Sex, Gender, Lies & Female-Hatred

In  “Gender as a Hate Crime” (Dianne Post, Rain and Thunder #41  ) it was noted that “When I was lobbying for the inclusion of gender in the Arizona hate crimes statute many years ago, the man who spoke before me said that crimes against women are so common that if they were included in hate crimes, it would overwhelm the system and no one else would get any attention.”

Indeed.  I guess this is why transgender folks can achieve human rights, civil rights and hate crimes legislative protections but females can’t.  Female-hatred can continue unabated without consequence or even being questioned.  It is so ‘normal’ and so widespread, that it is not seen as systemic structural oppression in its own right.

One of the most common socially approved expressions of this universal Hate, is the continuing metaphor of women as animals, (ie not-human animals), chicks, cows, dogs, bunnies, and often presented as such in advertising, along with gender minstrel performance as a put-down, just as racial minstrel performance is.  Then there are the cultural caricatures, the Political Propaganda, the enormous hatred and sexualised violence towards females in mainstream music, movies, advertising, TV sitcoms along with appalling western cultural stereotypes of the nagging fishwife, elderly mother(in-law), the ball-buster and the bimbo.  The list is endless. If such Hatred in cultural stereotypes are applied to non-white races, it would be rightly labelled hate-speech.

Along the continuum of Hate, is the umbrella concept of Violence Against Women, including everyday harrassment and humiliation in the street, public spaces, schools and workplaces, incest, rape, assaults, and domestic violence, pornography and
prostitution industries, honor killings, womb-prostitution & egg-farming for baby-battery factory farms, child marriages and large-scale female torture and female rape/impregnation-camps in warzones and natural disaster regions, along with systemic social and political violence in differential access to public services, health care, employment, education and treatment under the law.

Just to name a few of the more obvious mechanisms of female oppression, (don’t get me started on FGM aka ‘Code of Femininity, aka the ‘beauty industry’, from African FGM, to hijab, to the sari to high-heels, western clothing (or lack of) etc etc) but with startlingly valid statistics to confirm systemic social and political oppression and hatred of females, over decades, centuries and millennia – and planet-wide. It is the universal female human condition.  And one hell of a lot of that oppression — physical, social, psychological and political,  is rooted in the female sex, not gender.

The Hate usually begins in the birthing chamber with “It’s a girl” (based on her genitals) and doesn’t really end until the old b*tch, bat, cow etc, is dead, for the overwhelming majority of female-sexed humans on this entire planet.  Some groups of females don’t survive to the birthing-chamber.

Similar to other oppressed groups of human beings, this social and political hatred can be internalised by individuals and sub-groups, and fully accepted as the norm and once “normal” becomes “invisible” – its just absent. The generic social hate can then become wide-spread Self-hate, individually and collectively, and can be expressed through self-harm, masochism, celebration of the oppressed social status, and often as horizontal hostility, as in “othering” sub-groups of the oppressed population.  In the case of women, a sizeable number collaborate in their own oppression, for the sake of survival.  For to resist the largest, oldest and most basic Hatred and oppression of all man-made oppressions, is to risk very real death – as millions of female humans on this planet know only too well.

The continuum of Hate of the female gets progressively more intense for women also impacted by racism and classism.  All females are Not-Human, but the further down male heirarchies the rest of your female body is,  or your religion, socio-economic class or ethnic group or nationality, (the list is endless)  the more frequently and severely you get treated like de-humanised shit when you are born female – its like progressively becoming more non-human, or more female.  Wherever positioned in male heirarchies, all the Hate ultimately originates in a male over female symbolic framework.

This Hatred of the Female is also demonstrated in the decades long arguments over the inclusion of trans-activism in feminism, and all over just the ‘Name’ of woman and man.

Although it is primarily the Name of Woman only that seems to get everyone so angry and emotional.  It is very interesting that few question the Name of Man, its only the Name of Woman which is in doubt.

