Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ole Mis

So I made kind of a stupid mistake the other day while commenting on , wherein I used the word "misandrist" to describe the condition of hating men as a class. Although I made it clear that I did not think there was wide-ranging and oppressive misandry crushing the spirits of poor hapless men everywhere, I did allow as how individual women could (and did) hold men in specific and manhood in general beneath contempt, and the root cause of all evil and misery in the world, and a worthy object for negative feelings to be projected upon.

but nobody seemed to be buying what I was selling. there was a little scorn, a little disdain, a little debunking...but not a lot of agreeing. if you like you can follow the whole shootin' match here:

I don't mind being disagreed-with, not at all. Further, I am grateful to Biting Beaver for her hands-off moderation style which allowed for much reasonable and educational discourse. however, I'm just not really finished mouthing off on the subject, and I'd rather not hijack anyone else's dissent-safe space*. So, here we go.

Hi, I'm Heidi and I'm an occasional misandrist.

I hate some individual men all the time, notably my pestilential exhusband and George Bush and that walleyed moron Dick Cheney.

I hate all men (almost all men, save two - statistically all men, if you will) some fractional portion of the time, notably when I see example after example after tedious, frustrating, headdesking example of patriarchal entitlement. yep. there are days when men as a class make me want to run screaming from the dick-swinging, conversation-dominating, bossy and aggressive almighty Y chromosome and find a quiet place to shine a penlight at my cervix or something.

I think many women disdain men as a class sometimes. I think that the condition of disdaining men as a class can rightly be called "misandry". I also think that pretending misandry is a slanderous fiction created by misogynists to sully the good name of feminists everywhere and thereby discredit all questioning and forward-thinking women in one fell swoop is a head-in-the-sand solution to a non-existing problem.

do I hate men? sure, sometimes. what of it? why should that insult me personally? why should it insult womankind in general?

for the record, I can occasionally be rightly accused of misogyny - I hate at least one woman all of the time, one whose name cannot be said for fear of summoning her, my own Lady Voldemort.

I also admit to hating all women some of the time. Womankind, the all-powerful sisterhood, my own XX chromosomes - some days all of it makes me want to run screaming from the pink-ribboned vulvolalorrhea of the eternal underdog and go pound down boilermakers while watching The Man Show, just to establish some equilibrium.

OK - now I think I'm done, at least for a while.

Any thoughts?

*thanks to Delphyne who helpfully pointed out that BB's blog was not especially "dissent-safe", although she said I said "dissent-free" - I get her point. I was absolutely wrong about that. there's plenty of dissent over there, of the more-or-less healthy variety. I stand corrected on that point. Thanks again, Delphyne!

Vulvolalorrhea. I'm not sure that's a word, but ten points for Word Usage anyway. You actually forced me to sound it out, a practice I haven't engaged in since third grade.

" Wait, no. Huh?"

Pretty funny.
It is a portmanteau of my own recent coinage - vulva + lalorrhea (thereby implying a neverending and somewhat tedious vagina monologue). so it's not officially a word in that it's not in the OED, but neither is "pornstitution" (a portmanteau of "pornography" and "prostitution", to connote the conjoined issues present in both) and folks fling that one around like it's the Queen's English. go figure.

I'm just so excited that someone is commenting! somebody give that man a cookie! :)
ah. you were in the Den, were you? I...mmm. Yeah. Never mind. (whistling, gazing about and out the window) Oh, look, a swallow. How lovely.
yep. that was me.

tell me, do I sound masculine to you? seriously, do you think I'm a guy?
Oh, most definitely. Several of them, even.

I love it; it could be the radfem version of "do these jeans make my ass look fat?"

"Does this irony make my text look too patriarchal?"

no, sorry. look: not to be unduly influential or anything, but imho the Beeb is a screaming frootbat. (delphyne is quite the piece of work herself, also). her man is the boy Dworkinite to whom I refer, above, and it was a pleasure dealing with the two of them, let me tell you. more detail at this earlier post 'o mine, including the comments section.

happy to provide pointer to original trainwreck(s) if you're into that sort of thing. (I'm trying to cut back, but: the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. or something).

sadly, if you go to her front page, the Formerly Known As Dim would appear to be in the doghouse now. o not literally; that would be too much like consensual kink and therefore Bad. no, she just screamed and "bellowed" at him all night, apparently, which fortunately for him he did not try to defend himself from; otherwise he would have been sleeping in his car. (apparently she's only kept him around this long because he seems truly repentant of his former patriarchal ways, which indluded, by both their definitions, him "raping" her. also conveniently helped protect her from her insane ex, it would appear. oh, and she kind of likes him. when she's not taking out all her anger on him for all that was done to her and All Women Everywhere, not least by him; apparently she's "brutally" lectured him about his past sins with past girlfriends, and oh--you really have to read the whole damn thing in all its glory). which, if that's not assertive empowerment, I don't know what *is*!

i am just so happy, always, that the two of them came along to instruct us on the ways of Radical Feminism (tm). whatever would we have done without them?
point away! (jeez - I'm a bad influence...)

