Sunday Open Thread

Here’s a place to talk about anything you want without MRA trolls. They’ll be ixnayed from the eadthray! I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing. I’ve been reading Backlash again. It’s the book on the right sidebar that you can click and download. One of the main phrases in there that sums up what we’re dealing with when we talk about Warren Farrell and the rest of the dodo’s is this:

‘Women are better off protected than equal.’

This is what Farrell and the MRA’s endlessly moan about. Farrell assumes that women’s place as subjugated house wife is her natural place and uses backward evo psych theories to support it. His entire thesis is built on a house of cards because the research shows that the more women are liberated and have choice, the more healthy we are. It also turns out that husbands who have wives that work aren’t happy. Men have to rearrange themselves accordingly because women aren’t going back any time soon.

Sweet Reflection

Sweet Reflection

Hence we see MRA’s banging the backlash drum and indulging in pseudo science to do it. Nothing they say is even true and yet they get reported on in the mass media. The reason for this is that they’re loud and pull stunts like flooding Occidental college with false rape reports but an even bigger problem is the right wing think tanks. They give MRA’s a new lease on patriarchal oppression. It turns out that one ‘feminist’ they adore, Christina Hoff Sommers, belongs to a right wing think tank.

The entire charade is to get women to question their liberation, step by step, to try and make us neurotic about our choices, especially if those choices aren’t staying home barefoot and pregnant. Knowing this, I have a ton more power to understand the game. MRA’s object to women’s liberation and choice for women.

I did start a new blog called Mancheeze Book Club. It’s just meant as a compliment to this blog. I haven’t officially opened it yet but you can check it out if you like. I want to read even the most obscure feminist writings. Hopefully with a group of people.

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89 thoughts on “Sunday Open Thread

  1. I’m a graduate student at a liberal arts college getting my masters in health and human development. My main focus is on women’s health issues – primarily menopause.

    I read a lot of feminist research and literature. But, truth be told, I struggle with it. Primarily because I hate divisive rhetoric. While I don’t think feminist research and literature is inherently divisive, there are certainly some feminists who are so outrageously militant, they are alienating.

    On the flip side, I also struggle with silly little girls who claim they don’t need feminism. The very fact that they can parade around spouting their ill thought out political statements is proof enough that they need, and have benefited from feminism.

    I equate those types of attitudes with people who burn American flags (I know your Canadian) or seek to trash everything about America and her values. We have this thing called the First Amendment.

    So, we have the freedom to speak out against our government and to defy the politics of the power structure if we wish. It is a right that I never want to give up. Ever. Even though I often cringe at the abuse of it at times. The ironic act of burning our flag is protected by First Amendment speech.

    So it is with the air head little girls who say they don’t need feminism. They haven’t thought much beyond their hashtag in my opinion. They are foolish.

    All in all, I try to fall down in the middle as much as I can. I’m not an extremist in anything that I think, though I’m conservative in much of my politics. Extremism is a dangerous thing. And there is no doubt that the MRAs are an extreme bunch.

    They fascinate me and repel me at the same time. I keep going back to look at them because I can’t believe that I actually see and hear what I actually see and hear.

    • I’m pre meno right now having some weird months but still mainly on schedule. I’m still fertile myrtle. My doc has me on calcium and vit D now and I mean these huge horse pills that are lime green! lol

      I also did research on a contract basis for the Women’s Centre of Excellence here in BC. We studied addiction in women. It’s good to have that research background although I must admit I have to brush up on my stats every now and again. What a truly miss is access to Lexis Nexus research database.

      I don’t really know what a militant feminist is.Sometimes I consider myself militant because I won’t date men any more. I am very invested in the pleasure I have with my independent life. Once a woman goes independent she usually never looks back. I thought when I was an adolescent I would marry my dream guy and live in a huge house etc. but it’s just too much trouble to put up with men. They can’t understand simple things like putting toilet seats down and they will oppress you at every turn because they need so much control over you it’s impossible to be yourself. Sure, I’ll befriend a guy but once you add sex in there they won’t leave you alone.So every guy I meet gets friendzoned immediately,

      I’m politically a bit conservative too but like you, mostly in the middle of many issues. Oh, and I’m also American. I’m a member of both countries.

      • I mean militant as in extreme and irrational. Like the MRAs 🙂

        I recently left a long marriage which was horribly abusive. He convinced me I couldn’t live without him and I believed him. Now that I’m out, I couldn’t agree more that when women are free from marriage, most of them don’t want to go back to it. I certainly don’t. I’m nearly 60. I can’t imagine getting married again.

        I’m not even interested in dating. Though at my age….why bother? Academics, reading, and writing are far more interesting to me. And much more satisfying.

          • No, that doesn’t make you an extremist.

            I’m simply expressing that as I work my way through feminist research and literature in my graduate studies (and hopefully, one day, my doctorate studies) that I often feel conflicting feelings.

            I am in no way diminishing feminism or women who call themselves feminists.

            I’m just trying to express that I am sometimes conflicted and that I feel a spectrum of feelings as I work my way through the work. I’m certain that one day, when I come out on the other side, I will not feel so ambivalent.

            In the past two years I’ve lost a long term marriage (by my own hand, but it was still a loss), and both of my parents have died. So, on top of all of this mind bending academic study, I’ve also been working my way through unspeakable grief at times.

            I’m at a life cross roads, a real existential place. It’s impossible not to ask questions when one is working their way through those emotions, thoughts, and ideas.

            That is all I meant when I posted.

        • I must admit I’ve never met a feminist who was militant and irrational but MRA’s take the cake in that regard. When men kill us and abuse us, it’s real and we have every reason to not want to be around them.

          Many MRA’s think radical feminists are running the world. LOL. I’m a radfem and I’m not running the world. I just monitor them as a hate group and try to warn women of their vicious campaigns that put women in danger.

          They’ve been quiet lately. They tried to move the media into thinking feminism was over with that stupid campaign where they paid women to hold up anti feminist signs. That was a hoot.

          They’ve been pretty quiet. They won’t remain quiet though. They’ll pull another stunt. They thought the last one was going to be huge. What idiots.

          I much prefer my life as an independent woman. I answer to no one. I sleep when I want. I don’t have some guy nagging at me for sex. I meet life on my own terms.

          It’s good you got out of that relationship.

          • I agree with you. When you are abused by men, if you have any semblance of self-respect, you don’t go running back to it.

            I have no interest in being around most men for that exact reason. However, I was trying to express that as I read a wide variety of feminist research and study in my graduate work, that I find myself feeling a variety of feelings.

            I do not agree with every tenant of feminism. However, I also understand in a very deep, personal way, that without feminism, that we (I) could very well be in the condition that so many women in other countries find themselves.

            I hope I’ve made myself clear.

          • “They tried to move the media into thinking feminism was over with that stupid campaign where they paid women to hold up anti feminist signs.”
            Is that a hunch or is there proof they paid people to hold up signs?

            By the way, I EXTREMELY think women are people, in an EXTREME sort of way. 😉

        • There is no feminist extremist counterpart to the MRAs.

          Normally, I don’t open my door to anyone. But, I was having some work done the other day and I thought it was the workman coming back inside for something. Instead, it was a woman who had just moved into a house not far from me in the last couple of months. Her boyfriend hit her with his fist or an object so hard that he knocked her out the night before. He brought her here from some other place far away from her family. He took her possessions and sold them and he took her phone. She was lucky that I had someone working here because I would normally never open the door. She needed to use my phone. She was all bruised up one side of her face. I gave her the number of someone to call in an emergency and she called a friend and the sheriff’s to help her get moved out.

