Apr 16 2008

Props of the week

I love Feministing, and I’ll tell you why.

It’s a convenient and obliging source of women’s news. It’s chock full of useful links. It’s a group blog with prodigious updates on current events (in contrast to, say, the gratuitously ornate theorizings of a stone lone crone with a moan-prone tone honing her funnybone on a lime green throne).

And it’s a feminist gateway drug.

The women of Feministing are young, yes, and not radical, no, but they are possessed of an engaging, optimistic vim that the avalanche of time has, perhaps, squashed out of many crumpled old spinster aunts. They know the hep lingo. They like sex. They post pictures. They’re intelligent-yet-accessible. They’re political. They can remember the last time they set foot on a college campus.

In other words, they’ve got their finger on the pulse of the zany youth culture of today!

It’s only natural that the nascent feminists of tomorrow, just beginning to explore a future separate from being unpopular in high school, would be attracted to Feministing. They’re 18. Their hormones are snap crackle poppin’. They want to be like the hip, self-actualized Feministingers. This is good, because Feministing gets a lot of the basic stuff right. They’re blamin’ the patriarchy left and right, and they’re doing it, not with a bunch of pie-in-the-sky inaccessible revolutionary theory that takes months, if not years, of committed intellectualizing to grasp, but with cogent, cut-to-the-chase commentary on current events. To wit:

Here is Jessica Valenti on a Wayout TV bit called “Abortionman” (Just eaten a nice lunch? And are now leaning back with your heels on your desk, basking in deep-fried satisfaction? Don’t watch the clip.): “When will people realize that violence against women isn’t fucking funny?

Or this, on Tesco stores marketing padded bras to 1st-graders: “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you need to cover up a six years-old’s non-breasts in order to feel like she’s being ‘discreet,’ there’s something wrong with the way you look at six year-old girls.”

Or this, on My Beautiful Mommy, a book written by a cosmetic surgeon purporting to explain to (female) children why Mum must get a nose job and a tummy tuck: “I’m certainly not going to sit in judgment of those who get plastic surgery – but do we really have to teach our kids that we need it to ‘feel better’ and be ‘beautiful’? Ugh.”

Here’s Samhita planting revolution-scented seeds of discontent on the subject of marriage: “[A]s long as marriage is pushed to maintain traditional gender roles, it is under the purview of patriarchy. Not allowing gay marriage is just another way to maintain male gender dominance in heteronormative marriage structures […] It is going to take a lot more than a mainstream, middle class, gay marriage movement to dismantle the oppressive state-sanctioned, culturally mandated apparatus that heternormative marriage is.”

Quoth Ann on mandatory-ultrasound legislation that would compel abortion providers to force patients to view the fetus prior to receiving treatment (!): “What mandatory-ultrasound-viewing bills do is insult women by assuming they haven’t fully considered what they’re doing when they decide to opt for abortion. We don’t need the “help” of antichoice state legislators to understand what abortion is. We get it.”

If Feministing manages to suck in a few more of the fem-curious by alluding to misogynist heteronormative reality shows as “guilty pleasures,” what of it? If only I, as a teen idealist looking for something to blame, had had access to Feministing! It might have saved me years of counter-productive fumbling. When, for example, I first thought to dip a tentative toe into the steaming pool of feminist theory, my first move was to stumble into Left Bank Books and pick up a Mary Daly.

This move was ill-advised. Why? I’d had no basic blaming training. I wasn’t ready. Maybe it was different for you, but what I said was, “Damn, what is this incomprehensible shit?” I dropped the book into a dusty crevice and went out drinking with my boyfriend (yes, boyfriend; that’s how far gone I was), a guy who thought it was hilarious to introduce me around as “some red-headed whore I picked up in a bar.” I didn’t come home for like 12 years.

What I’m driving at is that no radical feminist springs from the womb a fully-formed revolutionary. Schooling future radfems may not be Feministing’s stated mission, but they’re performing a great service in that quarter, and it’s time they got props for it.


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  1. PhysioProf

    If I like reading Feministe better than I do Feministing, does that mean I’m a boring old fuck who can’t remember what it was like to have been in college?

  2. sm

    very true. i too grow weary of the “…Ugh”s and the “is it just me, or”s and the “I’m not one to judge [insert patriarchy-pleasing behavior here]”s, but feministing is still a favorite on the newsfeed. it’s an effective, energetic, often inspiring community.

    also, i love your mary daly story, twisty. and the third sentence of this post. made my day!

  3. Ann

    I have never been so honored to be referred to as a gateway drug.

  4. J

    Yeah, what you said.

    About a year ago I stumbled on Feministing. At the time, IBTP would’ve certainly been “incomprehensible shit”. The one MacKinnon essay I had read, about two years prior, I am sad to say, I dismissed as “hysterical”. But Feministing made sense.

    Now it’s gone from feeling like a revelation to seeming schoolgirly – but that’s a transformation for which it’s directly responsible, so, you know. Like you said. Props.

  5. Samhita

    If we are the gateway, you are the one that keeps you in it. Need to go to rehab and shit, I is addicted!

  6. j

    As a young person (i.e., under 20), I have a personal testimonial re: the efficacy of feminist gateway drugs. I first discovered feminism through non-radical blogs like BitchPhD, Feministing, and Feministe. Now here I am, reading IBtP and Dworkin and Firestone, and I’ve never felt so free! The deconversion from sex-positive feminism took a matter of months.

  7. OM

    Thank you for this Twisty. I love that you keep reminding us that patriarchy-blaming is a process and one that is damned hard when the sexual sap is running, and that goes for whatever sexual preference one has, recognized or not.

    I rarely involve myself in organizations or movements in a joining sort of way because the experience seems to end up as not much different than listening to godbags arguing about details of dogma, rather than concentrating on positive movement towards understanding, or strategies to reach out to others.

  8. chingona

    This is about right on. I used to read Feministing a lot. And the first time I ever read anything at I Blame The Patriarchy, I was pretty put off. Like kind of disturbed and kind of scared and kind of “she’s just flat-out wrong and crazy to boot.” But I kept reading, and bit by bit the scales fell from my eyes. Now I hardly ever read Feministing, unless I’m hard up for some procrastination. The analysis isn’t as sophisticated as some other places, and I don’t learn as much from commenters as I do on other sites. But I couldn’t have gone straight from where I was (which, for the record, was feminist-identified but not knowing anything about theory and not too critical of how things played out in my own life) to here. It is, indeed, the gateway to blaming.

  9. Jenny Dreadful

    I think I first found Feministing by just doing a Google search for “feminist news.” I found IBTP through Feministing, and I think that it helped make radical feminism more accessible to me. I remember heading over here once and reading a thread before I was really ready for it, and it blew my fucking mind. I bookmarked it and was like, “I’ll get back to you when I’m more awesome, Twisty Faster.” And then it was back to Feministing and other blogs like Pandagon and Feministe until I had fully metabolized the idea that women are human.

  10. Michelle

    You, Twisty, were my introduction to feminism. I know, I know! It clearly states right off that “I Blame The Patriarchy is intended for advanced patriarchy-blamers. It is not a feminist primer” but I never read instructions. Before I stumbled over your threshold in my 3 inch heels, stood up and adjusted my miniskirt, I was the kind of girl who talked shit with the boys about the girls and thought that I was empowerfulized by being half naked and making out with other girls in bars under the light of 8 camera phones.

    Thank you Twisty, from the lowest depths of my patriarchy-blaming soul, for showing me the light.

