«

»

Oct 22 2006

Sartorial Sundays: the ‘Slut-o-ween’ Report

heywood_wakefield.jpg
Boston’s Heywood Wakefield, MC of International Drag KingCommunity Extravaganza 8′s open-mike at Emo’s last Friday, shown here not wearing a sexay French maid outfit. Photo by Twisty.

I steel myself to open my email inbox — no mean feat, as I have come to despise email even more than I despise written sentences beginning with the phrase ‘first off’ — whereupon I perceive a dire warning from my ISP. “Your inbox is overquota. The world is ending.”

I look forward to the world ending. I’ll smoke all the cigarettes I want and if anybody gives me the stinkeye I’ll just point at the white-hot death-comet hurtling toward the earth at 478,590 miles an hour and emit a hollow, mirthless laugh.

Alas, that day is not today. Today it’s just a tedious little software problem. My email client usually takes care of deleting my 1439 daily spams* from the ISP server, but now something has gone awry somewhere. Although my ISP’s threat (“Take care of this at once, or you may not receive any more email!”) is more tantalizing than it is foreboding, I reluctantly begin the laborious process of hunting down the hitch. Fortunately, when I click the email help bookmark, the mouse slips, and I accidentally click the Broadsheet bookmark instead.

I am pleased to report that Broadsheet’s Page Rockwell is on the case of the slutty Halloween costume epidemic (as reported in the Thursday’s NYTimes Style section). Several of you blamers have emailed me, outraged, about the proliferation of the Hustlerization of Halloween, manifested (complete with softcore photos of witchy hot sluts) by the Times’ “not-so-new bulletin [...] that costumes for women and girls of all ages tend to be revealingly clad caricatures of stereotypical male sexual fantasies.” The Times, like everybody else, is preoccupied with what women look like. They wonder why on earth would liberated women [women are now deemed 'liberated', see, since second-wave feminism was such a rousing success] want to costume themselves as brainless receptacles for male incontinence? Perhaps it’s because Halloween has been co-opted by today’s sassy empowerful women who want to show the world that they’ve gotten the memo from Dude Nation: non-sexy is a non-starter. Halloween is now ‘a “safe space”, a time to play with sexuality’.

As long as the sexuality being played with is male sexuality, and that said sexuality as practiced by women is acknowledged by all as “bad.” Bad, bad, bad. It is not insignificant that the title of the NYTimes slutty-Halloween article is “Good Girls Go Bad, for a Day.” Halloween or no, women rarely experience the exhilarating joys of empowerfulness when they neglect to glorify the phallus by taking a self-esteem hit. I’m not sure that dressing up as a “vixen pirate” or a “va-voom Girl Scout” exudes quite the post-patriarchal nuances the spinster aunt would like to see in a class-neutral party outfit.

In any event, negligible is the ideological distinction that can be measured between the sexay costumes of “Slut-o-ween” (Ha. Good one, Page) and the ‘normal’ (but objectively fruity) get-ups women have to wear every day to avoid ridicule.

Sex-positivity will remain a pipe dream until the patriarchy-serving construct of the equation between sex and porn gets the boot. The boot of shiny, shiny leather.
__________________________________

* If there exists any body or any thing breathing air who would actually act on a stock tip derived from “a technical and fundamental perspective” from an unsolicited email titled “gasworks yourself’, I would totally pay $1.75 to meet him.

220 comments

6 pings

  1. jbeeky

    From Broadsheet:

    “Pat Gill, a professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, tells the Times that dressing as a sexy version of a fairy-tale character or other archetype ‘can be a way to embrace the fictional characters women loved as children while simultaneously taking a swipe at them.’”

    Wha?

  2. Twisty

    I know, I know. “Let’s tell women that by actively participating in their own humiliation, they are really in control!”

  3. Betsy

    Twisty, I have read well-reviewed books that were not one-tenth as insightful (or cogent) as one of your blog posts, which you apparently are able to dash off between tacos.

    I read the Times piece yesterday, and was just thinking to myself “Now, Twisty would really be able to make sense of this” — and there you are!

  4. dogged.

    M friends and I years ago dubbed this the “slutty cat” phemonenon when we saw one after another of our grad school acquaintances leave their brains in their cubicles, don a leotard, a tail, and ears, and go parade around on Sixth Street. Their rationale seemed to be, “I have to be smart for 364 days a year, but on Halloween, I get to be SEXY! And also, it’s IRONIC!” News flash: it’s really neither.

    People wonder why I hate Halloween. Demanding, sticky children on sugar highs and slutty cats, that’s why.

  5. hedonistic

    I’m so glad you took the time to comment on this disturbing phenomenon. Being the Hedonistic Pleasureseeker, I put my own spin on the topic chez moi, but I don’t suggest visiting unless you want your eyes to bleed.

    (snipped from my post)

    So here I am, hoping against hope that my blogsisters are NOT dressing up like prostitutes for their upcoming Halloween parties. But if you are, please consider this before you pull on your fishnets:

    * Why is it only OK for women to dress this way once a year without suffering social retribution, and why doesn’t this bug you?

    * If you insist on dressing like a real-life street hooker, are you giving yourself a black eye for that little dose of realism? How about some track marks on your arms? Street prostitutes are some of the poorest, most abused and addicted women in the world. How, pray tell, is this “sexy?”

    * If you bought a sexy cat, sexy nurse, or sexy-whatever costume, why did you pay all that money for that piece of polyester crap you’ll probably never wear again?

    * If you are heterosexual and partnered, what is your date wearing? Is he dressing like a pool boy or a Chippendale dancer? Why not? How much did he pay for his costume?

    * If you are single and dressing for the sake of the generic Male Gaze, why are you going to all this trouble? If you are of childbearing age you can show up at this party in feety pajamas and all the straight men will still want to fuck you.

    * What has the generic Male Gaze done for you lately? If the answer is “not much,” why bother?

  6. Jodie

    I love Halloween. I love it because I remember running around in the cold with a gaggle of friends in some costume my mom made me getting bags full of candy until my fingers froze off.

    I am not quite sure why every kid thing has to be co-opted for adult pleasure.

  7. Mar Iguana

    I’ve twice been able to talk guys into dressing as a woman for Halloween. They both said it was one of the scariest nights they ever experienced and a real eye-opener. They were stunned by the number of males who felt entitled to feel them up, ogle, leer, say suggestive things, pinch and grab. Whiners. Welcome to our world, boys. Shave those stems, shove them into a pair of black panty hose (lifting and tucking here and there), heels and a mini and I challenge anyone to tell me the gender.

    One of them was particularly amazed because he went as the bearded lady since he refused to shave his off. Didn’t seem to slow those boys down one bit. The other one was creeped out entirely because for weeks some guy kept coming into the tavern where the party had been asking for the large and lovely woman he’d met.

  8. Burrow Klown

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    See, now this is something I’ve always hated. Everyone knows that halloween is the day everyone gets to dress slutty, and I hate that. I love the idea of costumes, but hate that everything for women is made for some big ‘I’m sexier then you’ contest. Bollocks.

    I will be going as Sir Percy Blakeney, rumoured to be the Scarlet Pimpernel. And if I had a male partner he would get to go as Marguerite Blakeney and wear all those impossibly big skirts.

    Hmmmm…maybe I just don’t get it.

  9. Violet Socks

    Everyone knows that halloween is the day everyone gets to dress slutty, and I hate that.

    When did this happen? The last time I went to a Halloween party was 1992, and women were still just wearing normal costumes.

  10. hedonistic

    oh, and I left something off my list:

    * How can it be “transgressive” or “ironic” if EVERYONE IS DOING IT???

  11. Friggas Own

    I love doing the costume thing for Halloween. One of these years I will actually get the fabric and pattern to dress my bf up like Elrond, since he does a spot-on Hugo Weaving impression it’s either Elrond or Agent Smith. (Imagine either selling you a computer.) Every year I’m a witch of the non-sexy variety*, which has more to do with the fact that it’s easier and cheaper to sew a t-tunic than to fight to find a size 28 women’s costume of any type. That’s the biggest problem I have with the sexification of Halloween costumes – nobody wants to see a sexy fat woman at all, and even if they did, those costumes aren’t designed to support much.

    *Actually, I’m a sexy Witch every day of the year. The costume I make, however, isn’t a cheesecake outfit. As an added bonus, if I sew it properly it will hold up through several parties and washings, unlike that flimsy storebought stuff.

  12. hedonistic

    I have a lovely, kind of baggy witch costume that I wear every year. This year I even got the striped stockings, hee hee!

  13. witchy-woo

    Well I am a witch and this shit spooks me out bigtime.
    Can I get first dibs with the shiny, shiny leather boot please?

  14. mel

    Having been a seamstress for the past 25 years or so (among other things), I have to say that I have DEFINITELY seen a change in costumes these last few years. I mean, we always had these sexy slut costumes, and everyone knew they were for the women who really wanted to “be” that way in real life but didn’t dare–women who wanted to “give in” and be a male fantasy in front of everyone. (Aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! And wouldn’t they be surprised if they found out how it “really” was for the poor women who had to live it as a reality every day?) It was no biggy. I usually just ignored them, unless a customer with some big bucks came along and wanted a slut costume, hahaha.

    But these last few years things have changed. First of all, most costume patterns you used to find were for kids, and they were KID costumes: ghosts, witches, monsters, kings, princesses, etc. They looked like kid costumes, and there was nothing sexy about them. Then all this Renaissance stuff came along and the Lord of the Rings movies and stuff like that. Suddenly there was a glut of adult costumes. Most of them were fantasy costumes, like from Lord of the Rings. A good number of them were historic costumes, bent on accuracy; things like Civil War costumes, etc. And a large number were the “Renaissance” costumes, like the kind you’d see at a Renaissance Faire or something that a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) would wear (and if they really knew their stuff, those costumes were FUN–medieval clothes are to die for!). The problem was that there were less and less children’s costume patterns. The new patterns were all for adults. Yes, a good seamstress can make an outfit without a pattern, but it sure helps when you’re trying to imitate something in a hurry–like Wonder Woman (insert rolly eyes here) or Bat Man. It seemed to me that the kids were getting the shaft. There were less choices for them and a whole hell of a lot more for the adults. (Of course, the adults are the paying customers, hahaha.)

    And like I said, there were always slutty costumes. But last year, and most especially THIS year, there is a GLUT of slut costumes! It’s amazing! It seems like no theme is above or beneath being turned into a sexual slavery theme. It’s all I see now! Many seamstresses have remarked upon this. The kids are getting more of a shaft this year than they ever have. Even a simple (nonsexy) witch’s costume is getting hard to find, and the bonnet is even harder to find! It’s all about women dressing in fishnets as French maids, slutty she-devils, cheesy cheerleaders, feral femme fatales, etc. (

  15. Ron Sullivan

    I would so buy a computer from Elrond/Hugo Weaving. I thought he was the hottest male in that movie. Lord, lord.

    We just got a last-minute party invitation from some friends. If we don’t all go as Jerry, which would serve him right, I think I’ll do something with what I have on hand: a pair of black-flocked “dragon’s wings” and some black metallic and some glow-in-the-dark facepaint. Not sure what I’ll do with them exactly, but I’d welcome suggestions from anyone here.

    I guarantee it won’t be ~sexy~ unless you’re my kind of pervert. I suppose I could look for some early-sale Hanukkah gelt and go as Smaug.

    Here’s what I wonder: why do street hookers dress like street hookers? Is that shit really all so predictable? (Though I did see one dressed in green Converse hi-tops, very small gold-lame’ gym shorts, and a tight singlet once.)

  16. Mar Iguana

    “…why do street hookers dress like street hookers? Is that shit really all so predictable?” Ron Sullivan

    Probably as predictable as the johns. What is a singlet?

  17. Joanna

    My soon-to-be 12 yr old daughter and I went to the costume story for stuff for her Mustard Seed costume (she and her pals want to do a Midsummer Night’s Dream theme). Folks, it is scary. There are the children’s costumes, then the teen costumes with a subcategory called “Hot hot hot” (slut-o-ween). She’s too tall for the kids costumes, so there was nothing left for girls that was not porntastic. She wanted to try on the Aqua Fairy costume, and I let her, but when she emerged from the changing room, she was too embarassed, and decided it was not for her. I was SO GLAD I didn’t have to argue, since we all know that the easiest way to make your kid really want something is to fight over it. She has now adopted a scornful attitude to the whole sexual display costume thing.
    We did buy a pair of purple wings, that I’m sure will see a few years use, and went next door to the fabric store. I will spend rest of the week altering one of my old dresses. It will be very cool! ( but I’m the kid who got a D on my apron in Home Ec in 1972, so I just hope I’m up to it).

  18. smmo

    A recent visit to the Target costume aisle revealed the existence of stripper shoes for little girls. I do not kid. They were silver and platformy. Yeah, nothing says fun like seven year olds stumbling around in the dark. As daunting as I find the prospect of raising my son to be a blamer, at least I don’t have to deal with that shit. Yet, anyway.

  19. Edith

    This year I was going to go as a ghost, until it was pointed out to me that a woman wearing a long sheet with a hole cut out for the eyes doesn’t really scream “ghost” anymore, these days.

    My next thought was, why not wear my bathrobe? And go as … a woman in a bathrobe … wait, that’s still sexual, too.

    Fuck. I guess there’s nothing a woman CAN wear that isn’t sexualized, then.

  20. langsuyar

    Indeed, a disturbing phenomenon. I can’t stand it. A big pet peeve of mine since I really love this holiday and the creativity involved in creating a character and bringing it to life. I have a thing against store bought costumes anyway, but just try finding one that isn’t some sort of perveted fantasy. Not gonna happen unless you and your partner go as the old “ball and chain” or even the “plug and socket”. Oh, wait, I think there might be a few things worth blaming there, too.

    The little girl costumes are just as bad. Once they are too big to be Tigger, they get to graduate straight to fairy slut or dead girl scout slut (hey, isn’t that an episode of Law and Order?).

    When did the point of Halloween change from scaring the bejeezus out of each other to seeing how many boners pop out of pants in one night? I mean, really, the point of dressing up originally was to make your neighbors think the devils and spirits were out and about and they had better hand over the goods or else! Now instead of dressing like dead shit we get to dress like prostitutes and whore ourselves for candy.

    Way to go empowerfulment. If I put a price on my sexuality, it would be a wee bit higher than a fun size snickers bar.

    I have banned pirates and slutty costumes from my party this year. The theme is Post-Apocalyptic so the only way you get to look like a tramp is if you also look like you can kick some ass. A small concession, I suppose.

    I went to a public Samhain circle last night. There were costumes involved and there was a teen girl in a “naughty Dorothy” outfit two sizes too small. She couldn’t bend over without exposing bits and this was at a social, religious ceremony! Why? And why do women think it is fun to play a bit part in some man’s fantasy for a night? Don’t they have fantasies of their own they’d like to act out instead of picking what they think will get the most attention from the guys? I just don’t get it. So much for creativity, I’ll just be a naughty nurse next time.

    *eye roll*

    And don’t get me started on the costumes for guys like “pimp” and all the horrific caricatures of women like the “hill billy bride” and “fat bitch” and “big titty cheerleader”. I mean, one demeaning satirical costume of a stupid kung fu character and the anti-defamation leagues are all over it, the costume gets pulled and the threatened lawsuits quietly go away. Yet all the ones demeaning to women remain. You can’t make fun of asians but go right ahead and mock bitches all you want?

    I blame the patriarchy.

  21. stekatz

    How’s this for ironic? The one and only Halloween costume I ever wore where I felt really sexy, I dressed up as a man. I had on a suit and mustache and I got quite a number of looks from women, both confused and not.

    I was one fine looking drag king.

    Yes, costumes for women have gone into a very, very weird area. This year I will resurrect my not so sexy witch costume and my daughter is getting her bat costume homemade out of black sweatpants, black turtleneck and leatherette wings and ears.

    And another thing, Halloween night usually is damn cold. Why are women forced to wear fishnets and little else when a nice warm fuzzy bear suit would be warmer? And more huggable.

  22. Friggas Own

    Oh my, “Naughty Dorothy” would get you banished from our local Samhain circle. Partly because every adult in the church is either married or dating someone, and mostly because people bring their kids to the circle. It’s fine for the after-party or the local Witches Ball, but a little decorum for the circle itself won’t kill the participants. (Says the woman who lead the quiet snickering when the wand got annointed with oil and the HP kept saying “accept my essence”.)

  23. KathrynVance

    I am a Christian feminist. Patriarchy has theological underpinnings. We will never be free from patriarchy until we deal honestly and truly with the bad theology that supports it. Christians For Biblical Equality is a wonderful organization dedicated to Biblical feminism, and is confronting the patriarchy of our day. Please, whatever your faith or lack thereof, join us at cbeinternational.org for great discussion and wonderful publications.

  24. KTal

    My twenty-year old daughter and her sister annually go to friend’s parties on Halloween. This year she said she was going to be a ‘sailor’ and ordered a ‘sailor suit’ outfit online. I learned about her online spending when she came in today and showed me a pair of ‘shorts’ that looked more like bikini underwear, in white satin with stupid red rhinestones on it. She said, “Can you believe this ma? Someone would wear this? I’m not wearing that!” My daughter is very social and I’m glad to see her assert herself this way. She and her sister went shopping for some pants to match the old (real) cracker-jack sailor shirt I’ve had for years.

    And Hedon, I absolutely agree with you. I’ve known men who’ve asked me to dress up like Big Nurse, Cat Woman, you have it, or should I say, they think they should have it. But they don’t get it, not from me at least. And any man that would ask such of me usually won’t get the chance to ask anything else again, its their last meeting with me and I mean it. Usually at first I’m frightened at the propect of looking like what I deem foolish, secondly it usually hits me that the man thinks me some kind of play-acting bunny at his service.

    Anyway, I will be working probably right through christmas. If it wasn’t for my daughter, I don’t think I’d have noticed or thought about halloween.

    Save for the red-paint faced, red acrylic wigged lady I saw walking across the grocery store parking I spied today, that might have reminded me.

    And as for Lands. Wasn’t there an organization that used to organize around this crap, boycott stores, protest, raise hell and get attention? The right has certainly succeeded in scaring everyone passive and now we have the clocks turned back with a ‘modernist’ twist–liberation now means my womanhood has been freed to express its inner pornographic, sinful self and men are so kind to give me the means.

    Thanks guys!

  25. Sophist

    “If there exists any body or any thing breathing air who would actually act on a stock tip derived from “a technical and fundamental perspective” from an unsolicited email titled “gasworks yourself’, I would totally pay $1.75 to meet him.”

    So all I have to do to meet Twisty is buy some spam stock? Done and done!

    (I assume you’ll be buying your own plane ticket, no?)

  26. hedonistic

    Quote of the day: “Way to go empowerfulment. If I put a price on my sexuality, it would be a wee bit higher than a fun size snickers bar.”

    Can I get a hell yeah.

  27. barlyru

    This subject really hit home with me this year as I shopped for a costume for my 5 year old. At Spirit, a fly-by-night Halloween megastore, I led her through a maze of nightmarishly bodacious children’s costumes (seriously, I don’t remember kid’s costumes being this sexualized even 2 years ago) saying “No. No. No, not that one either”. Thank goodness for a more traditional full-body unitard catsuit I found at Target which hangs loosely on her rail-thin frame. Grab some cat ears & we’re done! Look Ma! No fishnets!

    I swear, next year I’ma gonna cut a couple holes in some old sheets and we can all be ghosts.

  28. WitchCityWoman

    It gets even worse.

  29. Cass

    Gasworks Yourself is my cousin from Newark. He made me rich!

    I share everyone’s dismay here about the direction Halloween is going, particularly for little girls. The last few years I’ve become a much greater fan of Dias de las Muertos (sp?)… those skull masks definitely don’t put you in mind of the Playboy Mansion.