          Now, I have this misogynist in my area – maybe he knows that I helped her out and he’s going to come after me next. I’m already scared to leave my house. Now, I’m going to have to go back and forth to my car with a weapon in one hand instead of in my purse or in my clothes. I’ve been through this kind of thing before.

          So, tell me again about extremist feminists who are as bad as MRAs. I’d really like to hear it.

          • I’m not hear to fight with you, womanofthewoods. I happen to like this blog. I was simply expressing my current experience as I work my way through graduate school.

            I’ve had nothing but abusive marriages in my life. So, I know what abuse looks like. Trust me. I get it.

            Please don’t misunderstand what I was trying to say. I’m not here to make enemies or fight with people…..and I’m certainly not here to defend MRAs.

          • Have you watched the incomparable Lena Olin as an abused wife who shows up at Juliette Binoche’s door lately?

          • Sorry, my comment about Juliette and Lena is out of order. I was referring to WOTW’s having an abuser neighbor and the movie Chocolat.

          • Don’t know where in the replies this will show up, WOTW, but you asked whether Chocolat is any good, and my answer is that I enjoyed it wholeheartedly, except that Binoche has to have an obligatory quickie with Johnny Depp, but oh well, it’s a one-nighter…and Depp is non-controlling…my only quibble though…

          • I’ve tried to watch it a couple of times, but so far all I’ve gotten out of it is that it’s a great cure for insomnia. I bought it because Depp was in it, but I can’t stay awake long enough for him to show up! I’ll give it another try, though. I’ll drink some strong coffee before-hand! LOL!

        • You said: “I mean militant as in extreme and irrational. Like the MRAs :)”

          “Militant feminist” is usually another term for “radical feminist.” You said that you’ve been reading feminist literature that you call divisive or irrational rhetoric.

          So, what is an example of this?

          What is a non-extreme reaction to the ongoing threat of violence and death from men in this patriarchal establishment?

          If you’ve got some non-divisive magical potion that will allow men to live in peace and harmony with us, I’d like to hear all about it.

          • I have tried to explain to you in good faith what I mean. At this point, I don’t have any more to say which will pacify you.

            However, please also know, I’m on your side. But, for whatever reason you don’t want to believe that.

            I won’t be back to this blog.

            I don’t think women should have to keep appeasing and explaining themselves – and especially not to other women with whom they fundamentally and philosophically agree.

            Your anger is blinding you to that fact, unfortunately.

          • You can’t answer a direct question.

            Name an author or a book you have read that is an example of divisive or extremist rhetoric.

            I would think a grad student should have no trouble, especially if what you read interested you, you should be able to name, at least, one example.

            An author?

            Or a title?

            This is not a fight. This is not me being angry at you. This is me asking you for a concrete example.

          • To Maggie’s post below you: I hate such childish behavior so much. Oh gee she doesn’t agree with me I will leave. (waits….until someone jumps in to beg her to stay). Seriously, grow up, women will get nowhere with such ridiculous behavior…unless of course Maggie is a man.

  2. Why in the world do I need to defend my observations and personal feelings, impressions, and intellectual experiences in graduate school to you?

    I’m not on trial here for heaven’s sake. This is all simply absurd.

    It seems to me that when you have a sister standing WITH you, that you might treat her as a companion and friend in the fight rather than a foe by being aggressive, confrontational, and argumentative.

    I don’t know how many page views or visitors House Mouse Queen has at her blog. However I also have my own blog which I’ve been running for close to 10 years now. I have thousands of visitors a month, and hundreds of thousands of page views.

    In fact, I make an excellent living by blogging about women’s issues. Which also includes feminist issues. If I allowed my readers and those who frequent my blog to treat other readers the way you have treated me, I think I would ask them to leave.

    You are bad PR for the cause, sister.

    • Why can’t you just answer the question?

      Name one author or book, which is an example of what you consider to be extremist, militant or divisive rhetoric?

      You must have a difficult time in grad school if you can’t stand to have any of your ideas challenged.

      • She is correct. When you interrogate a feminist for viewing feminism differently than yourself, you may as well be an MRA. The basic attitude is the same…. That you are owed an explanation, that all disagreement is taken as a personal attack, etc. Accept that all have different life experiences and hence different levels of fear, etc and move on. You are among friends, not enemies unless you make them yourself…

        • I think there’s something to be said for not believing everything you read on the internet. Are you sure “Maggie” is even a woman. She claims to have read all kinds of feminist literature about which she is conflicted, yet cannot give even one example of an irrational, extremist, militant feminist who is like an MRA.

          As far as levels of fear go – yes, you’re right. I’m absolutely terrified right now. I know more about what happened to that woman than I can tell and I’ve been down this road before. Maybe I’m one of those “militants” she’s talking about – I’m pretty sure I am, but when I say I’d like to hear a better solution to “extremist feminist” ideas like, for instance, total separatism or the elimination of our enemy, I’m absolutely serious. I don’t appreciate her attitude very much, either. She (or he) is the one who came here calling feminists, “militant,” “extremist,” “irrational” and just “like MRAs.”

          This business of women and feminist EVER being as bad as MRAs is a bunch of bullshit and you know it. There’s a world of difference between advocating and committing violence against a group of people and being the victims of that same group. So, you can stuff your “When you interrogate a feminist for viewing feminism differently than yourself, you may as well be an MRA” bullshit where the sun doesn’t shine, too.

          • You have proven my point. To equate all MRAs with the radical AVfM nutters (and their ilk) is as much an issue as radfems not liking their less militant sisters… And with that this is me gone also… HMQ, you do your best here and I wish you well, but it is not the home for me. Any who wish to find me can do so on Twitter. Bye all.

          • Well I would give Maggie, as I give most people, the benefit of the doubt. This IS an open thread. I need you to breathe too. You are, as you admitted, under pressure right now. This is supposed to be a feminist space.

    • I took you at your word before that you read something you considered extremist or somehow divisive, but I now believe you have never read any such feminist literature.

      I can name the last 10 feminist authors I’ve read off the top of my head. But, you can’t name even one text or author whose work you objected to.

      Why is that?

    • Maggie,

      I don’t want you to leave HMQ’s blog on my account. I’ll leave you alone and won’t respond to any of your comments, again.

      But, this conversation really turned odd and I can’t help but think you’re full of it.

    • Thousands of visitors a month? Unless you are on Jezebel or some other of the mainstream feminist sites you would not post here. Because Jezebelian feminism is subordination to the patriarchy. Outside of the main feminist sites it is unlikely you get thousands of visitors a month.

  3. Hi, Maggie, What is your blog URL, if you’d like to share it?

    It’s always good to see someone who is going through that questioning we all start with, finding a good site to land on. What I get from your comments is that you are introducing yourself, but that you don’t have any particular comments or issues right now.

    You might be interested in exploring the conceptual differences between liberal feminists, as you describe yourself, and radical feminists. Here’s a good lecture on that topic, and if you’d like to talk about it after viewing it, feel free of course. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkXrS0NnQM0

    I would like to say that WOOW’s comments are pretty fair. We have trolls, like every radfem site. Like WOOW, I would like to know what sources you are referring to as feminist irrational or divisive sources, so we can talk about them. Like HMQ and WOOW, I’ve always been impressed by the intelligence and logic of feminist writings, so I’m at a loss at what you’re referring to.

