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The End. December 27, 2014

Posted by FCM in logic, meta, news you can use, radical concepts.
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the problem.  (men).

the solution.  (nature).

to continue with my thoughts generated by the previous post and comments, i would like to address womens intuition for a moment.  as the context remains “radical feminism is gaslighting bullshit” again, sonia johnson once wrote that she thought most women refused to engage in reformist politicking because on whatever level, they knew it wouldnt work.  to that, i would add this.

it seems to me that many if not all women feel, on an intuitive level, that everything will work out in the end.  this is what religion is, what mysticism is, what hope (including hope for men) is (isnt it?) — women trying to justify or explain their feeling that it will be alright, that things will work out, that its not too late.  i cannot think of a single thing any woman has ever done or said that is not consistent with a personal, spiritual, political, or religious belief that things will work out in the end, even if it means there is another life after this one, or that men will magically come around (or respond to our pleas) and stop killing, raping and torturing us because of our sex.

for most women, they do not even believe that they themselves need to act for things to work out in the end — these women are known as normal women, or nonfeminists.  some 99% of the worlds women by any estimate, as most women flatly reject feminism on its face.  there is perhaps 1% or some other very small percentage of women globally (feminists, including radical feminists) who think that they themselves need to act in order for things to work out in the end, but so long as they act — and activate — towards that end, yes, things will work out.  men will stop killing us and everything, in the end.

there is of course another group of women, which i did not even realize existed until recently, and those are women who believe that men have already caused irreversible and exponential, soon to be explosive global climate change that will annihilate all human life, and that this will happen soon.  in their own way, these women believe it will work out too — that nature will take care of it.  most of those women, like all the worlds women, are not feminists either, so there is no feminist analysis there, just the evidence-based belief that things cannot continue the way they are and therefore, they will not continue the way they are.  men have done us all in (unfortunately, they say “humans” and “civilization” did this, but as i said, they are not feminists).  these women also do not believe we need to act in order for this to happen — its a done deal.

anyway, it seems to me that all women, in their own way, or in one way or another, feel or believe that things will drastically change, and that it will all work out in the end.  interestingly, the evidence of global climate change and self-reinforcing feedback loops created by male “civilization” supports the conclusion that nature will indeed take care of the maleness problem (as if there was ever any reasonable doubt that natural law would prevail.  there wasnt).  and if it is the case that nature bats last (it is), it means that all the worlds women who have thought and felt for decades or centuries that “it will all work out in the end — and we neednt do a damn thing to make it happen” were absolutely, and demonstrably, correct.  meaning, womens intuition was correct, including womens almost universal intuition that feminism wont work, and that men will never voluntarily stop ever.

it also means that the only of the entire worlds women who were partially wrong about any of this were the 1% or whatever tiny number who were and are the feminists, including radical feminists, who believe/d that women had to DO something/anything in order for things to work out, and for the problem of maleness to be solved.  obviously, they were wrong about that.  they were wrong, and i was wrong.

but women, on the whole, were right and are right.  it will all work out in the end, oh yes it will.  it wont be what any of us had hoped (prayed) for, since natural solutions are notoriously ugly, and painful (like plague).  but i think this explains to my satisfaction what i and many women who came before have noticed: that it is almost impossible to get women on board with feminism, or to get them to “act” or activate towards a feminist ends.  its because women know better.  like sonia johnson, i trust women, and i now believe they were 100% right to think and act as if it would all “work out” in the end, without our help.  of course it will.  in fact, at this point…we couldnt stop it.

Comments

1. cherryblossomlife - December 27, 2014

For me there are two issues. The first is women’s knowing of the deep background, and their use of “background” resources in navigating their lives. Last year, I was in a psychiatric unit and I was weeping and another patient, who knew my situation, came up to me and said, “Maybe it’s for the best that this has happened, maybe it’ll all work out in the end”. I don’t want to go into too much detail
on a public blog, but she was actually right in many ways.

The other issue is, as a radical feminist, the deep knowing of what men are, and what they do. It could have been the last page of Dworkin’s Heartbreak, where I learned about the worst thing I’d ever read in my life (you know the incident I’m talking about), or it could have been learning about a particularly spectacular display of male military violence in Serbia. There was one incident that can never be unread or uknown–, well, I’ll say it– it was the well-documented incident of a soldier tying a pregnant woman to a tree and cutting open her stomach. When reading something like this, you know that things have not/will not work themselves out in the end.

You begin thinking along the line of, “Well, death is not a bad thing, after all” And that is true, when it comes to the fate of women under patriarchy. Death is by far not the worst thing that can happen to us. Extinction by natural causes is a very pleasant conclusion to thousands of years of patriarchy.

But there are degrees of suffering, and a radical feminist awareness and way of living can mitigate female suffering, even if it’s just a woman saying to another, “I’ll support your decision to leave your husband”, instead of “It’s your fault your marriage hasn’t worked out”, even if it’s making it comfortable for your daughter to keep on living at home as an adult, so there’s no “push factor” forcing her to move out. Just musing, really.

FCM - December 27, 2014

hi cherry. 🙂 it sounds like what you are talking about is hospice. at least, that is what it reminded me of. things will *not* work themselves out in the end…is the realization that death is imminent. and mitigating suffering is palliative care. i think that if feminists, including reformists, would begin by saying that they know there is no hope for men, and that we are going to try to mitigate female suffering the best we can until men end it all…well i would support that because its honest and aware. unlike what any or many of “us” are doing now, which is bullshit gaslighting and holding out hope for men (and ignoring evidence of self-reinforcing feedback loops of overpopulation and climate change). if reformists cant do their work while being honest at the same time, because it will defeat their point and men wont agree to help them if they tell the truth…well what does that do for women really? because in effect, they are saying that the agony women feel at patriarchy and not understanding patriarchy is not as bad as literally anything else. that literally everything else is worse than the agony women feel when they do not understand what is happening and we blame ourselves. this is torture, real psychological and oftentimes physical torture (think, beauty mandates as but one example of real physical torture), yet reformists seem to be saying a bowl of hot soup (or whatever, any and every foreground benefit) is *always* better than the truth. is it? i dont know, but if reformists know there is no hope for men, and they are just acting otherwise to get something from them…fine. i cant say i really give a shit anymore. but it would be nice if we all didnt have to fucking *kill* ourselves realizing that, and seeing behind reformists lies. its really annoying (to put it very mildly). im just musing as well at this point. also, there are plenty of places to go to get a bowl of hot soup and to be lied to about men. just about any charity offers that, especially religious ones. im just saying!

FCM - December 27, 2014

also, there appear to be about 3 of us who do NOT think it will work out in the end — 3 that say it publically anyway. and now, i am in the “nature will take care of it” camp so there are about 2 of you. these are the radical feminists who are not religious/mystic, and who do not lie to themselves or anyone about men. i think its a perfectly valid conclusion (that it is hopeless) but i would suggest you consider the issue of catastrophic global climate change and see how it fits. they are actually compatible IMO. and its the only rational conclusion based on the evidence, considering that there is in fact no reasonable doubt that natural law will prevail. of course it will.

2. Sargasso Sea - December 27, 2014

The majority of reformists have no idea what they’re even talking about in the first place! And while it can be amusing to watch them talk in circles (and never, ever get to the end: men won’t stop) it’s also deeply sad.

This morning I was reading a discussion about a woman who bought toy pots and pans for a 3 year old boy – they came in a pink box… – and the grandma had a little fit about it. So these political lefty women (and men…) were all up in arms about ‘gender’ roles/stereotyping but in the same breath were saying things like: ‘the best chefs are men!’ and ‘I think it’s sexy when men cook!’ and telling the woman who was upset by the grandma’s reaction to “have some wine or chocolate and relax”.
I mean there’s nothing like railing against an injustice that you are participating in yourself!!

These same women (and men…) call themselves feminists and would gladly spend their time petitioning, writing letters to their representatives, volunteering at planned parenthood, blahblahblah but they will never come to the conclusion that these things are ‘necessary’ because of men.

3. Sargasso Sea - December 27, 2014

Actually what I really wanted to say about that discussion (and others like it) is that it just seems to be a huge amount of EVIDENCE that people are incredibly stupid.

But! We know that women are NOT inherently stupid and have been 100% socialized to limit their thoughts and to contradict themselves. Men, on the other hand, are inherently stupid and also socialize themselves to behave even more stupidly than they might be otherwise. IOW, they socialize everyone to be stupid in order to cover up their inherent stupidity.

FCM - December 27, 2014

i would also add that i think “the gears” page and everything on it (i wrote it, but i didnt make it all up, it was based on decades of feminist work) is absolutely correct and i dont take any of it back. these radical concepts, including the many facets of patriarchy and how they work/work together to oppress women and support male power are demonstrably true. does it seem weird that i think we were right this whole time, but i think that men wont stop ever and that nature will take care of the maleness problem? if so, why?

