothing, or that NOTHING exists outside this man-made resistance mode.

It is also based on the lie that the only tangible, concrete and real reality is that in relation to men and their world and institutions. When the action / interaction is *only* in relation to ourselves, then it’s not as real, not as doing, not as tangible, it’s not change, etc. Or if we are together at some point, it’s not the real action going on, it’s so we can prepare for a later “real” action in relation to men and male world, like “legal actions”, “demonstrations”, “lobbying”, “media education” etc.

This is also deep-seated hatred of women, a belief that we can’t achieve anything by ourselves, not a world, universe – that it depends on men.

27. luckynkl - June 14, 2013

Frank Sinatra didn’t write any of these songs. He was known for his singing, not for being a song writer. The story I heard long ago is that women were paid to scream and faint in the audience. It was all staged.

Paul Anka, oth, was a song writer and did write as well as sing, “Having My Baby.” That song is disturbing on many levels and has always triggered my gag reflex. Coincidence that it was written within two years of “I Am Woman” hitting the top of the charts and only a year after the landmark Roe v. Wade decision?

It gets on my last damn nerve when men (or women for that matter) say, “We’re having a baby” or “We had a baby.” “What’s this “we” shit?” I ask men. “Well, you know what I mean,” men say sheepishly. “No, I don’t know what you mean. Do you say, “our job” when referring to your place of your employment?” “No,” they admit. Oh I see, what’s yours is yours and what’s hers is yours too – but not vice versa. Got it.” These days tho, men cut the mother out altogether and just say, “My baby.” Any way you cut it tho, what men are establishing is possession and ownership. Only a man’s overblown ego could imagine that his 2 seconds contribution to a pregnancy, children birth, and the rearing of child entitled him to half if not all property rights to a child.

28. WordWoman - June 15, 2013

WW, you said “I agree with Wordy that the reason some women prevent other women from exploring freedom or attempt to control other women, is fear. this doesn’t justify it or take away the responsibility of having to stop it, but it’s fear nonetheless: fear that losing control over other women will bring us back to a dreaded state of powerlessness, solitude and abandonment. fear of losing monopoly over some male-given power or status perceived as essential for our survival. Fear that letting go of dysfunctional, man-constricted survival strategies will make our world collapse. Fear of confronting our vulnerability in this male world. Lots of different fears, caused by men’s violence that endanger our lives from since we are born, and kill many of us. These are normal consequences of men’s global violence.”

I think it’s better to acknowledge our fear, because, as you point out, it is a real fear of real men and their actions in the real world. Acknowledging the fear and the source of it makes a woman safer, and also allows a woman to take the path of not trashing other women over it. It’s not some irrational fear and neither should it be directed toward women when they express “dangerous” thoughts. That is part of the silencing that women have endured for so long.

I suspect part of the unblocking you talk about is just really looking at our fear, vulnerability, the real situation and how desperate it is. Seeing that our only hope lies with women having women come together for safety, etc., and that women who are speaking out in “dangerous” ways need to respected whether we agree with them or not. Respect, as you pointed out, involves dialogue about the ideas. Nothing wrong with heated dialogue.

29. WordWoman - June 15, 2013

Lucky, I know that he didn’t write them, but he was an icon for those kinds of songs and obviously had choices about which songs to sing. He delivered them in a way that made women of his era think about the exceptional nigel with longing. Longing for a nigel that didn’t exist. A nigel that would make the whole misogynist world seem like a bad dream that they’d awakened from. Interesting that the swooning was staged. But the lyrics are no different from the rappers in their intent.

Paul Anka always seemed insincere and shallow and someone with no talent. Your observation that he wrote that song after “I am woman” came out fits with that.

30. WordWoman - June 15, 2013

Witchwind: “Yes very true. This “doing anything rather than doing nothing” is based on a male lie: that the opposite of activism is doing nothing, or that NOTHING exists outside this man-made resistance mode.

It is also based on the lie that the only tangible, concrete and real reality is that in relation to men and their world and institutions. When the action / interaction is *only* in relation to ourselves, then it’s not as real, not as doing, not as tangible, it’s not change, etc. Or if we are together at some point, it’s not the real action going on, it’s so we can prepare for a later “real” action in relation to men and male world, like “legal actions”, “demonstrations”, “lobbying”, “media education” etc.”

Why are women tired?

Let me count the reasons: low pay, overwork, taking care of a household, and more. Shall we add these other things to our overload?

I’m glad when I see reforms in the existing system. They do reduce harms or stave off worse harms to some women sometimes. But are they worth the struggle? Each woman should count her time very precious and then answer that question. And not criticize others for what they do or don’t do.

“Doing nothing” can be just the ticket for some of us, and probably should be encouraged.

31. mieprowan - June 15, 2013

Wordwoman: women who are invested emotionally in men become conflicted when they address how much damage men mete out. I see it as redirection, or displacement, when the fear is addressed at other women. I’m not saying that covers all instances but it’s at least part of it.

I went through a long phase of being emotionally invested in men, and the more I pull back from that, the less threatening other women seem and the more I identify with them, and empathize, including with women whose lives and perspectives are quite different than mine.

And it’s sad when women try to shut each other up. I commented on ruby’s post to note that FCM was expressing concern about women making themselves targets at such high-profile conferences, and also to comment that unless she knew FCM personally, she really didn’t know what FCM does or doesn’t do for other women. She replied at length (I had “notify followup comments via email” enabled) then deleted both comments and posted another one saying she’d deleted the “conversation.”

That was all I’d had to say, was that really that threatening? Yes, it was a petty thing for her to say, we all have moments when we’re not at our best, and I’m sure it takes a lot of work to put these things together. But conversations can go in all sorts of directions, if one just lets them.

FCM - June 15, 2013

FYI gallus is reporting on yet another violent, aggressive dood who FEELS like a lady — this time a famous helicopter pilot who was so reckless the other helicopter doods complained about him. he always felt like a lady, you see. but he always ACTED like a man, and he STILL is by refusing to accept ANY social controls on him whatsoever. male trannies (men) want access to BOTH male and female spaces. ALL TEH SPASUSSS!!! male trannies want all eyes on them all the time, giving them whatever they want, listening to them, catering to them, making excuses for them, trying to figure out what makes them tick. because THEYRE WORTH IT, as the l’oreal commercial goes! lets break this down in light of the current conversation.

in trannie-land, a woman who doesnt identify with the POST-witchcraze standards of femaleness (meaning european and white american post-1750 or so i guess?) = a man. a man who acts like a man = a woman, if he says he is.

what does this have to do with gender? be specific. male trannies (men) are acting like violent, abusive and entitled MALES across the board. they do this on female hormones and off. pre-and post- and no-transition. male trannies (men) are not discarding or disregarding “masculine” traits of extreme narcissism, entitlement, intrusion/penetration and necrophilia (and obliteration of girls and women) when they wear makeup and lady-suits (OMG — LADY SUITS = necrophilia, duh) mkay. they are exemplifying it, YET AGAIN. and we say they are eschewing gender, or trading one for the other. hmmm. but its NOT TRUE. hmmm. so why do we do it?

could it be that female trannies (women) are eschewing GENDER (femininity) but trans males are not eschewing anything except social controls on themselves which all men do all the time in their own way? could it be that this has to do with femininity for females, but NOT with masculinity for either women or men, and saying otherwise is knee-jerk and a false-equivalence? in other words, female trannies (women) seem to be telling the truth and being reasonable, when males are not. and yet we robotically apply the same analysis to both males and females, against all evidence — the evidence indicating that its not the same thing at all. and we do this because women = men and men = women. even though they dont, and radical feminists know this.

32. Morgan - June 15, 2013

WordWoman said: ““Doing nothing” can be just the ticket for some of us, and probably should be encouraged.”

I think that’s a huge key to a lot of things, if you are speaking of removal of energy, women’s energy, from men – ie. “doing nothing” as in not doing things for men. Imagine if all women just stopped doing things for men, taking care of them, emotionally managing them, raising their children, doing their laundry or cooking their meals. (etc. etc.)

FCM your last comment contains a whole whack of truth (as usual). I completely agree that there is a difference between women who eschew gender and men who “eschew” gender. We do that constantly in nearly every category of everything, treat them the same, as if there are no differences (socially OR biologically), as if each has the same reasons or causes. I keep thinking of medicine and how everybody knows the symptoms of a heart attack for a man, but hardly anyone knows how a heart attacks shows itself in a woman (as one example). And this “treating as the same” harms women. I think the idea of equality that permeates all areas does a lot of harm to women. As a result we don’t see women’s reality, we slap men’s reality over top and that’s that.

