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Jan 26 2009

Spinster aunt really does read her email

Top o the marnin, blamers. You know how I rely on you to email me with cultural bacteria I can grow in the petrie dish of blame down in the lab, but relax. You can all stop sending me the link to the $3.8 million virginity auction. I’m hip to it. And I cannot possibly improve on Amanda’s response, which is more or less that “virginity” is a bogus construct, and that the “auction” is a hoax to advertise a Nevada brothel.

Amanda, ever the optimist, also holds out hope that the hoaxer is both meta and feminist enough to be enjoying a big hearty feminist laugh over having duped a bunch of right-wing pervs into confusing an amorphous cultural construct with an object worth millions. If Amanda’s right, it’s a pretty elegant joke, but I don’t see how it can play out unless the virgin in question makes with a gotcha! statement.

Meanwhile, you can all stop sending the link to the Monstrous Women movie trailer, too. I assure you that I have a) watched it and b) guffawed at it.

This Monstrous Women vid has been bumping around the lefty blogosphere as a joke-butt for a while, so you probably already know that it advertises an antifeminist Christian propaganda film called “The Monstrous Regiment of Women.” The film purports to “prove that feminism has in fact restricted choices for all women, brought heartache to the lives of many, and perpetuated the largest holocaust since the beginning of time.”

Indeed, the filmmakers appear to have drawn inspiration from “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women,” a 500-year-old tract written by a godbag Scotsdude who believed that women are “weak, sick, impotent, foolish, mad, and frenetic.” The Scotsdude, Protestant reformer and professional misogynist John Knox, was absolutely apoplectic that a woman (Elizabeth I) should be sovereign of England, on accounta “God, by order of his creation, has spoiled [deprived] women of authority and dominion,” which makes “the empire of a woman [...] repugnant to nature.”*

Knox was a wackjob, all right, but the filmmakers have to dumb him down for an audience of modern homeschooled Christians. Knox meant “regiment” in the sense of a “regime,” as in “the regime of Queen Elizabeth,” but the movie uses the word in the modern sense to give the hilarious impression that a veritable army of frothing feminists swarms the countryside with swords made of IUDs and shields made of paycheck stubs to blacken the souls of our innocent daughters and foment despair in the hearts of formerly happy hausfraus.

So anyway, that’s the backstory.

If you have demurred when it comes to actually watching the video — and I wouldn’t blame you if you had, as it is difficult to maintain a healthy appetite for your fluffy morning waffle while a string of misogynist women make unenlightened wackaloon remarks about how feminists want the State to rip babies from the arms of their mommies and force the unhappy women to work in salt mines (no joke!) — I’ll give you a brief synopsis of the trailer in question.

Antifeminist propaganda always sounds more realistic when it comes softly, in a wounded tone, from the delicate mouths of demure right-wing collaborators, so the film, though it was produced and directed by dudes, features exclusively women, whose talking heads “extol femininity” and “blast feminism.”

“The problem with feminism is the cultivation of an attitude of victimization,” desiccated, pink-faced old gasbag Phyllis Schlafly is dragged out of mothballs to opine. Feminists, she declares, “get out of bed with a chip on their shoulder.” Because we have completely pulled out of our asses the insane idea that the world order is based on a system of domination and submission. We just made up this patriarchy myth because we’re all too ugly to get a man.

Hillary Clinton, says one kindly old granny, alluding to the ghastliest female abomination she can think of, had the unmitigated gall to show no interest whatsoever in baking cookies. The horror.

A “former cadet” with a pixelated face and the name “Jane Doe” explains matter-of-factly that women in the military inevitably have crying “fits,” and that when they do, they are ridiculed and raped. Jane Doe confused me for a minute until I realized that she — or I should say, the filmmakers — isn’t taking a dudes-shouldn’t-rape-women stance — which would be inconsistent in an antifeminist film. Instead she — or rather, they — are suggesting that it is unnatural for women to be in the military in the first place, and that rape is their just punishment. Blaming weak, sick, impotent, foolish, mad, frenetic women makes much more sense than holding noble young warriors accountable for their uncontrollable eruptions of barbarism.

