Jan 29 2015

Spinster aunt reads generic feminism article, complains

Just read a piece in the Huffington Post written by a self-identified feminist who endeavors to explain feminism to a purported audience of feminists who don’t want feminists to explain feminism to them.

Author Kat George’s article is titled “Six Things That Definitely Don’t Make You a Bad Feminist.” Like everything published on the internet these days, it is a list.

The gist of her list is that performance of femininity does not conflict with feminist activism. It includes permission for feminists to change their name when they get married, to get waxed, and to let dudes pick up the tab. Also on the list: it’s no skin of George’s nose if you like to watch “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” But just so you know, she’ll think you’re an idiot if you do. Not a bad feminist, but an idiot.

She also opines that “you don’t have to be a hairy, unwashed vegan to promote feminist belief.”

Good to know that even non-clichéd non-stereotypes can take up the mantle.

Re: Kardashians et al: it is the duty of the spinster aunt to note that passive mainstream TV consumption is so politically neutral it can barely be construed as an “act.” Watching TV is a bodily function regulated by the autonomic nervous system, like digestion, or sucking down a pitcher of margs. But I digress.

“One thing that really irks me about feminism,” complains George in an effort to tell other feminists how to do feminism correctly, “is that sometimes, feminists try to tell other feminists how to do feminism correctly.”

Well, of course she’s irked. That’s because she isn’t doing feminism correctly. Someone who, without compunction, suggests that vegans with body hair practice questionable hygiene is probably on the receiving end of stern feminism lectures more or less constantly. Anyone would find that irksome. But see here: if feminists who do understand feminism keep their traps shut when feminists who don’t understand feminism go around explaining feminism wrong, everybody loses.

Good thing I’m on the case!

For the public good it will be necessary to tweak Ms George’s definition of feminism just a smidge. Rather than a lifestyle accessory in the shape of some passive, nebulous, and capriciously applied “belief in gender equality,” feminism is in fact a political movement the goal of which is the liberation of women from patriarchal oppression.

It’s not just Ms George, either. So many of these ladies are flitting about the countryside with the idea that feminism is about believing in equality. Often they embellish the concept with vague notions of “empowerment” and the psuedofeminist mandate to “choose” “choices.” Suggests George, when you’ve got feminism onboard, “you can be whoever you want to be.” Particularly, it seems, when who you want to be is a woman who performs femininity, a set of behaviors specifically engineered to ensure the dehumanization and subjugation of half the global population.

Now that identifying as a feminist is the trendy fad of sexay celebs, “choice” feminism — the bane of all 7 radfems the world over — has never been hotter. Where on earth did this idea come from, the idea that feminism is a “belief” that one can process, through fashion and TV preferences, into some sort of persona?

From patriarchal forces of misogynist hegemony, that’s where. What we have here is a failure on the part of feminism to penetrate the monster force field that protects the dominant culture from incursions of reason and justice. Patriarchy is so insidious and invisible and impenetrable that feminism has failed, despite its best efforts, to sufficiently disseminate amongst the oppressed the actual gist of actual feminist ideology. The result is that megarich, hypersexualized entertainers can position themselves as feminist role models and swiftly neutralize the revolution by “empowering” the masses to view hypersexualization as a rewarding philosophical pursuit.

Sadly, making the simple assertion that “you can be whoever you want to be” in no way alters the reality that you cannot even remotely be whoever you want to be. Because, as the kids today say, patriarchy. All women are obliged by social pressure, the state, religion, pop culture and whatnot to practice femininity. It’s not a choice, at least not one that can be made freely and without consequence. Often it is a matter of survival. Women who acquiesce, who embrace the strictures imposed by femininity, are rewarded. Those who decline to or cannot comply are punished. No person whose fundamental agency has been stripped can choose choices.

Women cannot choose choices.


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  1. ew_nc

    “feminism is in fact a political movement the goal of which is the liberation of women from patriarchal oppression”
    I’m having that stitched on a sampler.

    This is the point this third (fourth?whatever) wave of feminists just refuse to grasp. Maybe the anti-feminism of that last 20 years or so has left them so afraid of not performing femininity that they’ve found a way to rationalize theories like George’s.

    I’m starting to think it’s tied up in sexuality. In my declining years, I’ve realized that virtually all of sex I’ve had in my hetero life was based in man-pleasing. It could be that’s what’s going on for young feminists, since the sexual behavior they’ve been taught relies almost totally on being considered fuckable by men. And men think femininity is key to fuckability.

