On Intentionality. Or, What Is It For = What Does It Do? September 25, 2012Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, gender roles, logic, radical concepts.
Tags: causation, essentialism, intent, mary daly, quintessence
there exists a tendency in various discourses to insist — and to theorize from this place — that patriarchy is just some grand mistake, or misunderstanding. the evidence on which this conclusion is based is never quite spelled out, and in fact does not appear to exist, as it flies in the face of the actual, real evidence. which leaves its adherents with essentially the status of cult-members, does it not? more on that below. so, the mistake-believers (or “cultists”) tend to advocate “educating” men and anti feminist women to induce feminist change, or they insist that, just as women arent naturally fuckholes and slaves for men, that men also are not naturally dick-sticker-inners or sexual, reproductive and domestic slaveowners. the poor male babies! they are just mistaken, you see. misguided. acted-upon. its not their fault. because reasons, which have nothing to do with intentionality (or design).
now, im not saying than men are or arent naturally anything, behaviorally speaking — who can prove that afterall? i am saying that its highly probable that womens twisted, victimized servitude (or “femininity” if you will) isnt our natural state. let us feminists concentrate on women for a moment, shall we — we feel this dissonance, this incongruousness strongly, and indeed the evidence would suggest that, because women as a sexual class hold neither the power nor the resources to build a local, regional or global culture that reflects ourselves back to us, that our culture does not, in fact, reflect ourselves back to us.
the fuckholeness, the servitude is not *us*. while currently impossible to prove, we speculate that this is true. but it is not baseless speculation — the evidence suggests we are right. the evidence of our lack of power and resources to create something reflective of or congruous with *us* being, well, our actual lack of those things.
the same cannot be said of men of course, and whether or not “culture” (lets just say patriarchy instead of culture, shall we, its the same damn thing) is reflective of mens values, tendencies, preferences and solutions. they created it, afterall. in fact, in the case of men, the evidence would tend to show the opposite of what it shows for women — that its in fact highly probable that mens violent, destructive and dominant “role” is their natural state, or reflective of men on whatever level. that patriarchy does reflect mens values, tendencies, preferences and solutions. that patriarchy — and the utter destruction, degradation and decimation of women and of pretty much everything for that matter — is congruent with mens Z. if you dont like the word “nature” then dont use it. call it Z, or green eggs and ham for all i care. or refer to it by its elements (values/tendencies/preferences/solutions). it doesnt change what it is.
now, i would like to propose a thought exercise to highlight the difference between intentionality and coincidence. “coincidence” connotes “unintentionality” or unrelated by cause or effect. mary daly talked about causation and intentionality (we discussed it here and here) where she noted that, once an outcome is known, any continuance to produce that outcome is intentional. “unintentional” pregnancy — within the PIV-as-sex paradigm — might be the most obvious (its also a reversal). daly chose to talk about men surgically lobotomizing women, knowing that the surgery removed all of womens creativity and made them good housekeepers. the “psychosurgeons” can, did (and do) wax poetic all day about lobotomizing women as a “cure” for this, that and the other, but it cannot be denied that they were intentionally creating brain damaged fembots to clean house and be compliant semen receptacles for men. if they didnt like or want that outcome, they wouldve stopped doing it.
so regarding intentionality versus coincidence…think “kitchen gadgets” for starters. does anyone think this is a coincidence? lots of people need to open cans, and coincidentally, a handheld device appears with two rotary cutting blades that neatly accomplishes that very thing?
or, was it intentional?
or…take a look at this. assuming you recognize it as a garment, (it could also be used for other things i suppose) through simple observation of this objects physical characteristics, you get a very good idea about some of the physical characteristics of its intended user:
please dont tell me this was a mistake mkay? im not hearing it.
now, objects might be a bit different from systems. so lets go there. some systems “just exist” like some objects “just exist” and they dont really do anything. like a rock exists of its own accord, without being a specifically functional object some systems just “exist”. sometimes you just make observations about what they do, like this:
its not really “for” anything, or anything that we know about, it just *is*. and no, i would not say that this is a life support system for humans, even though it functions as one. like a rock isnt a hammer exactly…
some systems just “exist” (naturally) and you make observations about what they do, and from that, you can also make conclusions about what they are for, like this:
what it does = oxygenates the bloodstream. whats its for = oxygenating the bloodstream. in the case of the human respiratory system, these things are the same. like the solar system, its a functional design — but one that works toward an ends, rather than merely staying out of its own way?
