Taking notes on male activism

About a year ago, I was deceived into a male activist gathering by a few friends, who assured me the speakers were women, but who upon arrival turned out to be a man. Groan, what a trap! The problem being of course that these friends weren’t feminist enough to understand the danger it represented to be around male activists, as if the mistake didn’t make any difference. I shouldn’t have accepted in the first place, knowing it wouldn’t be feminist. It was too complicated to leave at this point, so I had endure the speech.

However listening to his speech was instructive, as I took careful note of the evening, reactions and content. He was invited to talk about his activism in his own country which was under military occupation (this is as specific as I can get) and what made his presentation rather enlightening was the comparison I could draw between colonised men and colonised women.

This man recounted his experience as an activist, the kind of actions their group did, his perspective on the occupation and on their means of action and strategies, gave some background info on the current situation, etc. It was infuriating and depressing to be reminded of men’s privilege as activists fighting for a male-accredited cause, recognised by a global community of liberals and lefties as the Noble fight for freedom against evil occupiers. A recognition that we, as radical feminists, could never dream of. Depressing to realise how many obstacles we have to face in comparison to male liberationists, how easy they have it all. Weird also to see how I’ve become so used to being attacked and rejected from all sides, isolated, having to constantly slash through the lies and reversals and gaslighting even in my own camp, that I completely forgot what it looked like not to have to endure that. At all.

Since he was speaking of occupation and colonisation, the parallel was glaring with women’s situation worldwide, us being the most colonised and repressed people on this planet, though obviously not one word was spoken about women. The injustice and inequality of his undeserved recognition was so insulting that it was like a constant smack in the face and I wanted to shout at the audience and the speaker that they were all hypocritical self-congratulatory bastards, but obviously I couldn’t do that without appearing completely crazy and inappropriate, so I just had to mutter and grumble to myself, containing myself from bursting at the people around me. These situations really drive you mad, the dissonance is unbearable.

Nobody in this room apart form myself realised or questioned the insane privilege he had as a male activist. The absolute luxury of being taken seriously, immediately. The admiring respect. The luxury of it being self-evident to everyone in this room that we are morally obligated to endorse this cause, to side with the oppressed and denounce the oppressors. He is certain of everyone’s approval. Everything is so easy for him.

He is free from the self-defeating, maddening burden of having to justify his use of the term duck for describing a duck and thus having to show what makes a duck, a duck, and how it applies to his case: since the bird he’s talking about has a particular form of beak, wings and feet, colour, and its capacity to both swim and fly. In other words, having to demonstrate how his condition of colonised qualifies as colonisation and how oppressors are necessarily oppressive. Of having to prove that military occupation is by definition forced on the occupied people and not chosen by them, that beatings are inherently violent and repressive and not expressions of love. He has no dread of being rejected or misunderstood by using straightforward terms to describe the situation. No one would dare come up to him to say “but what if your people enjoy being beaten, arrested and bombed?” I was envious of his privilege to name the agent and their violence in such a plain and matter-of-fact language, and it wouldn’t cross anyone’s mind to dispute the reality of his claims. It is obvious to everyone that the occupation is true and serious, that their need to resist is legitimate. There is no separation between language and reality for him.

Women by contrast are dispossessed from all the words necessary to name and therefore conceive of our condition – this is one of men’s most deadly weapons against women’s liberation. As Mary Daly says, “Women have had the power of naming stolen from us. We have not been free to use our own power to name ourselves, the world, or God.” (Beyond God the Father: Towards a Philosophy of Women’s Liberation (1973), p.8). Radical feminists are cursed with this invisible distorting lens, men’s false reality separating us from the world and from ourselves, the meaning of our words doomed to never reach our recipients – we may repeat the truth of the atrocities again and again but so erased and reverted is our reality that even to get women to glimpse a modicum of men’s oppression and understand that men’s violence against us is not a victimless crime, may take years. Imagine talking about pornography in the same way as the male activist, to that same public: “so, this year male colonisers have captured and tortured 3 million women in their mass rape industry, it is a terrible situation, so we have tried our best to harm men to stop their genocidal progress. We managed to sabotage two of their events a few months ago and we also ended up wounding two men. It’s not much but we do the best we can with the means we have[applause and acclaim].

Men’s reality is so distinct from ours. I wanted to laugh out loud at him, Mr brave hero, ultimate martyr of the 21st century. He believes to shock the audience by saying that every activist he knows has spent several months or years in prison, arrested by the settlers. I wish women had only that to deal with. Not long before, a woman had told me she spent 23 years imprisoned by her abusive husband – like 3 other billion women on this planet. I guess 20 years must be the minimum sentence for married or owned women, if they survive that long after childhood. The kind of lifetime confinement, torture and isolation women are subjected to by men is far beyond any man would ever experience or could ever imagine. Men’s short-term imprisonment is a child play in comparison, not only that but their prison is at least recognised as a prison, and they go in there knowing they will be greeted as heroes in return, that it was worth it, that they’re not alone.

I could go on and on, and I will in fact. I was so angry that evening.

Oh and when these activists organise meetings and conferences, thousands of people turn up in no time. Their primary means of communication is through social networks on internet, and everything they do is documented and open. They refuse to hide anything – their faces, their names, and hundreds of thousand people support them on the internet. People take photos of him during the speech, he’s happy about that. His aim, he says, is to harm the occupier as much as possible. It is his right, he says, according to international human rights treaties, that victims of occupation choose the means of their resistance, whether armed or peaceful.

How free he is compared to us! I think of how difficult it is in comparison to even get 5 women together for a feminist project, and for them to take that seriously enough or put women first. We have to face constant rejection and contempt from women. I also wish I could do everything in the open, and be more open in my writing too – since feminist insights are gained through interacting with daily life events, having to omit personal anecdotes in order not to be recognised has the cost of limiting the context and meaning of my writing. I hide my name and I’m so scared of being harassed by men with my blogging that I have adapted my day-to-day behaviour in order to leave as little trails behind me as possible. I refuse to have pictures taken of me in public. I have to be careful of what I say, at all times. I simply can’t afford to harm men directly in any way because if I went to prison, or if I were attacked or harassed by them, nobody could help me, I wouldn’t have a bunch of activist buddies who would have the power to bail me out in a few months. I would be alone. There is no international community of liberals who recognises our condition as being occupied by men even if it defines as occupation: the right to harm occupiers only applies to men. I wouldn’t be able to rally wider support either because my actions would only rally more hatred against me. Just look at what happens to bloggers and women when they only reflect about it.