A delicate flower (and author of the gripping page-turner Raising Maidens of Virtue), dressed in virtuous white flowing robes, declaims that if you dress “loose,” you’re just asking for it, you godless slut. An oldie but goodie.

My favorite — this is where I made with the guffaw — is the woman who, during a stint as Satan’s handmaiden, says she was in “the abortion industry.” The business model of this industry, she says, is to “go into schools” and “get” teenage girls to be sexually active, with the stated goal that the newly ensluttified teens have “3 to 5 abortions between the ages of 13 and 18.” Performing abortions on sexy teenagers is just that lucrative. The carnivorous feminists who cooked up this baby-hating scheme are laughing all the way to the bank.

The ex-abortepreneur lady, you’ll be happy to know, is now a member of a group that shoves Jesus and compulsory pregnancy down the throats of indigent women.

You know, I am deeply heartened that somebody somewhere — OK, it’s just a couple of godbag wackjobs whose website actually contains the phrase “in regards to,” but they’re better than nothing — takes feminism seriously enough to bother making a cockumentary like this. It almost makes it seem like we’ve got some kind of movement goin’ on. Alas. Would that we were a monstrous regiment.

___________________
* UPDATE: I am gently corrected by a more scholarly blamer than myself, who suggests that the object of Knox’s antipathy was not the Protestant ER 1, but the two Catholic Queen Marys (“Bloody” and “of Scots”). Although I did read that Elizabeth, who was no Knox fan on account of his misogynist ways, did kill his career forthwith.

44 comments

1 ping

  1. buttercup

    Wow, when I saw “monstrous regiment”, I thought they were making a movie out of the Terry Pratchett book and I got happy for a minute. Then I got sad. I didn’t watch the video, though. I will take my favorite spinster aunt’s interpretation as all I need to know about it.

  2. Veganrampage

    Phucking Phyllis Schlafly is still alive? Ye Goddesses and little fishes, stick a fork in my ass and turn me over, I’m done. (Make it a vegan fork)

  3. Anna Belle

    The Queen Vagbot, that Phyllis Schafly.

    I didn’t check out the video either, but it makes me wonder. The right has been consistently using videos just like this, as well as home-grown publishing houses and the like for decades now. Where are the college feminists majoring in film? Are they combating this at all? Does anyone know of a good documentary that takes folks like these ladies and their male bosses to task, showing how they support and enable patriarchy, how they frame it? Am I just missing it? ‘Cause I’ve been looking, or so I thought…

  4. yttik

    That woman who claims to have worked for the “abortion industry” is pretty funny. “I knew I could walk into a school and the number of pregnancies would increase by 50%.” Reminds me of the politicians who blamed teen pregnancy on “all the lesbians in our schools.” I always snicker when the language implies women get people pregnant. I guess we’re so powerful, we can even defy biology.

  5. KMTBERRY

    I watched the clip at PZ’s, and as horrible as it is, I can easily imagine that were I homeschooled, etc, and then shown this movie, at an age like maybe, 12, it would DELAY my Feminist conversion for a year or two.

    (Fortunately for ME, at 12 I was being raised by a single mother, and pretty much became a Feminst the instant I heard the word.)

    I cannot answer WHY movies aren’t being made to balance this kind of drek, I can only assume that the Godbags have no Truth and lots of Dough, and that young Feminist Filmakers have lots O truth, and no scratch.

  6. Lauren G.

    Cockumentary. Heh. Hey, I’m on board with the monstrous regiment. Thanks for the inspiration today.
    From, a loyal reader.

  7. thebewilderness

    I am so reporting for duty to the Monstrous Regiment of Women.

  8. Wolfhound

    “abortepreneur”
    “cockumentary”

    Twisty, I just love you.

  9. Jezebella

    Me too. Where do I sign up? Can I wear a utilikilt and combat boots?

  10. Flavia

    FWIW, Knox wasn’t upset about Elizabeth (or at least not in Monstrous Regiment)–he was het up about Mary Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots) and Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary), and although his misogyny is real, his objection to their rule was grounded in his objection to their Catholicism.