FCM - June 16, 2013

i agree that the idea of “doing nothing” is going to be very important for us. sonia johnson writes compellingly about this and about how men and malesystems actually feed off womens resistance and “activism” just like they feed off of womens energy generally, and struggling during “sex” and rape for example, and how they enjoy seeing us squirm in any and all contexts. if this is true, and i think it is, then it means that our “activism” (as its defined by men, “doing something” in the sense that reformists mean it) might even be making things worse. i wrote about sonia johnson previously, and wwind has a convo going at her place as well:

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/finally-a-use-for-these-graphics/
http://witchwind.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/reflecting-on-the-readings-of-sonia-johnson/

acknowledging and understanding how this works also reveals/makes possible the option of “doing” things or certain things for a short period of time and then knowing when to stop, and not being invested in certain projects for their own sake, or invested in reformism for its own sake either.

http://radfemimages.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/media-exposure-as-harmful-cultural-practice/

mieprowan - June 16, 2013

FCM: I was taken by that too, the idea of not doing anything. Because of course we’ll all do something, but if we do what we do via ignoring male constructs about what we should do, just for starters, by not doing anything within the frame of male constructs, we’ll wind up doing different stuff. We’ll ideally be building a wall. We’ll be standing up against male construct intrusion. What we do will be increasingly behind that wall. But they will keep trying to bash it down. The male agenda is to groom us into psychological weakness. We have to support each other, other women. If we can’t work that out, this is all hopeless.

FCM - June 16, 2013

here is an excellent illustration of the ways reformism is misguided and destined not to work. a young woman wants to join the US military to challenge its rape culture from the inside:

Strachan, 17, now wants to help reform the military from the inside: She wants to bring rapists and harassers before a court martial and put them in prison.

“I want to do intelligence in the military or military police where I can investigate these types of things and bring justice to the people who do it, because they never do” bring them to justice, Strachan said. After her military service, she might become an FBI agent investigating sex crimes, she said.

she is obviously assuming that she wont be raped herself, or assuming that even if she is, it wouldnt traumatize her or affect her ability to activate in this way or her ability to stay in the military including permanent physical injury, pregnancy, energy level/depression, PTSD and flashbacks, and desire to avoid men. shes assuming that if she is raped while shes there and she prosecutes it, that it wont affect or end her career right then and there via unfavorable reviews, lack of opportunity for promotion, and targeting/persecution. shes assuming that if shes raped in the military that the men wont also kill her, which is a mistake. shes assuming that men and the male (rapist) powers that be who know she wants to do this kind of work will welcome her into positions of power in the military and afterwards that the FBI will welcome her with open arms too. shes assuming it will be worth it, that the payout to herself or all women will be worth the cost. but will it?

anyone who values this young womans life and safety and sanity and understands the futility of reformism, as well as the rapism INHERENT in the military (ie. its the whole point, men join the military SO THAT they can rape and murder women with impunity and everyone knows this) would have to say NO. but she very likely doesnt value her own life and safety and sanity just like most women dont value themselves, including not valuing their own time. and she likely doesnt know that reformism is futile and why, (having been led to believe otherwise) and doesnt understand the function of rape in the military and everywhere. its like the perfect storm of self-sacrifice/non-preservation; optimism for men or belief in their inherent goodness and desire to change; and ignorance of radical feminism and the root of womens oppression by men.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/16/us/military-recruitment/index.html

33. Sargasso Sea - June 16, 2013

Just the other day the *key* provision allowing for an independent tribunal (made up of a majority of men, no doubt) to decide which rape/SA cases would be tried – as opposed to senior officers which is the way it’s been done to date – was yanked at the last minute. So, in effect, nothing will change at all after months (years and years and years) of activating from within AND without.

What’s of note here in light of these recent discussions is that during the run up to this Big Change the mainstream focus was shifted from the female victims to male victims because “over time more men have been sexually assaulted in the military”; a classic feminist tactic *make it important* by making it about the men. Obviously it’s more important to men to have the freedom to rape women, children and other men than it is to protect themselves from themselves.

FCM - June 16, 2013

ugh. for the women who wasted hours, months and years on achieving that goal, that HAD to hurt. in the meantime, how many other (relatively) tenable (ie. not rape-in-the-military-related DUH) projects failed due to lack of interest/time/participation? how many woman-centric projects were never imagined or started bc the women were exhausted and had nothing else to give? we can do so much better than this. doing NOTHING would be better — at least we would conserve our precious energy, and would have time to think (and read).

34. witchwind - June 16, 2013

not to forget that reforming men’s institutions or pointing to men where they got things wrongs just allows them to fine-tune their tactics (as whatabouthemen said in an earlier post) and make it more difficult for subsequent generations of women to figure out the reversals and deceptions, and to see men’s domination for what it is.

35. witchwind - June 16, 2013

so it is better to spend more time for ourselves making our lives better, than trying to change men’s systems. But again, this isn’t doing nothing. It’s just not engaging with men. Looking after ourselves and women isn’t NOTHING!!!

FCM - June 16, 2013

and re s4s comment, it makes sense for liberal doodists i mean funfems to make everything about MEN (to make it seem important) but by what twisted logic would radical feminists do the same damn thing? AND THEY DO IT! obviously. the “radfem” trans criticisms centering “sterilizing” males and post-SRS trans-regretters does this exactly. sheila jeffreys herself centered these arguments when she wrote about trannyism for the HUB. she also wrote about the pressing radfem issue of VEGETARIANISM (meat and meat-by products. and archery! by extension!! because its all violent!!!). remember when i said that publishing work from the academics caused problems (in addition to the other problems of having reformists on the HUB?) hello.

not that i dont appreciate a prominent radfem condescending to write for us (when they were no platformed globally…BEFORE the london conferences even existed) or daring to make a trans-critical argument at all. i do appreciate both things. BUT. this is exactly the kind of thing im talking about in this post. exactly.

36. Sargasso Sea - June 16, 2013

Yes, of course it hurt yet most of those women (because it was mostly women doing the work) are left having to be content blaming the *single* evol rape-monger man who quashed the provision… Just one bad apple don’t you know.

For women, in-action (!) is a completely uncharted way of DOING. We’ve been so conditioned to always be doing, going, caring, serving – others of course – that to be with our own uncensored thoughts and concerns (and heaven forbid we share those thoughts with other women!!) is tantamount to treason.

FCM - June 16, 2013

+1 sharing treasonous thoughts with other women 😀

37. Sargasso Sea - June 16, 2013

“not that i dont appreciate a prominent radfem condescending to write for us (when they were no platformed globally…”

Oh, haha! That reminds me: way back then I received an (unsolicited) email from one of the original hub admins (not FCM, btw) which referred rather *breathlessly* to having not just prominent radfems, BUT “celebrity radfems” contributing.

Celebrity radfems?! LOL🙂

FCM - June 16, 2013

“prominent” was enough to leave me breathless at the time. 😀 it was all very exciting. and i was a bit naive. but yeah, “celebrity” haha — as if!

38. witchwind - June 16, 2013

For women, in-action (!) is a completely uncharted way of DOING. We’ve been so conditioned to always be doing, going, caring, serving – others of course – that to be with our own uncensored thoughts and concerns (and heaven forbid we share those thoughts with other women!!) is tantamount to treason.

Absolutely!!! And i like your term “in-action”. although maybe we should revert the terms completely and say that engaging with men is non-action and doing nothing (or doing WORSE than nothing) and engaging with ourselves is action and doing!

FCM - June 16, 2013

+1 in-action YES! excellent wordsmithing. 😀

FYI on todays installment of “mens search terms” we have about 30 different variations on “what pills will make women fuck.” yay! we❤ men! they are totes reformable.

http://whatmenwanttoseeonline.wordpress.com/

FCM - June 16, 2013

oh sorry. TW: men.

39. Sargasso Sea - June 16, 2013

And thinking about miep’s thought on a sort of “wall” upthread I find myself envisioning it as more of a semi-permeable membrane wherein we ideally deflect male-think while allowing our own free-think to pass through.

Like this space allows for us to DO.🙂

40. Sally Archer - June 16, 2013

Re: these comments — FCM: “ugh. for the women who wasted hours, months and years on achieving that goal, that HAD to hurt.” …& Witchwind: “not to forget that reforming men’s institutions or pointing to men where they got things wrongs just allows them to fine-tune their tactics (as whatabouthemen said in an earlier post)” ,,,
In 2006 after reading Mary Daly (“Pure Lust”) for the first time and having the scales fall from my eyes, plus after death threats from doing community activism that indirectly helped women in a “liberal” part of the American West, I also read everything in print from Sonia Johnson at that time and went in search of women’s lands (NM) and Sonia.

