… What About The Men ? …

 Guest Post by Julie Bindel (UK)

I am not a man hater but this is the very last time I will say it in public or in private.

Over the years I have lost count of the number of times I have worked with men to advance the appeal of feminism and to encourage more of them to support our war efforts. Despite this I have lost count of the number of times I have been accused of hating men. “She is a lesbian and a man hater,” wrote one lovely chap on a Blog earlier this year in response to an article I had written on the abuse within prostitution “which is very apparent to anyone who has seen her on television.”

Although feminism has never really gone away since the campaign for women’s suffrage it has had its quiet times.  In the past five years however, feminism has enjoyed a revival with many young women becoming involved in campaigns ranging from a critique of sexual violence and objectification, to inequality in the workplace.

Although many of these younger activists are radical in their approach, (such as those who organise the annual Reclaim the Night marches across the UK), a number appear more concerned about the possibility of offending men, than they do in furthering the cause.

Feminist blogs are full of articles on how old dinosaurs like me are responsible for creating an image of feminism as being ‘against men’, although it is a movement addressing the global problems created for women by inequality, but these problems are somehow nobody’s fault.

During a panel discussion at a recent feminist conference populated by younger women, there was a massive kerfuffle when young feminist critic Bidisha dared to suggest that being a feminist is belonging to the ‘girl’s team’.  Imagine white folk telling black anti-racist activists that their movement is ineffective or meaningless because white people are not involved.

I am becoming increasingly wild with rage and frustration at the mantra introduced into common feminist parlance, which goes: “We have to include men” and “we need men on board.” Let us look at what this current trend to involve men in feminism is really saying.

One: Feminism is without currency, or validity, if there are only women involved.   Think about it.    Every other liberation movement – such as those to end racism, class privilege, or disability discrimination – all involve men. So why not feminism?

Two: We women are terrified of alienating men and being thought of as lesbians.  Let’s face it, it takes very little to be named a man-hater, and the intended slur of ‘lesbian’ is never that far behind.   All we have to do is gently suggest that it might be men who benefit most from women’s subordination, and that they have no right to have special treatment simply because they were born male.   And we haven’t even got to radical feminism yet.

Three:   It is Not FAIR to exclude men. From anything.  It would be like organising an office Christmas lunch, and not inviting the boss.

I remember my time as a mature student listening to younger women talk about how dreadful their women’s study classes were.  Most men couldn’t give a hoot about issues that only concerned women, and so gave the course a wide berth, but there was always one (or two) men who would show up. Half of the class would feel silenced by his presence (especially when disclosing personal stories of sexual abuse as so often happens when women get together in a sympathetic arena), whilst the other half would spend most of the session feeling sorry for him, or defending him.

Four: Women are too stupid to do anything ‘on our own’ without men.   We literally do not exist without them.  I recall being at a fundraiser for the Women against Violence against Women (WAVAW) campaign in Leeds back in the 1980s. Five hundred of us feminists, concerned to end the rape, murder and domestic terror of women, were in a private conference room upstairs in a massive pub. We were boozing, dancing, snogging, arguing, and having a great old time. As I walked downstairs to go to the loo I heard one man say to his mate, “Have you seen? There are 500 women up there, on their own!”

Now is the time for the caveats.

It is not the case that I do not want men to be involved in feminism.   I do.   But I want them to start their own groups and not invade mine. Why?   Because women have the right to have our own physical space to talk about what men do to us in our private and public lives. This movement only exists, because of men abusing and colonising us – in other words, you are the problem boys, not equal partners.

I am not alone in being dismissed as a man-hater, and indeed am in good company. The late Marilyn French who changed countless women’s lives for the better with the publication of her 1977 novel The Women’s Room once told a newspaper, “They said I was a man-hater, and I never defended myself against that, because I do believe that men are to blame for the condition of women.”

My old friend Andrea Dworkin, (who continues to be labeled a man-hater more than five years after her death) lived with and adored the pro-feminist writer John Stoltenberg.  She believed that men can change, (as do I) and that none of us are born either bad or good.

The reason why so many of the new-wave feminists bleat on (and on) about including men in feminism is because so many of them are unthinkingly heterosexual.   Women are the only oppressed group that is required to love their oppressor, sexually and every other way. Black civil rights campaigners of old were clear that the liberation they were demanding was liberation from from white racism, and it was to benefit them by dismantling white supremacy, not love them more.

