Thursday, June 29, 2006
"If you haven’t had cock shoved down your throat until you gagged and vomited and bled and could not breathe, with ”bitch” and “cunt” and ”whore” ringing in your ears, then maybe you don’t understand."
You know what's the worst about fellatio-unto-vomiting? Always having to clean up your own bloody puke afterwards.
You know how I know? I'll give you a hint - it's not because I saw it in a movie once.
I find it insulting, this idea that if only I was a survivor of sexual abuse, or had even the least little sympathy for survivors of sexual abuse, then I'd understand how damaging the act of fellatio can be; and even more insulting is the idea that unless I was a survivor of sexual abuse I could not possibly understand.
I got news: I am a survivor of sexual abuse. For seven years my exhusband made my life a waking nightmare. And still I can not find it in me to hate the BJ, though I certainly understand why someone might.
I'm not saying that Heart (or people who agree with Heart) are wrong or defective or weak. Not at all. I'm saying that similar experiences do not always generate similar opinions, and it is vital that we remember that.
(OK - here's where I go all into the weeds and wander waaaaaaaaaay off course. I feel it's important to point out that although the rest of this post was inspired by Heart, it is not a reply to Heart. All apologies in advance for any confusion I may cause.)
I don't think it was the idea of patriarchal entitlement that led to my brutal abuse by my exhusband. I don't think it was porn. I don't think it had anything to do with my position on cocksucking.
He abused me because he could. I let him.
I thought he'd "grow out of it" one day. I thought taking it made me tough and strong. I thought I could get all Christlike and turn the other cheek and through consistent unconditional love and patience he'd see that he didn't need to get violent with me to "keep me in line" - that I was already in line, if such a concept was even useful to describe a partnership between adults.
One day I ran out of other cheeks to turn. So that was the end of that.
Blaming the concept of pornography, or Nina Hartley, or Susie Bright, or the concept of Patriarchy, or the act of fellatio, or those women who cheerfully suck the Patriarchy's dick, for his being a hideous stain on the soul of humanity is singularly unsatisfying to me. I blame him.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Although I fear that such a discussion may trip triggers or mash buttons or otherwise cause more harm than good, I guess it doesn't have to. I mean, if we're all very respectful and careful and gentle with each other, maybe we could find more similarities than differences between us. Or, if differences present themselves persistently, maybe we can honor them and learn from them rather than let them continue to get us all upset with each other.
When I was about twelve I had a friend, F. She was exponentially more sophisticated than I was on every level. She was a wild child - no two ways about it. I admired her, certainly, as I was kind of shy and retiring and gawky and, well, doofy. Anything F. did/said/wore/liked was about a thousand times cooler than what I did/said/wore/liked - and intensified by the "bad" factor, that cigarette-smoke-lipgloss-hairspray aura that made everything she did so much more alluring and naughty and grown-up.
One thing F. had none of was respect for her elders. She thought nothing of talking back, openly defying, subtly sabotaging - she was rebellious to a shocking degree. Her flagrant disregard for parental authority was made abundantly clear to me one day when we snuck into her father's bedroom and rooted around under the bed until we found The Dirty Pictures.
By this time I had grasped the nuts-n-bolts of reproduction, thanks to The Life Cycle Library and a handful of "Your Body and YOU" - type books. But The Dirty Pictures seem to have anything at all to do with the reproductive process. I'm not sure I would have known they were Dirty Pictures, except that F. announced it when she found them. "aHA! The Dirty Pictures!"
While the pictures themselves were surprising and fascinating, it was not the naughtiness of those pictures that was so captivating. Far more exciting was the act of violating a closed door, seeking out the hidden and forbidden, learning the strange and arcane secrets of the adult world.
Thereafter, I devoted much of my free time (probably too much of my free time) looking for more Dirty Pictures. When I discovered that Dirty Pictures were hard to come by (being under eighteen and all), I moved on to Dirty Books, which were much easier to get my juvenile hands on. I haunted the Adult section in the public library, of course with the finely-honed eye for quality and high level of sophistication of the average twelve year old - Anais Nin left me cold, even though the title of the book clearly read "erotica"; Danielle Steele kept me occupied for hours. My mother and I began to wordlessly trade the most egregious paperbacks, silently removing and replacing them in their hiding places between our respective mattresses and box springs. The Happy Hooker - fascinating. Wifey - not so much.