Sex as biologically female or male, for the overwhelming majority of humans, is unchangeable.  It is neutral, it is a fact of life.  Like brown hair or green eyes.  Gender, as ‘woman’ or ‘man’ is a social construct, an abstraction of the mind loosely referring to the social meaning of gender roles of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’,  reinforced by socialisation throughout life and ascribed a social status and importance in the abstract, in that ‘femininity’ is positioned socially and politically inferior to ‘masculinity’.

However, while anybody can – in theory — self-identify, and/or be socially defined as either ‘man’ or ‘woman’,  most of us humans are stuck forever with being ‘male’ or female’.  Every single cell in the body is sexed.  The language of sex and gender
or ‘Name’ often gets confused as delphyne has noted “..out there in the real world nobody makes any distinction between man and male,  and woman and female, so when the trans call themselves “women” it means they get into a whole lot of women’s spaces…”

At its most simplistic, radical feminist theory and analysis posits that female human beings, are oppressed through BOTH their biological sex as females, AND  through socially enforced gender roles as women.  It is not ‘essentialist’, or ‘cultural’ promotion of femaleness, it is fact of life for female-born humans.

Liberal feminism generally, tends to focus its energy mostly on the socially constructed gender roles and their relative social and political status, radical feminism focuses on both as being critical factors of women’s oppression, seeing both sex and gender as inextricably linked socially and politically across the planet in all cultures, in all countries in all religions and creeds.  Biological sex shouldn’t be socially linked to social status, genderised roles, and hatred and abuse on an institutional and systemic basis, but they are, under patriarchy.   If males didn’t need female biology for reproduction, there would have been no need to “invent” or “construct” social gender roles in the first place.

The socially constructed gender roles, conditioned from birth, just serves as a tool to reinforce the hatred and oppression of the biological sex of females, and provide a social argument for its reinforcement.  No matter how many trans and queer folk like to ‘fuck with gender’, it cannot and will not do anything for female-bodied sex-based oppression.  Indeed, the whole post-modernist concept is designed to erase, invisibilise, trivialise and deny female oppression.  Make sure it doesn’t exist as a social or political category.  Regardless of gender constructs, or de-construction, or re-construction, the female sex itself, is
universally hated, denied human rights and autonomy, and politicised trans lobbyists are just the most recent of the patriarchal cheerleaders to help erase its existence.

Female existence is sometimes recognised, in that some spaces, (and not all that many), have requested to be female-only spaces.  Some of these are for socialising, such as the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, (aka ‘Michfest’), others are for female-specific public services, others are for political feminist organising.  But these are very few, as most brands of feminism and women’s events, do include male-women and often male-men too.

It would seem, that even one such space, is always one too many, to ask for!

Talking of minorities within feminism – why pick on the most marginalised, the smallest numerically, and the most powerless minority of all feminists as “haters”?

If a group, for example people who identify with a particular shared group identity on grounds of religion, race or even common hobby, wanted to hold a festival on private land, and politely, respectfully asked non-‘whatever-it-is’ people, to not attend – most would not be offended by that request.   Even if they were, I suspect they wouldn’t then call the national media, their lawyers and hold public protests over claims of discrimination.

It is a false claim, it is a lie of such huge proportions it beggars belief.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

Just who is doing all the “Hating” around here? It sure isn’t radfems who just want some female space to call their own.
And why do so few see this activity as Hatred? Because they have been successful in telling lies, ‘proving’ that females do not have any rights to their own name.  Trans-activism directed at radfems is just the latest in a looooong herstory of Woman_Hatred.

Female-people who wish to have their own space, are just Not Allowed to, no matter how politely and respectfully they ask.  The whole friggin world, right-wing fundies, left-wing, trans, queer GBT-alphabet-soups – all of them – are stating that females have no human right to organise themselves as females, socially or politically.  Margaret Jamison wrote: “…radical feminists deserve to be called “hateful bitches,” of course, because we wont call (male-born) transpeople,  female.  That’s it. We won’t call male people female. We aren’t hurting them or slandering them in any way (after all, ‘male’ is not an insult – just a fact, like ‘short’ or ‘hazel-eyed’); we’re just not calling them female. That’s the sum total of the radical feminist position…. surgery and pharmaceuticals aren’t miracle-makers. They don’t turn male people female….Simple logic. That’s it. And the response is to hurl expletives in our general direction. To me, the “punishment” does not fit the “crime.””

