Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So, I haven't done a lot of blogging recently. you may blame (or thank, according to your taste) the parasitic patriarch currently laying siege to my innards.

Seriously - the baby doesn't like it when I blog. He doesn't like it when I get my blood pressure all up and get all flappy and neurotic. he would much rather I stay relaxed, knit some stuff, have another Mountain Dew, lick an ashtray or two...

(actually that's not completely true. after all, I haven't knit anything for the baby.)

But I've tried not to get really overinvolved in blogwars in an unhealthy way lately, mostly because it does seem to be bad for the pregnancy (it makes me feel physically uncomfortable in a way that I can only assume to be pregnancy-related), but also because, you know, I see this stuff going on, and I think "a-ha! I can fix this, with my Pearls Of Wisdom! For I am so wise! behold my soooooooooper powers!" and I'm all full of optimism that what I say will be Part of The Solution, but by the time it gets out of my brain, through my fingers and on to the screen, it is clear that I'm just another Part of The Problem.

so, what's the point, really.

On the other hand, once in a blue moon, shit blows up in a way even I at my most broodmarishly maternal can't really ignore.

The executive summary? somewhere in the miasma of comments on Ginmar's blog, there occurred this exchange:

Hey Laurelin, even though technically not a death threat - don't forget the EXTREMELY LARGE FONTED "fuck you" to a select few radfems from butter-wouldn't-melt AntiPrincess!There is telling someone "fuck you".And telling them "fuck you" in uber-font.

Typical Anti-P. Is this recent? I'm so glad she's having a baby. She'll be such a wonderful mother to the next Norman Bates.

I believe it was fairly soon after RenEv's "choking.." post, a week or two after(?)Perhaps we just call her Mrs Bates from now on? Her Norman will be one of the most impressive misogynists around, perhaps even become famous. What an honour!

Mrs. Bates? I like that. Mrs. Bates it is.

(here is the post under discussion. draw your own conclusions.)

My question is, how on earth does one respond to this in a way that doesn't just declare a permanent state of blogwar between the parties involved, ever expanding and never ending?

We have always been at war with Oceania...

yeah, I don't want that. For one thing, I'm way wicked lazy. So, I'm thinking there's got to be a better way.

I guess the main complaint (or one of the main complaints) lodged by the radfemblogosphere against the...the...sexpoxosphere? is that WE don't examine our choices, as we just blindly sort of drift along in life, like little baby oysters floating around until we find something big and masculine and privileged to anchor ourselves to. or something.

Well, I gotta tell you, after that whole Mrs. Bates thing, I'm in quite a state of examination, that's for sure. so maybe they'll get off my ass a little if I publicly EXAMINE that. How do I make absolutely positively sure the products of conception I'm currently incubating don't develop from an amorphous blob to a homicidal misogynist?

maybe I should have nipped this little problem in the bud six or so months ago. at least, it would have been easier to take the necessary medical steps to make sure the amorphous blob would never develop into a goddamn thing. and it's not too late, really.

But I'd rather have a baby.

One thing I could do is "refuse to nurse the male neonate", once it's born. that would ensure he wouldn't grow up to be the next Norman Bates.

But again, I'd rather have a baby.

I guess another thing I could do is refrain from sexually and emotionally abusing the baby once he's here. I could also treat him like a human being, and not a dangerous and hideous blight on the otherwise-stainless landscape of Womynland. I (and his father) could teach him not to be fucked-up about masculinity and femininity. we could teach him about the basic divinity and grace present in every living soul, male and female. we could teach him that no means no, and that television lies, and that magazine pictures are largely fraudulent. We could teach him lots of ways to stay sane in an insane world, that don't involve being a total asshole.

we could, in the immortal words of Bill and Ted on their Excellent Adventure, all learn to be excellent to each other.

hey, you know what?

maybe I should look at it this way: you may have saved a life, Gin. you're a regular angel. Thanks, Ginmar! I feel so much better, now that I've examined my choice to be humane with my child and endeavor to raise a decent human being.

yeah, if I hadn't already decided that in the first place, without your "help"...