She was in Ajo Caliente near the hot springs at that time running a women’s motel (with a night-barricaded metal gate) with her partner, Jade DeForest. I spent one evening speaking with Jade while Sonia was away speaking to what I recall them calling a lesbians-in-the-cul-de-sac group (i.e., today’s privileged Ellen DeGeneres model of “married” or life-partnered lesbians) but they had money to bring Sonia to speak to them. Later I went back to Ajo Caliente and had dinner they prepared and a very long convo face to face with Sonia. As a muse, she told me my freedom-for-women writing would never be published in the 21st century given the heightened censorship of authentic radical feminism, and that she had resorted to self-publishing even though she once had a large platform and following as a leading rad-fem. Sonia’s awareness of the futility of reformism had been heightened by her wasted battles on the ERA and in running for president (first woman to receive federal election matching funds for, if my memory serves, something called the Citizens party). She’s been pretty much written out of history (herstory, too) on that one.

One huge challenge for all of us women is living in a wasteland of maleness everywhere with so few avenues for connecting with other women in our in-action or non-action from men. Sonia and Jade left NM and moved on once again, meeting a woman whose path crossed with mine when I was visiting in the Pacific northwest. The newly met woman sent me “Sister Witch” by Sonia and also informed me that in these later years Sonia had mellowed about separatism enough to willingly enter a liberal mixed-sex (Presbyterians, maybe) church where she played piano (a creative love and talent exercised back in her growing up years as a Mormon). Because where could Sonia go to play the piano and be appreciated for her talent among women only today? Even if a church (one of the few venues with good pianos for non-professionals) allowed an ostensibly women-only event, MtT could be there, no doubt one of them claiming a bigger talent and demanding a competitive playoff.

One of the fun-fem magazines (maybe “Bitch,” don’t remember, all blend into boringness) a few years ago featured Mormon feminists (actually an oxymoron) in an article that didn’t even mention Sonia, despite her launching into second-wave feminist prominence with her first key book, “From [Mormon] Housewife to Heretic.” (Yes I know that book and magazine titles should be italicized or underlined, men’s rules, but not sure how to do that in blog comments, or if anybody cares.) So apart from those of us who still read Mary Daly’s work and see references to Sonia in footnotes, it is unlikely many will find her work apart from blogs like this one.

My to-the-end-of-this-thought point is to say, “thank you,” for covering her work, and for re-membering Sonia. (Her last name, Johnson, so male-conceived in naming reversals, I do not appreciate on Father’s Day or any other day pretending men are good, and I don’t mind just calling her Sonia.) One thing I can tell you from sitting with her and talking with her (Jade, too) is that they both love women, not in a sexual way but as creative, intelligent beings. Sonia, even though I sought her out as a wise elder, did not require me to sit at her feet, she extended dignity woman to woman, and she inspired me to carry on even when it feels like a diaspora in the insanity of male normality.

Blogs like this help, too. Especially when you tout the value of in-action and non-action as to men.

In peace to the place where as non-stereotypical women we re-member ourselves enough to carry on, my best wishes.

41. Greywing - June 16, 2013

Some sprawling thoughts on reformism.

Yes witchwind! We’re giving them all the cards and telling them exactly how to manipulate us. And worse, by telling them which of their behaviors are our top priorities, we also give them a clear target map for how to hurt us most effectively. There is a lot of implicit trust a priori (mis)placed in men before the idea can even be formed that it’ll be constructive to tell men exactly how we’re most vulnerable. And also implicit that patriarchy is just an accident, some misunderstanding, and if we just tell men how it harms us, surely they will change their ways.

And much reformism really amounts to striking a kind of deal with men. Women protest for a while instead of just being man-pleasing, and the deal is that if men listen, women will go back to being pleasing, useful tools. But because men see us as useful tools we have to give them specifics if we are to have any hope of any change at all. What reformist action gives men is essentially an updated version of the instruction manual (ie, we have to tell them exactly what we want them to do differently) with the promise that if they follow this new version, things will go back to baseline, and we will continue to function as useful tools in the ways that are important to men.

Have you ever tried refusing to give a man updates to the rules of thumb they use to manipulate you? Shit that doesn’t end well. It reminds me of that classic sitcom dilemma where the man whines that the woman is giving him the silent treatment, but how can he solve the conflict when she won’t tell him what he did wrong. What’s going on is that he didn’t treat her as human, and by demanding an update to the rule book he’s just rubbing it in. But yeah, reformism amounts to tweaks to men’s rules, never men actually treating women as human.

And it’s striking how much reformism amounts to nothing but telling men to keep their worst behaviors out of sight. I guess even most ardent believers in men’s ability change realize that men’s actual behavior will never change, but like an exhausted wife asks them to at least let her preserve a little bit of dignity by keeping porn and the worst sexual transgressions out of her sight. This also serves to uphold the surface paradox of seemingly well behaved men and rampant male violence co-existing. Constantly updating men in detail which exact things to keep out of public view, for women to cling to the belief that they are mostly good.

Reformism also reminds me of the way women (women’s bodies) function as bearers of morality and honor under patriarchy, see virginity, women’s bodies as carriers of the family honor and so on. Women are expected to be about limits and boundaries and holding back, while men are wild and free and unrestrained. A man telling his buddies he can’t do something because of “the ol ball and chain.” Women working their asses off to curb men’s most glaring destructive behaviors isn’t exactly groundbreaking within this framework. And it is probably quite literally saving many men’s lives, since they are apparently incapable of limiting their destruction on their own. But, feminism?

Also, just tangentially, something FCM said earlier about taboos, one of the functions of taboos is to give men a little extra kick to their turn-ons. Nothing seems to turn them on more than breaking taboos and boundaries. Which is funny cause their insistence of “sexual liberation” and working for more and more depraved and degrading sexual practices to become acceptable is actually counter-productive to their boners. See also why they keep coming up with and seeking out ever more bizarre and necrophiliacally creative sexual material.

42. WordWoman - June 16, 2013

FCM, in your post on The Presence of Absence, you said this: “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.”
https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/presence-of-absence/

This stuck with me and I think of it from time to time. Our discussion of in-action and “doing nothing” reminded me of what you said there. If a woman is not always exhausted trying to deal with personal, professional, or political reformism, then it is possible she may begin to have the experience of something different, what freedom might be, of what her nature is as a woman distinct from the constant drip-drip-drip or blast-blast-blast of dealing with any or all of those levels of reform.

43. Sally Archer - June 16, 2013

There are moments of the Presence of Presence, the shared impromptu laughter with another woman (even a stranger) over pelicans skydiving at the beach (or squirrels being silly racer-chasers as they do best), the wind dancing in wildflowers, the sense of being naturally one with all that’s evolving and alive, not concrete and steel. Those moments carry us, as Mary Daly wrote, through the badlands and the bad times, and hopefully as blogs like this help more women wake up, to the better times.

FCM - June 16, 2013

thanks for that wwoman! thats important i think! how else are we going to have time to even think about another way of doing/being (let alone doing/being something different) if we dont make time, and how else but by giving something else up? but what to give up? how do we decide or even begin to think about making this possible? women are SO BUSY omg. its terrible and exhausting. and quite deliberate. women arent going to give up “the kids” (if they already have them they are kind of stuck) and likely cant give up working and self-care…how much time would they have if they gave up all the reformist work women have always done? all the volunteering, politicking, PTA, and reformism in all its forms? this might be THE ONLY area that women might realistically reclaim some time in fact. THE ONLY. its something to think about.

anyone who wants to read more about “doing nothing” and do-ing versus be-ing could read sonia johnsons “sisterwitch conspiracy” where she writes about this extensively. she imagines/suggests that in the beginning, not only were there no males but there was no do-ing (which is male) and only be-ing (which is female and default-human and default-life which is also female). the thought experiment is extreme (like all thought experiments) — she suggests that originally there was no need to eat or drink, and no maintenance or domestic stuff that needed to be DONE at all. its quite striking to imagine it. and to realize how much DO-ing really is a part of malesystems and how hard it is to even imagine not do-ing ANYTHING, including eating! its funny how that one thing keeps us tethered to the DO-ing realm even in thought — it did for me anyway, try it and see what you think! and how utterly unsurprising that for women, EATING is made such an enormous and time consuming production via dieting (and often, our being made sick from modern food) when it doesnt have to be that way at all.

FCM - June 16, 2013

and its not just about reclaiming TIME but energy, and the POSSIBILITY of experiencing real change, whatever makes that possible. as you say. absolutely right.

mieprowan - June 16, 2013

FCM: Yes, my sense of it is that it’s up to men to engage in reformism, and that women should focus more on protecting themselves and each other so we can feel more comfortable standing up to them and calling out the lies. We can’t fix them. This seems to me to be the case regardless of where one stands on whether they are redeemable. Spoonfeeding feminism to them is bullshit, there is plenty available to read already and it’s easy to find.