Indeed. Me neither.  Such a crime it is, to cause so much grief.  The ‘punishment’ for such a ‘crime’ goes beyond the female-hating epithets – it extends to yet another formal legal discrimination against females.  Typical patriarchal reversals within
reversals.  It is the politicised trans who are the real female-Haters.  I guess its no coincidence, that most high-profile politicised trans-activists are also pro-porn and pro-prostitution too.

Just add it to all the rest of the discriminatory woman-hating laws, policies, behaviours and everyday common-garden variety of violence females experience from the day we are born.  We all know that females are not human, hence no legal
civil rights either.  Only the male-born and their enablers are allowed such rights.

Meanwhile the Female-Hate continues and wins again.

Femininity, (and masculinity), in all its various forms (and there are a lot of them), is totally a social construction, but is always a male construction based on male-bodied life experience, and any *bits* of female-bodied life-experience which don’t correspond to male experience, are removed from the Human Condition altogether.

Poof !! *disappeared*

Erasure and denial of femaleness, and replacing it with male-bodied definitions of femininity, is something women are socially conditioned to share with men the world over. Men hate women, and so women hate women too, and in particular, we are taught to hate the femaleness in our own bodies and those of other women.  We are trained and conditioned into masochism of the female body.

The male-born transgendered people socially reinforce an underlying concept of the inherent body masochism of femininity, as being the sole and only definition of womanhood,  in Erasing femaleness.  The female-born transgendered are erasing femaleness in their bodies, through masochistic self-harm which is still the hallmark of femininity.

Both socially constructed gendered roles attempt to Erase the Female from existence.

One attempts to Erase their own femaleness in Self-hatred by removing all their uniquely female “bits”, and the other is also Erasing the female, by replacing it with a superficial ‘femininity’ which similarly excludes all the uniquely Female bits, which biological males can’t do anyway.

Both roles are based on definitions of socially constructed femininity, which has nothing to do with femaleness.   Either way, the female bits that can’t conform to a male biological “equivalent” standard are removed, denied any importance or value, or any humanity.  Only male biology matters.  Only male biology and life experience is ‘human’, so only male biology and socially constructed reality can be our ‘Destiny’.

In the search for ‘equality’ we seem to have settled for ‘equivalence’ of the kind — that anything a man feels, a woman can too. But anything a woman can feel and experience, but a man just can’t, just doesn’t exist.  In other words, both are insisting that the Female has no right to existence.

I suspect that is why drag is not seen as offensive as racialised parody is.   It is men laughing at themselves.  For women socialised into femininity have none other but the feminised gentle male-definitions to identify with, and to receive even the smallest recognition of “humanity”, women must erase their own femaleness and side with the gentle- men in drag.

This generalised antagonism and hostility towards even the possibility, of a female Class identity, is possibly based in fear of upsetting the male-supremacist power systems – an understandable fear.   So we identify primarily with race, class, gay male sexuality and other divisions, which are also male-defined social constructions to distinguish between groups of males. Females are irrelevant to these distinctions, for they are male-male ones, just like masculinity and femininity are both male-bodied, male-minded social constructions.

Liar, Liar, pants on fire!!

If trans “feminists” are sooooooooo identified with “women”, why aren’t they attacking male supremacy? Why do they attack the smallest minority of other feminists?

Methinx it has been the most brilliant tactic of Divide & Conquer ever perpetrated – by convincing us all that we don’t really exist as a ‘class’ or ‘category’ at all, and never did,

neither socially or biologically (when it has always been both, not dissected, dis-membered or separate) –

we have absolutely no basis on which we can unite in solidarity,  and will never be a threat to the oppressive power-structures we all know are there.

The post-modernist ideal of an androgynous genderless Heinz soup-blend of humanity, removes, dismisses all concepts of unique femaleness and replaces it with masculinity, queer and femininity (which is all just more forms of masculinity in drag or without it).

Whether Culture and/or Biology, is Destiny then, it would still appear to be a very much a male-minded, male-bodied Destiny.

