@ D Squirrel – Continuing the Conversation

Since comments are closed at Radical Wind (on this excellent post and conversation) I have taken the liberty of continuing the conversation here – re: how, where, and why to critique a woman’s work – because I think it is an important issue that should be discussed as openly and publicly as possible.

And since Davina Squirrel’s last comment came in ’under the wire’ and did quote a portion of something I’d said on the subject:

@ D Squirrel -

It is entirely confusing when you say that the “direct criticism” of other women is well done in private or semi-private spaces and at the same time suggest that disagreements are easily googled for the source.  That makes no sense when radical feminist work is regularly shut down/erased by men and feminists alike and as any criticism of a woman‘s work by women is seen as an ‘attack‘ on her personally (as I said, lose/lose) whether public or – perhaps even more so – in “private“.  Frankly, insinuating that is it wise or less divisive to criticize a woman in private is engendering an atmosphere of distrust in general.

Yet you go on to say, as an alternative, we can comment directly on the blog/site as you say you do frequently.  But what if the comment is not approved being seen as troll-ish or rude or off topic or a personal attack by the host?  Are we then to not to make very clear in our own public space what our disagreement is so that other women (or ‘newbies”) can see that there is disagreement on an issue especially if, as you say, one of the prime goals as radical feminists is to be an educational service of sorts? Would it not be in the service of education to name and link to the writing in question as WW suggested per ‘academic rigor‘?

And it is all of these observations and questions I pose to you now that caused me to say that a plea to ‘not name’ in public is essentially silencing women.  Without honest and public conversations about our disagreements there can be no forward movement/spinning as has been proven time and time again.

Your thoughts on my questions would be appreciated.

Normal: Men’s Violence

Aside

It is very telling that when a handful of women speak the truth about male violence, and the clear need to protect ourselves from it in ways that target the perpetrators, there is always knee-jerk backlash from men.

When it is clear that men are the ‘people’ who require women and children, first, to fulfill their own gratification it is astonishing that the disconnect can be so simple-mindedly complete.  When men have for thousands of years killed women and children in every way imaginable (including live streaming of the attempted/successful murder by rape of children and women in the ’modern’ age expressly for mass male sexual gratification) how on earth can it be possible for so many ’human beings’ to decry, in threatening and violent terms – or even just liberal reformist terms – the speaking out of this handful of vocal women and then accuse us of violence against children and men?  Really, who is doing the actual raping and murdering of women and children since forever?

When a simple linking to a public blog, by a woman, is called out as an “attack” (violence) against a man, what are we to make of hundreds upon thousands upon millions of men perpetrating actual real life violence against women and children for thousands of years?

Normal.

This is NORMAL.

And if we (no matter how small or large our number might be) disagree, if we say that it would be within our natural right to protect ourselves in any way we see fit from this un-natural ‘normality’, then we ‘deserve’ to have violence threatened/perpetrated against us – we ‘deserve’ to be hunted, stalked and terrorized because we speak of male violence and some of the simple ways to stop it.

That anyone would ‘argue’ that we have little or no right to be honest, in public, about male violence simply proves the point – men are actually, really, violent every day for thousands of years and something needs to be done about it and it can‘t be done through ‘normal‘ means.

Self-Evident

When time and time again women (young and old) come forward to say that they have found truth in the words of radical feminists who have spoken of the inherent violence of ‘sex’ – the domination and control that the violence of PIV visits not only upon their bodies but their psyches – that they come out to say that they always doubted their own instincts, that they thought there was something wrong with them until they found other women who know (and share logically and without compunction) the same experience, there is evidence of truth.

Truth is simple and easily stands by itself unless there are forces acting against it, to muddy it up, to change the definition.  In this case, the radical feminist truth regarding the very basis of female oppression by men via a global culture of PIV defined as ’sex’ and the erasure of  its violence to female bodies, has been long been considered tantamount to treason.  Yet there remain women and men who do not embrace this evident truth who continue to take on the guise of Radical Feminist.

Radical feminism has been muddied and redefined to mean anything other than men’s domination of women based on ’sex’.  Radical feminism has been, again, reduced to very little more than saying the vast majority of rape (‘non-consensual sex‘) is perpetrated by men and that men (or more commonly: people) are failing to do enough to stop it.  Radical feminism in the hands of the liberal/progressive female mainstream is nothing but simple reformism, believing that men will… somehow… change their ways.  In the hands of the liberal/progressive ’radical feminist men’, it’s sex-positivity coupled with ’gender equality’.

And reformism would be laudable if the goal was to eradicate PIV defined as ’sex’ – that no woman or girl would ever be in any way prone to believing that she was supposed to engage in any thought or action related to male defined ‘sexuality’, that no woman or girl would ever be subjected to any thought or action based on ’sex’ – but it is not.  Reform is based in believing that the current global structure can be modified and that based on those modifications we then have more ‘choices’.  How can the modification of a culture that associates the mere talk of PIV as violence-against-women as something to be dismissed as crazy, violent or, in the best of circumstances, something to be tolerated as a personal ‘choice‘ that is ‘different than yours’ bring about the liberation of women from men?  It can’t.

Reformism can not have a place in the demise of PIV as ‘sex’ and, thereby, the liberation of women and girls from domination by men.  Reformism is crazy-making for women, it is gaslighting and simple denial of the vast powers at play in the patriarchal/political/social matrix of men’s domination. To say that not all men benefit from the world-wide epidemic of sex/violence against women and girls or that it’s your choice to be sexual with ’good’ men is not being honest.