  11. brainiac9

    I actually first stumbled across IBTP after what my somewhat fuzzy memory recalls as a mention on Feministing. And, luckily enough, that stumble occurred after I’d had enough of an introduction to feminism that this blog seemed a revelation.

    j, ditto on the deconversion thing. The great thing about the internet is that once you’ve had enough exposure to a variety of arguments on a topic, the good ones start rising to the top. It just so happened that “pornified sex is empowerful!!” didn’t really stand up once I’d gotten the whole “Patriarchy = bad” thing through my head.

  12. Kacie

    I find a healthy dose of Twisty coupled with Feministing and Feministe make for a hearty IBTP diet. Though, as a tried and true patriarchy-blamer, I have tried Mary Daly for the first time (Gyn/Ecology) and its quite heavy. Maybe a bit more of this blog adn I will be ready to tackle the big ones.

  13. Amanda Marcotte

    I think I first discovered you clicking through comments at Feministing, though I can’t say for sure. They are awesome. In case there’s any doubt that they have an ability to suck young women in, ask Jessica how many readers they get who were googling for other random stuff and found them and stayed.

    I dislike, strongly, people who treat feminism like a cool kids club and guard the borders to make sure that we don’t grow. There’s a lot effort spent trying to bash people who popularize ideas, and then everyone sits around wondering why young women don’t call themselves feminists. Gosh, maybe we should have reached out more, no?

  14. Orange

    I think I crawled over here from the blogroll at Bitch Ph.D. back in the day (and I found her via Flea’s blogroll at One Good Thing–my gateway blog). I get sucked in by catchy blog names on blogrolls, then by funnysmart writing.

    Yeah, so, for a year or two, I just popped in here every now and again and felt a tug of resistance against the rhetorical heavy-handedness. It’s so wrong! It’s too much! Not relevant to my life! Eventually I came around. I do plan to keep my husband, but my eyes are open wider at the world’s patriarchal bullshit and they focus more clearly on that backdrop, once invisible to me.

    I haven’t ever read Feministing regularly. Maybe I’m too old to have picked up that habit.

  15. Meredith

    I’m throwing my voice in as another feminist who got her gateway start at Feministing. I was doing some research on birth control, through Googling got to The Well-Timed Period, which had some links to Feministing. From there it was Feministe and Pandagon, and then I wound up here about a year ago… and I’m glad I stayed.

  16. xochitl

    I’m not crazy about the “cool kids club” feminism either. The language is clearly meant to appeal to a hip, young, white audience, which alienates women who don’t fit this target market. It’s also a little sad to see women in their mid to late 30’s marketing themselves as “young feminists.” I mean, shit, the patriarchy must be pretty bad that even feminist women approaching 40 feel the need to be seen cute, young, and bubbly.

    On a side note, I remember buying some feminist magazine (either Bust or Bitch, can’t remember which) for my younger sister years ago, in the hopes that she might find something she could identify with. She was living in a small town, going to high school, wondering whether the whole world was crazy (with the messed up gender expectations and so forth) or was it just her? She told me there was an article in the issue of the magazine, all about how wonderful and empowering it is to give blow jobs. She said, “Why do I need feminists to tell me this? Isn’t this what everyone says?”

    So I really hope that popular feminist writers keep girls like this in mind. Of course, it’s great to attract a wider audience. But who are you alienating in the process of trying to attract this wider audience? Girls who already feel alientated from the hip, white, sexy youth culture. There’s nothing wrong withat wanting to be popular. But don’t water down your ideas in your quest for popularity.

  17. Gender Blank

    I don’t remember exactly how I found you, but I know I was exiled in New Hampshire working a shitty job at the time, and you saved my life. I was not a very productive worker after that. Archives don’t just read themselves.

  18. Calixti

    Ditto on Feminsting being my gateway blog; I went from Feministing via a link in the Pro-Choice Guild on gaiaonline.com, and it let me to Feministe, and Pandagon, and Bitch, Ph.D, and, of course, here. I still have trouble wrapping my brain around some of the things on this blog sometimes, but when I think about it enough, it eventually makes sense.

  19. norbizness

    I clicked on a “slap the sumo wrestler’s ass and win a plasma TV!” floating ad and found myself here. Upon trying to immediately close my browser in shock and horror after see a red-faced Mr. T, my computer seized up and started emitting blue sparks. So far, no response to my demand letter from the Twisty Phalanx of Attorneys.

  20. Apostate

    Thank for you writing this post, Twisty. Feministing is truly terrific, an excellent source of feminist news. I was already an expert blamer when I started reading it, but I was limiting my blaming to my native cultures, imagining America (my adopted country) had achieved most feminist goals.

    Feministing opened my eyes just by the daily coverage of the anti-woman crap that goes down out there.

    I also really love their simple, strong, uncompromising stances that get the blaming across at the right target and is inclusive of all sorts of diverse women.

  21. BeaTricks

    The seeds of my patriarchy-blaming were planted at Pandagon. As my feminist ways began to grow and bear fruit, I explored other feminist blogs like Feministe, Feministing, and Shakesville.

    During my conversion period, I would stop by IBtP occasionally. My apologies, Twisty, but when I first read your blog I thought: “Wow, this shit is a whole other level of crazy”. Then there came a day when I didn’t think that anymore. I began to notice all the blatant and subtle bullshit the patriarchy dishes out regularly.

    I’ve been pissed off ever since. Pissed off in a good way.

  22. Lara

    I have to agree with xochitl, even though I used to read Feministing (waaayyy back in the day, when I was, I dunno, a zygote) every now and then I started to find the tone kind of, I dunno, very centered on looking “cool” and hip by mainstream standards. I wasn’t as directly conscious of it at the time, at the time I couldn’t quite put my finger down on it, but I knew there was something that just wasn’t…wholly right with it? I mean, I guess it’s good for women unfamiliar with feminism, but it’s viewpoint is so incredibly white-centric and middle-upper class that I think a lot of women of color and more working class women would not be able to identify with it and would feel alienated by it. That’s something important to keep in mind: what demographic of young women are we talking about here when we say Feministing’s popular? Why are white and middle-upper class girls and women’s experiences considered the standard or “gateway” for feminism??
    My introduction to feminism was Bitch and Ms. Magazines, and then much later I actually found feminist blogs like Feministe and Feministing several years after I got my own computer to use.
    I am barely 23, I am hetero, I come from a middle-upper class background, I am very formally educated, and my family is Egyptian (although it’s weird I look kind of like a White woman so I get treated that way sometimes), AND my hormones are raging and I have a serious libido. But, but, BUT, that does not mean I can relate to the writers of Feministing that often, or that I think it’s one of the best feminist blogs.
    I am not sure if y’all have visited the blog lately but the comments by regulars on Feministing I think drive me up the wall the most. These women literally think they can take anything inherently degrading and make it “feminist.” And I have seen a few of them resort to some name-calling targeted at feminists that do not support porn. And no, that’s not their hormones or age talking there. And Valenti’s also made racist comments too in the past so I have very mixed feelings about supporting the blog that much, to say the least.
    Yes, I agree for sure, becoming a feminist, being a feminist, is most certainly a work-in-progress, it is always developing. Hell, I learn something important and new every day from reading radical feminist blogs. EVERY DAY. But I don’t think teaching a young woman that blow jobs are “empowering” is exactly great for her feminist development (let alone self-esteem) either.
    Just my two cents. I feel torn. :P

  23. Lisa

    IBTP was my first introduction to real feminism. After this, I can appreciate sites like feministing, but I grow impatient with them. I still don’t think I’m “advanced” enough to comment, yet, as you can see, I do on occasion. But this was my feminist primer. Nothing shocked or disturbed me here, I think because disability discrimination bullshit pulled me so far out of the mainstream years ago that I already had radical tendencies. Some stuff here did, and still does, make my brain turn into a pretzel, though. Which is good for me, by the way.