It is not as though women have not tried to bring men on board before. In the early 1970s a number of men were left holding the baby when their partners discovered feminism, and were not too happy. “Men hate feminism,” says Linda O’Neill, who was married to a socialist party activist in the early days of the movement, “because if it were to succeed, they would be forced to give up every ounce of power over us. Even those men who try to not use it, like to keep it up their sleeve, just in case.”

Those men who claim to care about equality between men and women, but continually challenge the idea of female oppression by pointing to the substantially less common crimes or injustices against men (eg male victims of female-perpetrated violence, rape, or job discrimination) come across as just a way of saying, “Yes, yes, we know you’re oppressed, but you have been for ages and you’re used to it, but what about us?”

In an article on XY, a website focused on men, masculinities, and gender politics entitled Man-friendly Feminism? A young feminist was quoted saying, “…this women-only stance sends out the wrong message: As women it is our responsibility to educate our brothers, lovers, fathers, friends and sons. Men need to be brought on board so they can understand that they have certain advantages and privileges purely on the basis of their biological sex. Groups that are women-only will never achieve this. Men’s involvement should be actively encouraged”.

Can someone explain to me please how women are ever going to achieve equality and equal representation, if we do not even have the guts to criticise men?

The cover of The Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism, written by Ellie Levenson and published last year reads: “Feminism has come a long way since the days of bra-burning and man-bashing.” (We never actually burned our bras – it was a myth arising out of women throwing bras and other restrictive clothing items in a trash can in 1968 on the eve of the Miss World feminist protest).

And what does Levenson mean by ‘man-bashing’? Naming men as perpetrators?  Perhaps we have been wrong all along.  All violent men need is a big cuddle and an invitation to a feminist meeting.

Finn Mackay, a feminist activist and academic has organised the Reclaim the Night march in London for the past six years, believes that men do have a role to play within feminism, but — it is not coming along to meetings and taking part in the decision-making process. “They can stop rape by not raping, and bring the sex industry to its knees by not paying for
sex,” says MacKay, without a trace of irony. “Oppression doesn’t just happen to women like bad weather. Men as a group systematically oppress and exploit women, and feminism is the political movement to challenge and change that.”

I would genuinely like to see all men become non-abusive human beings.  It would make me happy to know that they could enjoy equality with women rather than feel threatened, undermined and irrationally angry by it.  I would be very happy if men were as appalled at male violence towards females, as women ourselves are. The problem is that this would require men to change,  and it is not our responsibility to do it for them.   We have long tried, but have been rewarded with a terrible backlash of misogyny and blame. It is time that men bit – instead of firing – the bullet and started to recognise that they are responsible for their own change, not us.

Men who cannot bear to look in the mirror often call radical feminists man-haters. It would make them feel profoundly uncomfortable if they had any male-privilege removed whatsoever, and many who use the insult hate themselves far more than I ever could. A taxi driver told me yesterday that rape was “Terrible, but I can understand men getting frustrated if their wives don’t let them get their rocks off.” Another told me, during an interview about why men pay for sex that, “Prostitution stops rape. If men can’t get it when they really need it, some innocent little girl might have to suffer.”  Both men clearly believed that all men are potential rapists.    I never said it.    They did.

Rather than apologetic feminists spending time and energy changing the core aim of the women’s movement, in order to appease men, we need to face up to what it will take for the endemic sexual violence women to end.

Men will not change by being given a VIP ticket on a plate to come into our space, and allowing women to run around after them just like their mothers did.   It will be to the detriment of feminism to send a message to women that the liberation movement concerned with women’s welfare can only function if we include those who caused and maintain our oppression for their own privilege in the first place.   Men will only change if we give them an ultimatum:

Carry on behaving like white South Africans under apartheid, and we will consider it war.

Feminism was built on the blood of women and children.   It was necessary because a large number of men abuse and dehumanise women by assuming superiority over us, curtailing our choices in life, and by committing the most appalling acts of sadistic violence upon our bodies and souls.

Note to apologetic feminists: not enough has changed yet to let them come to the party.

Note to men: if you are decent you will stop colluding in the actions of those feminists you consider the palatable ones, and will heed the words of those of us who still have your number.  If and/or when you become the type of men who would point blank refuse to be given pride of place in our movement against your abusive behaviour; if you stop taking every statement about rape and violence as a personal vendetta against you, and when you know you would feel it was totally inappropriate if a woman thanked you for being a ‘good man’ just because you behave like a decent human being,  I would be perfectly happy to count you as my ally.

