Mar 03 2013

Spinster aunt launches SpleenVent Sundays!

Gatorful-o-pooGiven that I Blame the Patriarchy is adopting the ponderous 7-day post cycle, with the likeliest post day to be Thursday or Friday, I thought it might be fun to institute a Sunday Open Thread tradition to fill in the gap. I am dimly aware that there’s a reason this probably won’t work, but I’ve been on blog vacation for so long I can’t remember what that reason is. So until I figure it out: anti-venting, anti-anecdote, and anti-hijacking rules suspended! All other rules apply!

Okay, I’ll start. Over the last few days I’ve picked up on a theme running through the comments. It can be summed up with “I’ve been dealing with some nasty anti-feminists lately and ______________.” So what is your most recent nasty anti-feminist experience? Let’er rip.

Also, unrelated specifically to antifeminist encounters, have you checked out Bushfire’s blog? I loved this post on demolishing the public school system and her revolutionary ideas for the Idyllic Speculative-Fictional Shulamithian Utopia Education (my characterization, not hers) that might replace it. I would get certified in Horse Shit Studies and spread my skill throughout the world, for My New Manure Management Technique is Unstoppable.


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  1. sjaustin

    I very recently had a discussion (online, of course, because nobody has the nerve to say this shit to my face anymore) in which I stated that most men are assholes. I didn’t even say all men! This was met with dissent by a dude who condescendingly characterized the patriarchy as “being brainwashed by the menz” and the assertion that “women do those things too,” the latter being particularly hilarious, given that the context of the discussion was why I, as a heterosexual woman, do not have a romantic/sexual partner. After dude gave up (rather quickly, I might add) two young women rushed in to suggest that perhaps I should consider that I was the asshole and not these many many men. When I told them that I had already considered that I was the problem, and in fact had believed it for many years, but had since seen far too much evidence to the contrary, they decided I was even more of an asshole.

  2. Twisty

    A classic!

  3. M.K,. Hajdin

    Damn! I blew my spleen in the last thread. Can I vent my liver or kidneys instead?

  4. M.K. Hajdin

    My spleen got stuck in the filter, and I blew it in the last thread anyway, but I’m just here to cheer everybody else on.

  5. Nolabelfits

    First of all Thank you Twisty for returning to this blog. It saved my sanity when I found it and I need it more than ever right now!

    So I’m getting divorced. My soon to be ex today mentioned that twenty odd years ago when we bought our first house he took 14K out of his retirement account for the down payment. I was eight months pregnant, off work and caring for the two year old full time.

    He wants me to pay him back.

  6. Twisty

    Nolabelfits, I would calculate the unpaid woman-hours I put in on child-rearing, multiply by the going rate for childcare, and present Mr Ex with the bill. Plus interest.

  7. sjaustin

    If by “classic” you mean it’s happened so many goddamn times that by now I should know better than to engage with these people, you are correct. Next time I’m just going to drop my assertion that the vast majority of men are assholes who treat women like garbage and walk away. It’s so self-evident that the idea that it needs justification is absurd to me, like trying to explain to someone why water is indeed wet.

    Nolabelfits, that’s seriously fucked up. Like over the years you haven’t done far more than $14k – more than a million dollars, most likely – worth of work for him without any pay and probably without any genuine appreciation?

  8. Twisty

    @sjaustin: What I meant by “classic” is not that you should know better, merely that these are the typical patriarchy-denying responses to radfem outrage. If a blamer’s constitution can stand it, it’s always better to say something than nothing. Status quo-challenging is the radical’s mission statement.

  9. Nolabelfits

    I was thinking of doing that. Plus the price of a surrogate, which around these parts is upwards of 50K.

    Funny now that you’re back I keep hearing this refrain in my brain. “dump him! dump him!”
    Since he’s a dude with some moderately decent attributes, people act like he walks on water. Thank you for this whole blog for reminding me he’s just another asshole willing to wield his privilege at whim when it suits him.

    I was feeling shitty, now I’m looking forward to wrapping the whole deal up asap and getting on with a new dude free life.

  10. eb

    Welcome back Twisty!

    I have been gorging myself at the MRM smorgasbord. Yes, I know, it’s like injecting one’s self with brain eating mad cow disease, but I can’t help it. The rhetoric is gelatinous in such a way its existence repulses and baffles at the same time. I know I should look away, but the gooey jiggliness is soooo gooey.

    Two vid bloggers of particular interest are “femRA’s” Typhone Blue and Girl Writes What.

    GWW has really looooonnngg videos. I’ve never gotten through an entire one. This one is ironic considering there are dudes in the Manosphere who are questioning the emerging female presence. (Yes, the fact that I know this is really kinda pathetic. I need to go paint a wall or do something equally useful.)

    Typhon Blue is so non-patriarchy compliant if she was a feminist she’d be called out for being a mannish skank. But, wait…


    Happy Sunday.

  11. sjaustin

    Thanks Twisty, I appreciate the clarification. My constitution can stand it sometimes, but sometimes not. I’m sure you know how exhausting it can get. But your blog provides a welcome respite from all of that patriarchy-denying and defending, and it gives me a place to recharge my blaming battery and keep on going. So glad you’re back!

