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Mar 26 2011

Incisive blamer commentary clippets of the day

Plastic trophy
Fig. 7. Unknown Artist. Kid trophy. 2009. Plastic and marble, 5 1/2″ x 3″. Collection of Finn Faster (age 5).

From the colorful comments on the MacGyver post:

Oppression is like kids’ soccer: we ALL get a trophy! — tinfoil hattie

Hetero feminists are not all Stepford Wives, you know. — Jezebella

If one partners with a man, with or without papers, it REQUIRES you to live in a one-down position every day of your life. — FemmeForever

The whole het-vs-lesbian debate strikes me as a little bit disingenuous, since sexual relationships are not the only kinds of relationships that can occur between men and women, and indeed are not, in my opinion, particularly distinguished or special as compared to familial, friendly, or professional relationships. — Triste

Having a father or brother is not voluntary. Having a husband or son is. Platonic friendships and professional relationships do not have the same emotional intensity, i.e. the kind of emotional intensity which encourages compromises. — Kali

I would go further and say the superlative importance our culture places on romantic relationships is the very KEY to how patriarchy maintains itself. — Darragh Murphy

Being with women doesn’t insulate me from things I fear about patriarchal culture. — nails

So, a tube sock, an Olivetti, and a Timex watch walk into a bar. — buttercup

[A] long period of celibacy for women is crucial to coming around to the idea that men aren’t necessary for happiness and fulfillment and that life can be pretty satisfying without them. — speedbudget

Radical feminism is deeply unpopular among heterosexual women. It requires of us what we cannot do: give up our collusion with our oppressors. — Hedgepig

Just the idea of a man’s peen grosses me out now — sorry, but what awful dangly little things they are! urgh. — N/A

I like to pretend emo bands fronted by impossibly-banged boys in skinny jeans are actually headed by Amy Ray. — Sarah

Fellatios are quite a hassle. *– Anna

_____________________
* Remember the Fellatio Wars of Aught-Six? Good times!

48 comments

  1. tinfoil hattie

    Oooh! Oooh! We need an awards theme!

  2. allhellsloose

    All good but speedbucket hits the nail on the head. Bingo.

  3. AlienNumber

    Let’s be honest here: Darragh’s every sentence needs a prize.

  4. Jill

    I want to know what “impossibly-banged boys” are.

  5. N/A

    re impossibly-banged boys — the bieber may be an example of one. it’s a great description come to think of it.

  6. Notorious Ph.D.

    Nice. The essential paradoxes of being a would-be radfem het woman. Many days my head just wants to explode.

  7. Notorious Ph.D.

    I don’t know if I can add a further comment without getting caught in the filter, but here goes: These snippets (especially speedbucket’s) got me thinking, and I realized that almost all of my male entanglements, viewed in hindsight, cause the same reaction: “My god, what the hell was I thinking? Why did no one stop me? How could I have compromised myself so much?”

    This is certainly something to chew on for me.

  8. Ticki Tumbo

    Can someone explain buttercup’s?

  9. Kea

    Notorious and speedbucket, yes, exactly. One cannot envelop oneself in delusions that took so much hard work to destroy. In my youth I worked hard and obeyed the powers that be, only to be thrown on the waste heap of unregulated capitalism as soon as I saw the light. If there is no desire left, why worry about it? We have a new future to work towards, on our own.

  10. Sylvie

    Jill, blogular sporadicism, my arse. Has anyone read Rosi Bradotti’s work?

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/22966295/Sexual-Difference-Theory-Rosi-Braidotti-A-Companion-to-Feminist-Philosophy-Ed-Jaggar-and-Young

  11. Oaktown Girl

    I would go further and say the superlative importance our culture places on romantic relationships is the very KEY to how patriarchy maintains itself. — Darragh Murphy

    Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

    It’s drilled into little girls from the very earliest ages that their core value is base on two very related things:

    1. Their attractiveness, based on patriarchal society’s very narrow definition of what constitutes female “beauty”, and

    2. The quality of males they can attract and hold on to.

    Boys are put under no such pressure. “Less attractive” boys have society’s reassurance from Day One that they can become well loved and respected by their actions and works, and MRM’s arguments to the contrary are utter bullshit.