Whether She was a biological or a social construct, may that Mad, Mad ‘Woman’, the indefinable, uncategorised, Mad, Mad Woman who went down without a fight

  • because it was in Her Nature and/or Social Construction to be
  • non-violent, non-aggressive,  but
  • Ultimately Non-Existent ……

May those Mad, Mad Women, those Misfit Female Bodies, Rest in Peace.

Can the last one out,  please turn off the lights?

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20 comments
  1. Maggie said:

    This is a brilliant post, Rain! You’ve got a great deal of courage to speak out like this.

    As a lesbian, it pisses the hell out of me to see all those male-women in my community. I’m not even allowed to say that IRL, otherwise I could get sued for “discrimination.” Fucking invaders! Just like all other men who want to access to lesbian sexuality (through malestrem porn and such). I say ‘Fuck off and fuck you’ to all those male bastards.

    Male-women do not even have a clit and have never experienced menstruation (which are important parts of being really female), and I bet they shave their legs a lot more often than real womyn do (I know some womyn keep some hair under their trousers in the winter or when men aren’t around).

    Yes, what hurts the most is that womyn do not even know their own herstory and are buying into all those awful male-supremacist lies; and, yes, most womyn unfortunately end up being misogynistic because of their socialisation under patriarchy. I noticed that the most when womyn refer to all humans as ‘people’ only; they refuse to admit that the whole class of human males hates the whole class of human females. They refuse to acknowledge this because then they would also have to acknowledge that their husbands, fathers, sons, boyfriends, etc hate them, which is (a lot more often than not) inevitably true.

    And the trans plot is the ultimate patriarchal goal to erase the female from existence, I agree…

  2. yttik said:

    I think I have a new definition of what being a woman is. I think it means to be erased. Recently I’ve found myself having to defend the erasure of women, without even really knowing what “woman” really is. I know it’s not defined by lipstick, heels, or hormones. It’s not simply about doubling your workload and cutting your wages in half. It’s not about being the one designated to clean the toilets and make the coffee.

    Whatever it is that defines women, it’s buried so far under this male defined concept of gender, it’s hard to figure out. So being a woman starts to look a whole lot like not being allowed to define your own self. Every time women get together and start to do this, it seems like their space is invaded and that erasure starts happening. It’s like, “no, that’s not what being a woman is, we’ll tell you what being a woman is, and you will conform.” Trans activists are very good at that, but so is all this gender neutral language we often start to use when naming things. We don’t want to say “mothers” anymore, we want to say “caretakers”, even when 90% of the people doing the job are women. We say “people,” even when 98% of those people are female. Even in our language we are not supposed to use terms that might define our experiences as a collective group.

    So yeah, being a woman is to be erased, to be non existent, to be rendered invisible. I laughed at this, “Can the last one out, please turn off the lights?” Even in the process of being erased, we are still expected to be responsible, to save energy, to make sure the chores are taken care off. No doubt we’d also be in the kitchen washing up the coffee cups and securing the building.

  3. julia said:

    Crimes against women would overwhelm the system – who else in the world has violence done to them every 9 seconds (battery) and every two minutes (rape) ?!

    Maggie, your comment is so honest.

    Most women I know hate it when I talk about anything pertaining to misogyny or women’s history – and studying our history can be so uplifting. I think things have gotten so much worse than when I was growing up, and my girlfriends and I played soccer, ran track and always called the boys – and the male teachers – on their sexism.

    Today I am almost always the lone voice. The other women are either frozen or numb or scared.

  4. Spot on excellent post!! Thanks for this

    Liane x

  5. SheilaG said:

    Frozen, numb and scared is a very good way of describing a lot of straight women I know… it’s why they are so fearful of a radical feminist analysis, so shut down in their lack of understanding that lesbians are being attacked in the media… Shut down, unwilling to find out, because if they did start to read and understand radical feminism, and really did get an education in women’s studies, suddenly their world would change. They would then consciously see the female hatred all around them, in their own home…

    They’d rather settle for ignorance, the illusion of priviledge…. and also we are in a war where the anti has really been upped.

