Intellectually dishonest?

It’s quite by chance that I stumbled upon Elizabeth Hungerford’s latest post, and had to read it a second time before I understood that it was a hidden critique of my and other women’s posts on essentialism and PIV as rape (Anntagonist, FCM, TYP…) – it was so indirect that I totally missed the point of the post at my first reading:

The gist is that you can only be a Real Radical Feminist if you agree with the specific ideas currently in vogue. For example, male essentialism is very popular among women identifying as “radical feminists” on the internet. That’s fine, but it is intellectually dishonest to present this as The One True Radical Feminist Way. Andrea Dworkin wrote a scathing critique of biological superiority in feminist thought.^4 If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend taking the time to do so. Even her preamble is interesting. But presenting certain conclusions as foregone– such as the biological inevitability of male dominance, or that all heterosexual sex is rape– when these ideas were not universally accepted in the first place is historical revisionism. And nobody likes that except The Man.

(Italics mine).

I usually ignore the vacuous, passive-aggressive criticisms from other women because they’re boring and replying to them is even more so, but I think this time is a good opportunity to address them and break down what’s happening and what it means politically when they say that. I know how easy it is to be convinced by it through intimidation even though the arguments have no substance whatsoever. So I think it’s worth recalling basic principles of rational discussion and assess those criticisms in this light. Just so you know, this isn’t about EH specifically and I don’t want it to be understood that way, it’s about a wider patriarchal mechanism against radical feminism.

E.H. claims male essentialism is very popular in internet radical feminism. I find it weird to frame radfem thought in terms of ‘popularity’ because radical feminism isn’t about advertising and making things nice and palatable to the masses. To me the purpose of radical feminism has always been a rigorous and honest research for truth about men’s system of domination, where the insights we gain through discussion inform our actions and reshape and transform our lives, shape the way we free ourselves from men’s dominance. This is very important because it might be life-saving or fatal. It’s not an abstract intellectual pissing contest; it’s thought that emerges from the real horror of what men do to us, grounded on the real emergent need to escape men for our survival, and grounded on millennia of universal and timeless EVIDENCE of who men prove to be. The truth isn’t nice. The only reason we take the insane risk to publish those thoughts on a blog isn’t to gain popularity but in the hope that our insights may be shared with other women, as a way to transmit our knowledge and research for the sake of women’s liberation.

Agreed, the view has gained a bit of momentum in the last year or so, but if we talk of popularity in terms of numbers, it isn’t difficult to see that the vast majority of women in the radical feminist community, especially those who have written and influenced current feminism, are not male-essentialist. As bloggers and regular commenters, including those who left, we’re just a handful, probably around 8-9 women, and the only published essentialist writers I know of are Mary Daly and Sonia Johnson. That’s two. Sonia Johnson, who in order to have her work published uncensored, self-publishes, and Mary Daly, whose immense philosophical work is often discounted as merely spiritual, and her essentialism is rarely if ever discussed seriously in radfem work. By contrast, the number of non-essentialist, genderist bloggers is around 30 (probably more), and published writers, around 50-60 (that I know of).

So we have on one side, the genderists who comprise of the vast majority of published writers and bloggers under the name of radical feminism, and on the other hand, a handful of women writing on male-essentialism and PIV as rape. Now when a group is numerically much smaller, and isn’t recognised as representing radical feminism as a whole, you call this a MINORITY. We are a minority, that’s a fact.

So what has happened in the last year or so is that some women such as FCM, me, Cherry and TYP have carefully outlined arguments, based on evidence, observation and reason, leading to the conclusion that men are inherently violent, that PIV is inherently harmful and PIV is rape. And have pointed out the various contradictions, false equivalences and problems in genderist thinking and politics. To this, E.H. says:

It is intellectually dishonest to present this as The One True Radical Feminist Way. … presenting certain conclusions as foregone– such as the biological inevitability of male dominance, or that all heterosexual sex is rape– when these ideas were not universally accepted in the first place is historical revisionism.

Her first criticism is that we don’t accept the genderist view as true: well that’s true, I do hold the view that genderism is an inaccurate, misguided and even endangering perspective of male violence, and there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s correct. Critical thinking is perfectly reasonable, and is part of what research and learning is about: you understand where something went wrong in order to improve on it, to take it further and not repeat the same mistakes, remember this is in a situation where we are trying to save our lives from men’s violence.

The next bit is lies. Our conclusions aren’t foregone at all since we formed them with serious consideration of evidence and arguments. And I don’t see the problem with an idea that’s not universally accepted, why that makes it wrong and how that links to historical revisionism. What the hell! Nobody’s denying the historical presence of genderists and their prominence in the radfem movement. In fact to criticise genderism we have to acknowledge its existence. And yes, if we define radical feminism as dedicated to the truth about the roots of our oppression, well that does entail excluding certain positions or definitions from radical feminism if they prove to inaccurately explain the root of our oppression. Why not? What’s wrong with that, again?

I expect women, when criticising my work, to measure up to very basic standards of rational discussion and reading comprehension. If you say my conclusions (ie that all PIV is rape) are wrong, you need to demonstrate it, explain why I’m wrong and where, otherwise your criticism isn’t valid. You need to show for instance how the conclusions don’t follow from the arguments, that the evidence used is incorrect, the global worldview (ontology) is unsound, something doesn’t make sense or the pieces don’t connect together and fit, on a logical/rational or even intuitive level. And I always appreciate good criticism. If I’m told I’m wrong, and that criticism makes sense, well I’m going to accept that and move on, or take that seriously and review my work to verify that.

E.H.’s criticisms and many others in the same vein aren’t valid. They fail basic reading comprehension, never address or discuss the content of my work, let alone demonstrate why it’s wrong. In fact EH never even says my conclusions are wrong, she’s not really concerned about the truth or falseness of my (and other women’s) work. Her real problem seems to be with these conclusions being published and gaining minor credibility amongst a tiny group of women.

So when that takes the form of lies and false statements about what we say (foregone conclusion, historical revisionism, erasing feminists, intellectual dishonestly) we call that slandering. It’s intimidation and reprisal.  Interestingly, all the accusations can be reverted to her own post. Her statements are foregone conclusions and intellectually dishonest since based on no evidence or demonstration whatsoever; slandering has the effect and intent of silencing essentialist feminists; she effectively erases essentialist feminism by failing to mention the content of work and the writers even in name.

This is not new, and has recent historical precedence of which FCM has discussed at length on her own blog. It’s a classical antifeminist response, and you know it’s antifeminist precisely because it’s full of slander, mindfucks, reversals and gaslighting, which are male anti-woman tactics / patterns. Antifeminism occurs when women are colonised, act as token thought police on behalf of men. The very nature of colonisation (type two colonisation) means that such women will have to shut down and prevent any discussion, event, or whatever because they perceive it as a threat to themselves: it’s a survival mechanism, which works as continued self sabotage.

What’s happening here, is women from a male-embedded group – reformists, liberals and genderists, a number of whom are given token status by a some males and male institutions for holding and publishing these views – attempting to quash women from a minority group – essentialists, who certainly aren’t given token rewards by men for publishing these views: and women know this, that there’s a threat, a loss of token status, a loss of hope that men will change, something to lose, at least in appearance. They see what men do to the women who say such things. The rift is thus between those women more colonised by male ideologies such as reformism and genderism, and those who see through the traps of reformism and tokenism and name them for what they are.

68 Responses to “Intellectually dishonest?”


  1. 1 skulldrix January 29, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Witchwind,

    is it an extreme coincidence that I just so happened to read this article written by Undercover Punk earlier today, thinking about how a bunch of garbage and misrepresenting of radical feminism it is and how it’s attacks on essentialism were weak and didn’t make much sense, to come and see that you have been deciphering the same topic?

    I’ve commented on your blog before, but my last comment was taken out of context by Blackmetalvalkyrie. There was a typo where I wanted to say ” Just because piv is found in nature, doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful, because it is”.

    I defs believe males are essentially violent, nature is PROOF. Males of all species rape and murder females and children. So their violence has to have some biological root. Why would they create patriarchy anyway?

    The whole gender thing is really stupid, men never really had a gender to me. They encompass all humanity. When Elizabeth talked about ” abolish gender” I was like, that is putting the blame of patriarchy on women. And when she talked about how feminists can only critique the social and culture forms of patriarchy, I was like, wtf are you talking about. Where do you think the social and cultural violence comes from? It comes from men, they created patriarchy. They are patriarchy.

    Her article has been bothering me all day. Just earlier I had a male classmate unbuckling his belt tell me I looked very attractive. This man knows what he’s doing. He’s trying to intimidate me. He knows the effects his words can have, and the harm they represent, the power he gets.

    Men aren’t stupid, they know what they are doing. If patriarchy was only socially constructed, they’d feel bad about what they do. No, they are perfectly aware of how they treat women.

    I also was offended when she talked about women not being able to use science to further radical feminism, because you clearly have.

    Also, I read her post about femininity, and I found it to be anti-radical feminist, because it undermines the extreme sacrifices that many women make by not conforming to femininity or not embodying it. It was also just all over the place, confusing, and obfuscating. It seemed to be hiding this belief as masculine/feminine as just different ends. Which is actually more harmful to women than anything. Because it enslaves women to the belief that men are “great and good! And it’s just socialization!”

    I was horrified when Gail Dines opened an anti-porn presentation by talking about how radical feminists aren’t anti-men and love men and are actually standing up for their humanity. ( no prostituted woman wants to hear that shit.)

    But that’s off topic. Good post, I hope my comment doesn’t stir up some storm of backlash (inevitable).

  2. 2 GallusMag January 29, 2014 at 1:52 am

    This is interesting. My impression of Elizabeth’s post which inspired this one is that she was responding to a trend of “radfem” becoming a form of identity politics, whereby one’s work is engaged with or rejected on the basis of whether one “identifies as a radfem” which seems to have become a new form of “feeling” and lifestylism and i-dent-ti-tay detached from the history of what we (at least the royal we) think of as radical feminist thought. My impression is that her post was a response to the same lazy dismissal of her work that you accuse her of. I could be wrong but that is how I read it. I also read it that she was posting her response while deliberately avoiding personally naming or attacking of women doing this behavior, instead opting for a general, blanket response, instead of something which could be taken as a personal attack, as you’ve done here. I could be wrong but that is how I took it.

    If my impressions are correct it is ironic that: by avoiding specific criticisms of specific women her non-specificity has made her vulnerable to personal attack herself. Ironic, but I wouldn’t assume uncalculated. We all make our choices. In this case Elizabeth has made the choice to do a general post instead of targeting specific women she is responding to. That’s cool with me.