  30. furbearingbrick

    WitchCityWoman: oh, god. At this rate I suppose it won’t be long before the Orkin Man resorts to smut.

  31. Betsy

    Joanna, a Mustard Seed costume — how very creative of your daughter!

    hedonistic — “How can it be “transgressive” or “ironic” if EVERYONE IS DOING IT???”

    Brilliant — that goes on my running list of great quotes.

  32. Sara

    I’m glad I read this post before I e-mailed you, Twisty. What I wanted to send you had nothing to do with Slut-O-Ween, though. It was about the color pink, to wit:

    In the pink – will it improve the city?,” by Amarnath Tewary,
    Aurangabad, Bihar (for BBC)

    I heard this on the radio while driving around running errands yesterday and thought immediately of you.

    Of course, when we read/hear things like this, it is important to remember that other cultures do not assign or relate gender to blue and pink the way ours does. Still, I found some of Mr. Singh’s quotes about the color pink especially amusing in light of recent postings here.

    Cheers!

  33. Ron Sullivan

    Mar iguana: Probably as predictable as the johns.

    That’s what I was getting at: apparently there’s some autofunction button that says “get hard when fishnet hose in sight.” You know how anyone under, oh, 40? 35? reflexively sees pants that come up to your waist as dowdy? Remember, if your an old bat, how oldfashioned low-riding bikinis and hip-hugger jeans looked 10 – 15 years ago? That button would be something like a deeply-worn cliche’ or being “retro” because you’re all out of ideas and just have to have something to wear, something fashionable. You’d think the johns would get embarrassed, well, maybe not. If one’s focus is no farther than the end of one’s dick I guess one’s less inclined to notice that one’s acting like a one-trick robot.

    What is a singlet?

    Sleeveless jersey, ranging from “wifebeater” to “ath-a-lete.” (I guess as opposed to a doublet, which nobody wears anymore.)

  34. Ron Sullivan

    “…if you’re an old bat” of course. See what happens when I get up early? I’m not even looking at the rest of that post, ugh.

  35. Twisty

    Christian feminists? That’s like gay Republicans, right?

  36. saltyC

    * What has the generic Male Gaze done for you lately?

    X-lent question

  37. Cass

    If MLK can be a Christian civil rights leader (and a Reverend to boot), why can’t we have Christian feminists?

  38. Twisty

    Perhaps you’re forgetting that Martin Luther King was a man, and as such stood to loose nothing by colluding with Judeo-Christian patriarchy. Anyway, clearly we can have Christian feminists — several who claim the affiliation have posted here — but the concept strikes me as unburdened with excessive reason, given that Christianity is the root of, provides the catechism for, and has enforced for millennia and continues to enforce with an unwavering conviction, a most brutal and violent systemic misogyny.

    .

  39. cycles

    Three more cheers for homemade costumes! I taught a friend how to sew, and he made his own wizard costume. He looked divine, and I loved watching his face when he told people he’d made it himself.

    Speaking of a full-body unitard: when we were about 13, my friend and I dressed up as characters from the musical “Cats.” We wore store-bought unitards and homemade headdresses. My friend’s mom said we looked “a bit provocative.” I didn’t understand why at the time. We were fully covered from head to toe, weren’t we? I was too young to comprehend the sexualization of pre-pubescent girls. Now, I gather, those costumes would be considered dowdy.

    If you have a friend who sews, don’t be shy about asking them to teach you. A sewing machine can be a powerful tool in patriarchy-fighting.

  40. Luckynkl

    If MLK can be a Christian civil rights leader (and a Reverend to boot), why can’t we have Christian feminists?

    I see no contradiction in civil rights leaders being christian. Men have been fight over which color god was made in the image of for milleniums now. That god is male is a given. That women are subordinate is also a given. In fact, this is what all men, regardless of race, class, color, creed, political affiliation, and nationality agree upon and bond in brotherhood over. The subordination of women.

    Remember, in order to have civil and basic human rights, one must first be considered human. Women have not reached that plateau in society yet. C. McKinnon summarizes it up all up rather succinctly when she points out this phrase: “Man fucks woman.” Subject verb object.

    Back on subject, I find it seriously disturbing how increasingly competitive with children adults are getting. Halloween is a child’s holiday. (We won’t get into the historic context and male conquest of women and the goddess). Granted, men have always suffered from Peter Pan syndrome. I guess women’s idea of equality is to suffer from Peter Pan syndrome too?

    Being that children act infinitely more mature than adults these days, maybe children should be running the country?

  41. Luckynkl

    (We won’t get into the historic context and male conquest of women and the goddess).

    On second thought, maybe that plays right in tune with “slut-o-ween.”

  42. grrr kitty

    Some Fantasies of My Own I’d Like to Act Out Instead of Tarting Up Like Some Guy’s Idea of Sexay:
    1) Get paid as much as a dude for doing the same job;
    2) Not having to dress and/or act stupid to be Taken Seriously;
    3) Mannerliness Day: A day when it’s MANDATORY to behave in a civilized fashion and USE YOUR EFFIN’ TURN SIGNALS when warranted;
    4) To have permission to respond the way I want to when the Male Gaze falls upon me without fear of social condemnation;
    5) To be recognized for some form of achievement that does *not* involve children or food.

  43. Mar Iguana

    “If MLK can be a Christian civil rights leader (and a Reverend to boot), why can’t we have Christian feminists?” Cass

    Because “Christian feminists” is the ultimate oxymoron. What the hell does MLK have to do with feminism? Nothing as far as I can tell. He was male, one of those xtianity was founded by and for, whose very existence is to promote the fear and loathing of women. He fought for the right of black males to be treated like men not boys. But, when it came to women, he was as happy to exploit them for the work and sex they provided as the rest of the liberal/progressive boys were and are.

    MLK may have been an outstanding civil rights leader but he was beyond hypocritical when it came to being faithful to his xtian marriage vows and never met am MLK groupie he wouldn’t do. How interested could he have been in their status as human beings? I’m sure he was confident his god forgave and loved him for the sinner he was, weak and unable to resist that forbidden fruit, woman, AKA “sex.” He also knew his good xtian wife would stand by her man no matter how much he humiliated her since she was brainwashed to believe woman’s lot was to suffer, her kind bringing about the downfall of man and all. Perfect.

    You do realize the non-violent, passive resistance for which he was so admired was co-opted by Ghandi from a woman, right? At least Ghandi gave her credit for the concept. How telling is it that most people don’t even know who she was? I seriously doubt MLK did.

  44. Ozzy Lee Harvwald

    I dressed in drag for Halloween about 10 years ago for a party at the old Way Out in STL. I think our bands had a gig together, Twisty but I forget. But anyway, I was groped by a couple of boys but one in particular I had to slap in kind because I didn’t like him at all. However, the girls that night were just as aggressive, maybe more so. My date almost got into a fight. It was an eye opener to say the least. A more wreckless Ozzy Lee could’ve wrecked a lot homes that night.

  45. maggiethewolf

    hedonistic wrote: “* How can it be “transgressive” or “ironic” if EVERYONE IS DOING IT???”

    So true. I see folks drinking, believing that they’re wild party cats, and all I see are conformists. The same with the conformity that one sees on Halloween.

    I was in Boston a few years back on Halloween night and it terrified me: a bunch of bellowing, teetering drunks.

    mar iguana wrote about Christianity: “…whose very existence is to promote the fear and loathing of women….”

    Nah. You’re sounding a little kooky (and perhaps a monstrous tad too enthusiastic in blaming) when you assert such a thing. Mar, I like your writing, but your thinking here is tipping into the crazy. It reminds me of those evangelical preachers who assert that that God put cancer in their niece’s bones to test the faith of the preacher. That’s cuckoo-y self-absorption. Not everything that happens near us is about us. Likewise, not every device/system/ideology/theology/paper cutter/cartoon character/streetlight that was ever made was made to subjugate women. So, when you assert that the “very existence” of Christianity is to promote “the fear and loathing of women,” you’re sounding a little like one of those sidewalk mumblers/evolution deniers/we didn’t land on the moon believers, but with a feminist twist.

  46. maggiethewolf

    mar again: “You do realize the non-violent, passive resistance for which he was so admired was co-opted by Ghandi from a woman, right?”

    And this woman co-opted the idea from whom? She did, because we all do. Twisty doesn’t have an original idea and you don’t, mar, and I don’t either, because we’re all thieves. The only thing that differentiates us is whether we admit that we’re thieves or whether we pretend that we’re novel thinkers.

    Gandhi gets the press partly because he had a penis, but also because he fit our archetype of a hero: he died in battle, just like Jesus and MLK, Jr. and JFK and FDR. Did you see the movie, Braveheart? It wasn’t accurate, but it did pander to our notion of a hero, of the man who leads the charge, who is first the meet the spear tips of the enemy. I’m not denying that patriarchy isn’t at play in Gandhi garnering the press. I am suggesting to you that there is another equally inveterate force at work.

  47. saltyC

    And that other force is worship of violent martyr-hero AKA patriarchy. Yes I’ll buy that.

    PS Gandhi was a wife beater. I’m sure JFK and FDR were too. I’m sure Jesus would have been except he never existed, but with Gandhi there’s documentation.

  48. Burrow Klown

    When did this happen? The last time I went to a Halloween party was 1992, and women were still just wearing normal costumes.

    Ah Violet, if you weren’t such a recluse you’d notice. Things have changed a lot since 92, m’dear. But I love you anyway.

  49. maggiethewolf

    saltyC wrote: “And that other force is worship of violent martyr-hero AKA patriarchy.”

    Sure, they’re connected, but you’re missing my earlier point, which is that EVERYTHING isn’t patriarchy and partiarchy isn’t EVERYTHING. Do we blame gravity on patriarchy? Mosquitoes? Excessive ear wax? I’m being hyperbolic because you seem to be thinking in a box that’s as big as a dot on ladybug’s back.

    Is this the equation in your mind? x = patriarchy

    And when you solve for x, does x equal everything?

    If you want to correlate martyr-hero worship and patriarchy, I’ve got your back, but if you want to stuff both of them into the same slot and imply that they’re the same, I can’t clink your mug, drink my ale, wipe my lips, and say, “Aye.”

    As far as martyr-hero worship, Joan of Arc was made into a saint after they burned her. My point is that we don’t only worship male martyrs.

  50. saltyC

    ear wax =/= patriarchy

    gravity =/= patriarchy

    Joan of Arc – burning =/= patriarchy

    joan of Arc sainthood*burning = patriarchy

    Braveheart = uberpatriarchy

    Ghandi = wife beater

    Bob Dylan = patriarchy wife beater

    Paul MCartney = wife beater

    George Harrison = Wife beater

    John Lennon = wife beater

    Ringo ?

    Allen Ginsburg = pedophile

    William S Burroughs = wife murderer

    Modern Western culture = sucks ass.

  51. Ms Kate

    Heywood Wakefield? I have that emblazoned on my chest … of drawers. Old line furniture maker in Massachusetts.

    As for the slutty costume thing, it is clearly an attempt to control the scariest of female avatars – the supernatural, powerful, and self-possessed witch. Certainly the most frightening of single women to the church dominant male.

    As for that inflatable sumo-wrestler french maid thing my husband wears, I’m not sure what the hell is up with that!

  52. Ms Kate

    BTW my husband is the only one in the household to use lingerie in provacative ways for halloween – he was a 6’6″ Frankenfurter one year, in 4″ heels and a black corset and fishnets. Scared the hell out of some of our friends when they arrived for the party.

  53. maggiethewolf

    Ringo always was the puzzling Beatle, wasn’t he? He was the half Beatle.

    What does this “=/=” mean? I googled it and it stumped Google. No lie. Do it and you’ll see a blank page. It stumps me too.

    As far as reducing someone to a bad moment, that too continues your runaway reductionism. I was on the road last night. I set my cruise control at 65 m.p.h. I passed none. I was passed by many. Therefore, when all those folks die, I could write one epitaph for all of them:

    “Reckless speeder, crappy citizen, profligate consumer of fossil fuels, and monstrously selfish global warmer”

    Never mind that some of them might have been cool friends and cool patriarchy-blaming spinster aunts or doting doctors. Because of my freeze-frame mind, I’d reduce all of them to what they were in one minute. Damn, SaltyC, do you love anyone and if so, how so? How can you love anyone if you reduce them to a vile act, given that we all commit vile acts? None of us are innocent. In the end, again and again, we’re all guilty.

  54. saltyC

    Shut up I love the Beatles, I mean the music.

    I just had to bring out some hate because people were dumping on the woman who’s divorcing Paul for coming out and saying yes he beats up cripples.

    I sill enjoy this depraved world, I flashed for beads at mardis gras so I’m no stickler.

    =/= means not equal to, in code warriorese as in

    I’m =/= perfect

  55. Jezebella

    I love, adore, and always look forward to all costuming opportunities. This is absolutely related to growing up in New Orleans, in the years before Mardi Gras became a porntastic frat party in the French Quarter. (it is still SO MUCH MORE than that, but that’s what you see on the news, and that’s what you get if you go to Bourbon Street).

    New Orleanians as a rule costume whenever the hell possible, and we don’t even have to have a “character.” Just getting yr freaky duds on will suffice. We don’t need no stinkin’ pre-made acrylic one-use walmart costumes! Oh no. No no no. Creativity counts. Which means that lame “slutty whatever” costumes are for the amateur, the tourist, the totally incompetent. Every good New Orleanian has a costume closet from he or she can produce an original costume on very, very short notice.

    It’s all one big costuming extravaganza: if you go to the Quarter for Mardi Gras, Decadence (not to be confused with Southern Decadence, where you will mostly see hot boys in tiny shorts or assless chaps if they’re wearing clothes at all), or Halloween, you will see lots of costumes and hardly any of these slut-o-ween outfits around.

    My point? I don’t know yet. I’ve noticed some women doing this slut-o-ween thing but I’ve always thought of it a real failure of creativity.

    Also, I would have to disagree with whoever said Halloween is a children’s holiday. Adults should get to put on the masquerade and let loose once in a while, too. I think non-costuming cultures are sad indeed. The repressed southern baptists all around me are missing a vital part of the human experience in their refusal to participate in any of the festive costuming holidays.

  56. maggiethewolf

    I’m glad you’re still enjoying this depraved world, saltyC, I truly am.

    As far as flashing for beads, I’ve never done it, but I’m so tiny atop that if I did do it, I’d be tossed a single bead here and there and at the end of Mardis Gras, I might have just enough beads for half a bracelet, like the kind I made when I was a kid and couldn’t afford a full-wrap-around of beads.

    saltyC, you wrote: “Joan of Arc – burning =/= patriarchy

    joan of Arc sainthood*burning = patriarchy”

    Now that I know what “=/=” means, what you wrote intrigues me, which I appreciate, for I like to be intrigued.

    Speaking of Beatles, Paul was recently asked what he misses most about John and he answered, “John was the last one he told me I’m full of shit.”

    Paul should contact you, SaltyC!

  57. Mar Iguana

    “Likewise, not every device/system/ideology/theology/paper cutter/cartoon character/streetlight that was ever made was made to subjugate women.” maggiethewolf

    Was too.

    ‘…the scariest of female avatars – the supernatural, powerful, and self-possessed witch. Certainly the most frightening of single women to the church dominant male.” Ms Kate

    No doubt. You can be sitting there minding your own little business and BOOM, there you are right in the middle of another inquisition. The scarey thing is in 2006, people still believe in witches. Here’s frightening: That look in their eyes when they think you are one. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

  58. katrina

    “Here’s frightening: That look in their eyes when they think you are one. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?”
    Nope. Quite the opposite. Heh.

  59. Burrow Klown

    I never flashed anyone for beads and I had boxloads from living in NOLA for a few winters. The whole flashing thing’s a (pariarchal) tourist trap misnomer.

  60. octogalore

    “negligible is the ideological distinction that can be measured between the sexay costumes of “Slut-o-ween” (… and the ‘normal’ (but objectively fruity) get-ups women have to wear every day to avoid ridicule.”

    I agree with much on this site but extreme statement like this concern me — to get from blaming to actual change, I think we should avoid this kind of exaggeration. I’m in the legal area, first as a lawyer and now as a placement specialist. In arguably one of the most patriarchal professions, I don’t think women’s attire is any “fruitier” than men’s. Pantsuits are completely acceptable, the same kind of button-up blouse will do, and women can even wear more comfortable tanks than the stifling shirts men must wear. Simple necklaces are far less “fruity” than ties, and in all firms I know, low heeled shoes are absolutely fine. In outfits as modest and comfortable as those men wear, and makeup less time consuming than men’s shaving, women can avoid ridicule 24-7.

    So maybe at an evening event, women’s attire is more showy. There are always perfectly acceptable more modest options that do not invite ridicule. And while “Slutoween” is part of an unfortunate trend to over-sexualize, the extension of this to something women need to do “every day” is ridiculous.

    Arguably, blaming is typically accompanied by a belief something should change. So, to my mind, it’s irresponsible to ignore that goal by wiping out a large number of folks who could support it, by being unrealistically extreme. Doesn’t mean selling out, just thinking about whether, really, most women are burdened by something.

    In most of corporate America and other patriarchal bastions, women are burdened by glass ceilings. By subtle distinctions edging them out. By mentoring that often leaves them out. NOT by the dress code, which largely affects everyone fairly equally and affects probably a very minute percentage of women adversely, compared to these other factors. Why don’t we concentrate on the real issues here?

  61. jbeeky

    “Arguably, blaming is typically accompanied by a belief something should change. So, to my mind, it’s irresponsible to ignore that goal by wiping out a large number of folks who could support it, by being unrealistically extreme. Doesn’t mean selling out, just thinking about whether, really, most women are burdened by something.”

    Ahem.

    Yes, we are. (I thought this much more civilized than the “Christ on a cracker, are you serious?” that ran amuck in my addled brain before I mustered some sense of decency, fahgodsakes.)

  62. slade

    A long time ago I, too, did the Drag King….black suit and tie, white shirt, hat, mustache, cigar….but I let my big dick/dildo hang out. I had no idea that I could scare so many men!

    They didn’t see it at first…but then they’d look down and it was like I had yelled, BOO! Their eyes grew large and they’d jump in fear.

    It was fun.

  63. Cass

    I agree with you, Twisty, in the very special sense that I’ve come to believe all unexamined beliefs are unnecessary. That said, I work and have worked alongside people in the domestic violence field who hold one religious belief or another I’m sure I could knock down in a debate; they’re still doing more to dismantle the P. than I’ll ever be capable of. The process of human growth and development goes way beyond the rational intellect. (Which is why as I’ve said before I find Dawkin’s moral philosophy so naive, and so very 18th century.)

    And patriarchy of course is way bigger than the Bible, or any particular tradition. It would survive the outlawing of Christianity quite brilliantly. (As Lenin &co. proved.)

    As to what we’re supposed to think of Martin Luther King (or anyone) I can’t contribute much. Judging anyone, sometimes even yourself, is ridiculously presumptuous, because you can never discern the border between what’s determined and what’s freely chosen.* (“Free will” itself is as mystical a concept as anyone can imagine; there’s no rational or empirical basis for believing in it, and almost no practical way not to.) But his struggle was clearly part of the same societal movement that led a few years later to feminism, and the place I draw my paycheck today: a mass conscious-raising of the brutality and suffering underlying the “normality” of the patriarchal hierarchy. Would his own consciouness would have been further raised had he lived another ten years, or been able to take some break from his political work? I think so, but everyone is free to make their own guesses, of course.

    (*Don’t anyone try to be clever and tell me I’m always judging people. I know that; I’m aware of the irony; end of discussion.)

