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Apr 27 2006

Can A Liberal White Dude Be A Feminist?


But first: the can at Flipnotics. Good iced coffee. Really funked-up soap dispenser.

My post on fizzy wine in a pink can recently drew a “male feminist” out of his pin-up encrusted lair and into the open patriarchy-blaming field, with predictably hilarious consequences.

This male feminist (let’s call him “MF” for short), after apprising the group of his high testosterone level, his genius-level “IQ,” and his penchant for porn, announced that his feminist work (which consists of giving money to NARAL) is nothing less than a princely and altruistic gift to all womankind. Why were we to cheer MF’s selflessness on behalf of the public good? Because “[he’s] married, meaning that the sexual advantage to [his] support of feminism is zero.” I’ll let you chuckle over that for a minute.

MF couldn’t seem to grasp why, after so excruciatingly dudely an outburst, there was no enthusiastic clamor to book him as the keynote speaker at the next BlameCon in Bali. His pussy was hurting pretty bad by the end, and by way of delivering a parting zinger, he chastised some of us for using—dear god—sarcasm.

Not having just fallen off the tiny tomato truck yesterday, I am familiar with this MF’s MO. It’s always the same. Dude alights from on high, beaming with his extraordinary magnanimity (“I’m supporting your cause with my bandwidth”). Expresses shock when his blithe what-about-the-men remarks about the boffosity of porn are met with curled lips and stink eyes. Enlightens me that porn empowers women. Gets defensive. Says he is too a feminist because he watches porn with his wife (whom, he’ll have me know, he doesn’t even beat). Gets on high horse. Informs me that I’m not a real feminist, because he happens to know some real feminists, and they love pole dancing, and porn, of course, him. Oh, and they aren’t the least bit hostile. In fact, they lovingly embrace the male point of view. In fact, they’re strippers. I should be more like them if I want influential and good-hearted MFs like him to listen to me. Then demands that I explain what, if it isn’t about equal pay or the freedom to pole dance, feminism is. Can’t understand why I’m so mean. Gets on higher horse. Bitches about my sentence structure, calls me “shrill,” deploys a few boring clichés, and accuses me of “not doing anything” to change the world.

I have to say, I wonder why so many people think that spending hours and hours each week writing feminist critiques of the dominant culture isn’t “doing” anything. What do they think it is, then? Some fluffy conceit? Lying in bed all day eating bonbons? Chopped liver? But that’s another essay.

Anyway, here is Ron Sullivan’s synopsis of the MF phenomenon, which is way too good to leave mouldering in the comments:

One thing an old broad like me has seen many many many times already is some huffulacious oh-so-sincere dude walking in to a group of women almost at random and telling them

a/ what they should be doing in their free time;
b/ how to do it right;
c/ how to be feminists;
d/ why he has their best interests at heart, really;
e/ why he’s qualified to give them orders;
f/ that they’re intolerant, which is self-evidently a Bad Thing;
g/ that they’re preaching to the choir (and the biggest surprise is that they’re preaching);
h/ that some of his best fucks are women;
i/ how to be better feminists;
j/ that they’re not serious enough;
k/ that his wife thinks he’s the greatest;
l/ what God thinks;
m/ why whatever he’s doing this month is more important then feminism;
n/ that feminism is boo-zhwah, and that’s self-evidently a Bad Thing;
o/ that they’re shrill — wow, I almost forgot shrill;
p/ that they can’t pee standing up;
q/ that they should be ashamed of themselves;
r/ that they just don’t welcome open and vigorous debate;
s/ that he needs a beer (this is followed by an expectant silence);
t/ that they’re taking everything he said wrong;
u/ that they’re unreasonable;
v/ that they’re ~touchy~;
w/ that they’ve never said anything about oppression of women in (choose sauce: Iraq, Afghanistan, China, sub-Saharan Africa, the southeastern USA, the ghet-to, Brazil, Antarctica)
x/ that they should apologize to him because his parents had him circumcised;
y/ that he Is Too A Feminist (which evidently means something);
z/ how they should transcend feminism and embrace humanism.

Pick any two menu items and get the third half-price; pick any three and get the fourth free. With five you get a can of wine. And if you’re the guy in question, you get a free hot cup of Shut the Fuck Up.

Thus doth the discussion, when MFs show up on the blog, often turn, as this one did, into another dazzling and effervescent debate on whether men can be feminists at all.

Yesterday a commenter opined that men can be, at best, sympathizers, but suggested that even that’s no good, that the temptation to “leech” off the cause without having to assume any personal risk is just too great, and renders them suspect.

Mandos Mandos Mandos, I Blame The Patriarchy’s self-proclaimed “scapegoat,” responded that “if men can only be sympathizers, and sympathizers are not particularly positive, then […] there is no way for men to be positive. That has a lot of interesting consequences.”

Chris Clarke, who says he’s no feminist, likens the male feminist conceit to cause-glomming. “I read Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called My Back the year it was published, and found it invaluable in understanding a part of American culture I had until then missed. Were I to call myself a Chicana as a result of my political support, I would be laughed out of the planning meeting.”

Now we’re getting somewhere. MFs protest the rock and the hard place between which they find themselves with this whole “get out of my face, I will never trust you for all the reasons Ron listed above” thing, but how, exactly, is a guy claiming to be a feminist different from Chris claiming to be a Chicana? It is much the same when white girls try to “sympathize” with black girls. I am not surprised when the efforts of my upper-middle-class-prep-school-honky-self, absent any actual experience of racial discrimination, are met with suspicion at the Women Of Color Unite Against Honky Oppression convention. There are inner circles of class solidarity into which an outside “sympathizer” simply cannot tactfully incurse or reasonably expect to be invited. Raise money for causes? Sure. Vote for progressive legislation? Duh. Support the movement rather than pretend to sympathize, risk-free, with individuals? Word. But there comes a point at which one must be content to align oneself with the ideology, and then politely get the hell out their way.

But do MF dudes grasp this? No. Unaware that they are still flaunting precisely the white male privilege from which feminists aspire to be liberated, they insist on joining the rank and file so that they can explain feminism to the stupid women. They must infiltrate right down to the core (one example of which core would be, say, this blog, which expressly caters to a female audience of radical feminists). Once in, they start leaving the seat up and throwing their weight around, with the result that they either get laid (or its blogular equivalent, successfully hijacking the thread), or start whining and threatening that we’re nothing without them and accusing us accursed ungrateful humorless prudey hairy dykes of not kissing their asses with sexy enough lips.

But this is all bullshit posturing. The real issue is that a thing is ultimately right or it is ultimately wrong, regardless of how its PR is managed. Racism, for example, is wrong, even if some black chicks think I have my head up my ass and don’t invite me to the cookouts. Likewise, these white fuckwads who say “you’re just too shrill, I don’t like your unsexy tone, the liberation of women will never happen and it’s all your fault” are not seeing the larger ideological and/or ethical picture. It is either wrong to oppress people or it isn’t. What’s it gonna be, assholes?

Although, like I said before, I don’t give a rat’s ass what these honky liberal motherfuckers do, as long as they do it somewhere else.

133 comments

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  1. politblogo.typepad.com

    I’m not the “self-proclaimed” scapegoat, I distinctly recall you dubbing me with that epithet, and I found it funny.

  2. Twisty

    Whiner.

  3. politblogo.typepad.com

    See?

  4. I’m putting this in here so lurkers don’t have to run all over the blog looking for it:

    Twisty on Apr 26th, 2006 at 5:30 pm

    Hey there Springy. You have come to my blog to complain that all we do is complain. Good one!

