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Jun 10 2010

Hanging Chads of Savage Death Island bore the shit out of spinster aunt

Wow, I nip out to town for a couple of mahi tacos (diet cops, shut your yaps), stumble back to my desk, and discover that some dude named Jack has parachuted down to Savage Death Island, peered at the curious natives through a 2X magnifying glass, and pronounced (some of) us “smart.” Despite the fact that we don’t care for his “vague” antifeminist remarks. He then attempts to reinforce his superior status with an unflattering lampoon of the Blametariat, and to enlighten us with his unique male viewpoint. There’s also some other guy (“Flotsam”? “Fosdick”?) on another thread who’s really taking up some space with his unique male perspective.

Henceforth such dudes will be known as hanging chads.

These hanging chads, they really never get it. Because women generally, and radical Internet Feminists in particular, are to them some mystical, unfathomable alien species, they think we don’t understand them! It is hilarious, the predictability with which they all, without exception, every single time, enduringly and persistently, are compelled to lecture the ignorant Savage Death Islanders on the finer points of the superior dude civilization back on the mainland. Because if we just understood them, we would see how wrong we are to experience Chadly privilege as oppression.

“Don’t you see? When you attack our porn, it makes us insecure, because we love porn, wee wee wee!”

Yeah, yeah, feminism makes you insecure so you have to post insults, death threats, and boring lectures on feminist blogs. What a revelation. Knock me over with a feather. Ça alors, c’est une big surprise.

But here’s the thing.

Now, I don’t speak for all the feminists, or for the readers of this blog, but this spinster aunt doesn’t care about dudes at all. In fact, I have acute dude fatigue. The topic of Dudes In Society excites me about as much as expressing the dog’s anal sacs. Educational anecdotes concerning the Dude Experience monotonize me to the max. The rarefied and incomparable Heterosexual Male Perspective bores the living lobe lubricant out of me.

Why?

Because I’ve heard it all about 174.8 million times before, and hearing it again doesn’t do a fucking thing for me. It doesn’t make the world a better place, it doesn’t cut through waxy yellow build-up, it doesn’t clean toilets, and it for sure doesn’t enlighten me.

What all chads fail to grasp is that, as members of an oppressed class, we have always considered it a matter of survival and our No. 1 priority to grok the fullness of the oppressor. In fact, we’ve been grokking the oppressor’s fullness since the cradle, mostly without even realizing it. It hasn’t been too difficult, since we were all raised in the smelly nutsack of Dude Nation, and continue to be engulfed by and to marinate in dudelionormative swampwater all day, every day. If there is ever some little dudecentric point here or there that eludes us, not to worry; dudelionormative socialization protocols are in place to take us back to school and whip us into shape.

The result?

There is nothing about men that Savage Death Islanders don’t know. Nothing. We know all about your dicks and your glands and what gets you off and how you were socialized and the terrible strain of male privilege. We get all your dude-jokes. We know all your antifeminist arguments. We know all your porn-is-necessary justifications. We know how you behave when you perceive that someone of a lower caste has challenged your authori-tay. No need to explain to us that we are doing feminism wrong, because we’ve already heard it from the 495,312 dudes who thought of it before you were born. We know that you are not conscious of your own privilege. And we get that, because your invisible privilege derives from the oppression of women, you hate women.

It turns out that after a lifetime of prophylactic acquiescence to Dude Culture gavage, I no longer give a crap. I don’t give a crap if dudes like me, or if dudes like feminists, or if dudes understand basic elements of feminism, or if dudes support the feminist fucking agenda, or if dudes sincerely ask me to educate them about feminism when all they really need is a swift kick in the grill with the boot of basic human decency. I’d rather have a root canal than spend even 3 seconds trying to convince some dude that patriarchy exists and that I’m not just making it up because I’m ugly and can’t get laid. The only thing that interests me less than educating lazy-ass dudes about their male fucking privilege is explaining to fucking lazy-ass privileged dudes why I am not interested in educating them. And Jesus Christ, the ennui! The crushing, stultifying, soporific ennui! The ennui of writing “Chad, you seem like a nice enough guy, but you should really check out the Feminism 101 blog before calling me ‘irrational’ and alluding to the power of femininity.” The ennui of reading “your a bitch thats why feminism will fail.” The ennui of sifting through gibberish like “Our female ruling class & their collaborators are biggest criminals in history.”

God, the ennui! It’s like living in the goddam Twilight Zone episode where the train keeps pulling into the same station over and over and over.

Nothing wastes my time like a dude. And at age 51, I ain’t got all that much time left.

In other words, the less I see of dudes, and of the gruesome products of their corny-ass fetishes, and of their boring-ass pronouncements on my blog, the more pleasant my day will be.

Look, mang, sometimes a spinster aunt just wants to shoot the shit with interested parties about some stuff, without having to endure douchebags splurting out boring douchebag shit that means nothing to anyone except other douchebags who are trying to out-douchebag each other. She wants to shoot the shit about stuff like this:

That a world order predicated on domination’n'submission oppresses entire classes of people. That oppression is experienced by these classes of people as discrimination, violence, and hatred. That discrimination, violence and hatred are unhealthy and injurious. That a social revolution that obviates the domination’n'submission model will have the concomitant effects of liberating the oppressed classes and, it so happens, of neutralizing the arousal quotient of domination, rendering pornography obsolete.

That’s right. After the revolution, pornography will have all the allure of cleaning a lint trap. No dreaded “censorship” or “banning” required. It will resolve itself.

154 comments

3 pings

  1. janicen

    Now, I don’t speak for all the feminists, or for the readers of this blog…

    You did for me, perfectly.

  2. Laila

    Thank you for this clarification of your standpoint. If you could clarify further, please answer these questions:

    Are portrayals of sex for the purpose of sexual titillation that do not also portray discrimination, violence and hatred or the domination’n'submission dynamic possible? Do they fall under your definition of pornography?

    As a woman who, on occasion, enjoys sexual titillation with the help of–shall we say–”audio-visual stimulation,” I have been struggling with this issue for some time. (I know, I know, internalized oppression! It’s hard to de-internalize it, if you know what I mean.)

  3. KH

    Hear, hear!

  4. Pansuit Sally

    You know what’s funny? (And by funny, I mean completely irritating.) The anti-feminists who come here and criticize us for generalizing (about men, porn, whatever) and then follow it up by presenting us with THE male perspective, as if they speak for all men. How arrogant.

    And Twisty, not only do you speak for me, reading your blog has given me the words to describe my frustration and anger and empowered me to speak for myself. So, thanks!

  5. Notorious Ph.D.

    Jill, if you’re ever in SoCal, the blackened mahi-mahi tacos (with a dab of corn-avocado salsa) from the fab taco stand around the corner from my apartment are on me. It will be my pleasure.

    (Sorry: I stopped at the tacos. I need to read the rest of the post now.)

  6. RKMK

    Hear, hear!

  7. norbizness

    And right before I was set to enlighten everybody as to a study I performed at age 12! OK, a preview: in a shocking twist, past performance of Franklin Mint collector plates IS a guarantee of future windfall!

  8. Linda Atkins

    You have outdone yourself here (which is saying something). This is a tour de force, and I thank you.

  9. Katy

    I love nearly every word you write, Twisty. And *some* idiots think Mark Morford is all radical!

  10. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    If I get sick of having these discussions with flesh-and-blood dudebros in my real life (and I do), how sick do you think I get of reading their tired-ass bloviations here?

    I could not possibly care less if they all collectively crapped on a landmine tomorrow.

  11. yttik

    Beautiful, Twisty. You do speak for me.

  12. Miss Andrist

    Oh holy Mother of Jeezus. This was precisely what the doctor ordered. Thank you, Twisty. Having recently endured a dudequake (you know what I’m talking about: an event in which collective, built-up male sense of entitlement suddenly manifests and asserts male privilege and enforces onerous aspects of women’s oppression all over my life, conspiring in a bizarre series of coincidences that remind me of all the infinite ways men can and will always ruin said life, then explain at length how it’s is not their fault for ruining my life, but actually my fault for being alive.) Dudequakes are like a social rolling brownout – when they hit, you find yourself trapped in suffocating, stifling darkness with no option but to bear down and wait and hope the lights come back on before everything goes over – or at all. And when the lights come back on with a blast of cold fresh air and unexpected dazzling illumination, you find yourself stuck there wondering if anything’s left that hasn’t spoiled, melted or mildewed. And you try not to think about whoever they’re rolling onto next, to conserve what little energy you can muster to clean up the mess – which is going to suck.

    Yea, I have been trapped in the sweltering, stifling darkness of a dudequake, wasting my precious brainpower agonizing needlessly over dudebros and the most paralyzing (and unifying!) observation is how they’re all exactly the same, it’s like they all went to the same school, and they’re all convinced of their originality. Cos, The P tells them that They’re Special, so not a single one of the fucking buffoons even stops to consider maybe he’s not actually as philosophically gifted as he FEELS.

    In fact, I was seriously considering leaving development (of all the topics of human interest with which the information superhighway could be peopled, it is in fact comprised just over 50% pr0nz sites and pr0nz sites list among the top 100 sites; server software brags about serving such popular, content-laden, media-heavy, high-traffic sites because enabling rape < awesome server daemon and dudebro helpful suggestion was that I "just ignore it," which is a lot like trying to ignore that just over half the office you work in is on fire. See? Dudebrainz understand how the fact that you're not in the half that's engulfed in flames eliminates any relation or effect it could possibly have on you.)

