Halloween Twofer: FCM & S4

Part I: “Haunted” Asylums = Patriarchy, Unmodified by FCM

hello!!  here i am, hanging out with sargasso sea in a super secret feminist location enjoying a lovely fall day.  since halloween is coming up i thought it would be nice to do a hallo-weeny type post, which i will.  but first let me comment on the hanging out with sargasso sea part, which i think people might be interested in reading as well.  because its exactly where we left off, isnt it, over a year ago when i first quit blogging (and was getting ready to quit).  feminist in-action, together.

i have missed some things about writing and particularly the discussions very much and have often thought about coming back, but like a bad and well reasoned break up, i always decided not to.  the reasons i left in the first place are still valid and the things that made it not worth it to me or to anyone for me to continue are still there, namely the scarcity problem and the desperation it causes in radicalism-starved women who “just” want something to read that isnt steeped in misogyny and porn (and to spin and spiral together).  i feel this desperation every day when i read online and it does not matter if there is no, or one, or 6 new posts up from radical feminist writers (although on most days there are none).  this scarcity and desperation problem hasnt gone away, and it is not something that one (or one more) woman writing will be able to help.  its a contextual issue.  the context of the internet *is* misogyny and porn.  this is the context of patriarchy of course — or of “culture” where culture and patriarchy are synonymous.  so no matter how badly i have wanted to write again i havent done it because there would have been no point.  i think i have said everything i wanted to say and that the exact point i left was the exact moment that my continuing would only be repetitious.

but.  hanging out with sargasso sea and spending time and sharing space with another radical woman is in fact different than anything i was doing before and obviously i never wrote about it because i couldnt have.  and now i can!  so thats different.  good, something different that might be interesting for someone to read — different and interesting having always been criteria i used in deciding whether writing anything was worth my time (or anyones).  so what can i say about it that everyone doesnt already know?  well, if you have been doing this the whole time, hanging out with other radical women i mean, you probably already knew things that i did not until recently.  i do not want to bore you either, so let me sum up.  it really is everything its cracked up to be.

for me, and something i definitely did not expect, was that, surrounded by only radical women, and no one else, for the first time in my life i knew the people around me didnt think — no, they knew, they *knew* i wasnt stupid.  i dont think i realized that my own (shameful) stupidity was the context i was swimming in every day, having graduated near the top of my class and mostly fulfilling the extreme expectations laid on me by my parents (for example) i did not think that was my issue.  but apparently it was.  having experienced the opposite, i now think that every single interaction i have ever had with everyone, no matter how otherwise benign (or not) these interactions were, was within the context of myself, existing as a stupid person.  or more specifically, of everyones — mens and womens — condescension, pity, disgust and dismissal of me as a female person. perhaps this is the crux of it — and there are really no words for this, so i am making it up — before spending time with radical women, i had experienced as normal and invisible, literally nothing except condescension, pity, disgust and dismissal for being female.  every day.  and in every way.  perhaps “stupid” is not the perfect word for this, but its a pretty good one.  i mean really.

and with that, i would like to comment on something hallo-weeny for your (hopefully) reading pleasure!  i have had reason to note of late that abandoned asylums are really creepy.  these places are just palpably evil and everyone knows it (a new reality show called “haunted asylums” takes it to the next level…with ghost traps and stuff, made up macgyver style with beer cans and fish tanks no less.  talk about stupid.)  anyway, it made me wonder what it is about abandoned asylums that is so palpable, and you do not even have to believe in “ghosts” or the supernatural or anything else to feel this.  whatever “it” is, its not a belief, or based on a belief system — its reality based.  so what is it?

i suspect that abandoned insane asylums are “patriarchy, unmodified” and that this is what patriarchy, unmodified feels like, what it is and what it does.  reading anything about these places when they were functional and what they did there reveals extreme torture and necrophilic policy and practice, often carried out on female bodies, but it was not just “people” doing this — it never is.  insane asylums were where powerful males granted themselves free reign to be male, where men were themselves, unmodified by females, and they were allowed to go to the ends of their thoughts about whatever they happened to be thinking about at the time.  and like men as a class, what these men thought and what they thought about, was literally willed into being, by them.  this is the “creative” power they have granted themselves — the power to destroy.  witchwind talks more about this on her blog.  and in increasingly creative and innovative ways (like all industries, the male industry of necrophilia builds on the work of those who came before and takes it further).