    Sadly, you appear to have expectations that exceed the scope of this blog. Perhaps you confuse patriarchy-blaming with some kind of organized feminist religion or something. It is not. How it works is, I elucidate, using, as you so hilariously point out, plenty of commas, my observations about white male supremacy. Then all these nutjobs write in with their own take on the topic. What typically ensues, regardless of the content of the original post, is a lively discussion about BDSM. Then this guy Mandos picks a nit, and everybody yells at him. Then I write “but I really do love babies,” because it is a popular misconception that I hate babies.

    So you see, I Blame The Patriarchy is not an action-alert-activist-feminist-education site. It’s just a forum for me to express my views on babies, which, as it turns out, amuses a few other people, who visit to blow off steam.

    Oh, I almost forgot the little matter of Freeman: since it is my blog, I am under no obligation to coddle liberal white males who wag their liberal white ring fingers at me, rebuking me and reviling me and telling me that I should be ashamed of myself for ridiculing their asinine views. If liberal white males want to know how to become feminists, I couldn’t care less.

    Let me repeat that, just so we’re clear: If liberal white males want to know how to become feminists, I couldn’t care less.

    I’m not their fucking teacher. i’m not a fucking Feminism PR person. I’m not trying to sell anyone any fucking ideology. I’m not the fucking spokesperson for some touchy-feely fucking movement. I’m just a spinster aunt with a big vocabulary, a big mouth, a big cancer, and a couple of big dogs. And I’ve had it up to here with liberal white dudes and their fucking pornsick delusions.

    The good news for liberal white males who genuinely seek enlightenment is that libraries are free. I suggest beginning with Dworkin. I’d wish you luck, but, as I mentioned, you mean little or nothing in my young life. Come back when you can stand not being the smartest motherfucker in the room.

  5. nomorenuts.org

    What the hell is that “funkin'” stuff/thing under the soap dispenser. The view from here makes me think y’er paws could get cleaner by washin’ ’em in the crapper.

  6. My favorite, favorite, all-time quote from an MF (effective acronym on so many levels) comes from my days at the Bust Lounge: “I’m a feminist. You’re a cunt.” Suddenly it all fell into place.

  7. scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience

    Wait, you’re telling me Chris Clarke *isn’t* a Chicana?!

  8. This has all been really interesting – I’m glad we had this discussion, even if you’re all pretty sick of it. One last thing. I wasn’t aware we were talking to you, Twisty – I thought we were discussing Freeman’s comment and the various responses to it, of which yours was just one. Funny how you take comments directed at others and weave them into a narrative directed against yourself. Joolya’s comment about “shrill harpies” was clearly ironic, as is usually designated by the little winking icon.

    Anyway, you supply the space, so you can do what you like with the text.

  9. i owe ron sullivan, and probably something better than the virtual jelly-bean smoothie i promised before the recent spring holiday.

    that is indeed a pathetic soap dispenser. there is no better way to ruin the effect of dramatic walls and faux-brass sink fixtures than to let the soap dispenser run amok.

  10. uh, springy? this is twisty’s blog. the comments were responding to a post of hers. get it?

  11. I may be an opressive, liberal, male (not a honky by any means), but I have never, EVER, left the toilet seat up.

    Maybe once or twice during my college years, but I was young and didn’t know any better.

  12. nomorenuts.org

    I look at the blog this way: Twisty posts for her own reasons, not the least of which seems to be amusement.

    Some of us are probably uninvited, though generally tolerated, if-suspicious and somewhat irritating, ubiquitous, nameless squatters that can be engaged or ignored (guess that’s me, eh?), some are frequent, welcomed guests, and some have been taken in as family. And surely any blog that caters to a particular crowd or ideology has its share of transients, vagrants, critics (z’at you, Springy?),voyeurs, and various miscreants. All seems pretty status quo to me, Springy. Get a grip.

  13. nomorenuts.org

    Ahhh,that makes you a person who is aware of basic can ettiquette, Kwillz.

  14. faultline.org

    Wait, you’re telling me Chris Clarke *isn’t* a Chicana?!

    Orale vata, don’t you start now.

  15. nomorenuts.org

    …unless of course you don’t flush appropriately.

  16. myaimistrue.com

    I totally missed that thread yesterday, but upon review and some clicking, poor ol’ MF has just written a thousand-word essay about how the feminists are oppressing him. It makes for some compelling skimming!

    By the way, Twisty, have you set a date for BlameCon yet? I need to see what airlines fly from Norfolk to Bali.

  17. angryforareason.blogspot.com

    That’s it, I’m making “Hairy Legged Prude” t-shirts.

    Doesn’t everyone know that male feminists are unicorns?

  18. In a way I’m sorry I missed that thread in real time, but it was also nice getting there only after so many flowers (like Ron Sullivan’s post) had sprung up from the manure.

    I don’t know whether I’m a feminist or not, but I do know that trying to sell “non-exploitative porn” to radical feminists is like trying to sell dolphin-safe tuna to vegans.

    Now where’s my hot cup of Shut the Fuck Up?

  19. Did you look at that dude’s own blog? He put up a long aggrieved post about his experience right here at IBTP. His maltreatment here stirred up some painful memories, like how the patrons of a socialist coffee house used to look at him askance when he came in looking like a skinhead (that was before he joined the Army, which didn’t get him no respect either.) He calls this “bigotry.” I call it hilarious!

  20. hattie.typepad.com/hatties_web

    What this is is a successful blog with great discussions. I have learned so much here.Twisty’s take on things is clear, and her personality rules. She’s unique and valuable.

  21. I guess the reason that I, while owning a penis, call myself a feminist is because I feel like as a dude who doesn’t really fit the traditional stereotype of masculinity, the patriarchy is to some extent oppressive to me as well, and in fact, is opressive of all men, though of course not to the same extent as it is of women. Like you say, patriarchy is a system of oppressive violence that starts with rich white dudes at the top, and goes all the way down to poor women of colour at the bottom. I guess my perspective is that in a system like that, no one is free of violence, that the sytem affects everyone’s lives negatively. So when I call myself a feminist, I’m saying that I’m against the patriarchy because of the negative effects it has on me, even though I benefit from it as well. It’s not some misguided sense of knowing what’s best for women, it’s about knowing what’s best for me. That said, I don’t feel like I have a particularly strong claim to the term, and I certainly understand that there are some models of feminism (yours included it seems), which by definition exclude men. I’m not going to get all up in your fries about it. It’s none of my business.

  22. Amber

    You’d know:

    Can we get some funky Twistospheric t-shirts made up?

    Think of all the great neologisms found here. I’d buy.

  23. nomorenuts.org

    I’m drinkin’ it, Hogan, and I’m sure everyone hopes it works, but I’ll pass you the dregs.

  24. politblogo.typepad.com

    I do note, though, that there is an argument for the existence of legitimate MFs, and I’ve read women’s blogs dispute Chris Clarke’s assertions.

  25. mmmmm . . . dregs . . .

  26. Pony,

    Cafepress.com provides a service that’s probably in line with what you’re thinking.

  27. tonypatti.com

    I’m so glad you pulled out Ron Sullivan’s post. She is truly great. Didn’t she write another one a few months ago that was just as great?

    Male Feminist. Well, if I can’t call myself a feminist, there only one thing to do: Blame the Patriarchy.

    I still defend the idea because I like the idea of a bunch of men running around who are at least paying attention, whether successfully or not!

    Either you are simply kind enough to show me a certain modicum of restraint by not holding me up for ridicule or else I have failed to stimulate your obstreperal lobe with my painfully well-meaning comments.

