The Silence of Our Friends

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Allies Have Each Others Back, That's The Secret Agenda

I keep quoting BrownFemiPower, and I really gotta stop that, if only she would stop saying all the things I wish I had said I would stop.

Over at Leftist Looney Lunchbox AradhanaD appended a post with this:
PS. If you're from the pro-pornstitution feminist tag team (you know who you are) that somehow miraculously appears to suddenly 'befriend' every dissenting feminist voice on the net, to support them with their 'radical feminist bashing', there's no nice way for me to say this 'don't bother'. Seriously, on any other post I'd love to hear your comments - just not this one. Pornstitution is racist, it harms WOC and I have no desire to get support from any of you - just because you think 'I'm bashing your enemy'. No thanks. I do however, encourage you to comment on my other posts if you ever feel like it because like "white radical feminists", I do know that we have things in common - just not as many as I'd like.


Then she miraculously appeared over at BFP's place to continue her 'pro-pornstitution feminist tag team' bashing, and BFP had this to say:
AradhanaD–

I’m sorry I left the comments at your blog, and as I soon as I paid careful attention to your p.s., I took down the link I had put up here, and sent you the note retracting my stuff.

I don’t know where I fall in your p.S., if I am the radical feminist basher or the “rest of the camp” or whatever, but all I can say is that bitch and belle have been good friends to me for a very long time–about 3/4 of my blogging career (which, comparably, has been about 1/10th of what you and heart and bitch et al have had). So I am not sure where you got the idea that they are “suddenly” befriending anybody. They have posted regularly here, at amazon’s, and at pretty much every radical woman of color’s blog who posts here. I may not agree on everything they write, but they have made a committement to this community that has lasted for about a year now, and to insinuate otherwise is just wrong. period.

Having said that, I am wondering why I am positioned in your p.s. as somebody who belle and bitch just randomly choose to tag along with and support because….why? I don’t have anything really that worthy to say? Because they couldn’t possibly be interested in and support any of the anti-violence posts that I have made? And on that note, I couldn’t have possibly disagreed with and had long intense conversations with them on their stances on sex-positivism? This is not the first time that bitch and belle have been accussed of supporting radical women of color bloggers just because they hate “x” group. Is it really that unbelievable that women of color could have anything worth discussing if it doesn’t center white women?

And as I said before, I am sick of trying to sift through the politics of all the different radfems, when those radfems don’t return the favor–apparently now not on radical feminists of color theory/activism OR on my own history in this blogging world

I will not make the mistake again of trying to talk about or even think about the radfem community. As I stated up above, the beginning of that huge conversation had nothing to do with the radfem community, it had to do with a bunch of fucked of commentors talking some really horrible shit about people that are my friends, allies, and a part of my community and somehow, within the course of the conversation it shifted into a conversation about radfem’s. Next time, I will not allow that turn to happen.

But the bottom line is that the very first point I made still stands and I support and will not back down from and if that makes me a feminist basher, so be it. I don’t need to know anybody’s theory or who belongs to what to know that the things that were said were fucked up and that just as the trans community is not considered worthy, women of color are not considered worthy. As heart so politely pointed out–women of color work, theory, activism is nothing more than a paragraph to be entered into a *real* discussion.

So as I see it, there’s nothing left to talk about with this. All I know is that I’m not going to keep centering “that” community (whatever “that” community may consist of) in my discussions any longer. This blog is not about trying to figure out factions of bloggers that have been around forever (in other words, trying to gain entry into a community where radical women of color have not been before), it is about using the internet as a tool of social justice. I really don’t care if heart or twisty or anybody who loves reads and supports them thinks that gender will not survive the “fall of the patriarchy”–I really don’t care. And I just don’t care enough about any of those communities, whatever and whomever they may be, to devote any more time or energy to any of them.

So, AradhanaD, thank you for your comment, and again, I am sorry that I posted on your blog. But this blog is moving on now. This is the second time a conversation about trans people of color and women of color has been interrupted, and it’s not going to happen again. As you said in your p.s. maybe on a different post on a different topic, we can talk about things. right now, however, is just not the place.


I make a couple of notes of my own now, first B|L, belledame222, and sex-positive feminists in general have been true allies. They do actually read our blogs and engage us on our blogs and at their own. Not all of them, but there really is this tendency to being open to listening and learning. Radical Feminists, unfortunately, not so much. Often when we go to their spaces we soon find out we are ignored, dismissed, or tokenized and patronized. While we have gotten that sexism trumps racism card thrown at us from both sides, it is more likely to come from the RadFems and more quickly.

