Saturday, June 17, 2006

Just wanted to spotlight this

post from Arwen, even though yes it's from the same goddam Eternal Subject and it's all over the intrablogs and we've been over this general territory a kazillion squillion times. because she sums it up so well.

(from the comments at Twisty, blogging, and devil's advocacy at Pandagon)

[quotage from another poster]

>And I don’t think that “women don’t really like blow jobs” is as offensive as people think it is. Not only because of the false consciousness thing, but more importantly because, in a sexist society, can you really say that you truly like something in and of itself, without any baggage coming from what it means/symbolizes/etc? Especially something as loaded (’scuse me) as a blow job? It’s an interesting question to entertain.>

[/quotage from another poster]

I don’t know. I’m a proud feminist. And yet, in the early days of my life, exposure to radical folks saying this sort of thing made me feel ashamed of myself, or offended, or like a bad feminist or a bad woman.

( I should say, I LOVE performing oral sex. I’m oral generally. I do find it incredibly pleasurable for me, and I’ve been saddened by partners who didn’t like to receive oral sex. )

But that’s not the point. The point is:

Feminists are my in-group.

One’s in-group, however universally dismissed, is the group whose ideas hold most sway. Twisty, Amanda, Dr.B - y’all are alphas in the internet ingrouping, relative societal power aside.

Look at Trekkies - the ingroup message to wear silly costumes overrides the societal stigma that that makes you a dork.

I’m far more likely to internalize shame at my sexual kinks based on Twisty’s mild smack down than I’m going to give a rat’s ass about what Co-Ed Dickwad number #417 thinks about me sexually: in my world, and in many other young feminists’ worlds (or young women beginning to question the system), Twisty does have more power than the Pope.

Whenever the feminist blogosphere erupts, there’s the accusation and denial: policing vs. power.

It’s as if feminists generally have neglected to understand in-grouping dynamics. We’re ingrouped. Anyone reading the advanced Patriarchy Blaming at Twisty is somewhat ingrouped: they’re more likely to care about Twisty’s opinion than about Falwell’s. That doesn’t mean that any major feminist blogger has the societal power to make South Dakota be all right again - but it does mean that there’s a buttload of personal power and ability to offend in ways emotionally deeper than the outgrouped Republicans in South Dakota’s legislature.

I have been *far* more deeply hurt and offended by feminists than by the Religious Right. Why? BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT FEMINIST OPINION. I think we’ve got to start recognizing that with each other, we do have power.

I don’t want to shut Twisty down; or any radical voice. I personally think she’s full of shit on this one, and don’t think Amanda’s saved her bacon with her analysis. However, we’ve got to leave room to acknowledge that the radical voices *do* cause pain, and sometimes can even cause people to start calling themselves egalitarians or whatever instead of feminist. We have to admit that yes; Twisty is so COOL and we want to be LIKE her and if she starts mocking the stupid-Spock-ears part of our Trekkie costumes it’s going to hurt a little for people who maybe just got comfortable with their stupid-Spock-ears lovin’ ways.

Is any sexual act empowering?

If you’ve been sexually abused or repressed, and you’ve hated your sexuality and it’s been tied up with crap-not-yours, and you’ve spent a long time healing and are finally able to hear the rhythms of your own desire, you’re damn right a sexual act can be empowering. If it’s your act, and especially if you have that history, and now you’re making your own life and story and agency and desire and love and respect central to the things you choose and do and enjoy, then you have entitlement to yourself. And that is the first and most important empowerment.
It will not, however, put a woman in the Oval Office.
I don’t expect my washing machine to make me breakfast. Even though both are domestic chores.
Category error.


***

I especially love that last paragraph. Right on.

And I know my own buttons have been pushed for exactly the reasons Arwen says: it hurts on a personal level when someone who you've admired disdains you more than it does when someone you've already deemed an enemy does; even if in real world terms, the latter has far more power to hurt you than the former.

That said: personally? I think, maybe, you know, I'm getting over it. Sincerely. Finally.

It's Their Problem, Not Mine.

Which, if the whole endless grueling rehash has led to nothing else, maybe that alone would make it worth it.

74 comments:

Jean said...

Aye, Belle. I zoned in on different coments for different reasons---FO in particular, whose comments I always look for---but this is much of the essence of it. Seriously, I hope some of this gets settled as to the rehash.

belledame222 said...

FO?

Jean said...

Foolish Owl. Hooty-hoo! For real, though, I'm conflicted because I tend towards his (I think) arguments because of other issues, though there were several others I thought were reading my mind. One that threw out what I tend to throw out in all these discussions, which is: 'Okay. So...do something about it, or otherwise, what's the point?' In flat out seriousness, I've seen others bring that question up in various thrashes, and it never gets answered. I don't know if people think it's a silly question or what. I don't. I mean, great...meat is murder. Why are you still ordering that Big Mac, then? Which I wouldn't care about under normal circumstances, but it picks at a sore spot here, seems singularly...condescending, maybe. Or maybe just really friggin' annoying. Either way... I don't know. I'm rambling. Sorry.

Bitch | Lab said...

yeah. i liked arwen's comments. the funny thing is, i was so tempted to say, "isn't it ironic and not in a 1000 spoons kind of way?"

after all, when the radfems that echols calls cultural fems really get into it, EVERYTHING can be explained by patriarchy. thus, the whole ingroup issue is the result of patriarchy.

why hasn't this been addressed? why was it ignored?

is it perhaps because the same woman who doesn't want to think about the patriarchy the next time she's giving a blow job, is doing the same thing that bloggers do when they don't want to think that they're reproducing the patriarchy?

in other words, if you had to turn the analysis of internalized patriarchy on your blogging habits, how would that feel?

but, here's the thing.

like jean, i'm not actually advocating that we sit around and do that: examine the extent to which our pleasure is completely shaped by the patriarchy or analyze the extend to which everything that goes on in the blogosphere is shaped by patriarchy.

i'm saying: so where does this analysis take us?

technically, it's supposed to go to a Great Refusal. If everyone becomes conscious, they'll defect. defect to what? defect where? defect to do what?

Like if you could get all the soldiers in Iraq to frag officers, dessert, and expropriate all the weapons and say, "Sorry, we're taking your marbles and going home. Game's over. Try to stop us: here's looking at the business end of a daisy cutter."