    Gaaah, I needed this. Brilliant. <3

  13. sargassosea

    Color me all ‘woo’, but you can speak for me anytime at all – unless you’re trying to order okra for me.

    Rock on!

  14. Notorious Ph.D.

    What all chads fail to grasp is that, as members of an oppressed class, we have always considered it a matter of survival and our No. 1 priority to grok the fullness of the oppressor.

    Damn right. Because if we don’t grok it fully, we might slip outside the rules so severely that we need to be shamed, raped, beaten, or killed to bring us back into line. Of course, all that stuff might happen to us if we do grok fully, but still.

    Thank goodness for Savage Death Island, where we can take a break from all that giving a crap, and shoot the shit about what it would be like if the actual world were more like this, before we have to wade out once more into the toxic sludge that is patriarchy. It’s like a radfem resort, complete with tacos and margaritas.

  15. Miss Andrist

    @Laila:

    *sigh*

    The problem with so-called non-degrading pr0nz (seriously, do we even have any idea what non-degrading het sex looks like?) is that it’s produced inside rape culture, and the whole world loves raping women more than anything else ever.

    Pr0nz is the only genre of film in which people insist that she is NOT acting. Why?

    How can you be sure – absolutely SURE – that what you see is not edited to make it easy for you to think comfortable thoughts about what you’re seeing? If you’re not making it yourself, that is. What makes you SURE that what you’re seeing is not in reality a horrific depiction of someone who, at the moment you’re having the most fun, is actively wishing she could just die?

    A recent article from change.org demonstrated why, in a culture that enthusiastically supports raping women, even supposed amateur pr0nz carries distinct potential – enough to be fairly termed a PROBABILITY, I daresay – that what you are seeing is not actually as wholly consensual as would be convenient. Pretending like the probability doesn’t exist – or that no, it’s neither possible for the audience to know the circumstance, nor acceptable for the audience to ignore the possibility that this round of sexual gratification is happening at the expense of another human being. Your orgasm is just not that fucking important.

    http://womensrights.change.org/blog/view/whos_getting_off_on_the_sexual_coercion_in_kendra_wilkinsons_sex_tape

    And whether or not you pee standing up (male) or sitting down (non-male) makes exactly jack diddly shit difference if you’re getting off to rape – you’re colluding in rape. There really really really for real really is no goddamn fucking wiggle room.

    -Miss Andrist

  16. Melanie

    @Laila: Any depiction of sex that is meant solely to arouse takes a human being and turns her/him into sexual fodder. Pornography is always objectification, even in a theoretical universe outside of the patriarchy (which is why it wouldn’t exist in such a universe). Inside of the patriarchy, where one sex routinely dominates the other (and I’m not talking beedy ess em here), it’s extra-oppressive.

    In my point of view, it’s also unhealthy—using bodies as commodities really disconnects us from our sexuality, turning sex into nothing more than selfish pleasure.

  17. Phledge

    My fat belly might be big enough to have this printed on a t-shirt. Turns out that this is my life philosophy, Jill, and I didn’t even know it until I read it. If you need a non-bed-and-breakfast place to land in Michigan, I got yer back. Wait, that doesn’t make sense. Never mind. Buy you a margarita?

  18. chris

    Internalized oppression, yup, that’s why I wear painful high heels and wax my cha, and about a million other thing that if I think too much about makes me feel all Stockholm Syndromey.

    Anyhow, I, like another commentator also occasionally watched porn. I knew in the back of my mind that these people, given other meaningful options, did not want to work in porn but they were nameless and removed and I didn’t consider their humanity.

    Then in my line of work(esthetician), I met a couple of women working in the porn industry and I saw how damaged these women were, how vulnerable, how numbed out on drugs to get through their “work”. Many of them started as nude dancers, after becoming accustomed to being treated like meat, the leap to porn wasn’t as hard. The promises of big money never came as whatever they did make was quickly spent on drugs to numb them enough to do what they were doing. Not one of these women had a decent relationship with their father, or meaningful opportunities to get an education. Not one of them ever made a living wage, started her own female focused porn production company, segued into a traditional acting job or anything else. Oh, and one girl died last year from a drug overdose.

    Just because something is sexually arousing, doesn’t make it ok. And just because you don’t know these people doesn’t mean they deserve to lose their humanity. I used to think maybe porn did in fact act as a safety valve for unsavory sexual desire but I think it feeds them. And I think that men also get the shaft(pun intended) because were they also not inundated and conditioned with this artificial sexual imagery, more of them might actually fantasize about real women and the things women really like, in bed and out of bed. And these men would have a chance to have a meaningful sexual connection with another person rather than see women as a tool to getting off.

  19. nails

    Que the “but people are sexual naturally!” arguments from hanging chads. What is fucked is that they cannot conceive of a sexuality that does not involve entitlement to strangers bodies via pornography. Porn is sex to them. Domination is sex. You would think that they could apply the idea to a different hobby and come out with an understanding of how weird it is. Liking an activity rarely means wanting to watch people fake enjoying the same activity to their own detriment. People are naturally musical or artistic too, but forced ultra chipper painting or piano playing would make most people feel squicked out upon viewing it. Viewing it wouldn’t take on the human rights level importance that dudes assign porn watching, thats for damn sure.

  20. Aaron Boyden

    For members of an oppressed class, being paranoid about members of the oppressor class is a good strategy, since erring on the side of trusting too little is much less dangerous than erring on the side of trusting to much. That paranoid beliefs err in a useful way for an oppressed class doesn’t make them accurate, though. Not that you have any particular reason to need more accurate beliefs about dudes, of course; sticking with what’s useful is, well, useful.
    _________________
    Translation: you’re being paranoid, ladies, and I, a dude, deem it useful for you, although wrong.

    See what I mean? Hanging chads never fucking get it. “Paranoid”? Seriously? This, Aaron Boyden, is douche-max. — ed.

  21. nails

    Laila- It is difficult for anyone in a capitalist patriarchy to do genuinely pleasing work on their own terms. I have heard the prostitution-is-just-like-flipping-burgers bs before, but there is a grain of truth to it. Modern workers generally do not have control over their work and are robbed of the value of their work. Pornography pays actors a certain fee for their labor and the owner of the means of production (studio, distribution, advertising, etc) rakes in a shitload of money despite not doing the actual work. These conditions cause exploitation, in the case of prostituted and pornographed women they end up with the extra damage of rape on top of everything else that the burger flippers of the world deal with. The people who do the work should own the factories and determine how things go, in addition to earning what their labor actually generated for the company. Porn would look much different to us (if it existed at all) if the people doing the actual work had more control over their work and their lives. If the porn that you perceive to be non exploitative catches on, then it will simply become a bigger market that companies will try to get a piece of, and they generally do this in the most dishonest fashion possible. Corporations have only one legal obligation- to get as much profit as possible for shareholders. That piece of the equation means that even buying porn that makes a point of assuring consumers of its fairness is bound to try and cut costs by, you know, exploiting workers with things like cutting pay once the genre catches on.

    This problematic system affects absolutely everything that we buy. It is the natural tendency of this system to treat labor like shit and increase the profits of the people who had enough money to begin with.

    If nice porn caught on I imagine that it would play out much the same way that “green” products are right now. The green party is trying really hard to get some kind of legal definition for words like “sustainable” and “green” and “environmentally friendly” because currently companies are just jacking up prices and printing that on the front as a justification. They call it green washing.

    So even if you are having a hard time accepting that patriarchy makes non exploitative pornography possible, perhaps you can accept the impossibility from an economic point of view.

  22. Jodie

    You speak for me as well — I only wish I were half as eloquent.

    Aaron — it’s not paranoia if it’s true.

  23. nails

    Fuck, I meant patriarchy makes non exploitative porn IMPOSSIBLE.

  24. nakedthoughts

    Similarly, whenever one points out that a particular view is wrong, or not helpful, or that some vile an MRA spews forth is NOT OK, and should not be tolerated, dudebros assume that individual wants to take away their rights to free speech, and therefore what that person says is NOT OK and should not be tolerated.

    I then agree, for the four-hundred-eighty-sixth-thousand-two-hundred-and-fifty-second time: NOT BANNING, But eradication through the eradication of oppression.

  25. Jane Q Public

    I do believe that might be a hanging chad just above this comment. Paranoid. Sounds like classic dudebro speak for irrational. BORING!

    Anyway, “raised in the smelly nutsack of dude nation” made me laugh really hard.

  26. thebewilderness

    I do not know how we could have made it through another day without you mansplainin’ that to us, Aaron.
    The fact that we learned it at the age of three when we were taught not to take candy from strangers notwithstanding.

  27. yttik

    Thanks Aaron! Forty years of intense study and observation, all meaningless as I bow to your superior wisdom about my inaccurate and paranoid perceptions.

  28. hero

    Whew! Aaron showed up! Just in time to call us paranoid for having been oppressed!

    Jill is an icon of truthnbeauty. I’m printing this off in multiple copies to distribute every time I hear, “Well, you gotta understand, the thing about us men is….”