some systems are created by people (men, more specifically). like all systems, these systems do stuff. and like *some* systems created by nature, *all* systems created by humans were created for stuff. to solve a problem, or fulfill a need. like this:
it seems that systems that were created by humans do stuff “because reasons” that have everything, actually, to do with intentionality. what they do = what they are for. otherwise, why bother?
so if we agree that patriarchy is a system, (is it?) created by humans, (it was, if men are considered human) if we want to know what its for, and to consider issues of intentionality, functionality and design, the question we have to ask ourselves about patriarchy, i guess, is what does it do? acknowledge what it does, and you will know what it is for. and that its not a mistake (far from it) and that it *probably* adheres to certain physical realities as well. think: glove. or…skyscraper?
and note, for example, that the US highway system is built horizontally and adheres to physical principles, and isnt made of gallons and gallons of chocolate pudding. because reasons.
it also occurs to me that the solar system is essentialist. it just *is*. and that patriarchy — while still a system — is more like the US highway system than it is like the solar system.
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Eroticizing Sex September 2, 2012Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, liberal dickwads, porn, rape.
Tags: eros, eroticism, intercourse, joanna russ, rape, we who are about to
this is actor/comedian julia sweeney giving a TED talk on how she introduced her 8-year old daughter to internet porn. har! you see, it all began innocently enough: she was answering the girl’s questions about animals, reproducing. for illustrative purposes, sweeney turned to the internet, and showed her daughter videos of animals, mating. the daughter of course asked if there were videos on the internet of humans, mating. sweeney replied that there were not. the audience laughs, because porn, and because porn + 8-year-old girls = FUNNY! oh, liberal dickwads, you all FUCKING SUCK so much! fuck you! but i digress.
now, in case anyone doesnt know this, animals, mating can be nasty and brutish and often is. ducks might be some of the worst? they are known to mate in the water, where the female is pushed under and can drown — an unreasonably dangerous activity, and likely to end in death for the female (but not the male). and male ducks appear to be exceedingly rapey — moreso than other male animals — and are often the subject of scientific study. of duck-rape. in this article, “rape” is in not-really-rape quotes, and in that form is used interchangeably with “unwanted mating attempts.” because “unwanted mating attempts” are only really-rape when human males practice this behavior on human-females, i guess? clearly, these similar behaviors are routinely framed as being distinct and different, but why?
cutting to the chase, i think something very serious happened when humans first eroticized mating. because the thing with mating is that its going to keep happening, whether the females want it or not — it just is. there is nothing inherently erotic about it — its nasty and brutish, and as inherently erotic as anything else — that is to say, its not. it is difficult to even imagine anything being inherently erotic, actually, considering that what is “erotic” is highly dependent on cultural mores. we know this. in fact, eroticization of intercourse has been criticized as being heterosexist — insofar as elite, straight males have linked (equated) intercourse to sexual desire or romantic love, it clearly *is* heterosexist, as even the pomos and queers point out. they would never go so far as to point out the misogyny of it, or the ways intercourse supports male power of course.
and vaginal-penile penetration specifically is not any more inherently erotic than any other penetration or even vaginal penetration, such as acupuncture, or gynecological examinations, or torture, is it? sure, there are some people who have managed to eroticize those things, but thats not because these things are inherently erotic — if anyone has managed to eroticize acupuncture, for example, and im sure its been done, it was deliberate, and probably took some work. or, perhaps some individual kinkster had a kink for needles, in true individualist fashion, or conceivably, “other” penetrations are modeled and eroticized after the primary one — intercourse. but many women dont even like intercourse, and many who do, now, didnt initially and had to train themselves over time. does this sound like anything resembling “inherent” to you?
in reality, the only thing i can reasonably think of that might be inherently erotic is genital friction, applied to the penis in males and to the clitoris in females, in that it is likely to induce sexual arousal across time and place, and with little room for variation among individuals. this has nothing, of course, to do with intercourse. especially not for women, but not really for men, either.
so regarding the eroticization of intercourse, what does it mean to have eroticized something thats nasty, brutish and often dangerous to the female — and something thats going to happen anyway, whether women want it to or not? if all women suddenly and collectively refused to consent to intercourse, are we to believe that no more instances of intercourse would take place, even to the point of population decline or extinction? i think we all know the answer to that. notably, joanna russ explores this in her book “we who are about to” where space-travelers in a future, post-patriarchal world crash-land on an uninhabited planet and patriarchy returns to the unintentional colonists’ unintentional society within two days, rape included. because propagation of the species.
so it is from here that we must examine the eroticization of intercourse, because we have, in fact, managed to eroticize inevitable intercourse — intercourse which cannot be avoided and which will occur regardless of consent. which is, by the way, rape.