In fact, AradhanaD may know this deep down because the title of the post where interaction with Sex-Pos feminists isn't necessary is, "How to Stop Being an Ignorant/Indifferent White Feminist..." which I read to mean that sex-pos feminists aren't the ones who tend to be ignorant or indifferent, they don't need the dressing down or to learn anything from AD.

I now turn the podium over to Bitch|Lab who has a few things to say about this too. And maybe AD will understand why labeling sex pos feminists "pro-pornstitution" is as offensive and unfair as labelling radfems as "man haters".

45 comment(s):

I'm not terribly Sex-Pos myself (I'm in the camp that believes it's a private act that shouldn't be dragged into the public realm) but I gotta say, anyone who coins stupid-sounding words like "pornstitution" is begging not to be taken seriously in the first place.

By Blogger Elayne, at 12/31/2006 4:39 PM  

I quoted you in this entry, but I don't have trackbacking.

By Blogger Veronica, at 12/31/2006 8:45 PM  

Hi Donna,

I'm a frequent reader/lurker, but don't think I've ever commented here before. I haven't followed this latest blow-up as closely as I would have liked, bc I was out of town w/o internet access for a while, but I'm trying to catch up now and I just wanted to say that this in particular sums it up perfectly for me:

maybe AD will understand why labeling sex pos feminists "pro-pornstitution" is as offensive and unfair as labelling radfems as "man haters".

Very well said. Love this post and love your blog.

By Blogger Amber, at 12/31/2006 11:23 PM  

I had a response to her at bfp's as well. she does seem to have sort of apologized for that at her site, now. sort of.

it does get tiring. not even so much that people like that act like "we" (whoever "we" is) have the cooties, or insist on ascribing sinister motives to y'know trying to -talk- to people I, we think would have something to talk about, even if the entry point -is- "say, we both think so and so is being an asshole!" (that happens all the time, ya know? it isn't a -plot-)

...but that they can create this idea even for outside observers that "we" are as interested as "they" are in making it all pr0n all the time; and further that it's this Hatfield and McCoy thing, when at least as far as I'm concerned it's been pretty much: gosh, some people in this community that i am a part of (yes, really) really are behaving like stone walls and/or giant asshats, where do i drop the quarter?

and i mean yeah, obviously, i have my opinions about the Eternal Subject(s) as well, but eventually: come. ON.

so she says, does AD, that she thinks it'd be better if we all found ways to join forces wrt specific issues rather than form "camps," and, well, you know, that's fine by me. name the issue, march, petition, whatever, and as long as it's something i agree with, i'll be there with bells on. meanwhile though i for one am not really interested in slipping a disc trying to engage with suspicious zealots. i find it tiresome. and if you don't like the fact that i am actually better able to connect with some of the people you had hoped were on "your team" (as i suspect is what's got her undies in a twist), well, you know, maybe before you start with the "they're out to get Me/Us" business, you might want to consider -why- some people are turning away from you, and why they might rather talk to other people instead. You know, examination?

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/01/2007 4:37 AM  

I can't for the life of me imagine why I would find myself allied with the people who've offered me alliance, after all. Us baby bloggers have no agency, especially those of us with obscure issues nobody cares about; we just imprint on whoever leaves us comments first, like ducklings.
God knows, their sinister plan is working. First they offered actual discussion on things I cared about, and then continued to engage me civilly, and then had the backs of me and mine when someone else attacked us, even though they weren't themselves the targets of the attack.
I thought it was "solidarity," but clearly I should have rejected it and sided with someone else. After all, it would only be reasonable.

By Blogger little light, at 1/01/2007 10:42 AM  

Elayne, Bitch|Lab has some interesting new posts about this. She says it isn't about sex, sex, sex, everybody should have more sex! No, it's about not judging people for their choices, even if the choice is celibacy, or waiting until marriage, or any combination all the way to the other end of the spectrum to having sex 10 times a day. I'd say she is of the mind-your-own-business camp, and quit denying women's agency, if a woman says she likes sex a certain way, then perhaps it's better to accept that, gosh, maybe she likes sex a certain way, instead of calling her a liar or saying she doesn't know why she does what she does.

I think she is right. It's reminiscent of how women used to have very few roles, and stay at home mom was pretty much the expected one. Now from the radfem camp that you hear things like; don't endorse patriarchal roles by getting married and being a man's property, and don't be a breeder. It's still limiting choices, women should have the choice to be a SAHM if that is what she wants. Marriage doesn't have to be about property, it can be about partnership.