    I’m rambling here, but I’m constantly amazed by the vehemence of the Beyonce feminists (my term) when defending their “right” to be a fuckable feminist. Any attempt at consciousness-raising is met with the same logic that Kat George shows in her article, often angrily.

  2. Twisty

    One thing I think is going on is the failure to distinguish between sexualization (pornification) and sexuality.

    The right to be raunchy: is it really a choice if it precisely aligns with male interests at your own expense?

  3. Manders

    Yay you’re back!! ‘Feminism’ has been so hijacked lately it sometimes feels like I’m looking at my beloved movement through a fun house mirror. As Bram Stoker would have it: “there are darknesses in life and there are lights, you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” I always feel better after reading one of your posts.

    “Sex-positive” and “fun” feminism are totally in compliance with patriarchy, almost to the point that they strengthen the hegemony itself. I often wonder if those at the top of social hegemonies laugh to themselves when they see the oppressed masses bashing their heads into walls again and again, thinking they are empowering themselves. I imagine corporate fat cats, from a bird’s eye view, laughing at the hoi polloi as they march perfectly in tandem with the drum of capitalism. Le barf.

  4. mll69

    Why is being told by a woman about feminism or anything else is a problem while being told by a man is no big deal?
    Woman tells woman about feminism=”Who does she think she is?”
    Man tells woman about feminism=”A guy who is a feminist? I am in love!”

    By the way, Twisty, in Facebook we are rejoicing that you wrote again in the blog. It’s great.

  5. ew_nc

    Yes, that’s what I was trying to get across, but without your eloquence. In the patriarchy, there are almost no models of how to be sexual without being sexualized. I know that I, as a young woman, had no idea that man-pleasing didn’t have to be a part of my sexual experiences. Makes me rather sad, actually.

  6. Yankee T

    Oh, how I’ve missed the Twisty outlook.

  7. Bushfire

    Yaaaaay!! I’m so glad to see you’re still around and blaming the patriarchy, Twisty! Care to talk about what’s been happening around Dreadful Acres while you’ve been away?

  8. Banhorn

    It’s depressing to realize that heterosexual women’s sexuality from the very beginning is shaped and honed to cater to men. No escape.

    There isn’t a choice, not even for Beyonce. Even if we’d like to believe her money and power exempt her., it doesn’t. Beyonce just capitalized on female objectification and then packaged it as empowerment. Though, she isn’t the first to do this and she won’t be the last.

  9. Comradde PhysioProffe

    Did your fucken sous vide equipment show uppe yet???

  10. noshoes

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting, Twist. Happy you’re back, even if for only one post!

  11. Val

    So great to see you back Twisty. Really missed ya!

  12. Keri

    It is as the kids say, “It’s the Patriarchy, stupid”. Words about which I must remind myself before next year’s holiday gatherings. Especially when I am just about to try and explain to even the very best of my male relatives, why there can be no choosiest choices for ladies. Like say to my brother, for example. Better to just go for a hike with the dog or something.

  13. Twisty

    Hi, group.

    For those who are curious, my blogulational slackering off is a by-product of my having way too much to do around the farm these days. But I’m gonna try to make an effort to get back in the game, if only sporadically. I know, you’ve heard that before.

    CPP, my stupid sous vide crap did arrive, just yesterday. As soon as I program the Food Poisoning Hotline into my phone, I’ll be off and running.

  14. JenniferRuth

    Spot on and so refreshing to read.

  15. thebewilderness

    Not to worry. You write when you can, we show up when we can. I think I can speak for everyone here when I say, we will take that deal.

  16. Redpeachmoon

    “Scratch a “new” feminist, and you’ll find an empowerful girl whose lipstickin’, shoe-buyin’ ideology springs fully-formed from her immaculate, politically-neutral, sexyfun, patriarchy-free choice-lobes.”

    So glad you’re Back! You’ve been greatly missed.

  17. linda morse

    So glad to see you post again, Twisty, and an excellent piece it is. I totally agree.

  18. Pinko Punko

    The allowable choices are always Knobjectivism. Geddy Lee could even sing about it!

  19. wondering

    Good to see you back!

  20. Amoeba

    It’s protestant feminism. You just have to accept feminism into your heart and be saved.

  21. Buttercup

    I’m so glad you’re ok, Twisty. I’ve missed you so.