He needn’t fear that at every speech he is invited to, there will be defenders of the colonisers there to intimidate him, or worse, invited to speak alongside him for a “debate”, to advance the position that occupation is freedom. That every activist he meets may be covertly working for the settlers, identifying to their interests or seeking to sabotage his group’s actions from within. It wouldn’t occur to anyone to complain about the absence of oppressors, it would have been considered a terrible offence to do so. He has the luxury of being part of an essentially undivided movement, where the big picture of freeing themselves from the colonisers is never lost to the activists, even if strategies may differ.

This made me think about our everyday experience of infiltration and sabotage within feminism, how normalised it is – the banality of horror, to take Arendt’s term. We are so filled with crooks, imposters or our very oppressors that finding an un-twisted form of feminism is almost a miracle. Not wanting to be in the same room with our oppressors when we discuss our liberation causes endless retaliation. Our movement is so deeply controlled by male interests or men that merely attempting to exclude infiltrators will warrant punishment and be seen as illegitimate. We live in such a different world.

Where this comparison is leading me to, that he admitted himself he doesn’t like doing what he does, that he’d rather do something else of his life but he does it out of duty, because he wants his people to be free. Well, I find that interesting. Male activism is indeed boring. Deadening, repetitive, necrophilic, threatening. There is indeed no joy, no life. He’s perfectly right. Our situation as radical feminists might be the most repressed but for nothing in the world would I quit radical feminism – because contrary to male activism, feminism saves women’s lives. It brings back to life. I don’t do it out of duty but because it’s a call of my soul, I follow the flow. We become alive again and we regain our senses and sight. I don’t think he will ever experience the beauty of spinning and female-bonding, which all the admiration of the world will never replace. It was interesting to contrast his model to radical feminism here, in fact I never really conceived of radical feminism as activism so much as a transformative movement. It is movement, the real movement of being. Liberation isn’t a distant goal we seek to achieve but something we experience on a daily basis. And each transformation, each revelation, connection and bonding brings back a swirl of energy and joy. You can feel the “pops” and crackling of the fire which lightens your soul and frees from men’s mindbindings.

I don’t know what to conclude really, it’s strange this paradox between our situation being the worst yet our movement being the best thing that happens to us as women, in spite of the unbridgeable gap and all the crushing obstacles, men never completely kill the life in us, this possibility to resuscitate life after annihilation. The extent of men’s power over women even when they’re oppressed is gross and humiliating but our liberation is so distinct from theirs that the only thing we can do is get over it and continue what we have to do, sparking other women and ourselves and withdrawing from men. We just aren’t on the same level at all, it’s perplexing when I think of it. Basically the only thing that men will ever inform you of is the extent of their domination over you, and that’s the only thing you can learn from observing and listening to their speeches. Once you’ve understood the extent of your oppression and their power over you, and gotten over the anger of it all, well maybe we will set the bar higher for ourselves next time but we can learn nothing from male activism except that it’s everything we shouldn’t do.

54 Responses to “Taking notes on male activism”

  1. 1 witchwind March 1, 2014 at 1:44 am

    comments are open for the next three days.

    Another point which I haven’t addressed here is that this particular evening reminded me how important it is to avoid men, especially liberal men, because those are the ones most likely to trigger trauma-bonding in you. I still have difficulty getting rid of the effect of the mindfuck of a man being both oppressor and presenting as oppressed – therefore taking the appearance of a more benign man, which of course is a complete con, and they are very aware of the sexual power they exercise over women. Men are the heroes, and the only way for women to get anywhere near their recognition is by seeking sexual attention by the heroes, that is by being fucked (raped) by them – and therefore reinforce their subordinate status. As in every male sphere. I absolutely loathe their self-assurance that all women will come and slobber at their heels. What pricks.

  2. 2 redhester March 1, 2014 at 7:12 am

    dear sister, it is wondrous to be alive and awakened to the weird ways. how wondrous indeed it is to love you! you are my sister and you are magnificent! thank you for loving yourself. because we are one i am also loved! we are the lovers of ourselves and free from confusion forevermore.

    yes. life is sweet together!

  3. 3 Dar Guerra March 1, 2014 at 10:02 am

    OMG, this is truth. How can we keep this topic open, how comment after much thought? By stopping comment you stop sacrificing and also stop us from adding to your comments. Is this the right way to go?

  4. 4 Dar Guerra March 1, 2014 at 10:15 am

    My darlings, please listen to a genius among us. There are many of us.

  5. 5 Dar Guerra March 1, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Please listen to the genius of women.

  6. 6 Dar Guerra March 1, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Who among us us noticed that this is evidence of the genius of genius? Does anyone will ever care about the tenor voice in light of this voice?. The voice of women is by far the superior voice. Let this be known, understood, and quietly used.

  7. 7 Dar Guerra March 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Leontyne Price. Darllngs, let us honor this genius In a way, she is feminism. I honor her,

  8. 8 witchwind March 1, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    @redhester and Dar Guerra: I must say I’m confused by your comments. what are you talking about?

    And the video, it’s a woman who will be killed by a man, and saying she will miss her fatherland when she’ll be dead. well, women dying is typical of opera plots, they often die at the end, killed by their “lover” or whatever male that destroyed them throughout the story. “Patriu” is inaccurately translated as homeland since it comes from the latin pater which is father, and it means the “country of the father”, or father nation. Although she isn’t talking about missing men but green hills and rivers. Anyway, I find it confusing to be posted without context, could you explain why you wanted to post it?

  9. 9 witchwind March 1, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    if anyone wishes to add thoughts or comment something on the three previous posts, fire ahead.

  10. 10 feedthefishes March 1, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    “I never really conceived of radical feminism as activism so much as a transformative movement. It is movement, the real movement of being. Liberation isn’t a distant goal we seek to achieve but something we experience on a daily basis. And each transformation, each revelation, connection and bonding brings back a swirl of energy and joy. You can feel the “pops” and crackling of the fire which lightens your soul and frees from men’s mindbindings.”