It's important to realize that nobody was shoving the material down my throat. Not by a long shot. I hunted this stuff, stalked it, like a kitten stalks a grasshopper.
And then I found it. The motherlode. The granddaddy of them all.
Way way up on my stepmother's highest shelf, innocently hiding in plain sight among the much-loved American and world lit of her grad school days, was the legendary Kama Sutra.
And next to it, Philosophy in the Bedroom. I didn't know what that was about, but I figured it had the word "bedroom" in the title so it had to have at least some good parts. And I had begun to hear the author's name, Marquis de Sade, flung around here and there...
In order to reach the books I had to stand on a couple of encyclopedias, balanced on a box, balanced on a chair, and even still I had to strain every muscle in my body upwards while teetering precariously on tiptoe. But it was worth it, I felt. Worth it for the good parts.
The much renowned encyclopedia of the Hindu art of love was totally beyond me, frankly. I had trouble adjusting to the whole "yoni" and "lingam" thing...I was looking for something, I don't know, something...different...something dirtier...
something like Philosophy in the Bedroom.
I remember that book, the way the pages felt so soft and fragile, the way it smelled so delightfully old, the way some of the pages slipped from between the ratty paper cover on to the floor. I remember feeling so afraid that a random page would float away and get lost behind a shelf or under the bed, only to betray me later. Mostly, I remember skipping the philosophy and aiming right for the bedroom.
Dirty I wanted, and dirty I got. I knew my quest had come to an end. No book could possibly be dirtier.
I dug it. Maybe I dug it because it seemed the the very peak of rebellion. Maybe I dug it because a couple of stories featured the utter destruction of a mother or stepmother, and that meshed nicely with how I felt about my own stepmother at the time. Whatever the reason, I dug it.
I guess that was the point of no return for me.
Friday, June 23, 2006
As there is no shortage of persuasive essays on the subject (both pro and con), may I suggest that we leave the fiery rhetoric for another thread, and choose instead to focus on ways in which we can feel more comfortable talking to each other and learn to respect each other.
to that end, I promise not to call antiporn feminists "prudes", either individually or as a class. In return, I'd like it if nobody was called delusional, perverted, or a tool of the patriarchy.
So, the question is: How can sexpositive feminists and antiporn feminists learn to respect each other and work together to achieve a world in which sexuality is valued and celebrated?*
You don't have to justify yourself or explain why you identify as one or the other. If your reasons are good enough for you, they're good enough for me.
Can we do this with no yelling or punking or pwning or scorn or contempt?
This should be interesting. Well, I hope it will be interesting. Maybe without the nastiness there will be nothing to say. I guess that remains to be seen.
*I use the terms "sex-positive" and "antiporn" for lack of better terms, really. I think it's how the opposing sides self-define. If you feel I'm in error, please speak up. If anyone has less limiting or more accurate words to use, let me know. Please understand that I'm not deliberately trying to be disrespectful or obfuscating or biased, but if you feel disrespected, confused, or insulted, I'm open to discuss that. I'm not trying to say that all antiporn women are sex-negative, or that all sex-positive women are pro-porn.
Anyone remember that, from way back in Ninety-Ought?
In 1990, a feminist group from Antioch College demanded that the administration of the college institute a sexual consent policy binding upon all Antioch students. The group, Womyn of Antioch, sought the policy out of frustration after two rapes were reported that year on campus, neither of which was prosecuted. To demonstrate their resolve, they threatened the college with “radical, physical actions” if their demands were not met. The campus furor instigated by the Womyn of Antioch resulted in a formal “Sexual Consent Policy,” issued in 1992.
