«

»

Sep 01 2011

My heatstroke is your open thread

Avoid Heatstroke Drink Water

Blamer Service Announcement: Spinster HQ will be shutting down until the fucking temperature drops below 103F for a minimum of 2 days in a row. The heat from the computer monitor is melting my face. Which is neither here nor there, because I can’t write or speak anyway; as soon as a thought is formed in my brain it congeals into a puck of greasy guck that must be manually dislodged with forceps. If you are fortunate enough to be in possession of freely-surging grey matter, consider this an invitation to vituperate forthwith on the pet subject of your choice.

Photo: Hydration instructions on a sidewalk in East Austin.

231 comments

1 ping

  1. Logoskaieros

    I got my first dose of 100-plus-degree-weather-for-weeks-on-end in Oklahoma this summer. People who handle that without AC have moved to the top of my Badass list.

  2. Fictional Queen

    I have a suggestion for IBTP!
    This blog needs something like Jezebel’s Groupthink page.A page where blamers can just comment about whatever!A permanent open thread! I know there’s a facebook page,but it’s hard for me to work with it..Facebook is blocked here!Plus,it’s not as cool as the blog.So,I think it’d be really nice to have a page like that on here so blamers can go “ughhh,fuck the patriarchy I am so sick and tireeddd!” anytime!Or,”what do you think about..” etc..
    By the way,I love you Spinster Aunt!

  3. BLG

    Dear Blamers,

    One question that has been eating at me after reading this blog for a few years is the following: How does one define non-patriarchal clothing?

    This question has been difficult for me to answer, because my experience has been somewhat different from many of the blamers who post here. Instead of being required to dress in what is often described as a “patriarchy-compliant” manner, I work in a field where traditionally feminine clothing is frowned on, and, indeed, is seen as a sign of weakness or unprofessionalism. So, I’ve spent a long time dressing in clothing that is somewhat masculine (not female versions of business suits), which has been nice in many ways. However, there is still a constraint, in that I have to be careful not to look too feminine . . . Thus, I still feel like what I wear is defined by the patriarchy in many ways.

    So, how do we define a non-patriarchal manner of dress? Is it being able to wear what you want to wear (or is that just funfem)? Is it uniform uniforms for all? Or is it something we can’t imagine until after the revolution, just like the notion of consent?

    Your wisdom on this topic is greatly needed.

  4. Phledge

    Good luck reconstituting your lobes, Jill.

    When did the Patriarchy start? Surely it was prehistoric, but what factors do other blamers blame for the birth of the P?

    My money’s on the demise of situational leadership. Prolly right around the time we stopped being hunter/gatherers. Thoughts?

  5. pheenobarbidoll

    Hopefully your water is better than ours. Because of the drought and all our water sources drying up, our tap water smells and tastes like the ass end of a catfish. I’ve run a hose from the drain of my washing machine out to my grass, otherwise it’d just be dirt. Which is no fun when the wind picks up. And the wind always picks up. Getting sand blasted in one’s own backyard is not this blamers idea of a good time.

  6. keira

    Getting a taste of too many liberalDudes this week. Traveling on the cheap means staying where I can, so this weeks its an intentional community.

    No women live, or it seems have ever lived here, on any semi-permanent basis. I assume that part was intentional also?

  7. Triste

    Thank fucking god. I have been dying for an open thread to ask: Patriarchy – pronounced with the ‘pat’ rhyming with late, or with cat? I need to know!

  8. Ottawa Gardener

    No idea though I use the late rhyme.

    Here’s something that scratches at the brain every time I hear any mention of it: the boys with toys crap. So often men are drawn as childish characters and their woman companions – mothers, wives, sisters etc… are the true adults, working the world in the background as if we were the wise advisor to the foolish king. This is so insulting because of its deep untruth. We are not the powerful pullers of men’s puppet strings but animate puppets in a play we only occasionally get to edit but certainly did not write.

    Case in point: I recently walked by a bar with a sign that said, ‘Men’s Daycare centre, all you do is pay for food and drink and we’ll take care of them for the day.’

  9. roseh

    I live in Alaska and the worst thing that I ever did was go from a 45 degree “normal” summertime to Phoenix in August to do a land survey (as a contract employee; a friend in the lower 48 got the job and needed help) for a lot downtown. I think it got about 118 F. To say it was hellish doesn’t even come close. Even getting up at 3AM to be in the field by 3:30-4AM was rough. We would knock off work at around 10AM and do research at the city or county buildings, then have some lunch, then my party chief would order us back into the field at around the same time I suspect was the hottest part of the day. The heat was so bad that I was nauseated the whole time and could hardly function. I cannot imagine Twisty’s plight with putting up with that shit for weeks and weeks.

  10. Bushfire

    If I was living in that kind of heat, I’d fill the bathtub with cold water and just sit in there reading a book of radical feminism.

    Speaking of radical feminist books, I have been working my way through Twisty’s reading list. I tried The Female Eunuch recently and I found it really outdated. 1971 just seems like a long time ago to someone born in the 80s. I find that Twisty’s views are inspired by previous feminists, but since she is writing in the present time, I find her more relevent.

    I pronounce patriarchy with the ‘pat’ rhyming with ‘late’.

  11. Darragh Murphy

    Long “a” — rhymes with hate.

  12. Liza

    Come to Portland (OR). It was 49 degrees here this morning.

  13. Orange

    I was at Target yesterday (I know, I know) and encountered the brown-skinned version of the Barbie Loves Glitter Glam Vac & Doll (http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4465092). Not to worry! The vacuum is not for Barbie to use. It’s for the child to use to vacuum excess glitter off of the Barbie doll. Girl children, of course, need more vacuum toys to cultivate the vacuuming habit.

    Barbie’s got the newer proportions, so her boobs are less conical. But they made the arms so super-skinny and super-straight! Old Barbie had a little curvature in the arms, such as small muscles might make. New Barbie looks emaciated. Plus new Barbie has macrocephaly. Her head’s almost as big as a Bratz Doll’s noggin! Head circumference far outstrips waist size (whereas my head circumference is 22″ and my waist is more than 50% bigger than that).

    If new Barbie’s head is giant because of added brain power, why is she content to let children pour glitter on her and vacuum the excess off?

    I fear Twisty Jill will not return to posting for months. Texas has had a frightfully long streak of three-digit temps.

  14. Sarah

    I’m with you, Liza (in Portland). I made toast for breakfast, and found myself tempted to press my face against the bread to keep warm. We need a Portland-to-normal-places weather exchange.

  15. laxsoppa

    roseh, that nauseated and barely functioning feeling sound like a dehydration attack. I had two of them last summer while working as a goldsmith in a little hole of a workshop with no AC whatsoever. We just propped the doors open, turned on the fan, drank lots of mineral water and tried to stay conscious. Apart from the shitty work conditions, though, the summer was fantastic, and we even had a couple of micro tornadoes in southern Finland. One of them (fortunately weakened by that time) surprised me and a few friends on a swimming trip, which was terrifying.

    At the moment I’m sitting on the shore of the Barents Sea in pretty much opposite conditions, outside temperature under 10°C, and the house isn’t much warmer. I’m in with the weather exchange!

    I’ve been wondering if it’s actually racist whenever someone from the warmer parts wonders loudly if I shouldn’t be able to just deal with the cold as part of my Arctic heritage. Newsflash: we deal with the cold by dressing up and installing heaters and fireplaces in every conceiveable corner, just like everybody else in these parts.

  16. tinfoil hattie

    Bushfire: Pretty much only the fashions have changed, no? And maybe some “women’s liberation!” has happened.

  17. derrp

    Dear BLG,

    RE: women’s work clothing

    I am so sorry to tell you this, but it’s true. Whatever you wear, you will be judged through the lens that you, a woman, are wearing it. Which means this: you can do no right. You can not possible make any choice that will be viewed as value-neutral (i.e. the correct balance of feminine/nonfeminine). The exact same uniform on a thin body vs a fatter one, larger vs. smaller breasts, age, skin color, etc. will also affect the judgements you will receive, which just highlights how little control you have over the situation. Where little = none.

    So the lesson there, for me, is to refuse to take any blame for how anyone else perceives my clothing/appearance, since it is 100% out of my control. That said, I do want to minimize the chances that anyone will make any comments about my clothing/appearance. So, what I do is, I wear a uniform that I find comfortable that is also as bland/nondescript as possible.

    Specifically, and I’m sure you are all incredibly interested in this level of detail, my current uniform at my (scientific research) job is a long sleeve modal shirt (solid dark colors: blue, black, dark red, various darker shades of purple), a pair of loosely fitted cargo pants (Carhartt makes a good one) or no-iron slacks (Haggar type flat front, black/brown/charcoal grey), and brown/black leather slip on shoes with good tread (Streetcars). I put my hair back (braid, ponytail).

    I wear this uniform day in, day out, with the understanding that I will be judged negatively no matter what, and with the resolve that I will not blame myself for any shit I have to put up with.

  18. phio gistic

    Anyone have references for examples of non-patriarchal cultures? I have a (male, natch) friend who literally does not believe me when I tell him that the current way is not the only way.

  19. Bushfire

    Tinfoil Hattie: No, there are different ways of looking at oppression. 1970s feminists were mostly looking exclusively at women’s oppression, and I’m used to intersectionality being more prominent. I would never write a whole book about women’s oppression without devoting significant mention of class and race oppression. I find a lot of gender essentialism in older books. Greer has some great ideas, but she also talks about “women feel this” and “girls experience this” and I keep wondering “how could she know how every female human feels? They all feel different!” Twisty does focus on women’s oppression but she also makes it clear that other oppressions are at work and she doesn’t use broad generalizations about women.

  20. Rugosa

    Jill – Is that a picture of Karl Rove on your banner? If not, the resemblance is striking.

  21. AlienNumber

    “Twisty does focus on women’s oppression but she also makes it clear that other oppressions are at work and she doesn’t use broad generalizations about women.”

    Really? Funny, we’re reading the same thing and I don’t get this.

    Dworkin’s Intercourse, dated as it is, from 1987!, is the most brilliant book I have ever read. No wonder Twisty put it at the top of the Reading List.

  22. susanw

    Goody. Open thread. May I vent something that has bothered me for years? It’s the Myth of the Horny Male.
    In puberty, young men are subject to new and strong urges. Because their transition from boys to men is within patriarchy, the change is perceived as a step up from the inferior women-and-children class, and sexual arousal is associated with superior manliness and power over women. Once the blast of hormones wears off, men still want to bond together by drooling over “girls” like helpless loons, and complaining about how horny they are. If men were as horny as they pretend to be, why do they need porn and Viagra ? I submit that men don’t oppress women because they are sex-mad. On the contrary, they have to make themselves sexual in order to perform masculinity and maintain their status.
    Fake horniness is a tool (tool) of oppression, not a cause.
    Whew! I’m so glad to get that out of my system.

  23. Bushfire

    AlienNumber, please explain.

    I read part of Intercourse. Obviously, Andrea Dworkin has really great ideas, but the thing I don’t like is she spends a lot of time analyzing relationships between famous dead people. I find myself thinking, who cares about this long dead dude’s life? I really liked Pornography by Dworkin and I also liked a book called Life and Death, which is a collection of her essays and speeches. I prefer reading Twisty, because her essays are short and witty, and she helps me to absorb the very ideas that Dworkin presented, but in a more digestable format. I would have never read Dworkin without reading Twisty first.

  24. roseh

    @laxsoppa Yep, I think the situations crossed the line from dehydration and was actual heat injury. If one feels disoriented, dizzy, sick, having trouble talking, you are experiencing heat injury and you need to cool down stat. I have never been in a foundry or smithy but I can only imagine that the heat would be similar to firefighting. I was a FF/EMT (volunteer) for 3 years, and not only does wearing PPE feel like a human oven mitt, it weighs 60 pounds, which adds to one’s fatigue, heating up, and water loss. The feeling of slowly baking to death is pretty awful so I like to think that my brain tries to spare me by becoming incredibly dopey.

  25. Stella

    I get so tired of explaining to libertarian and fun feminists than feminism is not simply “the freedom to choose.” Especially when same women call me names and eye-roll at my calm, polite, and rational explanations, which they then go on to term “ear-bashings from a radical who thinks they know what’s best for everyone else.”

    Thanks for listening. People get me down, mang.

  26. minervaK

    Dang, I was loving the old header. The new one’s pretty cool, too, but I love seeing that broad and kid screaming. It makes me laugh every time.

  27. Bushfire

    Dang, I’m in moderation! Maybe it’s because I can’t shut my pie hole!

  28. Metal Teapot

    I got really annoyed with a BBC news article on new ways of boarding planes. The idea would be you’d board window seats first, then middle, then the centre row. No worries about little kids, they’d be boarded first with parent (erm probably the mum realistically, but gender neutral language is used to hide the fact women do more parenting work). A not particularly intersting story, but for the dude commentators. Ah they whined, how would my wife cope. She needs me, I wouldn’t abandon her for those whole 10 minutes. Maybe, if she copes without him, she’ll realise she doesn’t need him, can’t have that. Maybe, I’m just emotionally stilted but being separated from my travelling companion for 10 minutes in a safe and controlled environment wouldn’t bug me. These comments about how women are too weak to cope on their own do.

  29. KarenX

    I’m going in blind with this blockquote attempt. Forgive me if I end up revealing my codes unintentionally.

    No worries about little kids, they’d be boarded first with parent (erm probably the mum realistically, but gender neutral language is used to hide the fact women do more parenting work).

    It never occurred to me that using gender neutral language was to hide the fact that women did most of the parenting. I always appreciate it because it seems that the more often we make parenting seem gender neutral the easier it will be for it to become so. I use Stay at Home Parent regardless of if I’m referring to a mom or a dad. If people assume I mean mother anyway–and mostly I do–I don’t care. It also is a way for me to avoid the fussing over dads who parent as special generous creatures who need extra attention beyond the fact that they are navigating for two (or more) through a grocery store or, in this case, airport.