  29. iGuest

    I wonder if “Jack” is the same fool who, along with a pal, crashed Violet’s place. IIRC, they don’t believe we are oppressed because of our gender. Apparently, we are oppressed for other (more important, dudely) reasons. Not quite sure what those reasons are, but our oppression has absolutely nothing to do with being born sans penis.

    A commenter mentioned on an earlier thread that she thought one of the reasons guys respond so aggressively to anti-porn reasoning is because they instinctively know it’s bad. I’d go further and say that’s also why they respond so aggressively to anti-patriarchy discussions. Both are completely unnatural and, ultimately, destructive inventions. That’s why they tell us patriarchy doesn’t exist. It’s not just that they want to convince us it’s not there: They don’t want to be forced to see the truth. They want to ignore the man behind the curtain because they know in their hearts that they’re the man. So they choose to believe one of the convenient little lies (porn is good, science is never biased, god is a man) that patriarchy uses to maintain its death grip on the human race.

    So, thank you Twisty for providing a place of fresh air away from the suffocation. I’m truly saddened at the abuse you must endure to keep this blog open. It’s really too much to ask of anyone but I’m so very glad that you (and other feminist bloggers) keep at it.

  30. Alex

    So here’s what makes me stabby, even though this is, as you say, boring stuff of the first order. The chads fail to grasp that the fact that they feel the need to invade a radfem blog and “set them bitches straight” (which is, one can only assume, how the thought congeals in the dudely lobe) on any subject is an act made possible by dudely privilege.

    And, the powdered sugar on the flourless chocolate torte is that they condescend to do so by way of mansplainin’ how their sexual gratification takes precedence over the humanity of those whose exploitation is entirely the point of porn. Because, you know, no one here has ever heard that before.

    Argh.

  31. janicen

    Aaron, what part of, “I don’t give a crap” in the post did you have trouble understanding?

  32. Laila

    Thank you all. You have all given me a lot to think about. I’ve seen, at any rate, that the disagreements about porn come from much deeper (in both the thoughtful and political sense) motivations than I had thought.

    Given the time to properly digest these new-to-me viewpoints, I will try to make a more thoughtful reply sometime tomorrow.

  33. jaded

    Oh these dudes never disappoint. What’s about a feminist blog that says “come hither” to the dudeliest of dudes to come forward and articulate in a 3000 word essay, “But what about the menz!? Times Eleventy!”?

    I fail to see said invisible neon sign.

  34. Cara

    That’s right. After the revolution, pornography will have all the allure of cleaning a lint trap. No dreaded “censorship” or “banning” required. It will resolve itself.

    Yup.

  35. minervaK

    Oh baby, you’re so sexy when you rant…

  36. Satchel

    ::: standing ovation :::

  37. The Nerd

    It baffles me that dudes will actually come into a place called “Savage Death Island” and then act all hurt when we banish them back to the mainland.

  38. Cara

    I have heard the prostitution-is-just-like-flipping-burgers bs before, but there is a grain of truth to it.

    How is this even possible without extreme damage to a person’s psyche? Dissociation?

    I wonder if most men even know that when a woman isn’t genuinely into having sex, it can HURT her.

    I wonder if they don’t know or just don’t care.

  39. Jodie

    Cara, they don’t care. Those that might, don’t want to know.

  40. Comrade PhysioProf

    Mahi-mahi tacos are the motherfucking best tacos on earth!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. mearl

    Are Hanging Chads anything like dingleberries? Because that’s how I picture them.

  42. mearl

    Oh ho! I looked up the term (they learned me how to do that at the school). I have been living under a rock in Canada where we don’t punch voting ballots, but are instead much more concerned with making fun of each other by implying that we have clumping feces on our hairy behinds. Shame on me.

    I do have a suggestion, though: the definitions I found for “hanging chads” say that they can be used as confetti. So if one Hanging Chad shows up on Savage Death Island, we can throw an impromptu margarita party and toss the rest of his buddies at him. We could even build a Hanging Chad Confetti Cannon.

  43. goblinbee

    iGuest, I’ve never thought specific genitalia had anything to do with privilege. I theorize that it comes down to whichever sex is–overall–physically bigger and stronger. If the larger sex had clits, clit-wielders would wield the power.

    Might makes right.

  44. nails

    Cara- I heard it a lot at an almost all female board, to defend it as a career choice. Fun feminism at its best.

    It was more of a plea for people not to look down on prostituted women, usually. But sometimes it was really to say that it is just a job like any other (in fantasy land, maybe). Comparing it to other work is more of an appeal to popularity than an argument of merit anyway.

  45. EmilyBites

    If I begin to have one more conversation with a dude telling me I am doin it rong, I will take a deep breath, think of Twisty, mutter ‘savage death island’ and walk away.

    Thanks everyone, I’ll sleep easier after this.

  46. Ashley

    Parlez bon shit, Jill. On a day when some shit needed to be talked.

  47. Catherine Martell

    Bring on the revolution!

  48. Ashley

    And also, echo and amen the paranoia thing. Oppressors use it like butter, be it class, race, or gender based oppression.

  49. slythwolf

    Aaron’s comment fails chiefly because to acknowledge that there is an oppressor class is to acknowledge that the oppressed class is not paranoid.

    This post, however, does not fail, and in fact is fucking awesome. Thank you, Jill.

  50. Comrade Svilova

    Yeah, just had that “paranoia” talk from a guy who I really want to be able to get along with. The Patriarchy sucks.

    Thanks for the essay, Jill, it’s all that’s keeping me sane right now.

    Hanging Chad Confetti Cannon

    And this image, of course.

  51. Shelby

    “since we were all raised in the smelly nutsack of Dude Nation”

    You should win a Booker Prize or a Nobel Prize for that phrase alone. Can I use it? I’ll give you cred.

    I tips me hat to you also on the sentiment of the essay. I fully agree.

  52. Notorious Ph.D.

    Comrade CP is hereby invited to the taco party.

    Twisty, I love the new translation feature, and hope to see it used more.

  53. FemDoc

    OH, thank you, thank you! I needed to read that today.

  54. Mortisha

    What a freakin relief – the hanging chad arrival on Savage Death Island was getting depressing.
    The stench of the patriarchy was wafting over from the mainland or maybe there is something dead in the creek. Glad the wind has changed.

  55. JetGirl

    Dear Ms. Faster/Psmith,
    If I had the mad html skillz to give you an Internet standing ovation, I would.
    Many thanks.
    Sincerely,
    –Equally bored by bros in California

  56. Betsy

    That was just what I needed to hear tonight. Rock it, Twisty!

  57. iGuest

    goblinbee, if physical strength were the key to oppression then the world would be ruled by grizzly bears, killer whales or, perhaps, elephants. The sorry excuse for physical strength evidenced by homo sapiens is not what makes us an alpha predator. It is our wits, as well as our mean streak which happens to be quite a bit more than a mile wide. Just about any woman can dispose of just about any man. The only requirement is the desire to do so.

    Oh, and, of course, the gladiators would rule, not fat and feeble, old men. That whole might equals right and men rule because they are “stronger” myth is just another of patriarchy’s lies that anyone can see through, if only one has the desire.

  58. Alexa

    “And we get that, because your invisible privilege derives from the oppression of women, you hate women.”

    Yep, we get it. No matter how insecure a man is or how much he blames his mother – his hatred of women always boils down to privilege. Considering the current massive scale of oppression of women, even the nicest men stand to gain a helluva lot by keeping us down.
    Love ‘hanging chad’ – the repetitiveness and ability to bore the crap out of people from these wallabies is getting a joke.

  59. Blind Horse

    Twisty, this post did not suck.

    Hanging chad confetti cannon – I’ll get to work on it straightaway!

  60. c2t2

    Jill, your post has brought joy and light into my otherwise painfully mediocre day! I do believe this is the best thing I have ever read. From now on I will save myself immeasurable time and frustration and link to this post whenever a dude glitches my e-vibe, and I shall print the URL on a million index cards and simply hand one to any real-life dude who ever tries to ‘educate’ me ever again!

    I am still in awe of your giant brain and would so offer to make out with you, except I’m not into making out. Please settle for my chaste adoration.

  61. angie

    I’m a lurking and just wanted to let you know that you definitely speak for me and I really appreciate this blog. Thank you.

    Aaron– paranoia is having all the facts.

  62. KJB

    I love Twisty/Jill, and all the commenters here. THANK YOU for these life-affirming words of glorious genius. That is all.

  63. KJB

    Except the douchebags, although they are trolls rather than commenters. Time to pluck the hanging Chads and lob them back to the mainland, hopefully by way of cannon as suggested above!

  64. Jezebella

    Beautiful post. I’m glad I’m not the only one beset by ennui when dudes start splainin at me.

    I’m sorry to say, I predict more death threats. If there’s anything dude-bros hate more than hostility, it’s being considered irrelevant and unimportant. The silent treatment is a far more effective way to torment a badly-behaving man than any amount of hollering and foot-stomping.

  65. janna

    I love the post and I even more love the edit to Aaron’s comment. It’s such a timesaver! Instead of having to read an invariably convoluted mansplanation, I can just skip down to the translation in bold. Genius!