  24. Jenny Dreadful

    Sometimes I feel like the Feministing comments section just really sucks. But I also realize that it’s not really for me–people need to get in there and work through all the kinks and voice their questions and either become a real feminist or go off to be a douchebag somewhere else. I know that I’ve left comments on feminist blogs that in hindsight seem pretty stupid, now that I know so much more about feminism, so again, I understand not banning people outright if what you want to foster is a comfortable space for people who are still just learning. But at the same time, I think there are some obvious trolls who pollute the comments over there with racist and overtly sexist crap, and that they should probably be asked to stop befowling the feministing experience for everyone else, but of course, it’s not my blog.

  25. donna

    Sorry, you’re the only one I can stand any more. Everyone else tries to rationalize the patriarchy too much.

  26. Jen

    Sometimes I think that you don’t give us young feminists enough credit. I mean, I’m turning 20 next week and I’ve read probably through two years of your posts and agreed with the general gist, if not the particulars, of 90% of it. I also think you’re a better writer, because you do not numb down the vocabulary or make everything easily digestible in bit-sized pieces. In short, if I don’t get your post, it’s because I didn’t read it correctly, not that you’re a bad writer.

    I enjoy riding the coat-tails of my second-wave feminist fore-mothers. You’re all so witty and educated, and so not into apologizing for sick men, porn, and the misogyny of my peers. Feministing might get it wrong because they approach everything with baby gloves, make it easily digestible and accessible, and then put up with inane and pointless commentary. There’s also the tendency to write as they speak, spelling errors, idioms, and “um”, “yeah”, “ok” and all.

    But I digress. I stumbled upon the Feminist blog sphere less than two months ago, beginning at Feministing. Through links and word-of-mouth, I got here. I have worked with Feminist agencies, but I have only taken a couple credit hours of Sanctimonious Women’s Studies. I did not find the radical feminism off-putting, weird, or plain wrong. I found it uncompromising, honest, and personal. You all took off your oven mitts and put on the boxing gloves. You speak like empowered people, and do not pepper your prose with girlish phrases.

    I hate porn. I hate boys my age. I hate explaining why Feminism is not dead, dammit. I am not patient, I am not kind, I am angry. I have every right to be, considering how much of my identity was almost lost to Dude Nation. I do not Feminism that compromises, that pulls the punches, and slithers up and down poles naked for the pleasure of men.

    I like to think that there are more young women out there like me: discontent with grrrl-power and the general feeling that feminism is only cool if it is sexy. Well, I am anti-sexy. I always thought that Feminism was about talking with your mouth and everyone listening with their ears. Feminism is not talking with your breasts and vagina and men listening with turgid pricks.

    IBTP is uncompromising radical feminism. I love it here, because there is finally some place filled with people that explore how deep the rabbit hole goes without fearing that they sound hysterical. So while I like Feministing and Feministe and the Curvature for their links, I love IBTP for telling it like it is.


    Okay, this sentence is TEH AWESOME:

    Feminism is not talking with your breasts and vagina and men listening with turgid pricks.

    I think I found ALL my fave blogs through BROADSHEET, including this one, my VERY VERY FAVE. My other faves are Shakes, pandagon, shapely prose and Smokey Mountain Breakdown; oh and Creek Running North when it is sciencey. ANd Feministe.

    All the time, Twisty, all the time, I read your incredible writing and I feel like a retarded lap dog who slobbers to communicate. But I felt a moment of feeling like a smartypants, because I read Mary Daly Gyn/Ecology at 19 and totally LURVED it and READ THE WHOLE THING OUT LOUD TO MY BOYFRIEND, forcing him to become a total radical feminist!

    (It “took” too, becuase he never looked at PRON again in his whole life, among other anti-dude-nation improvements. (We didn’t stay a couple but are still BFF)).

    (Because of MY A-List blogs, I always feel confused when some dude sez : “All the “Big” bloggers are dudes”. MY Blogosphere is almost entirely Female, and 100% Feminist)

  28. Lindsay

    Too true! I found Feministing through an article about a plus sized model. I devoured several months of the archives, everything seemed so enlightening, comments and all. I seem to have internalized most of the ideas because nothing strikes me as new on that site anymore.

    I branched off into IBTP, Pandagon, Shakesville, and Feministe. My first article I read here was the thought experiment about all sex with men under the Patriarchy being rape, and this was my favorite blog ever since!

    I realized how fucked up my relationship with my boyfriend was, tried to get him into feminism, failed utterly, and broke up with him.

    Now I’m enlightened AND free, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

    I = liberated woman.

  29. Kay

    My feminist primer was late night chats with my older sister who was employed as a peer educator at the local sexual health centre in our youth. She took me to see Gloria Steinem speak when I was 16. By the time I came across IBTP last year, thanks to my sister I had moved beyond the sexy hip feminism most 18 year old feminists like, and jumped into the radical feminist deep end. But sometimes I do like the simpler, bite sized feminism found on other sites. And as someone who does this far too often on the internet, I can never fault anyone for typing like they’re talking.
    “uhm, okay then. People who should have agency shouldn’t be coerced. Okay? Because I don’t think this is all that contentious.” -Kay, on her school debate forum.

  30. Londie

    I’ve been reading IBTP for awhile now ( 1 year, about), and, though I’m a tad bit older than you (a TAD), I identify with the trajectory of your narrative. I’ve never posted to the comments section of IBTP before, but your post–in response to this particular topic–seemed very honest. Thank you.

  31. woland

    Oddly enough, I found IBTP when I was referred for genetic counseling and testing for a family history of ovarian cancer and was pissed as all hell that the best the medical system could suggest if my BRCA test comes back positive is prophylactic amputations, leaving me to chose between the poorly-studied risks of menopause at 36 or spending the rest of my life seeing my body as a timebomb. My embittered and rather graphic speculation about what would happen if testicular cancer were so easy to cure if caught early but so difficult to detect wasn’t particularly welcome on the cheerful and empowered cancer sites, which led me to google various combinations of “cancer”,”patriarchal assholes”, and assorted epithets. I arrived at Feministing via Pandagon and Shakesville which I found on the theory that anyone Bill Donaghue hated must be worth checking out.

    I can’t stand seeing feminists refer to each other as “feminists” because they disagree on some point, are of different generations, use different language, and so on. Someone else’s version of feminism may be different from mine and I don’t shy away from a spirited and snarky debate, but we all know what the real enemy is.

  32. saikungreader

    I first found Twisty by googling “I blame the patriarchy” because I was feeling blameful and wanted to see if others shared my feelings and thoughts.

    I was SO pleased to discover this site. Now I’ll start to take a look at Feministing and Feministe.

  33. Hunter

    I’m glad that you like feministing. I’m utterly fascinated by your blog. The fact that you ostensibly hate me, (I do have a penis and enjoy regular sex with my girlfriend), doesn’t bother me and is more than countered by that fact that you are the only person who has forced me to use a dictionary since the 7th grade.