    “Slander, intimidation and reprisal”? LOL. No, that is what you are doing here, intentionally or not. It’s not “antifeminist” to respond to cultic twitter “radfems” who police women’s speech by deeming women outside of internet “radfem” social subcultures as “outsiders” to radical feminism by posting a general statement that a diversity of radical feminist thought exists, and has always existed.

    You seriously called Elizabeth a handmaiden tokenized agent of males for pointing this out? Yes. That is exactly what you did. What the everloving fuck?
    “The very nature of colonisation (type two colonisation) means that such women will have to shut down and prevent any discussion, event, or whatever because they perceive it as a threat to themselves”. This is what you are doing here. What is your SPECIFIC critique of EH’s work? There is none here.

    Do I agree with Elizabeth Hungerford on everything? Certainly not. Do I agree with all your views? No. I support the exchange of ideas. I don’t support taking a shit on women who defend themselves from undefined nebulous dismissal of their work based on some newfangled purity test based on who they are friends with on “Radical Feminist Facebook” – hahahahahhahahaha. I fucking laugh at that completely.

    If EH wants to argue that PIV is not rape than hear her out. She could be wrong. I have never had a dick in my vagina thank god so I defer to women who have to analyze that experience. If EH wants to argue that it is possible for men to be socialized away from being murderous rapists then let her do it. I don’t know if I have that much hope but I’m interested in taking in all views, certainly. There are a shit-ton of lesbians raising sons who are hoping for the same thing (which I know is outside of your experience as a non-lesbian).

    Elizabeth argued for more speech, you argued for less, so I side with her. I do think your views are very important and will continue to support you. But not support your whole shaming and slurring women who don’t agree with you thing. If EH takes it upon herself to shit on women who speak about PIV as rape and the apparently essential nature of male violence I would oppose that also. I don’t think she did that.

    But what I mainly oppose is weirdo fucking internet “radfem” social cliques that embrace or attack women (sometimes alternately!) based on some creep-ass cultic group-think i-den-ti-tay bullshit, which is the giant stomping elephant in the room your post missed entirely.

  3. 3 Tracy25 January 29, 2014 at 2:13 am

    I would Hope that Women are getting tired of the Mindfucks and Reversals dished out by Reformist Women (and men obviously) by now, and if they aren’t that they at least are able to Recognize them for what they are, or at Bare Minimum they can sense the Nagging Cognitive Dissonance these Reformist Mindfuck tactics create. In the meantime it Helps to walk through it and Deconstruct it and Name it. So this is a Very Helpful post.

    Yes, it is a Reversal of the Highest Order to say that Essentialist Women are silencing Dissent within the Movement. Social Constructionism is the Movement, ask Anyone who has any Credibility at all on these issues, go ahead! Ask them! Ask the Academics, the Writers published in the Patriarchal Press (and yes this included Andrea Dworkin) ask the Organizers and Speakers of the new Radfem Conferences, they will all tell you what Radical Feminism is all about. Elizabeth Hungerford herself is guilty of Erasing Essentialist feminists including Mary Daly in Hungerford’s Letter to the UN (The Second) when She said that Feminists do not believe in Essentialism, Specifically, that We do not Believe that Male Violence is Innate and Comes from Men Themselves. Even though this is the Only Logical conclusion based in Fact (Males socialize other Males to be violent, if anyone is doing it. So it Starts and Ends with Men. The Definition of Innate).

    Well, Mary Daly for One did Believe it, therefore according to Elizabeth Hungerford, Mary Daly was not a Feminist. Voila! Mary Daly, one of our Best Thinkers and one of our most Prolific Writers and a Woman who truly was Woman-centered, unlike any Reformist before or since obviously, because Reformists are Male Centered by definition and try to Coddle and Change Men, just Wiped off the Face of the Earth with a Digital Penstroke, by someone Claiming to be a Feminist and a Radical Feminist to Boot. I see that Ms. Hungerford no longer cares for Labels, so I am sure Pointing out her Tendency to Erase Radical Feminists and Radical Feminism and to replace it with Liberal and Reformist Garbage will hold no Political Meaning to her. But that is her Subjective belief only. Objectively, it means quite a lot because it is a Pattern that Repeats, and as you say Witch Wind, it is a larger Tactic of Patriarchy that works to Silence and Erase real Feminism and real Women.

  4. 4 trustyourperceptionsartemesia goldman January 29, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Thank you for this post, WW. The reformists are under the impression that males are inevitable. They do not understand that any species’ “culture” comes down to the political decisions and deals a species makes. A praying mantis, though quite different from primates, is radical in her consciousness. Eating males was a political decision that ultimately translated into a biological arrangement. Males are NOT inevitable. We do not have to negotiate with them. We do not want to ask for a better deal. Radical feminists do not want to deal with men at all. We understand that our comprehension of patriarchy alone is radically transformative. And this is the transformation we seek.

    BH has a long history of publicly slandering women. I have seen her, unprovoked, publicly slander myself, Terri Strange, Jacqueline S. Homan, Sheila Jeffreys, Kathleen Barry, Cathy Brennan, and now Witchwind, our premiere radfem internet philospher. BH associates with a known toll, Ruth Greenberg/Leslie Smith, and many women have wondered recently on Heath Atom Russel’s page if BH is herself a troll.

    Radical feminism is ultimately essentialist. Women who believe men can change are liberal feminists. Men want women to believe men can change. It’s one of the many ways men hold women in place and drain them of their gynergy. Parasites by any other name…

  5. 5 witchwind January 29, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Hi Gallus, that was my first impression too actually. Then I read it again and noticed this paragraph that I quoted and realised this was actually what she was getting at. She specifically refers to the women who have written about PIV being rape and about male essentialism, and those who have written about it aren’t 300, and I have happened to write about just a few weeks/ months ago and she writes this after not writing for a year or so. Even if she wasn’t thinking of me specifically, my work and other women’s work was concerned / targeted by what she said. As I said the problem here isn’t her disagreeing because she doesn’t even explicitly say she disagrees or thinks it’s wrong, she misrepresents our views, makes false statements about it. And I wanted to show in which way she does that, and why, because it’s not neutral. And it’s got nothing to do with EH in person, I know it’s not a personal attack from her and I’m not personally attacking her, I’m criticising and judging the content of her post which is different, and I think it’s fine to do that. I do think it’s best to name the person who wrote when criticising someone’s writing, how would you avoid that? Do you think it’s wrong to publicly criticise women’s writing at all? As I said I usually avoid it because it’s not the most interesting exercise, but I do think it’s interesting to discuss reactions to male essentialism and PIV as rape view within the radfem community. It’s part of a wider phenomenon, she’s not the first and the last to do this.

    This isn’t about taking sides, i don’t see why you feel the need to side with one woman over the other, like there are victims to side with or something. It’s about whose arguments are right or wrong, and you still haven’t responded to this. Judging that someone’s points are wrong isn’t dogmatic, that’s just part of what science / research is about. And I’m interested in radfem research. Anyway all that was said in my post so i’m just repeating myself, honestly there’s a reading comprehension failure here, sorry.

  6. 6 trustyourperceptions January 29, 2014 at 7:20 am

    The fear of Essentialism that women have — and it is a fear — is two-fold: 1. The fear that if we say “Men are like this,” then we must also be saying “Patriarchy is natural and normal,” and 2. The fear that if we say “Men are like this,” men cannot be held “responsible” for their actions; that men can then use how they are as an excuse to — well, — continue being how they are.

    Pointing out the obvious by saying “Men are like this” in no way constitutes naturalness or normality. Essentialism does not confer the right to harm. It does not follow. Pointing out the obvious by saying “Men are like this” is not an excuse. It is an indictment.

    Women have many reasons for not wanting to tell the truth about men. And all of them are the Fear which men instill in women. Because if you are courageous enough to tell the truth, what happens? Witchwind already told us.

  7. 7 witchwind January 29, 2014 at 8:52 am

    @ Tracy, yes that’s right social constructionism is the movement. It’s sad that so much of feminism has been about twisting ‘women aren’t born subordinate’ to ‘men aren’t like this, we should believe in their humanity against all evidence’. And it is a mindfuck to ask us to believe in something against all evidence of the contrary. Against all evidence that men are violent, I will ask you to believe that men aren’t violent. Yes indeed! Makes total sense. This is what men have wanted women to believe, because it serves men, not women.
    If women went to the end of their thoughts about men, they would kill all the rapists because they’d be no other way to survive and defend themselves from rapes and murders and famines and wars and desolation, and that would reduce males to such an extent that the remaining ones would probably never want to go near women again. Maybe not, but that’s probably the only deterrent that exists, NOTHING, NOTHING deters men as a class from harming, raping women, they have continued for millenia if not hundreds of thousand years, and it’s not for lack of women defending themselves: the total colonisation of women by men is far more recent in time. It makes sense that Mary Daly’s explicit essentialism was hidden in footnotes and interviews and made more implicit in the body of her work. It makes sense that Sonia Johnson, in order to be explicitly essentialist, had to self-publish, which reduces the diffusion potential of her work. Men would never publish such work, they’d have to be out of their minds.

  8. 8 witchwind January 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

    I went trhough AnnT’s post on rebranding radical feminism. again and clicked on the twitter links.
    here’s a lovely, deeply thought tweet convo between R. Greenberg, AnnT and E. Hungerford. https://twitter.com/GreenbergRuth/status/423254689950359552
    in case it needed to be more obvious to whom EH is referring to. The tweets are dated Jan 15, and her post is Jan 22.

  9. 9 witchwind January 29, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Re applying the social constructionist / reformist logic to ending male violence, if we went to the logical ends of using men’s legal enforcement system to stop men from raping and killing women, well that would mean we’d have to put all the enforcers of men’s legal system in prison too – judges, lawmen, policemen, statesmen etc. Which would never work, because we’d have to do that by force and we don’t have the means to enforce that in the slightest. And we’d have to put most if not all adult / adolescent males in prison, which is technically infeasible. There’s no way this can ever happen.

  10. 10 witchwind January 29, 2014 at 10:25 am

    yes as TYP there’s this equation of essentialism to meaning that men’s violence is inevitable and we will never be free from it. That’s not true, as said there are ways of ending male violence: #1 escape. #2 right to kill abusers. #3 natural abortion of males. #4 selective abortion of males. That’s four already, including one that isn’t even conscious or voluntary, and maybe there are more.