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

4. witchwind - December 27, 2014

I obviously agree that men are unstoppable at this point and have been for a long time. If we wanted to stop them, we’d have to go back in time, maybe 5 thousand years ago, and kill them all before things started to get much worse for women, before global institutionalised patriarchy and genocide seriously kicked in. Either nature will stop them, either a miracle will, for example angels coming down the sky and giving us the power to finally rid the world of men. The former is more likely, but you never know. I’m an optimist.

However, radical feminist lucidity and female, radical feminist-centred support and networking will always have its place up until the very end. It may not change the global course of things, but it makes a massive difference in our lives, and that’s important enough to me. I will keep doing this until I possibly can, because this is what makes me happy and simply what keeps me alive. Living with the imminence of death and global extinction on an everyday basis is traumatic, and in my case it leads me to being depressed and suicidal. I can’t bear to be in this state, it’s not liveable, and I don’t want to shoot myself. There’s a limit to what we can cope as living beings, we are built to want to survive. So focusing on making things better here and now is the only thing I can do, and what I do anyway, and I see no reason to stop.

I’m not implying that you said the contrary, simply giving my perspective on how I fit this knowledge with my feminist activities. I think it’s fine to continue to do what we do, spending as much good time with feminists as we can, and continuing to raise awareness and support women around us wen we can and when it’s safe / enjoyable for us to do so.

5. cursethereign - December 27, 2014

We didn’t cause males to start raping, therefore we can’t stop them. Makes sense. I learned that concept in Al Anon, my first attempt to understand male violence, on the family level. Things may change, but it won’t be because of anything feminists, or women, do (or don’t do). Men may eventually stop raping out of self-interest, if there comes a point when the costs outweigh the benefits, like any addict. Natural disasters won’t necessarily kill all humans – the richest men will continue to be the least affected and may be able to turn things around in order to save their own asses. Which is the only thing that would motivate them.

Of course things will work out in the end… how could they not? What would it even mean for things not to work out? Not personally being a fan of “the way things are” (I’m not) doesn’t mean much… things even “worked out” for the dinosaurs, didn’t they? They lived and then they died and now their fossils fuel our cars. So what? Nature is a self-regulating system. It’s not all about me, or you, or us. Maybe only a severely abused person would be willing to see it that way, idk. Taking my life seriously certainly hasn’t been a reliable investment for me.

I think the level on which women are searching for meaning, by believing or acting as though (against all evidence) patriarchy will be brought down, and illogically enough, *in our lifetime*, might have something to do with denial about us *already* having lost our lives to male violence. As in, if I pretend it’s possible for me to “smash the patriarchy,” then I don’t have to face the fact that it smashed me a long time ago and has been smashing me every day since, and that I will eventually die of it’s very smashingness, in one form or another.

I feel most at peace with the world and with myself when I wake up every morning and pretend that I am already dead. Zero expectations. I let Goddess work through me when there’s an opportunity and try to have a sense of humor. It’s likely a form of
dissociation, but quite freeing. I think the complete and utter hopelessness of women’s lives in patriarchy is what draws many of us to religion, or “sprituality” – we know very well that the Lord or God or “life’s terms” (as in “life on life’s terms”) or whatever is just men and men’s terms, but what difference does it make to articulate this, except to make things worse for ourselves?

FCM - December 27, 2014

its the radiation problem thats the clincher. when the grid fails, some 400+ nuclear reactors, all of them globally, will melt down and pollute the world with radiation. there is no way to stop this. “making” solutions like solar panels to power the reactors indefinitely wouldnt even work, since none of mens structures is forever, and would use so many resources and cause so many emissions that it would only make things worse. this is where we are now. men saving their own asses would have had to have happened decades ago, but because “humans” seem to be unable to comprehend the very concept of “exponents” and exponential growth (this is what the second video i posted is about) they didnt know it was even a problem until it was too late to do anything about it. not that they would have cared then either, just like they dont care now.

i do wonder, however, if perhaps WOMEN tried to do something about this centuries ago, and that this is what the witch burnings were all about. if we started to kill males for example, or male children, because we knew what was coming due to the global problem of not only overpopulation but specifically, the problem of maleness, including too many males due to the patriarchal/misogynist practice of female infanticide. as we did not succeed, obviously it was too late by then too. this makes me wonder, was anything attempted 10,000 years ago, when informal patriarchal controls sprung up literally everywhere globally, the informal arrangements that were later codified into what we now know as institutionalized patriarchy? since cuneiform is only 6000 years old and is the oldest form of writing, (isnt it?) this is probably unknowable. gerda lerner suggested that male control of women happened slowly, and that women didnt even realize what was happening until it was too late. i can see this happening too. women would not have even suspected it, why would we? it is just not in us to think this way. it was too late from day one.

FCM - December 28, 2014

when CTR says, what would it even look like to “not work out?” this made me laugh. exactly right. things always “work out” in the end, so its kind of meaningless to say it but could also be understood to mean that patriarchy was always only temporary. women must have always known that patriarchy would not last forever because nothing does, and not only that, it was clearly not sustainable. this surely informed womens intuition that there would be an end to this.

this reminded me of when a family member bought a burial plot and the contract for landscaping services was for “in perpetuity” and i just scoffed at this, i asked in all seriousness, what does “in perpetuity” mean? until civilization is no more, and beyond, this burial plot will be mowed and watered? by who? it was ridiculous to me, utterly absurd. mens concepts are absurd, they say things like “in perpetuity” and then they go and act like this (like nothing matters, a global male individual and collective death wish). more gaslighting. i am so, so sick of the fucking goddamned gaslighting.

6. witchwind - December 28, 2014

Though I’m not so sure about the point on women’s intuition. I doubt there’s a special group of women more intuitive than others, outside or inside of feminists.

If we take reformism as a barometer for non-intuition, it is common for women victims of domestic male abuse to want to change their abuser. For mothers to hope to educate their sons into being less oppressive. Reformism, whichever its shape, is often the first reaction any woman has when she begins to awaken to her condition, even at a very individual level. We are determined by men’s models of “social change” and by what they count as fairness / equity / humanity. etc, and emerge from there. We first react within their framework, which is normal.

The fact is 98% of women join neither reformism nor the anti-reformist, “nutty” kind of radical feminism (although the latter is based on common sense, and it is true that it’s easier to find women with common sense outside of feminism (or funfeminism) these days than within the activist spheres. But this is a recent evolution and a product of men’s postmodern, queer-porno backlash against women’s liberation movement – I don’t think it’s inherent to feminism).

A more plausible reason for the 98% I think is because 98% of women are that much controlled by men nowadays and simply don’t have the power or opportunity either to become lucid about their captivity, or to free themselves from their individual oppressors in spite of their awareness about it. This statistic changes according to time and place. Where there are or have been pockets of liberation, more women are able to organise together to prevent proximity and abuse from men.
Sonia Johnson lacked materialist understanding of how violence works, and tends to think everything is in the head. So it would make sense that she believes women don’t join women’s liberation because they have the intuition that it sucks (ie for an intellectual / spiritual reason), rather than simply because women can’t join, because they’re materially, physically prevented from doing anything autonomous – that’s what oppression does, it represses any form of resistance *and* liberation.

And that fits with our real, material impossibility to stop men from oppressing us and destroying the world, our concrete powerlessness in changing the oppressive structure, more than the intuition itself being the reason for not joining in if you see what I mean.

Anyway it doesn’t change anything to the argument and to the point being made..

FCM - December 28, 2014

witchwind, i am aware that you have a different hypothesis for what is going on here, and what prevents women from becoming feminist. and i never said that there was a “special” group of women who were more intuitive than others. the 99% who have it 100% right are hardly a special group.

7. witchwind - December 28, 2014

” gerda lerner suggested that male control of women happened slowly, and that women didnt even realize what was happening until it was too late. i can see this happening too. women would not have even suspected it, why would we? it is just not in us to think this way. it was too late from day one.”

Yes, I also think it was too late from day one. From day one men conquered women with weapons most women didn’t have at the time. Marija Gimbutas traces the beginnings of patriarchal times at the beginning of the first invasions / colonisations and genocides, when men on horses from the east conquered the west and Mediterranean.

I’m sure there’s much more to this story both before and during, but unless we have special seers capable of looking back into history, the beginning of the development of patriarchy remains a mystery.