    It’s odd. My first girlfriend actually introduced me to feminist theory long after we stopped being an item. She reads feministing and pandagon regularly. I am unsure about showing her your site though. I don’t know how she would react. She’s generally not a fan of people who could broadly (no pun intended) be called, “second wave” feminists.

    To make my 8th unrelated point of this post, what do you think of AMERICAN PSYCHO? The book and the movie?

  34. atheist woman

    I came to feminism via real life and Andrea Dworkin back when I was in middle school. I think I might have accidentally found Twisty back in high school become confused, and stumbled on (how can she be a gentlemen farmer and a spinster aunt?). I rediscovered the blog last year, about the same time as Feministing.

  35. TinaH

    I too am going through the process of becoming more and more radicalized. Feministing is a good source of news. I also find myself cheering at Shakesville’s work daily, plus they have teaspoons.

  36. Amanda Marcotte

    I’m not crazy about the “cool kids club” feminism either. The language is clearly meant to appeal to a hip, young, white audience, which alienates women who don’t fit this target market.

    I’ve struggled with finding the voice that appeals to all people everywhere without losing its appeal, and found, as a writer, that unless you write as yourself, you have no appeal to anyone at all. This is particularly so if you’re trying to be funny—deciding not to have a voice, because by definition a voice discludes some people who aren’t into it, means that you can’t be funny. Which bizarrely disincludes people who like humor. It’s a writing issue that I don’t think there’s a way to escape it.

    Not all the writers at Feministing are white, so to suggest that race predetermines that you don’t get that site is to suggest that such women don’t understand themselves. But the beauty of the internet is that if this site doesn’t appeal to you, another will.

    The irony of the swipes at Feministing is this: They got to be big by being themselves. Now that they are big, some claim they have a responsibility not to be themselves. This, of course, is a classic catch-22 and if you issue it against someone, you either mean to trap them in a no win situation, or you haven’t fully thought out the ramifications of your statement.

  37. Amberbug

    I crawled here, and to Bitch Phd and Feministing, during an abusive relationship with a former pornographer and found that arguing or defending twistypoints made the aforementioned asshat pick up the phone to commit me. Feministing et al gave me ammo he could understand as a ‘sane’ but strong feminist defense. Now I’m free, and thanks to all sites from a disability radfem, also from the incest survivor camps, for helping me stay on point internally and defend myself as sane until i could run. Wheeeee.
    Really, all feminist sites help, the more the merrier. There are all types of blaming minds at all stages with different expressive techniques (OMG!) out there. Also, strippers need saucy sites too so the TMJ from dragging themselves to work doesn’t kill their pleasing smiles and get them in trouble. Sex *workers* (did I use astrix correctly?), especially young ones being groomed, need whatever form of feminism they can create or find. Steady diet of Twisty and Dworkin for me, with a good dose of womanism, and someday my very own blog.

  38. Twisty

    Hunter. If I dislike you it is not because of the body parts you “enjoy” sticking in your poor girlfriend (I leave it to her to dislike you for that). It is because when you read the FAQ — which of course you must have done, as it is a condition of posting here — you elected to ignore several of its key points.

    Also, your cavalier attitude toward dictionaries is worrisome.

  39. ate

    “The fact that you ostensibly hate me, (I do have a penis and enjoy regular sex with my girlfriend), doesn’t bother me”

    a) Don’t hate men, hate the patriarchy.
    b) Don’t care about your sex life.
    c) It’s a shame that the patriarchy doesn’t bother you. But please feel free to continue making your voice heard. I’m really interested in your informed opinions.

    (I know, I know, i should ignore it.)

  40. delphyne

    “They got to be big by being themselves.”

    Well maybe. But being sex poz, pro-porn will also make you a very popular girl amongst a whole lot of people who don’t really care about women’s rights but want to use feminism as a justification for their woman-hating habits.

    Also it helps to drive up your hit count if you don’t ban sexist or racist commentators. I guess you could call that popularity. That’s one of the reasons I stay far away from places like Pandagon and Feministing, because of the sorts of people you find in the comments section. I get enough of them in real life without having to deal with them on the feminist internet.

    I still haven’t forgotten getting a particularly hard time in the comments section at your blog, Amanda, from a number a number of sexist men who wanted to defend their porn at all costs. The shame was you were right there with them too.

  41. Swanage

    This is the one place on the net where I come for my shot of feminist inoculant. Reading Twisty’s posts and the commentariat quite regularly causes me a “holy crap” moment as yet another facet of the patriarchy comes into focus. Y’all make me think, which is about the best compliment I can pay. I fail miserably against a radfem scale but I am gradually changing my words and deeds. At least now I understand why I’ve always been ‘invisible’. Hurts like hell but better to know the truth than be befuddled and not blaming the patriarchy.

  42. delphyne

    A second point – I also agree that this idea that young feminists somehow need different politics from older feminists is a mistake. First of all because it’s a bad idea to organise your politics around your age, something which is becoming apparent for the self-described third-wavers (my age group) who are now middle-aged and can no longer make a fetish out of their youth. Secondly, Andrea Dworkin published Woman-Hating when she was twenty-eight and Shulasmith Firestone published The Dialectic of Sex when she was twenty-five. Interestingly enough I don’t think either of them made much of a song and dance about how young they were. Age has never been a barrier to radical feminism.

  43. Jesisca

    Thanks Twisty, this post made my year.

    It’s also a little sad to see women in their mid to late 30’s marketing themselves as “young feminists.”

    xochitl, actually, we’re all in our twenties. :)

    On the other points about the comments section – believe me, we know. That’s why we’re anxiously awaiting our redesign which will make the site more community-oriented; folks can rate comments, which will really help us with moderation.

    As for concerns about the language and who we’re trying to reach out to…we definitely DO want to write the site in an accessible way. When I first thought about what I wanted for feministing, it was really important to me that anyone – with any level of political engagement or any level of education – could come to the site and feel like there was something there for them. But really, this is just how a lot of us talk and write – we’re pretty informal, funny gals.

  44. narya

    Okay, see, I don’t even know what “wave” I am (I’m turning 50 this year), in that that wasn’t even part of the conversation in my youth, at least not in my circles. I discovered feminism in the early 1970s at the public library in my small hometown, where I eagerly awaited the new Ms. magazine each month. I’m with Twisty on the multitude-of-voices thing–everyone comes at it a different way.

    As long as we’re showering the love on Twisty, I’ll add that part of what I like is the meta- parts (frex, I think the whole question of agency that works like Firestone & Marx raise is worth serious consideration, but it’s difficult to even think about those questions when one is still trying to figure out just how much camo will be necessary/bearable to deal with the patriarchy on a daily basis). Also, it’s where I found Ron and B. Dagger Lee, and their contributions are always interesting.

  45. Cass

    “I dislike, strongly, people who treat feminism like a cool kids club and guard the borders to make sure that we don’t grow.”

    Me too.

    And I’m very happy to see that so many blamers here can appreciate the need for gateway drugs. I felt the same way about “Full Frontal Feminism” which, along with “The Gift of Fear” should be mandatory reading in our middle schools. As a D.V. advocate I’ve dealt with women from Bangladesh to Brownwood, Tx (God have mercy on their souls) and have become that much more passionate over time about the need to speak to people right where they are, with both compassion and respect.