  11. 11 Tracy25 January 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Regarding the Dworkin Speech Ms. Hungerford links to, there is Fertile RadFem Ground to be covered there too. We May as well Do It. I agree that this Whole Episode is a Great Opportunity for exploring basic concepts, This is not a Personal Attack as has been both Stated and Demonstrated. This is Honest, Rigorous discourse and Radical Feminists are the Only Ones to do this anywhere. We Ought not Forget that, or Take it Lightly, or Refuse to Do it, this is Our Entire Purpose, the Reason for our Political existence. Of course without Patriarchy we wouldn’t Have to, and there would Be no Feminists. That is why we Shouldn’t become Attached to our Identities as Feminists, not the reasons Hungerford and Gallus Mag allude to which frankly Make No Sense. Ann Tagonist’s post about Redefining Radical Feminism explores that in Detail and makes the Analogy of Libertarians attaching to Socialist Identities and the Ludicrous Outcomes that follow. The Analogy is apt.

    On to Dworkin’s speech, which Hungerford links to, to Support her own Point, that there is “Dissent” in the movement. Leaving aside for a Moment what is and isn’t the Minority Voice in Reality, Let us examine what Dworkin did and said there. Dworkin was Against the notion of Biological Superiority because, as a Jew, and a Lesbian, and a Woman, which she Identified as, and in That Order, she believed that Naziism and the Holocaust was the Inevitable result of a belief in Biological Superiority. And that this is reason Enough, in and Of Itself, for Women and Feminists to reject it. “Because Hitler” is normally Prima Facie Evidence of a Logical Fallacy but in her case, she was actually talking about Naziism. So let’s keep going. Dworkin proceeds to compare Women both Individually and as a sexual class to Hitler and to the Nazis, when Women have never done any such thing either Individually or as a Class, and where Men have done this sort of thing with Some Regularity for as Long as We have kept Records of such things. Here, Dworkin lies, or at least Distorts the Truth, or perhaps at the Very Least she Presents One View (the Majority View by the way, that of Social Constructionism) as if it is the Only view — that the Only thing keeping women from Acting like men is that we have been Socialized as women and not as Men. That we are all Hitlers in waiting, or Naziis in waiting, Because Hitler and Because Nazis. She Likely relies on the Privilege Checking tendencies of Liberal and Liberal-leaning Radical Women (and Only ever women it seems, men rarely do this) to Defer to her on this issue because she herself is a Jew. She also equates Sex with Race, and says that Neither one is Biologically meaningful, meaning different or Valu-able, but the reality is that this is true with Race but Not with Sex. That is the truth. But here, Andrea Dworkin is Mindfucking women and Gaslighting them on these issues, and relying on Liberal Ideological Holdovers in the audience (and within Radical Feminism itself which is not Rigorous enough) to Carry through her points. Like All Reformists Do. Like all Reformists Must do, because that is what Reformism is. But there is more.

    Dworkin estimated that in that Room, at that Time, she represented the Minority View that women were Not biologically superior to Men, and that the Majority View, in that 50×50 foot (or whatever relatively small Dimension) room, was in Favor of the Biological Superiority of women to men. Let’s assume her assessment of that Tiny Room (if not the larger movement obviously) was correct. Dworkin reports that the Women in the Room abandoned their politics (of Separatism and Essentialism) on the Spot and started Agreeing with her — a Come to Jesus moment so to Speak. This is an extreme and rather Irrational response any day of the Week, and we also Know this is the Intended and Foreseeable result of trauma and brainwashing. And Dworkin takes this 180 degree turnaround as Evidence of something Other than…that she has Manipulated and Mindfucked all the women in the room. This whole Speech, and Dworkin’s recollection of these events, and the fact that Her speech is even still available online when so much Essentialist material isn’t or was never written or published in the first place is frankly as saddening and depressing as it is Revealing of the Big Picture including (the Public Face of) Radical Feminism and who is and isn’t the Majority or the Dissent and why. That is all I will say about it for Now.

  12. 12 witchwind January 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Hi Tracy, I was actually going to write a follow-up post on Andrea Dworkin’s speech and work in general, but you did an excellent job of working through the fallacies of her arguments in her anti-biology speech, really brilliant. I hadn’t read this piece in a very long time and it struck me that she was so fiercely social constructionist.

    Yes the major fallacy is to equate women as men, as if women would become like men and do the same things if only they had the power to do so. Second, it’s also based on the denial that all women are, at this very moment, holocaust victims of male violence, and that the biggest and longest holocaust of all is that of men against women – as if women weren’t better placed to know what being a holocaust victim meant!

    This actually almost lends into postmodern or queer ideology where women can oppress men and men can be victims of female oppression. It denies the reality of men’s worldwide and universal oppression of women, and that if each woman killed her abuser, even if no man was left it would never qualify as genocide. It would simply be the legitimate self-defense of each individual victim of male abuse, nothing more. Genocide is a dominant group planning and organising the mass extermination of a minority oppressed group. Extermination organised on a mass level requires that the dominant group holds an exceptional amount of power, must monopolise all centres of state, military, communication and legal power to override dissent and resistance to their totalitarian control. It is laughable to intimate that women might have this power. Even if we wanted to plan a genocide we would never ever be able to do that, it would never happen because it’s practically impossible, we will never have the power men have because their power is sexual, that is at its base, comes from raping women – it’s not ever anything that women can share with men. And women don’t want to do that anyway. The evidence is that Andrea Dworkin silenced the women by accusing them of being genocidal, and they were silenced because they don’t want to be genocidal. They want to defend themselves from male violence which is entirely different.

    I agree that using her identity as a jew and child of holocaust survivor first and foremost isn’t only male-centred but also an intersectionalist tactic to command fearful assent: it’s a silencing tactic, using the threat of being accused of racism to deflect from criticism. This indeed only works with women because only women can be made to feel like their whole existence is a permanent stain and be made to feel guilty for existing about something they didn’t even do (ie conduct mass genocides) – hence the terror and immediate deference it causes. It’s a pity that the women in this room fell for this trap, or were too afraid to openly criticise it out of fear of being scapegoated as pro Nazi and racist.

  13. 13 wwomenwwarriors January 29, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Sisters. Thank you for writing about this WitchWind. I’ve been going back and forth with my own writing lately as a result of this mess. I am embedded into the community of RFs on Facebook where a lot of these discussions take place with women scattered all over each side of the argument. I usually have to talk with a woman who has read a great deal of Mary Daly to sort out the mess it all makes of my mind in the end of such discussions (Radikal Kitten is my favorite shot of sober juice and best friend).

    It almost feels like there is a backlash happening so widespread that it is entering even into radical feminist spaces. I do not know the extend of this schism with radfems since I haven’t been around for as long as many of these women, but it didn’t seem this was happening about a year ago. A lot of women have been more and more vocal about issues such as PIV and essentialist topics such as Y chromosome mutations. For me, the CherryBlossom article on that was a kickoff that has spiraled into a lot of commenting and blogging about this. Women within the RF community have told me that we are using a pseudo science and that there is no evidence of a Y chromosome mutation. I link to resources, and then they do not look at those resources. Why is this happening? I think you are right that women are scared. Even at times I want to go back to that time when I thought men were not so bad in my early days learning about RF. The problem is that history tells a very, very different story unless we go back pre-patriarchy, and then the details of what men did or didn’t do are hard to pinpoint, so I am not going to put all my dice on them being angels then either, though perhaps they were a tad better.

    Anyways, before I talk too much, I am going to go read through the comments already posted under this article, because I am FINALLY at a discussion on one of your posts where I am not 100+ comments too late to the discussion! I might actually be able to join this one.

  14. 14 wwomenwwarriors January 29, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    I just want to say something about the comment by Gallus Mag above, though I am still reading through the comments there: EH posted an article a while back not only naming my blog, but linking back to it, in which she accused me of being too rude to a man and too hostile (it was a post responding to a MtF who was mansplaining why men becoming women is good for women, and I was more than a little pissed off as I wrote the response). During that period, she bullied me so severely online that I left a group on Facebook that I had started, and the story I heard going around started by a group of women she rallied to hate on me was that I had taken over the group–a group that I had started. Now, all that said, what I am really getting at is that EH is not what she seems and will lash out at women. She does so strategically so as to be able to say she didn’t do anything wrong later. She does just enough that she can do damage while still being able to get away with it. In the midst of all that mess, I did not respond to her or her blog post, and in fact my biggest fear in that moment was that my identity as an exited woman would be exposed, because she is one of the few women who know my legal name and that I am exited and that I write the W4 blog. I have been targeted by 4chan and the MRA, so exposure could be very dangerous for me. The whole thing had me trembling for weeks and triggered my PTSD severely, but it appeared the women joining her were having a blast and making a party out of it. So, while I do not like trashing either, I do not think witchwind has started this but is actually pushing back against attacks that have been thrown at the minority of radfems, as she says, who are very outspoken about men and our analysis of male domination. I am afraid of EH everywhere I go online because she has so much support that getting into her crosshairs can quickly become a disaster. Whatever the case, her analysis is shallow, and I’d be happy to talk about why, though for now I just wanted to say that witchwind isn’t attacking a sweet little puppy here. She’s standing up to a woman who has influence and uses it to attack women who sometimes have little or no support.

  15. 15 Sargasso Sea January 29, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I happen to have read EH’s post the other day too and was quite disturbed by it. And I had the same experience of finding it rather reasonable, if bland, on a casual reading. But I went back and read it again carefully….

    It blows my mind that EH can say (with all sincerity, apparently) that ‘essentialist feminists’ are revising history because there was never Universal Agreement on the issue of the innateness of male violence? How can it be that the historically vast MINORITY of women who name the agents of male violence (males) are erasing the vast majority of women who continue to believe, yes, against all evidence, that men can be reformed, if only this or that?

    We are stating a fact. And frankly I personally don’t really care what it is that causes men to be violent – y chrom, culture, whatever – the FACT remains that men are violent and they have been since forever and they show absolutely no sign of stopping and that women and girls pay at least 50% of the price.

    Yes, women are not men. And no, ‘given’ the opportunity (which we will never be ‘given’ anyway… “DUH”) women would not, have not, gathered together in massive numbers to lead some kind of organized, controlled genocide against men as men do against us. Each one of us DOES have the natural right to self-defense against our abuser/s; in my particular case there are 3 men I have that natural right to eliminate from the organized, controlled female-abuse machine.