IOW, the only real thing that can be done to change anything, from the position of an advocate of the view that I should think about The Patriarchy next time I wax the carrot, is to defect from patriarchy.

go set up shop with the matriarchy, i guess. but there's no such beastie and no one dares advocate separatism these days, least of all people who like bachelor farming and the warm glow of misanthropy and the delights of eating at four star restuarants.

no organized action, there's nothing. at least we could advocate organizing something. at least we could advocate doing something to start making defection a reality. but it's never advanced.

if it's just individuals thinking about the patriarchy while they wax some guy's carrot, then a lot of people are not going to do that. and then, a lot of people will be, in the parlance of the marxists, scabs.

they aren't joining the union and respecting the picket line. thus, you must constantly turn on the women who are refusing to join the union, shaming them for not doing so and making a spectacle of the ones who do but don't do it properly or dissent from the positions taken by the alphabitches.

because that becomes the only way to get people on board with the blaming. there's no postive vision upheld for political practice: there's no vision of political practice at all. it's just sitting around thinking about the patriarchy when you wax the carrot.

and then you have what antiprincess described: a situation where the way to get people to conform is by shaming, guilt-tripping, and humiliating.

let me know how that works out, mmmkay?

Bitch | Lab said...

belledame, dont' you think that part of it is that now you can see how it's happening to het women?

because, before, you had to deal with all the other crap: internalized second guessing about being a lesbian and being into BDSM.

now, it's not about you, but it's about other people and other people are feeling the sting. now, you can see it as off a piece with an entire world view that doesn't just villainize you but a lot of other women as well.

I understood why the BDSM thread was so irritating. but the conclusion to that wasn't to say that it was male identified b.s. the conclusion was to say: i have my tastes and you have yours and i'm telling you that you look like silly fools in those get ups you wear.

that took the heat off and just seem like elevating "I hate zucchini" to a feminist principle rather than preference.

but, everybody knew that wasnt' how she really felt.

now, it's been made explicit.

a fucking relief to know for sure.

brownfemipower said...

hm, maybe it's just my too cool skate border roots, but why the hell does everybody want to hang out the popular people anyway? i don't get it. and I agree with bitch, there needs to be something to replace that which we aren't supposed to associate with or the whole game just becomes about shaming and hurting rather than empowering and honoring.

belledame222 said...

> belledame, dont' you think that part of it is that now you can see how it's happening to het women?

because, before, you had to deal with all the other crap: internalized second guessing about being a lesbian and being into BDSM.

now, it's not about you, but it's about other people and other people are feeling the sting. now, you can see it as off a piece with an entire world view that doesn't just villainize you but a lot of other women as well.>

Yes. That, too, for sure.

well, and, but, before, her conclusion wasn't really to say "I have my tastes and you have yours and (I think) you look silly;" that would've been fine. no; BDSM is categorically Patriarchal nad "anti-intellectual" and whatever else; This Is What It Is, And What It Looks Like, I Have Spoken. fuck off.

but yeah; it does become a bit more obvious when it turns into every redblooded straight couples' favorite hobby instead of just a still-fairly marginalized and widely misunderstood subculture.

and as I said before, elsewhere: dude, I'd have *lots* more respect if it really were as blatant as

"HETSEX IS TEH NASTY! JOIN US NOW! HELP ME EARN A TOASTER!"

...except, then, too, I'm not sure to what degree us is us, really, you know.

i mean: as I also said elsewhere; if it's really about critiquing the hetnorm, then, well, 'k; but, wouldn't you think that at some point a non-straight woman might come up with

"I LOVE EATING PUSSY! WAHOOOO!!!"

rather than fixating quite so much on what hetfolks (or anyone) do or don't do?

Alon Levy said...

Well, what I did was zone people out of the in-group. So if Twisty says some odious shit about BDSM, I treat it the same way I treat it when a random right-wing blogger says BDSM is evil. Of course this introduces another problem, namely what to do when someone I regard as part of the in-group, such as Amanda, takes Twisty seriously. Personally I remind myself that on the issues Twisty is most pernicious about, all other major feminist bloggers disagree with her.

belledame222 said...

(or, you know, whatever:

I HEART TRIBADISM! YIPEEEEEE!!!!

KISSING GIRLS IS TEH EXCELLENT! BOO-YA!

SOULFULLY GAZING INTO ANOTHER WOMAN'S EYES AND LIGHTLY TOUCHING PINKIES IS WHERE IT'S AT!! HOTCHACHACHA!!

MARCHING AND CHANTING TOGETHER IN SISTERLY PASSION AND PRIDE TO THE BEAT OF A DRUM WETS MY WHISTLE, YES IT DOES!!

SOMEthing, fercrissakes. ANYthing.)

antiprincess said...

so...uh...belledame...what r u waring?

is now a good time to confess my damp and fevered pinky-touching fantasies starring you? I mean, it's all totally responsible, and stuff...

belledame222 said...

hairshirt n strap-on Patriarchal Phallus. u?

antiprincess said...

zomg my favorite kind of phallus!

and u look teh hawt in hair.

IRL - I'm lounging around in a big orange flowered muumuu...it brings out the patriarchy in my eyes...

Mandos said...

To be fair, sometimes Twisty does refer to some women she meets as sexually desirable, and I think she means it. She also has alluded very obliquely in comments to sexual pratices which she likes.

However, her blog (which I find entertaining enough to be Official Scapegoat) is first and foremost about amusing herself. And it clearly doesn't amuse her to talk about that aspect of her life.

Bitch | Lab said...

what color is your hairshirt?

true story. i was really cranking busy one night. gotta do this, gotta do that, trying to juggle the baby, trying to get my step kids squared away, get dinner, etc.etc.

phone rings.

guy says: what color are your panites.


me: uh, white. yeah white. as i look down at my ass and tried to remember what color i'd put on that morning. as i did i asked, why?

he slammed the phone down right quick.


i was so thinking about 100 other things, he asked, i answered.

i learned later, from a friend who was a police pyschologist who dealt with these guys, this is exactly what you should say to get the phone harassers off your back. they are terrified you're not going to be terrified of them

--- but seriously. i laughed and laughed about the touching pinkies and soulfull looking one.

i think you stumbled over an old post i'd made once where i pointed out that, at least in the olden daze, for me, it was really clear that even lesbians weren't sure about whether they like pussy. it was, for some, seen as dirty. they weren't stone, it was just that, back then, oral sex of any kind was still being taught as Teh Evol.