there is also something palpable about the spaces themselves, being commonly extremely vast permanent structures built on large grounds, and then abandoned — this smacks of male hubris, wastefulness and lack of foresight (or simply not caring about what lies ahead — a cognitive and emotive dead-end).  and probably other things. in the case of the asylums, the next generation(s) of males made these massive buildings and grounds largely obsolete when they created psychotropic drugs — a different man-ifestation of necrophilia and torture (and misogyny).

anyway, what this made me think of — patriarchy, unmodified and how the effects linger and are palpable to just about everyone — is that, if this is what males do and what they are when they get together, we can assume that individual males have these qualities too but perhaps on a smaller scale.  in other words, the palpable grossness of asylums are the aggregate effect of many individual males values, beliefs and behaviors that are also gross in the exact same ways. to figure out just what in the fresh hell, in aggregate, could ever produce the bone chilling effects of abandoned asylums, all we have to do is look at “normal” small scale (individual) male values, beliefs and behaviors across time and place.  this is not hard to do.  even the fun fems recognize “creepiness” when they see it afterall.  and “boys will be boys” is pretty universal.  in aggregate, these things are what is colloquially known as “evil”.  it is a real and palpable force that literally everyone can see and feel for themselves, although no one acknowledges it for what it really is — aggregate maleness. its terrifying alright, but its super natural (and not natural). and this “whatever it is” is definitely not specific to one sex.

and interestingly, whatever else halloween might be or might have been in the past, it has now become a celebration of mens violence and necrophilia.  play-acting chainsaws, masked men and the tortured screams of mens victims (for example!) as if this *isnt* the stone cold reality of living in mensworld for real every day.  re-enacting reality makes reality a fantasy. thats rich.  and, where have we seen that before?

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Part II: No Tricks, Just Treats by Sargasso Sea

Happy Halloween! And what fun to have a post from FCM! Yay!!

It’s such a pleasure to be with her, to continue our conversations (and build our friendship) in person – just hanging out and rapping about whatever comes up and always in light of the ways the littlest and/or subtle events and circumstances inform (and, unfortunately, plague) women’s lives. Our lives.

A serious bonus for me, beyond the refreshing and heartening ease of conversation with a woman who gets it, has been to have the opportunity to observe and ask questions about what always seemed to me to be her fluid and free writing process. And I have to say that FCM has a certain gift for communication that not many possess. What’s interesting to me is to realize that while she ‘has’ this gift, it’s really those of us who read who are being gifted.  So, thanks Fact for all the treats you’ve laid on us over the years!

Now, oddly (or maybe not) asylums and sanitariums have been creeping onto my radar recently as well and I’ve been giving some thought to how the rise of these Institutions generally coincided with a post-Victorian cultural movement of getting ‘back to nature’ – that nature was no longer to be thought of as an adversary but as healthy, invigorating and curative. But when you look just a little closer what you find is that while these asylums were being sold to the public as an humane, wholesome environment for ‘troubled’ people what they were, in actuality, were work farms for undesirables. Here, instead of work making you free it was supposed to make you better.  And this is a model that only men could come up with: house hundreds of people with varying degrees of ‘unworthiness’ (violent psychotic men, depressed and broken women, people with even minor disabilities and at times very, very ill people with highly communicable diseases) all together in a self-contained prison-like environment wherein the inmates are expected to work themselves to health…

And as FCM mentions above, one need not believe in ghosts or hauntings to see and feel (when in close proximity to one of these mostly abandoned sites) or to simply intellectually understand that The Establishment forcing such large numbers of  dangerously dis-balanced men together with relatively benign ‘not-perfect-examples-of-humanity’ that the end result is clearly and completely outside the realm of natural and is in fact a conscious design for an altogether anti-curative space – a space to further drive those on the margins even further out and eventually to death.

