Can’t decide whether racism or sexism is a bigger deal? Ask novelty t-shirt makers.

19 Feb

Just when I thought they couldn’t make anything dumber than that “Without me it’s just aweso” t-shirt, one of the many, many, many online novelty t-shirt makers has come out with this bit of comedy gold:

hos_bros.jpg

I’ve already had more than enough of these stupid fucking joke t-shirts, but this one is some seriously ridiculous shit. It isn’t hard to imagine the brainstorming session that produced this shirt. Some asshole named Jeff with a backwards Old Navy hat, a baseball shirt, baggy jeans, and flip flops slapped down his Buckwild Motherfucker Pale Ale and was like, “Bro, forget that dick in a box shit. We should be making political shirts. It’s an election year and shit, dude.” And since those guys can’t seem to get enough of that ultra-logical “pretending not to give a shit about girls so your male friends won’t think you’re gay is where it’s at” thing (hence that other bit of sartorial genius, the “Prose before hos” Shakespeare t-shirt), here it is. But there’s a twist! I suppose the message here is, “Down with women, up with black guys,” if these renobs even thought that hard about it. In any case, it’s pretty fucking lame. I’m not a humorless, easily offended prude. I like shit that’s funny, even if it offends some of the people that come across it. The problem is that effective off-color humor has to be carried out by people who are aware of the full spectrum of ideas that they are presenting, which these dudes are definitely not. Just in case anyone’s not picking up on all this shirt has to offer, I’ll tell you the main reasons why it’s not cool:

1) They’re calling a US senator and the first viable female presidential candidate a whore. And they aren’t even spelling it right. I don’t think I need to point out how completely fucked up, and hence completely representative of our culture’s treatment of women in the public eye, this message is.

2) It’s stupid. I know Jeff thought it was clever as fuck, but he was wrong. It makes no sense whatsoever to anyone but the three people in America who are advancing the “Down with women, up with black guys” agenda: Snoop Dogg, Young Jeezy, and the leader of the Five Percenters.

3) It’s not even remotely funny. This is some serious pseudo-edgy bullshit that challenges no one and breaks no boundaries. Offensive comedy is meant to make people reconsider their unexamined opinions or to make people aware of the absurdity of other people’s biases. This shit does neither. Even a t-shirt that said “I like to fuck old ladies” would be funnier.


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89 Responses to “Can’t decide whether racism or sexism is a bigger deal? Ask novelty t-shirt makers.”

  1. K B April 23, 2008 at 4:19 AM #

    I have. No. Words.

    And not just because most of them have been given…

  2. Helen May 14, 2008 at 1:04 PM #

    This is great. It’s essentially saying, home boys like Obama are pretty bad but even a brother is better than having a woman in power!

  3. kendallmck April 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM #

    I know I’d rather have a real, live dude in office than a gardening tool. This shirt makes perfect sense. Bros before hoes – and weedwhackers, shovels, and watering cans, too.

  4. David February 23, 2010 at 10:18 AM #

    Hi. I’m male, white, privileged (I went to university and have a well-paid job), I’m more right wing than left wing.
    And I am bloody furious about how women are treated in our culture.
    Much as I dislike Hillary (and I really dislike her), she has a lot more experience than Barack does.
    This shirt is offensive, extremely so.
    By the way, Nine Deuce, that “who is this bitch anyway?” page is disturbing. Women are different from men, just as black people are different from white (especially where I’m from: South Africa).
    Differences are cool. I don’t have to “see” you as a “white male like me” to treat you with respect, to treat you as an equal. Of course, I do have the advantage of having grown up in a very mixed environment, having friends of both genders and many skin colours and languages.
    Please, don’t be so dismissive towards women who are women. That’s actually just reinforcing male privilege.

    • Nine Deuce February 23, 2010 at 6:37 PM #

      Women and men are not different except as culture teaches them to be. I am not denigrating women, I am saying that I expect to be treated like a human being even though I am one.

  5. Saurs February 23, 2010 at 7:37 PM #

    Please, don’t be so dismissive towards women who are women.

    Is that code for something, or just an unsophisticated defense of femininity?

    David, the “different, but equal” line only benefits dudes (especially white dudes) in the long run. Men who claim that women are equal, but who decide that they want women to “look like” women, to “act like” women, and to essentially be different than and distinct from men are exercising their male privilege. (Nine Deuce is not exercising male privilege ‘cos she doesn’t possess any.) If the rationale behind your desire for women to “be” women (to look and behave in the very limited ways normative femininity proscribes) is because you like the way femininity looks and you enjoy the way it makes you feel (powerful, manly, intelligent, rational), you’re exercising male privilege. Femininity is a sexually-alluring construct developed to appease men and flatter their egos. It sets a limit on a woman’s liberty to do anything she likes, with the tacit proviso that if she makes the “wrong” decisions, she’ll be castigated for trying to “act like a man.”

  6. Andrew February 24, 2010 at 5:25 AM #

    Saurs,

    If my girlfriend expects me to “act like a man,” would she be asserting “female privilege?”

    If your response is that she is buying into patriarchy, the only suitable escape from such becomes perfect androgyny. That is, there is no male, no female, and thus no male or female characteristics.

    Otherwise, I fail to see how a world of men and women could exist when neither look, nor act, like men and women.

    • Nine Deuce February 24, 2010 at 5:26 AM #

      Do you not know what male privilege is, dude?

  7. Andrew February 24, 2010 at 5:54 AM #

    Privilege is power one group has that another group does not, based on an arbitrary trait. Hence, the only way to eliminate privilege (hierarchy) is to eliminate the appearance of such traits. In the feminist paradigm, these traits would be those that either “men” or “women” exclusively possess. Their elimination would, thus, result in an androgynous society.

  8. Saurs February 24, 2010 at 6:11 AM #

    I fail to see how a world of men and women could exist when neither look, nor act, like men and women.

    Apart from the fact that you’ve already lost this argument — that men “look” and “act” a certain way that is distinct and different from women without the presence of socialization — in another thread, there is no such world, anyway. You’re simply assuming the entire rest of the world conceives of gender (and a strict binary gender) the way your culture does. Different cultures define “male” and “female” behavior differently (sometimes completely conversely) from our own. Sometimes there are minimal “differences,” sometimes the opposite. Instead of championing the notion that a few very minor and relatively unimpressive physical differences between men and women (for the moment forgetting that sex is a kind of continuum, anyway) have enormous influence over our behavior, you should instead be wondering: what’s in it for men, that they argue so fervently about how strange and unusual (how different from themselves) are women?* If you fail to see how politically charged this problem is, you’re exercising your privilege.

    Also, what Nine Deuce asked.

    *my answer? In a culture that worships dong as a symbol of power, one would have to come to terms with the fact that a dong-head is merely an inferior clitoris.

  9. Julian Real February 24, 2010 at 6:12 AM #

    @David & Andrew

    Please keep in mind that “difference” in white supremacist capitalist patriarchies is code for “social-political hierarchies”. As C. A. MacKinnon notes, seemingly biological difference is expressed socially dominance, conversationally masquerading in liberal societies as “not all people all alike”.

    We’re all individually different, we are culturally different, and we are regionally different. Also due to age, ability, and many other factors only some of which get statused and stigmatised.

    There’s far more difference among het white men, than there is between some men and women. So why aren’t those het white men considered categorically “different” from the het white men they are different from?

    “Difference” is deeply political. Particularly and brutally in the middle of the last century there was this idea, called an Aryan Race, that was allegedly based on physical differences. Blond hair, blue eyes, and pale-as-death skin tones do exist.

    But it’s not a different race, except when it is made to be one.

    Why aren’t people with red hair and pale skin with freckles considered to be a different race? Those are physical differences, right?

    That’s what I’m hearing Nine Deuce and Saurs to be saying, re: gender. The categories of difference are arbitrary, and they are enforced with ideologies that are infused into institutions, and ideas that manifest as social and cultural practices. I hope you got it when reading their replies, because if you only get it by reading this, that’s another form of your male supremacist privilege at work.

  10. Saurs February 24, 2010 at 6:18 AM #

    …the only suitable escape from such becomes perfect androgyny. That is, there is no male, no female, and thus no male or female characteristics.

    Bingo. There are no “male or female characteristics,” anyway. The only people for whom your perfectly androgynous world sounds like the stuff of bed-wetting science fiction are dudes who are frightened that their stock in dick, dick-waving, and all other things related to dick might plummet as a result.

  11. Andrew February 24, 2010 at 7:46 AM #

    Saurs,

    The second portion of my comment (which you criticized) was only supposed to illuminate the second portion of my argument (which you liked).

    So…thanks?

  12. Andrew February 24, 2010 at 9:46 AM #

    Sorry..

    I meant to say that the second portion of my comment was only supposed to illuminate the first portion of my argument.

  13. David February 24, 2010 at 11:45 AM #

    I found that comment about blue eyes, blond hair, and pale as death skin amusing – I fit that description. I also have my hair shaved short – because it’s comfortable. I’ve had some people assume I’m some sort of Nazi, as a result. I had a black guy kneeing me in the back on a bus recently, solely for my appearance. I was the only white guy there. I responded by getting up and moving to another seat.
    I’ve also had genuine white racists assume I was on “their side” (even before shaving my hair), solely for my appearance. When they found out that I couldn’t stomach them, I was a “race traitor”.

    Don’t assume that a white het male is automatically top of the pile. Or that he is the enemy. We are just people, too.

    Now, I stated where I’m from, etc., so that any bias which I may have would be obvious. That’s all.
    I’m aware of my privilege. Even though white males are heavily biased against in terms of hiring in South Africa these days, I still have a chance, thanks to my university degree, that is completely denied to many of my compatriots.
    I do not believe that that is right. I am simply stating the facts. I know that I have gender privilege too: if I take my shirt off, no-one is going to call me slut. If a woman does so, many will label her. I do not believe that that is right. I am simply stating the facts. I am aware of my privilege, thank you very much, and I am not automatically an enemy just because of that. I have no desire to maintain the status quo, okay?

    I am a zoologist by training, and a keen amateur reader of history. I state that the differences between our biological genders (which are pretty fixed, btw, or there wouldn’t be billions of us running around), are biologically determined. The differences between our social genders, on the other hand, are not biologically determined. Doh! I was aware of that, before it was pointed out.

    Women have clits. Guys have penises. That is biology. Women have better endurance, and guys larger VO2 max. That is biology. Saying that there are no male and female characteristics is frankly ridiculous. Gender dimorphism and differences in behaviour are common in the animal kingdom.

    What would be more accurate, is to say: there is VERY LITTLE difference and considerable overlap between the genders in species Homo sapiens sapiens. This is a situation characteristic of species with social equality or near equality.

    In other words, our current situation of extreme inequalities is not in accordance with our biology as a species. Something is deeply wrong with many of our societies. There is nothing wrong with our biology, and any real differences between the average man and the average woman.

    Muscle mass? Guys biologically have the potential for somewhat greater muscle mass, but the present disparity is largely a result of socialisation. Differences in occupations, pay structures, percentage below poverty line, clothing restrictions? Absolutely, without a doubt, socialisation. Can you lay the blame for these disparities on all males, at all times? That would be unfair, which would make you hypocrites.

    What I was saying earlier is that Nine Deuce’s page about herself gives an impression that she is a man in a woman’s body. Dangerous statement to make. She feels that the only way to be treated right is to deny her identity as a woman, and identify as a man. In the present environment, there is truth to that, but it is NOT an ideal to aim at. We shan’t correct our flawed societies by attempting to squash biological difference. We shall correct them by openly examining WHY men have privilege.