It was wicked confusing to me, as I was reading all the supposedly sex radical stuff and I'd keep meeting women who really did think it "smelled down there". please, gimme your pinky.

Alon Levy said...

You know, I'm not even that much into blowjobs. But I'm a very strong practitioner of "I may not like the same sexual practices you do, but I'll defend to death your right to engage in them."

Bitch | Lab said...

BfP.

I don't think they want to hang out with the cool kids. I thought Arwne was saying, "look, you're creating a reference group (that's another word for ingroup)." a referecne group is your peers: we are feminists. we are radical women of color bloggoers or we are sex positive feminist blogger. whatever.

when we creat that group, we create a reference group.

Arwhen was also pointing out that, we end up creating a hiearchy. She pointed at pandagon, bithc phd and twisty as leaders, whom she sees as the leaders. others do too.

when the leaders say something that hurts women, they've violated their position of authority, especially when they have utterly no position from which to defend the violation.

but worse, especially when twisty's argumeants don't respect the legit differences among women.

As I've been saying recently at my blog, look. it's not just twisty having a bad day. it's not just ginmar being a nutter. Read the big red tome, radically speaking. It's a book that says it will show everyone how rad fem isn't racist. and yet, repeatedly, it IS racist. and not in subtle ways. In egregious, appaling, someone should have seen this kind of ways.

and it's not just a few women in blolandia who are a little off, it's an entire book, with 65 authors who spend their time relently attacking other women by saying things like MacKinnon does: women of oclor have criticisms, but really, you know, they are just identified with patriarchy.

it's robin morgan calling every single other form of feminist thourhg nothing more and nothing less than male identified patriarchy fucking.

it's janice raymond saying that women who want to have children, in spite of thei infertitilyt, are confused defenders of the patriarchy and they should accept thier condition and learn to be exemplars of the new, childless woman. apparently, women who want to be childless aren't enough. women who don't want to be childless must refrain from fertility pills to get prgenant. because, they are stupid breeders.

ok. i'm going off the deep end with raymond. i was hoping to make belledame hot and dripping wet.

but there is Pauline Bart who thinks its perfectly ok to call any woman who disagrees with her male identified and black men who challenge her in the classroom "black men" where black women who agree with her are "african american women" and where it is telling the sociolgical truth to say that the reason why a black gay man distrubes a bunch of white middle class feminists is because he's big. he's agressive.

not satisified?

ok. He's black.

it's the sociological truth. black gay men harm and hurt pwecious white wimmins fee fees because he's black.


and that's the truth. and the truth is to protect those white women to the hilt and insult the gay students in your class, since one of the lesbians wears a leather jacket.

where was I?

oh yeah. because it's not just an aberration.

THIS IS THE THEORY.

the theory is that, it's not just the patriarchy, but sometimes, as Pauline Bart explicity argued, women are the bigger enemy. thus, you have to go after women.

the entire book is a rage against other women, a rage against theorists who criticize radfem, a rage against anyone who has the termerity to argue that radfem is culturally essentialist and possibly even racist.

so, they defend themselves against racism by allowing an author to publish an article in the book wher race is seen as a "construct" that makes people "cringe" and is, therefore, a problem, where as the REAL is rape. once everyone understand that the REAL is rape and that racial issues are constructs, we'll be better off.

so, i can't buy that twisty's having a bad day and that others in the blogospher are just, you know, odd.

this IS the theory.

Bitch | Lab said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bitch | Lab said...

BfP.

I don't think they want to hang out with the cool kids. I thought Arwne was saying, "look, you're creating a reference group (that's another word for ingroup)." a reference group is your peers: we are feminists. we are radical women of color bloggoers or we are sex positive feminist bloggers. whatever.

when we create that group, we create a reference group. what another women of color blogger says matters. and when the other woman of color appears to attack something with which you identify or tells you that your legitimate disagreement is that you are a tool of the patriarchy, then you are very hurt. more hurt than by what jerry falweell says about you.

case in point: instead of understanding that there were legit differences, DD informed you and other that youwere tools. you were not given the dignity of disagreeing for legit reasons. you were immediately called an oppressor.

Arwhen was also pointing out that we end up creating a hierarchy. She pointed at pandagon, bithc phd and twisty as leaders. she sees them that way, others do too. some people would see you and nubian as leaders of WOC bloggers, yes?

when the leaders say something that hurts women, they've violated their position of authority, especially when they have utterly no position from which to defend the violation. that is, they don't have an argument other than to repeatedly say: you're an oppressor, or your a tool of the patriarchy.

such an approach doesn't respect legitimate theoretical differences among women.

As I've been saying recently at my blog, look. it's not just twisty having a bad day. it's not just certain feminists coming off as raging nutters.

Read the big red tome, Radically Speaking. It's a book that says it will show everyone how rad fem isn't racist. and yet, repeatedly, it IS racist. and not in subtle ways. In egregious, appalling, someone-should-have-seen-this-why-didn't-they-ways.

and it's not just a few women in bloglandia who are a little off, it's an entire book, with 65 authors who spend their time relentlessy attacking other women and other approaches to feminist theory by saying things like MacKinnon does: women of color have criticisms, but really, you know, they are just identified with patriarchy.

it's robin morgan calling every single other form of feminist ttheory nothing more and nothing less than male identified patriarchy fucking.

it's janice raymond saying that women who want to have children, in spite of infertility, are confused defenders of the patriarchy and they should accept their condition and learn to be exemplars of the new, childless woman. apparently, women who want to be childless aren't enough to be the exemplars. women who don't want to be childless but who are so "naturally" must refrain from fertility pills because they are stupid breeders who are only encouraging other women to become breeders. Silly tools.

ok. i'm going off the deep end with raymond. i was hoping to make belledame hot and dripping wet.

but there is Pauline Bart who thinks its perfectly ok to call any woman who disagrees with her male identified . She's happy to call lack men who challenge her in the classroom "black men" where black women who agree with her are "african american women" She and the editors and other authors of the book who did not boject think it's perfectly OK to tell the so called "sociological truth": he reason why a black gay man disturgs a bunch of white middle class feminists is because he's big.

don't buy it?

Ok. he's agressive.

not satisified?

ok. He's black.

it's the sociological truth. black gay men harm and hurt pwecious white wimmins fee fees because he's black. he's not african american, like the women who defended her. rather, he's a black man.


where was I?

oh yeah. because it's not just an aberration.