Radfems in many ways make me think of conservatives and the abortion issue. How they say Planned Parenthood's agenda is about aborting all babies. Planned parenthood and pro-choice is also about giving quality healthcare to women who want to have babies, it's about educating and giving birthcontrol to women who want to wait until the right time or do not want children, it's only about abortion when a woman is pregnant and does not want to be, a very small percentage in the whole scheme of things.

That's where this pro-pornstitution b.s. comes in with the radfems. Sex-pos isn't about cheerleading for porn or prostitution. It's about making sure that the women involved are protected so that those who are coerced will have law enforcement on their side, and those who choose it can be protected like any other worker.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/01/2007 1:26 PM  

Veronica, thanks for letting me know. I don't have the trackback for all the different blogs either, only for blogger and was wondering what to do. I think I will do it the same way you are and leave a link in a comment on the non-blogger sites I link to from now on.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/01/2007 1:28 PM  

Thanks Amber! I'm glad you've stopped by, I know we read and comment on alot of the same sites.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/01/2007 1:29 PM  

I know, Belle. Some people just can't see to get it that sometimes something gets said that just plains sticks in your craw. That you have an issue with that, not a vendetta for the person who said it. It might be projection too. Obviously porn and prostitution are the issues that stick in AD's craw, but she is the one who is making it about the writers instead of the issues.

I'm tired of dealing with people who think they can't be wrong, so if someone disagrees with them they don't bother examining or even thinking. It's automatically a character failing of the other person. That's the way I see alot of what Heart is saying. She is like an immovable rock, there is no possibility that white supremacy has anything to do with her views. *rolls eyes* For heaven's sake, she admits she married black men as a revolutionary display, that is racist in and of itself.

About a month ago my son asked if I would mind if he dated a black girl. I said of course not, but found the question odd, since he knows I'm not racist and heck my marriage is mixed, so???? Then it dawned on me that he might be asking something else, and I told him if he is thinking about it because it would make him look cool at school or as some sort of gesture of solidarity with blacks, don't do it. I told him that is racist and people don't want to be used like that. Only date people because you actually like them and want to spend time with them.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/01/2007 1:46 PM  

LOL little light! It's funny how people want to see all kinds of ulterior motives instead of the obvious.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/01/2007 1:48 PM  

well to be absolutely fair, it probably is true that i have or had a vendetta of sorts against at least one person, but that is because she said and did a NUMBER of things that stuck in my craw, and repeatedly gave no sign whatsoever that she was remotely interested in ever doing anything differently. and, because this person is or has been influential in the feminist blogosphere, and because a lot of friends have had pain in her house and/or at the expense of her herself as well as the regulars, i have turned my guns on her a number of times, yes. because i find her, in someone else's words (who had already come to this conclusion about That Person completely independently of me, mind) "corrosive." to the commons, that is, to the feminist and to some degree larger "progressive" blogosphere/community. it is not however because i -disagree- with her on x y or z. it's something else.

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/01/2007 3:37 PM  

For heaven's sake, she admits she married black men as a revolutionary display,

oh, wow, i missed that one. eyeroll. so, now she's a "political lesbian;" does she date women as a "revolutionary display" as well? because god knows -i- would find that oh so flattering, also HOTT. speaking of objectification. i for one would rather be "objectified" for my sexual hawtness (hey, nothing wrong with cheap mutual lust) than for my Symbolic Representation as sticking it to the Man, for heaven's sake.

god, she's just so annoying.

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/01/2007 3:39 PM  

Uh huh, this is her over at AD's:
Right. And I never felt that way, did I? Since I married, not one black man, but two of them, and was married to them over 24 years time and had nine children by them in the end. I deliberately transgressed the boundaries of race, as a political act. I intentionally made myself a race traitor, as an act of revolution.

Her exact words weren't "revolutionary display", but I think I got the gist of it.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/01/2007 10:24 PM  

hey, Donna, could you drop me an email, when you get a chance? lilith_sincere@yahoo.com

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/01/2007 10:36 PM  

Just a minor clarification that's not meant to distract the conversation...being pro-pornography and pro-prostitution is meant as a movement to protect the people engaged in those industries. Meaning speaking out against the racism, sexism, transphilia/phobia, and violence in both areas. And advocating more realistic and healthier portrayals of sex. (And no, violence doesn't automatically equal BDSM.)

And...I saw Aradhana's entry, and I read that P.S. and it kicked me in the gut as a sexpos pro-pornstitution woman of color who agreed with her post until that point. I just thought..."whoa, irony." Then I read Cheryl/Heart's posts, and I wanted to post soooooo bad, but I held back and shared my metaphor instead.