    Porn has been upped, violence against women worldwide has been upped, high heel shoes are the rage…always a danger sign to have them come back on the “fashion” scene. In the backlash that is a vicious war… now throw male to trans in the mix, so that even lesbian territories are being invaded by males… yeah, men are crafty or clever, they wanted to get at lesbian nation, because we really were in the streets, and really did produce hard core evidense against males. No accident on the rise of trans nation that goes right along with the backlash and reactionary war on women.

  6. yttik said:

    Ah Sheila, I wish it was just straight women, but lately I find myself arguing with many lesbians who seem to want to deal with every other oppression but the oppression of women. They’re fighting for trans rights, gay male rights, liberal men’s rights, male environmental rights, and my personal favorite, poor men’s rights. Yeah, I don’t know if you got the memo, but apparently men are lagging behind in education and some of them are unemployed. We need to get them good jobs, ASAP. We need to elect more men to office, we need to pass more hate crimes legislation for men. We need more stimulus money for men.

  7. SheilaG said:

    yttik–
    Yes, you are absolutely right about the sorry state of affairs with lesbians. Straight women are of course the most male supporting notorious because they live with men… that’s a given. But lesbians will work on every damn cause but their own.
    Bev Jo has pointed out that so-called lesbian organizations now serve trans and gay male rights… lesbians have a hard time finding a lesbian only supporting organization these days. From the AIDS Lifecycle fundraisers… siphoning off more lesbian money for a disease that almost never gets at lesbians to the Center for Lesbian Rights giving legal aid to gay male couple adoptions, trans issues… geez.

    Remember, THE most radical thing ANY woman can do is to support 100% the cause of women’s liberation. That means how we use our money, how we structure our organizations, and how we say NO to any group that is not on board with women born women power and self-determination.

    This reluctance to put women front and center is about internalized woman hatred that all women carry within them… it’s the good wife syndrome… everyone’s needs but mine. Men fear the day when women everywhere put women’s self interest number one, and refuse to aid and abet male supporting, coddling, currying favor with programs…

    Since I see a lot of straight women doing all this “charitable’ work on behalf of everyone BUT women, it seem worse. Doing the laundry for men, cooking for them, cleaning up after men, poo pooing male bad behavior… the straight couple is the epicenter of patriarchy. It’s how patriarchy steals women’s labor from the get go.

    Lesbians, being outside that system of male in the home domination, see less of this. But we do have to deal with female conditioning that teaches us to serve everyone but ourselves. It’s why everytime I hear a woman use the phrase “give back” it makes me cringe. Give back to whom? And it’s almost always male serving.

    Trans supporing, let the trans be rape crisis counselors… oh lesbians can’t kick their damn butts off our land… oh no, we gotta serve the man in skirts as well. It never ends does it!

  8. Such a brilliant post, and brilliant comments! I really love the way you wrote the continuum of all the violences against women. And I was imagining in glee what it would be like if gender was truly considered a hate crime and every womyn acted upon it to denounce all the crimes since birth. It would just be the revolution, the system would collapse!

    Even if only rape and sexual harrassment was truly considered as a crime rather than men’s birthright, and every womyn went to court for everything she was ever subjected to in terms of rape and harrassment, the entire judiciairy system would collapse out of pressure. Which womyn at some point of her life hasn’t been at least sexually harrassed, if not raped? We would have to figure out an entirely new system that could take in all the complaints. Women would set up their own courts, shame all the rapists publicly.

    Regarding trans invading lesbian spaces – I don’t live in the states, but given the way you describe it, trans invasion definitely seems worse and more advanced in the states compared to here. None of the lesbian/radical spaces I’ve ever been to have been trans invaded. In “feminist” non-lesbian spaces however, they are gaining momentum. Not to mention gender studies departments, where the pomo queer genderbender proporn pro prostitution has, in its tidal wave, washed away almost every hint of radical feminism.

    Unrelated but sometimes, I fear our earth and life will go extinct, I don’t see the radical feminist revolution coming. And sometimes I feel hope. I know we will survive somehow.