    I like this snippet a lot. I mean, we seek that distant liberation too, for if we didn’t, we’d just be romantically enduring, which is not at all compatible with day to day liberation, and I know you’re not saying that. As you have laid it out: We are so thoroughly colonized that even ourselves cannot see our own oppression. So the nature of our liberation is different. the first step is liberation of the mind. “Free your mind.” It sounds so trite! What’s really happening is a becoming whole again. Women picking up the pieces of themselves from where patriarchy has scattered them and stomped on them, women, of their own desire and strength, putting themselves back together. It’s so damn miraculous that the beauty of it takes your breath away.

    Every time one woman becomes whole again, it’s a single bright flower blooming on a hillside that everyone said was barren. Radical feminism, as a movement, aims to carpet that hillside with billions of blossoms all rioting with color. The work does not always feel so pretty…but it is.

  11. 11 Alexis Flamethrower Daimon March 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Hi witchwind,
    your post resonated with me. I am only recently (the last week or so) becoming aware of the extent of our oppression. Namely that waking up is not going to magically liberate us, that waking up and then acting as if I love my Self and honour my boundaries in public means I will be punished by “society”. I have been rather depressed these last few days by this realization, it is like the anaethesia wearing off during surgery and having to witness the slaughering of my Self, mentally, emotionally, physically without being able to do anything about it. How to keep my integrity while functioning to the extent that I won’t lose my income for example? The dissonance you are describing – I feel it every time I leave my home to go to work. Men walk all over me and when I assert myself/my boundaries *I* am the one who is the problem and who will face the consequences.

    What you are sayin about male activism – i have had the same thoughts when watching Lierre Keith’s speech at PIELC a few days ago. She can talk openly about attacking “the power structure of capitalist patriarchy” in a mixed space, but what would happen if she talked about MEN doing this, and attacking MEN because they are the problem? SHe wouldn’t be able to do it, openly speak about a underground movement to stop patriarchy if she actually named the agents.
    We need very different strategies, it is NOT about being public and outspoken about women’s oppression. This will just get you killed/locked up/silenced etc.

    This is the video, her speech is the last half hour.
    What is it we can hope to do then, as radical Elemental feminists? As far as I can see, its consciousness raising (through anonymous blogs) and quietly preparing for when civ will break down – anything we can do to learn the skills we will need if we hope to be among the few survivors of the coming apocalypse.
    Your last paragraph – once we realize the extent of our oppression and get over the anger at it: HOW DO YOU DO THAT? I am irate all the fucking time now. 😦

  12. 12 Alexis Flamethrower Daimon March 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I am also working on a post on radical Elemental feminism at the moment, and what it is and what it isn’t. I am realizing more and more how most women who call themselves radfems have NOT grasped the extent of our oppression and are actually afraid to go to the logical end of their thoughts. But when anyone points that out then they react like libfems do when we tell them their “feminism” has nothing to do with female consciousness, or like transgenderists do when we tell them that penis is not female. It is about coming to consciousness, about being FULLY in our bodies, using ALL of our senses (not just the material ones). It is about becoming WHOLE, but the problem is that male-identified consciousness is preventing women from even understanding what being whole would actually entail. I’m really feeling rather lost at the moment and wish I didn’t have to explain “how I know a duck is a duck” all the fucking time, even to “radfems”. Biological essentialists (or quintessentialists as I prefer to call us) are rare and few. The isolation is really hard on me the more aware I become. There is literally not even a common language with most women (i don’t even try with men, obviously). And meanwhile, the horrors all around us are getting too obvious for me to *not* react to them. I wish Mary Daly was still around.. or more women who are able to *SEE*.

  13. 13 Sargasso Sea March 1, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Regarding men’s theft: (this is quite long, my apologies!)

    Many months ago my partner and I came back into contact with a young woman whom we had known from the ages of 4 through about 14. She was in pretty dire circumstances – her *husband* was facing jail time in one state and they had fled to another – they and the two young teen daughters had been kicked out of his mother’s home after several months and she was debating again whether or not to leave him. We brought her and her daughters to our house for what was to be an open-ended visit while we brainstormed ways to support her in her efforts to further her education, etc.

    We were in a position at the time to offer her and her daughters a rent-free home, legal transportation and probably a guaranteed job through some connections of ours. The goal was to get the certification she needed to make a much higher wage that would eventually lead her to be financially independent. The only thing we required was that her husband would not be allowed on the property where she would be staying. I talked to her about how his legal problems were not just going to disappear and that if he cared for her and the girls at all that he would go back and serve his 2 year sentence. During the 2 years she would be getting her certification, have a stable, safe residence and could decide whether or not she would be willing to have him back after he got out of jail…

    Within 36 hours he was calling her, guilting her to come back because he ‘couldn’t make it without her’ and they left. We heard that they had been staying with whomever would have them, been living at a campground during the summer, stayed at a weekly motel for a time. The girls barely went to school for all the moving around causing the older girl to drop out. She managed to get housing assistance and things were okay for a while but about a month ago he was arrested again and sits in jail as I write this. She called us asking for help, that she had no money, 3 days worth of food and no transportation in a rural area – she was going to lose her apartment too.

    We sent her some money and reminded her that we had talked about how his refusal to take care of his own problems had caused her and her girls to be in the position she found herself in yet again- that because he ‘couldn’t make it without her’ SHE was fucked yet again. Her reaction to this simple statement of reality was not kind: “heartless man-haters” who want to break up her family.

    On the contrary, it is heart-breaking for us to clearly see what has happened to the girl and is happening to the young woman (she’s only 30) whom we have loved all these years and to know what her older daughter (almost 17…) and her younger daughter (13) have to look forward to in their lives.

    This ‘man’ has stolen every single thing from her – especially the only real opportunity she has ever had to get ahead of the life of poverty she’s been laboring under – and a good deal of money from us too because of our love for her and the wish that her daughters not be destined to follow in her footsteps.

  14. 14 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Ooh, such a nice conversation here! lots to think about. Will reply to each comment after the other

  15. 15 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 2:00 am

    I’ll just reply in non-order actually, as things come by.

    @ Alexis (is this a male name?)
    Mary Daly – she still is with us, through her writing. What she had to say is in her books. The way we can conjure her presence again is by discussing her work seriously with other women, taking it further and let it take our lives further too. This is the way she wanted women to remember her, by reading and discussing her work.

  16. 16 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 2:13 am

    “it is like the anaethesia wearing off during surgery and having to witness the slaughering of my Self, mentally, emotionally, physically without being able to do anything about it”

    yes, i said almost the same thing in a post some months ago on metaphysics of liberation or something. Your image is even more striking.