44. femmeforever - June 17, 2013

I fully agree with inaction as far as being helpers of men and their agenda. But inaction in all things including helping women prevail against their tormenters? Not so much. While we figure out extricating ourselves from men completely, I envision banding together and supporting one another in the meantime. Exactly like the women did in The First Wives Club. It’s not perfection but it allows us to maintain some dignity and self defense. Rollover is not dignified. Nether is turning the other cheek. Both of these are extremely helpful to men and indistinguishable from compliance. The goal is mitigate women’s suffering.

45. femmeforever - June 17, 2013

sorry for spelling errors.

FCM - June 17, 2013

indistinguishable from compliance? from whose perspective? sorry, but i no longer care about appearances. reformism doesnt work, full stop.

46. WordWoman - June 17, 2013

Is women banding together for protection/self-defense different than trying to reform malesystem(s)? Like starting women’s shelters was back along the way. The trouble is that they then become part of the system, co-opted if they still exist, and now they are no longer women’s shelters but instead “domestic violence” shelters for both women and men. Remember the fight in Canada over the trans who wanted to be a counselor. Toxic to sue such an organization and harmful to the safety of the women there. It is exhausting to do these things, but if we are doing them to care for other women where do we draw the line? Getting a wage for taking care of women due to men’s violence would be something that would make up (a bit) for the exhaustion of the work caused by men. I think these are important, but doing it as volunteer work leaves nothing if you are taking care of children, have a job, etc.

I think the idea of women’s space is the same as this in some ways. it’s psychic space, not physical. Women gathering in physical space for play, for instance. When would that happen? Men don’t want us to have that either. It’s like the Bechdel test for movies. This doesn’t define which movies are feminist, even fun-fem. No, it only means women having a conversation with other women but not about men. Even that low bar happens very rarely in movies. It’s about psychic space for women even in “entertainment.”

FCM - June 17, 2013

where we are literally talking about thoughtcrime and men surveilling women to monitor not only our actions but our thoughts, thinking, thought-exercises and “changing the frame” or perspective is going to be particularly important and relevant. this isnt “changing onesself” in a new agey way because new age isnt dealing in thoughtcrime or patriarchal oppression, but *we* are. we need to think about this differently because its different. this isnt a lark.

47. Sargasso Sea - June 17, 2013

“But inaction in all things including helping women prevail against their tormenters?”

Here we go with the all-or-nothing thinking. Which is male-thinking.

The whole POINT of radical feminism is to liberate women and seeing as how reformism is not exactly smashing the patriarchy for the last (at least) 100 years or so what is the harm in exploring other avenues?

FCM - June 17, 2013

wwoman, i think its the addition of the fourth-dimension to these models, which is TIME. sure it might seem helpful to start a “rape crisis hotline” or a shelter and it might be something when it starts but morphs into something else in time. if this is the case — and these changes are brought about by the passage of time — then this is the nature of these things (under patriarchy) isnt it? just like fun fem ideology leads women into the poorhouse or nursing home being drugged and raped by the guards (assuming they live long enough) when we apply time to these reformist activities we see where they end up. and its very far away from women and very far away from liberating women from male dominance. everything becomes “equal” or applied equally as you say, which under patriarchy means men get treated like other men and women get the shaft, literally and more literally.

FCM - June 17, 2013

i wrote about the passage of time, including women and aging and dworkins observations on it here:

https://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/right-wing-women-part-3-d/

FCM - June 17, 2013

its almost impossible to even imagine life without boys and men for example. since we CANT GET AWAY FROM THEM, no we cant, no we cant, no we cant infinity, the mainstream very helpfully teaches us how to live with them. if *we* even try to imagine living without them, we get death threats. im guessing that most women dont even try.

FCM - June 17, 2013

the entire premise of this show (its called “life with boys”) teaching young girls that they just have to adapt or get used to living with boys and men, or even that this is possible without complete destruction of the female (which its not) absolutely chills me to the bone BTW.

48. WordWoman - June 17, 2013

Watching it I felt suffocated. Also, the memes are there, the old “boys will be boys” excuse-making and also girls who know male ways can act cooler.

49. femmeforever - June 17, 2013

its almost impossible to even imagine life without boys and men for example.

Not for me it isn’t. Been doing it my entire adult life. This does not require males to be wiped from the face of the earth (just yet anyway).

Oh. I’m sorry, is we somehow an offensive word? We = women.

Women need women to care about women and act on each other’s behalf. Not to fix men but to sustain women. I’m not talking about something like NOW. I mean a worldwide women’s uncentralized network. For example, if you need a job, see the network. Need to hide from your ex. See the network. Need rent this month so you’re not on the street see the network. You know, just AS IF women loved and didn’t hate each other. It would be like having half the planet in the family. Right now I would give my eye teeth to find a female mechanic. She’s out there but I can’t plug into the network because it doesn’t exist. Doesn’t have to be that way. Also might I say thanks JC that MLK didn’t say welp, there’s nothing to be done. We can’t stand against this in any way so might as well keep on shoveling down the shit in silence. And he dealt with a justifiably petrified target audience.

50. SheilaG - June 17, 2013

Do you mean not living with men as in your own home? You can’t prevent the family you were born into, but when you are self supporting, you don’t have to live with men at all. I’d never recommend this for any woman really. I haven’t lived with men since 1975, and also, for large parts of my life, I was pretty much in lesbian only environments pre -trans invasion. So the hetero world women inhabit does seem weird to me. I wonder how they can stand it, but obviously the social rewards are enticing, just not to me.

FCM - June 17, 2013

to “live with” something is a euphemism for getting used to it and accepting it. isnt it? i dont mean exclusively living with them in your own home or family (although it includes that and we need to consider that and what that means) but living with (getting used to, accepting) and literally living in and around boys/men and maleness and having men and maleness in your head too. there is a “if you cant beat em, join em” feeling to it which is thought terminating and grooming. and in the clip, the girl identifies ways that boys and men are stupid, offensive, inadequate etc and the tone is kind of mocking of them, but as always, the jokes on women. because this is womens reality, and (god forbid!) these girls want to be married with children someday, these are the men from which she has to pick. it is so sad that women who want children have to deal with men at all. it does not have to be this way and this follows no natural law, this is mens law designed to entrap women in overlapping patriarchal systems of abuse and control from which there is no escape based on our female reproductive biology. we are being trained and groomed to “get used to” this and to accept it and be ok with it. but thinking about it at all is completely nauseating and anxiety-producing.

http://radfemimages.wordpress.com/the-gears/#jokes

mieprowan - June 17, 2013

Female mechanic, female plumber, female general contractor…I’d be doing a lot more hiring if I could hire women.

But I’ve watched men learn to do that stuff, and they don’t necessarily teach each other. They tend to just bull in there and figure it out, trial and error.

We can do that too, but we’ve been socialized to believe we can’t.

FCM - June 17, 2013

also, i think the idea of a womens “network” sounds wonderful. i too would love to have female professionals, public officials and various service people available so i would not have to deal with men all the damn time! but thinking that through, we would need women to enter male-dominated trades and professions like mechanics and plumbers in large numbers. if this was so easy or reasonable a solution, wouldnt they already be doing it? i once considered being either a mechanic or a firefighter and i probably couldve done either one, including the physical part. but the thought of being sexually harassed and denigrated constantly and having to deal with that part of it every minute of every day made me exhausted and depressed. anyway, my point is that once again, we seem to be asking women to throw themselves on the pyre, this time entering the professions and services with good intentions, but at what cost?

what i didnt realize of course is that the harassment and denigration was likely to happen anyway, no matter what kind of work i did, i would just be a target in another way. a less obvious and more banal way perhaps. honestly if i had known what it was really like “out here” i dont know what i wouldve done. depends on how old i was when i realized it and if there were any other women in my network who knew the same thing.

i do not, however, think that comparisons with MLK are reasonable or appropriate. but if you want to go there, you might note that he was murdered in the end. but when women are murdered, no one even notices (except to blame them!) and following that, women generally arent remembered at all. and REFORMISM DOESNT FUCKING WORK so its hardly worth it is it? was MLK doing something that was unlikely to be effective on top of it? we know reformism for males is a reasonable goal but the same does not apply to females. its not the same thing, and i dont know what else to say about these false equivalences except that they are tired and old, and false.

51. witchwind - June 17, 2013

http://bugbrennan.com/2013/06/16/notes-from-radfem-2013/

For the benefit of women and to dispell the effects of manipulation and fear this post may have, I will break a few things down here.

From the post:

There have been a number of radical feminist bloggers who have criticized the conference as “reformist” or not legitimate radical feminism. To those people, I would simply say, maybe you should consider stepping out from behind your computers and coming out in the open to meet with other feminists. The suggestion, also, that the women in attendance are not “legitimate radical feminists” is just more divide and conquer bullshit.