THIS IS THE THEORY.

the theory is that, it's not just the patriarchy, but sometimes, as Pauline Bart explicity argued, women are the bigger enemy. thus, you have to go after women.

the entire book is a rage against other women, a rage against theorists who criticize radfem, a rage against anyone who has the termerity to argue that radfem is culturally essentialist and possibly even racist.

so, they defend themselves against racism by allowing an author to publish an article in the book wher race is seen as a "construct" that makes people "cringe" and is, therefore, a problem, where as the REAL is rape. once everyone understand that the REAL is rape and that racial issues are constructs, we'll be better off.

so, i can't buy that twisty's having a bad day and that others in the blogosphere are just, you know, odd.

this IS the theory.

which i fine, but it's only A theory. it's not THE theory.

when it pretends to be THE theory and that challenges to it must be written of as male identification, then it's a big problem

belledame222 said...

Mandos: the thing is, though? If you're all about the personal is political? Why is it okay to be constantly up in everyone *else's* grill about their personal, but remain super-cagey about your own?

So, cool: it amuses her to poke at other people in their most vulnerable areas. It doesn't amuse her to allow for the possibility of the favor being returned.

Personally, We are no longer amused.

brownfemipower said...

hey bitch! thanks for explaining things to me step by step, especially when it comes to bloggers like twisty, i guess that I ignore what's going on and then step in half way through the battle because my fav bloggers are discussing it, and I really have no clue what the *real* fight is about.

I see what you're saying about "leaders" letting you down and disappointing you--but I guess what I was saying was more of a why is twisty (who, in my mind, is the symbolic *book* that you bring up) a leader of the feminist blogosphere anyway?

I'm not trying to discount the hurt women who follow her feel, rather instead, trying to ask why is it always the bitchiest meanest mean girl out there who is the "leader"?

In other words, in terms of radical feminism's leaders, radical feminism has some very deep and consistent issues with race and sex positivism that many many women have seen through and called them out on--why on earth, then, are people still following radical feminism(that is, instead of creating something of their own)?

Because I think there's a difference between being hurt by somebody who you normally appreciate, but there's still the space to talk through the differences and create something stronger, and being hurt by somebody who is so invested in their thinking they will never ever change.

I know that the conversation I had recently about trans issues really hurt some people's feelings, but we were invested enough in each other and our particular ideology to talk out those hurt feelings and ultimatly gain a stronger understanding of each other.

In the other miserable case you bring up which I can barely tolerate mentioning :-) that was not about betrayal and hurt at the betrayal, but about power and control. somebody wanted to control and run me personally and when I refused that control, shaming came into play. Yes it hurt, but it was never a case of where there was mutual respect to begin with and as such, the subsequent betrayal--but rather instead disbelief and hurt that a woc would attempt to control and shame another. As such, for me, the issue was finding a way to exist outside of that shaming and control (which would always be there regardless if it were directed at me or somebody else) rather than attempting to negotiate myself out of being shamed and controlled so that somebody else could be shamed and controlled instead.

Some people won't be negotiated with, and for many people, it sounds like radfemism is one of those things that simply won't be negotiated with.

(btw, "leader" is a term that makes me sweat with uncomfortability and teenage angst--)

Jean said...

"Personally, We are no longer amused."

Is that the royal 'We,' Belle? ;)

But re: cageiness, etc. My thing is that I don't want to be in a position of defending personal choices as political statements, because at the end of the day, it's fractionalizing. I fall off this boat a lot wrt gay marriage, mostly out of frsutration, but here: I can still make my argument there without referring to my personal life. Which comes back to: we all know what's up in our own bedrooms. And if we don't, let us figure it out, thanks for the pamphlet, I'll get back to you. I think this is somewhat where FO was going. But stop tut-tutting me, I say to the pamphleteer. Which is what all the bj/bdsm/eyeliner/razors thing is. It's my mom looking disgusted at jokes about 69s. That is seriously what I think of whenever I read those types of thrashes.

belledame222 said...

>royal We

whatever else? :P

>My thing is that I don't want to be in a position of defending personal choices as political statements, because at the end of the day, it's fractionalizing.

Oh I agree. But even if it's just gonna be, "haha I'm gonna make fun of you for liking to give head because hummers are Teh Icky," particularly after having *asked* for womens' opinions on the subject, then it's a bit rum to fall curiously silent on the subject of your own potentially icky preferences.

2) I think that it does make sense to bring one's own personal experiences if one wants to bring up the question,

"So? Does giving head, in and of itself, have some sort of sociopolitical significance, do we think? Discuss."

It's also perfectly fine to, you know, maybe just pooh-pooh the whole thing and leave sexual preference discussions at the level of "I like frisee." "Oh, ew, I can't stand the stuff."

But what *isn't* on is to conflate the two, and further to do it in a way that suggests that not only is the personal political, but *my* personal is the political (La Feminisme, C'est Moi); -you-, well...you're just kind of screwed up, aren't you.

belledame222 said...

...I mean, to me, a legitimate way to go about that whole thing would be if people were sticking to stuff like,

"I never thought about it, but it's true: whenever a guy wants me to give a blowjob, I mean I don't *mind* doing it, but there is something offputting about *being on my knees* in front of a guy, now you mention it. and yeah, the last three guys I was with wanted me to give them endless head, but suddenly fell asleep when I wanted them to return the favor; what the hell is *that* about? And yeah, you know what: the second-to-last guy, he kept making all these disparaging remarks about the smell. I'm like: excuse me, boyo, but uh if you think you're all perfume and chocolate ice cream down there, you're sadly mistaken. Sexist; yeah, that was."

or

"For me it *does* feel like a dominant act, giving a blowjob, although I can see that a lot of people don't see it that way. But when I've got my guy all tied up and blindfolded and I've got "[Boy] I'm just a Vampire for your Love...and I'm gonna *suck* ya!!" on the mental dial and a diabolical grin on my face, hell yeah, baby. I put him on his back and fantasize that I'm really going to eat him, I mean just swallow him whole, engulf him. Someday I want to have a party and have him be the centerpiece on the buffet table, all decorated like a big cake and bound and helpless, like in that Tom Petty video, you know? only it's him on the table. (And he loves the idea, too)"

or

"Yeah, I always see it as submissive, an act of service. That's what gets me hot"

or

"Eh. I like giving head and getting head. He likes giving head and giving head. It feels great, we enjoy giving each other pleasure. Sometimes we 69 if our joints aren't too achy. Why does it have to mean anything?"