  12. Hedgepig

    I think it’s speedbudget, all, though a speedy bucket sounds like a handy thing to have around too.

  13. Notorious Ph.D.

    @ Hedgepig: You’re right, of course. Mea culpa.

  14. Kea

    Yeah, I noticed the bucket error, but I decided to perpetuate it anyway. Sorry, speedbudget.

  15. Triste

    Aaaaw yiss. Gonna print that sucker out and stick it right on the fridge. So proud.

    No but, I feel like buttercup’s comment maybe should have gotten it’s own post. It brought a tear to my eye.

  16. damequixote

    The doves. My god. The doves.

  17. Bushfire

    There’s been so much mention of the bj wars of 2006, that I went back and read them.

    GROSS.

  18. Asai

    “The Blowjob Wars,” it should be a book, not just a blog post. A way to trick guys into reading radical feminist literature.

    Though, if I may state an opinion I’m not certain will hold up: the blow job argument seems rather redundant. No woman can be in an equal relationship with a man, because WE don’t decide how equal we are, SOCIETY does.

    So even if you and your Nigel are both radical feminists and your relationship is a completely equal one, there’s still going to be outside pressures on your relationship in his favour. No person or relationship exists in a vacuum.

    In those circumstances, everything else is just a matter of how much you can compromise yourself and still be happy. I don’t expect all heterosexual women to be celibate, because that’s ridiculous, but I do promote awareness of the basic power imbalance. Knowing it’s there helps to guard against it’s effects.

  19. speedbudget

    Speedbuckets come in handy if you are trying to deswamp your boat. Sometimes it feels like that, doesn’t it?

    Asai said something interesting just now. Because ever notice how if you are the one with the checkbook and the need and you happen to be shopping at some kind of store that is viewed by many to be the purview of men (electronics, auto, appliances [even though women are viewed as the actual users of said appliances]) with a man in tow and it’s like you suddenly drink a +25 invisibility potion? Yeah. Same with restaurants. Even if you personally hand the server the credit card or cash, for some reason it gets back to the man, doesn’t it?

    Sometimes we blow the people’s minds by my Nigel submissively turning to me and asking for my permission. It’s tons of fun.

  20. Jill

    “‘The Blowjob Wars,’ it should be a book, not just a blog post.”

    Coincidentally, those blow job posts were actually anthologized in a Vintage paperback a few years ago. It was called something like “Wild Blogs,” I can’t remember exactly, edited by a New York Times writer named Sarah Boxer. Sarah Boxer had apparently been assigned this editing job against her will, and though she was polite enough she was unable to entirely conceal her disdain for blogging as a medium, or her view that all bloggers are curiosities and crackpots. They sent me a copy but I can’t seem to find it now. I do remember that they didn’t pay me a dime.

  21. Comrade PhysioProf

    all bloggers are curiosities and crackpots

    THATTE’S RIDICULOUS!!!!111!!!11!!!1!

  22. Gayle

    If there’s going to be a winner, I nominate Darragh Murphy. I wish every woman could read that comment in full.

    Hedge pig’s comment intrigues me. It seems to conflate radical feminism with separatist feminism. Do most here believe they are the same thing?

  23. Kea

    Separatism may, or may not, be a necessary intermediate step, but of course it cannot be a permanent goal in itself. As someone else noted, we must maintain the hope that radical change is possible in the future, because there is no future without it. I doubt anyone is confused about this, whatever their stance on current strategy.

  24. lesbot

    “Has anyone read Rosi Bradotti’s work?”

    Why Sylvie? I’m no fan of “gender” either, but I don’t think turning to Foucault or Deleuze (or whoever the man of the moment is for white pomos) via Braidotti hels much. We can say words like “materialism” a million times and still not be talking about anything material.