    You should do T Shirts at Cafe Press or something. You could whip up a couple whenever you pop off another piquant bon mot. I know how you love Photoshop! You can sell them at cost if you wanted. Or figure out a way to donate the proceeds.

  28. “how, exactly, is a guy claiming to be a feminist different from Chris claiming to be a Chicana?”

    Chris claiming to be a Chicana would be like a guy claiming to be a woman. It depends whether you put the emphasis on the “fem” or the “ism.”

    Is a male feminist like a bourgeois communist?

    .

  29. tonypatti.com

    Oh, I forgot to mention that the words “pin up encrusted lair” cracked me up so bad that I’ve still got tears in my eyes from laughing!

  30. zzz, Chicana does not mean what you think it means.

  31. sextheorypower.blogspot.com

    [Comment deleted on accounta it was a link to porn. Cheesy Photoshopped porn, too. Egh.]

  32. I am not capable of expressing how much I adore teh Twisty.

    She is the nonpareil.

  33. faultline.org

    zzz, Chicana does not mean what you think it means.

    Perhaps I should elucidate that a bit more (and thanks to Puffin for getting what I meant):

    “Chicana” does not mean “Latina” or “Mexican(-American) Woman.” At least not in some senses in which it’s used. Chicana as an identity – or chicano for that matter – is, to many activists, an amalgam of physical identity as expressed in ethnicity and gender with a particular type of political and cultural outlook.

    Which is precisely how many feminists of my acquaintance back in the day* characterized feminism, excepting that that physical identity was presumably expressed in terms of gender alone.

    After I wrote that post, a few feminist women – Jill from feministe being the first one, I think – offered what I thought was a particularly persuasive counterargument: that in an age when women who enjoy the benefits of the feminist movement explicitly reject the title, it can be helpful for supportive men to make an example of solidarity by claiming it – and unhelpful for cads like me to publicly reject it, though Jill and others stated that far more kindly.

    And almost everyone offered the input that actions speak louder than words, which I never questioned. But the question at hand, as Twisty limns so sublimely above, is this: what action do men commit when they claim the mantle of feminist?

    * September 3, 1974

  34. nomorenuts.org

    I gave up my blog because, well, it sucked and I was too damned lazy to edit the sucky content.

    Twisty as “nonpareirl” you say? Oh my!

  35. cypress.typepad.com

    oh this is exactly why i read IBTP. thank you to you Twisty for your marvelous explication of the idiocy of the poster of yesterday, and to you Chris Clarke for getting it generally.

    my view on this is that men can’t be feminists because they don’t share the experience of growing up female in this or any other culture, and experience of the particular and various oppressions of women and girls is a necessary ingredient for the way of looking at the world, and being in it, that comprises feminism.

    and what’s the matter, i wonder, with being supporters of feminists or feminism?

    and thank you all posters who are so funny and smart and specially to Ron Sullivan.

  36. CaffeinatedGeekGirl.typepad.com

    If a man ever told me that he to was a Feminist I would laugh for five minutes straight. And that’s before hearing the punchline that I would know was coming.

    Also, I am so sick and tired of this idea that women who watch porn are somehow empowered. Fuck that!

  37. nomorenuts.org

    Chris, I have always understood “Chicana” as a liminal identity that emerged out of a liminal space, somewhere, that is, betwixt and between (can’t believe I am typing that)American, Mexican, Spanish, Hispanic, Latina, etc. If I read Anzaldua correctly, to be Chicana is to be always somehow “other” than American and “other” than other Latin and Hispanic identities…hybrid or otherwise. Is THIS the kind of space you are claiming for yourself as a MF/S? I’m not the brawn or the brains of this blog, that much is fer sure, but I’d be careful about trying to contrive a space for yourself in cultural theory that doesn’t have a non-analgous home base. You’re gonna get socked that way. There is always an already present danger in “borrowing” from “other” theories in order to situate yourself. I have no alternative suggestions for you, but do watch your back. There will be 2 x 4s with your name on ’em if you make these connections in the wrong place. I’ve been on the wrong side of a few myself.

  38. reclusiveleftist.com

    Mandos, I’m one of those female feminist bloggers who thinks it’s possible for men to be feminists.

    Which is precisely how many feminists of my acquaintance back in the day* characterized feminism, excepting that that physical identity was presumably expressed in terms of gender alone.

    Opinion on this was not monolithic back in my day, which was not long after your day (I think mine was July 17th, 1974). I grew up hearing that feminism meant believing in equal rights for men and women, and this was a principle all humans could and should sign up for. When Alan Alda and John Lennon both described themselves as feminists in the media, I don’t recall too many people saying that this was impossible because they were men. The reaction tended to be that more men should have the courage and decency to identify as feminists.

    But then I wasn’t hanging out with radicals in Berkeley.

  39. i’m with the actions speak louder than labels faction. i’ve got plenty of male friends and colleagues who see the women among us a human, possessed of brains and abilities — it is not their natural inclination to horn in and announce their superiority in any given situation.

    my visceral reaction against men announcing they are feminists, and damned good ones at that, really stems from the actions of one such specimin. he was a rich, entitled white boy, a single child, whose parents had both achieved but whose mother was truly at the top of her field. and he was smart, i’ll give him that. to my great misfortune, i had to supervise mr. young dude for a while — he felt that his obvious feminist dudeliness and smarts entitled him to take vacation he hadn’t earned, refuse assignments, make limited assignments into vast expeditions at office expense, trash people who gave him the advice earned of experience, and hit on the cute young interns.

    i didn’t find out about that last little gem until sometime later, when a certain school refused to tell its students about our internship. by then, young dude had moved on. the whole ordeal shook me. that office had tons of progressive women in all kinds of slots, but we couldn’t protect a student who was dedicated to the work.

    blame? you bet.

  40. violet socks — you make some good points. i’m totally with the solidarity aspect of your post, and all for everyone speaking out about equality, so long as actions meet the words.

  41. doggedknits.com

    Like Violet, I absolutely “more men should have the courage and decency to identify as feminists.” And I don’t believe that men can’t be feminists. But per Chris, above, “the question at hand, as Twisty limns so sublimely above, is this: what action do men commit when they claim the mantle of feminist?” Seriously. Call yourself a feminist, by all means, Chris. But that invitation is contingent on the degree of self-awareness implicit in your hesitation to do so. It’s like the wise woman who is wise because she knows she’s not.

  42. lapplander.blogspot.com

    I like to think men can be feminists. At the same time, I totally love this post. Can’t decide if I love Twisty or Ron more, but I am not complaining.

  43. Twisty

    Go with Ron. Compared to her, I’m just a wan poseur. Or “ronnabe,” if you will.

  44. arsepoetica.typepad.com

    I don’t know whether I’m a feminist or not, but I do know that trying to sell “non-exploitative porn” to radical feminists is like trying to sell dolphin-safe tuna to vegans.

    Actually, I’m thinking it’s more like trying to sell dolphin-safe tuna to tuna.

    Twisty, reading your blog for me is like watching women’s soccer (for one example). It’s just breathtakingly agile and fluid and nimble and strong and kickass and after I read it, I feel like I can climb a mountain. Goddamn, you rock.

  45. faultline.org

    Is THIS the kind of space you are claiming for yourself as a MF/S?

    Actually, I was explicitly not claiming anything, whether space or position as MF/S.