    Thanks and take care,

    Bella

  4. So here I am, feeling I HAVE to reply to two sister who are already not getting along. Now, pardon me, I’ve had some sweet sherry tonight and I’m very relaxed. You’re both on the wrong foot in my view.

    First, any new person that comes here is naturally screened. The very nature of this blog is that MRA’s often come here impersonating women and mouthing off about shit they can’t understand. That’s why the ‘screening’ vibe is prominent here. It’s not supposed to be harsh but it might seem that way b/c of the kinds of MRA’s we get here that say they’re women.

    I’m not saying YOU aren’t a woman or you’re not any of the things you stated. This IS a radical feminist blog. I’ve seen that another poster has given you a starting place to examine the diff between liberal fem and rad fem. Starting there is good. I also recommend a lecture by Gail Dines on postmodern problems and how feminism is losing it’s way by turning individualistic instead of it’s former self, which is collective theory. All sisters uniting for the same cause instead of individuals expressing individual goals that are all equally important without taking into account the effect on women as a whole, as a unit.

    Ok, so there’s that skepticism on this blog that just naturally exists. I don’t like when people threaten to leave. Then I feel I have to step in because I obviously don’t want you to go.

    I also questioned along the same lines because I’ve yet to see one extreme position in feminism that matches MRA’s fanatic ideology.

    Now, WOTW came on a bit strong. That’s true. She is asking a valid question though. It’s valid. If you don’t want to answer that’s up to you but you should know there is always going to be a level of skepticism here when a question like that can’t be answered, even minimally.

    If you don’t know just say you don’t know any extreme positions. this isn’t about being right. It’s about being honest.

    And now for me. I’m disappointed that the first open thread turned this way. It’s hard for a blog owner to come down on anyone unless there’s a definitive right and wrong here. There are many variables at play. I hope I’ve given them light and people can make their choice of what to say after understanding them.

    • Thank you for responding. No, I’m not a troll or an MRA. I’m a woman who met the infamous Paul Elam a number of years ago before he even began his now equally infamous AVFM site.

      I found him to be a very scary, bizarre person due to how he responded to me on a writing website that we both were members of. I also found him to be full of anger, hate, and presumption about things that he couldn’t have possibly known anything about.

      Lately, like over the last year, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about him, and in response to him. I eventually found my way here after I had found David Futrelle’s blog. I mainly lurk because, truth be told, I honestly cannot believe that someone could be as crazy as I perceive Paul Elam and his ilk to be.

      I am a graduate student as I said. Because of my focus of study, I read a lot of feminist literature. A LOT. I am of the age that I am very aware of the beginning of the feminist movement in the US, so I’m no stranger to feminists. My comments were simply an expression of my paths through feminism and my many – sometimes contradictory – feelings and thoughts toward feminism.

      That is all I was expressing. I was not condemning or criticizing feminism. Quite the contrary. I was just being honest at how my feelings and observations are in a continual state of flux. I think that is very much a part of being a graduate student in general. At least, that is what my professors tell me.

      I am very careful not to enter into debates which lead nowhere. I felt Woman of the Woods was knee-jerk reacting to me and saw no benefit or wisdom in engaging her, or taking a defensive posture. Particular since I saw no reason to feel defensive.

      I consider myself VERY feminist in my beliefs. I also don’t see that there is a crime that someone thinks, questions, and even evolves in their thinking and points of view.

      Woman might very well be a reasonable person, but she didn’t come across that way. She came across as hostile and confrontational.

      I didn’t come here to cause problems, argue or fight. I’m too old for that, and feel it is all a waste of whatever precious time I might have left on this earth.

      I am very committed to women’s health issues as I stated. I’ve been studying the experience of menopause for many years. I can assure you that one cannot study women’s health issues in graduate school without reading feminist literature and research. It’s pretty fundamental.

      But, I’m not committed to fighting, bickering, and sniping with other women over semantic hairs of what a feminist is or isn’t, or whether I’m feminist enough in what I think. If someone can’t ask an honest question and be frank about how they feel, it is not a place I wish to engage myself.

      Thanks again for answering me.

      • And P.S. I don’t want to link my blog here because I already have enough problems with MRAs and others like them finding their way to my blog to harass and threaten me.

        Some of them have been so relentless, that I now delete most all comments from the majority of men who comment there. I also mark them as spam, and then ban their IP addresses so they can never access my blog again.

        I am also very concerned about my professional image as I have a large amount of women’s health content around the web, and do not wish to get mired in controversies or problems with those crazy SOBs.

        So, please understand, that my not divulging a lot of personal information, is not so that I can troll or be mysterious. It is because I don’t want to be harassed anymore by these jerks than I already am.

      • I’m glad you responded. I think this might be an opportunity to breathe, which is what the thread was about. To just breathe a break from the MRA’s who come here and to other blogs making trouble. That’s the spirit of the thread.

        I had a period like that where I was sort of questioning my place amongst feminist thought but I couldn’t be anything but a radical feminist. I know ‘too much’ so to speak. The work I do enables me to see radical feminism as the best place to be.

        I don’t think the argument was about what a feminist is or isn’t or whether you were a feminist or not. It was a question in response to your statement about extreme feminists. We radicals are blamed for everything under the sun and when someone uses the word extreme, they’re usually talking about us. I also wanted to know what you considered extreme. It’s an honest question. We just wanted to know which feminists, what body of work, you considered extreme. Is it Dworkin? Who? It wasn’t meant as a debate. We just wanted to know what you meant.

        Also, this is a radical feminist themed blog. Even though I expose the hatred of MRA’s, I personally am a rad fem. You even said yourself “If someone can’t ask an honest question and be frank about how they feel, it is not a place I wish to engage myself. ”

        It was just a question based on your statement.

        You ARE welcome here. I am the owner of the blog and I have no objections to you being here.

        • Thank you. I will probably go back to my lurking and reading, rather than commenting. I’m very interested in what you have to say and the work you do monitoring the MRAs.

          In the graduate research that I will be doing, there is no way I can escape feminist research (not that I wish to). It is there and coming from the angle that I wish to come from, it is simply impossible to avoid feminist scholars.

          At this point, I do not know where I am as a feminist. I am very aware that my rights and freedoms in this country are the DIRECT result of feminists. I do not believe I don’t need feminism. I am enjoying a life that I likely wouldn’t other wise have because of them. So, I sincerely honor and respect them.

          Thank you again for responding. I’ve never had the impression that you are a tyrant in anyway at your blog.

  5. I know Anla is supposedly gone but:

    ” To equate all MRAs with the radical AVfM nutters (and their ilk) is as much an issue as radfems not liking their less militant sisters… ”

    What?! So, some MRAs are okay fellas? (They’re not.)

    And what does “less militant sisters” mean?

    Why is the word “militant” being used, at all, in a friendly feminist-to-feminist conversation? This term “militant feminist” was coined by conservative extremists who were opposed to radical feminism. I’m not Chez Guevara, I’m just someone who would like to get to the grocery store and home without being killed by a wife beater.

    Also, how does asking someone to clarify something they’ve said with specifics equate to “not liking” that person? (It doesn’t.)

    Is the moon full or something?