The thing that is especially disconcerting to me (and I am a *knower* of earth-bound spirits and other entities) is that great suffering creates a sinkhole of negativity that is not easily disbanded or freed or made better – it’s a sort of toxic waste – and that’s what I feel when I pass by, or ‘recreationally’ visit, such a space.  Not only do the monuments of hospital wings and dormitory buildings remain as a mark of men’s power over architecture and budgets and ‘health’, but also the darkness of the enforced and heightened suffering of others that fed their own false edification.

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25 thoughts on “Halloween Twofer: FCM & S4

  1. Reblogged this on radical wind and commented:
    I don’t usually reblog, but I’m happy to see both FCM and Sargasso writing, and it’s all the more exciting that they’ve written it together! Happy Halloween

  2. You are so right about insane asylums. Years ago, I used to work in a smallish town that housed the state mental hospital. Years of budget cuts and deinstitutionalization had left most of it empty. The empty parts were modestly rehabbed (not really much at all) and rented out to various non-profits as office space. But the clanging ward doors were still there, and any time I had to meet anybody over there, I would feel this involuntary anxiety attack when I saw and heard those doors. I was seized with fear every time. A few times (not often) I would confide in some working there about how creepy it was, and they would invariably agree.

  3. Hi, FCM and S4 :). It is wonderful to hear that you are hanging out together and that it’s possible to not be pounded by misogyny every minute of every day. FCM when you wrote, “this scarcity and desperation problem hasnt gone away, and it is not something that one (or one more) woman writing will be able to help. its a contextual issue. the context of the internet *is* misogyny and porn.” Today I was thinking the internet and context. The internet has become the context for the “cultural conversation” and has been made such an increasingly dangerous place for women that even non-radical feminists and women who are not feminists are noticing. In reading the rest of your post I thought that the internet, too, is like an asylum, It is increasingly insane, a manifestation of misogyny. When you wrote about asylums and evil, my spine prickled. Maybe my spine should prickle at the thought of the internet, too. The dark creepy corners that have encroached outward everywhere the internet is.

    When I think of asylums, I think of all the women who were imprisoned in them because they would not conform their male family members ideas about how women should behave. Also, women who had any means were imprisoned and their money/property given to the males in their families.

    S4, I spend as much time as I can in the natural world, though this isn’t always easy. And one always has one’s guard up, especially if by oneself. Though one is not “by oneself,” since there are nature spirits everywhere, in plants, animals, insects, fungi, soil, even rocks, and of course water. The encroachment of evil repels them.

    Wonderful post!!! Having Halloween without the tricks, just remarkable treats!!!

  4. hi chonky, wordwoman and silverside! thanks for commenting. wordwoman, what you said about the internet being an asylum is right on i think. it certainly has been getting increasingly insane and it is a manifestation of misogyny, and of men being themselves. we find ourselves in these increasingly disgusting and terrifying places because with only the passage of time this is what mens “creations” turn into. of course, if the passage of time is what does it, it means that this is what these things always were from day one and that this is the natural progression of preexisting features and characteristics (doesnt it?) they cannot create anything else. i am so sick of it, and yes, i now know that it is possible to NOT be pummeled by mens misogyny every minute of every day (by withdrawing from all of it and spending time with radical women…being in “nature” is not enough for exactly the reasons you describe although it is part of it) and i have been doing that as much as possible lately and i plan to do this more and more for as long as i can. really good to see familiar faces here, i hope to see more in the next few days as we will be accepting and modding comments for as long as people are actively discussing. happy halloween!

  5. Omggg!
    I want to be in a forest somewhere with you two, not stuck in my MIL’s kitchen!
    This is a subject close to my heart, and it’s VERY apt to talk about mental asylums on Halloween!
    They were basically places that women went to die (be killed) because once you were IN the chance of being allowed out was so slim, and the longer you remained in there the more you would begin looking like a mental patient!
    I couldn’t read Daly’s chapter on psychiatry as I found it more horrifying than other atrocities: even moreso than witch burning, FGM or foot- binding! It remains unread. I’ve just finished reading The Female Malady, however, which talks about how in 19th century England lobotomy ( cutting out bits of the brain connected to feeling and creativity) was seen as being helpful for women because it enabled them to continue living in their marriages. I’ve no doubt having your brain cut out helps you in some way when it comes to coping with living with a man.. But still… Psychiatrists and husbands agreed that a woman with brain cut out was better than a woman with a brain.
    Sorry to labor the point! Houses of horror indeed!! Men are evil!

