Wednesday, May 10, 2006
So Burrow has an interesting post at her blog, a most moving tribute:
Angry for a Reason: Dear Andrea,
Although I should make clear it's probably nothing personal and she didn't call me out by name, I believe it's nonetheless safe to assume that as a kinky woman, I am one of those whom she thinks is "actively championing those who hate us", and therefore one of those whom she feels guilty about hating.
Burrow - just go ahead and hate me, and all the rest of the women in the world like me. The world will not come to an end. I won't curl up and die just because you may wish I would. Seriously, it's all right. Just get it out and stop wasting everyone's time feeling guilty. St. Andrea wouldn't want you to feel guilty, would she?
I wonder if expressing guilt over strong negative feelings is supposed to serve as a softening of the strong negativity. See now, I think St. Germaine would object to that sort of feminine (in the pejorative sense) behavior, that head-angling, sweet-shark-smiling, voice-rising "ok?" implied after every sentence, even those that go "I hate what you do/how you feel/what you think/how you look/what you want."
when saints cancel themselves out, what are we mere mortals to do? (and totally off the point - who would win in a Germaine-vs-Andrea no-holds-barred cage match?)
Do what you gotta do. Hate what you gotta hate. just be honest about it and don't think you're doing me any favors by crucifying yourself over it.
What goes around comes around...
I've been going around informally asking self-described feminists how they define feminism, to see if we can't find *some* consensus, but it's definitely a challenge.
frankly, I think I'm just not smart enough to define feminism, all bumper-sticker sloganeering aside.
"the radical notion that women are people"? sure - but so what?
there's got to be more to it than that. what kind of people? better people? stronger people? more aggravating people? more useful people? and once one can scientifically prove that homo sapiens sapiens includes both males and females (i.e. people), does feminism just evaporate in a puff of logic?
if it's not me personally whom you hate/feel guilty about hating, then who?
I see an undercurrent to this that those who disagree are somehow ignorant and less enlightened.
A notion that once we educate ourselves, we'll agree with you.
It's a common logical fallacy, and a personal peeve of mine, which is why I'm pointing it out.
People can conduct equally extensive amounts of research and come to different conclusions. That doesn't mean either is necessarily wrong, it's just the fuzzy nature of the soft sciences.
that women are subjects, not just objects. which means we have voices. which means we have our own perspectives, our own thoughts, our own feelings. EACH of us. ALL of us.
As per kink: it is, can be, an infinite number of things. Which is partly why I enjoy the world of kink: life's rich tapestry. I 'm not turned on by things *because* they're "anti-patriarchal" (or not). I don't know anyone who is, frankly. I am awfully fucking tired of explaining till I'm blue in the breasts *why* I like what I like--hell, even that yes, I like what I like, and it doesn't make me any less of a feminist than you, goddamit, to people who are bounda and determined not to listen.
And, I am tired of the attitude that erotic desire is or should be something that fits itself to a sociopolitical ideology. if anything I'd say it's the other way around; or, they're intertwined.
I'm sure that, for instance, my desire to put makeup and dresses on boys is/was shaped by the early perception that this was a big Taboo, and it was a way of getting power; which is/wax sexy. however, I am quite sure that at the time I first evolved that particular fetish it wasn't any rational process shaped by dogma going on; as I recall, I was five years old when that one first popped up.
And while I am uncomfortably aware that there is a certain element of "butbutbut SHE STARTED IT!" to this whole thing, I'll say it again: comes down to it (and frankly, it shouldn't have to), I'll take Larry Flynt over Phyllis Schlafly, any day of the week.
>kept learning, kept digging, kept questioning."
so, does the past tense there mean now you've stopped? 'cause I sure haven't.
and yeh, the notion that you're "ahead" of those who aren't on the same page as you is, well, patronizing; don't be so sure we're reading the same book or even in the same library. I could name a number of people who'd say the same thing, but from the opposite direction. Susie Bright, for one (yes, she was a big fan of Dworkin's, and never forgot her debt to her. and yes, I am one of the ones who think that was a damn good tribute she gave her, all things considered).
Because I'm queer.