  64. Cass

    slade, I think you would scared anyone with that thing.

  65. langsuyar

    I just want to say, all patriarchy blaming aside (as far as you can get these days) that Halloween WAS NEVER a children’s holiday until after the World Wars when enforced domesticity became the norm and ideal in this country. You can see some roots of turning a revelrous or religious holiday (depending on culture) into properly circumspect celebrations in the Victorian era, but no kids were out trick or treating. It was a PURELY adult (adolescent boys, really) event. You gave the nice drunk men some cookies so they didn’t let your chickens out and set fire to your barn, kind of thing. But the Victorian era was scared of that kind of unsavouriness and so sanitized it. Much like they did Christmas (when the lower classes would–you guessed it–get lickered up and beg at the doors of their employers for handouts). Can’t have that in an upstanding society so they twwwwwiiiiiist it to be about the kiddies instead (“they” of course being the social paragons of virtue, the matrons, clergy, and Madison Avenue). Don’t like drunk adults making mischief dressed up like the devil? Turn it into a kids holiday. Don’t like the poor getting drunk and knocking on your door for Christmas alms? Turn it into a kids holiday.

    Refocus the traditions from their religious and social roots to their consumerist future. Remove the celebrations from the street to the living room. Which so nicely coincided with forcing Rosie the Riveter back to her proper sphere so she could stitch the offspring costumes and hold their hands from door to door or have the perfectly decorated home and lay on the most delightful Christmas spread and spend the most on presents. How convenient the true nature and meaning of both Halloween and Christmas have come to revolve around spending fistfuls of cash.

    Instead, I choose to focus on the real spirit of the holiday… getting pissered and dancing around fire.

    (And there were loads of children at the public circle, but “naughty Dorothy” didn’t seem to care–she was a young teen and might not have realized the problem, she wasn’t provocative acting it just looked like the outfit was too small/short. But didn’t she have a friend or relative to tell her she was edging into slutty territory? This HP/S did a very long and boring Isis/Osiris enactment. Yawn. And boy, oddly enough, there were lots and lots of witch costumes. Isn’t that funny? ;)

  66. maggiethewolf

    Mar wrote: “Was too.”

    Shit. Ya made me laugh. I can’t keep my afterburners lit when I’m giggling.

    Nice post, octogalore.

  67. thebewilderness

    Here in the environs of thebewilderness we tend to robe as either creatures of fright or critters of mirth. Very little flesh is exposed around here from October to May. I’m having trouble visualizing a slutty mummy, snickering.

  68. octogalore

    From JBeeky: “Yes, we are. (I thought this much more civilized than the “Christ on a cracker, are you serious?” that ran amuck in my addled brain before I mustered some sense of decency, fahgodsakes.)” [in response to whether women are affected by dress expectations in environments like the workplace that women's movements could attempt to alter]

    As I said, JBeeky, dress codes for women “affect probably a very minute percentage of women adversely, compared to these other factors.” Obviously, you’re in that minority. But just as you use “we” so insistently, I too could argue that there are no mandatory requirements affecting women in most workplaces that are sweepingly repugnant. In fact, more women are upset about it NOT being acceptable to dress sexily in the workplace. As I’ve done some research on this, I could argue fairly responsibly that more women are upset about things like: policies that would motivate their partners to participate more equally in the home; equal promotional opportunities; equal mentoring opportunities; equal leadership opportunities, etc.

    These issues are much more universal, I think, than blaming (someone) for women having to wear certain kinds of outfits to “avoid ridicule.” Most people, including feminists like me, would read that as women who have no interest in the slightest adornments, even those that arguably are not “fruity” or in any way time-consuming or offensive. The women I have met, by and large, don’t have a problem with the latter, but do have a problem with the glass ceiling and related issues above.

    Realistically, if women were viewed as equal participants in the major industries that crank the GDP out, a large part of the “patriarchy” would crumble. This isn’t going to happen by whining about “fruity” ensembles. It’ll happen by getting to the roots of why women aren’t viewed as equal participants, not whining about a couple of leaves on the trees that most people can’t see.

  69. octogalore

    Thanks, maggiethewolf. I’m new here and fairly new to blog posting in general — so I appreciate your kind words.

  70. maggiethewolf

    You betcha, octogalore, but if you’re new to blog posting, you should be warned that this is a tough crowd. Smart and tough and frequently funny, but tough. But you seem smart and tough too, so you should fare well. Just don’t, if the heat rises, bid us “farewell.”

    It’s swell to have some dissent and especially dissent as well-reasoned and articulated as yours.

  71. Violet Socks

    Would his own consciouness would have been further raised had he lived another ten years, or been able to take some break from his political work? I think so, but everyone is free to make their own guesses, of course.

    Perhaps, but it’s also true that he’d already been exposed to the notion of gender equality and had explicitly rejected it. He’d studied Ghandi, yet took only the doctrine of non-violence while continuing to assert that men must be subservient to men. King was a great civil rights leader, but when he said hoped our nation would one day live out its creed that “all men are created equal,” he really did mean men.

  72. Violet Socks

    Aagghh! That “women must be subservient to men.” And “when he said he hoped our nation”. Yeah, I should just go to bed now.

  73. CafeSiren

    I’m jumping in late on this post, as I’ve been out of town, but I remember spending one Halloween weekend in Twisty’s own Austin, and 6th street seemed to be the epicenter of slut-o-ween. The motto seemed to be: dress up as whatever you like, as long as your version of it involves showing as much flesh as possible. The high/low point of this was two young women dressed as “construction workers,” in micro-mini denim skirts with tool belts, tight semi-transparent white tank tops, and hard hats. Ugh.

    When I saw the twentysomething woman who was wearing a big, round bee-girl costume (a là that video from that 90s band whose lead singer died of a herion overdose, whose name I can’t remember), I wanted to hug her, because she was obvious not the least bit interested in being seen as a sexual object.

    Unless, of course, there are bee-girl fetishists out there. Which there might be.

  74. Luckynkl

    There’s been a push to make makeup mandatory in the workplace for females and I’m also noticing more businesses trying to mandate that women wear dresses. Refusing to comply results in losing one’s job. It has been upheld in courts. PA recently tried to mandate that female teachers wear skirts/dresses on the election ballot.

    Obviously trying force women to dress like prostitutes has bothered and affected women enough to bring it to court. It has been controversial enough to put on an election ballot. That sure doesn’t sound minute and trivial to me. It sounds like just the opposite of your assertions, octogalore.

    Sure your assertions pleased Maggie, the wolf. Who is still looking for needles in haystacks for the 3 men in Outer Mongolia who have redeeming qualities and has taken to looking under rocks for evidence that “women do it too.”

    Men are responsible for 97% of the world’s violence. 80% of the casualites of this violence are women and children. Women are accountable for 3% of the world’s violence. But in Maggie’s book, 97% = 3% which makes women all equal now and no different than men. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the new math.

    I can only wonder why it would be so important for you to invisibilize women’s oppression and pretend it doesn’t exist. Who does that serve? Who does that benefit?

    You’re much too old and have been around the block too many times to be that oblivious and miss that elephant standing in the middle of your livingroom. So what could possibly be your motivation? Well, whenever I’m in doubt, I usually ask those same basic questions. Who does that serve? Who does that benefit? And therein lies the answer to the motive.

    So I’m curious, Mags. What does “the wolf” stand for in your name? That wouldn’t be “wolf” as in “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” now would it? **wink**

  75. Catherine Martell

    Violet Socks: “He’d studied Ghandi, yet took only the doctrine of non-violence while continuing to assert that [wo]men must be subservient to men.”

    True, but never let it be implied that Gandhi was against female subservience. His approving remarks about women were all based on the great nobility, eagerness to serve others, and perpetual self-sacrifice of our sex. Whoopee-do.

  76. Catherine Martell

    Luckynkl: “There’s been a push to make makeup mandatory in the workplace for females and I’m also noticing more businesses trying to mandate that women wear dresses. Refusing to comply results in losing one’s job. It has been upheld in courts. PA recently tried to mandate that female teachers wear skirts/dresses on the election ballot.”

    Good grief. Is this true? Because if it’s true we’re into urgent blaming time, but I can’t find these stories on Google.

    Do you have any links/refs to relevant info? Would be most appreciated…

  77. HalfnHalf

    Because I’m THAT sort, I “F[ound] on This Page” the word “slut” or “slutty” 30 times. Make that 32.

    I blame the patriarchy for the phenomena of sexualizing/dumbing down of girls from age 5 and up if not earlier, via princess and other insipid consumes once Tiger is outgrown.

    But all those “sluts” (33) up there make me wonder.
    If — yes, I know, perish the thought! but if — a woman DID have a desire to dress “slutty” (34) for whatever reasons, it’s no wonder she lets this side out only once per year, when the Slut Factor (35) is “allowed.”

    Otherwise, she’d just be a “slut” (36) by men and apparently Blamers alike.

    As for the stated oxymoron of Christian Feminist, I’m not taking that one on yet as that damn circadian rhythm thing has rendered me more sensitive than usual and therefore more prone to the spirutual than the secular than I would be otherwise.

    I blame insomnia.

  78. Mandalay

    The one time I dressed slutty for Halloween I did the slut-witch thing–lots of Stevie Nicks-looking black rags and shawls, a blond wig under the pointy hat, fishnet stockings and four-inch stiletto-heeled laced-up boots. On my way to a Halloween party, I blew a tire. When you are dressed this way and have this problem–even in the liberal haven of New Jersey–well, let’s just say it was an eye-opener for me. Even after fifteen years, the thought of the sleazebags who stopped to “help” me skeeves me out.

    These days, my Halloween costume consists of one of my numerous NFL jerseys with its matching cap. Maybe not imaginative, but comfortable, but I still get guys leering at me and telling me how cute I am. Then I remind them I’m kicking their ass in fantasy football and that stops that.

  79. maggiethewolf

    Dearest Luckynkl, you wrote: “I can only wonder why it would be so important for you to invisibilize women’s oppression and pretend it doesn’t exist.”

    You frame my position as being the utter antithesis of your position. It isn’t. I am a feminist. I can’t contemplate that 1% of the world’s land is titled to women for too long or I’ll crack a molar. I can’t walk through the Hall of Presidents without fear of retching: an unbroken line of white male faces works better than a finger down my throat.

    I do oppose absolute positions and no, I’m not looking for 3 fine men in Outer Mongolia. I’m looking for qualified positions here. For conditions. For caveats. For uncertainty. Whereas swagger has its place, it doesn’t come from confidence. It is confidence that qualifies.

    Luckynkl wrote: “So I’m curious, Mags. What does “the wolf” stand for in your name?”

    If I were a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I wouldn’t name myself “the wolf,” would I? I’m a wolf in wolfskin. And Maggie the Wolf is actually a character in one of my novels.

    Forever yours,

    The Wolf

  80. Twisty

    Octogalore has come down firmly on the side of nervous-feminists-who-wish-Twisty-would-just-shut-up. I remind those who fear that my ‘extreme’ views are chasing away would-be recruits that my ‘agenda’ is nothing so mundane as the elimination of sexbot Halloween costumes or who gets to wear the more comfortable clothes to work. It is hypocritical to say ‘this sexy girl scout costume is anti-woman’ and then simply ignore that women are forced to adopt that very same ‘femininity’ — by which I mean lace, delicacy, teddy bears, Hello Kitty, lipstick, fashion, subservience, pink, fishnets, spandex, receptaclism, smiling, head-tilting, beauty, girliness, Martha Stewart, marriage, sexbottism, unpaid domestic labor et al — as a survival skill in everyday life. If I shut up about femininity, I might as well vote Republican.

  81. CannibalFemme

    I also adore Halloween. In fact, I plan my costumes out two years in advance. This year I’m doing a charming Mrs. Lovett, cobbled together from cannibalized bits of other old costumes, and for that gritty touch of realism I’ve squirted the whole thing with human blood, including some cute bloody-beseeching handprints on the apron. The effect of real blood plus a nicely sharpened cleaver does tend to put a damper on the sexiness factor. Oh, sure, from twenty feet away I look entirely fetching, but those who are enticed to come closer are in for one hell of a surprise, even if they are too drunk to notice the slaughterhouse odor.

    As for Slut-o-Ween, I’m with Jezebella on this one: shocking lack of creativity, although I can’t say I’m surprised.

  82. langsuyar

    But Twiiiiiisty, don’t you know you’re scaring those nice ladies who enjoy, from the bottom of their uncoerced hearts, being receptacals? You shouldn’t be so damn radical! You’re alienating sexbots who might otherwise call themselves feminists if only they could be feminist sexbots! Shame on you and your divisiveness.

    I’m so disappointed. All along I thought this was a Liberal Feminist Blog. I only figured it out when I noticed there are no half concealed hooters and porn advertisements. Thats it. I’m leaving. If I can’t dress like a slut (because I choose to, not because it garners me privilage) then I don’t wanna be in this movement. I’ll go back to where I’m wanted, where real differences are being made.. oh.. um… nowhere?

    (Oh, and here’s a newsflash–boys and girls could magically all get paid the same for comparable work the day after tomorrow and it would still be a patriarchy and women would still be oppressed, so people whose main feminist concerns revolve around the workplace and the wage gap should shut the hell up and maybe take a trip outside their middle class, walled in, hermetically sealed enivronment. Most women in the world–because there IS a world out there beyond the US borders!– struggle not to be murdered for having the audacity to be born female, so I gaurantee that ensuring pay equality in the good ol’ USA is as “minor” a concern as “slut-o-ween”.)

    So, yeah, Twisty, shame on you for pointing out the oppressive factors of enforced and exaggerated feminity. You should worry more about real problems. Like the fact that Ally McBeal isn’t on the air anymore. That quirky lawyer was a true feminist! She fought for her right to wear short skirts and obsess about men AND she had an empowerful career. Without her, the movement is diminished… but I think I’m rambling now…

    /rant

  83. TP

    Very few of us are immune to sexual desire, so if we sometimes seek to arouse others through signals that create desire, forgive us for being human. It would be nice if desire wasn’t tied to the degradation of women, maybe more tied to unconditional love and shared intimacy; or something less public and performance-oriented than the stylized costuming of current sexual excess.

    Slut-o-ween is a fine example of the growing hyper-sexualization of our culture. The patriarchy is growing stronger wherever men can carve out a space that they can pretend is somehow defensible while serving their interests. There’s a common ground between arch conservative men and liberal men where sex is concerned, and they each use different perversions of the ideas of freedom and tolerance to defend it. It’s as if men think that by an provocation of sexual arousal they have been given a license to degrade women, because men refuse to see anything degrading about stimulating their male arousal no matter how it is done.

    I’ve always thought that creating desire in someone else also creates desire in yourself if you see yourself as actively creating it – like acting submissive or acting as if aroused. It’s like a kind of self-hypnosis and a circular system that closes when the arousal is detected and acknowledged. Maybe this is only something men think, like so many things we think about women that are wrong. But it’s just one possible explanation for why women seem to embrace things that, if examined critically like Twisty does, are basically degrading, and why men, ignorant of the possibility that a woman might be demeaned by men’s arousal because the women themselves provoked it for reasons unrelated to the desire to be degraded, while denying with all possible force that it is degrading to act submissive and slutty.

    When a man dresses as a woman and creates desire in others by sending the same signals women are required to send every day, the reward of sexual attention can seem wonderful, because it’s so transient and tied to a false identity.

    When it becomes so pervasive that the private becomes public, the stupid imposed on the subtle, that we all start to feel almost forced into a default state of sexual posturing. Why more men aren’t terribly sick of being manipulated sexually for commercial gain is beyond me.

  84. maggiethewolf

    Told ya it’s a tough crowd, Octogalore. I suspect that part of langsuyar’s motivation is TwistyChips (TM). If you please Twisty, you’re rewarded with TwistyChips (TM), which can be redeemed at various indigenous Austin eateries for burritoes.

    Okay, that’s not true. There are no TwistyChips (Not a TM), but there is the desire to please Twisty, which I understand, for she’s wicked smart and a helluva writer. I’m pert near sure that langusyar has motivations other than Twisty-pleasin’ as I believe that there is the desire in all people (even people with penises) to want to do the right thing. Knocking you upside the head with her rant probably seems the right thing to her, but if you are silenced, then the bell tolls for all of us.

    Twisty wrote: “Octogalore has come down firmly on the side of nervous-feminists-who-wish-Twisty-would-just-shut-up.”

    Maybe. Or maybe she posted here to engage you.

  85. TP

    I do love to dress up and play at Halloween. My little girl is a bad witch this year. She has told her mother and I that she is the wicked witch of the west, mom is the scarecrow, and I am the cowardly lion. Her grandmother has been recruited to be Dorothy.

    At her day care center last night I didn’t see any slut costumes except one very pretty blond girl in an almost see-through goth skirt and outfit. I suppose her parents were just tying to make her more pretty. Because that’s what pretty is, you know. Girly. So slutty is merely prettier than girly, because it’s even prettier. The make up is heavier, the skin a little easier to see. More is better than less, right.

    I’m talking preschool here.

  86. saltyC

    Langsuyar: “so people whose main feminist concerns revolve around the workplace and the wage gap should shut the hell up and maybe take a trip outside their middle class, walled in, hermetically sealed enivronment.”

    Hallelujah!!!!

    Thank you thank you thank you.

    Equal pay for equal work is the bait that will kill us.

    Sure octopussy may be doing great playing the boy’s game but it’s still the boy’s game.

    It’s not that women don’t want to work 60-80 hours a week at a job. Women the world over always do most of the work.
    It’s that if they don’t take care of family, clean the house, do the shopping and otherwise clean up after and support others for free, no one will.
    I know because I also am palying the boy’s game and I realize my prospects for advancement are limited by the fact that I don’t have a support staff at home, whereas they do.

    How’s that for tough?

  87. Twisty

    “Or maybe she posted here to engage you.”

    Well, I got that, so I posted a response. I disagree with her, but I would hardly call it “knocking [her] upside the head.”

    It can’t surprise you that I dislike being told to tone it down ‘for the sake of “the movement”‘. “The Movement”, such as it is, will stay exactly where it is (by which I mean, “tumbling in retrograde free-fall”) until more people realize that femininity — indeed, all gender behaviors — is/are oppression.

    Your Manolos, ‘boy jeans’, burkas, shop-for-the-cures, sport corsets, BDSM clubs, downy-fresh towels,’transgressive’ hooker outfits, Oprah-approved pop psychologists, what have you, they are just signals to the oppressor that you acquiesce and obey. Faugh, I say.

  88. Kali

    “Gandhi gets the press partly because he had a penis, but also because he fit our archetype of a hero: he died in battle, just like Jesus and MLK, Jr. and JFK and FDR.”

    No, he did not. Nor did JFK. I don’t know about FDR. Anyway, isn’t it the essense of patriarchy to hero-worship warriors who specialize in killing and dying, while treating life-giving women as expendable cows?

    So, why is Gandhi idolized while those women who came up with the idea of civil disobedience are reviled? Because we all know that women are just supposed to put up and shut up and if they don’t, they deserve to be kicked. However, boys will be boys, violence and all, and if they voluntarily desist, then we should all fall down on our knees with gratitude and thank them for not killing us.

    So what if Gandhi abused his wife and sexually exploited young female satyagrahis? Minor detail. He was a great, great man. We should keep repeating that. So what if MLK was a sexist bigot, even for his time. Minor detail. He was a great, great man. Keep repeating that.

  89. Mar Iguana

    CannibalFemme, great googly moogly! I hesitate to ask someone with the word “cannibal” in their handle but, how did you happen to acquire that “gritty touch of realism?”