FCM - December 28, 2014

IOW i am suggesting that it is possible that women are right, and that on the whole, they dont become feminists because they dont appreciate being fucking gaslighted about men and about what men are, and whether they are likely to stop when the fact is that they arent.

i understand that some think that “men have prevented us” from doing thus and so, and yes in fact they have. but is that the only and complete explanation for everything? have you never known a “passive aggressive” woman for example, who manages to get (some) of what she needs in unorthodox ways, male obstacles be damned? women are very creative and can figure things out, including how to get (some) of what they need and how to survive in this hellhole. i think part of why we dont do certain things is because we dont fucking want to. and that includes feminist organizing and feminist activating.

and once anyone has done “feminist organizing” long enough, they will probably know what i mean when i say this. it is almost impossible to get women to do anything, even things they have explicitly signed on to do. like to get named authors to write for a feminist publication ffs, let alone getting others involved who havent signed on to do anything, even when they theoretically support it and understand it and “get” it just fine.

also, it is very old thinking to think that women have simply been prevented from doing things, and it is social constructionist isnt it? like saying that men have prevented women from attaining positions of authority in the military for example, when sure this is true, but what is also true is that many women reject the military because it is destructive male bullshit and a cover for institutional rape.

FCM - December 28, 2014

i am also suggesting, as part of the larger conversation about shortcuts, that womens intuition can be a shortcut. in this case, we can get to the conclusion rationally that patriarchy will indeed end with absolutely no effort required from women (by evaluating evidence of global climate change) but we also see that womens intuition is a shortcut to that same conclusion. this is important. i know there are those who insist that there are no short cuts, and that this must take a long time and be done “properly” with lots of processing and work…but i think that is demonstrably not the case and that we can see that here.

FCM - December 28, 2014

i also get the feeling that some people do not think that sonia johnson has never experienced “real” violence because she is just a middle aged white woman? or something? well, are breast implants violence? is mormonism violence? how about marriage and motherhood, and giving birth to and raising males? i think we would all agree that it is, or that most of these things are violence, and the kind of violence we are talking about when we hypothesize that women dont become feminists because of male violence. she was also a female born into patriarchy, which we would also consider violence. so, sonia johnson has experienced violence, and pretty extreme violence as a matter of fact in the case of her husband forcing her to get implants, as well as her religion. just as an FYI in case anyone didnt know.

8. Sargasso Sea - December 28, 2014

Mormonism is real violence against women in every way.

Mormon men abuse their wives in exactly the same way that all men do in addition to the mandate that they (the women) are made to bear and raise as many children as possible. Frankly it’s not that much different from the quiverfull fundamentalist christian ‘movement’ except that mormonism has incredible wealth and influence behind it.

Sonja Johnson went way out on a limb: challenged the Elders for the lack of female input, was excommunicated and ’embarrassed’ ( read: jeopardized) her husband all because she stood up for women. She went on to literally put her life on the line via a hunger strike that nearly killed her to stand up for women and the ERA all the while being jerked around by liberal feminist groups for ‘not doing it right’.

It’s no damn wonder that she realized that after almost dying for a cause that ended up treating her in roughly the same fashion that the mormon establishment did that she came to the conclusion that oppression might actually, mostly, reside in a woman’s head! She got past the activating and moved on to thinking for herself and doing for herself outside any ‘organized religion’.

9. cursethereign - December 28, 2014

Interesting about the nuclear reactors… there will thus be no last minute “game changer,” male moral awakening, second coming of Christ, etc. Bummer, dude. Men are even gaslighting themselves. Unfortunately for women men’s behavior will be (and is) even worse when they understand they have nothing to lose. Idk how many men are actually holding back because of Judgment Day, or some other externally imposed moral constraints, I imagine more than a few though.

On the other hand I am happy to abandon obsessive thinking about overthrowing the patriarchy and to redirect my energy toward survival. Isn’t it interesting how hopelessness has been moralized into a sin by radical feminists? I was going to say “ironically,” but it’s not ironic – it’s a very religious kind of pressure we’re under to “activate,” the same guilt-shame-fear trips men put on women to do anything else, really. I was severely and publicly chastised for quietly leaving one woman’s “revolutionary” Facebook group so that I had more time to be with my daughter. The mod called me “lazy and selfish” for doing so, which is exactly what men have always called me when I put my own survival above their egotistical projects. As if the survival of “radical feminism,” (similar to a religion, with its rituals, beliefs, structure, etc) were more important than the survival of actual women and girls. Would it be going too far to say that I feel like I’ve just left a cult? The leader, of course, is Mark Zuckerberg. Without the internet, women would know “intuitively”, or by simple sensory information, and common sense, that the world is ending and wouldn’t waste their time trying to organize against it. It’s pretty fucking obvious when you’re looking at anything besides a computer screen. Or, actually, when you realize you *are* looking at a computer screen, and that this has somehow become your only hope for life. There’s your shortcut. The internet is a malevolent (male-violent) gaslighting tool, bombing women with words of false hope that override, dull and devalue their sensory experience of ecocide and femicide.

So-called “male feminists” play a notable role in this gaslighting, the cynical fuckers, they know the whole time even better than women do how hopeless it all is, but they get what they can out of it. And they’re better feminists than YOU! Which is why a lesbian radical feminist DGR board member recently opened her home to a hardworking male feminist and not to a woman. Yes, I completely blame the man and all men. And no, I don’t ever get tired of talking shit about DGR. Talk about a cult. Yes, it’s a male worship cult. It exists to enable males’ survival of patriarchal breakdown, while everyone else is guilt-tripped into sacrificing their own lives, energy, money, etc, to “bring down civilization” and at the same time obscure the role of males in destroying the earth, a PR agency for PIV. Gaslighting galore.

10. Sargasso Sea - December 28, 2014

Wwind, women did have the same weapons as men all along – most weapons in ‘antiquity’ were based on farming and hunting tools after all – so to say that they didn’t have the same ‘war’ tools is ridiculous.

What other independent warring tools did men have that women didn’t? Horses? Women domesticated horses and dogs and cats.

I would posit that women are not violent and that’s why they didn’t (and don’t) take up the variety of arms available to them against men on a regular and daily basis.

It’s as simple as that.

11. WordWoman - December 28, 2014

@S4 “I would posit that women are not violent and that’s why they didn’t (and don’t) take up the variety of arms available to them against men on a regular and daily basis.”

It gets at the idea that, for women to be violent goes against something very basic to women’s nature, thus women may lose some or all of the connection they have to nature, intuition, etc. I don’t believe self-defense is included in that, however. But I have this sense that identifying with the violent culture, the culture removed from the natural world, identifying with patriarchy then these sensibilities are lost, though that’s not exactly what I mean.

I believe that the world/s that women inhabit are radically different from the world/s of men. There are these different sensibilities that get denied and pushed down and still they rise in various ways. Women push them down in themselves and in other women but the background is there and always has been.

It’s odd. I’ve known about “the end” very clearly in terms of things like the nuclear threat, nte, climate change, etc. for a couple of decades at least. But it began to dawn much further back than that. With the protests against nuclear energy.

I suppose it’s partly because I’m a “big picture” thinker or maybe just an information gatherer. It just seemed obvious. But why others weren’t noticing it was always a mystery to me. When I tried activating about those things it was always the same, all efforts got turned aside and blunted. I see now it was the patriarchal system of always seeking power, seeking to control, etc. Everything tried by a group would fizzle out quickly. As if it could never work. Like the stupidity of thinking solar power is the answer, etc. I strongly resent it that our awareness, our terror, our despair gets channeled into activating, feminist and otherwise. It gets made into another tool for patriarchy. Made into confusion, for one thing. It is a waste. And it goes against our nature in the same way violence does.

Seeing “the end” was terrifying at first. It was despair-producing. But somehow that has changed. I think it’s something like facing a terminal illness. At some point there may be peace within oneself. At times. Still terror at times, despair at times. Often life is a struggle. But also at times joy in simply being here now. In being present with nature things like plants, animals, rocks, wind. There is a person’s right to feel peace and joy and terror and despair and not have to always be sacrificing for this cause or that.

12. Utopia Bold - December 28, 2014

I like seeing grass and weeds growing up and breaking the cement and asphalt. And lichens breaking down rocks and lumber. And weeds colonizing barren land humans ruined and clearing the way for other plants, bushes, trees and eventually forests.

Weeds are first succession and the front lines of living things.

13. bronte71 - December 28, 2014

Sargasso: “Actually, what I really wanted to say about that discussion (and others like it) is that there just seems to be a huge amount of EVIDENCE that people are incredibly stupid. But! We know that women are NOT inherently stupid and have been 100% socialized to limit their thoughts and to contradict themselves.”

Forgive me, Sargasso (and FCM, Witchwind and others) but I have always disagreed with the thesis that all women have been 100% socialized/brainwashed to limit their thoughts and contradict themselves.
Whilst my entire life – since as early as I can remember- I have outspokenly defended women (collectively) at all times, the 100% brainwashing argument only goes so far before hitting a brick wall. It has always irritated me reading it. Here’s why:

I was born into a family of grotesque extremes, which is why I have always wondered about and read relatively widely on genetics and epigenetics: nature vs. nurture. Most especially I’ve read widely on that taboo and untouchable subject of IQ: which I do not consider exclusively patriarchal no matter how much patriarchy has abused it for its own purposes. To keep women and ‘undesirable’ races down.