    I was mad of anger during that speech because I was trapped in that situation and gagged – I could not even speak of the horror show that it was, because I would have been punished. The way you get over it, is by removing yourself from such situations. I got over it once I got out of it in other words, because if I were still in it, I would obviously still be angry and mad. Feeling the pain and anger is a healthy reaction towards violence because it’s so unbearable, the only next step is to withdraw from what causes that pain and anger (the surgery / men’s violence). What would be worrying is not to feel anything any more because that would mean you’d gone back to anesthesia. I’m not angry all the time because I manage to avoid such situations most of the time, and I manage to focus most of my time and energy on radical feminism.

    I hope you will eventually be able to remove yourself from this job and find something that less exposes you to men’s control and violence.

    I actually really believe liberation is possible here and now, and that liberation is inseparable from raised consciousness: physically, in life, in action. And that raised consciousness, contrary to what we may believe, doesn’t put us in a purgatory where we have to wait until men disappear and simply suffer the fate of knowing and seeing without being able to do anything. Raised consciousness leads on the path to liberation, it is its path and it draws women to that path too. I will discuss this more at length in future because there are so many things to say about this, and I need to put my thoughts in order a bit.

  17. 17 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Anger is essentially the driving force to reject the oppressor from our immediate vicinity. Remember that women’s oppression is primarily a one-to-one oppression, and therefore removing men from our vicinity and removing men from our heads is our primary task for liberation, we do that and we’ve done most of the work.
    The rest will be thinking what we will do with men once we’ve woken up and how they will react to that, and I don’t know what may happen then, but our lucidity will guide us in our actions and strategies, surely, we will have to do with the means we have.

    Men’s structures, although they represent a real threat, are a con, they’re virtual. States, corporations, etc – all these are virtual, there’s no point engaging in a fight with these superpowers because they don’t really exist if you see what I mean. The threat are men, and our biggest threat are the men closest to us. men’s structures exist only so that each man can individually own a woman – if there are no more women to be owned, then all of men’s system collapses, which leaves them with only brute force to coece us again – and then maybe we will engage in a war? I don’t know, this is still an empty point in my vision and I have yet to dig this further, anyway i sense a real path here.

  18. 18 wwomenwwarriors March 2, 2014 at 2:29 am

    HI Witchwind,

    Alexis is radical kitten and I know her in person. Definitely female!

    On to the post and discussion, yes yes! So many points you cover here. But basically I cannot find the words always to express as you’ve done here how noxious male involvement AT ALL is in our feminism, space, consciousness, etc. I think it could almost be likened to someone trying to quit drinking after a lifetime of forced alcoholism…wait, scratch that, it’s worse…it’s like being BORN addicted to heroin because we inherit this from our mothers either through cellular memory, some consciousness transfer, or her subtle nuanced interactions with us and watching her survive patriarchy as an example to us–trauma transfers down generations; this is accepted in psychology and biology at this point, no longer just mysterious speculation. The addiction/influence males have over us, which later grows into full-fledged trauma bonding in most, is wholly effectual to our beings. Trying to get back to our Selves under/off/without the male drug effect that has been pumping through our blood our entire lives is a sensitive and highly volatile transition, and if you imagine someone trying to get off smoking or another addiction, they have to completely avoid it at least for a time until they build up some serious resistant strength to it. Except with men the case is more severe in many ways and I do not know if even with strength there is any chance of extensive or prolonged exposure to them withour some erosion of Self. Not while we live in patriarchy and maybe never, if patriarchy is showing us quintessentially (thanks Alexis) what they *really* think of us anyways.

    And WHY the hell should we HAVE to anyways? I hate that it’s always framed as though we have to EXPLAIN our reasoning for NOT being around men and keeping to ourselves as women. Why don’t others instead explain to me WHY we SHOULD be around them? No one is asking me to explain why hanging around lions or wild boars or sharks all the fucking time is a bad idea. The fact that we even have to jump through hoops as if to justify our right to have the right to not be around men (all those doublethink traps) presupposes that everyone everywhere agrees that being around men is normal/required/beneficial just because we already ARE around them. I mean, what if we were to say, okay, take away all the arguments FOR being around men that derive from the starting point that we already are, therefore it’s right. Then what are we left with? What would someone argue? Why do we have to argue the reason to avoid them? I’d like to see someone explain to me why we should be around them without saying, “Because we are,” in any part of their explanation directly or implicitly.

    About comments n stuff, I am glad that you are doing what is right for you and your energy levels, and support your need to self-protect. I love the comments sections of your blog. It’s one of the best RF consciousness raising spaces on the internet, maybe even THE best, but ultimately YOU do not OWE that to any of us. Your well-being is more important and I have no problem adapting to what you need here. Maybe later down the line we’ll all come up with a forum or something for exchange like this so that we can take these longer discussions to a location that doesn’t leave you with the entire burden of moderation.

  19. 19 wwomenwwarriors March 2, 2014 at 2:30 am

    “Men’s structures, although they represent a real threat, are a con, they’re virtual. States, corporations, etc – all these are virtual, there’s no point engaging in a fight with these superpowers because they don’t really exist if you see what I mean.”

    Love that. Yes.

  20. 20 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 2:43 am

    ugh damn I just lost a comment in the web. yeah so I think anger is useful only insofar as we need to exorcise men from us (to use a Mary Dalian word), as a force of explosion to push men out, to avert them away from yourself and from your sisters, from our heads and from their physical presence. If you’re angry it means you need to get away, to project them out of your sight and thoughts.

    I will also get very angry when women tell me the story of what men have done to them. I wish that even I could take myself seriously when i say to her “let’s go and kill him” because it really would solve the problem immediately and it is a natural response of anger, this is what anger leads you to – to self defense, to protection, to kicking the coloniser out and wanting to get rid of him. It’s sane.

    You see, if anger is connected to this violence and the need to get rid of it, then it also means that anger isn’t sustainable over time. That’s because being exposed to violence isn’t sustainable, it’s destructive. So I guess anger being a healthy reaction to violence, it’s destructive to be angry all the time. Which is why the only way you can avoid being angry all the time is finding situations that aren’t violent, as much as possible – that is, non-oppressive situations, or less-oppressive situations.

