Apr 26 2011

Fuck all. Open thread! (was “Test post. Ignore.”)

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  1. speedbudget

    Telling me to ignore something is just asking me to pay attention to it.

  2. Siren

    My thoughts EXACTLY.

  3. Siren

    Oh and now I have that in my head. Lalalalala, lalalalala, lalalalala la-la lala la-lah. So yeah, thanks a lot for that.

  4. Fictional Queen

    Can we say whatever we want then?
    Wish me luck! I’m about to finish 12th grade,then a gruesome month of studying for college exam…People say there are feminists in college.Well that sure wasn’t the case in high school.

  5. speedbudget

    Good luck, Fictional Queen. And you will be pleasantly surprised to find lots of feminists at college, but I would imagine not too many radical ones. You can always hang out with us here on Savage Death Island!

  6. Notorious Ph.D.

    You can’t tell me what to do.

  7. tinfoil hattie

    I heart Minnie Ripperton.

    Fictional Queen, good luck! And yes, always come back to visit us here at SDI.

  8. embergirl

    I like peanut butter.

  9. Comrade PhysioProf

    “PicPoul” is an oddly compelling fucken tune.

  10. Bushfire

    Good luck with those college feminists- some of them are the “fun” kind. Direct them here!

  11. Bushfire

    I listened to all your sound links.

    Gad, am I procrastinating.

  12. gostephaniego

    Fictional Queen! I am in college and yes, there are more feminists than in high school. At least, the burgeoning awareness of college is a step above the stereotype regurgitation of high school. You’ll be hard pressed, however, to find one who does not outright deny any hint of radicalism. That’s ok, there’s the Internet.

  13. Jill

    Fuck all. Open thread!

  14. Ruby Lou

    The pedestrian underground tunnel, that went from the parking lot to the Zoo! Had a superb echo, yeah, hadn’t thought of that in ages. Nice resonant bass line on the second one.

  15. Farie

    Open thread! Unsolicited advice time!

    Fictional Queen, don’t be discouraged if feminists at college do not immediately present themselves, or if the general level of feminism is alarmingly less than what you expect. Don’t give up! Upper-level women’s studies courses. Feminist activist groups (if they exist). Queer groups (although you might have to wade through a lot of domination by gay men who think they can’t be patriarchal because they’re gay). Perhaps most importantly, look for all-female spaces wherever you can find them. Reach out to the women’s studies program, especially current majors. I have never met a women’s studies major who doesn’t jump at the chance to involve and befriend incoming feminists/potential majors.

    We’re in a strange and scary moment as college feminists when an awful lot of college students (at least at the kind of allegedly-but-not-as-much-as-you’d-think “liberal” institution with which I am intimately, painfully familiar) seem to think that feminism is All Over, or else that we are All Feminists So Why Are You Still Talking About It. But there are some amazing women out there who will want to find you as much as you want to find them.

  16. schatze

    Hearing those sound bytes, a wave of nostalgia swept over me for an old standard that I believe was titled “Block of Soup”

  17. Pinko Punko

    Riunite on ice for all!

  18. MPMR

    Woo! Open thread!

    Desperately trying to think of what to say. It’s like a genie just asked me for my wish, and I can’t think of anything.

    Fictional Queen: Best of luck with college. I didn’t admit to being a radical feminist in college. Nope, back then I was a “post-feminist”. It was hard not to be when I was the only woman in my upper-division classes. Ahh. . . those were the days. What a shithead.

    I would now like to openly admit that I hate tacos AND margaritas, but love Savage Death Island anyway.

  19. Ticki Tumbo

    Riunite! How ’bout some TJ Swan?

  20. Nora

    Fictional Queen! I am almost jealous of you, because I still have a year ahead of me before I graduate high school. But I found a college that seems to have multiple radical feminists on campus. Or at least, a bunch of socialist vegetarians (not as good as being a radfem, but sooo much better than the politics of everyone I know now).

  21. Daisy Deadhead

    I wrote about Viagra commercials, but I admit that I am not nearly as funny as Twisty writing about menz commercials:


    Semi-artsy photo of my granddaughter and a dolphin. (I thought it was a shark, but I was corrected forthwith):


    What do you think of Civil War re-enactors? We got a parcel of em around here:


    And finally, a link to my REAL HOUSEWIVES thread :P tsk tsk. For those of you who secretly indulge!


    I think that covers everything for the past week. Hope yall don’t die from all the excitement.

  22. Lexie

    Open thread, whoo hoo. Okay. I was sick all weekend and thus spent my time needing low-key stuff that I could comprehend through many doses of Nyquil and antibiotics. Thus read Tina Fey’s Bossypants. And although there is a lot of funny and good stuff in there, I wanted to just say, “Tina. Tina? I can tell there is just a whole lot of shit you want to rant about but you can’t because women can’t be producers of shows AND have opinions about how douchey people like Alec Baldwin and Lorne Michaels must be. But just let it fly, just say it! I know you want to. I can read the tension of what you are holding back between every single line. Just let go, Tina!”
    Frustrating aspect of that book, I tell ya. (slurps more Nyquil.)

  23. speedbudget


  24. Jill

    Tina Fey. Waddya gonna do? She can’t be a mainstream entertainer and be the feminist hero we all seem to sense is buried in there somewhere. Sad, but real subversion is not allowed on television, so if she really were a radfem vigilante, nobody would have ever heard of her.

  25. Jill

    By the way, way to go on the incisive discourse on cheap liquor!

  26. Bushfire

    You know what I really hate?

    The term “sex-positive”.

    BTW- college feminists- even some of those women’s studies gals can hold anti-feminist views. So far, Savage Death Island is the only totally feminist space I’ve ever found.

  27. Cyberwulf

    Well, this week I’ve been trying to knock some sense into the kiddies at the Escapist Magazine forums re: blaming rape victims for their rapes (a common theme is ‘I don’t blame them for being raped, I blame them for being stupid’). And last week I pissed off several people by saying that Game of Thrones is tired, sexist shit.

  28. Jezebella

    Oh, Bushfire. I once went to grad school with a woman who called herself a “prosexproporn feminist” as though it were one word, and anybody who was opposed to one was by default opposed to the other.

    In other news, the Brooklyn Museum of Art is hiring a curator for their feminist art collection. Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party is there, for starters. I cannot convince myself that I want to move my middle-aged self and three cats to Brooklyn, so I haven’t applied, but if any of youse are looking for a sweet gig, get on it.

  29. Paula

    @Pinko Punko Riunite on ice – that’s nice!! Thanks for bringing back a very old memory.

  30. ew_nc

    Since this is an open thread, can we speculate on how to *ahem* eliminate the Donald Trump problem? The nausea he is causing me is getting out of control.

  31. Jezebella

    Donald Trump is trolling America. Unfortunately the “ignore the troll and it will go away” technique won’t work for him.

  32. Laura

    Open forum! Thank you, Jill, for this blog. It has far reaches. It has been a great help as I have some frank discussions with my son, who is a college undergraduate taking a number of Women’s Studies courses.

  33. Notorious Ph.D.

    A recent incident of student harassment of one of my colleagues made me think of a story my graduate adviser told me of his days teaching at a midwestern university in the 70s. At one point, some dude with an axe got into the library stacks (open) late at night and went after a female student who was studying in one of the carrels. The university’s first solution to this problem was to prohibit female students from being in the stacks during non-peak hours.

  34. Daisy Deadhead

    Jezebella wins for comment of the year, or at least election season!

    The first Republican debate of the election campaign will be here in Greenville (Jim Demint Land to the GOP, Tea Party Central) on May 5th… am I alone in thinking they chose the date to be cute on the anti-immigration thing? The problem is that they can’t get anybody to commit to it, ROFLMAO. So far, Roemer and Santorum and possibly Gingrich. Boring! If I were Roger Ailes (((screams at thought)))) I would want Trump just for the fireworks factor, since no one cares right now. With Trump, it turns into a certified dog and pony show and Fox News might save their investment/ratings. Whaddaya think?

    For our part, the local progressives (all half dozen of us) can’t figure out if we should waste energy on a counter-demo, since these clowns barely rate mention. Then again, this is OUR town, and we don’t wantem here, and some of us would like to formally SAY SO..

    And is it worth a $50 fee for a permit to demonstrate?

    (Daisy dithers)

    Ideas welcome. (When you finally see the tired-ass Fox News debate on the 5th, as you channel surf, send positive thoughts our way!)

  35. MPMR

    Cyberwulf: Not one hour ago my male “liberal” cousin called me a feminazi for claiming that Game of Thrones tried to make rape look sexy. Seriously. A feminazi. Hilarious. So I’m right there with you.

  36. CLD

    @Notorious: Ah yes, the old “remove all the ladees” from public view tact. That’ll keep ’em from being hacked to death and/or being raped.

    Regarding The Donald; President Obama has just released his long form birth certificate, so Mr. Trump now has no platform on which to run his idiotic “campaign”.

  37. Daisy Deadhead

    CLD, I wish he hadn’t, sounds like caving to the black helicopter faction… but I certainly see why he did.

    Donald Trump is now pro-life! He CARES about the issues! Are you suggesting he is just doing this for the attention? (shock)

  38. embergirl

    OK, since this is an open thread…

    Maybe this is because I am not a sufficiently advanced blamer, but here is a probably stupid question:

    Can you still be a feminist if you puke your guts up every time you eat, and you know you’re doing it because of patriarchy, but you still can’t stop?


  39. Fictional Queen

    Thanks for the advice!
    I should have mentioned I’m a third world kid.
    No “feminist activist groups” let alone “queer groups”.Not in the open,at least.
    Where I come from before college all schools are sex-segrated.So I’ve never been in a class with boys! I don’t know how that’s gonna be! Hopefully not too bad…! But I guess we won’t be casually talking about periods anymore! That’s a pity.

  40. Fictional Queen

    Y’know the terms I hate?
    Pro-prostitution (puke-inducing)
    I stopped reading that stupid Jezebel site after finding out they’re pro-hijab.I wanna see one of those american feminists having to wear that shit and see how they like it.

  41. Fictional Queen

    @Nora: So you’re gonna start 12th grade this year?
    You should study a lot! Trust me,I didn’t,I should know :D

  42. Jill

    Hey embergirl: yes.

    It’s not antifeminist to suffer under the auspices of oppression.

  43. Jill

    I’ve just heard Trump on the radio saying, essentially, that he doesn’t believe the birth certificate is real. That dude is an embarrassing, foul stain. He gets this week’s Ditwuss Award.

  44. M

    embergirl, no-one here is the feminist police, or even immune to the many effects of patriarchy in their own lives (hence the blaming).

    The only thing you really can’t be while chucking your meals back up is healthy (happy is a very close second, but a hell of a lot harder to achieve!).

    As a food-lover and an extreme vomit-avoider myself (I can’t bear it – I’ll actively avoid eating if I think there’s a chance it’ll make me sick), I’d find re-reading the many essays here on deliciousness, and attempting some of the healthier ones, potentially therapeutic because they’re both too tasty and too healthy to want to see escape. But if you’re eating well and still chucking up I don’t really know what to suggest.

    Whatever you’re eating and however little you keep down, please don’t (let or make?) yourself feel worse by believing anyone you admit it to will dismiss you because of it – it’s far too easy to feel that way (about all sorts of things), but it’s surprisingly often not true.

    Also, I see while I’ve been agonising over the (still rubbish) phrasing of this post, our Aunt Twisty has popped up to agree – so there you have it – you definitely get to be a feminist as much as you like =]

  45. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Any depiction of rape on the big screen or the little one makes me barf profusely. The first time I discovered this was during the last five minutes of “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” on a dinner-and-a-movie date in 1977 (or 78? I dunno.)

  46. vitaminC

    Antoinette, “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” on a dinner-and-a-movie date?! How romantic.

    embergirl, we don’t hate the (unwilling) players. We hate the game.

  47. Comrade Svilova

    Game of Thrones is effing terrible. Not only is it pro-rape but it is f*cking boring. The characters are uninteresting and trite. Ugh.

  48. Paula

    I cannot watch that scene from “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” at all. I think the film is a decent movie but that final scene horrifies me to where I have to shut it off.

  49. Daisy Deadhead

    Antoinette, that one was quite realistic, though… and was maybe the first feature-length film to force audience-identification with the victim. (The whole movie was a sympathetic biography) Diane Keaton’s acting and facial expressions, also, made the ending utterly terrifying; particularly that look on her face when she says “What are you trying to prove?” and Tom Berenger (isn’t it Tom Berenger?) suddenly screams “PROVE!?”–damn, that is one of those great acting moments and will make your guts fall out. It’s like you are right there in the room with her.

    Although nominated, did not win, since she won before. But she should have!

    For the record, I can’t watch the end now either, it bothers me more, not less, as I age.

    Also, I have trouble knowing poor Blanche is gonna get it from Stanley… I wanna yell, noooooo Blanche don’t stay THERE….

  50. IrishUp

    embergirl – The Patriarchy is THE major proponent of disordered eating. P is also a recognized and much reviled exacerbator of eating disorders which are brain-based & therefore not a choice for which a person is blameable.