That is, I was born to a borderline mentally retarded mother to whom I have been the real ‘mother’ all my life because she has the mental capabilities of about an eight year old child: almost no complex abstract thinking abilities. She is just barely able to function in the world: but only because she has always had help. (Me, mostly) She will always believe the most absurd, insane propaganda and the biggest lies – whilst vehemently denying the truth laid out in mountains of simplest A-B-C-D facts- because that is the way she is.
My aunt, my mother’s sister, was only slightly less intellectually incapacitated while alive. Both of them are/were extremely narcissistic, excessively violent, psychologically abusive and hopelessly irrational individuals. Both are/were like the most vicious, nasty, spoilt children.
The fact that both women were formally educated (indoctrinated into patriarchy) only up to the age of twelve in their native European country and that they are/were both totally illiterate in the English language makes no difference to their character and (lack of) intellectual ability. Their characters and abilities, to large degree, were not a matter of brainwashing by patriarchy but genetics: which is what radical feminism appears to ignore because unacceptable.

The men in my immediate family had only slightly higher levels of intelligence: which made it oh so easy to disparage all women collectively.
NB: The median level of IQ across the human species- both women and men- is considered to be approx. 100: not high at all when considering complex abstract and critical thinking abilities.

Then along came two outspoken, non-violent, kind little girls who are not intellectually challanged.(My cousin and myself.)

What chaos to the patriarchal order in that family! A lifetime of fun, fun, fun! (Sarcasm)
Those two little girls were placed into the role of playing Cinderellas, doing what needed to be done because we were capable of it and we would, so that others did not have to. We both had the sensitivity, courtesy and kindness to help smooth out the rough edges and violence of social interaction. It was very easy in my family to take advantage of those two girls, to let them do the heavy lifting of the work, to maintain social and family relations. And that’s what happened.

The why of this comment and this story (sorry if anecdotal) is because an enlarged, more complex, chaotic version of this is what happened in the world during and after the creation of patriarchy.
Not everything is patriarchal brainwashing. Some of the problems women face today, and have always faced, are simply a matter of genetics. Both nature and (mal)nurture.

Now ask me why I have never been into feminist activism? I choose my battles carefully, I have always known I could never change the world. Changing my very small, local part of it has been hard enough.

14. bronte71 - December 28, 2014

Sorry, the above should read, “(I believe) a globally enlarged, more complex,chaotic version of this is what happened in the world during and after the creation of patriarchy.”

15. witchwind - December 28, 2014

wrt Sonia Johnson, I was talking about her theory of violence, not her experiences. I would never deny that any woman experienced violence at the hands of men, and I know how severely tortured women are under the mormon cult. What I was referring to is her tendency to revert responsibility between men’s actions and the consequence it has on women’s minds, confusing agency between the two.
She is very good at understanding how deeply brainwashed we are and at uncovering, criticising the male models that are imposed on us such as sexuality and the couple, identifying mechanisms of male invasion, and I’m immensely thankful for that, but she sometimes treats brainwashing and conditioning as if it were enforced by socialisation alone, and not by violence and torture. And give much more power to thought and individual choice than it actually has. This isn’t her own doing, it’s a direct product of neoliberal thought and new-age thought. It’s quite possible she got that from separatist/isolationist women’s communities as it’s quite prevalent there (the idea that we can separate ourselves from society, and many other derivatives). But we’re not just brainwashed into serving men, but very concretely forced to. So when she talks about women’s intuition being the CAUSE for the lack of women’s involvement into feminism, I think she’s reverting the consequence (women’s thoughts) and the cause (men’s actions on women). And the only evidence we do have is in fact that women’s actions are in fact limited by men and patriarchy, however we have little evidence for the fact that it’s women’s intuition that drives them away from feminism.

16. witchwind - December 28, 2014

Also, it’s not because women make choices on a wide level that these choices aren’t coerced. Women “choose” not to go in the military for the same reasons women “choose” to have children and get married, or “choose” to enter men’s workforce and economic system nowadays. Men are the ones who decide where women are included and excluded, on a global level. And now women are actually “choosing” to enter the military as men have decided it reinforces, rather than threatens, men’s control over women.

And every single woman does resist, but resistance may include acting within the framework men have imposed, which may actually (and deliberately) lead to more exposure to male violence rather than liberation from our oppressors: for instance, as an adolescent, putting make-up on and going out late at night in places of female predation (such as night-clubs) as an act of defiance against our father’s authority. This is an act of resistance, however deeply conditioned by men in a way to channel our resistance to THEIR advantage.

And I do make the distinction between actions of resistance that lead to more self-destruction and those that don’t : those that aren’t self-destructive require a minimal level of awareness of men’s destructiveness and our need to escape their hold in order protect ourselves. Many women come to this awareness without being in contact with the feminist movement, and feminist theories are a product of this reality and the sum of women’s awareness about men’s destructiveness.

17. witchwind - December 28, 2014

Which is why I don’t understand you no longer seem to make the distinction between reformist (male-centred) and non-reformist feminism as you used to, and why you talk of leaving radical feminism altogether, as if everything were useless and inherently destructive in it. I know this not to be the case, and know that many other women’s experiences prove this also.
you also talked of your experience of meeting a radical feminist as very positive, and if I apply what you say about leaving radical feminism, I don’t understand why this experience should be excluded from radical feminism, or why it should be seen as un-political or having no longer anything to do with radical feminism.

I don’t think it’s helpful to encourage women to leave feminism altogether without means of understanding what’s destructive and what isn’t.

For instance you talk of women not being able to produce anything: it is true that we can’t force women to do things on demand against their capacities, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect anything at all from women, or that working together or organising together is impossible and useless. It is possible and even enjoyable to do things when we respect each other’s rythms and material possibilities (time, availability, financial autonomy etc.) and give ourselves the means to achieve certain things for ourselves. By organising it mightly simply be in the loose sense of organising a discussion group on radical feminism, or other activities centred around radical feminism.

18. witchwind - December 28, 2014

I’m not sure what exactly you mean by shortcut and whether or not we’re talking about the same thing.

Shortcuts at a massive level require structural change. A mass movement, or even a movement of 10 women, is a structural change, a pocket of freedom where women can make great leaps in little time where it would have otherwise taken decades if they were on their own. These movements don’t spring out of nowhere, there’s a ripple effect, and they are organised at a base level. Movements of liberation and collective shortcuts take place all the time at different places in the world.

19. witchwind - December 28, 2014

What I meant wrt violence historically, is that men monopolise the legitimate use of violence, and this has always been a strategy of theirs. But this state of monopoly implies that women are already under men’s control and captive. In order to create this situation in the first place, I think men have had to continually attack women by suprise in conditions of unfair advantage, where they knew women couldn’t escape.

wrt the horses, I’m no historical expert but all I know is that Marija Gimbutas found that the less patriarchal societies showed no evidence of domesticated horses and the first male invaders rode horses which gave them an advantage and which allowed them to invade so quickly, and a stark rise in patriarchal rule has been associated to these invasions from the east. this is a hypothesis, and of course I don’t have many means of analysing it. But I find it interesting and it at least gives some clues to think about.

Anyway men were effectively always ahead of women in this respect since their intention from the start was to invade and suppress women.
The difference between women and men is that men use violence to destroy, oppress and annihilate, whereas women use it to survive (to eat) and defend themselves, even when it’s used offensively.

20. WordWoman - December 28, 2014

@bronte “Not everything is patriarchal brainwashing. Some of the problems women face today, and have always faced, are simply a matter of genetics. Both nature and (mal)nurture.”

Your point about variability, esp genetic variability, is important. For example, there are individuals who are sociopaths, for instance, both men and women. That appears to be genetic. Men are more likely to be individual sociopaths than women, but some women are undoubtedly sociopaths.

At the same time, the foreground/patriarchy can be seen as having sociopathic characteristics that mimics and favors sociopaths. Feminism has traditionally looked at the whole picture, the systemic nature of the foreground/patriarchy. I say traditionally because what is now called feminism has been diverted to a form of individualism, the idea that if enough women “just say no” the problem is solved.

Understanding that there is a system, does not mean that there are not individual variations, that there are not women who act in evil ways because they were born that way. Or in brave ways, or insightful ways or stubborn ways etc. Seeing the patriarchal system and the individual that has interacted uniquely within that system is important. We can be hurt by both patriarchy and by individual women who are born hurtful. They are much more hurtful in patriarchy than they would be if it did not exist. Because it is a system that is toxic, small amounts of toxins (individual) cannot be handled. These individual women would not have the same effect.