  6. I was puzzled at first and kept checking the date to see if this was an old post being re-posted. I was delighted when I saw that it wasn’t. What a delightful surprise. Nice to see you again, FCM. I’ve often wondered what you are up to these days.

    I read “Women and Madness” by Phyllis Chesler many moons ago. I think the book came out in 1972. It had a profound impact on me. Women weren’t just committed to asylums because of mental illness or disabilities. Some were committed just for going through menopause! Perfectly healthy women were also committed when their husbands just wanted to get rid of them. Zelda Fitzgerald, for example. She was the wife of famous writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. F. Scott deeply resented Zelda for being a better writer than he was and getting more attention. So he had her committed to an asylum. What better way to eliminate the competition? A fire broke out and Zelda was locked in a room awaiting electroshock therapy so she couldn’t get out. She perished in the fire. This in part why there are now laws on the books which prevent men from committing women to asylums so easily. Men were abusing the system, not to mention, their female family members!

    As for the internet, my partner and I were discussing it a few nights ago – in particular, blogs and social networks such as Facebook, Tumbler, Twitter, etc. It this is an experiment in human interaction, all I can say is men’s minds have gone completely around the bend. They’re downright psychopaths and utterly insane in their hatred of women and all living creatures – and even life itself.

  7. Pingback: Halloween aftermath – Cherryblossomlife

  8. there arent going to be any t-shirts. 🙂 and HI cherry and lucky! so good to see you! cherry i will comment on your excellent post in a bit but wanted to drop a link to the older posts you wrote for the HUB on women and sanity and the life and death of virginia woolf:

    http://radicalhubarchives.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/the-case-for-the-sanity-of-women/
    http://radicalhubarchives.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/the-life-and-death-of-virginia-woolf/

    thanks for reading!

  9. Wonderful to read a freshly minted post (with open comments!), as I first started reading femonade after you had stopped. Which makes foran interesting contrast to the subject matter – a radical feminist blog that has become inactive, has stopped growing, is no longer changing form, etc, can still be part of a wildly dynamic process between writer and reader, and among radical feminists. Whereas the a male “creation” such as an asylum, unused for years, lingers only in the specter of further evil – some guy is bound to pass by that same haunted building and think it would make a great set for his next horror movie. Sure, we could all decide to move there and set up a radical feminist commune, but… I don’t really even want to finish that thought. We wouldn’t be able to erase what had happened there, and I wouldn’t want to anyway, both out of respect for the women who had suffered there and because all of the torture having happened there is what the building IS. It’s what it was built for, it’s what it does, and it’s what that place now is. Like you say, a sinkhole of negativity is not repurposeable. That way of thinking is just a minimization tactic, a way to deny the severity and permanence of the damage men have done to this Earth. That manarchist myth that “we will build a new world in the shell of the old” is so fucking callous.

    Also, I have been propositioned with the opportunity to live in rent-reduced disability housing, available to people with any kind of physical or mental undesirable qualities. Meaning women with PTSD from male violence (like me) get crammed in between brain-damaged male drug addicts (like my abusive ex) and men in wheelchairs receiving no social pressure to keep their eyes or hands to themselves (or out of their pants when in public), because pity. Can you imagine? It would be all the horrors of asylum living, just with the privilege of a door that locks from the inside. I’ve been to jail and lived in shelters, and this freaks me out more than either of those.