    Other than that, I don’t have reasons to get angry really, especially when I’m with women who can see. Even though the subject of our conversation may be difficult and men’s violence might still be at the centre of it because we need to untangle ourselves from it, well I won’t feel the need to be angry, mostly – except if they tell the story of a woman being abused or tortured by a man. More often than not we will laugh every now and then, sometimes even a lot, and we love making fun of men’s reversals. I will come back home stimulated and feeling more whole.

  21. 21 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 2:47 am

    oh hi w4 yes I know she’s radical kitten, I just wondered whether Alexis was also a female name, I thought it was a male name and what a weird choice if it’s male. It’s completely irrelevant though and Alexis you don’t have to reply to that.

  22. 22 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 2:50 am

    I don’t want to be rude, well it’s probably rude to comment on women’s alias.

  23. 23 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 2:55 am

    I’m glad you enjoy the comments w4. I think I’m going to keep the three days a month format for now, it seems viable enough for me. For the first time in a long time I was looking forward to have comments and read the discussion so I’m glad it’s turning out this way, and I will probably be happy for the three days to be over as it give me more time again. At worst, I will reduce comments to once every two or three months but I don’t want to shut the possibility to be contacted or written to completely and for women to share and express their thoughts here for other women’s benefit.

  24. 24 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 3:05 am

    and yes, for women who have had regular rape + trauma-bonding experiences with men, especially at young age, the addiction to the trauma-bonding drug (dissociation) is very difficult to sever from. The reaction kicks in so easily in men’s presence, and it takes so much time for it to wean away. In that respect I really envy women who’ve managed to escape or avoid regular penetration + trauma-bonding to men, it really makes avoiding men much, much easier – although it doesn’t at all mean that you’ve avoided male psychic colonisation and trauma-bonding to symbolic or more subliminal male representations or even just men.

    So what I want to say is that most of the times we can’t control the reaction we’ll have in men’s presence, especially if we can’t avoid interacting with them, which is why it makes them so dangerous, or why it makes it so dangerous to be around them and not being able to leave. Because if they start sexually harassing you, asking your number, being pervy or any such sadistic thing, then you just don’t know whether you’ll be able to leave in time before they harm you. Or some harm has certainly already been done by the time they start chatting you up, and it always takes time to recover. I will always give me nightmares for several nights of eroticised sexual violence after finding myself in such situations.

  25. 25 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 3:14 am

    @ feed the fishes, yes I really like that images of blooming flowers. when I think of radical feminism I often have this image of unfolding flowers coming in bloom and spreading out. but also like a strong vortex of energy.

    I’m thinking of Mary Daly’s definition of witch, in the wickedary:

    Witch; n [derived from Anglo-Saxon wicce. Allied to Middle Dutch wicker, ‘a soothsayer’… Confer Norwegian vikja, (1) to turn aside, (2) to conjure away … This witch perhaps = ‘averter.’ – Skeat’s] :an Elemental Soothsayer; one who is in harmony with the rhythms of the universe: Wise Woman,Healer; one who exercises transformative powers: Shape-shifter; one who wields Labrys-like powers of aversion and attraction: averting disaster, warding off attacks of demons andMagnetising Elemental Spiritual Forces”

    and this blossoming force really has the power to attract women and avert men. Women just crop up from nowhere, they come. Some leave but then many more arrive. It really feels magic sometimes.

  26. 26 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Thanks for sharing this long story Sargasso Sea. Yes, as every story it is an archetype of men’s strategies of theft and abuse. Every story is unique but every story is also the same, we hear it again and again in all forms and shapes. I feel very sorry for this women, and hope that one day she will free herself from him and from the hatred of women he has visibly instilled in her, and especially of you because you are her most likely and strongest ally. You can bet the term manhater comes from him.

    I don’t even want to know how much money I’ve had to spend to try and get female family members back from abusers, because of course they also take them far, far away from where we live and just going to see these women is such a financial drain, which is deliberate. This is of course part of the theft.

  27. 27 Sargasso Sea March 2, 2014 at 4:23 am

    @W4 –

    “Why don’t others instead explain to me WHY we SHOULD be around them?”

    Exactly, because ‘that’s the way it is’ is no excuse or reason to discount our learned experience, our understanding of what men really are.

    Although I do have to say that I’d rather hang around lions and sharks than men any day because they are not interested in devouring our essence of life the way that men are. 😉

  28. 28 Sargasso Sea March 2, 2014 at 4:54 am

    Yes, each story is unique and at the same time ubiquitous. And yes he is a big reason that she unable to turn to women for her own (and her daughters’) own well-being yet without him, clearly, her life has no worth – she as an individual has no worth even in her own mind.

    In one of your previous posts you talk about when/why it is necessary to distance ourselves from women in order to protect ourselves from the ‘pass-through’ damage and this is where we are with this young woman in our life… We cannot continue to support her if her only concern is *supporting* him.

    And it makes us literally ill to have to acknowledge that is very likely the case.

  29. 29 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    yes, I find the comparison of human males to predator animals to be quite inaccurate. Animals won’t oppress us, the one-off, accidental threat that animals might pose to us bears no relation to the systematic, planned, organised and deliberate annihilation by *all* men. Wild animals aren’t that dangerous, according to the circumstances there are many ways of communicating with them.

  30. 30 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Hm, I guess the best you can do is to make it clear to her that you will welcome her whenever she needs once she’s no longer with him / wants to leave him, if she has nowhere to go.

    Unfortunately many women take it as a humiliating defeat that their feminist friends turned out to be right about their male abusers, no matter how kindly we might have explained it to them and intimated them to escape (but at the same time it can be a mindfuck because women don’t have the power to stop the man from harassing and persecuting her unless we kill him of course) and they will refuse to turn back to these friends for help once they left because they’re too ashamed to admit she did in fact “choose” a bastard. I put quotation marks to “choose” because obviously she still has the perspective that she failed her love life, she made bad choices, etc, and doesn’t want to face the shame of her perceived failure. In other words she’s still not feminist enough to see that what the man has inflicted on her has nothing to do with her as an individual, that she didn’t choose anything about her condition, and she did the best she could.

  31. 31 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    It’s heartbreaking, so many losses around us. So many close and dear women lost to us, captured by men.

  32. 32 blackmetalvalkyrie March 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I just wanted to make a comment in memory of the native Canadian woman Loretta Saunders who’s remains were recently found. She had been thought missing for a week or two but they found her. She was taking sociology in university and doing her thesis on male violence against First Nations women and that is what she died of. I just thought I would share because if I was died I would want people to remember me. What is missing in the media is how at risk ALL WOMEN are of men they know destroying them- leaving them to rot in a ditch on the side of the highway. Getting away from men, including men that are not your partner such as room mates, brothers and fathers is literally a life or death situation. Good bye sister.

