Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sex, desire, mini-skirts, and feminism.

“I believe in a relation between theory and practice. If I’m wearing a miniskirt and stilettos – I’d to ask just who I’m wearing these for.” - Womansspace

“First off, in MY mini-skirt wearing days, I mostly wore them to the gay bar. I really enjoyed flirting it up with other women in my ubber-girlie attire. I also relished the thought of being an object of desire for those women. FOR WOMEN ONLY, that is. However, if I would’ve been at a straight venue, it makes no difference. Desire is desire” – Sally Sunshine

“Why must we involve sex in bringing about a meaningful poltical revolution? What is “sexy” about that.” - Womansspace

“I’ve never wanted to be anyone’s object of desire. To be honest, it’s not fun when men gaze and it’s not more fun when women do it." – Womansspace

I’m really intrigued by the subthreads that have emerged in the comments section of Friday’s post. I think the first question is an excellent one, one that we as feminists should always be asking ourselves, not because we have to vigilant about meeting any particular feminist standards but because it can be helpful in recognizing patterns of behavior that are harmful as well as those that are helpful.

Tangent: In my freshman year of college, my Woman’s Studies professor asked us “Who benefits?” And in a sudden flash of realization, I wrote it in all caps in my journal – “WHO BENEFITS?” – and marched straight back to my room and broke up with my asshole boyfriend, who wasn’t really my boyfriend (which is part of why he was an asshole, because he was playing a weird head game with me and some other women. His newest acquisition came up to me later that semester and demanded to know why I hadn’t told her “what a scoundrel he is?!”, which I should have done, only I hadn’t realized at the time that she was a person of substance.).

So – what does a meaningful political revolution have to do with sex? Whom do we wear “sexy” clothes for? Is it ever ok to be the object of desire? Does it make any difference who’s looking? And who benefits?

I have certainly depended overly much on the affirmation of others in order to feel good about myself. I don’t see that as a good thing. But at the same time, I think there is such a thing as a gaze of admiration. I don't think that being looked at and appreciated is synonymous with being objectified and disrespected. I *think* that I can mostly tell the difference. There are looks and then there are looks.

But it can be scary to be the object of that gaze, whether or not it's a respectful gaze. It means that others will approach you. They will tell you that they are attracted to you. You will have to deal with this. They won't always hear your deflections because they are entitled or arrogant or socially awkward or persistent or inexperienced in dating or whatever. This will happen whether the other person is male or female, and whether *you* are male or female.

Having to deal with someone you need to say "no" to can feel like a burden, and I've seen feminists, in their annoyance and discomfort at having to speak the "no," refuse to do it and then get angry at the other person for not taking a hint. And then feel indignant at having been oppresed. (I'm not talking about stalking or harassment here.)

It can also be scary because a woman in a miniskirt and heels looks, to many men, like a woman who wants to be fucked - like a woman who is available to men. Whether or not she actually does is irrelevant. And it is this that upsets radical feminists - this knowingly playing with clothing that is designed to stimulate and to convey sexual messages (though, I'd argue, while this may have been the intent of the designs, they function differently these days).

And I think that all of this is wrapped up in the feminist debate about clothing and desire.

What do you think?

78 comments:

Renegade Evolution said...

Hummmm...interesting....

I make my living off "the gaze". Flat out, no pretty wrapping it up or talking about how empowering it is, I pay my bills via being objectified. Feminist? No, it is not in any other aspect other than I have exercised my agency and choice to do this for a living. That being said, however, for women who are not a part of my industry, I honestly do not see what a big deal it is. Physical attraction, even initial levels of objectification, are natural. One does not get all weak in the knees whilst staring at someone from across a crowded room due to their mind or soul or spirituality...they do it because they like the way they look. They find them pretty, or sexy, or handsome or alluring. Even animals in nature have plumage and color to attract mates...and well, humans are animals, we've just figured out new and strange ways to add to the natural...

I have also never seen the crime in a person, no matter their sex or sexual orientation, wanting to be attractive to the sex they are attracted to. Clothes and beauty routines are not unique to the female of the species...watch men prepare before they go out, they have grooming and dressing rituals as well. They shower, shave, after shave, ponder outfits women will find pleasing, groom, hell, I have seen men, even the generally cave dwelling hetero types (heh) spend more time on their hair than women do, or spend time pondering which pants or shirt will best show off (or conceal) various aspects of their body...yet no one pays attention to the men, because it is assumed that they can never be the victim of "The Gaze" (from women other men), that they cannot be propositioned or approached or threatened by someone...in essence, it is assumed men "want it" all the time. Which is not true, and women can be just as aggressive and ignorant of the word "No" as men can.

No item of clothing is inheirently sexist or anti feminist, only people and attitudes are, and I, personally, have become really sick of the assumption that every time a woman puts on heels or a short skirt she is pandering to the patriarchy. What about women who are not interested in the sexual attention of men? What about women who like these things personally...what about agency? Hell, what about women who are attracted to men and want to attract them in return? Not everything is always about Him, sometimes, it is indeed, about Her.

Yes, people can be rude and assume things about a woman in a mini skirt. They can also be rude and assuming about a woman in pants, or a woman without make up, or a woman who does not shave. They can be rude and negative and assume she wants something (she wants to get laid, she wants to be like a man...so on). The point is, I think, less time should be spent by men and feminists critiquing the wardrobes and grooming habits of women and more time on allowing women to do what they like...be that wearing heels or wearing keds. Her choice and exercise of agency and all.

sallysunshine_26 said...

The other night I was wearing a cardigan sweater and pants, not a miniskirt, when some drooling buffoon walked by and grabbed my ass!

So, how did I respond to this classy overture?

I whipped around on my heels, grabbed his wrist, threw him against the wall behind us, and said menacingly, “If you put your hand there you better know what to do with it little boy.” I think he may have been a bit shocked by my assertive response. But, that’s often times what it takes it get the message across. Also, on other occasions, when I have defended female friends against unwanted male advances, I have found this tactic to be pretty effective.

But this type of behavior is not attributable to men only.

A young drunk lesbian once approached me at a gay bar and grabbed my boob. I’d never met the girl before, but it was quite the introduction. Did I treat her with the same contempt as the guy at the straight bar? You better believe it.

WS said: “I believe in a relation between theory and practice. If I’m wearing a miniskirt and stilettos – I’d to ask just who I’m wearing these for.”

I’d like to challenge WS here and say, “Just what exactly would you like me to wear then?” Because I have been a recipient of “the gaze” in full business attire without the aid of a mini-skirt, should I wear a garbage bag? Maybe not shower for three days? I bet I could ward off a lot of sexual overtures then, AND I will have stopped supporting the patriarchy. YIPPIE!

No, but seriously, the argument that women should be sexually repressed desireless creatures without any need to create a atmosphere of beauty for their partners or others is a world I would not want to be a part of.

Renegade points out the ritual men and women both participate in when beautifying themselves for whatever sex they are attracted to. There is something deliciously wonderful about adorning oneself in anticipation of an evening with a lover or out with friends. Personally, I’d like to think my sexual partner/s are benefiting, I certainly haven’t had any complaints yet. Somehow I don’t think my partner would ever say, “Honey, stop being so sexy, it’s really turning me off.” On the other end of the spectrum, if I’m not in a relationship, I still can get dressed up, go out, and feel damn good about myself, either way it works.

How does this fit in with my feminism?

To me, it’s simple: I still can be a powerful, kick ass, sexy career woman, who supports other women, and the movement, in a mini-skirt, without compromising my integrity. Because my world isn’t so small and limited that I must strictly follow tradition, even within the feminist movement.

I will continue to contribute to creating a SAFE space for myself and other women to express desire openly. And that, ladies, is some *real* space for a woman.

WomansSpace said...

"But it can be scary to be the object of that gaze, whether or not it's a respectful gaze. It means that others will approach you. They will tell you that they are attracted to you. You will have to deal with this. They won't always hear your deflections because they are entitled or arrogant or socially awkward or persistent or inexperienced in dating or whatever. “

Oh Maude, yes!!!! This is so true and you know what? After reading renegade's post, I see where we are just two opposite polls and where we are a magnificent contrast.

Hey renegade, I'm one of the original and despised second wave sex prudes! I've been working on reclaiming "sex prude" and plain's is right! It is powerful. I can be a joyful and powerful sex prude!!!
Yes, Plains, being an object is frightening for many reasons and they are complicated and all woven together.

When I am objectified and people are hot and bothered over me, the thing I am most aware of is they aren’t interested in the feeling and sentient **me**, they are interested in my body. They aren’t interested in my feelings, they are interested in feeling me. They aren’t interested in my spirit or spirituality they are interested in well… what I sit on and you know what? That just seems so fucking strange to me. I’m interested in engaging other women, I guess in exchanges of well, everything about us. Of course there is the, omg, please don’t be interested in me because I’m really picky and it’s not fun rejecting people. I hope it doesn’t hurt them as much as it hurts me. I am so glad I’m out of the “lot’s of sex age bracket” but don’t take false solace as you age. It’s not going to stop, it just means that the men making passes and sending drinks to your table are older and have bigger bellies. They are somehow smoother and more experienced, knowing how to put a woman at ease, leave her unprepared to the tsunami they are about to unleash. I’ve had marriage proposals over drinks and telling them you’re lesbian doesn’t even slow them down. They will say, “Oh that’s ok, you can go out with your girlfriends on Tuesday nights when I go bowling.” Like I go out with them for sexual release because that’s all women are for anyway. The idea of relationship as friendship has never occurred to them. I was really impressed that plains knows how scary this is because I’ve suffered from pluralistic ignorance. You see, I thought I was the only one who was afraid.
Plains is right, this is a pregnant topic and pregnant from so many different aspects. We are taught from the beginning to be objects. I find that I can’t conceptualize in terms of how to be pleased or what that’s about. Instead my thoughts always flee to how to please – the subjects object. It is this subject-object relationship that feminism has always opposed.

Renegade Evolution: No item of clothing is inheirently sexist or anti feminist, only people and attitudes are, and I, personally, have become really sick of the assumption that every time a woman puts on heels or a short skirt she is pandering to the patriarchy. What about women who are not interested in the sexual attention of men? What about women who like these things personally...what about agency? Hell, what about women who are attracted to men and want to attract them in return? Not everything is always about Him, sometimes, it is indeed, about Her.

No item of clothing is inherently sexist or anti feminist

Wait! There are lots of things that don’t work in this sentence. Clothing is clothing and has no inherency of concern. Isn’t that therefore a strawman being neither here not there. Feminism on the other hand looks at the experiences of women in a social matrix.

I’d would say that of course there are items of SM attire that are clearly antifeminist. They are about the eroticization of power differentials and that becomes a feminist issue.

Do we ever blame women? No we don’t. That doesn’t mean I don’t have concerns because was astute, I was asking “Who Benefits”, that’s the entry point radical feminist analysis. Remember the other night when we were talking about things going out of date? Asking “Who benefits?” never goes out date while inequities exist.
But here is my question. Our traditional role in relation to men has been to be the subject’s “object” or “pieces of woman” never a whole being. If our goal is to change society, then our practice has to address objectification. Can I wear miniskirts and stilettos and expect that men are not going to objectify me? No, I absolutely cannot.

And you question about attraction was unidimensional. You know, I could do the miniskirt thing and insure that a guy is going to be interested in my physically… or I could me him at an airshow or a museum. He may still be interested in my physically but I get a chance to know and be known in other dimensions when I create other bases for being attracted beyond the traditional pair of legs.

So, I turned the question back to you and ask, assuming to want to change patriarchy what’s your new practice going to look like? Or do we really want to change it?
I’m beginning to think that we really don’t.

WomansSpace said...

" grabbed his wrist, threw him against the wall behind us, and said menacingly, “If you put your hand there you better know what to do with it little boy.” I think he may have been a bit shocked by my assertive response."

I think you did a splendid job playing his game and speaking his language so he would understand his trangression against you.

Is this you? It's not me. I don't ever want to have to be that way with a human. I don't ever want to be sexy of kickass.

I did go through a period where I was sexy. I was raped by a friend before the phrase aquaintance existed. I didn't have a way to understand what had happened. I nearly went crazy because with not words there wasn't anyway to talk about it.

But to respond to you... I don't mind being pretty at work but I NEVER want to be sexy. I never want to draw men on that basis.

Soooo, i guess you can continue with your ju-jitsu and the world will go on exactly like it is.

Btw... I am thinking about changing my username

sallysunshine_26 said...

WS Said: “Soooo, i guess you can continue with your ju-jitsu and the world will go on exactly like it is.”

Many feminists and non-feminist alike have responded to threats/unwanted advances from men with physical force. There is a reason why I lift weights, practice self-defense tactics, and run 10-15 miles a week. I refuse to play the victim role and allow others to dominate me or loved ones through the use of physical force. This skill has been an asset in many dangerous situations. I think, WS (or whatever your new name will be), to fault me for this is extremely irresponsible and immature. If there is evidence that a situation or person is a threat to my safety, I have the right to protect myself. The reason I responded to the male offender with “You better know what to do with it little boy…” was a knee-jerk reaction to his aggressiveness, yet I still have the right defend myself, however I see fit. Plus, it did the job. He left us alone for the rest of the night. That was the goal.

WS said: And you question about attraction was unidimensional. You know, I could do the miniskirt thing and insure that a guy is going to be interested in my physically… or I could me him at an airshow or a museum. He may still be interested in my physically but I get a chance to know and be known in other dimensions when I create other bases for being attracted beyond the traditional pair of legs.

Ok, so let me throw this at ya… intellectual girl in a mini-skirt meets guy in the museum for engaging discourse concerning world events. Have I overloaded your circuits yet? Because this is what exactly happened when I was in Paris, I met a guy at a museum and my skirt was just a tad bit above my knee. Did I believe he was just talking to me “unleash his tsunami” of dirty male desire? Um, no, not really. It was polite conversation.

Is it possible for a smart woman to also be sexy? You bet! And seriously, c’mon, WS, this debate is old and tired; I think most rational human beings know that both can exist simultaneously. Hell, my own mother is one kick ass sexy well-respected feminist, who still manages to preside as head over the Senate Judiciary committee with her high heels and skirt on, go figure.

Seriously, who are you to judge what in particular that man in the museum is interested in? He might just be looking for a quick hook-up, or he might be in love with the woman! How the hell would we know! And further, maybe the girl in the museum is looking for a quick hook-up and SHE finds him.

Prude can be a very powerful word, but at the same time it can be used to represent one who is overly judgmental and hyper-critical, there is a difference.

WomansSpace said...

I really enjoyed flirting it up with other women in my ubber-girlie attire. I also relished the thought of being an object of desire for those women. FOR WOMEN ONLY, that is. However, if I would’ve been at a straight venue, it makes no difference. Desire is desire” – Sally Sunshine

I think this could be restated as "I don't see the significance", or, "I don't understand the significance", which is really difference from none existing.

I'm going to talk about not so subtle subtlties.

If power differentials as well as inequity comes from socially constructed gender differences and socially constructed gender-roles, what I'm reading here is that you feel really good and feeling affirmed when you manifest role attributes.

Well, congratulations. except what are doing to change patriarchy? Are you hoping the society only oppresses 'femmes' during certain days of the week? Are you hoping that things are just going to magaically change around you without you're doing anything?

Have you considered what the "girlie-thrill" is about? Have you asked your why it feels good and HOW that thrill Keeps you doing it?

In society boy/guy/man have attributtes that are all positives like competence, active, assertivess, self-assurance where "girlie" is seen as passive,demure, coy, naive, coquettish and nurturant.

In other words guys are getting piles of benefits when they are guys and women are giving tons good things when we are girlie but we don't receiving much.

Gender is about social power differentials. HETEROSEXUALITY in the west eroticizes those differentials in power.

That's your "girlie tingle" and it does just cost you, it costs all of us because I live in the same society in which you are so gurly. By virtue of your turn on, you establish or conform to roles which are expected of me too.

Let's what you get out of it:

You receive affirmation for bing girlie, all of those things above. Indeed it may win you sex partner who are caught up in the same myth-system. Other than feeling good and receiving praise it doesn't do you a lot of good. It doesn't do any of us any good and certainly the roles which are imposed upon people remain unchallenged. You affirm is based on how well you comply with the very system which oppresses women. Who benefit?

Men.

Again, I say, you may not see the significance is very different from there being none.