  46. Genevieve

    My feminist primer was the Women in American History class I took during my first semester of college, which was highly recommended to me by my academic adviser, who said that the professor teaching it was: “worth waking up at 9 am for.” She was right–this professor was an awesome second-wave feminist, completely brilliant, funny, amazing. I had heard of feminism before I took this class, obviously, but had never identified as a feminist due to my lack of knowledge about the movement. I went into this class with the thought at the back of my head: “Maybe I’ll finally learn enough about feminism to be one by the end of this semester.”
    I did. And then I started reading…every feminist blog I could find, basically. (And made my blog more feminist than it had been.) And feminist books and feminist magazines. And fighting MRAs. (Ever run across one calling himself ByrdEye? He’s a real jackass.) And participating in The Vagina Monologues, Take Back the Night, and helping to organize an on-campus ‘community dialogue’ to discuss the hateful anti-choice messages which had been posted on signs around my campus. And from this organization, building an (as of yet still underground) campus feminist group.

    The movement has changed my life, and I have two very awesome second-wavers to thank for it.

  47. MelMir

    I started Blaming the Patriarchy and labeling myself feministing as a women’s studies major at Hunter College back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Then I lost my way. Really lost it (won’t bore you with the sordid details). Spent several years in an unhappy marriage which I am getting out of (May 5th court date should be final). Moved from New York to Texas a few years ago for ex husbands job and was sad and lonely. About a 2 years ago – or maybe a little more recent – found Pandagon and Feministing and starting finding myself again. Feministing led me to you through their links for which I am forever grateful. I mostly just lurk at these sites since I have so many issues I still need to work through but I read IBTP, Feministing, and other great feminist blogs on a daily basis and it feeds my soul which was deeply malnourished.

  48. Twisty

    Delphyne, I’m pickin up what you’re puttin down, but I don’t think that Firestone and Dworkin, if you plotted their genius on a bell curve, would fall anywhere near the middle. I mean, most women, due to cultural influences and brainwashing social pressures and whatever, don’t grasp this revolution stuff right off the bat. I think most women don’t want to grasp it, because they’re so invested in patriarchy, maybe with a marriage and kids and shit, that they can’t cut and run.

  49. Jenny Dreadful

    I’m working class, and I really don’t get an upper-class or elitist vibe from Feministing. Honestly, I got that sense a lot more from radfam writing that blamed women for the concessions that we basically have to make to the patriarchy in order to survive. I was always put off by crap by people like Linda Hirschmann who seem so disengaged from the reality of choices that women have to make every day. I think that’s why I was really drawn to IBTP–the idea that the framework I’m operating in often forces me to choose the least bad of a bunch of bad choices instead of being a human being with full fucking agency really nailed a lot of the frustration I was feeling about entering the work force as a dirt-poor, albeit well educated, woman.

    One of the great things about Feministing is that they have tons and tons of current events posted all the time. The news articles speak for themselves and can be forwarded to family members, brothers and boyfriends and can, in a lot of cases, get them to realize just how difficult it is to be a woman in a patriarchy. I’ve shared dozens and dozens of these articles with my boyfriend, and now he regularly blames the patriarchy and is a regular reader of this blog and a ginormous Twisty fan.

    Not everybody is going to have the same path to feminism–but there are a lot of feminist blogs out there, so there’s really something for everyone. But Feministing is doing a great job, clearly, of getting a lot of people interested, and even one percent of the people who find and love feministing end up blaming the patriarchy, then that’s a huge goddamn accomplishment. It just might change the whole world.

  50. MarilynJean

    I like to sit back and wait for Lara to make all the points that I am thinking. So yeah, what Lara said about Feministing. I’m rather indifferent to it and there is something about Feministe that just flat out bothers me.

    And to pointlessly echo what some others have said about this whole “young feminist” thing: why does age matter, and since when did being 25 make you view the patriarchy any differently than when you’re 65? At either age it sucks and all it does it affect you in different ways as you pass through life. So, cut it with the “As a young feminist…” crap already.

  51. eb

    I enjoy visiting Feministing and I’m glad Twisty has given them the props they deserve. As she said, “…no radical feminist springs from the womb a fully-formed revolutionary.” With any blog or book or piece of information, you take what you need and leave the rest.

    It’s like being in a grocery store. You don’t buy all the vegetables, do you? You might not like endive but perhaps you really enjoy leeks. So, you buy yourself some leeks and leave the endive for the endive lovers.

    Bottom line – it’s all good.

    PS – If we’re going to get rid of the whole, “As a young feminist thing,” then let’s get rid of the “wave” of feminism idea. If feminism knows no age boundaries, then waves are totally meaningless and particularly annoying.

  52. j

    delphyne: “Age has never been a barrier to radical feminism.”

    MarilynJean: “why does age matter, and since when did being 25 make you view the patriarchy any differently than when you’re 65?”

    I think we all agree that patriarchy harms younger women and older women alike. But arriving at this realization—that the patriarchy is all around you though it may sometimes disguise itself as “Yay pink and sparkly girl power; let’s go shopping!!!”—is not equally easy for people of all ages.

    Is that an ageist statement? I don’t know, and I’m glad you both are bringing that up. There’s a fine line between “In general, youth culture makes young women more amenable to a decidedly non-radical form of feminism” and “Young women need to be dumbed down to.”

    MarilynJean: “So, cut it with the “As a young feminist…” crap already.”

    Sorry, I was just explaining what actually happened in my life. You know, like an anecdote, not crap.

  53. legallyblondeez

    I found Feministing because they profiled one of my awesome feminist friends, and found IBTP through them. I love that you all (Twisty and the Feministing crowd) seem to have such respect for each other as feminists, regardless of the differences in your blogging personas and degrees of radicalization. You all deserve props.

  54. thebewilderness

    There were no women’s studies classes when I went to school, and I had never heard of feminist theory. I had always been more of a labor rights activist, so I read a lot of political blogs. Then there was this pie fight at the great orange satan, and I said to myself, “Criminy, where are all these womens studies women he’s going on about”. I shook the dust of the liberal doodz blogs off my keyboard and did some searching and link mining for feminist sites in search of the women’s studies women’s blogs.
    I found a bunch, and they were interesting, every one, but when I found IBTP it felt like coming home.

  55. delphyne

    Yeah Feministing is the gateway to IBTP and what other radical feminist blog? Oh that’s right, none. There are no other anti-porn, anti-prostitution radical feminist blogs linked to from Feministing. They don’t link to the Andrea Dworkin on-line library, a terrific feminist resource, they don’t link to One Angry Girl, another one (it got mentioned here recently by someone who had never heard of it before, now why is that?) both of which were around long before feminist blogging was even a twinkle in the advertisers’ eyes. Biting Beaver when she was writing, before she was driven away by the worst misogynists I’ve ever come across on the internet, never got linked. I think she was once noticed when she had an issue with being unable to get birth control but all her incredible anti-porn, anti-prostitution writing was completely ignored. They do link to Alaz, a Blog though, the owner of which sold his blog to pornographers for a large sum. Now Alas links to Bang Bros. Some feminist.

    If you’re not sex poz or Twisty you’re out in the cold. Now that would be fine, their blog, they can do what they want, but then to claim that they are somehow a gateway to radical feminism when they clearly aren’t is a little hard to take. So if we’re talking about gatekeepers to feminism and who is keeping who out of feminism, my bet is on the blogs with the high traffic, the media profile and the book deals as the one doing it, not the meanie rad fems whose blogs maybe get a few hundred hits a week.

    Just for fun though go and do a search on first Catharine MacKinnon then Jessica Valenti at The Nation (Feministing links to that too). That’ll give you a good idea about who is and who isn’t getting their voice heard out there.