Until then, to answer ‘what about the men?’ – don’t you have work to do?
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Julie Bindel has been involved in campaigning to end violence against women and children for 30 years. She is the co-editor of The Map of My Life: The Story of Emma Humphreys, and papers on  domestic violence and homicide, rape, stalking, harassment, trafficking and prostitution.

She has written extensively for numerous newspapers and magazines on the dangers of legalised prostitution in the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and Nevada, USA, and conducted the first ever journalistic investigation into female sex tourism in Jamaica.

Julie has also authored several reports into the international sex industry, including on the links between lap dance establishments and prostitution; a study into the effects of legalisation of the sex industry; a mapping of the indoor sex industry in the Scottish city of Glasgow, and a survey on brothel prostitution in London.

This year alone, Julie has been a key note speaker at several major conferences on the legalisation of prostitution, and has travelled to Boston, Croatia, Brussels and Denmark to give her expert evidence on the topic.

Julie currently divides her time between research and journalism.
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44 comments
  1. Wow. This is amazing, and so relevant. Thank you!

  2. Crucial D said:

    I HATE hearing, “What about the men?” In my Women in Pop Culture class, we were talking about Take Back the Night type gatherings where, sometimes, men are excluded from participating. Of course this guy in class has to say, “What about men that are abused by women?” The TA says, “That’s a really good point.” EYEROLL!!!!

  3. “Even those men who try to not use it, like to keep it up their sleeve, just in case.”

    ABsolutely.. sons, brothers spouses, fathers… however nice, however much they love women.. don’t quite love women enough to give up their male privilege. This thought upsets me a lot but wishing it was different doesn’t make it so.

    It would be like organising an office Christmas lunch, and not inviting the boss.

    LOL!!

  4. KatieS said:

    Thank you, Julie! Brilliant! It is wonderful to see these points so articulately presented, they gave me some ideas of ways to discuss these points with others, for one thing. I loved your humor, too! This part gave me a good laugh of recognition:

    Those men who claim to care about equality between men and women, but continually challenge the idea of female oppression, by pointing to the substantially less common crimes or injustices against men (eg male victims of female-perpetrated violence, rape, or job discrimination), which can come across as just a way of saying, “Yes, yes, we
    know you’re oppressed, but you have been for ages and you’re used to it, but what about us?

    I thought, that’s it, that’s what bothers me so much about that stance! Damn, you nailed it!

  5. Excellent post Julie.

    As a US based feminist its quite harder to network and develop female-only spaces. In my experience I’ve only taken part in a few that were strictly female and the whole tone changes, there’s more direct communication, more sharing and more understanding overall. I am grateful to the men who have been supportive of feminist activism and turned out when we needed them to. The thing is though, these women who seek to placate the male ego and find a place for them in everything are actually doing these men a disservice. They are keeping the men from confronting their own misogyny and dealing with it. When they never say no to a man, he thinks he can continue to behave in the ways he’s always done. Women working together without men serves a purpose to both men and women, it strengthens women as leaders and it strengthens mens ability to empathize with women’s challenges that they face interacting with men every day.

    Things seem more integrated in the US. But I hope we can develop some organizing that respects the rights of women to decide for themselves what course they want to take.

  6. @Crucial D – yes! I am getting more and more angry at how many men, especially het men are participating in the take back the night in my town. We TAKE BACK THE NIGHT because women are not safe to wander around and exist on this planet at night. Men don’t risk attacked and used as some pornsick fantasy object for a random psychopath at anywhere near the level women do, they don’t live in fear of not leaving the house (the place where they’re most in danger anyway) because of the threat of male violence. UGH.

  7. KatieS said:

    Yes, nuclearnight. Some decades ago it wasn’t that hard to develop women only spaces. It was a given that women had the right to these spaces It is so frustrating that these spaces have been invaded. These used to be public, in colleges and some of the liberal churches. That is the new “PC.” Now it is all about “inclusivity.” Trouble is, with males, you never know what you are getting. Those that seem like “nice guys” can be very unlike what they seem. They may be doing this for show, to get sexual access to females, for instance. Remember, child molesters groom the girls they victimize by being “nice” at first. It’s a misogynist strategy that is widespread.