Like I said before, I am sure you will be a great mom.
aw, who the hell knows, Ren. for all my good intentions, who knows what will happen.

I mean, have I really thought about what I'll do when it comes time to have the Sex Talk? the Porn Talk? all those other Talks?

well, actually, yeah. yeah I have.

but even if I get all that exactly right, there are tons of other factors working against all my Right Rightness (eyeroll).
You'll be an amazing mother. Nobody figures that stuff out until shortly before it happens, and even then the script changes. If you do figure out how to achieve Right Rightness, though, drop me a line on how you did it, since I am far from that standard...
Blogs weren't um, yet hardly invented yet when I was pregnant, or certainly not to the Easy to Publish way they are now. Still, I couldn't sit at the comp too long either when pregnant -- The Pea didn't like being all mushed up inside me in my usual mostly still, hunched over at-the-computer position.

AP will be a great mom.
There's little doubt about that.
well I hope to hell that if I screw up someone will tell me.
"if"? I mean "when".
the best moms are the one's who worry that they may not be. You'll be an amazing mother with a highly emotionally evolved child.

And those other people? They're just smelly noise, like some sort of psychic fart. Make a face and go about your business.
What I find most amazing in this whole saga is that they chose and perpetuated the notion of evil mother as 'ruiner' of child. (Norman Bates & Mom.)

That children apparently must be protected from these damn outta control, corrupting womyn lest they end up murderous. In essence, mothers are the problem- and potentially a threat, in that their offspring, unless careful directed (often in opposition to the unmoderated wishes of their mothers) can grow into a threat to society.

Wow, gotta watch out for those DANGEROUS mothers. Guard against 'em every moment, less they unleash murderous patriarchs on an unsuspecting society.

How 'womyn affirming' of them.

Apparently this is what passes for the 'feminism' in the 21rst century. Just more of the usual 'fear womyn', 'hate womyn', 'hand that rocks the craddle is the ultimate enemy' crap.

And they dare continue their co-optation of the term "Radical Feminism" even as their ugly fangs stick out like this?

To laugh I tell you. Pathetic.

Some of us genuinely supportive of bodily autonomy Radical Feminists ("Radical" as in 'to the root') take one look and can't decide whether to laugh or shake our heads in disgust.

Their kind of womyn-hatred shows very few distinctions from the very crap they decry.

But turning on you personally like this only distracts from things central to her analysis, such as these three key points of her original post where she says things such as;

1."their analysis of womens' lives is marked by the single, simple flaw I noted above. They give nothing back. They help no one but themselves, but of course in the process they might accidentally do some good for somebody else." and "That's the primary difference between them and feminists. Feminists give; sex poxes and anti-feminists take."

While this is a quaint dismissal of people like me, and my life, it just shows how little she actually knows about us.

She might want to come out from behind her keyboard some time and actually look at what "Sex Positive" Radical Feminists (the real ones!) actually DO, and have done. You know, those little things that make it possible for people like her to sit behind that keyboard and perpetuate sexist sterotypes about mothers in the first place.

2."they want everything for free,"

Again, were she actually out in the real world instead of camped behind her keyboard she might spend a moment contemplating on the day to day terribly high 'price' so many of us paid, and continue to pay.

To her analysis, "Sex positive" Feminists are just seeking the proverbial free lunch, something for nothing.

Clearly an insane statement in the face of the reality of the battles 'sex pos' Feminists have fought.

I mean what, she thinks battles such as birth control access, abortion access, bodily ownership and autonomy, being in the fight against AIDS and all those other 'sex' related things have all been about "sex pos" Feminists just wandering in and expecting 'somethin for nuttin?'