Drawn up by a committee of students, faculty, and administrators, the policy was primarily designed to prevent and—when that failed—deal with sexual offenses on campus. The process by which the plan would realize its purpose was quite straightforward. One party involved in an intimate encounter would be required to obtain the consent of the other party before the encounter could advance further. Should consent be given and the encounter escalate in intimacy, consent would be required at every level of intimacy. The need for graduated consent is clearly and unequivocally mandated on page one of the policy:
If the level of sexual intimacy increases during an interaction (i.e., if two people move from kissing while fully clothed—which is one level—to undressing for direct physical contact, which is another level), the people involved need to express their clear verbal consent before moving to that new level. If one person wants to initiate moving to a higher level of sexual intimacy in an interaction, that person is responsible for getting the verbal consent of the other person( s) involved before moving to that level.
The principle behind the Antioch policy is simple both in theory and practice. If someone consents to an intimate act at any and every level of intimacy, he or she cannot claim rape after the fact. However, if someone refuses to consent, then any intimate act following the refusal can be labeled as forcible sex and dealt with accordingly.
This from a site called eNotes which appears more or less unbiased.
As I recall the policy endured much ridicule in print and on TV (I think it climbed all the way up to Saturday Night Live if I'm not mistaken), and eventually was considered to be nothing if not evidence of a vast radfem conspiracy designed to drain all the fun out of sexual activity and ruin it for everybody. "Countless
articles described the Antioch rules as the culmination of hysterical
rape-crisis feminism," according to one web site. And then nothing more was heard about it - people just got tired of talking about it and it sort of receded into the footnotes of history, apparently.
The recent decidedly-uncivil BJ wars opened my eyes to the fact that many young women say they feel pressured to deliver on certain "mandatory" sexual activities, in a way that I have to say I don't remember feeling when I was a young woman. (I feel really guilty that I have allowed myself to lose touch with young women's experience, but for all that I'm grateful to be better-informed now.)
For all one might condemn the Antioch Rules they did bring about a new context in which to discuss sexual behavior - the idea of consent being given at every step of the way was quite novel and allowed for new ways to discuss sexual expression.
This was, for me, a great thing. In my mid-20s, this idea of consent allowed me far greater sexual freedom than one might think. The idea of consent was like armor for me. Nothing and no one could touch me, I was inviolable and unassailable, I was a fortress behind the wall of Consent. There was no mandatory or expected sexual activity, to my mind and the minds of my partners. Everything was up for negotiation - the negotiation became expected and mandatory, but nothing else.
I could choose to consent to nothing at all, or everything under the sun. And I had the great responsibility to ask for consent from my partners, too, which led to some fascinating discussions which were almost as satisfying as the act itself.
Naturally, no madeup concept of "rules" is going to save a woman from the stranger rape, the marital rape, the random ogle or other similar offense to human dignity.
And of course, there's much debate raging on whether one can ever obtain true consent, pure and free from the corruption of patriarchy. (I think it is possible, others are not so optimistic.) However, in the context of otherwise-responsible adults trying to get it on in an egalitarian, non-exploitive manner, I think it was a very useful concept. I dug the Antioch rules. They were useful to me, and to others. I'm sorry to see them ridiculed into oblivion, the result of which seems to be that the sexual freedom I enjoyed (hoo boy!) in my twenties is no longer possible here in the 21st century.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I don't know as I have the knowledge, intellect and gravitas to be included among such other feminist heavyweights as make up the rest of the carnival. But hey - I don't make the rules.
Anyway, congrats to all who have been anthologized!
The wisest thing I've ever heard regarding disagreements:
"A strong condemnation of DDT is not a ringing endorsement of the malaria mosquito."
I am sorry that I can't attribute that quote to its originator - I don't know who said it. but I'm awfully glad she did.
Actually, the originator appears to be my husband. I don't know if he made it up or if he was quoting someone else - but that's where I heard it first.
Let the record show.
Monday, June 19, 2006
anyone else see this?
Saturday, June 17, 2006
I lost mine years and years ago, but I seem to recall there's a passage in there using the phrase "equal people of equal worth".
I should pay more attention to the people I lend my books to.
Friday, June 16, 2006
can blow me.