    The only way I can think to have a women-only space is to have it in private homes. This is not only theoretical, I’ve been thinking about how to do it specifically. However, most women’s private homes are either quite small, like mine, or have males living there if they are larger.

    The mantra that each woman should live with a member of the oppressor class, that this is natural, is being reinforced. We are colonized, and this “inclusivity” of males is designed to send that message.

  8. maggie said:

    “Have you seen? There are 500 women up there, on their own!”

    Men hate that women get together because they might get notions above their station.

    And my heart sinks when I hear women criticising feminism. They would rather run a slutwalk country mile than associate themselves with ‘man bashers’ that don’t shave their legs. Men bash each other in war constantly. They do a perfect job of bashing women and children in consistently epidemic proportions. The quotes from the taxi drivers says it all.

    I hope you continue to make incisive contributions to this excellent site, which is a joy to read.

  9. KatieS said:

    “I hope you continue to make incisive contributions to this excellent site, which is a joy to read.”

    Yes!

  10. FCM said:

    thank you julie for your excellent contribution. NO MORE WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ! and no more goddamned self-identified male feminists, “colluding” with fun-fems in thier campaign for the uninhibited right to suck mens dicks. its so transparent.

  11. Very insightful and potent piece, Julie and such a great contribution to this collective space.

  12. yttik said:

    “It is Not FAIR to exclude men.”

    This can be such a huge stumbling block for many women. We’re trained from day one to be “fair,” which basically means to put the needs of everybody else before our own. Heaven forbid we fail to always make men the center of the universe and they wind up with hurt feelings. That would be so unbelievably cruel, vicious, and unfair!! I am being sarcastic, but in all seriousness, I’ve seen battered women get beaten up over and over again because they don’t want to be “unfair” to their abuser. Many women have also learned that their physical safety, their very survival, often depends on their ability to predict men’s feeling and to try and satisfy their needs before things get ugly. I try to remember this when I hear, “but what about the men,” because it just makes me want to scream.

    There is also such a huge cultural bias, a double standard about the consequences of women being “unfair.” For example, not wanting to share a public restroom with males is practically the equivalent of a mass genocide. Refusing to wash a husband’s laundry can be viewed as an act of such vicious misandry, the woman will never be able to atone for it. Considering all the hysteria, it’s incredible that women are the ones often perceived as the drama queens.

  13. FemmeForever said:

    @ Julie

    This post is beyond OUTSTANDING! What I would like to do with it is buy 30 seconds of TV airtime and strobe-flash its content into every living room on the planet for subliminal teaching of radical feminism because its unstrobed content would never be allowed into mass media.

  14. FCM said:

    yes, the thing that women probably should come to terms with is the stone-cold FACT that women are the only ones who care about “fairness” at all, and particularly when it comes to excluding or disadvantaging the “opposite sex”. men do not care about fairness at all, either in general, or in relation to women. at all.

    actually, men are very deeply invested in making sure that NOTHING is fair, or even remotely merit-based. its the foundation of thier entire system in fact. and women attempting to treat men fairly *is* a huge stumbling block, and its what leads women to honestly believe that if they could just make men see how UNFAIR everything is, the men would change. thing is, the men already know. and they like it, how it is.

  15. Oh, the MEN!! What would women BE without them? How could we possibly survive? Ahahahaaaa!! If these male apologist “feminists” weren’t so numerous, I’d be amused by their foolish insistence that THEY can talk some sense into men if we’d just give them a chance. As if women haven’t been TRYING to do just that all along, or that all those who came before were just doing it WRONG.

    The reason why so many of the new-wave feminists bleat on (and on) about including men in feminism is because so many of them are unthinkingly heterosexual.   Women are the only oppressed group that is required to love their oppressor, sexually and every other way.

    I think that’s quite right! It’s so obvious, and yet so difficult for heterosexual feminists and men to give political legitimacy to this basic reality. Compulsory cohabitation with men is a qualitative, and very meaningful, difference between male oppression of women and all other class-based oppression structures. The strong commitments and loyalties that most women have to males is very often rooted in their “sexuality”– a social practice that we are not to question because it is framed as both private and beyond our rational control. Heterosexual social structures are therefore a serious challenge to feminist awakening.