  16. 16 aSpinninSister January 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    witchwind,
    thank you for having the outrageous courage so tell the truth so eloquently about men

    and also for your post….i was wondering if i was having some reading comprehension failure when i read EH as to what exxactly she was saying but her last comment at the end made in plain,
    “wait, wait…oh are you a Mary Daly radical feminst, or perhaps a Sheila Jeffreys one……etc, kinda dripping w/ sarcasm, felt like a slam to me

    Tracy, thanks for speaking about dworkin, i had always wondered why she didnt believe in the biological superiority of womyn……how can you say men are bad , porn/prostitution but yet they’re worth salvaging….the knife quote……and defend/ believe in their socalled huManity, ,
    ya know the Salvation army, the Salvationists…..too bad they cant save themselves

  17. 17 Dar Guerra January 29, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Hello, Wimmin,

    Thank you, Witchwind and all, for this convo. I would like to try to say a few things about why I think social constructionism has to be very critically re-examined, contrary to EH’s position. .

    EH states: “For example, male essentialism is very popular among women identifying as “radical feminists” on the internet.”

    I think EH believes that “male essentialism” means biological determinism, that is, the notion that male violence is innate and unchangeable and not subject to social control.

    This is borne out by her subsequent comment: “But presenting certain conclusions as foregone– such as THE BIOLOGICAL INEVITABILITY OF MALE DOMINANCE [caps added], or that all heterosexual sex is rape– when these ideas were not universally accepted in the first place is historical revisionism.”

    Let’s clarify this first crucial point she brings up: NO ONE, radfem or any other kind of feminist, concludes that male dominance is biologically inevitable. The only espousers of such a proposition are tradcon male bigots. What sources EH has that support her statement that the radfem writers she criticizes espouse such a hopeless and nihilisitic viewpoint, are unknown to me. I believe there are no such sources.

    What we “male essentialists” state is that there appears to be a biological/genetic PREDISPOSITION toward violence in the human male, which combined with social factors has led to the tragic state of affairs we see today, in which 150,000,000 humans have been murdered/killed in the 20th century alone. We call for scientific studies on this question and we point out that such studies are not currently funded or encouraged in academia.

    A biological predisposition is modifiable. A predisposition is not a certainty, or determinative. We understand that social factors such as the valorization of war by society are also part of the issue. It is correct to say that we do not agree that violence is purely socially constructed; we are open to the likelihood that biology is a major factor as well. The new science of epigenetics, which deals with the interaction in one lifetime between biological factors and external factors, may offer further understanding.

    Adding biology back into the social constructionist theory that has dominated feminist thought for 30 years is alarming to some respected radfems. They fought this fight in the 80s, acting on the argument at that time that if biology is a major factor in male violence, then our options for dealing with it are much more limited, and social controls may not be enough. They further were and are concerned that adding biology back means we are forced to agree with male bigots that female subjugation is at least partly “natural”.

    These were legitimate concerns considering the state of radfem theory 30 years ago. But there have been advances in radfem theory, biology and genetics, and social factors that mean we must urgently reconsider the old social constructionist theory.

    First, fcm, witchwind, and others have offered a compelling theoretical advance which explains why men appear to have a “natural” biological predisposition toward violence, while women’s subjugation is NOT natural.

    What we are saying (speaking for myself anyway), is that social constructions such as men’s gender roles DO express natural male predispositions, but we CANNOT say that women’s gender roles express any “natural” predisposition of females. We argue that men have dominated society since ancient times and built it according to their needs and desires, including building in the artificial subjugation of women. I consider this an important advancement in radfem theory, opening many doors.

    Second, as WWWW and witchwind point out, there ARE options for controlling male violence even though it appears to be to some major extent based in biology. Strict social controls, to start with the most moderate option, can control predispositions as well as social constructions. Other options are under discussion. In the 80s, radfems simply were unwilling to discuss them, and some options which are available now were not available then. (I am not advocating killing men here, I am talking about stopping violent behavior).

    Third, in the last 30 years, both 3d wave feminism, with its attacks on women as a universal, ahistorical class/caste of oppressed people, as well as transactivist theory, which also seems to assert that biological women are not a separate oppressed class, have raised new contradictions in social constructionist theory. In short, if women are entirely socially constructed, then biological women can be defined out of existence in favor of some blurred category of female-like people who may or may not have suffered the specific oppression of biological women. Radfems convoing here can see how immediately these contradictions resolve themselves when biology is brought back into the discussion.

    To summarize these thoughts, and thanks to anyone who has read this far, I respectfully disagree with EH’s critique of what she calls radfem “male essentialists” and her reaffirmation of strict social constructionist theory, and I think we are compelled to look at biology as a major factor in male violence. In the end, we are, I think, not just theorizing, we are affirming scientific truth. I don’t see us as presenting any of these ideas as foregone conclusions; I think we are looking at new information, and advancing that older theory into the present.

  18. 18 amunetra January 29, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I am surprised that you really needed to read her post twice to see the attack. Admittedly, I only read her post after reading your opening paragraph, but her goal seems quite blatant to me.

    It did anger me that she can lay such a criticism as it being a “foregone conclusion” – even if she disagrees with the conclusion she can’t fail to notice that it’s a conclusion drawn from all of human history and the man-world that surrounds us, not some entirely theoretical construct plucked out of the air.

    She paints herself as being reasonable, whilst demonstrating a total lack of ability to reason herself. Quite ironic.

  19. 19 wwomenwwarriors January 29, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Dar Guerra I did read your whole comment and enjoyed it very much! Wow. A blog post in itself.

    I like this bit: “In short, if women are entirely socially constructed, then biological women can be defined out of existence in favor of some blurred category of female-like people who may or may not have suffered the specific oppression of biological women.”

    I agree with you here, but I think this is also used against us, because radical analysis posits that males categorize us into these abstract roles and oppress us based on what they see as different in us, and queer theorist have argued that getting men to no longer see us as belonging to such a category by blurring it out of existence would get us out of their warzone. Of course I completely disagree that men could be simply confused to the point that they do not know what it means that we are able to get pregnant and they can penetrate us to make that happen. I do not think they’ll stop noticing we aren’t like them, even if we change up the whole social arrangement.

    Spinning off a tad from what you just brought up about our bodies, I have had it running through my head the past few days that the initial reaction from previous radically thinking women was to deny biological differences, to basically build a theory on the idea that our bodies have nothing to do with any of this beyond how men are misconstruing them, and that we just have to get men to agree. What I really wonder and worry is that we are so traumatized that our solution, even in our radical analysis, may have ended up one really big mass prescription for the ultimate dissociation from our bodies. The idea seems to be that if we can just distance ourselves further from the biological reality which may have made us vulnerable to oppression in the first place, then we can overcome oppression. Reminds me of my most severe moments with C-PTSD when I was so angry with my body for “making men” want to rape and beat me that I tried not to live in it in order to find my freedom from the pain. When we end up saying that our physical and physiological differences may play a part, I feel women jump back thinking we are victim-blaming, or, worse, pointing out that we are at a disadvantage and this makes women feel helpless and scared.

  20. 20 aSpinninSister January 30, 2014 at 12:13 am

    W4, “that we are at a disadvantage and this makes women feel helpless and scared”……

    we are at a disadvantage Now, but would it help to Sin-spire womyn to realize that maybe it hasnt Always Been this way??? that womyn Were once in charge, over a cycle of many thousands of years, male historians refer to it as the “Golden Age, the bronze age” i am reading about the matriarchies, since i’ve nevr researchd the subject before And there is still a lot of info that manUNkind hasnt erased…..yet

  21. 21 Cheval January 30, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Hi,
    I’m kind of new to this and I was wondering if you could explain what male-essentialism is or recommend some reading or share some internet links.
    Thanks a lot.

  22. 22 DavinaSquirrel January 30, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Thanks for another great post witchwind, and such a great comment thread too, thank you all. So many ideas to think about. Thanks also witchwind, for continuing to remind us to go to the end of our thoughts – really the foundation of radical feminism.

    You are right witchwind, when you say that ‘essentialist’ radfems are the minority of a minority group, and the accusation of revisionism is a reversal. I agree with TYP “Essentialism does not confer the right to harm.” One feminist did say on facebutt that ‘patriarchy creates the perfect storm’, meaning that males do have the tendency for violence, and under a ‘strong patriarchy’, those tendencies are unleashed to the fullest, like the Burning Times – a torturous and murderous period to put all women in fear and in a subordinate position. It was a backlash to women’s power and healing capabilities. Of course, now in our ‘civilised’ society, we have mainstream porn to remind us what males would really like to do to us.

    So where does that leave us? In following a purely ‘social constructionist’ view, the belief is that males can change. I agree with that in part, because I have lived long enough to know that males today are far worse now in the backlash to second wave feminism than they were in the seventies, proving that some change is possible, but for the worst and not for the better. Because the real question is, do males want to change? And the answer has to be no – they created patriarchy, they like patriarchy, and more importantly, the majority of them maintain patriarchy, and a backlash always happens after females gain some ground. Even if a purely social constructionist theory was 100% correct, this here asking nicely business just does not work. After 30 years of asking nicely, I am rather sick of it. If by some miracle ‘asking nicely’ did work even partially (and some countries, usually with strong female government), females are still not 100% safe, rape and murder still happen, albeit to a lesser extent. An (imperfect) analogy would be the wild animals in zoos, they might seem tame most of the time, but given the opportunity, they revert to form. You can never trust 100% of them 100% of the time.

    Social constructionism undermines transgender analysis too, because
    SC is admitting that all the bad of males is ‘constructed’ and not innate, that they are not any different to females – which really opens the door to the transactivist view that slapping on some lippy and a frock will undo their maleness, and that they are ‘exactly’ like females once the magic of ‘transition’ has taken place, and that some males are really (supposed to be) females born in a male body – that is where SC leads to, all social construction right? Nobody but nobody is going to convince me that a penis is female, that is just another layer of social constructionism and ignoring biology.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of liberal feminists calling themselves radical feminists these days, as Ann Tagonist’s recent post outlined. Maybe we need an entrance exam and formal qualification for radical feminism, it might keep the liberals out (LOL)? Anyone calling themselves a radical feminist and defending femininity, yep, is a liberal feminist and reformist just pretending to be a radical. Femaleness is different to femininity btw. You cannot reform patriarchy, you have to abolish it.

  23. 23 trustyourperceptionsartemesia goldman January 30, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Radical Feminism is suddenly rapidly evolving. Many recent and present bloggers (including most-all of us taking part in this discussion) are kicking down locked doors and exposing how patriarchy works.

    Understanding trauma-bonding catapulted radical feminist thought. Understanding that PIV exists on a spectrum of male sexual coersion has catapulted radical feminist thought. And maybe even now we can see it is not just PIV; every aspect of patriarchy is meant to result in female trauma-bonding (I hope to write on this more later). The Human Genome Project has also recently exposed the sickliness and decline of the y chromosome, in addition to other research which shows males are entirely precarious and unnecessary. (It’s been shown that maleness has arisen, eg, at least three times differently and independently. That is: maleness is in no way a given, males are entirely supplemental to the species. Females ARE the species). This scientific info, often difficult to find, is available, and has also catapulted radical feminist thought.