  12. Antelope

    I experienced another true classic the other night. There was a debate around the Quvenzhane Wallis/Onion thing happening between some friends & acquaintances at my table.

    One guy at the table was coming from the position of, “Well sure, I guess I can see how that might be offensive if you’re a woman, but that doesn’t mean it is offensive. After all, there’s other people who thought it was funny, and some of them are women!”

    He then upped the ante by throwing in a healthy dose of, “On the other hand, if you can convince me that it was offensive, with an argument I deem to be airtight enough, then I will agree that it’s objectively so.” (With a very clear overtone of ‘but you can’t, because I’m a logical dude and you are not.’)

    I hung back & didn’t say much b/c I didn’t know the dude very well & b/c this was all done just subtly enough that I couldn’t fully put my finger on it at the time. Now, 2 days later, it’s making me nuts that I didn’t say anything.

  13. stacey

    Spleeny Sundays YAY!

    Infant and toddler child care ($CAD http://www.ccsc-cssge.ca/hr-resource-centre/wage-scales for 2005): (~$15K*4 years) $60K
    Pre-school care: (~$20K*2 years) $40K
    Before- and after-school care: (~$15K*10 years) $150K
    Housekeeping, cooking: (~$15K*10 years) $150K

    $400 K for first fifteen or so years of taking care of one child. This is with dirt-cheap figures, and sloppy disregard for price-of-living indexing, should one care to hire staff for the needs of a two-child family. Paid for the mortgage down-payment, MY ASS.,

  14. Twisty

    Omigod Antelope, I feel ya. I love that he was actually questioning the validity of a negative response to calling a 9-year-old kid a cunt! The mind reels.

  15. stacey

    Sorry I forgot to de-linkify!

    Personal recent spleen: Last month, my 9.5-year-old described me as “lazing around” when there was a discussion in the carpool about what parents’ professions were. UN. BELIEVABLE.

    February unpaid work:
    Volunteer office work: 60 hrs
    Carpool: 18 hrs
    Home care and school-attendant care when he broke his leg skiing: 72 hrs
    Sewing for his school’s fundraising gala: 35 hrs
    Misc. housework: 10 hrs (I am a slacker)

    195 hrs… a 48 hr work week. AND I take a 3rd-year-level art history class, AND I try to do some art every day. Admittedly, I’m not always attending to sofa-bound children or sewing huge projects every month; but even so, I’d have a 22 hr unpaid-work-week, which is nothing to sneeze at.

    And that, my friends, is my math brain gone for the week.

  16. M.K. Hajdin

    Stacey, do you have a link to any of your art?

  17. Elle

    I’m professor of women’s studies, teaching 101 (intro to WS), for the first time in several years (I usually teach upper-division classes, filled with burgeoning feminists on fire with newly discovered righteous rage).

    I had forgotten about the boys who sign up for 101 to meet a campus ‘diversity’ requirement and then resent being forced to confront and learn about feminism. I’ve got one kid who rarely comes to class but keeps handing in assignments, forcing me to read his wretched ill-informed analysis. If he had any brains, I’d say he was trolling me, but he’s just not that smart. In his essay analyzing the sexism of the advertising during the superbowl, his proposed solution was for women to not let it bother them; turning the other cheek is ‘the real way to win.’ I gave him a generous C and explained that he had failed to understand class materials. (He did identify sexism in the ads reasonably well.)

    He wrote me an email almost as long as his essay, explaining to me that I ‘just didn’t understand” his paper and what he was trying to say.

    I’m dying to ask him if he treats his other professors like this — when he fails in math, does he tell the professor that she or he just didn’t understand his work? (I’m pretty sure chemistry professors don’t get student comments on course evaluations that say “She reacts defensively when you correct her about course content.”)

  18. thebewilderness

    A direct hit on Quvenzhane Wallis doesn’t count because it was intended to be a bank shot targeting someone else and they did not mean to offend so it doesn’t count. That particular you don’t understand argument usually works. Not this time.

    The other thing that is on my last nerve is the post at Think Progress this morning on how we should stop using the term mansplaining because some people use it incorrectly and it is too much trouble to define and it is distracting and stuff.
    Is this common? Do people usually suggest that if a word is being used incorrectly we should all just stop using that word? That seems absurd to me.

  19. Comradde PhysioProffe

    Bushfire’s blogge post is fucken awesome! The high school that I attended was very, very tolerant of my own inability/unwillingness to do the work I was supposed to do, and they allowed me to essentially engage my own autodidactic course of study holed up in the library. I remain grateful for that freedom to this day, and agree that all children and adolescents should have it. And even better would have been access to expert teachers on the subjects I was studying.

  20. wendy

    A UK ‘Sunday Times’ article, not available online by India Knight. Ruined my Sunday lunch and had me absolutely seething.

    . The print front cover of the Sunday Times magazine was a high-healed shoe resting on the head of a small picture of Lord Rennard. Recent news here in the UK makes accurastions from female members of parliament that he had ‘wandering hands’ . They had made official comlaints which appear to have been ingnored and the Lord ‘retired from his job.