    From the post, to the men:

    you stop taking every statement about rape and violence as a personal vendetta against you, and when you know you would feel it was totally inappropriate if a woman thanked you for being a ‘good man’ just because you behave like a decent human being,

    Great advice for the men!! That last bit about being a ‘good man’ especially made me laugh. I call it misplaced gratitude; its an epidemic. Being a decent human by treating women as equals shouldn’t be anything special at all. It’s baseline.

    Thanks for the wonderful post, Julie Bindel!

  16. KatieS said:

    Women are the only oppressed group that is required to love their oppressor, sexually and every other way.

    I think that’s quite right! It’s so obvious, and yet so difficult for heterosexual feminists and men to give political legitimacy to this basic reality. Compulsory cohabitation with men is a qualitative, and very meaningful, difference between male oppression of women and all other class-based oppression structures.

    I believe that the psychological dynamics of this is something that we have not understood too well. FCM has made a start with her ideas about trauma bonding, and sometimes you see ideas about the Stockholm syndrome associated with this. But I do think that the psychological dynamics for those inside the heteroarchy are very different than seeing it from outside. Living with an oppressor is not a natural state, though it is made to appear to be the natural state. That idea keeps coming back to me, “compulsory cohabitation” is not the natural state going back to Adam and Eve (for Judeo-Christians, at least). There was something before Adam and Eve that they don’t talk about. How the Amazon tribes were wiped out is something I’ve heard, but don’t know much about this. I believe it’s time to find out.

  17. zeph said:

    “I am becoming increasingly wild with rage and frustration at the mantra introduced into common feminist parlance, which goes: “We have to include men” and “we need men on board.””

    We need them on board like the oppressed poor needed their feudal overlords to be included in all their revolutionary plans! How convenient that would have been for the oppressors! Had such an attitude been adopted we would have never seen any social reform at all.

    Thanks for a wonderful post, Julie.

  18. FemmeForever said:

    Can I just say THE RADFEM HUB IS AWESOME!

  19. FCM said:

    why yes. yes you can.

  20. The man-hating thing has always struck me as a bit ironic given that radfems seem to have more respect for men than almost any other section of society, because we actually regard them as fully-paid up, logical human beings who can make logical, considered decisions – if they want to. Strikes me that’s a bit better than the whole, ‘men just can’t control themselves, they’re like children/animals/idiots’ thing. I know which I’d prefer if I were a man.

  21. Hecuba said:

    Ah yes that common insult hurled at any woman who dares to hold men accountable for continuing to believe the world centres around men and their interests; their pseudo rights and their demands – she is called what? Why a man-hater. Actually instead of defending our actions we need to focus on the real issues and that is the endemic misogyny and women-hating/contempt for women men as a group hold and publicly express. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read/heard men claim they are the victims and radical feminists all hate men. Wrong – we don’t hate men but we do hold men accountable as and when they commit violence against women; they hold women in contempt; they expect and demand that women should put men’s needs and men’s interests first and ours last. That is how the oppressor operates by claiming he is the victim not the ones being oppressed.

    So men instead of playing the victim card take a look at yourselves because you are the ones either calling women misogynistic names or else are bystanders who refuse to hold those men who do commit violence against women and/or who believe women are not human but exist to serve men. Also it is not about the individual male – it is how he interacts with other men and is commonly frightened not of women but how other men will perceive him if he doesn’t conform to male supremacist ideas of ‘masculine behaviour.’ Why are men so afraid of being called ‘wimps’ by other men? It is not because women have such structural/socio-economic power that we can enforce power over men – no it is because men are afraid of other men’s power and ability to shame those males who are not supposedly ‘real men.’ Still never mind, men can always fall back on that old standby and that is to dominate and control women because women unlike men are not autonomous – no we exist just to serve men and reflect their images back to them at twice their size.

    Men who claim women are on their own if they do not have a man present demonstrates the overblown egos of those men. Because a woman is only ‘on her own’ if no one else is present in her company. But men believe only men exist and whenever women gather together without men being present then we are ‘supposedly on our own.’ Because of course women cannot exist without the constant 24/7 presence of men monitoring/scrutinising/censoring our conversations in order to prevent us from horrors – criticising or holding men accountable for their actions towards women.

    Spot-on far too many women are terrified of ‘upsetting the menz’ because all women know there is a price to be paid for criticising either individual men or men as a group and that is men will punish women for supposedly ‘stepping out of line’ and not 24/7 pandering to men’s overblown egos and hubris (overwheening male pride).