  56. Jenny Dreadful

    Feministing is for some people and not for others. I really don’t understand dissing them just for failing to link to certain bloggers. If you’re not sex poz or Twisty you’re hardly out in the cold–there’s a whole internet out there with blogs you might like. But Feministing has introduced a lot of people to feminism who might not have been as receptive to other messages or other voices. And a lot of us have moved on to other radfem literature and blogs as a result of having gotten our feet wet with Feministing. I don’t see how that’s a problem. Like, at all.

  57. delphyne

    I don’t care if they don’t link. I do care if they are being touted as gateways to radical feminism which they aren’t (they are anti-rad fem a lot of the time) or that people here are making claims that anybody who criticises them is somehow keeping people out of feminism. If anybody has that power (and it’s a contentious claim anyway), it’s them not the minor bloggers.

  58. xochitl

    Jessica and Amanda, I wasn’t speaking about your websites. I was talking in general about the whole “young hot white feminist” marketing thing.

  59. Lara

    Thank you delphyne. I really believe in the power of feminists constructively criticizing the feminism that’s actually exposed to the mainstream (in this case, Feministing and the more mainstream and sex-poz blogs). If we are not ready to constantly analyze and reanalyze the things we believe, say, and do, then there’s no point in trying to get revolution. I find that, looking at the comments section, Feministing tends to attract more trolls and pro-porn and sexist males than anything else. And then all the feminists there fall all over themselves trying to answer to this idiotic males with their inane comments. Rich and valuable discussion is actually stifled that way.
    Yes, Feministing can work for middle-upper class white women who are trying to learn more about pro-choice/equal-pay feminism, but for the rest of us women there are a lot of ideas that it promotes that are frankly just destructive and extremely anti-woman. And yes, I am so glad that delphyne mentioned Feministing’s not linking to various feminist blogs with different perspectives, yet it links to “Alas” which promotes violent porn in every corner :/ HOW is that beneficial for new feminists? What are they learning from this? I mean, really.
    Okay, yes, the current events articles are useful, and I can appreciate the work the women do at Feministing to get all of that information together. We need information like that. But I just think it’s dangerous and wrong to say that Feministing is just “GRRRREAT!” for women just introduced to feminism. It supports some horribly misogynist stuff (porn, for one) that can not only go against feminist causes but it can really confuse new feminists in a bad way.

    “I really don’t understand dissing them just for failing to link to certain bloggers. If you’re not sex poz or Twisty you’re hardly out in the cold–there’s a whole internet out there with blogs you might like.”

    Feministing didn’t “fail” to link to radical feminist blogs. It made a specific choice not to. I think that says a lot about how much they really want people to engage in serious discussions there. And while it’s good that they are going to get people to rate comments at Feministing, that does not in any way take away the abusive and really inane comments made there that frankly intimidate women away from commenting and make the blog a dart board for misogynist trolls, all in the name of “free speech.”
    And I just want to say that when I first discovered IBTP about, oh, 2 years ago or so, it was love at first sight :)

  60. Lara

    Amanda said:

    “The irony of the swipes at Feministing is this: They got to be big by being themselves. Now that they are big, some claim they have a responsibility not to be themselves. This, of course, is a classic catch-22 and if you issue it against someone, you either mean to trap them in a no win situation, or you haven’t fully thought out the ramifications of your statement.”

    I think that’s exactly why Feministing needs to have feminist writers that are not all sex-poz liberal feminists. The problem is that their slant is always the same, all the while they are trying to be everything to everybody. Why is the deliberate exclusion of radical feminists (white and of color), separatist feminists, etc. not a big deal to people? Amanda, I am not saying you implied it’s not a big deal, but I just thought of the question now…

  61. TP

    I read IBTP because of the writing. I read the comments because of the honesty and confirmations they provide. But every now and then, that norbizness cracks wise so hard I laugh until the tears come to my eyes.

    I must echo the common theme that it is truly wise to welcome everyone possible to identify as feminists and then, while they are feeling all righteous about it, slowly strip away their illusions. It takes years. It may take forever. Denying these women at any point is a shame; correcting them at any point always possible and far less destructive than simply throwing up the hands and declaring them “not really feminists.”

  62. CafeSiren

    Anyone out there ever read Mary Daly out loud? Not for an audience; just to yourself. The woman knew how to play with language. She’s like the free jazz of feminist theory.

  63. ate

    If you’re looking to Feminsting to provide in depth analysis of issues or the patriarchy, to be hardcore blamers or to remind you that Men Hate You then I think you’re missing their purpose. They are there to say violence against women is wrong, treating women like they are a lesser class is wrong, negative media attitudes towards women are abhorrent and here are some examples. Government legislation that further oppresses our rights to control our own bodies is really fucked and here are some examples. Plus here are some cool strong women doing awesome things, check it out. It doesn’t make them amazing and it doesn’t make them evil. Criticising their website for not being feminist enough for you or having content you disagree with is almost beside the point. They aren’t a radfem blog. They are a current events site run by feminists with links to stuff that, if you’re reading it you might also be interested in.

    Yes, there are things I don’t like. I think changes in moderation would be a really good step to allow for more positive debate. I dislike the ‘sexy’ women as their logo, some of the links, some of the content (not the ‘guilty pleasures’ stuff but just different ideas on feminism), that Marie Claire quote! But it is great on current affairs and that is what I expect it to be.

    I don’t know if it is a gateway for young feminists or not, I hope it is and it’d be great if it was. But if it isn’t it doesn’t make it any less valid.

  64. tinfoil hattie

    I like IPTB, and I like Shakesville. And now I like Black Amazon and Angry Black Bitch and I am actively looking for other, “different” blogs. Because I am waking up from a long life of ignorant privilege, and what started it all was BfP’s disappearance.

    Why are the blogs run by white, middle-class, “sex-positive” women called “gateway” blogs? Because they make feminism palatable? Hell, at 12 years old I knew the world sucked for women. If you are looking at all, you can’t help but see it.

    Feminism has many faces, and if you’re a young WOC will you be attracted to feminism by reading Feministe and Feministing? Will those blogs be your gateway? I’m not sure.

    delphyne, good to hear you again.

  65. delphyne

    “Denying these women at any point is a shame; correcting them at any point always possible and far less destructive than simply throwing up the hands and declaring them “not really feminists.””

    Well we can’t rate posts here so instead I’m just going to give this remark a big hearty Boooooo!!!!

    As far as I can see nobody has said they aren’t really feminists. That’s a great big strawfeminist you’ve created right there TP. There is good at Feministing and Pandagon, the question is how they operate in relation to radical anti-porn, anti-prostitution feminism (well it’s one of the questions, there are others that are perhaps even more pressing at the moment) and at this point there are fair criticism to be made of them in that area.

    Good to see you too, tinfoil hattie.

  66. Cass

    “Hell, at 12 years old I knew the world sucked for women. If you are looking at all, you can’t help but see it.”

    I didn’t know that at twelve. And you yourself say in the preceding paragraph

    “…I am waking up from a long life of ignorant privilege, and what started it all was BfP’s disappearance.”

    So you’re growing and becoming progressively more enlightened with age, like (probably) most of us here. You’re absolutely right, though, that different communtites need different gateways, and that white hetero feminists in this society tend to forget about that.

  67. Twisty

    thebewilderness: “[…]Then there was this pie fight at the great orange satan […]

    Ah, those were the days. The pie fight of aught-five was a watershed moment in my blaming career. If I’d had any lingering illusions about the extent of misogyny even in supposedly progressive circles, that pie fight pretty much put doused’em. Whereupon I instantly became an advanced patriarchy blamer.