    If you feel like your puking might be ED rather than disordered eating or due to a GI issue, I have contacts with good clinicians in the US & UK who know what the fuck they’re doing and can help, should you be interested. I put this out there because puking every day at every meal is serious shit that is life threatening and life-shortening when un- or under- treated.

    Two online resources that may be of use:
    The brilliant, talented and workin her tail off at recovery Carrie Arnold of ED Bites

    The brilliant talented and available for online consultations Michelle at The Fat Nutritionist

  51. Melinda

    I was SO disappointed with Game of Thrones. I had to turn it off after the “naughty dwarf gets a blowjob” scene, followed by a half-dozen half-naked “wenches” laughingly piling onto the bed. Whee! What fun they must be having!

  52. allhellsloose

    @ embergirl

    Can you still be a feminist if you puke your guts up every time you eat, and you know you’re doing it because of patriarchy, but you still can’t stop?

    Hi feminist. You are in a cycle of abuse. Caused by the patriarchy. The trick, and it’s a hard one to perform, is to stop the cycle. Get help. Not the expensive kind. Go around the block and seek it. Best wishes to you.

  53. Siren

    Luh-uh-vin yoo-ooh, is easy cause you’re beautifu-uh-uhl …

    What? I’m totally on topic here.

    That song has been simpering in the background for me ever since I came by yesterday. It’s almost enough to make me start singing “Close to You.”

  54. Siren

    Not that I know all the words to “Close to You” or anything like that.

    Just clarifying,

  55. Bushfire

    Ok, I love open threads! I’m gonna take this opportunity to post multiple times on whatever topic comes up, since there is nothing to derail!

    Any depiction of rape on the big screen or the little one makes me barf profusely.

    Me too! I had a young professor once who wanted to illustrate a point about what we were reading in class and showed us some period film taking place in the 19th century. There was not one but TWO rape scenes in it, and when the first one started he said “oh, sorry, I forgot to warn you there was a sex scene.” (Sex and Rape are the same thing dontcha know!) Although other parts of the film did end up illustrating whatever the point was, all I remember was the horror of watching two women be raped. I still cringe about it now and that was almost ten years ago. I wasn’t the least bit feminist at the time, that would come later, but if I knew then what I know now, boy would that teacher have been in a shit-storm of trouble.

  56. Bushfire

    Hey, here’s some good news. Jeanette Winterson is coming to Toronto this summer! I can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!!

  57. Embee

    @ embergirl may I make a humble suggestion? Until you can stop the vomiting, perhaps you could recharacterize it (in your head) as your reaction to the patriarchy, as opposed to conformance with it. I don’t want you to puke and I don’t understand the disease but I do know you have every right to feel overwhelmingly nauseated by your status.

  58. tinfoil hattie

    embergirl, I guarantee you every feminist here succumbs to patriarchy on some level, because we can’t NOT succumb. Patriarchy: We’re soaking in it.

    I hope you can find good, non-shaming help. Whatever you do, avoid the OWN show “Addicted to Food.” It is so mean and shaming that I started a blog because of it.


    I do agree that binge/overeating and bulimia/anorexia are all part of the same disordered eating spectrum. It’s so hard to deal with. Blessings from the blamer goddesses to you. Stick around.

  59. tinfoil hattie

    Holy shit, I suck as a blogger.

    It’s http://www.sobbingfatty.com

    No “the”

    Warning – it is a new and primitive blog!

  60. Nora

    @embergirl: Of course you can. Anyone who tells you otherwise is victim-blaming, full stop.

    @Fictional Queen: I am! And I hate studying, though I recognize that it’s a necessarily evil for the next 5 years of my life (no more, though. I’ve promised myself not to get sucked in to grad school). Coed environments are really…good grounds for patriarchy-blaming observations. I used to really like male-dominated environments, but I’m actually finding that the more diverse my group of friends becomes in terms of sexuality/race/class/disabilities/national origin/etc, the more it is dominated by women and other trans people. IDK if that’s unique to me, though. (My guess is that it’s just the result of radical spaces’ tendency to attract oppressed people).

    Also, since this is an open thread, can I promote a new project of mine? It’s about web accessibility (i.e. making your blog/website readable by blind/deaf/learning-disabled/etc. readers). I have one post in particular about putting links in context so that blind readers can use them to skim your site:


  61. speedbudget

    You have to remember, as you enter University, that the protofeminists you will meet have been soaking in the same Patriarchy as you for the same amount of time, and that University environments are RIFE with doodbro pedantry, as the story from Bushfire will attest. There is a TON of pressure on women, in that environment, to submit to the Patriarchy. Stay strong!

    embergirl, there is nothing non-feminist about reacting to the Patriarchy. We all cope in our own ways, but I am worried that you have found a rather unhealthy way to deal. I hope you are able to find some help.

  62. Nolabelfits

    Has anyone else here benefitted from the Health Care Reform? I am massively relieved that my 22 year old daughter is now covered again under my insurance. She just racked up 7K in root canal work that was causing her pain for years. I was just wondering what other people are experiencing with these changes.

  63. Siren

    To embergirl: I spent three years locked up (I mean literally locked up) with a totally psychopathic dude who trained me to do unfeminist things so well that years later I’m still untangling the behaviors from my way of being in the world. Even now, if you tell me to do something in a certain commanding tone of voice, my reflex is to obey. This is embarrassing but it doesn’t make me any less of a feminist. The fact that you recognize a behavior as being a response to patriarchy is what signals a feminist consciousness, and that totally counts.

    (Sorry to have done the me, me, me anecdote thing but I figured I might get away with it on thread free-for-all day.)

  64. Gayle

    Hi ember girl,

    First off, yes of course you can be!!

    Second, I did it for years, thought I had beat it and at a weak time in my life it came back.

    I.did beat it eventually. It kinda just fell off, if that makes any sense. Don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t go away because it did for me and I was really ill with it for years and years. I mean I was hospitalized, the whole nine.

    The therapists didn’t help me– I hope theyve gotten better over the years treating people because they were completely clueless with me. Feminism did help, but not right away. I didn’t become a feminist and suddenly stop. It takes time. Go easy on yourself.

    I just want you to know that.

  65. Farie

    Fictional Queen, pardon me. Assuming where you were in the world was my bad. Also, my thoughts are with you as you enter classrooms with dudes in them. Hang in there! I go to what was once women’s college, but that is now coed, and sometimes I just want the intrusive men out of my damn classrooms. Like the senior male women’s studies major who snickers at women’s comments in women’s studies classes and tells women they’re just not trying hard enough at feminism. Once came to a party for queer women and stood against the back wall staring for hours. That sort of thing.

  66. awhirlinlondon

    Those of you about to show up to University for the first time (& I tell you all of this as an ex-Academic):

    1. Make sure that the first thing you had in is the very, very best, most polished thing you can do. When you put your name on it and if your name is identifiably female, use only your first initial (or initials). Your prof will do a triple take when handing it back because s/he will almost invariably have assumed that you were male. S/he may even ask you if you’re quite sure that this is your name. This is particularly important in classes in non-liberal arts, non-language subjects. You’ll be doing yourself a large favor while helping your Profs re-order their little brains. (Handing in gorgeous work will make you want to live up to it. It will also give you the “halo” effect – you will be spotted as one of the real ones.

    2. Universities are swamps of patriarchy. It is – unreal. Watch out for male Profs who call themselves feminists. They are almost certainly trying to get into their students’ pants. Be very, very careful with these guys.

    3. Profs harass. You can report them, but if they’re tenured, it will not matter. I found, very recently that the very worst of the damn lot of them from my Undergrad career has just been made the Opposition’s Minister of Finance for one of the rumbling countries in the Middle East. (So that would be non-Eating Disordered, yet nonetheless patriarchy-induced vomiting up of one’s dinner.) And yes, ember girl, I was shattered to find out that even while I was being sick, I was nonetheless feeling vaguely flattered at finding out that my harasser was of such (ahem) high intellectual and political caliber. Precisely how disgusting is that utterly non-feminist, knee-jerk reaction? Enough to make one start being sick all over again. Please cut self some slack and please talk to someone – please make this the most important thing that you do when you get out of bed every morning.

  67. awhirlinlondon

    Also? I really, really like tacos. And margaritas. Esp the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 recipe, deliciously and deliberately mathematically imbalanced with a nice big splash of Grand Marnier on the top.

    ) That is the missing bracket from the note above.

    xx awhirlinlondon, PhD.

  68. A Ginva

    The first thing that comes to my mind is the cultural gap: I’m from France, and every day I read this blog or the comments, I learn some new American slang. I’m loving it! but sometimes it’s frustrating not to know all the things in the US that blamers refer to (people, expressions, laws, latest news, shows, etc).

    Otherwise, I went to uni in the UK, and in 3 years didn’t find any radfem, only prosex and funfeminists. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough, but it felt quite lonely.

    Merci pour le blog, il est super!!!!

  69. A Ginva

    Ah, before I forget, I’m planning to do a documentary in Latin America (Mexico, Guatemala and Bolivia) from the end of this year till mid 2011, to interview different groups of radfem activists in these countries. Would anybody be interested? Does anyboday have any contacts, places to stay? Or know or heard of similar projects?
    I’m also looking for someone who’d like to help out with the sound (I’ll be doing photography).
    Thanks : )

  70. Keira

    Well timed open thread- gives me somewhere to celebrate the fact that I found a feminist friend on the island!

    (I have a temp work posting to a tropical island country, with different(to me) patriarchy issues – no exposed knees, women aren’t to do any strenuous exercise unless its housework, men the “head” of the house, having kids at 15, etc).

    On a small island where the first question I am asked is, “what does my husband do?”, followed quickly by, “which church do you go to?”, and almost every expat is a godbag, its a relief to talk to someone who doesn’t think I’m totally nuts.

  71. Comrade Svilova

    It’s 101 stuff, but this woman does great videos on feminism and pop culture:


  72. Lovepug

    I just got back from Mexico where I had excellent fish tacos. And chilaquiles. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

    My patriarchy barf moment of the day is an AP story about a man in India who beheaded an 18 year old woman if front of her school ostensibly because they could not get married. The Pulitzer Prize winning AP headline: Lovesick Indian man beheads woman at school.


  73. Melissa

    1) As distasteful as Douchebag Donald is to have around, we need the GOP to keep him in the spotlight for as long as possible. Give the crazies lots of rope, people. They will hang themselves.
    2) Have you seen the Weight Watchers commercials targeting men? They aren’t even aiming at us and still they crammed in so much vagina-hating, it is incredible. Someone sit and analyze one please, for I do not have time as I have too much commenting to do on IBTP. Plus I’m not particularly good at it.

  74. buttercup

    Have y’all seen the Feminist Frequency blog and videos?


    Some good stuff there, especially the ones she does on breaking down tropes.

  75. Magdalena

    Hey, A Ginva,

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Guate and there was actually a conference for lesbian feminists in the capital last year. I don’t have any specific contacts for the conference goers, but I’d be happy to give advice about traveling around, places to stay, etc. Email: llmunro81602 at yahoo dot com.


  76. Comrade Svilova

    Yay, signal boost. Thanks Buttercup. I’ve been watching her all morning.

  77. nails

    Nolabelfits-yep, I started a different job and they can’t discriminate based on a pre-existing condition. I am pleased.

  78. Cara

    @Embergirl: I had bulimia for ages, it’s really an illness, so you should try hard to get better but not blame yourself if you can’t fully get better right away (would you blame yourself if you had pneumonia, or a broken leg?). Try to throw up less and less often if you can’t quit right away. Don’t tell yourself, “I did it once so I might as well do it again”, instead try to see it as a victory if you can throw up fewer times per day or per week. Also, (sorry, I’m about to say something mildly graphic and gross about bulimia that I wish I had known about back in the day) don’t brush your teeth immediately after throwing up, rinse with mouthwash but don’t brush, because the puke softens your tooth enamel so that brushing wears it away, and you end up with rotting teeth and receding gums.

    Also, I think having bulimia made me MORE of a feminist, because I was filled with rage at this crappy patriachal society for filling my head with negative messages that led to me becoming bulimic.

  79. sloopin

    Random topic –

    Can anyone recommend a Savage-Death-Island-compliant podcast? I am a big fan of podcasts in general as a means of distraction, but of course one runs across the same problems with them as in any other media.

    In particular I have been disappointed by the Double X Gabfest on Slate. It’s three ladies discussing topics that are supposed to be of concern to other ladies, but in general the hosts seem to be patriarchy deniers.

    Another recent sadness was listening to the Savage Love podcast. Ugh. Just ugh.

  80. tinfoil hattie

    “Savage Love” – what a cesspool. Double-ugh.

  81. Jezebella

    sloopin, the only podcasts I can think of are This American Life and The Moth, neither of which are necessarily radfem-compliant, but both of which tell interesting stories and do not appear to have an overtly patriarchal agenda. Also, lots of women tell stories in each one, though perhaps not a full 51%.

  82. Keira

    Sloopin, I like The State We’re In on Radio Netherlands. Its not radfem, but has global focus and does human rights stories (usually with positive human-rights superheros to add a little positive). I don’t know the gender breakdown, but there are often women activists interviewed.

    I’ve been looking, too, but only find stuff that is either defunct, or not applicable. Good luck!