  10. OMGs, I am so happy to see a post by FCM!
    About asylums, I watched a spanish film about a year ago called Electroshok (trailer : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPZ_meGpLt4) telling the (true) story of a woman who has been “treated” by electroshocks for not submitting to heterocaptivity, and how the horrible torture she suffered made her lose her mind. A heartbreaking film. Now while searching for the trailer I discovered that it was directed by a man.. this irritates me, the pain it depicts suddenly gets a voyeuristic aftertaste, but I still think that it portraits quite fairly how asylums were/are used to isolate and break women that did not conform to mens expectations (as breeders/slaves).

    About hanging out with radical feminist women.. I’ve been doing that for the last 2 years, and it has been the most salutary experience ever.

  11. I hope some day to have a rad fem friend. How great that must be!
    Thanks for the post, thinking of asylums is way creepy. Men create the most horrific stuff, they just love to hurt and torture living beings, especially women.

  12. Halloween is over, why is it still so creepy? Oh, I know, every day one runs into creeps. Like you said FCM ” it means that this is what these things always were from day one and that this is the natural progression of preexisting features and characteristics (doesnt it?) they cannot create anything else.”

    This explains the feelings of dread that have been there for as long as I can remember (early childhood). I was thinking about horror films and how even young kids watch them. Most often there is a woman or perhaps a girl being frightened. Men do all these things to frighten women. Then they laugh. There was that whole political “shock and awe.” Did they cook it up out of enjoyment? Ugh! Philosophers (male ones) have talked about this feeling of dread as a feature of existence (existential dread). This dread is instilled to control women and worse. So, why have men written about it? Is it a core feature of their existence? (obviously, yes)

    I was contrasting this to your reports, FCM and S4 of a different experience. What would existence be like without any men around, without any men being threatening? Radical feminists together might have this experience as you point out. I think of it as ease. Or perhaps just being. I don’t believe dread is inherent in existence for women in the absence of men.

    I carry the writing of other women, radical feminists especially, with me. Even if they don’t write for a while, it’s like they are still there, in those thoughts that have interwoven with my own.

  13. Thanks to all of you who came to read and offer your thoughts 🙂

    I don’t really have anything to add other than I’ve enjoyed reading most of the comments as I always do.

    However, I am going to address GallusMag’s comment, and at some length:

    I am sick and fucking tired of Gallus coming around to do nothing more than take a shit on others’ well-intentioned work and thoughts because she feels that she’s been slighted in some way by a single comment in the thread.

    I would say that there are other women who cause these kind of disruptions/derails when they could just as easily shrug off a comment they think is directed at them and that they don’t care for or could simply take it up with the commenter in question, but the truth is that there aren’t. It is Gallus and has been Gallus for years.

    And I feel safe in saying that most of you who have contributed to this thread (and FCM and myself) respect Gallus’ work very much and certainly appreciate the effort it takes to maintain her blog, but she makes clear yet again that she does not respect your efforts. And that makes me angry because it’s as if she’s come into my house and insulted not only me but all of my guests as well.

    Now, I could threaten to ban her or outright ban her but that’s not the way I operate my blog. Gallus will always be welcome here should she care to contribute something other than juvenile, snotty derails.

    My apologies to all of you who contributed in good faith for my going into this when we had a nice thread happening.

  14. hey, so lovely to see so many of you / us reunited here! Feels like the old days again. I’m a bit late to the party.

    Your reuniting sounds absolutely lovely, and yes having radical feminist friends keeps me alive and sane. It has so for the last few years in my case. The life we create together just by talking to each other and being next to each other is incredible. Imagine creating a whole society based on these kinds of interactions, unhindered by male necrophilia and men!

    I very deeply hate psychiatry, asylums and medical professionals. They have a central role in controlling women reproductively, psychologically and physically, and also in devising ever new forms of torturing, manipulating and repressing women. They carry out the torture and also conceive it, organise it, and pass this knowledge of torture on to new professionals.

    Asylums were never meant to cure the sick in my opinion, but were law-free detainment camps for politically deviant people, especially insubordinate and / or creative women, who happened to be more talented than their husbands, or teachers or any direct male authority. They’re far worse than prisons as there are no trials, you don’t even have the dignity of being considered a political opponent to a tyrannical regime – although some regimes, such as Russia, have a history of using psychiatric asylums to torture and confine political dissidents. Even today, you can be locked in and never know when you’ll be able to go out, can be put into solitary confinement, prevented from seeing visitors and friends. If you stay longer than a few days you’re very likely to be raped either by a male patient or by male psychiatrist (almost all of them are male). Not to mention all the different acts of physical and verbal abuse and the chemical straightjacket. Given that ALL women who end up in asylums suffer from PTSD from severe male abuse, what it does is break women even more.