  68. Ann Bartow

    I read Feministing most days and I think it’s a great resource. I don’t agree with the commentary sometimes, or always understand their priorities, but so what? The Feministing blogroll very generously lists a lot of different feminist blogs, and as far as I can tell they do not generally use their size to energetically launch or participate in nasty blog wars, or link/de-link to “punish” people they disagree with on particular issues and then crow about it, as if feminist blogging was some kind of hellish e-Lord of the Flies scenario. The content is varied, the posts are frequent, and the “Feminist Reader” link round ups are useful and interesting.

    The FLP doesn’t have a traditional blogroll, but if anyone wants me to highlight a post at any particular blog, I’m happy to consider it, just e-mail me. FLP is a fairly small blog but open to “networking” and advancing other feminist blogs when we can. Our only rule is, No Assholes.

  69. witchy-woo

    I read some of the posts at Feministing but I rarely read the comments there these days because I can’t bear the women hating crap that’s allowed there – I get enough of that in my every day real life, thanks. Also, I hate the banner pic.

    I found IBTP by googling radical feminism. Much as I understand the concept of easing young blamers into the art I was, oooh eleven – maybe twelve when I understood the lay of the land.

    Feministing doesn’t have any blogs on their blogroll that I can relate to as a radfem apart from this one.

  70. Lara

    “Why are the blogs run by white, middle-class, “sex-positive” women called “gateway” blogs? Because they make feminism palatable? Hell, at 12 years old I knew the world sucked for women. If you are looking at all, you can’t help but see it.”

    Thank you tinfoil hattie! I have stated here time and again that the use of white-centric middle/upper class blogs by feminists is NOT a gateway to feminism by ANY MEANS. And yet everyone here keeps asserting it’s a great “introduction” to feminism for “young women”. And no one here yet has responded to this race/class issue except for you and MarilynJean.
    I’m beginning to think even more and more that white feminists just don’t want to see their own privilege, just don’t want to acknowlege and criticize the way they place themselves and their perspectives at the center of everything. I’m tired of it.

  71. Ann Bartow

    Witchy: The day I started Feminist Law Professors, I e-mailed Jessica and asked her to list FLP in the blogroll, and she said yes and did it, when there were like 2 posts and 3 readers. That meant a lot to me. It was my impression that some radfem blogs preferred not to be in that blogroll. I don’t really know much about it.

    Let me also say this: Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon, Flea of One Good Thing, Dr. Violet Socks of Reclusive Leftist, Laurelin in the Rain, The Happy Feminist, Heart of Women’s Space/The Margins, Ms. Jared of Sinister Girl, Fred of Stone Court, Dr. Bitch of Bitch, PH.D., Sam Berg of Genderberg, Twisty, Amananta of Screaming Into the Void, Pippa of One Salford Feminist, Sparkle*Matrix, and many other feminist bloggers have all kindly shown me “sisterhood.” I disagree with all of them about some things, and no doubt vice versa. But I’m still glad they blog. And I’m glad you blog too. Hope you are well and have a very nice weekend.

  72. kate

    “I dropped the book into a dusty crevice and went out drinking with my boyfriend (yes, boyfriend; that’s how far gone I was), a guy who thought it was hilarious to introduce me around as “some red-headed whore I picked up in a bar.” I didn’t come home for like 12 years.”

    So it wasn’t just me.

  73. Nia

    The feminist blogs I’m familiar with are Finally Feminism 101, Shakesville, Feministing, Feministe and IBTP, although I don’t read them all with the same regularity. I think that the best thing that may be said about Feministing is that they post quite a lot about women in other countries apart from the USA.

  74. Feminist Avatar

    My first encounter with real radfeminism was the SCUM manifesto. It blew my mind. I wondered if it was satire, but it just seemed a bit too real for that. I wanted to know what inspired that writing, to understand its motivation. And so I started reading everything I could get on 2nd wave fem. It’s now on the reading list for my first year u/grads. It blows their minds too, but hopefully, for some, it will open their eyes.

  75. surefinewhatever

    it’s a bad idea to organise your politics around your age,

    xochitl, actually, we’re all in our twenties. :)

    Not for long you’re not. :)

  76. tinfoil hattie

    Cass, I’m not sure what your comment means. My privilege is around race. I’m caucasian. I have learned how much privilege that has bestowed on my life, even as I have been abused, molested, denigrated, overlooked and looked over, shot down for jobs, ignored, and ridiculed for being a woman.

    How are those two experiences mutually exclusive?

    At twelve, I looked around and saw that boys wear pants to school, girls wear dresses. Boys got 3/4 of the playground and the gym for their antics, girls got the rest. Boys were preferred in the Catholic Church, girls were less than nothing.

    Also, at 12 I started reading Ms.

    I thought I was alone in my secret, radical thoughts until I found feminist blogs. Ms. folded, and the ERA didn’t pass, and women went back to being sexbots in the media, on TV, in movies, in ads. I thought I was alone.

    Now I am finding out, via feminism, about white privilege. I always proudly considered myself not racist, not prejudiced and indeed an advocate for racial equality.

    Then I started learning more and more about how maybe my perspective isn’t the one that matters in that battle.

    Feministe and Feministing both have outstanding posts much of the time. I still believe they appeal to a young, white, middle- to upper-middle-class audience. Fine — but doesn’t everything appeal to that audience?

  77. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    Speaking of empowerment: http://www.bandt.com.au/dirplus/images/bttoday/newsletter/17_04_2008.pdf

    Finally a mag that will “make me feel good about myself!”

    Off topic: I’m searching the IBTP archives for commentary on art, “good taste” vs. “bad taste” as they relate to patriarchal/class standards. I decided the best commentary must be hiding in the comments section of an unrelated post. Who has a better memory than I do?

    My surrealist sister just turned me on to the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) and it’s recommended reading list, where I found the book/show “Gullible’s Travels.” Both come across as very funny until it finally occurred to me WHY they’re funny. Now I want to write a book about upper middle class twits who get their jollies off playing gatekeeper against the hoi polloi.

    O HAY! I’m not actually off-topic, am I? Just for the record: For those folks outside the gates wondering what goes on inside, it’s BORING. Imagine the faint whiff of mold and cigar smoke. Nobody at the club ever says anything interesting and there is nothing to drink but 7 varieties of scotch. There are paintings of dogs playing poker. People are pasty, pinch faced, inbred and humorless. The only remarkable aspect to their personalities is that THEY think they’re fascinating. Meanwhile the real upper class quit the club a decade or so ago, and if you can find them (good luck) you’ll see them, oh, I dunno, offroading in the Congo or someplace like it.

    Bottom line: Perhaps we’d all be better off locking the gates at the fancy clubs from the outside?

  78. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    Hey. I just wrote something. I clicked “blame.” What happened? No “awaiting moderation or anything.” Damn Mac.

  79. delphyne

    “Bottom line: Perhaps we’d all be better off locking the gates at the fancy clubs from the outside?”

    What club? Who are you talking about?

  80. Lara

    Um, what does Hedonistic Pleasureseeker’s comment have to do with Feministing or feminist blogs at all? Can anyone tell me?

  81. The Hedonistic Pleasureseeker

    What’s it all about? Ingroups, outgroups, gatekeeping, gatekeeping!!!!