WomansSpace said...

"Many feminists and non-feminist alike have responded to threats/unwanted advances from men with physical force. There is a reason why I lift weights, practice self-defense tactics, and run 10-15 miles a week. I refuse to play the victim role and allow others to dominate me or loved ones through the use of physical force."

I've never subscribed to the model. We're addressing the issues of violence and force as issues were just learning to fight is recognizably a bandaid at best.

"Seriously, who are you to judge what in particular that man in the museum is interested in? He might just be looking for a quick hook-up, or he might be in love with the woman! How the hell would we know! And further, maybe the girl in the museum is looking for a quick hook-up and SHE finds him."

Do you every talk about feminism of do we just talk about missed points?

I don't feminism has anything to do with whether a woman wants a quick pickup. That's information that I'm not interested in. WHat I'm interested is what she is doing in practice to change the material conditions of women.

So far your commentary has been about your self gratification. I know this is a HUGE shock to young women, but did it ever occur to you that feminism my have nothing at all to do with self gratification?

I don't see feminism here. I see every possible heterosexual justification for the maintenance of what we have now.

sallysunshine_26 said...

WS Said: So, I turned the question back to you and ask, assuming to want to change patriarchy what’s your new practice going to look like? Or do we really want to change it?
I’m beginning to think that we really don’t.

First off yes, we really do want to change it. Secondly, beginning to think that we don’t want to change it is a defeatist attitude, and does nothing for our cause.

How we do it, I’m not sure. But, I like to start small in my own world, see how it works, test the hypothesis, and then apply it to other areas. As one of my favorite musicians would say “self-preservation is full-time occupation”, and so we need to protect our sisters, friends, and even strangers if we see them being harassed or fondled in inappropriate ways. Which means, if I saw WS out and some guy was harassing her, I would step in and help her. Even though we disagree on different issues, I would still defend her right to feel safe in her space if she needed my help.

Speaking of, on Saturday night, a nameless girl was being harassed by her boyfriend or whoever it was, and I approached the couple, told him to leave her alone, and pulled her away. Yeah, I didn’t even know the girl, but she looked like she needed help. Do I think I’m changing the world with this one instance, no, but at the same time, we need to stand up for each other.

WS, although you clearly dislike me, I understand that you were horribly violated by someone you trusted in the past, and that is painful. Deep wounds can be and often are triggered by comments and occurrences in our outer world. I am sure there are many reasons why you believe the way do, and I’m trying my best not to judge you for it, even though I have said some things that aren’t very kind.

Sally S.

sallysunshine_26 said...

WS said: “If power differentials as well as inequity comes from socially constructed gender differences and socially constructed gender-roles, what I'm reading here is that you feel really good and feeling affirmed when you manifest role attributes”

Actually, no you’ve assumed wrong. I’m quite different than I think you might imagine me to be. I despise gender roles. I tend to fall for men who blur gender norms and women who do as well. I love to play with gender roles and distort the traditional view of them. For example, with my ex-girlfriend, she was far more masculine in appearance, but quite sentimental and cried easily. Myself, not so much. I might’ve been wearing a cute girly outfit, but I handled all financial decisions, seldom showed emotion, and did a lot of the more “masculine” tasks around the house than she did.

When I first came out as bi-sexual, I really poured on the femininity, now I find myself tilting toward a more masculine approach, even in wardrobe choice. It’s been months since I’ve worn the mini. I think a sharp-looking suit on a woman can be very sexy, in a Marlene Deitrich kind of way.

WS Said: In society boy/guy/man have attributtes that are all positives like competence, active, assertivess, self-assurance where "girlie" is seen as passive,demure, coy, naive, coquettish and nurturant.

Yes, to a point, but not so much anymore. I would definitely not describe myself as passive and nurturant. I meant “girly” only in the sense of personal style, not attitude. First and foremost, I consider myself to be a risk-taker: sky-diving, traveling, and adventure sports are a-ok with me. Do I have a problem with women who are more passive and demure? Heck no! That’s there prerogative.

WS Said: So far your commentary has been about your self gratification. I know this is a HUGE shock to young women, but did it ever occur to you that feminism my have nothing at all to do with self gratification?

The reason for this is because I have to send my time on these posts defending my right to be myself without you attacking me. If you could accept me as a person, and look past the clothes I’m wearing, we could actually dialogue about something meaningful.

I’ve read a lot of feminist literature and I have a bookshelf full feminist thoughts and ideas at home. Hell, I was reading Dworkin when I was 21, and thoroughly enjoyed it by the way. I don’t have a back ground in feminist academia like Plains (wish I did, you’re lucky Plains!), but what I’ve learned about feminism I’ve learned from other feminisits/role models and the literature I’ve read on my own time.

WomansSpace said...

“WS, although you clearly dislike me, I understand that you were horribly violated by someone you trusted in the past, and that is painful. Deep wounds can be and often are triggered by comments and occurrences in our outer world. I am sure there are many reasons why you believe the way do, and I’m trying my best not to judge you for it, even though I have said some things that aren’t very kind. “

Sally, here is the place where we need to be in dialogue and I thank you for going here. I think it’s powerful for us to talk to each other as women before we become pre-occupied with high drama or sniping. I really like it the other day when I said to PF, “I’m scared of losing my home” because I went to my emotional bottom line. We could have gone further but at least we got there. You have said things that aren’t kind and that’s ok. I don’t think those are the issues I’m responding to. Which violating person are you referring to? What you say is true.
I’m almost sixty and I’ve been through the seventies which is sort of the same as I’ve seen a society blossom into a rose bud of awareness and social growth and fold back up and turn into republican ragweed. I’m hurt because in the seventies and eighties I worked hard to make a space the would support and affirm you except… I made mistakes. I though you’d be just like us and you’re not.

There have been times when I’ve looked at the title of this thread and though… “could there be anyone worse than me in this thread?” I thought, no, I don’t anyone worse than me on these issues. But I also think I’ll ask good questions and I will keep bringing the issue home to the question of how we are going to change this society to make it better for women.

Hot lascivious bodies … with desire

Whine :(

That’s my whole response you see, I’m honest. I don’t want to deal with your sexuality. I don’t want mine to burden you or provide you with a dilemma. To me… my sexuality is private. Never in my life have I found being sexually attractive to be a good thing. In fact if any one ever implied that I was sexually attractive my response is to RUN AWAY. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like sex because I so. It means that to me, I NEVER want sex as the entre, it’s much better off when it’s desert. You’ll also find that I never initiate conversations on sex.

But sex is important because radical feminists see sexuality as being the glue that holds patriarchy together.

I’m beginning to think everything holds it together.

But there major philosophical upheavals that I’ve had over the years in terms of understanding how all of this comes together in terms of making a world women can live and I think one message is pretty clear. If we keep doing the same things over and over again, were going to keep getting the same results and good heterosexual radical feminists are clear that the glue of patriarchy is sexuality and the rainbow of meanings encompassed in gender.
You may understand my frustration when I talk about feminism and changing the world we keep coming back to very traditional sex and hooking up and how were going to that and how girlie were’ going to be and how nothing makes any difference. It’s the last point that gets to me. Because everything I know about feminism say it does make a difference and liberal feminist have a really deleterious streak of individualism centering around self-gratification that hurts the movement. It was after two decades of being a feminist that I realized that feminism is NOT about maximizing your freedom or my freedom. It not about your pleasure or my pleasure. It’s about transforming society to one that sees women as human beings and not just legs, vaginas and breasts. We can’t bring that vision into the world as long as we are selling ourselves along the lines of stilettos and miniskirts even though we feel sexy and like a million dollars in them. In the seventies we were honest enough to recognize that the skirts were uncomfortable and the heels effectively hobble us.

I would love to see the adjusted profits of Playtex during the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties. No one wore them in the seventies. Men were conscious of and backed up by feminism. They were asking questions like, how do I relate to women now? They’ve stopped. You know why? There’s been a backlash and hell, we’re more girlie than ever except these days EVERYTHING IS MORE SEXUALIZED than it was.

So I’m really frustrated because this is the core and nexus of it all. It’s the thing I least want to talk about and yet it the most important to talk about.

I’m wondering though what you hear when I observe , “The revolution is not about your personal gratification. Remember the center observation of the second wave, “The personal is poltical”.
What do you hear and thank you for getting personal with me. That was an adult thing to do.

Btw, girlie is fun. I love girlie. It just costs so much…

The reason for this is because I have to send my time on these posts defending my right to be myself without you attacking me. If you could accept me as a person, and look past the clothes I’m wearing, we could actually dialogue about something meaningful.

Not to attack and not to set you up but, what if this is really central. Damn that PF. This really is such a central topic.

WomansSpace said...

Sally:

WS Said: So far your commentary has been about your self gratification. I know this is a HUGE shock to young women, but did it ever occur to you that feminism my have nothing at all to do with self gratification?

The reason for this is because I have to send my time on these posts defending my right to be myself without you attacking me. If you could accept me as a person, and look past the clothes I’m wearing, we could actually dialogue about something meaningful.


Do you notice the disconnect to my question and your answer?

My whole message has been that this IS meaninful. This is a discussion not on your wardrobe but the politics of your wardrobe.

sallysunshine_26 said...

“But sex is important because radical feminists see sexuality as being the glue that holds patriarchy together.”

Yes, Dworkin even said that all sex involving penetration is rape. So right there you have radicals commenting on sex/and or sexuality, so it is an important issue. I even entertained this view myself for awhile, and had some pretty in-depth discussions with other women my age at the time. Now, I don’t feel that all sex with penetration is rape, but I know some that do. WS: How do you feel about this?

By all standards, and I know Plains can attest to this, living in South Dakota makes a person feel like a radical. And, in actuality, I love the radicals! (I just get pissed when I’m feeling judged by em’) If it weren’t for radical thinking, action-oriented women there never would’ve never been any progress! Often times I am chided by others for being “too radical”, outrageous, or rebellious, so it’s sort of funny that I find myself at odds with those more radical than myself on this forum. Weird.

WS: I think the lack of movement within the movement you are feeling is real in ways. There seems to be so much apathy and general malaise in the world today. It’s hard to worry about genital mutilation in Africa while our own shit is crazy. For example, this morning my sister came to my house in tears because last night her boyfriend pushed her down and threatened her. We went to their house, collected her things, and filed a restraining order. I doubt my sis is focusing much on the world’s problems today, as her own problems are very real and need immediate attention right now. So much about the way our lives are structured are based only on survival. There is nothing left for others or our causes because we’ve been bled dry. It’s unfortunately the nature of the beast in this day and age. But, it’s also a very exciting time to be alive. There is so much to do. And, I, for one, am not about to give up, I want my life to be about helping people, women in particular. Yes, I maybe idealistic, but I don’t think its bad thing, keep the faith, ya know?

I’ve often said it would’ve been so amazing to be in my 20’s during the seventies, to be a part of all the social change, but alas, I wasn’t even born yet in the 70’s. And yes, the personal is political, I like that idea. But, damn, I’m not willing to stop wearing certain clothing just because of it, as I believe there are more important things I could do to further the movement than focus on my closet and its politics. Admittedly, I like to stir up controversy, I don’t want to be like everyone else (in clothing style or attitude) And yes, I realize this is very individualistic and stubborn of me, but it’s me.

The last thing I’d want to do is walk into a room full of feminists and find that everyone looked the same, talked the same, wore the same clothes, and shared exactly the same views. This type of atmosphere, while it aligns people closely with others, can become very destructive and unhealthy.
I’ve always guarded my freedom as an individual fiercely. And will continue to do so, within the movement and outside of the movement, it has to be. Unwavering, unquestioning, and unchanging support to anything (feminism, religion, dieting, a job, whatever…) is a very dangerous approach, indeed. We need to push the envelope of what is or is not acceptable so we can make progress. To me, that’s truly radical. I love to see people challenging tradition, pushing others and themselves beyond what’s comfortable. It’s the way we evolve.

Awww, I’m getting teary-eyed now, speaking about revolution always does it for me. ~ S.S.

WomansSpace said...

"Yes, Dworkin even said that all sex involving penetration is rape."

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/mackinno.htm

Dworkin never said that, but pro-sex people never fail to bring it up.


"The last thing I’d want to do is walk into a room full of feminists and find that everyone looked the same, talked the same, wore the same clothes, and shared exactly the same views. This type of atmosphere, while it aligns people closely with others, can become very destructive and unhealthy."

Ooooh, for a second I thought you were talking about any corporation.


How do I put this? I don't hear any particular practice....

I don't think we're going to have to worry about a revolution any time soon.

sallysunshine_26 said...

Hmm, well, Dworkin is hard to interpret, but in reading “Intercourse”, I got the notion she was saying that hetro sex with penetration is a form of rape. That’s what I got from what she wrote. I didn’t read that from any other interpretation or website beforehand in fact, I picked up her book back in the day without knowing very much about her at all. But, I thought it was good writing, and I understood her point. Like I said, I even agreed with it then, to a point.

And Robin Morgan, her book “Beyond the God the Father”, an excellent read as well. I’ve always been interested in how feminism interacts with religious concepts and ideas, and the whole Mother God thing, fascinating really.

I said: "The last thing I’d want to do is walk into a room full of feminists and find that everyone looked the same, talked the same, wore the same clothes, and shared exactly the same views. This type of atmosphere, while it aligns people closely with others, can become very destructive and unhealthy."

WS Said: Ooooh, for a second I thought you were talking about any corporation.

Exactly, why would we want the movement to resemble a corporate-y type of environment? The big corporate atmosphere is not for me, and I doubt it would be for most feminists either.

I’ve always liked the saying, “Be the change you want to see”. Because otherwise it very difficult to see how anything affects anything, or if it even matters. WS, I can understand your pessimism in the world we live in, but I refuse to bow to that. This isn’t the end, we’ve just begun. I can see how feminism has positively impacted my life, my mother’s, and my grandmother’s. It’s a cycle and we are just in one particular spot right now, it’s not the greatest, but we’ll be ok.

You asked me how to affect change and put this into practice? For me personally, I have extensive training in accounting/business/and start-up ventures. I’d like nothing more than to help women entrepreneurs’ in third world/economically disadvantaged societies realize their dreams. Financial security is so important and the more economic power women have the better off we are as a group. This is the niche that I wish to fill in the movement. It a skill that I continue to polish so I can offer it to others in service, because everyone has some talent or area of expertise in which they can share.

The way I am preparing myself for this role is through my teaching. Besides my full-time job, I teach part-time business courses at a college in SD. I’ve been teaching since I was 23 years old, by the time I’m ready to move further down my path in life, I’ll be ready to do it. The only valid reason to be on this Earth in time like this is help others in whatever way you can. That is my way. What’s yours?

Renegade Evolution said...

Whew...this is long and discusses a lot of what's been addressed here and all...but...

Also...with respect to all, today I am in a very, very foul mood. I am going to attempt to be as civil and respectful as possible, so if my responses to some of these things are short an abrupt…well, probably for the best.

WS:

“strawman” is a term that is overused in my humble opinion, and great way to shut down the views and opinions of other women. If I never saw the word again, I would be happy.

“I’d would say that of course there are items of SM attire that are clearly antifeminist. They are about the eroticisation of power differentials and that becomes a feminist issue.”

We have very different views of BDSM. That topic, more than almost any other, is the great bane of the sexwars, right up there with porn and prostitution. Because various camps have very different ideas on what, exactly, BDSM is all about, it is very, very hard to discuss want is, or is not, inherently anti-feminist about any of it.


“or I could me him at an airshow or a museum. He may still be interested in my physically but I get a chance to know and be known in other dimensions when I create other bases for being attracted beyond the traditional pair of legs.”

Not all women care about having an emotional connection with a partner, in which case, if merely looking for the physical…why not highlight or display the physical?

“So, I turned the question back to you and ask, assuming to want to change patriarchy what’s your new practice going to look like? Or do we really want to change it?
I’m beginning to think that we really don’t.”

I don’t know. That decision is not solely up to me. I would love to see aspects such as equal pay for equal work, equality in education, business, medicine, under the law. I would like for a woman not to be seen as merely what is between her legs, as an object or as a factory for producing sons. I would like for things to not always be about the men. However, I do not want a sexless society where physical attraction means nothing, where certain modes of sex are “simply not done”. Feminism- the radical notion that women are people…People. Fully rounded people, with minds, souls, and yes, bodies, subject to things like lust, love, vanity, compassion, thought…, and I will add to that, the radical notion that people, while in possession of many differences, are equal. A man can be smart, assertive, powerful, charismatic, capable and sexy. So can a woman.