Jean. Fuckin' Jean. I am so in love with you, hon. Someday I & mine will share steamed crabs with you & yours under the big silvery moon, god willing.
all-a-y'all go there, read that, feel less dirty.
I wonder if all this sturm und drang speaks more to all our own individual boogeymen lurking under our own individual beds than to actual solutions to the problem of sexual predators weighed against constitutional rights.
Some of us have jackbooted hoodlums with big shiny badges goosestepping through our nightmares, busting down doors and swinging blackjacks. Others of us have stickyfingered trenchcoated phantom perverts creeping up on us through a dreamscape of sexual horror.
Sometimes the jackbooted hoodlums are real, and sometimes the perverts are real. There's no getting around that from either side.
I do think of the children, and their inalienable civil right to grow up free from molestation and exploitation, their right to physical inviolability, their right to their own sexual development free from the interference of dangerous perverts. I get that. I'd even go so far as to say that every good and decent human being should stand for that.
I just don't think that these sorts of internet dragnets capture the actual evildoers, but instead waste lots and lots of time and resources "flagging for further interest" and "establishing patterns of behavior" that amount to a lot of sound and fury but ultimately signify nothing, THEREBY ALLOWING THE ACTUAL EVILDOERS TO CONTINUE DOING EVIL while at the same time creating a climate of fear for people who aren't actually doing evil.
Me, for example. I'm not searching for child porn on the internet, and yet I'm afraid. I'm afraid some mischievous 12-year-old will port-spoof my ass and I'll never recover from the shame. I'm afraid that something I say will be taken out of context and evil-ized and rumor-ized and I'll spend the rest of my life like Andrea Dworkin going "I never said that I never said that I never said that..." I'm afraid of the jackbooted goosestepping hoodlums with badges, and those who support them.
Wanting to save the children - not idiotic at all. Noble, brave, commendable.
Thinking that reporting sitemeter statistics to some kind of credit bureau of perverts will save the children without harming innocent people - idiotic completely. Stupid, ineffective, condemn-able.
If I could be absolutely rocksolidcertain that some real flesh and blood child was saved by the alert citizen who reported an internet search, I could support such actions with a whole heart.
But nobody has mentioned even one instance where a conviction has been made, or even an arrest, based on sitemeter stats.
If I'm gonna play Junior G-man, I want to make sure that my efforts actually catch actual criminals and actually save actual children.
Otherwise I have better uses for my Genuine Real Police-Style handcuffs...
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
"Sorry, but whatever someone may be typing in to their favorite search engine doesn’t rise to the level of investigation by some idiotic organization, asshole. Really, this kind of shit is such cryptoproto-fascist bullshit it makes me want to scream." (note: in the original text, the prefix "crypto" is struck through, and replaced with the prefix "proto".)
which is different than calling the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children a "crypto-fascist organization". If anything, the "proto-fascist" epithet seems to be aimed at the fine folks at The Den, not at NCMEC.
So, no feminist, such title as may be self-defined or conferred, has said anywhere on the internet that s/he thinks that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is "crypto-fascist" in organization or intent.
On to the claim that said blogger is "pro-kiddie-porn" - nowhere on her site did I find anything to indicate such a claim. nowhere did I see words to the effect of "I think it's okay to take pictures of children for purposes of sexual exploitation" or "I dig kiddie porn" or anything of the sort. I did find a rather sensitive and perceptive discussion about the childhood experiences of a friend of the blogger's, but that seemed to be aimed more at the question of whether or not children are (for lack of a better expression) sexual. Debating such a question is NOT AT ALL tantamount to taking a position on child pornography, whether for or against.
Without evidence to the contrary, for these reasons I am forced to conclude that Dubhe is in error.