    I did warn you it was off topic . . . but not, really. I thought I was being meta, art imitating life and all that, but I guess it was just the vodka. Nevermind.

    Anyone elso out there remember that old discussion thread?

  82. kiki

    Wow. Circle those wagons like good, white women always do. Sorry to have started this on the other thread twisty, it’s not my space and I always forget how defensive white people get when their privilege is highlighted. I went to a school where the white girls didn’t have much time for us except to stop by for the occasional chance to put us in our place or explain things to our dumb asses; thanks for keeping up the grand tradition. From her stance on porn, to her choosing to put a decapitated naked female torso on her book she has repeatedly stood for so many of things that you claimed to be against. I think you’ve kissed up enough to get your own book deal…I’m sure the sexualized cover will be super ironic. Ugh.

  83. Twisty

    “I think you’ve kissed up enough to get your own book deal…I’m sure the sexualized cover will be super ironic.”

    Ha. As though I’m not-lazy enough to write a book! And I assure you, Kiki, that even if I started taking Ritalin and actually got one finished, nobody has the balls to publish any book I might write.

    I regret that my endorsement of the Feministing blog, which I have done on grounds that it exposes pink, sparkly girls to the existence of patriarchy, has been interpreted as an endorsement of everything from pornography to racism, since these are the very things I do not endorse!

  84. Octogalore

    I don’t read Twisty’s endorsement of the various books, in the context it was made, to extapolate to endorsing exclusionary racial or pornographic tactics as Kiki suggests.

    I disagree, Twisty, that you couldn’t find a publisher. Controversy sells, especially if it’s dosed with humor. Nobody needs balls, or spine as the case may be, to be capitalist. Get out that ritalin!

  85. Fiona

    This sentence makes me want to start my own publishing company: “And I assure you, Kiki, that even if I started taking Ritalin and actually got one finished, nobody has the balls to publish any book I might write.”

    I’D publish it. And as for your “laziness,” I’d venture to say your largest task would be compiling and editing much of what you’ve already done, and that’s something an experienced editor could do in a matter of months if not weeks. Granted, I’m no expert on the publishing industry.

    The best part, though, would be the Twisty book tour. Public relations IS something I know, and you’d be aces for the shit-stirring Fox News types, despite the inevitability that they’d get their asses handed to them by Twisty Faster.

  86. buggle

    Twisty, it doesn’t bother you at all that Feministing, along with Pandagon (which you’ve also promoted recently) are both pro-porn blogs? You have no critique of either of these blogs? They are both just great and awesome? I’m disappointed, I’ve never heard you talk about something so uncritically. For many radical feminists, places like Feministing are like a big slap across the face. Although they have many quality posts, they are very clearly pro-porn and pro-prostitution. I don’t see how it is helpful for young women learning about feminism to learn that feminism is about being pro-porn. Or how pole-dancing is feminist and empowering. Also, these blogs are NOT welcoming to radical feminists AT ALL.

    Yeah, I’m really confused by this post.

  87. TP

    Yes, please, someone out there with editing skills, please edit IBTP into a book in your spare time! Once in some kind of rough shape, we could see how easy it is to market.

    I followed the link to the great pie-throwing controversy of ought-five and remembered it well. Glancing through the comments I noticed, also, how long, stupid, and male-centric my posts were back then. I may still need correction from time to time, but I hope to god I’m not nearly as ardent about representing the male perspective as I once was.

  88. Caitlin Jeanne

    I was a feminist at 15 and I did read Mary Daly before I turned to the internet, since that was what my mom had. I also read Firestone in high school and remember it blowing my MIND, except thinking that her model of the “American family” was hecka weird at the time. The first feminist blog I read was Feministe, but I do read Feministing as well, and read IBTP, and my feminist group runs our own blog.

    Can anyone please tell me some differences between radfems and so-called “liberal” feminists besides the fact that radfems appear to be anti-porn/anti-prostitution and “liberal” feminists are pro-porn/pro-prostitution? I describe myself as a radical feminist but I think that sex work is much more complicated than “pro” or “anti” and wouldn’t describe myself as either.

  89. sam

    Having been both a liberal feminist and a radical feminist, I think Theriomorph’s post on the liberal feminist call for submissions to a book tentatively titled “Yes Means Yes” adequately covers the bigger bases on that question.


  90. delphyne

    Jeanne, the standard short answer to the difference between radical feminism and liberal feminism is that liberal feminists want to reform the patriarchy and radical feminists want to obliterate it. Or to put it another way, liberal feminists want equality within the current male-supremacist system, whilst radical feminists want liberation from male supremacy. Radical feminism also argues that patriarchy and men’s illegitmate power are built on violence towards women particularly sexual violence, which is why being anti-porn and anti-prostitution is central to our politics.

    Don’t ask yourself whether you are pro-sex work or anti-sex work, that’s the liberal framing, ask yourself whether you are pro-john or anti-john. If you think that there is any set of circumstances where it is OK for a man to purchase a woman’s body to sexually use, then you (general you) are probably not a radical feminist.

  91. Lara

    Well Caitlin Jeanne, “radical” means “at the roots”, in the case of radical feminism, it means to “get to the roots of patriarchy.” Radical feminists believe that patriarchy cannot be written away by law reform or a reform within our current culture. They believe instead that sexism and male-centredness are ingrained within our very institutions, in our basic understandings and formations of sex, identity, race, etc.
    That is why you see liberal feminists thinking they can take something like stripping, or the justice system, or what not, and make it “empowering” for women. And why you see radical feminists pointing out that you have to rid of the status quo and current systems altogether to gain liberation for women, of all colors, ethnicities, class backgrounds, etc. Furthermore, radical feminists really hold to the basic feminist tenet that “the personal is political.” In other words, what we do or what goes on in our personal lives, in our behavior, in our families, in our bedrooms, is very much affected by and connected to the realities of oppression and politics. That what we do every day, how we conceive of things should be viewed in context, in the big picture (White Supremacist heteronormative ableist Patriarchy).
    The arguments that ensue between liberal and radical feminists do certainly go beyond the “sex industry,” but because porn and porn culture has become so incredibly mainstream right now you’ll see it dominate a lot of the discussions between (and among) liberal and radical feminists.
    Hope that made sense :P

  92. ate

    Thank You Lara

  93. Laughingrat

    That’s a great Mary Daly story, or maybe a sad one. When the peeps at Feministing seem a trifle young to me, I should remember that it’s great that they have a place where they can go and be young and be feminist and also be safe.

    My own introduction to feminism was in the Orlando Public Library; I was age 11, and had wandered from the 200s (religion) to the 300s (feminism) and somehow, the very first thing I picked up was Andrea Dworkin’s _Woman Hating_. I started reading it, and suddenly, everything made sense: the oppression at home, the oppression at school, the creepy things I saw in TV commercials, the way 50-year-old-men would leer at me when I was with my dad in the local 7-11…everything.

    21 years later and I’m still in the library (as a librarian), and I’m still a radical feminist. Finding your blog in the last few days has been a powerful reminder of how all-encompassing radical feminism is, and how I never really stopped being a radical feminist. It’s given me back a language for what I experience every day and a sense that I’m far from alone in (as you say) blaming the damn Patriarchy. As I said to one pal, “Twisty’s like Andrea Dworkin, but with really good jokes.” So as much as this verges on extremely boring confessional, I wanted to share this and thank you.

  94. Hedgepig

    Just want to say I love it when people revive old posts. It’s a fun way to access the IBTP archive. So, Twisty’s a redhead, eh?

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