    Catherine Martell, see:
    http://www.littler.com/presspublications/index.cfm?event=pubItem&pubItemID=13959&childViewID=249

    The Ninth Circuit Court upheld Harrah’s right to require women to wear their hair and make-up in exactly the manner they demand, und they vill like it:

    “Other standards, including those relating to hair, nails and makeup, were differentiated on the basis of sex. For instance, female beverage servers were required to wear their hair “teased, curled or styled.” Stockings were to be of “natural color consistent with employee’s skin tone” without “runs”, and nail polish could only be “clear, white, pink or red.”

    And:

    “In April 2000, Harrah’s amended its policy to require that female beverage servers wear makeup, including face powder, blush, mascara and lip color. After Jespersen refused to comply with the makeup policy, she was given 30 days to apply for a new position that did not require makeup. At the expiration of the 30-day period, Jespersen had not applied for another job and was terminated by Harrah’s.”

    As concerns my sanity, mag (may I call you mag?), Mar Iguana is not merely certifiable. Mar Iguana is certified, officially nuts and proud of it. Pretty apt to stay that way too.

    “Doesn’t mean selling out, just thinking about whether, really, most women are burdened by something.” octogalore

    Not at all, if you don’t count thousands of years of lazy-ass, delusional, arrested-development, poseur boys riding around on our backs. Really.

    “In fact, more women are upset about it NOT being acceptable to dress sexily in the workplace.” Octogalore

    They’re having no problem dressing for sexcess in the workplace around here. I cannot believe the way I’ve seen women dressing at work now. Women in the professions, or trying to climb that corporate ladder are still dressing relatively modestly but the pink collar ghetto is tarting it up big time, making my eyes bleed. I’m talking necklines down to there, hemlines up to there and sometimes “there” itself as when one of the clueless in her fuck me boots and micro-mini bends over to file in the bottom drawer. It ain’t pretty.

    A scenario I’ve seen time and again: A woman dressing for success, trying to be taken seriously in the workplace (no sleeveless tops, no plunging necklines, below-the-knee hemlines, no open-toed or sling shoes, etc., you know the drill) attempting a serious discussion with business boy when here comes Pinky, flashing T&A, sashaying by with a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk. End of serious discussion with business boy as his gluey, little eyes glaze and he feels completely entitled to stop, turn and watch the meat strut by, not giving one shit that the woman trying to be taken seriously in the workplace has just watched him watching Pinky, has to wait until his viewing pleasure is sated and now has to try to get him back on track with that creepy grin on his nasty face. I had to laugh out loud once when one women put her forefinger in front of this boy’s eyes, moving it back and forth saying, “Focus, focus. Come on back Joe.”

    In other news, speaking of the boys getting their chonis in a chunk over what women wear or do not wear, consider the heartbreak of those poor widdle, European and Brit boys being forced to feel all hinky communicating with veiled, muslim women, who are apparently corroding Western civilization by covering up every square inch of their female flesh except their eyes. Whhhyyyyy, the boys are going to have to pass some laws against this horror. Why are we on the brink of WWIII? Western boys want their women on a pole as public property while muslim boys want their women on a pole as private property. The oil is just a means to that end.

  90. Mar Iguana

    “Very few of us are immune to sexual desire, so if we sometimes seek to arouse others through signals that create desire, forgive us for being human.” TP

    So true. Why, I’m kept in a constant state of arousal by boys’ provacative looks nowdays. Those baggy pants, sports caps and shaved heads just make me all aflutter with burning desire.

  91. deciduousfruit

    “Fuck. I guess there’s nothing a woman CAN wear that isn’t sexualized, then.”

    I dunno, I’m going as Bruce Springstein… but I’m not stuffing. It helps that I have five other people, men and women, that will be going as Bruce Springstein too! I just find it terribly sad that Halloween is scary for such different, depressing reasons now. Fat girls with no outlet for fun because we can’t fit into skimpy spandex Paris-Hilton-stripper-witch-bunny prefab costumes! Children who’s scarriest prospect for the evening is taking a step closer to diabetes and obesity! I’m all for bringing back the original SCARY factor back into halloween. What happens to children when they are raised in a world that denies that the strange, unexpected, unpredictable exist? I think Halloween is a night to roll back the Enlightenment a bit and revel in the wonderous feeling of being a very small being in a great big unknown world.

  92. maggiethewolf

    Twisty wrote: “I disagree with her, but I would hardly call it “knocking [her] upside the head.”

    You’re right. You didn’t knock her upside the head…and I didn’t suggest that. I did suggest that langsuyar was rough with this woman who’s new to blogging.

    Twisty again: “It can’t surprise you that I dislike being told to tone it down ‘for the sake of “the movement”‘. “The Movement”, such as it is, will stay exactly where it is (by which I mean, “tumbling in retrograde free-fall”) until more people realize that femininity — indeed, all gender behaviors — is/are oppression.”

    Twisty, I’ve posted many times about how I admire your mind. Being brainy, you must understand that every position produces blindspots. You’ve been blogging long enough that you might feel you can anticipate and categorize every response. If a person says A, you respond with B. But what if you just think a person is saying A. I reread what Octogalore wrote and I didn’t see that she was saying to “tone it down for the sake of the movement.” It seems to me that you and some others here believe that everything is connected to patriarchy (short of gravity) and therefore subject to your righteous, raging wit. I often agree with you, even if I don’t often admit this. But even though nearly everything is tangled up in patriarchy, I think Octogalore was suggesting that we have to focus and we should therefore focus following conscious consideration.

    Kali, as far as Gandhi, JFK, and FDR dying in battle, I was using “battle” loosely. They were all assassinated while in political positions. It was the battlefield of politics and values.

    And regards their status as heroes, it’s fine that we look into their shorts and see their skidmarks. That’s a good thing. Have you read Dyson’s book about King? Dyson argues (well) that we need to know our heroes shortcomings, otherwise believing that that they’re perfect will preclude the rise of new heroes. Is that your purpose in fixating on their infidelity?

    Mar wrote: “Why are we on the brink of WWIII? Western boys want their women on a pole as public property while muslim boys want their women on a pole as private property. The oil is just a means to that end.”

    That’s good stuff, Mar.

  93. saltyC

    funny how being a jackass to women in their lives and to women in general is always the safe form of heores’ imperfection.

  94. Twisty

    maggiethewolf, your desire to spare the feelings of the meek and mild is heartwarming, but howsabout you let me moderate my blog? Octogalore says she thinks my “extreme” statements hinder the cause. I say she fails to see the big picture. No big whoop. All in a day’s blaming.

    You know, it says right on the front page that this blog is not for the novice. If you don’t like my tone, why on earth do you read it?

  95. Mar Iguana

    “It seems to me that you and some others here believe that everything is connected to patriarchy (short of gravity) and therefore subject to your righteous, raging wit.” maggiethewolf

    That’s it. Now, you’re catching on.

  96. thebewilderness

    I think that the squabbling over whether feminists should attend to this symptom of patriarchial oppression or that symptom of patriarchial oppression is perfectly understandable. Considering the fact that most of us had to sort through an astonishing amount of social programming just to get to the point of recognizing a symptom when it is right in front of our face and causing us pain. Neither “you’re too shrill,” nor “you’re not shrill enough,” seems a reasonable argument, to me. While I had every expectation that by now we would have overthrown the patriarchy. In retrospect I realize that we are still trying to figure out if we need to address all the symptoms all at once of if there is some singular thing we could change that would tumble the dominoes. I don’t see much difference between the I like it so it can’t be oppression and the claim that approval from Twisty is what drives some commenters. It’s people, social programming and human nature. Way the hell more complicated than rocket science.
    I now question if this is going to make sense to anyone but me.

  97. octogalore

    Luckynkl: you mention a “push” to make makeup mandatory (except for hotel casinos, I haven’t seen any signs of this being any more than a rarity), business/states “trying” to mandate that female teachers wear dresses or put this kind of thing on an election ballot. There are a lot of things attempted, the reason nobody could google this is that it seems pretty unusual or possibly nonexistent. The trend I’ve been reading about and seeing is for more casual dress for both genders, which often affords more flexibility to women.

    It’s amusing to be called by Twisty “nervous” and “meek”. How tempting to characterize my position as “wish[ing] Twisty would just shut up.” Why would I read this board if I felt that way? As far as rainbow parties, subservience, Slutoween – sure, those are issues. There are situations in which women and girls, because of the view of women’s sexuality as tradable for other assets, are incentivized or coerced to use it as a survival skill. But your statement about “fruity get-ups women have to wear every day to avoid ridicule”? Yup, that’s extreme. Women being “forced to adopt” marriage or femininity? Extreme. That line of reasoning will win you many points with your following for being daring and bold and just too cool and radical for meek little women like me who are so benighted that we that we actually enjoy looking feminine. But out there beyond the safe borders of your website, where the majority of women can look at the nuances and see a substantive difference between Girls Gone Wild and the institution of marriage? Between rainbow parties and wearing lingerie for your husband, who might be festively garbed as well? Between voting Republican and wearing lipstick? That’s where you’re not a cult figure but a shrill extremist, who’s more about attracting a fringe sensationalist group than creating real change.

    Langsuyar – see above. I’m not talking about alienating sexbots but about alienating a huge population of women out there who like marriage, smiling and lipstick, but view themselves as feminists without needing to obscure their femininity to prove some obscure point. Also, did I claim that all feminist concerns revolved around the workplace? Not at all. I do, however, think that this is an arena that’s much more powerful in the context of our national consciousness than worrying about “fruity getups.” Granted, the difficulties of women outside the USA are much more critical, but this wasn’t the subject of the original post. So dragging it in here to somehow shame me for being a successful part of a traditionally male dominated industry is frankly laughable.

    Speaking of which, SaltyC, said “octopussy [notice how I left that part out but you’re managing to drag it back in, interesting] may be doing great playing the boy’s game but it’s still the boy’s game.” Um, so I should just stay out, and let the boys handle it? Yeah, why not do that, and just stay on the sidelines whining about stuff like smiling and lipstick? Well, guess what: it takes women like me getting into male dominated professions and militating for accommodations for exactly the “we don’t have wives at home” issues you’re addressing. My company, a largely republican male dominated one, has seen considerable change since (and because) I joined, and I’m in an area where I’m able to help other women make decisions that will help them get into positions where they too can make changes that ultimately will change this “boy’s game.” Yes, not having a support staff at home sets up an unfair playing field. However, I was promoted to equity partner in four years while my senior male colleague, who is located in the main office with the managing partners and is their pride and joy, took eight. And now that I am the major breadwinner, my husband, who is a lawyer with a tough schedule, does do his share, and some times more, around the house. I am not suggesting that all jobs come with this kind of flexibility nor that all husbands do. But, your suggestion that I’m somehow lesser for “playing the boy’s game” ignores the fact that within my company at least, it’s not the “boy’s game” any more because I DID play it, I’ve done so on my own terms, and I’ve helped other women to do so.

    The strides taken by the movement to date are not hinged on femininity equaling oppression, and its current state is not going to be reversed, as Twisty claims, by some kind of realization that “femininity — indeed, all gender behaviors — is/are oppression.” It’s exactly that kind of statement that misses the point, and antagonizes many who could help to find it.

    Maggiethewolf, much appreciate your wise words.

  98. maggiethewolf

    I wrote: “Twisty, I’ve posted many times about how I admire your mind.”

    And: “I often agree with you, even if I don’t often admit this.”

    And then Twisty asked: “If you don’t like my tone, why on earth do you read it (this blog)?”

    Twisty, are you even reading what I write? I read your blog because “I admire your mind” and “I often agree with you.”

    I also read your blog because I sometimes disagree with you and I don’t want to hang with maggiethewolf clones.

  99. maggiethewolf

    You’re welcome, octogalore.

    Congrats on your equity partnership. And congrats on your fair-share hubby!

  100. B. Dagger Lee

    And I, I am a pussy made of marshmallows, for I like you all, immensely.

    It is, of course, a lamentable deconstructive ploy to hang both the unraveling of meaning and the consequent knitting it all together from the very same peg, and I reveal myself as a creature of habit and perversity as I endeavor nonetheless to do so.

    But I find that it is at moments like this that a return to the text is helpful, and so I point you all—maggiethewolf, Twisty and octogalore–to the ur-text, the pretext chosen by Commander Faster herself as the text that underpins the blog: the S.C.U.M Manifesto.

    In 1967, Valerie Solanas wrote, “Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.”

    This is polemics at its best. The slang is still as fresh as this morning; the necessity is still indisputable.

    The first sentence, which trips forward while leaning backwards with insouciant charm, as if with hands in pockets, probably chewing gum and smoking at the same time, and then with the words “there remains” pauses, leans forward and begins to run while grabbing and accruing female readers with its definition of “civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females” and then accelerates through to its end with muscular, authoritative verbs, “overthrow,” “eliminate,” “institute” and “destroy.”

    And so it goes on, this manifesto for the delinquent, female subject, she who has become a rampaging, revolutionary mob by the end of the very first sentence. Solanas goes on for almost 11,000 words with the most brilliant display of programmatic trash talking feminism ever written down.

    Maggiethewolf and ogalore you are quibbling with an equally fine polemicist; you are putting a harsh on style. But Twisty, I refer you to the objects in the crosshairs of Solanis’s manifesto: Men.

    When the delinquents who hang out here moan and complain, it’s over and over due to being rankled by your choice of female targets.

    yrs, B. Dagger Lee

  101. saltyC

    Pussy-Pussy,
    (sorry)

    I’m in a far more male-dominated industry than you are, but I’m not insisting that other women give me props for doing so, Nor am I under the delusion that my presence there has changed their total obsession with the bottom line against the needs of women workers. Equal pay for equal work is still a boy’s game, always will be, and you might as well realize it for other women’s sake, and though your hubby may do “his share” (for now), he’ll never be a support staff the way wives of powerful men are, and though you may think other women should be happy you got a sharing husband, not everyone does.

    I would be truly gratified if you are able to militate for real change with the republican males to accomodate for women who can’t work the long hours and need to support dependants, and it would do other women a great service to realize that that is where the battle lies.

    Sorry for the run-on, in the sentence, never my stockings.

  102. saltyC

    Ah, Dagger,
    Dagger Dagger Dagger

    I was distracted by the mis-targetted fellow pussied one
    when by the delay of a page refreshment
    your dagger sunk straight through my heart
    and I am slain.

  103. maggiethewolf

    B. Dagger, whenever you post, I remember a fine, strong woman who approached me in a Portland, Oregon club, rotated and kissed my hand, and said, “I’m the bull dagger here tonight.”

    I know that wasn’t you, but whenever you post, I remember her and smile.

    But heck, I’d smile without any association, just for the pleasure you dole through words.

    And you’ve made yet another beguiling point: about where Twisty’s crosshairs should alight. It’s hard to perceive a pattern in the hurly-burly of conflict, but you might be right.

    Yr delinquent and yr never coy admirer,

    The Wolf

  104. Luckynkl

    Maggie wrote:
    I am a feminist.

    You could sit in a garage and call yourself a car. Would that make you one?

    I do oppose absolute positions and no, I’m not looking for 3 fine men in Outer Mongolia. I’m looking for qualified positions here. For conditions. For caveats. For uncertainty. Whereas swagger has its place, it doesn’t come from confidence. It is confidence that qualifies.

    LOL. I’m convinced there must be a factory somewhere that produces clones that all parrot from the same book. Needless to say, Mags, I’ve heard this position argued by just about every man, anti-feminist, and mtf trans I’ve run across. You forgot one tho. The one where you argue that you just have a “different” point of view.

    “Not all men do it” or “women do it too” is a given. Feminists and pro-feminist men already get that and don’t feel any need to constantly repeat it as they don’t tend to have fragile little egos that constantly need to be reassured. Feminism deals more in terms of consistencies and the patterns and big picture that emerges out of these consistencies, not absolutes. So when the term “men” is used, feminists are referring to consistencies in men as a class. It is already a given that there are 3 men in Outer Mongolia that it doesn’t apply to. Your constant nit-picking about those 3 men in Outer Mongolia doesn’t negate feminism nor does it negate the consistencies in men as a class.

    And what’s your point about “white men?” Patriarchy is about the rule of the fathers. The last time I looked, one didn’t have white to be a father. White men don’t hold the monopoly on racism. Racism is relative. Dominance based on race, color or ethnicity depends on location. Which country or area of the world one lives in, and even what period of time we’re talking about. Sexism, on the other hand, is universal.

    Now let’s get to the part where you really blew it, Mags, so that you won’t blow your cover again next time. In reference to SaltyC’s examples of well known male icons who were also wife beaters and pedophiles, you replied, “As far as reducing someone to a bad moment, that too continues your runaway reductionism.”

    So let me get this straight. Wife beating and pedophila is just nothing more than men having “bad moments?” And when Roberts went into that Amish schoolhouse recently and sexually assaulted those 5 young girls before shootng them all, we can just chalk that all up to Roberts having a “bad moment?”

    Well men sure do seem to have a lot of “bad moments.” In fact, when one looks at the big picture, a rather disturbing, consistent pattern starts to emerge from class men. One which involves delusions of grandeur and a profane sense of entitlement which is methodic and systematic rather than an aberration. Apparently class men have been universally having a 5,000 year long “bad moment.”

    What were you accusing SaltyC of again? Oh yeah, “runaway reductionism.”

  105. Puk

    “So what if Gandhi abused his wife and sexually exploited young female satyagrahis?”

    Would you be able to tell me your sources? I would be interested in looking into that.

  106. Mandos

    Mar wrote: “Why are we on the brink of WWIII? Western boys want their women on a pole as public property while muslim boys want their women on a pole as private property. The oil is just a means to that end.”

    Interesting: apparently sexual availability is more important than (what is currently) life-sustaining resources.

  107. The Scarlet Pervygirl

    I’ve skipped the hairy argument for now (though I promise to come back to it later) because before I continue reading I must say this: Burrow Klown, I think your Hallowe’en costume is awesome.

    I think that October 31st will find you looking sexy as hell, given male aristocrats’ clothing in the French Revolution; the fact that you are a person who knows the Scarlet Pimpernel and likes the story enough to dress up as Percy Blakeney means you are obviously pretty darned sexy to begin with. You make me want to cheer. Please rock on with your bad self.

  108. Mar Iguana

    “Interesting: apparently sexual availability is more important than (what is currently) life-sustaining resources.” Mandos

    Women are the life-sustaining resource. Dominating this resource via the male protection racket gives the boys the delusion that they are not largely superfluous to human existence, making them its biggest threat.

  109. darkymac

    maggiethewolf – - I am a feminist.

    No, I am a feminist.

  110. maggiethewolf

    Luckynkl: “I’m convinced there must be a factory somewhere that produces clones that all parrot from the same book.”

    You bet. There are such factories. They’re called universities. They train folks to qualify. Now, a professional ass like Ann Coulter doesn’t want the fetters of caveats and in one of her columns, she parodied cautious cognition. In one of my posts in another thread, I compared the certainty here to the certainty that one finds in the far right. The comparison that I made was the Right considering human beings to be beyond the beasts and this group occupying a congruent position, but with different antecedents.

    And as far as a bad moment, I’m certain Luckynkl, that you’ve lied to bosses and betrayed friends and broke laws. I’m certain that right now, you let women across the world continue to suffer so that you can continue to sip your latte or your wine or your strawberry milkshake or whatever drug eases your pain, which might be telling me that I’m not a feminist. I’m certain of these things specifically even though I don’t know you and I’ll never know you and even though I discourage certainty generally. I can be certain now because we’re all liars and thieves and lawbreakers and global warmers and we’re all sufficiently indifferent to the suffering of others to purchase yet another appliance or book or salmon fillet or whatever distracts us.