***

...and of course, people *were* saying exactly that sort of thing, and that's when Twisty came back with the post I think she's now scribbled, with the business about

>Some of you seized the opportunity to acquaint the group with your erotic autobiographies (don’t quit your day jobs!)>

...which, frankly, I'm guessing, is why it blew up as big as it did in the first place. No, Heart, and whomever, the fact that this many people are talking about this does not, in fact, automatically mean that The Patriarchal Blowjob Question is really some deep truth that Twisty's uncovered; mostly it means that a beloved idol suddenly turned shockingly nasty and people don't know what to do with it.

it was a shin kick. She's always *been* a shin-kicker. Just, this time, it connected bigger and harder, and so more people are hopping around, and some kicked back, and now it's a great big kickfest. Is that a sign that it's fraught with sociopolitical significance? Only if you think the Three Stooges are philosophers.

belledame222 said...

...and, of course, as bfp mentions, the really controlling way she'd set the whole thing up, which is not untypical of her style but I think was something that maybe people in such large numbers had not yet tweaked (as Bitch Lab) notes, while she was mostly taking on "safe" enemies like the Religious Right or small enough minorities (i.e. people who wear fetish heels, sexual masochists) that most of the regulars there who stuck around either were already against it or simply weren't invested in it enough to give that much of a damn.

which is not to cast blame on such people (hey, there's enough of that going around already); just, that's how people generally work.

Jean said...

"But what *isn't* on is to conflate the two, and further to do it in a way that suggests that not only is the personal political, but *my* personal is the political."

There. Exactly.

Alon Levy said...

It's possible that Twisty inadvertently overreached with her anti-sex rhetoric. If you ask me the best way to reply to her is, "Have you no sense of decency, ma'am, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Bitch | Lab said...

BfP

Gonna tackle this on several issues, separating them.

On the mean girls thing. Hmm. If we accept Arhwne's claim as to who are the leaders of feminist blogoliciousville ( we don't have to), then BitchPhD isn't mean. I dont' think Amanda is either. I think she can be very mean when she's attacking rightwingers, though. And that's all good.

Who else are the top bloggers: Alas. He's not mean, I don't think. Feministe: they don't seem mean. Feministing: not mean.

And, really, I don't think Twisty's mean. She has a theory and, on the radfem view, there is a significant faction of women who are, plain and simple, deluded by the patriarchy and they are your enemies, just as much as the men and the rightwingers.

E.g. getting back to that incident, the woman who wrote a defense of heterosexual monogmay would be seen as an enemy, and not a potential ally who you would want to try to understand.

Carol Hanisch, in her new introduction to 'The personal is political' traces the split to the protests over the Miss American Pageant. A faction of women wanted to attack the contestants. Hanisch and her faction argued that we needed to be pro-women, that we needed to understand where women were coming from and build structures of communication, the civil discourse of which Belledame speaks in another post.

At there time, there was a rollicking debate about the women who were, supposedly apolitical. Potential allies, but not much interested in activist political involvement. Much time was spent denoucning them. Hanisch thought we might do better to understand them and find out what their criticisms and reluctance were about -- so as to better build a movement that might respond to the needs of all women.

So, I don't think I want to say Twisty is mean. I think I want to say that it has to do with the theory.

For her, Blaming the Patriarchy isn't just about blaming men. it's about blaming anyone who uphold ideological structures that support male supremacy.

Thus, on a recent thread about 12 year old models striking porn poses, much grief was heaped on the parents and many respondents said that the parents were idiotic fools to let their daughters pose like this. How could they, said one. Everyone knows that you won't get a modeling career at the Ford Modeling Agency affiliated with outfits like that.

But, let's face it BfP, I think you and I know enough poor people who _don't_ know that. LIke me, I bet you know plenty of folks who don't Ford Modeling Agency from Adam. They get a flyer in the mail, they have a little girl who is already twirling her baton strike poses and think, "Well, I have just so many chances to ensure my girl has a decent life. She likes posing already. She likes dressing up pretty. Why not? We can earn money to send her to college."

(As an aside, I'm more familiar with the male manifestation of this where the focus is on sending your kid through the meatgrinder otherwise known as prosports inorder to get threm through college.)

And it kind of infuriated me to think that the only lens applied to the analysis was that of educated upper middle class white people who do not know the desperation of people who _need_ their children to work in order to survive. Of people who _need_ ways to pay for college, not private college, but state collge.

grrrr.

The only other analogy I can think of is the way that there is a split among Marxists. Some say, of coruse, there is false consciousness. This false consciousness makes people surround themselves with consumer goods like SUVs, bad music, bad art, starbucks coffee, etc.

The also sometimes think that the average person will never get beyond a selfish "trade union consciousness" where they never want to advance everyone's interests, only their own.

This leads some folks to despair that these ignorant folks will ever see the light. sometimes, they read like they think people are the enemy and they mock and castigate them for their bad taste, their bad style, their crappy music, etc.

Another faction says,"Woah there. Maybe there is something going there and we might want to ask ourselves why people like Starbucks coffee and SUVs. Can we maybe find a kernel of progressiveness their?"

"Aside from which," they say, "it is not very pragmatic to mock and criticize the very people who supposedly care about. Their supposed lack of taste and style isn't the enemy. The enemy is capitalism. Let's focus on that. Let's focus on building solidarity. Let's build a movement."


what a rambler.

Bitch | Lab said...

just an FYI: never gotten on my knees for a hummer.

had my ass hanging out a window practically while truckers drove by a few times. "oh, just checking out the stick shift."

which, personally, i found hilarious. fun way to break up a long drive and the closest i've ever got to public sex -- and closest i'd wanna get, i think.

knees -- godawful uncomfortable. funny. i've never known one who liked it that way. _they_ don't like the subservience angle. but, i dont' think i attract men who see me as subservient. heh. although my friend Brian thinks I'm a total closet case sub.

Bitch | Lab said...

belledame wrote:

"Only if you think the Three Stooges are philosophers."

god i love you. i defer to antiprincess, though. she was making passes atchya way before me. the last time i made a sexual innuendo at a woman i intellectually admired, she smacked me down and my fee fees couldn't take it. wary ever since.