    • All feminism could be called ‘radical’ or ‘militant’ because it asserts that men are NOT superior to women. Someone who is afraid of these labels clearly fears men and wants the approval of men. Liberal feminism is a failure because it asserts that ‘hey fellas we will wash your socks, have your degenerate seed inside of us, and please you as long as you let us have a job!!’ Liberal feminism is an insult to women.

  6. On another note, HMQ, I’m glad to see you are starting the book club. I have been reading independently and regularly about women’s liberation for a few years now and have a nice little tasty library of books. I hope to provide some suggestions, depending on the general subject people are looking at. Some of the areas of thought regarding women’s liberation I have tried to do deep reading in include –

    1. The tragic extent of erasure and suppression of women in history, especially in the arts such as painting and literature.

    2. History of American/UK suffragism.

    3. The science of aggression and violence, including evolutionary biology and genetics.

    4. Feminist epistemology – how the production of scientific and other knowledge is geared toward masculine thinking processes.. (Sandra Harding)

    5. War as a masculine preoccupation.

    6. Second-wave theorists like Beauvoir, Firestone, Janice Raymond, Daly, Greer, and Millett and many more.

    7. Third-wave theorists like Judith Butler, and the debunkers of her brand of academic post-modernism.

    8. Modern feminist thinkers including separatists like Sonia Johnson and academic theorists like Catherine McKinnon and Sheila Jeffreys.

    9. Current radfem bloggers who are breaking new ground and/or commenting on the New Misogyny, like you, FCM and Radfem Hub, Futrelle, Tremblay, the AMR subreddit, Cathy Brennan, Women of the Woods, Witchwind, Gendertrender, and many more.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting some important subjects. It’s a vast field.

    best of luck with your book club, and I’ll be looking in!

    Bella

  7. Let me just add a couple more areas of reading I have found fruitful:

    10. Women and African-American history (Angela Davis and a large field of writers such as Toni Morrison)

    11. Women and spirituality

    12. Gendered Linguistics

    Some more writers I have learned from, including a few men, in no order whatever, and spanning ninety years, include –

    Audre Lorde
    Gloria Anzaldua
    Riane Eisler
    Andrea Dworkin
    Virginia Woolf
    Adrienne Rich
    Helene Cixous
    Lierre Keith
    Joanna Russ
    Gerda Lerner
    Gilbert and Gubar
    Bryan Sykes
    Adam Jukes
    Adrian Raine
    Steven Pinker
    Dion Farquhar
    Jean Shoboda Bolen
    Karen hrney
    Sondra Hardaway
    Robin Morgan

    Maybe for your new book club site some of us could post a list of our personal feminist libraries.

    • This is the kind of discussion I really want to have. There are so many excellent feminist writers out there who just put an issue right in their sights and explain it like no other. I find Susan Faludi’s stuff so rich with statistical information about the various studies meant to put women on guard from ‘too much liberation.’ It’s a wonderful book. I’m on chapter 5 now. I’ve just read about the day care crisis meant to put women back in the home.

      As an aside there’s a man in Australia who worked in a day care like setting who abused several kids over several years. The Aus govt. is now asking whether men should be allowed around children in day care-type settings.

      • I’m glad you’re doing the book club, too. Maybe a whole new blog for the discussion would be better.

        Also, do you think when we do a book, we should take it by a chapter or two at a time? I’m just asking because I’ve never been part of a book club before and I don’t know how it goes.

        I last left off reading about Hollywood movies and how they reflected what was happening with women’s liberation in the 1970s. I happened, very luckily, across the movie “Up the Sand Box,” starring Barbara Streisand, which was mentioned in the book.

        I watched it a couple of times, tried to analyze it and listened to Barbara’s excellent commentary. But, it had a purposely ambiguous ending. Viewers are supposed to provide their own and Barbara talked about how her views about the end changed as the years went by and women’s situation changed.

        A lot of the movie is dream or fantasy sequences, so Barbara’s character is sort of like Walter Mitty. There’s so many ways she would like to live her life (as a champion of women’s rights, as a revolutionary or to even assert herself against her controlling, interfering mother), but she doesn’t really have the guts. In the end – in my version of the ending – she just walks away, gets an abortion, and leaves her husband with the children (who probably gives them to her controlling mother!). That’s my personal ending.

        Or, you can write your own alternate ending in which she comes back, makes up with her husband, has yet another child, and continues her life of misery, hoping for egalitarianism with her husband, but never coming anywhere close to achieving it.

        The movie is a reflection of feminist goals in the 1970s, in which men and women shared equal roles in work and child rearing. This was, also, before the massive backlash (which I believe is increasing in its intensity still) of the 1990s, which is what the book is all about.

  8. In my experience, radfems come on a bit strong because they have battle fatigue after too much fighting. There’s a lot of bullshit out there. However, radfems are also very smart and on the ball. It’s totally worth it to give someone the benefit of the doubt and listen to what she has to say, even if she seems hostile at the beginning. Sometimes you can’t really tell what someone’s about until you’ve read a few more of her comments.

  9. I got a better idea, HMQ, I’ll just go “breathe” over at my own blog – since I can’t seem to type anything without being accused of being “angry” or confrontational or whatever.

    I really do have a lot of things going on right now – none of which I asked for, by the way – and I really can’t take the B.S. It’s too much. Thanks for understanding.

  10. I have the best idea. How about people grow the fuck up and be able to discuss a topic without malice, threatening to leave, being fucking so immature that the FIRST EVER open thread turns into a fight.

    What an example. This is the kind of shit MRA’s do.

    I’m just totally worn out and have had enough of this bullshit. GROW UP PEOPLE!

    • That’s right… .I’m just like an MRA. I’m just as bad as a rapist. I’m just like the S.O.B. who knocked that girl unconscious that was wandering half out of her mind in my driveway yesterday. I’m just like them – just as bad… just as guilty. I’m an extremist… and a militant.

      I was not angry or irritated before… but, thanks to you, I am now.

      This is a feminist space – or so you say. So, it makes perfect sense that I don’t belong here – since I’m EXACTLY like an MRA. Maggie has said it. Anla has said it. You’ve said it. So, It must be true.

      I will never trouble you, again.

      • I didn’t call you an MRA. I said that this kind of backbiting is how MRA’s handle conflict and it saddens and frustrates me to see this backbiting here.

        I should not have tried to settle it and smooth the conflict over. If Maggie was an MRA, which I don’t think she was, she sure should’ve been one since look what happened when she was viewed as an outsider.

        I know next time to keep my mouth shut. My comment about breathing wasn’t sarcastic at all. it was acknowledging that you’ve been through a rough time.

        I will never get involved with the snark again. I will let the thread go where it wants to go. I’ll leave people to do what they’re gonna do. That’s the best thing to do I think since nothing i did to smooth it over helped at all.

        I DO agree with Ella that allowing people to comment more will allow us to gauge who they are. I want this place to be friendly to other feminists. That’s the purpose of the thread. It seems to me when we don’t have an MRA enemy, we end up fighting each other. That to me, is incredibly depressing.

        I may not agree with liberal feminists on a lot of issues but they are welcome here, especially because as a rad fem my job is to welcome them so they can learn about who we are and gather knowledge.

        I want people to be welcome here and I encourage that. Other types of feminists we may not agree with but they ARE feminists.

        I won’t get involved again.