    Now, whereas I reduce every person to liar and hypocrite and “abider of atrocities,” I also open myself to the belief that every person wants to do the best that they can with what they have. I don’t suggest this from the safety of suburbia or the swaddling of a university. And I lived a life where I’ve met many murderers and rapists and gangbangers. And I didn’t meet them with a desk or bars or procedures between us. So, unless you’ve been in prisons or lived in ghettoes, I have access to data about “bad moments” and the people who commit them that are beyond you.

    Luckynkl: “Your constant nit-picking about those 3 men in Outer Mongolia doesn’t negate feminism nor does it negate the consistencies in men as a class.”

    Are you a scientist? Did I read that somewhere? Or were you just mysterious and allude to a much more male-dominated profession than being a lawyer and grab your crotch while you did (The last part being in my imagination, of course.)? If you’re a scientist, then how in the name of Darwin can you slap a word like “constant” on me? You must understand what that word means. Or do you?

    BTW, that’s more “runaway reductionism.”

    darkymac wrote: “No, I am a feminist.”

    Okey-doke. I’m not and you are, by your unarticulated rules. So, why bother posting if you don’t have the will or the means to articulate your position?

  111. saltyC

    Luckynkl, I totally missed that maggie said

    “As far as reducing someone to a bad moment, that too continues your runaway reductionism.”

    Yeah well I also avoided reducing my ex to a “bad moment”. When I finally realized that the bad moments were gonna keep coming back I left for good.
    Maybe that’s “why doesn’t she leave”? She’s avoiding reductionism.

    You think fans and admirers have a hard time condemning their heroes for their cowardly violence? Think how hard it is for women who love them.

    Funny how those bad moments seem to gain so much for the bad momenter and take away from the bad momentee.

  112. Mar Iguana

    Fe Fi Fo Fum

  113. Mandos

    Women are the life-sustaining resource. Dominating this resource via the male protection racket gives the boys the delusion that they are not largely superfluous to human existence, making them its biggest threat.

    But this suggests that patriarchy is/was largely inevitable. If males realize that they are “superfluous to human existence”, well, not many people take well to superfluousness (especially if social peripherality is involved). That means for patriarchy to have been avoided in the past, some form of illusion of male necessity would have to have been invented.

    In any case, women aren’t a *scarce* resource now, required for, say, food-production and nonstarvation, the way oil is given modern agriculture and distribution systems.

  114. saltyC

    Oops Maggie, you lost your cool.

    And that was the only thing going for you.

    “And I lived a life where I’ve met many murderers and rapists and gangbangers. And I didn’t meet them with a desk or bars or procedures between us. So, unless you’ve been in prisons or lived in ghettoes, I have access to data about “bad moments” and the people who commit them that are beyond you.”

    Hello? We’re women here. So I don’t know how your access has been limited to data, when for most other women here (OK me) the access has been a fist to the face and a penis inside the vagina from a murderer or a rapist, etc. Nope, no desk in between.

    You are a bot if you think you can brush off the systematic violence and threat of violence which curbs our lives by invoking lattes.

  115. maggiethewolf

    P.S. – Luckynkl, you also remind me of the Right when you suggest that I’m either a feminist or an anti-feminist.

    As in:

    Either I’m against the terrorists or I’m for the terrorists.

    And:

    Either I support the Bush regime or I support the terrorists.

  116. maggiethewolf

    salty C wrote: “Oops Maggie, you lost your cool.

    And that was the only thing going for you.”

    The only thing? Damn. And I didn’t even know I had it, for I thought that I’d never been cool a day in my life. I’m a nerd.

    “You are a bot if you think you can brush off the systematic violence and threat of violence which curbs our lives by invoking lattes.”

    Not a bot. I just think we can take more than we’re led to believe. You’ve been attacked. I’ve been attacked. I’ve been hit dozens of times and had steel weapons waved in my face and I’m still standing and I’m still walking at night. Life chips away at all of us and I’m always looking for the replacement plaster.

    Lattes matter. They matter more than the words that we splay across this cyber-page. Do you live a pro-woman life, not in words, but in deeds? Do you ease pain? Hardship? Do you do this day after day after day? Do you empower women? Do you produce systemic change with your behavior? Or is calling me a “bot” the pinnacle of your morning’s feminism?

    When I write about lattes, I’m also writing about me. I’m a hypocrite. I cushion myself. I will let women starve today so that I can perpetuate my swaddled life.

    And SaltyC, if you missed what I said about “bad moments,” which you probably regret because you could have used that against me, then perhaps you’re missing other things I’ve said.

    I visit other sites with other foci and in many places, I incur the same response that I’ve elicited here, even though the values are seemingly different. No one wants anyone to correlate lattes and values, but the truth is in the details. The truth is in behavior: not words.

  117. maggiethewolf

    Oh, yeah.

    SaltyC wrote: “You think fans and admirers have a hard time condemning their heroes for their cowardly violence? Think how hard it is for women who love them.”

    That’s a great point. Piercing insight there.

    I hope, even though we’re in fullbattlemode, that I can still honor your insights.

    Change of subject:

    “Motive” is a word that is often used here…as a weapon. The point is always turned away from the poster. I asked, earlier in this thread, what the motive is for pulling down Gandhi’s undies and showing his wife-beating skidmarks to the world. I’m asking now for all of you to consider, if the skidmark-showcasing serves a noble purpose, why don’t you do the same?

  118. robin

    I’m getting a little queasy here. It makes me sad to read the vitriol hurled at M-the-Wolf, (although she appears to be able to field it quite ably).
    The overall tone is one of self-righteous condemnation. Indeed, are Salty and Lucky rushing out every day with all the resources available to them to help the oppressed women of the world? Indeed, are any of us? I suppose it gives a little feeling of victory to deliver such hard little slaps, but for this reader it leaves a sour taste. It sounds as though Salty may have been beaten or raped, and in that case the anger makes sense. Still, kicking the dog, although understandable, doesn’t get us off the treadmill.
    If there is such a thing as truth, it lies in the gray areas, and not the self-satisfied land of black and white.
    The demons of racism, sexism and greed live in all of us. Check it out before you jump so hard on your neighbor.

  119. maggiethewolf

    A protector! Thanks, Robin. I think this is the first time that a wolf has ever been protected by a robin. Aesop should have written about you and me instead of that mouse and lion.

  120. The Baboon

    Everyone having fun at the liberal-feminist-meets-radical-feminist sockhop? If so, great. If not, how’s about we all recognize that the system-reformers and the system-opposers are working from different sets of assumptions about the world and call it good?

    And if you don’t know what side of the fence you’re on, here’s a test: do you believe that obtaining equal opportunity in the marketplace (education, employment) and equal pay for equal work is the main point of feminism? Congratulations, you’re a libfem. Do you believe that the captialist marketplace itself depends on the subjugation of different social groups, particularly including women, and so the main point of feminism is to take all the suckers down? COngratulations, you’re a radfem. Different strokes.

  121. darkymac

    I am not an animal!

    I am a feminist.

  122. Burrow Klown

    The Scarlet Pervygirl: aw shucks, you’re making me blush. I’ve been practicing my Sir Percy-speak, and I love it. People just aren’t used to hearing Odds Fish! as an interjection. Guess they should get used to it.

  123. Kali

    “The demons of racism, sexism and greed live in all of us. Check it out before you jump so hard on your neighbor.”

    Yup, she should go and do some deep thinking about her own latte drinking instead of finding fault with that great, great man who just happened to have a few bad moments with a bit of wife-beating and pedophilia.

  124. Kali

    “But this suggests that patriarchy is/was largely inevitable. If males realize that they are “superfluous to human existence”, well, not many people take well to superfluousness (especially if social peripherality is involved). That means for patriarchy to have been avoided in the past, some form of illusion of male necessity would have to have been invented.”

    Or alternatively, the male sense of entitlement brought down to more realistic, less self-aggrandizing, less delusional levels.

  125. Mandos

    “Or alternatively, the male sense of entitlement brought down to more realistic, less self-aggrandizing, less delusional levels.”

    Yes, but this begs the question, doesn’t it? The entitlement occured as the very response to hypothetical superfluousness that we’re talking about. What possible alternate histories would there have been?

  126. Kali

    “system-reformers and the system-opposers”

    You mean the system-twiddlers/apologists and the system-overhaulers? That would be a more accurate description.

  127. robin

    Kali,

    I was referring to our neighbors here at Twisty’s. If y’all want to go smack down pedophiles and wife-beaters, I’m not going to cry about it. If you’d rather smack down people who come to this site, I’d say that’s a wee bit misplaced. Easier and more fun perhaps, but not really for the cause.

  128. Mar Iguana

    “In any case, women aren’t a *scarce* resource now, required for, say, food-production and nonstarvation, the way oil is given modern agriculture and distribution systems.” mandos

    Call me thick but I don’t understand this sentence.

  129. octogalore

    Baboon says: “Do you believe that the captialist marketplace itself depends on the subjugation of different social groups, particularly including women, and so the main point of feminism is to take all the suckers down? COngratulations, you’re a radfem.”

    Not sure I agree with you; many feminists believe the marketplace issues are key and also that there are aspects of the structure of the marketplace itself that need to be radically altered, without taking the whole structure down. It’s not all neat ones and zeros.

    But let’s say, because it’s all neat and clean and sets up clear boundaries so that people can form camps and feel superior (which is much easier than strategizing about real change anyway) that this is indeed the correct breakdown. How do the “radical feminists” propose to “take all the suckers (some of whom, of course, are women) down?” What realistic strategies do you have in mind for this?

    Maybe it’s naive of me to hinge the identification of oneself with a particular strategy to whether this strategy is remotely possible. In that case, I’ll be a Santa Claus feminist. That’s a feminist who believes that the captialist marketplace should turn into a beneficient woman in a red dress, oops, non-fruity getup, who pours peace, wealth and power on all women of the world.

  130. maggiethewolf

    octogalore wrote: “How do the “radical feminists” propose to “take all the suckers (some of whom, of course, are women) down?” What realistic strategies do you have in mind for this?”

    I wondered the same thing. I was driving and wondering if some radfems are going to arm themselves and drive off the men and then post a banner, “All women are equal,” which, of course, would soon be amended to “All women are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Then the more equal ones would take their place in the big house and we’d begin again.

    Of course, as octogalore knows, there is no “beneficient woman in a red dress, oops, non-fruity getup, who (will)pour peace, wealth and power on all women of the world.”

    There would only be a person who’d use her vagina to fuck the world instead of a dick.

    Robin, thanks again for urging compassion. Cyber-loving women seems a good way to practice feminism.

    Octogalore, this is a good question: “What realistic strategies do you have in mind for this?”

    I look forward to folks answering it.

  131. The Baboon

    Your primary focus on “strategy” and the attendant notions of “being realistic about things”, pointed up by the Santa Claus joke, is precisely why you make a potentially good liberal feminist (I have no idea, I don’t know you) but an unlikely radical feminist. I’m telling you that the basic underlying assumptions are different. There is no radical philosophy that starts from the “strategic” point of view, because radical philosophies assume that everything about the existing context is wrong or up for grabs. I identified the two distinct views of the existing economic context because that’s easy and pervasive, but you could apply the same perspectives to modes of government, food production, human sexuality (see, for instance, Twisty’s opposition to reproduction), etc.

    I agree that these aren’t neat boundaries, particularly when it comes to individuals’ behavior. Radfems sometimes participate in efforts for political change and reform, and libfems sometimes indulge in patriarchy bashing, even though, philosophically, they are also patriarchy acceptant. However, at Twisty’s we’re not at a rally, we’re not voting, and we’re not taking down suckers. We’re having a disembodied conversation, where intellectual constructs like categories of feminism _are_ meaningful.

  132. Kali

    “How do the “radical feminists” propose to “take all the suckers (some of whom, of course, are women) down?” What realistic strategies do you have in mind for this?”

    It’s called consciousness raising. Consciousness raising by radical feminists has been the seed for almost all the feminist gains we have made until now, nurtured by individual women, radical or not. Sadly, many people are very scared to have their consciousness raised because it means having to face the often ugly truth. So we get obfuscations like those perfected by maggie-the-wolf.

  133. Kali

    “The entitlement occured as the very response to hypothetical superfluousness that we’re talking about.”

    I find that assumption very odd. Why do you think that? I think entitlement occured after grabbing power through violence and exploitation. That violence and exploitation would be there regardless of any sense of superfluousness.

  134. maggiethewolf

    Thanks, Baboon. Although you were oblique, I think you were necessarily so. And you answered the question without giving octogalore or me one of those hard little slaps. You were even kind to octogalore, calling her a “good liberal feminist.”

    Likewise, I like Kali’s answer too, although she couldn’t resist one of those hard little slaps, although she did say that I’ve achieved perfection, albeit at obfuscation, but perfection is to be appreciated nevertheless. However, kali, you should synchronize with whatever Blamer accused me of losing my cool, which was all I had going for me, and let her know that I still have perfect obfuscation on my side.

    Straight up, Kali, if you do deliver change to me, you deliver death: the death of the familiar. To me, you’re the Grim Reaper of ideology. Therefore, shouldn’t you tender change in a beguiling guise? Don’t enter lugging a scythe and looking all ringwraithy. I’m being serious here. If you want to be an effective radfem, slapping me might not be the best strategy, even though radfems, according to the Baboon, don’t employ strategies. I’ve been slapped enough in my life, both in cyber-space and meat-space (Haven’t we all?).

    And because I haven’t always agreed with some of you, I’ve tried to concede what I can: acknowledging what I understand and what I like about various Blamers. I’ve posted sweetness (deserved!) about luckynkl and SaltyC and twisty. And I’d tried to modulate the heat with humor. But if I’m going to be your whipping girl, I’ll go…and then you can all go back to agreeing with each other…and I’ll go to a site where cyberviolence isn’t so accepted.

  135. B. Dagger Lee

    Please don’t go.

    But don’t use ellipses.

    yrs, B. Dagger Lee

  136. octogalore

    Baboon, thank you so much for anointing me with the potential to be a good liberal feminist. To the extent that the other/radical philosophy assumes “everything about the existing context is wrong or up for grabs” then you’re probably right according to your definition, because I think assuming something so black and white is simplistic and an easy way to dodge the adult responsibility of helping to make something currently “bashable” better. Strategy is how adults solve problems. Presumably, “bashing” is the solution espoused by radical feminists under your definition.

    You yourself defined radical feminism as believing “the main point of feminism is to take all the suckers down.” Taking all the suckers down is a strategy. My question was simple – how do you propose to do that? Apparently actually DOING the claimed goal of your belief system is besides the point, since you seemed offended at the simple notion that if you want all the suckers taken down, it might be a good idea to think about how you’d actually do it.
    Kali’s answer of “consciousness raising by radical feminists” is at least a directional answer. Radical feminists, however, are a narrow subset of a much more ideologically diverse movement which brought about the changes to date by largely more aggressive and organized means, which albeit may have benefited by consciousness raising. But that still doesn’t answer my original question. If indeed “tak[ing] all the suckers down” is the “point” of radical feminism… how does that take place? Consciousness raising? Then what?

    Maggiethewolf, please don’t leave.

  137. maggiethewolf

    As you wish, Dagger Lee, the Everkind and Everfunny (Like your title?).

    And no more wretched ellipses. Like sarcasm, they are the sign of a lazy mind.

    Octogalore, you’re thinking and writing like a lawyer. Or maybe just a smart, smart woman.

    Either way, I like it.

  138. Mandos

    Call me thick but I don’t understand this sentence.

    Let me rephrase it and elaborate. Those who are running the war show really do not need to go to war over women-on-pole issues. They have more than enough women on whatever pole you like to name. They go to war over oil and other natural/nonhuman resources because those are increasingly scarce and allow them to hold the power of life and death over their enemies. There are many arguments that will help you blame the patriarchy for that—but it’s just not plausible to me that anyone who matters really cares about women on poles.

    It’s actually a American liberal fantasy that the war is about what women should wear.

  139. Mandos

    I find that assumption very odd. Why do you think that? I think entitlement occured after grabbing power through violence and exploitation. That violence and exploitation would be there regardless of any sense of superfluousness.

    It wasn’t my assumption. Mar Iguana said,

    Women are the life-sustaining resource. Dominating this resource via the male protection racket gives the boys the delusion that they are not largely superfluous to human existence, making them its biggest threat.

    I read this as Mar Iguana saying that men dominate women because it ameliorates the male sense of superfluousness (a variant of the womb envy theory). I found this intriguing and attempted to analyze what it meant.

    Are you puzzled by what Mar Iguana said? Do you believe in a theory of the origin of patriarchy that doesn’t require a womb envy component, ie, that violence and exploitation of women would have originated without a male sense of superfluousness?

  140. CafeSiren

    Dominating this resource via the male protection racket [...]

    I like this phrasing very much. It sums up so much of what is wrong with so many male-female relationships, whether amatory or platonic; i.e., the idea that women need men around to protect us from (get ready for it) other men.

    No, that’s note a new insight, either on this blog or elsewhere, but the “protection racket” metaphor was nice & clean. Thanks to whomever originally posted it.

    (And, B. Dagger, please note my correct use of elipses!)

  141. saltyC

    Some concepts just make so much sense, everything fits together once they’re thought. And yet they don’t look revolutionary at first, they follow from what was layed down before.

    You don’t hear Mar Iguana’s analysis of war in peace demonstrations much, well bits and pieces if that.

    It’s not oil; it’s pussy.

    My eyes are opened. I’m not joking. I mean, I always knew war was extremely disadvantageous for women. As soldier-producers, women have to work overtime. When fear and violence reign, women have nothing.

    The Aztecs had a very tight hierarchy: you advance by how many you kill. Women of course were at the bottom. The rationale was: we must kill for corn. If we don’t give the sun enough human sacrifice, then the sun will take away the corn.

    Now we believe we kill for oil. Even those against killing for oil still believe there is a trade in blood for oil. But that’s not what it’s about, any more than blood is needed for corn.

    Men will give up all the oil in the world, give up his life and the lives of his children, but they’ll never give up control of pussy.

    Oh and Octa P. Galore it’s not that I don’t want to give up my secret radical agenda to you, I’m too busy having momentous realizations.

  142. Mandos

    Men will give up all the oil in the world, give up his life and the lives of his children, but they’ll never give up control of pussy.

    Be that as it may: my point was, the people who organize and plan wars are not themselves in any scarcity of [pregnant pause] commodities of the human female type. They have no need to go to war with each other for that. If they were suffering a plausible scarcity of women and must fight over the remains I’d believe you. But, in this day and age, they aren’t. They have call girls and all that.

  143. saltyC

    War’s not always about scarcity. It’s about greed.

  144. robin

    M-the-wolf:
    your grace, intelligence and dignity is valued by this reader.
    Please don’t go away. I know the shouting around here is hard on the ears, but I imagine I speak for some of the quieter ones when I appreciate you not relying on sophistry to make a point.

  145. Mandos

    War’s not always about scarcity. It’s about greed.

    Ah, but it’s about greed for something you don’t have ample power over already. I mean, Mar Iguana originally said,

    Western boys want their women on a pole as public property while muslim boys want their women on a pole as private property.

    Western boys already have their women on a pole as public property, right?

    That’s why it didn’t make sense to me.

  146. maggiethewolf

    Thanks, Robin, but if you keep writing that way, I’ll start crushing on you. ;-)

    I try to avoid being coy. Clarity matters to me, but when you take a position, you’re also a stationary target.

    I also try to avoid invective. I know it’s easier to kill the mortal messenger than the message. This tactic is effective. It distracts from the issues. It silences.

  147. Ron Sullivan

    Mandos, Mandos, Mandos. (Wow, I haven’t typed that in way too long!) There’s no such thing as sufficient pussy. Why do you think so many guys keep one or two on the side, and then get divorces anyway? The cheap version is visible on MTV etc. The pricier one is Henry Kissinger saying that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

    I mean, what the hell: harems. You know guys can’t fuck as long or as soon again as women. No way can one man keep that many women busy. And of course the lower-budget version of that is the traditional-values multiple-wife marriage.