    Lots of people were anxious about female monarchs in the 16th C., and Elizabeth was never exempt from that (mostly, people got around it by arguing that she was the totally, totally exceptional woman who, unlike all the others, could function in a man’s world and was really an honorary man by virtue of her crown), but as a Protestant she was welcomed relatively enthusiastically.

  11. Hollywood Marie

    If I’m not mistaken, the uniform includes duffel coats.

  12. atheistwoman

    And we MUST shave our heads.

  13. Citizen Jane

    When they make a film like this, they have a whole church community backing them. I’m sure they received donations, all kinds of free labour, supplies, and contacts. Feminist college students don’t have those resources. Neither do most of them have girlfriends, mothers, and daughters to cook their meals and do their laundry and run errands for them while they use their leisure time to create.

    I can bet my bottom dollar that these Gunn brothers are completely oblivious to the privilege they enjoyed in order to make this movie that debunked the idea that they were privileged.

  14. AngmarBucket

    Ah yes.

    I know/knew an onling former friend like this, convinced that us wicked feminists had managed to pollute the school systems with their wicked feminist ways and that’s why boys are falling behind in school, and also, we want to turn them into girls (the worst thing ever).

    Amazing, that we feminists weild so much power without being the majority in…any power structure in the country, let alone the planet. How DO we do it? Why, it’s almost like it’s not true.

  15. Rayedish

    Glad you read you email Twisty and glad to watch the video with your interpretation in mind, making me smile instead of sigh.

    “You know, I am deeply heartened that somebody somewhere — OK, it’s just a couple of godbag wackjobs whose website actually contains the phrase “in regards to,” but they’re better than nothing — takes feminism seriously enough to bother making a cockumentary like this. It almost makes it seem like we’ve got some kind of movement goin’ on.”

    I just luv being a part of a movement responsible for all the evil in the world – I am reminded here of Jerry Fawell’s belief that Sept 11 was God’s punishment visited upon the US because of the levels of faithlessness, feminism and homosexuality.

  16. tinfoil hattie

    Why, it’s almost like it’s not true.

    Adding my own guffaw to the chorus.

  17. yttik

    Women need to capture all that power that isn’t true. We should embrace it. We need to turn around and say, yes I caused 911, increased pregnancy rates by 50%, and made your girlfriend leave you, because that’s just how I am. Back off or I’ll show you what else I can do.

    I mean if we’re so omnipotent, shouldn’t we be in charge?

  18. Anna Belle

    Good point Citizen Jane. Next question: How can I help fund them? I finally have some money, but zero time, so I’m willing to share for a good cause, such as thwarting the patriarchy. Any ideas?

  19. Anna Belle

    yttik, that’s what Mr. Peacock (my husband) says. He says we’ll overthrow the patriarchy as soon as we learn to beat on our chests like the other primates. I’m not sure I’m convinced they can be shouted down. Chest-thumping can be trumped by one thing: actual violence. They have the upper hand there. What do we do in that case? Who is willing to lay down their life for the cause? These are the questions that plague me.

  20. Ayla

    OK, so I was reading some comments about the woman auctioning her virginity, and there’s quite a bit of discussion about what the appeal of having sexy with a virgin is for men. Various ideas were tossed around including the notion that virgins have nothing to compare the experience to and/or no ideas of their own of how it should go, and are therefore easily controlled and “impressed.”

    I don’t necessarily disagree, but I honestly think that many, maybe even MOST men who fetishize this kind of thing simply buy into the idea of virgin=hymen breaking=blood and really get off on the idea of making a woman bleed with their OH MY GOD SOO HUGE penis. Amiwrong?

  21. Anna Belle

    One more thing…and I apologize…it’s the beer, a patriarchal tool if ever there was one (IBTP)…I do love this blog. I’m a newcomer (been reading since November or so), but I have read all the pertinent information and allowed for the information to sink in. I’m totally ready. Blames away!