  30. Lidon

    Anyone heard about those JC Penney t-shirts that got yanked after parents complained? “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.”

  31. Kristine

    In case anyone forgot, Phledge has asked: “When did the Patriarchy start? Surely it was prehistoric, but what factors do other blamers blame for the birth of the P?

    My money’s on the demise of situational leadership. Prolly right around the time we stopped being hunter/gatherers. Thoughts?”

    Phledge, I believe the Patriarchy started with the concept of ownership. It probably really took off when we started bartering, and the money system solidified it. The logic being, that if you could own land, animals, and other things, why not people? And of course, that led to the buying and selling of women, who were (of course) vulnerable to exploitation because they had the kids to care for. You know, just like today.

    I got this idea from an adorable movie called “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” It’s about a little tribe of bushmen who have no concept of ownership, no suffering, and no cruelty in their life until an empty coke bottle is dropped into their world from a plane. Naturally, it does suffer from Patriarchy compliance in many ways. But it’s funny, it makes some lighthearted social commentary about the modern world, and I highly recommend it to anyone with a taste for slapstick.

    Who else has thoughts on this topic?

  32. Darragh Murphy

    Speaking of “math is hard!” Barbie dolls, I read this today in Wired — a study of 2 Indian villages, one patrilineal the other matrilineal. The gender gap in math does not exist in the matrilineal community.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/women-math-science-culture/

  33. Darragh Murphy

    Don’t read the comments of course. Unless you’re fueled up on margs and raring for a battle.

  34. Bushfire

    @Kristine

    One of the books in Twisty’s reading list is The Dialectic of Sex. I’ve only got through a chapter and a half so far, but Firestone presents a hypothesis on the origins of sex oppression. To paraphrase, the original divisions between the sexes were a result of the biological differences (reproduction). Just as the proletariat was enslaved by the aristocracy/bourgeoisie, the woman was enslaved by the man. Women could not control their fertility; because they were constantly pregnant and caring for babies, they were dependent on men to feed them. Also, many patriarchy religions encouraged men to keep women as slaves. I’m sure there are more theories, but that will get you started.

    Also, read this Wiki article on The Gods Must Be Crazy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gods_must_be_crazy Especially the section marked “Themes” because it explains how the African actors were not presented the way they really are.

  35. SmartAleq

    Here, this article has had me laughing like a loon for a couple days now. It’s just so over the top–YOU WON’T DO WHAT I WANT SO I’LL SHOW YOU!!1! Then his head comes off. Beautiful. They should all show us what’s what in this manner…

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44335122/ns/us_news-life/#.Tl3h56jK3LI

    The fiery trailer just makes it even better.

  36. stacey

    Oh goody! Open thread. So many topics to choose from! Prepare yourselves for anecdotes.

    re. non-patriarchal clothes: I agree with derrp. Whatever a woman wears is subject to the capricious opinions of whatever male happens to be around; I’ve determined my own “uniform” over the years based on comfort, cost, availability, and my skill (in altering or re-fashioning). Some sort of t-shirt that isn’t too close-fitting and doesn’t show cleavage; some sort of trouser (usually jeans) that fit well, but not tightly; skirts made of the jeans that have since given up the inner thighs, hemmed right at the bottom of the knee; casual sneakers. I’m a mom and an artist and don’t have to work in any office environments; I’d say I’ve been wearing pretty much the same thing for the past 10 years.

    re. intentional communities: I had to look that up, as I was unfamiliar with the term, but I am well acquainted with the practice. Living on the west coast, I’ve met many women who have tried to live in an eco-commune or similar, and they’ve all left because 1) the ideological battles were many and exhausting, and 2) the men were too busy philosophizing about their community, and the women ended up doing all the work. My mother-in-law, a venerable woman approaching eighty, never approved of hippies because they spent a summer on one of the Gulf Islands in the late sixties where there happened to be a hippie commune, and she thought the women looked totally downtrodden. She blamed the P!

  37. stacey

    Oh! I forgot to honk on and on about matrilineal societies.

    (Disclaimer: I have no sources or citations for this information. It has been gathered or absorbed over the past twenty years of living in the PNW, learning about its art and history. I am not an expert. BUT THEN NEITHER IS ANYONE ON WIKIPEDIA.)

    I don’t know of any matriarchies operating today, but as recently as 100 years ago… hmm, maybe 150 years… the Coast Salish tribes of the Pacific Northwest operated on matrilineal principles. Upon marriage, the groom went to live with the bride’s tribe; their children belonged to the maternal tribe, etc, etc. (Marriages occurred between tribes to eliminate the possibility of inbreeding.) One of the reasons for this, which I’m sure has been discussed on this blog in the past, was that regardless of insemination, you’d always know who your mother was. Allegedly, the women of a tribe were free to have sex with other women’s husbands, as long as they were from other tribes. It didn’t matter, because any resulting children would belong to the tribe their mother lived in.

    (I think that one of the real reasons of the P’s beginning was that men really really wanted to know who their children were. They could only do that by enslaving their women and preventing access to them. Fuckers.)

    Please note that men and women usually operated as equal partners in a tribe; the male partner was responsible for the material well-being of a family, and a female was responsible for the spiritual and physical well-being of a family. Neither was considered more important than the other; in that aspect, the purple prose about aboriginals living in peace and harmony with nature and each other was accurate.

    However.

    The Salish matrilineal societies practiced rigid hierarchies and class distinctions. The classes ranged from chieftains to indentured slaves. Once you left a tribe, you couldn’t go back (oh how the men suffered under matriarchy!); one’s class was hereditary; one couldn’t marry outside of one’s class; penalties for transgressing your class or role in the society incurred harsh punishments, exile, or death. So it pains me to say that despite the “woman positive” aspects of (Salish) matrilineal tribes, it wasn’t the rainbow and unicorn utopia that I really wish woman-based societies to demonstrate.

  38. Schnee

    BLG – wear scrubs. Wear scrubs all the time. Unless you are a medical worker, it will seem so odd that for 3.2 minutes each day, no-one will know what to say.

  39. Kristine

    Well, damn. I should have instantly recognized the racism in the film. Just another way the movie is P-compliant. Oh, well. Thanks for the reading recommendation, Bushfire!

  40. Cybelene

    @Kristine & Phledge, there is a book called “The Alphabet and the Goddess,” whose author I have forgotten, but it’s premise is that literacy creates actual changes in the brain. The author posits that the pre-literate brain functions in a more associative pattern (forgive me if I paraphrase wildly here, it’s been years since I read it) but as the society bcomes literate, thinking becomes more linear. She also correlates the rise in literacy with extreme misogny – such as the numerous “witch” burnings in Germany as literacy gained a foothold.

    I’ve no idea how accurate her research is, but it’s an interesting concept. It dovetails nicely with the fact that the religions based in written texts are most mysognist.

    As to when the Patriarchy started, I’m going to agree that it was germinated in the concept of “property.” And I’ll wager that when there were powerful female dieties, there were societies that were led by women, either as actual rulers or in the guise of priestess.

  41. Phledge

    Thanks for the reading recommendations, y’all. While I’m unemployed I’ll get right on ‘em!

  42. juju

    Oh dear, I really shouldn’t have read the comments on the Gender Gap link …

    First time commenting, but I just wanted to say that I love coming to this blog and reading the posts & comments.

    It makes me feel so thankful that there are other women out there who generally feel the same as me.

  43. juju

    (and thanks especially to Jill.)

  44. phio gistic

    Regarding “what to wear,” I read this crap in Forbes last week:

    “Dressing too sexy can also have psychological effects on your peers, according to Peter Glick, a professor of psychology at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. A study by Glick that was published in Psychology of Women Quarterly indicates that women in high-level positions who dress in what is seen as sexy attire are viewed as less competent–regardless of their skill sets. These women are passed over for promotions more often than their more modestly dresses [sic] female colleagues.”

    But our porn culture has absolutely no effect on how men think about, respond to, and respect women, right? That’s what they say, anyhow.

  45. ivyleaves

    I love how “Dressing too sexy” is defined so clearly as “what is seen as sexy attire.” It’s all so scientific! Also it seems any amount of sexy is too sexy.

  46. speedbudget

    I read an interesting article recently that I forwarded to Jill that found a correlation between more patriarchy and societies that used the plow versus less patriarchy in societies that focused more on gathering or planting without the plow.

    I blame the plow.

  47. Comrade Svilova

    I get so tired of explaining to libertarian and fun feminists than feminism is not simply “the freedom to choose.”

    Exactly. Because “freedom to choose” really means “freedom to pretend that P compliance is what a woman truly desires.”

    Most funfeminists I know don’t support my “freedom to choose” to not shave my legs.

    On clothes, I used to try to go for a plain “uniform” look, but after reading Judith Butler I decided to deliberately change up what I’m wearing on a day to day basis. It feels like I literally see my coworkers’ eyes fall out of their heads — a fancy dress, a button-down and tie, jeans and a t-shirt, slacks with a blouse, another dress, a men’s suit, a woman’s suit, etc. (I am lucky to work in an environment where I can wear whatever I want as far as stated company policy is concerned.) Anyway, not to say that others should do the same, but I love playing up the performative aspect of gender and dress. And I love that my students (ages 7 to 18) get to see an adult whose fashion sense includes masculine and feminine fashions interchangeably.

    But the legs are always hairy. I have no interest in changing that up day to day!

  48. Catherine

    Re: clothing. Sometimes I find it useful at work to ask myself WWMD – what would a man do? All the men wear no-iron button-down shirts and chinos – the same thing, every day. So I’ve started doing it too, and it is much easier and less expensive than buying a bunch of high-maintenance girly outfits.

  49. laxsoppa

    roseh—”Yep, I think the situations crossed the line from dehydration and was actual heat injury. If one feels disoriented, dizzy, sick, having trouble talking, you are experiencing heat injury and you need to cool down stat.”

    Wow. On the occasions I had my attacks, I had to go home early and pretty much just lie down with the curtains drawn, and I would throw up pretty much anything I tried to drink or eat, including water. Fortunately I had my windows to the north, so I didn’t get any direct sunlight in, and the indoor temperature was a heavenly 24°C to the outdoor 34°C.

    I learned the importance of getting enough sodium then, and was subsequently outraged by how many brands are trying to make their mineral waters marketable as “healthy”—by removing any sources of sodium.

    “I have never been in a foundry or smithy but I can only imagine that the heat would be similar to firefighting.”

    Ow, the working conditions sound inhuman. Fortunately it was a small shop where we didn’t do any foundry work, and mainly used torches for simple and brief annealing and soldering jobs, and did smelting only very occasionally. It would have been intolerable if we had been working with casting and stuff.

    The kicker? My male boss occasionally tried policing my working outfits aside of safety, insisting that I cover more of myself. Fucking hell! I was wearing safe shoes and a long leather apron for full frontal coverage that were baking me alive, and couldn’t see what the bloody issue was in FUCKING 34°C.

  50. Stella

    On MetalTeapot and KarenX’s discussion of gender-neutral language around parenting, I agree with KarenX. Always referring to “the mother” just reinforces the idea that parenting is the mother’s job and not the father’s – or more the mother’s job than the father’s – both of which are wrong.

    In a similar vein, I refer to my cohabiting, male partner as “my partner.” We are both misogamists and generally radical. It’s amusing and instructive how quick some people get their panties in a wad at being forced to consider my partner just that, a partner, without being able to label me as straight or gay, married or unmarried (though I think it tends to imply the latter), male or female, etc.

    I commented about this once on Facebook, saying that I call my partner “my partner” precisely to interrupt and undermine heteronormativity and gender-based dominance/submission model (and because, for those reasons, I loathe the terms “husband” and “wife”), and one of my acquaintances responded, “But it’s so frustrating, because no one knows whether you’re gay or straight!”

    To which I responded, “Why should it matter?”

  51. laxsoppa

    Cybelene—”She also correlates the rise in literacy with extreme misogny – such as the numerous “witch” burnings in Germany as literacy gained a foothold.”

    This is interesting. I read a doctoral thesis or more likely a summary thereof on the motivations for the European witch-hunts a few years back, and the author(s) brought up the forceful eradication of women’s knowledge of contraception and abortion methods as a very important factor. I will look for the title and the author later today but as I recall, it was only published in Finnish.

  52. TwissB

    @susan w – “the Myth of the Horny Male” Thanks for wording my thoughts so well.

  53. Former Blamer

    Not really feeling the new page layout. The fancy purple text doesn’t seem ironic enough.

  54. amrit

    Sorry, Twisty, about the unrelenting heat there. It’s been brutal here, too, in Southern Arizona. Today it will be a balmy 104 degrees, humid, and with thunderstorms. Then it will “brighten up” on Saturday to 105 degrees and supposedly stay there all week. Happy times, here, with most of my colleagues losing it on a daily basis and the rest of us attempting to practice civility and failing. There is only about six weeks of this left and then it will return to the broiling 90′s until well into the fall. I don’t hate the heat anymore. I just don’t go outside until nightfall, except for work and grocery shopping. Outside in the desert in summer is over-rated.

    About clothes. I have a uniform, but it swings between wearing all men’s clothing, including a binder and men’s shoes to work, and wearing some version of female lawyer drag, usually a severe tailored suit, with a straight skirt. I think on a good day I look like a passable grown-up and on a bad day I look like that bird-watching spinster, Jane Hathaway, from the ‘Beverly HIllbillies’, so either way, I win.

    I’ve worn the same clothes, literally some of them are that old, since college. Ninety-percent men’s clothes and the rest some campy version of female wear, which for me, feels like I’m in a costume. I just buy things I already have when the old ones fall apart. I gave up trying to find some happy compromise between “female ” attire and “menswear.”

    It’s all drag, as far as I’m concerned.

    Please stay as cool as you can and watch your sodium intake. It’s sick-making out there.