    Ah, about lesbians reproducing androcentrism or misogyny – just lately: I was almost harrassed and bashed by a group of three anti-racist lesbian feminists telling me that a racialised man can’t rape a white (supremacist) women, because racialised men are underneath them, and race is more important than sex. How DARE I be so racist and ignore their experiences!! Ah yes, and I shouldn’t use the term “colonised” to refer to men’s treatment towards womyn, cause it’s insulting to those REAL people colonised during colonisation. Seems that racialised men now have claimed proprietorship of the term, sorry womyn! Patriarchal language was just invented to shut you up, so you can’t even put words to who you are and what you feel.
    Another one told me recently I shouldn’t say “men’s” violence against women, because that renders invisible the violences (domestic) that womyn inflict upon other womyn. So we should give up calling on men? After fighting so long to even have this term to get remotely in the malestream. Last one:Just this week, while organising a fairly important/national event against rape, I’ve been bashed, exploited, censored, plagiarised and reappropriated by a few lesbian feminists who run a major world feminist/women’s organisation. I’m pretty new to activism, but geez! Had NO idea I had to preserve myself so much. Violence is everywhere. Is there no respite?

    Ragh sorry for the long rant. Or maybe I shouldn’t say sorry.

  9. Maggie said:

    Maggie, your comment is so honest.

    Thanks, Julia. 🙂

  10. Gail Green said:

    The post is brilliant as incisive analysis, and the comments fascinating. Let me affirm, chant, beat the drum — will you join in? — that wimmin evolve in the dark-and-the light, and that the male-led women-hater-hypocrites be the ones to turn off their own fake lights.

    The onslaught continues to affect our daily lives. True story of today. Lesbians, who run a coffee shop I had liked, today started lauding the “they’re the best” attributes of a mtf couple claiming lesbianism. Later I spoke to the coffee-shop-proprietor lesbians about these guys having their male privilege from birth, and now having usurped women-born women’s own primacy in lesbian circles by being able to trade on their male privilege in the glbt politics (being from a liberal, glbt activist city) — just as the men did, as to women generally, trade on their privilege as males before the mtf surgical conversions. One was a pilot as a man (and thus, is still a pilot) before the mtf conversion, and I know how many extra barriers there are to women becoming pilots. (Not that it can’t happen; it’s just that it’s so much harder, from the subtle and overt harassing to the canceled lessons, for a woman to become a pilot.)

    In the conversation with the coffee-shop lesbians I didn’t even get into mtf just being a type of patriarchally approved performance art — or the mtf couple still biologically having sexuality that’s basically unrelatable for woman-born lesbians! They just didn’t get anything but wanting to virtually worship these mtf’s. The lesbians’ idealization and support for these men was astonishing and devolved into verbally attacking me with a “we love you, but…” preamble. It was really offputting to me (bad enough when het women are into male worship), and I don’t even want to go there any more for coffee or conversation. It’s the only lesbian-run coffee shop in the county where I’m now living. What a disappointment.

    Am I just jaded by today’s recent experience when I write here that — despite the many comments on rad-fem blogs which are insightful and helpful — I surmise there are men (or male-identified women) planted with pseudonyms, if you will, in online systems as spoilers and time-wasters against women’s liberation/radical feminism. If women were really free and whole, men’s game/evil would be over, so this really is the biggest deal going on in the human scene.

    Most women may not know it yet, but many men get it (without telling women) and CONSCIOUSLY run the politics/violence/obstacles/brainwashing to thwart women’s freedom. They are not innocent! Only hypocritical. They enjoy fooling women. They think we’re stupid cows because we keep putting up with their lies and destructions. Those of us who once lived with men, have lived as adults for decades, and are now evolved into political lesbianism know about the conscious evil of men against women. As just one example, the male-led transgender movement is an abomination to women’s liberation, and we need to continue to stake our ground for one another as radical feminists even if only by the internet.

    Tonight I feel, as Mary Daly sometimes wrote she felt, like a separate species. Where is my tribe? Ah, yes, the moon, the stars and the tides. If you have true resonance to these words, you’re a sister indeed.