  33. 33 Alexis Flamethrower Daimon March 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    I went out last night for the first time in ages and I think for the first time as conscious as I am now. It was creepy. The realization that we truly live in a dystopian “movie”, only that it’s real. As “real” as foreground can be anyway. And the constant boundary violation I witnessed men perpetrate on all the women around, which in the foreground reality is treated just as “normal” behaviour from men to women. And to see the women completely bombed out of their own minds and bodies, caricatures of themselves, acting like automatons, actual fembots, compulsively exposing and offering themselves in various ways to the men. It was horrible to watch, a real horror show. But everyone pretends it NOT! It is very “illuminating” and sobering/educating to experience urban nightlife as an awake woman.
    I think we are all experiencing a awareness growth at the moment (synchronicity in what we are thinking about, I can see that in th comments here: we are all on the same wave): and the growth is to be able to “see” and feel the responses to what we see in our bodies/minds, but without panicking and trying to either dissociate or panicky trying to escape the situation (because we cannot bear the anger it infuses in us). Instead we are learning to see, believe our perceptions, acknowledge the feelings we are responding with to the reality we are perceiving and YET to be ALSO aware of the extent of our oppression which means we can often NOT immediately act on those feelings, like anger, because lashing out would mean WE would be punished. It’s emotional wisdom we are learning, and I am certain it will illuminate a path out of this. A path that is very different from trying to change the foreground, like libfems and social constructivist/constructionist “radfems” are trying to do.
    Instead we are learning to watch the foreground from the background, seeing where the foreground distortions of reality are energetically conntected to Elemental forces (like women, or natural “ressources), twisting and distorting them, leeching out their energy to uphold the foreground “reality”.
    I was walking around the city last night feeling my Otherness acutely, feeling like a spy behind enemy lines, which is exactly what we are.

  34. 34 Alexis Flamethrower Daimon March 2, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Btw Alexis can be a female and a male name. The confusion is what I like about it, its ambiguous, and when I identify with the name it makes it easier for me to be assertive and couragious. There is also some personal history connected to that name 😉

  35. 35 amunetra March 2, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    A crucial difference, possibly THE crucial difference, is that this “man” you saw talking was talking in a place far from his oppressors. If any in the crowd or the local arrea supported or even sympathised with the oppressors, they would have been in the tiny minority and therefore unable to repress his speech.

    Contrast that with our battle in which our oppressors are everywhere. There is nowhere, literally nowhere, free of them. Any place in the world any woman tried to make a public stand like that, she would be in an area where “men” held 50% of the numbers and 100% of the power. There are no regions or communities free of them of any significant size. Indeed, if such places existed they would find themselves already under attack from all quarters merely for the fact of existing.

    Only virtual communities can offer this freedom from the oppressors, and that is why the online world is so important to this movement (if I can call it that). Blogs and forums aren’t just a place to display writing, or a place to anonymously hide out, they are in essence the first “true” communities that have existed for millennia. Perhaps that sounds a little overdramatic, but I really believe we are living in a time that could be a significant crossroads, where we use the tool created by “men” to spread their lies and pornography, and actually turn it against them and into a force for good against their tyranny.

  36. 36 wwomenwwarriors March 2, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    @witchwind and @sargasso

    I agree animals would be safer company than males. That’s what makes it so ironic to me. We do not have to explain why we do not hang out with lions (less dangerous) but do have to explain why not dudes (more dangerous).

    “In one of your previous posts you talk about when/why it is necessary to distance ourselves from women in order to protect ourselves from the ‘pass-through’ damage”

    Can one of you let me know which post this is? I haven’t seen it and I am working on something similar at the moment. Would love to read what ww has said about this.

  37. 37 witchwind March 2, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    the post Sargasso Sea is talking about is the one on colonisation

    at amunetra, yes good point about men just being able to change country not to be oppressed any more.

  38. 38 wwomenwwarriors March 3, 2014 at 12:17 am

    oh my gosh ww!!!! that article on colonisation!!!!! Needed that today. It is what I am working on right now and I am amazed to see I was drawing in some cases identical conclusions on many points you raise there and I hadn’t even read this. Says something about following our thoughts to the end when various women end up in the same place even if they haven’t had an exchange on that topic: various women enter a dark room, turn on the light, describe what they see. The women don’t know each other. They haven’t met. Yet their reports bear striking resemblance. Very validating to read that. As usual, though, I am late to the party so I’m commenting here on it. But I’ll be done with that now so we can stay on topic. Sorry bout that just really excited to have just read that!!! 🙂

  39. 39 trustyourperceptions March 3, 2014 at 1:41 am

    WW, A few posts back, you asked me to say more on how males come to be generally bigger than females, a major tactical strategy patriarchy uses against us. It’s called “genomic imprinting.” and here’s the def from my blog:

    “Genomic Imprinting occurs when an embryo is being made. The male targets certain genes on different female chromosomes, turns them off, and snaps his own genes — intrusive puzzle pieces with different instructions — in their place. Females likewise reciprocate. Scientists treat genomic imprinting as if it’s an equal tit-for-tat between the sexes. But this is incorrect. The female is acting in self-defense. Genomic imprinting serves males in several astonishing ways.

    Most commonly, males use genomic imprinting to make sure they stick around. Males regularly disable female genes instructing for a small embryo, imposing their big embryo instructions instead. The female defensively counters, which only ends up tempering dudedictate.

    When scientists merge two eggs, the embryo is tiny. But when they merge two sperm (you can’t merge two sperm; they irradiate an egg first then put their sperm donor contribution inside), the embryo is super-sized. Neither embryo lives. But what this shows us is that males try to make “their” embryo super-sized for maximum extraction of female reproductive resources. This is a merciless vampirism by the male of the female’s bodily resources, in the male interest of making females make bigboy dudebabies, ie, the successful perpetuation of their Y — at the expense of the female. According to scientists: “(Genomic imprinting) apparently occurred because of a parental (sic) battle between the sexes (sic) to control the maternal expenditure of resources to the offspring. Paternally expressed genes promote growth, while maternally expressed genes suppress growth. Thus, paternally expressed genes enhance the extraction of nutrients from the mother during pregnancy, whereas the maternal genome seeks to limit it. This genetic battle between the mother and father (sic) continues after birth, since lack of a particular male-imprinted gene results in reduced maternal nurturing behavior.” (It’s like they always told you: Women made to be mommas). This has Trust wondering if the “fight”over embryo size ultimately results in sexual dimorphism. This would make perfect sense, despite scientists claiming they have no idea why males tend to be bigger than females.”