[Further, does she not see how many fronts and day to day battles real feminist activists tackle absolutely stem from womyn's ownership of our own bodies and sexuality? I would argue that to be "sex positive" is synonymous with genuine Radical Feminism, not antithetical, as these (false) co-opters of the terminology would have people believe.]

T'would be nice to just wander in and get 'something for nothing' on any of those fronts, but I don't know of any REAL 'sex pos' activists who think for one minute we're going to gain sexual autonomy 'for free'/without there being a high price.

(I don't have the quote at hand, but I BELIEVE it may have been Gloria Anzaldua who said something to the effect of 'oppressors rarely give power willingly, it must be wrested from them'. My personal corollary goes something along the lines of 'and it won't be easy/there will be hell to pay for trying to do so.')

3. "Getting breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that serves no good purpose." and "Some augmentation techniques reduce or end the ability to breast feed."

So what she resorts to is the usual 'essentialist' argument, that our breasts have to serve a 'purpose' (hope she paid her royalites to Rick Warren on that one.)

No, we mustn't do anything to our bodies that could potentially disrupt any function relating to reproduction. Breasts are for feeding, not for womyn themselves. And certainly not for pleasure.

Nope, just more of the usual 'purpose-driven'/womyn are, and must never impinge upon their reproductive functions crap-o-la.

My point being, she goes on the attack to distract from the clear fact that her arguments are not even liberal feminist, let alone Radical Feminist.

As usual, I've written a book here, but I think it's important to examine not only the underlying misogynistic mother fear and hatred inherent to her attack, but also the real heart of what those attacks distract readers from- her own assumptions about womyn, and (genuine Radical)Feminist activists in particular.
habu - LOVE you.
preach on.
I'm pretty sure Ginmar and her pals weren't really thinking feminist-ly. They were at play, horsing around with their friends, not subjecting themselves to rigorous examination and feminist scrutiny. They were just letting off steam, not expecting their words to be examined under the Big Feminist Microscope.

which is not to say that they were having HARMLESS fun. But I think they were in it for the lulz. at least as refers to me & Wolfgang.
No, we mustn't do anything to our bodies that could potentially disrupt any function relating to reproduction. Breasts are for feeding, not for womyn themselves. And certainly not for pleasure.

I wonder why theorizing a multi-purpose boobie is so threatening.
now that I think about it, I didn't even get the worst of it. Poor Deserving Bitch! they were even more eviscerating to her.
oooh - this is interesting.

quoth Ginmar, just yesterday:

Mrs. Bates would be Norman's mother. Given AP's raging antiradfem atttitude and her other issues, any son she has is going to be a fucked little creature, indeed. Imagine just what she teaches him about feminists.

The gloves are off. I really hope I can think of even more offensive things to call them, because I'm just sick of what twisted lying shits they are.

well, I'd imagine what I'd teach him about feminists (radical or otherwise) and what I'd teach him about loudmouthed internet bullies would be two different things. just sayin'.

note - if you're here from Ginmar's place, that's cool. comment if you want. say whatever's on your mind. I won't mod you.

also, yes it's a boy. we already know that (which you'd know if you even bothered to read my blog to double check to see if you really truly agreed with Ginmar or whether you were just mindlessly marching in her army).

so y'all don't have to "hope" to curse me with such a tragic fate.
Pshaw, it's easy to bitch and whine about adults and their behavior, especially behind their internet backs, but it takes some serious ovaries to make a whole new person and raise him to be neither the bitcher nor the bitched-about. It's like 18 years of taking the high road.

P.S. Long-time lurker, first time commenter. I'm creepy like that.
antiprincess said-

"They were just letting off steam, not expecting their words to be examined under the Big Feminist Microscope."

Heh, I'm just 'overly analytical' that way.

"I wonder why theorizing a multi-purpose boobie is so threatening."

Personally, I'd say it's a rather remarkable admission. It belies how she seems to relate to her own body.