  11. rainsinger said:

    Gail – Thanks for your thoughtful response, re the lesbian cafe, you are not alone in your experiences there!
    But as for the infiltrators, I agree they are probably flying around under-the-radar (why they bother, when we are no serious threat to anyone, is beyond me) – but at least here on the Hub, they are hugely outnumbered 🙂

  12. FCM said:

    yes, men get hard by violating boundaries, thats what they do. it pretty much defines them. my advice would be to not approach anyone you “meet” on this forum, and dont respond if anyone approaches you. of course, all the young uns here with their confounding social networking will find this advice much too conservative, but whatever!

  13. Gail Green said:

    Rainsinger and FCM — Your thoughtful, caring responses are very appreciated. On rad-fem blogs it can feel like a connection beyond the patriarchy, and that’s valuable to support our continued existence and the joy we need for sustaining the rad-fem journey (if only for ourSelves, our Souls). But I wonder how to find real rad-fem wimmin to be-Friend, to laugh with, to walk, talk & create with, where I live and breathe. The way wimmin can laugh, spontaneous, wildly honest, and loud, gives me hope!

    I’ve made several efforts over the past few years to draw like-minded wimmin/womyn/women (women’s liberationists/womanists/rad feminists who are woman-centered, not glbt apologists, not women in denial about the phallocracy and its violence) into my regular ambit of living. Everything from posted fliers to craigslist postings. Instead, where I’ve suggested as rallying point the philosophy of radical feminism (in trying to consciousness raise or just get together on the beach to explore the tides), nothing has born fruit. Basically nobody but glbt/queer-rights political people have shown up, and they’ve been sharply hostile to my woman-centric focus beneath their veneer of a therapeutized, psychobabble affect. Quickly I end those first meetings, glad I used a pseudonym in the outreach.

    I meet and have an ability to find new women to get to know wherever I go (some become friends) but none are rad feminists and all are somewhat (on a spectrum) male-identified inside the patriarchy without any politics of liberation. And the activities are so deadly dull in patriarchy (when not appalling and mean)! Long-term lesbians can be very male-identified, too, as I found out at the coffee shop. Also this weekend I was invited to a mainly het birthday party for a 65-year-old husband of a woman friend’s co-worker, and being patriarchal in its energy bandwidth and male-female roles, the party was so crushingly boring I started to cough and needed to leave (go home and heal the sore throat that was coming up). I have found that it ends the friendship with women of this type for me to be honest about my rad-fem politics, so I pick my spots and try to minimize where the patriarchy intersects with our interactions. I keep a few of these friends, figuring some interaction with women friends is better than same-species solitariness in all situations. My platonic dating — with friendship as a first goal and as a recently declared political lesbian among those who might “get it” —so far hasn’t been wildly successful, either.

    It may be risky to divulge oneself on these blogs and seek an enriched connection among women, but are there better alternatives with where the 2011 global culture has trended? Why should the patriarchy be able to take away our joy of being together? Put another way, why don’t we make it a first priority to find and enjoy the company of one another? I don’t have the answers, but the questions are worth raising among all of us.

  14. FCM said:

    Well, that would pretty much be the exact opposite of what I advised above, so I will of course heed my own advice about meeting elsewhere, esp IRL and esp brand new faces. But others may feel differently. I agree it is an issue, how to bring any of our radfem reality into our lives, and that includes meeting other radfems irl. Michfest works for some, or so I hear. And other conferences I’ve heard have been great meeting places for radfems from all around the world, if they can make the trip. These things are real issues without obvious answers.

    The bottom line is safety, and Gail I’m sure you will forgive me for calling attention to the fact that you are new here, and are approaching others, which is exactly what I’ve warned against. I think its a bad idea, and that it takes months if not years of seeing what people are made of by the way they communicate in the comments, before we know what we are dealing with. Anyone could pick up a Mary daly book and start repeating the things they see in there, without really understanding it. Men in particular are completely inept at understanding radical feminism and their comments reflect this, usually this is obvious immediately but its even more difficult for them to sustain this over time, and to move the discussion forward rather than hitting all the buzz words. You know? Over time we see what our community is made of, this does not happen overnight.