  25. Asai

    @Jill

    “Look little blogger, we took content from your site to create a book for our own personal profit, and now you’re published! Haven’t we done you a favour!”

    I hate the New York Times. It was actually an article by them (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/us/09assault.html?_r=1&hp) that started a giant argument between my family and me. They are officially lower than dirt.

  26. Hedgepig

    Re:Gayle’s comment. Darragh wins the internet!

    I do seem to be conflating radical with separatist feminism don’t I? What I was actually attempting to say was that we radicals by definition want to destroy the system (as opposed to reforming it), but my personal opinion is that the strategy of separatism is the only one that would actually destroy, rather than reform, the P.

    What we have at the moment is a heavily reformed patriarchy. Significant reforms have been achieved by past feminists: the vote, being allowed to have roles in government, an improvement on the pay disparity, being allowed to own property etc. These are huge reforms.
    But, the underlying assumption of P remains: that women are subhuman, their primary purpose to provide sexual and domestic service to men. How can these huge reforms have taken place, yet failed to transform that underlying assumption?
    They have failed because women still provide sexual and domestic service to men.

  27. Kea

    This gives me the idea of (sex) strike action, for het women who do not wish to try long term celibacy. It could be done locally (say, at the city level), calling on ladies to ‘abstain for a month’. Surely that would generate some publicity.

  28. S

    Wow, Asai, wow. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives. [...] Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?”

    How could that awful neglectful mother be heartless enough to let those rapists live with guilt for the rest of their lives? Poor, poor rapists.

  29. tinfoil hattie

    it’s like you suddenly drink a +25 invisibility potion?

    Sing it, sister. It’s more than annoying.

    I absolutely would love to retire to the Island of the Misfit Radfems someday. Except patriarchy would rear its ugly head there, too, because we’re SOAKING IN IT. Even the best of woman/woman intimate or partner relationships exhibit a dom/sub dynamic.

  30. Asai

    My laptop was nearly thrown across the room. Had I not been sitting at the kitchen table, this wouldn’t have sparked an argument.

    The message I get from that is, broadly, “these pre-teen temptresses will totally get you into trouble!” I *would* say that the NYT is horseshit, but I do not want to insult Twisty’s horses.

  31. Citizen Jane

    <blockquoteThis gives me the idea of (sex) strike action, for het women who do not wish to try long term celibacy. It could be done locally (say, at the city level), calling on ladies to ‘abstain for a month’. Surely that would generate some publicity.
    That sounds horrifically sexist. The idea that sex is a currency women use to get what they want from men is the point of view one sees in only the most revolting of patriarchy-loving dudes.

  32. Citizen Jane

    Sorry, I typo-ed the html tag there. Try again.

    This gives me the idea of (sex) strike action, for het women who do not wish to try long term celibacy. It could be done locally (say, at the city level), calling on ladies to ‘abstain for a month’. Surely that would generate some publicity.

    That sounds horrifically sexist. The idea that sex is a currency women use to get what they want from men is the point of view one sees in only the most revolting of patriarchy-loving dudes.

  33. Comrade Svilova

    As Tinfoil Hattie argues, the dom/sub relationship that power creates finds its expression through gender roles but not ONLY through gender roles. Eliminate the male sex, and dom/sub relationships will still exist.

    Power will become refocused on racial, class, and other lines of demarcation. How we eliminate power structures is a huge question, but the problem is, sadly, not limited to gender relations and changing gender relations will not eliminate oppression.

  34. Hedgepig

    Citizen Jane, “The idea that sex is a currency women use to get what they want from men is the point of view one sees in only the most revolting of patriarchy-loving dudes.”

    Yes, but that’s not the idea being expressed here. The idea being expressed here is that discontinuation of participation in the activities the performance of which defines women as members of the sex caste, may result in women no longer being considered to form a sex caste.

  35. AlienNumber

    How we eliminate power structures is a huge question, but the problem is, sadly, not limited to gender relations and changing gender relations will not eliminate oppression.