  11. Hope you are all right, WOOW. I don’t think you said anything unfair. Thanks for telling about the Streisand movie – I am just starting to realize how many truly feminist movies there are out there –

    I do have the Faludi book and certainly it is a very valuable and well-researched report. I’m thinking of cracking it again since it is a subject here. I see it as a book about the triumphs of, and counterattack against, liberal feminism.

    What I mean is that the book concerns itself with the nitty-gritty of progress made within the patriarchal framework that continues to rule the globe. This progress has been achieved by classic liberal, within-the-system means – legislation, court cases, fighting for access to The Man’s schools, allying with other relevant social justice movements like anti-racism, and so on, all to end women’s inequality in the material world.

    I’m tremendously proud of these amazing accomplishments of liberal feminism. The book goes on to concern itself mostly with reporting on the insidious and blatant attacks on such progress within the framework – the attempts to cripple these gains. That’s important, and Backlash describes a real-world problem that needs addressing.

    But I must confess that the reason I am drawn to radfem writers is because of my awareness that increasing legal equality and women’s economic independence isn’t exactly what I need to understand. I guess I’m not that interested in the nitty-gritty statistics and records of court cases and the use of patriarchal systems to fight the counterattacks of patriarchy. I think that maybe there is no permanent liberation by following that tack. –

    I’m interested in the “bigger” questions, like How did this ancient caste system of subjugation come about? Will women ever be considered the existential equal of men? Can the deep-seated misogyny of men, based perhaps on psychological developmental problems, ever be done away with? What kind of society would women working completely outside male control achieve? What would a woman raised outside male control be like? What would global society look like? How would language and science change? Would women choose to mate with men at all if technology allowed other ways of reproducing? What would the arts look like? Would hunger and war be eradicated?

    And for me most importantly, how can global patriarchy be ended completely, so that we can start to find answers to some of these other questions?

    So that’s why I haven’t gotten deeply into Faludi’s book…what do others think?

    • I think Faludi outlines what the culture does, the patriarchal culture, when women make even the littlest of gains.

      She does discuss how men see any little bit of progress by women as a mountain of a problem and not the small gain it truly is.

      She really does describe the MRM backlash to a T. I mean, it’s so accurate, it’s scary. I read her book about 10 years ago but since the MRA’s have gotten louder and more mainstream media coverage I figured I’d pick it up again.

      The media is to blame as well since the media prescribes to women instead of describing the culture. For example, the infertility ‘crisis’ in the early 90’s. This was due to women working outside the home and the need of the patriarchy to get them back in the home having kids.

      Feminism was blamed for infertility in women. If you look at the studies about male fertility, you suddenly get a good look at how badly they were doing. I remember a repost I did on WHY men were failing in fertility. The media doesn’t focus on men though. It’s all women’s problems.

      I also hope WOTW is ok too. I tried to get the point across that this blog is radfem and we DO get imposters but I don’t think Maggie is an imposter and like Ella said, we should give people a chance to comment more before we pigeon-hole them.

      The point is, we don’t always know who is coming here in good faith or not but we should practice giving the benefit of the doubt when it’s not immediately apparent that they’re an MRA.

      Maybe I should just let people snark at each other and not say a word? It’s best for me to do that I think.

      From now on, I won’t get involved. If the thread derails let it crash hard since nothing I said made any difference anyway.

    • Bella,

      Thanks for this: “Hope you are all right, …”

      I don’t feel at liberty to say too much about what happened until it’s all over. It actually occurred Friday – it’s just been a long weekend, which involved me spending Saturday vomiting whatever I tried to eat. When the time is right, maybe I’ll do a post at my own blog about how to respond when a woman who has been abused by a man ends up on your doorstep. I’ve learned a few things and maybe I’ll learn more soon.

    • I first read Faludi’s book a few years after it came out. I was trying to figure out the reason for so much random violence from men – usually unknown men, in my case. This is what happens when you’re outside the protection racket. That book helped me understand the racket, but, unfortunately, did not help me avoid it.

      Re-reading parts of it was maybe mildly traumatizing because I lived through so many of the things she talks about. I mention this on the discussion page about this book, in fact. I dealt with the disgusting abuses in offices and the pay nobody could possibly live on, no opportunity whatsoever for advancement and some really appalling violations – lots of things I’d rather not remember.

      The thing about the 1990s (the reality of living in the ’90s) was that so many promises had been made or implied to us as people – not just women and girls, but as people – but, they were empty promises and cruel lies.

      I don’t think it has improved, either.

      A question that has been going through my mind is this: What would we want the world to look like, if we could redesign it in our own image?

      I think it’s easy to say we want an end to war and men’s violence against us in its myriad forms – those are the things we would get rid of. But, what are the things we would have in this new world?

      Like you say, what would the arts look like? What would dance look like? What would operas be about?

      • Right, what if women were the norm? Or at least really equal in influencing culture?

        What a great question – what would opera look like?

        As a musician, I’ve found myself searching for an opera I could stand to be involved with. They are all about the goal of requiring a woman to submit to a man, or dying. (If there are exceptions I’d like to hear about them.) it’s despicable that such a grand art form should be based on subjugating women in mass spectacles. of course women were not encouraged (understatement) to compose. Even their voices are rigidly kept artificially high. The normal woman’s voice is unacceptably low for opera.

  12. Well, I think Ella said it well…we all have battle fatigue of one sort or another. Some radfem blogs are welcoming to other fems like post-modern (sexpos, protrans), marxist, cultural (spiritual fems), and libfems Some aren’t so welcoming because they are trying to work through particular radfem issues. I personally am happy to dialogue with any feminist (as a radfem responding), but I have no interest in talking with any non-feminist. My only response to MRAs is ridicule, as their premises are hopelessly deranged so dialogue is impossible..

  13. HMQ. my concern is that MRAs will succeed in their counterattack against liberal feminism. After all, they control the marbles and always will unless the whole framework gets dismantled.

    So it’s important to point out that women having access to laws, legislation, education and formal equality doesn’t mean shit once the patriarchy gets threatened enough and comes in to shut it down as it has for thousands of years. Faludi is describing that process starting to strengthen.

    What bothers me though is the failure in Faludi’s book to move outside the bounds of liberal feminism, which I doubt has the means to solidify women’s liberation. More women doctors and lawyers and execs and senators and indian chiefs won’t do it. In the end, I don’t think liberal feminism can hold the line. The system it works within is hopelessly loaded against women.

    • I agree with you. Because lib feminism is more about the individual it’s easier to divide women up. Radical feminism is a collective process. Getting stuck on surface is a problem in liberal feminism too.

      • The problem I see with liberal feminism is that to those who are into it – especially the men, but a lot of women, too – it’s all very theoretical. It’s a cause. It’s a perspective. It’s a bandwagon to jump on. But, as soon as some other cause they like better comes along, they’ll happily through women and feminism under the bus to pursue it.

        Before I understood this distinction between liberal and radical, all I knew was that there was some feminists who I mostly liked, yet something about their views rubbed me the wrong way. An example of such a one is Naomi Wolf. I saw her in a YT panel of feminists, I think it was the one I’m linking to below, and the differences between her views and the other women on the panel (like Germaine Greer) really stood in stark contrast. What I saw lacking was any real experience with the subject, yet she had her point of view and her philosophy – which is fine, of course, but there is such a thing as reality and real women’s experiences and those should be, in my opinion, far more valid and important.