FCM - December 28, 2014

what i mean by shortcuts is basically, taking the imagery of the wormhole which is a shortcut in time and space, and then realizing that it doesnt have to be all sparkly woo woo and can happen now, for real. there is also a kind of seeing into the future that is based on mathematical principles, not woo woo at all, and quite based in reality. the old math guy in the video shows us how to see into the future, in that case, into the future of boulder, colorado if it continues at its current rate of growth. i was really pleased to see him do that and to realize that i have been suggesting and doing the same thing for years now wrt women and our possible and likely futures. women can see into our own futures by looking at old women. we can also do it by looking at women who have done for a long time what *we* are doing now, and seeing what happens to them. in the case of andrea dworkin, valerie solanas and shulamith firestone (for example) they all became quite depleted and ill and died early. i think this is where we are headed if we do the same things they do, in this case, radical feminist activism and all it entails. including being gaslighted and bullshitted by other women about men, and also placing ourselves in harms way by drawing attention and ire from men. and probably other things, like (for example) doing much of the heavy lifting while others praised them and egged them on, while not taking on any or much of the costs/risks themselves. it is speculative to future-gaze this way, and you have to be careful to not complicate it with too many variables, but there is a way to do it that it is logical and rational and the old math guy illustrates this well. we can also add in our own intuitions because we are not constrained by “scientific principle” and are in fact using all our resources (including maths!) to save our own lives. also, i think womens intuition is a real thing, and that it is a kind of evidence that should not be dismissed or discounted.

as for structural change being required, well, i think this is clearly not the case, because individual women can take these shortcuts just like the one old math guy did, we can do this alone by “adding time” to our reality and our models and seeing what happens. we do not have to do this with other people, and in fact it seems as if *i* am quite alone in doing this now. and i have thought for a long time that there really is no “ripple effect” from feminism, and we can see this clearly where women leave or projects fail, and by the next day they are forgotten about. its as if it never happened at all. or at least it is not the same quality or quantity of “rippling” as we see in other areas, and i think there is something physical about this, where women are not connected at any level, including the physical level, which is necessary for the physical rippling like we see move through water. the particles or whatever have to be connected or at least proximate to each other for the energy to move through them in a “ripple” and we see this happening in other places much more clearly and strongly than what we see with feminism. this is an observation and i am still thinking about this. i will comment more later on the other issues.

21. WordWoman - December 28, 2014

But what about the background? That is not a system in the same way the foreground is, I think. It is something distinct. Would individual women interact differently in that place?

When I say violence is destructive to women (not for survival, then it is very different) one thing that may happen is that it destroys access to the background, and causes us to live in the foreground in the destructive toxic system.

In the last blog post, I mentioned having been in groups with only women and how they were different than groups of men and women. I will call these “background groups.” In those groups, the toxic women were more easily handled, though it was never a piece of cake.

Also, of course, there have been groups of women that were more “foreground groups”. Looking back at them, I think these foreground groups were patriarchy-driven, sometimes by men outside the group (like a work supervisor) or by patriarchal “rules”. In these groups, toxic women cannot be handled in the same way.

22. WordWoman - December 28, 2014

P.S. That last post was in reference to the idea of individuals vs systems that Bronte referred to. One kind of system is male constructed, the foreground, patriarchy. The other is not a system in the same sense, it is a way of connecting and sees things on a smaller, local scale. We still need to understand the larger world-wide history-wide system of patriarchy, and that is a survival thing. But how not to put too much attention there. It is a pull to do that, to get sucked in and sucked away from the background, because of the fear that is part of of it.

FCM - December 28, 2014

i would also like to acknowledge that it seems like people are freaking out at my recent (seeming) change in politics. i would note here that this has happened to me before, when i went from being a fun-fem to criticizing PIV and trannies. suddenly, even as i was previously known as being very intelligent and logical and making good points, and advocating for women, i was accused of changing drastically overnight into someone who was not rational at all, and who in fact hated women. this happens all the time to anyone who crosses the line, the reaction is wow, i thought you were so smart, how could you say that?!?! instead of, wow, we know this person is smart (or savvy or trustworthy or whatever) and yet they are saying/thinking this >>>> lets try to reconcile what they are saying now with what they said then and see if it can be done. lets see for ourselves what probably happened to incite this change by reverse engineering it, and seeing what would HAVE to have happened in order for it to be possible, and that includes adding question marks to indicate where an unknown leap has been made. and then figuring out the question marks. sometimes the question marks are a placeholder for something unacceptable and irrational (like, i am dating a tranny, therefore trannyism is compatible with radical feminism) and if this is the case, then obviously its not good thinking. sometimes the question marks can indicate an intuitive leap. sometimes ????? it might remain unknown for a long time or forever.

i am not asking anyone to trust any of us unconditionally, only suggesting that it is not reasonable in every case to assume someone has suddenly become the exact opposite of what they were before (barring evidence of head trauma for example). depending on the situation, it might be more reasonable to do some work and try to figure it out. and i am absolutely not “encouraging other women to leave feminism altogether” and i am certainly not saying we should “not examine what about it specifically is destructive.” i have specifically said (for example) that i still believe that everything that was written on “the gears” page is right. so *can* this be reconciled with what i am saying now? why dont you tell me?

FCM - December 28, 2014

wrt IQ and intelligence…obviously there are variations in intelligence among individuals, but there is a “bell curve” of what is normal or average intelligence (i am not talking about IQ but intelligence and whatever that means, not a male-centric test that men created to benefit themselves). “retarded” or developmentally disabled or whatever is an outlier and is not included in the average, and does not indicate that there are vast differences in intelligence, any more than intersex (an outlier, and a birth defect) indicates that there are more than 2 sexes. just putting that out there. i do think that there are some people who are able to make connections more clearly and easily than others, and these people are known as geniuses. and i think it is obvious that (for example) andrea dworkin ended up doing a lot of the heavy lifting in writing and activating in her day, partly because of her genius but also for other reasons, like that other people were lazy, or didnt want to, or (obviously) some were materially prevented from helping out at all, or as much as they wouldve liked. and i think it was partly the fact of her heavy lifting while others did less or nothing, that depleted her. and it really sucks that other women encouraged her to deplete herself that way, and that she let them. i do not think this is advisable or required. sorry if this sounds weird but i have something burning in the oven right now and need to go check it! bbl

23. sistercoffee - December 28, 2014

Hi FCM! First time commenter here!🙂 I’ve been a reader of your blog for about a year and a halfish now but have always felt too shy, etc. to comment. I wanted to say THANK YOU for all of the hard work you have put into this blog- I think it’s one of the most (if not the most) “cutting edge” of the radical feminist blogs out there. I’ve really appreciated how you always seem to be trying to really PUSH and go towards the very end of your thoughts and explore subjects where others either fear to go or else haven’t even thought of to go. What I like even more about your blog is that the writing itself isn’t even always what’s the best thing about it- I think your comment section is one of the more dynamic ones out there- I love how the writings evolve threw the comments section, with other women posting their thoughts and ideas and you yourself expanding on your own ideas threw commenting. That being said, I want to be clear that I’m not saying these things in attempt to sway you to come back or anything. I just thought that you might appreciate that there is a(nother) woman out there who has appreciated your contributions.

I actually don’t even have time to properly comment on this last post of yours…I have have about five min before I have to be going…so i just wanted to pst a quick “thank you” and say that I have really appreciated everything…I know you’ll properly think this is lame and I’m sorry if you think this is more “taking” from you instead of giving back threw commenting about the post…I thought it was better than staying completely silent though. I understand if you don’t deem this important enough to publish though. Take care!❤

24. bronte71 - December 28, 2014

Wordwoman, thank you for your response on genetic variability. You wrote exactly what I wanted to say: a million times better. The genetic variability thing – facing the fact that there are some toxic women in the system- in no way detracts from the essential rad fem argument. Nor is it misogynist to admit that not every woman in the world is a perfect angel spritzing lightness, love and joy everywhere she goes.

You also wrote: “In the last blog post, I mentioned having been in groups with only women and how they were different than groups of men and women. I will call these “background groups.” In those groups, the toxic women were more easily handled, though it was never a piece of cake.”
Yes, yes, and yes to this, too. There is lots of subtle reinforcement of hurt or offended “Queen Bee” egos to do sometimes, lots of humor, laughter and “Tell me your story.” I’ve always liked listening to women’s individual stories, and it seems to break down tensions.

Also agree that “foreground groups” are very different. Although leery of psychology in general, some years ago (while studying Organizational Behaviour) I read of a technique that actually works: from Abraham Maslow. It involved breaking down the authoritarian/patriarchal thinking of the group by first becoming the Arch Authoritarian yourself to gain respect, and then slowly introducing egalitarianism.
Unpleasant and exhausting to do when you are not an Authoritarian by nature…..but it works eventually to clear the toxins out.