    If behavioural and social status differences between men and women are exclusively socially mediated, then male privilege is not determined by biological gender, but rather by social gender (which is not the same thing, please read regarding the Law of Lek in Albania or the six genders of the Balinese). See, I am aware of such issues.

    By this very line of argument, Nine Deuce does possess male privilege, by acting male. Before you shoot me for this comment, read on. Hopefully, you’ll see what I mean by saying that male privilege has become entrenched through something other than the physical shape of our genitalia (there is a correlative link, not a causal one).

    I also find it instructive, the comment that says: “you have already lost this debate”.
    That is a typically male line. It is also a typically civilised line. I am not debating, nor am I trying to “win”. Not against feminists, at any rate.

    My comment was simply intended to convey this: people are different. Those differences should be acknowledged and respected. If I greet a white male friend my age and a middle-aged Xhosa lady in the same way, I am going way off (unless it’s a very neutral “hello, how are you?”). It would be more appropriate and respectful for me to address that lady as “mama”. That is a sign of respect, not denigration. If I give food to the poor, but not to the rich, I am seeing difference, and acting differently towards different people. Is that wrong?

    Equality without freedom to express difference is dangerous. Would you forcibly comply women who wear skirts, long hair and make up to conform to your ideal?

    That would simply replace one form of oppression with another, one form of social privilege with another.
    And it would destory people’s individuality.

    I am not arguing for the validity of races as absolute categories. They are absurd.
    Race as a zoological definition refers to adaptations by populations within local areas to specific conditions. Thus, the “Indian” peoples of the Himalayas, such as the Gurkha peoples, are a different race to those living in the coastal plains, such as the Biharis. These races are NOT defined by skin colour alone, nor by facial features. In fact, one couldn’t distinguish them on either of these criteria. Nor are they exclusive categories, but rather simple descriptors of biological difference.

    But as socially relevant entities, races exist – because we have created them. We could easily label those with red hair and freckles as a different race. In fact, this remark exposes ignorance. People with those characteristics have faced prejudice, and still do. What’s more, English supremacists DID label Celtic peoples (where most people fitting this phenotype are found) as a separate race, and practised racism against them.

    The same applies to social gender. It’s also simply a construct. But one that has been used to fuel prejudice.

    But it’s not simply that those people with dicks decided to be dominant. Think about it: if it were only the reproductive organs that made men dominant, how the fuck (pardon the pun) did we get it right?

    No, there’s more to it than that. There are patterns of aggressive behaviour in men, desires for dominance, that have led to the patriarchy. Denying those is dangerous.
    Read about hyaenas, a species where females are dominant. You’ll see that they are dominant because of higher testosterone levels – which leads to aggressive, dominating behaviour. Deny the reality of hyaenas at your peril! Deny the reality of testosterone at your peril.

    Also, read about the situation in late Paleolithic, as opposed to the Neolithic, to see what happened as regards gender equality.

    What you will see is that it was the beginning not only of the patriarchy, but also of social hierarchies in general. It was the beginning of civilisation: a sick and twisted form of social organisation.
    Btw, labelling me a capitalist is a big mistake. I detest the system, as unfair, abusive, destructive (socially and environmentally) and unsustainable.

    It has been said that all oppression is oppression, and that is why I wrote what I did.
    Please do not attack men who visit this site so viciously. That we are here in the first place means that we are potential allies.
    The same applies to feminine women (I shied away from the term initially because I know that it is loaded).

    Oppression does not only happen on gender and race bases. There is class oppression as well.
    At present, the middle class (into which I fall, by definitions of social mobility), is collapsing.
    Soon, there will only be a lower class and an obscenely rich upper class.

    That upper class of privileged people (building on a hierarchical situation going back to the Neolithic Revolution), love it when we the oppressed are divided. When we turn on each other, instead of uniting. Divide and conquer.

    Please don’t reject anyone who identifies with the oppressed and is genuinely willing to fight oppression (the last is important, because there are plenty of fakers – search “Julius Malema” or “Helen Zille” for great examples from my country).

    There is great difference between white het men. There is also great difference amongst white het women. Don’t reject those who aren’t androgynous enough, as not being true feminists. That would smack of bigotry and prejudice, and loses you potential allies.

    And don’t say that I’m disqualified from fighting for the oppressed by virtue of being (somewhat) privileged.
    Those in shackles cannot on their own cast them off. They need assist to do so. No, that’s not patronising. Read the sentence literally, and it’s abundantly obvious.

  14. Saurs February 24, 2010 at 10:36 PM #

    I also find it instructive, the comment that says: “you have already lost this debate”.
    That is a typically male line. It is also a typically civilised line. I am not debating, nor am I trying to “win”. Not against feminists, at any rate.

    David, what I wrote above was a response to Andrew reiterating in essence a comment he made in another thread. As I say, he lost that argument then and there. The comment was not directed towards you. I don’t know from “male” or “civilised.”

  15. Julian Real February 25, 2010 at 4:48 AM #

    @David,

    And I thought I was a blabbermouth! Way to take up space at a feminist blog, dood. What you write has been written a thousand times. Why are you taking up so much space stating it again?

    And read up about AIS.

  16. Nine Deuce February 25, 2010 at 4:57 AM #

    Julian – Yeah, I liked that it’s 5 times longer than the post.

  17. Julian Real February 25, 2010 at 5:20 AM #

    @Nine Deuce

    OMG. His “the brother knows best” patronising CRAP makes me so enraged at self-appointed ‘feminist’ boys. [Julian goes and dunks his head in ice water to chill out.]

    • Nine Deuce February 25, 2010 at 6:41 AM #

      Julian – I have to be honest, I didn’t read it. I refuse to read comments that long unless they’re from my favorite commenters.

  18. sneeky bunny February 25, 2010 at 6:34 AM #

    It was a bit long winded, but I found David’s (it is David isn’t it? I had to scroll up such a long way to confirm that) post interesting and thoughtful. I think he is sincere in his desire to see the eradication of oppression, but probably needs to learn to be a bit more thick skinned. Fair or not, his privilege is always going to make him suspect. And if you beard the lion (or in this case lioness) in its den you’re gonna get a kisser full of claws.

  19. sneeky bunny February 25, 2010 at 6:37 AM #

    Oh, and on topic, that shirts sucks.

  20. David February 25, 2010 at 7:54 AM #

    @Sneek Bunny. Thanks. Glad someone gets where I’m coming from.

    But I got the answer I needed, from Nine Deuce’s last comment. Refusal to engage.

    @Julian: so what are you? An ass-kisser?

  21. David February 25, 2010 at 8:03 AM #

    @ Julian

    AIS: Australian Institute of Sport?
    Automatic Identification System?
    Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome?

    Relevance?
    I’m aware that not everyone falls into “male” or “female” neatly by biology.
    But most people do, and that is why we are fighting against male oppression of females.

    Being both/neither/inbetween in this paradigm is even worse, I’m aware of that.

    I looked up your acronym: CRAP. Sweet.
    How endearing.

    Has it ever occurred to you that abusive relationships are harmful to BOTH parties?

    Has it EVER occurred to you that a guy might not want to be an oppressor?

  22. David February 25, 2010 at 8:07 AM #

    @ Julian

    Why am I saying what’s been said before?

    Everything has been said before. Nothing you say, or I say, is new.

    Why am I taking up so much space at a feminist blog?

    Because feminism is too important to become just male-bashing.

    Why tackle the lioness in her den? Because she is angry. And angry means fight. And fight is what we need. Just please understand:

    Common cause.

  23. isme February 25, 2010 at 8:30 AM #

    You missed “Nine Deuce’s page about herself gives an impression that she is a man in a woman’s body. ” then.

    Oh…and the hyena parallel is hardly relevant as we are sentient creatures and they are not.

  24. David February 25, 2010 at 11:22 AM #

    Dear all,

    I’ve finally figured out why I am so pissed off with Nine Deuce’s statement.

    My girlfriend, while growing up, tried to hide all evidence that she was becoming a woman – because she had been taught by an older, radical feminist girl (her sister, who she really looked up to), that being a woman was bad. That being feminine was bad.

    This screwed her up for years. I’m not going into details, but it made her teenage years a good deal more trying than they should have been. Way to go, feminism!

    I love my girlfriend, respect her as my equal, treat her as my equal, do not in any way coerce her, and I would never dream of repeating the abuse she received by telling her to be less feminine.

    Any who wish to accuse me of twisting the story to suit my ego may do so. It may simply be that you do not wish to examine your own bigotry and abuse of women.

    That is all. I shan’t comment on here again.
    As for the length of second comment, notice that it was in response to a firestorm of abuse following a friendly critical comment. Nuff said.

    Have a nice life

  25. Lillie February 25, 2010 at 11:27 AM #

    Like sneeky bunny, I found David’s post thoughtful, and thought that he came across as sincere. I also found some of his points very interesting. As a feminist, I have something of a fixation on the difference in physical size and strength, myself – I think that’s the one thing we can never afford to ignore, as it’s the root of all inequality.

    But, David, I believe the problem is pretty much this: it’s not that the differences don’t exist, but that whatever differences are there have been used to excuse endless forms of oppression for so long that admitting any essential difference is a slippery slope towards the patriarchy throwing it all in our faces and going triumphantly, “Well, see, gender roles are there FOR A REASON.” It’s a diversionary tactic, and feminist discourse is usually better off ignoring biological difference because so much of it is beside the point. Or I should say, used against us to support arguments that are completely beside the point.

    This is why choice feminism is problematic – one, because societal pressure makes it difficult to say to what extent free choice is even possible; and two, because every woman (and man) “choosing their choice” to conform to the gender roles idealised by the patriarchy reinforces those roles and makes it harder for anyone else to “choose their choice” to be otherwise. This is probably why you sense some hostility towards your arguments, though I believe you are genuinely thoughtful and want to be a feminist ally. It’s because the women here have gone over this a million times already. Usually when a man shows up to argue – however civilly – it means women have to waste a whole lot of time and frustrated energy in quibbling about semantics to prove why we deserve equality in the first place. The point is, we (well, they, as I mostly just lurk and nod from the sidelines) shouldn’t have to prove any such thing. The time spent on arguing whether the problem is really a problem in certain exceptional circumstances could be spent so much better by actually discussing the problem and what to do about it.

    I feel pretty damn hypocritical myself, because I wear heels, short skirts and make-up. Not always, and I feel so much better about myself – so much freer – when I don’t “dress like a girl”. But I felt ugly and awkward for so many years that now – against my better judgment – I seem to be playing catch-up to prove myself that I CAN be pretty, that I CAN be considered heteronormatively attractive, and when I’m not it’s only because I choose not to be. I hate it that my self-esteem and sexual identity (as a straight woman) depend on this, and among the many other important things I’ve learnt from feminist theory, feminism has convinced me that it doesn’t have to be this way, that there are other options available. But it takes a strong woman to actually follow through with it and believe that what’s possible for other women is actually possible for me too. And I’m not that strong yet. That’s why I have a hard time believing “choice” plays into “choice feminism” at all.

  26. Lillie February 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM #

    Right… I wrote my comment above while David’s latest were still in moderation.

    David – this “Way to go, feminism!” attitude is honestly nothing feminists haven’t heard before. And I can only speak for myself, but I’ve been similarly damaged as your girlfriend – and ultimately, the damage came from patriarchal demands on what women are “supposed” to be. I was only conflicted and ashamed of becoming a woman because womanhood meant something inferior and restricted. And yet I wanted to be a “real” woman – beautiful, desired – so, so badly.