If her primary understanding of her own breasts is in relation to even the idea of child suckling, then that's a very different relationship with one's body, than say, someone like me, who is intentionally childfree and as I view my own body both in relation to sexual pleasure and as a 'canvas' for my own artistic purposes. Both of which are concepts firmly rooted in fundamentally owning my own body.

At the same time, none of us exist in a vacuum, and for many womyn, breasts are either viewed as potential 'ticking time bombs' or potentially as 'betraying' their owners in relation to breast cancer.

But even non-cancerous breasts can be tender and painful month in and month out, and if that's a womyn's primary relationship with her own anatomy, then far from sources of pleasure, they may instead be viewed as a 'necessary evil'.

Or, as some of the 'sex-phobic' psuedo-feminists may view them, as potential sources of unwanted male attention- hence things to be covered and ashamed of.

For all her talk of accepting womyn's bodies, she seems unable to accept womyn's breasts as anything other than function-driven.

Word- your nipples are not your enemy!

(Except of course, under the few circumstances under which they really feel like they are. From what I understand, nursing can be one hell of a bitch!)
Hi Lindsay! welcome!

your optimism is adorable. I wish I had that much faith in myself as regards the parenting process.

Habu - haven't you always wanted an opportunity to deliver your dissertation on boobies?

I give and I give and I give... ;)

BTW, appropos of nothing, I can't believe no one mentioned the really important and intriguing part of this post -

baby viking hat?! with horns?!
Habu - haven't you always wanted an opportunity to deliver your dissertation on boobies?

Not so much, actually. I find actions speak louder than words.

Undoubtedly I've done 'everything you ever wanted to know about boobies 400' in some dungeon somewhere somewhere along the way.

If not, I'll be sure to get right on it.
a dungeon? not a dungeon!

you're not one of those BDSM so-called "feminists", are you?

cuz, you'll ruin my rep if I let you hang out here...

Seriously, Habu - you better get tested. you might have the sexpox.
Well, you know me. I've been ruining reputations longer than certain folks have been running around on the net calling themselves "feminists".

And I think I passed "Sex-positive" somewhere a long way back, we're probably up to "Sex-exclamation point!" by now.

Fortunately, there is no cure.

Mainly, I'm just glad you're able to laugh about all this (love the new tagline!)

Clearly on the other end it's personal, they're projecting all over a fetus, and it's just plain vicious.
And I think I passed "Sex-positive" somewhere a long way back, we're probably up to "Sex-exclamation point!" by now.

dude, I think you're Patient Zero of the sexpox.

and thank all that is thankable for that! I owe ya.

I just wonder how these folks managed to miss Skin, by Dorothy Allison, in all of their reading.

and I wonder how real simple ideas got so hopelessly tangled up in all the bullshit.
Mainly, I'm just glad you're able to laugh about all this (love the new tagline!)

yeah, I thought it was funny too.
actually, that does represent a significant gain in personal growth.

I'd-a fallen completely to pieces if this had all blown up a year ago.
dude, I think you're Patient Zero of the sexpox.

Brilliant. I may need to use that. I think it goes somewhere near "kinkier than wadded up tin foil" on that great mythic resume of sorts.

and thank all that is thankable for that! I owe ya.

That means quite a bit, actually. Thanks.
well, you, er...infected me, at the very least... (blush, shuffle)
with ideas, I mean. in a good

hey, if my dildo breaks, can I fix it with sex-epoxy?
go, habu, go!
belledame222 said-

go, habu, go!

Um, Mahalo! (Thank you!)

Dare I ask what in particular brought this on? I'm never exactly sure... .
oh, your long post starting "What I find most amazing..."

meetcha, btw. digging your blog. I was just reading the Midori entry. she is awesome, eh? I took a weekend workshop with her about a year and a half ago.