    This is a great “Renaissance” (Grr. patriarchal language; and a fatal time for women celebrated by men) — OK — How about “Door-Kicking” — This is a great “Door-Kicking” of Radical Feminist thought right now. We are spiraling forward. Kathleen Barry, when smiling at us at the US conference 2 years ago, told us we must throw radical feminist thought out there further than we can even believe possible. And that is exactly what has been happening.

    It is no wonder then that EH, who has stated on her page that she is NOT a radical feminist, insists on damaging this evolution by regularly attacking radfems, as W4 explains, wherever she can, and just enough to get away with it while still maintaining credibility. (Though I disagree that she is maintaining credibility). It is no wonder that WW got 85,000 hits, and endlessly threatening comments in one day. It is no wonder that patriarchy and its handmaidens do not want us to kick down any more fucking doors. It’s no wonder at all, wimms.

  24. 24 blackmetalvalkyrie January 30, 2014 at 7:18 am

    “currently in vogue” LOL! She makes it sound as if those concepts are just a trend, not a fundamental of our truth.

    Hey Skulldrix I am glad that was a typo. I should have read between the lines. I guess I am just used to arguing with radfuns who do believe piv is natural. Sorry I took it out of context.

    Just wanted to say I did not see this post as an “attack” on anyone bc it is confusing to me when people beat around the bush and don’t name names. If you have a problem with someone’s analysis you should be able to respectfully tackle it which ww did well. I did not see it as “taking a shit on women” and I did find ww comments to be responding to certain parts.

    I actually did not read her post bc I ignore EHs blog bc it is nothing but gaslighting and it is annoying to feel the urge to take every single point and decontruct it when I know in my heart it is wrong.

    Sorry to wwomenwarriors for all the bullying she done to you. You are right she has a lot of malestream support she even calls male trannies “she”. There is some dumb reason for it. I think bc she believes that females are females but “woman” is an identity. So we should give over a word to describe adult human females? No way!

    Excellent breakdown of some of the problems with AD’s analysis Tracy always had the sense but had trouble articulating it.

    Great post.

  25. 25 blackmetalvalkyrie January 30, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Oh sorry you were pointed out just because it is natural it isn’t good. I agree with you there. You are pointing out the very common naturalistic fallacy. I guess my point in calling it unnatural is that male rapism is unnatural to women.

  26. 26 witchwind January 30, 2014 at 10:50 am

    @ w4, I agree that social constructionism and gender theory, ie the idea that we are all just the same blank page humans at the beginning except with different genital bits and heavy load of socialising added to it, stems from misogyny and hatred of femaleness – that is, the internalisation of the inferiority of femaleness and desire to erase our specific femaleness to want to resemble to the false generic, default human male – to assimilate women to that false generic default human male in an attemmpt to stop being treated like shit by men. You want to be recognised as a neutral human (ie gain male status in patriarchy) because you see that being recognised as female prevents you from being treated humanely. So a primary reaction may be to claim that sex and femaleness/maleness doesn’t count, all humans are human.

    I remember in my very early days of feminism secretly wishing that all humans would be androgynous (both in terms of genes and ‘gender’), wishing that I wouldn’t be female and males wouldn’t be male, and this would solve the problem. Thinking that my femaleness didn’t define me as a person, and that my femaleness was something separate from my humanity. Thankfully I didn’t have these thoughts for a very long time because I quickly realised that this was too painful as it led to self-hatred, to blaming my femaleness for what men subjected to me, to viewing femaleness as a problem and not accepting myself as I am. And this self-hatred, hatred of being female, stems from misogyny of course, from men’s hatred of females and from men’s use of females as dick receptacles and breeders. It’s a reversal of blame and guilt to believe that females or femaleness has anything to do with what men do to us, that femaleness is necessarily oppressive to females within a sexually bimorphous arrangement. Knowing that this was anti-feminist, I decided I should love my femaleness and the problem came from men treating femaleness as a problem.

    This ideal of androgyny though is more or less explicitly/implicitly expressed by social constructionism and queer thoery. It attributes the problem to sexual bimorphism, not to maleness only. That is, it included femaleness as part of the problem (even though in an accidental way) and so the solution to this is to want to erase sexual bimorphism, and therefore to erase femaleness too, in some way or another. Which is a symptom of men’s genocide of women, men’s erasure of females. Of course it’s impossible to erase your sex and we know it’s impossible, that you can’t change your genetic setting, you can’t separate yourself from your sex. So frankly this view not only stems from hatred of females but also leads to despair and exhaustion because the goal is completely unachievable.

    A friend of mine pointed out that wanting to resemble men, assimilate to men (or the pseudo generic male human disguised as androgyny) as a way to stop being treated as women is often a first stage of feminism, when you understand that women are treated badly by men but you’re still embedded in men’s lies that men are human or the default human and that the treatment is caused (indirectly) by us being women, and not by them being men. If you see what I mean. Some women never go through this stage of wanting to assimilate to men and dissociate from womanhood because they have luckily escaped some form of colonisation and forced worship of males. And some women never go past the stage of reformism / assimilation to men. But essentialism and seeing male violence as inherently male is certainly the logical next step to social constructionism. You see the fallacies inherent in it, where it’s wrong, where it doesn’t work and you move forward.

  27. 27 wwomenwwarriors January 30, 2014 at 11:42 am

    @aSpinninSister I completely agree and have been trying to inspire womyn in this way already. I’m a radical elemental feminist/witch for that very reason! I have read about pre-herstory in From Eve to Dawn by Marylin French, but I still need to read more. What are you reading atm? Any recommendations? On my reading list are “The Creation of Patriarchy”, “When God Was a Woman,” “When the Drummers Were Women,” and “The Chalice and the Blade.” Please let me know if you know any other must reads for this topic.

    @witchwind Yes, exactly what I meant, though you said it so much better than I had expressed. I went through the exact same metamorphosis. When I first discovered radical feminist writing and women, it was with Dworkin, and my initial reaction was androgyny. I cut off all my hair, threw out every item in my life that could be considered sex-caste candy gear, and immediately started paying attention to which aspects of myself might be in fact behavioral grooming coming through. About 8 months later, I was slowly starting to think things like, “Floral prints are just beautiful. So what if they are considered “feminine.” WTF is feminine? Bullshit concept. Maybe men need to see beauty and wear floral prints too, rather than call flowers feminine and then make us so ashamed that we feel silly liking them.” The problem was exactly as you say: I thought neutrality was the solution, to find a way to “transcend” this physical form that made me a target, but that IS misogyny STILL because it assumes males as the default and blames an already neutral organism (the female creature) for acts enforced on us by another organism (the male creature)…a bully organism at that. Rather than cut off our hair to look less “feminine” or “female” why not ask what in the everlovingfuck hair length has to do with chromosomes and why it shouldn’t be that men need to become more like us, to stop altering themselves to become different from us, cause we are more in touch with healthy existence and peace….afterall, short hair was a standard so they were able to fight in battles, at least in many military traditions, so short hair is actually the soldier look for many cultures….why would we try to look more like the animals that are trying to look more like sadists? Of course hair is really just hair, but the social associations to all of these things are what make them meaningful and part of patriarchal norms and conditions. Not saying women shouldn’t cut their hair, just not for the purpose of proving we are not “just women” and that we are equal to men, cause that’s a smoke screen and a trick.

    We (at least I do often) get accused of glorifying femaleness when we embrace things that these body-denying types consider through their patriarchal lens as proof of grooming, subordination, feminine performance. I’m saying that things which are really lovely in life, emotions activities even flowers, are associated with women then degraded.

    These things which are cast aside may very well be more encompassing of a healthy human experience: connection to nature, love, compassion, etc etc etc all those lovely traits that men seem to want nothing to do with because they like death, loud banging sounds, explosions, pissing on things, jerking off, and writing essays about it all in fancy language. They make us feel like children or idiots for knowing something about life that they don’t, and then the first reaction from feminists is to agree with men and try to PROVE that we are NOT inferior by abandoning all things men have called inferior! It’s still so male-identified. When we cut ourselves off from what we love–this includes our bodies–by agreeing with the men that those interests/PARTS OF OURSELVES/WHO WE ARE only prove we are silly inferior beings, we are, I think, getting even further from unlocking our female-centered Be-ing, finding our strength, overcoming their dominion over us. What a tangled web they have woven, but I trust women are smart as hell, we just have to keep trying to sort this out. We are the original weavers….

  28. 28 Tracy25 January 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I am Happy to see that my Criticism of Dworkin was well received. It is not an Easy or Fun thing to criticize a Woman we all respect so Much, and it is also not Expeditious to waste Words apologizing for What you are About to Say. Everyone Knows that we owe an Enormous Debt to Andrea Dworkin and that it’s not because She was a Perfect Woman and obviously it’s not because she was a Flawless Theorist. We Owe her for the Leaps of Thought she made and for Documenting them and Sharing them with us so that We can go Further. Dworkin often referred to Genius in her writing, she Referred to people who Learned as Geniuses Learn. This means Making Connections, and Going Further than anyone has ever Shown you. Even though She might have been a Privilege Checking Bully, I do not Believe that she would have Supported anyone refusing to go to the Ends of their Thoughts. She likely did not Intend for Women to rely on her Work as if it were Gospel and to not Further it. If she did intend this, It would be part of her Failures as a Flawed Human, and not a Requirement for any of Us to actually Do It. We cannot afford to and We should Not defer to Anyone’s Work as if it were Gospel, this is Men’s Way and Unsurprisingly Antithetical to Radical Feminism where Radical Feminists use other people’s Work as Springboards for their own Thoughts. Radical Feminism therefore invites us All to be Geniuses the way Dworkin defined Genius. To go Further than anyone has ever Gone before, and Further than anyone has ever Shown you, and Further than anyone currently knows is Possible. In Fact, Radical Feminism Actually acknowledges and depends on women’s Genius to Liberate women from our Oppression at Men’s Hands. Shero worship and Authoritarian Citations to other women’s flawed work to support your Own similarly flawed work is absolutely Not the Point.

  29. 29 talkingtomyself16 January 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I don’t have much to add to this conversation, but I will say that your points are spot on. The problem is that males see femaleness as a bad thing, not the fact that we are female and therefore naturally different from males.