  55. Ottawa Gardener

    @Horny Male Myth: Intriguing. My lived experiences of dealing with men often varied in important ways than how my gal friends would complain about them: they’re emotionless, horn dogs. Before transitioning to feminism proper, I used to defend men by saying that this wasn’t so. They were not incompentant but brilliant children that had no choice but to follow their throbbing manhood in callous pursuits. There was another man out there.

    Now, I don’t spend much time defending men as I’ve finally gotten over my P-induced suspicion of women. In fact, I would say, it is not until this minute that I have connected my tendency to ‘not understand’ women (I figured it was being raised primarily by my father and with my brother then entering a science degree) to wanting to escape the tripping skirts of enforced femaleness.

  56. Ottawa Gardener

    @speedbudget: Speaking for the symbiotic organism that we call good earth, plows are bad.

    @Schnee: Scrubs. Love it.

  57. amrit

    Ottawa Gardener: “In fact, I would say, it is not until this minute that I have connected my tendency to ‘not understand’ women (I figured it was being raised primarily by my father and with my brother then entering a science degree) to wanting to escape the tripping skirts of enforced femaleness.”

    Nicely put, OG. These sudden blasts of awareness still surprise me, too. I’m grateful for them. My relations with women were tainted. not only by the P., but by my mother, who for her own reasons, (P. induced and otherwise) threw me to the wolves. I just never thought I could trust women and I focused my energy on friendships, not love relationships, with men. I thought I had a “male” brain. Ha. I thought I should have been a boy, etc. I would have done anything not to be “like” other women. Over time I was able to take that apart, and now, while I am not overjoyed to be a woman, for lots of reasons, the P. being the largest among them, I have no desire to be a man or to distance myself so harshly from women.

  58. Jill

    Not really feeling the new page layout.

    Bite me.

  59. stacey

    speedbudget says:

    I blame the plow.

    So do I . “Tilling” the earth, my ass.

  60. Former Blamer

    Sorry, I didn’t realize “open thread” means “no honest feedback, I only want your flattery.”

  61. amrit

    Jill: ” ‘Not really feeling the new page layout.’ ”
    “Bite me.”

    Glad to see you are still extant. It’s revolting here already and it’s only 8 am. The dog is panting under the air vent. Too hot to do much but rant, and even that lacks luster. Best to you there in Texas.

  62. BLG

    Thanks for the feedback on the clothing question, blamers. I feel like a lot of comments are echoing derrp, in that we are discussing clothing that is comfortable and somewhat safe (although as derrp points out, you can’t win). I feel like the broader answer has therefore been that every clothing choice is influenced by the patriarchy (no surprise there, I suppose). I still wonder what it would look like if our clothing was not influenced in that way.

    susanw, I think your myth sounds very realistic.

  63. Fictional Queen

    But why were the females pregnant all the time?And therefore vulnerable? Makes me think the freedom to say no to sex never existed! Or were they just really horny?

  64. yttik

    The new header, is that horse poo with a flower next to it? Bad eyes today, but if that’s what I’m seeing, pretty cool. The juxtaposition of the poo and the flower, the hint of a lavender menace, what more could you ask for? I’d wear that image on a tee-shirt.

    I’ve shoveled so much poo, I can declare myself a connoisseur. Horse poo is one of the least offensive, second perhaps to rabbits. Rabbit poo is really remarkable stuff, easy to handle, good for the garden. Now chicken shit, uhg, that really should be the term we use to insult people with. Nasty stuff.

  65. Fictional Queen

    I don’t like the often sexist language of The Female Eunuch,a person is always “man” and “he”.Child is always “he”.Altogether I like some of the ideas and criticisms,and I’m so glad times have changed a little bit.

  66. Barbara P

    Considering the notion of “Christian men against porn”:

    It’s not clear what all or even most “Christian men against porn” actually want. But it’s reasonable to assume that at least a few of them do see their role as helping or protecting women. Surely the ones with signs saying “porn hurts women and children” outside of the “adult” shop would be of this type? The motives can be mixed, but I can imagine a man feeling real, human-affirming love for the women and girls close to him, and then extending that to other women and girls.

    Even within patriarchal structures and mores, human decency does play some role. In fact, this can keep the structure more firmly in place. That men are NOT pure evil (and women are NOT essentially kind and loving) means that the delusion of men’s greater value can continue unquestioned.

    Ghandi, The Dalai Lama, Jesus, Martin Luther King Jr., the trope-y do-gooder priest, etc. often DO have something of value to say, and often DO seem to care. Not that they always “get it” completely (big understatement for some of these guys).

    It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that if men aren’t really sociopaths then maybe patriarchy isn’t really to blame. Sometimes I finish reading this blog and I go out and I see a man who is truly loving and supportive of his female partner (not even really a liberaldude, just your average Joe) and I think “guys aren’t really as bad as they say on that blog”. And most really AREN’T so bad, any more than white people are bad or rich people are bad, etc. “Men are bad” cannot be the motivator to fight patriarchy, because it’s not really true, and the drive will fizzle at first sight of dear Nigel.

    It’s privilege, that’s all. Privilege screws up those who exercise it and those upon whom it is exercised. My deepest desire is NOT for privileged people to suffer, but for them to really understand and appreciate suffering so as not to perpetuate it. I want that for the men in my life, and I want that for myself in the ways that I am privileged.

    I realize this comment shifted topic rather dramatically in its course. Well, there it is.

  67. Bushfire

    But why were the females pregnant all the time?And therefore vulnerable? Makes me think the freedom to say no to sex never existed! Or were they just really horny?

    Perhaps there was a time before people realized that sex caused pregnancy. Perhaps they needed lots of children to help gather food. Perhaps there was no freedom to say no to sex.

    My money’s on the “no freedom to say no” theory.

  68. quixote

    Do you know that this is the only place I’ve ever seen on the web with a poo banner? And such aesthetic poo. The only problem with it is, as an earlier commenter pointed out, that horse poo is one of the best. So it obviously doesn’t stand for the patriarchy. But then, what? Now I will lie awake all night, thinking furiously.

  69. laxsoppa

    Fictional Queen—”I don’t like the often sexist language of The Female Eunuch,a person is always “man” and “he”.Child is always “he”.”

    Far as I know, that’s the sexism of the academic/scientific society. Male is neutral; female is aberrant. It’s the same sexism that got our species named Homo sapiens sapiens, not Femina sapiens sapiens, or something else entirely. And when I pointed this out to an otherwise smart, liberal university-oing dude friend of mine a few years ago, he was unable to see any problem with it. He has learned better, though.

    Anyway, the thought process behind this tradition goes that women are not members of the species, just some sort of messy but necessary addenda thought up by a supposedly intelligent designer to facilitate breeding and house-keeping.

  70. laxsoppa

    quixote—Sheep and reindeer poo are even better, a lot like rabbit. You just see a pile of little dark buttons lying there and it doesn’t really smell unless the animal has metabolic problems or is seriously ill.

  71. laxsoppa

    And now that I got to language and neutrality, I got thinking…

    Metal Teapot:

    No worries about little kids, they’d be boarded first with parent (erm probably the mum realistically, but gender neutral language is used to hide the fact women do more parenting work).

    Karen X:

    It never occurred to me that using gender neutral language was to hide the fact that women did most of the parenting. I always appreciate it because it seems that the more often we make parenting seem gender neutral the easier it will be for it to become so.

    Personally I’ve no idea which of these possibilities is true more often, but wouldn’t it be fascinating to compare the situations and contexts in which sex/gender-neutral language is used to where non-neutral language is used? (Not all languages assign sexes to nouns or use different personal pronouns for different sexes, of course, but that’s not the point.)

  72. tinfoil hattie

    Thank you, Jill. I hope you get relief from the heat and drought soon.

  73. Linda

    About gender-neutral parenting terms; they have been totally appropriated by police, lawyers, journalists and most importantly, family courts. This has serious implications for women trying to escape domestic violence because it disguises men’s violence and reframes it as “parental conflict” which is creating the idea that it goes both ways. very convenient for men. It also has a devastating impact on children as violent men are awarded residency or regular contact with their child victims and therefore also with former partners. Gender neutrality in the language of the family court undermines women by ignoring that the child/ren’s primary attachment was with her, as is mostly the case whether it should be or not. It ignores all her hard work and credits a lot of it to men. Mostly, it allows violent men to use the “parental contact” process to continue to perpetrate psychological and emotional violence against women. This is why MRAs have grabbed the gender-neutral parenting language with both hands. There’s the clue. It benefits men by erasing both women’s work, and male violence.

  74. quixote

    Hm … reindeer poo …. But very hard to get in most places. So even more unlike the patriarchy. The symbolism of it all is killing me. Now sheep …. There, you may be on to something.

    (I know ellipses are a banning offence, but I needed them, dammit!)

  75. Kristine

    “But why were the females pregnant all the time?And therefore vulnerable? Makes me think the freedom to say no to sex never existed! Or were they just really horny?”

    I like to believe that there was a time when women had the freedom to say no or yes whenever they pleased. Then men discovered that not only could they cause pregnancy, but they could also control women by commandeering their children, and used this newly discovered opportunity to gain control of women’s bodies and lives. That was when men first began using sex as a weapon against women as a class.

    Though in reality, it’s probably just wishful thinking on my part. But it gives me hope that patriarchy-free sex is possible and within reach, dammit. The revolution is coming! Any day now. Today would be nice.

  76. Kristine

    Oh, I forgot. During this magical time of freedom before the patriarchy, sex did not automatically mean penis-in-vagina. So sexual congress was not directly related to pregnancy. The definition of sex was changed to mean PIV when men began controlling women.

  77. Sarah C

    phio gistic:

    Regarding “what to wear,” I read this crap in Forbes last week:

    “Dressing too sexy can also have psychological effects on your peers, according to Peter Glick, a professor of psychology at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. A study by Glick that was published in Psychology of Women Quarterly indicates that women in high-level positions who dress in what is seen as sexy attire are viewed as less competent–regardless of their skill sets. These women are passed over for promotions more often than their more modestly dresses [sic] female colleagues.”

    Which is in total contradiction to Catherine Hakim’s ‘erotic capital’ idea which is doing the rounds in the UK at the moment.

    She’s taken a grain of truth (pretty people get treated better), mixed it in with her own anti-feminism (she’s pro-prostitution) and is now trying to sell a book called ‘Honey Money’. Interesting to note that she’s from the LSE, which also gave us that sexist-and-racist bloke (can’t currently recall his name) who wrote pop-psychology articles about how innately unattractive black women were.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/aug/19/catherine-hakim-interview

  78. GMM

    On the Horny Male Myth: If men were so sex-obsessed why vilify women who are sexually active (slut, whore, bimbo, tramp, hussy, etc.)? Wouldn’t they throw parades for sexually active women and put them on pedestals??
    I think control of women is much, much more important than having a lot of sex. Because if women didn’t get a ‘reputation’ or threatened with violence for being sexually active, men would be getting laid so much more often.

  79. Cade

    @Kristine

    Then men discovered that not only could they cause pregnancy, but they could also control women by commandeering their children, and used this newly discovered opportunity to gain control of women’s bodies and lives. That was when men first began using sex as a weapon against women as a class.

    You may be on to something here. As an Androgen Insensivite (XY, therefore infertile) female, I definitely saw more than one light go out in a man’s eyes when he found out I would not be able to deliver on the baby front. It always surprised me, because I was totally up for adopting. But “whose egg would fertilize my seed” seemed to be the big question that would come up. That and the desire to reproduce themselves in some way. It also could be that they understood that in me not being able to get pregnant, they would never be able to really ‘control’ me.

    End note: it was hard not to get bitter as I watched all my girlfriends marry, have kids, and sail off. Now, in my fifties, still single and childless, (and with a pretty healthy sex life) sometimes I feel like I dodged a bullet.

  80. tessa

    I also think that the patriarchy started alongside the growing concept of ownership, as well as when we first started using the plow, ie. agriculture.

    I think it became the norm to give the child the man’s last name for two reasons. 1) Man wanted to put his stamp/claim on the child, reassuring himself, and others, that the child was, in fact, his (an idea that has already been mentioned above).

    The fear, anger and humiliation that must have eventually come over men when they realized the women had the upper-hand on that situation!

    2) ensuring that his possessions/land (that he now OWNED) were passed down to the correct heir – his child/son.

    also – i think that there was a time when humans did not know that sex=babies. i know i’ve read this a few times before.

  81. AlienNumber

    Barbara P, thank you for that bit of hallucinatory mansplaining. It was perfectly nauseating.

    It inspired me to write this (anti-)anecdote I have about men:
    I’ve never met a man I liked.

    [Can that go on my grave?]

    Shulamith Firestone and The Dialectic of Sex are the reasons I found this blog.
    I love Jill and yttik so much.
    Shulamith Firestone’s second and final book (which I could never get my hands on, but maybe it’s for the better) is called Airless Spaces; the title gives me goosebumps.

  82. AlienNumber

    How did other women find this blog?

  83. Kristine

    I linked to it from another another feminist blog, the name of which I can’t remember. I am a graduate of feministing.com, but ever since I found IBTP, I’ve been bored and disappointed by feministing. Funfeminism just isn’t good enough anymore.

    Seriously, Twisty has changed my life forever.

  84. Bushfire

    @AlienNumber: I did read your comment:

    “Twisty does focus on women’s oppression but she also makes it clear that other oppressions are at work and she doesn’t use broad generalizations about women.”

    Really? Funny, we’re reading the same thing and I don’t get this.

    Upthread I asked you to explain what you meant, but I don’t think you saw it because it was in moderation for a while.

    Also, I found this blog by linking to it from other feminist blogs. I can’t remember how I found the first one. I used to read a blog from the UK and she linked here. I’ve been reading Feministe for ever, too, and I don’t remember how I found that either. Lately, though, Feministe has become highly unsatisfying. Indeed, Twisty has “changed my life forever”, too.

  85. Jill

    Sorry, I didn’t realize “open thread” means “no honest feedback, I only want your flattery.”

