Guest Post by DragonDyke
A trans-abled person is someone who wishes they had a particular disability, and, as much as possible, lives their life as if they actually had that disability. This could mean using a wheelchair whilst being capable of walking, not using a limb that feels alien or any other number of variations. Often individuals will think of self-harm or actually attempt it in the hopes of bringing about the desired disability and some trans-abled people seek surgery from professionals.
Those who see themselves as trans-abled believe they have the right to live as if they had the disability they want. This is viewed as their right to personal freedom which doesn’t harm anyone else. They also point to the condition of Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) – described as a psychological condition where an individual would feel happier e.g. living as an amputee – as a reason for their condition.
“As feminist women, we knew that we were doomed without sisterhood – so we proclaimed it, even in its absence. We wanted to will it into existence, verbally, without wrestling it into being.” ― Phyllis Chesler, ‘Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman’ (2002/2009)
Feminist writings on ‘horizontal hostility’ among women, tend to focus on articulating various means by which to reduce it, ‘work-around’ it, or heal it through creating new foundations of feminist community ethics in our relationships with each other. Although there is always recognition that the hostility exists, they also reflect a strong desire to quickly ‘move on’ beyond the problem, to the outlining of more-or-less utopian “solutions”. Hence we have a number of books speculating on how female-friendship and feminist ethics should be.
If you are looking for similar ‘solutions’, this book is not for you. Phyllis Chesler does not provide any ‘solutions, but seeks to go to the ‘root’ and unpack the common characteristics of female experience of such hostility both personal and political in an attempt to more fully understand, in the lines of ‘Understanding the problem, is half the solution’. (But only half!).
The ‘crimen exceptum’ idea is at the base of every inquisition, personal, political, religious or secular State-sanctioned. The “crime” is considered to be so exceptional, that all the usual rules and processes of common law, especially rational evidence, is not needed to sentence the accused. You do not need to be tried and convicted on any rational evidence, just accused of it. Preferably accused by an angry lynch mob which hates you. Even just a very small lynch mob if they are powerful enough with the support of the state and its various institutions and networks. If the hated accused does go to the law for assistance, it is always a sham, a fake trial and everybody knows the outcome.
Whether it be witchcraft, heresy, treason against the nation-state, a Jew, a Red under the bed, or today – someone accused of transphobia, it is based on the rule of the lynch mob. The crimen exceptum requires the suspension of processes of justice, including the common use of state-sanctioned propaganda and even torture in some cases. Throughout human history, just being a female perceived as being independent of male control systems has always been the crimen exceptum. Two or more such females seen talking together is the worst crime of all. Read More
Guest Post by Dragon Dyke.
The latest slogan of the trans activists is ‘my feminism will be intersectional or it will be bull shit’. The current trans obsession with intersectionality is a major cause for concern, and a trans co-option of intersectional theory could have disastrous consequences for the political struggles of all subordinate groups.
Trans activists are co-opting political movements and the ultimate trans agenda is to remove the rights of all subordinate groups to self-determination and movements for liberation. I do not believe that most individuals who identify as trans or their allies are consciously planning the depoliticisation of class based oppressions. Trans is a structural and colonising tactic – a tool of the patriarchy, but if you buy into trans theory, that is what you are buying into.
The trans cooption of feminism and the attacks of the right of the female class to collective self-determination is the beginning of what I believe will end up being a long running movement to co-opt all struggles of subordinate groups. Trans is a growing movement and it is no longer only focused on trans sex and trans gender. New trans movements focus on trans abled and trans age, and any day now I am expecting to see the emergence of white men who claim to be trans race. As with trans genderism, these new trans movements are largely based on the sexual fetishisation of the subordinate group. So what is the scope of the trans project and what is the impact this growing movement will have on all subordinate classes?
Part 1 covered Book 1 (Walk to the End of the World) and Book 2 (Motherlines)
Book 3 – The Furies (1994)
For some, this is the least popular book, for others, the most powerful of the series. Charnas has said in interviews, this was the most difficult book of the series to write, and took the longest (over 15 years):
“One reason THE FURIES took so long to write was that I wanted to skip over the harshest part — an actual war, or more properly a slave-revolt, of the “fems” against their male masters — and go right to a better life for all;….. just as so many women with feminist ideals wish desperately to be able to “skip” the harshest part in reality, the part where we seem to have the most to lose, and the most to suffer, the part where we demand full recognition of our humanity, and do whatever it takes to get it.” Read More
Books in review; Some thoughts on the story of a speculative ultimate ‘War to End All Wars’ —
the War Between the Sexes.The Holdfast Chronicles, is an epic saga of a post-apocalyptic future told in four sequential novels written by Suzy McKee Charnas:
WALK TO THE END OF THE WORLD (1974)
THE FURIES (1994)
THE CONQUEROR’S CHILD (1999)
THE SLAVE AND THE FREE :
(a 90’s reprint omnibus edition of Books 1 and 2)
Patriarchy has been reconstructing women to “fit” within male biological norms and convenience for millennia. One of the first bits of female biology to start reconstruction was pregnancy and birthing, more recently, patriarchy has focussed on reconstructing sexuality and sexual identity. In all cases, this reconstruction removes all the uniquely female bits. As Germaine Greer in her classic The Female Eunuch pointed out, women often seek social reconstruction as castrated males, or as mentioned in Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed, women’s only options are to 1. Live WITH a man, or 2. Live LIKE a man. Read More
Not so long ago, I read about the child sex abuse scandal at Penn State, and the ensuing firing and arrests of men heralded as leaders of a community for decades, and a flurry of news articles like this one at Huffpost about the ongoing ‘Crisis of Masculinity’. Poor dudes.