First, there is an inaccurate representation of the claims that have been made here and elsewhere generally. From “there is evidence that reformism does not work and isn’t radical feminism” or “men do not equal women” it has become “some women aren’t legitmate radical feminists”. I admit that it might be a conclusion easy to make, but what is being discussed is certainly not who’s legitimate and who’s not to talk about radical feminism, but about criticising the substance and content of writing and actions that claim to be radical feminist. It is not about people’s status or personhood or nature, but what is being said and done and whether it can be defined as radical feminist vs liberal or counter-productive or anti-woman. Framing it in this “deciding who’s legit radfem and who’s not” way, plays on fears of losing status or benefits (emotional, other) gained by feminism.

She does not argue HOW the anti-reformism points are wrong, or WHY it’s wrong to criticise certain actions and use of words. She just says it’s bullshit, divisive, and we’re supposed to take it for her word. In this context, it is a way of preventing thought and encouraging obedience.

And again, implied here is that criticising reformism (and current “gender constructs” ideology, and advocating different forms of doing that don’t engage with men) equates to doing nothing or just sitting behind our computers, while others do the “hard work”. This is inaccurate and the comments and post above explain why at length.

More generally, it is not argued WHY such conferences are so good for women in general (as opposed to other forms of gathering), why radfem actions should seem to take the only form of conferences, why doing a conference for its own sake should be seen as a success for the movement or why we would benefit from stepping out to meet with the women who attended – from a radfem perspective.

Finally, in this context, what does “building sisterhood” mean? What kind of sisterhood is yearned for and how is this sisterhood relevant to radical feminism and to women’s liberation? It is not specified either, although it seems that absence of critique and exercise of ethical judgement of actions seems a necessary rule to be part of this sisterhood. It is also, IMO, exploiting women’s hope for a better world, for human warmth and loving relationships, in order to make the punishment of thought-crimes seem more acceptable.

Conclusion: lots of empty words thrown about with little substance other than alternating between guilt-tripping (don’t criticise, it’s bad) and love-bombing (we are great, the conference was great, we love all women, we want sisterhood).

we have yet to see satisfying responses here too.

FCM - June 17, 2013

thanks for that wwind. the woman who let the HUB domain expire denigrates radical writing specifically. what a shock!

52. witchwind - June 17, 2013

The thing is, it’s not feminist writing per se that’s denigrated. Only certain kinds of writings.

The writings of Andrea Dworkin, Sheila Jeffreys, Lierre Keith, Susan hawthorne and other well-known radical feminists are never treated as “doing nothing” or with the same disregard.

So women whose official work is to sit behind a desk or a computer doing writing and getting published and quoted in radfem and feminist spheres and being platformed for what they write are doing proper work; whereas women whose non-paid activity is to sit behind a desk or computer doing writing and getting published on blogs and holding, nourishing and moderating conversations, are not doing anything. Is that right?

FCM - June 17, 2013

honestly, it bothers me that these bigwig “radfems” obviously think women are stupid and unable to spot the obvious. like the connection between reformists and certain women specifically denigrating radical writing and the destruction of the HUB. duh! of course, i also know that the bigwigs themselves arent stupid and that they are using these tactics because they are likely to work and are clearly applicable to the goals they have. here, i think the goal is to increase the numbers of women willing to engage in reformist activism, and as wwind says to grant status and power to those at the top no matter how those people got there, including the ones who dont know what they are talking about. guilt-tripping and love-bombing is exactly what it is and it is helpful to name it.

it is my experience that radical feminists understand both radical feminism and reformism very well but that reformists do not necessarily understand radical feminism at all. and this makes sense because radical feminists are getting to the root of male dominance, and the root is at the base of everything while reformism is up in the branches somewhere and not foundational. i mean structurally this makes sense and we can see this playing out in real life. i think that some women dont understand radical feminism which is why they cannot respond to the criticisms being made. and this not-understanding is exactly my point, and its what we are attempting to clarify here. but theres also manipulation and malethink happening and we need to recognize that too. for example, the love-bombing shit is really gross.

53. witchwind - June 17, 2013

yes, that’s exactly why my criticisms weren’t directed at the post but for the benefit of women readers who might at first be confused by it or not immediately perceive the manipulations.

that branch vs roots thing makes it very clear.

yes this not-understanding has nothing to do with stupidity or lack of intellectual faculties: if you don’t understand things when they are simply explained to you, then there’s something else at play: this takes us back to the fear + status component

54. witchwind - June 17, 2013

by the way the word “love-bombing” is to be credited to delphyne

FCM - June 17, 2013

wwind, i think that the “official” writers are given the proper respect and deference, even by women who dont understand them and who have never bothered to read them. the fact that daly and dworkin are not understood is obvious in that they are rarely spun-from and are not criticized or discussed critically and they are taken out of context all the time. for example, dworkins “24-hour truce” speech where she said that WOMEN CANNOT DO THIS WORK ANYMORE (of trying to educate men of their humanity) is presented as being evidence that dworkin believed that reformism worked and was not deleterious to women, and we should keep doing it forever. wtf.

there is a lot going on here. these women were paid, have or achieved status, and were also controlled by the fact of their participation in the mainstream publication process. all of this is legitimizing in a patriarchal sense. and as for the unpaid writers and the situation with the HUB, i think its notable that “liberation collective” LIBERATED those posts from the HUB that werent particularly radical (or were written by the academic-radfem/bigwig approved minority on the HUB, namely allecto and rain) posted them without contextualizing them (that they were part of a publication and a herstorical “moment” in which other kinds of work were produced too) and then the HUB conveniently disappeared. the result of that was that my and cherrys work was erased (but the others survived albeit in a completely different form and context) and all the convos were erased too where many viewpoints were expressed, in particular the “radical feminism in the 21st century” post and convo that got the MRAs all up in our asses and where we discussed the problem of male children and other topics that were completely taboo. this was all watered down and sanitized and history was rewritten so it wasnt as scary.

so yes, i think that SOME KINDS of writing might be acceptable — the reformist kind, and the watered-down kind. and the paid-kind (which is the same thing). also, if you are on the shortlist with the bigwigs, you can pretty much do whatever you want. including destroying the HUB, and never being questioned or shunned for this or anything, even where its deserved, and without being asked to demonstrate a working knowledge of radical feminism, including the ability to “spin” off other women.

FCM - June 17, 2013

and i would like to acknowledge the few women who *are* questioning the authoritah and legitimacy of the women at the top. these women do exist, thankfully. but “short-memory” syndrome as well as the rewriting of herstory is being used deliberately to achieve and maintain certain goals and unfortunately its probably going to work. as i said, the bigwigs arent stupid.

55. Sargasso Sea - June 17, 2013

Well guilt tripping and love bombing are cult tactics (male oppression tactics) after all and it’s very clear that’s what is being used by Cathy in the quote upthread. Also it will be noticed that she is the one who writes the legitimate radical feminists phrase then one sentence later puts quotes around it making it seem that *we* actually said that. Disingenuous and, well, tacky.

FCM - June 17, 2013

YES thanks s4. i believe ive heard “love-bombing” before. also, please note that the “bloggers critical of radfem13” are kind of being described as the majority or a powerful force or something, and that everyone is in danger of *us* rewriting history and undermining them! when the opposite is really true. tacky indeed.

56. Sargasso Sea - June 17, 2013

Frankly, I’d ask the “celebrity radfems” (proper quotes, btw!) in person – if I could manage to stop “doing nothing” and get up from behind my computer and walk away from my family and haul my happy ass thousands of EXPENSIVE miles away – just what exactly is so threatening about the handful of us questioning the long-term, concrete efficacy of reformism?

But I suspect that instead of a *legitimate* discussion I’d be asked to kindly shut up and/or be threatened with having the cops called on me a la Joy.

57. witchwind - June 17, 2013

very right that guilt-tripping and love-bombing combined are the basics of cult strategies and male oppression tactics.

it’s partly true that openly criticising someone’s agenda might have the effect of undermining it or putting a stop to it. But they will only be victim of the publicly-available facts being picked out for examination, which is hardly an injustice.

And it IS a reversal to make it seem they’re victim of a majority. THEY are supported by the VAST majority of women composing the western anglo-american radfem movement today, including the academic well-known ones.

58. witchwind - June 17, 2013

FCM:

also, if you are on the shortlist with the bigwigs, you can pretty much do whatever you want. including destroying the HUB, and never being questioned or shunned for this or anything, even where its deserved, and without being asked to demonstrate a working knowledge of radical feminism, including the ability to “spin” off other women.

yes this does explain the dynamic a lot. the “prominent” academic feminists have a responsibility in what happened in that they supported it or at least closed their eyes about it because it’s a way for them to continue to be platformed. By doing so they give the younger ones the power/legitimacy/credibility they needed to do what they wanted and not be accountable for it.

in a patriarchal world, access to prominent radfems is perceived as a scarce resource, therefore being in their shortlist or in their group is status-giving and enough to attract followers who want access to this “resource” too. Monoplising this “resource” (access to status, even indirect) then gives a certain amount of power of decision-over and allows to be considered as a reference in radical feminism even when the work and acts don’t follow.