  83. Owly

    Not to be a downer, but I read this story today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13233396

    Of course, it’s “US couple plead guilty to kidnap,” not “US couple plead guilty for imprisoning and raping a girl for 18 years, making her bear two of the man’s children.”

    I started crying at work and I couldn’t stop. I had to go to the bathroom because I couldn’t control it. Sometimes everything hits me at once. Anyone who says the entire planet doesn’t hate women is a fucking liar.

    As for the puking, sometimes I get so upset and anxious about things like this that I get physically ill. I sometimes vomit (and worse) when I think about this shitty world. I literally worry myself sick. Sometimes I wish I could turn off my brain, give myself a little peace.

    At least I know what to blame, although blaming is thankless work.

  84. Owly

    That’s a whole lot of repetition there. Sometimes I don’t proofread my comments. Sometimes.

  85. TotallyDorkin

    You have my neverending sympathies.
    Sarcasm starts here:
    Luckily, our society has a wonderful variation of medications for those of us who realize how fucking awful our world is. I’m sure you could find a doctor to drug you into a zombie feminine state of compliance. Your lipstick might be a little off, but at least you’d be wearing some!

  86. Sarah

    Fuck all! I’m stuck at an airport for the next nine hours with nothing to do but watch the obsessive coverage of the Royal Wedding. Please, please, IBTPers, entertain me with your sharp wit and cutting insights.

  87. speedbudget

    I am glad they pled guilty and Ms. Dugard will be spared the trauma of testifying at trial, even if she was willing to do so. What a brave soul.

    I am pissed as hell at the California system that allowed this to happen and didn’t fully inspect this man’s quarters. He was on parole and listed as a sex offender. How did they not find the “complex of tents and sheds” in the backyard over all those years? Oh. Right. I know why. Patriarchy.

  88. Paula

    @TotallyDorkin Some of us need those medications to keep our heads from completely exploding. Mine don’t drug me into feminine compliance or zombitude, they simply keep me from wanting to kill myself every 5 minutes.

  89. Corazon

    Twisty, would you be up for an official interview? The spinster aunt is as engimatic as she is uncompromising in matters of justice, and I have many questions. Although I might also like to slip a rad fem 101 question in, too.

    Most of the questions, though, will be of this nature:

    What factors in your life do you think overall contributed to your ability to perceive and be critical of social injustice? I ask because I have no idea why I’m the only member of my family who gives half a shit about anything, so it doesn’t seem to have been behaviorally transmitted.

  90. redpeachmoon

    Sarah, I’ve also been watching the ‘royal wedding’ and surprised myself with a few tears rolling out of these jaundiced eyes. I hate this deadly fairytale, yet it’s so deeply inculturated, there is little relief except what we find on Savage Death Island. Go into the archives. Go Deep.

  91. Jezebella

    @Paula: amen, sister. Me, too. I’m not anything like a fembot, but I’m also not dead. There’s a large middle ground.

    Re: stupid wedding. All I can think of is poor Diana, who never had a chance, really. I hope Kate doesn’t get chewed up and spit out by the monarchy, but her odds aren’t too good. The kid has signed up for Official Uterus Duty. The press, her own new family, and her country are saying to her: “your only function is to breed. Get on with it. (and try to be pretty and keep your mouth shut as much as possible). Also, once you’re done breeding, you could drop dead and we would not give a shit.”

    In any case, fooey on weddings, marriage, the wedding-industrial complex, and, for fecks’ sake, the monarchy. I mean, MONARCHY? REALLY? STILL? Jeezus.

  92. Comrade PhysioProf

    Pisco sours, FTMFW!!!!!11

  93. embergirl

    Ugh. Royal Wedding. With a bit of luck, people will have shut up about it 24 hours from now. :(

    THanks everyone for support. :)

  94. Melinda

    There’s another Melinda here, apparently. I’ll have to change my screen name.

    I used to live in the town where Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped. We would hear about it every year, because her mother kept a vigil. We were so sorry for this poor woman who was obviously in denial, because her kid was surely dead.

    It is amazing that she turned out to be alive after all.
    Though the news that her kidnapper pleaded guilty and got off so lightly is disheartening. He belongs on a rocket to the sun.

    P.S. The past tense of “plead” is “pleaded”. Not “pled”. Sorry about the nitpicking, but the misuse of this word happens all the time and it drives me nuts. As does “factoid” and “as per” and “from whence”.

  95. Eden

    @Jezebella: Well technically, if she drops dead, the English press will delight in running memorials and people will grieve about it and then feel better about themselves. I just hope Kate has a happy life and is able to ignore most of the hoopla.

    What’s really shocking is how obsessed many people in the US are with the royal wedding (except with capitals, because it NEEDS capitals). Monarchies don’t seem to gel with the US self image, and wasn’t there a war or something? :P The real scary thing is the level of entitlement most people have about knowing every detail about Kate, William and the wedding.

    Gah. Glad I get to vent about it. I rarely post here, but I love the blaming and the snark that this place generates. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

  96. Ticki Tumbo

    Jaycee Dugard must be incredibly screwed psychologically. Its obvious she loves those girls, but how would you reconcile that with the circumstances under which you had them? I read somewhere that he kept her locked in that soundproof shed for the first eighteen months. She must have been incredibly scared and lonely. How crazy making. She must be going through incredible mental machinations now that she is back with her mother and can look back on things with a new perspective. Her memoirs are due out in September.

  97. ew_nc

    Here’s a gem of a headline from an area newspaper –

    “Warrant: Child erotica found in home of Asheville-area man charged in child’s death – Asheville Citizen-Times”

    That’s right, they said “child erotica”. There should be a law against putting those two words together in a sentence.

  98. Fictional Queen

    I wanted to tell you something funny! (Not really)
    In my chemistry book,there’s an illustration to show Na+Cl –> NaCl and they have personified the atoms.So,first it says “before the ionic bond” and it shows a man (Na) and woman (Cl) before getting married.The woman is all thin and wearing make-up.Then it says “after the bond” and the man is poor and beaten up and bruised and the woman is fat and holding a rolling pin and grabbing the electron.
    So,this is what happens when a man writes a chemistry book.
    Atoms become electron-grabbing bitches.

  99. speedbudget

    Melinda, I gotta disagree with you on “pled.” While it is the second form the past tense verb in the dictionary, which makes it slightly less favored in usage, it is still correct to say “pled.” And working in the legal field, “pled” is what I hear and use much more often than “pleaded.”

  100. Fictional Queen

    ???? ??????? ???? :)

  101. Fictional Queen

    Yikes! Sorry about that!
    I wanted to post something in Persian here! :(

  102. Tigs

    Yah, I agree. US standard usage accepts ‘pled’ or ‘pleaded’ as simple past or participle form.

  103. embergirl

    100th comment!

    Here’s a ditwuss article about how harrassment is a compliment and women too unfuckable to be harrassed in the streets should kill themselves:


  104. TotallyDorkin

    @Jezebella and Paula

    Hey I’m sorry for making comments that were insensitive to your experiences. I didn’t think they could come across as an indictment of all psychiatric medicines. Guess I should have thought harder! I only meant to call out the drug companies tendencies to try and treat all social deviance with medication as though there is some neurotypical norm.

  105. Paula


    No harm, no foul. I do agree with you about the drug companies – they really only care about the profit. I also feel that many doctors over-prescribe these powerful drugs without considering other options first.

  106. Amos

    Monarchy is great. Snickering at Britain’s backwards constitution distracts me from my trigger-happy police force and lack of health insurance. Though sometimes I wonder if a queen might be good in that she focuses the personality cultists on someone with little power and no pretensions to democratic legitimacy.

  107. M

    Weirdly, almost the stupidest thing about that Mirror article is that whistling, catcalling etc has been a disciplinary offense on British building sites for a decade or so; so by her own logic the damn woman should’ve killed herself long before she wrote the bloody irritating thing.

  108. Comrade Svilova

    Flirting with the clerk is not a compliment! The clerk thinks you’re an annoying and dirty old man! The clerk is only nice to you because she has to be. And when you tip only the $0.10 you received in change, the clerk secretly wants to punch you in the face.

    This memo brought to you by a cashier who is wearing one of those “This is what a feminist looks like” t-shirts to work today. Chads, you are not sexy lotharios, you are stupid and loathed assholes.

  109. A Ginva

    Haha I love that memo Comrade Svilova. Maybe we should do t-shirts with just that memo, or with one for each occasion.

  110. Paula

    Since this is an open thread, I thought I would mention something a male friend said to me just last night. He considers himself progressive in that he is multi-racial and bisexual so he is familiar with oppressive bullshit (his words, not mine).

    He had certain questions/suggestions for “the ladies” on how to deal with men which he wanted me to post here. He actually said, “Get a pen and paper, I want you to ask them this stuff.”

    I told him that if he wanted to make these suggestions, etc., he was to feel free to make the attempt here but that his ass would probably be handed to him on a platter.

    What I found almost amusing is that he is rarely a dick about feminism but the DudeBro inside him must have just broke out.

  111. Frumious B

    @Jezebella, Paula, TotallyDorkin:

    I’ve tried meds, and I’ve tried other options. The meds were by far superior for not blaming me for having issues in the first place.

  112. thebewilderness

    I’ve been wondering what effect the French laws banning veils will have on women wearing wedding veils.

  113. Bushfire

    Well, thebewilderness, I would think that women in wedding veils would not be able to go to school in France or access government services?

    Other effects of French laws banning veils are other countries following suit i.e. Quebec. Because legislating what women cannot wear is so anti-oppressive!

  114. Gayle

    ” Other effects of FRench laws banning veils are other countries following suit ie Quebec.


  115. Gayle

    I’m addicted to the Decorated eaglets now. I check on them every day and I’ve introduced the upstream to friends, family and people at work. Thank you for introducing them on your blog. You’ve made a lot of people EAgle devotees and I can’t see a downside to that!

  116. Gayle

    Oh crap! Decorah EAgles! I hate auto correct!

  117. Bushfire

    Other effects of FRench laws banning veils are other countries following suit ie Quebec.



  118. gingerest

    Uh. Quebec is not a country. There’s even been a bunch of referenda about it. Definitely still a province of Canada.

  119. Comrade Svilova

    Legislating what women wear? Oppressive.

    Creating communities and opportunities for women whose families force them to wear things they don’t want to wear to explore other options? Good.

    But obviously just slapping laws on the ladies and telling us what to do is easier and fits better with the P2K objective of controlling women.

  120. Gayle

    Do you know why France had to act in the first place? It’s because young men were gang raping Muslim girls who chose not to fully cover.

    Yes, creating communities where women can freely choose how to lead our lives would be ideal. In the meantime families, communities and religions are forcing women and girls into full cover with threats of violence and ostracization.

  121. Jill

    “[Jaycee Dugard’s] memoirs are due out in September.”

    Who could even read that thing?

  122. Gayle

    Oh yay! On the heels of the Royal wedding, we all now get to enjoy the beatification of one JOhn PAul the second. Yes, this would be the same Pope who presided over the biggest child rape scandal in memory. The man who authorized shuttling accused Priests to new parishes rather than prosecuting them. He’s gonna be a Saint, he is!

  123. Comrade Svilova

    But, Gayle, didn’t you know that it’s good to canonize JPII because it just proves that even with our flaws God loves us! Even someone who sins can be a saint if they accept God’s grace and embrace JC as their personal savior!

    Seriously, this is the argument I’ve heard from people who support the beatification while acknowledging JPII’s role in the church’s systematic support of child rape (though they call it a “sex scandal”). It’s GOOD to saint-ify JPII because it tells us all that even if we’re flawed, God still loves us. Or some horse crap.

  124. Frumious B

    “Do you know why France had to act in the first place? It’s because young men were gang raping Muslim girls who chose not to fully cover.”

    So glad THAT’S all solved, now.

  125. Fictional Queen

    As someone who is forced to wear those things,I couldn’t care less that they’re banning it.

  126. Bushfire

    Yes, gingerest, I know Quebec is a province. I am Canadian, and living in Canada. That’s also why I refered to it as a country. It kindof is.

  127. Ticki Tumbo

    The Garridos’ lawyer’s initial argument in Phillip Garridos defense was that his relationship with Jaycee Dugard “was just like a marriage.” If that doesn’t make a statement about how screwed up marriage is for women I don’t know what else would. Think about it. If you are married you have a bunch of shit in common with a hostage and rape victim. Its no wonder she never found an opportunity to leave the situation. Women can’t even get out of crappy marriages, how the hell is someone like Jaycee gonna get away?

    Anyway, I guess I’m invested in this story because I live close to this situation. I always thought about her over the years and wondered what happened to her.

  128. Saurs

    “Do you know why France had to act in the first place? It’s because young men were gang raping Muslim girls who chose not to fully cover.

    So what explains the French campaign of rape and violence against veiled Algerian women both before and after the war?

  129. speedbudget

    So if France is banning burqas to save the ladies from rape, what should we ban here in the U.S. where women don’t have to wear a burqa and still get raped (even gang raped)?

  130. embergirl

    Let’s ban high heels. At least that would make it easier to run away.

  131. Jill

    We can ban testosterone. It would be 100% effective.

  132. Gayle

    It’s tons of fun to be snarky, I guess.

    Anyway, no they did not ban veils to “stop all rape” as your comments imply, Speedbucket and Saurs.