Bitch | Lab said...

BfP

you wrote:

"-why on earth, then, are people still following radical feminism(that is, instead of creating something of their own)? "

Well, I agree with Alison Jaggar who wrote that some of the biggest critics have also been radfems themselves. In the mid-80s, she saw the critiques as a vibrant example of the wonder and joy that is feminist self-criticism, the purpose of which would be to make our analyses, research programs, art, literature, and political practice stronger.

political practices shapes theory

--->

theories inform political practice

--->

come back from the trenches to have a looksee at the theories again and make them better

--->

New theories shape better political practice.

and so on.

from reading you, that so totally seems like your kinda world, what 'gets you' about radical women of color thought and practice, right?

i think, on that view, no one has to lose radical feminism -- ditch it.

i think Heart, for instance, wants to make it stronger by understanding the criticisms and reworking the theory.

---

The weird thing, from reading Radically Speaking is that I get the sense -- and I want to go through the book and pull quotes to show this -- that radical feminists have, for some reasons, often felt that criticism was something like attempted murder of their theory.

I'm not sure why. And to be fair, I think I'd want to read the criticisms to see if there was any basis for this. It may well be that some people have been so hostile that it really felt like they were out to, figuratively speaking, kill radical feminist thought.

One thing that occured to me is that criticisms of hetero/sexism, racism, and classism are very threatening to any group of largely white women, that it feels like the critic is trying to shame and belittle them.

That leftish leaning women are so ego-identified with the notion that they aren't racist, hetero/sexist, and classist that, when called on it, it goes right to the core of their identity and feels like a personal assault.

Maybe that's why they felt it was a personal attack that felt like peole were out to "murder' the theory.

Amber said...

knees -- godawful uncomfortable. funny. i've never known one who liked it that way.

Actually, I like it that way - in a few specific situations. 1) On my balcony, I'll remove the cushion from one of the chairs and kneel on it in front of the other chair (and, hence, the bj recepient). 2) In the living room, in front of the couch - the rugh is very thick and soft.

It doesn't feel subservient to me. That probably has a lot to do w/ the nature of my relationship w/ my boyfriend, and that we don't have any power struggle bullshit going on.

Bitch | Lab said...

amber -- yah. i think the running for two hours on pavement didn't do my knees much good -- or my shins for that matter. i think i've done the seducation, thing, pushing them up against a wall and ripping their clothes off and started out that way. the guys i've known though have always said they feel uncomfortable both b/c they felt i was in a posish of subverience and, r hollers over, because it's not a very relaxing to them.

but they're all different. like women really. god did it bum me out once to have one who didn't like his balls touched. damn. they like my favorite things on a guy. i can't even stand to get the dog fixed. balls are Teh Awesomeness.

Sonshine, when he learned a bit about reproduction, learned about mommies and babies and eggs.

one day, he comes walking out of the bathroom - kid was a total nature boy, always nekkid -- and says, while holding and fondling them, "mommy, are these MY eggs?"

Bitch | Lab said...

BfP -- re the 'bad situation'.

I hope that didn't make you uncomfortable.

should we just avoid using it as an analogous example?

in general terms, i just saw that you were constantly having the world "oppressive" and "oppressor" hurled at you.

it was as, just by calling you that name, it would stick, and you were be chastened. There was no need to make an argument as to _why_ you were to be called that name, just the name attached to you. It was if what constitutes oppressive behavior among a radical women of color community is self-evident.

and i don't think it is.

i had wanted to quote bell hooks on the politics in communities at the time

Bitch | Lab said...

alon

I think that EL and My AMusement Park would like to know what IS the scoop with men saying they don't like Teh BJ?

EL happened to notice that all the guys who piped up said they didn't really like it -- at Twisty's which isn't a representative sampling, but... still, curious.

Who am I to question what you do and don't like? I'm not questioning your manhood or anything, just curious.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
belledame222 said...

BFP: I was responding to a question of yours upthread; it's now a post of its own, as it was hella long and I didn't want to interrupt the convo that's happening here.

yes. After all that: I want to hear more about blowjobs. Also just curious. Why don't you like them? do you know?

belledame222 said...

getting them, that is.

belledame222 said...

>god did it bum me out once to have one who didn't like his balls touched. damn. they like my favorite things on a guy. i can't even stand to get the dog fixed. balls are Teh Awesomeness.


BL: you've seen this, no?

http://www.goodiebag.tv/video/big_balls_qt.htm

Amber said...

i think i've done the seducation, thing, pushing them up against a wall and ripping their clothes off and started out that way. the guys i've known though have always said they feel uncomfortable both b/c they felt i was in a posish of subverience and, r hollers over, because it's not a very relaxing to them.

Interesting re: the relaxation thing. I can def. see that if it's w/ the guy standing (and the GBDF [Goddamn Boyfriend, for those not in the know] has just corroborated as much.) I was talking specifically about positions where the guy is sitting down and I am kneeling. I like those bc it's comfortable for him, comfortable for me (as already described above), the angle is such that my neck doesn't start to hurt, *and* I can pretty easily look up and watch his face, which I *really* like.

Oh, sure, I could get into the philosophical aspect of this discussion, but really, why? I'd much rather discuss blowjobs themselves - technique, awesomeness, etc. Lazy Sunday!

(I might get to the deeper [heh] meanings sometime next week.)

Amber said...

Dammit! I typo'ed my acronym! Clearly it's supposed to be GDBF, not GBDF.

Alon Levy said...

Who am I to question what you do and don't like? I'm not questioning your manhood or anything, just curious.

What manhood? ;)

Honestly, it's residual prudishness. I used to be really afraid of having any body part that could manipulate objects touch my penis. This mainly meant blowjobs and handjobs, because anyone who blows me is capable of biting. I'm more trusting now, but I still feel a bit uneasy about blowjobs (though not uneasy enough to say no if a girlfriend asks).

At any rate, I view blowing as somewhat of a dominating act. I know most people view it the opposite way, but personally if I picture an S&M scene involving fellatio/cunningulus, I always picture the person doing the blowing as the dominant.

I think that EL and My AMusement Park would like to know what IS the scoop with men saying they don't like Teh BJ?

I like Chris Clarke's response in EL's thread: "Well, there's at least one male IBTP regular who likes getting blowjobs if they're done well, but you think I was gonna step in there brightly and say so? You freaking kidding?"