  22. magriff

    This “film” is but the tip of the Interweb iceberg, as you might expect. My sis and I have long been obsessed with “homeschooler blogs” (as former homeschoolers ourselves) and have compiled quite a little vomit/laffriot inducing list with which we are morbidly obsessed. Try visionarydaughters.com if you’re feeling brave.

  23. Starlight

    We need our own “propaganda films!” I wanted a film made called “Penis Shooting”– you put a cardboard cutout of pedolfile priests, and then feminist gunners take aim.

    Arrows could be shot at cardboard Bishops etc., feminists storm the Vatican and round-up the hierarchy who are forced to convert to goddess worship.

    Endless poltical ideas bubble up. Where are the brave counter attack feminist third wave movie camera amazons when you need ‘em?

  24. jael

    OH! We’re playing the OMG homeschooler blogs? the Maxwell Family, Team Bettendorf and the Tony Lewis family. and a wander through homeschooler blogger is like walking through a orchard, ripe with the crazy fruit.

    though really is visionary daughters is something special…

  25. jael

    ohohoh! i notice this short also mentions ladies against feminism.

    stellar-brain-hurter, that one. just spectacular. somewhere buried in there (far down in the personal stories, i think) is an incredible tale of an australian, ‘reformed’ lesbian single mother of two children, who has since discovered the redemptive power of christ, homeschools the kids and is in the process of transforming her wardrobe to nothing but long, floral skirts, as far as I could tell.

    and the quiverful woman, the world is down on lots of kids? what world is this she inhabits?

  26. thebewilderness

    The assumption these women make that if the world is down on them it must be up on some other women is where they miss the point of Feminism altogether. Although, I must admit that we misunderstand that from time to time also.
    Then again, If they got the point of Feminism they wouldn’t be where they are, safe in the belly of the beast.

  27. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Ladies against feminism, ho ho ho. It sounds like a float in San Francisco’s Pride parade, you know, with drag queens and the like. But, as with so many other disappointing things in life, the real thing isn’t so much fun.

  28. another voice

    Anna Belle – they bring the violence already, and many women who had no intention of fighting for a cause -other than not being beaten and raped on a regular basis- die in this war. As Twisty indicates, we are getting to them, so I say fight on.

    I love “cockumentary”! That is all.

  29. VibratingLiz

    Ladies against feminism, ho ho ho. It sounds like a float in San Francisco’s Pride parade

    That would actually be the inestimable Ladies Against Women.

  30. SKM

    WHen my sisters and I were homeschooled in Northern CA in the eighties, it was not about religion at all. It was about getting more education, not less. This whackaloon homeschooling movement really pisses me off.

  31. VibratingLiz

    SKM! When you were being homeschooled in Northern CA in the eighties (along with my kids–we were those crazy hippie unschoolers) I was president of the CA secular homeschool organization. We had to work with the whackaloons on legal and political issues, which believe me was the epitome of Strange Bedfellows Syndrome.

    The whackaloon groups were of course all led by men, and they would start every meeting off with prayers. Inevitably, while we sat there aghast and agog, they would pray at length for their unfortunate wives who all seemed to be suffering from a variety of mysterious and incurable “female” ailments that baffled all their doctors. Us seculars would place bets before each meeting on which wife would come down with which ailment this week. I never met any of the wives but by the end of the damn 80s I knew more about their reproductive tracts than I did about my own.

    Everyone: Read Andrea Dworkin’s Right Wing Women. Fascinating, compassionate, and though written in 1983, still relevant and enlightening.

  32. Twisty

    “Everyone: Read Andrea Dworkin’s Right Wing Women.”

    Word. I’ve got a copy sitting on my desk right now.

  33. B. Dagger Lee

    That’s my favorite book of hers.

  34. Kelsey

    VibratingLiz, thanks for posting the Ladies Against Women link – I did indeed laugh my demure, submissive ass off.

  35. Jonathan

    @Anna Belle

    “I’m not sure I’m convinced they can be shouted down. Chest-thumping can be trumped by one thing: actual violence. They have the upper hand there. What do we do in that case? Who is willing to lay down their life for the cause? These are the questions that plague me.”