  46. faultline.org/place/toad

    My goodness. I stagger home from a day on the back end of Mt. Diablo* all hot and sweaty and full of ticks and I find these nifty people saying nice things about me. Dazzling. Thank you. And you didn’t even see my post-MF’-last-whine post inspired by Dr. Suess’ On Beyond Zebra because I hit the wrong key on the laptop here and saw it sucked down OSX-point-Tiger’s cute little animated drain. (Why haven’t we put Tiger on the big machine too? That’s why.) And, as that was after my last bourbon and on the way to bed, I don’t remember a damned thing I said.

    And my IQ is higher than Wotsisname’s too.

    *Calochortus amabilis is blooming, lots of it.

  47. Chris & others,
    Thanks for the clarification re: chicano/a. But I think my sloppiness reflects the way the term is often applied – in other words, as soon as you attribute identity to someone else (say a “Chicano/Chicana Writers” course), you’re blurring the lines between a fixed, stable, & built-in essence and a self-selected participation in a group. Since “feminist” describes the second kind of identity, it’s not an obvious contradiction to see men as potential feminists. In practice, it’s more complicated.

  48. Men can call themselves feminists if they’d like, but that doesn’t mean they are feminist. It’s good if more men want to support feminism; it’s just the right thing to do. But just because you support a movement doesn’t mean that you get to be in charge. I mean, that seems fairly elementary and obvious to me. Barging into any situation where you’re a member of a priveleged class and giving condescending advice or trying to take charge seems to me to be totally defeating the purpose of the movement that you claim to support. I’m male and I’ll call myself feminist or pro-feminist or a supporter of feminism or whatever, it doesn’t really matter that much to me and it’s not really my place to insist on any label.

  49. barkbite.blogspot.com

    Barging into any situation where you’re a member of a priveleged class and giving condescending advice or trying to take charge

    I think that’s the essence of what pisses me off (most) about it. Guys who think that “I’m a feminist” gives them some kind of extra credibility or clout–and clout they do, wielding “I’m a feminist” like a club against those who disagree.

    Y’know what, guys? Being a feminist is the fucking price of admission to being taken seriously on blogs like this. It doesn’t make you special. It doesn’t make you some kind of victim if others take your stupid-assed, pompus-as-hell comments apart and run them through the shredder. I don’t care if you’re a feminist, dadaist, Stalinist or Grover Norquist–You say stupid, anti-feminist shit (especially in that condescending tone), you get what’s coming to you.

    OTOH, if you say intelligent, anti-patriarchy, freedom-supporting things, nobody will care whether you call yourself a “feminist” or not. Hell, if you’ve got an ambiguous user name, they might not even care if you’re a guy or not.

  50. saraarts.com

    Twisty, I think by now we are all “ronnabes,” speaking of excellent neologisms.

    And Ron, I think the IQ of everyone here is higher than MF’s. IQ is, after all, a relative measurement comparing development with age, and as such must change constantly. Or so I read on Wikipedia.

    Whatever. I hope you post pix of the calochortus on your own blog. Now I’m off to deaden the raw tatters of my own IQ with some network TV.

  51. reneenault.com

    Dammit, Twisty, once again you have summed up in a few perfect paragraphs something that I’ve been incoherently sputtering about for years.

  52. blinkandyoullmissit.typepad.com

    Truly, a man can be a feminist. I just don’t think a man can actually be a feminist and also go around spouting on feminist blogs how much of a feminist he is and how we should all like, totally respect him for being a feminist. The true male feminists just ARE, they don’t constantly require validation and head-patting and a coming-out party and so forth.

    My heteronormative partner is a man and I’d call him a feminist, but he doesn’t need me to constantly tell him he’s being a good feminist when he does the laundry or manages not to buy pornography or whatever. He doesn’t insist on his feminist bona fides and then also insist that his view on a situation is 100 percent correct. He just does the best he can to treat women as human beings, and I just expect him to. We don’t have a little chat at the end of the day whereby I evaluate how much of a feminist he was.

    One more point. The other day I had a little disagreement with a commentor here and you know what, it didn’t make me feel ‘oppressed’ by feminists to have a disagreement with a feminist. It doesn’t invalidate feminism or my feminism or the person I disagreed with’s feminism that we don’t agree about every damn thing. It actually sent me off thinking about a lot of things and re-evaluating my own opinions and considering others.

    It is a mark of how much the MF isn’t a feminist that he can’t stand to be disagreed with and that he constructs FEMINISM as this huge big monolith of opinions that he now feels oppressed by.

  53. nonpareil \non-puh-REL\, adjective:
    1. Having no equal; peerless.

    noun:
    1. Something of unequaled excellence; a peerless thing or person.
    2. A flat disk of chocolate covered with beads of colored sugar.

    Wait a minute.

  54. lapplander.blogspot.com

    I would be proud to call myself a ronnabe.

  55. Twisty, Ron, et al,

    Thank-you thank-you!
    I know I’m a little late on this, but I plan on reusing all your brilliant comments next time I run into a dude, godbag, etc who descends from his self assumed throne and tries to tell me how to be a better feminist/human being/doormat/mule, all the while defending his right to privilege, pornography, and the benefits of unpaid woman’s work.

  56. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    Wow. And here I thought a male feminist is a man who agrees women are humans and then acts “as if.” I must have low standards.

  57. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    BTW we need an “edit” function so we can fix our grammar. Dang.

  58. nonpariels are capers.

  59. norbizness.com

    I’ve never given money to NARAL, don’t purchase porn, and did not accept the title back on Chris’ original post on the subject. Therefore, I am the Feminist Messiah. Look to your ancient texts.

  60. faultline.org/place/toad

    RJ said it for me up there — I really don’t care if a man calls himself a feminist or not; I’ll judge by his behavior. Mostly what I’ll judge is whether he’s an asshole or not. Probably a matter of nesting categories, but I’m still too worn out to tease it apart.

    Sara, yeah, basically IQ is bullshit. Stephen J. Gould’s book on the matter is a good read. But it’s played an amusing and nasty role in my life — huh. It’s like race in a way: a bullshit concept that has real-world consequences for the people it’s applied to. Nobody ever actually told me what my IQ was, just that I was “not working up to capacity” no matter what I did. They told my parents, though, and, just a few years before she died, Mom told me just as an aside in a phone conversation. The really funny thing is I can never remember precisely whether she said 184 or 186.

    And just to cap that — and because so much depends on dinner, which I’ve had since I posted here last — it isn’t Calochortus amabilis, it’s Calochortus pulchellus, which I know perfectly well except when I’m tired sweaty and covered with ticks. Well, I haven’t found any ticks since we left the mountain, but I did just evict an inchworm from my shirtsleeve, six or seven hours later. Who knows what lies beneath?

    And if anyone wants to get into the porn-vs-erotica piefight, I’d ask them to consider just how much of a certain kind of geek one has to be to realize the erotic potential of a thorough mutual tick-check. I think it becomes fetishistic only when it absolutely must be performed by flashlight in a sleepingbag to work.

    I’ll post photos on Toad sometime late tomorrow. I have a column to deliver in the morning, one of my paltry few remaining paid gigs. If I’m so smart, why ain’t I rich?

  61. faultline.org/place/toad

    Norbiz’, you might want to rethink that. Remember what happened to that other Messiah.

  62. norbizness.com

    I only read the first few pages on that other Messiah, and then kind of zoned out… he gets a lot of money from the feminist pyramid scheme and retires to the Bahamas, lying in bed all day and eating bonbons, right?

  63. Like someone else said here, the Messiah is busy swimming in his own self pity, bleeding through his pores in the Garden whilst awaiting to be crucified to save us all. And who are we? Why we are nothing but Judas himself, kissing and telling to see him hang. Oh poor Freeman, will he ever be free of his oppression?