    I’ve heard of so many female artists and writers whose husbands have sent them to the asylums simply because their talent overshadowed their husband’s mediocrity (at the very best) and a threat to their own career.

    I think one reason men’s places of horror and torture remain so haunted is that they actively prevent the dead from resting in peace, and prevent us as women from mourning our dead, by silencing and erasing their atrocities, reverting the truth. Halloween specifically mocks men’s genocide of women (especially the genocide of witches in the Middle Ages) and turns it into a joke, profaning the memory of all the women who were tortured and killed. So long as we’re still in patriarchy, justice will never be made, we’ll be cut from the possibility to heal and heal the places that men haunted. I don’t think it’s possible to erase the memory of what happened (ie recycling it into something new as if it never happened) however by remembering them, and through the use of certain kind of rituals, it’s possible to free the souls that were tortured and need to be heard and remembered.

  15. Asylums also specifically serve to silence and break those women who’ve spoken out about the abuse (especially sexual abuse) and denounced their abuser. She’ll be diagnosed as psychotic, hysterical and whatnot. And after a certain time of being tortured in the asylum, she’ll effectively become insane (what they accused her of being in the first place), as torture fabricates madness and psychosis.

  16. i wanted to comment more about the “hanging out” part because i am concerned that there will be those who are so desperate (again, this is a recurring theme and our reality) that they will try to do this and it will end badly and they wont know why, or blame themselves, or spend their last few dollars on the attempt only to be horribly disappointed. call me a pessimist i guess! in the last few (or even the very last, i dont remember) discussions at femonade before i left, S4 brought up the concept of “female autonomy” being a euphemism or descriptor of nutty (real) radical feminism as opposed to reformist feminism. it struck me at the time as being very accurate, and a necessary if not a brand new concept that i had not considered. i now believe that female autonomy must be central to the agreement and/or belief system of radical women who activate (inactivate!) for female liberation from our oppression, and that it therefore must inform everything we do toward that end including getting together with other women in real life. central to our agreement/belief system cannot be activism, or organic gardening, or anything else — although these things can be tangential to it they cannot be the foundation or all our attempts will fail. women must be free to speak and to come and go as they please for example without fear of offending others, and without women taking offense which as we all know, they often do. women taking offense to other women, and self-censoring out of fear (and perhaps that is the crux of it) is more or less what kills radical space and we have always known that non-radicals, including non-radical women kill radical space but i personally struggled to articulate WHY that which is demonstrably true, is. and i think S4 nailed it.

    i also think that logistically, and working within the rules of patriarchy as we all are, that it is possible that only very small groups of women will ever be able to accomplish female autonomy together, and that is it possible that any of us will only ever meet 1 or 2 other women with whom we can successfully do this. again we see that the solution will not be to convert large numbers of women, amassing numbers being another common reformist trap that destroys radicalism and radical space. “politicking” and talking politics might also be a trap since there are in fact ideologies that are logical and rational and those that are not, but fear of saying something illogical, or fear of pointing it out when others espouse illogical politics is not conducive to female autonomy either. again this is a logistical problem, where radical feminist “politicking” would not be necessary without patriarchy and is in fact ultimately destructive for women who are trying to BE and be autonomous because it causes fear and self censoring. anyway, i thought it was an excellent point, and i hope others can speak to female autonomy or at least that they will think about it more as i surely will. comments will be closing here shortly.

  17. Excellent points, FCM, female autonomy at the center of the agreement between radical feminist women. It has become clear how some of these other things can/have become a trap for women finding autonomy. Trying to reform the system is a dead end, as we have discovered, but women can begin to find their voices and uncover the framework that is patriarchy. This may lead to a next step. We all have various roads we have taken to get where we are, including finding when something is a dead end. Though we hope others learn more quickly. Each of us may have a unique set of interests, skills and talents, too. Like organic gardening or being a herbalist or writing songs or building houses. These may or may not be shared by other women.