By Blogger Sylvia, at 1/02/2007 12:30 AM  

well, i thought it was a good post, apart from that, yes. if she's going to be all pre-emptively "we don't want any, thank you," though, well, *shrug.*

it's like, i don't know, pro-life people who are SO convinced that ABORTION IS MURDER FULL STOP DO NOT PASS GO that there not only simply isn't any talking to them on the subject, but if you've ever expressed any dissent at all, you are automatically extremely Suspect, at the very -least.- i just don't have the energy for it. and yeah, i've been nasty to some of the people she's probably friends with, no doubt; because, again, y'know, asshat.

but i mean, she co-runs an entire blog that's pretty much about nothing -but- anti-porn and no, i will not use the term "pornstitution," because it is nauseatingly cutesy. as for "pornies" and (as i've seen elsewhere), "whordes," well...

...yeah. is what.

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/02/2007 1:46 AM  

I think that could be confusing Kristian, because saying pro-porn or pro-prostitution gives the sense that you are for them the way they are now. And there is definitely alot wrong with both right now, but it doesn't have to be that way.

You're confusing me too with the name because I want to call you Sylvia!

Oh hell, it's late so I have every right to be confused about everything and anything...

By Blogger Donna, at 1/02/2007 1:52 AM  

donna, thank you. this was so -- i don't know. made me cry.

who is the sexpos that said gender trumps race? Coz I need to go do a little stompin around on that one. that is sooooooooo not what sexpos is about! grrrrrrrr.

if you're reading bfp, thank you too. i just took a break coz i had my nose buried in fixing a broken web site and i have been too engrossed to look up. i will send proper thanks soon. i hope i have breathing room soon to send other thanks, too.

smooch

By Anonymous Bitch | Lab, at 1/02/2007 2:00 AM  

< For heaven's sake, she admits she married black men as a revolutionary display, that is racist in and of itself. >

um.

seriously. like five minutes i waited after i typed um. just um. for awhile now, whenever anyone's brought something to my attention, i'd go read and when the issue of race came up, i just wanted to crawl under something large and say, "oh, whiteness has to die." and i'd scratch my head and wonder, WTF. how can you possibly be attuned to anything at all and, for instance, once tell folks that she'd married a black man after all and had interracial children -- as if this was an indication that she was right or uniquely attuned or something.

i couldn't believe it. that's like anti-racism 101.

i'm sure i embarass heart for the human race, too. whatever. i am deeply sorry anyone ever has to read that kind of marlarkey.

By Anonymous Bitch | Lab, at 1/02/2007 2:10 AM  

zomg. is she aware that race traitor theorists would, uh, omg, like tell her to shove it and thanks but no thanks you need to go back to surfing web sites and actually comprehend what you read about being a race traitor. because marrying people as a political statement, ain't being a race traitor. nor are your freckles. nor are your interracial kids. criminy.

i think she needs an intervention. she has a lot to offer but this stuff is, yeah, corrosive.

i have to stay away from this right now. i'm so angry i'm spitting nails out my earballs.

By Anonymous Bitch | Lab, at 1/02/2007 2:15 AM  

i'm fucking tellin' ya. i'm going to go to write post on that noise. that is so not fucking right. race traitor means a race privileged frickin' analysis. how on this green earth can she possibly appropriate and freakin' twist the meaning of that phrase like that. oh holy shit holy shit holy shit.

frick. holes in my walls from all the nails. looks like a machine gun blasted thru. ooooooo. mad. just mad. mad.

By Anonymous Bitch | Lab, at 1/02/2007 2:22 AM  

You know, I can't remember who it was that pulled the gender trumps race thing, but I do remember that it was someone I thought of as sex pos. Since I can't remember when or what context, I can't be sure!

I was a little surprised when no one commented on what Heart said about her marriages being political. I think it's one of those things that when you read it you can't believe your eyes, it's like, "did she really say that? can't be!"

I read one of your post last night and it's had me thinking about class all day. And when I am being sarcastic about someone being dumb, I do the country bumpkin accent, and I realized sheesh that is so wrong! Especially since I was the country bumpkin, I lived in a condemned shack. Really. It was condemned and yet my mom, sister, and I lived there for years before they tore it down. (There was a hole in the kitchen floor where you could look down into the dirt floor basement. Nice, eh?) It is really hard to shake those ideas even when you know it's not true, when you know that poverty doesn't equal stupidity and neither does rural.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/02/2007 2:41 AM  

I think that could be confusing Kristian, because saying pro-porn or pro-prostitution gives the sense that you are for them the way they are now. And there is definitely alot wrong with both right now, but it doesn't have to be that way.

You're confusing me too with the name because I want to call you Sylvia!