    Fair? Male supremacist society has never been ‘fair’ or even just to women because male supremacist society was constructed by men for men’s benefit and given male supremacy has existed for thousands of years it is no wonder that when men’s abuse of power and pseudo rights are challenged they automatically attempt to put the focus back on to men and their demands/pseudo rights. Liberal feminists have forgotten her story because each generation of feminists have to begin again to learn the truth that pandering to men and putting their interests and demands first will never eliminate male supremacy. But it will certainly let men off the hook because as always the focus will remain on men and their demands and women will continue to be blamed and scapegoated.

    Certainly some men ‘get it’ and they do walk the walk instead of talking the talk but those men are too few in number – instead most men don’t want to focus on men as a group and the reason is because the oppressors have to focus on the oppressed in order to maintain their power.

    As regards the male -centric claim that ‘women commit violence against men blah blah blah! That too is an old male supremacist trick because it is designed to keep the focus on the oppressed not the oppressors – and given women do not commit violence against men in equal numbers – then clearly it is male violence against women which is the real problem – not female on male violence. Then too there is the fact men commit violence against other men because men continue to engage in a struggle against other men for power and domination over all women and some men.

    What is glaringly different for women is that we are forced to interact with men on a daily basis – we cannot get away from men and their beliefs that the male-centric view of the world is the only reality. Our male supremacist societies are centered around families and kinship wherein it is claimed as natural and inevitable that households must contain both sexes and that the dominant sex must be the male head of the household. Of course not all households have male heads which is why women who for various reasons do not live with men are seen as deviant and that feeds directly into the misogynistic belief that any woman who does not demonstrate she puts men first, second and last must be a ‘man hater.’ Lesbians have always been demonised because they are not sexually interested in ‘man’ and that is seen as heretical under our male supremacist system.

    Then there is the fact that because women are trained from birth to constantly put men and their needs first this means we all too commonly internalise the lie that we are at fault if we dare to challenge men because the world does indeed revolve around men and their myopic views. Focusing on the oppressor 24/7 ensures male domination over women continues to remain invisible and yes women are rewarded for focusing on men. We are patted on the head and told we are ‘good little women’ for putting men first. Some women are even awarded a small amount of socio-economic power but the real power continues to be held by men and this means the small amount of power some women are granted can and is easily taken away by the men if the woman/women are perceived as challenging male power. That is one aspect of how male supremacy/patriarchy operates.

    So instead of claiming ‘but it isn’t fair not including men – we need to take a long hard look at how male supremacy operates and why it is essential women must not name the sex of the oppressors because doing so makes men as a group no longer invisible and non-accountable.

    whose sexuality is not heterosexual but lesbian must be a ‘manhater’ or she is a deviant. The other reason is that because lesbian women do not centre their lives around pleasing and pandering to men that is perceived as heretical given man is the default human and the world does indeed at present revolve around men and their interests; their needs; and their rights must always supercede women’s right not to be subordinated to men.

    Yes feminists need men to ‘step up to the plate’ but we don’t need men claiming they must always be in charge and demand the right to invade women only spaces. What we need is for those men who claim to be pro-feminist to walk the walk – engage in challenging other men and their misogyny and show these men that being a decent human being is not something which earns men cookies but is a standard expected of all decent human beings, especially men.

    Finally men need to cease talking too much and actually listen to women and learn rather than constantly claim ‘but we men have all the answers and if only you women would pander to our demands; our needs then everything would be fine.’ Yes it ‘would be fine’ because the male supremacist system would not change and men would continue to believe they are the default human beings and we women exist solely to serve men 24/7.

    Challenging men and their women-hating/contempt for women will not earn women ‘cookies’ or even power despite claims to the contrary because given it continues to be men who are the ones clinging on to power; this means men will never relinquish their power without a struggle and herstory proves that time and again. The tiny gains we women have gained have not happened because we appeased men – no they were gained because we spoke out; we protested; we refused to remain silent and be men’s servants. The small gains feminists achieved in the long, long struggle for women’s rights were only achieved by female mass protest action and refusal to remain passive.