This doesn’t mean we should shun all radfems that have had some mainstream publicity, but we should think about the consequences of male-given status, when it concerns radfem activity, on how women structure their relationships and how it affects radical feminism. You answered the question above FCM but it’s just to push it further.

59. witchwind - June 17, 2013

anyway, this scramble for status and recognition or for being in a shortlist or for being part of an in-group or sisterhood, while perfectly understandable within a patriarchal context, is NOT radical feminism and NOT politics of liberation.

FCM - June 17, 2013

to be clear, i wasnt suggesting that prominent radfems generally should be shunned, but i was referencing one in particular who has never produced any actual radfem work but who nonetheless finds herself at the top of the “organizing” heap anyway. and who taps out unresponsive “responses” to criticisms which further demonstrate that she doesnt know what the hell she is talking about as far as radical feminism but that she is indeed very well versed in the language and tradition of guilt tripping and love bombing (manipulation) and politicking.

and re the HUB, i know people are getting sick of hearing about that but rest assured: this is a moment in history that will soon be completely paved over and forgotten. you can take that to the bank. in the meantime, consider this: in january, 2013, the month before the domain expired, HUB received 40,926 pageviews. as was always the case with the HUB, most of this traffic was generated from links left around the internet and many of those links now link NOT to the content but to the now-defunct .com causing a “404” error to appear and there is no way to fix this or to let people who land there know how to find what they are looking for.

from may 18 to now, which is exactly one month, (we reopened the archives may 18) there have been 8,369 pageviews. obviously, these are from people who know where we are bc they are part of the “community” and know where to find us bc we told them, AND from links that were dropped from before the .com was purchased (it was purchased in january, 2012) as those are still valid (the ones with the radicalhub.wordpress.com address still work but the radicalhub.com ones dont). IN OTHER WORDS. old-timers and current members of the community, and people reading the oldest material with the stalest links. everyone “new” and those who have never been exposed to radical feminism at all, and those reading fresher material with fresher links are no longer landing on the HUB at all. everyone who was around pre-radfem12 (july 2012) knows where to find the HUB but to people just coming in OR ON THE OUTSIDE, the history of the HUB is erased and the radfem conferences seem to be the focal point and the meeting place (and educational *and* activist hub) for radical feminism. and it will ALWAYS be this way and there is no way to fix this.

from 41,000 to 8,000. and centering the conferences and the organizers of the conferences while erasing everyone else, including erasing obvious ideological differences as well as the most uncomfortable material. get it? and this was a completely foreseeable result of letting the domain expire.

60. witchwind - June 17, 2013

sorry i wasn’t implying you were shunning anyone but saying that just in case it would be misinterpreted in that way.

My point was more about the role that high-status radfems play in all this

61. Delphyne - June 17, 2013

from 41,000 to 8,000. and centering the conferences and the organizers of the conferences while erasing everyone else, including erasing obvious ideological differences as well as the most uncomfortable material. get it? and this was a completely foreseeable result of letting the domain expire.

It sounds as if it were part of the plan. I am so glad that I stumbled into radfem via Gallus and you, FCM. I so appreciate the clarity that both of you bring to things I’m just learning about – neither one of you manipulate language to disguise what you are saying.

(PS – I changed from my other blogspot id to my wordpress one – just to clarify, I am not the other delphyne.)

FCM - June 17, 2013

yes it was a good point wwind, thanks. 🙂 i noticed that none of the celebrity radfems who wrote for us said a single public word about the HUB disappearing (and with it THEIR OWN work as well, including original work that was written specifically for HUB). except for julie bindel that is, who had already publically denounced us (including namecalling! that was a bonus) after she was criticised in a guest-post for essentially taking back what she had previously said about men and trannies.

62. red - June 17, 2013

FCM: can you ask this Delphyne to change her name some way? The “other” Delphyne is a life-long hard core rad fem who has posted here, and who has some pretty hefty creds in our movement. I find it confusing to see the same name used by someone else.

FCM - June 17, 2013

“this” delphyne has a different gravatar. i agree that its a bit confusing. she could change her screenname to “the other delphyne” if she wanted to. but no, im not going to ASK her to change her name, what a weird request?

63. Sargasso Sea - June 17, 2013

Different gravatar and different *style* too. I was a bit confused myself at first but I thank Capital D(elphyne) for making the point clear🙂

Yeah, it’s a weird request.

64. Delphyne49 - June 17, 2013

No problem changing my name as it can be confusing – I just went into WordPress, something I’m not really familiar with, and changed my name to Delphyne49 and redid the gravatar to show my border collie. I hope it works.

65. Sally Archer - June 17, 2013

Re: comments above about “love bombing,” I first encountered the term in a rad-fem context reading Mary Daly’s “Pure Lust,” where love bombing appears in the general index referencing pp. 326-327.

Preceding her discussion with the fallacy of universalism (the fallacy that women have responsibility for saving the human race with an implied agenda of male leadership, mystical, moral or political), Dr. Daly then wrote this: “Reduced to such a state, women are ready for seduction by spiritualization… [which] “works,” that is, achieves its spectacular mind-mummifying results when accompanied by “love bombing” … I am using the expression “love bombing” here in a wide sense. … Since women are spiritually starved within snooldom, it does not take much to detonate the love bombing effect. One need only think of the institutions of courtship and romantic love, the seduction and enslavement of young girls by pimps, the emotional manipulation that is the work of therapists and priests. In all cases, that which is “bombed” is the autonomy that is essential for biophilic growth and change. … The process of overcoming the effects of spiritualization and love bombing, which is a process of Losing Nothing, is essential to Metamorphic Movement.”

This passage resonated for me because my lived herstory, the one I know best from inside out, is punctuated by growth in awareness, then reformist activism, followed by outside interventions as variations on the theme of love bombing from men (or, as I later considered them, female “token torturers”) of the prevailing society, leading me trustingly to return to seeking to see the best in everyone (males included), the glass half full (etc., ad nauseum as I now have better awareness to see because it was patriarchy, always, and the snools and their henchwomen always lie, especially about how bad it really is).

There was so much backlash in my professional life, accompanied by rapism and other abuse, I hardly know what to think of radfem academics and writers who are “allowed” to earn a living in the patriarchal money system by writing about freedom for women from patriarchy. I also had a daughter to try to protect (from escalating backlash), and to some measure I was able to protect her by keeping a low profile as long as she was a minor and lived under my roof. It astonishes me that radfem academics and writers still exist at all, for wouldn’t their writing be something of a vent through which radfem truth might awaken some women?

At places like Humboldt State (part of the Cal State University system in Arcata, CA) the former women’s studies has become a watered-down post-modernist “Department of Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies (CRGS),” http://www.humboldt.edu/crgs/, where as to “interdisciplinary fields of ethnic studies, women’s studies and multicultural queer studies, we aim to create a just and sustainable world by analyzing systems of inequality and strategies for resistance.” They continue: “Our critical approach is intersectional and comparative; our focus is local, national, and transnational. This knowledge engenders transformative practices in research, creative work, and community activism.” Ew. Scolarly love bombing meets global male rapism and erases the latter.

Could it be that where the paid rad-fem writers work, their work is reaching such a small audience in a way so as not to spark female spinning (implicit censorship before they reach the necessary ends of thoughts) that the men in charge don’t worry?

My questions are rhetorical yet if anyone has thoughts or answers relevant to the discussion here, I am always ready to explore and learn more.

FCM - June 17, 2013

well, radical feminists are being no-platformed globally. trannies specifically are trying to get the publishers to not-publish radfem books, so that these ideas never even make it to print to be considered and discussed. *if* there was a small opening via radfem publishing for a time, it seems to be closing now. radfem is dismissed and credibly dismissed using ad hominems that NO ONE would ever get away with in any other area, and the ad hominem is TRANSPHOBIA. and “misandry” to a lesser extent. shitting on online (in)activism and by that i mean THE LAST BASTION OF RADICAL WRITING (DUH) closes the opening completely for radfems wishing to utilize the written word. gee thanks sisters, well done.

In all cases, that which is “bombed” is the autonomy that is essential for biophilic growth and change. … The process of overcoming the effects of spiritualization and love bombing, which is a process of Losing Nothing, is essential to Metamorphic Movement.”

very relevant, thank you for that.