Sorry about that! I got Blogger when I was around 16, and I haven't gotten around to changing my username here!

And yeah, it is confusing, but the thing is once you get into reading the theory, it's wildly different from that assumption. Which is why I appreciated Bitch | Lab's overview on her site so much. "Pornstitution" is a cutesy word, but I...like it a little. lol

And honestly, I didn't want to jump into the conversation and yell her to the floor about that political marriage statement because I felt there was enough "OH I'M WHITE WHAT A WORLD WHAT A WORLD" victim-playing over there, and I really didn't want to feed into it. I also didn't want to be insensitive to what she went through because domestic violence isn't anything to scoff at. But at the same time...she has no freakin' clue how racially insensitive and ridiculous she sounds, regardless of her experiences. And I think she was so worked up because she's used to the feminist "safe spaces" where you speak to a group that pretty much agrees with everything you say, and that's not what that post was for. She even mentions something a la "no I'm supposed to air out my laundry and you're supposed to cry with me" and it just gets messy from there.

By Blogger Sylvia, at 1/02/2007 2:55 AM  

I went to a family reunion a few years back and found out some interesting things about my father. First, he was very insecure, chubby pimply egghead, couldn't get a date, very few friends. My aunts were teasing him about this and he admitted it was true. Another thing, my mother barely spoke English when he met and married her. I knew English was her second language, but I thought she had to be fairly proficient by the time she met him. But my uncle said he could barely understand her. Now, my father has been married twice, my mother, Native American, and my stepmother who is an immigrant from Columbia. So you might think my father is anti-racist, not so much. I think he picks WOC because he thinks she is someone he can dominate because she is someone lower than himself. But he could easily pull-a-Heart and claim loftier reasons, even political or anti-racist. So you can be a racist and marry outside your race, isn't that what those mail order brides is all about too?

My Columbian stepmother isn't very anti-racist herself, and she is racist against, get this, other latinos. She makes sure everyone knows that she has pure Spanish bloodlines not like those dirty Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, or Cubans. She and my dad deserve each other. I'm glad my mom got out.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/02/2007 3:15 AM  

I slept on it and I think what I was trying to say is that calling yourself pro-porn or pro-prostitution is similar to calling a pro-choice person pro-abortion. It's very limiting, that's why I also think it is insulting and prefer sex positive since it emcompasses a nonjudgemental attitude and fostering woman friendly policies to replace exploitation.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/02/2007 9:52 AM  

heh. it was late and I was more incoherent than normal. what i'd been trying to say was that i've repeatedly gone to the margins, only to read something or three that really offended me in terms of race. i'll deal with whatever she has to say about almost anything else, but I can't fathom how someone who has years on me in terms of dealing with this stuff -- and far more on the ground than me, too -- doesn't at least know the basics.

one reason why was that, although radfem has a reputation of being a theory that is inherently racist, colonialist because ofit's theory (in spite of the wonderful intentions of practioners), it is also very true that they have worked hard to excise that, engaging in self-criticism. They were their own first critics on the issue.

So, I think I expect more. And maybe that's unfair. I know that's one reason why the book, Radically Speaking, infuriated me more than it should have. I was really hoping to find material that I could put forward to defend radfem against what I thought were unfair attacks.

i'm glad my rant was helpful. it very much annoys me that this history of the term and the political context surrounding the emergence of sexpos is ignored. I remember having this huge war over at punkass blug over what, I can't remember. someone made the claim that everyone was white middle class who bought the theory!

anyhoo, oh, don't beat yourself up about internalized oppression. woo. believe, in my situation right now, it's just not healthy. i don't advise. I know these things in my gut. I know these things from doing ethnographic research on the long-term unemployed. I know how they beat themselves up. Does it stop me from doing it to myself? Noope.

Pornstitution _ hate the word. I only used it recently when I became a gay man. The reason they use it is to constantly push together pornography and prostitution. these fights against what folks see as the normalization of pornography in our culture. By associating it with what I think is an ugly word and a word representing something people often find revolting it's a rhetorical tactic of persuasion.

Moreover, the hardcore folks like Sam at Genderberg, do not want any opening for calling it 'sex work'. I will get Radically Speaking out again, but they had a few paragraphs on why it was wrong to call it 'work' -- mainly because it legitmated it as just another occupation.

So, if I use it, it is generally ironically. Because, I'm tellin' yah, after the hell year of clients that have been the most abusive johns in the world, and a year of, yep, def. feeling like I'm a prostitute, using my talents for utterly anything to keep aflota, all I can say is, I know in my gut now what I knew in theory: we all sell ourselves.