  22. FCM said:

    yes, its also ironic because men hate women with a passion, and demonstrate this daily by perpetrating female-specific hate crimes on us. you can tell they are hate crimes by the misgogynist slurs they use while they are doing it. of course, hate crimes legislation doesnt protect women, and “hate” means very different things depending on who is doing it, to whom. apparently, protesting mens demonstrated women-hatred that they perpertate on womens bodies every second, is “man-hating.” the demonstrable harms perpetrated on women while calling us “bitch” (or not) are just normal…or “sex” depending on whether the behavior is likely to induce boners in other misogynist men.

    now *thats* irony!

  23. That’s a great point, Mistress. Because I always hear “empowerment” feminists saying that about women: we are smart enough to choose our own choices!! Well, then, so are men. Men can also take responsibility for their choices, behavior, and for acknowledging the realities of male violence. Why not??

  24. Sargasso Sea said:

    Is *Rainsinger* Julie Bindel then?

    How did I manage to miss that?! I guess I am that out of touch 😦

  25. FCM said:

    s4, i cant tell if thats a joke. but no, rainsinger is not julie bindel.

  26. Sargasso Sea said:

    No joke! Seriously.

    And thanks for the quick verification 🙂

  27. rainsinger said:

    S4, no – no more than FCM is Rebbeca Mott, or Sam from Genderberg. Guest Posters, need to be uploaded under one or other of the Hub authors.

  28. gongyla said:

    Great to read your piece and to have the radicalhub available.

  29. Sargassosea said:

    @ Rainsinger –

    Of course and thanks. I was just confused because the only link I could find was to The Map of My Life and as far as I knew Julie was not a regular commenter on any of these blogs.

    My bad.

  30. Freya said:

    What a great article by Julie Bindel and what good responses. So wonderful to have the Radical Feminist Hub Blog. Good on you Rainsinger!!!

  31. rainsinger said:

    Biggest thankyous to Julie, and the rest of the HUB collective, is truly an international ‘team-effort’
    … and an even bigger apology to Julie for the comma-invasion. Nasty things, like aussie mozzies. I sure enjoyed it too – although my personal favourite Julie B quote is from an ancient button that said:”Kill Men Now, Ask Me How”
    I was very young at the time, but I remember how empowerfulled I felt 🙂

    And Freya? Gongyla? ahahaha… when can we expect your Guest Posts???

  32. There are no words to describe how happy I am that this site exists.

    And another thank you to Julie Bindel. Though sad that she had to make this point again.

    Does anyone know more about what happened in that conference as a result of Bidisha’s words?

  33. Josie said:

    Ugh, yes, this is awesome! I am so sick of being told it is the responsibility of women to educate men on feminism. It is not. Read a book. Or shut up and listen — but there is absolutely no need for you to contribute, and no matter how “nice” the male is, he will always hinder productive female discourse. I’ve never been to any sort of feminist gathering, but I’ve noticed this in school. Girls can have conversations, really amazing, lively, productive conversations about almost anything — rape, periods, literature — and when a guy enters the conversation, the whole mood changes. You apologize in the guy’s direction when you bring up “icky girl stuff”, you say “No offense, not you, you’re not like most guys” when you talk about rape, and you pretend as if you don’t care about literature because brains are unsexy.

    Every time I see a new post has been put up here, I get so friggin’ giddy! 🙂

  34. AlienNumber said:

    This is really wonderful blog/site. Thank you for creating it.

  35. Great post Julie, thank you! So very sorry about all that conference mess you’ve had to deal with, hope things are still going well for you.

    @Hecuba’s comment. Isn’t it odd how the slutwalkers never want to reclaim “man-hater” by shouting “this is what a man-hater looks like”? That and “slut” are both terrible insults, after all. Fascinating how they prefer instead to spend their time reclaiming the only word which, when performed accurately, aligns themselves perfectly with patriarchy.

  36. julia said:

    We need lots of women-only spaces!! I run a free women’s writing group and it is only for women. Men would ruin it. I would really like to host a feminist study and action group, but it’s very difficult to find any organization that will host anything women-only, and for this group it has got to biological women-only.

    On younger feminists wanting to be fair to men, can you imagine listening to a talk on racism by, say, bell hooks, and her beginning with ‘ we welcome all of you white allies’ or something like that? She assumes that white people in the audience are allies, and often only answers questions from people of color. Why can’t we do the same thing?