To be honest, I never thought too much about bloke stuff before, not since that day walking home from school, I found my 15 year old baby brother squared off against a bunch of other boys, all reeking that feral pubescent testosterone gymclass odour after footy training.
Strong enough to peel your nail-polish and melt your mascara. Really. A lot of ballet position postures and gestures, but with snarling, drooling, and bared frothy canines between the bum-fluff. When I asked what was going on, my brother told me to bugger off, as it was “guy stuff”, and not to tell mum if I knew what was good for me. Read More
ANZAC Day women’s march, 1984 (Melbourne newspaper photo)
One thing that distinguishes human animals from non-human animals is death rituals and ceremonies. One thing that made me a feminist, was the complete lack of human respect for women’s systematic ritualised rapes/deaths. In the early 1980s, I went to one of the ‘Women Against Rape in War’ remembrance walks on Australia’s nationalistic war day – ANZAC Day (April 25th). I was young, I had no idea the scale of the hatred and violence which would be directed at the women who marched way-back at the rear of the formal military parade, to just lay a wreath on the war memorial cenotaphs, in memory of our own war dead and injured. Read More
Guest post by Susan Hawthorne
This is based on a talk originally given at the SCUM Conference in Perth, Australia on 24 September 2011.
I come to the writing of manifestoes with the interests of a poet and political activist. Political activism is obvious. But poetry? An effective manifesto is one in which the language works, the political position is clear – but above all – it has rhythm and metre. A manifesto is a bit like a poem or a song.
Let’s look at Marx and Engels. The first line of the prologue:
Forty years ago, in 1971 – Juliet Mitchell wrote her thesis ‘Woman’s Estate’, starting with a summary of the history of where the *idea* of women’s liberation came from:
Every Socialist recognizes the dependence of the workman on the capitalist, and cannot understand that others, and especially the capitalists themselves, should fail to recognize it also; but the same Socialist often does not recognize the dependence of women on men because the question touches his own dear self more or less nearly. [August Bebel, Woman and Socialism, 1883]
Juliet Mitchell’s thesis is presented in two parts, the first part is a pencil-sketch summary of political context and history at the time of writing, tracking the launch of the 60s women’s liberation movement in England. Like north-america WLM arose from within a context of various leftist political movements, although UK women’s experiences diverged somewhat from US women’s experiences.
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.
I received my Gold Card for road-service club membership the other day and feel somewhat ancient, as the Gold is issued for 25 years of driving your own car.
Like many other young women of the 70s, I rallied to the “personal is political” slogans of women’s liberation (later termed feminism), because I twigged to the connection between how males treat females in “private” (or personal) relationships, is mirrored in how males-as-a-class treat females-as-a-class in “public” (or social and political) relationships. Read More
When the movie Braveheart (1995) was first released, there was media attention around the treatment of horses. The impalement of the horses on pikes in the battle appeared so realistic, that audiences were shocked and upset. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals formally investigated the treatment of the horses in the making of the film. We were told that the clever stunt filming in Braveheart did not hurt any real horses, any more than the human cast, but films today often provide reassurances to audiences such as ‘No animals were harmed in the making of this film’.
There is no similar statement in pornography or prostitution, saying that ‘No women were harmed in the making of this film’. There is no Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Women to investigate such films made using real torture on real women.
Guest post by Susan Hawthorne
There is a misconstruction of sexuality in the mainstream. It says the only thing lesbians ever think about is sex. Lesbians are always harping on about our sexual rights. The thing is that as a lesbian: if you talk about sex, you are sex mad – but you are recognized as a lesbian. If you talk about climate change or poetry or violence against (heterosexual) women – you are not recognized as a lesbian. But if you talk about climate change or poetry or violence against (heterosexual) women and make it clear that your analysis is a lesbian analysis – you are sex mad.
How do we, therefore, talk about lesbian human rights and not be pigeon holed as “sex-mad lesbians”? I think probably there is no easy answer. Let’s look at some examples of abuses of lesbian human rights and then come back to these questions. But first, we must look at lesbian sexuality, and how patriarchy specifically oppresses lesbians. Read More
Guest Post by Betty McLellan
In the United States, an individual’s right to “free speech” is sacrosanct. Consider these examples of free speech: a little-known pastor of a small congregation in Florida, first, threatened to burn the Koran and, then, in spite of the huge outcry against such an action, did actually burn the Koran — and he did it in the name of free speech. He claimed he had a right to exercise his freedom of speech with no thought for possible consequences.
More recently, again in the US, an anti-abortion activist named Angel Dillard sent threatening and intimidating messages to a Kansas doctor who performs abortions, yet ultimately escaped punishment in court.
So. I heard in the news recently that pregnant women having natural abortions (ie miscarriages/stillbirths) are now up for murder charges with life imprisonment. More ‘bad mother’ stuff. I suppose we can be grateful if they don’t get the death penalty. Witches caused miscarriages too, gave their foetuses the Evil Eye or some such, so they were burned at the stake. “Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws,” said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). “It’s turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights.”
No shit? Read More
“Continual complicity in the crime of Goddess-killing is mandatory in the Man’s world. Our refusal to collaborate in this killing and Dis-Membering of our own Selves is the Beginning of Re-Membering the Goddess –”
Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism, Mary Daly, (1978)
“There was a time when you were not a slave, remember that… You say you have lost all recollection, remember . . . you say it does not exist. But remember.
Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent. “
Les Guérillères, Monique Wittig, (1971)
Guest Post by AMAZON MANCRUSHER
This post is for all of my sisters, but in particular my sisters who are involved in queer activism. Like most of my recent radical feminist writing, it won’t be popular with queer identifying people, but I believe it important for me to write about my perceptions of queer culture, because I do not believe queer will liberate women, anymore than any other patriarchal culture. For me, queer culture almost eliminated me as a woman.