    I hardly think being indoctrinated by a feminist sister can do much “damage” at all, when on the other side you have the entire goddamn society telling you that being a girly girl is the best thing you can be. Again, I can only speak for myself, but feminism telling me I was equal as a human being was what I needed to hear – and what damaged me was the conflict between not wanting to be dictated what a real womanly woman is like, and yet not wanting to eradicate my sexual identity either.

    It’s the patriarchy imposing that unnatural choice on us in the first place. NOT radical feminism.

  27. Andrew February 25, 2010 at 4:07 PM #

    @ Lillie,

    I think there is a particular “burden of proof” on feminists to prove (1) that there is meaningful disparity and (2) that “equality” is a workable solution. (If thats what they actually believe) I am not saying that this is highly contentious, but if someone is going to be a proponent of a movement that requires people in general to change their lives and attitudes, they should expect to have to “prove” why.

  28. Lillie February 25, 2010 at 9:21 PM #

    Funny, Andrew, but I thought feminist bloggers do precisely that: draw attention to instances of “meaningful disparity”.

  29. Julian Real February 25, 2010 at 9:37 PM #

    @Andrew

    I think the burden of proof is always on the man, in gendered situations, to prove that he is being honest, and that he does not have selfish or malicious intentions when approaching women for anything. The burden on women, including feminists, it to survive patriarchal oppression and harm. That’s enough of a burden without adding what you suggest: that women have to prove to men what men can know without women proving it.

    If men were simply honest about our motivations from the start, in our dealings with women, honest about how selfish we can be, how callous and self-absorbed, that alone would empower women (interpersonally, not institutionally) with information they need to make informed decisions. See this for more:

    http://radicalprofeminist.blogspot.com/2009/11/pop-quiz-on-dishonesty-deception-and.html

    As it is, we men tend to practice dishonesty, withholding, remoteness, callousness, and deceit, to get our own needs met at the expense of women’s lives. We tend to practice forms of oppressive manipulation and coercion the way those of us without respiratory disease tend to breathe–rarely paying it much attention.

    See here for more:

    http://sosiaalikeskus.wordpress.com/read-this/about/everyday-male-chauvinism/

    Feminists, in my view, have nothing to prove to anyone, except amongst themselves, if they so desire to do so. Patriarchs must prove to everyone why their system, their ideology, their misogynist practices are just, egalitarian, and humane. And that is not a task that will be easily accomplished, imo.

    Feminists ought not be accountable to men, in my view; rather, we fellas are or ought to be accountable to feminists.

    Seen this way, the burden is on you to demonstrate how patriarchy benefits women and doesn’t unjustly benefit men. And to show how inequality is workable for women of all colors.

    I don’t think such an argument can be made. Racist patriarchy so obviously and horrendously violates and subordinates all people who are not het white men.

    This isn’t to say all white het men have charmed lives. It is to say that while white het men feel human pain, there are far more ways that humans experience pain that white het men are clueless about. Clueless due to social position, political location, structurally statused standing, free of so many stigmas that whites and men throw like darts into the flesh of those we socially oppress.

    And clueless because our lives are less burdened by truth–the truth of human suffering that we do not experience. The piece called “Everyday Male Chauvinism” (URL above) should be enlightening.

  30. Andrew February 25, 2010 at 11:24 PM #

    Julian,

    That was a nice response, I appreciate it.

    Don’t read my above comment to broadly, however. I did not mean to imply that feminists don’t do a very good job of demonstrating the subordination and oppression women face in various ways.

    Your justifications for believing the burden of proof lies on men to justify a patriarchal construct, however, beg the question. That is, you have already been persuaded by the feminist model that patriarchy is problematic.

    This is fine, of course, as these movements should be persuasive. But that is all I was asking for.

    I just felt like an attitude that movements on behalf of minority groups of one sort of another, like any movement against the status quo, should expect to have to prove and persuade people.

    This feels obvious, maybe even irrelevant, but I just thought I should make it clear that I didn’t think the feminists weren’t persuasive.

  31. David February 26, 2010 at 1:34 PM #

    I said I wouldn’t post again: and I am – just another case of men breaking promises, I guess… (I’m aware that that’s not necessarily funny – but humor is a way of saying things we can’t otherwise).

    What persuaded me was Lillie’s comment, and the aha! moment it triggered.
    My girlfriend didn’t just become ashamed of being girly. She became ashamed of how her body was developing. She felt a need to erase her sexual identity to be accepted as a person rather than as an object.
    I was angry about that, without realising that I was angry at feminism, and without getting the deeper issue – that women’s own bodies can become their enemies by how guys expect them to act.

    Okay, I think I’m getting this. Bear with me – at least I’m here – slow progress is better than none :)
    Right now you’re talking to a guy, and getting through to him (tough job I know).

    I still stand by the point of view that the best ultimate outcome is where we just accept each other for who and what we are – so in that regard, my apologies Nine Deuce.

    I guess I just got more than slightly weirded out by the manhating and “once we’re in power” talk.
    I’d like to see the whole concept of hierarchy and dominance broken. I’d like a situation where Lillie can wear whatever she likes, because she wants to, without anyone questioning her right to do so. Lillie, what you said about how you dress affected me – I mean that.

    It might not be believable, but there are guys who prefer women to be themselves (although too many seem to like their women progressively more fake and “ideal”). But I for one (and I can’t speak for any other guy)would rather have a relationship with a real human, I’d rather hear the truth than an ego-stroking lie.

    I’m also including a link to an exceptional article that I just found, a gesture of goodwill if you like.

    http://scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2010/01/peak_oil_is_still_a_womens_iss.php

    P.S. Lillie – thanks for your comments. I value them. All of them.
    Thanks for the acceptance.

  32. Bean February 26, 2010 at 6:33 PM #

    Jesus, I hope you didn’t really mean what that title implies back when you first wrote this.

    Really, Deuce? Really?

    Nevermind that using a damn t-shirt as a barometer of whether racism or sexism is “worse” is stupid. Nevermind that trying to compare the two oppressions in the first place is fucking stupid.

    What’s really bad about this t-shirt is that it’s nicely representative of the sort of divide-and-conquer strategies that did so much damage during this campaign. It’s bad enough that these two candidates spent time flinging poo at each other without the third parties that joined in to egg their various supporters to attack the candidates and each other.

    Secretary of State Clinton scared the shit out of some people. If President Obama had not gone out of his way to conceal what he knows about race during his campaign (jesus, he was forced to disown his own damn pastor for daring to say Americans don’t take enough accountability for their foreign policy), the same people who made these shirts would have turned on him like rattlesnakes.

    This is appealing to some sense of bro-hood at the expense of women, sure, but it’s in no way a true expression of support for men of color. This t-shirt is using President Obama’s image as a tool only to further white supremacist patriarchy.

    That Clinton was considered a greater threat to that domination at the time means little in the long run.

    And this kind of thing fucking works, too. Liberals ATE each other like praying mantids in a fish tank during this campaign, and I have no doubt there were a lot of white men sitting back and laaaaughing at it.

    If you REALLY think (and I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here that the title was actually facetious or something) that this t-shirt means that sexism is worse than racism in North America…

    …You fell for the oldest trick in the book. You didn’t buy the t-shirt, you didn’t buy the message on the t-shirt, but you bought the ideology. (Overpriced, isn’t it?)

    I really hope you were joking.

    And if you weren’t, and you still believe it, well – rethink it. Seriously.

    • Nine Deuce February 26, 2010 at 7:21 PM #

      Of course I didn’t mean it. I was making fun of the dicks who made it.

  33. Julian Real February 26, 2010 at 8:15 PM #

    @Bean

    At any opportunity, the media will do this, it seems, much to the denigration of women of all colors and men of color:

    It will keep the racist-misogynist theory alive that “All the women are white, all the Blacks are men, and…” Well, unfortunately the media never takes that next step in recognising women of color as BOTH women AND raced/oppressed by white supremacy. White het male supremacy, to be more precise.

    I assumed Nine Deuce was playing off of that media bullshit, but when I first saw the blogpost title, I was like “WTF??”

    I like it when I’m wrong. It doesn’t happen nearly enough when dealing with white men, men of color, and white women, on matters of white male supremacy/white supremacist patriarchal ways of being and doing.

  34. Julian Real February 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM #

    @David

    I welcome you to stop by my blog and read this, and reply there to it:

    http://radicalprofeminist.blogspot.com/2010/02/why-cant-david-read-or-shut-up-and.html

  35. Katlego Matsila March 1, 2010 at 1:03 AM #

    I found a picture that reflects your dispositions perfectly.
    Check it out: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_DjDt_rQmRi4/Rqqmc1fr7vI/AAAAAAAACYs/WCgBBFaF6RI/manlyasshole-11feb07.jpg

  36. Julian Real March 1, 2010 at 4:39 AM #

    Hey Katlego.

    LOL. I’ve used that image to introduce one of my posts!!! I don’t remember which one as it could apply to so many.

  37. David March 1, 2010 at 8:53 AM #

    @Andrew: Get a grip man. 70 percent of the world’s poorest people are women. Rape is (generally) against women and children. It’s the Soccer World Cup. That the event is male is taken for granted. How often do you hear of a wife beating her boyfriend/husband? Oh yes, quite often in the press, because it’s not the norm.

    @Julian. Why don’t you shut the fuck up? You pretend to be a feminist boy, but really you’re just a suck-up.
    You haven’t bothered to read what I’m saying, or you’d realise that my point is that difference should be a point of pride (or should Xhosa people not be proud of being Xhosa? Should the Bhaca and the Phuthi and the Mfengu be ashamed of their identity?); that oppression and inequality of any sort should be gotten rid of; and that oppressive relationships damage everyone.

    Instead, you hate on me for my gender, orientation, and skin colour – and tell me I chose those. Get a fucking clue!
    What’s more, you don’t believe women should be criticised. I bet you don’t believe that women can be sexist. Or that Native Americans can be racist. Or that Roma could organise a genocide.
    Because in your mind, those people aren’t really people. They’re “oppressed”. And you treat them differently.
    I, on the other hand, dared to treat Nine Deuce as an equal, and you, the obedient attack dog, climbed in, and said: “no, you can’t speak to a girl like that”.
    Way to go to end male privilege.

    Oh, btw, I think you’ll find that there are significant gender differences between male and female. Otherwise none of us would be here today. And I damn well hope you respect your mom and your dad equally (assuming they’re equally deserving of respect).

    So get off your high horse and all the clever clever bigotry, and start treating people as people regardless of gender, skin colour or sexual orientation.

    And notice, btw, that some of the women on this forum got where I was coming from. Lillie was prepared to engage, and got me to realise something valuable about male privilege.
    All you made me realise is that even a suck-up pretend feminist male can still reinforce male privilege.

  38. David March 1, 2010 at 9:30 AM #

    By the way Julian, I see on your blog that you snidely referred to “darkies”, because you assume that’s what I call black people.
    I generally call black people Pearl, Luthando, Mawethu, Bongiwe, Bonakele, Samuel, Lubabalo, etc. Because those are names of colleagues, friends and acquaintances of mine.
    And I didn’t say “black” because not all previously disadvantaged race groups in South Africa are black. Just as there are other disadvantaged groups in the US apart from blacks and Latinos.
    Maybe you should do some reading yourself.

  39. Katlego Matsila March 1, 2010 at 9:42 AM #

    LOL! Yeah david my “african” brother, that was for you.