    Yeah, but will eliminate SOME – a huge chunk of? -oppression. Is that not enough for ya? Does ending (some) women’s oppression mean nothing? Are you a nihilist?

    Here I was thinking I was reading feminist commentary.

  36. Comrade Svilova

    No, AN, it isn’t enough for me to simply eliminate one form of oppression. Do you think it is sufficient?

    I’m not saying that eliminating gender oppression isn’t without value. Obviously not.

    But women refusing to have any relationships with XYs will do very little to actually address the root of the problem of domination and subordination that lies behind all oppressions.

    Women refusing to *serve* men and perpetuate the Nuclear Family as the ultimate good? That will do something!

  37. Sarah

    Jill and N/A – Yep, the Bieb was precisely what I had in mind, although musically more along the lines of Bright Eyes (more impossible bangs and navel-gazing) and Silversun Pickups (male lead singer’s voice sounds better when put through internal Amy Ray-filter).

  38. Jill

    “What we have at the moment is a heavily reformed patriarchy. Significant reforms have been achieved by past feminists: the vote, being allowed to have roles in government, an improvement on the pay disparity, being allowed to own property etc. These are huge reforms.”

    This reminds me: the benefits of these “huge” reforms, such as they are, are confined to affluent members of Western nations. Billions of women continue to live in poverty, can’t vote, can’t afford property, and/or are themselves property. Even in the West, among women who live ‘above the poverty line,’ there is no equal pay for equal work. There is nothing even approaching equal representation in upper level government, organized religion, or corporations. Privately-owned uteruses are still political footballs. Rape is next to impossible to prosecute. Pornography and prostitution are considered “lifestyle choices” by liberal progressives.

    Equality is a crock.

  39. buttercup

    I feel so proud. Thanks, Jill! A tear leaks from my formerly jaundiced eye.

  40. Anna

    “No, AN, it isn’t enough for me to simply eliminate one form of oppression. Do you think it is sufficient?”

    Of course it’s not sufficient. But it’s something. Something big. And we are feminists on a feminist blog. This insufficient but big something is what we’re all about. Of course we need to be aware of intersecting oppressions. But you seem to be implying that the existence of multiple oppressions takes away from the urgency and importance of getting rid of this particular one.

  41. Anna

    “The idea being expressed here is that discontinuation of participation in the activities the performance of which defines women as members of the sex caste, may result in women no longer being considered to form a sex caste.”

    Agreed, that’s the idea Kea is expressing. But the first thing any sort of mass sex strike would result in, is mass rape.

  42. Must Think of a Name

    A world with genuine radical feminist articles on the front page of The Uruzghan Province Times would be a fundamentally altered world. Sexism cuts closest to the bone because it is the most subtle and entrenched form of oppression. Unlike most forms, it requires great intelligence to contradict in theoretical terms. Or not – no one is offended by the statement men and women have the same brain makeup, but so many bet their houses on the assumption that men and women are inherently (not historically/politically) different. It was that Sommers person’s main premise. So assured was she of the fact she couldn’t brush past it casually enough in her opening paragraph.

    Revolution could happen five hundred years from now or else everything could just click into place, like, any day. I’m not saying that’s likely but imagine if radical theory was commonly known, read and understood. Feminist revolution is the lynchpin of any revolution worth it’s salt. So many other things can be seen through the prism of it. And it makes other causes so easy to fight in comparison and you learn so many neat political tricks.

    Apologies for frequent interjections and long winded pointlessness but I have an “addictive personality” when it comes to things I like and now that I’ve started…

  43. Vinaigrette Girl

    “But, the underlying assumption of P remains: that women are subhuman, their primary purpose to provide sexual and domestic service to men. How can these huge reforms have taken place, yet failed to transform that underlying assumption? They have failed because women still provide sexual and domestic service to men.” [my emphasis]

    And that – after sitting down and sleeping on it and rethinking it for several days now – still sounds like BANG! It’s still our fault that the P exists.