    Also missed cpp ‘s patented combination of fancy e and profanity. Where else would you find a phrase like fuckin sous vide.

    New feminists are resistant sometimes. It takes time. Some will never understand the depth the P has sunk talons into their souls.

  22. gingerest

    (Dances bee-like welcome to Aunt Twisty on her return to the blogspace)

    (and, Buttercup, you can also find CPP’s charming phraseology at his blog – all the sous vide fuckery you could possibly want, plus artisanal cheeses: http://freethoughtblogs.com/physioprof/)

  23. Vaibh

    Thanks Twisty, for coming back, for the amazing insights which help us keep our sanity in this unreasonable world, and more importantly, for being who you are.

  24. Lidon

    Welcome back!!! The level of denial amazes me, considering that there are constant reminders of how we women need to be perceived everywhere. I just read about the Australian neurophysiologist and writer Colleen McCullough who died recently and her obituary in The Australian claims that she wasn’t fuckable (but still likeable)!! In case we forget, even for a moment, leave it to the P to put us in our place.

  25. ew_nc

    Oh, that Colleen McCullough obituary enraged me. It was far more an epithet than epitaph.

  26. Doris

    Hurray! Glad to see you Twisty!

  27. Comradde PhysioProffe

    Starting cooking some motherfucken sous vide!! Your gonna love itte!!

  28. admirerofemily

    Huzzah! You’re back!

    I’ve missed you’re refreshing, crystalisation of the issues so much! I routinely scour your posts to extract pithy quotes (with link) to post to my often clueless pals on other forums.

    Please write a book, in between sous vide-ing, vine trimming and chasing cows. The world really needs it.

  29. Laurie

    You’re back! What a wonderful way to start the year, with a fresh Twisty long after hope has grown stale!

    I’ve been trying to pinpoint just what’s so messed up about this choicey celebrity feminism to my daughters, so thanks for saying it so much better, as ever. Now I can just send them this: “megarich, hypersexualized entertainers can position themselves as feminist role models and swiftly neutralize the revolution by “empowering” the masses to view hypersexualization as a rewarding philosophical pursuit.”

    It’s so good to read this post. Hoping for more.

  30. quixote

    /*No words for how tickled I am to find a Twisty post! Wheeeeeeeeee!*/

    This” “is it really a choice if it precisely aligns with male interests at your own expense?” is exactly what I’ve been trying to articulate since choicey choiceness first burst upon the scene.

    That’s what shows it up for the lie it is.

  31. Tiakristi

    Twisty, so glad to see that you are back (even if sporadically). I have been anxiously checking in & was beginning to worry about you!

    In re: this post, it is disturbing when women and self-avowed feminists accuse others of “not doing feminism right”. But what bothers me more, and detracts more from the movement in my opinion, is the concept of feminism as a style/fad/lifestyle choice, just another aspect of capitalism. I think it distracts from making conscious choices on things that matter, like y’know, reproductive rights, the wage gap. Not what Beyoncé (although, I have to admit, I like her) is wearing/saying, but shit that actually affects us (& almost never in a good way).

  32. Labrat

    Word! The practice of traditional feminity is not a stop on the freedom train. It is a survival tactic. I will never shame a woman for doing what she thinks she has to do to survive. But it’s crap. You can’t spit on a cupcake and call it frosting.

    My new mantra for 2015 (just drove it out of the shop):

    Compliance is not the same thing as consent.

  33. brownrecluse

    oh thank the goddess you’re back!
    this faux feminism you speak of is embarrassingly pervasive among women my age (early 30s) & suffocatingly self-righteous. it’s practically insanity-inducing & utterly depressing- especially as a hairy vegan. may these wayward women remember the words immortalized by inigo montoya in the princess bride: “you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  34. el

    This grumbling about millennials stinks of strawfeminism. Plenty of us think critically.

  35. josquin

    So good to come here and see that you have posted again. Hurrah!
    Je suis Twisty.

  36. Linda

    I too am very glad to hear from you, Aunty T. How are the horses?