Something's been bugging me over at The Den, and since my comments seem to get lost in moderation limbo, the best I can do is to discuss it here:
In a post dated Saturday, June 10, 2006, entitled Dubhe: Reluctancy, Purpose, and Sitemeter , Dubhe says, in reference to the rather explicitly foul search terms that have been used to find The Den:
The ones involving children have all been reported to that nasty "crypto-fascist organization"* known as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
*(and yes, that's a direct quote from a feminist who is also pro-kiddie-porn)
I have been hunting high and low for five days looking for this direct quote. I've been googling unto numbness and losing precious barely-physically-presentable-sleep. So far, I have not found a link. I suppose someone could have made this statement in print or on the radio or TV, in which case it would have been very handy to have provided some kind of reference to track down in the library. But as far as I can determine, someone has been misquoted, or taken wildly out of context, or simply misunderstood as a result of human error, typo, or some other hiccup of visual media technology.
Of course, it is possible that Dubhe's citation is merely purposeful hyperbole, repetition of malicious gossip, or straight-up fabrication.
But he's not that kind of guy - much as we may disagree, I am sure he's not a liar.
It is also possible (insofar as anything is possible) that there is just such an individual out there, who calls hirself a feminist, with a) just cause for thinking the NCMEC is a cryptofascist organization, and/or b) pro-child-pornography, whatever that means, and/or c) completely off hir head.
But I'll never be able to form an opinion without the means to read the original statement for myself.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Will we really care about whether the little old lady sitting next to us at the home was some perverted patriarchy-worshipping pro-porn feminist back in ought-six - or will we just be grateful for the company?
What will they say at our funerals - "oh she was such a strong feminist, she kept her legs so hairy." "oh she was such a strong feminist, she really made the world safe for women everywhere with her scathing critique of On Our Backs." "oh she was such a strong feminist, she never did the dishes."
Lipstick , razorblades, dirty dishes, dirty pictures - these are all as flies swarming around shit. We can wave at the flies, swat the flies, poison the flies, run away from the flies, dream up new and inventive fly nets and fly shields and fly repellents, come out as strongly anti-fly, make the eradication of flies our life's one great purpose, but until we pick up the shit with our own hands and get rid of it, there will always be more flies.
So if all that stuff is the flies, what's the shit, exactly? What's the dirty, stinking filth that nobody wants to touch for fear of contamination, as though to touch it once would mean never again being clean?
It is us.
It's our own shit, and it stinks.
It is our unwillingness to examine the ways in which we oppress each other without the patriarchy's help. It is victimhood at the expense of personal responsibility, where personal responsibility is possible. It is our eagerness to blame a nebulous, amorphous concept in lieu of insisting on the accountability of individuals. It is the idea that what's between our legs is more important, more special, more unifying than what is between our ears, or deep in our hearts.
It is the residue of a steady diet of humiliation, of abuse, of degradation, to be sure, but also the knowledge that even without the patriarchy feeding us, we'd cannibalize each other.
Monday, June 05, 2006
I never (or statistically never) wear makeup. I never got the knack for it, don't know what I'm doing with it, have better luck with finger paints anyway. I just don't understand it all...what's the difference between "Bashful Plum" and "Plum Bashful?" what is "lip primer"? (I imagine a teeny tiny spray can full of that perfect flat grey like they use on cars...)the last time I put eye makeup on I wound up at the end of the day with a raging eye infection that made me look like a prizewinning purebred basset hound - are we sure this is what the fine young patriarchs at Max Factor had in mind? All in all, I have about as much use for that stuff as tits on a bull. That said, I have nothing but awestruck respect for the patience and artistry required to properly put one's face on, and no small bit of envy.
So, with that out of the way, I feel it's important to chime in on the origins of cosmetics. I've been hunting high and low for a solid citation, and so far come up empty, but I think I read somewhere that men and women in ancient desert cultures used kohl around their eyes to cut glare, and those individuals as could afford it used all manner of more colorful and expensive dusts and pastes ground from precious and semi-precious stones.
Throughout recorded history (and earlier, I imagine) cosmetics and lotions and unguents and hair waxes and all manner of skin dyes and paints were used by clergypeople (priests and priestesses) as part of purification rituals preceding religious rites. I think (though I'm no fashion scholar) that the function of cosmetics as class markers came first, as they were reserved for those who could afford them and those for whom their use signified a religious function.