  66. Helen Huntingdon

    A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to understand the latest Andrea Dworkin book I got the other day. Instead, as I read it, I kept thinking, “Great book, but no concepts I haven’t already learned.” So I started trying to remember where I had learned them, and the answer kept coming up, “Oh, yeah, at I Blame The Patriarchy.” Advanced blaming for the win.

  67. Lizard

    Of course oppressed people can be paranoid. Being oppressed doesn’t make you automatically wise or right. And it doesn’t mean that everything you think about what your oppressor is doing to you is accurate.

    A non-trivial percentage of African Americans think AIDS was manufactured*. A smaller but still non-trivial percentage think it came from a government lab, many specifically that it came from the CIA. This is not a true fact. This is wrong. This is paranoid. This stems from the fact that the government has done a lot of oppressive things to African Americans. But this particular oppressive thing: the government didn’t do it. And not only is it paranoid, it’s the kind of paranoid that means you’re more likely to take actions that are directly harmful to yourself. (Like: if we have a government that recently manufactured AIDS in order to cause a genocide of African Americans, then why should you trust them regarding vaccines or medical care more generally; if the whole medical system is in on this, why should you trust any doctor at all to not be trying to kill you?)

    There are ways that oppressing someone makes you tell yourself lies about the world, and there are ways that being oppressed does, too. There’s no pass to full, automatic insight.

    *http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33695-2005Jan24.html

  68. Lullabee

    I’m sorry if this seems like a dopey comment, but I have very little interest in video porn. Most of the pornographic material that I look at is written, usually by women who I’m usually at least vaguely acquainted with via the internet. And that’s obviously a rather different class of thing than the filmed stuff. The authors don’t make money off it and just write it for fun, so no one is taking part in a sexual activity they don’t really want to, and no actual actresses (or actors) are harmed. It does, I guess, involve using others (ie., fictional characters) as just a means to one’s own enjoyment, but so does waiter service…

    I dunno. I just don’t understand this handwringing about liking porn when you could settle for something less oppressive to get your jollies, surely?

  69. humanbein

    Helen Huntingdon:

    A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to understand the latest Andrea Dworkin book I got the other day. Instead, as I read it, I kept thinking, “Great book, but no concepts I haven’t already learned.”

    I feel this way when I re-read a feminist book. Because it’s all just fucking common sense unvarnished truth. I feel the same way about this blog. Reading it over and over clears the mind. I know it can be tedious for Jill, but the cumulative effect works on changing our unconscious capitulation to cultural misogyny.

    Dudes really think there’s some special magic voodoo about a small flap of skin between the legs and few extra follicles. Upon these tiny physical distinctions patriarchy is formed.

  70. Helen Huntingdon

    It does marvels to clear the mind. It did me no end of good when I was trying to fight my way out of the fog of exceptional woman syndrome.

  71. Pinko Punko

    Speaking of exceptional woman syndrome, I wonder how high the stack would blow if someone picked Atlas Shrugged for IBTP Summer Book Club?

  72. Craroline

    Amen sister!

    Resolve the big shit first… the first amendment right and censorship stuff will totally work itself out. People used to disparage, say, African Americans worse in film and theater than today, and now an increasing number of people find that to be total douche-baggery, though it isn’t necessarily censored. I can’t wait for the day that an increasing number of people find pornography to be total douche-baggery without the need for it to be censored.

  73. goblinbee

    iGuest, I am talking about which gender rules the other. If females were bigger and stronger, males could not insist on anything.

  74. FemmeForever

    I love this post so much I think I might look into having it bronzed and displayed in my home as art. Thank You. Thank You.

    God, the ennui! It’s like living in the goddamn Twilight Zone episode where the train keeps pulling into the same station over and over and over.

    It’s gotten so bad that I doze off. In real life. The preacher in the pulpit. In large meetings at work. In phone convos. I can’t even make it halfway through a POTUS press conference (unless we’re declaring war or some other red alert). Because the song is always the same. In every context. I the man, and you not.

    And what is hilarious is they’re always so perplexed when we fail to be utterly awestruck (at least in the direction they want) at their wondrousness.

  75. JMS

    I wonder how high the stack would blow if someone picked Atlas Shrugged for IBTP Summer Book Club?

    I think it would be a better choice for the book club of a different blog. Perhaps a blog called I Completely Support the Patriarchy but Think I Am a Special Snowflake Unlike All Other Womens.

    Only the readers of a blog with an overly prolix title like that could even slog through Shrugged anyway.

  76. CrowMeris

    You’ve soothed the old nerves, and I thank you. If this weren’t here this evening, I would have had to break out the bleach to cleanse the brain – as a glutton for punishment, I went over (again) to the “Comments” section of the story of the child raped by the monster-of-the day. Arrgghhhh.

    My mama was a brilliant woman who worked amongst gag-producing doodness daily and consequently developed exquisitely fine-tuned antenna and survival skills. Her favorite quote: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.”

  77. eilish

    @lizard: feminism is not a conspiracy theory.
    Conspiracy theories stem from a shared belief that governments lie and harm their constituencies. The theory often exposes the holder’s lack of education or knowledge on the issue, but the belief behind the theory is based on accurate perceptions.

    Feminism is holding the belief that women should not be treated like shit. Feminists point out instances in life where women are being treated like shit. Many feminists have hypothesed theories about why women get treated like shit. There are people who try to suggest women are not treated like shit, but their arguments often expose the holder’s lack of education or knowledge on the issue. Those same people often espouse conspiracy theories about how women control the government, which are not based on accurate perceptions.

    Quite, quite different.

  78. Lizard

    Of course feminism isn’t a conspiracy theory. But that doesn’t mean that women, as an oppressed class, or feminists, more specifically, are immune from paranoia or its subset, conspiracy theories. (This was put forward earlier in the thread: “to acknowledge that there is an oppressor class is to acknowledge that the oppressed class is not paranoid.”) Being oppressed does not automatically confer wisdom or correctness upon the people it oppresses.

  79. Kathryn Cann

    Hear! Hear! (or is it Here! Here! – Whatever!)

    Exactly what I needed to read this morning anyway.

    Thank you Jill.

  80. JenniferRuth

    This may be one the best things I have ever read. Am I done with the internet now?

  81. hero

    “Being oppressed does not automatically confer wisdom or correctness upon the people it oppresses.”

    Depends. It absolutely does if the thing under consideration is the facticity of oppression, which is USUALLY the thing denied by the oppressors and EXPERIENCED by the oppressed. “Wisdom” is a red herring; correctness gets to be determined by the people who are feeling the oppression. Yes, it does. I have a sister who was raped a lot, sexually by a nasty neighbor and emotionally and culturally by a lot of crappy life events; she blamed the wrong person later in life. Her being wrong about the identity of her childhood rapist definitely damages the innocent accused; but THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT HER MISAPPLIED ACCUSATION NEGATES, INVALIDATES, OR EXCUSES HER RAPE. Apples and oranges.

    So don’t go there.

  82. Lady K

    Cara – I’ve been trying to find a good analogy to explain the potential for profound physical discomfort on the part of porn actresses in terms dudes can relate to, but the best I’ve come up with is that it’s like getting paid $400 to have someone else forcefully thrust their thumb in and out of your nose for over 4 hours, as you loudly and emphatically pretend to be overwhelmed with joy and ecstasy about the whole process.

  83. Comrade Svilova

    There are ways that oppressing someone makes you tell yourself lies about the world, and there are ways that being oppressed does, too. There’s no pass to full, automatic insight.

    I can strawman. Few feminists argue that women are factually right about everything. The validity of female experience, the existence of the Patriarchy, the existence of oppression — yes, those we ARE right about. No one’s talking about oppressed classes having “full, automatic insight.”

    Also, when you accuse the oppressed classes of being paranoid as a way to dismiss their justifiable fears (perhaps directed at a factually incorrect target) you are blaming the victim, Lizard.

    Fortunately, we here know who to blame. Some PoC think that the government would engineer a disease to cause mass slaughter of the already marginalized — this is ultimately the fault of the oppressive classes who have created a government so unjust that such a fear would materialize.

    It’s small comfort to oppressed groups to be told “yes, the oppressors do hate you and will try to hurt you, but stop being paranoid, they’re not going to hurt you that way.” Seriously?

    So strawmen and blaming the victim. That’s quite the winning post. Do keep it up, Lizard, because I have a bingo card to fill.

  84. Jodie

    After the Tuskegee Syphilis research study (which I think ended in the 1970s), and the far more recent Johns Hopkins lead paint study (late 1990s)* and who knows how many others, I don’t think it’s really all that paranoid to think that the government would be capable of engineering a disease to kill off people of color, or at least looking the other way while someone else does it.

    *Homes in poor neighborhoods were either lead abated, partially lead abated, or not lead abated, and the owners were encouraged to rent to families with small children; researchers would draw the children’s blood, and observe lead levels and not explain to the parents what was going on.

  85. iGuest

    Yes, goblinbee, I understood the point you were trying to make and completely disagree. The myth of the human male’s physical superiority/dominance over the “weaker” sex is just another of patriarchy’s lies designed to make unnatural behavior acceptable. If you have your own blog I’ll be happy to argue the point with you there but I don’t want to take up any more of Twisty’s comment thread. It’s far too brilliant a post to get sidetracked.

  86. Jill

    Another chad busts onto blog, announces his dudeness, tells me I am incomprehensible and otherworldly, and even makes a suggestion!