    Guys say they want to fuck women, but these clowns want to hoard us.

  148. Mandos

    “Guys say they want to fuck women, but these clowns want to hoard us.”

    My point was, again, that they’re already doing it.

    I mean, I get that there’s a connection between war and sex, especially in the implementation of war, the rhetoric of war, the mechanism by which you rally the troops, etc. But most of the people who *run* wars, themselves, have the capacity to hoard women all they really like. Henry Kissinger included, really. So it’s hard for me to see a plausible direct, material connection between sex and the motivations of powerful rulers.

    I wouldn’t bother to go around denying a war-patriarchy connection, especially on this blog of all places. But sex as casus belli in this context is a bit dubious to me for a number of reasons.

  149. Ron Sullivan

    Mandos, it’s not sex qua sex. (I can’t believe I just typed that. It’s practically academitrocious.) The thing about hoarding is that hoarders can never have enough. Think of people with 189 cats in a four-room house, or the entire 20th-century run of the New York Times stacked around the apartment so they have to walk sideways and through a maze to get to the bathroom.

    We could grope around for days for deeper causes — hoard because they can’t really own it? Hoard because someone else might have more? (That’s one for the ev-psych folks, I suspect.) Hoard because you’re hungry again two hours later? I dunno. But look at the behavior. What else would you call it? If they can’t lock it up personally they can give it orders and enforce them — control. Which is so tenuous they want more.

    Why yes, I am thinking out loud here. Which suggests you’re asking productive questions, for whatever reasons, just by the way, which is probably why I keep saying nice things about you. Articulating this stuff is useful.

  150. Mandos

    So, alright: you’ve characterized world leaders and a Dr. Strangelovean sort of way. Now Dr. Strangelove’s proposal was that there should be a 1:10 ratio or something in the bunkers (can’t remember). But leaving that aside, where do you actually see world leaders hoarding women? I mean, what’s the physical implementation of this—that couldn’t already be implemented without war?

    Well, Kim Jong-Il is rumoured to do so, but then we can’t entirely trust these things.

    But the radfem argument is that Class Man is already waging a war on Class Woman and has a large network already of trafficked women among other things, not all of whom are Bush monopolies, certainly—for hoarding purposes, of course.

  151. Luckynkl

    There is no such thing as a liberal feminist. That’s like saying you’re a Jewish Catholic.

    There are liberals. And there are feminists. Liberalism applied to women does not equal “liberal feminist.”

    True, liberals and feminists can at times ally on issues, but that doesn’t make them one and the same. Any more than if the French ally with the U.S. that now makes them French Americans.

    It was the media who started the rumor that there could be more than one kind of feminism. The institutions than followed in suit. Who owns the media and the patriarchal crap traps? Oh yeah, the boys. Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what those boys were up to. Tower of Babel, anyone?

    Maggie wrote:
    P.S. – Luckynkl, you also remind me of the Right when you suggest that I’m either a feminist or an anti-feminist.
    As in:
    Either I’m against the terrorists or I’m for the terrorists.
    And:
    Either I support the Bush regime or I support the terrorists.

    There you go squawking and parroting that liberal white boy trash again. I’ve only heard this one about a million and one times.

    Obviously you have no clue where feminists fit into the liberal/conservative spectrum. So here ya go:

    Liberals are to the far left of the spectrum. Conservatives are to the far right of the spectrum. Basically the difference between the two is that liberals think women should be public property and conservatives think women should be private property (which should answer your question, btw, Mandos).

    Radical feminism is to the left of the left. Their stance is that women aren’t property at all. A truly progressive and revolutionary idea that women are human beings instead of the property of men.

    Radical feminism (which btw *is* feminism — there are no others — see above about the media making it up), are the only game in town that is created by women for women, maintained by women and has the best interests of women in mind. Liberals. libertarians, Conservatives, etc. were all created by men for men, led by men and maintained by men and thus only has the best interests of men in mind.

  152. HalfnHalf

    Octo, Robin and especially Maggie the Divine: I got your backs.

    The question I’ve put to myself lately: Since I’ve recently concluded I am not a radical feminist by the defintions and views voiced here, why indeed do I keep coming back to IBTP?

    Because I agree with much of what Twisty, her readers and radical feminism in general propose and question.
    Because I am a feminist.
    Because, even as some of the views of Twisty et al at times border on the extreme such as any (other?)hate group and likewise, arguing with such extremity and conviction often lead nowhere, I am captivated by the challenge.
    I am also often downright befuddled by the divide between feminists when, one would hope, ultimately we are always on the same page.

    These, from Maggie’s Greatest Hits: “All women are equal, but some are more equal than others,” and “You also remind me of the Right when you suggest that I’m either a feminist or an anti-feminist” and the comparison to W.’s against or with the terrorists could have been pulled straight from my brain.

    While some aspects of “feminity” undoubtably merit some examining if not complete rejection, it appears almost as if The Patriarchy is the one parading around in the wolf or “feminist” clothing here:

    If I dress a Drag King, I get a Twisty Chip.
    If I shun makeup, heels and grow some facial hair, I get a Twisty Chip.
    If I call women sluts, sexbots, anorexic Barbie dolls, or other demeaning terms, I get a Twisty Chip.

    Perhaps the More Equal Than Others Feminists are morphing this time not into pigs, but into traditionally macho — Note, please, macho and not male, — identities.

    May I at least be allowed to get in that kitchen and rattle the pots and pans on Radical Feminst Farm?

  153. HalfnHalf

    I care not a fig for the typos above.

  154. maggiethewolf

    Oh, HalfnHalf, I’m genuinely worried for you, darlin’. The cruise missiles that have been targeted at me (and painted: Die, “squawking and parroting,” “no clue” Maggie, Die!) might be retargeted at you.

    My point earlier in the thread about the lattes (A point that was trampled in the rush to blame men for still more.) was that we all have the opportunity to be kind: to women. Whatever you believe, however far left on the spectrum you fall, doesn’t feminism demand decency towards women?

    I have been kind to luckynkl in the past. I have been playful with her and extended the greatest kindness, which is to ask questions and listen and learn. But I don’t want to make this about luckynkl or saltyc. There are plenty of Blamers who back their invective. Likewise, there are people who post here who generally agree with me. Those who speak up are mouthpieces for those who don’t.

    But thanks, HalfnHalf. If only I were divine! But like everyone else, I’m a mumbler on the bus.

  155. hedonistic

    Mandos, Mandos, Mandos (laughing)

    Men go to war for resources because more resources = more pussy. The guy with the most resources gets the most pussy, silly wabbit! Never mind that he doesn’t have enough sperm or vigor to keep a harem satisfied; it’s the mere POSSESSION of the harem that raises his status with other men. This status – of men relative to other men -is the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS in a Patriarchy.

    I say we all get together and get drunk on key lime martinis. There would be so much less egomaniacal essay-writing from those of us who really, reeelly get off on it.
    That said, I really, reeeeely love reading it all. Blame on!

  156. Mar Iguana

    “The question I’ve put to myself lately: Since I’ve recently concluded I am not a radical feminist by the defintions and views voiced here, why indeed do I keep coming back to IBTP?” HalfnHalf

    Ideally, you (maggiethewolf, octogalore, Mandos) could hit the books written by so called “radical” feminists (and, encouragingly, a handful of men lately) for definitions and views before you barge in here with irritating ignorance.

    I enjoy this board because it is not for the novice; because I can come here every morning to remind myself the most powerful weapon women have in their resistance to patriarchy is ridicule, exploiting the boy’s primal fear of women laughing at them since they do know deep down just how ridulous they are.

    I do not appreciate those who come here wanting those who do get it to have to start out with, “In the beginning there were dinosaurs. And then, the earth cooled.” Boring.

    “There would only be a person who’d use her vagina to fuck the world instead of a dick.” maggiethewolf

    “…I’ll go..” See ya.

    I smell boring boyo blood. Fe Fi Fo Fum. Things must be pretty slow around the frat house.

  157. Twisty

    Mar Iguana, as I suggested to maggiethewolf, I’ll do the decidin’ about what should or shouldn’t be posted here. Kay?

  158. HalfnHalf

    Says Twisty :”I’ll do the decidin’ about what should or shouldn’t be posted here. Kay?”

    Now THAT’S the side of Twisty that so captivated me about a year ago when I found her. Props to you, Twisty, for allowing conflicting opinions.

    Mar said: Ideally, you … could hit the books written by so called “radical” feminists … for definitions and views before you barge in here with irritating ignorance” and “I enjoy this board because it is not for the novice…” (Elipsed used correctly.)

    My dear Mar, merely because I disagree with some aspects of radical feminism does not make me ignorant nor a novice. I’m educated on radical feminism, but am unable to swallow all I read hook, line and sinker. Nor am I barger — I posted here semi-regularly under “Kaka Mak” for about a year but can no longer stomach that moniker.

    I will grant you, however, the question of if I should post here as my intent is actaully not stir irritation among the radical feminists who see IBTP as a haven of sorts.
    Indeed, driving to work this AM I tried to truthfully discern if I post here, recently with only conflicting opinions, because of my passion for feminism — or merely because I enjoy a good debate.

    At least I’m honest.
    Can I get a Chip for that?

    But unless one of the “cruise missiles” blasts my ass off, I’ll probably stick around for a while if allowed.

    Mags: Thanks for your concern. Fear not — I have only very newly-formed scars from my time spent in the radical feminist blog-o-trenches,’tis true. But that old crock of bullshittery is also true: made me stronger.

    And now, my salad has arrived, sans en-Jive.
    On to that.

  159. Mar Iguana

    Mar Iguana, as I suggested to maggiethewolf, I’ll do the decidin’ about what should or shouldn’t be posted here. Kay?

    No doubt, you are The Decider. Wouldn’t have it otherwise. Not clear on just how calling it as I see it translates into an attempt to usurp your blog, but that would be your call and I will respect that.

  160. saltyC

    Luckynkl:
    “Liberals are to the far left of the spectrum. Conservatives are to the far right of the spectrum. Basically the difference between the two is that liberals think women should be public property and conservatives think women should be private property (which should answer your question, btw, Mandos).

    Radical feminism is to the left of the left. Their stance is that women aren’t property at all. A truly progressive and revolutionary idea that women are human beings instead of the property of men.

    Here’s a concrete example of how leftists throw women to the sharks:

    “Nicaragua’s legislature is expected today to approve a tough law that outlaws all forms of abortion, including those procedures intended to save the life of a pregnant woman.”

    “The new law would establish prison sentences of six to 30 years for women who abort their pregnancies and the doctors who perform the procedure.”

    “Presidential candidate Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista Front, who holds a large lead in most polls, has spoken out in favor of the measure.”

    Those are excerpts from the article in the LA times. Google for the article.

  161. octogalore

    Mar Iguana Oct 24th, 2006 at 2:33 pm
    “It seems to me that you and some others here believe that everything is connected to patriarchy (short of gravity) and therefore subject to your righteous, raging wit.” maggiethewolf
    That’s it. Now, you’re catching on.
    Mar Iguana Oct 26th, 2006 at 8:03 am
    the most powerful weapon women have in their resistance to patriarchy is ridicule, exploiting the boy’s primal fear of women laughing at them since they do know deep down just how ridulous they are.

    So, it’s “irritatingly ignorant” to quibble with the belief that “everything is connected to patriarchy” – as Maggiethewolf pointed out quite convincingly seems quite flawed – and that “the most powerful weapon women have in their resistance to patriarchy is ridicule.”

    Let’s take “everything is connected to patriarchy.” Let’s start with women-run businesses. There are a number of women-run venture funds which support women-owned businesses, realizing that after retirement, women are more likely to start entrepreneurial businesses than men. How is this connected to the patriarchy? And what about the reaction to Larry Summers’ statements. Forget about the fact that he made them – why didn’t his making them result in his continuation in his position and even more glory? It didn’t. How was his subsequent defeat related to the patriarchy? How is many men’s support of their wives as the family rainmakers connected to the patriarchy? How is the fact that more women are coming out on top, percentage-wise, in our education system, connected to the patriarchy? Of course, you can come up with ephemeral ties, but let’s face it: the “everything” terminology is simplistic. And it forces its adherents to fall back on “you’re too much of a novice to get it, please get away from this board you irritating ignorant novice” childlike non-arguments.

    What about ““the most powerful weapon women have in their resistance to patriarchy is ridicule?” That’s, pardon the expression, ridiculous. Not that it isn’t A weapon (speaking of patriarchy, what a patriarchal term you chose to use there). But the most powerful one? Hardly.

  162. vera

    Octogalore wrote:

    Taking all the suckers down is a strategy. My question was simple – how do you propose to do that? Apparently actually DOING the claimed goal of your belief system is besides the point, since you seemed offended at the simple notion that if you want all the suckers taken down, it might be a good idea to think about how you’d actually do it.

    

    Okay, here’s my radical strategy. Take a year off from buying clothes and makeup, and give the money you save to a woman who is struggling.

    I realize that this undermines rather than overthrows the patriarchy, but it’s doable, and it’s non-violent and compassionate.

    (BTW, I have taken the entire rest of my life off from buying makeup. Look, patriarchy, I’ve got wrinkles and I’m not doing a damned thing about it!)

  163. vera

    Ron, Mandos: For some reason your discussion is making me think of an article I read not long ago. The reporter was interviewing a soldier about “how does it feel to be here” or something like that. The soldier commented, “Fucking and shooting, it’s the same thing, right?” He felt good, I guess.

    And that’s a succinct way of summarizing why men go to war. To my jaded mind, anyway.

  164. Kali

    “I read this as Mar Iguana saying that men dominate women because it ameliorates the male sense of superfluousness (a variant of the womb envy theory). I found this intriguing and attempted to analyze what it meant.

    Are you puzzled by what Mar Iguana said? Do you believe in a theory of the origin of patriarchy that doesn’t require a womb envy component, ie, that violence and exploitation of women would have originated without a male sense of superfluousness?”

    I think you are getting confused between contributing factors, even very important constributing factors, and necessary and sufficient conditions. One can recognize womb envy as a contributing factor motivating male violence against women (and even male violence in general) without also believing it to be a necessary and sufficient condition for such violence.

  165. Mandos

    Ron, Mandos: For some reason your discussion is making me think of an article I read not long ago. The reporter was interviewing a soldier about “how does it feel to be here” or something like that. The soldier commented, “Fucking and shooting, it’s the same thing, right?” He felt good, I guess.

    Well, so, it’s explanations like this that are plausible to me, for specific phenomena in war. It’s completely plausible and well-documented and backed-up by evidence that one of the ways in which you whip up populations and armies to do battle is a sex/violence association. No disagreement or even questioning here.

    Similarly, it’s a plausible argument (one I could question but won’t) that patriarchy had a hand—even a determining hand—in shaping the systems and situations of scarcity that makes control over oil such an imperative for state actors. This argument I at least understand.

    But the argument being advanced here as I read it is that the orchestrators of recent wars—a small group of powerful men who know what’s what—given the assumption that patriarchy was the determining factor in our present predicament, themselves have a direct, sexually-motivated reason incentive to go to war other than oil. But the direct evidence of this is not clear to me, given that none of them have any difficulty collecting women for their woman-museums or whatever. I mean, as hedonistic P. says,

    Men go to war for resources because more resources = more pussy. The guy with the most resources gets the most pussy, silly wabbit! Never mind that he doesn’t have enough sperm or vigor to keep a harem satisfied; it’s the mere POSSESSION of the harem that raises his status with other men. This status – of men relative to other men -is the ONLY THING THAT MATTERS in a Patriarchy.

    But it’s not clear that the quantity of available female flesh (“consumed” or not) itself actually changes before or after an oil-based war for anyone who matters. Patriarchy, fine, it may have set us up for a war, via capitalism or whatever. But that’s not the argument people are making.

  166. Mandos

    I think you are getting confused between contributing factors, even very important constributing factors, and necessary and sufficient conditions. One can recognize womb envy as a contributing factor motivating male violence against women (and even male violence in general) without also believing it to be a necessary and sufficient condition for such violence.

    First of all, I’d like to reiterate that I wasn’t the one to first advance this theory on this thread.

    Second, fine, we’ll say that womb envy (I dislike the term because I don’t think that literal wombs as such are what’s being envied and am not even sure that envy is the right word—but whatever) is not the necessary or sufficient cause of patriarchy.

    But you have to admit that the victor/victim divide happened largely on sex lines, obviously. If not womb envy (or whatever), what was the sufficient condition for the divide to happen on this particular line and not some other line? We have no problem coming up with arbitrary divides, after all.

  167. saltyC

    In an extended time of peace, women can mobilize to take control of resources and legal rights and this is unacceptable. In times of war, women’s agendas are out the window and they are put into brothels.

  168. Mandos

    OK, so *that’s* the clearest answer to the question I’ve seen so far: you say that war is designed to ensure that peace doesn’t liberate women at home, then. Is it fair to say that you believe that there is no reality to the other material concerns of war—that it is only a domestic political phenomenon?

  169. saltyC

    it’s not just domestic.

    The lowliest foot soldier overseas has the power of life and death over women, since the first war a powerful incentive to be a soldier was the ability to rape women of other countries.

    Every man in a time of war has increased status in relation to women, including the men of the invaded country.

    It’s unbelieveable easy to get men to throw their lives away until you account for the increased status of individual men over women.

  170. Mandos

    Alright, but I already acknowledged this when I said,

    Well, so, it’s explanations like this that are plausible to me, for specific phenomena in war. It’s completely plausible and well-documented and backed-up by evidence that one of the ways in which you whip up populations and armies to do battle is a sex/violence association. No disagreement or even questioning here.

    I guess another way to put my question is, well, what’s in it for Richard Pearl that he don’t already got (or could get if he wanted)? And *another* way of putting it is, well, that it seems that this whole line of argument depends on the oil as such not being all that important, and it’s not clear that it’s so incidental to me.

  171. maggiethewolf

    vera, that’s a solid suggestion. As you wrote, it’s “doable,” “nonviolent and compassionate.”

    Otherwise, octogalore, I don’t think your questions are going to be answered.

    One axiom of conflict is that a group will find ways to distance itself from its issues. For example, a group in conflict might discuss faraway conflict, thus othering the conflict. Given that this thread is titled “Satorial Sundays: the ‘Slut-o-ween’ Report at I Blame the Patriarchy,” transitioned into conflict with words for weapons, and is now a dialogue about war, this might be the case here. Easier to talk about conflict over there than conflict here.

    Twisty, thanks for protecting my voice. I don’t assume that you did it for me, but for the sake of voice and if for that, I’m glad.

    Dagger Lee, it has been a strain to write without using ellipses (incorrectly, it seems), but I do it for you, as you deserve.

  172. saltyC

    BTW mandos, how do you do the quotes. I’m scared to try.

    Of course question of why they want total control and domination instead of partial control and domination is not restricted to this particular assertion. It was asked by the Jake character in Chinatown of the patriarch guy: “why control all the water in California, will it make you eat better?” or something like that.

    But the rationale of oil has been taken down by others, actually even before march 2003 I read an essay by Immanual Wallerstein who asserted it wasn’t about oil, because you don’t need to rule the country to control its resources:e.g. Saudi Arabia, et al. I’m sorry I can’t go deeper because I have to get work done.

    Maggie, sorry for not picking up any of the bait you keep dropping, but playing with you stopped being fun.

  173. octogalore

    Vera, thanks for this. While my initial question was an attempt to point up the impossibility and therefore futility of trying to overflow what most of the board collectively views as “the patriarchy,” I also think talking seriously about ways to help women who are struggling via improving some kind of change or improvement is important and I appreciate your idea.