Continuing on:

SallySaid: “I refuse to play the victim role and allow others to dominate me or loved ones through the use of physical force. This skill has been an asset in many dangerous situations. I think, WS (or whatever your new name will be), to fault me for this is extremely irresponsible and immature. If there is evidence that a situation or person is a threat to my safety, I have the right to protect myself.”

I am right there with you, Sally…

There is the erroneous assumption that men are the only side of t he sex capable of violence, and this is not true. A woman absolutely has the right to defend herself physically, with extreme force if necessary. For instance…I am a gun owner. This, nor karate, nor taking a man in hand is not “stooping to their level”, it is practical if one can do it.

Regarding being “girlie” and wearing the uniform:

I disagree. Women can be smart, and sexy. If you have no want to be sexy, that is fine, but that is not the case for a great many women. Dressing in the “sex uniform” does not a vapid sex bot make. A woman can be sexy, intelligent, and powerful in truth. There is more to impressions than a woman’s wardrobe. There is the way she carries herself, the way she speaks, the level of confidence at which she operates, all of those things factor in. For example, when I am out with friends for a night on the town with the friends, in a club or some such thing…I can be wearing a nearly non existent mini-skirt, heels, and not much else really, fake boobs and all and, yes, I will get “the gaze”, I will initially be objectified, but the way I carry myself, if I speak, well, the “fluffy bimbo girl thing” image goes straight to hell. Truth is, I’ve heard from men and women alike, despite being sexy, I am intimidating. I rather like that, really.

A basic difference between you, WS, and a lot of other feminists, and women in general even, age and feminist theory aside, is that you are, admittedly, a proud prude and presumably not that sexual. I will admit I am totally the opposite end of that spectrum. I love sexuality, sex, and much of goes with them…some of my favorite things in the universe, right up there with good conversation, sleep, German Beer and Fine Mexican food. My sexuality is a huge part of who I am as a human and a woman, and I refuse to deny it for anyone. And I think the more women who stop denying it, or basing it on what men, the church, society, and yes, feminists say it should be, the better. Agency and independence are important to me, and I think important to feminism as well…and that includes sexual and personal image agency.

“The last thing I’d want to do is walk into a room full of feminists and find that everyone looked the same, talked the same, wore the same clothes, and shared exactly the same views. This type of atmosphere, while it aligns people closely with others, can become very destructive and unhealthy.
I’ve always guarded my freedom as an individual fiercely. And will continue to do so, within the movement and outside of the movement, it has to be. Unwavering, unquestioning, and unchanging support to anything (feminism, religion, dieting, a job, whatever…) is a very dangerous approach, indeed. We need to push the envelope of what is or is not acceptable so we can make progress. To me, that’s truly radical. I love to see people challenging tradition, pushing others and themselves beyond what’s comfortable. It’s the way we evolve.”

I could not agree with this MORE.

As for revolution…

I am not a revolutionary. I am subversive. Yes, I look at the world, I see the way things are, and I don’t always like it. No, not at all. Then, however, I look at feminists and feminism, a great lot of them anyway, who spend more time objectifying, insulting, and downgrading me that any ‘patriarch’ does, and hell, frankly, at least often the ‘patriarch’ is paying me for it. I am real tired of seeing myself, and yes other women and feminists like me objectified by other feminists. The hypocrisy is enough to make me choke…and yeah, often times, I do think, “you know, it would be easier not to care and just join ‘them’. The strife and bullshit in your life would decrease dramatically…” but then, I cannot do that when I do know what I know about genital mutilation of young girls and women, or the systematic rape of women in times of war…women, I might add, who do not wear miniskirts and are not part of ‘pornified’ cultures. I can’t when I think about 13 year old western girls who will give guys blowjobs because they think it will make them popular…no, as tempting as it is to say “fuck this, I will be the worlds greatest feminist nightmare” I can’t, I won’t, and I don’t. So, I then look at women like me, and wonder how can I, we, help when we are not willing to give up our sexuality and sense of style, is it possible?

Yes, I think it is. I may be sexy, but I am also smart, and a woman of agency. I am not a bimbo, or a toy, or a sexbot. I own my sexuality and image…I may rent them out for profit, but they are mine. I think, well, women like me, we can make our money, open our own businesses, employ other women of agency, speak out and present ourselves as articulate and intelligent, in whatever business, or position of education, or entertainment, or domestic role, or aspect of life we are in willingly and of our own agency…well then…it’s not all about the men anymore. It is also about women, competing and succeeding and helping to or paving the way for other women to do the same. Also, with money, as much as you may not like it, comes power. And right now, both are important commodities in this world. Once can use both, no matter how subversively gained, to help other women… my job now is paying for a law degree…which I can use to help women, and frankly, right now…well, genital mutilation, rape as a tool of warfare, lack of funding for domestic violence shelters, lack of funding for medical care, lack of funding quality legal representation for women, and ah yes, lack of funding for women to receive quality education, if even an education at all, is FAR more important than whether or not my heels and fake tits make “all women look bad”. For some reason, miniskirts and all they represent are trivial in the big picture. Men have been raping, killing, oppressing and dominating women far longer than the micro-mini and go-go boots have been around, really…

The revolution? Well, I wrote a post on my theories about revolution. Maybe we will just have to beat the boys at their own game…that I am equipped in a variety of ways and more than willing to do. As I once said, and will probably say again…there is more than one way. I don’t think any one line of feminist thoughts way is any more right or true than anothers…hey, radicals and revolutionary feminists to that side, liberal, sex pos, raunch, whatever feminists to this size, and with any luck and a little understanding and cooperation ladies, perhaps we will be toasting victory in the middle one day.

WomansSpace said...

In my experience, these conversations are doomed to failure. Faith in young women always led me into them and they never work. In a way this is a replay of one of the former threads.

It’s not unusual that people feeling a need to invalidate radical feminism pull out the Dworkin Misunderstanding and I go through this google ritual and pull up the snopes article so there can be additional exploration of the “Why I need not listen to radical feminism because I don’t want to be bothered with this silly practice anyway.” The discussion is not about desire or feminism. The discussion is wholly about how you rationalize having the practices that you do and what they constantly boil down to “regardless of what you say, I’ll going to do what I want” which is why I say these conversations are useless. There is the pretense of talking in between paragraphs thick with dismissals.

There is magical thinking. “I don’t think any one line of feminist thoughts way is any more right or true than anothers…hey, radicals and revolutionary feminists to that side, liberal, sex pos, raunch, whatever feminists to this size, and with any luck and a little understanding and cooperation ladies, perhaps we will be toasting victory in the middle one day.”

Really? Feminism and the other advocacies you mention are rather different. Only one of them has analyses and formal methodology. The “Who Benefits” that means so much to plains feminist, is radical feminist in origin and that’s the first question in a vast framework of social inquiry. They haven’t heard any refutation because the communications have been so broken which is not accidental. It is prototypical when the issues are around desire or more accurately the sexual reward system. It just doesn’t work to divide feminism up and say there is not difference. What was the criterion for dividing them up if they are the same.

There was a lot of individualism expressed:

“I’ve always guarded my freedom as an individual fiercely. And will continue to do so, within the movement and outside of the movement, it has to be.”
Not all women care about having an emotional connection with a partner, in which case, if merely looking for the physical…why not highlight or display the physical?


Less than a paragraph later:

I would like for a woman not to be seen as merely what is between her legs, as an object or as a factory for producing sons.

You can't have both - they are mutually exclusive. The wants are just "I Want", "I Want", "I Want" with no workable feminist practice.

I own my sexuality and image…I may rent them out for profit, but they are mine. I think, well, women like me, we can make our money, open our own businesses, employ other women of agency, speak out and present ourselves as articulate and intelligent, in whatever business,

More indvidualism. Part of individualism is a total preoccupation with the individual while ignoring that we live in a society and therefore we effect others.


There was a lot of this in many forms about “what is important to me” and the following are comments by Barbara Epstein:

Like first wave feminism, contemporary feminism has over time tended to absorb the perspective of the middle class from which it is largely drawn. Meanwhile the perspective of that class has changed. Over the last several decades, under the impact of increasing economic insecurity and widening inequalities, the pursuit of individual advancement has become an increasingly important focus within the middle class. Community engagement has weakened for many, perhaps most, middle class people. For many people, especially professionals, work has become something of a religion; work is the only remaining source of identity that seems valid. Meanwhile the workplace has become, for many, more competitive and more stressful. This is not just a problem of the workplace, but of the culture as a whole. This country has become increasingly individualistic, cold, and selfish. And feminism has not noticeably challenged this. The feminist demand for equal workplace access was and remains important; for most women this demand has not been achieved. But the most visible sector of the women’s movement appears to have substituted aspirations toward material success for the demand for social equality and community. This evolution, from the radical and transforming values of its early years, has been so ‘gradual that it has been easy for those involved not to notice it. But it is a reflection of the shifting perspectives of women who were once part of a radical movement and now find themselves in settings governed by a different set of values.

In the seventies and eighties, many feminists thought that if only we could get more women into the universities, the universities would be transformed and would become less elitist, less competitive, more humane, and more concerned with addressing social problems. We now have a lot of women in the universities, and it is not clear that the universities have changed for the better. Indeed, in many respects the universities are worse, especially in regard to the growing pursuit of corporate funds and the resultant spread of the market ethos. But so far neither women in general nor feminists in particular have been especially prominent in challenging these trends and demanding a more humane, less competitive, or less hierarchical university. Feminist academics have not in recent years been particularly notable for their adherence to such values. There are some areas of academic feminism where there is open discussion, where people treat each other with respect, and where everyone involved is treated as an equal participant towards a common purpose. But in too much of feminist academia this is not the case. In the arena of high theory, the most prestigious sector of academic feminism, competition and the pursuit of status are all too often uppermost

I think that we need an updated version of sixties radicalism which would include both socialist and feminist perspectives and address itself to the increased power of the corporations and influence of marketplace values. Most feminists would disavow the individualism and the pursuit of success that has become such a prominent part of culture in the United States. But I think that most of us live according to these values anyway: we measure our value by our success at work, and we let little stand in the way of it. It is taken for granted that success in life can be measured, in large part, by the achievement of wealth and status, through work. These values may have taken hold most strongly within the professional middle class, but they have extended far beyond it as well; they are reinforced by economic insecurity, the fear of falling behind, losing one’s job, falling to the bottom.

It is difficult, even for radicals, to maintain a different set of values, when institutions and social relations outside of work have become so weakened, when nothing but achievement at work seems to hold much social value. Our communities have dwindled. We regret this but most of us respond by further throwing ourselves into our work. I think we need a critique of, and an alternative to, an increasingly unfettered capitalism, which intensifies social divisions, puts a price on everything, and draws all arenas of life into its vortex. One can think of the radical feminist demand for equality and community as quaint, or one can see it as a precondition for a contemporary radical program.


You can rationalize it however you like but individualism and feminism really are compatible and the author makes that clear.
The article also makes clear that just filling institution with women, does not change the institution. We have lots of women as faculty these days but if anything universities have become far more conservative. Political solutions here are liberal solutions. We’ll just reform a little here and a little here and a little here. REFORM WON”T WORK It won’t change those institutions any more than you are willing to change your sex lives. Rengade here was something you missed:

I do not think that a society that commoditizes women’s bodies is a liberated society. That’s why when an active sex worker says “Be the change you want to be.” I don’t find that to be desireable feminist goal.

We’re talking about sexual desire but what about poltical desire? You two may desire something close which I say will never liberate women and you think that’s fine.

I couldn’t be clearer that it appears to that yours designs appear to be more of the same. Money, Capital, power, guns, fighting to defend yourself…..
I’m very clear that I don’t want any of those things and those things are not at all what I’m working toward. There’s an old second wave saying, “I don’t want a different piece of the pie, I want a whole different pie.”
We have totally different values, designs and goals and I believe we are not being honest when all three of us are called feminist because you have one word describing huge difference.
Here’s the thing… let’s say you two get exactly what you wanted. If there is money ,power, this system of law, these nation-states, the selling of women’s bodies it would be my perception that we were still sitting smack in the middle of patriarchy. This is why I fear nothing ever comes from my participation in these threads and also why I say that patriarchy is alive and well and there’s very little challenging it.

Renegade Evolution said...

So, here we go…

After spending an entire day more or less in a state of rage due to being objectified by feminists, and seeing other women objectified by feminists, before I am even going to respond to this, I am going to SAY this:

“It is very easy to be critical of others opinions, looks and methods when one, you have never been in their shoes, two, lived a period of their lives, three, seen what they’ve been able to accomplish, and four, not realized you have become exactly what you started off fighting.” -Me

Stay with me here. I get my compliancy with the Patriarchy, even collusion with, thrown in my made up face EVERY FUCKING DAY OF THE weak. I get judged, put down, attacked, treated like something less than shit, objectified, verbally abused, mocked, and down graded…by feminists. Especially those with radical leanings. So, why on earth would I want, ever, to be part of a theory or movement that FAILS to recognize me as a Human Being? Who has no idea, or if they do, does not care, what their words and rants and attitudes do to women with even a passing interest in feminism, yet do not fit the mold? Who does not care, or even know what I might have done, might do, in the name of women? Shaming, abuse, shunning, scape-gloating, imperious attitudes, failure to empathize, failure to consider, failure to accept an idea other than the one pure idea, patronizing verbiage? Also patriarchal tools. Used by feminists. Used by radical feminists, and at this point, used by you.

“The discussion is wholly about how you rationalize having the practices that you do and what they constantly boil down to “regardless of what you say, I’ll going to do what I want” which is why I say these conversations are useless.”

We also did not insist that many of these behaviors were feminist, yet exercising our right of choice is. If one cannot see that choice is a big part of feminism as a whole, then yes, perhaps they are useless.

“Really? Feminism and the other advocacies you mention are rather different. Only one of them has analyses and formal methodology. The “Who Benefits” that means so much to plains feminist, is radical feminist in origin and that’s the first question in a vast framework of social inquiry. They haven’t heard any refutation because the communications have been so broken which is not accidental. It is prototypical when the issues are around desire or more accurately the sexual reward system. It just doesn’t work to divide feminism up and say there is not difference. What was the criterion for dividing them up if they are the same.”

Nothing is wholly uniform. There is nothing, ever, without signs of change and deviation. Once something ceases moving, changing, it stops. That’s it. There is no more, unless someone moves it again. Who does it benefit? Let’s ask that, and take a good look…is what you are advocating as the real hardline of feminism benefit younger feminists? Does it benefit any women’s activist who does not follow that path? Does it encourage them to express their thoughts, opinions, ideals, theories, voices, expression, personality, individuality, sexuality, or concern? No, it does not. Because the course is already set, the perfect method and theory already in place. In fact, it eliminates the need for all those things…and I do not see that sort of Orwellian blind step lock and follow the manifesto as beneficial to women at all. However, my “version of feminism” allows you to believe what you will, work as you will, and find comrades as you will. Yours does not.

“ ‘Not all women care about having an emotional connection with a partner, in which case, if merely looking for the physical…why not highlight or display the physical?

Less than a paragraph later:

I would like for a woman not to be seen as merely what is between her legs, as an object or as a factory for producing sons.

You can't have both - they are mutually exclusive. The wants are just "I Want", "I Want", "I Want" with no workable feminist practice.”

Really? So, a woman cannot have non-romantically involved sex and accent her physical, ever, without wholly being reduced to her vagina? How utterly depressing and defeatist.

“I own my sexuality and image…I may rent them out for profit, but they are mine. I think, well, women like me, we can make our money, open our own businesses, employ other women of agency, speak out and present ourselves as articulate and intelligent, in whatever business,

More individualism. Part of individualism is a total preoccupation with the individual while ignoring that we live in a society and therefore we effect others.”

Now wait a minute…you also spoke, at length, of your experiences and personal views, wrt to being a proud prude, not wanting to be seen as sexy, the actual fear of being seen as sexy, and how you would prefer someone see your intellect rather than your legs… You spoke as an individual; yet, we are not allowed the same courtesy, to speak of our views, experiences and thoughts, as individuals? As women? That is hardly equal, or beneficial. There are not different rules, we all should be accorded the same set.