    Let me repeat: The bans on all religious symbols in schools were specifically enacted because Muslim men in the ghettos were raping girls on their way to school or from as punishment for not covering, or not covering up sufficiently. The overall ban on the Niqab stems from that.

    I didn’t realize we had such pro-Niqab blamers here. Next you’ll be telling me we should legalize polygamy and prostitution here because women should get to choose. I would disagree with you about that, too.

  133. Gayle

    “We can ban testosterone. It would be 100% effective.”

    Would it? I’m not so sure. Banning men altogether could work though.

  134. Fictional Queen

    Please please please don’t tell me there are pro-that crap blamers here! This is the only feminist blog I read,I’ve quit reading all the other ones because of the so called feminists …

  135. Fictional Queen

    Do you know the philosophy behind that particular kind of clothing? Do you know why women are expected to wear things like that in that particular religion?
    It’s pure MISOGYNY.

  136. Comrade Svilova

    Instead of banning anything, which just re-inscribes it as forbidden, why don’t we have a revolution?

  137. Saurs

    What Comrade Svilova said.

    Also, no, Gayle, respectfully, none of the reasons you’ve given are the reasons France decided to ban the so-called veil.

  138. Saurs

    Fictional Queen, are you endorsing the view that women ought to change their behavior in order to avoid “getting” raped, or what? Were reducing the rape of Muslim women and girls the actual reasoning behind the veil/scarf affair, how would the justification be anything less than victim-blaming misogyny anyway?

  139. Citizen Taqueau

    Gayle, no snark intended towards you here, but I think you’re missing the point. The snark is directed, as always, at the P., for yet another iteration of the rotten olde chestnut of regulating women’s attire in order to “deter rapists,” which rotten olde chestnut conveniently obfuscates the fact that rapists perpetrate no matter what their targets happen to be wearing. The idea that by regulating a certain kind of required feminine presentation the authorities can dissuade a certain kind of “corrective” rape is absurd, of course, and Blamers are right to scoff. Defense or attack of the Niqab as feminist or unfeminist attire that women should or should not be able to choose is totally irrelevant; and the idea that the government can prevent rape by either forbidding or requiring the girls to cover up is ridiculous.

  140. embergirl

    Not pro-hijab, but don’t see how illegalising it is gonna stop rape.

    Hey, why don’t we just actually convict the men doing the raping? Rape is already supposed to be illegal; we don’t even need a new law.

  141. embergirl

    Men who want to rape will always find a bullshit excuse for why she “asked for it”. :'(

  142. A Ginva

    Info about the law on Burka that came to application since april 11: the official reason for banning it is that “citizenship should be experienced with the face uncovered” (literal translation), and that “masking your face is an offence to the republic and a discriminating conduct” (who’s discriminated by this “conduct” is not said though). As a result, they had to ban masking your face altogether because otherwise the racism against muslim would have been too blatant – except for professionnal, sports or other specific needs. Interestingly, you’re allowed to mask your face when it’s for catholic reasons (so wedding veils are ok, but also the kukuxklan like easter processions). Deterring rape has never been mentioned as an official justification for the law, at least not heard of in the public debates nor in the press.

    The unofficial reason is sexism (of course) but particularly racism. It’s a tool to disintegrate the muslim community: “pseudofeminism” has been used since the beginning of colonialism by France as a means to attack the Arab patriarchy by taking away ‘their’ women, or their control over them (forcing them to take off the veil, “liberation”). It was also useful because it served as propaganda to make the French women believe they were better off than the arab women.

    The sad result of this law is that for those women who have no choice but to wear it in order to go out, might simply be prevented from going outside and be even more vulnerable or isolated. And if she rebels against her community, the French racist people will definitely not help her.

  143. A Ginva

    Ah, and by the law’s own logic, make-up should also be banned, since it involves covering one’s face. Oh but that’s western femininity practices, it’s obviously more progressive. The French state doesn’t give much of a damn about women, except when they form part of a tiny excluded minority (some 500 muslim women in France wear a burka) that can be instrumentalised for electoral and postcolonialist reasons.

  144. speedbudget

    Do you know why France had to act in the first place? It’s because young men were gang raping Muslim girls who chose not to fully cover.

    I was only going by what you posted, Gayle. I don’t follow French news, so I wouldn’t know any different. Don’t get upset at me for going by what you said.

    And I am not pro-hijab. I am pro-woman. If a Muslim woman wants and prefers a hijab, who am I to tell her not to wear it?

    I understand that the roots of the whole covering dealio are steeped deeply in misogyny. Thanks for giving me credit as a long-time commenter on a radical feminist blog.

  145. speedbudget

    That is to say, I don’t agree with the cultural reasons surrounding a hijab, but I think that coming into some lady’s homeplace and forcibly taking her hijab from her is just as revolting as forcing her to wear it. We are all steeped in patriarchy, and we all do what we need to survive, and if a woman doesn’t want to give up her particular crutch, I am not going to fault her for it.

    I certainly don’t think there should be laws or customs requiring the hijab, and I think if those customs especially were changed, the numbers of women wearing one would shrink drastically. But you can’t legislate custom. You can’t make a law and force an entire community to change a more like snapping fingers.

    My comment earlier was snarking at the government for using women as an excuse while they continue to oppress. Do you think the French government gives any kind of real shit about women being gang raped? If they did, they would ban all the clothes that immediately make people excuse a rapist in their own minds. I don’t see how blaming the women for something the men are doing fixes anything. But all governments do it, even ours. The local university wanted to cut a couple athletic teams so they could shove more money at the football team, and instead of just making the cut, they came out with some Title IX bullshit, which immediately scapegoated women while letting the university off the hook. This shit works at every level.

  146. A Ginva

    The thing is that if they really cared about destroying the patriarcrhy, the French legislators would have simply been contented with criminalising the act of forcing a women to wear a Niqab, and would have created measures of protection for the women who refused to obey or filed a complaint against the people of her community. They would also have implemented education programs to fight the misogyny and sexism inherent in these traditions, and would have had the same approach with Western cultural practices that are harmful to women. They would create measures to help and support women from ethnic minorities who suffer a double marginalisation from within and without their communities. etc etc, but none of this.

  147. Manuela

    What does the aunt think of this recent debacle:



    An amazing book, by the way, kicks all sort of a.s.s.

  148. Fictional Queen

    I’m definitely not victim blaming.The idea that what women do should change so they won’t get raped is bulllshit and misogynistic.But hijab exists in the first place to “protect” women’s “dignity”.I have conflicted feelings about the bannings.Because on one hand I don’t like there being laws about what women should and shouldn’t wear.On the other hand I deeply hate hijab.In my country it’s the law for you to wear it.Sure it shouldn’t be forced away from women,but here on this blog practices of femininity is hotly criticized,but whenever this hijab thing comes up,people start defending it because they are,yknow,so anti-racism and sexism.This hurts me as someone who has to wear hijab everyday because someone else who maybe doesn’t have to deal with it defends it because she is anti-sexism,while what she is defending is misogynistic….You are defending our patriarchy because people who attack it are doing so out of racism,not because they give a shit about women’s rights….I agree with what people are saying but I guess I wish I saw more criticism of our patriarchal traditions.I never see it anywhere.:(

  149. Fictional Queen

    “If a Muslim woman wants and prefers a hijab, who am I to tell her not to wear it?”
    If a woman wants to take stripping classes and wear makeup and get married,who are we to tell her not to do that? But still we freely criticize it here.I think it’s worth criticizing hijab too!

  150. AlienNumber

    Great arguments, Fictional Queen.
    For the pro-burka team, a simple question: if the hijab is so great, how come men don’t wear it/ if the burka is so great, how come men don’t wear it? (or, maybe men do wear the burka, but there’s really no way for us to see that, generally speaking).

    I do look forward to the day when they put a dude in prison for forcing a woman to wear the burka; hope it won’t take too long. Maybe he can be jailed next to the pornographers (which should be banned too, in France and anywhere else).

  151. A Ginva

    I hate hijab as much as I hate stripping and western femininity practices, and both come from the same end – the assumption that women’s sexuality and sex belongs only to men, either for private or public use. I see both as equally oppressive – two faces of the same coin.
    I hope I didn’t give the impression that I was defending the hijab.

    But emancipation and liberation does not take place with repression. I disagree that women forced to wear a hijab should have to pay a fine (150€) and submit to “republican citizenship education programs” (=French propaganda). I criticise the racist and colonialist ideology behind the law – it’s useful for the legislators to denounce the sexism of ‘others’ in order to mask their own sexist cultural practices, to make it seem that “Western women are so much more emancipated compared to the backward Arab people”. This law arises in the context of a series of anti-immigration laws and a rise in xenophobism and arabophobia. The law is counter-productive, and does not come from a feminist standpoint at all.

  152. A Ginva

    Hijab serves to mark women as the property of a single man – so that other men are deterred from spoiling the ‘women-property’. Make-up, revealing lots of skin, high heels, etc, serves to mark women in the public sphere as the property of all men, so they provide constant visual titillation. Both mark women’s inferior status, their difference and deference to men.

  153. speedbudget

    A Ginva said it much better than I did. I have trouble articulating. I think the better way would have been for the French or any government to do what zie recommended, and set up a system whereby women are supported in going against the cultural norms, rather than arbitrarily making a thoughtless law and wittingly (I refuse to believe it is unwitting) making women double victims: Victims of French law, and victims of the vicious culture in which they live.

    I guess I am looking at more from a colonialist perspective, of people here in the West using the hijab as a symbol of those sexists over there. I even get this from my usually very supportive father when my comments about sexism and misogyny hit too close to home: Why aren’t I working to get rid of the hijab in Pakistan or wherever else? It’s a way to deflect, and so that gets all wrapped up in it. I totally support systems whereby if a woman like Fictional Queen, in her own milieu, decides she wants to do away with this horrible symbol of her oppression, there is a safety net for her to do so. What I don’t support is more dudebros in the West coming in and forcibly making her comply with their personal standards of womanliness. I guess is what I was trying to say. I don’t like the idea of supplanting one oppression for another while the men who are at the root of it get away free.

  154. speedbudget

    If a woman wants to take stripping classes and wear makeup and get married,who are we to tell her not to do that? But still we freely criticize it here.

    Personally, I freely criticize it because I know the woman performing femininity in this way is not going to be killed, maimed, or beaten for choosing not to perform in such a manner. I would never take it upon myself to force a woman in a society in which hijab is compulsory and not wearing one could make her wind up beaten, maimed, or killed to not wear the hijab. In other words, I do agree hijab is oppressive, but the ramifications of me, an outsider, coming in and convincing a woman not to wear one are much more violent and oppressive in such a culture than me telling a woman here in America to please stop replicating submission by pole dancing.

  155. Jill

    “What does the aunt think of this recent debacle?

    Unsurprisingly, I am one of those white feminists who has not heard of the book, and, until now, has been unaware of the debacle. In fact, I generally neglect my Internet Feminist duties by avoiding feminist blogosphere debacles all the time. It is not, perhaps, my finest quality.

    Here is a description of the book, excerpted from its Facebook page.

    When feminism itself becomes its own form of oppression, what do we have to say about it? Western notions of polite discourse are not the norm for all of us, and just because we’ve got some new and hot language lately in equity-seeking movements like feminism — such as “intersectionality” — to use in our talk, it doesn’t necessarily make things change in our walk (i.e. actually being anti-racist).

    I can’t say whether the book in question is indeed fabulous or not, but I can certainly understand its editor’s frustration with “mainstream” white feminist bloggers who, by dint of being white and popular, are exercising privilege whether they like it or not — “there just aren’t enough hours in the day to read every book that comes along on the intersection of race and feminism” — that is experienced by women of color as racism. The editor of Feminism FOR REAL, Jessica Yee, is right; such books don’t come along much at all, and it ought to be incumbent on anyone calling herself a feminist to give more of a flip about how feminism is experienced by all women.

  156. Fictional Queen

    I see why you don’t criticize it too much then….
    Men don’t have to wear it because men’s bodies and sexuality belong to themselves.
    And the hijab is also a nice excuse for victim blaming.Supposedly,if you wear hijab then that will protect your dignity and you won’t be harrassed.(no word on why women looking at men in an erotic way doesn’t affect men’s dignity in anyway) so if you do get harrassed,you were just asking for it by not dressing in the right way.It’s a horrible scheme out of a sick,sordid mind….

  157. Fictional Queen

    I think of it as wearing patriarchy on your body!
    Sartorial misogyny!

  158. Jezebella

    FQ, I have a feeling we’re all wearing patriarchy, whether we like it or not. I’m another honky American who wonders how on earth banning the hijab is going to help women whose family, culture, and religion tell them they will go straight to hell if they don’t cover up and follow the rules. I’m fairly certain it’s not really meant to help women at all, but instead to make French bigots less uncomfortable around people what don’t act or dress like them. Any law that protects the fee-fees of bigots is patriarchal horseshit.

  159. pheenobarbidoll


    Not only do we not blame the rapist, we must CHEER for him!

  160. pheenobarbidoll

    For what it’s worth, the women who wear them (as far as I have read) have pretty explicitly stated it’s not about the menz at all, it’s about their relationship with their God.