More later, gotta run. Have to help R get ready for spur of the moment interview with company that is only 4 miles away. Yay!

By Anonymous Bitch | Lab, at 1/02/2007 1:35 PM  

You know, I can't remember who it was that pulled the gender trumps race thing, but I do remember that it was someone I thought of as sex pos

It was g-m-r (i do not post the full name, lest risk summoning the entity), and as far as i know she's never called herself that. sided with Heart wrt the Amp business. i dunno if she takes as hard a line wrt "pornstitution" as some of the others, and tangentially she's been known to write X-rated Buffy fanfic, I believe. but no, i would not characterize her as such.

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/02/2007 2:42 PM  

...in fact now i'm thinking of it, i think BL, you mentioned she had been one of the ones arguing against unionizing for sex workers/prostitutes, on account of it just encourages it to keep going when what we want is to smash the whole thing, or something.

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/02/2007 2:43 PM  

...of course, as BL notes, sex pos does not have to automatically mean "yay pornstitution!" (or vice versa). but i think by pretty much any definition g-m-r is only "sex positive" in that as far as i know, she likes sex on her own terms, as do we all, pretty much. but y'know, not exactly the most live and let live person on the planet...

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/02/2007 2:46 PM  

haven't read gin enough to know all the nuances. i just assumed from what I did read, the heavy reliance on MacKinnon and Susan Griffin that she's right there, just taking issue on different topics, just as, while Amber and I (just as an example) will generally agree on lots, but when we start talking the word "empowerment" and "liberation" we have two very different views.

Put me and Anthony or I am curious blue in a room to talk about porn and we'd be at each other's throat. :)

Unionizaton,etc.

I think it was the Alas thread around a post Tekanji wrote about the sex wars. This also came out in the sex workers wars at both Pandagon and Punkass blog when they literally said that fighting the cause was more important than individual women.

They won't unionize, etc. What their activism is about is getting women out of the trade, especially in 3rd world counties. Though belledame has the great ref to that article about how sex workers in those countries feel about being rescued. All follows right along the lines of the burka wars in that article -- basicaly exemplifying BfP's position in a different venue.

porn and sex work and rape are the three things around which men bond in order to keep women oppressed.

Because this is what keeps them bonding -- in spite of divisions over race, class, etc. These are the three things over which men continually tell each other they belong to a special club, the club of denigrating women.

Men don't experienc ethat anywhere else in live. It's only around porn, rape, prostitution. That is why it must be done away with.

if you remove those things, and their ability to bond, you weaken it by kicking it in the nuts and bring it to its knees. Then you kick it in the head 'til it's dead.

When you have a theory like that, it's like race traitor theory. To get rid of all problems, you get rid of the one things that permeates them all: whiteness.

Same thing for radfems with porn, prostituion, rape. You have to go for the thing that gives them their power: collective, shared sense of idnetity as class man against class woman.

Everything else is piffle compared to that.

If you view it that way, where power is either in one hand or the other, then you have no room for halfway measures. It's either/or. And they're fine with that because all three of those things cause immeasurable harm to women on a daily basis. It's better to go for the big goal than stick with it on reform measures.

If you read radfem in books they often go on about people who are liberals and into reform. Reform on those issues: anathema.

By Anonymous Bitch | Lab, at 1/03/2007 1:00 AM  

yes indeed: if we could just find a way for men to curb those...impulses. lock it up, as it were.

why then, we'd do away with the evil tyranny of Larry Flynt and Hugh Hefner! after that, the Pope should be a piece of cake!

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/03/2007 1:39 AM  

and yes, i read a charming little tome called "The Sexual Liberals and the War on Feminism," ed. Janice Raymond and Dorchen Leidholdt. shrug. they have the typical authoritarian/totalitarian disdain for the "liberal" in general; it only follows. some nice crunchy wackiness to be had, though, i'll tell you.

you know, i more than completely get why anyone would have Had Enough, Forever, personally. but to suggest that some sort of withholding of our collective "energy," which of course is first and foremost sexual, what isn't really, from the mens (or indeed as the Southern Women Writers' Collective opined, from ANYONE, including yer own sweet self, i think) is the road to power...all i can ever think of is Jack D. Ripper, ranting about his precious bodily fluids.

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/03/2007 1:44 AM  

Makes me think of prohibition and how well that worked. Also having a glass of wine doesn't make me a destructive alcoholic.

In other words, you can't legislate morality. It just goes underground.

We'd have a better chance of regulating the worst excesses by making prostitution legal.

We also have to change minds so that men respect women, and women respect themselves and have the freedom to choose what they want to do with themselves and their bodies.