“Rengade here was something you missed:

I do not think that a society that commoditizes women’s bodies is a liberated society. That’s why when an active sex worker says “Be the change you want to be.” I don’t find that to be desireable feminist goal.”

One, in the modern world, every single human being IS a commodity, they work, they produce, they themselves are commodities, and often, not just in the case of sex work, they are commodities due to their bodies. Physical labor, farming, building, athletics, physical therapists…they all use their bodies. No, they are not selling sex or sexuality, but they are selling their bodies. And why, consistently, does everyone ignore the fact that there are men in the sex industry as well…not just as pimps and porn lords, but as porn performers, prostitutes, and strippers?

Also, you do not have to find it a desirable feminist goal. I am not saying anyone has to. I have stated 1000 times now sex work is NOT a feminist occupation, but engaging in it via choice or agency can be a feminist action. Yet, here again, you get to assert you individual personal opinion, thought, and theory to reject mine with the words “I don’t think, I don’t find”. You also get to find your view superior to mine, as mine does not follow your set out theory.

“We’re talking about sexual desire but what about poltical desire? You two may desire something close which I say will never liberate women and you think that’s fine.”

“Which I (you) say…” again, as an individual, doing what you have criticized in us. And yes, I do think different opinions are just fine. As I said before, utopia? Orwell? No thank you. And as someone who admittedly is not big on sexual desire, why judge others for theirs? Who does that benefit?

“I couldn’t be clearer that it appears to that yours designs appear to be more of the same. Money, Capital, power, guns, fighting to defend yourself…..”

“I couldn’t be more clearer”…more individual thought and expression. Money exists in this world, and it can be used to do good things. As can capital. Would it be better to wholly reject these things in the name of feminism, damn the women and children who will suffer for doing so? Should I quit my job and say “Sorry, this money thing, not good for feminism, so I won’t be able to put gas in my car and come on down to answer phones at the domestic violence hotline anymore, or donate to the women’s education fund, or breast cancer research, because well, it’s not feminist.” Who does that benefit? How is it good for feminism or women? Power is also a necessary evil in the reality of the world, and yeah, I would like to see more of it in the hands of women…as for guns and defending ones self…the survival instinct is still strong within the human animal, for as far as we may have come, we have not outrun that…would it be better then, if I, oh, just let myself be physically abused, or raped, or murdered…if I just laid down and let it happen? Who does that benefit?

“I’m very clear that I don’t want any of those things and those things are not at all what I’m working toward. There’s an old second wave saying, “I don’t want a different piece of the pie, I want a whole different pie.””

“I’m (individual) very clear that I don’t want any of those things…” Well, neither of us are forcing you to want those things, or work towards them. Not in the least. But really, if you have no space for our ideas, or thoughts, or methods, why should we have the same for yours? Because you are…better than us? Wiser? More pure? With more to offer? Right? Because you know the best way? The true path? The way things should be? Just like the patriarchy has been telling us for all these years?

And yes, I realize you want a whole new pie. I have zero problem with that. A new pie is an ADMIRABLE goal! But where is the new pie going to come from? Revolution, yes? Well, revolutions are often very violent, bloody affairs. There is no bloodless revolution. They are funded by money and capital, and people fight and pick up guns. Maybe this has all been done in reverse; maybe it is us who, via our subversion, are paving the path for you and the revolutionaries. We’ll do the dirty work, get the money, the capital, the power, the guns, in our miniskirts and heels and all, and then, maybe, yes revolution and a new pie. I am a student of history after all…that is usually the way, and the only way, revolution works or creates anything lasting.

“We have totally different values, designs and goals and I believe we are not being honest when all three of us are called feminist because you have one word describing huge difference.”

Ah, because, via the plan, there is no room for differences or deviation…and I assume, that you get the title and we do not. Some feminists are more equal than others.

“Here’s the thing… let’s say you two get exactly what you wanted. If there is money, power, this system of law, these nation-states, the selling of women’s bodies it would be my perception that we were still sitting smack in the middle of patriarchy. This is why I fear nothing ever comes from my participation in these threads and also why I say that patriarchy is alive and well and there’s very little challenging it.”

Unless, maybe, you are willing to use those things to help women when and where you can, and maybe, finance a revolution. Unless, maybe, you see there is room for different methods and means and collaboration. Who does that benefit?

Perhaps, Plain(s), a feminism in theory and in practice within the confines of the modern system discussion is in order…

Yes, much of this was harsh, but as I’ve said, today has not been a good day. I have utterly had it with some feminists are more equal than others. Its all starting to sound like ‘what is the one true, pure form religion, who is the one true God, or Goddess, or collection there of?’ We’ll fight wars over it, kill eachother over it, paint the world red with human blood over it, when some people merely want to believe.

WomansSpace said...

One more thing:

Renegade Evolution:

"We have very different views of BDSM. That topic, more than almost any other, is the great bane of the sexwars, right up there with porn and prostitution. Because various camps have very different ideas on what, exactly, BDSM is all about, it is very, very hard to discuss want is, or is not, inherently anti-feminist about any of it."

Just so we don't have to go through this again, radical feminism does not see things as having inherent natures.

Radical feminism however does have an analysis on sexuality and the eroticization of dominance. It doesn't make any different how you feel about it. Opinions don't make any difference, how it's "viewed makes no difference. What's different about this and the bible is that IF you can a place where the analysis is not correct, the analysis can and should be changed.

To the extent that we are talking about the eroticization of dominance in BDSM it is not feminist.

You have opinions... radical feminists have analyses which is what makes us so frustrating.

Why we are soooooo frustrating that people will call us Psychic Vampires and vomit monsters.

And of course we all know that's just silly superstition and middle school gym play and bullshit from the heartland.

:p

Renegade Evolution said...

WS:

You are reading a whole lot in here where nothing has been said...

BDSM? That freakin' battle has been raging on from months, from the great halls of twisty to trinity to Casa de Belledame. I, personally, have NEVER stated that BDSM was "feminist". Not every undertaking I make in a day has to be "feminist". Wake up, brush the teeth & hair...okay, no need to worry if that is feminist. Put on underwear...oh, wait...bra...is this bra antifeminist? Its a sports bra, but its pink...hummm. Thong? Anti feminist, bikini, antifeminist...brief, okay, but uncomfortable...none? oh hell, how not feminist... Nope. I can't look at every action that way. So, BDSM, well, something a great many people (not me, many) see as a valid expression of their very core humanity. Yep. Humanity. Denying people their humanity? Who does that benefit?

"Radical feminism however does have an analysis on sexuality and the eroticization of dominance. It doesn't make any different how you feel about it. Opinions don't make any difference, how it's "viewed makes no difference."

So, in short, humans (even female ones) don't matter. Their thoughts, views, and feelings make
zero difference when placed up against the analysis. Thus, the analysis outweighs the humans. Who does this benefit?

"What's different about this and the bible is that IF you can a place where the analysis is not correct, the analysis can and should be changed."

And why do you think so many people HAVE deviated from the path? Because they have found place where the analysis is incorrect, but you, as a representitive of the analysis, arer not even willing to consider that possibility, much less ponder changing anything, or so it would seem.

"To the extent that we are talking about the eroticization of dominance in BDSM it is not feminist."

See my above statement.

"You have opinions... radical feminists have analyses which is what makes us so frustrating."

You have opinions too, seen a few of em throughout this. And lots of people, many, have analyzed radical and other theories of feminism, hence the original split between the radicals and sex positives back in the 60's. What makes you so frusterating has a lot more to do with your imperious "one true path" attitudes and utter disregard for all other schools of thought- far more so than your analysis.

"Why we are soooooo frustrating that people will call us Psychic Vampires and vomit monsters."

Huh? I did an emotional vampire post, but it had nothing to do with radical feminists, more about people like my ex-crack addict soon to be sister in law, an abusive ex-girlfriend, and an old friend down in Florida...so, um, huh?

"And of course we all know that's just silly superstition and middle school gym play and bullshit from the heartland."

We do? What are you on about here? However, it is not as if radical feminists have never called names either...

" :p "

Speaking of middle school gym play...

Listen, and I mean this sincerely, if you cannot deal with your ideals, and radical analysis, and favored feminists like McKinnon and such (who, as a human, is after all fallible) being questioned or critisized or subject to dissent and analysis of their own without taking the superior high ground or seeing some room for diversity and resorting to sticking out your metaphorical tongue at woman who dares to disagree with you about a womans movement...one you "accepted" little more than 24 hours ago...maybe you do need to stick to like minds only, because you are going to find that people get heated and such when discussing these matters, nasty things will be said, but there is a level, you know?

antiprincess said...

That's your "girlie tingle" and it does just cost you, it costs all of us because I live in the same society in which you are so gurly. By virtue of your turn on, you establish or conform to roles which are expected of me too.

so, if Ms. Sunshine wore a burlap sack, you'd feel somehow less oppressed?

how would you know?

further on - I am non-girly, non-skirted, non-pantyhosed, non-made-up and quite sensibly shod. I have a feeling that nonetheless you'd find my politics (undeveloped and immature as they are) more oppressive to you than Sally's girly getup.

I know this is a HUGE shock to young women, but did it ever occur to you that feminism my have nothing at all to do with self gratification?

au contraire. before feminism it was debated in certain circles whether women even had selves, even were human enough to have a concept of "self".

feminism, for me, has a lot to do with acknowledging oneself and one's own needs, and speaking up for them.

plain(s)feminist said...

WS, clearly you are going to have to agree to disagree. It's fine to point out what radical feminism says, but I'm pretty sure that you're the only person here id's as rad fem, and I'm pretty sure that none of the other commenters are about converting.

And Ren Ev, I loved your comment. Loved. It.

Renegade Evolution said...

::tips an imaginary hat::

Much obliged, ma’am..

sallysunshine_26 said...

Renegade, thanks for your intelligent comments! I hear what you are saying about agency in your line of work, and I'm right there with you on that too, amongst other things as well.

Plains, yes, I think we'll agree to disagree with WS on this one and let it go.

Anti-princess, thank god we don't have to run around in burlap bags, that'd certainly be uncomfortable. Thanks for the support!

~SS

WomansSpace said...

Good morning!

I'd like to acknowledge each and every one of you.

A few quick comments and I will return later to author deeper questions the justice they deserve.

Renegade Evolution, I wanted to acknowledge you and your playfulness. You always make it a please to make a response to you as you playfully defuse situations and I really think that skill deserves an acknowledgement.

BDSM is a long discussion and of course it always looks like an impasse because BDSM does involve the sexual reward system, most of the content that uttered in defense of BDSM will be a rationalization on why it's OK.

I am a survivor of long term physical abuse and BDSM absolutely triggers me personally. But what i want to share with you is I've noticed there are some really loving people who practice BDSM.

Thongs - I've been in all of these discussion a million times and yet.... we've never gotten to thongs. I don't like them and have never worn one and would not wear one.

At the same time, as sexless as I be, I'm sure a thong is anti-feminist. I have not doubt there are scenarios that radical feminists would take issues with. But since I also saw Snowhite as many times as I've seen Titanic I'm so sweet and innocent that i can't think of any scenarios this morning since for which I am incredibly thankful. I'm going to go contemplate your questions now.

Blerk Out :p

WomansSpace said...

TYpos... I'm embrassed and sorry:

This should read:

You always make it a pleasure to make a response to you as you playfully defuse situations and I really think that skill deserves an acknowledgement.


I'm sure a thong is anti-feminist. should read

I'm sure a thong is not anti-feminist.

antiprincess said...

Sally - well, here it is for me:

we hear all the time that wearing sexy clothes does not mean you're "asking for it", and men should not interpret a miniskirt and heels as an invitation, or advertisement of sexual availability.

if clothes are not an invitation to men's judgment (gaze nothwithstanding), why should they be an invitation to women's judgment?

Renegade Evolution said...

WS:

“Renegade Evolution, I wanted to acknowledge you and your playfulness. You always make it a please to make a response to you as you playfully defuse situations and I really think that skill deserves an acknowledgement.”

Playful? ::looks around in abject shock and horror::. Playful? I am a 30 something year old woman who gets naked and screwed for a living. A sense of humor, I have…playful? Kittens are playful. Kids, playful. Naïve star-crossed lovers in bad movies are playful. I am, on the other hand, very, very serious. Don't let my rather Dennis Miller-like style fool you. I am sure you meant no insult, but calling a grown woman, while discussing rather serious issues “playful” is a bit of a fauxpas.

“BDSM is a long discussion and of course it always looks like an impasse because BDSM does involve the sexual reward system, most of the content that uttered in defense of BDSM will be a rationalization on why it's OK.”

Actually, a lot of BDSM involves a mental rewards system. It is, in fact, very, very cerebral. More so than most other forms of physical (not merely or always sexual) pleasure. A huge problem with any talk on BDSM is the fact that a lot of people who are against it do not often know a thing about it, other than slanted reports or all the bad stories, which is, of course, then used as anti BDSM propoganda, and every other aspect of it is completely ignored for it does not fit the agenda.

“I am a survivor of long term physical abuse and BDSM absolutely triggers me personally. But what i want to share with you is I've noticed there are some really loving people who practice BDSM.”

That is unfortunate. There are indeed some bonafied assholes out there, of both genders. And yes, there are.

“Thongs - I've been in all of these discussion a million times and yet.... we've never gotten to thongs. I don't like them and have never worn one and would not wear one.

At the same time, as sexless as I be, I'm sure a thong is anti-feminist. I have not doubt there are scenarios that radical feminists would take issues with. But since I also saw Snowhite as many times as I've seen Titanic I'm so sweet and innocent that i can't think of any scenarios this morning since for which I am incredibly thankful. I'm going to go contemplate your questions now.”

Thongs were invented, originally, for strippers when clubs stopped allowing full nudity, or so the story goes. So yeah, not so feminist. However, a lot of people do prefer them to the type of wedgie inflicted by fruit of the loom full-coverage female briefs.

plain(s)feminist said...

However, a lot of people do prefer them to the type of wedgie inflicted by fruit of the loom full-coverage female briefs.

Exactly.

I know this is a problematic thing to say, but here's what I think, anyway: I don't think that a person who has never worn a thong for more than .02 seconds is in a position to analyze thongs. There is plenty to say about how thongs are used to communicate female availability, for ex., about the fact that showing off one's thong is, for some age groups, de rigeur. But I am not going to defend the thong to folks who've never tried one - who've never, for example, gone to dance class in white, bunchy, wedgifying briefs under leggings and then tried it again with a thong. In all of the thongophobia that happens in some feminist circles, I've yet to see an argument for thongs as utilitarian - which, I would argue, they are.

I'm not telling anti-thong feminists to shut up about this, necessarily, but I am saying that an analysis needs to be complete if it's going to be useful.

And Dorothy Allison's writing about SM as a healing experience after a childhood of rape and abuse is another example of why we cannot use our own experiences as our sole measuring sticks.

(Yes, I am aware that I just argued against myself there. Live with it.)

WomansSpace said...

"if clothes are not an invitation to men's judgment (gaze nothwithstanding), why should they be an invitation to women's judgment? "

I'm beginning to understand our differences in emphasis.

I'm not judging you in the least. I look at one thing. I look at the poltical impact of a behavior as to whether or not behaviors are likley to maintain oppression or alleviate it. That is the ONLY thing radical feminists look at. We are monmaniacs about this. You may think this is without compassion but the compassion is long-term invested in women's liberation not short term gratification.

rengade,

You have a full apology for my levity and it will not happen again, i return to my former humorless self. Humor never pays.

sallysunshine_26 said...

Plains Said: “And Dorothy Allison's writing about SM as a healing experience after a childhood of rape and abuse is another example of why we cannot use our own experiences as our sole measuring sticks.”

(Sally stands up and claps). Thanks, Plains, I’ve been dying to say that. I think a lot of healing has to happen before our own past experiences stop triggering our reactions in the present. It helps to a least be aware of how painful experiences have shaped our personalities, but on a deeper level, how can we reduce some of the negativity and bitterness and move towards forgiveness?

Certainly, as women, we’ve all been subjected to and affected by the oppressive attitudes and actions of the patriarchy. The truth is, every single close female friend of mine I know has been raped. I’m not exaggerating, it is the honest to god truth. From my dearest best friends to family members, it’s been an on-going experience as they have shared their stories with me. Yes the emotional scars are deep, yes it horribly infuriating, but its reality.