    Apology accepted.

  86. Rachel

    So I’m not an expert on this, but in a human evolution class i took in undergrad, I’m certain my professor professed that prehistoric women were likely not pregnant and caring for babies at all times until after the advent of agriculture.

    Additionally, there is little actual evidence that men brought back food for the barefoot-and-pregant cave women. I think it is more valid to assume that the bulk of sustenance in a hunter-gatherer lifestyle comes from the gathering, rather than the hunting (more abundant, easier to harvest resources). And there is no reason to believe that males gathered more than females (although there is apparently some evidence to back up the idea that males hunted more than females).

    Actually this whole discussion came up in class. Because the other (male, of course) students always interpreted every single array of artifacts we studied as evidence that the males were taking care of the females. And I was rather unhappy with these explanations (and the professor backed me up).

    So I guess my point here is that modern humans came around about 200k years ago and agriculture came around like 10k years ago (if I’m remembering my numbers correctly). So in my mind, people have lived in patriarchal societies for about 10k years, which is only about 5% of the species time on earth.

  87. Kea

    Re the origins of patriarchy discussion, one can look further afield than America. See for instance this article on Australian aboriginal culture. FYI, the aboriginals have been in Australia for 40 to 50 thousand years.

  88. Kea

    Thus as a general concept, property does not begin with the agricultural notion of property, since older cultures have other concepts of property. One of my pet theories (and I really know nothing about this) regarding the origins of patriarchy in the Sumer etc region around 10000 years ago, is that it comes down to the end of the ice age. The human population in that region was not that large at the time, according to DNA analyses. Women may have felt a duty to breed, and were given the exciting new comforts of civilisation in which to do so. Only then did the ‘women are always pregnant’ situation set in.

  89. tinfoil hattie

    Funny. I found IBTP through Pandagon, believe it or not. I found Pandagon through Eschaton, and I found Eschaton through my brother.

    I love this blog and echidne of the snakes. Also Reclusive Leftist. I eschew other blogs. (Is that the proper use of “eschew”?)

  90. Someone Else

    Hmm, Tinfoil Hattie and I share a similar path. I found this blog via Hecate, whom I found via Eschaton. I’d been reading Pandagon for awhile, I think from Some Guy With A Website (which at the time was called Xypher and Overboard, close to that, anyway). I’ve been reading Echinde forever.

    *shuffles off to discover Reclusive Leftist

  91. allhellsloose

    Have been reading ‘Intercourse’ by Andrea Dworkin and just finished reading ‘The Verbally Abusive Relationship’ by Patricia Evans. I loved the chapter in ‘Intercourse’ “Occupation/Collaboration”
    ‘We become female: occupied; collaborators against each other, especially against those among us who resist male domination – the lone, crazy resisters, the organized resistance. The pleasure of submission does not and cannot change the fact, the cost, the indignity, of inferiority.’

    In the chapter Dworkin uses the term ‘Power Over’ and this term is also used in Evans’ book, to great effect in that Evans constructs two worlds Reality I and Reality II. In Reality I, the world inhabited by the abuser, ‘Power Over’ is the main attribute and one that is the main Patriarchial. Power Over is ‘control and dominance’ and used as a model ‘of how the world is believed to work’.

    I love it when two books, seemingly not connected, present a link and a common thread.

  92. laxsoppa

    AlienNumber—”How did other women find this blog?”

    During a random Internet prowl I happened upon a blog of some (urban Native American? I seem to remember nativeness had something to do with it) girl where she quoted a passage of the Only sub-human post, which rang so many bells that I finally woke the fuck up.

    In my area it has been said that our native ways before the introduction of Christianity were significantly non-patriarchal, men and women sharing responsibilities and power on most fronts of life, and the practice of naming the child after the better known parent is still alive. (There were and are quite a few ladies with more recognition than their husbands around here, though sadly they are not a majority.) I cannot say if the societies of that time were non-patriarchal as such, though.

    I think I will blame organised religion for giving us patriarchy.

  93. speedbudget

    tinfoil hattie, yes, that is the correct use of “eschew.”

    I can’t remember how I found this blog, but I do remember stumbling upon it at my mind-crushingly boring editing job and hooting mightily in my cubicle as I read the backlog.

    Rachel, you might be interested in reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It’s an interesting read for lots of reasons, but he gets into a long discussion where he and some other anthropologists posit that the bad old, original way of hunting large game with our clumsy early-made spears and clubs was by literally running a specific herd member to death. It could take days to do this. It also required INTENSE group work, what with the tracking the specific animal through spoor and also the fact that you could only have a lead running group for so long before they get too exhausted and have to fall back to a jog while another group takes the lead.

    And when you are dealing with nomadic groups doing long hunts like this, guess what? Everyone is involved. Even the women. In fact, he found through his research that all the top ULTRA marathoners are women. Women seem to be more specifically made for this long-distance nonstop running.

    Personally, I can’t imagine any subsistence group just basically having half their population sitting around. That whole meme is just asinine.

    As for the women being pregnant all the time in our prehistoric past, it does not compute. The more physically active women are with less protein and other intake, the less often women have their periods. Living in a subsistence culture and being very physically active throughout the day just doing basic survival shit, I imagine most women in prehistory did not have their period every month, and so natural birth control. Add that to breast feeding for most of the first four years of a baby’s life, and you have a recipe for nicely spaced children and a not-overwhelmed mother.

    Bleah. Sorry for vomiting all over this thread.

  94. Ottawa Gardener

    My root to IBTP probably came from some other vaguely feminist blog on some women’s issue that I cannot now recall.

    @Speedbudget: I’ve also heard they would burn down grassland/forest to flush out game and drive them off cliffs or into other natural death traps.

    I agree with what others said about the liklihood that women just had less babies back then. If you breastfeed until your baby loses his/her milk teeth, and have a marginal diet (the body is perfectly willing to get you knocked up otherwise), you end up with a good gap of 4-6 years.

  95. yttik

    Women actually have the ability to be in tune with their fertility cycles and to avoid pregnancy when they want. Women are only fertile for a few days a month. If you take away the rape culture, the pressure to have PIV, and women know how to listen to their bodies, avoiding pregnancy naturally would be fairly easy. Doesn’t work so well in modern culture because women don’t have much bodily autonomy. Men also have the ability to have PIV without producing..material that fertilizes.

    This whole concept of “accidental” pregnancy is really patriarchal. In the absence of patriarchy, pregnancy actually has to be a well timed, deliberate act.

  96. copykatparis

    About “The Alphabet versus the Goddess”, author is Leonard Shlain who is also, I think, a neuroscientist?…

  97. copykatparis

    Oh crap, I didn’t mean to put in those ellipses! Eeeeek! They made me do it!

  98. tinfoil hattie

    Don’t rely on breastfeeding as birth control. If you wait as little as 4 hours between feedings (quite possible when a child is older), your body can start the ovulation process.

  99. speedbudget

    I understand that breastfeeding as birth control is not reliable today. But you have to remember the marginal diet and high activity level.

  100. KarenX

    Years ago now–two and a half, in fact–I stumbled across a short academic book called On the Origins of Gender Inequality by Joan Huber. (I am not an academic; I had requested it from the library; it is very expensive for its length.) I’d written a review of it for my personal blog (nothing more really than a personal blog) where I summarized it a little (as a lay reader), but the gist of it was this:

    1. Breastfeeding as birth control mostly works only when the babies nurse every ten or fifteen minutes, and it limits what you can do if you are holding a baby all the time.

    2. Domesticating animals and growing crops made it more possible for people other than the mother to feed a baby (regardless of whether animal milk or grain-based “pap” was good for the baby). That freed up women to labor to some extent, but it also disrupted the contraceptive benefits of regular nursing, so women were pregnant more often. As technology advanced and larger machines and heavier animals were required to do the important work (women could still weed and schlep stuff, but a mother with small children can’t drive oxen carrying a plow), it became easier and easier for men to take control of the important resources and then writing made it easier for them to codify ideas that justified their authority. This all changed basically in the 20th Century, with the advent of public health projects, germ theory, and the development of safer baby formula that meant a baby could have access to clean bottles and nutritional substitutes to breast milk (combined with reliable contraception) that meant mothers could free themselves from the tasks of feeding babies without consigning them to early deaths. (Yes, I copied that paragraph directly from what I wrote before.)

    It was a very interesting book. At the time I took away from it a sense of the author’s optimism about the future, but I’ve become crabbier now and don’t know if I would feel the same way today. I haven’t read it since.

  101. Phledge

    Nigel and I were discussing the advent of the P, and he proposed, based on his background in anthropology, that it started in agriculture. Coupla reasons: need to breed to make enough people to manage the land; situational leadership declines and hierarchies emerged with numerous societies upon the switch from hunter/gatherer to agricultural; and the idea of ownership makes little to no sense in the nomadic group. Also? Without consistent food production, reproduction is both biologically and societally controlled. If the group gets too big, no guarantees on being able to feed it within the feasible range of a walking band of humans. And then what speedbudget said about the activity and intake levels.

    I came to IBTP via Comrade Physioproffe, and haven’t been disappointed yet. Life-changing, indeed.

  102. Mary

    I actually found this blog through StumbleUpon with the feminist setting. I forget what article it was that I first read, but it was probably almost two years ago.

  103. TwissB

    Midpoint in Christine Stark’s just published novel “Nickels,” downloaded to Kindle. It’s brilliant, gripping, must read for artists, survivors of child rape, everyone else. Blame indeed.

  104. allhellsloose

    Sorry Pheldge but your Nigel is working on a patriarchial assumption that man cannot exist without a woman as mate, nor can woman exist without man as mate. Anthropology is a subject that has patriarchy through the middle like a stick of rock.

    Free your mind of this assumption and then start again. Feel free to blame.

    How I arrived here I’ve no remembrance; but I’m glad I did.

  105. Mujerylegs

    Thanks, Darragh, for the Wired link!

  106. Frumious B.

    @Cade,

    I am an XX, cis, bio woman who happens not to want children, not even adopted children, and I see that light fade in men’s eyes, too. It is tough on the romantic life for a number of reasons to be any sort of het broad who does not procreate.

  107. Nolabelfits

    In utter desperation one day some time ago, feeling like a crazy loner destined to forever be at odds with society at large, I googled “Femnist Blogs,” and stumbled on this one. The first post I read was Fashion Week: It ain’t over ’till its over- about tiny purses. I swear I had not laughed so hard in YEARS. Then I read “How Cheap is Your Love” and I nearly DIED laughing, and that was at the picture and the caption before I even read the post. How Cheap is Your Love is a post I return to every time I need a little humorous pick me up.

  108. Jaffa

    BLG, I have a similar dilemma. In my part of the world, women are constantly punished for wearing revealing clothing (in a very hot climate!), and are encouraged to wear loose black or beiges. A great example is a woman I recently saw on a bus who was wearing what can only be described as a giant, tent-like black sack and similar hair covering. Her one-year-old daughter wore exactly the same thing. Whenever she would squirm, the mother would tug down the sack over her ankles (which were already encased in woolen tights – again, in a hot summer on a bus). Modesty gangs from various ethnic groups have been known to harass and beat women who wear too little or too “sexy” clothing.

    So yeah, while I sometimes wear masculine clothes, I also definitely make a point to wear “immodest” clothes, too. Every time I see a woman in so-called scanty clothing, my heart soars and I feel she is my sister. I want to push the boundaries of the acceptable (=not physically harassable) and normalise more options, and every woman who refuses to participate in BlackSackfest helps in that fight.

    Fictional Queen, I agree that we need some sort of switchboard! I’d try to set it up but my skills in this area are pretty pathetic and we’d end up with some sort of hellish, ad-ridden messageboard…

  109. laxsoppa

    If Aunt Jill won’t be having it, I could probably set up a discussion forum since I have a bit of phpBB3-compliant webspace lying around unused. Somebody else would have to moderate it most of the time, though.

  110. Bushfire

    The blog post that first seduced me here was Why Merry Rapists Are Flocking To Britain. It’s an exquisite piece of patriarchy-blaming, and I can’t get enough of it.

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2007/04/24/why-merry-rapists-are-flocking-to-britain/

  111. Rididill

    @alienNumber

    I found this blog via a comments thread in ‘finally a feminism 101′. I was beginning to discover the fallacy of sex positivism, and this blog was held up by some dude as an example that some feminists actually ARE anti sex.

    I had always wondered who these so called anti sex feminists are, because I had suspected they did not exist. So of course I had to investigate. And the rest is herstory.

  112. tinfoil hattie

    Sorry, speedbudget, I wasn’t specifically targeting you with my breastfeeding info. I was offering my experience – and trying to counter some of the “You are A HORRIBLE MOTHER IF YOU DON’T BREASTFEED AND BESIDES IT SERVES AS BIRTH CONTROL” admonishments from some breastfeeding, uh, enthusiasts I have known.

  113. tinfoil hattie

    @lasxoppa, once upon a time there existed a forum/community for IBTP-ers. It was not moderated by twisty/jill. It went to hell one day, and I forget why. It was deleted.

    We could try again, I suppose.

  114. eb

    I can remember the very date I found this blog – June 14, 2006. How do I remember the exact date? Because this sentence has been seared into my brain ever since -

    “There’s a reason that deep-throating a funk-filled bratwurst makes a person retch.”

    I’m not sure how I got here, but that was the first post I read. Needless to say, I was hooked. The comment food fight that ensued was quite entertaining too.

    Anywho, the other day I was out at a fancy schmancy restaurant with my gay lady wife and my father (yes, he’s come a long way). I commented on how all the waiters were men and the only woman in the place was the hostess. My father, a 50s kind of guy, then told me the reason is because back in the day men were considered more attentive than women. I looked at him askance and he gesticulated with this arms and hands as if to say, “Hey, I’m just the messenger.”

    My gay lady wife then chimed in saying if men are so attentive then why aren’t husbands more attentive to their wives. The 50s guy laughed in that way men laugh when they know they’ve been ‘faced’ but can’t begin to understand why.