I do see the radfem view, rape is always degrading, and the other two tend to be degrading. If women were coming from a place of power and equality, porn and prostitution wouldn't be, but we aren't anywhere near there. Women would be respected alot quicker if we didn't have so many ways to view and be viewed as debased.

Honestly there is only so much the state can do, and we should be wary of giving them too much power anyway. I'd like to have the state protect women by enforcing the laws we have against rapists, and having laws that protect women in porn and prostitution, as well as giving girls and women options. Working at Walmart isn't going to cut it.

I'd really much rather I could wave a wand and get rid of all three, and that women didn't work at being ogled and used by men. I do understand some like the work, but in that case it should be a hobby like it is for most men. Have clubs where people can live out their fantasies as equals, perhaps.

I don't know what the answer is, but making the women the bad guy, the sluts and whores, isn't the answer. It's like these round-ups of illegal immigrants without ever looking at the corporations that hire them. If the ones doing the exploiting had stiff jail sentences and huge fines you can bet they'd be careful to hire only legal immigrants and citizens. Without the jobs, we wouldn't have an illegal immigrant problem. There's always leniency and loopholes for the exploiters though.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/03/2007 2:47 AM  

I just realized I didn't finish my point regarding the glass of wine. It looks like a nonsequitur. I meant that porn and prostitution do not have to be degrading, they do tend to be because our society doesn't value women or protect them. Just like alcohol doesn't have to be destructive or cause disease, if people are educated to have the right attitude about it.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/03/2007 2:50 AM  

Kristian wrote:

And I think she was so worked up because she's used to the feminist "safe spaces" where you speak to a group that pretty much agrees with everything you say, and that's not what that post was for. She even mentions something a la "no I'm supposed to air out my laundry and you're supposed to cry with me" and it just gets messy from there.

Yeah, I've got a post brewing about that one. It's wrong in so many ways.

I'm really not going to learn much in my safe space if I concentrate on myself and my pain. The safe space is where I can say, "I fucked up. I need to admit it and I need to learn how to do better,"

Plus, I don't see how any of us white women are going to come close to understanding the lives of women of color if we don't put aside our own experiences and histories and the absurd assumption that all women's lives are similar to our own.

By Blogger Ravenmn, at 1/03/2007 7:26 PM  

Yeah, I think that's what fucks me up the most about at least some of the anti-porn/'stitution folks: how quickly and unthinkingly they seem to turn to the State. not everyone, i know, and obviously unless one is a total anarchist one accepts that the State comes in handy in some cases. but i mean, to me there's a continuum between putting the kibosh on trafficking and exploitation, and regulating what sort of imagery may and may not be sold or seen, never even mind how it was made. I'm a lot more sympathetic to concerns about how the stuff is -made- (as in, actual exploitation of actual people) than with attempts to link all kinds of heinous shit with simply -viewing- the stuff, like the way violent video games or rock music get blamed for the kids these days what am so violent and out of control.

Heart in that AD post: yeah, whatever it was, but you know, i found it really telling how somehow it turned back to being all about her and her personal pain, instead of addressing -any- of AD's points. a whole laundry's worth of defenses there.

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/04/2007 10:54 PM  

I'm really not going to learn much in my safe space if I concentrate on myself and my pain.

well, and you know, sometimes a safe space is simply that: a retreat, a place to concentrate on one's self and one's pain. which, fine; but, as you say, don't then extrapolate from -your- pain to -all womens'- pain (which Heart does all. the bloody. time. I speak for Women); and particularly don't get all bent out of shape when some actual women tell you, no, actually, in -this- way you're not speaking for me; listen up.

besides, if you ask me she spent a lot more energy shoring up her defenses than it would've taken to simply say, "You're right. I'm sorry." or even "You may be right, but there's a lot for me to process here; lemme go think about it for a few days," y punto.

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/04/2007 10:58 PM  

<< Plus, I don't see how any of us white women are going to come close to understanding the lives of women of color if we don't put aside our own experiences and histories and the absurd assumption that all women's lives are similar to our own. >>

i like hooks' point: revolutionary struggle ain't safe. :)

we need both safe spaces and places where we're held accountable, where we have to withstand criticism.

By Anonymous queer dewd formerly known as ( ), at 1/07/2007 8:05 PM  

To be clear, I don't think there're problems with safe spaces in themselves. However, I disliked how in this particular example Heart tried to transform a discursive post into a safe space for herself. Once the dialogue delves one-sidedly into extremely personal subject areas, it's harder to speak critically without appearing to undermine that person's experiences and pain. In the context of what was happening, I felt that behavior was very unfair.