FCM - June 17, 2013

as if “publishing” wasnt exclusive enough or gatekept enough as it is, now we have self-published radfems being shamed for writing at all. and this is exactly whats going on here, im not fucking stupid and this agenda is not being well hidden at all. when MRAs attack specifically women and feminist WRITERS AND BLOGGERS they are attacking womens and feminists WRITING. there is a specific history WRT silencing and suppressing womens WRITING — google it. its difficult to see this for what it is considering the medium — an online presence is almost exclusively and entirely a WRITTEN presence — but womens writing is indeed what “online radical feminism” is and its whats being targeted when online radfems are targeted. and this is true no matter who is doing the targeting.

the thing about WRITING is that its (relatively) permanent, its publically accessible, its logical (or easily debunked using the same medium) and these things specifically are being shamed and problematized (and erased) within this movement and by “trusted” individuals to boot. i am (repeatedly) asking women to consider this and everything it means, as well as the audaciousness of it. its a fucking outrage, is what it is.

66. GallusMag - June 17, 2013

Brennan bought the GallusMag.com domain and uses it to re-direct traffic to her own site.
“Sisterhood”! lmao

FCM - June 17, 2013

oh dear. see, it was funny when “paulelam.com” redirected to the HUB. 😀 but no, thats not very funny at all. not “haha” funny anyway.

67. Sargasso Sea - June 17, 2013

We (I’m assuming that I am included in the number of critical radfem bloggers cathy refers to – what are we now? a full baker’s dozen?!) are not only shamed for writing but for having these almost-real-time discussions where we are in-actively thinking and brainstorming and *spinning* publicly and together almost EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Yet the implication is that what we are doing here is nowhere near so real and important as the women who manage to get to conferences once or twice a year. It’s ALL about face-time after all…

FCM - June 17, 2013

face-time! yes! a patriarchal concept if ever there was one. it keeps rich, professional men in the office LONGER so they dont have to participate in the really gross, degrading chores of the household, you know like taking care of their own kids or washing their own underpants. and provides cover under which to have affairs. but feminism: now with more patriarchal concepts and values! yay!

FCM - June 17, 2013

and no, i dont think we even have a bakers dozen anymore. not that regularly update anyway. its kind of a desert out here at the mo.

68. Sargasso Sea - June 17, 2013

The baker’s dozen thing was sort of a joke🙂

And even though I do have a blog, I find that being in-active here with other women on a daily basis is the way that my energy is best shared/restored/solidified.

FCM - June 17, 2013

in the good old days (of 2011) we mightve had a bakers dozen! it was glorious! im glad you are still around commenting s4. you and all the rest. thank you. 🙂

69. Sargasso Sea - June 17, 2013

Also I wanted to say that I was ABLE TO go to the hub archive, search Julie Bindel and re-read both her guest post+comments and Lucky’s follow-up guest post+comments.

So, again, thank you to everyone who made that possible🙂

70. SheilaG - June 18, 2013

“Love bombed” was a strategy invented by cults to win over potential new members. The Moonies did it.
Radical feminism is not understood so much as it is silenced with accusations of transphobia, and liberal feminists never really understood it to begin with. I’m not completely up on the HUB stuff, but I wonder if anyone wrote to all the bigwhig radical feminists to tell them about it.

We’ve got a lot of liberal wishful thinking feminism out there; patriarchy being clever at shape shifting all the time. It’s why it’s been around for so long. For the women who went to college in the 90s, the radical feminism that had an activist context had pretty much disappeared.

I now meet radical feminists today who are in their 80s, for example.

71. SheilaG - June 18, 2013

The trans lobby is very powerful, and even most lesbians, who will whisper that they don’t want trans in their spaces, will not publically take them on. It is fascinating to see the fear and silencing going on around this.
The patriarchy is expert at knowing when to give in just a little bit to distract women, or to divide women. And most women don’t want to believe that “choice” is a completely fake concept within patriarchy. The real truth is the variety of survival strategies out there that women engage in, and this gets masked as choice.

We don’t live in a radical time now, we are still in the midst of backlash, which has been active since about 1980 in the U.S. Non-profits have taken over everything as well, and have destroyed radical impulses. It’s pretty clever. However, Susan G. Koman is getting it, they’ve had to cancel walks nationwide because of low turnout. Their anti-planned parenthood gambit last year caught up with them.

The key, as always, is to keep the spaces open for radfem discussion, insights, and eye-beam power. Mary Daly is inspiring a new generation of women. And all the radfem conferences mixed as they are, are also encouraging. We need IRL as well as Internet discussions.

72. GallusMag - June 18, 2013

“Sisterhood – let’s build sisterhood. To that end, to build sisterhood, there have been a number of radical feminists who have trashed me over the years; no doubt, these women feel gravely harmed by me. To them I say, I forgive you and I wish you well. Seriously. Go forth and do your good works as you will. We don’t have to like each other to not shit on each other.”

http://gallusmag.com/

73. GallusMag - June 18, 2013
mieprowan - June 18, 2013

“The patriarchy is expert at knowing when to give in just a little bit to distract women, or to divide women.” This is a culture behaving sociopathically, that’s a classic sociopath move. Sociopaths cannot be reformed. This is why trying to reform or educate men is deeply problematic. If they see they are part of and benefiting from a sociopathic culture, they are morally obligated to declare war on it. And how can one not see it?

FCM - June 18, 2013

some people should actually be saying theyve been trashed over the YEAR. lol. years? really? like more than one or two? if not, thats a bit misleading isnt it?

74. GallusMag - June 18, 2013

Reblogged this on GenderTrender and commented:
Very interesting conversation indeed.

http://weknowmemes.com/generator/meme/290754/

FCM - June 18, 2013

i didnt click on those links. what are they?

75. GallusMag - June 18, 2013

You can see the meme on the face of my blog

76. WordWoman - June 18, 2013

Sheila, the love bombing thing is interesting. I think loving bombing must be a relative of trauma bonding in some way. It’s what males do to get women to be loyal to them, etc. etc. Women are primed for it with all the talk of love and romance from an early age.

The cults try to silence dissenting views, too. Also guilt-tripping about having one’s own opinion that runs against the tide. Guilt-trip about not fitting into maleworld.

Silence dissenting views and lovebomb/traumabond. Then add in the guilt-tripping that S4 mentions. Triple whammy! There seem to be some repetitive loops here.

Things to watch out for. love/trauma bomb/bond, silencing/guilt-trip. These things are a way to distract women from our direct experiencing who we are. Should we be keenly aware of these and examine them critically instead of believing/living in the emotional reactions to them? Would this be like giving up love? Romantic love, certainly. But other kinds? Heartrending, or freeing?

77. WordWoman - June 18, 2013

GallusMag, the way you stood up to brennan a while back was a wonder to behold! I had no idea she did that thing with the gallusmag website! Wow. just wow.

FCM, thanks for letting women know what’s going on/been going on. I’m glad the hub is back up and hope that women will find their way to it. Do you think there should be a dedicated place for the various projects that you do? Like the necrophilia project (men’s search terms). That is different than your blog, though connected. It does seem like archival material. Just a thought.

78. GallusMag - June 18, 2013

By the way- CB offered me the same “generous” deal that she offered HUB. No doubt she would have taken down GenderTrender the exact same way if I’d given her half a chance.

mieprowan - June 18, 2013

FCM: I gather you are referring to Brennan. I was reading Femonade and RadFemHub off and on when the blog went down. I hadn’t found GT yet, and though I realized someone or someones were responsible, I had not worked out that she was involved, though that explains her being distanced from this community.

It’s disturbing, to say the least. It’s one thing to walk out of a discussion group, but quite another to trash the place on the way out.

I have no idea what her side of this story is, or if she’s ever presented one. I presume you have ruled out the possibility of hacking or threats?

79. Nadege - June 18, 2013

On the subject of “doing nothing,” Natural Way Farming which is restorative and works with nature and the ecosystem (as opposed to against it like most other types of farming) is also called “do nothing farming.” So, doing nothing is not what men and reformists claim it is – I’ve known about Natural Way Farming for a while, but just made this connection today…

Also, on the subject of MLK, not everyone thinks that what MLK did was beneficial to black people in this country. He made A LOT, A LOT of concessions at the expense of the poorest in the community. He also scapegoated militants in the black power movement and took credit for what black women were doing in the civil rights movement-completely erasing them and their work from history. Many black activists don’t consider what he did beneficial at all, especially considering the state that most black communities are currently in-and those who do continuously praise him and his work are mostly white, male, middle class, privileged liberals who know very little about black history.