    I think here in the US we need to start over, with those of us who agree, just women. Make our groups strong, do not include men. do not waste time discussing men, and something will happen…

  37. julia said:

    Reading this more carefully ( I don’t have a computer and can only get to a public one a few times a week) I have to say that this is one of the best essays I’ve read on feminism in a long time. Thanks for quoting Marilyn French, one of America’s most important historians. Her book ‘Beyond Power’ is the most important book I’ve ever read.

    I keep thinking about Andrea Dworkin’s essay ‘My Last Leftist Meeting’ in her memoir. It sums up why I am becoming a seperatist and always choose women’s company over men’s. They’re just not worth it, not the way that they are now.

    Excellent comment, Hecuba, that could be a post itself 🙂

  38. ybawife said:

    Feminism was built on the blood of women and children. It was necessary because a large number of men abuse and dehumanise women by assuming superiority over us, curtailing our choices in life, and by committing the most appalling acts of sadistic violence upon our bodies and souls.

    Julie, this statement says it all for me….the loss of collective male humanity is every where for us womon to see, we need never apologise for fore-grounding womons agenda and I agree that an alternative is out and out war….rather than appeasement , which always fails as we sister s can see…..everyday on every street, in every magazine and newspaper, in movies , in social spaces, mental hospitals, super market lines and in a million other ways, misogyny is alive, well and working, appeasement does not work….. never will…..

  39. mad said:

    Here in Holland bras WERE burned, at lovely campfire parties.

  40. Alison Proctor said:

    Thank God for Julie Bindel – everthing she says makes such sense.

  41. Anytime ONE MAN enters the room, it becomes about him, either wanting him there or not, catering to his ego or not, it is no longer women only space, and it’s no longer a safe space for women to really be open about OUR ISSUES. Forget about the damned men, PUT WOMEN FIRST AND FOREMOST in your life…all men benefit from patriarchy, patriarchal religions, governments, social systems and economics, AT THE EXPENSE OF women. Until they are ready to actively dismantle those systems, most are nothing but colloborators, by commission or omission….

    I experienced such when I went to a Sexual Harassment workshop put on by N.O.W. which I really needed after experiencing same on my job in the construction field, surrounded by all men. Well, I went to this workshop filled with women, and the ONE LAWYER telling us all what to do and our ‘rights’ was a man! Like they couldn’t have gotten ONE Female lawyer???? To talk about such a sensitive subject in front of any man, no matter WHAT his credentials, did not feel comfortable, safe and I felt very exposed. I’m sure other womyn did too….his sexism while subtle, was still apparent by being the ‘expert’ like men always are around women, always put on a pedestal of expertise..while we’re all a bunch of bimbo and dummies….yeah!

    I never went back. Nor would I support N.O.W. or any other organization that so betrays women in this way by allowing men into sensitive female enclaves to discuss some of our most intimate and private issues in relation to male oppression of us!

    THANK YOU for this article and I feel the same. Anytime a woman, much less a Dyke like myself stands UP for ourselves, and names men’s crimes, or INSISTS on WBW and women only space, we’re accused of being ‘manhaters’! Well maybe we don’t want the menz around period! Men aren’t automatically accused of being ‘womanhaters’ by INSISTING on THEIR far more numerous all male enclaves! Even if they are!
    -FeistyAmazon

  42. I burned a bra once in a women only ritual to symbolize releasing male control over us Wild Rowdy Females, and to honor our earlier brethren who did the same!

  43. Not only do men hate each other and bash each other more than any woman does, they ALSO don’t shave their legs. (Usually) But somehow, that’s okay when men are doing it.

  44. Women have *every rational* reason to hate men back for hating us for endless painful,unjust 1,000’s of years and so cruelly and unjustly causing women to hate themselves and each other! And the most incomprehensible thing about this is,that *men are born from and nurtured by women* the very people they have been hating for 1,000’s of years for *no rational reasons*! Women never did anything to be hated and most women are nice to men,their sons who they are taught to prefer,their husbands,brothers,fathers and men in general even though men have been unjustly,irationally hating ,raping,beating,discriminating,agains,sexually harassing,and killing girls and women for 1,000’s of years!

    Black people had every rational reason and right to hate most white people back,as did Jews for Nazis! And I have always said that women are the only oppressed,hated discriminated against,hated,group of people that is expected and does marry and have sexual and ”romantic” relationships with their haters,discriminators and oppressors and actually gives birth to them! Blacks don’t and are not expected to,and Jews don’t.

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