By Blogger Sylvia, at 1/08/2007 1:42 AM  

"QUOTE: And maybe AD will understand why labeling sex pos feminists "pro-pornstitution" is as offensive and unfair as labelling radfems as "man haters"."

Donna, don't you think it's unfair that 'sex pos' are often called man-haters too? Or maybe this was not your intention?

Sex-pos as a theory is also 'feminist'. For proof of a 'sex pos feminist' being called a man-hater, I remember a month or so ago that renegade evolution had a troll that called her very misogynist names in addition to calling her a manhating feminazi or something.

I could be wrong... either way, I don't think the analogy is a fair one. Sex pos are also called 'man-haters'. The right analogy would be to say is that it's like calling 'rad fems - sex negative'.

Elayne - Resisterance has a few ideas about why 'pornstitution' can be a new word and how women are also entitled to 'make up new words'. Find her post here.

I use the word to define the institutionalized nature of 'all forms of sex work' as they pertain to capitalism.

I believe V (resisterance) uses it differently.

By Blogger AradhanaD, at 1/08/2007 2:33 AM  

To be clear, I don't think there're problems with safe spaces in themselves. However, I disliked how in this particular example Heart tried to transform a discursive post into a safe space for herself. Once the dialogue delves one-sidedly into extremely personal subject areas, it's harder to speak critically without appearing to undermine that person's experiences and pain. In the context of what was happening, I felt that behavior was very unfair.

exactly.

i think i was trying to get at something like this after the Random Bird business, but basically: there are different sorts of rules for different sorts of discussions. if this is a "share your personal experience in a therapeutic sort of way," then the expectations for what can and can't be said are different from "Issue X: yea or nay?" or even "let us examine the sociopolitical implications of media/cultural phenomena Y, using personal and anecdotal examples as well as statistical data and so on (admittedly, once the personal examples come in, you need to tread carefully, particularly if it's a terrifically personally loaded subject, as it often is in this 'sphere--it's not like talking about i don't know campaign finance reform, or who's looking the best in the Congressional races and why).

if it's a "personal is political," consciousness-raising sort of discussion, as here--calling allies out wrt unconscious racism; then, sure, it's -personal;- it makes sense i suppose to speak from personal anecdote if one is being personally called out...

and yet, as noted above, this is also anti-racism 101, not to mention "this is my blog and my time to call out my own stuff" 101; it is not reasonable to demand a "safe space" for -oneself- in someone else's home, particularly when the someone else is speaking -explicitly- about how -she- generally doesn't feel safe, essentially.

it's "how to suppress discussions of racism" 101; it's also sort of standard defensive, "how dare you criticize me when you see how i have suffered, probably more than anyone else here, let me count the ways how."

By Blogger belledame222, at 1/09/2007 9:36 AM  

<< The right analogy would be to say is that it's like calling 'rad fems - sex negative'. >>

and i suppose you actually think you know what sex negative means, right?

your objection is a nit picking one.

the point is: homogenizing a diverse group of people is not a wise idea, especially if you can't be bothered to understand what "sex positive" (and thus, sex negative) actually refer to.

By Anonymous queer dewd formerly known as ( ), at 1/09/2007 9:58 AM  

sylvia --

<< To be clear, I don't think there're problems with safe spaces in themselves. However, I disliked how in this particular example Heart tried to transform a discursive post into a safe space for herself. Once the dialogue delves one-sidedly into extremely personal subject areas, it's harder to speak critically without appearing to undermine that person's experiences and pain. In the context of what was happening, I felt that behavior was very unfair. >>>


yeah. BD pointed this out to me months ago. hadn't really thought of it before. but you're right

By Anonymous queer dewd formerly known as ( ), at 1/09/2007 10:01 AM  

I use the word to define the institutionalized nature of 'all forms of sex work' as they pertain to capitalism.

Nope, still doesn't work since that would include things that sex positive feminists disagree with like child pornography.

Sure there are some Rush Limbaugh types out there who would call all feminists man haters. But I am talking about amongst women, they generally wouldn't say sex pos feminists are man haters but some would get that idea about rad fems. I know I do when they are talking about married women like me being dupes to the patriarchy and themselves being political lesbians.

By Blogger Donna, at 1/10/2007 12:45 AM  

See, I just went over there and complimented AD on her post, but I didn't know my comments weren't wanted.

And it's true, a LOT of things Heart has said has pissed me off, but not because she's anti-porn. It's pissed me off because of her attitudes to race and the fact she's a transphobe. Not because I'm Larry Flynt pretending to be female.

By Anonymous Andrea, at 2/10/2007 4:14 PM  

Post a comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link