    But of course, men don’t see it that way. They’re the center of the Universe after all.

    So essentially, I have to respect that those women don’t factor men in and wear them as a christian would wear a cross necklace. Who I am to insist they’re wrong?

  161. phio gistic

    Yes, she must cheer for the rapist because being a cheerleader apparently literally and legally means she “surrenders her constitutional right to free speech” (or right to free silence in this case). And now the school wants to extract $45k from a teenaged rape victim for fighting their mandate that she must cheer for him.

  162. Comrade Svilova

    That case makes me physically ill. How can anyone think that is anything but cruel and (not so unusual) punishment? IBTP so much.

  163. speedbudget

    Supposedly,if you wear hijab then that will protect your dignity and you won’t be harrassed.(no word on why women looking at men in an erotic way doesn’t affect men’s dignity in anyway) so if you do get harrassed,you were just asking for it by not dressing in the right way.It’s a horrible scheme out of a sick,sordid mind….

    Supposedly, if I don’t wear a skirt too short or a shirt cut too low, if I don’t go out to late and walk home the wrong way, if I don’t go home with a guy who is ostensibly my friend, if I do all these things and more, I won’t get raped. Yet, I was raped. Which makes it my fault, according to American society at large. The patriarchy is the patriarchy no matter where you live.

    I totally agree and support you in your possibility of freeing yourself from hijab. I don’t know how to do that from here, but if you have any ideas, please let me know.

  164. Saurs

    If you want to be an ally to women who are suffering a different style of oppression from your own*, do as other allies ought to: don’t talk so much, and listen a great deal more. Consider the stone cold fact that oppressed people are more intimately familiar with their own oppression than you. Don’t attempt to dictate the order in and methods by which oppressed peoples free themselves, collectively or individually, from their oppression. Listen up when feminists from cultures disparate from your own talk about their own experiences – and don’t assume a “veiled” woman is not feminist, and consider perhaps the reasons you yourself don’t hear about feminist shit happening “over there” (wherever “here” and “over there” signify) is because you’re not listening and/or women are too busy trying to get shit done to educate you/tweet/write a fucking blog or whatever — nothing wrong with blog-writing, a’course. Finally, as the blamertariat can’t even agree about how to define and whether to give up lipstick or not, for fuck’s sake don’t get sanctimonious about the ways in which women unlike yourself appease their oppressors, negotiate their way through their own culture (which happens to hate them), resist oppressive colonialist cultures (if you’re reading this, this would probably be yours; ditto on the woman-hating), or express their religious fucking convictions. Also, DON’T ENDORSE PATERNALISTIC (RACIST, COLONIALIST, XENOPHOBIC, CHAUVINIST) LAWS THAT OPPRESS WOMEN EVEN FURTHER.

    *Above rant almost apropos of nothing, ‘cept I get the feeling some folk don’t grasp the notion that Getting Rid of That Icky Oppressive Garb is the least of some garb-wearing folk’s worries.

  165. Anna

    But, Saurs, Fictional Queen (the only voice of dissent here, other than Alien Number) IS one of the “garb-wearing folk”, so I’m sure she’s well acquainted with garb-wearing folk’s other worries.

    Anyway, your rant brings up some good points.

  166. Anna

    pheenobarbidol, you can’t factor men out of a religion that revolves around men and their concerns (which is all of the major world religions).

  167. Gayle

    “This hurts me as someone who has to wear hijab everyday because someone else who maybe doesn’t have to deal with it defends it because she is anti-sexism,while what she is defending is misogynistic….You are defending our patriarchy because people who attack it are doing so out of racism,not because they give a shit about women’s rights…”

    It is misogynistic. It obliterates women’s humanity. I despise it. To compare it to lipstick wearing in the west is extremely insulting to us all.


    I don’t see how an anti-burka law “oppresses women further.” If anything, there’s a good chance it will make those women’s daughters grow up a bit freeer.

    Let’s assume the law in France was enacted for all the wrong reasons (I’m not saying it was, BTW) but let’s just assume. Do you know what finally ended foot-binding in China? It wasn’t feminism and it wasn’t even Western Influence (although the latter did make the custom illegal on paper.) Foot-binding ended at the point of a gun. Soldiers went door to door during the Communist Revolution and forced terrified Chinese women to unbind their screaming daughter’s feet. They did it because they wanted women out in the fields alongside the men and smashed feet made for a poor worker.

    So the odious custom of foot-binding ended for the wrong reasons. Now that the custom is all but gone, no one really cares how it end. Does it matter how it ended? We’re just glad it doesn’t happen anymore, right?

  168. AlienNumber

    Lots of assumptions there, Saurs. Not everybody who reads this blog is from an oppressive colonialist culture (i.e FQ or myself, and I’m sure there are a few others). And even if we were from oppressive colonialist cultures, maybe we’d still have a few opinions worth listening to without shutting them out with “you can’t criticize another cultural practice if you’re not from the culture” (FQ is from the Culture, by the way, as Anna pointed out). We need a more sophisticated tool than just a knee-jerk, “be an ally.”

    Arguably, the French ban on the burka (in France, mind you) doesn’t oppress women even further. Kind of like how the ban on foot-binding in China (with British “encouragement”) didn’t oppress women even further. It may have temporarily “oppressed” the women who already had bound feet, by lowering their market value, but, in the long-term, it did not oppress women even further. The ban obviously didn’t solve the problem of the Patriarchy, but then again, few things do that.
    (well, Feminist Revolt might do that, but the operation seems to be indefinitely delayed).

  169. Bushfire

    I don’t see how an anti-burka law “oppresses women further.” If anything, there’s a good chance it will make those women’s daughters grow up a bit freeer.

    Really? You don’t see it? Women wear veils since childhood, it’s a lifelong, important part of their religion and culture, and you don’t see how forbiding them to wear it is oppressive?

    If veiled women continue to wear veils, we need to respect their reasons for it. We don’t get to decide for them what they shouldn’t wear, just as the patriarchy shouldn’t decide for them what they should cover.

  170. Saurs

    Anna, from what I gathered from Fictional Queen’s remarks about living in a country in which garb-wearing for women is compulsory, Fictional Queen doesn’t live in France, so I’m confused about what Fictional Queen’s first-person experiences can tell us about the real-world consequences of the law in question. Certainly if I’m correct Fictional Queen can tell us that living with the garb is oppressive, and no one here is denying that. As to the consequences of forcing women to abandon public life by virtue of outlawing their religious custom and its markers, I’m not sure. But I’m notoriously thick on the internet these days, so I may be confused. Apologies, Fictional Queen.

    To compare it to lipstick wearing in the west is extremely insulting to us all.

    It may be insulting to you. I suggest women who have agitated for their right to wear what they want and behave as they see fit, throughout the world, find it equally insulting to know that well-meaning folk want to save them from themselves, and that said folk almost always win out.

    Kindly explaining to women they You are Being Oppressed, Hon, Take it Off, is simply not a woman-friendly argument, and the controversies in the UK and western Europe in which white folk are feeling simply scandalized over these women wearing what they choose and making the white folk feel uncomfortable does not emanate from a woman-friendly place. Its basis is crude racism, xenophobia, rejection of multi-culturalism, and usually a state-defined version of patriotism and citizenship that requires that you assimilate to the prevailing white culture and keep your icky, little foreign culture to yourselves. And, if you’re a woman, that means making it a priority to make yourselves look sexually available in the ways in which the dominant culture likes. It’s trading one oppression for another oppression.

    That may seem silly or hyperbolic to you, but newspapers all over the UK quote young Muslim women who object to lipstick, bikinis, push-bras, whatever, intimating that they find western-style markers of oppression to be more dehumanizing. Obviously, newspapers love this shit because it seems crazy (to us, maybe) and therefore justifies to white folk their Islamophobia and intolerance and allows thick-as-shit politicians to pontificate smugly on the many ways in which They Ain’t treating Their Women Right, Not Like We Do, basically concern-trolling entire countries (and also implicitly arguing that women have secured their liberation here and no more is needed, thus providing counter-reactionaries with neat, little talking points whenever a white woman, for example, wants to talk about her experiences, kindly explaining to her that she’s not oppressed, look at that bogey-lady over there, sheeeeeee’s oppressed).

    Since I subscribe, loosely, to relativism, I’m not comfortable with the implication that anyone can see, anyone who has got any sense simply MUST agree — No True Feminist would oppose the statement that — lipstick (or whatever else we might think of as trivial but other folk might consider bizarre) is Better, rather than simply different.

    Does it matter how it ended? We’re just glad it doesn’t happen anymore, right?

    These are distinct questions. Yes, it does matter. One can be glad for other women that they were freed from one burden while minding, very much, how and why that burden was lifted and especially why women weren’t allowed to be the main actors in their own liberation, but had to “be liberated” for reasons that had nothing to do with their own well-being and everything to do with catering to men’s specific and current needs.

  171. Saurs

    On second, third, and fourth thoughts, Fictional Queen lives in a country in which there are serious fucking consequences to not wearing the garb. I’m going to shut up and let more informed folk do the talking.

  172. Comrade Svilova

    Keep in mind that (as someone mentioned upthread) in France and other places where there’s pressure to not be veiled, some women can no longer leave their houses. Because their male relations forbid them from leaving unveiled and the police forbid them from leaving veiled. Oppressive, much?

    What we need are social and legal structure that make it possible for such women to feel protected and safe in making their own decisions. And when a woman knows that her government forbid her from making a choice, and enacted such a law because of racism towards her / prejudice towards her faith, I can’t imagine that she would feel particularly comfortable turning to the police or to a safe house to help her free herself from oppression.

    The reasons the bans are enacted are vitally important, because they make the women who are already victimized by the compulsory hijab/burka doubly victimized and tell those women that the government actually hates them and their culture/faith. They target the women and the women’s clothing rather than the men and the men’s actions (forcing women to behave a certain way).

  173. Fictional Queen

    You will go to jail if you don’t wear hijab,where you will be raped.Quite severe consequences….
    Of course the women don’t see the hijab as being about men.But it’s something invented by men with the purpose of oppressing women.Pure and simple.
    It’s not similiar,but I don’t think funfeminists think they’re being submissive to dudes,either.
    This “garb” is oppressive,no matter what anybody says,that I know for sure.
    As for destroying the patriarchy,no,I have no idea how to do that.Do you? I try not to serve it as much as possible.

  174. Fictional Queen

    What is this double standard that suddenly arises whenever our patriarchy is being discussed?
    Of course many women around the world choose to do patriarchal things.Does that mean it shouldn’t be criticized? That it should be respected and no one should say a word about it? Why did feminism start in the first place then,many women were opposed to it and still are,yet,here we are.

  175. Fictional Queen

    “young Muslim women who object to lipstick, bikinis, push-bras, whatever, intimating that they find western-style markers of oppression to be more dehumanizing”
    It’s definitely a our patriarchy vs. theirs thing.We get a lot of that here,too,it basically goes like this:
    See how the west sexually objectifies women and oppresses them? Well,we have what secures women’s humanity here,hijab!Yay!
    I agree with Comrade Svilova,in the end it’s the patriarchy,damn patriarchy.The form and degrees of it differ around the world.Oppressors are the problem,not the oppressed.Each patriarchy tries to make its own way of oppression seem like what liberates women,to brainwash them and use them….

  176. Jezebella

    FQ, I can only speak for myself here, but I am unwilling to criticize women living in Islamic cultures who defend hijab since I am not a member of that culture. I certainly see the patriarchal oppressive intent of Islamic rules concerning modesty and dress, as I think most feminists do. It’s not so much a double standard, I think, as an unwillingness to engage in something that might look like Muslim-bashing.

  177. Fictional Queen

    I get what you’re saying :)
    Although,look like that to whom? I like to think the blamers here are advanced enough to know it’s not that!
    What I really want from feminist blogs is for me (a member of that culture) to be able to criticize it all I want (I certainly can’t in real life) without other people mansplaining to me or telling me how to talk about my own culture.(Not saying anyone here did that)

  178. Comrade Svilova

    Fictional Queen, definitely critique the hijab here. It’s great to hear your perspective, especially as you’re able to critique from a position of knowing the culture, rather than being a funfeminist who critiques the hijab while defending uncritically Western patriarchal traditions.

    I want to hear what you have to say.

  179. N/A

    well i’m with Fictional Queen on this one (living in hijab-lovin’ patriarchal state here) and would love some serious feminist critique of this.

    FQ you’ve read mernissi? she blew me away back when i was a funfem. (not saying you’re a funfem, just saying she’s awesome!)

    what really bothers me is when weekly magazines, fashion magazines, ALL KINDS of magazines start publishing these articles about how women have found their inner grace and inner strength wearing hijab or some stylish variation thereof (yes one is called the sheila, and one is called the somalian something or other, and there’s the wraparound, yeesh).

    sister, it’s great you’ve found your mojo and i’m happy for you. i just am not happy that there is absolutely NO CRITIQUE of it whatsoever beyond “they choose to wear it therefore it’s their free choice because AGENCY!”

    okay so magazines don’t use the word agency, but the idea is the same. the new, post-modern woman is FREE from all this societal pressure to be hijabi! she chooses to do it in a privilege-created social/cultural vacuum!

    oh and FQ – i don’t know about where you live, but here there have been several instances in the past couple years where men donned the burqa in order to get up to no good (escape, murder, rape, stealing, crossing borders etc). and these are just the ones that were found out.

    it IS a security risk. covering the face should be banned here as well.