  64. Oh and that bathroom needs to meet my trusty demo hammer pronto. And next time maybe someone with half a wit might think to shim the soap dispenser a little further from the wall. The new wall that is, after that mold breeding mess is ripped out.

  65. myaimistrue.com

    Pony, let’s do a word cloud tshirt using all the Twistyisms from the blog. I would love to have a tshirt sporting words like “assholicity” and “vapid teenisms.”

  66. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    Flashback generated during commute to work this morning:

    While in college I majored in social work and Native American studies with the expectation/hope that I could work on midwestern reservations when I graduated. I was an adorable little overachiever: got straight A’s and spoke Dakota better than the natives. I thought they’d “appreciate” that.

    (snort) I was fishy-white, “cute” and BLONDE. WTF was I thinking? Imagine my consternation when I couldn’t find an internship, let alone a JOB with the Native community when I graduated. Once I received a second interview because the Native woman who ran the service wasn’t convinced I was for real. “You’re overqualified but I can’t hire you because you’re white.” she said.

    Did I whine? Did I run to the EEOC? Did I flail and beat myself up over having spent 4 years and thousands of dollars to earn a degree I’d never use? No. I cried a little, but then had the lightbulb moment: No matter my ideals, no matter where my heart was, anything I did or said to or for the Native community would have been seen as condescending.

    I poured myself a cup of Shut The Fuck Up and changed professions.

  67. nomorenuts.org

    Assholicity is among the best new words of the year! Hedonistic, take a look sometime at a book called, Veiled Sentiments by Lila Abu-Lughod. She’s an anthropologist who studied a Bedouin community and lived with a family. Even though she wasn’t “white” and blonde, she was still Western and couldn’t get into the community without some low bows to the patriarchy. It’s got nothing to do with Native Americans, but I think you might like it.

  68. Amber

    How does it work. I’m pre-caffeine here. I think I’d have to have at least a dozen. There are so many that are my favs. Like the title of today’s blame. We could have one made up for you know who.

  69. myaimistrue.com

    Pony, actually what would probably work the best is to make up some favorite Twistyism shirts like this shirt from The Manolo. They’d be super easy to design and post for sale on Cafepress, but you’ll have to get with Twisty on that. Copyright issues, permission and money are sticky subjects.

  70. Great rant/essay! I laughed so hard I almost got fired.

    “But there comes a point at which one must be content to align oneself with the ideology, and then politely get the hell out their way.”

    Agreed. I’ve had conversations with friends, lately, and have tried to express the deep appreciation I have for this blog and how much I’ve learned just hanging out (and occasionally getting flamed for being semi-retarded) here. During those conversations, I’ve grappled with whether I should identify myself as a feminist-in-training, or merely an observer with strong sympathetic tendencies. I am, after all, a man, and am happy with large chunks of what that brings me. And, it seems a little disingenuous to appropriate the label of feminist, considering my (seemingly) obvious lack of a vagina and the requisite oppression that brings. Yet, I feel a strong affiliation and hope through expressing it I can connect more closely with friends who I presume have been waiting all along for me to have these epiphanies and eventually elevate to the point where I might, at the very least, be a more useful conversationist. So, I will drop the “F” bomb in conversation and enjoy the chips falling where they may, but I don’t appropriate the badge. I’m no cop, but I’m learning to cross the street.

  71. politblogo.typepad.com

    Actually the cop/street analogy is pretty clever.

  72. hedonistic sez:

    “While in college I majored in social work and Native American studies with the expectation/hope that I could work on midwestern reservations when I graduated.”

    So, what does a person do with all this knowledge once acquired? Maybe I’m being too pragmatic, but shouldn’t someone have mentioned to you during this pursuit that there was no way you were going to get hired on a reservation?! I think you showed remarkable restraint not to throttle your counselors/advisors.

    Related question:

    Has there ever been a male Women’s Studies graduate? If yes, what did he do after he graduated?

  73. Actually, I’m thinking it’s more like trying to sell dolphin-safe tuna to tuna.

    See, if I were a feminist, I’d have thought of that.

  74. politblogo.typepad.com

    I personally knew a male women’s studies graduate. I know that there are others. I’m given to understand that, if they don’t go onto grad school, they tend to get jobs in government and in social services and so on.

  75. “Actually the cop/street analogy is pretty clever.”

    The “actually” in that sentence implies surprise toward the cleverness. Ouch.

    “I personally knew a male women’s studies graduate.”

    Be advised: my question about Male Women’s Studies major… was supposed to be an attempt at playing the straight man (all puns intended). I will be anxiously awaiting for punchlines in reply.

    Let’s see some of that Shrill Hairy-legged Humor.

    ;-)

  76. politblogo.typepad.com

    :OH I was using “actually” as a crutch.

  77. Amber

    I think Twisty’s already come down on any capitalistic Twist to t-shirting. So I don’t know where to go from there.

  78. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    finnsmotel, I went to the University of Minnesota, which is HUGE. I don’t think I HAD an “advisor.” If I did, no one advised me against my major, which was actually in family social science (similar to social work) with a concentration in native studies. I suspect most of my colleagues, regardless of their concentrations, went on to get MS/PhDs, and probably received better advice while in grad school.

    What happened: I moved to the east coast and got a job with the government!

  79. “I don’t think I HAD an “advisor.” If I did, no one advised me against my major, which was actually in family social science (similar to social work) with a concentration in native studies.”

    I figured everyone was as lucky as me to have advisors to guide them toward practical majors they would later grow to hate.

  80. I am not as smart, clever, eloquent, or academic as most of you. sure, there are many more “productive” things I should be working on. but reading IBTP makes me laugh when I’m feeling blue, piques my interest when my job is dry as dust (FREquently), and gives me boffo ideas for dinner. and how satisfying is it to have a forum where the Mighty Pointing Finger of Blame can be mine without being told “shame on you, bad girl” or how grateful I should be?

  81. myaimistrue.com

    Pony, one of these days when I get into a stenciling mood, I’m totally making just a plain ol’ “I Blame The Patriarchy” shirt. I can point you in the direction of a good freezer paper stencil tutorial if you’re interested (easiest way to get clean, crisp lines).

  82. faultline.org/place/toad

    Pony — Minimally capitalistic word balloons: balloon, helium, magic marker (blunt!), string, belt or other convenient clothing bit. Assemble so that the result bobs along behind you, just above head level. Change as desired. A new Twistyism for every occasion!

    I wonder if I could persuade everyone in Berkeley to wear one for a day by way of performance art.

  83. Actually, in my home, (three boys, dad, and mom), it was always a courteousy towards women for the men to always leave the seat up.

    Aim is, believe it or not, a complicated matter. Even when you do perfectly aim, it’s often the case that a stray drop or two reaches the seat unnoticed.

    If mom ever discovered a dirty toilet seat, we would with certainty be berated for not having left the seat up.

  84. arsepoetica.typepad.com

    Amber, I want that good freezer paper stencil tutorial!

  85. nomorenuts.org

    Clever, well-tooled seamstresses can also use Photoshop, and some special paper (some amazing stuff that helps fabric survive the printer and the printer survive the fabric) to design and print upon your own fabric before sewing it up into a T-shirt or something. This being said, I am much more amused by Ron’s balloon idea-r.

  86. Clever well-too…

    AMBER the freezer paper stencil thing!

  87. myaimistrue.com

    Ahh crap. The person who wrote the tutorial hosted their image on some free site and it’s gone. But you don’t need to see photos, so I present the patriarchy blamers’ guide to DIY shirts.