    They never think I mean them. Either that, or they’re posting crap on purpose because they’re 14 and it’s so goddam funny to annoy the middle-aged lady.

    “Chad”
    Submitted on 2010/06/10 at 8:42pm

    Twisty,
    I am a dude, and certainly not a feminist. The notion of the patriarchy as expressed on your blog is not always clear to me and represented in decidedly biased language, but I guess whatever it is I’m probably for it.
    Nonetheless, I would like to thank you for your most recent post pointing out how rude I can be. Oppression, one can find excuses for (you will have noticed that we work hard at it), but rudeness will not do.
    Your blog was also the one that first exposed me to the term “mansplain”, and for that I am eternally grateful (I honestly did not realize I had been doing it). Allow me to thank you here, for I did not post a comment at the time.
    I hope that you will consider adding an Etiquette tag to posts of this kind, as I am but an irregular reader of your work and I am afraid I might have missed something.
    – yours
    yet another random dude from the internet

  87. Melissa

    I could weep for the awesomeness of that post. I am not sure what an anti-death threat looks like, but that is what I wish to write. Twisty enables me to articulate the rage I have carried for literally decades, ever since I learned at the age of six that women couldn’t be priests in the catholic (no, don’t capitalize it, that’s a sign of respect) church because they were WOMEN. Growing up in a family where Thy With The Penis, including my brother, absconded with all necessary and desired resources before the vaginas, including me and my three sisters, could even see what was out there, resulted in my attempt to swallow the large mass of patriarchal bullshit I was doled out. I had to make sense of it somehow. To this day it remains lodged in my throat and attempts to strangle me regularly. The point is, Twisty, every time I read a post like this one, I am able to dislodge the mass in my throat just a little bit more. I thank you.

  88. Katherine

    “I am a dude, and certainly not a feminist. The notion of the patriarchy as expressed on your blog is not always clear to me and represented in decidedly biased language, but I guess whatever it is I’m probably for it.”

    Wow, a dude in favor of patriarchy? How new. He should have tagged his post with “Douchebag, Mansplaining, Incoherent, Duh.”

  89. Ginjoint

    This post was a cooling balm to my otherwise fried lobe this week. I cannot thank you enough, Jill.

    It was more of a plea for people not to look down on prostituted women, usually. But sometimes it was really to say that it is just a job like any other (in fantasy land, maybe). Comparing it to other work is more of an appeal to popularity than an argument of merit anyway.

    Exactly, nails. I’ve given up on several other “feminist” blogs because of this.

  90. Jane Q. Public

    I dozed off after “I am a dude”.

    Zzzz. Zzzz.

  91. Foilwoman

    Jodie: Thanks for the reference to the Johns Hopkins study. I had assumed it was urban myth, but before concluding that assumption was correct (it wasn’t), I did some research. The case was decided by the Maryland Court of Appeals in 2001 regarding a study by The Kennedy Krieger Institute, which has some affiliation with Johns Hopkins, in the 1990s. For anyone who wants to read about it, in legalese, here’s the cite: Grimes v. Kennedy Krieger Inst., 366 Md. 29, 782 A.2d 807 (2001). And here’s an url from an article regarding this sutdy: http://www.gwu.edu/~pad/202/readings/lead-hopkins.htm.

    Yeah, sometimes it seems to awful to be true and then it is true.

  92. goblinbee

    iGuest, theorizing about how something got started is not the same as saying it should stay that way. When I say “might makes right,” I am being cynical, not prescriptive.

  93. Jodie

    Foilwoman: You’re welcome. I work in research and once a year or so, talk to nursing classes about ethics in research, and that it really is necessary to confront an MD who wants to do something shady in that regard, because even the groups that are supposed to be doing ethical oversight don’t always.

    Gah. My grammar sense is off today; what terrible sentence structure!

  94. Lizard

    ” No one’s talking about oppressed classes having “full, automatic insight.””

    Earlier in the thread. Repeatedly. We have “to acknowledge that there is an oppressor class is to acknowledge that the oppressed class is not paranoid.” And the more general ‘being an oppressed class means automatically knowing everything about your oppressor.’ Later, ” It absolutely does [confer those things] if the thing under consideration is the facticity of oppression.” It isn’t a strawman if it’s a thing someone here just said.

    “Also, when you accuse the oppressed classes of being paranoid as a way to dismiss their justifiable fears (perhaps directed at a factually incorrect target) you are blaming the victim, Lizard.”

    Saying that a byproduct of oppression can be paranoia is not victim-blaming.

    “It’s small comfort to oppressed groups to be told “yes, the oppressors do hate you and will try to hurt you, but stop being paranoid, they’re not going to hurt you that way.” Seriously?

    That is a thing I did not say.

  95. Nadai

    Yeah, yeah, Lizard, whatever. You’ve “educated” us. Sod off.

  96. yttik

    “What all chads fail to grasp is that, as members of an oppressed class, we have always considered it a matter of survival and our No. 1 priority to grok the fullness of the oppressor.”

    Lizard, I think it’s pretty clear that women spend a lifetime intensely studying men simply as a matter of survival. And many of us do it in a most scientific way, desperately hoping that we will find some evidence showing that our perceptions are wrong.

    You said, “Being oppressed does not automatically confer wisdom or correctness upon the people it oppresses.” Oh but it does! Oppressed people have to gain wisdom about their oppressors, it’s a matter of survival. You observe and study as if your life depended on it, because very often it does.

    A group of oppressors really have no motivation to examine or study their own behavior. In fact, in order to keep being oppressors, the less they know about themselves, the better.

    Paranoia is about having delusions of persecution. There are no delusions involved in women declaring they are oppressed. Do they sometime misjudge the threat coming from a particular direction? Probably, but that doesn’t make them delusional and paranoid, it’s based on wisdom and experience and the ability to measure and weigh risk. If a lion doesn’t eat you, hallelujah, but it doesn’t mean you are delusional about lions.

  97. tinfoil hattie

    I dozed off after “I am a dude”.

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Thanks for the belly laugh! That was great.

    Jill, thank you. I did not understand this blog 3-4 years ago when I started reading it, but I was intrigued, and finally I began to realize the depth of the truth you speak here.

    Now, I too am bored by/don’t care about what men think. (Except Nigel & my 2 Nigelettes. I admit it.) I used to feel so sad and hopeless when I read IBTP. Now I feel vindicated and free!

    I don’t have to like men! And I sure as shit don’t have to care about whether they like me!

    What a gift you have given.

  98. tinfoil hattie

    P.S. “smelly nutsack of Dude Nation” – I’m for sure dropping THAT one into our family dinner conversation tonight.

  99. Someone

    It just struck me that what these dudes are doing is EXACTLY parallel to what Xtian proselytizers do. They act as if we’ve never heard any of what they’re droning before — as if it is (1) news, (2) enlightening, and (3) not transparently ridiculous utter bullshit meant to control us.

    They act like we are benighted for not swallowing said bullshit, and that our “souls” (femininity) are endangered if we don’t cop to the splainin right quick, and that, no matter what our life experience, are in desperate need of re-edumacation and by crikey they’ve got JUST the ticket.

    Boring. Obnoxious. Bullshit.

  100. Belle O'Cosity

    Hey y’all, we can totally stop with all the blame and so forth. It’s over, we are finally on top, or so says lady writer and patriarchy apologist at The Atlantic.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/

  101. norbizness

    That reminds me of the old Dean Martin song, You’re Nobody Till You’re Somebody’s Nigel.

  102. Serenity Springs

    Fuck yeah! Way to say it, Twisty!

  103. Ashley

    They kind of *like* it here, the mansplainers. They seem to care an awful, awful, awful lot what we think. I was taught that people dismiss what really doesn’t make sense to them.

  104. agasaya

    Corporations have only one legal obligation- to get as much profit as possible for shareholders.

    Not really. This is a perversion of capitalism which (according to ‘Shrugged’) is about partnership between consumers wanting excellence in products and services, rewarding the best companies for providing it with consumer dollars. Companies value the employees which make them function well and offer decent compensation for their labor as well as rewards for innovation. We’re about serfdom, where it isn’t good enough to succeed but one must do so at the expense of others. Good economies have to be scuttled for retention of power for the few. Otherwise, contentment might set in leading to equality among shareholders in society. Musn’t have that in a feudal model where every last dime has to be wrung for the fewest possible owners of the castle. This makes businesses non-sustainable in terms of product quality and worker retention. Profits are then redirected to lobbying for non-regulation and false advertising.

    This Middle Ages mindset has turned much of dude-nation into an oppressed class seeking comfort in porn and abuse of women (even an oppressed man can own one). They’ll hang on to that for dear life since they haven’t the guts to fight the real problem. Hence the resistance to education and mandates to keep truth out of classrooms.

    Look at this bit of nonsense in praise of women guardians of the workforce: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135

  105. allhellsloose

    This is a fabulous post darling. Ennui while reading = 0. Thank you.

  106. Jack

    Fair enough, I guess. Sorry I wasted your time.

  107. Jezebella

    Agasaya, capitalism according to Ayn Rand never existed, will never exist, and she’s not even a historian or economist, so pffff, I say, to her imaginary capitalism where companies give a shit about anything but the bottom line.