    (the only problem with that is many working class women have to wear burqas on their way to work to avoid harassment from men – banning the face-covering must happen in concert with men being held responsible for their own damn actions for once)

  180. Fictional Queen

    I’m so glad finally a feminist blog is supporting me!
    N/A,I’m glad you’re not a funfem anymore,once on a blog I read some funfems comment on this that would blow your lobe:
    “I wish I could wear the hijab on a bad hair day!”
    I don’t even…Whaa?!!
    My problem is this too,no critique of it anywhere! Who knows,maybe once I get out of here I’ll start a blog criticizing this stuff ;)
    It’s also that ancient fear of women too where men have this delusion that women are always up to seducing them and are out to get them,women with their damn bodies and their sexualities! Since men are always thinking up ways to oppress women,they fear that women are always up to doing something to them.So they cover them up and hide them.And rape them and tell them they weren’t covered up enough.

  181. Fictional Queen

    I haven’t read Mernissi…Religious feminist seems like a paradox to me seeing as religion was invented by men and Abrahamic religions drip with a vicious hatred of women…Maybe I’m wrong but she seems like one of those “religion isn’t bad,people are!” kind of person..Is she?

  182. speedbudget

    I agree with whomever said that we need to hold men accountable before we start blaming women for whatever they are doing. I go back to Meir’s statement that if men are such a threat, why don’t we lock them up?

    I was speaking with a woman (before my feminist awakening) about her conversion to Islam and asking her about the whole deal with women in the mosque having to be separated out, and she was going on about how when Muslims pray they bend over and all those woman butts would make the men want to do them. I was like, if some dude in a church can’t handle his sex for an hour or so one day a week, I think the problem is with him, not the ladies praying. She paused for a second and then continued on with her excuses.

    Blame away on the hijab, niqab, burqa, everything. I would love to hear and learn about it. But our reticence is not a fear of blaming. I think it’s a fear of coming off sounding like we are telling you and your countrywomen what to do and how to do it when there is a whole host of bad things that can happen if you take our advice.

  183. Comrade Svilova

    I read a book a few years ago called “Nine Parts of Desire” that broke down some of the cultural traditions and religious traditions that have lead to the Islamic concern with women’s sexuality. It was really interesting to me, but one problem I had with it was that it did seem to suggest that this is a phenomenon that is unique to Islam.

    My friend is Chasidic and they have so many similar problems. The head-covering (though with really elaborate wigs, in their case), the separating out in synagogue (although that’s just because the women are less worthy, I think). Women ARE sex. Women ARE temptresses. It bothers me so much that she thinks this is acceptable. And sometimes she pushes back, talking about how she doesn’t want her life to become focused only on marriage and children like so many of her friends. She’s single with a career right now, and wants to pursue that. But the society wants her to get married and mostly give up career for homemaking. Ugh. Not that women shouldn’t be homemakers; the blamers know that I’m criticizing the *assumption* that women should be homemakers.

    Like Speedbudget said, I’m more comfortable critiquing the traditions of my own culture (Judaism) rather than critiquing the traditions of another culture. But I’d love to learn more about your perspectives, FQ and N/A, and I would like to stand in solidarity with you as much as I can.

  184. Darragh Murphy

    The reasons for outlawing multiple-wives in Mormon culture in the US were also pro-patriarchal, American-exceptionalist intrusions into a minority culture. Those laws were passed by all-male legislators who were elected by man-only voters. In fact, one of the provisions of the Edmunds-Tucker act was to DIS-enfranchise women in the Utah territories who had been given the RIGHT to vote as part of the Territory Charter. So the US govmt took plural wives away from Mormon dudes at the same time that they took away the right to vote from the women there. One of the reasons they disenfranchised the women is because they were (rightfully) afraid that the women would vote back in the right to plural wives. Head spin!

    So, yeah, not being forced into a multiple marriage, having your feet mutilated, and/or being allowed to show your fucking face in public does emphatically NOT mean that Patriarchy is over and done with, but seriously, it’s a shit ton better than bloody stumpy feet and being a character on Big fucken Love.

    A friend sent me a burka she had picked up on her travels to the ME as a gift bc she knew how fascinated and appalled I am by them. They make my skin crawl. Seeing pics of burka-ed girls and women affects me the way viewing violent brutal pornography would. Anyway, I tried it on to see what it was like. Horrible horrible horrible. The face part starts to STINK within minutes as you start breathing your own wet breath. The head piece pinches and hurts, and you INSTANTLY feel invisible. That’s the worst part. Nobody can see your face! I was effaced (literally face erased). As humans our faces are perhaps the single most important tool we use to communicate with each other. Not having a face is a horrifying experience.

    My yongest kid literally started to cry. It’s balled up in the back of a closet somewhere like a bad memory.

    It could be argued that in cultures where the burka is normalized the children arent afraid of them and the women are used to them, so my experience is not relevant to an argument against full hijab.

    But who the hell on a feminist blog would want to defend the ongoing normalization of a practice so cruel and inhumane? For lord’s sake upthread we’re debating whether having PETS is akin to slavery, but down here people are defending burkas? Seriously?

    Are the mothers who sell their 10-yr old daughters to 50 year old men as child bride/sex slaves to be defended as agents freely choosing to follow their religious/cultural practices? The bride-burning mothers-in-law in India? The women in Texas who groom their young daughters to be victims of child sexual assault in the form of becoming “brides” to their LDS fundamentalist lord fathers? The mothers in Maine who find doctors who will razor off their little girls’ labias as part of their “religion”?

    Happy fucken Mothers Day.

    And to FQ and NA, I am 1000% on your side and stand in such admiration and respect for you both for being so brave. It’s easy for a middle class privileged American woman like me to sit here and be “brave” about standing up to the P on the internet. What a freaken joke my opinions and experiences are compared to yours.

  185. N/A

    @ Darragh Murphy – thank you for your support but (and this really made me smile) what exactly do you imagine our experiences are?

    i can’t speak for FQ but i’m pretty elite. it’s no joke, hey, i’m comfortable and cushioned on all sides from the worst excesses of our society. middle-class, privileged and all of that.

    you know what’s interesting? for a few years now, certain nuts and extremists (including taliban) have been kidnapping the offspring of well-off, and even not-so-well-off, people from cities across the country. these off-spring are almost always male. in fact, i can’t recall a single case of a daughter being kidnapped. they’re kidnapped for ransom, or even for brainwashing purposes to turn them into taliban fodder. and they just don’t kidnap females. apparently because women are not to be harmed in their version of religion (but only true believing women are free from this, not the white devil women of course!)

    and something else a researcher on prostitution here told me. she said that almost anywhere you go, female prostitutes make up at least 90% of prostitutes if not more. but here, in my country, the ratio is almost even because men feel more comfortable paying for another man rather than dealing with/talking to/touching a woman they don’t know.

    still not sure what to make of that where radfem analysis is concerned. very interesting though.

    @ FQ – yes mernissi is an islamic feminist but she has also written a lot of material on cultural traditions as well (mainly about her country, morocco). very interesting stuff. from what i can remember she wasn’t too “oh religion is so liberating for women!” but more about “this hadith is bs, and that one, AND that one” and so on. very refreshing!

    also, islamic feminism it has its place. it’s like this: if it takes some women from point A to B, leaving them more open to get to C, then why not? why stay stuck at A?

  186. Darragh Murphy

    N/A, not surprised that you are privileged/elite. Access to money and education have ever been the most common path to feminist expression and activism for individuals. Women with less access are no more likely than elite women to accept the bridle of the burka or forced marriage with anything but rage, but they certainly don’t have the freedom to express their rage for themselves or others.

    I imagine your experiences to be different from mine in many ways. False assumptions are accidental, not intentionally condescending, so pardon me if I’m wrong. I imagine you live in a culture in which fundamentalist religious power has a much greater and more direct, sanctioned impact on the laws and customs you and your country-women live under. While privilege may free you of some of those oppressions, I imagine it is difficult to see your less privileged sisters suffer more, women you may know and love and admire. When I see women at the mall in black shrouds I recoil and indulge in self aggrandizing fantasies of setting them free. What if those women were my aunts or my neighbors? Would I be required to do more to fight against the awful philosophy that enslaved them? I see women in burkas on the Internet and fume. You see them out your front window and think, strategize, plot.

    I remember reading about the march for women’s freedom in Cairo shortly after the revolution. How the turnout was tiny (a couple hundred brave women) and the few brave souls who dared to march were overwhelmed by thousands and thousands of men who harassed and hounded them off the streets. I imagine those women were relatively educated and privileged women. Maybe you were one of them. I read about the same thing happening in Kabul a year or two ago. Maybe one of the women who marched there is reading this blog now. I never feel more inspired and ashamed as when I read about women, maybe you or your friends, who stand up to the most virulent, violent, and humiliating forms of patriarchy, at great personal risk, and find that not only are they mostly alone, they are often dismissed, ignored, and mansplained to by the also privileged women of the west.

    As a relatively privileged person I probably share many experiences with you in terms of things money can buy. But my experience of living in the P is likely much much different. I am privileged and cossetted. You are privileged and bombarded. By your culture, religion, laws, family traditions, etc. You may be an Ivy educated lesbian professor of gender studies in Stockholm for all I know, but if you are a woman born into and raised in a hijab-enforcing society then I think my assumptions hold water. Only you can say.

  187. pheenobarbidoll

    pheenobarbidol, you can’t factor men out of a religion that revolves around men and their concerns (which is all of the major world religions).”

    But I don’t get to tell these women ” You’re doing it wrong, so STFU about how you view your own religious symbols”.

    There are enough Do Not’s for women, I certainly don’t intend to add to the list.

  188. Fictional Queen

    I can’t say much here on the issue of religion,because it’s dangerous.This site is already blocked here and I’m sneaking through it.
    I will just say that I’m way past the stage where “oh,this religion isn’t bad,this prophet isn’t bad,people are projecting bad things onto them!” could fool me.
    Also,something else,just because something is culture and tradition doesn’t mean it’s good or should be kept.So it’s no good counterarguement to say oh,but they are following their cultures.Patriarchy is a tradition for god’s sake.I so wish I could say more,but sighs! I can’t.

  189. Fictional Queen

    Little girls aren’t afraid of it cuz when you’re a little girl,you want to be a woman! And that’s what it means to be a woman.It’s a common joke here for women to say when you’re a little girl you wish you could wear that stuff,then you do and realize it’s not so great.

  190. Darragh Murphy

    Why not? We have no trouble telling fun feminists to STFU about the empowerfullness of porn and prostitution.

    This blog is aptly named. No one here is blaming the WOMEN who are required to enshroud themselves or be “justifiably” raped. We blame the system that brainwashes and coerces little girls into believing that crap.

    Women are being held indoors because of the ban in France? Well, that’s a crime too, perhaps a much more serious one, and will be prosecuted where it can be. The women in closed societies who are living in democratic countries where they have nominal rights to basic freedoms have such an opportunity to be freer than their sisters back in the home country.

    While we get hung up analyzing whether angels in burkhas can dance on the head of a pin there are young women in France who will have more tools to be free.

  191. N/A

    @ Darragh Murphy – i understand you meant well, but what was the point of that? you basically illustrated all the half-assed assumptions on which you’ve based YOUR account of MY life. for someone who likes to avoid mansplaining there sure was a lot of darraghsplainin’ in there. again – point? why not just ask me instead of telling me?

    anyway i agree with you that critiquing cultural practices is vastly different from criticizing the women themselves. at the same time slogans like “free women in afghanistan!” have been used to help justify the unwarranted american invasion and military presence there. it’s politics of course, but a lot of people bought into that slogan. where does critique stop before it becomes action and for who?

    by the way, is anyone interested in talking about the security angle or has that already been covered elsewhere?

  192. Darragh Murphy

    You asked me what my assumptions were about your experiences. II told you. This is the Internet. There is a whole lotta fillin in the blanks here.

    I would vastly prefer to hear your experiences to spouting my assumptions.

    The issue of sloganeering versus facilitating real change for Afghan women versus who the who the hell do we think we are for interfering is a muddle I would love to learn more about.

    Not sure what you’re referring to re security angle, but again, I would love to learn more. The blogs and news sites I visit don’t have voices like yours.

    Anyway, what IS your experience?

  193. pheenobarbidoll

    Also,something else,just because something is culture and tradition doesn’t mean it’s good or should be kept.So it’s no good counterarguement to say oh,but they are following their cultures.”

    Not necessarily. I know the issues with my own culture, I don’t need feminists from a more privileged culture coming in and pointing it out. Or speaking as if they have any authority on the subject beyond reading about it. What happens all too often is the Great White Savior Feminist (or Great Dominant Culture Feminist depending on geography) turns my life into some sort of unwanted personal crusade.

    When yours* is perfect, we can talk.

    *general use, not meaning anyone specific

  194. Must Think of a Name

    What is the situation in Afghanistan? Is it a foregone conclusion that Afghan women want the troops out?