Framing Rape July 16, 2012Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, logic, radical concepts, rape.
Tags: catharine mackinnon, rape, womens lives mens laws
rape is not just “forced sex” mkay. to the extent that anyone thinks rape is a bad thing — and many people obviously dont think even that — the issue has been framed as either a property issue implicating “consent” and trespass (hey you kids, get off my lawn!) or similarly as “forced sex” implicating bodily integrity and sexual autonomy. obviously, bodily integrity and sexual autonomy are positive goals, but this framework is fundamentally flawed.
in reality, rape is not “forced sex” because rape is not sex. to say that it is forced sex requires that we cede that rape is sex, some kind of sex — i do not think we want to cede that, or even that we are knowingly ceding that, but its clearly the case isnt it? if we are saying that it is possible to “force sex” then we are saying that our definition of “sex” is “a man sticking his dick into another person.” and thats being generous, considering that we often hear tell of men having the “sex” with inanimate objects like knotholes, cars, and inflatable pool toys. in reality, it seems that “sex” means “a man sticking his dick into anything, anything at all.” “sexuality” and “sex crimes” — including rape — are all built on this theoretical and linguistic foundation.
but if the problem of rape was not framed in male-centric terms, and instead was framed in female-centric terms (whether it should be being a completely separate point — i of course think it should be) what we would get is essentially this: rape is the violent enforcement, by men, of womens sex role as fuckholes for men and breeders.
sex role. sex, not gender. and forced sex role, not forced sex.
of course, in framing rape in male-centric terms, we not only have male-centric sexuality i mean men sticking their dicks into literally anything under any circumstances — and objectifying the recipient — being completely normalized, but also, taken to its logical conclusion (as it has been in the last few years) we see that men are able to claim legal and other status as “rape victims” when they experience “forced sex.” even though the purpose and effect of anyone forcing sex on men has nothing whatsoever to do with the purpose and effect of men raping women globally, across time and place.
indeed, patriarchal mission-creep often happens when women are finally and at long last allowed legal protections from the things men do to us, like sexual harassment (and rape) — the “perfect plaintiffs” (plaintiffs meaning victims) in a legal and moral case of sex discrimination of any kind is a male plaintiff. catharine mackinnon talks about this in “womens lives, mens laws.” thats probably because we keep framing everything in male-centric terms, mistaking them for neutral. they arent. we find this out later when everything comes back around — as it always does — to serving and protecting men and decidedly not to serving women, or protecting women from what men do to us.
being that this is how language, the law and legal protections work, we should probably stop assuming that legal protections are going to protect us, or protect us for very long — taking things to their logical ends happens sometimes, especially when doing so will support male power at womens expense. and that includes framing the rape-problem as having anything whatsoever to do with sex. it doesnt.
Thanks, Dickwads April 30, 2012Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, entertainment, liberal dickwads, news you can use, pop culture.
Tags: innuendo, language, Riverhead Books, royal society of arts, rsa animate, Steven Johnson, steven pinker, Technology, where good ideas come from
mary daly reported that she often used phallocentric ideas and works as a springboard for her own work. no reason to reinvent the wheel afterall, and phallocentric works are literally everywhere. it would be difficult to even have a springboard in fact if you werent going to use men’s work for this purpose, seeing as how women were only allowed to learn to read and write very recently (and in many places, still arent).
so, to that end, i present these videos. left on youtube as anthropologic evidence of male supremacy and rape-culture, but now also being used to illustrate the following radical feminist points:
1. radfem writing and blogging is important. not just “womens” writing and not just “feminist” writing but radical feminist writing specifically is important, and will be useful in challenging male supremacy, assuming that what works for men will work for us too. granted, its a pretty big assumption and may be incorrect. either way, it says something interesting about our plight; and either way, it supports us in doing it, in case any of us were wondering whether there is any reason to believe, any reason at all, that radical feminist blogging might help.
why? because explicit language is known to create mutual knowledge, and mutual knowledge creates collective power to challenge dominance, and this dynamic is known and documented. and radical feminists use explicit language. radical feminists specifically do not pull our punches, and we do not use euphemisms to talk about what we mean. we do not call intercourse “sex” for example, and we do not call male violence against women “violence” or “crime” or mutual combat or domestic discord or heated arguments. we are the only ones who do this. and while it is important that all women, any women are allowed to add theirs to the “marketplace of ideas” what radical feminists in particular are doing holds promise for creating collective power and challenging dominance (under patriarchy, this means collective female power to challenge male supremacy). because of our explicit language. according to dickwad video #1, anyway!