And I think that bringing up MLK actually makes clear what the women on this blog are saying about reformism. Just because you make a step in a direction, doesn’t mean it’s a step in the right direction. Reformism is harmful to a movement claiming to be about liberation. Liberation should be about freedom from bondage, from slavery. It should not be about making the lives of the slaves just a little bit better. It’s also tiring and depressing. I know a lot of women who have spent the majority of their adult lives doing social justice work/activism who are now tired, sick and depressed in their old age. They wonder what it was they spent their lives working for…

And reformism does terminate certain types of thought. It encourages one not to think about the reasons why things never really change even though people seem to be fighting for them to change… The more things change, the more they stay the same. Why? It’s a bit depressing to think about, but it’s necessary…

Thanks again for this space, FCM and all the women who comment here. Thank you for encouraging this type of inquiry though I must admit that it’s really hard to swallow at first.

FCM - June 18, 2013

thats a lovely meme gallus. 🙂 it really is. its important to start with a nice background picture. its the artists canvas afterall!

FCM - June 18, 2013

i usually just use “insanity wolf” for everything. lol. strangely, it applies to nearly every situation we encounter.

wolf

FCM - June 18, 2013

enraged

what if i used this background for every single post at the “mens search terms” blog? appropriate, yes, but it would probably be hard to get through 700 of them! thats how many we have now BTW (we are nearing the end of week 3). horrible.

http://radicalfeministmemes.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/150/

80. WordWoman - June 18, 2013

Nadege, good post on MLK. Gandhi was similar. He was horrible to the women in his life. There was a new autobiography of him that came out not too long ago that showed a different side. Of course, people then say things like “no one’s perfect” or “we all have flaws.” Trouble is that the flaws and imperfections all seem to wind up in horrible misogyny. Why is that? (only radical feminists will give a clear answer to that).

FCM - June 18, 2013

wwoman, what did you have in mind as far as a central location for all these projects? like a website instead of individual blogs? or what?

FCM - June 18, 2013

and yes, everything is now archived except femonade. if i was being PAID to blog perhaps i wouldve kept up with the others, but then i wouldve been specifically prevented from realizing that these things are beneficial in the short term only, especially things that center media images and criticisms of current events. and that its not beneficial to anyone (or, not to women anyway) to become invested in these projects themselves, just like its not in our best interest to become invested in reformism and activism themselves. but women are falling into this trap anyway. its an easy thing to do if theres money involved, esp if you actually enjoy this kind of writing and interaction, which i do. its better than a “real” (more patriarchal) job anyway! and thats the crux. no one would likely pay me to keep up femonade, but thats the one that i enjoy the most and is probably the most interesting, or the least controlled and most creative and which therefore has the most promise IMO. the news blog and radfem-ological images were more activisty and directly competed with fun fem sites like soc-images (obviously) and therefore probably easier to value. two “news items” per day or week for example would be easy to produce and easy to value in money-terms. and not valuable at all and actually demonstrably harmful in radfem terms after a short period of time. and yes, i have thought about this.

http://radfemimages.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/media-exposure-as-harmful-cultural-practice/

81. ibleedpurple - June 18, 2013

…I know regret linking to a piece posted on Forbes in which Cathy was interviewed for. Guess I thought “Well, at least, we have one visible contemporary face.” But every time new stuff about her surfaces it becomes worse.

I wish I knew why she has so many supporters, especially on twitter – frankly speaking, it wouldn’t be that difficult to challenge her (and the lies she probably told). I simply cannot believe so many of us are so easily taken advantage of. I say no movement is still better than a movement led by a power monger. And the way she has inserted herself into media in the last two to three months should be an indication for the fact that she at least aspires to take on leadership responsibilities. Cathy is the one who should apologize, namely for using a marginalized politics to further her image which will serve as a nice cushion for anything she might be accused of in the future.

And no, that’s not trashing, that’s the simple truth. I guess being a public figure is only a problem if the accusations do not come from insane trans activists but from other radical feminists. The latter obviously means you launch into some grandiose forgiveness shtick on your blog. By now, Cathy truly must think she’s radfem Jesus: not only a martyr for the cause but also the victim of unjustified attacks by willfully violent sisters. *sad violin music*

82. femmeforever - June 18, 2013

Also, on the subject of MLK, not everyone thinks that what MLK did was beneficial to black people in this country.

It is indisputable that the civil rights movement was beneficial to the plight of blacks. However, no one ever said MLK or the movement was flawless. The whole point of that illustration was doing nothing at all would not have helped anyone period and would in fact have made the statement that status quo was perfectly acceptable AND preferable to standing against the evil.

Further I am not a reformist. I am a separatist. AND MY LIFESTYLE bears this out.

I do not buy this idea that women are weak, impotent and hopeless. We have NO power of any kind to defend ourselves against the onslaught of men’s misogyny. Therefore we must either accept or commit mass suicide. This thinking is standard misogynist male brain bullshit and I don’t buy it. It is a REVERSAL of reality in which men are the impotent powerless ones. But if women believe that shit it paralyzes us so that we will just grab our ankles and learn to enjoy it. Paralyzed is good for men. See necrophilia.

WOMEN ARE POWERFUL. But our power lies in our character and our self love. If there is NO character to stand with each other against the evil and not even ANY WILL to congregate with other women, there is no such thing as feminism of any stripe.

FCM - June 18, 2013

femmeforever, i know you think you are responding to something thats been said here (or i am willing to believe you think this) but you arent. kindly check yourself before commenting here again, and by that i mean please use DIRECT QUOTES and ATTRIBUTE THEM TO THE INDIVIDUALS who said them, before responding to what you think you are reading here. dont summarize, because you arent doing it right. and its getting on my last nerve. thanks.

83. WordWoman - June 18, 2013

FCM, you said: “wwoman, what did you have in mind as far as a central location for all these projects? like a website instead of individual blogs? or what?”

I was thinking just to link them to the hub archive in some way. They are archival. Not sure if that is in the spirit of archiving the hub, to show a snapshot of a time in radfem internet history accurately. I just think they are valuable and may be a valuable piece of archival internet history as well. So, it seems easy to put an additional page on that site or something.

FCM - June 19, 2013

well, the news blog and radfemimages are linked to from the HUB via the “radical resources online” widget and then again via their gravatars (profile pictures) in the sidebar and footer. perhaps the mens search terms blog can be added when its finished. thanks for the suggestion!

FCM - June 19, 2013

also, i am intrigued by “do nothing farming” and have never heard of it before. it does seem to be exactly what we are talking about here though and i am glad the connection was made. so thanks!

84. witchwind - June 19, 2013

i looked some stuff up about natural farming, here’s a link that seems quite complete.

http://www.rivendellvillage.org/Natural-Way-Of-Farming-Masanobu-Fukuoka-Green-Philosophy.pdf

It is very interesting and i do think the principle applies to women too, and to the body; as well as nature. The less external intervention / control, the better. though what annoys me deeply whenever we go into alternative practices (whether medical, agricultural, spiritual, educational, physical, artistic, etc) there are ONLY men talking, publishing, being quoted, at 99%. And ALL of them, without exception, know there’s something deeply wrong in the “mainstream, civilisation” way of doing, but they attribute to humanity of course (not men – or assume women aren’t human) and never link the wrongness to men’s sexual violence and exploitation of women’s reproductive functions.

It enrages me and saddens me all the more when you think that this is probably what women knew at all times, but men have stolen this knowledge from women after eliminating them, especially wise women, from accross the globe

85. Sargasso Sea - June 19, 2013

“but they attribute to humanity of course”

Yes, the blindness to their own necrophilic ways – as if all of this happens in a vacuum.

Thanks for the link!

86. Nadege - June 20, 2013

Yes, Natural Farming is supposed to involve very little intervention and is somewhat similar to permaculture. The four principles are 1) no cultivation (or turning the soil); 2) no fertilizer or prepared compost; 3) no weeding or herbicide; 4) no chemicals. Permaculture actually seems to involve a lot more work. _One Straw Revolution_ (that WWind links to above) was written in the late 70s by Masanobu Fukuoka and is the first book published about this type of farming that I know of.

What’s really interesting about it is that it’s supposed to restore the soil and the ecosystem around it. Fukuoka wrote another book about using this type of farming to green the desert. I haven’t read it though…

I’ve also noticed that these books are overwhelmingly written by men and the field of permaculture is dominated by them. It’s a bit repelling…

87. Greywing - June 20, 2013

witchwind, this is why I like The Weston A. Price Foundation ( http://www.westonaprice.org/ ) Despite the name it’s now lead by a woman, and it’s the most female-centric farming/food philosophy I’ve found. It’s based on the writings of a man, but he documented traditional food practices, aka women’s food practices (who else would be preparing the food?)

A lot of the focus is on women’s nutritional needs as they relate to our reproductive abilities (as compared to mainstream advice which is only about forbidding the most overtly toxic foods during pregnancy.) It’s just such a relief to read writing focusing on nurturing women’s bodies, compared to diet advice I’ve come across before, which is either completely male-centric (or pretending male=female, which is the same thing of course) or focused on depriving and weakening women’s bodies (while calling that healthy!! gah!)


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