  15. FCM said:

    I hesitate to even call it a community in fact. In large part what we have across the blogs are people who are just waiting for the chance to throw others under the bus, or building some bloggers up just to tear them down. It’s the same shit you find IRL, it really sucks, and I wouldnt call these groups of people “communities” IRL either.

  16. Gail Green said:

    It is so complicated and difficult — particularly when we are experiencing the out-rage of radical feminism’s awareness coupled with the internalized misogyny, even if unconscious, with which all of us have been injected by man-made society — to communicate constructively about our yearnings to live freely and truly as womankind in a world unconstrained by unnatural man-made structure.

    Most if not many of us commenting on rad-fem blogs have never spoken by phone, met face to face, or developed any meaningful framework for trust. Maybe it’s the impression of many if not most that it is not safe to meet. We can (or at least I do) still honor each other’s commitment to the cause of wimmin without ever having an interpersonal basis for becoming good friends.

    Not every womyn is going to like all the wimmin all the time. I get that. (You don’t know me here yet, but I’ve commented in past years on rad-fem blogs under pseudonyms, such as Judy Best, and I enjoy using standard English with a smattering of words like wimmin and womyn for the contrast with the derivative naming men have made for women. Literally in the American deep south, even “modern” unchurched men still feel free to “joke” in mixed-gender, car-passenger society : “Woman driver. Well [when he is seen to be a male driver] … drives like a woman. Woe-to man.”

    On blogs I don’t need to be liked or appreciated by those who don’t even know me. But I do appreciate that radicalhub as a blog takes an enormous amount of work by all of its key writers and is here for whatever we can collectively make of radical feminist blogging to inspire our politics and daily lives as wimmin seeking freedom from patriarchy. My appreciation comes from experience, because I haven’t yet, given all the tasks on my plate, been able to commit the time or tekkie-upgrading skills to sustain my own anonymous blogging (e.g., http://noexcuseformen.wordpress.com/). And I seldom can meet my other responsibilities and comment on rad-fem blogs as thoroughly and thoughtfully as my better nature might later have wished.

    And yet, there is a political solidarity that I’d defend to the core of my soul because we face together the overlording oppression, cultural trauma, heinous violence and hypocritical brainwashing of men against wimmin that remains as patriarchy until we unite as womankind to live outside male control. We can use all the help we can get.

    SpiderWoman, Isis, Hecate, Kali, Pele, Nemesis, Gynergetic Angels and Elemental Powers and Principalities, where are You? If we as wimmin [women-born women, not that cisgender balderdash or any other languaging used by the transexual agitators] can face our conflicts and return to our better natures as womankind in our treatment of one another, will You divinely bless us? It’s my Xmas wish that it be so.

  17. luckynkl said:

    @Gail – I don’t think I’ve ever met or spoken to anyone here since many live on the other side of the moon, but I’ve met plenty of online RFs IRL and spoken to them on the phone. Women aren’t exactly scary. What are they going to do? Frown at you? Play with the buttons on the phone?

    But FCM has a point. The first online person I met IRL turned out not to be a she at all. He was a trans. That boy was as crazy as a loon. I’ve also known some women who were sexually assaulted by men posing as feminists online. But that didn’t deter me. I accepted invites and went on to speak to and meet lots of RFs. It was well worth the risk. For me, at least. Most of the RFs I’ve met are much more awesome IRL. Some turned into life-long friends. Some turned into lovers. One I met turned into a best friend and saved my life. We speak to each other regularly. Others turned out to be assholes. **shrug** People are people. RFs are like any other group of people. They run the spectrum.

    In any case, I don’t there’s anything wrong with you wanting to reach out. The internet is much too two dimensional and impersonal and a really poor means of communication and no substitute for IRL contact and socialization. But if you’re going to meet someone, speak to them on the phone first. Then meet them in a public place. Not only for safety reasons, but in case you don’t like them and want to leave. I mean, just use common sense precautions. As I found the hard way, you never know who’s going to show up.

  18. sea said:

    This is an amazingly excellent post, thank you Rain! Clear, reasoned, brilliant. Thank you thank you thank you.

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