    For example, there is substantial evidence floating around in the Gulf of Mexico right now, killing sea life and the Gulf Coast economy with it, that corporations only care about profit, and not about living beings, whether mammal, bird, or fish.

  108. Alex

    Agasaya did not just trot out Ayn Rand like she’s an authority about anything apart from the joys of domination’n'submission. Talk about Stockholm Syndrome! And furthermore, s/he (I’m guessing he) did not just suggest that dude nation is an oppressed class. Lobe = blown. Kablooey.

    The only difference between Ayn Rand’s brand of capitalism and the one that’s currently encrapulating the gulf is that she has a different metric for determining which exploiters are best at it and therefore oughtta be members of the ruling class. Barf.

    Sometimes defending the patriarchy is hard work and entirely no fun at all! Pardon me while I locate my tiny tiny violin.

  109. mike

    some of us chads really love your writing. we try to stay silent because we know y’all don’t really care to hear our “perspective”.
    and i expect you not to let this comment through, because it doesn’t really contribute anything of value. i just wanted to tell YOU (spinster aunt) that there are chads out here in patriarchy-land who check your blog every morning, and are disappointed when there’s no new material.
    can’t wait to see what you write next,
    hopeless chad

  110. nails

    Capitalism has never existed in that way, and it couldn’t either. The bank bail outs were a big deal recently, but it is one in a long history of government bail outs and hand outs to companies. Industries like computers and airlines would not have survived without a shit ton of tax payer money to fund decades of r&d and unprofitable installations (respectively). People who run the companies know that, but they push the libertarian line on the lower classes because it keeps them serving private power obediently, and keeps them from participating in government (which has some chance of influencing private powers reach).

    The whole world view of ayn rand fetishizes the freakish level of self interest that corporations must legally conform to. It is a horrid selfish way to live, cooperation is our strength as a species. Domination is built into the imaginary capitalist system, it is how one ‘wins’ at it, and everyone else is supposed to desire that sort of dominance so much that it balances out the assholish nature of the first one. Weakness in the form of giving a crap about other people is punished by such a system, even if I could assume that it would work perfectly as described.

  111. Chocolate Tort

    This is turning into a bit of a de-rail, and I hope it’s okay that I continue in that vein. I’ve read most of Ayn Rand’s body of work, partly so I know what people are talking about, partly so I can rip her down with vim and vigor, and partly also because there’s a tiny spark of something that speaks to me in her writing. It’s the idea, which I hadn’t much encountered in fiction before Rand, that selfishness can be good and self-sacrifice can be bad.

    Rand takes this notion to absolutely batshit levels of asshattery, but it was something I found really liberating at the time, and I’ve kept it with me ever since. Women are taught to self-sacrifice before they know the word, and I know that I have to struggle against martyring myself for others. I know there are bajillions of authors who describe this in a much more reasonable manner, but I got it first from Rand, and that’s why I will not burn my copy of Atlas Shrugged.

    That said, people’s opinions of Rand has served as a pretty good litmus test for determining whether they’re worth socializing with. Ex-Nigel’s love of Rand was one of many red flags that didn’t quite sink in for awhile. I’m so glad I never brought up the question of Howard Roark’s rape of Dominique (I forget her surname) with him. Ugh.

  112. Scott

    To use a vulgar expression, this blog is akin to lifting the 7 veils of patriarchal hegemony. Thank you, Spinster Aunt, for exposing the patriarchy for what it is.

    I totally get (but could never truly understand) that I benefit simply by the arbitrary assignment of a Y chromosome, but I have no expectations of the blametariat giving a care, and I can’t add anything of value to this conversation.

    I just want to express that while we may be rare, there are some of us chads who really appreciate this blog and the inhabitants of Savage Death Island. I would like to believe I’m a better person for reading this blog and attempting, however unsuccessfully, to understand it.

  113. Stella

    Regarding what yttik said: “…many of us do it in a most scientific way, desperately hoping that we will find some evidence showing that our perceptions are wrong,” and what hero said: “Well, you gotta understand, the thing about us men is…” I say:

    Fuck that!

    We insist on seeing men as human beings, and they insist on seeing us as objects. It’s really that simple. Thus our insistence on holding on to our humanity and demanding humanity from men is both our strength and our weakness.

    Also, what Helen Huntingdon said. I’ve just started reading Dworkin for the first time (I’d previously only read summaries), and I concur.

    @humanbein: “…but the cumulative effect works on changing our unconscious capitulation to cultural misogyny.” Yes. This is exactly how I feel about this excellent blog, and why I keep coming back. I look back on some of my previous opinions, assumptions, and behavioral adaptations and wonder how I was so unconscious of my own capitulation.

    I want to hear more about this “Exceptional Woman Syndrome” of which you all speak. I found a reference to it over at Shakesville, but I need to hear more. I think this could help me make sense of the weird behavior of some of my peers, who are simultaneously financially and intellectually independent women, proud man-pleasers, and Horatio Alger bullshit-spouters.

    JMS: “‘I wonder how high the stack would blow if someone picked Atlas Shrugged for IBTP Summer Book Club?’

    “I think it would be a better choice for the book club of a different blog. Perhaps a blog called I Completely Support the Patriarchy but Think I Am a Special Snowflake Unlike All Other Womens.”

    HA. Exactly.

    Also, what nails said about capitalism. Word.

    If anyone hasn’t heard of him and is interested in a well-written, thoughtful, revolutionary (and approaching feminist, though I hesitate to label any man as a feminist) meditation on the relationship between hatred and oppression in our so-called culture, I highly recommend Derrick Jensen, particularly “A Language Older Than Words” and “The Culture of Make Believe.” His writing has impacted by thinking more than any writer other than our very own Aunt Twisty – great stuff on the intersection of production and social, psychological, and environmental devastation.

    What Someone said: “It just struck me that what these dudes are doing is EXACTLY parallel to what Xtian proselytizers do. They act as if we’ve never heard any of what they’re droning before — as if it is (1) news, (2) enlightening, and (3) not transparently ridiculous utter bullshit meant to control us.”

    This little gem of Jill’s led me to the same conclusion and encapsulates nicely how I feel lately not only about misogynists, but also about capitalist apologists and inveterate godbags. Fuck ‘em.

  114. ew_nc

    You outdid yourself with this post, Twisty. Summed it all up nicely. Now, how about some cool #1 science stuff about the mahi mahi? Before they become tacos, I mean.

  115. Comrade PhysioProf

    Comrade CP [sic] is hereby invited to the taco party.

    Wait’ll you taste the fucking naga jolokia sauce I’m bringing! That shit is HOTTTTT!!!!!!!!!

  116. Helen Huntingdon

    Exceptional Woman Syndrome is when a woman believes that there’s not any significant sexism in her male-dominated area of endeavor because she as an individual is doing fine. So the women who can really cut it have no problem, right? The doodz love having a token Exceptional Woman around, because they claim her existence proves they aren’t practicing sexism. Sometimes such women sabotage the efforts of younger women coming up behind them. Jackie Cochran was a famous aviation example.

    I had a case of it for a while, partly because that’s what everyone around me, male and female, said was the case — I was truly exceptional. But mostly it was a survival mechanism; before I had a fully matured frontal lobe, I couldn’t handle facing the truth and still get along in my profession, frontal lobe dominant as I already was. But the buildup of cognitive dissonance couldn’t survive a matured brain, so I started to wake up to the fact that in such fields mediocre men are employed at rates far above exceptional women. If there were no sexism, mediocre women would be employed at the same rates as mediocre men.

    My feminist awakening began when I got fed up with male professors asking me why there were so few women in engineering. My stock answer had been, “How should I know? Whatever it is obviously isn’t affecting me.” I went looking for answers to that question, and discovered they weren’t hard to find (the profs could have easily found them for themselves if they’d bothered). As I accumulated hundreds of methods used in the death-by-a-thousand-cuts that drives women from my field, I realized it wasn’t that these things weren’t happening to me. It was that a combination of factors put me in a better place of strength to deal with them than others, many of those factors due to sheer luck. It also helped that I’ve never married or let a man live with me — it’s a lot easier to shrug off sexism when you step through your door in the evening if you know there won’t be any on the other side. I have a refuge. Most women don’t. Underestimating the value of that refuge would be absurd.

  117. Saphire

    ‘They kind of *like* it here, the mansplainers. They seem to care an awful, awful, awful lot what we think.’

    Exactly, Ashley. Consider how Falsum condemned us to ‘irrelevancy’! Haha how ironic as the men here are so irrational and worked up, desperate for us to stop our irrelevancy. This is the only place where men can’t use their boring personas and tactics to cut across women getting together talking sense. So it’s the most relevant place ever.

    Other feminist blogs are majorly stuck the Twilight Zone – talking to mansplainers more than feminists, caught in the popularity contest trying to ‘do feminism right’, ‘answer all feminism 101s’ and ‘go along with all dudely derails’. Consequently other feminist sites are lightyears behind this one. It’s obvious. Let chads in other than for entertainment, and in seeps the poison.

    Anyway I second the sentiments, I honestly couldn’t give a crap about chads. I hate their fucking introductions. ‘i am a dude’. AUTOBOTS!