    Just after that, the dude who brings the food set the wrong dish in front of the 50s guy. And I said, “So, men are more attentive than women?”

    The next day I Googled ‘sexism in the restaurant business.’ Yeah, you don’t really want to go there unless you want to stick needles in your eyes.

  115. Lidon

    @ eb: That’s strange because I always figured it was more popular to have women as servers, being that they’re the ones who are to supposed to be all smiley and wait on everyone hand and foot. I’ve been to sports bars (not normally my thing) where all the servers were women, of course, and various restaurants where there’s definitely no shortage of female servers. I’m sure there’s a ton of sexism in the restaurant business, I just figured it was more in the realm of chefs (i.e., the ones at the top).

  116. Nolabelfits

    I was forced to go to Vegas for work a year or so ago. (trade show)The cocktail waitresses were of course scantily clad and ran their asses off on the floor while the bartenders, who stood behind the bar serving customers right the hell in front of them (and of course got a cut from the waitresses for making their customer’s drinks) were all men. Of course when I pointed this out to co-workers the response was “Can’t you give it a rest? We’re in VEGAS!!”

  117. laxsoppa

    tinfoil hattie—But of course. Too bad I got on the bandwagon too late to have lived through that! Anyhow, I’m game for hosting and maintenance if the comments just aren’t enough. I’ll have to go through the setup some other day as it’s quite late now and I have a lot of road to cover tomorrow, but yeah.

  118. TwissB

    Please, sir, what is a “gay lady wife”?

  119. squiggy

    Getting ready to go to a party, now late, because of all of your Scheherazade-ity. Couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me that I wasn’t keen on attending. Oh, yeah. The P. I forgot to blame the P instead of myself. Now I’m free to just make the best of it and leave whenever.

    My son told me about IBTP about 7 years ago. He’s the only friend/relative who even seems interested or is a regular reader. I turn people (even strangers) onto this blog all the time. They seem to blanch when I write or say the name of the blog. wtf? When I see them later they’re vague about why they never really looked it up. One of my daughters think it’s ‘mean to men’, the other daughter thinks it’s too radical, best I can make out. IBTP’s a great name both to repel the not-ready, as well as a beacon for the advanced blamer. Sanity Island for me.

    The story about the guys who didn’t want to continue a relationship because they wanted to plant their sperm in you, Cade, caused me to audibly gasp. Such a strong statement of men’s icky reality.

    The ‘not really horny’ post, susanw, made the hair stand up on my legs! (Shout out to Comrade Svilova)

    Now to choose whateverthehellIwanttowear to the BBQ because I can’t win. I’m wearing a little more sanity on the inside, thanks to all of you.

    P.S. That was a nice apology offered to you, Jill.

  120. Lidon

    Of course when I pointed this out to co-workers the response was “Can’t you give it a rest? We’re in VEGAS!!”

    God. I don’t care that practically everyone I know has this thing where they have to go. Fuck Vegas.

  121. Darragh Murphy

    I found Twisty via Hecate at eschaton, a path similair to tinfoil hattie’s. I also love echidne for the science stuff. Going on 4 years now. Yep, life changing — not just twisty’s brilliant humor and insights which are life-sustaining, but much more importantly finding out there are LOTS of other women out here who can eviscerate and blame and who see things the way they really are.

  122. stacey

    Ah, the IBTP message boards. A year of pure heaven, sort of. I was one of the co-admins; it finally went down because there was a small but dedicated band of trans-haters who insisted on fucking everyone’s shit up, and the board itself was constantly under ddos attacks. It was a very sad day when we called it quits.

    I went to a surrealism exhibit at the art gallery today, and blah blah blah Dali, Man Ray, Miro, Breton, etc. etc. Very few women featured (although to be fair, the gallery did a huge Frida Kalho thing a few years ago). There was a sub-part dedicated to eroticism in Surrealism – men’s eroticization of women, naturally – that the curator’s text went on fawningly and adoringly about how brave and transgressive they were. I just thought they liked cutting up pics of women’s bodies and rearranging them because 1) the act of women’s “mutilation” didn’t bother them, and 2) they didn’t get laid often enough, and got back at their women by creating fucked-up versions of them. Le sigh.

  123. janna

    I found this blog via the IBTP forum (RIP). One of the threads was linked on a blog or forum I already read, but I can’t remember.

    A lot of the women I know have “uniforms” for work, for the reasons some of you have described: it’s impossible for women under the P to not be judged for what they wear, so it’s easier to sort of know what you’ll be wearing each morning. Mine consists of a long skirt or slacks, business-casual knit shirt, cardigan or scarf, and flat shoes. I’m a teacher, so I need to be a little conservative.

  124. Jezebella

    Ha. I found this blog via Twisty’s internet friend, Manolo the Shoeblogger. No, I’m not kidding.

  125. minervaK

    So I guess my point here is that modern humans came around about 200k years ago and agriculture came around like 10k years ago (if I’m remembering my numbers correctly). So in my mind, people have lived in patriarchal societies for about 10k years, which is only about 5% of the species time on earth.

    I hope that this is actually true. It gives me the will to go on.

  126. Margaret

    Restaurants are sexist all right. The Vegas example is classic. A very “high class” restaurant hires men to serve customers and eschews hiring low-status people, i.e., women. IBTP.

  127. Margaret

    Aw c’mon Twisty. How do I deserve to be lined up in the moderation queue every time? I’m a faithful blamer IRL and in awe of many of the blamers here on Savage Death Island who are blowing away the Patriarchy’s smokescreen.

    I wish my son was a blamer: he jumped all over me for linking to IBTB on Facebook. At least he read some of it and maybe it’ll sink in some day. There is hope: one or two very old men I knew had gradually softened their patriarchal stance after retirement.

  128. eb

    @Lidon…how about a restaurant where dinner for two is $250 to $400? Women are well represented in sports bars, but I’m talking about elite restaurants. I find the higher the prices, the lower the number of the female waitstaff. Seems like men get the jobs that make the most money. Sounds like a familiar theme.

  129. eb

    @twissb… gay lady wife is a woman who is married to another woman. Some may call this person a lesbian.

  130. stacey

    I don’t know how i know this, but i think prehistoric peoples’ life expectancy was only 30 to 40 years. The period of fertility would have been late and short. Transitioning to farming and better nutrition would mean a longer life and earlier puberty, thus a lot more time spent pregnant.

  131. heyhey_hamster

    Open thread? I might as well put it out there. I’m considering moving in with my boyfriend of 3 years. I love him, we have fun together, he’s not an asshole, but he will have none of my feminism talk. He also just can’t understand why sexist, porntastic things upset me. The problem I guess is that I send mixed messages—I’m a masochist, I like it rough, I wear skirts and high-heels, I watch raunchy comedies. Radical feminism makes complete sense to me, yet I’m sadly unwilling to act on those ideals. I might just go for the approval of family, friends and society by doing the marriage and baby thing, but I’m not sure my heart is in it. I’m submissive, I enjoy cleaning and caring, I’m his little kinkbot. It works out well for him, but what am I left with? I feel like my libido is about to make this decision for me. So if anyone has any words of warning before I jump off this cliff…? Thanks.

  132. Gennie

    I love you all, really needed to read those comments. Such a food for my brain. Now i can go out and start blaming again. Thank you.

  133. Barbara P

    @AlienNumber –

    Sorry not to respond sooner, but I did want to clarify:

    I wasn’t aiming my statement at those who are “too hating”; more at those who might be “too complacent” (including myself, at times), lulled into the idea that “there are nice guys out there”. This point has been addressed on this blog many times before, but I’m still pondering it. That’s all.

    And I don’t know how I originally found this blog, but I’ve been reading it for years.

    The “origins of patriarchy” is very intriguing too. Nice that it’s come up in this thread.

  134. speedbudget

    tinfoil hattie, I forget about the Invisible Internet Fairies Who Are Lurkers Who Lurk Until One Makes An Innocuous Comment About Their Personal Life Which Can Be Twisted Into A Vile Commentary On The Whole Of Womanity. I hate them so much. (I’m not being sarcastic here. I tend to forget about those people until they pop up out of nowhere to chastise you for a statement you made unwittingly.) I totally agree with you that today it is not a good contraceptive choice and that women are free to breast feed or not as they see fit.

    I think people can’t really conceive the level of physical activity that was inherent in life from the paleolithic and up to about the 1900s. I watched a TED talk that was linked here a while ago about a guy who goes around installing washing machines in indigenous villages. It doesn’t sound like a lot. It’s only one, maybe two machines. But the amount of time and physical HARD labor that one machine saves the women is literally lifesaving. That’s just the hours per week spent doing laundry. Imagine having to cook on an open fire or even a wood stove and having to make your own clothes and those of your family as well as the upkeep on the clothes you do have and we aren’t even getting into the gardening required to be able to feed the family…

    The physicality involved in a life like that while you are essentially subsisting nutritionally leads to amenorrhea, which is a natural form of birth control. And someone upstream mentioned a late fertility period, which is true. The age of menarche has slowly been downshifting through the years as our diets have become more “Westernized” and our activity level has lessened considerably, which I think makes a distorted picture of our sexuality. I bet our paleolithic forebears were promiscuous as hell and doing it all the time. I bet you life was completely different as far as male/female relations were concerned, and it was the advent of agriculture and the grain-based diet and the staying put that led to regular periods, higher fertility, less freedom for women due to more pregnancies closer together. Not that I’m blaming that for anything, but it can’t be ignored, and it probably lent a hand in the patriarchy taking over.

  135. geogeek

    I think the waitstaff thing is pretty basic: someone who is further up the hierarchical tower can show this position by being served by others relatively high up the tower. Most elite institutions have white male service staff because they can. There are a few in the US, like (at least until relatively recently) some of the East coast golf clubs, where white males hold higher status and personal contact positions (bartender, server), and brown males hold lower status and non-contact positions (kitchen worker, busser).

  136. geogeek

    Of course, this happens in lots of places – I meant as a matter of policy.

  137. allhellsloose

    “I bet our paleolithic forebears were promiscuous as hell and doing it all the time.”

    Speedbudget your post makes some excellent points but I have to address this. We don’t know and can’t presume what sexuality was like for our ‘pre-civilised’ forebearers. If the diet affected women then it should also have affected men too. Perhaps it lead to lower levels of testosterone with less rampant randiness; a state that the Patriarchy would look upon now as being bad.

  138. Lidon

    @Lidon…how about a restaurant where dinner for two is $250 to $400? Women are well represented in sports bars, but I’m talking about elite restaurants. I find the higher the prices, the lower the number of the female waitstaff. Seems like men get the jobs that make the most money. Sounds like a familiar theme.

    Ah, never been to one of those. Shame to hear it, though.

  139. yttik

    It is unlikely that hunter/gathers had poor diets and didn’t get enough to eat. In a natural setting, food can be quite plentiful and people are very resourceful. There are still places where the fish are so plentiful you can walk across them on a river and not long ago buffalo roamed free.

    The culture we live in today demands sex 24/7, specifically PIV. Women in this environment are expected to be in a constant state of self defense against pregnancy. However, if you were to remove the mandated PIV and the rape culture, pregnancy becomes much more rare. Rather than being an “accident”, it requires several deliberate acts, specifically timed during fertility.

  140. Fictional Queen

    I found IBTP from the blogroll of someone’s blog,but I don’t remember where that was.I was attracted by the cool name.”Regular” and funfeminism just wasn’t good enough anymore,now the only blog I visit is IBTP.I’ve taught my mom a good deal about feminism too,which now helps her win the bickering with my dad hehe :D

  141. wondering

    I hate to rain on the paleolithic paradise parade, but what the fuck makes people think that the rise of agriculture caused the Patriarchy?

    There are plenty of hunter gatherer cultures in the world, some of them discovered (by the scientific community, natch) in the last 100 years or so. The P is regrettably alive and well in those cultures. Maybe not the same flavour of P, but P all the same.

  142. Zrusilla

    Here’s something to focus your blaming like a laser beam. Child beauty pageant mom cuts to the chase, pads her preschool contestant là ou il faut. Can childhood implants be far behind?

    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/pageant-outrage-fake-breasts-and-bottom-for-girl-4-20110902-1jp0v.html

  143. allhellsloose

    Re semi starvation and the effects on the male

    http://www.possibility.com/wiki/index.php?title=EffectsOfSemiStarvation

    Interesting observation from that link is that the men actually liked being free from sexual desires.

    I’ve no doubt that ‘lost’ tribes with hunter gatherer societies are patriarchial. They were found by the patriarchy and reports made on them by the patriarchy. They have patriarchial influence. In these tribes the answer is obvious. The guys eat all the food.

    The solution my friends, unscientific I know, is that we need to feed men less.

  144. yttik

    Why is there this insistence that hunter/gathers were half starved? We have many native people all over the world who are not protesting because they would like to go back to the days of famine and starvation, but because they remember being well fed from their sustenance lifestyles. Starvation and a lack of proper nutrition has only happened recently, when people have been removed from their lands or environmental damage has been done. Living off the land can produce abundant food sources. Believe it or not, starvation is actually a man made condition and has to do with war, with poverty, with oppression, with environmental manipulation. Grocery stores are really not a more efficient way to feed people, especially for the poor.

    Hunter/gatherers did not walk around half starved munching on a few leaves or bugs. They were far more resourceful than that and the food that was available was far more diverse and abundant.

  145. laxsoppa

    Fictional Queen, tinfoil hattie and everybody even remotely interested:

    Find the budding blamer bulletin at http://tribar.net/blame/index.php and knock yourselves out. I didn’t know where to start with forum categories etc., so it’s over to you.

  146. Fictional Queen

    Men just see/use their sexuality as another tool of oppression!They learn it to feel like Men.

  147. Fictional Queen

    laxsoppa,thank you so much!

