More Hell, Fewer Dahlias: The Musings of a Radical Feminist.

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category


http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/intent-its-fucking-magic/

Please, go here and read.

Pear of the awesome linkage linked me to this and it sums up everything i’ve been being upset about for the past, oh week.

My sociology class is hung up on intent. Lots of second wave feminists, including a second wave feminist presenting professor. Addressing those marginalized in comments would be negating the intent of the comments, which was to…uhm.

Well, I’m not really sure what was intended by comments comparing the oppression of lesbians to the “oppression” of brunettes, and I would have loved to find out. But that would have been “villainizing” the girl who made the comments, so instead I should shut the fuck up and “not get angry when people say insensitive things.” because “intent goes a long way in the classroom.”

Yes, intent goes a long way in the classroom. A long way in MARGINALIZING PEOPLE.

Fuck people, srsly.

I’m sure some of my angst over this has to do with actually COMING OUT to my family and claiming the identity of lesbian (I mean I’m telling my GRANDMOTHER, people. I can’t get out of this one) and this is my first actual incident where I’m experiencing marginalization and can talk about it with people in real life.

And talk about it I do. Constantly. Perhaps at the risk of becoming annoying.

But I mean, I just defined kyriarchy for my girlfriend!

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Please stop telling me to subvert my identity to keep you happy.

I thought we were past this, solidly into the third wave, maybe emerging into the fourth, realizing that women of color, queer women, disabled women, imprisoned women and every other woman had their own voice to add to our movement. I really thought you were done telling me that my identity needed to be sectioned off and isolated into pockets of activism. You’re telling me I should suppress being queer in order to further a movement that represents women, yet if you have your way, won’t represent me. But I’m pretty sure I’m a woman. I’m also pretty sure that the trans women I know are women too, and that your definition of woman and female are woefully inadequate, insulting, and just another way to perpetuate your tired stereotypes and patriarchy approved message of racism and homophobia.

In other words, fuck you sociology class.

Love,
R.F.L.


Colorado: give birth to your rapist’s baby, and btw, your hormonal birth control is illegal. Yeah, they’re going there.  A (female!) writer of Amendment 62 states

“Many of the oral contraceptives have an action that makes the womb inhospitable to a developing embryo and, hence, the new living, growing baby is prevented from residing where his or her creator intended until birth.”

Remember, women, you’re just a walking womb!

Go over to Rachel Maddow for more information:  http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/09/29/5200358-gop-for-big-government-in-a-small-uterus


This has made the rounds in all of my feminist circles and news sources: starting at Feministing, winding its way over all the forums, and finally ending up being posted seven times by different friends on my facebook feed! Reactions range from “Yay!” to “Too late, cute though.”

http://www.feministing.com/archives/021171.html
(I suggest not reading the comments on the Feministing article though, unless you want to see a man be condescending to women in a feminist space and people speak really harshly to each other for no good reason. 😦 Moving on,)

Props to Laura Bush for finally sharing her opinion. Boo for it happening far, far too late and only after her husband had managed to erode rights for both women and the GLBTQ community. I mean, why is she saying this now? If she backed these words up with some work with the HRC or a well placed donation, I’d be a little less suspicious, but I just don’t see why she’s speaking up now.

This also brings up some interesting ideas about the roles of first ladies. People were upset when Hillary Clinton worked on health reform during Bill Clinton’s presidency, people have criticized Michelle Obama for working on her childhood obesity program, etc. What do we expect from these women who are uniquely exposed to the highest level of political office in the United States? Do we want involved, active First Ladies?  When we criticize these women for their role in government, are we promoting the idea that politics are a men’s world? Are we stripping these women of their predefined social place (working on “social” issues, like poverty, nutrition, etc) like many First Ladies have done, in order to get women into a political position with more power? Or are we working for the patriarchy in that we’re trying to silence women who have a position where they can be heard, by saying that they weren’t elected? (Of course they weren’t: NO WOMAN HAS BEEN.) How will this change when a woman is elected, and will our views on what a First Gentleman should do be different, and if so, how?