    Materials:

    your stencil (artwork), freezer paper (at grocery store, comes in a roll like wax paper), your shirt, fabric paint, sponge/brush, exacto knife, a piece of cardboard, tape, iron, blow dryer (optional)

    1. Print your stencil out on regular paper.
    2. Tape your stencil to a piece of freezer paper with the shiny side down. Put it over some cardboard (or a cutting mat) before you start cutting.
    3. Cut directly on the lines of your stencil. Cut out all the black parts.
    4. Once you cut out the whole stencil, take the stencil off the freezer paper.
    5. Iron your shirt to get it nice and flat. Place your freezer paper stencil on top of the fabric and iron the stencil on shiny side down. Make sure your iron is set on a dry setting. Steam will ruin it. If you have bridges on your stencil, just VERY carefully cut them out once you’ve ironed the stencil on, rather than filling them in after you peel the stencil off, it’s much cleaner.
    7. I use acrylic paint with fabric medium mixed together, but any fabric paint will work.
    8. Put cardboard underneath your fabric to prevent seeping, and begin to dab the paint on with a sponge. Make sure to dab straight up and down and not brush side to side to prevent bleeding. It’s kind of a vertical stabbing motion. Do thin coats.
    9. Wait for each coat to dry all the way (a blow dryer helps).
    10. After you’re done painting, peel the stencil off, and heat set the design. You can either blow dry the heck out of it or put a dishtowel over the paint and dry iron it.

    That’s it! I’ve made several shirts this way and they look professionally screenprinted. Very clean lines as long as you dab and don’t brush!

  88. myaimistrue.com

    Oh, I forgot to mention the only downside to this project. You only get ONE use out of the stencil. But we’re not talking about mass production here anyway. I just wanted to make that clear.

  89. I’ll wear my circa 1970 Wonder Woman t-shirt while I ponder the do-ability of this project. For me.

  90. sybil.wordpress.com

    It’s been a week since I last visited, and I feel really fortunate to get the potted edition of this story, and Pony’s recap saved me the angst of having to view the whole sorry mess first hand. Thanks Twisty and Ron Sullivan for itemizing the oh-so predictable MF behaviour.

    Let’s see, I’ve got some balloons, magic markers, all I need is some helium, a nice hot cuppa STFU, and I’ll hit the streets in search of unicorns. And then come back for some Bali dreamin’. Ah, it’s good to be alive. I blame the whole lot of you for spreading sunshine through the dismalness.

  91. “z/ how they should transcend feminism and embrace humanism.”

    *sigh* If I have one more philosophy major tell me that the problem with feminism is that it’s not humanism…

  92. Hmm, not sure if the my comment was lost or deleted ’cause I need to STFU, but here goes again. If it still doesn’t show up, at least I’ll know to use my pie hole for eating pies.

    SpinatTeig, you could wipe the rim, then lower the seat. Those drops of pee have to be cleaned up sometime.

    This about all the advice I’m qualified to give on IBLP. Though I’m as egotistical as the next priveldged white honky so I’ll chime in when people are sharing personal experiences (& usually get ignored or told to STFU.)

    CC has persuasively stated his reluctance to co-opt the label feminist & I share that view. I skate the issue by saying I’m interested in feminism, if asked.

  93. Long time lurker first time caller here, Twisty.

    Actions speak louder than identities–or at least they are less complicated. A dude might want to set aside the question of whether he *is* or *is not* a feminist, and just act like one. For example, one action he can take is that he can *listen to women*. He can *surrender male privilege*, although this is not easy. And he can, if he is not faint of heart, *blame the patriarchy*, which is probably a little bit easier than the surrendering-male-privilege bit.

  94. Also, I am a dude. Who does all of those things, but not always so very well. Hence the mostly lurking.

  95. I agree that actions speak louder than words, and that men proclaiming to be feminists while actually being assholes are, well, extra assholey.

    But if feminism is, as the saying goes, the radical belief that women are people, then why is it wrong for a man to identify as a feminist? I don’t see how it’s any different from a white person who works against racism or a straight person who supports gay rights.

    I do understand that it’s problematic when members of a non-oppressed group try to take over the movement of an oppressed group and tell them what to do, but that’s not what true allies do. And I think allies are important to any movement. If you see all oppressions as intersecting, it only makes sense to fight as many of them as you can, whether or not you’re a member of that group, because you’re working toward a fairer society as a whole. The “MF” described in this post is clearly a jerk (and in this case, there are other phrases that MF could stand for!), but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be sincere male allies.

    And how can we ever change the societal default setting from “male” unless males themselves start learning about these things and trying to change them? If a man decides to stay out of the issue completely, that’s a function of his male privilege, and I don’t understand why feminists should encourage him to do so.

  96. Twisty

    I grasp your gist, Sparklegirl, and if you read the post again I think you’ll see that I’m all for allies. But I draw the line at trying to convert men who actually need to be encouraged to view women as human beings. Why should women have to be responsible for mens’ ethical development?

  97. I agree–rereading your post, I realized that i had skimmed over part of it, and you definitely were saying that it’s good to be an ally. What I was responding to was not so much the original post as the people who believe that men can’t be feminists (you mentioned one in your post, and there seem to be a few in the comments). It’s probably more semantic difference than a difference in beliefs about what men should actually do, but it just bothers me because I see feminism as a movement for equality between men and women, not something to which only women can belong.

  98. nomorenuts.org

    sparklegirl, I had the same sort of hindsight retake, only it was in regard to my own original position. I still think there’s an element of the movement that is always…i dunno…out of reach for men, but I share in the belief that there’s room for everyone in the ideology. Maybe I’m just a little extra suspicious because I have a few rad/femist friends who have told me about their feminist husbands, but all too often I see these same women hog-tied to the patriarchal order of things right in their own homes. I think we all have contradictions between our stated ideology and our lived experiences and private consciences. It’s just bothered me a few times to sit through some fairly brazen boasting about a feminist husband, only to look up from my soup and see the day old bread on the table.

  99. What does wine-in-a-can have to do with pornography?

    Well, anyway, as a honky I can sympathise with people who feel left out of certain movements. If any interaction I have with an oppressed group is an assertion of my privelage, and if the only way I can make the world better is to off myself so there’s one less honky male out there to fuck things up, well, that’s pretty depressing.

    That having been said, I agree wholeheartedly with this:

    “But this is all bullshit posturing. The real issue is that a thing is ultimately right or it is ultimately wrong, regardless of how its PR is managed. Racism, for example, is wrong, even if some black chicks think I have my head up my ass and don’t invite me to the cookouts. Likewise, these white fuckwads who say “you’re just too shrill, I don’t like your unsexy tone, the liberation of women will never happen and it’s all your fault” are not seeing the larger ideological and/or ethical picture. It is either wrong to oppress people or it isn’t. What’s it gonna be, assholes?”

    THANK YOU.

    This is how I feel when, (TANGENT ALERT!) I hear people talk about how gay pride parades hurt the cause and make straight people afraid of gay folk.

    Look, nobody watches Carnivale footage and says, “Man, straight people shouldn’t be allowed to marry!”. Nobody sees Mardi Gras and says, “Wow, we need to get straights out of the army ASAP!”.

    If seeing slightly risque behavior from some gay people makes you want to refuse ALL gay people rights, you’re a bigot.

    If being insulted by a couple of feminists makes you feel like the whole movement is failing, you’re a moronic jerk.

    And at some point, any oppressed class gets tired of kowtowing to jerks and bigots. This sort of “You’re alienating the middle” argument may SEEM compelling, but it really amounts to an argument that “The bigots have a good reason to hate you”.