    It is very difficult to get away from the mindset that we need to form a large community of women (numbers). We may reject this on its face, but I think it still creeps in subtly. Like thinking about women’s talents, “Oh the ones who like gardening can get together to feed everyone in the community, the herbalists can help people with ailments, etc.” But that is based on getting numbers of women together and organizing them. A malemodel where getting people to do things is organized around ideas like ‘productivity.” I do think communities could be important but not based on the things we’ve seen already. If radical space is present, I trust women to find our way(s).

    Female autonomy and radical space, excellent! Something to think further about. This idea is new to me.

  18. Re women not speaking their thoughts, here’s one I’ve had. When someone mentioned t-shirts I actually thought there were some here. It was not a slam at GM’s efforts, which struck me as a creative idea on many levels. I appreciate her blog and work/stress she is under in doing it. I wouldn’t intentionally undermine what she does. For one thing, it has helped me personally. For another, it has clearly exposed an important form of the current sicknesses in the patriarchy.

    Since I’m not on social media, I often miss much of what is going on. Plus I’m limited in both time and ability to follow blogs completely. Online space is important, but has many limitations.

  19. A Halloween treat indeed. This blog has my head spinning in different directions.

    On one hand I think about just how many women think of themselves as stupid and incapable. When women are raised to know their inferiority first and foremost from the time we are born. If we dare to stand up for what we believe and hold our heads high, we are sure to be torn down, raped, mutilated… Just yesterday I was speaking with a woman and telling her that my political stance is Feminism and that in order to even border on something close to equality to men, we would have to have a Woman as President for the next several hundred years. It was only a few decades ago that women were not allowed to run in Marathons and compete in professional sports, 60 years ago that Butch women were arrested and raped for not wearing women’s clothes, and less than a hundred years since we had no political say at all. But now, I am the crazy one for wanting just a little bit of power over my own life. If I mention this to anyone, I will surely end up in an asylum.

    Which brings me to the next point, doctors diagnosing women with mental illness. The book ‘Girl, Interrupted’ does a splendid job of showing us this gruesome world. The blogger, Dirt, has done a series of blogs documenting instances where mental illness was specifically diagnosed in women in the past, she then connects this to current diagnoses of transgender diagnoses as a way of exterminating lesbians. I think it is difficult to find these instances where we see that women are clearly being targeted and often it seems like the stories we tell are stretching far to make connections. Nevertheless, we know that women are the victims at the hands of male doctors. The huge majority of the doctors that make DSM manuals and come up with illnesses are men. The CEO’s of pharmaceutical companies are men. The politicians who allow this are men. The illegal drug dealers, who are pretty much the same as the pharma CEOs are also men. The doctors diagnosing women with mental illnesses are mostly male. And the few women who are doctors were taught by men on what to diagnose and which drugs to give. As Sargasso mentions, it’s quite scary to have so many doctors in close quarters plotting. And especially all the pharma CEOs, politicians and DSM doctors all scheming at large conferences. How can we make more money? How can we convince women that they are more worthless? How can we get away with torturing and mutilating and raping women without anyone finding out?

    And here’s something else to think about. FCM mentions that Halloween is a celebration of men’s violence. I wrap up this comment with something I heard on NPR. There was a segment on extreme Haunted Houses; these are places that are now turning into places of reproduced torture. Because people no longer get off regular haunted trails, we now have torture houses popping up. One in particular was orchestrated by men who were all ex-military. It was an all day long event where the participants get kidnapped, then wrung through the ringers with force feeding, being locked in a casket, waterboarded, etc… During the interview, there is a woman who just finished the experiment who is crying uncontrollably. The show goes on to explain that for some participants this kind of experience causes trauma which the brain cannot separate from a ‘real’ traumatic event. All this because men are conditioned to see images that are so violent, that they cannot get their rocks off on anything besides mimicry or real torture.

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