 

 

Radical Cults vs Radical Truth

In men’s minds radicalism is associated with violence and control of others.  Their minds jump to cult leaders and religious fundamentalists and terrorist groups – this is what radical means to them as they can only perceive of radicalism through their own male lens.

With cult leaders the most notorious and deadly have been men who had/have an extreme need for domination.  Many use ‘sex’ (and the prohibition of it) to enforce dominance and control over their followers.  Male followers are denied the ‘right’ to ‘their’ women for their own sexual use, mothers are required to relinquish their daughters to the leader for his (or his favored male followers’) sexual use, individual women are expected to offer themselves up to the leader for the same purposes.  Men are robbed of their ownership of ’their’ females, thus emasculating them, and females are denied ownership of themselves.

Often religious fundamentalists operate in the form of a cult, or mini-cult. Warren Jeffs and his polygamist sect come to mind – virtually no different than many other cults in terms of ’sex’ used as a weapon of dominance and control. On a smaller scale, individual polygamist ’families’ operate in the same fashion. In a different, but not at all unrelated way, Quiverful families (like the Duggars) are headed by one man with complete control over the woman’s reproductive system and those of their many female children, this in the sense that he is the one to decide which man will be awarded their sexual servitude.

Although terrorist groups often have sexual-reward components, they are primarily driven by socio-political agendas that have little to do with the ’leader’ actively and directly imposing his dominance over women and girls in a systematically sexualized way as part of the overall group control toolkit.  Yet terrorist leaders are often lumped in with the two other types.

It is clear that these ‘radical’ cults are simply smaller specialized subsets of the global patriarchal culture – violence and sexualized domination used as weapons to wield control over others – although this connection is rarely made by men and most women.  ‘Radical’ cults are wrong and bad in the minds of men because one man has too much control over too many others; they go too far with their demands on other men and keep too many women and girls for themselves – they are too transparent, they give away the secrets of male domination because they are too greedy, too violent and too crazy to care about the need of all the other men in the world to be believed to be generous, kind and sane by the women and girls they have a ‘right’ to dominate and control with violence and ’sex’.

Enter the concept of radical feminism – there is a leap of non-thought and non-logic to male defined ’radical’ groups or cults when radical feminism is brought up.  Because radicals are focused on domination and control of others, are violent and often use ’sex’ as a weapon, radical feminists must be out to dominate and control others by means of ideology, ’sex’ and violence.  Just like male cult leaders only in reverse.

Historically there have been very, very few female ’cult’ leaders.  Many of the few were women who took patriarchal religions in an offshoot direction, who expected ‘sexual’ abstinence/restraint (no/little PIV – which benefits females) for various reasons, but who were adamantly against violence of any kind; one can suppose that at least some of these female leaders considered PIV violence.  An even smaller number of female ’leaders’ who did commit acts of violence (human sacrifice, for example) were self-proclaimed and were joined by men in the group or by male family members in those crimes, however sexualized control of the group in those cases does not appear to have been a factor.

Radical feminists bear no hallmarks of ‘radical cults’ – there are not hundreds of women gathered together in compounds supporting a sole leader’s need for domination.  No children (or women or men for that matter) are being demanded for ‘sexual’ access.  There is no violence against anyone.  Yet we, as individuals, are held up as the same as the most murderous, ‘sexually deviant‘, greedy, ‘crazy’ men who have been, and are, the leaders of ‘radical cults‘ and only because we tell the truth about men.

And that truth is that men use violence and ‘sex’ (PIV) to dominate and control every aspect of life on the planet.  When a handful of radical feminists state that truth clearly and unequivocally they are held up as dangerous and crazy by men and women alike as though we are ’radical’ and have no business claiming to be feminists, or even radical feminists of the male-acceptable (PIV positive, boyfriend and husband keeping) pabulum variety – we serve as a cautionary tale:  to accept the logic of the inherent violence of ’sex’, the purpose it serves in domination and control of all women and girls on a global scale, is to be a monster akin to… men.

———–

See this as an example of a liberal (feminist) woman ‘defending’ the radical feminists in their venue… 

Reading Comprehension

There was a period of time in my life when people, my mom in particular, told me that I had a talent for writing.  What no one ever knew back then was that I hated writing (and still do) because my thoughts rarely slow down enough and/or stay linear enough to capture them in any coherent way.  Or that’s the way it seems to me and that’s why I don’t write much or often. 

But I studied writing a lot mostly by way of reading – Toni Morrison was one of my favorites for her economy with words and, of course, her subject matter – brilliant.  In fact I was supposed to graduate from college with a writing degree.  What my professors didn’t know was that I would dash off my *better* pieces the morning before they were due.  The *lesser* of my works were tortured piles of crap that I’d agonized over, going through the motions of *doing it the right way*.   Maybe my mom and all of my writing mentors were right?  Anyway, I still think I’m best at comprehending the written word and the intention of their authors than I am writing those words.  I’m also quite sure that I’m not alone.  

So when I see some women in our little radfem blogworld (I don’t do, or get even, the social media joynts) go off on others, I simply do not understand – it doesn’t compute and I’ve read the links and I’ve understood all of the postions involved.  The conclusion HAS TO BE that there are some really great researchers and writers who cannot, or will not, comprehend others’ words.  Because short of a reading comprehension failure I see no reason (usually) for otherwise smart and committed women to be issuing insults and expletives and accusations at anyone involved in our movement publicly or privately.  I mean, what’s the point?  Are they not entitled to the product of their thoughts?

Attack, attackattackattack!

It’s on all over again.  And again, again.

Butch “bretheren” and *you can’t speak for me!* and reading comprehension FAILS that… astound.

Young women saying the same things that old women were saying long before they were born and washing, rinsing, repeating.

Repeating.