    You know, a decade ago I was rounded upon because I used a Standard English pronunciation of “Boadicea” instead of saying “Budicca”, on the grounds that I was brainwashed by my collusion with men in the academy to avoid using the late queen’s ‘Real Name’. Can anyone say “shibboleth” here?

    When we insist that other people’s behaviour has to follow One Rule in order to break down the patriarchy, we’re back to dom’n'sub games.

    My point is that for some of us who are het and radfem, it’s not like we haven’t thought about this stuff. In my case, for over forty years and counting. Frankly, as I share a living space with a son and male spouse, if I started “not colluding” I’d just be being rude and unhelpful purely because they were male, and I don’t see that as remotely anti-patriarchal. In the messiness of family life, in the broadest definition of 2family”, there’s give and take and racketeering and dom-n’sub at times everywhere. Human variety is infinite and thus so are anti-patriarchal measures.

    By all means, state the separatist case, but giving your sisters some credit for maybe having thought about our compromises before engaging in them would be also anti-patriarchal. Otherwise, it seems to me that there’s a possibility that heterosexuality is perceived as just another form of Laydeebrane Disease.

  44. Anna

    “And that – after sitting down and sleeping on it and rethinking it for several days now – still sounds like BANG! It’s still our fault that the P exists.”

    You’re putting words in Hedgepig’s mouth. It’s not our fault the P exists, but we’re the key to bringing it down. If it’s going to be done, it is us and only us who have to bring it done. Men aren’t going to do shit for us.

    “When we insist that other people’s behaviour has to follow One Rule in order to break down the patriarchy, we’re back to dom’n’sub games”

    Those of us who are saying we should stop “colluding with the oppressor” are not saying it because we want to boss you around. It’s because we believe it to be the only way to bring down the patriarchy. I mean, you might as well say that telling people they should stay out of strong sun because that’s the only way to prevent sunburn is “dom’n’sub games”.

  45. Comrade Svilova

    Frankly, as I share a living space with a son and male spouse, if I started “not colluding” I’d just be being rude and unhelpful purely because they were male, and I don’t see that as remotely anti-patriarchal.

    This is where I am as well (minus the son). I am still unable to understand why bio-essentialism (all men are Y, all women are X, there is nothing else) is in any way radical. To me, it seems like taking the basic assumption of the P and simply changing the personal qualities that we associate with each sex. That kind of reversal just reinforces the binaries that support the P.

  46. Farie

    I am still unable to understand why bio-essentialism (all men are Y, all women are X, there is nothing else) is in any way radical.

    Part of what makes living under patriarchy a problem is that all men are presumed Y and all women are presumed X whether they like it or not (although what constitutes Y and X does of course differ across various lines of other forms of distinction) . Post-revolution, of course, we would be free to do away with all kinds of unhelpful sex and gender distinctions, but alas, we are not post-revolution. And under patriarchy, to treat women and men as though they are similarly situated is to treat women worse. That’s why all this endless liberal rhetoric about equality grates so dreadfully.

  47. cin17

    Am I an essentialist because I believe that the human male is the weaker sex, and that one of the biggest issues straight feminists face is the simple fact that they love men? Or does that make me a non-essential essentialist?

    Patriarchy is such an Escher-esque optical illusion mindfuck. Gawd, but it is the worst possible thing homo sapiens could waste thousands of years on “perfecting.” Hey, doods, we took a wrong turn somewhere around the Neolithic period, maybe it’s time to let someone else drive before you take us all off a freakin’ cliff. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was that easy: Would you just stop the car already and ask for directions, or pull over and let me the hell out.

  48. Laurie

    About letting someone else drive, my gay pal has it right: He believes that no male should have the vote, and to the inevitable protests of unfairness, he replies simply, “Talk to me about fairness after you’ve checked out the stats for women’s equality/quality of life.”

    I guess we’d need a revolution just to implement it, but a gal (and a gay guy) can dream, right?

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