    I don’t think there is any one way of doing things. It strikes me though, that placing oneself beyond taking pride in personal appearance is not going to undermine the patriarchy or really improve the lot of women in any way. I just returned from a women’s benefit with about 95% female attendance. Women of all ages, most with at least a few wrinkles, many dressed with flair and creativity and having fun with it. Not for men, but for each other – I know many of these women, and they typically are not as festive as today. Most of these women have attained positions in which they can and do give money and time to help more than one struggling woman or child. Investing in themselves, in feeling good and healthy and attractive, is a part of how they’ve attained this success. Grass roots efforts are great, and ones that women have traditionally excelled in, but ones that involve building larger groups that can give in more extensive ways are important too. Martyring oneself can sometimes miss the larger picture.

    I am not in any way knocking your idea and if you make that work, my hat is off. I am possibly too selfish and vain to do that, but I do believe that if I can go in to a meeting looking good – not slutty, not fruity – and looking successful, and can bring home a deal with that being one of a number of factors that helped drive it home, then I can ultimately do more for both my family and others.

  174. vera

    My suggestion is motivated by the fact that my dearest friend is disabled and impoverished, and has suffered terribly at the hands of an ex-husband and his execrable family. I mean my suggestion to be taken quite literally. It’s amazing how quickly one can dispense with vanity when someone is suffering right in front of you.

    What a coincidence! My impoverished friend called me just as I was typing this reply. And she suggests that I tell people this: “Anti-materialism makes your hair full and shiny, and takes away wrinkles.”

  175. vera

    saltyC–To make an indented quote, do this:
    (1) Type a left angle bracket (next to the M key).
    (2) Type the word “blockquote” (without the quotation marks)
    (3) Type a right angle bracket.
    (4) Type the text you’re quoting.
    (5) Repeat steps 1-3, but type this: “/blockquote” (without the quotation marks) in step 3.

    That should do it. You’re entering opening and closing blockquote tags in HTML.

    To see how blockquotes are used on this page, and to see all the HTML for this page, open the View menu and choose View Source or Page Source if you’re using Safari or Firefox or a related browser. I don’t know if IE (ugh! groan!) has a “View Source” option.

  176. vera

    (Sorry to keep commenting; I just finished work and I’m running to catch up) I think that soldier’s succinct explanation of the joys of waging war apply just as well to the neocons and Bush as it does to the individuals who are actually doing the shooting. Because Bush et al. are shooting, with really big bullets, and getting off in a really big way. I truly believe that’s why they do it — because it feels good to them, sexually and otherwise. We can come up with lots of other reasons — oil, religion, land, etc. — but if we take the 1,000-light-year view (pretend you’re an archeologist from another planet), powerful men wield power because it feels so damned good. The rest of us are stuck in their global-scale wet-dream.

  177. saltyC

    Ahhhhhhhhh.

    Yes Vera, it’s the batterer’s MO writ large. To argue about what started this or that fight is fishing for red herrings, and serves the batterer. The truth is, whith each fight he gains power over the P.

  178. B. Dagger Lee

    maggiethewolf: the incorrect use of ellipses is actually Twisty’s peeve; but it is one I share. Plus I was trying to be funny. If you really want to “get” my “goat”, unnecessary quotation marks will do it every time. I can’t count how many times Miss Patsy has restrained me from ripping a creepy sign down. See, my skin is crawling right now, and the bottoms of my feet are tingling.

    I “blame” the patriarchy.

    Vera: you rock with your page source instructions.

    yrs, B. “Dagger” Lee

  179. B. Dagger Lee

    Oh and SaltyC (and others):

    Totally! Men are better than women and men at war are more better than women.

    yrs, BDL

  180. maggiethewolf

    BDL, I figgered you were funning me, but since I don’t understand the correct use of ellipses, it’s best that I avoid them.

    Quotation marks, when used to scare, as opposed being used to quote, ala “gay marriage” or even “gay,” pop my claws.

    Wait. I’m a wolf.

    They bare my fangs.

  181. Shannon

    You know, martyrdom is actually a little bit more than just not wearing whatever expensive crap is the new fashion. Is looking good only when you are wearing whatever feminine trappings are in, or can you look good with your own natural face? Men manage to look good even without all the things that people say women must have or they are martrying themselves.

  182. Mar Iguana

    From “The Special Forces Rebels,” by Jim Travison, OpEdNews:

    Stan Goff, former commando and instructor of military science at West Point, has published three books, the latest is “Sex and War,” on the interrelation of gender, violence, and patriarchy.

    William T. Hathaway, another Special Forces rebel author, shares Goff’s conviction that patriarchal machismo causes war and other pathologies of our culture. His first novel, A WORLD OF HURT, won a Rinehart Foundation Award for its portrayal of the blocked libido and the need for paternal approval that draw men to the military.

    Hathaway: “Understanding the effects that our culturally imposed gender roles have on us is crucial to understanding why we go to war. One attraction of war is that it is a substitute for eroticism; it is the ultimate sexual perversion. It also reduces our ability to love.” And, “…higher consciousness is more effective than violence and that women may be more able than men to lead us there.”

    Goff: “Masculinity constructed as sexualized-violence and violent-sexuality is not some alpha-male genetic defect; it is not natural. It is an historically evolved reflection of a division of labor and a division of social power. The military — an organization within the state — simply took this construction into itself, and made itself in masculinity’s image.”

  183. Kali

    “First of all, I’d like to reiterate that I wasn’t the one to first advance this theory on this thread.”

    You are the one interpreting it as a necessary and sufficient condition. That interpretation does not necessarily follow from what the person who advanced the theory of womb-envy wrote.

    “But you have to admit that the victor/victim divide happened largely on sex lines, obviously. If not womb envy (or whatever), what was the sufficient condition for the divide to happen on this particular line and not some other line? We have no problem coming up with arbitrary divides, after all.”

    You mean perpetrator/victim divide? Or do you view the power grab achieved through violence and exploitation as winning? Is a wife-batterer who gets submission from his wife a “victor”? And, anyway, why does there have to be a single sufficient condition for patriarchy?

    Personally, I believe there are two primary reasons for patriarchy:

    1. High levels of sociopathy among men that allows them to abuse, torture, exploit without discomforting levels of empathy or guilt. This sociopathic tendency allows men to gain power and control through violence.
    2. Lower levels of love for their children as compared with women. This allows them to leave the responsibility for the welfare and care of children on the women, who are then too busy to put up much resistance to male exploitation. It also allows men to use material resources as a carrot to trap women into material dependence on men
    which makes them even more vulnerable to exploitation by men.

  184. Mandos

    I called it “victor/victim” because of the alliteration. And because “victor” and “perpetrator” in any inter-human issue that isn’t a game are usually the same thing, no?

    1. High levels of sociopathy among men that allows them to abuse, torture, exploit without discomforting levels of empathy or guilt. This sociopathic tendency allows men to gain power and control through violence.
    2. Lower levels of love for their children as compared with women. This allows them to leave the responsibility for the welfare and care of children on the women, who are then too busy to put up much resistance to male exploitation. It also allows men to use material resources as a carrot to trap women into material dependence on men
    which makes them even more vulnerable to exploitation by men.

    So what do you think are the causes of 1 and 2?

  185. Mar Iguana

    “Second, fine, we’ll say that womb envy (I dislike the term because I don’t think that literal wombs as such are what’s being envied and am not even sure that envy is the right word—but whatever) is not the necessary or sufficient cause of patriarchy.”

    And:

    “So what do you think are the causes of 1 and 2?” Mandos

    Womb envy. Literally. As opposed to figeratively as in oh, penis envy for instance. since what is envied is the privelege having one conveys rather than the member itself. Womb envy as in, “Since women create life, we get to create death. Wah.” Creating death also steals another bolt of thunder from women: The fact that women also create death in that all who are born will die.

  186. Mandos

    OK, that’ means that Kali’s interpretation of you is wrong and mine is correct because I read you as saying that womb envy is the “necessary and sufficient” cause of patriarchy. Kali held that womb envy is only a “contributing factor” and proposed 1 and 2 as alternative necessary factors as opposed to a womb envy theory. But you hold that even those are connected to womb envy, no?

    Then this returns us to my question back way up there:

    But this suggests that patriarchy is/was largely inevitable. If males realize that they are “superfluous to human existence”, well, not many people take well to superfluousness (especially if social peripherality is involved). That means for patriarchy to have been avoided in the past, some form of illusion of male necessity would have to have been invented.

    And later:

    “Or alternatively, the male sense of entitlement brought down to more realistic, less self-aggrandizing, less delusional levels.”

    Yes, but this begs the question, doesn’t it? The entitlement occured as the very response to hypothetical superfluousness that we’re talking about. What possible alternate histories would there have been?

    Because if *you* are connecting everything to womb envy, then the range of hypothetical alternate histories we can imagine is drastically reduced. Whereas, under Kali’s interpretation, we have a much larger set of hypothetical situations to choose from. And hence by implication a larger set of solutions.

    (I wish we had the numbers back so I didn’t have to do so much quotage.)

  187. mearl

    Man, it just took me, I am not kidding you guys, an HOUR to read the posts. Didn’t this start out as a discussion about what we were all going to dress up as for Hallowe’en?

    I, for one, am going as a Liberal Feminist Lawyer. I plan to wear a cute baby-pink suit, lots and lots of lipstick, and finish my ensemble with a pair of those low-heeled shoes which are *WAY* more comfy than stilettos, but are still just as acceptable to the male higher-ups in my ficticious firm. Naturally, this is a conceptual statement on how women can be powerful AND feminine at the same time; but that’s irrelevant anyhow, since we all know that femininity isn’t really a construct. It’s a choice! That’s why billions of dollars are spent by women each year on dieting, makeup, fashion, and plastic surgery. Men just don’t know what they’re missing out on when they don’t have access to the CREATIVITY we women are allowed with our appearance. I’ll insist that, in my fantasy firm, pink suits and cleavage garner just as much respect as any other dowdy old male lawyer’s outfit. After all, I don’t want anyone to forget that I’m a girl, and start thinking of me as just a lawyer (ick!).

    As for the real issues: I’ll also inform other party-goers that part of my persona is that I’m kicking in that pesky old glass ceiling with my sassy, sexy low heels. When I get to be a judge, hopefully they’ll put me on the cover of Maxim.

  188. Edith

    I just saw a bunch of ironic-pornographically-dressed girls walk by my dorm. One was dressed up as “the (sexy) street” complete with strategic warning tape and two orange cones over her breasts. I’m like, not even kidding.

  189. maggiethewolf

    Mearl wrote: “I for one, am going as a Liberal Feminist Lawyer…I’ll also inform other party-goers that part of my persona is that I’m kicking in that pesky old glass ceiling with my sassy, sexy low heels.”

    No, Mearl, what you’re kicking is Octogalore. How is attacking another woman a feminist act? Is there no way you could have made your point without mocking Octogalore? Mimicry is an especially cutting mockery.

    As a queer woman who doesn’t conform to gender expectations, I have been mocked in bars and on streets, but this is a feminist site and that alone would seem to offer sanctuary for a woman, for all women, from targeting.

    But hey, let’s not talk about that. Let’s to back to talking about how men attack women in war.

    Octogalore, if you’re still here, I’m sorry that you posted in good faith and incurred such invective.

  190. Mar Iguana

    “What possible alternate histories would there have been?” Mandos

    Non-heirarchical.

    Patriarchy was built one drop at a time over a very long period like a stalagmite. How did it all start? That question plagued me for years until I found Gerda Lerner’s “The Creation of Patriarchy.” Here’s a good summary:

    The Creation of the Patriarchy

    Scholars, such as Gerda Lerner, believe that the patriarchy was a historical phenomenon that developed over time. In her book The Creation of the Patriarchy (1986), Lerner traces the development of the ideals, symbols, and metaphors by which patriarchal gender relations were incorporated into Western civilization. This is the outline of her explanation of how the patriarchy arose, that I followed for our first lecture.

    1. Women’s sexual and reproductive capacity was appropriated and commodified by men.

    2. The archaic states were organized in the form of the patriarchy and supported the patriarchal family.

    3. Men learned to dominate other men, institutionalizing slavery, from their practice dominating women.

    4. Women’s subordination was institutionalized in the law codes of the archaic states and enforced by the state. Women were tied sexually to men, who gave them access to material resources, creating women’s sexual and economic subordination.

    5. A man’s social class was the result of his relationship to the means of production, whereas a woman’s social class depended on their ties to a man who gave them access to material resources.

    6. Long after women were legally subordinated to men, supernatural female figures, such as goddesses, were still worshipped for their power to give life.

    7. The powerful goddesses were dethroned and replaced by a dominant male god in most Near Eastern societies following the establishment of a strong and imperialistic kingship.

    8. The emergence of Hebrew monotheism took the form of an attack on the cults of the fertility goddesses by ascribing creativity and pro-creativity to an all-powerful male god. Female sexuality for any purpose but procreation was associated with sin and evil.

    9. In the establishment of the Hebrew covenant community the basic symbolism and actual contract between God and humanity assumed as a given the subordinate position of women and their exclusion from the covenant community. Their sole function was as mothers.

    10. This symbolic devaluing of women in relation to the divine becomes one of the founding metaphors of Western civilization. The other founding metaphor is supplied by Aristotelian philosophy, which assumes as a given that women are incomplete and damaged human beings of an entirely different order than men. It is with the creation of these two metaphorical constructs, which are built into the very foundations of the symbol systems of Western civilization, that the subordination of women comes to be seen as ‘natural,’ hence it becomes invisible. It is this which finally establishes patriarchy firmly as an actuality and as an ideology.” (Lerner, 10)

    http://www.rit.edu/~tnlgsh/CreationofPatriarchy.htm

    “That means for patriarchy to have been avoided in the past, some form of illusion of male necessity would have to have been invented.”

    Other than the illusion we now have, the MANagement, husbandry if you will, of women’s sexual and reproductive capacity?

  191. Mar Iguana

    I’m dressing as a drag king, standup comic.

  192. Mandos

    I already read that summary. It doesn’t refer to womb envy as such, but its aftereffect, the commodification of reproductive capacity. That’s—even according to you, it seems—the effect, not the cause.

    If womb envy leads to patriarchy, then the alternate history I am thinking of is either one without womb envy or one in which womb envy doesn’t lead to patriarchy. So the question I was asking is, in effect, what would have had to have happened for either condition to be true. I don’t think that that article really deals with that question.

    “Other than the illusion we now have, the MANagement, husbandry if you will, of women’s sexual and reproductive capacity?”

    Yes, that’s what I meant.

    Aside: I don’t agree that womb envy is the right term for a number of reasons but I won’t quibble on that.

  193. Mar Iguana

    “..but I won’t quibble on that.” Mandos

    Oh, go ahead. Why stop now?

  194. Mandos

    It’s not the part I find interesting.

  195. saltyC

    Mearl, don’t worry about maggie, this is a safe space for satire.

    Besides, octagalore called us shrill.

  196. Mar Iguana

    “It’s not the part I find interesting.” Mandos

    Too bad. Early humankind was fascinated, to the point of establishing their spirituality around it. Of course, they had no idea such a thing as a womb existed, but men were in awe by the power that women have to bleed and not die. They were seen as immortal, like a snake who sheds its skin but does not die. The connection between women, snakes and immortality are archetypal symbols.

    Question: As one man per woman is not necessary for the continuation of the species, what do you believe is their necessity?

  197. octogalore

    Hi Mearl. I’m glad you’ve found a suitable costume. However, with your disdain towards fitness and exercise, you wouldn’t fit into any of my suits, I’m afraid. Don’t worry, I know it’s humiliatingly objectifying to be a size 2. I feel so powerless banging out an hour on the elliptical machine and weights every day, knowing that it will make my body strong and give me (ick!) an actual waistline. All this is quite embarrassing to admit, but I think it only fair to let you know that you cannot count on my suits as a costume — I wouldn’t want to leave you in the lurch.

    Of course, in the hour it took for you to read the above posts, you somehow missed the fact that I’m no longer a practicing lawyer. I not only don’t wear heels to work, I’m most often in sweatpants and sneakers, with no makeup during the week. Let alone, have never endorsed plastic surgery, Maxim, dieting (those of us who work out don’t have to) or spending a lot on fashion. Hmm, so while you have no problems complaining about being objectified as a gender, you have no hesitation objectifying one of its members, and making up fake factoids. Can you say hypocrite?

    Sadly, Mearl, with your bashing of women who aspire to rise within the various professions, and who help take other women with them, not to mention your scorn for women who want to look good in the process, I wonder if there’s more going on here than righteous radical feminist ideology. You failed miserably in keeping this at a clean intellectual level, and took it into an inaccurate, high school “nah nah” place. I know the math SATs are a part of the patriarchy, Mearl, so maybe you can’t or won’t do the math here, but I think those of us who can are pretty sure about how this adds up.

  198. octogalore

    maggiethewolf said: “Octogalore, if you’re still here, I’m sorry that you posted in good faith and incurred such invective.”

    maggiethewolf: thanks very much. I am still here, but probably sporadic visits are best for me. Your support has been wonderful, and you and a few others here who are able to take a nuanced view has kept me coming back. The contingent whose views are more polarized has me concerned, for an inability to see the shades of gray is not, to my mind, a prescription for changing the status quo. If it’s worth bashing, it should be worth changing — effectively, and realistically.

    I agree that there is alot to bash about the patriarchy. I have suffered quite a bit at its hands, though not to the extent others here have. But painting our societal systems and its male members as all-bad is counterproductive. Believe it or not, I’ve been known to jump in front of a number of controversial and not-likely-to-succeed causes. I’ve been exiled by various groups for taking up women’s causes that aren’t so politically correct. So if someone like me thinks a number of the statements here are out there, I don’t believe it will be possible to raise enough consciousness to make much of anything happen in a meaningful way.

    saltyC said: “Mearl, don’t worry about maggie, this is a safe space for satire. Besides, octagalore called us shrill.” Salty, satire is “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.” I don’t see anywhere in there about slapping together a combo of ill-fitting stereotypes and made-up facts to mask ones own feelings of inadequacy. Shrill, on the other hand,is “betraying some strong emotion or attitude in an exaggerated amount, as antagonism or defensiveness.” Now that’s apt.

  199. maggiethewolf

    I wish you well, octogalore, whether you stay or go. The invective of the Internet doesn’t seem to serve discourse and does more than coarsen it: it often terminates it. However, each site has its own culture, so one doesn’t have to tolerate an intolerance for invective. There are communities that employ a gavel and others that employ a war hammer. It does take discipline to attack an idea rather than a messenger and it takes great courage to still one’s contrary voices long enough to consider an idea.

  200. Mar Iguana

    “I agree that there is alot to bash about the patriarchy.” octogalore

    Gee, it never occurred to me there was anything NOT to bash. What a concept. My head explodes with questons:

    What would you consider unbashable?

    How much patriarchy in our societal systems is just right?

    How much ignorance of the status of women in its male members (redundant?) makes them not all that bad?

    What women’s issues are politically incorrect?

    Speaking of math, at the present rate, it’ll take, what, 300, 400 years for professional women to mentor other women to the top at the same rate of men, while looking great doing it?

  201. octogalore

    Mar Iguana: saying there are many negative things to say about something does not mean that there are positive things to say. For example, if I said “there is a lot to bash about evil monsters,” I would not necessarily have anything good to say about them. A little precision, please. I believe the patriarchy is bad, period.

    What I don’t believe, of course, is that every mechanism in our society is a reflection of the patriarchy. To the extent that you would define our entire society as “the patriarchy,” I would say that there are many things NOT to bash about: sex, parenting, the color pink, lipstick, both men and women who care about their appearance, small business owners, women’s organizations, etc.