  148. allhellsloose

    Yittik how do you know that? And why should ‘semi starvation’ scare you? Perhaps it was a diet that suited people? Humanity? Certainly it didn’t wipe out the population. Other factors have been known to contribute to that. Famine doesn’t happen because of crop failure alone.

    Who set the calorie per day issue? IBTP.

  149. humanbein

    Myth of the Horny Male, from susanw:

    I submit that men don’t oppress women because they are sex-mad. On the contrary, they have to make themselves sexual in order to perform masculinity and maintain their status.
    Fake horniness is a tool (tool) of oppression, not a cause.

    The minute men hear this information is the minute they either spin into insane denial or finally get a clue. Not that existing in a culture of privilege and sexualized oppression can be overcome instantly. But if there’s hope, this is one place the revolution could start.

    Men are plagued by horniness they simply cannot control, they will tell you. This uncontrollable horniness is usually of two kinds: either a slight hormonal twinge, as uncontrollable as any other faint and indulgent appetite, like the urge for a snack between meals when you are already stuffed with food, or else horniness precipitated by the constant barrage of sexualized images they gorge themselves on every day in the performance of masculinity, which is characterized, in their anxious little brains, as the masculinity of constant arousal.

    The horniness of adolescence is so physically pure that titillation and oppression and masculinity aren’t needed for sexual performance. The continuance at all costs of this adolescent state is one of the sturdiest props of patriarchal oppression I can think of. You have stated something that has bothered me for many years, too, and I thank you for your insight!

  150. Ruby Lou

    I found this blog looking for gorgeous bugs. One of the most voluptuous was on a Twisty post. I took one look at the IBTP tag and jumped in. That was it.

    Looks like the triple-digit curse may soon be lifted off central Texas as Tropical Storm Lee passes by. If so, enjoy, y’all.

  151. MezzoPiana

    I agree about semi-starvation not being oh-so-scary. Only thing so far shown to produce an increase in normal lifespan, which is seen by many as A Good Thing?! Calorie ‘deprivation’ (in quotes cos it’s relative to lard knows what subjectively decided quantity).

  152. yttik

    “Yttik how do you know that?”

    As I explained, because we currently have native people all over the world who have a very recent history of having eaten quite well as hunter/gatherers. Many native people are currently suffering from health problems they have never experienced before because they have been separated from their diverse and plentiful diets and are now compromised, both from a lack of nutrition and a lack of abundance.

    Famine and deprivation is rare when you are not dependent on one crop. We have evidence of this in animal species, those who are diversified have plenty of food, while those who are specialized are in real trouble when the one plant they eat is endangered.

    Science has also examined the bones of hunter/gatherers and found them to be much healthier than agriculturists. They do not show signs of iron deficiency, long term infection, or malnutrition. The bones of children are especially revealing, because both the formation of their teeth and bones will show clear evidence of famine or malnutrition. Hunter/gatherers appear to have been much healthier.

    Women actually do not have to be semi-starved and no longer ovulating in order to avoid pregnancy. That is based on modern culture where we believe women must always be in a state of constant self defense against pregnancy because men simply can’t help themselves and will forcibly hump anything that moves. However, that is only a construct of our so called modern “civilized” society, it is not necessarily the way women and pregnancy have always been treated and perceived.

  153. AlienNumber

    Bushfire, sorry it took me so long. I took a shot at it below.

    “Twisty does focus on women’s oppression but she also makes it clear that other oppressions are at work and she doesn’t use broad generalizations about women.”

    Really? Funny, we’re reading the same thing and I don’t get this.

    Twisty, the way I’ve been reading/understanding her – and maybe I am projecting, which is entirely plausible – connects “other oppressions” to the one underlying, fundamental oppression of women. See the “What this blog is for” tab above.

    I’m putting “other oppressions” in quotation marks because there are no such things. Racism/classism/colonialism/homophobia etc ARE sexism. (For a brilliant discussion of classism as sexism, see Catharine MacKinnon’s “A Feminist Critique of Marx and Engels.” Carol Anne Douglas, to give just one example, wrote about racism as sexism and sexism as racism).
    Racism/classism/colonialism/homophobia etc are sexism. Some men, some of the time, end up being feminized by other men. However, even the feminized men get in turn to feminize (“their”) women, so really only one oppression – magnified and distorted many times – goes on at any time, in any space: that of women (and those marked as women).

    What I’m trying to figure out is why some women sometimes act like men – that is why they are sexist/racist/classist – and the only answer I have come up with is: self-identification with the oppressor, a.k.a. Self-Hatred.
    (n.b.: I am not excusing classist and/or racist women, but their actions are motivated by self-hatred more than by anything else. In their motivation for destructive, anti-social acts, men tend more towards being misogynist -sociopaths/psychopaths – and women more towards being self-hating. Non-white men, for example, who oppress (“their”) women are also to some extent motivated by self-hatred, in addition to misogyny).

  154. allhellsloose

    Not self hatred but collaboration. There is a difference.

  155. AlienNumber

    But only a self-hater would collaborate.

  156. nails

    MezzoPiana- the increase in lifespan from calorie restriction was demonstrated in mice. It hints at possible benefits for humans, but it is not conclusive proof.

    The Minnesota starvation experiment demonstrated negative psychological symptoms associated with semi-starvation in humans. It was performed on college aged people. Every health related choice is correlated with other problems. If a life-extending benefit is shown to exist from calorie restriction there should be information available on the side effects of such a plan, as well as guidelines on when it should be undertaken, and the actual amount of time that a person can reasonably expect to gain from the plan. Typically I just see people asserting that it extends life, and since science reporting is so abysmal that it does give that impression I am not surprised to see the idea being reported as a “fact” so many places online.

  157. nails

    yttik-

    “Believe it or not, starvation is actually a man made condition and has to do with war, with poverty, with oppression, with environmental manipulation. ”

    What kind of evidence would prove this statement wrong, in your opinion?

  158. Bushfire

    @AlienNumber

    I guess you think of all oppressions as the same, and I agree that they are very similar, but I still think it’s worthwhile to separate the different types for discussion purposes.

  159. nails

    yttik

    “Women actually have the ability to be in tune with their fertility cycles and to avoid pregnancy when they want. Women are only fertile for a few days a month. If you take away the rape culture, the pressure to have PIV, and women know how to listen to their bodies, avoiding pregnancy naturally would be fairly easy. Doesn’t work so well in modern culture because women don’t have much bodily autonomy. Men also have the ability to have PIV without producing..material that fertilizes.

    This whole concept of “accidental” pregnancy is really patriarchal. In the absence of patriarchy, pregnancy actually has to be a well timed, deliberate act.”

    People had to discover that sex resulted in pregnancy through biological (rather than spiritual or mystical) means. The system of ovulation and fertilization isn’t obvious to people who have not been taught. Again I wonder what kind of evidence you would need to change your mind, because I don’t want to post a bunch of evidence just for you to ignore it. There is no way to intuitively know the function of a multi-organ system within the body without previous training or education. You might as well be claiming women are naturally psychic to understand phenomenon like that in the absence of scientific investigation.

  160. AlienNumber

    nails, where did you get the sense that “being in tune” with one’s own body was some sort of pseudo-religious talk of psychic things?
    Observing one’s own – and another’s – body, which surely people always did, is (a form of) scientific investigation. Surely humanity didn’t need 21st century men scientists to teach women how babies are made.

  161. AlienNumber

    Bushfire, for discussion purposes sure, but I highly doubt that for actual Revolution purposes, anything but the liberation of women, first and foremost, will do. I don’t give 2 shoots about men’s revolutions and I don’t actually think any of them brought us – women – much closer to our own liberation.
    (re: men’s revolutions and their little or zero impact on the liberation of women, see: The French Revolution, the American Revolution, the ongoing Arab Revolution, the Communist Revolution etc).

  162. allhellsloose

    Self hatred is not gender specific. Collaboration is gender specific. Collaboration requires dominance/subserviance. Being subserviant doesn’t necessarily require self hatred.

  163. pheenobarbidoll

    “Racism/classism/colonialism/homophobia etc ARE sexism.”

    Not quite. Which is something WOC have repeatedly stated and one reason why many WOC have pulled away from feminism. The predominantly white feminist movement doesn’t listen.

  164. speedbudget

    yttik, you don’t have to be half starved to be amenorrhiac [sp?]. It is something that occurs naturally when you don’t have a constant surplus of calories. It happens to female athletes. It happened to my sister. It happened to me when I was hiking my way through 30 days of white-water canoeing, rock climbing, and basically surviving. I was eating a 4,000 calorie/day diet on that trip and I still lost about 30 pounds and didn’t get my period for a month or two after I got back. We didn’t do all activities at once. We hiked at a pretty regular pace between each activity and had afternoons off and mornings off occasionally. I would imagine a group of subsistence nomads would have lived about the same way we did, except instead of packing their food in they would have been killing it or foraging for it on the move. 4,000 calories/day isn’t a starvation diet, and I still lost massive weight and had a short period of amenorrhea. Why do you think the age of menarche has been steadily declining the more sedentary we become and the more entrenched our Western diet?

    And, yes, I did specify Western diet in my post. This diet is the sickest diet possible for a human to eat, I think. It messes up all kinds of things in your body. Everybody knows that any group that starts eating this diet starts getting pretty sick pretty quickly. We are not disagreeing there.

    I will point out that while I was on my trip in the woods, there was a pretty attractive person with us whom I wouldn’t have minded a roll in the hay with, believe you me. Being tired as hell and thinking about food all day wouldn’t have stopped me from a roll in the hay. Our guides were telling us their trip with teenagers are especially exhausting for them. No matter how hard they push the kids, no matter how tired or dirty or hungry they are, there are always kids that sneak off in the middle of the night.

    I know anecdata is not proof, but I don’t find it hard to believe at all that everyone was doing it, and the connection between sex and pregnancy wasn’t made for a long time simply because the incidence of pregnancy was much less due to women not getting their periods every month as we (usually) do now.

    Also, I don’t want everyone to think I’m thinking only heternormatively here. I’m not. I’m pretty sure everyone was getting it on (or not) as they saw fit. I bet it was loads of fun.

  165. Bushfire

    @AlienNumber
    Bushfire, for discussion purposes sure, but I highly doubt that for actual Revolution purposes, anything but the liberation of women, first and foremost, will do.

    If women were freed, would racism, ableism, etc. disappear too? I’m not sure. Maybe, maybe not.

    @phenobarbidoll
    “Racism/classism/colonialism/homophobia etc ARE sexism.”

    Not quite. Which is something WOC have repeatedly stated and one reason why many WOC have pulled away from feminism. The predominantly white feminist movement doesn’t listen.

    Yep.

  166. becker

    Just checking in and hoping you and your’n are safe from the crazy fires.

  167. tinfoil hattie

    Maybe if women were free, we would have more influence as 51% of the population to rid the world of all the other isms.

    Hey, what’s IBTP for, if not pipe dreams? Besides, post-revolution, there will be no isms, right?

  168. Bushfire

    Besides, post-revolution, there will be no isms, right?

    That’s what I’m hoping for!

  169. Carpenter

    My trajectory was
    Alas a Blog->Pandagon->IBTP

    What I wish I could remember exactly was when I started even reading blogs and which ones and why. I think the exact moment I remember registering it all was during the Nauseating debacle of Larry Summers comments to female scientists. I think my first blog contact was a Pharyngula post about it.

  170. Carpenter

    BTW, is the new picture an actual one of these ‘turd blossoms’ I’ve heard about?

  171. AlienNumber

    Well, and there are WOC who disagree with other WOC about whether or not other -isms are sexism. Believe it or not (some) WOC believe that all -isms are sexism. And it’s not even the lighter-skinned and/or richer ones who believe that. What now?

    The Actual Revolution is very unlikely at this point, because we have about a gazillion little men revolutions (which will most certainly get the support of many women) to go through first. We probably have a better chance waiting for the y chromosome to diminish into non-existence (latest estimates give us about 1,000,000 years). Hurrah.

  172. AlienNumber

    @AlienNumber
    Bushfire, for discussion purposes sure, but I highly doubt that for actual Revolution purposes, anything but the liberation of women, first and foremost, will do.

    If women were freed, would racism, ableism, etc. disappear too? I’m not sure. Maybe, maybe not.

    And Bushfire, when you write stuff like that it makes me think that you’d vote Obama over Hillary (or a disabled Obama over a Black Hillary) and that just makes me cry a little tear on the inside.

    We really have no hope of feminist success without putting women first. Put Women First, dammit.

  173. Kea

    Hey look, we’re officially at war!

  174. stacey

    I believe that springing the most oppressed group (i.e. women) from its patriarchal prison will indeed liberate all other groups. How can I even bear to think otherwise? It would kill me.

  175. Ungggh

    Are we really playing oppression olympics here? Come on.

  176. Bushfire

    We really have no hope of feminist success without putting women first.

    This is something I’m learning.

  177. Fictional Queen

    “I don’t give 2 shoots about men’s revolutions”
    Oh,yeah,exactly! Not only they have zero influence on women’s liberation,they often make women even more oppressed! Without HALF of the people it can’t even be truly called a revolution.

  178. Kristine

    Okay, I simply cannot read another comment about how semi-starvation “isn’t that bad.” Yes, our Western diet is not healthy or ideal, but eating less is not the answer. In fact, in our society right now, women are being encouraged to go on diets of semi-starvation not just in order to stay skinny and sexxxayy, but also as a way of excluding us from general society (by which I mean men). Low-calorie diets ARE forms of starvation, and they don’t increase the human lifespan, they cause eating disorders and depression.

    When you’ve tossed and turned in bed till four in the morning listening to your stomach rumble, gotten up to eat twice, and cried because you still were too hungry to go to sleep, you will understand why semi-starvation is scary.

    If you want to know more about why diets are a form of discrimination, and what’s so unhealthy about them, you should read “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf and visit The Fat Nutritionist’s blog: http://www.fatnutritionist.com/
    Also check out the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, as another blamer commented above. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/135/6/1347.full

    I apologize for my sanctimoniousness and the linkspam. I will not comment on this subject again. But I simply cannot let it go unchallenged.