    (Also, males use genomic imprinting to prevent parthenogenesis. Parthenogenesis is far more common than we have been allowed to recognize. Parthenogenesis occurs in every animal class but ours. Male mammals use genomic imprinting to keep females making males. In other words, males biologically force us to make them, they biologically force us to keep them around. I plan on writing a bit about this next (eventually — goes slow — lots of research involved), and will explain how parthenogenesis works in a future post: ‘Parthenogenesis: A How-To Guide).’

    Thank you for keeping the comments open 3 days a month. And thank you for your continued scintillating work. Every new post from you is thrilling, WW.

  40. 40 witchwind March 3, 2014 at 2:24 am

    oh wow thanks for that will read with more attention in a bit.

  41. 41 witchwind March 3, 2014 at 3:41 am

    ok, after a first reading there are some things that don’t make sense: I can’t understand at what level exactly the genomic imprinting happens, what is the mechanism of it in scientific terms, how exactly the imprinting happens, what in men’s genes causes this and how it functions in the embryo. You describe several different phenomena: embryo growth and foetus taking nutrients from the mother, and then boys being more cared for by the mother, but it doesn’t explain exactly how all of it related together.

    I’ll google some stuff when I have time to see what comes up.

  42. 42 trustyourperceptions March 3, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Genomic imprinting was discovered when 2 teams of scientists almost simultaneously tried to create parthenogenesis in the lab (in 1984). There are only 2 genes, for example, responsible for preventing parthenogenesis. Scientists know this because when they blocked these two genes, a creature could be produced without needing a male (I plan on writing about this soon). The imprinting happens in the woman as the fetus is coming into being.

    Males and females are in constant biological warfare, and have been for ages. Males are always trying to keep getting made, and sometimes, in some species, females have found biological ways to dispense with males entirely. (Making gay sons has been suggested by biologists as a tactic females employ to stop making males,eg). Biologists view maleness as a temporary means for genetic variation — because being male (having a decaying y) means always being in decline.

  43. 43 luckynkl March 3, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I know I’m a bit of a ghost and don’t comment much, but I do want you to know I enjoy and support your blog. Your last 2 posts were spot-on (as are most of your posts).

    I often encounter what you describe in this post. I can’t get out a sentence without being questioned and contradicted. It’s near impossible to complete a thought, much less move forward when this happens every 30 seconds. It’s frustrating to say the least.

    As you know, I have a unisex name. My parents gave it the boys’ spelling. So unless folks know me or see me in person, folks just assume I’m a dude. You would not believe the difference! It’s the difference between night and day when folks think that I’m a dude! Folks roll out the red carpet and can’t seem to kiss my ass enough. No one questions me. No one contradicts me. My word is as good as gold. If I need something done, folks can’t do it fast enough. After I’m done being amused, I of course let them know I’m not a dude, I’m a woman. The folks who were kissing my ass just a moment before, do a 180 degree turn-around and act as tho I’ve committed a heinous crime and the ultimate betrayal. Apparently it’s a heinous crime to be a woman?

    So I do know what you’re talking about. I’ve experienced it first hand. How smooth the road is for dudes to skate on, while women maneuver a mine field every inch of the way.

  44. 44 witchwind March 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    TYP, oh do you know which are the two genes? Are they genes always only present in men, or are they present in women too, from being reproduced through sperm for so long? I’m highly interested in parthenogenesis. I wold also like to see how it would be possible to reproduce energetically between women, since matter is mind and mind is matter, and I’m sure we would have the creative power to do that. Well maybe you want to wait until you publish your post before you answer that, I’m looking forward to read more about it.

  45. 45 witchwind March 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Hi Lucky, to “maneuver a minefild every inch of the way” is a good way of describing of what we have to endure wherever we go. I’ve never had this two-sides experience but have read quite a few articles of writers or online workers who first started business with female names and never understood why it didn’t work. Once they took on a male name, their business or publishing fired off. I should consider taking a unisex name if ever i start a business one day.

  46. 46 thistlespace March 3, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    @Alexsis Luckynkl, WW and all — I am with ya, sisters! Now that my consciousness has been raised — daily life in the male activist scene is becoming increasingly painful and intolerable. I have been a radical environmental activist my whole adult life — so for about 25 years — and in the last year — as my eyes were opened to the atrocious domination and control men have in and over our movement — I have felt paralyzed, yet I still do the foot work to organize benefit concerts and the like for male-led political organizing. I can relate to so much of what was written in this post and in the comments. I just had two lesbian musicians over last night to brainstorm ways to increase women’s music culture in Madison, and they said they are boycotting Mich Fest and feel my stance is “transphobic” — From all sides, sisters, we are misunderstood, feared and hated for standing up for our rights to exist and gather as we see fit.

    Recently, a radical feminist sister from Milwaukee and I have been cooking up the WSO (Women’s Solidarity Organization) as an answer to us becoming independent in our radical activism.

    If you have ideas for workshops, discussion groups and actions we could take together this summer in the Midwest, please get in touch with me. I was thinking we could organize a WSO gathering in Chicago for sometime in July. thistle@riseup.net.

  47. 47 witchwind March 3, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    hi thistlespace, thanks for sharing the info on your projects and your experience with male activism.

    I’d say, the best thing women can do together is have discussion groups to discuss radical feminist books, or discuss our lives from a radfem perspective, or both. I find it useful to send some reading beforehand (scanned or pdf-ed) so the women who attend can be more or less on the same page, which makes discussions more interesting. Depends if you’re inviting women who like reading or not. We never have enough time to talk together! I spend hours and hours talking to radical feminists. Then it’s nice to do that while going for walks, for a swim, have massage sessions, bring a guitar play some feminist music things like that, singing, inventing songs, whatever you enjoy – having fun and relaxing is really important to creating networks and be in good conditions for spinning. I also find workshops useful to learn skills that are usually kept away from us by men, or learning specialised stuff done by women that you wouldn’t learn elsewhere and are meaningful in terms of survival as women. Or organise at some point a march where you go and talk to women in the streets to explain what radical feminism is, hand out radfem 101 leaflets with links to relevant reading, etc. Anything that can spark more women.