Bitch | Lab said...

Alon

re: Chris Clarke. LMAO.

Yeah, but maybe EL was wondering, so why didn't they just not say anything as he so wisely did?

Ahhh. I feel much better now. It hadn't occured to me that this might be an issue. The reason I asked was that, I had a beau as a kid. Never had sex 'til later when, after high school, he returned from the Navy. We hooked up for one of those rekindle the flame flings. I was surprised to learn, after diving under the sheets, that my attentions were unwelcome.

I only though, hell! I like it for myself. Who wouldn't.

I thought maybe it was being in the Navy. There's a lot of homophobia that might have stuck. Then there's the fact that most of these guys ended up visiting prostitutes and it's hard to say what they learn there.

Well. I guess I'll have to wait for a class reunion or something to ever find out since, no doubt, one man's reason isn't another's. And, oh hey, maybe a better cocksucker than I managed to change his perspective.

Alon Levy said...

Well, it could be that they were trying to fit in. If I start commenting on an MRA site, and there's a thread about an MRA issue I deeply disagree with MRAs on, you can bet the first thing I'll do is recount horror stories of arguing with radfems like Ginmar. Similarly, if I start arguing with sex-negative radfems (now that Twisty came out against BJs, I no longer feel any compunction about calling her cohort sex-negative), the first thing I'll do is look for anti-sex credentials, such as prudishness or flamewars with sex-pos feminists.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
belledame222 said...

The MRA's and the g-m-r types...god, it's classic. they're sort of a perfect mirror image of each other, aren't they?

Y'all might be interested in this (straight) guy's blog. It's a sex blog (writing only); he writes in this delicate way that I like very much. anyway it's called the "v-boat," which I gather means/meant he is/was a "technical" virgin, at least. never let anyone say virgins can't be very erotic and sensual.

http://v-boat.blogspot.com/

...aw, crap, he's taking a break, apparently. but the archives are still there.

belledame222 said...

(this entry in particular, which Alon's post put me in mind of for some reason:

http://v-boat.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_v-boat_archive.html)

Alon Levy said...

Honestly, I didn't really like V-Boat. Generally my sexual taste is deviant enough that there's very little that caters to me turn-on-wise (in a nutshell, I'm mostly into hardcore sadomasochism that involves switching). The writing style can dominate, no pun intended - after all, I like Orwell even though he doesn't sexually turn me on - but I just didn't connect to V-Boat's.

Bitch | Lab said...

Amber

You're right. I'm totally thinking of it as on your knees while they're standing.

My peabrain didn't think of myself as on my knees while they're sitting.

Which is where the bad knees comes in. While they're sitting, it doesn't strain my knees quite so bad. Hence, it doesn't feel like being on my knees. I am, though. What a peabrain.

Did you catch R. Mildred's mocking of the middle finger logo for Punkass Blog? She said something like, 'Remember, the middle finger is the fellatio finger.'

Hilarious.

Technically, I thought it was the wrong argument really. I mean, stimulating their prostate gland hardly makes them doe-eyed pro-feminist men or that such activities necessarily mean it's somehow 'equal sex'. Surely Japanese Soap Houses are evidence that you can have a really patriarchal society while the majority of men like a prostate massage.

Was just interested in the rhetorical structure of R Mildred's post where she refused to be cowed and insisted on sharing the details of something that, for someone who thinks cocksucking is gross, is bound to think assfucking is gross.

and, of course, the rhetorical power of revealing that there are quite a few hetmen who do enjoy the kind of sexual pleasure that would otherwise be seen as more typically as the kind of sex men 'force' on women rather than the kind of pleasure men also want for themselves. Which kind of complicates the picture in so far as it's not clear that you can say that specific acts are, in and of themselves, patriarchal.

Which then leaves you with the real claim: that all sex within the Patriarchy is not really pleasurable for women. And that means the hard case is to ask why cunninglingus gives them pleasure and then be shown why they get no pleasure from it.

---

as for the BJ post, look forward to it! or maybe you'll have to post it at someone else's blog as guest blogger or something, to potential employers won't find it. HA!

belledame222 said...

I did love the many many ways R. Mildred managed to say "fuck you" with that one post. Yes.

>for someone who thinks cocksucking is gross, is bound to think assfucking is gross.

Hello.

http://womensspace.wordpress.com/2006/06/15/feminist-hierarchies/

# Pony Says:
June 18th, 2006 at 12:44 am

The new and so hawt rave — anal sex–is to my thinking just another dodge for the partriarchy which really can barely stand women long enough to fuck them so they can be, to all intents and purposes, a fully fledged member of the Boo Ya Nation (Twisterolgoy). The patriarchy removes our female organs by the hunreds of thousands of castrating procedures annually, most of that not even for CANCER but just because they can) but the one female organ they can’t remove is the vagina. Not to be thwarted the patriarchy discovers that women have an ass.

***

It's almost exquisite in its fuckwittery, really. Yes! Anal sex is a wacky new invention of the Patriarchy! Because it can't remove the vagina!

AL: makes sense, erotically/aesthetically speaking. That blog is kinda the opposite of hardcore...but, I like it. Horses for courses.

anyway I mainly think his vulnerability is cool; that he talks candidly about his fears and that he was a virgin till quite late, but doesn't let it stop him from exploring and reaching out. it's just a tone that I've found quite rare and particularly among straight men.

Bitch | Lab said...

belledame

seriously? he's a virgin after that? he gives her a g-spot orgasm and she gives him a hummer.

what, does he ejaculate into the sink like Penis One did?

interesting stuff -- these are the thoughts of the men i've generally known and why i can't hate men!

belledame222 said...

yeah, I wasn't totally clear on either his timeline or his definitions. His opening post says that he *was* a virgin when he was 28 (if not later). Dunno at what point he considered himself to have lost his virginity...but yeah, I'm intrigued as to why he seemed to have cold feet about the idea of PIV intercourse with her. Men Aren't Supposed To Feel That Way, right?

...so, maybe it doesn't matter why, really, in fact. I mean, maybe I/we don't need to know, at least; it's enough that he was, and he said so, and he dealt with it in his own way.

Bitch | Lab said...