I know I’m sort of off topic here, but this needs to be addressed. What can we do as women to help one another and protect each other and ourselves? It’s the common thread I hear in most of our stories.

For something a little lighter… Thongs. Hmmm, well, I agree with Plains they are a hell of a lot more comfortable than regular. I love em’. It’s a practical issue for me.

Anti-princess: “we hear all the time that wearing sexy clothes does not mean you're "asking for it", and men should not interpret a miniskirt and heels as an invitation, or advertisement of sexual availability.

if clothes are not an invitation to men's judgment (gaze nothwithstanding), why should they be an invitation to women's judgment?”

Yes, exactly. Thank you for pointing that out.

Renegade Evolution said...

there is nothing wrong with humor

WomansSpace said...

You know what Ms. renegade?

Not that it makes any difference but, I can't help but like you.

I don't know how to tell you this, but it for your personality.

plain(s)feminist said...

so, if Ms. Sunshine wore a burlap sack, you'd feel somehow less oppressed?

how would you know?

further on - I am non-girly, non-skirted, non-pantyhosed, non-made-up and quite sensibly shod. I have a feeling that nonetheless you'd find my politics (undeveloped and immature as they are) more oppressive to you than Sally's girly getup.


Well said. It's not that I don't think that clothing - everything, really - is political on some level. But this comment drives home the point that clothes don't necessarily make the woman (or her politics).

Yeesh. That was a bad pun. I'm sorry. (It was heartfelt, though!)

WomansSpace said...

I'm sure that no one has suggested burlap sacks.

I wear really nice looking clothes (when i have the money to buy them) but I dress for me and dressing for me set one really high priority which is "don't give men much to latch on to". Women love what I wear. I don't think men notice. I wear lots of sweaters and long skirts down to the ankle flowing and comformtable.

In the summer, the cottage has no air conditioning then I'm all cutoffs, legs, and strappy tops.

Unfortunately, I stop a lot of traffic :(

antiprincess said...

so would you be offended/irritated if someone said that your sweaters and long skirts made you appear to espouse the values of a fundamentalist Christian?

do you want people making assumptions about your politics based on what you wear?

WomansSpace said...

Hi Antiprincess,

I want to apologize if I have said much to you because I've looked at what you have to say and i've been impressed by your substance.

Thank you for dropping in on WS today. I hope you show up more often.

Actually, once someone said I dressed like a church lady which is just is not true. It was intended as an insult and I was insulted. Because I wear pretty bright florals and often a tight black turtle nect sweater. I always have an Aigner purse. I really don't look like a church lady.

But I noticed a major disjointed in all of our communications.

The radical feminist question is never about assumptions. It's never about my feelings even. Certainly it's not about my comfort at all. The question in radical feminism is social change induction. The question is, if I wear this today, how much is this going to challenged in the inplace structures and expectations.

Let's invent a scale of 0 to 100.

Mini-skirts and stillettos - receive a zero.

My attire would receive maybe a ten at best.

Kaki pants button down shirt = 50?

combat boots and unform 100?

I need to say, I have no affinity for the masculine at all. I don't like masculine and yet the attire got more point as it was more masculine. It that the answer is to just wear masculine clothes?

No. It isn't at all.

The desired goal is to challenge existing social structures.

If you could get everyone to dress on cow uniforms that would be great too. The point is we want long term eradication of gendered roles or inequitable resource allocations and opportunity based on sex. That's what we always are looking at.

Cassandra Says said...

AP said..."if clothes are not an invitation to men's judgment (gaze nothwithstanding), why should they be an invitation to women's judgment?"
And we have a winner! That's what this all boils down to really - what makes any feminist think that she has the right to judge another based on something as trivial as clothing? To attempt to deduce something about the content of her character based on the length of her skirt? Isn't that what we complain about men doing? Why is it suddenly OK when it's us doing it?
Now, to the subject of "radfems have analysis, all the rest of you have opinions" - that's remarkably condescending, you know. Not only that, it's not really accurate. All human beings react at least in part emotionally. That's the way we're made. It's neither a man thing nor a woman thing, it's a human thing. There are very few people who are truly capable of responding to things in a completely unemotional manner, and most of them are not exactly paragons of mental health. Such people are commonly referred to as sociopaths.
Personally I see radfems react based on emotion rather than analysis all the time. The fact that you refer to your gut responses as "analysis" does not make it so. Look at yourself, WS - you are fundamentally an asexual person. You have an instinctive revulsion towards clothes that you perceive as masculine (note that I say perceive - in reality clothes are just garments, it's human socialisation that makes us read skirts as feminine and pants as masculine). You are drawn towards theories which reflect and support your natural preferences, which is fine. The problem comes when you assume that A your gut responses are based on analysis and B the behavior you instincivelly prefer shoudl therefore be universal.

Renegade Evolution said...

As a big fan of combat boots WITH short skirts and yeah, suits, i think wardrobe is a great way to fuck around with gender types and stereotypes. I mean, there are things i LOVE to see...

Woman in a powersuit...not one with a skirt, but a "masculine" looking suit cut for her body type. NOTHING "slutty" about that...

A man in a kilt.

Hell, a woman in a kilt.

A man in whatever style is popular at the time, say for instance, this time of year, jeans and a turtleneck sweater...but in a color not deemed "masculine", like a pink or yellow or teal sweater.

A woman in a REALLY short skirt, but with big old boots and anything with an "outlaw" edge...leather jacket, cowboy hat, so on...

Combat boots for everyone!

I think all of these things have a tendancy to "mess with gender stereotypes"...and yeah, I think they are all sexy as well.

WomansSpace said...

"AP said..."if clothes are not an invitation to men's judgment (gaze nothwithstanding), why should they be an invitation to women's judgment?"

And we have a winner! That's what this all boils down to really - what makes any feminist think that she has the right to judge another based on something as trivial as clothing? "

This discussion cannot be had for some reason. The individualism is so thick in here that what I have said over and over again just fuck ing cannot be heard.

You cannot induce change by doing the same thing over and over again. You cannot reduce objectification of a dominant by dressing the way that dominant class wants it's objects to dress.

What I am saying has nothing to do with judgement but change induction.

But it is this kind of thinking, this 'me' centered thinking while forgetting that living in a society and that what we do effects other people and what a woman does effects all other women which tells me that patriachies future is insured. Patriarchy is totally unchallenged by women in miniskirts and stilettos. It just is. This individualism was the kind of individualism introduced by Ronald Reagan. This kind of thinking was what really brought an end to the seventies. In 1980 one day a saw a young man in a traditional suit and a short hair cut and I knew. I knew this was the harbinger of something really bad and I was right.

It ushered in a zeitgeist replacing social concern with "me, me, me" and that's the difference between the 1970s and now. In the 70s we wanted to make the world better. Today we worry about how our skirts look.

WomansSpace said...

"Personally I see radfems react based on emotion rather than analysis all the time. The fact that you refer to your gut responses as "analysis" does not make it so. Look at yourself, WS - you are fundamentally an asexual person. You have an instinctive revulsion towards clothes that you perceive as masculine (note that I say perceive - in reality clothes are just garments, it's human socialisation that makes us read skirts as feminine and pants as masculine)."

I don't refer to my gut reponses as analysis. I refer to a book like Catharine MacKinnon's Feminism Unmodified or Toward a feminist theory of state as analysis. You ought to try them some times they are really interesting.

There are things you forget. I've been a feminist for forty years. I've been through consciousness raising I've helped build feminist lesbian clinics.

My guts ARE analysis. My cogitive framework IS feminist. This isn't something new or alien to me. This is something that I was waiting for to arrive in the sixties. This is something that has been central to me for the majority of my life.

In the nineties, as a liberal feminist, I came to see that my own liberal feminism was fucked up and that liberal feminism wasn't feminism at all.


In the beginning of this thread PF exclaimed about "Who benefits" after I asked a "Who Benefits" question. "Who benefits" is the entry level question of a feminist analysis, and Plains picked up on my asking that. The thing is, I am constantly asking that.

Additionally I look at things from a central pivot point question which is the question of social power, what men have and what women do not.

You see, I'm a femborg or even a "fembot" as MRAs would call us. My guts ARE feminist analysis.

Would you like to see some analysis? I have an example:

"What I have just described is the ideological defense of pornogra¬phy. Given the consequences for women of this formal theoretical structure, consequences that we live out daily as social inequality (not to mention its inherent blame-the-victim posture), I do not think it can be said that liberal feminism is feminist. What it is, is liberalism ap¬plied to women. If the sexes are equally different but not equally so¬cially powerful, "differences" in the liberal sense are irrelevant to the politics of our situation, which is one of inequality. Radical feminism, as I understand it, is against gender hierarchy. Since such a critique does address the situation of women as I understand it, I term it simply feminism. Catharine Mackinnon"

Here's what interesting. I had already come to this conclusion before I found MacKinnon. No movement that supports pornography is feminist. It may pose as feminism, it may call itself that but pornography hurts women and anything that advaocates hurting women cannot be feminist. That's not a gut reaction. That's analysis.

And by the way speaking for me the way you did is really intrusive and violating. You don't know anything about me. You don't know anything about what goes on inside of me all. Your only access to that is to ask me. You have dots to connect and you forget you are the one doing the connecting. How many lesbian radical feminists do you know who have been around for the duration of the whole movement?

Here's an even more telling question. How many women do you know who have been CR in the seventies? Your answer to that will be a good predictor about your actually ability to connect the dots.

Renegade Evolution said...

WS:

“This discussion cannot be had for some reason. The individualism is so thick in here that what I have said over and over again just fucking cannot be heard.”

No, this discussion is being had. And yes, everyone, you included, has inserted moments of individualism…as often as everyone else. What you’ve said has been heard. Just because it has not been agreed with does not mean it has not been heard, even addressed, repeatedly. WRT “who does this benefit”, and your take on Radical Feminism, I went ape on that the other day. I certainly heard you…and I have yet to see a defense of or response to points I had made. Also, the cancellation of individualism, who does that benefit? In some ways, it is good. As individuals, we call all agree that first degree murder is BAD. We can come to a mutually beneficial agreement on that. Laws and punishment in regards to murder are beneficial to all, except murderers. Now, dictating a uniform, as it were, for the female half of the human species? Who does that benefit? I doubt it would be a large majority.

“You cannot induce change by doing the same thing over and over again. You cannot reduce objectification of a dominant by dressing the way that dominant class wants it's objects to dress.”

Truthfully, I suspect the dominant would prefer that all its “objects” that it found beautiful not dress at all, and all those it found unattractive cover “itself” completely…

“What I am saying has nothing to do with judgement but change induction.”

Actually, it has everything to do with judgment. You, via your feminism, are in fact judging “the miniskirt” crew as not feminists and detrimental to feminism. You are also judging them for individualism. You may not see it, may not even be aware of it, but you are doing it.

“But it is this kind of thinking, this 'me' centered thinking while forgetting that living in a society and that what we do effects other people and what a woman does effects all other women which tells me that patriachies future is insured. Patriarchy is totally unchallenged by women in miniskirts and stilettos. It just is.”

Really? The assertion and assistance that we should not wear miniskirts ALSO, via society, affects women. It limits their freedom of choice. Women were once utterly shunned by society for cutting their hair, or wearing pants. How is shunning them now for wearing short skirts & heels ANY different? It’s not, it is an effort to control women. Period. And any attempt to control women, to dictate to them, to force them into WHATEVER mode of anything is, by definition, anti-feminist. Spike heels may not be feminist. Telling women WHAT they should do is certainly anti feminist. And yes, women in heels and short skirts can challenge the Patriarchy…two of the most powerful women, powerful people, in entertainment currently are Oprah and Madonna, both whom have been known to wear short skirts and heels. Gloria Allred, extremely well known lawyer, law scholar, and feminist? Also been known to wear heels and skirt above her knee…

“This individualism was the kind of individualism introduced by Ronald Reagan. This kind of thinking was what really brought an end to the seventies. In 1980 one day a saw a young man in a traditional suit and a short haircut and I knew. I knew this was the harbinger of something really bad and I was right.”

Individualism was brought about by Ronald Reagan? Um, as a student of history I must strongly disagree. Ronald Reagan actually brought back a sense of 1940’s-1950’s syle of conformity, work ethic, stress on more traditional roles, styles of dress, and world cold war paranoia. (Remember him calling the USSR the evil empire? That was a 1950’s style of attitude). The stress on individuality and personal freedom came about in the 60’s, the idea that people of all colors and genders should be able to express themselves as they saw fit, in art, writing, music and politics- the anti war movement, the black panthers, the beats, all movements that stressed individuality and political change. Reagan, if anything, was the antithesis of that and ushered in a stop to it. Reagan was far more about conformity (work, earn, money, nuclear family, defense) than he was about individuality.

”It ushered in a zeitgeist replacing social concern with "me, me, me" and that's the difference between the 1970s and now. In the 70s we wanted to make the world better. Today we worry about how our skirts look.”

No, it ushered in a concern with material wealth and safety. Greed. The ideals of the 50’s only bigger, stronger, and badder…and open to women as well. And do you honestly think we, the modern (apparently lesser) feminists do NOT want to make the world better? That we do not work for that? You would be sorely mistaken…even if we do occasionally worry about how our skirts look.

Sigh. Here is the reason I mentioned a thread on Feminism In Theory and in Practice in the Modern World:

WS; you are practicing and living feminism in theory in the modern world. You have a great deal of feminist reading, knowledge and theory under your belt and act via passive resistance (from best as I can tell) via eschewing beauty standards and money and other such things, relying heavily on theory and analysis. The seventies feminism you love, while it does offer a wonderful ground work and set of ideals, it is, in some ways, obsolete now in 2007. Hence the splits and the factions. Why do you think communism fails so often? It does not keep up with the times and the needs of the people. The same can be said of feminism, and just as modern socialist and communists adapt and alter their methods, SO DO feminists in order to keep the movement valid and alive.

Also, for as much as you discuss other people’s “me me me” attitude, you do put forth a lot of “I, I, I,” yourself. Your aversion to the “male gaze” and feelings on sexuality influence everything that you say, and yes, condemn those who do not have the same aversions or feelings to such things. ALL people’s personal feelings and experiences color what they say, and think, yours included.

“I don't refer to my gut reponses as analysis. I refer to a book like Catharine MacKinnon's Feminism Unmodified or Toward a feminist theory of state as analysis. You ought to try them some times they are really interesting.”

Catharine MacKinnon is not the end all beat all of feminism. I’m sorry, she’s not. Most of us have read a fair dose of CM, and Dworkin, and countless others. Frankly, McKinnon’s views on heterosexual sex make my head hurt.

“There are things you forget. I've been a feminist for forty years. I've been through consciousness raising I've helped build feminist lesbian clinics.”

No, we don’t forget, you remind us often. Okay, so, I’ve been a feminist for…lesse… 15 or so years? I’ve run marathons and donated money and worked in domestic abuse centers and in feminist organizations, and donated money to and paid out of pocket to fly to Kenya to help build women’s health clinics…so, what? The point here is? We’ve both done things for women and feminism. But, I, among other unfeminist things, wear short skirts? Have not been “at it” as long as you have? Subscribe to a different brand of feminism? The insolent girly child in me says “SO?”

“My guts ARE analysis. My cogitive framework IS feminist. This isn't something new or alien to me. This is something that I was waiting for to arrive in the sixties. This is something that has been central to me for the majority of my life.”

No, WS, you are not an android, you are not a computer. Your “you”, your ‘personal’ influences you just like it does for the rest of us.

“In the nineties, as a liberal feminist, I came to see that my own liberal feminism was fucked up and that liberal feminism wasn't feminism at all.”

In YOUR view, which IS tainted by the personal, it was not. You do not get to decide for everyone else…after all, who does that benefit?

“In the beginning of this thread PF exclaimed about "Who benefits" after I asked a "Who Benefits" question. "Who benefits" is the entry level question of a feminist analysis”

And I too, have now asked that question several times, and received comments about my playful attitude and nice personality. You know, the patriarchy complements me on my tits and ass all the time when they don’t want to answer a question…

“….” Catharine MacKinnon…”

That’s you quoting Mackinnon, not analyzing anything, let alone hearing what other women are saying to you. It is no different than a fundamentalist Christian in a debate with a Jew lecturing them on the Bible rather than having a discussion and actually, listening to the Jew. Both have commonalities in their religion, but one is not willing to even PONDER the validity of the differences. (and poor CM’s head would spin at the sheer amount of powerful female pornographers)

“Here's what interesting. I had already come to this conclusion before I found MacKinnon. No movement that supports pornography is feminist. It may pose as feminism, it may call itself that but pornography hurts women and anything that advaocates hurting women cannot be feminist. That's not a gut reaction. That's analysis.”