I am now forced to admit that I read your previously cited post and tried to chase down the BB kerfluffle to which it referred.

this may only prove my deep seated masochism as I am a refugee from that whole Twisty -vs- Kink bloodbath back in late Feb. - early March. I felt awful after all that.

I gotta say that Ms. Beeb was most hospitable to me in the face of Delphyne's meltdown, so despite the fact that BB and I will probably not always agree, I can certainly respect her blog gangsta.

her latest couple of entries are very interesting and speak to the idea that it is possible (within the bounds of the law and common sense) for people to determine their own definition of what constitutes abuse. For example, in my house, if you wanna yell, you go outside and yell. for me and mine, the act of voice raising comes wayyyyy too close to the act of fist-making and its grim eventualities. this gives our (exceedingly rare) arguments a rather quaker-meeting feel, full of long, sober silences as we figure out how to say what we want to say without going berzerk. the act of yelling is often seen as just as bad as whatever it is the guilty party did, and is almost always seen as abusive behavior no matter what the context.

but that's just us. we're both wicked hypersensitive, thanks to experiences that taught us that yelling is the precursor to physical violence, sure as the high-pitched whistle is the precursor to an artillery shell landing in your lap.

so we don't yell at each other. in the home of BB, yelling might be considered rather routine, but not in our house.

on the other hand, in our house we each try to convince the other to engage in sexual congress at odd moments, and often this involves a bit of coercion and creative thinking on the part of the horny our house this does NOT count as abuse, but in their house it might.

what this all says about the idea of personal choice in the realm of appropriate partner behavior is fascinating to me.
aah! my secret's out!

I'm actually a team of soviet scientists...
Hokay. Well, first of all, there was an earlier kink-related bloodbath at Twisty's (there are or have been many many such, I believe):

somewhere between my increasing irritation at what seemed like willful boneheadedness on that thread, not least by the Dim one, and my incredulity upon learning that Dim was in fact a dude and still presuming to lecture, and even being given what suer seemed like respectful heed, on a radical feminist board. one thing to "fight high heels" if you've actually been mandated or pressured to wear them...

also, really really not at all pleased with straightdude's being the Voice of Authoritah on gender-roleplaying w/in gay and lesbian kink:

"On the homosexual female side of things, one person is the 'man' in every regard – I have yet to meet a lesbian female BDSM couple in which the 'butch' was the submissive and the 'femme' was the dominant. The pattern is identical in the homosexual male part of the "scene"; the submissive takes on an effeminate, womanly role..."

...among many other choice wisdoms both there and on IBTP. also: whining. SMTOE.

so, nu, I trolled a bit.

My initial feeling about the entire encounter (that particular one), afterward:

My response to the whole BDSM/kink kerfuffle(s) at IBTP (and other satellites, and some thrashes on the Big Feminist Blogs):

Some later posts generally spinning off my impression of the sort of radfem being espoused on the Internets as I've been seeing it, and particularly wrt the "sex-positive" dealio, in no particular order:

and more generally on similar feelings about other sociopolitical configurations/groups/individuals that have made me uncomfortable:
and, my definition of abuse definitely includes "bellowing and screaming at someone all night," little as I might personally care for the someone. not to mention using the threat of dumping/abandonment as a card (in public, no less), and "brutally" lecturing someone on his past sins. And the notion that one ought to control one's fantasies for the sake of one's partner squicks me right the fuck out. (very Cultural Revolution, all that).
to clarify:

I do think one can shout and yell without it being necessarily abusive. I do think there are legitimate cultural/stylistic differences to conflict. Yelling at someone as a way to vent, however, with the intent to make into a "mouse" and the general idea that the someone "deserved it"--that, to me, is abusive, yes. It's not the raised voice; it's the intimidation and the shaming and blaming.
btw: i realize all those links come off as a *tad* self-promoting (not to mention multiple posts, a weakness of mine). no obligation to read any of 'em; just, it struck me from your posts that you've maybe been giving a fair amount of thought to this stuff yourself. also there are a few links to other feminists embedded here and there, whose voices/blogs I think you might enjoy.
I am honored, belledame (obsequious hat-tip and flourish)!

now that there's three of us commenting we can all start to gang up on one another... ;)
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