  195. orlando

    “When yours is perfect, we can talk” sounds like a surefire way to make certain none of us ever speak to each other again.

  196. speedbudget

    And again: Nobody is defending burqas or niqab or hijab in this thread. Nobody has said they are wonderful things that all women should wear. What has been expressed is a feeling of discomfort with telling women who stand to pay with their lives and/or extreme pain for doing it to remove said burkas from a safe distance. Personally my problem is with telling a woman in a country where she can be honor killed that not wearing it is something she should do. I really don’t. And I will reiterate that there is a big difference between telling a fun feminist not to do certain things and telling a woman in an oppressive regime and culture not to do things. The fun feminist might be made a little uncomfortable socially by making changes. The woman in the oppressive regime might lose life or limb by doing so.

  197. Anna

    speedbudget, I don’t think anyone in this thread is in favor of telling women who would be in grave danger for rejecting hijab/niqab/burqa to do so. Or that anyone is criticizing those women at all. I think what’s being pointed out is many western feminists’ reluctance to criticize the concept of hijab/niqab/burqa for fear of appearing Islamophobic(or as Jezebella put it, “unwillingness to engage in something that might look like Muslim-bashing”).

  198. Anna

    In case my comment above is too ambiguously worded, I think that that reluctance is very much a bad thing. Patriarchy is patriarchy, and feminists shouldn’t be quiet about the evils of patriarchy for fear of being mischaracterized. Criticizing the patriarchy is one thing, and islamophobia a different thing completely, and it’s perfectly possible to criticize hijab etc. while making it clear the critique stems from the former, not the latter. Of course, there’s always going to be someone misinterpreting or mischaracterizing what you’re saying (more often than not, on purpose), but, especially as a feminist, that’s something you have to learn to live with.

  199. pheenobarbidoll

    ““When yours is perfect, we can talk” sounds like a surefire way to make certain none of us ever speak to each other again.”

    Maybe this is indicative of the need for listening, and STFU for awhile, when women from non dominant cultures talk.

    The not listening part is a far bigger problem than the worry no one can ever speak to each other again.

    There’s a reason WOC feminists have pulled so far away, and it’s not because there’s a lack of talking.

  200. Must Think of a Name

    pheenobarbidoll – I actually am a bit worried if others aren’t allowed to speak to each other again. I’d have to rely on new blog entries coming out with a lot more frequency. I still have no idea what this one was, something about test posts and fucking all. If you hitched your criticism to something more specific, I could be listening to you.

  201. nails

    In Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s book about growing up as a woman in middle eastern islamic culture, she talks about moving to europe as an adult and finding a bunch of dumbass honkies who don’t understand the violence that comes with the culture of the muslim immigrants. She tries to change the minds of the white majority in order to do something about the problems (FGM, domestic violence, refusal to do work, etc). She discusses the background of dutch society and how letting different people have their own space, while also cooperating for mutual gain, is very much part of the culture there and it was expected of the new immigrants. The attitude of respect and refusing to interfere worsened problems involved with the treatment of women and children because such an approach totally ignored that women have no resources or rights within the communities. She urges white people to take it seriously and condemn it all, even if they aren’t from that culture. A friend of hers who made a movie with her about islam was murdered for doing so, and Ayaan had to be kept under security watch because of the abundance of threats on her life for being an apostate. Moderate voices within the community were subjected to violence and threats as well.

    I am a bit of a fence sitter on the issue, I am still taking it all in. I recently completed her book, Infidel, and thought it may add to the discussion.

  202. Tigs

    Not to put words in her mouth, but I believe Pheeno isn’t saying we can’t talk to one another, but rather that white colonizing feminists have done a damn lot of talking and not enough listening.

    –And that before we start telling people how to do and not do things, we need to shut up for a while. Otherwise we are pretty much just recreating the conditions of oppression in a way that feels better for us, but isn’t really feminist, it’s just white and colonizing.

  203. pheenobarbidoll

    Exactly Tigs, thank you.

  204. speedbudget

    Also I think most of the anti-hijab discussions I have seen start from or devolve to a point of criticizing the women forced to wear them, as if they have any real choice in the matter. Even though the women are disappeared behind the fabric, they are still held up as the perpetrators of their own oppression, and yet again the men involved in maintaining and enforcing an oppressive culture are let off free.

  205. Gayle

    It is insulting to compare the nijab to lipstick or bikinis. They may have similarities in theory, but not at all in degree.

    Try putting on a nijab. You have no peripheral vision; in the case of the burqua, your sight is diminished from all angles. Try not to trip, it’s difficult!

    You’ll never feel the sun or the wind on your face or arms.

    Your voice is muffled, your emotions hidden from the world. Your lowered level of Vitamin D leads to rickets. You’re anonymous. You could see someone you know and he wouldn’t recognize or greet you. You won’t see your female friends at all as they too have been disappeared.

    BTW, France has banned the nijab (full face cover), not the hijab.

    Everyone here knows Western culture is patriarchal and we call out its feminine trappings on IBTP. As for fun-feminists, they would agree with those of you defending full covering in the name of “agency” (a word I’d like to throw on a trash heap forever right along with “consent”). Like prostitution and polygamy, they choose to ignore the fact that women’s choices are limited, often greatly, sometimes completely, in patriarchy.

  206. Anna

    speedbudget, are you including this discussion in that observation? I’m sure I might’ve missed something, but I really don’t think anyone in this thread criticized the women who wear the “garb” rather than the concept of the garb itself. I’d be very surprised and disappointed to see something like that happen on IBTP.

  207. Must Think of a Name

    Feminists are inherently colonizing if they are white? I still don’t think anything is being said here beyond a request for the silencing of a murky, unspecified group. Of feminists, at that.

  208. pheenobarbidoll

    Inherently white privileged, which leads to all sorts of nastiness. And the “unspecified group” is any and all POC living in a white dominant country.

    And a request to LISTEN isn’t a request to silence. It’s simply asking for a fair share of the talking time, but WP equates that as being silenced. Sorta like when women want to talk too, men think that means they’re being silenced.

    To give you a personal, specific group- Native Americans in the US and First Nations in Canada. A huge number of us would prefer white feminists listen to us and follow *our* lead in discussions of *our* cultural issues regarding sexism. I don’t need a Great White Savior, and that’s exactly how it comes off, intent is irrelevant. I’m fairly certain there’s not a POC alive that isn’t well aware of what white people think on any given issue under the sun. And yes, that includes white feminists.

    We KNOW. Thanks.

  209. Jill

    “It is insulting to compare the nijab to lipstick or bikinis.”

    Well, the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women — of which mandated nijab, lipstick, and bikinis are but a few examples — are universally misogynist in spirit, even if their manifestations happen to result in outcomes of non-equivalent psychological impact or physical awfulness. No one is free of oppression.

  210. Must Think of a Name

    If you have managed to distill, sort and categorise the thoughts of white people to that extent and are able to summarise it in written form, that would be a useful exercise and I, for one, would be very interested to read it.

    I read a book once by an Australian Aboriginal feminist psychoanalyst who was part of the Stolen Generations. Though it was primarily a feminist book, she also slipped in her own personal history as well as some psychoanalytic explication. The final chapter was devoted to an analysis of Canberra, Australia’s capital city that was built overnight in a cow paddock in accordance with the vision of an early New Age devotee. It was a fascinating viewpoint.

  211. incognotter

    “fascinating viewpoint”? Seriously? I thought the point of feminist CR was to unlearn your privilege, not to parade it.

  212. pheenobarbidoll

    “It was a fascinating viewpoint.”

    That’s aboriginal cultures for ya. We aim to fucking please.

  213. Darragh Murphy

    good christ you are expert at saying “You’re not listening!!” but not so great at saying anything.

    Your experience is a minority experience, at least in relation to the West. This blog is beaming worldwide from the hills of western Texas, a fucking hotbed of Western imperialism/American exceptionalism/macho male americana if ever there were one.

    A woman who wants to know more read a book by a woman from an oppressed native culture and was impressed/intrigued/moved by it and you nitpick her to death on word choice.

    Do people from aboriginal cultures not find Aphra Behn fascinating? Madonna? Simone DeBeauvoir has a fascinating viewpoint as well and if you choose to find it moving no one will accuse you of condescension.

    You insult her because she notes that the minority viewpoint was fascinating?? What the hell else would it be other than repulsive or frightening (from the point of view of a bigot)?

    I guess she should have found it scourge-worthy and should have beat herself senseless for her participation in the oppression of the men of the east. Because we all know that the Global Accords for the Fair Treatment of Women has a big giant clause that gives white women the status of men.

  214. Must Think of a Name

    It was a “fascinating” point of view because it brought things to my mind that I could never have thought of because I’m too in the middle of it. About Canberra. It led me to think about Canberra in a way I otherwise would not have done so. It was highly analytical and that’s why I liked it.

    This is just a bun fight for the hell of it and devoid of intellectual rigour or honesty. Making it about about the personality rather than the ball is the fast track to banality. On any subject. In any context.

    Nothing has been said. Nothing has been gained.

  215. Must Think of a Name

    To qualify – ad hominem can be great when wielded deftly, not to mention stress relieving, but it’s still got to be about the ball.

  216. speedbudget

    Anna, no, I am not including this discussion. If you read the discussion, you will happily see that it has not devolved into any blaming of oppressed women. I was simply pointing out what I have seen happen in many of these discussions, much like what happens in rape discussions.

    I am a little upset about Gayle going on again about “us” defending this garb. God, would people read a thread first? Nobody has defended anything in this thread, she said again exasperatedly.

  217. Tigs

    I think the frustration expressed above is because Must Think responded to the suggestion that white privilege (and yes, white people) have the tendency to talk too much and not listen enough to WOC with two analytical points, that intended this way or no, read to me as:

    1.) Not all white people!!

    2.) I read a book by a brown person once!

    Having said shiit like this before, gotten called out on it, and learned from that calling out, I can say that I am not interested in attacking or arguing for argument’s sake.
    Feminism isn’t getting anywhere so long as we recreate systems of domination–to ignore white and Western privilege here is to do just that.

  218. Tigs

    and if I can recommend an imperfect, but important text:


    “Whiteness has nothing to do with culture and everything to do with social position. It is nothing but a reflection of privilege, and exists for no reason other than to defend it. Without the privileges attached to it, the white race would not exist, and the white skin would have no more social significance than big feet.”

  219. pheenobarbidoll

    This blog is beaming worldwide from the hills of western Texas,”

    Central Texas, you mean. I know this because I am sitting in my house, which happens to be in West Texas. (since I’m nitpicking)

    ““You’re not listening!!” but not so great at saying anything.”

    I pretty clearly said “something” above, along the lines of letting WOC take the lead in regards to discussions about their own cultures. Perhaps you missed that in your offense on behalf of white folks.

    “You insult her because she notes that the minority viewpoint was fascinating?”

    Our “viewpoint” isn’t fascinating. Our “viewpoint” is reality and our lives don’t exist to be studied like a bug under a microscope. We also aren’t “exotic” or any other insulting descriptor. (here, btw, is your chance to listen.)

    “big giant clause that gives white women the status of men.”

    That white skin elevates them over stupid, brown skinned, ignorant shit diggers who need Mighty Whitey to come save them from their own cultures issues. God knows we didn’t see them until some white feminist came along and told us.

    Here’s something I find fascinating- You actually think your “viewpoint” hasn’t been heard about a thousand times already.

  220. pheenobarbidoll

    1.) Not all white people!!

    2.) I read a book by a brown person once!

    It read that way Tigs, because that’s exactly what it was.

    You’re dead on.

  221. incognotter

    “1.) Not all white people!!”

    While that is the usual response by privilege, and I usually agree with Tigs’ analysis, that is not how I read it this time.

    The quote is:

    “If you have managed to distill, sort and categorise the thoughts of white people to that extent and are able to summarise it in written form, that would be a useful exercise and I, for one, would be very interested to read it.”

    I read that as saying “educate me” with great overtones of “I am privileged enough to be unthreatened by and even amused by your quaint insights.” This is classic male suppression technique and while those of us who grew up white, overeducated, and privileged may have been taught to respond in such a way the response is not useful or appropriate. We don’t let dudes pull that stuff and we should not be letting ourselves off the hook for dudeliness either.

    I am now going to vanish for 12 hours or so to be a wage slave. Will check back later.

  222. Comrade Svilova

    No one here is saying that white women are white men. Of course we’re not.

    But we’re not women of color. And we do need to listen, not take the lead, when the conversation is about the experiences of women/people of color.

  223. Must Think of a Name

    I borrowed the book from the library because it was in the feminist section. I have lived with an Aboriginal dude, I don’t go chasing “brown people” to bask in their reflected wisdom. This particular author’s point of view was interesting on an academic level not a skin colour one, with the psychoanalysis and the inside/outside observation point and whatnot. Political context is the name of the game, this is still just playing the personality. And, I might add, you’re behaving very American. Not being American myself, I can pick up on these slight differences in approach because they appear to me as unfamiliar. You see how it works?

    There was a bit of underlying tone there, it’s true, but I still meant it. Deconstruct away but do it properly, not with wishy washy, broad, belligerent brushstrokes.

    Priveleged, undoubtedly, but I still call bullshit on it.

