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

Posts Tagged ‘activism


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. ­čśŽ 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? ┬áWhen 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!


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


A question some faithful readers asked recently. I was shocked! Horrified! I was not doing my job as the Local Radical Feminist if you hadn’t seen the IBTC in my presence!

Anna, an all American teenager who just happens to be a lesbian in an accepting, open family, is working at a surgery that provides boob jobs after being rejected from her top choice college. A chance meeting with Sadie, a member of a radical feminist group turns Anna’s life upside down as she finds an outlet to express her unhappiness with the society she lives in and how she is treated by her family, friends, lovers and society as a whole.

Content Warnings: If you don’t like lesbians, transgender issues, blowing shit up, or slightly corny feminist theory, I’d skip this. And probably this blog, too! : )


Terry O’Neill: “Health Care Reform Victory Comes with Tragic Setback for Women’s Rights”

Yet again, women’s health is a tool to be negotiated with in order to appease those who wish to legalize discriminiation against women. Good job!

Support your local abortion fund TODAY! The Stupak amendment didn’t get passed, but the spirit of the amendment did. Women aren’t to have equal access to health care or access to reproductive choices

Yay for getting something called “Health Care Reform” passed. Boo for it being a sad, watered down excuse at what should have been accomplished. I didn’t elect these representatives to allow myself to be treated as the second class citizen many members of the right wing view me as.


I’ve gotten that comment several times in the past week, mostly from people who know me in off the net land and I’ve linked to this blog. Apparently, I need a shaved head (I’m detangling waist length hair as I type), lots of denim (I prefer cotton blend) and combat boots (I do have really awesome black and white boots, but they’re less combat and more adorable imo). ┬áThose attributes, along with a “Dead Men Don’t Rape” sign and some copies of the SCUM manifesto, and I’m all set to portray the characterized image of a radical feminist that our media is so eager to toss around. ┬áDespite the fact that I, and many of the other radical feminists I’ve met, don’t at all look like that, this image is what is tossed around. Oh, and we’re babykillers. Can’t forget that part!

Instead of launching into what I’d planned right here, I’m going to stray from my outline: I originally was going to talk about how feminists come in all shapes and sizes, and how the image the media puts out marginalizes women of color, differing abilities, and many other factors, all of whom already participate in and shape the culture of radical feminism. But most reading this (from my estimates, who I’ve linked, and the cute referral thing WordPress has!) aren’t radical feminists, and some don’t even self identify as moderate feminists (though those of you I know IRL are totally feminists and more radical than you think and I bet those of you I don’t personally know are too!).

Hence, there’s a slightly different need for this post: the image that the media puts of out of feminists, both radical and not, cuts you, the non identifying feminist, off from feminism. That seems like a “Duh” statement to make, and especially to bold, but after reading several signs my women’s college put up about feminism, it needs to be said. These signs were attached to whiteboards, and people wrote their opinions on them. I was fairly horrified at some of the responses, which identified feminists as whiny, lazy, “others,” unpopular, ugly, and fighting a lost battle, along with being unneeded and outdated. Woah. The thing is, I guarantee you that 90% of the people who wrote those things all take advantage of the things feminism has provided on any given day.

HELLO, WOMEN’S COLLEGE.

Maybe if we were at women’s college devoted to the “womanly arts” of sewing/cooking/being submissive, like offered at some Bible Institutes, you could disavow feminism, but feminism is the reason that you, as a woman, are attending college, living on your own, in dorms or apartments, and able to go on afterwards to fufilling careers and travels. Sorry that we’re apparently so ugly and outdated now, but seriously…we got you where you are today.

So why all the disapproval? Shouldn’t every woman be a feminist to some degree, if they value even one of these abilities: to get an education, work at (most, still some room here) careers, marry whom they choose if at all, develop their sexuality, travel unescorted, own/sell property, control their own bodies and reproduction, VOTE and SO MANY OTHER THINGS?

It’s that image. The one of me in denim and passing out the SCUM manifesto. Women can look at it and think “Well, I’m not like THAT. That’s not ME. They’re so ugly and outdated.” ┬áMany of the people saying these things are feminists: they hold jobs, degrees, educations, property, etc. They just don’t self identify as feminists. And hence a huge issue within the movement: the thousands of “secret feminists” who feel they defy the feminist image and hence aren’t feminists and won’t identify as so.

But who put that image out there, and should we be listening to them?

NO!!!

Being media savvy is part of being a feminist, a woman, and a human, and it should be a part of everyone’s day. The media feeds us things that aren’t true, that are overexaggerated, that are purely sensationalism. And while I love the stories of puppies and small children being rescued from lakes/trees/burning buildings, that’s not the only thing they tell us is true/good/right. Question the six o’clock news. Question the validity of what they’re saying, ask if you see that in your daily life. Give it a quick google, talk to people.

You’ll find that radical feminist, the one who fits the image. You’ll also find a lot of girls with long hair in velvet skirts. The face of feminism is NOT just who the media portrays it to be, it is so much more diverse and encompassing and is working on becoming more so.

Step past the media’s lights. The next time someone starts in on us “ugly, outdated” feminists, look them in the eye and say, “you really think I’m ugly and outdated?”

Chances are, they don’t. And if they do, well, they’re an asshole and you won’t be able to get through to them anyways.


Shoutout to Feministing for the article link.

Quansa Thompson is suing the club when she worked as an exotic dancer for lack of payment, challenging the idea that dancers work as “contractors.” Due to the restrictions and rules of the club, Quansa says she was an employee and should be compensated as such. Though the reporting in the Washington Post is dreadful, we can all follow and support this case as it works its way through the system. Yay for marginalized women in marginalized jobs standing up for their rights!

Learn more about the sex industry and sex workers today. Start learning about pro and anti sex feminism and seeing where your opinions and ideas fit. Sex and sexuality is a battleground in feminism. Start getting your knowledge ready!