    The P is terrified that women will stand up against their violence (hence the godbag’s “helpless women” ideology). Hell, they hate it when women have economic autonomy, make social connections outside the home, or injure/kill in self-defense because it undermines the violence that props up all their abusive privilege.

    In that respect, this Christian propagandist’s reinterpretation of the word “regiment” is appropriate: their nightmare scenario is woman with enough physical power to resist male violence.

  36. Hedgepig

    Jezebella, a utilikilt would have lots of pocketses wouldn’t it? But what shall we wear underneath? Bloomers and bluestockings (woollen) would be my preference.

  37. TP

    The thrill of virgin fucking used to puzzle me, too. It’s the destruction of innocence that men seem to crave. Men seem to desire to bring women down to their level of intemperate lust. Once reduced to a state of insane and constant lust, then they will want to fuck even loser mens all the time and the world will be paradise. I mean, what the? Who knows?

  38. lt

    The quiverfull women was a little hearbreaking, because she was actually on to something: our culture *does* hate kids despite (or, rather, because) of how much they’re sentimentalized. It hates kids because it hates women.

    Also, it sees them as burdens because of a little thing called capitalism.

  39. Twisty

    “The quiverfull women was a little hearbreaking, because she was actually on to something: our culture *does* hate kids despite (or, rather, because) of how much they’re sentimentalized. It hates kids because it hates women.”

    Our culture does hate kids. That’s one reason women might contemplate some job other than having 18 of them.

  40. thebewilderness

    Aside from the delight men seem to find in the idea of being the first to give pain/pleasure to a woman, I have always suspected that the reason for the high value placed on virginity was because of widespread disease. A virgin was presumed to be disease free, pure if you will, and therefore safe.

  41. jael

    it’s a bit of a leap from our culture hates kids to the world hates kids, which was the the quvierfull woman’s comment; but i’m just being narky.

    on the virgin sales: yeah; BW, disease is part of it. but only part. eg: in cambodia, most virginity sales are done to east asian men: taking a virgin is a way of getting luck, particularly for a new business venture. buy one to seal your deal!

    used to be men would pay for the upkeep for a girl throughout her childhood, however the practice has now become so prevalent that in some communities (mainly stateless ethnic Vietnamese) 90% of the girls have their virginity sold, a study a few years back found prices ranging from about $20 to $2800 (USD); average about $480 – this is ALOT of money in cambodia.

  42. PatriarchySlayer

    Virginity issue, 1) I always thought men wanted virgins because of their “supposed” tightness. You know the analogy of the worst type of girl ever.. the loose girl. “Like throwing a hotdog down a hallway”. Lovely. Yes. 2) Some cultures in Africa believe that if you have sex with a virgin it will cure you of AIDS. Heard a missionary talk about this recently. This little myth results in little girls being raped by AID-Ridden men in attempts to rid themselves of their disease. Wonderful. But hey, maybe the lure is a combination of reasons. But a lot of guys are also repelled by the word virgin. When I used to tell guys I was a virgin it was a double edged sword…hey let me help you get rid of that whole virgin thing… or what the hell is wrong with you? AKA. Lust vs. Fear

  43. Dana

    That Ladies Against Feminism thing is particularly funny because it brings this to mind:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gail/880449/

    …which has gone on here and there in North America since at least the eighties. They’re mentioned in the NOW cookbook. (If you haven’t seen that book, you should. The recipes are OK I guess, but the book is valuable for the feminist history it also contains.)

  44. Ciccina

    re: Yttk – “We need to turn around and say, yes I caused 911, increased pregnancy rates by 50%, and made your girlfriend leave you, because that’s just how I am. Back off or I’ll show you what else I can do.”

    Brilliant! I am so down with this.

    Personally, I’m partial to the “culture of death” moniker. Great name for a bowling team, or maybe a kickball squad.

  1. Spinster aunt smells hoax at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] of other famous virginity auctions. But because there aren’t all that many of those “feminist experiments,” they can throw in the one about the woman who got busted for offering herself online in [...]

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