    India’s take on this is that the female MP’s who complained are giving women a bad reputation because they’re strong enough people to be able to deal with a senior member of staff groping them. She goes on to point out that their complaints belittle the suffering of Jimmy Saville’s vistims (citing hospitalised children) . Jimmy Saville raped women and children throughout his career at the BBC.

    Women like India who adopt a patriarchal control line of thinking and then get front-cover press time because the patriarchy like their perspective really piss me off.

    Thanks for the vent-sace. uch appreciated.

  21. Raging Leftie (@ragingleftie)

    I think that it is most difficult when the people closest to you do not agree or understand your lifestyle choices and your opinions. Particularly when they refuse to see you point of view. My bother recently began an argument with myself over feminism – stating the oft-stated point that everything women go through is also gone through by men. Women get raped, so men get raped, women get harassed in the workplace, men get harassed in the workplace etc etc. Women experience these things on a much larger scale but my own normally openminded brother refused to believe that women had it any worse than men and eventhough women may have been unfairly treated a hundred years ago they are not any longer. Of course the argument escalated very quickly and it soon became a pretty one-sided shouting match (his) a lay in bed at night obsessing over what I should have a said – frustratingly in the heat of the moment the most persuasive arguments just don’t come to you do they?

  22. ew_nc

    I guess my gaze was on the papers of others, because I too share the spitting-nails outrage over the Onion/Quvenzhane thing. I want to do the Austin Powers finger pinching shut-up gesture to anyone who tries to argue about it, because there is not one fucking thing in the world that can justify it. Nothing.

    On another note, I have my daily outrage over the language of the media in regards to women and children. Today’s gem comes from some creepy Catholic cardinal who decided he needed to apologize for “sexual misconduct”. I’ll take “Under statement of the year” for $500, Alex!

    I’m sure his rape and ruination of the life of his victim(s) was simply a “Whoops!” on his part, on par with shutting the door on someone’s foot. A polite apology in the media, where he refuses to give specifics, is all that’s needed to set things right. I think we’re supposed to be grateful to this saint in a red dress for deigning to address the issue at all. How modern of him!

    Misconduct, my hairy ass.

  23. M.K. Hajdin

    I can’t click on a heartwarming link about a little girl who was cured of HIV without coming across a sidebar story entitled, ‘Are You Normal In Bed?’

    You know who I blame.

  24. Amanita

    So happy to welcome you back, Twisty!

    I lurk on IBTP hardcore, but I rarely comment because I’m a little intimidated by my elder feminists, for I am but a greenhorn. But I’m deep in trolling some MRAs online right now, and I need to share. Here’s the thing. I know what to expect from the MRAs. They’re going to disagree stupidly and irately with everything I say. But this is what really gets me down:

    Dude in YouTube Video: Can you believe these radfems? They want to castrate and kill all men. They must be stopped!

    Uninformed Fun Feminists in the Comments: You’re right. Feminism is about equal rights for both genders. Radfems are man-hating, backward disgraces. They’re not feminists, they’re misandrists!

    Me: You seem to be a wee bit misinformed about radical feminists. (Insert succinct explanation.)

    Funfems: No, YOU’RE WRONG. They all really do want to kill men! Let me tell you how I know this in the form of an incoherent non-argument that further demonstrates my uninformed state.

    Me: Hey, funfem. If you really cared about feminism you wouldn’t be trash talking your fellow feminists in front of the MRAs. You’d also go through the little bit of trouble it takes to learn about radical feminist theory.

    FunFems: [I’ve got her cornered now, heh heh.] So are you trying to say that there are NO women at all who want to hurt men??? Allow me to spew forth a misinterpretation of the writings of Valerie Solanas and Andrea Dworkin that I found on google three seconds ago.

    Me: Shut the hell up, and get your ass to a library. What part of “I’m a radfem and I don’t want to kill men” don’t you understand?

    Of course, I do kind of hate most men, and there are a shit ton of men I wish to be castrated. But the nuances of that attitude are far too advanced for these people, so I just leave it out entirely.

  25. Falkland

    I work in the hotel biz as a night auditor. We had a security guard who apparently didn’t want to take orders from women. My (also female) colleagues in the VLT lounge reported that he’d pitch a fit if they asked him to watch the place while they hit the washroom, and that he’d make them walk to their cars alone at closing time. If I asked him to do anything, he’d act as if I wanted him to fetch coffee or muck out a barn stall (oops! haha)

    We are working at night in downtown Edmonton – not exactly a feminist paradise.

    After a couple of months of this bullshit, I outed him to our mutual superiors as a lazy-ass misogynist and presto – we’re getting a new guard! Yay!

  26. Jezebella

    I am forty-five years old and recently I finally met ONE dude who does not flinch when I use terms like “patriarchy” and “male privilege”. This is a good thing. The fact that 99.9% of dudes’ responses to those terms is, at a barest minimum, flinching, drives me bananas.

    I would totally turn into a howler monkey if someone in my presence tried to defend the verbal assault on the young Ms. Wallis.

    I have recently been re-reading Dworkin’s “Pornography” and am alternately depressed, outraged, and nauseated that, so far as I have read, it remains up-to-date. I have to read it in small doses.

  27. Languor

    I’m a massive fan of your blog. I’ve been a feminist since first entering high school but I’ve been fighting for human rights since I could talk. You were my introduction to radical feminism and I can’t thank you enough.

