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

Archive for the ‘Radicalism sneaking out’ 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.


“Men’s bodies are commodified too!” “Men can understand the female experience!” “Men’s genitalia are stigmatized, just like women’s!”

I really think this is  just another way of turning feminist dialogues into being about men and their oppression. Oh noes, it happens to them too!! Which can easily be turned into, “see, they understand what its like!!!”

Nope. Not at all.It happens to the general population, but it specifically and systematically targets women on a large and deeply rooted scale and men can not understand what it means to live that, because they do not live with that reality. Bringing their oppression and experiences into the discussion is another way of the privileged group exerting their privilege.

Example: I’ve been involved in a conversation on Livejournal where the experiences of people with “black” names, like “LaShawn” are treated negatively in job situations due to their names, either by not being called for interviews, but being called when submitting the same resume under Shawn, or by customers while working in telephone positions and giving their name and getting requests for “white” or “nonethnic” personnel. Suddenly, it seemed like a large storm of white people decided they needed to share their experiences with their names barring them from opportunities: a welsh girl in America’s name being spelled a more American way. A white woman named Monica (said Moe-knee-kuh, not mohnikuh) having her named said incorrectly in a waiting room. These events have little to NO significance in the context of discussing the systematic oppression of people of color through name/stereotypes, so it is totally inappropriate for these types of stories to drown out the voices of the people actually living this experience, and it is an example of them using their privilege to continue the oppression, HOWEVER unintentional it is.

That’s what I see whenever I hear “well men’s bodies are stigmatized too!” or “Men don’t feel good about the wage gap!” or “my boyfriend says…” in feminist discussion. It is just another way of shifting the focus off of the people who need to be doing the talking by making the problems less gender specific (“it happens to men too!”), thus marginalizing women even further.


FYI: If you google “sex worker photos” or “indian sex worker photo” you can get here. Hm. Also “rape schedule.” I like the third search term the most but oh well, can’t win ’em all. I’m calming myself by thinking that maybe these people were looking for photos of sex workers as they really are: people with families, work, bills to pay, etc and not for any sort of porn purposes. Don’t disabuse me of this notion plz! It is possibly valid.

PSA: So I’ve been fighting the sexist language battle for sometime, with various people and places. Saying “she’s got balls,” “be a man,” and using slang terms for vagina (“cunt” “pussy”) as insults is supporting a sexist culture. Recognizing where these terms come from, why we use them as such, and the systems we are supporting while using them is important.

I’m sure someone much better verses in linguistics and language/culture relation can elaborate/disprove/whatevs this little PSA, but there you have it. It is 2:35 in the morning and I am done with finals, people!


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


Okay, does everyone know MTV’s television show 16 and Pregnant? I’ve gone back and forth on what aspect of this show to talk about, both positive and negative.  So here’s my handy dandy chart!

Positive

-Sex education ads, encouraging teens to seek information and giving then handy websites

-Fairly realistic portrayals of problems: a child with some sort of heart or lung problem, some difficult labors, and multiple complicated living situations.

Negative

-Exploitive

-Dr. Drew

-Possible glamourizing of situation?

Dr. Drew? He’s a negative? Uhm, yeah. Have you seen the Season wrap up?

Maci and Ryan have had problems all along: Maci is a star mother. She’s in college, she works hard to ensure her son Bentley has food, birthday parties and toys and a stable living situation.

Ryan: can’t hold down a job, shows no interest in his child, doesn’t come home for nights on end, and won’t change his son so Maci can take a shower or study.  He’s called her a bitch, called her lazy, and said they wouldn’t be together if it wasn’t for Bentley, and that he’d never speak to her again if it wasn’t for the baby, that he doesn’t care about Maci.

Well, guess what: you officially suck as a father and a boyfriend.

So there’s Ryan!suck. But where does Drew suck come in?

Right around when, on the season finale, he says that he believes Maci and Ryan can work it out.

Work what out, exactly? Ryan’s immaturity, his lack of care towards his son? Maci doesn’t have shit to work out, she’s got it worked out, except for this deadbeat boy who stays around, calling her a lazy bitch.  But instead of condemning him for his immature, irresponsible behavior, they can “work it out.”

Way to pass the buck, Dr. Drew. This isn’t a relationship problem. It’s a “boy is too fucking immature to be a dad or a husband” problem. It isn’t like they’re not communicating over their budget or how to cook hamburgers, HE’S CALLED HER A BITCH AND STAYED OUT FOR NIGHTS ON END.

If you really supported a strong mother raising a strong child, you’d say “forget him. you can raise your child in a healthy environment where he won’t see his mother mistreated, even if it means no father figure for a while.”

But its so much easier to blame “the couple” (which we all know secretly means the woman) and encourage a heterosexual, nuclear family centered “ideal,” even if it is far from ideal.

So, Dr. Drew, thanks for showing the thousands of young women who watched that it really is their fault. Or at the very least, it isnt HIS fault. Oh god, no. Why won’t that lazy bitch just cooperate?

Over and out,

Radfemles (who is swearing off mainsteam media again.)


I’m gonna rehash an oldie but a goodie:

RAPE IS NEVER A WOMAN’S FAULT.

Regardless of what she’s wearing, doing, saying, drinking, or where she is doing any of these things or with whom she is doing them.

IT IS NEVER HER FAULT.

Keshia Cantor was handed a pamphlet explaining to her that her immodest dress may cause her to raped and was responsible for men sinning. Here’s where the news article fails: it goes on to describe Cantor’s dress, asserting she’s a “good girl” who was all covered up while working at her mother’s fast food restaurant. Uhm, hold on.

“Bad girls” don’t deserve to get raped either, and they aren’t responsible for men “sinning.”

So good job,  Clare Golfordo of the Herald Courier press, for covering these sexist, fingerpointing, inaccurate pamphlets, even though you didn’t quittte follow through.

Bad job, society, for needing to know exactly what the girl handed this pamphlet was wearing. I mean, after all,we have to know… what if she deserved it?

Bristol Harold Courier: “Blame the victim: Religious leaflet claims ‘ungodly’ dressed women provoke rape”