        I think this is the vid. It’s a good one.:

        Another feminist – a woman I adore! – is Roseanne Barr. But, she’s doesn’t seem especially radical. (She has sons and grandsons – and a string of ex-husbands, plus a current one.) I love the Roseanne Show. If you’ve ever tried watching it from the beginning to the end, as I have, you’ve probably noticed that it’s absolutely brilliant. As the shop progressed from season to season, she got more power and got to do more of the writing, from what I understand. The character, Roseanne, is regarded as a feminist – a former flower child from the ’60s. But, the show – as much as I love it and as brilliant as I think it is – really reinforces patriarchal values and the status quo.

        I could write a whole long thing about this so, but I’ll try to be brief. What we see is how Roseanne really failed as feminist and she hopes her daughters will make better choices since they (supposedly) have better opportunities. Yet, Becky, feeling she is a burden ends up married to a guy her parents hate, living in a trailer park, working at the Buy-n-Bag and wishing she’d gone to college. The promised opportunities were not there and Becky falls victim to the “protection racket” described in Faludi’s book, “Backlash” and to the mass Stockholm Syndrome described in the book, “Loving to Survive.” (In fact, there are numerous instances of the protection racket in play in various episodes, especially the ones called “War and Peace” and “Crime and Punishment.”)

        It looks like the youngest daughter is going to break the cycle, but then Darlene gets pregnant and gets married before finishing college.

        Also, the men in the show are very traditionalist. I could do a few paragraphs on Fred, Jackie’s husband, who seems like a typical liberal feminist ally until he tries to sue her for custody of her fetus.

        I would not argue that the character, Roseanne, is not a feminist. But, I wonder to what extent her feminism was hi-jacked by the producers, directors and advertisers.

        I have thought about the television series, Maude, much the same way. It seems like controlled opposition, in a way. By that I mean that it’s a way to maintain the status quo while looking progressive – as long as you don’t look too deep, of course.

        • Hmm, interesting, I also can’t listen to Naomi Wolf. When she started talking about Muslim women being so creative and working within their hopelessly misogynistic religion, I turned off. But Germaine Greer is wonderfully straight and her experience and power shows. She’s a real radfem, talking straight radfem.

          I also loved Roseanne ( and she still speaks up). I felt in almost every way she had an equal partnership. I also was sad to see her daughters roped into “family holes” so early, but accepted how realistic it was.

          • You said: “When she started talking about Muslim women being so creative and working within their hopelessly misogynistic religion, I turned off.”

            Yes, that’s exactly the part I meant.

          • Roseanne (the character) had a better than average partnership. But, there are lots of episodes where she complains that Dan doesn’t do enough.

            One of my all time favorite episodes is “Tolerate Thy Neighbor,” in Roseanne discovers that Dan has been lying to her all along about the possibility of fitting a dishwasher into their out-dated kitchen. She finally gets a (used) dishwasher. But, it’s Roseanne and the girls who are responsible for the dishes. Roseanne is a traditionalist in this regard and she has trouble relinquishing control of the dishes (“Spots!” she says in horror, when she sees Dan doing them.) to him.

            There is a lot of traditionalism in the show despite the occasional lip service to feminism (like when Becky wants a motor scooter and Dan says, “No daughter of mine is going to ride a motorcycle.”).

  14. Exactly. Liberation is a collective process! That’s one of the main things Lierre Keith talks about in that link I posted above. Once women start saying, hey, I’m doing fine, I got me my college degree, I make good money and use my birth control, that’s when feminism goes off the rails. Because patriarchy is so damn good at adjusting to allow tokens and special snowflakes and talented exceptions and good female soldiers and so on. There’s room to reward a few women and neutralize them, while continuing to crush the mass of women.

    One of the most effective tools of patriarchy is to suck the most talented women in and persuade them that because they’re doing fine, any woman can. The truth is, their newfound privilege disappears the second they show any real independence or pro-woman leanings. it’s all contingent on the Man accepting you as a pseudo-man. Some of our most intelligent and savvy women still fall into this trap, for a time. Then they hit their forties, figure it out, and get out, if they can by then.

  15. Just want to add to my comment that keeping women from ever meeting together as women may be the ultimate tool of women’s subjugation. Marriage, the assignment of individual women to individual men and individual family holes, is of course the main strategy, and has been fantastically successful, but now that women try to meet together as women, we are seeing so many other manifestations of this strategy.

    Right now there’s a thread on the mensrights sub about some blog limited to women. The bloggers aren’t radfems, or even fems for all I know, but the title of the mra posting is along the lines of: women trying to limit their blog to women is a violation of civil rights laws, isn’t it? And there are comments about how to get in, how to infiltrate it, how to prevent this, how to destroy it…it’s so blatantly about male control. The greatest threat to the patriarchy is women-only spaces.

    Women go feral so damn fast! Gotta nip it in the bud! 🙂

  16. Ok so I went out tonight with a new friend, key word FRIEND, a male, who for fucks sake kept saying ‘we are just gonna be friends’ and then tried touching me after dinner. I told him ‘All I’m looking for is someone to be FRIENDS with. someone I can spend time with and talk about things like art, culture, literature, etc. We cooked dinner, I helped. You should’ve seen how he couldn’t peel garlic. So I went up there and did my japanese schtick, whacking the garlic to insta-peel it.

    The dinner was great. We had Manieshewitz wine and ribs, garlic/dill potatoes and salad. We talked all during dinner and then after dinner he put on the romantic music. I thought to myself, ‘here we go. it’s time to play fight-off-the-dumb-male routine that women are all too familiar with. Just ruined dinner. Ruined the whole thing.

    Men are so fucking dumb. No never means no to them. It just means ‘maybe, if I keep pressuring her’. Finally, I had enough. I told him I was tired and wanted to grab an ice cream. On the way back I told him:

    ‘You are making me uncomfortable. You’re trying to touch me and kiss me and I told you I from the first day I met you that I wasn’t looking for that. I gave him the rope and he hung himself. Even during dinner he told me he hasn’t had sex since last year as if I want to hear that. OY! Go stick it in the freezer! Don’t whine to me about it.

    Well, that’s the end of that. 😀

    You should’ve seen how dejected he looked dropping me off. I thought to myself ‘it was all YOUR fault dude.You couldn’t obey simple rules of conduct and only thought about your dick.’

    Now he can sit at home with it. Him and his dick can be great friends since what he’s really looking for is a friend for his dick, which rules his life. lol

  17. I think liberal feminism gets too bogged down with words and not collective action at the root problem. For example, the ban bossy campaign. You can ban the word all you like but patriarchy is still around in the upper echelons where women aren’t welcome. The problem isn’t the word, it’s patriarchal domination of high income, decision making jobs as well as seeing women as dominant, intelligent, capable human beings.

    Same thing they did with slut walk. Owning the word slut isn’t going to solve the patriarchal oppression of rape culture. So you call yourself a proud slut. How does that help Daisy Coleman? Should she just embrace her ‘inner slut’ and that will fix it?

    If you call an MRA a retard, instead of completely focusing on the incredibly misogynist crap he was endorsing, those patriarchal ideas, its more important to point out that the word ‘retard’ is hurtful to disabled folks. Oh nope, wait a minute, it’s hurtful to differently-abled folks. I’m sorry but I can’t keep all those words straight and it takes away from the true struggle.