  179. rubysecret

    Regarding the beginning of patriarchy. I seem to recall reading something somewhere (sorry, no citation) that the reason for the change was that agriculture produced abundance, and abundance created the need for a marketplace, so patriarchy began with commerce. It went something like this: The community would send its extra produce to the market with a person who was not crucial to the the daily life of the tribe, perhaps an able but idle older male. The marketplace, being perhaps more than a day’s journey away, offered the abundance of many tribes including extra food and livestock, but also perhaps entertainment, alcohol, and prostitution. The male tribe member, who is supposed to bring back supplies to the tribe, purchased with their goods, has also enjoyed himself and spent some of the earnings on himself. As time goes on, these traders form relationships with other traders, make deals, and become known at the marketplace as the person who makes all the important decisions for the tribe. The trader brings this idea home, and by economic manipulation (his ability to withhold the profits of the tribe’s production) he is able to become leader.

  180. pheenobarbidoll

    “Well, and there are WOC who disagree with other WOC about whether or not other -isms are sexism. Believe it or not (some) WOC believe that all -isms are sexism. And it’s not even the lighter-skinned and/or richer ones who believe that. What now? ”

    Really??!! We don’t all think alike? Holy shit, thank you for letting me know that!

    What now…hmm. That’s really more of a question that should be directed at the white feminist movement, wouldn’t you say? First they need to work on that racism that doesn’t exist. Which would be difficult since somehow it doesn’t exist.

    Race Fail.

  181. Fede

    rubysecret,

    The theory you sketched out has a few too many ‘perhaps’s for my liking. First of all, it hinges on the “able but idle” person chosen to go to the market always (or almost always) being male. Why assume that a pair of hands that could be spared for the time it took to make the journey must belong to a man? Does that not entail that the women in the tribe are already working harder than the men?

    Second, the idea that there would be prostituted people available at the marketplace seems odd and gratuitous, plus it implies that the commodification of human beings predates patriarchy. If we argue that it did, we would have to posit some patriarchy-preceding hierarchical order among humans that was sinister enough to allow for slavery. Which brings us right back to square one.

    Finally, the theory does not help to explain why the person who did the bartering would want to dominate the rest of his tribe in the first place. Are we assuming, then, that the desire to exploit and rule others is innate in humans – or at least in human males?

  182. AlienNumber

    First they need to work on that racism that doesn’t exist. Which would be difficult since somehow it doesn’t exist.

    Good one. Too bad you were responding to an argument that wasn’t made.

  183. Carpenter

    Dunno about the patriarchy being dependent on the advent of agriculture. It seems there are a few remaining agricultural societies that have women of high status, and there are a bunch of patriarchal hunting and gathering ones. Human society seems to come in every variation; there are also diarchal societies, or ones where the head of state was a brother sister pair or any other various set ups. There is also the muddying fact that in every society there is a difference in what the roles the custom proscribes and what roles people actually fill. So in lots of places where the custom is that women don’t fulfill some role- say for example hunting, you will find that in practice actually do a lot of the time, but excuses are made. So I find something lacking in arguments that or that role is responsible for patriarchy- because in practice this or that role seems like a fuzzy idea.

    I would guess that large oppressive entities-like empires or institutional slave trades- aren’t possible unless there are enough people in one place and so had to wait for agriculture. But I’d imagine smaller scale oppression can and did happen at random times in random places through human history.

    Anyway I would guess that the advent of patriarchy had more to do with just some fundamental cultural disrespect for women coupled to some economic system that made women work for free. I don’t know if one can say it started in a specific time or place, it was probably an idea that sprang up in all kinds of places where men could getaway with it, some patriarchal cultures die and don’t pass it on, and some live and do pass it on.

  184. Fede

    AlienNumber, you said pheenobarbidoll was responding to an argument you didn’t make. But your earlier assertion that

    I’m putting “other oppressions” in quotation marks because there are no such things.

    sure sounds to me like you did.

    I’ve had men Mansplain to me how there’s no such thing as sexism since all ‘other oppressions’ are really just forms of classism. The way you explain to a woman of colour how there is actually no such thing as racism is what is known as Whitesplaining.

  185. AlienNumber

    Okay, Fede, I’m going to have to spell this out for you.
    a) I am not white. b) if you have 2 plates of rice, one of them a big pile of brown rice – called, let’s say, racism – and the other one a smaller pile of pink rice – called, let’s say classism, both plates are still made of RICE.

    Hatred of females involves stealing our labor away from us (see parallels with racism, classism). Hatred of females is getting fucked and making a mockery of us for getting fucked (see homophobia).

    There is only hatred of females (or RICE, see above), magnified and distorted. Sometimes, we call that racism and sometimes we call it classism (and the fact that we even have different names for that, because it affects some men, some of the time) is mind-blowingly infuriating and proof of the power of the patriarchy. The patriarchy, any chance it gets, just cannot wait to both exploit and erase and fuck and torture and kill females.

    I realize that saying that there is only hatred of females and choosing to focus on it – I mean, how can you NOT focus on it, it’s omnipresent and ubiquitous – is pretty radical, even around these corners.

  186. stacey

    EVERYBODY STOP! HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE!

    BLAMER ALERT!

    Here’s a comment that came out of moderation, upthread at http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2011/09/01/my-heatstroke-is-your-open-thread/#comment-183250

    heyhey_hamster
    September 4, 2011 at 2:04 am
    Open thread? I might as well put it out there. I’m considering moving in with my boyfriend of 3 years. I love him, we have fun together, he’s not an asshole, but he will have none of my feminism talk. He also just can’t understand why sexist, porntastic things upset me. The problem I guess is that I send mixed messages—I’m a masochist, I like it rough, I wear skirts and high-heels, I watch raunchy comedies. Radical feminism makes complete sense to me, yet I’m sadly unwilling to act on those ideals. I might just go for the approval of family, friends and society by doing the marriage and baby thing, but I’m not sure my heart is in it. I’m submissive, I enjoy cleaning and caring, I’m his little kinkbot. It works out well for him, but what am I left with? I feel like my libido is about to make this decision for me. So if anyone has any words of warning before I jump off this cliff…? Thanks.

    I’m honored to be the first to address this. I answer in good faith, and without prejudice – if the poster is a troll, I can only hope that they will someday move out of their mother’s basement; but on the off-chance that hh_h is an actual woman in need, it behooves me to extend a helping hand to an IBTP foruminant.

    heyhey_hamster: Sister, DUMP THE CHUMP. He is an asshole. Of course he doesn’t want to hear feminism talk, he has a perfect pornslave companion/housekeeper and he damn well knows that
    he’s sticking one in the eye of Feminism – he’s fully on the patriarchy program. I have no opinion on what you wear or how you act, but remember that what-gets-you-off should never dictate what-you-do-with-your-life. If I’d married the one guy in my early history who could turn my crank like no other, I’d now be an SUV-driving hockey mom who apparently has no voice in my marriage and a partner who pays great attention to his male child, to the detriment of his female one. FUCK THAT SHIT, hamster.

  187. stacey

    Oops. Sorry for not closing my italics tag. I’m sure you get the gist, nonetheless.

  188. Jezebella

    Indeed, hamster, do not move in with that guy. Fuck him to your heart’s content, cook and clean for yourself alone, but do not move in with a dude who is dismissive of feminism. Just don’t do it, because it will end in tears, I promise you.

  189. Kea

    Hamster, if you’re really into the caring and cleaning, why not be a single mum? Of course whether this is possible depends on where you live, your job, and a million other things, but it’s one possibility. I bet if you absolutely refuse to move in with him he’ll dump you for a more obedient hotchick quicksmart, proving that he doesn’t actually love you at all. Why not try it?

  190. Barbara P

    It’s hard to shake the notion that patriarchy comes from human nature, as much as I’d love to believe otherwise. But my hope is that patriarchy is still a sort-of an “accident”, in the sense that perhaps others aspects of human nature (compassionate, ethical) could have held sway, or still can.

    Many “natural” human behaviors are contingent on an environment that educes them. For example, some people might be prone to asthma but you’ll only see it when there is a lot of air pollution. It’s both genetic and environmental.

    In this link
    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0020106

    they talk about how the patriarchal culture of baboons was actually changed by circumstance.

  191. speedbudget

    Hamster, don’t do it. There are profeminist, woman-positive men out there. I know it’s hard to believe. You just have to FIND them. Make anti feminism a deal breaker for you. It really doesn’t matter how great the guy is. If he doesn’t actually consider you human, how could he possibly love you?

  192. pheenobarbidoll

    “Too bad you were responding to an argument that wasn’t made.”

    Sure it “wasn’t”.

    Eliminate sexism and you’re still not white. And if it ain’t white it ain’t right.

    Black men were not lynched because they were feminized. Indian children were not murdered for speaking their own language because they were feminized. That happened/happens because they weren’t/aren’t white. White women are a subclass of human. Non white people are upright, talking monkeys.

    Even the P knows there’s a difference there.

  193. Lidon

    White women aren’t always viewed as human either.

  194. pheenobarbidoll

    Non white women are *never* viewed as human. Ever.

    Even if sexism and hatred of women is smashed to pieces, racism and loads of other isms will still exist. The P has all sorts of justifications for them, and can separate them from women quite easily. The P separates women when it suits men, it doesn’t bat at eye at separating other humans for whatever stupid reason it wishes.

  195. AlienNumber

    White women are not viewed as human, hello. Have you ever watched porn? Have you paid attention to the latest Democratic Primary? etc.

    “Considering the dynamics of racism is complicated by the difficulty of what drives it. Given all the damage it has done, and its persistence and adaptability across time and space, there can be no doubt that it is deep and strong and explosive. Perhaps sexuality is a dynamic in racism and ethnic prejudice as well as in gender bias. Upon examination, much racist behavior is sexual. Consider the pure enjoyment of dominance that makes power its own reward, reports of the look of pleasure on the face of racist torturers, accounts of the adrenalin high of hatred and excitement that survivors of lynchings describe having seen, the sexual atrocities always involved. Recall the elaborate use of race, ethnicity, and religion for sexual excitement in pornography and in much racist harassment. Remember the racially coded sex and marriage taboos and titillations and targetings in white supremacist societies, the sexual denigration pervasive in anti-Semitism. Once the benefits and functions of much racial murder, torture, hatred, and domination, perhaps even economic supremacy, as exposed as sexual, its rationalizations as natural, converging with gender on the ideological level, what of racism is left to explain? Something, but what?” (Only Words, pp.63-64, Catharine MacKinnon).

    What of racism is left to explain?
    I guess you can fight for the rights of Indian boy children and I’ll continue to fight for women and girls, of color or not.

  196. Fede

    Hamster,

    He will have none of your feminist talk!? If a man I was dating ever said or intimated that to me, I would kill him where he stood.

    Please, don’t do this to yourself. Even in this miserable world, you can do so much better. If you enjoy being a kinkbot, by all means, be a kinkbot, but please don’t be his. For the love of you, you must avoid belonging to anyone, not least someone who doesn’t respect you.

  197. Fede

    AlienNumber,

    Since you are not white, you obviously cannot be whitesplaining. I apologise for making that mistake.

    I agree with you and MacKinnon that domination is frequently eroticised. This does not mean that all oppressions can be boiled down to the hatred of women, though.

    Like pheenobarbidoll, I believe that racism could and would survive the (unlikely) demise of sexism. And that, on the other hand, if racism were to end, women could and would continue to be dehumanised. The only way to flatten all the -isms in one fell swoop would be to abolish the paradigm of domination itself. So that’s the rice.

    Anyway, going to shut up now on this thread.

  198. pheenobarbidoll

    I guess you can fight for the rights of Indian boy children and I’ll continue to fight for women and girls, of color or not.”

    Given that we’re still in the middle of an active genocide, I’ll do that, thanks. Sorry if our survival gets in your way. But it’s always nice to see repeated examples of how white racists and POC can still come together and shit on Indians. Diversification of apathy is so very fucking heart warming.

  199. AlienNumber

    Well, you know, I will fight for Indian girls (and boys, but not just boys) with you, but seems to me that you have a blind spot?
    Why in the world do people get so defensive and weird when this simple suggestion of putting women (all women, any women) first is put forth?

    pheenobarbidoll, I really mean no disrespect, but I can’t just assume you also put women and girls first (unless you say so. Which you haven’t).

  200. yttik

    My grandmother thought white women got to be human sometimes, so she tried to be white. She bleached her hair and skin and she drew stocking lines up her legs with black eyeliner. She passed pretty well and married a white man and lived in the suburbs. Then she was raped and murdered by a couple of white men who likely thought she was a wealthy white woman.

    I guess I don’t really care about the origins of patriarchy or where oppressions intersect so much as I care about women building some solidarity with each other other and letting go of viewing each other as the enemy.

    “I believe that racism could and would survive the (unlikely) demise of sexism…”

    What if we handed WOC the power? What if we put lesbian women in political office? What if we gave poor women more resources? Women are half the human race, all those other oppressions are a part of us, too.

    I can say for certain, if womanhood and femininity was not always being ridiculed and mocked, homophobia towards men would disappear. You couldn’t put down gay men if being perceived as “woman-like” wasn’t considered an insult, a defect, a sign of inferiority. Are other oppressions so blatantly related to misogyny? I don’t know, but if you think it’s okay to hate and oppress your own mother, nobody else in the culture has a chance.

  201. pheenobarbidoll

    “Why in the world do people get so defensive and weird when this simple suggestion of putting women (all women, any women) first is put forth? ”

    That’s not what you first put forth. What you first put forth was “racism isn’t real it’s just sexism disguised” which is bullshit.

    I don’t have the luxury of only concerning myself with women and girls to the exclusion of everyone else, because there’s an entire culture of people at stake here. We (all of us, women, men, girls and boys) will be gone. For good.