    R.e. How paranoid we are. Check the DSM manual, which clearly states a diagnosis of paranoia is not to be given to oppressed groups of people (it mentions e.g. immigrants, but what about the most ‘objectified’ class of people, hence the most hated?) I’d say we’re pretty precluded from any definition of paranoia. If we were acting paranoid, in any non-patriarchy reality, non-topsyturvy land, we could be forgiven.

    We live in a fabrication of harmful, entirely unrealistic, vindictive lies. Nobody is willing to discuss it, are they blamers? Your own mother shuts you up. Women have more right than anybody to be excluded from labels of paranoia given the media attacks, and how everybody acts to secure our sex status. ‘Trust no one’ is fairly legitimate. I don’t go out alone at night *for good reason*, not because of paranoia.

    To say we can sometimes be wrong is completely off the mark. Because as we all know, ‘the truth is hidden’! Most people uphold the patriarchy and act like we’re being over-emotional, or insensible, if we call out bullshit. Serious oppression makes paranoia a legitimate response. The DSM criteria fully acknowledges that.

    Although those who wrote the DSM wouldn’t want the exclusion to apply to the sex class. Another reason our paranoia is legitimate.

  118. Saphire

    Sorry for the essay, I maybe should’ve broken it up. To sum – the DSM excludes oppressed groups of people from a paranoid diagnosis. And we’re oppressed right?

  119. Miss Andrist

    @Helen re: your professors

    My answer would have been, “Since I don’t teach engineering or handle admissions for the department, I can’t imagine why you’d expect me to have an answer to that. So, why?”

    …I want a mahi mahi taco.

    -Miss Andrist

  120. Saphire

    Ugh don’t get me started on male professors. As a student it’s always the sexism towards female professors that bothers me most. This comes back to the point that men don’t hate older women.

    Older women represent a threat: what women are as a class when we’re visibly not the sex class. To say older women are invisible (how?) is the male attempt to seize on the idea of women solely as a sex/ baby-making class. Invisibility of older women is a result of male hatred for older women, and women as a class of people.

  121. Mary Tracy9

    An amazing post, as usual.

    The real question is, why doesn’t Jill have a book? Why? Does she make too much sense?

  122. Jezebella

    Helen, thanks for explaining Exceptional Woman Syndrome. It is exactly the form of “feminism” I was raised with – my grandmother had a textbook case of the Syndrome, and mom passed it along to me. I think it’s probably better to raise a girl to believe that she can do *anything* as long as she’s a badass, than telling her she can’t do anything well because she’s a girl. It gave me confidence to be ambitious. I’m not advocating for it as such – there are better messages for girls to hear – but in the 60s and 70s, I think those were the only two options for raising girls in suburban America.

  123. Emily H.

    “The authors don’t make money off it and just write it for fun, so no one is taking part in a sexual activity they don’t really want to, and no actual actresses (or actors) are harmed.”

    How… freegan of you. Glad to hear you’re not oppressing anyone by helping them earn a salary.

  124. Emily H.

    Lizard, thank you for a very cogent point, & your example about the government creating AIDS is a good one. On a more prosaic note, I’m “paranoid” when I’m walking around at night and get terrified at a man crouching in the bushes, when there’s really no one there. This example not “paranoia” in a very strong sense, because it is really quite possible that there could be a man intending some harm to me on that street; but in that particular case, my sense of danger is stronger than the actual danger. And as Aaron whatsisface said, there is no real sense in trying to get rid of that paranoia, or denouncing it as irrational, since it could keep me alert to real dangers. That’s what I took him to be saying, at least.

  125. FemDoc

    Ok–I googled “Exceptional Woman Syndrome” and got more information about “Battered Woman Syndrome” than I could handle, with one citation (3 pages in) about Anna Doyle Wheeler.

  126. Alexa

    Aaron whatsisface is a knob using his IQ of 10 to make a convoluted argument about radfems being paranoid, I.e deluded. We shouldn’t be making a mountain out of a shitty molehill.

    Radfems shouldn’t be debating how paranoid (wrong) we are either. Goes against the core of everything. How ‘aware’, maybe? If you have doubts, feel free to fly back to mainland.

  127. JetGirl

    Helen, I agree with your points on the exceptional woman. However, I’m a little surprised that you would name Jackie Cochran as someone who discounted sexism in her field. She worked her butt off to get women into the air corps as pilots during WWII, and wanted for them to have the same opportunities as the men and acknowledged as military, not civilians.
    She was also instrumental in the women’s Mercury program.
    I’ve met several former WASPs (including Barbara London and Iris Critchell) and they told me that, while Cochran was kind of intense at times (okay, she was pushy), and they preferred Nancy Love, they never doubted she supported women in aviation.

  128. Jezebella

    Whoa! what!? There was a women’s Mercury program? Cool! [scurrying off to query the Googles]

  129. Comrade Svilova

    IBTP The Book — Because What Else Will Save Your Sanity from Dude Nation Once You’ve Read the Archives 1,000 Times?

    And er, Emily H., did you read the point upthread about the government happily testing lead poisoning on poor children without their parents’ knowledge or consent? That actually went to court and is fully documented. “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.”

  130. Jill

    Hey. “Paranoid” means “delusional.” It’s not delusional to distrust a system predicated on the idea that you are subhuman. That hanging chad motherfucker who suggested otherwise is a prick. Whether feminism is “delusional” is not a suitable topic for this blog. Please read the fucking FAQ. Jesus Christ!

    Next!

  131. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    May I add one to our list of minority-killing, government-induced diseases? I’ve just been reading about the unofficial Colonial/USA policy of deliberately infecting Native Americans (by, among other means, distributing lice-infested blankets) with our diseases for over 200 years. Thus wiping out first, whole towns, and ultimately, entire tribes.

    PoC would would be making a serious mistake not to be especially suspicious. In a possibly interesting, but certainly derailing, aside, what is just good sense in a minority person looks very much like paranoia on psychological tests. Take, for example, the paranoia scale on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. If the score is elevated in a member of the privileged class, we worry about hir reality-testing. If it’s not elevated in a minority person, we worry. About hir reality-testing.

    Of course the whole discussion of paranoia is in and of itself a derail, but never mind. Back to the main thread of the derail, at least: In my own backyard, back in the ’70s, a birth control method that was known to cause breast cancer in Beagles* in a matter of months were tested on women for years at a huge public clinic. The informed consent process was a joke, failing as it did to mention this little problem. None, not one of the women I encountered who had enrolled as volunteers in this study understood even that this was an experimental drug, never mind that it could maim or kill them.

    Government docs who lie, obfuscate, and dissemble. Imagine that.

    This country alone has a 300-year history of, at minimum, utter disregard for the health, and even survival, of women and minorities. Damn skippy we don’t trust ‘em.

    *whose breasts, apparently, respond more like ours to known carcinogens than do some of the other primates’

  132. Lullabee

    Hey, Emily H., the thing about economics is that if you create demand, it tends to increase the supply. If market forces cause women to take up the job of doing something that isn’t any more fun than applying an enormous tampon repeatedly, you want to remove those market forces.

    Do you donate money to sex workers? Or would you rather oppress them by helping them earn a living? Or do you just kinda hang out on the internet and judge people for not creating demand for filmed porn?

  133. Lullabee

    And, I’m sorry, it took me this long to realize what was actually bugging me about your comment: the end conclusion from your reasoning must be that it’s unfair to prostitutes to have sex with one’s own partner, because one could be helping prostitutes earn a living. I’m sure if you want sex, you hire a sex worker rather than sleeping with your ladyfriend or Nigel, right? Gotta help those sex workers earn a salary, and damn the market forces of our capitalist system.

  134. shallowwater

    To add to Lullabee’s defense of free written erotica: In my neck of the internet, the authors are paid in things besides money. Comments, thanks, help improving their writing if they want it (for professional purposes or otherwise), membership in a fairly tight-knit and worldwide community, and close friendships that can translate to more tangible things like help when they need it, a place to crash when visiting a new city, and friends in new places when they move.

    Not all production has to be paid for with cold hard cash.

  135. agasaya

    Sorry to learn that readers here can’t understand basic English or recall that I’ve posted in the past that I am dying now from poisoning because I am suing the pesticide industry. Refusal to submit to the corporatocracy (which trumps patriarchy and oppresses all people) means death for some of us who aren’t paper activists. The violence has rendered me homeless as well while waiting in vain for law enforcement to do their job. It ain’t going to happen and womens groups can’t/won’t help because I’m not a victim of sexual violence.

    My statement above was that it is not a legal obligation for corporations to make the maximum number of dollars for their boards. Capitalism is about successful and sustainable businesses. That means consumers and workers benefit in capitalism – a system which does not and cannot exist because men are too stupid and greedy to understand a basic concept that was described in “Shrugged”. Conflicts of interest don’t exist unless someone’s premises are wrong. Rand may have written an interesting philosophy but was herself crippled as a female born under oppression in Russia. She became largely misogynist and went completely nuts later in life if you’ve read the biographies about her.

    Remember that the patriarchy is being supported and maintained by smart industry folks who know patriarchy is horse-shit. However, keeping women down and men happy is key to maintaining corporate control of government and business. Further, women are poisoned much more easily than men – by everyday products and by allopathic medicines/immunizations. Remember that when you go shopping.

    Check out the link posted as well to see how the media presents the battle for womens’ rights as already ‘won’ if you really want something to blast. I’ve already paid the ultimate price.