  40. David March 1, 2010 at 11:16 AM #

    @ Julian (again)
    In regard to comments of yours that I look like an Aryan white supremacist (on your blog, but Nine Deuce’s seems to get much more traffic).
    Most white South Africans are not as pale as I am, especially white Afrikaners – because about seven percent of the white Afrikaner genome originates in India, Malaysia, Africa and Madagascar.
    Die wit Afrikaners en die bruin Afrikaners is familie. I’m as pale as I am because half my ancestry is English (as in, from England).
    If you use your eyes to look or to read, you’d realise that there are more people who look like me in Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland etc. than in Germany. Tell people from those countries (especially those old enough to have fought the Nazis) that they ARE Nazis because of their appearance, and you’ll be in trouble.
    What’s more, many European Jews look like me.
    My point? Putting people in boxes because of their appearance and then labelling and judging them is not cool – even if it’s “politically correct” to do so.

    Ascribing all evil to white het men is to deny the capacity of all other people to choose evil. That is a denial of their free will and their humanity.

    People are people. There are differences between people – that diversity is valuable. There are similarities between people – that commonality binds us together. We have far more in common than we do not, and you don’t want to acknowledge that. Which firmly puts you in the old, dying paradigm of a divided society, inequality, hierarchies and oppression.

    Did you bother to read the link to Sharon Astyk’s article? Have you noticed that the world is changing, and we have a chance to build a better one?

    Katlego: umntu ngumntu ngabantu. Thina sisonke babantu. Anyone who denies your humanity, denies mine. Anyone who denies mine, denies yours. I know IsiXhosa is not your home language, but it isn’t mine either, it’s a language of our country. It’s common neutral ground.

  41. David March 1, 2010 at 4:24 PM #

    Hey Katlego. I’m African. I’m just not black. But then, neither is Patricia de Lille or Mark Lottering.

    And if they were still around, I’d be aligned with the Torch Commando. Or even Black Consciousness. Yeah, I’m not black. So? I’m not “European”. I’ve never even been there. This is home, and the people of SA are my people.

  42. David March 2, 2010 at 9:43 AM #

    I’ve just had a look at what Julian’s latest on me at his blog is, and wonder why I didn’t say this long ago.
    Julian, you’re a guy. I made a comment to a woman. Why are you answering? Do you think she’s not competent?
    And when Lillie and Sneekbunny answered, why did you dismiss their comments and so bluntly tell them that they’re mistaken? Is it because they’re women?

    You have stated that what I say can lead to genocide (unwritten subtext: what men say is powerful), while what Nine Deuce says is powerless (unwritten subtext: because a woman said it).
    And reading all that you write, whms are guilty till proven otherwise (by you), whereas everyone else is innocent till proven guilty (by flouting the rules of the “movement”). You’re disturbed by the idea that people are people, and that we can all take responsibility for our actions, and what happens in our lives. You’d rather play the victim.

    You’re an attack dog, all right. You’re biting the hand that feeds you.

  43. David March 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM #

    Julian, 2 pieces of advice

    1) girls can stick up for themselves.
    2) humour can get people to see your point far better than snide comments. See “stuff white people do” for some brilliant examples.

  44. Julian Real March 3, 2010 at 3:20 AM #

    You can ask Nine Deuce what she thinks, right?

    I’ll speak to you at my blog, not here.

  45. Julian Real March 29, 2010 at 4:28 PM #

    @David,

    A good friend of mine in South Africa needs employment. Do you know of any good jobs available?

    Julian

  46. David April 1, 2010 at 1:41 AM #

    Hi Julian

    Sorry for the delayed response. There are plenty of good jobs in SA. The trick is to find one that requires one’s particular expertise and experience, and that is in a suitable location. I reckon the best would be if you drop me a line on davidefranklin [at] hotmail [dotcom]. I can send you a list of the best job sites, and if you tell me what your friend’s line of work is, I might know of some specialty sites (if it’s in the science/engineering line I should). Otherwise, newspapers typically have a jobs section, and if one grabs them earlier enough and responds fast enough, they can also be a good way to go. In some fields, the best is to find a professional body, and enquire through the grapevine (zoology is an example; many jobs aren’t publicly advertised).

  47. lizor April 1, 2010 at 12:29 PM #

    @ David

    “My girlfriend, while growing up, tried to hide all evidence that she was becoming a woman – because she had been taught by an older, radical feminist girl (her sister, who she really looked up to), that being a woman was bad. That being feminine was bad.

    This screwed her up for years. I’m not going into details, but it made her teenage years a good deal more trying than they should have been. Way to go, feminism!”

    Right, so it’s feminism and the sister’s fault that the entire world shifts for females when they hit puberty? I can tell you that when I, seemingly overnight, sprouted a pair of C-cup sized breasts at age 12, my world changed radically and I fought and hid my body as it seemed to be the source of my being suddenly treated like an object and a conquest for older predatory men. That was not feminism’s fault. Feminism put words to the pain and alienation I felt and it helped me a tremendous amount.

    If you want to better understand the depth and complexity of this transition, read Carol Gilligan’s The Birth of Pleasure.

  48. Julian Real April 1, 2010 at 2:30 PM #

    Many thanks, David. I’ll email you. Cheers.

  49. Julian Real April 1, 2010 at 2:43 PM #

    David, I just sent you an email, but it “bounced back”, so I just want to double check the address:

    davidefranklin [at] hotmail [dot] com

    Is that right? And, if you did get the email, you can just reply to that!

    Thanks again.

  50. joy April 1, 2010 at 4:52 PM #

    lizor, amen.

    Being molested as a child can do that to you too. Make you want to hide your body, feel ashamed, etc. Again, not feminism’s fault.

    Also, radical feminism doesn’t say that being female is something to be ashamed of. It says that the practice of femininity is harmful to females. BIG difference.

  51. Julian Real April 1, 2010 at 9:51 PM #

    @Joy and Lizor,

    Of all the radical feminists I’ve known, they were and are the women saying to the women they know “love your body exactly how it is” and don’t feel like you need to modify it in painful or annoying ways. That’s liberating, but I know that because so many women are deeply invested in making those alterations, shaving pits and legs, for example, they hear the message “Love your body as it is naturally” as a criticism of how those bodies are, once they are maintained inside a male supremacist society.

    Lizor, your story has an antifeminist edge that I don’t buy. I don’t know a single radical feminist who “makes women feel bad about being women”. Not one. Men on the other hand routinely note what they think is disgusting about women’s appearances, often to each other in earshot of women.

    I know of VERY few women who do not tweeze some hair or shave some hair off their bodies daily in order to be “not ugly” or “less unattractive” or “more attractive” or “pretty” or to look “more Aryan white”. I know tons of white guys who look like hell and present themselves in public without regard for having scruffy faces, unwashed hair, hairy legs and chests, smelly pits, sweaty groin… it’s all good. Men think it’s all natural and cool.

    Just think of how capitalist patriarchy benefits by convincing each and every woman that she needs to buy things to be “attractive”, as if she isn’t already attractive without the purchases! And, more to the point, as if women are obligated to pursue being “attractive” not matter what else they do. Men can be fat, flabby, skinny, wrinkly, have big red alcoholic noses, etc. Men don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars a year to “maintain” their appearance. Some do, but men, generally, don’t HAVE to.

    What a horribly tyrannical and oppressive and controlling double standard! And, as Joy says, not feminism’s abuse of women, but patriarchy’s abuse of women.

  52. joy April 2, 2010 at 12:47 AM #

    Hey, Julian. You just kinda mansplained the harmful beauty standard to a radical feminist — myself anyway — who already knows alllll about it.

    By virtue of being both a woman who grew up in patriarchy, and a radical feminist who’s abandoned the beauty industry (inasmuch as she ever participated in it, which was basically limited to shaving her legs for a while and waxing her crotch once).

    Not sure if that was your intention, but … dude, if you are a radical profeminist, you should know that you don’t need to EXPLAIN -MY- EXPERIENCE -TO ME.-
    Most women on this blog probably feel the same way. Just checkin’ in.

  53. lizor April 2, 2010 at 5:09 AM #

    Julian – You wrote “Lizor, your story has an antifeminist edge that I don’t buy. I don’t know a single radical feminist who “makes women feel bad about being women”. Not one. Men on the other hand routinely note what they think is disgusting about women’s appearances, often to each other in earshot of women.”

    What are you talking about? Could you please read my post before commenting or is your mansplainin’ momentum too overwhelming to stop you ridiculously inaccurate words and false meanings in my mouth? I did not say anything of the sort and if you would bother to read the posts of us lesser humans, you’d notice that I was quoting David.

    Thanks for the hectoring lecture – I mean, geeze, I’ve never had a dude not listen, project my opposite meaning and then grandstand about something I have already stated. *eye roll*

    Smarten the fuck up.

  54. lizor April 2, 2010 at 9:43 AM #

    Sorry, that should read “stop you PUTTING ridiculously inaccurate words and false meanings in my mouth.”

  55. Julian Real April 2, 2010 at 3:24 PM #

    My apology to both Joy and Lizor.

    Yup, totally misread that. Used to quoted stuff being in blockquotes. Sorry.

  56. lizor April 3, 2010 at 8:26 AM #

    @Julian,

    Apology accepted, except for this passive-aggressive bit:

    “Used to quoted stuff being in blockquotes”

    So that’s me quoting you, OK?

    The quote in my post is inside quotation marks.

    I’ll admit that when I address David, I did not explain to him that I was quoting what he had already written as I figured he and other readers of this blog would have already read the post I was responding to. And that they would know that quotation marks mean a quotation.

    I really don’t know how I could have made it any clearer for you. The interface on this blog does not allow italics, bold, change in font size or change of font. But no one seems to be struggling with reading the way you are.

    Now quit with the passive aggressive blaming and admit you didn’t read the post properly.

  57. Julian Real April 3, 2010 at 11:44 PM #

    Hi Lizor,

    Thanks for putting my feet to the fire a bit. Not that much, but a bit. lol

    I was a jerk. I should have read that MUCH more carefully. As I got through reading it the first time, I was like “this person is cool–I like what they’re saying.”

    And for some numb reason, I then thought David’s part was also yours?! No good explanation, and yes, my “blockquote” excuse was silly.

    I should have recognised David’s antifeminism, for one thing!! And, I shouldn’t be challenging any women here period. My bad, fer sure.

    I totally respect radfem women and kind of shoot myself in the foot at times, going after ppl’s comments and then realising I’ve misread or misjudged the situation.

    For what it’s worth–not much! lol–I make a practice of going after white het men, and men generally, on my blog, and all the CRAP they pull. And, I also own that I’m one of ‘em, although not het! But we all know gay men can be extremely misogynistic too, and sexist as hell.

    So, my sincere apology both for my very sloppy reading, and inappropriate responding, and for my silly excuse too.

    Cheers to you. Rock on. I wish more ppl would call us men out, especially other men, as otherwise the task is left to women.

    Peace.

  58. lizor April 4, 2010 at 7:43 AM #

    Hey Julian,

    No worries and for the record I do appreciate your posts and your contribution to these discussions.

    There are so few oases of decent dialogue in cyber space and this is one of them. However, I think that the factor of anonymity allows us to attach more raw emotion to what we post than we do when our face, location, etc is attached to what we have to say. And sometimes the line between questioning an idea and challenging someone personally can be blurry, especially in the context of these forums.