Any movement that discounts the choice and voices of women is not feminist. It may pose as feminism, it may call itself that, but discounting the choice and freedom of women is not feminist, and anything that does so-which hurts women- cannot be feminist. That’s not a gut reaction. That’s analysis.

“How many lesbian radical feminists do you know who have been around for the duration of the whole movement?”

None personally, but a good way to deflect criticism and engage in having to think or having your ideology tested is to play “Quick, show me your creds!”

plain(s)feminist said...

I'm at the point where I won't be told by a feminist who wears long skirts that there is anything unfeminist about short skirts. I will not hear that. Y'know why? Because radical feminism doesn't approve of skirts AT. ALL.

And when I apply "who benefits" to this, what I get is "WS. WS benefits from this entire argument."

I also won't be told that my tenure as a feminist isn't as long as and therefore as feminist as the next person, nor will I be told that my "guts" are less analytical.

None of that is a feminist argument - radical, liberal, or any other kind.

plain(s)feminist said...

Sorry - that should have been "analytical." Because "guts" are just another word for "individualism."

WomansSpace said...

"I will not hear that. Y'know why? Because radical feminism doesn't approve of skirts AT. ALL."

This isn't true at all. Have you ever seen MacKinnon? She's quite the high femme. She wears skirts all the time.

MacKinnon's position is that gendered differentiation is not the problem. Gender Hierachicalization is the problem.

At least MacKinnon has no issues with skirts. However I dont think anyone has ever seen MacKinnon in a mini-skirt.

And plains, I never said anything about your guts or said anything relative to you or anyone else. I talked about my experience and said nothing about anyone here.

I looked at what rengade said and started to respond until I looked at her first few points where they were:

Two resorts to hyperbole implying things that I've never said.

1 deflection and one lock into position.

Some of the same critcisms could be made of me. There is no doubt that people try to co-opt me everyday. I am also clear that I won't budge unless we get to the issues which are really about change induction. I have been the only one talking about change induction. So this discussion isn't dealing with issues I've brought out. I have brought in quote from an article on the effects individualism has had. That's been ignore. None of those things were entertained.

Fact is, there is a huge steering and deflection of what i am saying. Consider the folowing:

WS: "You cannot induce change by doing the same thing over and over again. You cannot reduce objectification of a dominant class by dressing the way that dominant class wants it's objects to dress.”

Ren:Truthfully, I suspect the dominant would prefer that all its “objects” that it found beautiful not dress at all, and all those it found unattractive cover “itself” completely…

I was talking about change induction and the deflection was to what men want. The statement really is not born out empirically, obviously strippers and striptease exist because men like women to start out in clothes.

This is rather complete with plain's remarks which relativized. The group will not get near an issue where there actually can be analysis. The issue is change induction and when we get near that topic people run like the wind. The irony about that is that change induction is the central aim of feminism.

I want to be accountable for something. These are my results. But these are always the results I have with liberal feminists since the basic cardinals of liberalism are individualism. Liberals will automatically and reflexively launch into a defense of individualism.

Individualism separates and conflicts with the collectivism (sisterhood) feminism needs.

But what have, instead of any kind of consciousness raising or dialogue is adherence to "the same".

I've seen it before and it is a case of different paradigms. I believe this kind of rigidity and deflection of root issues is exactly why feminism is in as poor shape as it is. With me-ism of individual what needs to be changed is always seen to be "out there". We cant change what's out there until we are ready to change ourselves and the way we participate in society.

These things are not considered here. This is why this conversation cannot be had. It's because of allusions to things I've never said as well as an adherence to many of the ills in this society that oppress women.

This is why things cannot and will not change. This is why feminism has become so pale and it's not only me saying that, Barbara Epstein said that and she was equally ignore.

My point is look out there and emabrace what you see because it's not going change from what's being advocated here.

Renegade Evolution said...

WS:

Fine. You are not WILLING to discuss it. That’s what it boils down to. Not willing. Not willing to have your analysis analyzed. You speak of others deflection…you’ve done the exact same thing…example being not responding to critiques you are not willing to respond to (and deflecting them with quoted MacKinnon or complements) or even looking at the Very Apparent fact that your version of feminism, which excludes choice, agency, and yes, individuality from women is inherently antifeminist. End point. It is. Also, in speaking from the personal, you have more than once spoken about your dislike of the gaze, dislike of sexuality…and I cannot remember if it was here or on another thread how in the summer you dress in clothes that are more revealing because of the heat and how you HATE turning heads. If that is not a thinly veiled way of saying “I’m attractive and men notice” I do not know what is…and ALL of these things view the way you think, feel, speak, and analyze…your personal, and your individual are right there in the mix.

If all that I have written and addressed here can be ignored, including the several times I’ve asked “who does this benefit?” because of “deflection and individualism”, I have to conclude that you, just as much as you say we are guilty, cannot see the forest for the trees. If you cannot address critique, or simply WILL NOT address critique of your beliefs, well, such things are reminiscent of a person who is a fanatic and zealot of the worst sort or is so married to an idea as the whole core center of their being has become so fused with that idea that accepting it may have flaws is like being stabbed. And if that is the case, I feel for you. No one should have any theory be the whole of their person, above and beyond all other things. At that point you cease being WS, person, and become Ideology with legs…an object, a thing, a dogma…not a person.

You also express your personal, your individual with the “flashing of feminist creds” which is MOST CERTAINLY a deflationary tactic….

Pot, met kettle.

Now, I for one would love to see the points raised by myself and others (who does this benefit mainly) addressed and answered by YOU, not the quotations of MacKinnon or other well-known feminist writers, but YOU. If you will not do that, I am pretty sure I know way, and it leaves me with the thought that your feminist is not about women at all, but about you. The individual. Your wants and needs. Not women.

I know looking at my blog is out of the question due to the sexualized imagery, but really, tour around some more, look at a variety of feminist blogs, and see if any single one of them falls lock step in with your feminism...

sallysunshine_26 said...

Renegade,
Your last post killed WS argument. Thanks for pointing out the inconstancies, since there are obviously so many to pursue. I could spend days on it myself, but, alas, I've got too much work to do. Duty calls!

Plains: Right on! It's downright silly for a long-skirted feminist to judge short-skirted ones. Just where does "supporting the patriarchy" and "not supporting the patriarchy" begin and end with skirt length? Maybe WS can provide us with a ruler so we can all take proper measurements in the morning before we leave the house.

One more thing I'd like to add:

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.

1) Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

2) No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

3) No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

4) Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

5) There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

6) Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

7) There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.

8) Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

9) The group/leader is always right.

10) The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

This was taken from The Rick Ross Institute of Destructive Cults (a reliable authority on cults) These same warning signs can also apply to certain personalities and individuals.

There are people in the world who would like nothing more than a flock of followers to bestow their almighty blessing upon while simultaneously attempting to rob them of their individuality and ability to think/make choices for themselves.

....We're all smart women here so I'll let everyone else connect the dots.

plain(s)feminist said...

First, whether or not Catherine MacKinnon wears skirts has nothing whatsoever to do with what radical feminism thinks about skirts. People are not ideologies.

Second:
And plains, I never said anything about your guts or said anything relative to you or anyone else. I talked about my experience and said nothing about anyone here.

You said - when you were challenged for aruing against feminism based on the individual, while simultaneously using personal, individual experience (gut feelings rather than analysis) as your evidence - that YOUR guts WERE analysis.

Third: As I implied earlier, WS, your arguments have taken on a conversion tone. You insist that, since we disagree with you, we are not having a conversation. You keep coming back to what radical feminism is about, which is fine, but a bit off-topic since no one here is arguing about what radical feminism actually says. What they are discussing is their own practice and ideology of feminism and how and where and if that comes into conflict within their own practices and ideologies or with others. That they are not - I'm assuming - self-identified radical feminists does not mean that they are not radical or not feminists. It means that they have different feminist ideologies than you do.

It doesn't matter whether or not you agree with them or whether or not you think they are feminist or their ideologies or their practices are feminist. The point is that we are having a discussion.

And when you come into a discussion with the intent of changing someone else's mind, and when that intent is clearly felt by the other participants and when it eventually becomes the only thing that anyone can see, then after a while, you are correct: there is no discussion. What you are doing is trying to convert people.

The hallmark of a conversion approach is to refuse to question, analyze, or critique one's own position while continually insisting that one is right and the other is wrong.

Just as one example: I would have had a hell of a lot more respect for your position had you responded something like this (just as a for instance): "It's true that radical feminism sees femininity as damaging and therefore eschews feminine clothing such as the skirts that I, myself, wear. And I see some connection between my position about my long skirts and the way that some of you have talked about your position about your own clothing. I will need to think more about that. But I guess the real issue for me is in how women's bodies are presented, what gets seen, etc. I suspect, since MacKinnon wears long skirts, that she might also feel this way."

This would have been an example of a discussion. What you've been saying, though, is an example of a conversion attempt.

WomansSpace said...

Not willing. Not willing to have your analysis analyzed.
What’s your methodology and framework for the analysis? Is it opinion? And I find it interesting to note that “feminists” want to deconstruct radical feminism? That’s because it really does challenge patriarchy and I suggested several time that you don’t really want it changed. For example, radical feminism would eliminate both pornography and sex work. So someone who does sex work for a living would have a stake in opposing radical feminism.

In order to analyze, one has to be discussing one thing and not fifty things at the same time. I’m suggested talking and social change induction and how we’re going to do that.

You speak of others deflection…you’ve done the exact same thing…example being not responding to critiques you are not willing to respond to (and deflecting them with quoted MacKinnon or complements) or even looking at the Very Apparent fact that your version of feminism, which excludes choice, agency, and yes, individuality from women is inherently antifeminist. End point. It is.

I am guilty of not listening to liberal feminist arguments which really is NOT feminism. I rejected liberal feminism in the nineties when I saw how misguided it is. So yes, I will not listen to liberalism.

Radical feminism says women have both choice and agency. YOU have continually dealt with this on an individualist basic without acknowledging that YOUR choices have an effect in society.

Also, in speaking from the personal, you have more than once spoken about your dislike of the gaze, dislike of sexuality…and I cannot remember if it was here or on another thread how in the summer you dress in clothes that are more revealing because of the heat and how you HATE turning heads. If that is not a thinly veiled way of saying “I’m attractive and men notice” I do not know what is…and ALL of these things view the way you think, feel, speak, and analyze…your personal, and your individual are right there in the mix.

What I said wasn’t thinly veiled at all. I indicated that men pay sexual attention to me and I don’t like that. Now then, this is a really good example. Remember the question about what about women that just want to hookup, they should be able to wear miniskirts that attract? The offered scenario was a woman who wanted to be objectified as indicated by lack of emotional involvement. A man sees her legs and it’s an invitation in that dyad. The same man sees my legs and his attention is an intrusion. This is how we effect each other in society. However, individualism is so blind it cannot consider that just as it has not been considered here. Feminism will never meet any goals if all of our movement is random.
Not one person here other than me has even touched on social change at all and yet, that’s what feminism is. It’s a none concept. What I see is lipservice to “wanting change” while embracing so many of the things the holds patriarchy in place.
I’ll discuss my analysis of a single issue, nne at time and not fifty at the same time. That’s not how analysis is done. This conversation has been so all over the place and disjointed and dismissive that one cannot discuss analysis and when it is brought up, it is avoided at all costs.

So far, as I said, I seen my arguments twisted and distorted and not discussed. Even before we started I described how people proceed around issues of sexuality where typically there is no analysis at all The tactic is always to attack the other discussant. I never fails.

I don’t want a cult this week. I
want women’s liberation and there’s absolutely no danger of a cult with me and liberal feminists.

It's sort of interesting but miniskirts totally dissapeared in the seventies. College women and grad students wore jeans, often with great embroidering.

That was a time when women's liberation was strong because we were doing these these to challenge patriarchy. Unisex was huge. It all played which is just the opposite of what is playing now and so very little is working.

Here's another issue for analysis: "practice"

I haven't heard any here.

Renegade Evolution said...

“What’s your methodology and framework for the analysis? Is it opinion? And I find it interesting to note that “feminists” want to deconstruct radical feminism? That’s because it really does challenge patriarchy and I suggested several time that you don’t really want it changed. For example, radical feminism would eliminate both pornography and sex work. So someone who does sex work for a living would have a stake in opposing radical feminism.”

No, it is looking at things historically and LISTENING to other women in order to collect data. Historically, women were not happy being relegated to dressing solely in attire traditionally viewed as modest and proper by men. So they started wearing pants, cutting their hair, showing ankle and shortening hem lines and sleeves. They protested the idea of men dictating their attire. Historical fact. Now, I HEAR AND LISTEN to women saying they have no desire to give up their miniskirts and heels, and having their wardrobe choices dictated to them by anyone, including radical feminism. One can then, via looking at this attitude, logically deduct and analyze that the “radical feminist dress code” does not benefit women, nor is it wanted, anti-feminist or not. Thus, the idea of imposing such a thing, via any method, on women is, by default, anti-feminist.

As for sex work, I could always get another job, and have heard radical feminists say if it could be proved that all PEOPLE involved in it were consenting and of age and their by CHOICE, they would have to reconsider. However, that is not the case, I know that, but what does bringing up MY job and MY personal support of pornography have to do with analyzing the issues presented here, other than to serve as a deflection from those issues? If a topic had been “how does pornography affect a woman’s choice in feminist thought or clothing” you might have had a leg to stand on, but as it was not, deflection, pure and simple.

“In order to analyze, one has to be discussing one thing and not fifty things at the same time. I’m suggested talking and social change induction and how we’re going to do that.”

And people have thrown out theories you have deemed invalid, based solely on your analysis.


“I am guilty of not listening to liberal feminist arguments which really is NOT feminism. I rejected liberal feminism in the nineties when I saw how misguided it is. So yes, I will not listen to liberalism.”

Then do not expect anyone else to listen to you. Nor see your feminism as feminism.

“Radical feminism says women have both choice and agency. YOU have continually dealt with this on an individualist basic without acknowledging that YOUR choices have an effect in society.”

Yet, you seek to shame women into seeing it your way (don’t wear short skirts, its Patriarchal, at all times, no matter what) which eliminates other women’s choice and agency…to fit into YOUR guidelines of feminism (the One True Feminism). That isn’t feminist. Look around, amid all these feminists, um, you are not the majority. Your choice and ideals are not what most women want or see as best for them. Hello, society right there, telling you that they do not want your effect. They do not find it “best” for them. Your view effects society as WELL.

“What I said wasn’t thinly veiled at all. I indicated that men pay sexual attention to me and I don’t like that. Now then, this is a really good example. Remember the question about what about women that just want to hookup, they should be able to wear miniskirts that attract? The offered scenario was a woman who wanted to be objectified as indicated by lack of emotional involvement. A man sees her legs and it’s an invitation in that dyad. The same man sees my legs and his attention is an intrusion. This is how we effect each other in society. However, individualism is so blind it cannot consider that just as it has not been considered here. Feminism will never meet any goals if all of our movement is random.”

Yes, that is true. Yet via “other feminism” you have a choice to not wear a short skirt. Your dislike of the gaze is very personally influenced. Other women do not share that view. YES, my liking of short skirts DOES affect other women, or rather, the reaction MEN have to my wearing of a short skirt CAN effect other women, but I choose to do it. I never said it was a feminist action. Just like your saying not wearing a short skirts would effect women, and perhaps the way men reacted to them (maybe, lots of women get raped and abused in countries where short skirts are ILLEGAL, as is porn, but…) Face it, ANY telling of people what to or not to wear effects society.

“Not one person here other than me has even touched on social change at all and yet, that’s what feminism is. It’s a none concept. What I see is lipservice to “wanting change” while embracing so many of the things the holds patriarchy in place.”

Bullshit, I wrote out a rather lengthy scenarios for potential means of social change via my subversion theory, which you immediately dismissed because it is not Radical Feminist Revolution.