BTW the good stuff starts at 7:48. everything up to there is egregious rape-apologism and blaming women for rape, when men lie to us with the specific intent to isolate us and commit rape. i told you he was a dickwad.
2. women-only spaces are important and necessary to challenging male supremacy. according to the second video, “good ideas” come from hunches colliding with other hunches, and this occurs when people interact with other people and their ideas play off each other. this does not happen in isolation as frequently or efficiently as it does in shared spaces where people talk freely about their ideas and share knowledge. and again, women who are having “hunches” and ideas of the radfem kind are going to help each other incubate and birth “good ideas” of the radfem kind. this dynamic has particular significance to radical women, and radical spaces.
and i guess there is a third point being illustrated here.
3. misogynists and male-supremacists will be particularly motivated to wipe radical feminist writing and radical spaces from the face of the earth. the import of explicit language and idea-sharing is common knowledge among men, and this knowledge is passed among men through various media like youtube. they know these dynamics exist and their potential for challenging dominance and generating good and even revolutionary ideas. the fact that they are trying specifically to destroy radical feminist writing logically follows, and their acts in furtherance of that are not unconsidered or random.
even if radical feminist writing and spaces wont work for us because the rules are different for us, misogynist men are showing us, by attacking us, that they see what we are doing and *they* have every reason in the world to believe that it might actually work. we are doing what they have always done, and their expectation (and fear) is that its going to work for us like its worked for them.
they might be wrong about that of course, as they constantly deny that the rules are different for us than they are for themselves, because patriarchy. but as is frequently the case, their response tells us quite a bit about them, and whats motivating them. for example, that their response is to attempt to destroy us tells us that they are, in fact, the dominant class, and they are demonstrating that they know it: assuming that these dynamics exist, and they know these dynamics exist — and according to them, they do — only a dominant class which was cognizant of its own dominance would have reason to behave as they are behaving. their denial that patriarchy exists, that they benefit from it and any plausible deniability that they know about all of it — ie. its deliberate — are thoroughly debunked.
thanks to these videos and the dickwads who aired them in public, we now have some information and context that we can consider, and decide to do something with it or not. of course, in the case of the first video, we had to sit through 7:47 of rape-culture to get there. interesting, that. its
almost exactly as if we were supposed to dissociate due to the rape-references and stop listening before he said anything that might be helpful to us.
Trigger Warning March 31, 2012Posted by FCM in authors picks, books!, feminisms, prostitution, rape.
Tags: big porn inc, gang rape, knowledge, male violence, rape
i wrote most of this before the great cotton ceiling
debacle of 2012 feminist emergency and ive been thinking about it on and off ever since, when i wasnt thinking or writing about trans. tending to feminist emergencies is real work too, but the other stuff doesnt stop just because someones picked up the red phone and had good reason to use it. ive been thinking about “trigger warnings” and going down the rabbit hole of what men are and what men do, and all the obstacles in front of us, preventing us from knowing the real, whole truth. all of it.
allectos post on big porn inc has haunted me ever since i read it. whenever i read stuff like that, stuff thats truly, truly “triggering” it changes me. i dont know where this word “trigger” came from or what people think it means, perhaps especially what its supposed to mean when its used by those who arent being “triggered” (ie. men in feminist spaces mostly, if not exclusively) but i should think that “warning: you are about to be permanently changed by what you are about to know, and you are dangerously close to knowing it but still have the choice to know or not know at this point, its not too late to hold onto your ignorance of this one thing” would seem like a more accurate and honest descriptor, although its long and doesnt exactly roll off the tongue. and…something to do with size. like you think the world is the size it feels to you now, but theres actually much, much more to it than that, do you want the world to get bigger immediately? yes/no? if not, stop now.