    I know that I have been particularly irritated with being misinterpreted lately as a result of a bunch of recent incidents from my non-virtual life, so I was quite ready to kick back.

    I appreciate your ability to move past defensiveness and to keep the lines of communication open.

    Cheers and peace.

  59. Julian Real April 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM #

    lizor,

    I’m upset to hear that you’ve been experiencing being misinterpreted–online (with me starring in the perennially ugly role of “the typically sexist man” in this discussion) and offline, where people CAN, one hopes, see you and pick up on other means of communication.

    I hear from so many women all the time, including a few who are speaking to me!, that they do not feel heard, or that someone is reacting to them as if they said or did something they did not do. But I’m particularly sad to know that is has been happening to you in the non-virtual realm. I hope your experience soon or already is that you’re being understood, validated, and respected–in both places.

    Online, I find that, quite often, there’s “me as the driver in the car cursing at strangers who cut me off” kind of dynamic. Or feeling like they are cursing at me, probably for cutting them off! lol

    I need to be careful where I “drive” when I’ve just come from reading the latest digs and insults at me (most often for “taking women’s side of things”) or at radical feminists. I can deal fairly well with the digs at me; the more vicious ones men send to me are either ignored or I may post them to my blog with scathing-while-hopefully-sound rebuttals, where the personal always becomes political. (I did this with David actually, and we had quite the pissing fight over to my place. Ah, boys!)

    But the ten or so tired-as-dusty-dust insults waged against radical feminists, that seem to come around as if each were riding a beaten and dead horse in a not-so-merry-go-round, or were annoying and unfathomably dense little asteroids routinely pelleting a planet that just wants to get on with the business of living, is not something I tend to be all that eager to “let pass”. I feel stereotypically “pit-bullish” (which may be better than “shit-bullish”) when people, anyone at all online and offline, takes “free shots” at feminists and feminism. What irritates me no end is how it is so clear that when most people do this, there is an assumption people will just nod in agreement or give a shrug of resignation to the alleged fact that “those women are crazy [for wanting an end to rape, and an end to men's war against women!!]”

    I’ve just found a hot spot online for such in(s)anity, at a strange land called “AboveTopSecret” and am attempting to hold the doods there accountable for spreading vicious lies about radical feminists. And, one could do this hourly and never be done. Sigh.

    All of this is to say: I think it is imperative that the people in the oppressor’s place, the ones being structurally/interpersonally oppressive, are mindful of what Pearl Cleage called the necessity of men or whites, when hearing the anger or arguments of women or people of color (often one and the same), to receive this “in a posture of listening” rather than “a posture of defensiveness”. Pearl’s wisdom.

    At any rate, I hope non-cyber life is treating you better. And if there are sexist men involved, and you’d like me to curse them out or explain it to them one more time so you don’t have to… (you know where to find me).

    Peace and Cheers right back atcha. :)

  60. Julian Real April 4, 2010 at 1:30 PM #

    I publicly apologise also to Joy, for bizarrely misreading so much into a section of this thread.

    Sorry, Joy, for doing anything that coming here and saying “Rock on!”

  61. Julian Real April 4, 2010 at 1:34 PM #

    @David,

    I am finally clear, after much cloudiness, that you wrote this:

    “My girlfriend, while growing up, tried to hide all evidence that she was becoming a woman – because she had been taught by an older, radical feminist girl (her sister, who she really looked up to), that being a woman was bad. That being feminine was bad.

    This screwed her up for years. I’m not going into details, but it made her teenage years a good deal more trying than they should have been. Way to go, feminism!”

    Could you please explain this (what appears to me and not just to me to be a seriously) misplaced anger you have toward “feminism” and tell me what chapters and books by feminists you’ve read?

    I’d appreciate that.

  62. David April 6, 2010 at 2:07 AM #

    Hi Julian

    Aaarrgggh! Sorry, that e-mail addy should be davidefranklin51[at]hotmail[dotcom]. Was looking forward to Easter and completely forgot the number… Happy (belated) Easter everyone!

    I haven’t read any books by feminists. Just as I haven’t read the Communist Manifesto. I don’t claim to have a full understanding of Marxist thought, yet I am opposed to it.
    I don’t doubt (how could I, with the excellent evidence just in this comments thread) that there is some very valid thought coming from the feminist movement. I just get freaked out by some comments and ideas that feminists put forward (which is to be expected, any branch of human thought is going to have its share of nutcases, villains, saints and geniuses).
    Men already make women feel like rubbish over their appearance, why should feminism reinforce that? Which is what happened to my girlfriend – instead of being told by her feminist sister that it was ok to be a woman and look like she did, she was told she should be ashamed of her appearance and should try to look more like a man. Surely true feminism would tell her to be proud of being a woman? And that she doesn’t have to change her appearance to be accepted?
    I was not claiming to know what feminists (at an intellectual level of the ideology) are saying. I was saying that that is what one self-declared feminist did in practice. And what an ideology does in practice is important.
    I colour co-ordinate my socks and trousers, and feel proud of that. A woman would just do it as a matter of course. Trite example, I know, but then men do have small minds ;). I do have some (some) idea of the double standard.

  63. joy April 6, 2010 at 10:42 AM #

    Love how David responded to the other man instead of the women who responded to his comments.

    WAY TO GO, DUDE.

  64. Julian Real April 6, 2010 at 12:13 PM #

    @David,

    Thanks for the correction on the email addy. I understand forgetting stuff like that.

    Onward into your response…

    You wrote:
    I haven’t read any books by feminists. Just as I haven’t read the Communist Manifesto. I don’t claim to have a full understanding of Marxist thought, yet I am opposed to it.

    I’m baffled. You oppose things you know very little to nothing about??? What gives you the intellectual right to do so? I mean, of course you get to. I’m not challenging this on the level of what you are entitled to do. You are privileged and entitled and have the social rights and support to speak out against things you know little to nothing about.

    You get how things like “Communism” and “feminism” have been grossly warped by liberal societies and media, yes?

    So what leads you to conclude you have even a basic grasp of what either is promoting or against?

    Are you saying you are “pro-capitalism” when capitalism requires poverty? On what intellectual or ethical grounds, David, do you oppose complex philosophies you are, admittedly, not very familiar with?

    You go on with this:
    I don’t doubt (how could I, with the excellent evidence just in this comments thread) that there is some very valid thought coming from the feminist movement.

    Would you also say there “is some very valid thought coming from white heterosexual male supremacist systems of thought? Have you read Yurugu, to get a grasp of exactly what those systems and structures of thought are? Can we at least agree that unless and until you read a book like Yurugu, by Marimba Ani, or a good number of varied feminist books, which details what those Western white male systems of thought, of logic, of rationality, are, and what is messed up and dangerous about them, that it makes sense to take a step back from criticising philosophies and political movements which seek some form of remedy to the injustices perpetrated by things like patriarchal social arrangements and capitalist exploitation?

    I just get freaked out by some comments and ideas that feminists put forward (which is to be expected, any branch of human thought is going to have its share of nutcases, villains, saints and geniuses).

    Help me here. You get “freaked out”? Why? You go on to say variation and perspectives that run from conservative to radical, from very pro-status quo to extreme, are to be expected. So why, exactly, are you “freaked out”? I’m asking you sincerely, and hope you can answer with some self-reflection and emotional/political/intellectual self-awareness.

    Men already make women feel like rubbish over their appearance, why should feminism reinforce that?

    Some men make women feel like rubbish, yes? Male supremacist systems are designed to make women feel like rubbish, just as white supremacist ones are structures and constructed to make people of color feel like rubbish, by treating people of color like rubbish, literally. And how systems of oppression make people feel is not exactly the point: it’s what they DO to oppressed people. It’s the marginalisation, the denigration, the subordination, the exploitation, the violation, that’s the issue. The murder without it ever being considered murder. The genocide that is hidden from dominant social view and discussion. The rape atrocity that goes unnoticed, somehow, as part of a larger system of male supremacist abuses, harms, and indignations.

    It’s finding a remedy, a structural remedy to those harms that’s the issue for most feminist activists I know. It’s the women of RAWA and Apne Aap fighting for women’s right to not be killed and raped and trafficked and sold into sexual slavery.

    You go on with this:
    Which is what happened to my girlfriend – instead of being told by her feminist sister that it was ok to be a woman and look like she did, she was told she should be ashamed of her appearance and should try to look more like a man.

    So, then, you’re angry at HER, yes? Can you own (and state clearly) that you’re upset with HER, not “feminism”?

    Surely true feminism would tell her to be proud of being a woman?

    And my point is this: in all the many books I HAVE read by feminists, they overwhelmingly, and with no examples that come to mind, DO tell women to be proud of being a woman, and to resist the forces of male domination that tell them they ought to be–and also very directly force some of them to be–sexxx-things for men, sexual service stations for men, nursemaids, cooks, washers, psychotherapists, and general attendants to men 24/7.

    And that she doesn’t have to change her appearance to be accepted?

    Do you believe your girlfriend’s sister has had more of a negative impact on women, plural, cumulatively, than misogynistic/racist patriarchal imperatives that have given messages, sometimes in the form of rape, sometimes in the form of overt discrimination and harassment, sometimes in the form of battery by a boyfriend or husband, to women generally message that THEY–including your girlfriend–are not okay?

    If you agree that patriarchal society has done more to harm women, collectively, including your girlfriend, than has her sister, why don’t you feel “freaked out” by what patriarchal imperatives and violence does to women, collectively?

    I’m still confused on why you were “freaked out”. And again, I’m not trying to be a smartass here. (I’ve been a smartass over at my own blog. lol) I’m genuinely asking you for legitimate information.

    I was not claiming to know what feminists (at an intellectual level of the ideology) are saying. I was saying that that is what one self-declared feminist did in practice. And what an ideology does in practice is important.

    Do you get what’s messed up here? You’re equating what one woman did to your girlfriend, someone she presumably grew up with and has had multiple conflicts and tensions with since girlhood, with “an ideology” of “feminism”. That’s what you’re saying, correct me if I’m wrong. I mean: that’s what your words communicate directly. That’s what your word choice means. Do you agree with that? I get that maybe you intended to communicate something else, but do you agree with my interpretation of what you’ve written here to date?

    I colour co-ordinate my socks and trousers, and feel proud of that. A woman would just do it as a matter of course. Trite example, I know, but then men do have small minds ;). I do have some (some) idea of the double standard.

    I do find it to be trite. And to me it indicates a glaring lack of awareness of the actual atrocities and injustices women face, must contend with on various levels, that men, relative to women, as a class of human beings, do not have to contend with.

    This is also a serious inquiry, David: I’m curious to know what it is that motivates you (in a sense meaning “us” or “anyone” but I’m asking you, specifically) to speak critically of a movement when they’ve read nothing about it.

    Regarding this that you wrote:
    Men already make women feel like rubbish over their appearance, why should feminism reinforce that?

    “Feminism” doesn’t, unless you consider one women, the sister of your girlfriend, to be “feminism” which she isn’t. She’s your girlfriend’s sister. And there could be any number of dynamics between them, historically, which might explain one sibling being critical of another. Why you’d take that as a signal to indict millions of women over the last forty years who have been working tirelessly, and with little to no appreciation or respect from the male supremacist media, to assume that one woman speaks for all the others, is something I’d welcome you clarifying.

    You continue on:
    Which is what happened to my girlfriend – instead of being told by her feminist sister that it was ok to be a woman and look like she did, she was told she should be ashamed of her appearance and should try to look more like a man. Surely true feminism would tell her to be proud of being a woman?