    Recently, I started to debate feminist issues on the internet. I posted in a thread to talk to some liberal feminists about gender issues and they completely bit off my head for suggesting gender was an oppressive tool. They held the view that gender was a choice that expressed personal identity. They ranted about how women who dress femininely are excluded from most feminist events (which I find hard to believe) and that dressing femininely but acting tough (threatening violence against rapists in a cute way) was very subversive and totally feminist.
    By the end of this part they brought up “cis-privelege”. I wanted to continue to be a part of the conversation because it’s an issue that is so complex and problematic to me. I asked some questions about gender and sex (completely non-aggressively) and suddenly I was a transphobic, racist, homophobic, bigoted troll and statistics about violence against trans people were flung at me as if I perpetrated every act. A transwoman entered the debate and said they were crying and everyone insulted me for making them cry. Some dudes came in and defended the liberal feminists (“I agree with them” they kept saying to me). The whole thing was a freaking circus. Everyone kept demanding that I admit that I was wrong because I wouldn’t agree with their understanding of the social hierarchy. Throughout the thread it was constantly chanted that anyone from any other group was more oppressed than women (especially more oppressed than I am).
    The argument lasted a week! I’m completely exhausted and all I got from the experience is a head full of gender being “a choice for cis-women” but “innate in trans people” and the knowledge that suggesting that women are oppressed will get you in deep crud with most of the internet and make everyone hate you and call you a bigot. I don’t want to hurt anyone who is oppressed under the patriarchy but if it takes my silencing to keep them happy, I can’t comply.

    How do you do it? How do you stay so cool when you’re insulted, attacked and hated for your views? Do you get anxious? I know it’s just the internet but I get so stressed when people hate me.

    Thanks for being my hero, Twisty.

  28. Nimravid

    I went to a business meeting and in a single group picture there were 6 women together and none of the men. One of the management-dudes’ spider senses tingled while we were taking the picture and he rushed to inform us that there was an estrogen takeover of the department in progress. (I’m paraphrasing; it was somewhat more offensive than that.) There were eleven people at the meeting. Yes. Six women and five men. The women, not coincidentally, were not in the management positions. I said that it was strange he’d mention a takeover since overall our (large) company was two-thirds men. So we could work on the takeover a little more. Luckily one of my female colleagues rushed to assure him that we were doing a great job as far as gender equity in our little sub-department (what with half of us being women, though not the management half) and headed off his reply. Which, judging by the look on his face, was strangely not going to be an apology.

    The horrible thing is, I didn’t realize until I stopped and counted afterward that women don’t overwhelmingly outnumber men in our department. Half just seemed like an abnormally high number of women- an “unexplainably huge number of women outnumbering the men” amount of women- even to me.

  29. nails

    A midwife was giving me a vaginal exam and it hurt. A lot. So I told her to stop. and she didn’t. It lasted forever. And the clinic manager basically told me they can’t be responsible for my reaction, even though I told them all I have a history of sexual abuse. The police said it wasn’t illegal because I didn’t have any evidence that she did it for sexual purposes (you know, instead of because of indifference or cruetly). I wake up angry every day since without being able to sleep the whole night. I don’t know how I am supposed to go to the doctor ever again, knowing what they are allowed to do to me. I went to a midwife because I had a history of men abusing me, and now I have one of women abusing me. It feels like no one is safe.

  30. M.K. Hajdin

    Nails, I had a Pap smear from a nasty woman doctor that went exactly like that. I was crying afterward. I complained about the doctor and they did NOTHING.

    Also, fuck Wikipedia. You can’t even look up an article about cute cats without stumbling across a gratuitious pornography reference. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cute_cat_theory_of_digital_activism

    The best part is how they try to pretend that the dudes downloading porn are really digital crusaders for truth ‘n’ justice.

  31. Twisty

    Whoa, Nails. That is beyond fucked up.

    It’s like, we even have to carry tasers and pepper spray and flamethrowers to the doctor.

  32. quixote

    Tangent here, responding to Elle about whether the sciences ever get the “But you didn’t understand me” BS. We’re dealing mostly with accepted facts, although the occasional creationist does pop up, so it’s much less extreme than what you see in humanities. In biology, we have a lot of pre-meds, and you wouldn’t belieeeeve the amount of arguing over tiny points they can do. They’re not saying water is dry, like your student, but if they forget the “O” when you ask for the chemical formula for H2O, they’ll try to insist they should get 50% credit.

  33. stacey

    Thank goodness this is an open thread, because Sunday alone cannot contain my week’s rage.

    So I’m reading the Globe and Mail business section this morning (first mistake) and there’s an article on “working dads.” The reporter (a woman) uses dad-bloggers as her only interview sources. She gets a quote from a dad-blog-guy at Deloitte, who set up a “Deloitte Dads” because he was

    FUCKER. If there was a Deloitte Moms, they’d be harassed out of existence. It would be DANGEROUS and SUBVERSIVE and OMG they’re trying to change our workplace.