25. Sargasso Sea - December 28, 2014

@Witchwind:

“By organising it mightly simply be in the loose sense of organising a discussion group on radical feminism,”

Saying this to Fact is condescending and dismissive considering that she’s been doing exactly that for over 4 years (not only here but at the HUB) and has been incredibly ‘successful’ at it in that many, many women – including you and me – have come together and spun together and have been able to go to the end of their thoughts.

And now after having spent all that time and energy facilitating herself and all of us she’s saying (and she can correct me if I’m wrong) that it was a hell of a lot of work and worry and that maybe the means were not really worth the ends – to her, personally. I don’t see it as advocating against feminism per se but more as a ‘warning’ to other women who haven’t been there, done that to be vigilant and recognize that many others have gone before and paid the price that she’s paid.

I have never been an organizer (or participant really, excluding commenting on blogs) in feminist activism of any kind because I grew up watching a group of women spend years working for the passage of the equal rights amendment only to have it crash and burn in their faces. These women were smart and politically savvy and they did everything ‘right’ and after their defeat they were exhausted and crushed and disillusioned and they completely disbanded – they didn’t maintain their friendships so very little was gained and much was lost. Since then I have seen the same thing happen over and over with groups of women and I’m seeing it again.

I call what Fact is doing right now ‘consciousness raising’ – she’s sharing her experience with other women so that they might avoid (or at least be aware of the signs of) the same fate.

26. WordWoman - December 28, 2014

@FCM “it might be more reasonable to do some work and try to figure it out. and i am absolutely not “encouraging other women to leave feminism altogether” and i am certainly not saying we should “not examine what about it specifically is destructive.” i have specifically said (for example) that i still believe that everything that was written on “the gears” page is right. so *can* this be reconciled with what i am saying now? why dont you tell me?”

I’m thinking about systems theory, but don’t know a lot about it formally bc it’s a male business theory which I dislike (male business systems that are designed to enslave and rip off through understanding science) but also I like the science about complexity/chaos and natural systems, which I wonder if we can’t really comprehend through science, but I’m not antiscience here, just it has its limits, nature is far more than we can comprehend and science is not capable of explaining it in all it’s complexity. BC science is based on studying parts, necessarily by it’s methods, though often theorizing about the whole and seeing if the parts match the whole system you have theorized.

One thing is that you cannot understand an overarching system from within a system that is narrower in scope. I don’t mean to insult radical feminism by calling it narrow but what I mean is that looking at the larger picture where we see something more. For one thing the limitations in the smaller system (RF) but also how it might make sense in a given context. But there is also a phase shift, something that doesn’t make sense within the smaller system, for instance how activating might just be part of the exhausting patriarchal system BS.

So thinking about RF, it does make sense given being in the patriarchal system like the gears page, but RF activating can then be turned to the P’s advantage and against the interests of women.

Also, things will not be exactly how they look from within any system. Perhaps there are phase shifts happening all the time and we just don’t see them from within the viewpoint of the system. What appear to be inconsistencies within the system may be something else.

Intuition and direct experience and also evidence (not data) can and probably should lead us somewhere else. What I am referring to as the background, in my experience, is that somewhere else.

What I am saying is that activating within the P system, has killed women because fighting that system becomes part of the system as it engorges itself with women’s stolen energy. One solution is to refuse to participate, but that is unimaginable from within the system, it’s not passive resistance which also gets incorporated and co-opted.

What I am saying is that what we have called the background is a superceding system. The current P system is a death system but the background is a living one. I’m not very well informed about this living system in terms, having spent most of my life in the P. I think it has lots of contradictions with any system that is within the P. So, I’m not pretending to know more than I do or interpret these things through the current system (one reason I don’t like mysticism). But just saying how I (unclearly) see it.

FCM - December 28, 2014

i would like to address the idea of social constructionism, and how it relates to what is being said here about womens behavior, including feminist activating. i think the group commenting here has rejected straight social constructionism (bronte obviously has), meaning for one thing that women are a distinct social and physical class based on our sex, and that sex-based differences would remain even in the absence of “gender” or society. it is unclear at this point exactly what differences are sex based, but we agree that there are some (reproductive function is the obvious one). therefore, we say that women do NOT equal men and that men do NOT equal women. this is just rational and obvious IMO. so lets look at what it means to say that men are preventing women from doing things. lets look at the assumptions of feminism as a whole while we are at it.

if we are saying that it is men preventing women from doing XYZ and that this is the only thing preventing us from doing XYZ, this is a straight social constructionist argument. it necessarily implies that in the absence of patriarchy (and male violence) we would be doing the very things we are prevented from doing now (like…eating enough, or feminist activating, or having a 100% literacy rate, or whatever). also social constructionist is the belief that the things that both men and women do now, like joining the military, in the absence of socialization, we would be doing in the same numbers and in the same ways as men are. men themselves may or may not be doing XYZ less than they are now if they were not “socialized” to do these things, but even so, there would “naturally” be an equality between women and men because women are the same as men, but for socialization. in the case of the military, i suppose social constructionists would say that in the absence of socialization, men would join less and women would join more, to the point that we would meet in the middle. “equality” in other words.

but i think as radical feminists, we know this is not true, or it is not necessarily true. i think we know, and that there is evidence to support our knowing, that it is not just males preventing us joining the military, that stops women from joining the military. i think we know that women reject the military for many reasons, including that we might be killed, and that our lives actually matter (where mens dont) one reason being that we have children to protect from predatory men. and that the military is destructive male bullshit. and that the brutal regimentality of it does not correspond with our bodily rhythms including menstruation and other things. men prevent us from joining and from gaining authority there, yes indeed. but we have other reasons for not joining that have nothing to do with mens artificial socially constructed obstacles. as wwind mentioned above, currently we see women joining more than they have before since some of these obstacles have been lifted (men lifted them to benefit themselves of course). but it is still not equal, or even directly proportional/corresponding to the changes that were made. why not?

in the case of feminist activating, we cannot just say, if we are not straight social constructionists, that it is men preventing us from doing it, or that this is definitely the case that if men didnt prevent it, we would be doing it. we have to accept that there might be other reasons for our “lack” that are not adequately explained by socialization. and i cannot emphasize it enough that in the absence of male violence preventing women from doing things, there would be no feminism, because there would be no need for feminism, because it would mean that patriarchy had ended. so in the case of feminist activating specifically, the social contructionist argument makes absolutely no sense and has to be wrong. get it? if women were free to do it, they still wouldnt do it because they couldnt do it, because feminism wouldnt exist. am i wrong? think about it.

27. bronte71 - December 28, 2014

Re: “It was partly the fact of (Andrea Dworkin’s) heavy lifting while others did less or nothing, that depleted her. And it really sucks that other women encouraged her to deplete herself that way, and that she let them.”

Agreed. Which is why – perhaps, maybe, just possibly, think about it?- that the ‘nuts’ eventually hightail it and run for the hills, never to be heard from again. A former heavy lifter for women – and everyone else in my life- in my part of the world, it eventually led to a nervous breakdown.
I condemn no woman for the non-assistance at the time because I understand patriarchy well enough to understand why: fear that,one day,they may end up in the same condition.
At the same time, however, I will never forget the gleefully doled out cruelty and schadenfreude received at the time from women I had considered life-time friends. It was glee at watching another woman – a strong woman- fall. This was not an attribute of patriarchy. It was consequence of personal moral failure or moral emptiness on their part.

Today, my ‘sisterhood’ is no longer freely given as it once was. It is conditional. I do not enjoy being that way.The moral emptiness of today’s society and the constant betrayals – historically a symptom of a collapsing civilization and society- has led me there. I know I’m not the only one.

Ten years ago my over-stressed body (because a nervous breakdown is a stress reaction) told me, “Save yourself because you know no one is going to help you.”
So I did save myself. I also stopped watching television, no more movies, no newspapers, no magazines or other Ministry of Truth mass media. I tossed my cell phones and no longer even listen to music. I’m “allergic” to everything that pulls me away from the background. That is, my body was telling me to live in the background as much as possible. Next project is weening myself away from the internet.

If becoming a total hermit is what it takes in attempt to find freedom is what it takes, I’ll go there.
Happy New Year to you all. May it be better than the lunacy of this last.