“I’ll discuss my analysis of a single issue, nne at time and not fifty at the same time. That’s not how analysis is done. This conversation has been so all over the place and disjointed and dismissive that one cannot discuss analysis and when it is brought up, it is avoided at all costs.”

Bullshit x2. I have, section by section, issue by issue, managed to LOOK at and offer both theory and analysis and questions on almost every subject here.

“So far, as I said, I seen my arguments twisted and distorted and not discussed. Even before we started I described how people proceed around issues of sexuality where typically there is no analysis at all The tactic is always to attack the other discussant. I never fails.”

I’ve attacked your theories, not you. I’ve discussed everything you’ve thrown out. I am willing to do so and have. End of story. It is not my fault or concern that you “don’t like it” and yes, will not counter respond. I have yet to see you answer ONE of my “who does this benefit” points. And, in truth, as someone who admittedly dislikes sexuality, something that, like it or not, does influence your view, perhaps sexuality is not something you should be discussing, let alone analyzing, at all. The Majority of the Human Species likes, in some way or another, some form of sexuality, and your views, colored by that, most certainly would have a huge effect on society, and probably one that would not be too popular.

“It's sort of interesting but miniskirts totally dissapeared in the seventies. College women and grad students wore jeans, often with great embroidering.’

Odd, I can look at photos of my mother from that era and she and all her friends (who weren’t college or grad students, they had to work for a living) still dressed in Jackie-O style dresses and “mod” gear, which yes, included mini skirts, or find photos of the early punk movement in the 1970’s and guess what, short skirts & heels…and well, 70’s disco fashion, FROUGHT with mini-skirts! So, college women and grad students, the crème del la crème of academia of the era surely are more important and dictate the choice fashion for the women of the era?

“That was a time when women's liberation was strong because we were doing these these to challenge patriarchy. Unisex was huge. It all played which is just the opposite of what is playing now and so very little is working.”

Wearing jeans and unisex dressing challenges the patriarchy? Unisex is STILL huge, btw…but I would say, oh, furthering women’s legal issues, health issues, getting more women good educations and into good, high powered jobs is more of a challenge to the Pat than bell-bottoms with embroidery. Not that I have anything against bell-bottoms with embroidery, actually…sort of making a come back, really.

Here's another issue for analysis: "practice"

Practice? What practice? Feminism in practice? I believe I mentioned several woman’s organizations or women’s places that I’d participated with or in. We all, here, have feminist issue blogs, or at least on occasion, blog on feminist issues. Practice right there. If that is not the practice you speak of, be more specific.

Renegade Evolution said...

Actually, you know what, this all sounds a lot like “You Shouldn’t Have Worn a Short Skirt” to me. A womans wardrobe, does not excuse bad male behavior. Period. However, it’s a little different here, because it’s “You Shouldn’t have Worn a short skirt because it Hurts me, so, any bad behavior on the part of men, towards me, who is not in a short skirt, can be blamed on you, who are. It’s all your fault. Not the men, you. You brought it on me.”

WomansSpace said...

Plains:

This would have been an example of a discussion. What you've been saying, though, is an example of a conversion attempt.

I’d like to see everyone be a radical feminist, no doubt about it. Secondly, I departed from liberal feminism and radicalized because I clearly recognized problem with liberal feminism and I know what those problems are. MacKinnon doesn’t even consider liberal feminism to be feminism and I agree with that having come to that conclusion before I read MacKinnon. In a way, if you want to be reductive, when there are dismissals of radical feminism especially by liberal feminists, as I see, it and as I have indicated here.

I’ve been talking on a political plain about the material conditions of women. Responses have been coming back about personal needs of desires without any recognition of how those things interact.

The hallmark of a conversion approach is to refuse to question, analyze, or critique one's own position while continually insisting that one is right and the other is wrong.

Which fifty of my positions would you like to examine at once? And plains, I have not seen any consideration here of change. None, none at all. And why would this be solely about me when that’s been true for everyone in the thread. I acknowledge I have been through many of these discussions before and there seems to no willingness to look at the radical feminist position.

How do we discuss practice when practice is not a distinction?

Just as one example: I would have had a hell of a lot more respect for your position had you responded something like this (just as a for instance): "It's true that radical feminism sees femininity as damaging and therefore eschews feminine clothing such as the skirts that I, myself, wear. And I see some connection between my position about my long skirts and the way that some of you have talked about your position about your own clothing. I will need to think more about that. But I guess the real issue for me is in how women's bodies are presented, what gets seen, etc. I suspect, since MacKinnon wears long skirts, that she might also feel this way."
I really don’t eschew feminine clothing so I couldn’t say that. I eschew clothing that disempowers us like excessively feminine clothing or clothing that reinforces the way we are situated and positioned and clothing which men interpret are likely to objectify us (low necklines). Radical feminism sees gender as a power structure that is oppressive to women. Didn’t we know that?
And plains, if I have been in this conversation a hundred times before, why would I need to think about these arguments again and again?
The clothes example. I see my clothes as clothes t as yes, gendered but I am not likely to be objectified. What I’m hearing is miniskirts are how we make ourselves sexually attractive to men. At the same time, I hear “I don’t want be objectified”. The usages and expressed wants conflict with each other, cancelling each other out. I’ve seen no consideration of that. I haven’t seen consideration of the political in this area at all.
What could have been impressive would be a discussion of transgression which about deviation from practice. Where there’s no knowledge of discussion of practice, one can’t discuss transgression.

Renegade, we've cross posted and I just thank you for hanging here. You've just helped me understand something:

WS:Here's another issue for analysis: "practice"

Ren: Practice? What practice? Feminism in practice? I believe I mentioned several woman’s organizations or women’s places that I’d participated with or in. We all, here, have feminist issue blogs, or at least on occasion, blog on feminist issues. Practice right there. If that is not the practice you speak of, be more specific.

This rather revealed what the problem is. All along I have been talking about practice. "Practice" has a very specific meaning in feminism and practice is what I've been talking about or actualy through the whole. "Practice" is a conceptual framework put into action (activism). I've got to go off and figure out how to explain this OR if plains is around... plains could really help in explaining/describe the relationship between (this is goinf to sound so weird:

Practice (women's lives)

Analysis/Theory (Abstractions)

Practice(the practices we put in place as personal feminist activism

It's sort of weird that practice almost has two different meanings, pre and post analysis. They are different but they are they same.

At any rate, this is the unspoken word I've been referring to in terms of social change induction. Practice is the set of feminist practices, derived from analysis, towards changing society.

Yes, It's my agenda to turn everyone into droids so that in the sumer time I can wear cutoffs and strappy tops and not stop traffic (cause actually I don't want any attention)

You know what? What you hear me saying is pretty much how girls were raised in the fifties. But there were also the double don;t be sexy and don't be too bright?

What's left?

Renegade Evolution said...

Yeah, well, a lot of us would like a world where you can be sexy AND bright.

wrt objectification, gee, first post on the thread, I stated flat out some level of initial ojectification is natural...and it does not matter if you are in a short skirt or overalls, if someone finds you attractive for a reason, they are going to look.

WomansSpace said...

"You Shouldn’t have Worn a short skirt because it Hurts me, so, any bad behavior on the part of men, towards me, who is not in a short skirt, can be blamed on you, who are. It’s all your fault. Not the men, you. You brought it on me.”

We're getting closer!!!!

A radical feminist doesn't see it the way you said so lets' look at this:

1.) Men in this society objectify and do the gaze.

"You Shouldn’t have Worn a short skirt because it Hurts me, so, any bad behavior on the part of men,

2.) Men are the perpetrators not women.

3.) Perpetrators use gender ROLES and signs for perpetration.


"towards me, who is not in a short skirt, can be blamed on you, who are. It’s all your fault. Not the men, you. You brought it on [not just me but ALL women].”

Men are TOTALLY responsible.

If we want to change objectification and the gaze, it's not going to work to go up to men and say, "Please don't objectify me", "Please don't gaze"

AS practice that isn't going to work in a million years.

What's left?

In society in men's heads we need to break the connection to miniskirt and sex because it's objectify.

Practice would come to say... There are assholes out there, don't wear miniskirts because you will be objectified.

Actually you will AND I will the next time I'm in cutoffs.

Practice is about what we do to make things better for all women and make no bone about practice is going to mean sacrifice. It means we have to give up gratifications because those GRATIFICATIONS themselves are what keeps patriarchy going.

Renegade Evolution said...

I am also going to go way out on a limb and mention the dreaded word responsibility...as is, own your own shit...

If a woman does not want to be subject to the gaze or possibly objectified, she should not wear a short skirt. Doing so may encourage the gaze. So, if you wear something that encourages the gaze, own your shit if you get it. The gaze is not rape... there is never a case of rape where the woman deserves it, but the gaze? The gaze is not rape, and while maybe not deserved, certain styles do invite it. Thus, own your own shit.

Renegade Evolution said...

WS:

Once again, to Orwellian for a lot of women, me included. Men need to modify their behavior, not the other way around. For some reason, all of us going back to dressing like the woman who came off the Mayflower to make the boys behave themselves sounds a lot like shooting Women, the Collective, in the foot. Because then they can just show and prove they cannot behave themselves, ever, and we are stuck in pilgrim gear, forever, and women are still going to get raped.

Womansspace said...

"wrt objectification, gee, first post on the thread, I stated flat out some level of initial ojectification is natural...and it does not matter if you are in a short skirt or overalls, if someone finds you attractive for a reason, they are going to look. "

But it's not natural (a liberal position). Sex attraction is learned.

Feral children and adolescents are not sexually around by the things in this society. Renegade, you would not be a turn-on for an eighteen year old feral adolescent because sexuality is NOT natural. It's learned.

References and citations:

Sexing the Body - Fausto-Sterling

www.feralchildren.com

On feralchildren.com there is a discussion of many nineth and twentieth century attempts to elicit socialized sexual responses via pornography. It does not occur.

One things radical feminists do eschew is the word "natural"

Renegade Evolution said...

…I mean, think about it, back in the day, showing an ANKLE, and ANKLE was ILLEGAL in some states because the ankle was too sexy to be viewed in public by men because it might inspire them to feelings of lust…same with hair and wrists… the MORE something is revealed, the LESS erotic it can become…I mean, you know any men who would be driven to a lustful frenzy by an ankle or a wrist these days?

Renegade Evolution said...

Sex attraction is learned? Sorry, I have to call bullshit on that. Sex is a basic, primal instinct...the drive to procreate. The Four F's: Fight, Flight, Feed, Fornicate. If sex attraction is not natural, there would not be all this scientific research into whether or not homosexuality is biologically based or not. There would be no scientific reasearch into what traits animals, all of them, including humans, find attractive in seeking a suitable mate. Sure, I may not be attractive to a feral child...but a feral Male over the Age of 17 or so? Hormones in play, he sure as hell is going to look at some sort of woman and find her attractive.

And, if so many radical feminist hate the word natural, why do you see them espousing "the natural look" (unshaved, no make up, no cosmetic surgery) so often?

womansspace said...

"Men need to modify their behavior, not the other way around."

We're getting there! Blessed be to radical feminism.

How are you going to get men to modify their behvior by conforming to everything the have set up?

The answer is that it's not likely to happen. We have to change too because we are in a dynamic with them. They cannot change unless we change. This is the meaning of a dynamic. Gender is a major part of male dominance. What we are taking is the eroticization of gender.

It we keep attracting men on a sexual basis, that are going to continue to objectify is.

Do you think we just ask that they nt objectify us? Can you legislate it?

But again, we need to remember that you have a stake in being objectified as you mentioned in your first post. That's what's hurting us.

Renegade Evolution said...

WS:

Keep my fucking job out of it for a moment. Men are not stupid, and if they are all hell bent on continuing to keep us objectfied, they WILL. We cannot FORCE them to moderate anything, even via Radical Feminism. We could go back to pilgrim dress, and sure enough, ankles would be erotic again. Bet on it. You cover one part, another will "inspire the gaze". We cannot change men, men have to change men. We can offer them opinions, tell them what we think and feel, but we cannot PROGRAM them.

womansspace said...

"Sex attraction is learned? Sorry, I have to call bullshit on that. Sex is a basic, primal instinct...the drive to procreate. "

See without looking up the references, there was simply a dismissal to maintain you world view, a patriarchal world view at that - It's called object reality for that matter and what we do not see is that it is contructed.

"If sex attraction is not natural, there would not be all this scientific research into whether or not homosexuality is biologically based or not."

Because it about power and gender hegemony. Male objective science is being use to bolster patriarchy and serve the needs of men as it always has.

Before I am misquoted, my assertion was that "sexuality is

"There would be no scientific reasearch into what traits animals, all of them, including humans, find attractive in seeking a suitable mate. Sure, I may not be attractive to a feral child...but a feral Male over the Age of 17 or so? Hormones in play, he sure as hell is going to look at some sort of woman and find her attractive."

Why? Simply because you believe it, but that is not what feminist biologist say.

I taught motivation and emotion for years. Humans have no instincts. We have basic reflexes yes but not instincts.

And, if so many radical feminist hate the word natural, why do you see them espousing "the natural look" (unshaved, no make up, no cosmetic surgery) so often?


ALL of those things are not about "natural" they are in resistance to the artificial construction of differences that we gender - GENDER.

Natural little to do with it. Every thing you mentioned is about the construction of gender differences.

The feminist aversion to natural is because patriarcy fuses the cultural and attributes these gender difference to nature.

You know what there is extensive radical feminist analysis on all of this. Each of these topics are major threads in themselves

Renegade Evolution said...

Great...line up the feminist biolgist theories against every other SHREAD of scientific evidence that says otherwise, made by both male and female scientists, world wide, and see which is more believable as a matter of FACT. Female animals go into heat for a reason, human women have periods for a reason, so they can breed. Male is attracted to female, female to male, in a majority of cases because this is natural. Pharamones are exuded as attracting agents, naturally, to ensure procreation. This is not Patriarcy Propoganda, it is science. It is proven, and sorry, some feminist studies saying otherwise do not stack up to the tons, years worth, stacks of evidence to the contradictory. Yes, a human can CHOOSE to ignore these things, can choose not to have sex, be genderless, asexual, even force themselves to be "hetro" to fit into society or "homosexual" for political reasons, but that does not change science and nature... sorry.

womansspace said...

The personal is political. There isn't any way to keep your job out when we talk about objectification.


We could go back to pilgrim dress, and sure enough, ankles would be erotic again. Bet on it. You cover one part, another will "inspire the gaze".


You know what? This never occurred to me. It really is something to thing about.

I will say we did these things in the seventies and things were much better


We cannot change men, men have to change men. We can offer them opinions, tell them what we think and feel, but we cannot PROGRAM them.

Let me put it this way. I wouldn't wiggle my rear to attract a man, have sex with him and then complain about his objectification of my rear.

Part of this discussion exactly highlights the difference between radicals and liberals and it is why we don't jive. Social constructivist emphasises learning.

womansspace said...

Naturalism is at base an epistemological posture growing out of the search for a ground on which to found true reality perception, a location of constancy, a bedrock beneath social shifts, variance, and relativity. Nature is a fixed, certain, and ultimately knowable reality to which there is tangible demonstrable truth, intersubjectively communicable, regardless of perspective. The idea of naturalism, in fact, is that nature is not an idea, but an object reality, meaning that it is thing. Sex as biology, gender as physical body, occupies this place in liberal feminism. In this view, body originates independently of society or mind; then, to varying degrees but invariably and immu-tably, it undergirds social relations, limiting change. In radical feminism, the condition of the sexes and the relevant definition of women as a group is conceived as social down to the somatic level. Only incidentally, perhaps even consequentially, is it biological.

I see what the difficulty is now. You see, liberal feminists have no solution other than reform and we know that really isn't going to work.

So which of the eigteen issues you have on the table did you want to discuss?

Btw, what this thread really does is to demonstrate the huge issues between liberals and radical.

Renegade Evolution said...

Do you believe in creationism or evolution? I am not arguing that society does not influence sexuality or gender, it does. But the idea that biology has little or nothing to do with sexuality and sexual attraction? Sorry, just like you flat out refuse to ponder another answers on many things, I am not going to do it on this one. I think the scientific evidence proves my theory fairly resoundingly.

“The personal is political. There isn't any way to keep your job out when we talk about objectification.”