and before you continue, there are no graphic depictions of anything in this post. im talking about trigger warnings in a meta way, and discussing horrific sexualized violence in a general way. not giving you an actual trigger warning.
the horrors that men perpetrate on women and children (and non-human animals) are literally beyond any of our (women’s) imagining, i think. some of “us” and those among us have experienced some of this first hand, some of the horrors that really likely are a 10 on that scale, but even they, i dare say, cannot imagine the many, many other things that men do that are also a 10. the horror and the magnitude of the horror registers and the memories are there, and the 10 has been acted out on bodies and minds but still, the details must evade us. mustn’t they? because men are extremely creative, when it comes to thinking up ways to harm, and actually harming women and children. creative torturers and death-dealers. if thats not the most necrophilic thing i have ever heard, then i dont know what is. its also a reversal of the highest order. they are destructive, in every way.
and in my travels, as i am sure has happened in most of yours, i have had cause to know about some extremely horrifying things that men do to girls and women. there are no words to describe the atrocity of these things, not to mention the audacity of the perpetrators, and relaying “just the facts” would provide wanking material to some perv, so i wont do it. but every single time i heard, saw or read about one of the many things men do to girls and women, it changed me. the details were always different, and so each instance changed me in a new way. the only thing that was constant was the horror and the misogyny, and the world getting bigger, and the fact that i identified, always, with the victim, because these things were always being done by men, to women and girls. it is the truth, and i accept it as the truth. and i resist and activate when and how i can, and i think my feminist-consciousness and all radical-feminist consciousness is reality-based.
but. i also know that there are things i dont know, and that there are devils in the details. and that there are millions, billions of details. there are literally endless ways that men can harm girls and women, whether its planned beforehand, improvised at the time, or repeated or reenacted from somewhere else. i suspect that during the throes of misogynistic violence that a kind of “creative” or reverse-creative energy is unleashed and men are able to come up with some truly unimaginable ideas and acts that a person who was not in the throes of misogynistic violence would literally be unable to imagine. its as if they tap into a collective misogyny or hundreds of thousands of years of history, and coupled with their own sickness and the chemical torrent that accompanies this act and this being, they perpetrate atrocities that are literally beyond imagining. and then they document it, and pass it along as a part of men-only oral and written history. they never have to reinvent the wheel, unless they want to. they can always take it further, and the next guy takes it even further than that. its literally a kind of industry with its own industrial revolutions, and they are taking each other down that road with advancements in technologies and epistemologies and they are having breakthroughs and they have their own thinkers and geniuses and someone invented the equivalent of “gains from specialization” and another one came up with electricity and its entirely possible that things are getting worse. from womens perspective anyway.
so anyway, about the details. every single time i hear of another variation on this theme, it changes me. the world gets bigger. and in a very traumatic way. if i were to force myself to know every detail, for one thing, i couldnt: there would always be something that was unknowable, and advances happening in mens horrific industry of misogyny and sexualized violence all the time so that some of the details would always be out of my reach. but. imagine that i dedicated my life to knowing the truth, the whole truth about men and what they do to girls and women, and that the whole truth included the details. because it does.
i would be changed a hundred times a day, or once for every detail i learned. every single one, every single time. the world would get bigger every time, where one second i literally hadnt realized that the world i inhabit is the same world in which that happens, and now i know. those worlds are the same. this expanding world would expand infinitely, there would be no end of it. because of the details. and where that kind of change would be happening to any of us daily, if we made the commitment to know about it, about the details, everything else would be required to remain the same. same job. same dick-pleasing job requirements. same schedule. same clothes. most of our patriarchally-defined worlds are not compatible with this much, or this kind of change. this is deliberate.
you cant stay up all night crying, or your eyes will be all puffy the next day and you really need your sleep because you cant be late; you cant stop eating (or start to eat too much) even temporarily out of the sheer horror of what youve seen, because then your clothes wont fit; you cant call in sick no matter how sick you feel, and how sick you are from the knowing. you cant. nothing else would change, but you. nothing would get bigger except your world. which is everything, from your perspective; but thats just you.
so, i guess i would suggest that we might start thinking about that, if we havent already; and perhaps even zeroing in on the details of how to create a world for ourselves and other women that is compatible with this kind of constant change, and consistent with knowing the truth, the whole, entire truth about what men do to women and girls. because what we have right now isnt. and men benefit from women not knowing. they probably even depend on it.