  136. Ashley

    “Remember that the patriarchy is being supported and maintained by smart industry folks who know patriarchy is horse-shit.”

    True is true is true.

  137. incognotter

    Oh my dog, Twisty that was marvelous. My last few days have been full of random crapulations by dudes Just Because They Can. It is a delight to see you give them the very short shrift they deserve, and so cogently and lyrically. You have brightened my day.

  138. Kim

    It is just so refreshing to hear someone, especially a woman, say what they feel with no apologies, caveats or regrets. I completely enjoyed this post.

  139. ItTakesAVillage__People

    Confession time

    As a lesbian woman, I have hangin’chad habits meself.
    Oh Jesus I suck sometimes.

  140. Helen Huntingdon

    Regarding the question about Jackie Cochran: Cochran was a powerful and tireless force for equality in WWII aviation. That should not be underestimated nor forgotten. But later in life, when it was a question of younger women having opportunities should would never have herself, she worked to squash any chances of the women in the Mercury program succeeding, using the very same specious arguments she fought against in WWII.

    She’s not unique in this regard. When you’ve gotten used to the adulation of the doodz, which can get pretty intense when you’re their token woman of choice (and this was true for Cochran by the time of the Mercury program), getting knocked off your pedestal can seem pretty threatening. Whether you want to face it or not, if a ready supply of other women can catch up with you or pass you, you can no longer be the star, and when the doodz find that holding you up as a token is no longer effective at keeping the others out, they will turn on you. That’s what Cochran was facing, and she caved. There are no free choices for women under the patriarchy.

  141. procrastinatrix

    What an amazing tour of Savage Death Island over the last few weeks. I’ve been reading for years, and though I comment infrequently, lately it’s really been a blast.

    agasaya, I hope the unexpected happens and you find support for your case. Sorry for what happened to you.

    Given how many people upthread have equated penis or no penis with gender identity, it makes me wonder whether any regular blamers are trans, and what they make of such essentialism.

    Finally, even though I work in a field that is supposedly majority female, the higher up one gets, the more old white guy it gets. I’ve been trying for years without success to get into a more feminist niche of this industry–they are out there but I don’t have the credentials yet to be part of them. Some days the dissonance is really painful. Those are the days I’m especially happy to see a new post or an active comment thread here.

    I envy those who can just say “fuck the chads” and be done with them all.

  142. Laurie

    This post is genius, pure and simple.

    At 55, I’ve been looking back recently, and though I’ve always considered myself a radical feminist, I’m realizing, to my shame, how much I’ve squandered my energies on men. Maybe they were nice, brilliant, or talented — but still, men.

    And thanks in large part thanks to this blog, Jill, I’m beginning to understand just how much that time was wasted — it coulda and shoulda been directed toward women. I’m working on changing that now.

    While some folks in my life think my newfound rage is “just menopause,” you and the commenters here give me the courage to get through the day and the hope to look ahead to the next one. I can’t ever thank you enough.

  143. thebewilderness

    agasays,
    I understood your point.
    I do not agree that capitalism was designed to function in the fashion you describe.
    If you read “Caliban and The Witch” you will see what I mean.
    It is full of lovely historical research and inquiry into the transition to capitalism.

    I do remember you, but pls recall that we do not always keep the who’s who of the commentariat straight.
    For example, you may have no idea who the heck I am, even though I have been babblemouthing in these threads for lo these five years.
    Huggs

  144. thebewilderness

    Criminy! Then I misspelled your name. I do apologize.

  145. The Voracious Vegan

    I LOVE THIS! Thank you for this post SO much.

    Like all women, I’m always being told why all of my thoughts and feelings are wrong by ever so helpful men. Just yesterday while trying to explain why using the term ‘pussy’ as an insult was hateful and sexist, I was mansplained that the term ‘pussy’ is not gendered anymore, and it isn’t even sexist, because guys call each other ‘dicks’.

    The brain. It hurts. But this post made it all better. I am in awe.

  146. Carolyn

    I was just writing to someone about male authors attempting to write as female narrators, and ran across this:

    http://www.amandacraig.com/pages/journalism_01/journalism_01_item.asp?journalism_01ID=52

    and just had to laugh…imagine, we have no way of knowing what it’s like to be a man, because they’re so reticent to share their feelings!

  147. Mar Iguana

    “Capitalism is about successful and sustainable businesses.”

    Wrong. Actually, capitalism is a nice word for the cyclical necessity of “primitive accumulation,” a nice term for the periodic genocide, enslavement and massive theft crucial in obtaining vast capital.

    It is all about five centuries of the global creation of the proletariat, achieved by genocidal campaigns of colonization, the control of workers’ bodies, the gendered disciplining of workers, co-option of the commons, enclosing of natural resources, all of which was kick-started by the burning of millions of women during The Inquisition, facilitating the deal made between the powerful and their wage-enslaved men, granting each of them a slave of their very own: Woman, the slave of the slaves.

    (See “Caliban and the Witch; Women, The Body and Primitive Accumulation,” Silvia Federici)

  148. mearl

    @thebewilderness: “Caliban and the Witch” is a fricking sweet book!

  149. Jill

    While some folks in my life think my newfound rage is “just menopause,” you and the commenters here give me the courage to get through the day and the hope to look ahead to the next one.

    You go, girl!

  150. Comrade Svilova

    While some folks in my life think my newfound rage is “just menopause…”

    While they comfort themselves that “it’s just a phase” (be it college or menopause or anything else that is supposed to affect women’s credibility) we’re going to be steadily moving forward to the revolution. Huzzah!

  151. figleaf

    “And at age 51, I ain’t got all that much time left.”

    Sheesh! 150 comments and nobody’s called your bluff on 51 not really being that old? Or, more worrisomely, that if you really don’t have that much time left then saying “at age 51″ doesn’t explain anything? Because Susan B. Anthony made it to 86, and so did Sojourner Truth. Mary Daly was 82. Shulamith Firestone’s 65 and still going. So’s Ti-Grace Atkinson at 72. Lucretia Mott made it to 87 and so did Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

    Point being that all 51 means is you’re likely to have more time to ignore chads than yooth culture (the other dominant paradigm) indoctrinates people to expect.

    figleaf

  152. Sally Sputnik

    Point being that all 51 means is you’re likely to have more time to ignore chads than yooth culture (the other dominant paradigm) indoctrinates people to expect.

    Nobody has all that much time left. But clearly, the longer you do live, the less time you’ve got ahead of you. See what I mean?

  153. Helen Huntingdon

    I think it’s natural enough at 51 to feel a sense of time’s winged chariot hurrying near — who hasn’t, by then, seen the unexpected death of someone close, the lingering death of a family member, and quite likely at least one serious illness of one’s own? I’m only 40, and I’ve cheated death so many times I should take up poker with the dude. I’ve seen more death than I care to think about. She didn’t say she feels old or think she’s old; she said she has a growing sense that time is limited — a natural consequence of experience.

  154. MaryK

    This is my favorite post of all time. <3

  1. What Twisty said. | Reclusive Leftist

    [...] Twisty: There is nothing about men that Savage Death Islanders don’t know. Nothing. We know all about your dicks and your glands and what gets you off and how you were socialized and the terrible strain of male privilege. We get all your dude-jokes. We know all your antifeminist arguments. We know all your porn-is-necessary justifications. We know how you behave when you perceive that someone of a lower caste has challenged your authori-tay. No need to explain to us that we are doing feminism wrong, because we’ve already heard it from the 495,312 dudes who thought of it before you were born. We know that you are not conscious of your own privilege. And we get that, because your invisible privilege derives from the oppression of women, you hate women. [...]

  2. Weekend round-up: splinters in our skirts edition : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present

    [...] Twisty Faster, the Queen of Savage Death Island, designates the clueless d00dz who chap her a$$ “hanging chads.”  “These hanging chads, they really never get it. Because women generally, and radical Internet Feminists in particular, are to them some mystical, unfathomable alien species, they think we don’t understand them! It is hilarious, the predictability with which they all, without exception, every single time, enduringly and persistently, are compelled to lecture the ignorant Savage Death Islanders on the finer points of the superior dude civilization back on the mainland. Because if we just understood them, we would see how wrongwe are to experience Chadly privilege as oppression.”  Riiiight.  She continues:  “What all chads fail to grasp is that, as members of an oppressed class, we have always considered it a matter of survival and our No. 1 priority to grok the fullness of the oppressor. In fact, we’ve been grokking the oppressor’s fullness since the cradle, mostly without even realizing it. It hasn’t been too difficult, since we were all raised in the smelly nutsack of Dude Nation, and continue to be engulfed by and to marinate in dudelionormative swampwater all day, every day. If there is ever some little dudecentric point here or there that eludes us, not to worry; dudelionormative socialization protocols are in place to take us back to school and whip us into shape.”  Just read the whole thing.  It will put a smile on your face.  (See especially the line about her “prophylactic acquiescence to Dude Culture gavage.”) [...]

  3. Spinster aunt dashes off some fluff, proceeds with overbooked Sunday « I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] topic last year, back when I was smarter and there were more patriarchy-blaming hours in the day. The Hanging Chads of Savage Death Island. This post is better because it’s more long-winded, and also because at the end it explains [...]

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