    I forgot, the reporter also quotes a 2008 survey (of 1200-odd working dad menz, which recommends


  34. M.K. Hajdin

    Because not even death can save us from being sold into matrimonial slavery:

  35. Lidon

    Languor, I feel ya. I was on what ended up being a funfem blog (I didn’t know that word at the time) and I dared to suggest that perhaps stripping and pole dancing were NOT empowering and hoo boy, the shit hit the fan! From all sides! Nowadays, when I don’t have the energy to argue, I just remind myself of this quote, “You can only provide information, not understanding.” That seems to be the case with me every time, with possibly one exception.

    Nails, I’ve had some asshole female doctors too. It’s insanely frustrating, especially assuming THEY have to go through the same shit at some point. I can’t even think of how many times I’ve wished I had a taser on me anymore.

  36. mad

    The new cover of The Bell Jar.

  37. Shelby

    Holy shit M. K. Hajdin!

    My anti-feminist moment. Reading that Manboobz blog. I can’t quite put my finger on why it irks me so, but it has something to do with republishing so many in-your-face despicably fucked up misogynistic there is no doubt that Men Hate You examples. I can identify that it depresses me. It’s not uplifting like this space, but I can’t quite articulate why I consider it an anti-feminist space.

  38. Saurs

    (Shelby: I feel the same way. Perhaps it’s because Futrelle can, somewhat gleefully, reproduce all that bilious hate, usually sans commentary, yet he still can’t identify fully as feminist or admit that pornography is oppressive. It’s a bit too cookie-begging, Hark at These Bad Men, and obvious. More insidious forms of misogyny experienced first-hand are better presented, sometimes deconstructed, by all those tumblers liberal ‘Freeze Peach’ men seem to hate–now defunct Dudes of OKCupid, Mansplained, Shit Straight White Dudes Say, Y U Mad White Boy, et al.)

    There’s a conversation happening between a few Philosophical Bros over at Crooked Timber about how sexism can be harmless and nudie pictures satisfy a fundamental need and unrealistic cartoon grotesques are fine in the abstract but otherwise offend delicate artistic sensibilities (and that’s why they’re bad) and I just fucking can’t with them. I just can’t summon the energy to argue about it or to point out that coercion invisible to men deflates the tidy, liberal argument about “willing participants.” I hate that they’re co-opting Hawkeye and Escher Girls to make these tired fucking pronouncements about What Constitutes Sexism, Really (Male Perspective #9101) and I hate that, as per usual, they believe their tolerance of sexism and misogyny supersedes the rights of women to object. It’s not a novel occurrence by any means, but it’s killing me right now.

  39. Redpeachmoon

    Thanks for the post Twisty, I’ve missed you and the neighborhood so much!
    It’s so much less lonely with you all here.

  40. ew_nc

    Kudos to Geena Davis for publicly calling out Seth McFarlane’s deplorable Oscar performance. And BOOOO to the Academy for defending it under the guise of “creative freedom”.

  41. c2t2

    In my decade-long radfem career, I’ve noticed that my opinion of Nigels largely hinges on whether or not I currently have one. When I don’t have one, I feel completely clear-headed when I hold them in utter contempt (except, of course, YOUR nigel, dear reader. He is wonderful, I’m sure. A true exception).

    In the brief months when I’m foolish enough to take a Nigel, my opinion completely changes. I can tell that my head isn’t clear, and that I’m doing something that will cause me nothing but pain (and it inevitably does, I’ve been beaten and robbed of everything I owned more times than I care to think about. Cops, natch, always refuse to prosecute.) but each time my opinion changed nonetheless, even as I was completely aware that this new outlook on life was utter bullshit.

    Hormones plus patriarchal brainwashing are a powerful mix, yo. It’s scary. I want to say “never again”, but I seem to keep breaking that resolution. Here’s hoping this stretch of freedom lasts longer than most. (It could happen; I’ve been autonomous for almost two years now.)

    Oddly enough, there’s nowhere else I can go that I wouldn’t get soundly reamed as a misandrist, and rebuked for hurting the tender feelings of the poor men with my hurtful words. Jill may regret allowing an anti-patriarchy self-help group in the open threads. Oh well, as long as no one makes me do the God-infested “twelve steps”.

  42. Enide

    It is no longer Sunday. But I am no longer patient with dudliocentric conversations about “sex workers.” I understand the expensive, beloved, (*cough*), allegedly well-protected Escort Service ideal and the Freedom Through Expression blah blah blah and the If It Is Her Choice And She Makes SUCH Good Money rubbish that shovels out early in these conversations, but I am weary. Weeeeeeeary. And I blame the patriarchy form making me weary. That is all for now. Oh and I am so glad this is back and happening. It has been a dry spell indeed, and I for one intend to drink deep at the blamin well.

  43. blue

    nails, have you investigated whether you have a medical battery case? From what I understand, medical battery occurred when you asked the midwife to stop and she ignored you. Same thing happened with me during a pelvic exam with a male ob/gyn. He began a part of the exam I didn’t want. I said no. He ignored me. I didn’t pursue a medical battery complaint, but I did write him a letter. He replied via registered mail, “I’m sorry you felt that way, but the parts of the exam I performed are standard.” A non-apology.

  44. Shelby

    Thanks for confirmation Saurs. I was beginning to feel even more odd.