    Why do you conflate the comments of one woman to her sister with “feminism” and then seem to do the opposite, in one comment?

    You’ve said “feminism” did this to your girlfriend. And that “feminism” = your girlfriend’s critical sister. And that “true feminism” wouldn’t do that.

    Do you get why I’m perplexed and troubled by what you’re saying? Do you understand why I find it to be antifeminist and without thoughtfulness?

    And that she doesn’t have to change her appearance to be accepted?
    I was not claiming to know what feminists (at an intellectual level of the ideology) are saying. I was saying that that is what one self-declared feminist did in practice. And what an ideology does in practice is important.

    David, I’m calling you out on intellectual dishonesty. Please own what you said. Here’s the quote:

    “My girlfriend, while growing up, tried to hide all evidence that she was becoming a woman – because she had been taught by an older, radical feminist girl (her sister, who she really looked up to), that being a woman was bad. That being feminine was bad.

    This screwed her up for years. I’m not going into details, but it made her teenage years a good deal more trying than they should have been. Way to go, feminism!”

    You DIDN’T write “Way to go, sister of my girlfriend, for being grossly insensitive and hurtful to my girlfriend.” That would make some sense, perhaps. Maybe that would be appropriate. Maybe. But you don’t say that. You wrote “way to go, feminism” AS IF that one comment was somehow representative of what feminism is and what feminists do.

    I find what you say to be trivialising of that double standard, and to be blaming feminism for someone one woman did to your girlfriend. Does that make sense?

  65. Julian Real April 6, 2010 at 12:16 PM #

    @joy,

    I just witnessed this happen as well at a site where anti-racism activist Tim Wise allowed a misogynistic man to criticise women’s views on date rape, and the women called him out–repeatedly, and then when Tim intervened, the man “listened” to Tim in way he refused to do with the women who’d just said the same things to him. I expect the same thing to play out here.

  66. David April 7, 2010 at 1:27 AM #

    Hmmm. The guy was the only commenter to ask me to respond – so I did. Had any of the women bothered to ask for a response, instead of just assuming I’m a total bastard, I’d have given one.

    As far as criticising movements we’ve read little or nothing of – we do it all the time: how many people here have read The Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, or The Wealth of Nations?

    I’m not pro-capitalism. It’s a horrendous system, and a failing one. It’s set for collapse any day now – the financial crisis was just a pre-tremor. Communism has failed almost everywhere it’s been tried – which is the prime criterion that interests me. Its one success is an enormous success – Cuba. That country is sustainable. No other country can claim that.

    My girlfriend was told that what was happening to her body (natural biological processes) was bad and shameful. By a self-proclaimed feminist. And that heavily influenced my perception of feminism.
    Again, I repeat: what an ideology does ‘in the streets’ is every bit as important (if not more so) than what it says on paper.
    Yeah, it was one girl’s messed up actions, not feminism’s as a whole. The same applies to a male rapist – one guy’s actions, not the male gender as a whole. But both are putting into action a particular ideology…
    One that lurks on the underbelly of the ‘official’ ideologies. Men are being sincere when they call a rapist a monster. They genuinely do NOT see the connection between their attitudes and those of a rapist. But the connection is there. Just as there is a connection between feminism and messed-up on the ground interpretations of it.

    I’m freaked out by some of what the feminist movement appears to be saying, because it looks like the same old thing (dominance hierarchies) just in new clothes. And further, because it appears to me that some women with radical, nutjob agendas have infiltrated a very necessary movement.

    Again, I’m most interested in results. One of the prime public successes of feminism, as far as I can see, is legalised abortion. The killing of another human being for convenience.
    For a movement intellectually concerned with equality and human rights, that’s a pretty grim achievement. And one that (I’m sure) repels an enormous number of potential allies.

    As far as appearance goes, my comment isn’t insensitive – it was meant as a joke… JOKE… A self-deprecating one at that. Good heavens, I can’t poke fun at myself, even?

    I’m aware that women ‘HAVE TO’ do a lot more than men to look ‘attractive’. By conventional standards. My girlfriend doesn’t do much more than I do – the major difference is that she has an skin problem. I find her extremely attractive.

    Which is the whole point I’m (trying) to make throughout this post – that despite the differences between people, we can treat each other properly, as equals.

    Joy and Lizor, please try to see what I’m trying to say. I’m not that good with words, but I do sincerely mean it when I say that I see women as my equals.

    As far as listening to anyone is concerned, might I point out that Lillie and Sneekbunny both got through to me, because they started with the assumption that I’m a decent (if rather clumsy-tongued) bloke. I assume they are both women, right?

  67. David April 7, 2010 at 1:38 AM #

    The best economic system I know of is generally called the ‘gift economy’. It isn’t a single system and it doesn’t have a literature (unless one counts literature of the open source software movement, such as The Cathedral and The Bazaar).
    In it’s many forms, it was once the dominant system across most of the world, and still survives in informal ways today.
    Examples of how it works: A farmer pays $ 500 a month to the local hospital. When her child is sick, she takes him to the hospital. They treat him.
    The farmer is an avid reader. She orders a book from her favourite author, but can’t pay this month. No worries, says the author, pay when you can. Other people are flush this month.

    Radical? Unworkable? Requires too much trust? Isn’t intellectual enough?
    Well, I hope it’s obvious now that I’m no capitalist.

  68. joy April 7, 2010 at 1:58 PM #

    David, I followed Julian’s link over to his blog — which, by the way, Julian, we’re cool; I’ll probably come over there to engage you in conversation when I’m not as busy —

    and I can say, NO ONE has ”gotten through to” you at all. You’re still an arrogant prick who doesn’t listen.

    I will not engage with you when you refuse to listen or engage back. Many if not most other women feel the same. If you wish to then blame us for your refusal to listen or engage, then it further proves the point that you’re missing the point.

    It’s not my job, or anyone else’s job, to hold your hand and coddle you until you decide that women are worth listening to. Thanks to Julian for trying, but even he — another man — ”failed”.
    And that’s no one’s fault but your own, David. I’m not sorry.

  69. joy April 7, 2010 at 2:02 PM #

    Also, did you REALLY mean to suggest there is some kind of sock-folding gene attached to the X chromosome or something?

    Because let me tell you, most of the straight guys I know, blue-collar anticapitalist activists and artists to a one, keep less cluttered rooms and more organized sock drawers than I do.

    And before you suggest it, no, I do not ”try to be a man” or purposefully ”act like a man in a woman’s body.” I just have better things to do than fold my socks sometimes. As do most people, regardless of gender.

    There is nothing innate or gender-/physical-sex-related about folding socks or being tidy. Not all women ”just do it [naturally]”, and some men do.

  70. Julian Real April 7, 2010 at 2:45 PM #

    @David,

    You wrote:
    As far as criticising movements we’ve read little or nothing of – we do it all the time: how many people here have read The Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, or The Wealth of Nations?

    Well, a lot of folks have at least READ some of Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto, before speaking about the subjects covered in either tome. Or they’ve lived through HaShoah, or have experienced Communist societies. (I haven’t heard of The Wealth of Nations, so I don’t know shit about that.) You are telling me that what you’re doing here, going on and on about stuff you know nothing about is okay because “others do it too”? What sort of ethic is that?

    David, in all honesty: I see whites, class-privileged folks, and men–especially het men–do this going on and on and on about stuff they are ignorant about, all the time. I don’t see “people generally” do that all the time. And it’s people’s privileges–of which you and I have plenty, as already noted–that allow you and I to feel entitled to speak up and out about stuff we truly don’t understand, comprehend, study, apprehend, or otherwise experience as “one of the group” you’re critiquing.

    You demonstrate absolutely no understanding or comprehension of what feminism is, does, or how many variations there are in what is termed, in English, “feminism”; you reveal no knowledge of how radical feminism is and is not different from liberal feminism, socialist feminism, ecofeminism, white feminisms, Indigenous feminisms, Black feminisms. And on and on and on.

    I’ll trust your knowledge when it comes to some areas of zoology: the specific areas of zoology you’ve focused on learning about. I don’t know much about zoology. I have been actively engaged, in relationship, in communal work, in support of campaigns, in actions of my own, in study, in reading, in conversation, in being accountable, in feeling, in listening, in thinking, for over 25 years with what is called “feminism” and “feminists”, mostly radical ones. It’s been central to my life for over a quarter of a century. So please accept it when I say that what you say about it doesn’t ring at all true to me.

    AND, rather than blaming women for not asking YOU questions, and being defensive about how or to what degrees you assume they did or didn’t see or treat you as a “whole human being” (another bold-faced white het male privilege: that you assume you ought to be treated as a whole human being, and that you see being treated as less or other than that as an “injustice” or a “wrong” of some kind that is worth you stating here, on a feminist blog. AS IF any woman, across her lifetime, gets treated nearly as humanely as YOU do across yours.

    Do you get that most of my woman friends RARELY to NEVER get treated the way you assume you should be treated ALL THE TIME? Do you get that Black folks in South Africa and elsewhere in white supremacist countries and communities cannot expect to be seen and treated as whole human beings by whites? (And aren’t?)

    You continually and insistently reduce feminism and feminists to abstractions, caricatures, stereotypes, memes: harmful, dangerous, “controversial”, anti-humanitarian ones. More on this later.

    For now, why doesn’t it occur to YOU to ask the women here what they think of what you’re doing here? And, to the extent that some women here HAVE stated what they feel or think about what you’re doing here, do you care? Have you responded to them? No. And why? Because they didn’t kiss your feet first? Because their behavior didn’t pass YOUR standards for how YOU are to be treated before YOU respond to a woman? So, David, you see how much you are trying to regulate and control women’s behaviors? You ignore women who don’t speak to you, about you, in ways YOU approve of? How patriarchal of you. How grossly male supremacist of you.

    And if you don’t care to reply to them, without being told it might be a humane thing to do, then it’s you who has the problem of treating people (women here) like whole human beings, it seems to me.

    To speak out as you do, negatively and stereotypically, and in (to me) a grossly sexist/misogynistic/male privileged/anti-feminist fashion, about feminism, however you choose to mistakenly frame and explain you problems with it, is, in my view, REALLY arrogant and obnoxious. And, as I’ve said, YOU get to do it, and many places will welcome you to do it. The misogynistic/antifeminist/racist status quo won’t insist you be quiet about something you know little to nothing about, especially if it puts human rights movements like feminism in a negative light, as I experience you doing, here, in so many vile ways.

    I am asking that you not speak about feminism or what feminists do or are, in public feminist spaces. I’m asking you to consider being silent instead of speaking out on things you don’t know anything about.

    Why?

    Do you get how much energy women, disproportionately, have to expend correcting bullshit that leaves men’s lips about feminism, and, also, about women? Do you get how, when men speak out of ignorance and arrogance, as you have done repeatedly here, there are others whose time and energy is wasted letting those men know that they aren’t doing anything constructive, and are often doing harm, and it’s not helpful to anyone at all?

    Do you get that what you’re doing is obnoxious? That’s my judgment, yes. But, David, really. (Really.) It’s obnoxious and not at all constructive to anyone, as far as I can determine. And, why didn’t you ask first, if anyone wants to hear what you have to say on the subject you know so little about? Why DON’T you ask, HERE, if anyone wants to know what your views are on feminism, on this thread?

    You’re presumption to speak out in these ways is arrogant and privileged. So why do it? To hear yourself speak/watch yourself write?

    Why do it? Because “you can”? That’s just acting out privilege and entitlement, David.