Then do not pretend you can, for a second, keep your own views on sexuality or ANYTHING else out of it when discussing the matter either. You know, I could quit my job, but it would not change anything, except perhaps a woman who hated it and did not want to do it might end up taking my place. If I thought it would be some great strike against worldwide patriarchy, I would quit. But guess what? It wouldn’t be. It also would not give me the time or the money that I have now, to, you know, help women, living in the here and now, rather than after the great revolution (that may never happen) and all.

“I will say we did these things in the seventies and things were much better”

Of course you do, and it is totally expected and rather arrogant of you to say so. You don’t believe in liberal feminism, so it is okay to disregard and belittle anything they do. You know, really…other than spouting radical theory, ripping on liberal feminists, insisting they are not feminists at all, and talking about how much better you did it back in the day…what, exactly, are you doing for women, NOW? Besides belittling and insulting those you are talking to here, of course.

“Let me put it this way. I wouldn't wiggle my rear to attract a man, have sex with him and then complain about his objectification of my rear.”

You seen me complain ONCE about objectification on my own behalf? Seen me say “Oh I hate being objectified!” Have you? I happen to like attracting men and having sex with them. And you know, I would not say I dispise sexuality then try to lecture people on it.

“So which of the eigteen issues you have on the table did you want to discuss?”

Oh, pick one…I only asked you “who does that benefit” about 12 times or so.

womanspace said...

Do you believe in creationism or evolution?

Evolution is the more feminist of the two right?

I am not arguing that society does not influence sexuality or gender, it does.

But the idea that biology has little or nothing to do with sexuality and sexual attraction?

I don’t know how you are using the word sexuality because it is used in different ways. But I can clarify. I think hormones influence drive levels but not direction or orientation. Giving testosterone to a gay man will not make him straight,

“ Sorry, just like you flat out refuse to ponder another answers on many things, I am not going to do it on this one. I think the scientific evidence proves my theory fairly resoundingly.”
You mean you appeal to the authority men have granted to science?

“The personal is political. There isn't any way to keep your job out when we talk about objectification.”

“Then do not pretend you can, for a second, keep your own views on sexuality or ANYTHING else out of it when discussing the matter either.”

I don’t know if I have many views on sexuality. I share sex with some partners. I also know that some forms of eroticization are the basis for male dominance. Beyond that, I’m not curious about sex. To me it’s very personal and I have no desire to talk about it other than it’s poltics.


You know, I could quit my job, but it would not change anything, except perhaps a woman who hated it and did not want to do it might end up taking my place. If I thought it would be some great strike against worldwide patriarchy, I would quit. But guess what? It wouldn’t be. It also would not give me the time or the money that I have now, to, you know, help women, living in the here and now, rather than after the great revolution (that may never happen) and all.

I hear ya. I don’t think the revolution is going to come. It’s not longer a possibility and women’s liberation cannot occur without one.

“I will say we did these things in the seventies and things were much better”

“Of course you do, and it is totally expected and rather arrogant of you to say so. You don’t believe in liberal feminism, so it is okay to disregard and belittle anything they do. You know, really…other than spouting radical theory, ripping on liberal feminists, insisting they are not feminists at all, and talking about how much better you did it back in the day…what, exactly, are you doing for women, NOW? Besides belittling and insulting those you are talking to here, of course.”


I think the greatest possible service I can do is to work toward everyone radicalizing because I really do see liberal feminism as patriarchy.

WS:“Let me put it this way. I wouldn't wiggle my rear to attract a man, have sex with him and then complain about his objectification of my rear.”

Ren:You seen me complain ONCE about objectification on my own behalf? Seen me say “Oh I hate being objectified!” Have you? I happen to like attracting men and having sex with them. And you know, I would not say I despise sexuality then try to lecture people on it.


Despise sexuality? I didn’t say I did that. I just said I’m really glad I have a low drive. It give me more time to talk about why liberal feminism can’t be effective.

Again – out of individualism, you miss the point because you live in a society and if objectification is ok for you, you are also saying it’s ok for me too except I say no it isn’t. How is a man supposed to get it? Are you proposing for women who don’t want to be objectified to hear habits of something?

Cassandra Says said...

WS - No one's guts can be "analysis". That is not physiologically possible. If what you mean is that you have internalised a certain intellectual framework then sure, but if you think that anyone can divorce themself from their emotions completely you're kidding yourself, unless you are in fact Mr Spock.
And about the McKinnon books - I've read them. Minored in sociology and political science and all that good stuff, major area of concentration - feminism. One of the guiding lights of British feminism was one of my teachers, I did my research in the Fawcett Library...want to swap creds some more? Because I could go on for hours. It's very telling that you assume that those who disagree with you are unintelligent or uneducated, though. Very telling indeed. Has it ever occured to you that some of us read the books and didn't agree with everything they had to say? That that's why we don't call ourselves radical feminists?(Although we are still feminists, just of a different kind, and your continual implication that we are not is, well, condescending and uncalled for).
And by the way, if you want to talk about insulting..."In the nineties, as a liberal feminist, I came to see that my own liberal feminism was fucked up and that liberal feminism wasn't feminism at all."
You don't think that's insulting? The fact that you just dismissed an entire school of feminism and, by extension, all it's adherants?
As to the who do you know from the seventies thing...a little ageist, don't you think? And a way to deflect the conversation.
Also...McKinnon is not the only theorist in the history of feminism. Did you forget everyone else? Some of them had rather valuable things to say too.
I'm not going to go through the rest point by point, since RE and PF already did, but there is one thing I will say.

"Btw, what this thread really does is to demonstrate the huge issues between liberals and radical. "
On that we are agreed, or we would be if we replaced "radical" with "a small and not necessarily very representative percentage of radical feminists" and "liberal" with "all other feminists".

And about people making assumptions about you...you've done that to everyone else you've interacted with on this board. At least no one else here has given you a verbal pat on the head and a "good girl, have a cookie" the way you did to RE.

.

Renegade Evolution said...

”Evolution is the more feminist of the two right?”
It’s the more logical, scientifically supported one too…

”I don’t know how you are using the word sexuality because it is used in different ways. But I can clarify. I think hormones influence drive levels but not direction or orientation. Giving testosterone to a gay man will not make him straight”
No, it won’t and science is showing that is because he is biologically pre-disposed to being gay.

”You mean you appeal to the authority men have granted to science?”
No, appeal to the facts science has given to humanity.

”I don’t know if I have many views on sexuality. I share sex with some partners. I also know that some forms of eroticization are the basis for male dominance. Beyond that, I’m not curious about sex. To me it’s very personal and I have no desire to talk about it other than it’s poltics.”
Well, most folk, even women folk, are more sexually inclined and generally do not ponder every political aspect of every stage of the act(s), they do them for pleasure, usually mutual pleasure between themselves and their partner(s). I don’t think even most feminists ponder, “If he’s on top tonight, is that anti-feminist? What are the political implications of that?” Funny how politics can screw up a perfectly fun thing like sex…


”I hear ya. I don’t think the revolution is going to come. It’s not longer a possibility and women’s liberation cannot occur without one.”
Says you. The individual.


”I think the greatest possible service I can do is to work toward everyone radicalizing because I really do see liberal feminism as patriarchy.”
And I see radical feminism very close to fascism in the hands of many, many people. And before you point out how selfish I am, I am certainly NOT the only one who sees it that way.


”Despise sexuality? I didn’t say I did that. I just said I’m really glad I have a low drive. It give me more time to talk about why liberal feminism can’t be effective.”
That really is the whole of your life, isn’t it? The great pure feminism. Wow.

”Again – out of individualism, you miss the point because you live in a society and if objectification is ok for you, you are also saying it’s ok for me too except I say no it isn’t. How is a man supposed to get it? Are you proposing for women who don’t want to be objectified to hear habits of something?”
You made that question personal, so I answered that way. Listen, you have made every word you’ve typed about individualism, that individual being you. Right here in this very thread, who are all the collected feminists agreeing with more, me, or you? Me. Why, because at least some of my words ring in for them somewhere, so I am not always just Me Me Me, there is some We there too. You on the other hand? It’s all about WS and HER thoughts and analysis. Seriously, out and about in this section of bloglandia, is there another Radical Feminist who sees things JUST like you do? Twisty? BB? Witchy? V? Amandaranta? Spotted Elephant? Any of them? If not, they too seem to have a common thread of thought, and certainly are not liberal feminists….so who, might, maybe, have things….wrong?
And no, I do not like to see unwilling women objectified. However, I certainly do not like to see unwilling women told nothing they do for women matters because they might wear a short skirt, or told they are “not feminist enough” to be part of some high minded Radicals Club (not like most would want membership anyway) and belittled for their views and told what they think does not matter and is not valid and blah blah blah and how they ONLY think about themselves when the apparent hypocrisy of the accuser is more blatant than fish gone bad in the summer sun in Mexico City.

Now, I have to go take a shower, and work this evening has less to do with that need than the arrogance here does.

Trinity said...

Thank you, Ren. I'd add something, but it's really not needed.

womansspace said...

However, I certainly do not like to see unwilling women told nothing they do for women matters because they might wear a short skirt, or told they are “not feminist enough” to be part of some high minded Radicals Club (not like most would want membership anyway) and belittled for their views and told what they think does not matter and is not valid and blah blah blah and how they ONLY think about themselves when the apparent hypocrisy of the accuser is more blatant than fish gone bad in the summer sun in Mexico City.

It’s not that you aren’t feminist enough it’s that you do not seem to understand how deep the tentacles are patriarchy are in your own thinking.

No, it won’t and science is showing that is because he is biologically pre-disposed to being gay.

No, appeal to the facts science has given to humanity.

Funny how politics can screw up a perfectly fun thing like sex…

”I hear ya. I don’t think the revolution is going to come. It’s not longer a possibility and women’s liberation cannot occur without one.”

Says you. The individual.

Not only me. It doesn’t seem that you bothered to read what Epstein said. Feminism is becoming more liberal and thusly increasingly unable to appreciate what it is really confronting. Liberal feminism is well wishing, there just so much that it doesn’t grasp because of it’s own cardinals meaning it’s own philosophical structure. Much of MacKinnon’s writings demonstrate indepth why liberal feminism is not feminist. So yeah, I may indeed be on a conversion crusade. Clearly, I think if you got everything you wanted, women will not be liberated. Women will not be liberated as long as anyone cannot see that our bodies are not commodities.


Mackinnon analysis is the same as mine. Liberal feminism means well but it’s just not compatible with feminism and hasn’t the insights to develop meaning practice.
So you, see I can disagree with thousands of liberal feminists and not doubt that I am a good feminist. What is the agreement on here? Miniskirts. Meanwhile while this thread has been going on 200 women have been raped, one killed, and thousands have been subjected to male violence. See what I mean?

And I see radical feminism very close to fascism in the hands of many, many people. And before you point out how selfish I am, I am certainly NOT the only one who sees it that way.

You’re right. You’re exactly right. I hear this claim frequently from, Men, MRAs, trans advocates, pro-sex advocates. When I hear them complain that just tells me they are paying attention.

That really is the whole of your life, isn’t it? The great pure feminism. Wow.

I really love it.

”Again – out of individualism, you miss the point because you live in a society and if objectification is ok for you, you are also saying it’s ok for me too except

Right here in this very thread, who are all the collected feminists agreeing with more, me, or you? Me. Why, because at least some of my words ring in for them somewhere, so I am not always just Me Me Me, there is some We there too. You on the other hand? It’s all about WS and HER thoughts and analysis.

Funny you should mention that:

Given the consequences for women of this formal theoretical structure, consequences that we live out daily as social inequality (not to mention its inherent blame-the-victim posture), I do not think it can be said that liberal feminism is feminist. What it is, is liberalism ap¬plied to women. If the sexes are equally different but not equally so¬cially powerful, "differences" in the liberal sense are irrelevant to the politics of our situation, which is one of inequality. Radical feminism, as I understand it, is against gender hierarchy. Since such a critique does address the situation of women as I understand it, I term it simply feminism.

Seriously, out and about in this section of bloglandia, is there another Radical Feminist who sees things JUST like you do? Twisty? BB? Witchy? V? Amandaranta? Spotted Elephant? Any of them? If not, they too seem to have a common thread of thought, and certainly are not liberal feminists….so who, might, maybe, have things….wrong?
And no, I do not like to see unwilling women objectified.

First of all, Twisty is an essentialist and real radical feminists are essentialists because essentialism is antithetical to radicalism.

Now, I have to go take a shower, and work this evening has less to do with that need than the arrogance here does.

Well at least it’s well intentioned arrogance. I’m trying to save the world. ;)

womansspace said...

Typo:

First of all, Twisty is an essentialist and real radical feminists are NOT essentialists because essentialism is antithetical to radicalism.

Renegade Evolution said...

“It’s not that you aren’t feminist enough it’s that you do not seem to understand how deep the tentacles are patriarchy are in your own thinking.”

And you have no idea apparently what your isolation from the modern world has done to yours.

‘Not only me. It doesn’t seem that you bothered to read what Epstein said. Feminism is becoming more liberal and thusly increasingly unable to appreciate what it is really confronting. Liberal feminism is well wishing, there just so much that it doesn’t grasp because of it’s own cardinals meaning it’s own philosophical structure. Much of MacKinnon’s writings demonstrate indepth why liberal feminism is not feminist. So yeah, I may indeed be on a conversion crusade. Clearly, I think if you got everything you wanted, women will not be liberated. Women will not be liberated as long as anyone cannot see that our bodies are not commodities.”

Face it, WS, all HUMANS are commodities.

”Mackinnon analysis is the same as mine. Liberal feminism means well but it’s just not compatible with feminism and hasn’t the insights to develop meaning practice.
So you, see I can disagree with thousands of liberal feminists and not doubt that I am a good feminist. What is the agreement on here? Miniskirts. Meanwhile while this thread has been going on 200 women have been raped, one killed, and thousands have been subjected to male violence. See what I mean?”

And what have YOU done to help them or stop that, other than sit around a love how radical and pure you are? You, oh, spend time working on a rape awareness rally? Pass out some blankets at a DV shelter? Listen to someone cry about what happened to them? Donate any time or money to help ANY of these women? Theories are pretty, WS, actions matter, and for all my Evil Whorin’ Patriarchal Ways, at least I DO something to ACTUALLY help women in the here and now other than sit around and pontificate.

”You’re right. You’re exactly right. I hear this claim frequently from, Men, MRAs, trans advocates, pro-sex advocates. When I hear them complain that just tells me they are paying attention.”

No, I am calling you a ten-penny dictator who disregards the thoughts, works, feelings and choices of other women because they are not as important as your cause.

”I really love it.”

Sounds pretty empty and isolated to me.

”Funny you should mention that:

Given the consequences for women of this formal theoretical structure, consequences that we live out daily as social inequality (not to mention its inherent blame-the-victim posture), I do not think it can be said that liberal feminism is feminist. What it is, is liberalism applied to women. If the sexes are equally different but not equally socially powerful, "differences" in the liberal sense are irrelevant to the politics of our situation, which is one of inequality. Radical feminism, as I understand it, is against gender hierarchy. Since such a critique does address the situation of women as I understand it, I term it simply feminism.”

Blah, blah, blah. We got that the fifth time you said it.

”First of all, Twisty is an essentialist and real radical feminists are essentialists because essentialism is antithetical to radicalism.”

All the others WRONG to then, or maybe, is it you?


”Well at least it’s well intentioned arrogance. I’m trying to save the world. ;)”

Yeah, well, sitting here being righteous and all, I’d say you’re doing a pretty shitty job of it, since it is obvious you care nothing about, you know, the actual people living on it. The Theory is All and everything.

plain(s)feminist said...

Okay, okay, freakin' ENOUGH.

WS:
I do not want to read any more about what your take on radical feminism is or is not or about why someone else's position is wrong. *None of that is the topic of this thread.* You are derailing conversation. Continually. No more.

I tried to address this earlier, but apparently I was too subtle.

You have not said anything new in the last 60 or so comments.

Stop.

Ren Ev and others, if you want to continue this particular discussion about WS' feminism, I'm going to ask if you can move it someplace else. I hope that you'll still comment here - but I will pull out all my hair if I have to read one more of her treatises that ignores the rules of rational discourse and doubles back on itself. I really will.

womansspace said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
womansspace said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Renegade Evolution said...

PF:

Right on and no problem.

Cassandra Says said...

PF - Yep, I can see how that would be a little frustrating...will refrain from fanning the flames any further.

buy viagra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.