FCM - December 28, 2014

also, this corresponds really well to something i have been thinking about lately, something that seems like a huge problem with “social constructionism” generally, including feminism, and including radical feminism that falls into social constructionist traps. and that is this.

it seems like just sour grapes to me to say that patriarchy is wrong and bad, if we are also saying that men and women are the same but for socialization. if but for socialization, men would be less violent, and women would be more violent, to the point that we met in the middle and were “equally” violent, there would not necessarily be any net loss of violence, or any net gain in peace. so who cares really? if it is the case that in order to “get” any group of people to be as peaceful as women are now, we have to BRUTALLY, ruthlessly “socialize” (oppress and terrorize) them as women have been brutalized by men…well then we would have to brutally, ruthlessly socialize both women and men to be as nonviolent as women already are. womens lot in life would not change at all, as far as NOT being brutalized. men would be more brutualized than they are now, but who cares? it is the goal of feminism to punish men now? or to attain a net gain in womens quality of life? if feminisms goal is to attain a net loss of societal violence, getting it to even out somewhere in the middle does not guarantee that it would be any LESS, just differently allocated, and it might be exactly as much (in total) as it is now. so, like, what the hell are feminists doing? is it just sour grapes that we were born females in patriarchy? because thats what it sounds like to me.

in order for it to NOT be sour grapes, we have to believe that we are different than men. we have to believe that we are naturally peaceful and that regardless of socialization we would use “violence” only for survival and not to harm, including to oppress and torture. and i think the evidence actually supports this. it is females acting in self defense against men that is the most taboo form of violence in patriarchy for example. this is evidence that no, women are not socialized not to be VIOLENT, we are socialized not to defend ourselves from men. socialization has little or nothing to do with our (non)use of violence to oppress and torture, we wouldnt do that anyway. thats why patriarchy is wrong, and why things would be better without it. and its not just sour grapes about being dealt a bad hand (ie. we werent born men).

FCM - December 28, 2014

also wwoman, i am fascinated by your attempt to reconcile what i said before with what i am saying now. thank you for that. if you can, and feel like it, i would love it if you expounded on that, or dumbed it down or something, because i really want to understand what you are saying. these ideas are fresh/new to me. thank you!

28. WordWoman - December 28, 2014

@FCM “we are socialized not to defend ourselves from men. socialization has little or nothing to do with our (non)use of violence to oppress and torture, we wouldnt do that anyway. thats why patriarchy is wrong, and why things would be better without it. and its not just sour grapes about being dealt a bad hand (ie. we werent born men).”

There are a number of things that it may be impossible for women to grasp totally, and I think this is one of them, the use of violence to oppress and torture. As things have broken down more and more (due to nte and the like) things like torture have become more bald-faced. Freud described these things as being in the dark unconscious, things like p-envy, etc. He was describing men and patriarchy. Men envy one another’s size, but that’s just because piv is a given and a goal for them. Women certainly don’t, And the “deep dark instincts” to torture to gain dictatorial power certainly aren’t women’s. Women do not enjoy torture but apparently men do judging from the types and prevalence of porn. Freud’s theory sounds weird to women like fiction because women cannot grasp how this could be possible as an instinct. I don’t mean that women can’t accept that this is the case. We should, based on evidence. But how this could be the case is not something we understand because women aren’t naturally like that. I don’t mean that there aren’t the outliers who are sociopaths and women, that is a genetic mistake. But in this case, these are exceptions. It seems though, that sociopath women are just con artists, liars, devious things like that. Creepy serial killers or pedophiles are rarely women, but look how many are men. If it were just bad childhood experiences that create serial killers or pedophiles there would be far more women than men who were. More evidence for what you said.

FCM - December 28, 2014

yes, i agree that women mostly cannot fathom the horrors that are men and the horrors in mens minds and desires. somewhere there is a video of a woman testifying at the trial of a serial killer, i think it was the cleveland serial killer, where she was held captive by him and repeatedly raped, and on the side of the bed there were headless female bodies wrapped in plastic (i think more than one) and she said it was like a horror show. it almost defied belief, even for her, and she was actually there. listening to and watching her testify was horrifying and gut wrenching. it is the worst mistake women have ever made and could ever make to think that men are anything like we are. they clearly are not, and it is not just a matter of degree but of kind.

FCM - December 28, 2014

i mean think about that! from her perspective, she was being held captive in a house, and repeatedly raped on a bed with murdered, decapitated bodies (female bodies) right to the side of her on the floor, knowing he would likely kill her and decapitate her too. from his perspective…it was just his house, and his room, and his bed (and his captive woman, and his corpses? i guess?). *shudder*

29. WordWoman - December 28, 2014

@FCM “also wwoman, i am fascinated by your attempt to reconcile what i said before with what i am saying now. thank you for that. if you can, and feel like it, i would love it if you expounded on that, or dumbed it down or something, because i really want to understand what you are saying. these ideas are fresh/new to me. thank you!”

The condensed version is what you are saying. The foreground represents men’s/patriarchal systems of all kinds thru recorded history, artificially and deliberately constructed to mirror what they do, their mindsets. The background is where women live naturally.

We get socialized to believe that the foreground is “reality.” Feminisms are part of the foreground in that they would not exist nor be needed without it. Because we are in danger it is hard to look outside the foreground, it is frightening. So feminisms are a way to solve the problems that exist within the foreground. They may help us survive in the foreground. So there is a drive to recruit all women to this cause, however. And sometimes there is a bit more safety when we have done so, so that makes it seem like it’s working.

But I submit that the “advances” made by women in the western world are mainly the result of fossil fuel being readily available, so women are “needed” in other ways that formerly. Kind of like the riveter Rosies of WWII who got shoved back into the kitchen. Other advances for oppressed groups are the same. As things collapse, these “freedoms” will be quickly taken away as you can see now with birth control and women needed as “breeders” for a group to become dominant.

I could go on with examples, but we all have them. The important thing is the background. The background, I think, is not a humanly constructed system. It is the system women intuitively sense and could coordinate with. It is where women naturally live and it involves cooperation/coordination. This does not rule out leadership but that leadership is fluid depending on the need. I just finished reading a book by Diane Rivers about the Hadra and this is evident in her description of the “star born” women and also witches. So many women have written about similar things, that it demonstrates the kind of power women value vs the power men value, for example.

The kind of power women value is part of a larger, natural system. The kind of power men value is the power of patriarchy. The power of natural systems is invisible to men, which is why there is this myth that somehow malesystems cleverness, like solar energy, throwing things into space to ward off climate change, etc. It’s all so stupid as to be ridiculous if it weren’t so deadly.

Things like kindness and love (non romantic) are part of natural systems. That doesn’t mean that natural things won’t kill you (try a tsunami, for instance). But the stories of women’s cultures often include wisdom, intuition, etc that enable women to coordinate with the natural world instead of trying to dominate it. The dominator model will eventually be overtaken by the larger system that is the natural system. It will be superceded by it because that is the overarching system.

I do think that women’s survival might be associated with stopping fighting battles in men’s systems as much as possible and putting our attention to the larger (background) systems. Trying to recruit for that is not in keeping with the background, though. That’s what the patriarchal survivalists do. At least that’s how I see it.

Oh, and in the natural world there are phase shifts, unexpected events that cannot be predicted. This could mean the end of the human species and others like it. But it could also be advantageous. However, it won’t be engineered, instead learning to live in the background could help.

Also, it’s more fun in the background and more restful.

This is pretty long. I’ll see if anything else pops up.

30. Sargasso Sea - December 28, 2014

Wordwoman: I’ve very much enjoyed what you’ve been sharing today – very interesting and thoughtful stuff.

And, yes, the idea of recruitment is I think antithetical to the background/natural systems. That’s something that each of us has to come to on her own by way of intuition mostly, although personal experience and listening to other women’s experiences can be a big factor.

FCM - December 28, 2014

also, what s4 said is correct, thank you. even though there were some benefits to whats been done here for me and others, speaking as the facilitator, i wish i had known then what i know now. several things actually. i would have done some things differently, and maybe i would have still done part of it but not all. maybe i should compile/create a list so that its clear.

1) women sign on to do things they have no intention of doing, or cant do, for various reasons; also, women change their minds. this cannot be changed.
2) there is no hope for men, they will never stop, and we cant change that, even if we kill ourselves trying it will not change it, so its not worth it to deplete ourselves or to expect others to deplete themselves “for the cause” of feminism, or any female-centered social change.
3) feminist group projects always fail, and usually quickly, this is normal. if this happens, just shut it down and move on, belaboring it is worse than pointless and is actually harmful in the quantity and quality of energy expenditure.
4) there is no such thing as permanence, even for written work. radical feminist work is erased as a matter of course and this cannot be stopped or changed. so depleting ourselves with the intention of compiling an archives for the greater good will not work.
5) non-radical women intentionally silence radical women by destroying our work, and through causing us stress and turmoil up to and including (indirectly) killing us to shut us up. this cannot be changed, but it can be (somewhat) avoided by avoiding non-radical women and refusing to work with them at all.
6) there will be a natural end to patriarchy, and women do not have to act in order for patriarchy to end. it might even end in our lifetime. the cause will be related to male-caused overpopulation and global climate change.

thats it for now, there might be others.

FCM - December 28, 2014

1.b. women will support the work from afar but most will never participate on any substantial level, or shoulder a fair share of the risks or burdens. they will continue to take until you stop giving. although some do not do this, many do and this cannot be changed.