Consider what any individual needs to successfully complete "beauty rituals" - you need money, with which to purchase your lapis-lazuli dust or cochineal-beetle paste or modern concoction of wax and water, and you need time, time set aside in which you are totally devoted to the preparation of the materials, preparation of the tools, cleansing, applying, combing, brushing, painting, etc. So, going out in public with this stuff on your face meant that a) you have enough money to spend on something you can't eat and b) you do not devote your every waking hour to labor, but instead have the luxury to spend at least some of your time grooming.
Of course, if you are of the opinion that gender created class, we're right back to blaming the patriarchy. But I am not completely convinced that gender creates class, or created it in the first place, at any rate.
So, I think that cosmetics are a relic of one particular visual representation of class issues, at the base, even though nowadays every teeniebopper with even the most pathetic pittance of an allowance can afford that pink-and-green tube of Maybelline and a strawberry lipgloss.
As for miniskirts - well, compared with sixteen petticoats underneath your ankle length shortgown and pinafore (daily wear in antebellum America), the cage crinoline (or hoop skirt - think Scarlett O'Hara) was considered truly liberating. Yes, I can absolutely see where the short skirt can be seen as a welcome relief from the foot-tangling, unsanitary, mud-dragging fire hazard of the ankle-length day dress - to say nothing of bustles and other undergarment contraptions.
The one thing I can't really speak to, historically, is shaving. I don't know how that came to be de riguer. I can say, however, that after a year or so of totally ignoring the leg fur, there have been absolutely no consequences that I can discern - no job loss, no decrease in income, no divorces, no public shaming, no arrests, no refusals of service at the local lunch counter, no earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, rips in the space-time continuum or plagues of locusts.
I did notice a decrease in the amount of money spent on band-aids, I must admit.
So make of that what y'all will.
Friday, June 02, 2006
| You scored as Either. You brain is neither specifically male nor female dominated in the way you perceive things and as bad as this sounds it can easily mean that you are capable of combining both limiting gender aspects to your advantage. Rather than being genderless you are possibly able think freely. This does not nec. mean that you are bisexual or androgynous or indecisive, though it might. |
Should you be MALE or FEMALE?*
created with QuizFarm.com
Glad we got that cleared up!
According to the abovereferenced link, Soopermouse would like The Intarweb to know that she wasn't aiming at me.
And further to her credit, she expressed herself with absolutely no impatience or eyerolling or allusion to the fact that I'm extremely hypersensitive and should probably seek professional help.
I am Joe's shamefaced retraction, Joe's uncomfortably-shuffling feet, Joe's blush and stammer and awkward silence.
Soopermouse - I'm sorry I jumped in your shit on a personal level. May I never behave so foolishly again. Thank you for letting me know that I was mistaken.
I suppose I might have raised a couple questions here and there, just sort of non-confrontationally and politely, even if I had not immediately rushed to judgment. But rush I did, and you deserve an apology.
So, lest my meaning be misconstrued, let me make this perfectly clear: Soopermouse, I am sorry. let me know what if anything I can do to make it right.
that said, in the interest of free speech, and so as not to be guilty of revisionism, I'm leaving the original thread up. No sense trying to cover my tracks and pretend I never fuck up...and there's a fascinating discussion of the anal in there that I'm just not willing to banish into the ether.
I hate people: dworkinite as an insult
Again, hurt I am, hurt to the core. I'm pretty sure this was not meant for me personally, but I can't help but take it personally.
Soopermouse - I dig you. I empathized right along with the rest of the blogosphere, I agree with you on many things.
But I don't appreciate being referred to as "the stupidest of my readers." Neither do I appreciate this:
"I can understand why these people felt that Dworkin wa stheir enemy, it's not nice to be shown what you really are, is it??"
who am I really? do you know me? How much porn do I buy? How much anal sex do I merrily have all day, every day? How many people do I attempt to lure into my 24/7 hot-and-cold-running-threesome BDSM dungeon? How many people do I force to knuckle under the supreme will of my sexual preferences?
yeah, that's me, Heidi Porno-seed, scattering my misogynist tributes to patriarchy from sea to shining sea.