  45. Twisty

    Languor: “How do you do it? How do you stay so cool when you’re insulted, attacked and hated for your views? Do you get anxious? I know it’s just the internet but I get so stressed when people hate me.”

    Well, everyone gets anxious when under attack, but remember, they can’t actually hate you, because they don’t know you. If they knew you they would totally like you, because you’re swell, yes?

    As for these week-long internet antifeminist stressouts, you only subject yourself to one or two of these before you learn to just get in, say your bit, and get out. If you stay in there and keep taking it on the chin, your chin will get pretty sore. Some of those funfeminist forums can be pretty hatey. It’s because they’re founded on the same principles as the whole rest of the oppressive goddam world.

    As for gender politics, whew, good luck there, what a roiling can-o-worms that shit is. Gender will be eliminated, along with this blog, by feminist revolution (and not a moment too soon), but until then, my personal policy is just to live and let live. Our society supports the idea of two genders only, which doesn’t leave alot of leeway for the infinite variations in sexual expression that are actually possible for truly autonomous beings.

  46. Tia B

    The frequent and infuriating framing of sexual violence against women as consensual sex by my local newspapers is the current focus of my down-with-patriarchy spleen vent. Every time this happens, I end up sending another round of emails to reporters and boneheaded rape apologist cops. At this point, I have a folder of style guides for reporters and sexual violence 101 for cops. One reporter promised to review the information and to consider victim impact when both writing her stories and managing of comments sections. Other than this one reporter, no one seems to consider or care that the girls and women whose traumas are being blithely mis-framed as consensual sex can read and sloppy, inaccurate, rape-culture language in both the story and the comments adds to the trauma.

    The worst one in recent memory was one in which the sheriff was quoted as saying that a 13 year old girl confessed she was having an ongoing sexual relationship with the adult men. That’s right, blamers. The girl confessed that she went out and got herself raped by adult men. That language will never stop burning. The girl is 13 years old and this is the language my local paper and local sheriff use to describe ongoing sexual assault.

  47. roesmoker

    Thank JEEBUS you’re back! The blaming just wasnt the same without you.

    Check out this post by a radfem that gets it. I’ve been reading her blog the past few days and highly recommend it.


  48. roesmoker

    PS: the comments on the linked post are almost as good as the post itself.

    PPS: apologies for the grammar error in my previous comment.

  49. quixote

    roesmoker, I checked out the link to cherryblossom. I sympathize with her point of view (obviously), but biologically her argument is a lot of horsepuckey.

    The Y chromosome is not actually “inferior” to the X. Everybody lives with only one active X. The other one gets turned off. Men just don’t get two choices about which one to turn off.

    The Y does not have any genes on it that would be relevant to craziness or stupidity. Testosterone is correlated with a tendency to violence, but explains only the impulsive type, not premeditated, organized, consistent, control-oriented shit. The latter isn’t determined by biology.

    The Y chromosome is all narrowly focused on primary and secondary male sexual characteristics, plus a few oddball genes left over from evolutionary history like whether hair grows in the ears or not.

  50. roesmoker

    Quixote, thanks for your comment. Have you read “Adam’s Curse”, by Bryan Sykes? I need to reread it in light of this information, because he has a similar theory and I can’t recall if it has the same flaws that you describe. I’ll get back to you on this.

  51. nails

    I am having a really hard time just getting out of bed right now. The cop I talked to was an asshole and it makes it hard for me to want to talk to anyone IRL about it. I would really like to have something done about it but talking to a stranger (even a lawyer) about this is hard right now. The clinic retained a lawyer already.

    I got a non-apology too. “sorry you feel that way”.

  52. tinfoil hattie

    nails, I am so very sorry that you were so abused and violated. So, so sorry. Your experience is appalling.

    You are not crazy. You did nothing wrong. You are absolutely right in your assessment. There is nothing “wrong” with you.

    Rage, and cry, and just keep coming here. We KNOW what you are talking about, and we get it. I am so, so sorry. This is big stuff. No wonder you don’t want to get out of bed.

  53. quixote

    roesmoker, Sykes is a Big Honcho geneticist but from the little I know of his work he’d do well to stop displaying his ignorance about evolutionary mechanisms. His basic thesis, if I remember right, is that the Y is so reduced, continuing along the same trajectory means it’ll go out like a light. Aside from everything he doesn’t take into account (environmental factors, for instance) that’s about as logical as suggesting that computer chips keep getting smaller, so soon they won’t exist at all.

    I’ve taught biology for decades, and I have never seen anything even suggesting that biology is destiny when it comes to human potential. (Barring massive changes like having three of chromosome 21 when you’re only supposed to have two.)

    Biology is actually much easier to change than culture. We can’t and don’t want to start human breeding programs. But if we did, it wouldn’t take any more generations to breed the human equivalent of outgoing labradors or impulsive chihuahuas than it does for dogs. Ten, fifteen generations and you’re done. Cultures grind on doing the same shit for thousands of years, as cherryblossom points out.

    Anyway. Sorry to be holding forth. I get all hot and bothered when people misuse biology.

  54. quixote

    nails, the reason the clinic got a lawyer is they know damn well one of theirs did something wrong. It’s unprofessional conduct in a health professional of any rank not to abide by the patient’s requests in any examination. They’re fairly terrified of you making noise about it because it’ll make them look bad, as indeed they are.