    So it’s nice that you evidently don’t have that concern. I hope you never do. I may be a radical feminist, but I’m not so radical I’ll watch an entire race die while I only help half.

  202. No Sugarcoating

    @heyhey_hamster

    I empathize with “getting” radical feminism, but being unwilling to “act” on it. But you should ask yourself if you’ll truly feel satisfied sharing the rest of your life with someone who doesn’t get radical feminism, and by extension, YOU. Even if you don’t look or act like radical feminism, it is a part of you. I doubt most of the ladies here think a woman should even entertain the thought of being with a guy who enjoys female submission, let alone prefers it. However, if it’s something you really want to have, there are still better guys to act on those fantasies with. You deserve a guy who gets feminism, and is more self-aware and honest about dominance/submission. I mean, at least find someone who doesn’t call you “his kinkbot”!

  203. Kristine

    heyhey_hamster,

    Dump him. Dump him right fucking now. I went through almost exactly what you are going through just a month ago, and ever since I dumped him I’ve been so happy I could shit rainbows!

    Your Nigel doesn’t want you to talk about feminism because he doesn’t respect your beliefs. That’s what it all comes down to: respect. He doesn’t respect your thoughts or feelings either. And if he doesn’t respect any of that, he doesn’t respect you. You deserve respect, and you need it more than you need orgasms. Trust me, you can live quite happily without them.
    Okay, it’s personal anecdote time.

    When I was with my ex-Nigel, I tried to tell him about feminism and make him understand why it was so important to me. I tried to make him understand why his porn use bothered me. He responded by mansplaining, getting angry, and telling me I was stupid to believe what I believe. I kept thinking if I could just explain it to him rationally he would get it, and I could be happy with him again. And I was unhappy. I couldn’t figure out why. But then one day, I was talking to a friend of mine, and he mentioned to me that he didn’t like blowjobs because he thought they were disrespectful. And that’s when it hit me. Suddenly, none of the kinky-hawt-sexxx I enjoyed with ex-Nigel mattered anymore. Ex-Nigel liked expressing his power over me during sex because he didn’t respect me, and he hated feminism because he didn’t respect me, and without respect there could be no love or happiness.

    So I dropped him like a hot potato, and now I’m pissing sunshine and farting skittles. You could be too, but first you need to believe that you deserve respect, and you shouldn’t have to plead with your Nigel to receive it. Dump that knob TODAY.

  204. derrp

    Hamster, the problem is not that you send mixed messages. The problem is that your dude doesn’t consider women to be people. As in, people who deserve the same respect and autonomy as other people, aka men. Being a masochist, performing femininity in whatever respect (including being submissive), none of that disqualifies you from deserving a man who respects women as human beings.

    Here’s the thing. Radical feminism isn’t a phase. You don’t go from being aware of the reality of the patriarchy, to not being aware of it, and go on your merry way happy with babies and a white picket fence. You only become more and more aware of it and its horrors. You only become more and more angry and militant. It’s the way it works. And if you are with a dude who cannot take that journey with you and have your back, you will become increasingly unhappy, and for good reason.

    And once you have kids with him you have a PERMANENT BOND that cannot be broken, and potentially other complications such as financial dependency, damage to your sense of self, etc., that will make you THAT MUCH MORE UNHAPPY.

    You’re unwilling to act on the ideals of radical feminism because it’s fucking hard, and has serious costs – including the possible loss of your current boyfriend, who I am sure you do love. I’m equally sure that after three years and his opinion on “feminism talk” is unchanged, that he is fundamentally incompetent as a human being to really return that love. Competent adult human beings love and respect their partners and that includes empathy for their struggles. A man who has no empathy for womens’ struggles is, flatly, incompetent. It doesn’t make him and asshole. It doesn’t make him a liar when he says, “I love you.” He just has a different definition of what “love” is. And after three years I have to say you’ve put in way more than a reasonable amount of effort trying to educate him.

    I am very sorry that you are in this position. Since you asked for advice (words of warning), here it is. Please, please please please refrain frmo have children with this man or any other man until you feel more certain about yourself and what you want out of life. You really owe yourself that.

  205. rubysecret

    Fede – You are correct, I made a muck-up of the retelling of someone else’s idea that i can’t fully remember but which made sense at the time. More concisely, the theory was that there was a turnabout in power when we created the marketplace. Suddenly, the tribe’s production was not wholly controlled by the tribe, but by the person who did the trading. Anyway, carry on.

  206. No Sugarcoating

    Kristine, I wonder how small the world really is, because I also found a guy who said he didn’t like blowjobs because he thought they were disrespectful to women, in those exact words. He was unfamiliar with feminism, as far as I know, but I was kind of shocked to actually encounter such a man for real. I mean, hearing about them on the internet is one thing…

  207. Kristine

    I know how you feel No Sugarcoating. He’s the only guy I ever met who said that. Ever. I was so shocked that there was a split second when I wanted to thank and congratulate him or something. But then I asked myself why I felt compelled to reward him for treating women with basic human decency. And so I decided to treat it like it was totally normal and never mention it to him again.

    It’s nice to know that the experience was not entirely anomalous. It gives me hope.

  208. Rachel

    And back to the neolithic people and the agriculture.

    It is my understanding that while sustenance/hunter/gatherer lifestyles are hard work, people tend to live and thrive where there is adequate appropriate food to eat.

    Upon the advent of grain-y agriculture, people began eating lots more grain. Which is largely empty calories compared to fruit and veggies and meat. So while more people could be sustained on a certain area of land, the quality of life for these people tended to be worse – dental disease, malnutrition, etc. There is a pretty famous site (we read a couple papers about it) called Abu Hureyra (sp?) in Turkey (or Syria?) that has suggested this to be true.

    My point being that there is no reason to believe that the advent of patriarchy / agriculture lead to better health just because we have better health now and we also depend on agriculture now. We have better health now (if you completely ignore the health problems caused by agriculture / industrialization / internetization / whatever other recent constructs of modern life that seem sort of timeless now) because of improved medicine.

  209. laxsoppa

    Rachel: “It is my understanding that while sustenance/hunter/gatherer lifestyles are hard work, people tend to live and thrive where there is adequate appropriate food to eat.”

    Not necessarily. An archaeologist I know once stated in a seminar on stone-age dwellings in my area that in the paleolithic era hunter-gatherers worked approximately two hours a day. No, I don’t have any better sources right now.

    Our perspective is largely skewed by the stock-controlled job market where everyone is expected to give 110% 25 hours a day. It’s a product of an economic system that is based on scarcity and forces a large part of the populace to work hard to secure the most basic necessities. I’m not sure if we really work more than medieval peasants (or ther wives), but I wouldn’t really wonder.

  210. Jill

    “Since you are not white, you obviously cannot be whitesplaining.”

    Lard knows you don’t have to be white to whitesplain.

  211. AlienNumber

    Lard knows you don’t have to be white to whitesplain.

    haha. Thanks, Jill!

    True though.

  212. Fede

    Lard knows you don’t have to be white to whitesplain.

    Lard knows it helps, though. But yeah, true. I guess what I should have said was: “Since you are not white and I am, it is not my place to accuse you of whitesplaining.”

  213. phio gistic

    I just ran across this project and thought blamers would appreciate it: http://akzseinga.livejournal.com/234631.html

    “We love the women that fandom hates”

    Quote from the site:
    I’m tired of fandom hating awesome women. Aren’t you? It’s time to show the haters how we appreciate the women and that fandom doesn’t have to be a place full of hatred. So I propose ONE WEEK DEDICATED TO WOMEN THE FANDOM HATES. Fest of love! (Sept 9 – 16, 2011)

  214. Ex-Advertising

    Since this is an open thread, I’ll share a small rant. It’s come to my attention that time and again, I’m taken Very Seriously on mixed-gender forums when I’m assumed to be male (and somehow, the default assumption is that I am), but once I out myself, I’m suddenly shunned for expressing the same opinions and having the same sense of humor I did when I was assumed to be “male.”

    IBTP is a nice respite from mansplaining. There’s too much of that going around on my forums these days. Many thanks, Jill.

  215. GMM

    I’ve had the same problem Ex-Advertising. It’s funny how the prespumtion one is male automatically earns you respect. I can see how it can go to a person’s head. Don’t they call that ‘confirmation bias’ or something?

    For a great debunking of the pseudoscience of male/female brain differences I recommend this talk at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas
    by Cordelia Fine:

    http://fora.tv/2010/10/02/Cordelia_Fine_Delusions_of_Gender#fullprogram

  216. GMM

    presumption, that is.

  217. Nolabelfits

    Hey check out Jill’s new “About Twisty” pic! Seriously, is that frog for real?

  218. veganrampage

    1. Gatherer/scavengers! That hunter/gatherer crap is a Big P lie so oft repeated we(almost)all take is as gospel. Just think about it. Now,anthropologically does it make any sense?

    2. Just for fun,and by fun I mean unfun, while watching TV/movies or listening to people talk or just existing in our sick, sad society observe how the worst insult is still to be called or compared to a female. The word “female” may not be the actual word used. How many times
    a day? A week? Who wants to keep score?
    I may have just invented the worst game on the planet.

  219. Fictional Queen

    That frog is huge! Wow,cool!
    Female as insult-I am so sick and tired of it.The world needs less what about the men and more what about the women.

  220. Nolabelfits

    Veganrampage-how about this one? Did you know that many sports teams,(male sports teams, of course) such as the San Francisco Giants, routinely make the rookies dress like little girls when they fly to and from various cities? To humiliate them, of course.

  221. Jezebella

    veganrampage: make it a drinking game and I’m in.

  222. GMM

    Jezebella, we might die of alcohol poisoning with that game.

    Veganrampage, pretty much every female mammal on this planet hunts. Even after giving birth, she goes out to hunt for food to feed her newborn offspring. Why would the human female be different?

  223. Embee

    I found Twisty via Rage Against the Man-Chine, which I found via Echidne which I found via Feministe.

    Love the new layout, Aunt Twisty. It particularly strikes me because of a recent post I made on my fledgling blog titled “Piles of Shit.” I’ve inserted my url into the sign-in box so I think that means anyone can link from there. I know the blog lacks focus and varies in quality, so go easy on me.

  224. Cootie Twoshoes

    pretty much every female mammal on this planet hunts

    Except for all those herbivores and, on many occasions, the omnivores, too.

  225. awhirlinlondon

    Dear Fictional Queen particularly – but anyone else as well, obviously & I do hope that there’s a blog post coming up on this one – what do you think of this subject: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/19/battle-for-the-burqa Not the article, necessarily, but the subject itself. As the article notes, the ban is spreading through a good bit of Europe.

  226. Fictional Queen

    The fact that once again women are being told what to do and what not to do sure pisses me off so much!Men just can’t leave us the fuck alone with their damn laws,can they?But I think that there might be some blessing in disguise for young girls in the fact that they won’t have to wear that stuff.Then again,I’m not sure dear Daddy will let that happen.I’ve realized it’s always a lose-lose for women anyway.For the particular thing they’re banning though,I just have no sympathy for it.I’m not gonna fight for anyone’s right to patriarchal clothes…But the right to wear whatever the hell you want without men being the center of it,now that must be some sweet freedom…

  227. awhirlinlondon

    Dear Fictional Queen – Thank you!

    It would indeed. But here, as you note, you’ve got one group of (largely) men insisting that women must dress in a particular way and another group of (largely) men insisting that they must not. And by “insisting” I mean potentially very serious repercussions either way. I hadn’t heard – but am not surprised – about the increase in racist behaviour by people on the street since the law hit the books – awful. It certainly occurs to me that there will be women who are not allowed to leave the house if this law is enforced. The article is big on women demanding the right to wear the niquab / burqa because that’s the side with which the author sympathizes. (See her indignation with feminists not insisting on the right for women to be able to wear what-they-want/patriarchy-inflicted-horrors.) Don’t know how prevalent that attitude actually is. (I know you hate it.) I’m not asking you to speak for everyone in your culture, obviously, but granting the giant mess and that at the moment it’s either one or the other, what do you think?

  228. Friend of Snakes

    Hey check out Jill’s new “About Twisty” pic! Seriously, is that frog for real?

    I’m thinkin’, No. Here’s why:

    First off, it’s a toad (see all those warty looking things on its back?). Second off, the only toad we have in the US that gets that big (and bigger, actually) is Bufo murinus, the marine toad, a bad alien customer (ask any Australian) that wreaks havoc on lots of native wildlife. But that toad hasn’t made it into Austin or Cottonmouth County (yet), I don’t think. Plus, Twisty’s toad doesn’t appear to have the giant parotid glands down its sides (kind of hard to tell, though, since the photo isn’t exactly tack sharp [not a value judgement, ok?]).

    So I’m guessing it’s a fake toad. A nice one. Nice goggles, too.

  229. Nolabelfits

    Thank you for the clarification Friend of Snakes. I am seriously lacking in critter knowledge. My offspring, however, has a ball python.

  230. Fictional Queen

    I don’t know,honestly.In one way,I think banning it can be a blessing in disguise,since those clothing is not in women’s interest anyway.The law can give them an excuse not to wear it,and have more freedom that way! I don’t think the families who wouldn’t let their property get out of the house with her hair out are the majority,and that’s rather difficult to enforce,what with women having university and work to go to,etc.The best situation would be for nothing to be compulsory.A group of women will always lose that way!I just want men not to sit around and decide for us what to wear and what not to wear.It’s a deep mess of patriarchy and these laws only makes it worse at least for the time being,I still have hopes that it will eventually be liberating for women,though.

  231. Friend of Snakes

    Nolabelfits, tell your offspring that I’ve had one since 1979. Given proper care, they just keep going on and on and on. Fifty years isn’t out of the question.

  1. Spinster aunt slowly emerges from stupor « I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] what Bushfire said: Twisty does focus on women’s oppression but she also makes it clear that other oppressions are [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>