Because Flynt may want to exploit me and misrepesent me, but Schlafly effectively wants me annihilated. And she and her ilk are busy making up more laws, *not* just saying mean things or even making magazines of dubious ethics and taste, which *will affect me directly.* Assuming I keep dating women and pursuing my sexuality, which I plan to. Because, kink, schmink: I was ALREADY feeling like sexually, I didn't have a right to exist. And I have never taken the right to pursue my desires for granted. Ever. So, I don't minimize the freedom to pursue them. Ever.
I just meant I don't hate women for liking porn/BDSM/etc. I used to. I just realised how many women were hurt by it and how much richer my life was without it. YMMV
well, then...not so far off, perhaps. except that i see someone like Sheila Jeffreys as a lot more allied with the likes of Schlafly than I do, say, Susie Bright.
in theory I could have some degree of sympathy for either of them, did I know their full story, I suppose; but that goes for pretty much anyone. hell, I think Hitler had a pitiable childhood, as far as that goes. doesn't really change the fact that he became a monster.
(yeah, yeah, Godwin's Law, but I'm just rambling here anyway).
Depends who you mean by "we." I don't know that I especially think you have your head up your ass, in general; the reason I was at your blog in this case was because I wanted to see if there was any sort of meeting point.
with some other peoples' blogs, I suppose it's possible that I hold out hope of communication at some level; but mostly I think it's my own sadism and/or masochism coming to the fore.
which is, again, why I'm really a lot better off working it off with a willing partner.
or, well; I think one could make a good case that a good flame war is a form of consensual BDSM, albeit perhaps not formally negotiated for. still the physical workout does me good, I find.
in a few cases, I admit it, I'm mostly in there to gawp and laugh. not a particularly healthy habit of mine, but: we all have our little indulgences.
because a lot of the time I agree wholeheartedly with what y'all are saying. often I'm part of the choir you're preaching to.
which is why, after loyally reading and following everyone's journeys and feeling like I get to know some folks almost personally, it's such a punch in the gut when the subject of those horrible BDSM people comes up, in their tacky little outfits and their foolish little power games and their obsession with high heels and fishnets and don't they know they're hurting the revolution and not even feminists?
and don't say that never happens because it absolutely does.
I read the radfemblogosphere religiously, even obsessively. what am I supposed to do when the circle that I thought welcomed and included me, and appreciated the work I did, shuts me out deliberately and with extreme prejudice?
"I just meant I don't hate women for liking porn/BDSM/etc. I used to. I just realised how many women were hurt by it and how much richer my life was without it. YMMV"
I have to say, having been in a porn-heavy relationship and porn-mostly-non-existent relationships, I can't say it makes a difference in my daily life.
although I can see where someone would see a difference.
so which women do you hate/feel guilty for hating, exactly?
I go back *there* occasionally partly because I am trying to confirm whether my (gradually acquired) impression is/was correct: whether she is in fact of the opinion that the main problem with the world, the reason for the Patriarchy, is because *there's too much emphasis on sex.* As in, people--*men*--want too much of it. I have to say, the more I read there, the more it does seem like that's her worldview. Which, she's welcome to it; but, I really REALLY disagree. Like, a lot. How can you miss the millenias' worth of institutionalized repression for the thin overlay of capitalist-infused strip clubs 'n' such? How can you minimize the *importance* of it?
Yeh, I know: the whore/virgin thing, they both come from patriarchy, six of one, half a dozen of the other, tastes great, less filling, yadda. Except in Twisty's case, I really do get the strong impression that yeah, there is a not-so-subtle upholding of the Virgin archetype and a not-so-subtle denigration of the "whores" and "sexbots." Which: this is different from traditional patriarchy, how?
I mean, it may just be Twisty's own personal thing, which again: fine, more than fine, if she'd only own it. But she does have this rather from-the-mountaintops way of Pronouncing things that, well, gets under my skin (and probably would've done sooner or later even without the sex business, tell the truth). Sometimes I see her as a kind of Spinster Aunt Paul or something, especially after her whole "do it till you're satisfied" business:
"Yet I would that all women (and men) were even as myself. But if they have not continency, let them do as they will; it is better to marry (get spankings) than to burn. If thou must. Ew."