I was writing a reply to V, a regular reader and commenter here and realized that it would be better served as a full post.
My 45th Was A Happy Birthday With A Key Lime Pie
Although my day was hectic and things went wrong I still managed to feel good about turning 45 and yes I bought a key lime pie. I’m gonna eat the whole thing, except the crust, which is too sweet.
I admit I do long to rewind my life 20 years and do certain things over again but overall, once you hit this age you have a different perspective on life in general. I find myself slowing down a bit, smelling the roses so-to-speak.
I’ve lived the past 10 years on my own, absolutely totally 100% on my own. That’s an accomplishment. Now it hasn’t been easy at all. As a disabled woman I struggle so much but I’m free, inasmuch as a woman can be free in patriarchal society.
Overall the day was good but it was like any other day. Plus I had a cold so I won’t take a couple days off until I’m not sniffling.
Why Do I Do This?
I often ask myself why I keep this blog. I used to critique the male supremacy movement on Youtube and finally decided to write it all down. This blog is almost 1 year old. I have many reasons why I think this is important. Knowing how vast male violence against women is it seems the MRA’s are the critical population to expose. In my view MRA’s will say things most men will not. This gives us a good glimpse into what drives men. I’ve found that even left leaning men will eventually show their entitlement and misogyny.
In fact, a man I wrote about a year ago, Charles Clymer, is one of those men who wants in to feminism so he can get dates and silence women. In my experience men cannot be feminists. They can be pro-feminists but never shall they understand women’s experiences. No matter how much men claim they’re feminists they’ll always at some point start mansplaining a woman or disrespecting her. I’ve seen it happen over and over again. Men should never hold leadership positions or any position of power over a woman in feminist circles. EVER.
I also keep this blog because I feel like I have a responsibility to help other women who are being targeted by Men’s ‘Rights’ groups and I know that women need a space to name the problem and express our experiences as women. I recognize the need for spaces for women BY women.
I do most of my work behind the scenes and nobody ever knows about it. It has to remain that way for my safety. I wish I could write about it but I can’t. When I expose a new MRA plot to attack a woman I expect women here to network the way I do, to help them in any way they can, even if it’s just support. I know it’s dangerous out there and I know this isn’t for everyone but it’s something I have to do.
The new methods of attack the internet has allowed have also opened up vast networks of women to fight back. The internet is very important in that regard.
The Journey To Radical Feminism
I came to radical feminism naturally, which to me means that I recognized my experiences as a woman as a natural response to a male dominated world. My progression is quite determinist and that’s because I listened to myself. I knew what kind of society I lived in by the 5th grade. I knew males had an easier time at things and that I was always going to be second guessed or simply not listened to.
I experienced discrimination while trying to get into a coveted educational spot. I did get in but not without a fight. I’m lucky in one respect, my parents were willing to fight for me and they did. I remember feeling like I had struck gold, had landed in a magical place that most girls never got to see. Of course, I also felt guilt because I was second guessed and sometimes felt I wasn’t worthy. Women know that feeling. We know that what comes out of our mouths is usually going to be mansplained and we adjust accordingly. Women are so busy adjusting we don’t have time to live and to me, that’s a crime against humanity.
Internalizing that guilt let me know I had arrived. I could suddenly understand the relationship between my mother and father, how unequal it was. I vowed never to be a housewife because I saw my mother subjugated in that role and I saw how my father reacted when she wanted to study and go to work. I vowed never to have kids because I knew I’d be bringing them into a world that just wasn’t good. I just said no to kids altogether and admired a life lived just for me. I vowed never to be shamed for this radical decision. So far, so good. I listened to myself.
That’s what radical feminists are so good at: listening to ourselves. When we experience something we aren’t afraid to recognize it for what it is. I think that women who listen to themselves become radical feminists. At least I’d like to think so.
That’s what I value the most about radical feminism. Naming the problem is what we do around here. We don’t second guess or ask whether men want to hurt us. Men are clearly saying ‘we will hurt you.’ I’ve learned many times over that even supposed male allies aren’t to be fully trusted. Why? Because they can’t see their privilege nor do they recognize the structural inequalities we face simply for being women. There’s usually a blind spot somewhere. I just heard a man deride the metaphor that ‘All IPV is rape.’ Did he ask me to explain this metaphor? Nope. Instead he got his back up because well, women must be sexually available to men even when women are taking the bigger risks in sexual relationships with men. That’s just a fact.