  224. pheenobarbidoll

    I have lived with an Aboriginal dude”

    Was he your best friend too?

    “Deconstruct away but do it properly,”

    Sure! I live to be your stepping stone to enlightenment as well as “properly” educate you on how your privilege is showing all over the place. It’s my job, after all. Please tell this lowly Indian how to appropriately discuss her own oppression in your pre-approved manner. Can’t expect people to unpack their own shit, now can we? That would be work, and you’re above such things. After all, you just proved it with your “who has slept in my bed” credentials.

  225. Must Think of a Name

    This is a feminist website. Your initial comment was directed at feminists. It was this that prompted me to reply. If it was just a dirge at white people, I would not have had a problem. The Aboriginal dude has actually met me and in fact, quite liked me. He described me on parting as “fair dinkum”. Look it up. I’ve known numerous Aboriginal people (will I get into trouble for saying that?) and had political conversations with some of them but it has never taken on this form. Specifity is crucial in the context of meaning. I don’t know your background from a bar of soap. You are melding meaningless abstraction with personal power playing. Is this whole feminism malarkey important or not?

    Fuck privelege, you personally are just not very nice.

  226. Tigs

    Heh. Isn’t this board full of feminists also full of white people?

    Must Think, you are pretty clearly feeling attacked and it appears that your defensiveness is making you unable to get the critique that is going on here.

    You are not the first, and you will not be the last, but you’re not really helping your case here. It is not a WOC’s job to educate you or to make you feel nice about when you mess up.

    That you have an Aboriginal friend is neither here nor there. That you have read one or many books on race and colonialism is neither here nor there.
    Specifically, people are responding to you in this way because: you misread a comment from a WOC on how best to be an ally to WOC; insisted you were correct, then used a bunch of tired and offensive reasons for why you were not wrong in the first place or later on; didn’t like the response you got and have instead attempted to discredit a WOC because she is too angry for your comfort.

    I know you’re on this board in good faith, but I think you need to consider that you might be wrong here. It sucks to feel like you are fighting the good fight and then to get told you’re doing it wrong, but it sucks more to be undercutting all our collective goals.

  227. Comrade Svilova

    Must Think, it kind of sounds like you’re telling Pheeno that ze isn’t “as nice” a person of color as other one’s you’ve met. Other people of color have liked you, therefore you never exercise white privilege? Maybe your original comment was misread, and you didn’t mean to describe the book in the way you were heard. Fair enough. But it seems like the dialogue is just going downhill.

    Even though you’ve been a great ally/friend of people of color in other aspects of your life, you can still inadvertently trade on white privilege. Pretty much all white people do, no matter how hard we try not to. As the commenting guide from our esteem blogmistress says:

    Kindly note that when feminists of whiteness exercise white feminist privilege, even when unintended, it is experienced by feminists of color as racism.

    One thing I have learned from doing this blog lo these past 5 years is that when a reasonable person tells you you’re oppressin’em, you’re oppressin’em. The only rational course of action is a) to stop being defensive and b) to cop to it, already. Because if you’re white, it is a foregone conclusion that your whiteness accrues benefits not offered to anyone else, and that these benefits will often be invisible to you. A foregone conclusion, I tell you.

  228. Jill

    Must Think, the “Some of my best friends are black” position is antifeminist, and therefore disallowed. It is unfortunate that you don’t allow the Blametariat to ease the terrible burden of your academic interest in nonwhite “viewpoints”.

    You aver that something called ‘specifity’ is “crucial in the context of meaning,” right? I don’t know what the fuck that means, but how’s this for ‘specifity’: Either take your lumps and put a sock in it, or get the hell out of the context of my blog.

  229. Hedgepig

    pheenobarbidoll has told us white women here in no uncertain terms that we must STFU and listen to women of colour. A white woman, Must Think of a Name, subsequently says that she read a book by a non-white person and found it fascinating. In other words, she’s listened to and absorbed the information of a non-white person. She didn’t say “I think the author should have focussed on something different” or “she was wrong about so much”, she said she read it and found it fascinating.

    pheenobarbidoll and incognotter tell her she’s parading her white privilege again. How? By saying she listened to a non-white voice and valued what she learnt from it? So what is acceptable to you pheenobarbidoll? Do you want us to listen or not? We’re not allowed to listen and be fascinated. What are the responses you consider to be acceptable? Am I allowed to nod mutely as I read? Am I allowed to express agreement verbally, or would that just be indicative of more privilege-wielding on my part? Would you prefer it if I just didn’t read anything by anyone who isn’t white, because my standpoint is so tainted by my whiteness that any response I have will be invalid?

  230. pheenobarbidoll

    pheenobarbidoll and incognotter tell her she’s parading her white privilege again. How? ”

    1) her WP turned “listen to WOC” into ” Oh noes, that means white feminists can’t speak!! (the same way pointing out a racist statement leads to WP interpreting it as ” you’re calling me a horrible racist asshole!!)

    2) Using the term “viewpoint” is dismissive. It’s not a POC’s reality, it’s just merely her perspective.

    3) I have a (token POC) friend and HE/SHE thinks I’m just dandy! (irrelevant and an attempt to show how not WP she is, by USING her POC friend)

    4)Deconstruct away but do it properly- WP telling a WOC how she may critisize her own oppressors. It’s NO DIFFERENT than men telling feminists how they are allowed to critisize men and the P.

    5)Your initial comment was directed at feminists- WP assuming white feminists are exempt from critisism when they are being racist.

    6)Not being American myself, I can pick up on these slight differences in approach because they appear to me as unfamiliar.- dismissing racial experiences by using one’s country of origin as a replacement for race.

    “subsequently says that she read a book by a non-white person and found it fascinating.”

    A WOC documenting her own oppression isn’t “fascinating” unless you’re privileged enough to be able to place her experience into the “academic” category. Bringing up that she read a book is WP because it is an attempt to assert a position of authority on the subject, OVER the person who actually LIVES with racial oppression. So not only has she used POC she knows personally, she’s now using a WOC who wrote a book as her tool to establish her authority on the subject of WOC’s lives.

    “Would you prefer it if I just didn’t read anything by anyone who isn’t white”

    I’d prefer it if you took that racism and shoved it.

    Since you asked.

  231. pheenobarbidoll

    Oh and just so you know- This was my last free Teaching Moment. From now on you do your own homework, or you can pay me to lead you through WP101.

    I’m not your mama, your maid or your tutor.

  232. Hedgepig

    The fact that you consider white feminists to be your oppressors indicates to me that we have no common ground on which to discuss any of these things. Going by all you’ve said on this thread, belonging to the same sex class as another person is of little significance compared to racial differences. Fair enough.

  233. Hedgepig

    “This was my last free Teaching Moment”

    Promises, promises.

  234. Comrade Svilova

    Instead of listening and being fascinated we white feminists should listen and be engaged. Engaged in sisterhood, in respect, in solidarity. Not looking at the experiences of women of color from afar as an exotic Otherness to be contemplated, but as their reality with which we should stand in solidarity, not appropriating, but hearing and respecting their lives and experiences.

    Maybe the use of “fascinating” wasn’t intended the way it sounds — fair enough, although we all know that intent is not enough to make a comment free of unexamined privilege. But after that verb was used, a lot more took place in the dialogue that started filling up White Privilege bingo cards extremely rapidly. Pheeno’s deconstruction of the conversation says it all. The conversation is no longer about whether white feminists should listen (yes) but about whether having a friend of color makes one’s intentions free from racism, and thus prevents a white person from exercising unearned WP (no).

    And yeah, white feminists absolutely can oppress feminists/womanists of color. …when feminists of whiteness exercise white feminist privilege, even when unintended, it is experienced by feminists of color as racism. Who said that? Ah, our esteemed blogmistress. In the commenting guidelines.

  235. Jill

    Hedgepig, as I suggested in the award-nominated Guidelines for Commenters that Comrade S has so thoughtfully hauled out of mothballs, when Feminists of Color tell you you’re oppressing’em, you’re oppressing’em, period. You don’t get to say “no I’m not.” They’re not being touchy, they’re not overreacting, they’re not hysterical. They’re just pointing out, since you obviously didn’t catch it yourself, that you have exercised some white privilege on their ass. You may not BE a racist — as in a practicing white supremacist — but you cannot, as a white woman, avoid exercising white privilege. Just cop to it and move on and foment revolution so we can get rid of all this shit.

  236. Hedgepig

    You know what Comrade Svilova? If Must Had a Name had said “I read a book by a non-white person and found it engaging” you’d now all be talking about how racist the word “engaging” is. A pile-on is a pile-on.

    But I’ve had my say, and thankyou Jill for that opportunity. Now to paraphrase the teachings of pheenobarbidoll, you can all take this sanctimonious bullshit and shove it.

  237. pheenobarbidoll

    you’d now all be talking about how racist the word “engaging” is.”

    translation- you’re playing the race card!

    I’ll take sanctimonious over racist asshole any day.

  238. Fede

    Oi, Hedgepig! It is not a pile-on to insist when someone refuses to accept criticism that they have no right to dispute.

    Apropos of pile-ons, perhaps you and I could take a moment to have a clueless white guess at the number of racist offenses – great and small – a WOC is likely to endure over a lifetime only to be met with denial and hostility whenever she protests. That’s right – we don’t know! And we can’t ever know. We can only wonder if there are any similarities between that and, say, belonging to the sex class and having to associate with Nice Guys.

    Male privilege and white privilege may differ in many ways, but the clueless defensiveness from people who deny having it when called on it? Fills out the exact same Bingo card, it would seem. What you and Must Think have said in this thread is a sinister echo of what I’ve said in the past, which in itself reiterated other clueless white people’s words with depressing predictability. And men’s words to women on the topic of sexism.

    It is not sanctimoneous to take a look at one’s own reactions once in a while. If there’s one thing one should rue more than anything, it’s making the same damn mistakes that everyone here rolls their collective eyes at men for making in a feminist forum.

    How the fuck can a white feminist presume to tell a feminist of colour anything she doesn’t know about racism? If a WOC informs you that what you said was offensive, take it to heart. She’s an expert on that topic and you’re not. That is all.

  239. Fede

    And now I can even spell sanctimonious.

  240. Comrade Svilova

    If I was sanctimonious, I apologize, and will step back to listen more. And on that note I’ll repeat this one line for emphasis and then step back:

    How the fuck can a white feminist presume to tell a feminist of colour anything she doesn’t know about racism?

  241. Jill

    White chicks’ reluctance to admit to privilege-wielding — and their subsequent defensiveness, and then their accusations of meanness on the part of the annoyed Feminists of Color — precisely mirrors those dudes who used to show up here and explain feminism to the feminists, and then tell us that we’d win a lot more people over to our cause if we’d lighten up and quit copping an attitude and bend over and take it up the ass like we’re supposed to. Right down to the part where, when you point out that their behavior is just like that of the hated oppressor, they deny it even more vehemently, and get uncivil-, and flounce off in a huff (dudes sometimes get threateny, too).

    The depressing thing is that you expect that white feminists would know better. But, no.

  242. nails

    hedgepig & must think of a name,

    Defensiveness is a universal reaction to being told you have done something wrong, but after awhile it is time to accept mistakes and be sorry. Assuming you are in the wrong on this kind of stuff will save you a lot of time and make you have fewer regrets in life. Think about the risks involved- if you tell people like pheeno off and you are wrong, you oppressed her, which is very wrong. If you don’t tell her off and she is wrong, what have you really lost? The fact that the equation looks that way for you and me is a clue that we are privileged over her. When/if you start to seriously consider the viewpoints of POC you will feel like crap about yourself for awhile. Even if you never said/did anything bad you gained from their losses, and you can’t ever change it. White feminists do oppress women of color, especially when they are trying to dictate the experience of WOC to WOC. You don’t know what it is like, and you never will, and neither will I. Listening is the only tool we have to find anything out about the experiences, and it should only be on their terms because they don’t owe their oppressors anything. There are tons of books written for this exact purpose, there is no need to interrogate individuals on the internet, especially when they are outnumbered by white people.

    Sorry if I contributed to the “I read a book by a brown person and therefore…” kind of crap earlier. I was trying to paraphrase what was in the book (to add a voice in that wasn’t necessarily mine), but intent doesn’t really mean a whole lot. I don’t think I will be posting much more about this topic for awhile.

  243. Must Think of a Name

    I fled from this at the time and I now have a clearer idea as to why I should never have said anything in the first place. But what kind of feminist organisation goes around visiting indigenous communities under the banner of said feminist organisation? The book had nothing to do with race. I lived in a country town where the original white landholder wasn’t so bad to the local Aboriginal people and race relations in that town are surprisingly good to this day (I was told this story by an Aboriginal person). Down the road, a town with a bad history portrays a very different story. This is what I was referring to in terms of context. Political movements are tailored to unique circumstances. The word privelege is only useful in as much as it is explanatory. It is not a blanket cover all. It’s like you all have access to the original political checklist handed down to Moses but it’s all a bit pat and involves no actual communication. Putting pheenobarbidoll on an unassailable pedestal on account of her race is silly. Putting me on an inverted pedestal on account of word choice is borderline masterbatory if you ask me. But I’ll go. I’ve benefitted from my time here but I get more feminist solidarity from the porn pushers at my mainstream website.

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