    And that’s not progressive at all.

  100. Twisty

    “I see feminism as a movement for equality between men and women, not something to which only women can belong.”

    Whereas I see it as a revolution to free women from male oppression. Liberation, girls, not equality. Equality is a lie, and can never happen anyway, because men and women are not equal quantities. Men can cheer along, sure, what do I care, but ultimately it’s not their ass on the line, is it?

    Thanks, Christopher, for noticing the one nugget worth nugging in that post.

  101. Somewhere in the blur of blaming that was this past few days I read a discourse on why it should be “women’s liberation” or should it be feminism. (*I can’t remember where I read this.) Some historical record somewhere was referenced as saying the term feminism was coined because “women’s liberation” was connected to all those bra-burners and the daft expression “women’s lib” which seemed to trivialize the cause. We, back in the late ’60s and early ’70s never knew the word feminism. We were fighting for women’s liberation.

    *I can never remember anything. Except where I put the chocolate.

  102. politblogo.typepad.com

    Equality is a lie, and can never happen anyway, because men and women are not equal quantities.

    I partly understand what you’re saying—but I’m still curious as to how you’d say it: what are men and women in relation to each other, then?

    Men can cheer along, sure, what do I care, but ultimately it’s not their ass on the line, is it?

    I suggest that at the end of the day, men and women ultimately have to live/die together (in a global sense), revolution or liberation or not.

  103. nomorenuts.org

    I’ll go along with the no such thing as equality statement, but I think asked to be treated “as” equal captures the liberation from oppression thing without dipping too deeply into the wrong semantic hole…the ones where people with Ugly Ripe Tomatoes rough you up if you don’t toe the line. :-)

  104. nomorenuts.org

    asked = asking

    sorry.

  105. politblogo.typepad.com

    I don’t get the Ugly Ripe Tomatoes reference.

  106. nomorenuts.org

    Mandos, haven’t you seen ’em in the stores? They have tomatoes called “Ugly Ripes.”

    http://www.santasweets.com/esp/ugly-ripe-faq.php

    I was just doing a dull job of picking up on the friendly tomato pelting threats from yesterday. Ya just have to follow me, ignore me, pass me the STFU cup, or whatever. I’ve been pretty lame for a few months now.

  107. faultline.org/place/toad

    WTF, Annie, you in second-stage labor with that dissertation thing? Here, have a gin-and-tonic with a sprig of cilantro. Maybe some chocolate. No, not all together. I mean, unless that’s what it takes.

  108. politblogo.typepad.com

    Well I thought it would elucidate the “semantic hole” reference but it didn’t.

    No I tend to buy Roma or plum tomatoes. However, has anyone seen those “uniq” fruits? They look scary, like alien grapefruits.

  109. Esme, I get really irritated by the notion of humanism and feminism as mutually exclusive things. I already am a secular humanist. I don’t need to celebrate patriarchy to be a humanist.

  110. thank god the thread has wandered back to tomatoes, gin, cilantro, chocolate, and alien fruit. i was getting tired of MF.

    “The uniq fruit was discovered in Jamaica. Uniq fruit, often marketed by the trademark name, “Ugli” fruit, is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine.”

    that doesn’t sound bad at all….

  111. faultline.org/place/toad

    Mandos, they used to call those “ugli fruit.” They taste wonderful if they’ve been ripened and handled competently. I think changing the trade name was kind of chickenshit, but that’s capitalism for you.

    I’ve actually had people give me that “humanism” line. I have a fairly good scowl to use while telling them that women are human.

  112. vera.wordpress.com

    I went away for a couple of days and look what happened. I missed a big chance to enlighten everyone here with my outlaw reasoning. And now the discussion has drifted to food. Well, shit! Pornography, testosterone, MFs… I wanna participate!

    OTOH, I see a certain virtue in moving on to the next topic after instructing Freeman to read the FAQ. But I just can’t.

    The subject of pornography is irresistible to me. When I hear high-IQ people like Freeman argue that pornography is okay as long as the porn stars aren’t exploited, I get an unpleasant physical sensation that’s somewhere between nausea and severe itching.

    And I’m a technical writer. My job is to explain. So on the off-chance that Freeman is still reading, I will attempt to explain about pornography and why it is intrinsically disgusting to most of the people who comment here.

    Let us begin with the stripper and the nun. Right now the perennial question, “Is it okay to rape a stripper?” is being hotly debated. This discussion can only happen within the context of the patriarchy. Outside such context, the question has no meaning. It is like division by zero: undefined. Someone asking the question, “Is is okay to rape a stripper but not okay to rape a nun?” would receive only blank looks from other people.

    Within the patriarchy/matrix, the question has lots of content: the stripper is engaging in provocative behavior toward men, the nun is a virgin, etc., etc. Even if I make the argument (which I do) that the stripper’s right to protection under the law is equal to the nun’s, I’m accepting the patriarchy’s definition of “stripper” and “nun” as valid categories of women. Women are the sex class, so it makes sense to categorize them according to the sexual content of their behavior.

    Outside the patriarchy there is no stripper and no nun. There may be women who spend their days in quiet reflection and women who dance in various ways, but it would rarely be meaningful to point out the differences between those activities.

    Like the practice of categorizing women according to their sexual behavior, pornography is a construct of the patriarchy. Outside of the patriarchy/matrix, pornography images have little content.

    Now as to the ambiance of this blog: one can only understand the points above if one has had a frame-breaking experience. One must pass through a sort of inner cultural singularity. Hence Twisty’s FAQ. This blog is a virtual gathering place for people who have broken the frame and have imagined life outside the matrix.

    For me, and it seems for many of the women who comment here, this blog is a refuge. I am forced to spend my days in a man’s world, surrounded by men who — though they see themselves as enlightened, liberal non-sexists — nevertheless believe in some deep part of their psyches that I am inferior to them. The consequences of their lack of consciousness are visited upon me daily, and frankly, it gets me down. So I come here, where I can listen to the voices of other women and a few men who have broken the frame.

    I don’t want to sound patronizing (hah!), but it was, after all, Mr. IQ 160 who brought up the subject of smarts. You have to have a lot of smarts to perceive that the patriarchy is the matrix, but you also have to have something bigger than smarts: imagination.

    So my take on Mr. IQ 160 is this: go home and imagine, imagine, imagine. Come back when your imagination shows you what the patriarchy/matrix looks like, in all its disgusting and terrifying glory. Have the frame-breaking experience, which is the sine qua non of understanding this blog. After that happens for you, we can talk.

  113. vera.wordpress.com

    As If that comment wasn’t long enough.

    Regarding MFs: When a man refers to himself as a feminist, I cringe inwardly, and outwardly if I haven’t had my coffee yet. I rarely say anything about it, though, because it’s not so important to me as the question of the frame-breaking experience. If you’ve had it, it’s obvious, and I fall in love all over again. If you haven’t had it, well, I appreciate that you want equal rights for women, thanks very much, and now I’ve got some gardening to do.