    You get so caught up in a word that you forget the root problem, the ideas that you’re trying to destroy.

  18. Oh and more thing. He spent the money getting the wine and dinner but after it was clear I wasn’t going to let him fuck me he wouldn’t pay for our ice cream even though he said it was all his treat.

    Men: you can see right through them and their brain upstairs doesn’t work. Maybe that’s why men die earlier than women. They don’t use their brains very much.

    They just do not have the capacity for friendship. They can’t even be good friends to other men because of the macho homophobic bullshit but with women they just cannot see us as anything but objects. He’s older than I am too but that doesn’t matter. Still as dumb as a box of rocks.

  19. Funny how I was just writing about sex-as-a-transaction on my own blog last night. Your friend believes that sex is a thing that women have that they can give or withhold from men. He thinks that in order to “get” sex, he has to “give” things to you, such as dinner. What he needs to realize is that sex is a mutual experience that will only happen between two willing participants, and if a woman clearly says she’s not looking for sex then no amount of gifts or favours from him is going to change that.
    Making dinner with a friend is an intrinsically rewarding experience. Men don’t need to be “rewarded” for spending time with friends, and they don’t feel they need to be rewarded for having to spend time with other men. If he saw you as another human being and an intellectual companion, he could have just enjoyed spending time with you.

    • I remember a time, back in the 1980s, before the official beginning of the backlash, when men did not all seem like devils to me. It was Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and I had a friend who was just a friend – a man. And, we spent that day together and I said something like I was sorry I didn’t bring a gift when I came to his house. He didn’t buy me anything, either. And, he said, “This is your gift to me. The time that we share is a gift all by itself.” He was one of my best friends for many years – a guy who never tried to penetrate my body with any appendage or object and who was a really great help to me. (He had a long list of negative qualities, too. No woman could stand to live with him for very long at a time, usually about 3 weeks tops – but, at least, he wasn’t a rapist!)

      But, those days are long gone. I think I’d have to have lots and lots of wine before I could entertain the idea of putting myself at risk by being around a man, especially one buying me dinner. It’s just too scary now.

      • I don’t think I quoted my friend exactly. Somewhere in his words were the idea that the time we spent together as friends was our gift to each other. (Not just my time was a gift!)

        It’s a nice thought. But, if a man said something like that to me nowadays, I’d be worried I was being set up for the kill.

      • Yeah, I hear you most def. There was a time that I can remember where men didn’t scare me so much. Wow, a man who valued time with a woman and didn’t try penetrating? That’s AMAZING. I suppose those negative qualities just sucked since if he was balanced it would’ve been better.

        This guy that I met was all into the ‘lets just spend time as friends’ that I was really thinking this was going to be great. He ruined it though.

        I felt SO uncomfortable when he was staring at me. He stared at me like a statue, his mouth gaping. It was pathetic. This man was so pathetic when he was doing that. That was the moment I knew I had to get out of there. Then when he tried to kiss me, he cornered me in the hallway. Sneaky fucker.

        When men are manipulating like that, it’s time to get out. Even if they’re smiling at you.

    • You are so RIGHT Ella. It was like a business transaction in his mind even though since I’ve known him, going on a month now, he’s insisted and I’ve said quite clearly that this is NEVER going to be a sexual relationship EVER. I like women too much. It was as if all he had to do was put in coins and wait for teh sex. You know, after dinner we started watching a movie and he sat next to me in another chair and STARED at me like a dog with his head all turned sideways. Ugh. It was horrible. I felt so uncomfortable and that’s when I was like ‘ok, I want ice cream.’ I wanted to get out there and get ice cream.

      Men don’t understand the word no when it comes to this. I was so happy to discover him as a friend but men cannot do it. They just can’t do it. Now in my earlier years there were men that I liked sexually but who didn’t feel the attraction to me. Did I keep pressuring them? NO. Women understand no.

      Men just think if they keep putting in money for dinner that they are entitled to sex and get pushier and pushier. Women are so used to tolerating that boundary violation. In my case it was a few times of him either verbally talking about how he hasn’t had sex or wanting romantic moments to an outright kiss that I tolerated before I split out of there. I truly just wanted to have a relaxing talk after the meal but he just didn’t get it.

      It does remind me of the dudebros over at AVFM who keep trying to get men to ‘hang out’ together. As if that’s gonna happen any time soon. I do applaud that though. I think men should do the whole Robert Bly experience of dancing around a huge wooden dick with the added feature of fucking each other. Seriously, they should all do it. This embrace of other men would be a total plus for everyone. They’d probably stop raping women and little girls in such numbers (I would hope that, maybe prematurely) and they’d learn how to communicate.

      You see, like Bella, I would also like to know what the world would look like free of male domination and hierarchy. If they would just fuck each other they might stop harming us. I admit, it’s simplistic but I’d rather have them concentrate their sexual violence on other men, which they WILL do, in prison. It always makes me wonder if men are somehow genetically violent through a long pattern of socialization. I’d like to think all of that can be broken but it seems men cannot and DO NOT have the capability of stopping their own violence,

      Last night I was listening to blue collar/red pill. It was an AVFM talkshow with blue collar guys. The first things out of their mouths was sexualized violence towards women. I think one of the hosts said vagina about 10 times in 30 minutes. He kept going on and on about Jessica Valenti’s vagina while demeaning her. Are men just genetically predisposed to sexual violence? If that’s the case then how can you fix that? Can you even fix it? Should we try to fix it? They have to fix it but obviously MRA’s are the sexually violent ones that seem to have no problem engaging in it so publicly. Most men do it more privately, like raping little girls without getting on AVFM and squawking about it.

      • Well, call me optimistic, but I don’t think men are hard-wired for violence. I think they’re capable of stopping it. However, they haven’t lived up to my expectation yet.

        • There’s a part of me that wants to believe that since I put heavy emphasis on socialization. Like you though, I haven’t seen much progress with men. I get Google updates daily for the word ‘rape.’ The stories I get are just horrific and remind me that men aren’t doing what they should to combat those issues. Instead they’re sitting on AVFM squawking at women.

      • Someone over at my blog brought up the fact that men do have a lot of testosterone and they experience very rapid cycles (a few times a day compared to women’s 28-days) of surges in the form of circadian rhythm. I think this explains some of the random violence against women and their other inexplicable aggression, for example, on the street.

        I used to be optimistic like Ella, but my optimism has waned to an all-time low. I think they are hard-wired for violence because of their high levels of the hormone testosterone. I think a lot of them have natural “roid rage.” I think this is something they have to fight within themselves – sort of the demon within – which is why they have so many laws to protect themselves and their property from each other.

        • I’m in the same boat as you WOTW. I completely understand where you’re at because I’m there too. I have lost total patience, which was something I was socialized to have with men. I’ve come to the understanding that in order to be a totally free human being, well, in the best possible circumstances considering our patriarchal societty, is to cut all ties with men sexually. If they want to befriend me, I can handle that, but it seems my recent experience is telling me that it’s just impossible to do.

          I knew that he couldn’t possibly remain so caring about me unless he could stick his thing into me. Men cannot care unless they can have that. If you’re a woman like me, who’s lived the last 10 years independently, you cannot just let yourself slide back into relying on men for anything.

          To them money=sex. Hell, I was just reading the AVFM reprints of the Victorian era backlash against women. It’s either: ‘Women must give sex to men who spend money on them’ to ‘Women withhold sex to gain power.’