  30. 30 blackmetalvalkyrie January 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Gallus to be honest I find your comment here abusive and if I was the blog owner I would have trashed it. It is full of gaslighting and defending of a very abusive woman who is not even feminist. Your view is similar to the male “marketplace of ideas” view that more diversity is better but that is not necessarily the case in RFism because a lot of the so called diversity is complete horseshit. How can you promote anti-feminism like what EH writes in the name of diversity while trivializing one of the best RF bloggers we have right now? This is not a war. There is no need to take sides. There is only one truth not multiple. This is no marketplace. Capitalism is the male system and to tell our truth means not just coming closer to liberation of ourselves but all women.

    Witchwind the way you felt in early feminism reminds me a lot of female transgenders. So sad how mutilate their bodies. And W4 I think its stupid how some say to avoid femininity too bc sure most of the grooming rituals are degrading but a lot of it is called feminine bc men lack it and then marginalize it bc it is associated with us. They act like its something to be ashamed of to be connected to light, warmth and love with no trauma bond- just respect and admiration.

  31. 31 witchwind January 30, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    @ blackmetal, i agree that one logical conclusion of social constructionism is trans theory and that rejoins what davina said which is a very good point.
    I really make a difference between the degrading, mutilating rituals and behaviours of servility which are called femininity and what you call affection / respect for women. I don’t see how both can be confused at all actually, I didn’t really understand what you meant.

  32. 32 witchwind January 30, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    yes and this diversity thing is very liberal indeed, what it is is treating truth and lies, feminism and antifeminism on the same level, as if they were the same and had the same value, as if they were both neutral, subjective opinions that we had to respect in equal way. It denies the very definition of truth by holding its opposite (lies) as the same. The point of truth is that its opposite can’t be true, it has to be false. And in order to state a truth, that means that other hypotheses / statements wrt to the same phenomenon will be false.

    I have seen this diversity tactic most often used in ‘debates’ on prostitution. Either in real life debates or in newspapers, where the ‘pros’ and the ‘antis’ of prostitution are put in the same panel, published on the same page like it’s some debate where we view each party in an equal and fair way. Or with pro-prostitution lobbyists telling me to “respect their individual opinion on sex work”. The effect of treating both as the same thing annuls the very point of feminism which is pointing out the the reality of men’s violence, which isn’t up to debate: it’s true, men rape, prostitution is rape, PIV is rape, men are violent, etc. It is NOT true that prostitution is sex work and PIV is love. Presenting this latter view without criticism and placing it alongside a feminist view as if it were equal to it, amounts to supporting the view that PIV can be love, prostitution sex work, etc etc.

  33. 33 witchwind January 30, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    @ Tracy, thanks for recalling the essential radical feminist method of reasoning, which you define as genius. It certainly is genius, which is the leaps of mind as you say, I call them insights, but it definitely happens through connection and interaction which grows the light and fire inside of us. It is through identifying the interconnected male patterns of violence. It is through connecting to ourselves, creating cognitive and sensory connections within ourselves that enable us to see and experience further and increase our insight in many more ways. It happens through interacting with other women and other beings too. All this increases and grows the internal and external web of connections. And once a connection is made, there is no need to remake it unless men have managed to sever it again – we move from one connection to the other, we create ever more connections, and paths are infinite, in every possible way, in every possible sense.

    Mary Daly has a chapter on reasoning which I find fascinating, I’m going to quote her here

  34. 34 aSpinninSister January 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    W4, thanksxx for Your suggestions as i had not heard of From Eve to Dawn….or of When the Drummers Were Women
    as i said, i’m just getting started on researching matriarchies and it took me a Long time to get thru “The First Sex”, twice….the story is sad and kinda depressing. as it documents How things got to be the way they are now.
    am just starting When God Was A Woman, picking up The Chalice & the Blade, and will be reading The Language of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas who has written prolifically on the subject of matriarchies & Goddess cultures.

  35. 35 witchwind January 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    ugh, actually, looking at my notes there’s far too much to say about it, I’ll make it a post.

    In the meantime, I was also going to link to this excellent post of radical kitten, “on metapatterning or my pocket vagina” where she talks about her experience of seeing the truth and the process of truth-uncovering, inspired by many of Mary Daly’s chapters in Pure Lust.

  36. 36 witchwind January 30, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Marija Gimbutas is indeed an excellent reference and also source for inspiration from an artistic point of view.

  37. 37 Lisa Jones January 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I’m grateful to EH for her post because it sparked witchwind’s response and all the other responses here. EH said in her post that she used to believe a bunch of stuff that she no longer believes. I can relate to that. I am new to radfem ideas and my eyes are being opened more and more. I am coming to see that many of the things I used to believe are wrong/based on hurtful patriarchal propaganda. For me, this feels like a gradual process of wising up. I hope that it is OK for me (and for people like EH) to be wrong, to express our wrongness, and have our wrongness pointed out…without being personally vilified and seen as an enemy. I speak only for myself (I don’t know EH.) The thoughts/words/beliefs/allegiances/tactics of many women may be wrong but I hope that radfem women can hold at least some trust in the capacity of other women to see the light eventually.

  38. 38 wwomenwwarriors January 30, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    @Tracy ” Radical Feminism therefore invites us All to be Geniuses the way Dworkin defined Genius. To go Further than anyone has ever Gone before, and Further than anyone has ever Shown you, and Further than anyone currently knows is Possible.” YES YES YES. I had this thought when I first entered radfem spaces, was immediately thinking, “Okay, this is all great, so where do we spiral forward to next?” Amazing breakthroughs happened that made the space we are currently in possible, but we’re missing the point if we think the breakthroughs are done. As Artemesia said above, we need to keep going further and start Kicking Doors forward. We’re journeyers, not stagnant beings, and deep inside we know this. It feels wrong when we stand still too long, and obviously we are not done, cause men….everywhere….acting like shit.

    I wish so much we could all hang out in a garden somewhere and sort this out over tea with cats around our feet. Snooldom is a drag.

    Also, I am digging the term Radical Elemental Feminism out of the closet, because as others are trying to bury Daly dead and gone, pointing at us saying we’re not the real radfems, well ya’know I am inclined to say NO we’re Radical Elemental Feminists, so fine have at it with your confusion about this whole spinning bit. Over my dead body will Daly be misrepresented and buried with our herstory.

  39. 39 DavinaSquirrel January 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Blackmetal: I think its stupid how some say to avoid femininity too bc sure most of the grooming rituals are degrading but a lot of it is called feminine bc men lack it and then marginalize it bc it is associated with us.

    You misunderstand, I made the point of saying ‘femininity is not the same as femaleness’. Femininity usually requires the marking of females as ‘other’, frequently requires that the female be either ‘sexy’ or ‘ladylike’ in presentation. Things like high heels, stripper heels, stockings (with shaven legs), short skirts, tight skirts, frilly blouse or tight blouse (with breasts contained/displayed in a brassiere instead of hanging naturally), skin hairless (arms, under arms, legs, bikini line), face painted with ‘clown face’ with flawless skin (no zits or wrinkles allowed), and hair usually long, but styled (curled or straightened, coloured, no grey), etc. Pretty much anything and everything to cover up natural femaleness. Beauty standards (femininity) are usually painful and expensive to maintain.

    Some of us make the political statement to reject all these things, presenting ourselves as natural females, without embellishments, and most importantly, comfortable and practical clothing. Including short hair, unshaven, and no make up. Nor does it mean we are trying to be ‘like men’ either, most of us will still be recognised as females, but rebellious ones.

    We are abolitionist in this respect, not reformists tinkering around the edges – because that will not get rid of imposed femininity (rituals and appearance).

  40. 40 blackmetalvalkyrie January 31, 2014 at 6:16 am

    Sorry Davina I wasn’t talking about your comment just in general and I am completely against femininity. I just think some things come under that umbrella that are character traits like compassion, nurturing, liking flowers and animals, handicrafts etc. I am definitely not advocating that beauty mandate shit. Femininity is gynocidal. But maybe some things are under it that are simply human traits like empathy. I was attempting to connect to W4’s comment. I know we need to keep femininity separate from female, they are not interchangeable. I would never think a woman unaltered is ‘like a man’. That would be very misogynist. Sorry to be so unclear.

  41. 41 wwomenwwarriors January 31, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Valky: ” I would never think a woman unaltered is ‘like a man’.”

    I hope no one thinks I was saying that either. Some of what is natural femaleness is degraded and gets thrown out with femininity when women try to get off the shackles. I’m very adamant about BOYcotting femininity myself, but I like my hair and would like to have it long again. In my mind’s eye, it feels like an unaltered, wild woman in nature state, and I am very emotionally connected to nature and all things wild, so when I shaved my head, it was a nice initiation, to be out with the long-hair-for-sexy bs. Yet now I feel further from my wild woman, unaltered, growing wild with the trees self. But in general I was meaning to say that some more social constructivist/gender is all social/men and women are the same types seem to reject things which may be authentically female because men have degraded everything to do with us, whether authentic or imposed. For example, I have heard proposals that we should develop the technology to make babies in incubators outside of a woman’s body. Okay, not completely sure what my take on that is, but it is an attempt to circumvent our biological bodies and what our bodies do. Instead of changing society so that pregnancy and birth are not the worst damn thing to happen to most women, we would be trying to divorce ourselves from, well, ourselves in order to fit into the male world.

  42. 42 Dar Guerra January 31, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    This is a great convo, thanks so much Witchwind, and all,

    WWWW: “Some of what is natural femaleness is degraded and gets thrown out with femininity when women try to get off the shackles.”

    Here’s how I look at your important statement. I’d like to put it into the context of the theory that patriarchy develops masculine gender roles that are more “natural” to men, because their sex has shaped human society in its image, but that patriarchy develops feminine gender roles that are NOT natural to women, because male-shaped society has shaped WOMEN’s images into gender roles that are narrowed to the uses women have to men.

    Thus, masculine war and violence probably are strongly biologically-based, but any particular feminine gender roles MAY NOT be biologically-based. We don’t know which basis a certain gender role may have, natural or imposed. It’s extremely hard to differentiate gender roles that are natural to us, because of internal colonization, aka, socialization from birth into our narrow perverse gender roles. No one can say that our oppression is natural. Our oppression is THE great perverse gender role.

    But on the other hand, I would think that in spite of everything, some of women’s essential nature IS preserved. How can we differentiate, while we are enmeshed in this global society?

    Yes, I’m talking about essentialism here, that word so despised by postmodern academia. I’m saying that I think there are profound differences (as well as similarities, since we’re all mortal and human, for instance) between men and women, based on their biologies. I’m saying that while we can study the “essences” of men as a general group, discovering the essences of women require much more digging, and are really unknown ATM.