    A couple of weeks ago I had a student tell me she considers herself a feminist “but only in terms of having a strong personality and strong opinions” whatever that means. I pointed out that you can be as demur as you want and still be feminist and that having a strong personality does not mean you understand feminist ideology. Blank look. Neoliberalism and individualism that goes along with it is part of it. My colleague claims not to live in a patriarchy; her little world is just fine for her so what is there to worry about? Occasionally I challenge this view with a comeback about the global brutality of patriarchy for almost all of the world’s women, but apparently this is not our concern and there is no moral imperative to do anything other than consciously ignore it so long as we scrape some sort of tolerable existence up for me, myself and I. Which is of course the central theme of patriarchal hegemony; it’s how the baboons in governments justify letting millions live in dire poverty.

    I am glad the Colleen McCullough obit was noticed outside of Oz; it included the phrase “and she was certainly overweight” from memory. It was almost as though the author was offering a disclaimer when faced with the dilemma of acknowledging a woman’s accomplishments when they do not include being a bit of hot stuff.

  37. Ron Sullivan

    Hot damn, she’s alive !!!!!!!

    What also pisses me off is that all this pinkified merchandise-and-simpering big pile o’ crap is supposed to be about sex. It gives sex a bad name. And dammit, I like sex.

  38. Linda

    My first comment on this post is in mod because I accidentally used my work email.

    I too am very glad to hear from you, Aunty T. I hope the horses are well?

    Values of individualism, the basis of the dominant patriarchal ideology of Liberalism is to blame, I believe. My colleague claims not to live in a patriarchy. She just ignores all that nasty stuff and looks at her own little world as a haven where she is doing just fine, or well enough. You create your own context she says. The vile society that I refer to, where women experience patriarchy as a violent and brutal occupying force, is not her society. There is no moral imperative for us to address the collective, global misery of women everywhere, so long as me, myself and I are doing well enough pretending patriarchy does not exist. Think beautiful, spiritual thoughts and delude yourself that it makes the world a beautiful and spiritual place. I know ignorance is bliss, but some long term analysis and planning, based on reality, is in order if women are to survive.

  39. Val

    Oh dear, I spoke to a feminist academic type yesterday who takes a foucauldian line and thinks talking about patriarchy is a problem because it ‘totalises’ power. When I tried to say that I understood where she was coming from, but that patriarchy was an historical system that had been around for several thousand years, and, you know, it’s probably good to admit that because it has influenced the way people think, she told me that I was being aggressive and making her feel boxed in (I think she may have even held her hands up and given a little shriek). What can I do? It’s so great when you read Twisty’s incisive words, but then you go into the world out there and try to talk about patriarchy, and even grown women who are supposedly feminists get terrified!

  40. quixote

    God, I love the commenters here.

    Ron Sullivan: “all this pinkified merchandise-and-simpering big pile o’ crap is supposed to be about sex. It gives sex a bad name.” Exactly. Exactly, exactly, exactly. Another thing I’ve been trying to articulate since forever.

    And Val, Mme. Foucauld felt boxed in? Isn’t that the same as saying she had no counterarguments? I.e. she knew she was wrong, but she was damned if she was going to admit it. Because then, like Linda’s colleague, she’d have to take a good square look at where she lives. Barbiturate-addled housewives watching daytime soaps were nowhere near as pathetic as our postmodern academics suffering from deconstructed logic pretzels.

  41. ihaveacat

    So thrilled to see this post and evidence that you are ok, Twisty. Your voice is a beacon of clarity in what passes for information these days. I am grateful for every word.

  42. Val

    Yeah Quixote that could be right. I don’t mind a bit of Pomo etc, but it can be used in that way – I don’t have to think about anything unpleasant because there is no “reality” – and anyone who tries to make me do so must be a bad person! But it hurts that stuff about ‘ooh why are you so aggressive?’ I know it’s to do with the performance of femininity, and women are supposed to be “nice” and all that, but still it works as a put down, at least on me! Tough.

  43. Bette Hopper

    First time commenter here, but a relatively seasoned lurker, having discovered IBTP a couple of years ago. I’ve pretty much worked my way through every post in the archive at this point, including the brilliant comments. It was such a joy to come here today in search of a post from a couple of years ago about the royal marriage/designer chadris and find a new post! It’s such a comfort that IBTP exists and to know that there are other women out there who GET IT. Also enjoy your Dreadful Acres blog.

    This post is so great, and so true, and everything everyone has already said. Coming to grips with the reality of Choosy Feminists Choose Choosy Feminine Feminism has been a painful journey for me. Sometimes I feel really sad that it took me so long to see it, because fuckability *is* so rewarded, and I’m still not out of the woods by a long shot.