  114. p214.ezboard.com/bourcommoncondition97317

    I’m having an emotional reaction here, have to say I went through the roof when he shamed you, saw things more clearly then, became worried about him, his heart and motive; I am tolerant of oafish *behaviors* from men and women, no problem, and willingly contort to maintain contact, so that’s what I was hoping for til “shame, shame on you,” what a disappointment, tole me right there he’s all fucked up, no receptivity, can’t take it in, you’re a gracious person, generous and it’s not hidden, so that’s waving his dick around huh, an agenda, bad faith from the jump…I am for pushing through and finding common ground, but “shame on you”, it seems almost immoral to continue to engage with emotional manipulators…so I actually understand somethin I read on this blog, hooray. This is off topic, but count another reader looking forward to the memoir on your friend and all future books and stories, and am sorry for your loss…

  115. Going up-thread a ways to Hedonistic’s stuff on Native Americans.

    I was an anthropology major once upon a time. What I’ve ended up doing is writing grant proposals, mostly to raise money for tribes to do cultural type projects. So I still get to hang out & listen & then, ultimately, take what I think I’ve heard or seen & spit it back out in an over-simplified, over-romanticized version – BUT this causes other honkies to give them money, so therefore I’m useful. I have no regrets that I didn’t end up as an anthropologist, because when an anthro gets off the plane, it’s totally unclear to “the tribe” what, exactly, is in it for them. When a grant writer gets off the plane, it’s pretty clear. It’s a bit of a gamble, but at least it’s clear what the hoped-for benefit is.

    Anyway, I think that’s what it comes down to with male feminists. If they want to tell someone how to behave or what to believe, they should go tell OTHER MEN. If they want us to consider them useful, then they should not be trying to fix us or study us, but to help us tell our story to people who will listen better when they hear it from one of their own. People that we don’t feel like trying to educate ourselves because they have such a long history of not listening when they hear it from us.

    If guys started to feel like it’s not all that safe to express their contempt for women even when it’s just dudes in the room, because you never know which of your guy-friends just might be a feminist, then we’re actually getting somewhere. Then men might just have to bottle up those feelings to such an extent that they would forget to teach their sons to feel the same way. I am all in favor of that particular type of emotional repression.

    And for that matter, if male feminists started keeping an eye out for sexist behavior in order to make a comment and let other dudes know they object, then they might become, say, 1/3rd as aware as female feminists about just how much sexist behavior actually goes down on any given day.

  116. I know that antecdotal stuff doesn’t carry huge amounts of weight here since it gets used so often by the MRAs, but I’ve seen the men not listen to other men when it comes to not reating women like possessions.

    Back at Truman U, the Sig Tau frat got the notion that since less women were attending the frat parties after word got out of another frat “pulling a train” at one of their events, and came upon a novel idea to get attendance back up. They’d all sign a pledge not to rape anyone, and propose to the other frats to do likewise. Instead of hopping on board with them for their gesture, all the other fraternities refused to go along with it.

    In the end the Sig Taus were characterized by the other frats as sheep fuckers for signing a sexual conduct oath that did not specifically prohibit bestiality, while the others signed no sexual content oaths of any kind.

  117. politblogo.typepad.com

    In the end the Sig Taus were characterized by the other frats as sheep fuckers for signing a sexual conduct oath that did not specifically prohibit bestiality, while the others signed no sexual content oaths of any kind.

    This is interesting. Did their strategy work, however? I mean, did they get the last laugh?

  118. Whereas I see it as a revolution to free women from male oppression. Liberation, girls, not equality. Equality is a lie, and can never happen anyway, because men and women are not equal quantities. Men can cheer along, sure, what do I care, but ultimately it’s not their ass on the line, is it?

    Well, as a male ally I put my ass on the line when I call some guy on his mysogynist bullshit. There is a very real possibility of him physically assaulting me. Now, it’s not that I’m asking for your sympathy or wanting some sort of special “I’m male and I stoop up to one tiny aspect of the patriarchy” badge of honor, it’s just that this should be recognized.

  119. And for that matter, if male feminists started keeping an eye out for sexist behavior in order to make a comment and let other dudes know they object, then they might become, say, 1/3rd as aware as female feminists about just how much sexist behavior actually goes down on any given day.

    As someone who recently started commenting on other men’s behavior I can tell you that this is dead on. I have noticed more and more shit that guys say and do that is really fucked up.

    And yes guys won’t always change just because someone calls them on sexist behavior, but they are certainly not going to change if no one does.

  120. Y’all talking about a tshirt, try Goodstorm. better and cheaper than cafepress.

    I think we should have BlameCon for real!

  121. redneckfeminist.blogspot.com

    The sad truth of it all is that men need to be the ones to speak up about sexism in order for anyone to listen. I see this all the time with my fiance. We can say the exact same thing, but people only listen when *he* says it. I don’t hate him for it. It’s not his fault, and at least he is speaking up about it.

    The funny thing that happens when a well-liked, attractive white guy speaks up against sexism is that other men will consider what he says and oftentimes even admit he is right. It’s like they get the okay to let their masculine guard down for a few minutes.

    I have not been involved in feminist activism since I graduated college last year. But when I was involved, I tended to have leadership positions and my boyfriend worked as my “secretary”. He did all the little things so that I could focus on my leadership role. He sacrificed a lot of time and worked doing behind-the-scenes stuff. He now does this in other areas of my life, such as supporting me in my (paid) professional career and my (mostly unpaid) music career.

    Oh, and he doesn’t use porn. I wouldn’t date him if he did.

  122. feministlawprofs.law.sc.edu

    I think “BlameCon” would be fantasic and would be happy to help with the organizing. I had to sign up for yet another identity with WordPress to post this comment, but it was worth it! Twisty – what do you think?

  123. “Now, it’s not that I’m asking for your sympathy or wanting some sort of special “I’m male and I stoop up to one tiny aspect of the patriarchy” badge of honor, it’s just that this should be recognized.”

    WTF?
    I think we are all aware that being a decent human being 24/7 has some risk attached.
    What form do you think your special efforts recognition should take?

  124. WTF?
    I think we are all aware that being a decent human being 24/7 has some risk attached.
    What form do you think your special efforts recognition should take?

    I didn’t ask for special recognition, i responded to this:

    Men can cheer along, sure, what do I care, but ultimately it’s not their ass on the line, is it?

  125. faultline.org

    “Now, it’s not that I’m asking for your sympathy or wanting some sort of special “I’m male and I stoop up to one tiny aspect of the patriarchy” badge of honor, it’s just that this should be recognized.”

    Here you go.

  126. You people are the coolest beans ever. That’s all.

  127. damn, chris. i owe you and ron both.

  128. Chris,

    Thank you sir.

  129. The sad thing is you’d need two blamecons, the fake one you send the MFs to who’ll dirty the place up with their constant urge to ask all the feminists they meet whether they’ll go for a threesome, and the real one all the feminists will actually go to.

  130. I know I shouldn’t say this. I’m going to be sorry I said this: but why do these dorks always think two women and them?

    Which other guy did you have in mind?

  131. Rape is the only patriarchally approved form of sex, and as such it causes heterosexual sexual relations within patriarchy to always be some kind of power play, and as Men are automatically the dominators in the mind of the patriarchal man’s head, then it holds true that a threesome with two women is a situation where they are dominating more than one woman. The fact that the sex will, by it’s very nature, be really really lame is besides the point because sex under patriarchy is never actually about sexual satisfaction so much as it is about power and the reaffirmations of heirachies in which women are subservient to men. And no that doesn’t mean that all heterosexual sex under patriarhcy is rape, but merely that, under patriarchy, rape is merely heterosexual sex taken to its logical extreme.

    Or to summarize: I blame the patriarchy for John Norman.

  132. cypress.typepad.com

    Chris – #125. brilliant. but i nearly blew my nose off with the snort. brilliant. and what a handy link that could prove to be!

  133. Candace

    Can a man be feminist? I can argue that either way depending on my general mood at the time. I am much more interested in how people act than on the label we give them that day.

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