    Possibilities are endless, as long as they contribute to raising our awareness collectively and creating new bonds. These are things that come up in my mind but the best is to use your imagination and creativity to create a space which allows for the best possible interaction and transmission of radfem knowledge with other women. The model of conference is the least well adapted to this IMO. One or two speeches may be great and lead to great discussions and may be an opportunity to hear women you’ve read etc, but it shouldn’t be made the centre of a gathering I think, as it leaves less time to talk and get to know the women attending, which is what makes a movement grow.

    Oh, and it’s nice of you to leave your contact, just be aware that there are many malevolent evil men reading radfem blogs and they might use it to harass you, or use the information about your projects and location against you. It’s not safe to put any personal info out there, and be careful with the people who reply to you, to make sure they’re not men in disguise. For the same reason you might not get many responses from women who might fear you’re a troll in disguise. I personally don’t reply to women before I know them well, ie they’ve commented for a long time, I know I can trust them etc. Just so you know.

  48. 48 witchwind March 4, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Comments will remain open for a few more hours still.

  49. 49 Mary Sunshine March 4, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Hi WW, in your comment at March 3, 2014 at 11:34 pm, you describe all the wonderful ways that the “second wave” took off like wildfire. We didn’t need conferences; I agree, they slow down the communications. They are not spiral.

  50. 50 laura lyn March 4, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Great post! I’m glad witchwind you open the comments 3 times a month, and I really hope this is ok for you, because I confess it was a bit frustrating to not have the possibility to ask, comment, I mean, to share information, to learn more….

    About this post its very well pointed, men don’t realise the privilege to be credited, while we have to fight to make our words meanignful in the minimum ways.

    Since I follow you not for so long and as soon I started you have closed the comments I will ask about this PIV is always rape. I hope you don’t get mad, I mean if this is repetitive for you, I just really wanna understand, because I think I almost understand, but something makes me feel that its a bit pushing. Just because as a survivor of rape I feel that this idea undermines what I have passed through, which I have very clear that was brutal and made me change in many ways, and still hurts, you know what I mean?

    Thank you for your time.

  51. 51 witchwind March 4, 2014 at 5:31 am

    @ laura, defining all PIV as rape doesn’t negate at all the difference in degrees of violence between the rapes. The forms of constraint may vary from one man to another, that is in some cases the psychological constraint is more prevalent and in others, it’s physical and material constraint, but usually a varying mix of both. And in many cases, the constraint is so well crafted that the victim isn’t conscious of it, that is, has been persuaded that she entered in it freely. The lack of consciousness of the violence isn’t directly related to the degree of violence though. That is, no matter how extreme the violence, men can still persuade their victim she wanted it, and that it wasn’t violent. This is the case with extreme forms of torture such as BDSM or prostitution, where the physical and psychological brutality is undeniable yet they might say exactly the same things you said, or that they chose it, that it’s more complex, etc.

    The thing is with PIV, is that it forms part of oppression. And when we define an act as oppressive, we don’t look at each act separately in its particularity and how the oppressor or oppressed individual feel about it at this particular time, we look at the structure, at the interlocking forces that constrain women into submitting to PIV. We look at who it benefits from it, who gets to decide and to whose detriment it is. We look at whether the harm is planned, whether the harm is organised by a group to serve a particular purpose: and it does, PIV fits all this criteria, and this is precisely because PIV is the primary means through which men oppress women, it is at the very core of women’s oppression. Given that all PIV is inflicted in a context of constraint, and rape is a sexual penetration obtained by the use of constraint, well all PIV is rape. It’s really very simple. Plus add all the other elements mentioned the post that reinforce the constraint and the notion that PIV is also inherently violent.

    If you want a more in depth definition of oppression which you can apply to the PIV discussion I suggest you to read Marilyn Frye’s text “oppression”, although she doesn’t talk about PIV all you need to do is apply PIV to her framework, and it fits. here’s a link to her article.

    Click to access Frye,%20Oppression.pdf

    Also I suggest you read Anntagonist, FCM, wwomenwwarriors and previous radfems such as Ti-grace atkinson on the subject of PIV.

  52. 52 Dar Guerra March 4, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Hi there witchwind, Sorry that video of Leontyne Price singing an aria was posted without context. I had just read that you were limiting comments and was feeling bad that that was what needed to happen (I posted the video before you wrote this latest article). I was also feeling like I was reading so much about male suppressions that I was forgetting to remember the greatness of our many women geniuses – our own greatness, which is biologically-based as I see it.

    As a singer of classical and other music, I had the insight recently that women are such greater singers than men that there is no comparison at all – our vocal ranges are much larger, our flexibility, our volume, the beauty of sounds produced from our female larynxes. Yet I have never seen the plain fact said, that singing is an art in which women are overwhelmingly superior. So I posted the video I had been listening to to be a reminder and an uplifter as we discuss dark truths.

    I find that it relieves a lot of pain to remove my focus from the pain of always living in the minefield, onto something womanly and transcendently beautiful. While the aria is about leaving her “patria”, her homeland of Egypt, there are very few arias that aren’t sexist in some respect, something we need to fix, and I hoped the video wouldn’t offend. Sorry for any derailing or puzzling effect it had.

    And keep up the great writing!


  53. 53 witchwind March 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Dar Guerra, ok that makes sense, thanks for clarifying!

    Men’s voices are indeed raucous and uninteresting. and the basses can easily be replaced by music instruments such as strings which are far more beautiful than their voices. I also think it’s a question of privilege that expectations are much, much higher for women than for men in singing. Women are expected to always have a beautiful voice otherwise they have no chance of being recorded, be able to sing a great variety of nuances, tones and colours, but men can just lamentably croak and groan (such as bob dylan) and strike two dingy tunes and people will be baffled by their “talent” and enjoy hearing their voice, because they’re men and are used to think that men are the default human, that their voices are more profound, etc. What a reversal. Women also have to distort our voice more often to make it “beautiful” and many singing standards (such as opera) aren’t very natural to the vocal chords, I find it’s pushing them too far and separating it from the body.

  54. 54 witchwind March 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Ok on this note, I am now going to close comments. Thanks to all for your contributions!

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