    There are probably more than seven radfems though. Maybe eight. It is so clear to me that radical feminism (with some intersectionalism) is the only feminism worth a rat’s ass, because truth. (That because+noun construction is just for you, Twisty.) How can any woman not see it?

    Here’s a line from Linda’s comment regarding choosy Individualism that I loved:

    “Think beautiful, spiritual thoughts and delude yourself that it makes the world a beautiful and spiritual place.”

    Yeah, I’ll get right on that, Eckhart Tolle.

    Oh, and Val, f*ck postmodernism. What a load of masturbatory dung.

  44. Keri

    Ain’t no fun feminism like new age fun feminism! Over at Mind Body Green, the choosiest choice is traveling the globe and lifting stuff freakishly with your vagina. I’m not kidding.


    My lobe, it hurts today.

  45. Linda

    What on earth does “totalising power” mean? Males hold the balance of power, any way you cut it.
    Pomo is for the privileged.

    Keri, that is un fucking believable. Travelling the globe for your spiritual journey is also for the privileged.

  46. Jen

    Multiple choice:

    Why do so many women define feminism as the “belief in gender equality” and deny the relationship between patriarchal oppression and the performance of femininity?

    A. “What’s patriarchy?”
    B. “I *choose* to pull out some of my eyebrow hairs every morning.”
    C. “If I say nobody is oppressing me, then nobody is oppressing me!”
    D. “When I tell the ugly truth about the P, I lose friends, respect, sex appeal, etc.”
    E. “These shoes don’t hurt at all.”
    F. “I can’t see clearly because there’s a penis in my eye.”

  47. Suezboo

    Good to see you, Twisty. Really glad none of those poisonous critters Out There got you.
    It’s a relief to read a feminist who doesn’t try to persuade one of us oldtimers that all these new wave sex-positive, fun-choices feminists are the future of a political movement. Trust me, it’s not “all about empowerment”. Thanks, sister.

  48. tinfoil hattie

    Hi, Twisty and everyone else! How I’ve missed everyone. Thanks for posting, Twisty. I have been thinking you are probably hip-deep in farm chores.

    “I know that I, as a young woman, had no idea that man-pleasing didn’t have to be a part of my sexual experiences. Makes me rather sad, actually.”

    ew_nc, as usual, you articulate my experience perfectly. At 54 I have no idea what “my” sexuality ever was, because it was based on moaning and groaning while being thrust upon. And sometimes getting a bonus orgasm myself if the moon was full and the angle of the peen was exactly right. Post-menopause, I have little to no sexual desire, so I feel like I’ve missed out on sexuality altogether.

    quixote, I think the barbiturate-addled housewives of yore were taking the only sane option out of their miserable reality. Of course it’s presented as “ALL THOSE WOMEN WERE COINCIDENTALLY CRAZY AND ABUSING DRUGS AT THE SAME TIME! WHADDAYA KNOW.”

  49. Veganrampage

    O that the P were invisible. The P is everywhere and all consuming even though many refuse to believe it. I wish is wasn’t so too, but I just can’t lie to myself that well. Perhaps is I was in “the present” like so many repeaters repeat to me ad nauseam, then I would be hap hap, happier. What if the “present” stinks? What if the “present” is rape culture, poverty, pain, climate chaos, and all the wrong people in charge? Riddle me this.

    Query; which Blamer wrote something along the lines “that once you get the stank of the P in your eye, you can never get it out.” I saved that comment for years, and for reasons beyond boring it has been lost. Sheer genius, (the comment, not I.)

    Great to hear from Twisty, and my fellow Blamers.

  50. Veganrampage

    Side splitting,too true, and take spit funny. Enjoy (being in the “present.”)


  51. Pandechion

    Women are expected to practice a saintly amount of acceptance. I am a fucking zen master, but I still see what I’m ignoring. There’s no protection for us, there is no higher authority. We slide through by trickery and collusion. I don’t know anyone in real life I can say this to. It’s nice to know you’re all still out there.

  52. janicen

    What a breath of fresh air to read you again, twisty. I can’t have these virtual conversations with anyone else. It is frustrating trying to explain why one can’t represent feminism while strutting across the stage wearing a thong, fishnets, and 5 inch heals because the words get caught in my throat. Explaining the obvious can be difficult for those of us who don’t possess your artistry with language. Nice to see you again.

  53. AK

    “It’s not a choice, at least not one that can be made freely and without consequence.”