    I recommend you ask women here what they’d like to hear from you about, if anything. And, if they say nothing at all in response to you, THAT’S telling you something that I trust you’ll comprehend as “SHUT UP PLEASE”.

    I accept that you’re not pro-capitalism in theory, if not in practice. The same is true of me: I oppose the system of capitalism, but live in a deeply and destructively capitalist state as a functioning member of that system, with economic privileges, so I’m a beneficiary of the system that I recognise as destructive to most people on Earth.

    You wrote:
    Communism has failed almost everywhere it’s been tried – which is the prime criterion that interests me. Its one success is an enormous success – Cuba. That country is sustainable. No other country can claim that.

    I just don’t find you to be knowledgeable enough on the subject to come to that conclusion. Which “communism” are you speaking of? Co-operative housing in NYC? VERY successful. It’s rent-controlled, humane, multi-ethnic, owner-regulated. That’s Communism. So is THAT a failure?

    There have been so many “communist” practices, projects, and systems created, so many communities, that I guess I don’t understand what you are referring to when you say “it has failed except for Cuba”. I don’t get a sense that you even know what communism is, and that it isn’t “one thing”. And I don’t really want to get into a lengthy conversation about Communism’s successes and failures, in part due to the fact that I’m not Communist and have no vested interest in debating its successes, failures, merits, and harms here, on a thread about sexism and racism.

    For me, the issue HERE is how your white and male privilege is showing itself in harmful and obnoxious ways. In ways that are like salt on wounds, or fingernails scratching abrasively on badly sunburned skin.

    You wrote:
    My girlfriend was told that what was happening to her body (natural biological processes) was bad and shameful. By a self-proclaimed feminist.

    Who wasn’t behaving as a feminist when she did so, right?

    And that heavily influenced my perception of feminism.

    You’re not hearing me, David. I’m saying “Why didn’t that influence your perception of HER, not feminism, given that she wasn’t acting as a feminist at the time of her doing that to your girlfriend? Why don’t you see her behavior as a glaring example of lack of integrity with professed values? Why do you conclude that her criticisms were “feminist”?

    You go on:
    Again, I repeat: what an ideology does ‘in the streets’ is every bit as important (if not more so) than what it says on paper.

    But she wasn’t demonstrating “a feminist ideology” by your own account! So why do you keep attaching her “antifeminist actions” to “what feminism is”???

    Yeah, it was one girl’s messed up actions, not feminism’s as a whole.

    No, David: not feminism’s AT ALL. THAT’S the point I’m trying to get across to you.

    The same applies to a male rapist – one guy’s actions, not the male gender as a whole. But both are putting into action a particular ideology…
    One that lurks on the underbelly of the ‘official’ ideologies.

    David, that’s so fucked up, man. So very fucked up. First, by your own admission, the sister isn’t behaving in a feminist way when she’s being insulting to her sister about her sister’s body maturing. Right? So that’s NOT acting out an ideology of feminism, that’s acting out an ideology of patriarchal misogyny. Right?

    Now, when men rape, they are acting out, consistently, an ideology of male dominance, of male supremacy over and against women’s psyches, bodies, and souls. They/we are doing that when men rape women. They’re not being “anti-patriarchal” by raping, right?

    You go on:
    Men are being sincere when they call a rapist a monster. They genuinely do NOT see the connection between their attitudes and those of a rapist. But the connection is there. Just as there is a connection between feminism and messed-up on the ground interpretations of it.

    And this is where I think your “logic” is all fucked up. Seriously.

    The sister WASN’T demonstrating a messed up interpretation of feminism in critiquing her girlfriend’s body. If she had sexually assaulted her sister, that wouldn’t make her assault “feminist” either, just because she has stated she’s a feminist. Do you get that??? Assaultive behavior to women isn’t “feminist”, it’s patriarchal and male supremacist. So THAT’S what she was being when she put down her sister’s body.

    You go on:
    I’m freaked out by some of what the feminist movement appears to be saying,

    This is what I’m saying: you’re not reality checking anything: you’re just presumptuously going off based on your messed up misperceptions, based on your own subjective views of what “appears” to be the case. Has it occurred to you that your perceptions are at fault, not the “feminism” you so rashly and eagerly critique at a feminist blog?

    You go on:
    because it looks like the same old thing (dominance hierarchies) just in new clothes.

    It’s old patriarchal clothes, David. Any one of us, no matter how “feminist” can lapse into patriarchal behavior. I’ve demonstrated that here in being an obnoxious jerk, who couldn’t read correctly what some women here were saying. That misread on my part was “male supremacist” not “feminist”, right? And I’m profeminist-identified, right?

    You go on:
    And further, because it appears to me that some women with radical, nutjob agendas have infiltrated a very necessary movement.

    Do you get how “nutjob” is a perjorative term, a misogynistic one, used in the way you just did?

    And again… how the world appears to YOU, to be occupied with women with “radical, nutjob agendas”, that have “infiltrated” a very necessary movement.

    What’s so necessary about it? According to you all it does is make space for nutjobs and “radicals” to have a voice? You haven’t cited one good thing it has done, at all! In fact…

    You go on:
    Again, I’m most interested in results.

    Are you interested to find out what the results are of you stating all this on a feminist blog? Would you care to ask the women here what they think about what you’re doing, and whether they wish you to continue doing it? Are you willing to make the results of such an inquiry you not spouting off against feminism when you’ve not even read one feminist book or demonstrated even the most inadequate, superficial grasp of what feminism and womanism is and does?

    You go on:
    One of the prime public successes of feminism, as far as I can see, is legalised abortion. The killing of another human being for convenience.
    For a movement intellectually concerned with equality and human rights, that’s a pretty grim achievement. And one that (I’m sure) repels an enormous number of potential allies.

    So, let’s tally up, then.

    So far you see feminism as supporting your girlfriend’s sister abusing her verbally and psychologically: you see her abuse as “feminist action”. You see feminism being a platform for “nutjobs” (who, exactly? What are the names of these alleged “nutjobs”?) and “radicals” (which I assume you’re not using in the positive sense–am I right?). You next list “fetal murder” as “a feminist agenda”. And you assume, quite disgustingly and misogynistically, that women get abortions out of “convenience”.

    Hey, David, why don’t men wear condoms “out of convenience”? Because, you know from zoology that no mammal can get pregnant without sperm coming into contact with an egg, right? So why is it women’s faults that they have unwanted pregnancies, some of which end up being miscarried, some end up killing or injuring the mother, and some end up being aborted? You know, yes, that men beat women more when they are pregnant, yes? So maybe some women don’t want to have their faces and bellies bashed in when their boyfriend or husband finds out they “let themselves get pregnant” as if HE had nothing at all to do with it!

    What about the men who “impregnated” the women with MEN’S sperm? What about the fact that so many men don’t wish to be responsible with contraception, with caring for someone who is pregnant, and for caring for an infant and child? How many women have abortions due to the biological father NOT WANTING THE CHILD TO BE BORN? Do you know? How many women are pressured by their boyfriends or husbands to abort? Do you know?

    Why can’t men do without “the convenience” of “the fuck” enough to prevent anyone from ever needing an abortion again? If men would “conveniently” stop sticking their uncovered dicks in women, including through acts of rape, then NO woman would EVER get an abortion, right?

    How many women have abortions due to life circumstances, whether her own health being at risk if pregnant, or from being incested as a fourteen year old, or from rape–including, btw, marital and date rape?

    Apparently, a woman who gets pregnant making a difficult decision such as to have an abortion is only ever “a matter of convenience” to YOU. Do you get how fucking callous and WRONG and antifeminist that is? And how it DOESN’T, in any way, regard women as just as human as you?

    What does all of this tell US about your compassion for the many circumstances in which women are made to feel or BE unable to carry a pregnancy to term? And, isn’t this about HER body, not yours? Not men’s?

    As has been noted, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. Get it?

    You’re expressed views here are so damned insulting and mean and nasty. So inhumane. So ugly. Do you see that?

    You go on:
    As far as appearance goes, my comment isn’t insensitive – it was meant as a joke… JOKE… A self-deprecating one at that. Good heavens, I can’t poke fun at myself, even?

    Not in the completely inept way in which you attempted to do so, no.

    I’m aware that women ‘HAVE TO’ do a lot more than men to look ‘attractive’. By conventional standards. My girlfriend doesn’t do much more than I do – the major difference is that she has an skin problem. I find her extremely attractive.

    And what if you didn’t? How would she feel about herself then?

    You go on:
    Which is the whole point I’m (trying) to make throughout this post – that despite the differences between people, we can treat each other properly, as equals.

    But, David, you can’t even treat women with basic respect here, on this thread. How is that treating women “properly” as “equals”? You fail at every turn, to do this thing you proclaim is so very important to do. How do you explain that? And why, pray tell, do you keep doing it?

  71. joy April 8, 2010 at 12:05 AM #

    Wow, so he’s a pro-lifer too. Glad you caught that and took it apart, Julian, because after long enough his comment just read as ”blah-de-wanking-blah.”

    As a woman who got pregnant via common-law-spousal rape, and on top of that knew that even a wanted child would essentially ruin her chances of ever escaping that abusive battering asshole, I can say …

    Yeah, abortion is real ”convenient.” The staff treated me like shit, it cost all the money I had left — 200 bucks, it hurt worse than I could have imagined possible, and I bled for an entire month.
    But it was still more ”convenient” than giving birth to a child I was impregnated with by force, raising a child that I didn’t want and couldn’t afford, and being forever tied to a man who gave me a skull fracture among other injuries.

    Please fuck yourself.

  72. David April 8, 2010 at 1:49 AM #

    Julian, the vast bulk of what you wrote just vindicates what I was saying. Anything a woman does wrong, is because she’s acting in a male way? Huh? Do you realise how ridiculous you sound?

    For your information, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith is THE text of capitalism. Communalism is NOT Communism, despite the similar name. Eat your own criticism.

    Joy, I’m sorry you went through what you did. Obviously the guy was a complete bastard.

    But reading your story, this is what I hear:
    “I stayed with an abusive jerk even though I could have left earlier. I let him get me pregnant, by not leaving sooner. I then killed my kid to get away.”

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but you are dodging your own responsibility for what happened in this situation. And that’s the only responsibility you can ever do anything about. Sounds to me like guilt talking, and you’ll be mad as all hell at me for pointing that out.

    Because what you did sounds far too much like what my father did to me – walk out because staying with my mom was “too difficult”.
    Then why the hell was he with her in the first place? Why the hell couldn’t he have just left her alone? Huh?

    Abdication of responsibility, victim mentality, blaming men as brutes. Carry on like this and you’ll never be free.

    Oh, and Joy, Julian: using male genitalia as a term of insult? Think very carefully about what you’re doing. If I used female genitalia as an insult, you’d be all over me. Rightly. Situation’s analogous.

  73. David April 8, 2010 at 2:04 AM #

    Joy, that “Wow” before “so he’s a pro-lifer too” just says it all.
    How on this earth someone can condemn the killing of a convicted rapist (while condemning rape as a manifestation of the patriarchy), and then turn around and support the killing of unborn, innocent (in the legal sense, please note) children, beats me.

    “‘When do you kill?’
    ‘When the bastard needs to die.'”

    It’s no coincidence that the person who answered that question is repeatedly described as a monster in the novel it’s from (Hunter’s Run). But I doubt he could get so monstrous as to suggest that an unborn kid is more deserving of death than Charles Manson. Which is what any “pro-choice” & “anti-death penalty” activist is saying.