Never mind that I'm pro-abortion on demand. Never mind that I think the line between masculine and feminine is entirely arbitrary. Never mind that I blame the patriarchy for just about everything that I don't blame myself for. Never mind that my legs are the hairiest, my hair the frizziest, my shoes the most sensible - I'm just a stupid "other" to you.
it's not the "other" that bothers me. it's the "stupid".
Yes, the issue is consent. And I totally get that although I may consent to do it, you don't necessarily consent to seeing it. I understand that. But have you actually tried having a conversation with me, about anything? Or do you just assume I'll be too preoccupied with shoving all my patriarchal filth in your face?
what I've learned about the porn wars is this - it seems to come down to whether you think pornography is a civil rights issue or a free speech issue. There's some evidence for both, in my opinion. There's got to be a way to protect both civil rights and free expression all at the same time. And I'd really like to work towards that.
I keep repeating that I'm willing to work against trafficking, and willing to work towards a healthier paradigm for sexual expression.
But I'm not willing to work with people who hold me beneath contempt.
This is me, on a cruise ship a while back, getting all fangirl on my awesome husband who has just won the so-called talent show with his heartfelt and entertaining "Blues in A for Borrowed Electric Guitar".
(it's not like he had any competition...He was definitely competent and entertaining and expressive - but he's not exactly the next Eddie van Anything. That said, I feel it's only fair to report that everyone else kind of sucked.)
Anyway, c'est moi, in all my tubby and frizztacular glory, as femmed-up as I can get without lapsing into a dissociative fugue state, just in case anyone was interested. I had just been to the shipboard groomer's, so my coat was quite shiny and my claws had been freshly painted...I was waiting for them to give me that dumb little bow...
I hate to say it, but this particular post is nothing more than a reaction to the ubiquitous Pony calling me a man on someone else's comments. That hurts in a way I just wasn't prepared for. I got all watery-eyed and lost sleep over it. I flirted with renouncing my vow of civility. I damn near lost my religion, as my former stepdaughter might say.
The depth and breadth of my distress really surprised me. It had the effect of turning my emotional clock back to 1977. I'm more embarrassed about my own reaction, really, than by what Pony actually said. I mean, it's just the intarweb, after all. I thought I was immune now to that sort of schoolyard taunting. I thought I had grown a tough exoskeleton, like a cockroach or a crab. I may have done, but I'm still squishy inside.
She could easily come back and declare "it was just a joke! god! you have no sense of humor! you should lighten up!" Bullies often do that.
But here it is: It was the absolute worst insult she could come up with, worse than "asshole" or "fraud" or "antifeminist" (though she played with that one too). It's equivalent in impact to calling a man a "pussy". It others me, turns me into an object on which other people can safely hurl ridicule. If I'm really a man, the injunction against criticizing a sister is lifted. If I'm really a man, I don't belong in the world of women. I'f I'm really a man, I am the easiest of easy targets. And it's all okay because I'm a man and embody patriarchy and deserve it.
I guess I should thank Pony for getting me angry enough to really examine my points of view. That's never a bad thing, though my points of view have never been changed through bullying. I'd like to think I'm not so weak that mere intimidation and threat of humiliation could be enough to change my mind.
But it has got me wondering - assume I do appear masculine online. In what ways do I accomplish that? What signals are sent out by online commenters and bloggers that identify the participant as masculine? as feminine? I mean, without visual cues, how do you know?
Do I need to femme up some, textually speaking? talk about more womanly things, with a more womanly voice, somehow? and what would constitute a more womanly voice?
or is it simply that Pony can't imagine a woman, a feminist, disagreeing with her, so the disagreeing party must be made male in order to fit in her worldview? Do I just need to have some sort of conversion experience, to see the radfem light and come to Goddess, to be acceptably feminine?
Pony, I'm not going to march in your army no matter what names you call me. Someday I may change my position on many concepts, sure - but you're not going to shame me into agreeing with you.
That said, I would love to know what part of me looks male to you.