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. All this funfeminism clogging up every corner of the internet lately is wearing me out. Yes, I wear makeup to work. And while it is sometimes entertaining to me to play with the different colors and textures, I find it enormously cumbersome to slather the crap on every day before I can report to work and do my job. It’s a “choice” I “choose” because of other peoples’ expectations within the patriarch-osphere. My performance of femininity is expected and not something I could opt out of without repercussions. I wish I was brave enough to scrub off my face and take the hit to my career. I’ve never been shamed for it (and don’t necessarily believe I deserve to be), but good grief, quit pretending it’s something I’m doing to empower myself or that it is in any way a feminist act.

  54. Twisty

    @AK re: the repercussions of opting out of femininity: it sucks that the radfem contingent can sometimes be so oblivious as to shame their fellow ladies for compliance, and I have been guilty of this myself. I think there is a phase early in the radical awakening wherein militancy will tend to trump compassion. The realization that femininity is a prison is so mind-blowing, the impulse to take your fellow ladies to task is often hard to balance with a grasp of the realities of patriarchal oppression.

  55. quixote

    It’s not the trying to survive the P with trickery and collusion and makeup that’s so wrong. It’s pretending you like it.

    That’s where the funfems are pissing down legs and calling it rain.

  56. Twisty

    I get what you’re saying, but I’m not so sure that “pretending to like it” isn’t just as vital a part of the survival technique. I’m not even sure that pretense is at all a common component of compliance. So many women seem to genuinely enjoy the pursuit of femininity, I suspect because of the rewards — hollow though they may be compared to actual personal bodily sovereignty — that conferred on the participants. The more enthusiastic the compliance, the greater the reward. Even a crappy reward can give pleasure, when you know that it’s the best you can ever expect.

  57. Pandechion

    See also: BDSM.

  58. Emilybites

    A lot of people seem unable to grasp that feminism means something and isn’t just a fun new word for women, like ‘sassy’.

    If I’m chowing down on a beef burger I can say ‘I’m a vegan,’ till the cows come home but I’m not actually a vegan because being one means eschewing the pleasure of a quarter pounder.

    And Twisty, from the bottom of my ragged little heart, welcome back to us.

  59. XY Feminist


    I get what you’re saying, but I’m not so sure that “pretending to like it” isn’t just as vital a part of the survival technique.

    Judging by how often dudes tell women to smile, I suspect that disliking femininity (or anything else for that matter) has been removed from the standard women’s choices menu.

    I’m so glad to see you writing again, Twisty!!

  60. kay

    “Women who acquiesce, who embrace the strictures imposed by femininity, are rewarded. Those who decline to or cannot comply are punished.”

    Depends on how we’re defining ‘femininity’? If we’re defining it as the practicing of femininity, as in: dressing the part, applying makeup properly, watching your weight, engaging in various behaviors/speech styles/sexual practices/whatever that the culture deems ‘feminine’ — at best it seems to me like you get a mixed bag. That’s because the practice of femininity as a competition is a sham anyway, since even playing really hard won’t actually get you a whole lot.

    On the other hand, if we’re defining femininity as a state of being — that is, white/straight/cis/able-bodied/rich/young — then, well, yeah. But the extent to which you get to move yourself on that scale is pretty limited. If you’re a black trans sex worker it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on your makeup or how great you are at it, the world is still going to try to rape and murder you. On the other hand, if you’re a rich white chick, the police will probably not shoot you in the head for no discernable reason even if you are the hairiest of vegans. The difference between ‘practicing’ and ‘not practicing’ is infinitesimally small compared to the difference between rich and poor or white and non-white.

    Sort of like the joke from that teen movie back in the 90s. There’s this girl who is white, straight, thin, literally played by a Hollywood actress with a pair of thick glasses and her hair in a ponytail. Everyone hates her and treats her like garbage because of how unspeakably hideous she is. She takes off the glasses and lets her hair down, and suddenly everyone is floored by her astounding beauty. But in real life, while switching to contacts may help you win prettiness contests, it doesn’t make much of a dent in how much money you make, how likely you are to get arrested, how likely you are to be the victim of a violent crime, your legal rights, your lifespan, your mental health, et cetera. Things which have material value, in other words, as opposed to things which are only valuable within the context of the fakeass game.

  61. polarcontrol

    Twisty is back! The best news of the year!