    Your story, by the way, lacks an explanation of how a child would have shackled you to the guy forever. Or why you couldn’t leave while you were pregnant. It’s a sad story, but it doesn’t show you as completely helpless and absolved of all responsibility for what happened. The only completely innocent party in the whole sad mess is the kid you aborted.

    Now, you’re going to want to claw my face up for saying that, because it’s extremely unpleasant. But you do realise that hanging around with people who tell you that abortion is ok will just mess you up worse, right?

    I have an anger problem. I could listen to people who say “Oh, you’re a guy. You’re just made that way”, or I can do something about it.

    Which would you prefer? Which do you think I chose?

    Here’s a hint: I haven’t once used genitals as a term of insult…

  74. David April 8, 2010 at 2:18 AM #

    @ Lizor: I came across the following review of the Birth of Pleasure:

    http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?id=1214&type=book&cn=98

    Written by a woman, a Ph. D. in Philosophy.

    @ Julian: your comment about all the different types of feminism applies. I thought feminism was a revolutionary movement about equality for women. When did it become just another liberal postmodern academic talkshop?

  75. isme April 8, 2010 at 7:41 AM #

    David, I’ll assume that various others have bothered trying to explain the issues involved to you.

    I just feel I should remind you of the tradition that you stop digging when you find yourself in a hole.

  76. Julian Real April 8, 2010 at 8:39 AM #

    @Joy,

    I am so sad to hear that you’ve lived through all that brutal misogyny. My heart sank as I read it. I hope the batterer/rapist is long gone, and cannot harm you ever again, or anyone else. I hope you are so much safer now. I hope no one like him is near you at all, ever, ever again. May the Lorde damn him to a special hell where he will experience for eternity all the pain and suffering he caused you and any other woman in his wretched life.

    @Nine Deuce,
    As I reflect on your rules of engagement, it appears to me that David has violated 2 through 6. What’s your sense of that?

    All that follows is @David,
    I noticed how many of my questions you DIDN’T answer. How “convenient” for you, eh? In this case convenient is a synonym for “willfully evasive”. And, please don’t answer anything else I’ve ever asked you. Just shut the fuck up, because what’s flowing from you now is even more vile and harmful that anything I’ve seen thus far.

    You are one vicious, inhumane, and hostile P.R.I.C.K., and if you don’t know what that stands for, check out the glossary at my blog. Or look in the mirror and study what you see. It’ll all become clear. I shall do my best not address you again, because to do so is to only encourage you to speak more. And your words are venomous and putrid. What you said to Joy was pure evil. You’re one callous fuck, aren’t you? (Don’t answer me: the answer is yes.) How fucking DARE you presume to know what it means to have lived through what she lived through and arrogantly proclaim yourself a moral authority of her actions. How fucking dare you?! How dare you speak as if you grasp even the most basic understanding of what a moral being is!?

    You are one cruel coward, typing what you do from the privilege and distance you enjoy, as you salt and pour cruelty on people’s wounds. And unfortunately you’re about as normal as they come, you white het male supremacist bastard. This I wish upon you: may your computer crash and you lose the use of your fingers and voice, so your capacity to spew your putrid misogyny is limited in at least those ways.

    And that’s the kinder, more compassionate version of my wish.

    Fuck off, David. Fuck yourself and only yourself, and please spare the rest of humanity the anti-woman contempt that fills your tiny mind, callous heart, and very sour soul.

  77. joy April 8, 2010 at 5:33 PM #

    Hey, Julian, thanks. I am pretty much the object lesson of why feminism is needed; I cover all the bases, from incest to rape to battery to whatever. Handy!

    The abuser is gone, I just know there are ever more of him just waiting to take his place.
    Which is why I avoid men, or at least try to as much as I can to avoid men, which is truly the only way I can ”take responsibility.”

    I was with the abuser not because I wanted to be, but because my life was on the line. He threatened to kill me if I didn’t date him, then let him take over my bank account, move him in with me, have unprotected sex with me, etc. He put me in the hospital several times for trying to leave, so I knew he meant business.

    So yes, actually, I do have accountability, but only up to a point. The point that I felt my own life was in danger, the amount that I still wanted to live, and the amount that I was unwilling to gun down a human being who was already alive independent of my uterus — ie, the abuser.

    Remove the abuser from that situation and I would not have been abused. Full stop.

    David, if he isn’t banned, will insist that I am lying and/or don’t know my own mind — since he knows it better … but I don’t regret or feel guilty about having an abortion. I regret the day I met the abuser, I wish he had never raped me, I deeply wish that I’d never gotten pregnant when he did, but I don’t regret terminating the pregnancy. That’s the simple truth.

  78. lizor April 8, 2010 at 7:05 PM #

    @ Julian,

    Now worries! I am working such long hours these days, I am misreading stuff too. Thanks for all of your contributions to this thread.

    @ David – Having found a negative review by a WOMAN, you can continue condemning positions you know nothing about because you can’t be bothered to inform yourself. Her critique is something I would take up with her, or anyone here who has actually read the book. But not you.

    The Derailing for Dummies site seems to have been taken down, but it seems like you have at least read and memorized that. GOOD FOR YOU!

    Now why don’t you try an actual book.

    • Nine Deuce April 9, 2010 at 10:09 AM #

      Yeah, David, about that “she has a PhD” thing. Lots of people have PhDs. About 10% of them are worth listening to. Sorry, but that appeal to authority doesn’t work with people who may have advanced degrees themselves.

  79. Julian Real April 9, 2010 at 1:48 AM #

    @Joy,

    My heart goes out to you. I’m so glad you survived all you did. One wonders how… but you did!

    And, were I a woman, there’s little doubt I’d be a separatist: I’d keep men as far away from me as socially possible. Not because I hate men, or even dislike all men, but, more, because I love women and would just as soon put all my energies into supporting women. And of course pricks will call that desire “antimisandrist”–fools that they are.

    I am gay. I am asexual mostly and celibate always. I plan not to ever be sexual with men again, which is also to say I will live a celibate life. Happily. So much more happily than when I was with men sexually, doing what I thought they wanted, or what they did want. Done with that. Hurray.

    There’s tons of incest in my family, and other forms of sexual violence that has impacted every woman in my family. And, my family is a relatively non-violent place, which says a lot. It says, for one thing, that the abuses are in the past: the pricks are dead or have been divorced. Hurray for all the women who get away from the pricks. It is not a bad thing, in my view, that men statistically die sooner than women. I just wish all the men who kill women would have died sooner. Misogynist murdering men getting the murder/suicide thing wrong: the suicide needs to come first, fellas! Another woman killed in the news today, by a former producer of the show Survivor”: the irony is bitter indeed.

    I’m so glad you are relatively safe now, and at least away from those who have harmed you in the past, and making sure there will be no replacements. Brava to you.

    Regarding this:
    I was unwilling to gun down a human being who was already alive independent of my uterus — ie, the abuser.

    I fully support laws allowing women to kill the men who abuse them, including in fully premeditated ways. While the men sleep: the injection of the lethal drug. Or however. Whatever works to take those horribly normal men out.

    Re:
    Remove the abuser from that situation and I would not have been abused. Full stop.

    Indeed. This basic truth is, I find, one men get fuzzy about. Remove the abuser: no abuse. How simple. How logical. Yet “logical” white het men don’t get it. It would be funny if it weren’t so lethal.

    I only wish his life had come to a full stop before he met you.

    Re:
    I don’t regret terminating the pregnancy. That’s the simple truth.

    I’m so glad to hear you say this. As has been noted to me many times by women I’ve known who do or have done anti-wife-beating work, and women’s reproductive rights work, in the U.S. especially, it seems no one is allowed to say they are happy they had an abortion. No one is allowed to say “I’m pro-abortion” because it’s not “politically correct/patriarchally correct”.

    I’m pro-abortion of all men who abuse women. I’m pro-abortion of all women who want, for whatever reasons, to have one. Fetuses are part of the woman’s body, not independent of it, and as long as that is the case, it is all “her life”. All of it. There’s no “other life” that should be prioritised above, over, or against her own.

    As noted: men who are anti-abortion can prevent all abortions very easily: stop sticking their dicks in women. Problem solved.

    I send you my support and gratitude, that you are here, hopefully living relatively well, with happiness, living up to your name. I’m glad you made it. If you ever want to tell your story, or if you have written it down, and want it to be on a profeminist blog, as a post, as published writing, I’d more than welcome you to feature it on A Radical Profeminist blog. I always try and centralise the experiences of women, and to never present feminism as “for men too”. Fuck what’s good and right for white het men. Societies are organised to take care of them. This needs to change, radically.

    This marks the fifth anniversary of Andrea Dworkin’s death: may she rest in peace. And may her words and work inspire a revolution which brings humanity to wipe off the Earth all forms of male domination, arrogance, and insult.

  80. Faith April 9, 2010 at 7:33 AM #

    “Because everything YOU did to free yourself of your abuser after you aborted your kid, you could have done before. You could have taken charge of your life a lot earlier.”

    You are one sorry fucking pretentious fuckstain. You don’t deserve to be within 100 feet of anyone with a vagina.

    That is all.

  81. joy April 9, 2010 at 10:14 AM #

    Also, David, if you are still reading this …

    I got away from the abuser because he went to jail for trying to kill me in public. During this incident, he then tried to kill everyone who attempted to intervene on my behalf. Including cops, of which it took four to subdue and carry him away.

    Yes. Carry him away. Four cops. CARRIED HIM AWAY. And he was still fighting, screaming, and trying to kill anyone in the vicinity.

    He got the jail time for abusing the cops, not for abusing me. But I take what I can get.

    Had that not happened, I would either still be with him, or be dead. How’s that for taking charge?

    I’m a good sport, ND, you know that — but I’m glad this fuckwit’s banned.

    • Nine Deuce April 9, 2010 at 10:20 AM #

      I hadn’t been reading his comments. I should have known, though. He’s one of those dicks who shows up and pretends to be genuinely interested in feminism, only to drop a giant pile of entitled, privilege-blind “personal responsibility” bullshit on us. Congratulations, David. You’re one of the few, the proud, the banned. I hear they’re taking new members at the MRA sites, though, so feel free to head over there where you might find your anti-woman, anti-feminist schlock will get a warmer reception. We’ll get back to not caring about your completely banal opinions now.

  82. joy April 9, 2010 at 11:04 AM #

    As much as I’m an object lesson as to why feminism is necessary, so are guys like David. He’s never gonna get it, and neither are the others like him.

    All of the shit he dumped on me, other women here, and on all women, is shit we dump on ourselves — well, minus the abortion guilt, in my case anyway.

    Oh, you should be nicer to men and maybe then they would listen to you.
    Oh, you should embrace your ”femininity” because it’s natural.
    Oh, you should make sure to take responsibility when other people abuse you because it’s so easy to exercise your own free will.
    Oh, you should know better than to get pregnant, because you can either be a good mother or be a child-killer.
    Oh, you should try harder not to get raped, because men can’t help themselves.
    Oh, you should be a Good Girl. Because you know what will happen to you if you don’t.

    Sounds like a pretty familiar mental script. It even plays in my radical-feminist head sometimes, although often as a thought exercise — ”This is what that man is thinking about you. This is how they operate. This is what you ARE to them. To him.”

    So, nothing new under the sun, David, but again — an object lesson. In case anyone ever thought feminism was maybe pointless by now, David so thoughtfully reminded us otherwise.

    Note heavy sarcasm. But I am an optimist, at least sometimes. Otherwise I would go completely mad.

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