Radical feminism, to me, is about facts. We correctly see the world we live in and we correctly describe it because we use the most valuable tool we have: Our experiences. We must continue to listen to ourselves and trust ourselves.
The Here And Now And Moving Forward
I think women today are in serious trouble, not because of MRA’s but because we’ve always had to struggle. With rampant pornography usage by males, the constant erosion of reproductive rights, the economic problems, and so on, we women are experiencing a serious backlash from male supremacists, hence the MRA’s and men who may not call themselves MRA’s but who share the same aggrieved entitlement and even some of the same unsupported ideas. There are men who parrot MRA talking points who don’t even call themselves MRA’s.
MRA’s are a small group. They’re pretty insignificant in many ways. Their views are not held by the mainstream. However, they harass women and their ideology must be brought into the light of day so it can be shown for what it is: misogyny.
I will always applaud a woman like Emma Watson who brings feminism to a world audience and we must support her. Even if her campaign is ‘fun feminism’ we should stand by her because she is trying even if misguided. Is anything radical going to come of her campaign? Maybe, but I doubt it. How often have women asked men to get involved, to correct their own and other male behaviour? Some might disagree with me and that’s ok. That’s why we have a comment section.
So far all I see is a few male celebrities tweeting out pics of themselves with a hashtag expecting praise and getting it. That’s disturbing. Expecting praise for acting like a human being who treats other human beings with respect is pretty disgusting.
However, vocal women like Emma are being viciously attacked by men. She is their next target. For those who don’t know, after Emma’s UN speech some threatened to release private nude photos of her. It didn’t matter that she included and addressed men softly and carefully which is what women usually have to do in order to avoid male violence. Face it, none of us would’ve been so charming. Yet no matter how gently she spoke men still targeted her. Many feminists have pointed out that simply stating that women are subjugated brings male backlash. Look no further for proof. Speaking up about male violence can bring male violence. UPDATE: the photo leak was just an empty threat but one nonetheless that involved violence against women.
Feminism is a dirty word lately but that is changing albeit slowly. We must stand together even though we may disagree with each other. I’m not asking anyone to withhold their analyses. I would expect that a pro-sexual exploitation person who posts here knows she’s going to have to tend with the radical feminist position. That’s a given but we must, as Gail Dines says, be the leaders. We must take these women in and educate them and speak with them. It won’t be easy. There will be arguments. There will be hurt feelings.
Just yesterday I had a fun feminist engage me in a conversation. First she tweeted that feminists are the ones pushing the mother/whore dichotomy. I corrected her. We tweeted back and forth until she literally put words in my mouth. You know what she was concerned with? Male feelings. She kept telling me she was a feminist and I kept smh. Unfortunately, I couldn’t carry on a discussion with her because she kept asserting things I never said. When asked to provide my statements she couldn’t. I expect that this kind of thing will happen here on this blog too.
Our analyses aren’t fun. We’re blunt and unapologetic. Our discussion might be hard to hear if you’re not a radical feminist, if you’re so used to catering to males. It can get very bleak for women who are second guessing whether to name the problem or not for fear of male retaliation. However, we unite in that voice and in our personal experiences as women because we matter. We’re not concerned about male feelings around here. If we were this place would be AVFM.
While I welcome liberal feminists here you must recognize you’re in our garden and we will, I hope, help you to see our perspective. I don’t want you to get the idea this is the place for debating arguments because it’s not. I’m just saying that I recognize that some liberal feminists will want to post here. The one thing I will say is not to cut down or try to minimize radical feminist experiences. For example, telling other members that you love men is useless around here because nobody is saying you can’t. It’s not productive and well, nobody around here wants to hear it anyway because it’s usually a response to a woman to get a rise out of her. Just because you love some dude out there doesn’t mean other women have to.
However, if you want to seriously discuss and learn about an issue, feel free. My radical sisters might not feel the same way about you that I do, so keep that in mind too. I have already promised not to butt into any disagreements. I don’t know if that will work across all situations but I’ll do my best to stay out of it.
Above all, I want to thank all readers of this blog, new and old, for sharing your experiences as WOMEN. We’re almost 1 year old!