    And great to see so much of the rest of the Blametariat here too. What a savage island of sanity.
    Understanding feminism as ‘a political movement the goal of which is the liberation of women from patriarchal oppression’, seems to be lost on the majority of internet feminists these days.

    Like who said it, a woman who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes is not a feminist but a fantasist.

  62. Rain

    Yay Twisty’s back! I missed you so much! I can re-harden my rad-fem-ness that’s gone all mushy during your absence!

  63. verislava

    Yay, you’re back!! So happy to see you.

  64. J

    THANK YOU!! As always, you perfectly articulate what a lot of us feel but can’t quite put into words lest we die of a brain aneurysm first. (Seriously, I could only get to the first item on George’s list and had to stop there. It was physically painful.)

    Welcome back, Twisty. We missed you!

  65. shopstewardess

    On a forum to which I turned during the Twisty interregnum, a manager at some enterprise or other complained that he/she was requested by some of hir female staff to perform an intervention on another female member of staff on the grounds of her “questionable hygiene”. Apparently the staff member’s problem was her feet. Not that they were dirty, or that they smelled, but that they were inappropriately “scaly”. The manager’s solution was to provide the staff member in question with a voucher to a place where a pedicure could be performed, although they did subsequently wonder whether a referral to a podiatrist might have been more appropriate.

    Mind blown.

    Also, I am about to take my 97 year old disabled aunt to a medical appointment to try to sort out a second toe which is falling off due to years of pressure caused by a bunion on the adjacent big toe. She is in pain and hardly able to walk, which means she is unable to take care of herself, which means I (and now others too, because it is more than a full-time job for one) doing it for her. As an example of just one of the appalling consequences of performing femininity, her current pain and humiliation could hardly be bettered.

  66. The_T's_Knees

    Glad to see you’re still ranting, Twisty.

    Went on a little trip to ye olde home improvement store today. Whilst happily entertaining myself looking at all the crap for sale, a dudely associate asked if I needed help finding anything, sir?

    I still am not sure how I feel about that, at a personal level. I wasn’t angry; it was too surreal. (Related: Every stinkin’ time I have to go there, it flat out amazes me how many dolled up women I see. But I don’t get out often, so maybe that’s my fault.) It’s horrifying that because I wore clothing that actually protects the body from the elements, and shoes in which I can traverse nearly any landscape with relative ease and comfort, I was presumed to have certain anatomy.

    Oh, I could go on, but I’m very foggy with a sinus infection and accompanying meds, so instead I’ll end it here. Thank you for this space. And thank you all for sharing and listening.

  67. Linda

    The_T’s_Knees , omg I can’t tell you how often I have been ordered out of the ladies restroom, by ladies who mistake me for a dude. And yet I am accused by some of having some thing called ‘cis privilege’…funny how life turns out.

  68. The_T's_Knees

    Linda, I’m sorry that you’ve experienced that.

    “Funny how life turns out.” Yes, indeed.

  69. Cara

    Welcome back, Spinster Aunt.

  70. Cara

    It di’n’t cite like it wuz supposed to. Sorry. I’ll try once more and then slink away.

    Rather than a lifestyle accessory in the shape of some passive, nebulous, and capriciously applied “belief in gender equality,” feminism is in fact a political movement the goal of which is the liberation of women from patriarchal oppression.

  71. Linda

    An Indiana woman is sentenced to twenty years in prison for ‘feticide’ !!!


    Are any protests happening? Any kind of lobbying support going on over there?

  72. mybodyisacage

    Thank cats and various dogs that twisty is back. For me, I encountered enraging woman as icky discourse (no matter what) and men are gods however held up to a lower standard wherever I go. Take Norah vincents’book about infiltrating very manly spaces while in disguised as a cis man. At my local bookstore, there was a poster of Norah as a butch dyke (her identity) and as a straight man. I saw countless college women say Norah was “cute as a guy, but I still wouldn’t date him” to “ew gross, what an ugly woman” therefore contributing to how low the bar is set for “cute men” and has high expectations for pretty women who’ve spent their lives trying to be a good force in gym gender ouch.

  73. Rae

    “because I wore clothing that actually protects the body from the elements, and shoes in which I can traverse nearly any landscape with relative ease and comfort, I was presumed to have certain anatomy.”

    …at first I read that as “certain autonomy.”

    Same diff in this culture, really.

    PS: Thanks for checking in on occasion, Twisty. We appreciate it!

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