FCM - December 28, 2014

7) female energy and health are finite resources that are not renewable or easily renewable under conditions of patriarchy. conserve and preserve female health and energy at all costs, this is the most important thing, and there is nothing more important than that.

31. Sargasso Sea - December 29, 2014

Bronte:

It seems that there was a misunderstanding regarding my saying that women are 100% socialized to x and y.

I was speaking generally (of course there are women who have genetic abnormalities and/or debilitating emotional issues AND there are women for whom the majority of socialization never stuck in the first place) of fairly educated, politically-minded women who speak in circles because they have been socialized not only by patriarchy from day one, but by liberal politics specifically.

The point was that these women think they are fighting the good fight but that they are, actually, perpetuating that which they think they are fighting against. And to me, that is stupid.

FCM - December 29, 2014

liberalism, as well as what passes as radical feminism these days, is a fucking embarrassment. it is a crime against rational thought and it is literally sickening to be involved with it. i think it would be impossible to overstate how illogical and idiotic it really is. really!

32. WordWoman - December 29, 2014

“7) female energy and health are finite resources that are not renewable or easily renewable under conditions of patriarchy. conserve and preserve female health and energy at all costs, this is the most important thing, and there is nothing more important than that.”

One of the biggest griefs for me as a child was seeing my mother run ragged and never take a break. So, what did I do as an adult (but also as a child to take some of it off her)? Run myself ragged with lots of things, including activism of all kinds. In a way, discovering it is hopeless is something that allowed me to cut down on the nonsense of all that. Some health crises helped with that, too.

Thanks, S4. Background and autonomy are complementary, I think.

Oh, and I agree with Bronte about becoming a hermit, not doing the usual media stuff, though still too much of it. Time wasting stuff. It’s easy to become glued to it, either to be prepared for disaster or to get your mind off disaster. Yes, a wishes for a saner new year, to you Bronte and to all.

33. WordWoman - December 29, 2014

@FCM “liberalism, as well as what passes as radical feminism these days, is a fucking embarrassment. it is a crime against rational thought and it is literally sickening to be involved with it. i think it would be impossible to overstate how illogical and idiotic it really is. really!”

Yes, when you talked about radical feminism, I was pretty sure you didn’t mean Mary Daly. 😉

FCM - December 29, 2014

related: i recently read that it is actually addictive to check emails, comments and other “novel events” meaning repetitive checking of things that can change by the second, you get a dopamine hit every time you “check” and it is an endless loop. once youve checked, whether there was something there or not does not change whether there will be something there again in a second or a minute, so you can literally check as often as you can physically “click” through and its always novel by definition so you will always get the dopamine hit and this is addictive. this absolutely cannot be good for our mental or physical health. and yet, this is almost our entire context now, whether we are doing internet radical feminism or not. unless we totally unplugged and went back to snail mail, we are exposed to this addictive checking/dopamine thing. leave it to men to ruin everything, and to have literally everything be addictive and deadly, even communicating and of course activating, if done over the internet at all.

FCM - December 29, 2014

in fact, add that to the list. ^^^ its #8.

8) the internet, including “checking” for emails and comments, is addictive and causes a cycle of repeated dopamine hits (and how and why). addiction, and repetitive dopamine hits, are bad for our mental and physical health.

FCM - December 29, 2014

or perhaps, its 7.b.

34. Sargasso Sea - December 29, 2014

But, but, but you used to say that the internet was a cool tool for bringing women together!! How can you reverse that position? It either is or it isn’t, right??

Snark aside, as with anything there is both good and bad and this is where foreground autonomy comes into the picture – we take what we can from the good and walk away from the bad. This is something that Wwoman has been saying all along.

If the internet or tv or movies or whatever are too overwhelming – or dis-adventitious – then there is nothing stopping us from walking away.

35. WordWoman - December 29, 2014

I do other things throughout the day and check it to take a break when you are posting and sometimes a few others. It allows me to mull things over as I work. But it does do what you said. I used to sit and read a book to take a break and sometimes still do. But sometimes I get hooked on it especially when I’m not doing other activities. Non-electronic activities, by the way.

I have a cell phone but don’t use it as a social device, just make mostly short calls and leave it turned off most of the time. There’s no reason everyone should be able to reach me all the time. Especially people from my job. It’s really madness when I see it being used that way. I realize some people have to do this to have a job, though. What a ripoff, you have to pay big bucks for a decent phone if you have this kind of a job and it’s just so you are always available to them. I’m lucky I don’t usually have to be available to people at work in order to make a living (except when I’m there). Email is the same thing but at least you can delay it when you are doing other things.

Even radio is suspect. Liberal supposedly intellectual radio like NPR has a lot of pointless stuff on it stuff to fill your head with nothing. I do occasionally listen and some of it is informative, but not much.

I quite frequently take days long breaks from all this stuff and am not connected to anything electronic and then read books. Sure many books are filled with patriarchal stuff but at least with a book you can sort things out as you read and not have it poured into you before you can sort it out.

These media are like empty calories nearly all the time. Just thinking about these intrusions into the rhythms of life is annoying. The medium is the message. That was an old slogan and book title. Indeed!

FCM - December 29, 2014

s4, yes i did say that didnt i. LOL ah, youth. but srsly, things change over time. one dopamine hit will not do anything to us really, even several would be relatively benign, especially if the source gets cut off and its no longer an option. i do not think there would even be serious complications due to withdrawal if the cut-off happened right away and we couldnt do it anymore. but over time, meaning with experience and (often) age we see how things change as well as the effects of constant things on us over time. also, if people would have taken over the responsibility so i didnt have to do so much myself, the outcome may have been different. but that didnt happen, even though others specifically signed on to help. so yeah, my experience could be used as a SHORTCUT for those who dont know any better….or you could just dismiss me as a nutty old hag…or you could assume i just did it wrong and you could do better. some of these methods of responding to womens experience/age are downright encouraged (while others arent). get it?

FCM - December 29, 2014

also, male trolling makes modding comments required — that means repetitive checking and evaluating/approving comments, and the more you care about the conversation “flowing” the more often you have to check and approve so people can respond. so the more troll bait (female) you are, and the more you care, the more vulnerable you will be to this kind of addictive/destructive cycle of “checking novel events” via comments. this seems specifically horrible for radfem bloggers and for a lot of female bloggers who are writing about stuff they actually care about. the ones that invite lots of conversation (spinning and spiraling) perhaps especially so. you see the problem.

FCM - December 29, 2014

i mean really! when you see it written out like that, it does seem as if radical feminism — the real kind, the spinning and spiraling kind — is specifically doomed to fail in this forum (and radical feminist bloggers specifically harmed). as if we could expect anything else.

36. Sargasso Sea - December 29, 2014

And that’s exactly what I meant by your facilitation of this forum (and the HUB) – it’s draining in the sense that YOU, in order to create a spinning space, were/are required to wade through trolling men and derailing crap. YOU are the one person who kept that shit away from us so that we could speak freely and for that I will be eternally grateful.

But, that’s the point isn’t it? YOU did all of that for us really and now you’ve come to the understanding that it’s not necessarily worth it even though/if other women (and yourself) were the ultimate beneficiaries.

And there is not one thing wrong with that.

FCM - December 29, 2014

i knew what you meant. 🙂 and there are still those who are dismissive of the old ladies, and think we just did it wrong, and think they could do it better. well guess what? young women have been saying that since the beginning of time, all the way into and through the patriarchal meatgrinder. lets stop the madness.

37. WordWoman - December 29, 2014

The spiraling and spinning has been amazing. I am grateful for what you have done and for your brilliance and the brilliance of others. I second everything S4 said.

I appreciate also your being open about the costs of this. Should any woman do this? It has helped us understand something and come to this point. One thing it has helped us see is through the mirage created online, see the real degradation that is behind that mirage. The horrors of deeply embedded misogyny everywhere. We can see a website with bells and rainbows but behind it can be monsters or people who protect monsters. Those are the things you are wading through and have brought to the light of day. Not the details, but the essence.

But I do not like to see you do this. I said above that as a child I remember hating seeing my mother always worn out from doing too much just to survive. I do not like to see other women do this, either. We each have limits as to what is right physically and spiritually.

Even with spinning and spiraling on a blog as excellent as this one, there is for me frequently the the sense of not wanting to let hostile others read something that should be sacred, a space only shared by women face-to-face, trusted women. As Bronte noted, many of us have learned not to trust many other people, including women. Yet the essence of that was here anyway but only at great cost.

38. WordWoman - December 29, 2014

oops, cross post. FCM, I hope that younger women take this to heart and save their energy for that which is important and for survival. In the dark times that it appears are coming, that energy will be needed.

39. WordWoman - December 29, 2014

I agree with you that all the things on the gears page and on these blogs and some others are very important, including the warning to use our energy as wisely as we can.


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