          Men cannot care just to care without sex being involved. They are so limited that way.

          They still have the economic power as Ella pointed out on her blog. So they figure they can manipulate with that. If women weren’t the majority of the worlds poor, if we weren’t kept out of STEM or other high paying jobs, would we have prostitution? I think not.

          No human being engages in such an intimate act for money like that unless they’re desperate. This is how men keep women in prostitution. As Ella said, ‘It’s not about what women want. It’s always been about what men want.’

          This is why you’ll never convince me that the sex industry is a natural thing that occurs or that it’s healthy to sell your intimate self or that women are just happy to do it.

          Oh and the stats don’t lie WOTW. Men are the most violent people on the planet. Fact. You’re not scared for nothing. You have a good reason to think the way you do.

          It’s like when people ask me why I’m a Zionist. Well, Israel is my home land. I am sympathetic to the Arabs but many of them say outright they want a Judenrein second state. They also say they want us Jews dead aka in the Sea.

          Why should I not take that as a threat? Should I pretend that Hamas and Fatah are nice and that if they ever captured me they wouldn’t harm me?

  20. Bella, look for some indie opera. Here’s an example: http://operaramblings.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/when-the-sun-comes-out/

    “What kind of society would women working completely outside male control achieve? What would a woman raised outside male control be like? What would global society look like? How would language and science change? Would women choose to mate with men at all if technology allowed other ways of reproducing? What would the arts look like? Would hunger and war be eradicated?”

    Shulamith Firestone touches on some of this in The Dialectic of Sex. Have you read it? She proposes that science eliminate pregnancy and instead find a way of artificial reproduction, which frees women from their reproductive capacity and also frees children from ownership by their parents. She describes a family system made of up several adults and children where children are not the property of their parents. She also has a chapter on “culture” and she proposes that the arts and humanities have been labelled “feminine” and the hard science labelled “masculine,” so that science is divorced from culture and the arts divorced of science. She talks about bridging them together to create a culture everyone participates in, and where creativity and scientific discovery work together. (Gosh, I hope I’ve explained this properly! I don’t have the book in front of me.)

    Hunger and war are caused by men’s systems of power making terrible decisions that oppress the world’s people. If women were in charge, we’d share resources equally.

    • I agree. I happen to be of the persuasion that women are in fact more empathetic, more moral, more pacifistic, more anti-violence. The only way we’ll find out will be if women ever strongly influence political policy. So far, only male-oriented tokens have gotten high enough to claim to influence policy. They vote, react, and have goals just like mens’. It’s a start, I guess, but I can’t wait for the day when women who are not pseudo-men (junior men, as Sonia Johnson calls them), really represent womens’ concerns.

  21. @ Ella, thanks for the link! I’m already looking at it.

    Yes, I have read Firestone’s book and was influenced by it. In fact I thought it was amazing that someone so young could be so insightful about the society she lived in. Her writing carried things right to their logical conclusions without flinching. I have asked myself if the reception she experienced to her book destroyed her life. It was too brave even for most feminists, who were as critical of it as the mainstream. But because of its undeniable logic and incisiveness, it’s a classic. Over the next decades many of her ideas have looked more and more reasonable. Certainly her feminist critique of science is a tenet of feminist studies now.

    I think her idea that feminism should seek to “liberate” women from childbearing was considered most threatening. When she was writing in the 60s the advances in reproduction technology we have today didn’t exist, but she foresaw them, and the idea of an exterior womb will perhaps in a few decades more be a reality. She thought freeing women from childbearing and rearing would be the ultimate liberation, and time may prove her right. She was way ahead of her time, and the debate she initiated is going to go into overdrive at some point. It’s a tough and divisive issue for women.

  22. Thank you for all the comments. I always read them with some sadness, as I am reminded how fortunate my life has been and what troubles have been given to others. I have been married for forty years, and am surrounded by wonderful sisters, daughters, and granddaughters. I have women friends, and some have had hard lives; some have been as blessed as I. It seems polite to make a comment now and then, just as a reminder that I am reading. (I don’t like the term “lurker.”) But I take nothing personally – I’m comfortable with who I am.

    • Oh I’m sure if you asked your female relatives they’d tell you about this stuff. Male violence is everywhere. I read the news and get alerts every day. It ain’t women raping men. It’s the other way around. it aint women killing men in dv cases or smashing men’s faces in. It’s men doing this to women.

      It’s the systematic oppression of women that’s the problem. I have a great life. The reason I do is because I don’t let men get sexual with me. If I didn’t have economic independence, which by the way isn’t TRUE economic independence, but at least I don’t live with a man where money is involved. Men, like the ‘friend’ I was supposed to have, think that once money is put down that he’s owed sex. Oh boy, he bought and cooked dinner! Oooo! That’s a definite owing of sex or manipulating me into a corner of a hall way for a kiss even though every pore in my body was saying NO. Every woman has a price because we live in a world where women are poor and men have that financial advantage. Women end up as sexual service punching bags because of it. Now me, I live in a very hard environment because I would NOT tolerate that from a guy. Don’t get me wrong, it ain’t easy, but my mental state is free to do what I like to do and not feel like I’m a prostitute when I eat a dinner because some dude is just staring at me waiting to corner me.

      You know, when I got to my door and told him how uncomfortable he made me doing that, he didn’t even try to explain it. He lowered his head a bit and said ‘ok’ and walked away. He didn’t even PRETEND to be interested in me for any other reason. His only motive was to get me in his place (which was less than a block away thank God) and pour wine into me. I mean, after dinner he sat in a chair almost opposite me and just fucking STARED at me drooling like a dog. I felt so out of place and so focused on, and not for the right reasons. He didn’t want to engage my mind. It was ‘sit on my dick! sit on my dick!’ the whole damned time. I will NEVER be alone with him like that again.

      Oh and he got a phone call during dinner that he took. It was another woman having trouble with her abusive boyfriend who he didn’t really want to talk to. Then after dinner he suggested I stay till 4am, COMPLETELY forgetting I told him TWICE earlier that I had a doctor’s appointment early the next day. I was never going to stay till 4am anyway. So he was all gung ho, wanted me to stay till 4. Then when we went out for ice cream, at my urging, he suddenly got so tired. He knew me getting out of there was it for his chances. He got all sulky and starting calling that woman again.

      IOW, asshole man with one track mind who doesn’t give two shits about me, just what’s between my legs.

  23. Hi, Medusa – BTW, who is K Ron Silkwood? Do you not have your own address? Sorry, no offense n all. I get that you have a lovely life.

  24. Remember the cage fighter who nearly killed his girlfriend a few days ago, then went on the run? He says that men’s oppression is akin to slavery. He’s another Elliot Rodger in waiting… but, MRAs, they’re “not all bad,” ya know, they “have some good points,” – NOT!

    Here’s the article:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/20/cage-fighter-who-savagely-beat-his-girlfriend-oppression-of-men-is-worse-than-slavery/

    Nowhere in the article does he say he’s an MRA, but, again, those of us familiar recognize the spammy jargon.

    In the article, he’s quoted complaining about batterers being imprisoned. But, personally, I have yet to hear of any wife beater going to jail yet! I think this is another MRA myth.

  25. What, I read about that guy. He thinks MEN are oppressed after the way he treated his ex-girlfriend? Unbelieveable!

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