    I believe that takes care of your first two questions.

    Now we come to “How much ignorance of the status of women in its male members (redundant?) makes them not all that bad?”. You’re changing around my context here, which was simply that male members of society aren’t all-bad. Obviously, any ignorance of the status of women is inherently negative. My point was that there are many men who are fairly enlightened. It may be impossible for a man to be perfectly enlightened, but then again, many women aren’t either. Sure, men are more likely to be ignorant, patriarchal, etc. But there are many, like my husband, who are quite enlightened, egalitarian, and largely non-patriarchal in their views and behaviors. I’m sorry you have not encountered any men along these lines. Obviously, there are many counter-examples. But being absolutist about it is just as ignorant.

    Finally: “Speaking of math, at the present rate, it’ll take, what, 300, 400 years for professional women to mentor other women to the top at the same rate of men, while looking great doing it?” I’ll ignore your final jab. It’s not worthy of you. I wouldn’t want anyone to think that your quibbling with women, and men, taking pride in healthy, fit and attractive personal appearance is simply jealous carping. And, that’s what people would think, whether or not they admitted it. So, let’s move on past that little bit of high school you exhibited there.

    On to the rate of women mentoring others. Let’s see, how to increase that rate. I know, let’s make fun of women who get into corporate or entrepreneurial positions and then talk about helping to mentor others. Let’s make fun of their pink suits. Let’s confine our actions to bashing all men and everything about society on a website, making fun of women who stop by and talk about inclusiveness and mentoring. Wow, Mar, you’re a great advertisement for your own complaints here. I think I will just quit my job, cancel my lunches with young women whom I’m counseling, and spend my time here whining about evil men. That should speed things up!

  202. maggiethewolf

    mar, I asked you a few weeks back what you wouldn’t bash. You said that women were sacred. “Sacred” probably isn’t the word you used, but it was something similar. And in another more recent thread, you wrote that women are “magical” beings. “Magical” is the very word you used. Well, octogalore is a woman. A “magical” being that you won’t bash, by dint of her DNA and history and plumbing.

    Me too, although you’ve suggested I’m a 20something frat fellow.

    I’m not quoting your words, mar, as weapons, but as gentle reminders: I want to chat with you and other rad-fems. I think octogalore wants the same. I could chat with less radical feminists, and I do, as I’m paid to do when I write for Ms. and other feminist publications, but the work is in realizing common ground with those who differ from you. I have agreed with many rad-fems at this site and many rad-fem positions. And I’ve shifted my thinking, due to a lot of reading and contemplation.

    Like octogalore, I generally dress down. Unlike octogalore, I don’t brush my hair or wear make-up. No need and no desire. I wear cast-off clothing and am comfy looking riff-raffy and provincial. Dont’ know why I shared that, but I want you to get a clear picture of me: imagine a short-(silver) haired queer woman. Although, you’re probably still imagining a beer-breathy frat fellow. If it will please you, I’ll scratch my metaphysical dick.

  203. Mandos

    So I took an internet break most of Sunday, but I am thinking about the best way to answer your question.

    I guess in a cosmic sort of sense, none of us are “necessary” and the point is moot. I mean, what do you mean by “necessary”. The species could continue with 95% of us, male and female, dead. If you’re talking about the continuation of a specific, small community, yes, you’re sort of right: you could probably have a 1:4 ratio or something.

    On the other side of things, most mammal and bird species—including ones in which males don’t spend a lot of time with offspring—seem to even out to a 50-50 sex balance. So at some level, having lots of “surplus” males is structurally or functionally optimal. But of course, early communities wouldn’t have known that. I guess for them, under ideal circumstances, males were an additional reserve army of labour of some kind. That’s not all that existentially satisfying, though.

    What specifically Early Humanity believed and why they believed it is still a subject of debate and we’ll never really know. The reason why I object to the term “womb envy” is exactly what you mention: they didn’t know about the existence of wombs as such. The term “womb envy” seems too obvious a reaction to the term “penis envy” rather than a name of a phenomenon with an independent life.

    But my ultimate point is, I have read people like luckynkl mention a “masculine identity crisis” or something as 70s feminism “dealt a death blow to the patriarchy”. Let’s say that patriarchy is ultimately explained by a womb envy theory variant. Why would a *current* masculine identity crisis play itself out any differently? That’s why I focus on this hypothetical scenarios. For a *future* reconstruction of masculinity to succeed in a manner that eliminates male supremacy, it’s useful to imagine from what we *do* know of the past what would have had to have happened in order to avoid male supremacy in the first place.

    So if male supremacy emerged necessarily from womb envy (or whatever), then the necessary question is what would have had to have happened to avoid womb envy, *could* it have happened differently, etc. And from this we can glean an answer as to how and why it should happen any differently in the future.

  204. Kali

    “So if male supremacy emerged necessarily from womb envy (or whatever), then the necessary question is what would have had to have happened to avoid womb envy, *could* it have happened differently, etc. And from this we can glean an answer as to how and why it should happen any differently in the future.”

    You need to reframe your thinking around the origins of the patriarchy. You are framing it in terms of a deterministic, cause-and-effect, if-a-then-b, simplistic natural/physical process. However, it is better understood as a historical event, somewhat like a crime that took place over millenia, and something that can be explained in terms of the anatomy of a crime – motive (womb envy, greed, lust, etc.), enabling conditions (physical size differences, relative lack of conscience or empathy and love, relative freedom from responsibilities towards children and the elderly), and tools (violence, exploitation of maternal attachment and responsibilities).

    The crime that has already happened, of course, cannot be reversed. We need the following conditions to prevent the crime from continuing to happen.

    - female solidarity, i.e., not perfect agreement among all women but a consciousness of their shared conditions and a shared goal of improving those conditions.
    - Compatibility of raising children with means of getting direct access to material resources and public power.

    These conditions address the two main tools of patriarchy:

    - violence, which is easier to commit against individual women isolated from each other, and women who are financially/socially dependent on the aggressors, than against women standing together, or women who are financially/socially independent. Individual women should not be isolated from each other into primary allegiance with individual men. To the extent that they are, it will be difficult to get rid of patriarchy. In animal societies with greater female solidarity, there is little or no male dominance.

    - exploitation of maternal attachment and responsibilities. Typically, men have used women’s responsibilities in the home to entice them into financial dependence on men and to exclude women from the public world (i.e. having a say in how the laws, policies, institutions, etc. are structured). This strategy is more difficult to implement when women are able to combine their childcare responsibilites with getting direct access to material resources and public power. Studies have shown that the patriarchy is stronger in those societies where the economy is based on jobs that are difficult to combine with childcare, and less strong otherwise.

    I think we are moving in the right direction towards both of these conditions being met, though we are far from being there.

  205. Twisty

    Nice post, Kali.

  206. octogalore

    Kali: “Typically, men have used women’s responsibilities in the home to entice them into financial dependence on men and to exclude women from the public world (i.e. having a say in how the laws, policies, institutions, etc. are structured). This strategy is more difficult to implement when women are able to …[get] direct access to material resources and public power.” (emphasis added).

    Kali – I agree, nice post. Gaining access to areas that have been avenues for material resources and public power, areas which have predominantly been male-centric, will reduce women’s financial dependence and thereby help things to “happen differently in the future.”

    This really sums up quite well my frustration with statements like saltyC’s “sure octopussy (sic.) may be doing great playing the boy’s game but it’s still the boy’s game. … Nor am I under the delusion that my presence there has changed their total obsession with the bottom line against the needs of women workers.” It will be the boy’s game, until women start raising the level of play. We need to take seriously that our presence there has begun to, and can continue to, change its dynamics, as well as the position we occupy in the structure of things.

  207. maggiethewolf

    I also like Kali’s post. When I read it, I thought of Richard Speck, the Chicago serial killer who slayed all those nurses. Collectively, they could have dissected Speck, but because they didn’t collaborate, they were all murdered.

    Great post, Kali.

  208. saltyC

    I totally agree with Kali, and I resent Octogalore’s hacking my statements from separate posts and connecting them with ellipses. Left out by her where my frustrations working in a male-dominated (more like male-hegemonic) industry which does not allow me to advance because unlike the men, I do not have a support staff at home, nor am I able to work 60-80 hours a week due to childcare obligations.

    I don’t see how any of what Kali says contradicts my honest complaints about how the system is skewed against women like me.I for one am ready to quit quarreling and would rather brainstorm utpian visions, which would include consideration of women who cannot play the boy’s game in boy’s terms.

  209. octogalore

    SaltyC — what industry are you in?

  210. saltyC

    video games. Developing, not marketing.

  211. maggiethewolf

    SaltyC: “I for one am ready to quit quarreling and would rather brainstorm utpian visions, which would include consideration of women who cannot play the boy’s game in boy’s terms.”

    Me too. SaltyC, if you’re an engineer and you work for a large company, I can help you by profiling you for a magazine. I profile women all the time and I always hear how much it helps their careers. Even if you’re not an engineer, I might be able to profile you for a magazine like Bust, which you might not like, but press coverage looks good in a profile. If this is something you might want, write to me at washchadblip at yahoo dot com and tell me a little about what you do, so that I can compose a pitch to an editor.

  212. octogalore

    SaltyC — now I know what you mean by male dominated. I used to be an engineer and in product development in a car company (Ford) and I would imagine the videogame area is even more of a boy’s club.

    I hope you get a chance to be profiled by maggiethewolf in a magazine.

    I don’t know much about that area, but if I run into anything that could be useful I’ll definitely let you know.

    In the meantime, if your company ever needs a heavily discounted legal search (for a GC, IP counsel, etc.), let me know. If I could, I’d do it free, but the boys above me wouldn’t go for that :)

  213. redneckmother

    I’ll stop lurking here to say Kali, you rock. And for better or worse, Twisty, you inspired me to write about my own foolish attempts to appease Dude Nation many years ago. I can’t get pingback to work so I’m shamelessly whoring it here:

    http://redneckmother.blogspot.com/2006/10/my-year-as-slut-preamble.html

    Cheers.

  214. Mandos

    So Kali’s post has gotten the Twisty mark of approval, and hence it is probably risking blasphemy to continue, but what the heck.

    You need to reframe your thinking around the origins of the patriarchy. You are framing it in terms of a deterministic, cause-and-effect, if-a-then-b, simplistic natural/physical process. However, it is better understood as a historical event, somewhat like a crime that took place over millenia, and something that can be explained in terms of the anatomy of a crime – motive (womb envy, greed, lust, etc.), enabling conditions (physical size differences, relative lack of conscience or empathy and love, relative freedom from responsibilities towards children and the elderly), and tools (violence, exploitation of maternal attachment and responsibilities).

    So I went down this path for a specific reason. You already mentioned your enabling conditions and tools, and you demoted womb envy to a contributing factor. I asked in particular about your enabling conditions: what was the cause (of “lack of…love”, etc)? Then Mar Iguana decided to reassert that causative relation with womb envy and connect your enabling conditions ultimately to a womb envy theory. So I went back to the original line.

    Alright, then: whence these enabling conditions? I mean, not merely the physical size differences, obviously—since I’m not totally convinced that these are *that* important (should I be?) as some of them are actually social reflexes.

    Now, you bring up two components of a possible solution: female solidarity and what I’ll call for conciseness the economic neutrality of reproduction. I’m afraid the former leads me to ask the same question. You assert various enabling conditions and tools that allowed, effectively, males to break female solidarity. How do these conditions not still apply? Why would you think that female solidarity would work out any differently? I do not see, after all this time, a great deal of solidarity being generated on the feminist blogosphere, but instead I see just as many women dividing themselves, often without assistance, on familiar and age-old lines. So how could female solidarity have survived in the past? Or, put differently, in what hypothetical past and future would males NOT have enjoyed these enabling conditions and tools (aside from physical differences)?

    Secondly, regarding the economic neutrality issue, well, saltyC mentions

    I for one am ready to quit quarreling and would rather brainstorm utpian visions, which would include consideration of women who cannot play the boy’s game in boy’s terms.

    So, if the boys are still playing the boy’s game in their own terms, then that suggests that they will always have a material advantage over women, no? I mean, as long as the boys can spend more time on gaining material advantage for themselves—which is, really, a function of time in itself—even if you financially compensate the girls for the economic penalty of childrearing, they’ll still be spending less *time* on other things than the boys are.

    Or you would have to envision a world in which girls and boys spend the same amount of time childrearing. Which of course is a well-known feminist goal that extends even unto the liberallest of liberal feminists (assuming you recognize this division). Which then leads us back to the original question: what changed?

    Lastly, I’d like to take a sentimental moment to express my appreciation of those who have been willing to entertain my line of thought and incessant questions on this thread.

  215. Mar Iguana

    …I’d like to take a sentimental moment to express my appreciation of those who have been willing to entertain my line of thought and incessant questions on this thread.” Mandos

    I would not be one of “those.” I’ll not be responding to you, octogalore or maggiethewolf from this point on as to say what I’d like to would only get me in trouble here with Twisty and she has better things to do.

  216. Mandos

    I have been excommunicated by Mar Iguana! Whatever will I do?

    But I haven’t spent any time even communicating with MTW and OG or even participating in their parallel discussion, so it’s kind of odd…

  217. Edith

    Wait, wait, wait. When did fat-bashing become OK at this site? octogalore, you do realize that some of us can work out all day and still never be a size two? In fact, I would think that working out religiously would make many women develop body types that of course are FAR from a size two, since a size two is, after all, a very, very small size. Where do we put our muscles, I wonder.

  218. mearl

    Once again the lurk-back, only because just now I happened across octogalore’s attempt at a comeback to my post. Thanks for the reply, octogalore, I laughed all the way to 7-11. Three points I have to make: the first thing you iterate is that you think being a size 2 is an achievement. This speaks for itself. Second, You assume that I am HUGE and OVERWEIGHT and FUGLY, the Holy Trinity of Hideous Sins attributable to those lazy, unlittle, unfeminine women who don’t spend their days on ellyptical machines. You’re wrong; I happen to have been born with a tall, thin, muscular frame, but I wouldn’t give a shit if I had a more normal female build (to clarify for anyone reading, huge, overweight, and fugly are the opinions I infer from someone who highly values her own size 2 as an achievement). Finally, I am not in the feminist fight to support its detractors in male or female form. Other people can be all sunshine and support. I’m not so postmodern (although I see its points) that I don’t look for a functionality of ideologies. I make my own opinions about what is a result of patriarchal brainwashing and what isn’t, and they’re my opinions. You don’t like it? I don’t care. I think it’s shitty when someone takes up the banner of feminism and starts trumpeting about it while ingraining patriarchal values into her M.O. without once questioning them. Maybe if you spent less time on the ellyptical machine and more time thinking about it, you’d have some light bulbs going off above that size 2 head of yours.

    That said, I will admit that no, I just can’t silently put up with dum-dums. Immaturity can be constructive, instructive, AND fun!

  219. Joe

    Shouldn’t you be in the kitchen, cooking for your husband and kids?

  220. Crystal

    Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. Now, not so much.
    Last Halloween I went to this big outdoor party in the middle of nowhere thinking it would acceptable because they had a good musical lineup and it was invite-only. It turned out to be a total dude-fest, complete with high-end strippers, endless beer, a giant mud pit and a bunch of surfer dudes.
    My sister and I were the ONLY women there in non-sluttastic costumes. I had a very loose and covering Indian housewife ensemble and my sister had a tree costume complete with real branches.
    At one point some drunk dude came up to my sister and was like “wow, awesome costume.” His dudely friend quickly intervened saying, “Back away man, she’s fat.”
    My sister wasn’t even what I would consider genuinely fat at the time, just kind of chubby, maybe a size 12, but we were the only women there not in porntastic condition. Not that it wouldn have been legitimate if she was, but still, it made it even more ridiculous.
    I was still up for TRYING to enjoy myself so I decided to see if the mudwrestling offered any entertainment. Unsurprisingly it turned out to be soft-porn. I was actually considering jumping in myself to liven up the evening until some dude next to me yelled “Come on girls, get in the pit!!!” I shot him a look and he backed up and was like “not you, I didn’t mean you.” I decided to take his advice and not jump into the pit and not waste anymore time trying to derive any “ironic” pleasure from the whole spectacle.
    Sorry for the lengthy post, but I just had to vent about this somewhere.
    I have no plans for this Halloween because I can’t think of any place to go for non-pornified entertainment. Any ideas?
    I got invited to the Playboy mansion this year. HA! I don’t know how I even keep getting these invites when I’m such a PRUDE! Do they think they’re throwing me a bone or being equal opportunity or inclusive by doing this? I’ve already RSVP’d that I’m NOT coming to any of the parties I’ve been invited to.

  1. In Which the Hedonistic Pleasureseeker Muses on the Commodification of Flesh « Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    [...] The Quote of the day from is from Langsuyar, who commented on the IBTP thread addressing the same disturbing Halloween trend I blogged about yesterday: “Way to go empowerfulment. If I put a price on my sexuality, it would be a wee bit higher than a fun size snickers bar. “ [...]

  2. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Severing the Link Between Sex and Porn One Blog Post At A Time

    [...] That’s what Twisty Faster is attempting. Here is an excerpt from her latest: I am pleased to report that Broadsheet’s Page Rockwell is on the case of the slutty Halloween costume epidemic (as reported in the Thursday’s NYTimes Style section)[See also]. Several of you blamers have emailed me, outraged, about the proliferation of the Hustlerization of Halloween, manifested (complete with softcore photos of witchy hot sluts) by the Times’ “not-so-new bulletin […] that costumes for women and girls of all ages tend to be revealingly clad caricatures of stereotypical male sexual fantasies.” The Times, like everybody else, is preoccupied with what women look like. They wonder why on earth would liberated women [women are now deemed ‘liberated’, see, since second-wave feminism was such a rousing success] want to costume themselves as brainless receptacles for male incontinence? Perhaps it’s because Halloween has been co-opted by today’s sassy empowerful women who want to show the world that they’ve gotten the memo from Dude Nation: non-sexy is a non-starter. Halloween is now ‘a “safe space”, a time to play with sexuality’. [...]

  3. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » Halloween Costumes For Girls

    [...] And as if the costumes aren’t sexualized enough, consider the amount of make-up worn by the children modeling them, and the incredibly adult and provocative poses they are striking. Socialization for “Slut-o-ween” begins at a very young age. –Ann Bartow [...]

  4. Reclusive Leftist » Blog Archive » I thought “skullfucking” was just an expression

    [...] Fold the second: War and sex go together. Again, not news. A comment made at Twisty’s the other day is apt: Ron, Mandos: For some reason your discussion is making me think of an article I read not long ago. The reporter was interviewing a soldier about “how does it feel to be here” or something like that. The soldier commented, “Fucking and shooting, it’s the same thing, right?” He felt good, I guess. [...]

  5. Tricking For Treats at educe me

    [...] Slut-o-ween — A time for “today’s sassy empowerful women who want to show the world that they’ve gotten the memo from Dude Nation: non-sexy is a non-starter.” [...]

  6. Organic Mutant - » All Hallows’ Eve

    [...] Many have commented on halloween’s tranformation into a lecherous holiday, an excuse to let it all hang out. That element has lessened some of the joy I once took in it cos I felt like if I dint partcipate in the hoochi-ness then I wasn’t doing my part to support the troops. In the last few years I started getting my strength back and this year I said, ‘Forget about it.’ I will not be a sexy-whatever-cop or a sexy-fairy-something-or-other in a short skirt. I will be the character I choose to embrace sans shortness or sluttiness. So I spent hours shopping and working on my apron and I was, for a few short hours, Alice. Wade was a 6′2″ White Rabbit & a few days later Mon Cheri was a sweet little pirate. We did it ourselves to our own exacting standards & enjoyed it immensely. [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>