    So, if you feel like it, give ’em hell. On the other hand, if you’d rather pay attention to other things, don’t go back there. Assuming that’s an option.

    As to how to proceed, maybe try to find out which approach will be the most useful from a legal standpoint? The ACLU (??) might have some information on tacks to take against unprofessional conduct with a gendered component.

    All that said, just hang in there. You’re good. They’re not.

  55. nails

    thanks for the support everyone. it means a lot to me.

  56. Twisty

    Also, nails, if there’s anything you think we might be able to do to help, just say the word.

  57. Kristine

    In response to the ‘Are Men Aware of their Condition’ article:

    “For those readers who may not know, men systematically massacred over nine million women over the course of many centuries, and then pretended it didn’t happen. So clearly, we’re not talking about institutionalized misogyny here. ”

    That’s all I needed to hear to know that it’s bullshit. Of course it’s institutionalized misogyny. That’s the definition of institutionalized misogyny. Just because the behavior lasted for centuries doesn’t mean it was genetic. After all, the Egyptian Empire lasted for roughly 3000 years, and no scientist (or possibly historian) in their right mind would argue that a monarchy based on polytheistic religion is genetically predetermined.

    Because that would be stupid.

  58. shopstewardess

    nails: I agree with quixote: if the clinic lawyered-up that quickly, and let you know that they had, they know they’ve got a problem.

    I understand not wanting to talk to anyone about it. If you can bear to, it would be a good idea for you to write down your recollection of the whole visit, as fully and accurately as possible, as soon as you can. Doing this may help to reassure you that your experience really did happen as you thought it did. (The patriarchy often denies women’s experiences. In fact, it does it so often that we women end up doubting ourselves even before the patriarchy gets its denial in). A recent record could also be useful, if you do take a case, to use to refresh your memory if it is questioned in the future, and to show that your telling of the incident has stayed consistent.

    When you can bear to talk to someone about it all, see if you can find a sympathetic female lawyer who will take a “no win no fee” case. Probably all she will have to do is write a couple of letters on the right headed notepaper to get a decent offer of compensation (two letters because she may tell you not to accept the first offer).

    Take care of yourself, and best wishes.

  59. pheenobarbidoll

    I’m currently trying to explain to some d00ds that sexism and the P framed society is NOT natural or normal and is, in fact, created. Created by d00ds.

    More pressing on my plate that d00ds and their stupidity- I made banana nut cake and it’s so good I may eat the whole damn thing tonight.

  60. stacey

    Hey nails, in Canada we have the option of communicating directly with the (provincial) College of Physicians and Surgeons, which is the license-granting body that governs the right to practice medicine. Is there an equivalent in your area? It bypasses both law and the clinic itself and goes to an organization that might actually have some power to do something.

    I wish you didn’t have to go through this. I’ve got your back, if you need it.

  61. Kim

    I’m coming from the candybag full of razor blades that is tumblr, and someone who is a decent friend and a mostly interesting blog to follow is an anti-feminist woman, and I know that much of what she is saying is wrong and that she judges any argument as “tumblr feminists lol” and then ‘schools’ me on why I’m wrong about how men are actually not being mistreated as a direct result of feminism and evil women wanting to oppress the menz.

    And it’s all so terrible for me because I was the same way a little over a year ago.

    Also, I love that the submit button is “blame”.

  62. pregnant pause

    I am not sure what category to place this rant under, but I just want to get it off my chest…
    I just recently read an article on that site i09 about how researchers have finally got around to mapping the anatomy of the human clitoris using MRI. It blew my mind that I have made it to 42 years old with such a misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about my own anatomy.

    The first time I ever even heard of the clitoris I was 16 and there was a 1-sentence reference to it in my school biology textbook. I am Canadian and had been getting sex end classes at school starting in grade 4, but zero mention of my second-favourite body part until grade 11! When I finally read that sentence a light bulb went on in my head, I closed my textbook and proceeded to try to learn to masturbate, regretting all the wasted years I could have been making my own fun had I known.

    I also went on to have years of frustrating and unsatisfying p in v sex with men. If straight men and women had clue one about female anatomy, it would be a great first step to enable women to, you know, enjoy sex. (This could basically apply to anyone who has sex with women, really) What chaps my ass is that it seems like the majority of the male world is uninterested in female pleasure and sexuality. And if they are, they are misinformed and confused (judging by the vast amount of male enhancement spam I receive).

    That we are shown a model of ‘what sex is’ based on ‘what feels good for men’ was not news to me. But I can’t believe how in the dark I still was about my own body until I saw that article. I really bought the idea that the external clit was where we receive pleasure, and that the vagina was very secondary. In my 20s I even sort of saw rejecting my vagina for my clitoris as a feminist idea, as if maybe the vagina was somehow just there for men and not for me. I am having a hard time articulating this… But i feel like the way we talk about female genitalia and sexuality is usually so divided and separating: ‘over here, we have the wee clitoris, for fun times. Waaay over here we have the vagina, where penises and other things go, which some women claim they like, we don’t really know why, and some women don’t like, again, no idea why’. Reading the article and seeing the MRI image made me realise they aren’t separate at all, they are entwined! I am reaching for a holy trinity metaphor here but I need a third thing. Maybe our brains. (My first-fav body part).