Today is a question day! If I had answers I’d give ’em to ya.


After the departure of their previous director, NOW’s Utah branch disintegrated into nothingness. Now a young woman named Eve Rinali has been tapped to get it to its feet.

City Weekly: Now’s New Director

With all of the controversy in Utah, from the miscarriage bill to the plain issue with a church that has a longstanding history of racism, sexism and homophobia being a huge influence, NOW needs a new, strong leader to continue the fight for equal rights. Let’s hope Eve is it!


Okay: Florida just recently passed a bill making women considering abortion undergo an ultrasound.  Oklahoma just tried to pass a similar law. (It is now halted for 45 days while more middle aged white men twiddle their thumbs and consult their religious books.)

Ummmm what?

Is this the newest thing, since recent challenges to Roe vs. Wade haven’t worked?  If you can’t make it illegal, make it more emotionally painful, increase intimidation and government interference, and up the expense? None of these laws, and there are currently twelve involving mandatory or recommended ultrasounds, have anything to do with health or science. There’s no mention of how an ultrasound might increase abortion safety, due to more accurate dating of the pregnancy, or more information on fetal position and other complications. It’s all about convincing a woman to make a decision that the state has decided is the correct one for her, regardless of any of her personal needs.

As written by Cara on Feministe, who says it more eloquently than I could,

“It all seems to be about the poor little woman who doesn’t understand what it means to be pregnant, or who will surely have a change of heart once she sees a blurry, cloudy image that I’ve never been able to personally make out.  It’s about forcing government into the decisions of doctors, trumping science with ideology, and attempting to take away the privacy of women.  Indeed, it’s about taking the focus off of women and their rights and yet again putting the fetus, this time literally, right in the front and center of the picture.”

Yup!

-Radfemles


Iceland, which banned prostitution last year, has now banned all strip clubs and “any business that makes money off of nudity.”

I mentioned a few posts back about the anti/pro sex feminism chasm, and this is a big example of the anti-sex side. A lot of immediate reactions I’ve heard to this new legislation (after “people go topless in Iceland? Isn’t it cold?! GAHHH) tend to support it, under the guise of protecting women. But who are we protecting women from, and who is doing the protecting?

Here are a few things to think about before supporting this type of legislation in your community and abstractly.

Making things illegal doesn’t mean they stop existing. They go underground, where the likelihood for crime and abuse skyrockets. Banning stripping doesn’t mean banning strippers, it means banning strippers in public places. Back alleys and underground clubs aren’t the sort of public that respond to that regulation too well.

-Limiting options isn’t feminist. Regulating women’s sexual expression and what they can do with it isn’t what was fought for.

-What happens next? Are these sources of money going to be replaced by other jobs that these women have skills for? “Helping” women who haven’t asked for your help by “liberating” them and then leaving them high and dry only opens them up to further abuse.

Assuming demographics makes an Ass out of U and Me. All too often, anti sex feminists support an image of a downtrodden woman, suffering from abuse and drug habits, as the main workers in the sex industry.  These people totally exist, but those who choose to work in the sex industry through no coercion are impacted negatively by these sort of bans.

So what’s a feminist to do? I’m going to go with: support a moderate option! (Being moderate is very radical these days, people. Isn’t it crazy?)

Regulate the sex industry! Make it safe for women to request their rights and have a safe, judgement free legal system to go to! Offer support programs for workers lacking options! Promote a fair living wage for all workers, and judgement free, affordable healthcare for those in the industry. Stop the circumstances that result in people being forced into the sex industry, i.e: have programs that target violence, poverty, substance abuse and promote education and job training.

Make the industry safe and consensual by eliminating undesirable factors that make women feel forced to enter the sex industry and allowing those who wish to work in it a safe, healthy, respectful environment.

All too often we find ourselves separate from these issues: “I’d never want to work there!! Who would!!!” (that’s my inital reaction, srsly, I understand.) but eliminating options and looking down on other women for their choices isn’t cool, either.

Over and out,

Radfemles