I just wonder how these folks managed to miss Skin, by Dorothy Allison, in all of their reading.

yeah, I only suggested that one back in the "civil discussion" days about, oh, eight THOUSAND times or so.
habu = awesome.

you know, as I ruminate and examine further, I have to wonder how the term "sexpox" lands on the ears of HIV+ and those involved in AIDS activism.

And now I feel a little wrong about using the term, even in jest.
So hang on, they've given up blaming the menz and are now blaming the menz mothers for not being feminist enough? Wtf?
yeah, I only suggested that one back in the "civil discussion" days about, oh, eight THOUSAND times or so.

I remember that.

I found her discussion of the Barnard conference in"Skin" really enlightening, in the wake of all the internet shenanigans surrounding the sex-positive/anti-porn debate.

everyone quotes "Bastard Out Of Carolina" (quotable, to be sure), but nobody wants to talk about her post-"Bastard" work.
I think that she doesn't really count me as a feminist, or even much of a woman. so it's open season.

maybe she's on me for not being sane enough, thene.

but I'm not sure what kind of evidence she's citing to support that.

she just says "oh, AP's so fucked up, she's sure to raise a rapist."

as seen here: Given AP's raging antiradfem atttitude and her other issues, any son she has is going to be a fucked little creature, indeed.

but she never really offers any information about the "other issues" (although there is a mountain of evidence to support my anti-what-passes-for-radfem attitude). you know, I'd have no trouble taking her seriously if she'd present some evidence. I don't want to raise a rapist. I want to raise a healthy human being. if there's somewhere I've veered off the path of that, I need to know, if only for the sake of his future victims (so to speak).

so I've been examining...

and there's a flag down on the play. actually two or three...

"Heterosexism! 5 yard penalty! Still first down."

Upon further review, it occurs to me that we don't know if Wolfgang will grow up straight, or not. it's a big wide world out there, with an infinite number of possibilities for a growing boy. is the question obviated if Wolfgang grows up gay? bi? queer? trans?

maybe not (I mean, there are rapists of every sexual preference and on every point on the gender continuum), but I can't ignore the decidedly heterosexist slant to this whole discussion.


"Improper Use of Child as Blog Fodder! 25 yard penalty! Third down."

seriously, what am I thinking? this is the sort of thing that people yell at Dooce about, and all the rest of the "mommy bloggers". Wolfgang, honey - mommy's sorry. if you read this ten years or twenty years from now, please believe me I'm sorry. I didn't mean to embarrass you.

and finally:

"Dignifying the insinuations of an overgrown adolescent! Turnover on offense's 2 yard line!"

I shoulda never even entertained this mess with any more than a "hey, get offa my baby, lady! sheesh!"

well, sadder but wiser, I suppose.
belledame222 (yeah, don't know if you'll see this at this late date, but) thanks for the clarification.

Also thanks for the kind words about my little Leather-blogging. It's just a quiet little blog I do to keep track of things in my own life. If it's useful to others, so much the better.

Midori is indeed, a strong presenter, and an interesting person as well! But then anyone who self identifies as a 'Big Dork' and manages to eek out a living doing sex education is ok in my book.

Anyhow, ap, sorry to hi-jack. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.
I'm astonished that people would cruelly talk about your ability to mother based on your political views. Way off base. Take comfort in the fact that your child will have a model of strength - someone who goes their own way.
aw, STF - that's nice of you.

it's not my politics, really, I don't think. some of it has to do with the company I keep. some of it has to do with the fact that I'm a big fan of sexual expression in many media among consenting adults. some of it has to do with the fact that I'm a wicked easy target.

the very fact that I let you comment here, apparently, is a symptom of my dangerously fucked up behavior. maybe. or something.

if anyone would care to speak up and explain it to me, I'd be most grateful. they could email me private, if they wanted. or, shit, open me up from neck to knees on her own blog and eviscerate away - something. anything.

ironically, I think Ginmar's latest post includes a bit about how, though she'd "never be nice to a sexpox", mothers are not responsible for the mental illnesses of their children.
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