    Another light bulb going off, and a lot of ‘riiight, that explains why I like this so much, and this less, etc.’, plus, to be honest, a whole bunch of cool ideas of things to try out. And a ton of anger that no one is shouting this knowledge from the rooftops. Maybe you blamers knew all of this already, I am choked that it took me this long to find out.

  63. Katherine

    I just popped by to relive some patriarchy blaming, and you’re back! I’m so happy. Like Nolabelfits, I’m going through a divorce, and I could really do with some internet radfem-ery to remind me in dark times that I’m not completely crazy when I blame the patriarchy for this whole mess.

  64. TwissB

    Enide said on March 4: “It is no longer Sunday. But I am no longer patient with dudliocentric conversations about “sex workers.” I understand the expensive, beloved, (*cough*), allegedly well-protected Escort Service ideal and the Freedom Through Expression blah blah blah and the If It Is Her Choice And She Makes SUCH Good Money rubbish that shovels out early in these conversations, but I am weary.”

    What is the difference between an escort and a hooker? Not much, it seems. The manager of a sex-and-meth addisction treatment facility for wealthy men explains: “”Just ask Siri, ‘Where are the hookers?’ and you’ll geolocate escort services,”

  65. hayduke

    I’m so glad you’re back. My blaming chops are a bit rusty – in fact, will this comment even post?

    Thanks for the link to Bushfire’s blog; it is spectacular.

  66. ew_nc

    It’s Sunday again, and I have a spleen in need of venting.

    I had to go to the mall yesterday, an activity that I’ve come to abhor. But I was badly in need of shoes and have funky feet, so I can’t order them online. I found a great pair fairly quickly, so I decided to stop in the (crowded) food court to have some lunch. There was a crowded table of about 10 people not far from me. A young woman was trying to edge past the people at this table, but she stumbled and ended up sort of falling on a woman that was sitting there. The seated woman let out a blood-curdling scream. The whole food court was startled and looked over there. The two women were clearly embarrassed and quickly tried to right themselves.

    Why is this a spleen vent? Because almost immediately the conversations around me were about how badly this woman had overreacted to the incident. The words “freak” and “drama queen” were used. My first thought of the woman was that she must be have been the victim of violence at some time. One doesn’t scream at unexpected touch like that for no reason. But people felt the need to make fun of her to relieve their own discomfort. Why are people so shitty about this stuff? I just sat there feeling very sad for her. I would have approached her, but her body language was such that it was obvious that she just wanted to be left alone. Besides, I didn’t think she needed another person intruding on her space.

    I blame the patriarchy for the mindset that you have to turn on a fellow human who shows vulnerability. And I blame the patriarchy for violence that led to that woman’s scream.

  67. Pandechion

    Hey, *I’m* getting divorced too! Once the papers are signed, hoo boy, am I going to dish.

  68. quixote

    ew_nc, I had an image of a man reacting like that. Everybody’d be talking about how he must be a combat veteran.

  69. sally

    So, what about those Fresh+Sexy Intimate Wipes? Take a look at this ad- a clean beaver gets more wood, aka, buy these and be ready for any gang bang! I never imagined the “you are dirty, get clean, woman” advertising shitstorm would be WORSE for my daughters, but here it is.


  70. That Girl

    Not to take anything away from the great post, but the general idea is Unschooling.

  71. Nolabelfits

    Unschooling indeed. My daughter unschooled the four years she was supposed to be in High School. Funny how she’s not “behind” in anything despite not setting foot in an educational institution for four whole years.

  72. josquin

    Pink and purple Legos marketed for girls. Shoes for women: now reaching obscene heights for which you might need an oxygen tank in order to walk around in them. Breezy articles in magazines describing the various popular cosmetic foot surgeries available in order to wear said shoes. The closing comments in said article shrugging cutely about how women just hafta have their sexy shoes, and thus it’s always been.
    It’s no better than foot binding, my dears, and yet fun feminists are lapping up this crap as if it actually tastes good.
    On a different note: the school teacher who got fired for being outed as performing in a porno film several years prior to being hired as a teacher. Who exactly discovered said porno film, you may ask? Why, the dad of one of her students! Was he fired for WATCHING porno films? That would be no.
    Twisty, I could go on and on. Thanks for being here.

  73. ptittle

    Elle, yes I’ve had the same response from many a male student, and I’ve wondered the same thing: do they do this to their male professors as well? (And, of course, do they do this to all their female professors, or is it just me?) If anyone knows of any research on this, I’d love to read it; I’ve looked in vain. I suspect difference would be hard to establish, because such a study would have to depend on self-report and because of the observer effect.

    But, anecdotally, I remember once waiting just outside the door of a (male) colleague’s Economics class — I’d been invited to do a special lecture on ethics — and I was absolutely stunned at how quiet, polite, and unchallenging the students were. I eventually quit teaching because of the hostility, the relentless challenge (once when I ended up having to teach remedial grammar to first year students, one guy actually challenged me about the correct way to use a semi-colon).

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