    We can guess, based on our ability to give birth as a group, that we are naturally able to empathize with other humans, see their distress and feel the need to ameliorate it, for instance. But these guesses are based on logic – whatever PRACTICES we have engaged in as a group are not evidence of their naturalness.

    This is part of the work we are doing – pulling our natural plump, rich, selves out of the stick-drawings that patriarchy has made of us. Our tools are logic, but also embodied experience and that encouragement of “genius” or insight leading to new connections others have discussed above. Sciences such as archaeology and biology also have much to teach us. I do think we are figuring out who we are, and I’m considering that some of these profound differences from societal values, include our NOT possessing a death-drive, a drive for power over others, or an insatiable drive to go on beyond enough and demand more, more, more.

    I feel that we must separate out the natural versus the imposed gender roles, focus on them, for liberation. For us ever to have this “equality” mainstream feminists talk about, we are going to have to have the revolution of making society into our natural images as much as men’s, or learn that we cannot live with men. “Equality”, as I think everyone here already well knows, is a meaningless concept when it is used to say that women can simply be incorporated into male-shaped society.

    I think that the notion that people are not biologically-based beings is simply not reality-based and that we should confirm that with science and leave this notion behind. I reject the postmodern theory developed by male academicians (and Judith Butler, but that’s another story) that there is no such thing as “identity” or an “essential” nature, that women are merely shifting temporary collocations of intersections, that “identity politics” are reprehensible. I think we need to rediscover our natural identities as women and compel human society to change radically to one that incorporates and respects the three and a half billion of us who are ready to live full lives as full citizens on this earth.

    So I call myself an essentialist. Somebody upstream in the comments asked what that means. This is my take on that concept as it applies to women’s liberation. Whether we are Nigerian women or Latinas or low-caste women or disabled or Muslimas or white country folk in Arkansas, there is an irreducible essence that is the same in all of us women, and it is the very thing that is deformed and wheedled and ripped from us. It is the “essence” of our oppression.

    So, WWWW, I agree with your statement. We must be very very careful about throwing out the baby with the bathwater. We have to be careful to save this beautiful baby, who is ourselves, but we have got to identify and send that dirty, old, unhealthy bathwater we’ve been bathing in our whole lives down. the. drain.

  43. 43 blackmetalvalkyrie January 31, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    On artificial wombs that is just a sign of men’s envy of our ability to give life. I think it could work in a woman’s society so women would not have to go through pregnancy and birth and all the damage that causes on the body but when men have use of it, it will only be bad news. They won’t use it for the good of womankind, they will use it as an excuse to say women are “obsolete”. It will be a tool of gynocide. I am also completely against uterus transplants. Many prostituted women are murdered for their organs which are sold in the black market and some countries will be using uteri from dead women. http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/swedish-doctors-successfully-transplant-wombs-into-9-women-1.1636328

  44. 44 blackmetalvalkyrie January 31, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    By “using” I mean stealing. Men are grave robbers. I am not donating my organs bc you aren’t allowed to say you only want them used for women. It makes me sick to think of my organs keep some rapist prick alive. Also the connection between “donated” organs and the human trafficking industry… not that I believe men will respect my wishes. They will probably steal them anyways when I’m dead. Fuck men.

  45. 45 Sargasso Sea January 31, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    @ Dar Guerra

    An excellent comment so clearly stated. Thank you :)

  46. 46 trustyourperceptionsartemesia goldman February 1, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Stimulating conversation, women.

    I agree with W4 on adopting the term “Radical Elemental Feminism.” Because what has happened is: the queers are SO ABSURD, the liberal feminists now think they are radical feminists, and probably won’t stop calling themselves radfems just because we ask them to.

    I would also like to add Valerie Solanas to the list of Daly and Johnson as radfem essentialists thinkers/writers. Prostituted women know better than anyone what men essentially are.

  47. 47 wwomenwwarriors February 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Also @ Dar Guerra love your comment thoroughly.

    Daly said we need to remember, and in absence of that, we need to invent. I do not think the two are mutually exclusive: creating our authentic selves and discovering who we really are. If we are moving, Be-ing, living creatures, are we not in essence creation, creative energy? It is possible and even likely that we’ve been so tricked by the patriarchal ways of thinking that in a search of what is and what is not female, we’re trying to pinpoint some specific set of traits that are consistent across space and time in all women (and that could also be why social constructionists have a knee-jerk reaction to essentialism–they sense a false and stagnant archetype being formed and their deeper selves know women are not statues and never will be). While our biological process may be consistent with one another to a degree, what this actually gives rise to is that there is no way to pinpoint something that quantum leaps in spirals of new life. I’d like to believe that this is just the human condition, what it means to be a living creature, but the world built after the image of man contradicts the notion that they are on this journey the way we are. While it may be reductionist logic to draw this conclusion, the fact remains: they did this, not us. Is it really that our biological condition, being smaller in stature and the ones who bear young, render us so vulnerable that oppression by mutant brutes is inevitable, or is there any shot at the idea that we’re just not big enough assholes to pull this stunt on anyone else? Few want to go there, because the implications are uncomfortable.

    I don’t care. What is uncomfortable to me is being raped constantly while thinking its love, so this is a cake walk honestly.

    And, back to the bit about the human condition, since a strong case can be made that females ARE the human race, then, yes, what we are looking for is the human condition, rather than the female condition. Rather than asking how are we different from them, the question ought to be: what kind of mutation of ESSENCE have these biological mutations brought to the world?

    @trust Yes, Solanas too. And also “Prostituted women know better than anyone what men essentially are.” Hell yes.

  48. 48 Dar Guerra February 1, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    WWWW, you are right, it’s something I tend to forget, we are creators, being created, creating, all the time, not what you call a stagnant archetype. Our authentic selves spiral out of our essence as women, they don’t just repeat endlessly the same way. This is the joyful and exciting part of women’s liberation, this spiraling and spinning, as so many of you have said. There is so much sadness and anger at the level of helping women get free of their shackles, but the world I think we can make, safe, well-fed and housed, classless, not exploitative or controlling or penetrative, life-supporting, creative, close to Earth, is pure joy to think about.

    I’m intrigued by this idea of a new name, Radical Elemental Feminism. I agree that the places we are going in feminist theory don’t have a name yet. I looked up “cultural feminism” yesterday, but that term has too much baggage.

  49. 49 DavinaSquirrel February 1, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I agree with W4 on adopting the term “Radical Elemental Feminism.” Because what has happened is: the queers are SO ABSURD, the liberal feminists now think they are radical feminists, and probably won’t stop calling themselves radfems just because we ask them to.

    I agree that libfems show no signs of stopping the appropriation, however, I strongly disagree that ‘rebranding’ is the solution. Think about it. Five minutes down the track they will be appropriating the new name too, then you have to rebrand again – it will be a never-ending saga.

    So you are missing the roots of the problem. One root solution we are lacking is the inability to ‘expel’ the radfauxs proporting to be radical feminists. OK, so I was joking upthread with the entrance exam.

    But the main root question is why is this happening?

    I was the one who coined the phrase “you won’t change radical feminism, radical feminism will change you”. The majority of us start out somewhat liberal, usually with radfem leanings. It is very much a process, of deprogramming from patriarchy and mainstream and into radical feminism. Also, it is more about how to think, rather than what to think (with the exception of recognising liberalism).

    Now, some get to a point whereby they have absorbed and understood some, or even just one or two areas of radical feminism – but they stop there, they won’t embrace it fully, and they want to hang onto one or more elements of patriarchy/mainstream. See also Ann Tagonist’s post.

    Then we have the widespread (anti-feminist) belief that there are ‘many types of feminisms [plural]‘, which is alluded to in the original post. Either it is for the liberation of all females or it is not, the latter being non-feminism. For example, the so-called ‘sex positive feminism’ whereby they will sacrifice a number of women into prostitution in a misguided attempt to stop the rape of other women, so non-feminism, because we do not have ‘acceptable losses’ – radical feminism puts the ‘acceptable loss’ figure at zero.

    Which brings us to the ‘why’ of this liberalised takeover, usually by proto-radfems, but sometimes by anti-feminism types. Radical feminism will never be mainstream, because it is at its root, counter-mainstream. What radical feminism does have is logic, truth, women’s experiences, commonsense, and most importantly, a strong degree of credibility. The credibility is the thing that I think is attracting the takeover, and the method is taking slabs of radical feminism, and coating it with a big dollop of liberalism, to make it more appealing, and by doing that, undermines that very credibility.

    I do think that it is important to ‘call out’ any liberalism trying to creep into radical feminism, however, always attempt to do so without ‘naming names’ as that just degenerates into a bun fight, or in the modern day, a blogwar. One side effect is factionalisation of the movement, and that is a really bad thing.

    There is nothing really wrong with being an anti-porn libfem, but being anti-porn does not automatically make one a radfem – and I think that is another problem in the mix. Not everyone will become a radical feminist.

  50. 50 witchwind February 1, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I agree with davina here that there’s not much point in creating new names because we will be forever creating new names since it won’t stop the reappropriation. I think it’s best to stick to our words and to stick to their definitions and keep using them correctly and recall the definition every now and then when it threatens to be diluted or reappropriated, as Davina just said. Changing names every too seconds is also at our disadvantage because it breaks the little continuity we may have, it fragments and dissolves our language even more, and makes it more difficult for women to recognise radical feminism if the terms that define us keep changing.

    Radical elemental feminist comes from Mary Daly, or if she hasn’t coined this specific term the term elemental was coined by her anyway (but i do think she used this term). I understand the attraction to the term elemental but i think it’s redundant to the term radical feminism as radical feminism is inherently elemental – i don’t see how it could be otherwise.

    Also i don’t see why specific sets of traits attributed to women should be seen as static, or how it opposes viewing women’s potential for creativity and genius / invention as inherent. something that biologically / essentially defines females is that we are creators and originators of life. This capacity for movement and metamorphosis is what defines us. if we are something, and if being is defined as movement, then what we are will by definition never be static.

  51. 51 witchwind February 1, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    oh and women aren’t naturally smaller than men, there are researchers who showed that it’s an artificial condition caused by selective breeding of women by men and millenia of malnutrition / starvation. and the biggest mammal of the entire earth is a female (blue whale). Not that size has anything to do with physical strength or power over.

  52. 52 witchwind February 1, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    yes and very good point about how you think vs what you think. What counts is our capacity to reason and understand in radical feminist ways, once you have that all understanding, knowing and acting flows from this

  53. 53 WordWoman February 2, 2014 at 12:17 am

    “What counts is our capacity to reason and understand in radical feminist ways, once you have that all understanding, knowing and acting flows from this”

    There is so much to uncover for each of us in our trauma-buried condition. In radical feminism there is a clear direction out. What would it mean to be female in an untraumatized state? There is no way of knowing, but having a direction allows clarity to emerge.

    This convo is so opposite the devious competitive violent crap of maleworld.

  54. 54 blackmetalvalkyrie February 2, 2014 at 5:29 am

    It used to irritate me that libros were appropriating the term radical feminist but since hearing Lucky Nickel’s stance on it I don’t care. We cannot surrender the term Radical Feminism! Libros wouldn’t radical if it kicked em in the balls! This article has the quote of Lucky’s- http://smashesthep.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/an-open-letter-to-a-radical-profeminist-and-other-would-be-helpers/

    “always attempt to do so without ‘naming names’” I disagree. You should unashamedly name people you are gaslighting and being anti feminist. We owe them nothing! I do have experience blogging I have blogged a lot on tumblrs on different accounts which I usually forget about and abandon I have maybe 3 accounts? But I forget my password easily. When I blogged I would reblog stuff I found to me full of baloney despite all the hate and anger it would cause. I would just set it so I couldnt see the reblogs of my post and keep on truth telling. When you don’t name whos who its just confusing and indirect.

    “oh and women aren’t naturally smaller than men, there are researchers who showed that it’s an artificial condition caused by selective breeding of women by men and millenia of malnutrition / starvation. and the biggest mammal of the entire earth is a female (blue whale). Not that size has anything to do with physical strength or power over.” I feel truth in that. I don’t get enough calories due to poverty and along with being exhausted I am so small you can see my bones. I also went vegetarian for 2 yrs starting when I was 14 and before I started eating like that I was growing fine and consistently but then I was stunted. Of course it was those PETA type asshats who manipulated me into hating myself for consuming an animal product so I speak out against them now even to people who call themselves radfems.

  55. 55 blackmetalvalkyrie February 2, 2014 at 5:30 am

    *who are gaslighting and being anti feminist sorry for the typo

  56. 56 trustyourperceptionsartemesia goldman February 2, 2014 at 7:38 am

    WW, men are generally bigger than women because of a genetic tactic they use against women. (I reported on it in my blog). Males turn off genes to make a male fetus smaller and weaker (the female preference), and turn on their own genes to make a male fetus bigger and stronger. It’s called genetic imprinting. Selection also plays a role. But genetic imprinting is the basis of the size difference. It’s total exploitation of the female’s bodily resources for the successful perpetuation of maleness.

    Davina, I hear you on rebranding. But the SC are already pissing in our pool, and won’t leave. I also appreciate your comment that men can change, and have indeed gotten worse. That shouldn’t be overlooked.

  57. 57 witchwind February 2, 2014 at 10:57 am

    what do you mean by genetic imprint and turning off genes TYP? Would you mind explaining how it works?

    wrt to naming, I’m not decided about it actually. I think there are some contexts in which it’s best not to name because it refers to a general tendency and it won’t add to the understanding to have names named, or it might compromise anonymity or reveal non-public info by naming names or going into it too specifically. However if you react to someone’s specific post I think it’s difficult not to name the writer or quote the content, and I don’t see a problem with that as long as the focus or motivation is to uncover or recover the truth and not to tear apart someone’s work just for the sake of it. That is, criticism should be constructive and respectful, and if it’s constructive it shouldn’t lead to fights.

  58. 58 witchwind February 2, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Oh and here’s Lucky’s quote which is worth reposting here: there’s no link to where this was written but the post was an open letter reblog

    Self-naming and self-identified labels mean nothing. There must be substance to the label they identify with and substance to who they claim to be. Otherwise folks can insist on calling a mouse a giraffe or claim rape is really love.

    What I do think important to note is that liberals, lesbian separatists and radical feminists are all flying the radfem flag these days. The problem being, they are 3 separate and distinct political groups and ideologies, 2 of whom are inappropriately waving the radfem flag. It can get a bit tricky tho with lesbian separatists as radical feminists can also be lesbian separatists. But not all lesbians are radfems and not all radfems are lesbian separatists, or even lesbian for that matter. But in Julian Real’s case, that would be irrelevant. The dude is not a lesbian or radical feminist.

    What the dude is, is liberal. And what he is attempting to do is appropriate the radical feminist label in order to inject liberal ideology. Equality politics are liberal politics, not radical feminist politics. Radical feminists seek liberation from men and their system, not equality. Liberals focus on differences between women. Radical feminists focus on the commonality of women. Needless to say, these 2 different ideologies conflict and clash. Which delights men like Julian Real to no end. Cuz if he keeps liberal women pitted against radical feminist women, it keeps women from unifying, which in turn keeps the heat off of pricks like him and men in general. Slick, no?

  59. 59 DavinaSquirrel February 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    blackmetalvalkyrie (and witchwind) – I have been blogging for a very long time, I know how this shit hits the fan. It becomes completely divisive and factional. Please don’t do it.

    For goodness sake, smart people know how to use google (for those that ‘need to know’). It’s a piece of piss to find out where something has come from.

  60. 60 witchwind February 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I get your point Davina. So you think what’s divisive is only the fact of naming those who are being criticised, not the act of criticising itself? This is a real question, not a rhetorical one.

  61. 61 witchwind February 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Maybe the naming makes it worse? Because I do know, even in my much shorter blog experience, that non-naming criticisms have still caused shit to hit the fan.

  62. 62 blackmetalvalkyrie February 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I trust what you say Davina never blogged hardly ever on wordpress so that is a whole nother can of worms. I was not saying talk about private disagreements but I don’t see the harm in criticizing someones post that is public. I don’t really care is someone is mad if it is valid and truth telling like this post. As long as they don’t dox me or anyone else I’m ok. They can complain all they want. These are the same ppl that get mad when we state obvs shit like piv is rape so why should we be trying to keep them sated when they aren’t the target? Why do we have to please everyone? We should be able to state our mind and the women that don’t like that are adults. Nothing ww said here was bad or mean. We can’t use google and read the OP a post is inspired by if it doesnt name names. Most RFs I have read do a good job of not naming names bc that is something they believe in but then I can’t find what they are talking about when they give no clue. Off to google “piece of piss”. I think its an expression but I could be wrong.

  63. 63 Sargasso Sea February 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Naming or not naming (in public) always causes ‘problems’ – if the person whose work you are critiquing is not named then anyone can immediately assume it is directed at them and if they are named it’s considered a direct ‘attack’. When women critique other women it is always a lose/lose scenario and that patriarchal mind-binding at work.

    It is only ETHICAL to name the woman with whom you are in disagreement – as WW has done from the start with her post here – so that there is no question/misunderstanding about where and with whom the disagreement lies. When ethical behavior is called out as “divisive” and possibly dangerous to the movement of our thoughts and ideas, I say bullshit. That is just another attempt at controlling/silencing women’s honest discourse.

    Also, ‘just google it’ is unrealistic. Even, sometimes, for “smart people”.

  64. 64 DavinaSquirrel February 2, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    “So you think what’s divisive is only the fact of naming those who are being criticised, not the act of criticising itself?”

    Yes. As you point out, not naming can also cause shit to hit the fan, but it becomes a dead certainty if you do name. I generally try to reserve direct criticism to private or semi-private spaces, so venue does play a part too. Ideally, if it is the concept you are debunking, the safer way is to do it in far more general terms (like AT’s rebranding post). Don’t get me wrong, I am all for calling out any bullshit that isn’t radical feminism.

    Sorry to derail the thread, I thought it was worth mentioning.

  65. 65 witchwind February 2, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I do have the feeling that it’s a lose lose situation too. All researchers and inventors and specialists in any discipline criticise their colleagues’ work in order to improve on the knowledge of the discipline as a whole. They find out where something goes wrong, name it and name the ones who did it wrong, and show how their findings work better. They don’t get a fan of shit for it. Someone might get back to him and criticise him in turn in the same way. They don’t take it personally. The thing is, if he didn’t name the others appropriately he would be accuse of plagiarising or it would be really odd and un-professional not to do so. I’m not saying we should act as male professionals but why is it impossible to address what’s wrong with the work of other women sometimes in order to forward the overall knowledge and insight of radical feminism? Anyway i’m still thinking about it, these are just questions for.
    Has my post hit the shit fan somewhere? Shouldn’t I have written it then?

  66. 66 witchwind February 3, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Hi everyone, I’m taking a break from modding right now, for no other reason that it’s taking too much of my time and energy and it’s driving me nuts. If I don’t take a few steps back I might start saying stupid things and you can’t take it back once it’s on the internet. These were the best and most meaningful conversations over here so far and I’m immensely thankful for all of your contributions. I’m really sorry to cut it now but I need a break. I’m afraid there won’t be any other way of contacting me in the meantime for those who don’t have my contact details.

  67. 67 witchwind February 4, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    oh right, I’m making one tiny exception as davina personally requested me to publish her last comment she made the day when comments closed. Comments will remain closed.

  68. 68 DavinaSquirrel February 4, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    It is only ETHICAL to name the woman with whom you are in disagreement – as WW has done from the start with her post here – so that there is no question/misunderstanding about where and with whom the disagreement lies. When ethical behavior is called out as “divisive” and possibly dangerous to the movement of our thoughts and ideas, I say bullshit. That is just another attempt at controlling/silencing women’s honest discourse.

    Nah, there is another alternative, to respond to them directly, which is what I do frequently, even here I am directly raising the objection – not going off to my blog to overtly or even covertly criticise something I disagree with. You can surely see how that would ultimately pan out? The blog version of an arms race, with everything becoming tit for tat. Our goal is to move the conversation forward, and not around in circles.

    As I previously stated, it is perfectly acceptable to criticise any liberalism that is held up as radical feminism, that would actually be our job, so to speak. But the RF blogging world is different to say, the male dominated scientific world. It would be a mistake to copy that, it is more of a competitive model – and our goal is never to be ‘queen of the radfems’, but a ‘community education programme’ to enable more newbies to see radical feminism. Nor do we have that pesky! entrance exam thingy, so onlookers are confused by it all, and will usually flock to the most liberal camp. I’ve seen that happen time and time again. And that may be the very mechanism allowing more and more liberalism to take hold within the movement. So bigger picture stuff.

    I am only advising what not to do, based on past experiences over many years.

    Yes the liberalism is a problem, but we must work on a better way to eradicate it, and not cause more problems for radical feminism and ourselves.


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