Belledame

OK. now i understand better. i thought it was a blog about maint. virginity.

p0ny? I skimmed through heart's post and then read through comments, i got to that and I just couldn't read it. i knew if i did, knowing a least a couple of bi men who like my strap on -- a lot -- and like all of 'em but the wasband who liked the fellatio finger, that i would lose my cool.

i was quite tempted to engage in a clinical discussion of the prostate gland, how it is tissue that became the prostate for men and the g spot for women, and how, goshes, for some women, anal sex stimulates their g spot.

*shock*fucking*shock*fucking*shock*

all clinical and stuph:

"just thought you should know. i got your back in case anyone feels faint."

what astounds me about this discussion is the presentism of it all. like I said in a recent post, hello?, as late as 1980, women *and* men were still trying to unshackle themselves from the widespread belief that oral sex was disgusting and no resptable middle class person engaged in it.

it was the same for anal.

so, there really was a sexual liberation movement at one time that, for a lot of people, opened up new avenues for sexual pleasure.

and when social change like that happens, the lens is always that it can only be some manifestation of it always and forever just patriarchy wrapping its claws around us in ever new ways. there's never a space opened up for us to grab the edges of the fissure and explode it apart even further.

no. hurry. close it! hurry! we might fall through the crack and be lost forever.

and what kills me about this is that it really does rip from women the ability to change society. women were a crucial part of that movement and yet we must portray it as failed, crushed by the patriarchy.

feh.

belledame222 said...

More economy of scarcity mentality. Yep. And yet there they are, rabbiting on about somehow groping toward a new, shiny, Better Way, free of the shame and guilt and fear they ("they," okay) can't seem to let go of. Honeys: no one's gonna do it for you. Be the change you seek.

Alon Levy said...

You're right. I'm totally thinking of it as on your knees while they're standing.

My peabrain didn't think of myself as on my knees while they're sitting.


So I'm the only one here who thinks of it as lying supine on a bed while is curled toward one direction so that her mouth is aligned with my crotch?

Bitch | Lab said...

alon

if i'm catching your drift, yeah. that's more common for me. you know, kids around doesn't lend itself to just any old place.

belledame, this is just a plot to get more exciting keywords on your pages: google bait.

belledame222 said...

? mysterious! o.k.

Alon Levy said...

More economy of scarcity mentality. Yep. And yet there they are, rabbiting on about somehow groping toward a new, shiny, Better Way, free of the shame and guilt and fear they ("they," okay) can't seem to let go of. Honeys: no one's gonna do it for you. Be the change you seek.

Well, as they become more extreme, they become less powerful. Remember: when I asked Lindsay to estimate how many of the people she meets at feminist events are anti-porn, she said "None." And Twisty may have just alienated everyone more liberal than Biting Beaver and Genderberg. I'll track Pandagon and Bitch Ph.D. over the next few days to see if as I predict they become more lukewarm toward radical feminism.

belledame222 said...

>And Twisty may have just alienated everyone more liberal than Biting Beaver and Genderberg. I'll track Pandagon and Bitch Ph.D. over the next few days to see if as I predict they become more lukewarm toward radical feminism.

Yeah, I think it was a tactical error if the goal was to broaden the ranks. otoh I'm not always sure that *is* the goal; if it's more important to huddle together and bond like Borg, then, well, that's where your priorities are, you know.

I dunno about Amanda or Bitch PhD themselves; piny and zuzu are clearly Not Amused. I do think she may well have alienated a bunch of other folk that weren't before, with this.

and then, too, I think the converse is true: less powerful can mean those who stay loyal become more extreme, or the group/ideology becomes more extreme. Because they're more entrenched/defensive, and because there aren't so many moderates around anymore to provide checks and balances.

As a general rule, that is.

Alon Levy said...

otoh I'm not always sure that *is* the goal; if it's more important to huddle together and bond like Borg, then, well, that's where your priorities are, you know.

It usually isn't the goal - at least not in practice. Egalitarian groups tend to abhor the idea of real outreach, preferring to talk amongst themselves and fantasize about universalizing their way of life. On the radfem blogosphere outreach is derided as "Trying to please the anti-feminists."

belledame222 said...

Hm. You think it's an "egalitarian" thing?

I mean, if you want to call radfem an egalitarian ideology; but, even though I know that's what they call for, I'm not at all sure that's what they really stand for. I think there's still a hierarchy, it's just...hidden. which in a way is actually worse. and that happens a fair amount in terribly "rigorous" leftie groups, it's true.

but for me a genuinely egalitarian group *is* about outreach. because egalitarianism, small-d democracy, is at its core about "say, people are actually kind of okay, and interesting! and valuable! yes, even those other people over there, whom I don't know: they're people, too! hi, people!! come join us!"

belledame222 said...

...she'd already lost me, but the moment i think it really "clicked" for me wrt Twisty was when she had a post where, in passing, she said something like,

"Well, duh. I write this way because people are morons"

...and I'm thinking: okay. You want to overthrow the whole corrupt System, and bring about a better one, i.e. "help" the whole entire human race; but, at the same time, most of the actual humans are morons.

How's that one work out, again?

I mean, she's hardly alone in that, Twisty. Sometimes I think the reason I lace up my running shoes whenever I hear someone rabbitting on about The People is that I have this impression that people who are always on about the People aren't generally too terribly fond of actual...people.

belledame222 said...

BL:

uh duh, you know, I read that and I went out and googled "bait." "Huh," I said to myself. "I wonder what she could have meant." took me till just now: oh. that's not what she meant.

(Gilda Radner voice) Never mind.

Alon Levy said...

Hm. You think it's an "egalitarian" thing?

I mean it in the sense of Cultural Theory. The egalitarian mindset is typified by an immense level of group solidarity, a more or less internally-equal structure, and freedom of association. Tools like guilting and shaming are part and parcel of egalitarian enforcement; hierarchies prefer real punishments (compare radical feminism to Catholicism or the military).

The whole "They're out to get us" thing is one way egalitarian groups keep their cohesion, since they don't have a way to physically enforce mutual cooperation.

but for me a genuinely egalitarian group *is* about outreach. because egalitarianism, small-d democracy, is at its core about "say, people are actually kind of okay, and interesting! and valuable! yes, even those other people over there, whom I don't know: they're people, too! hi, people!! come join us!"

Interestingly, the blogger who wrote the above-linked Wikipedia article had a post about it a while ago. Essentially, there's a difference between exclusive egalitarianism, typified by both internal equality and strong boundedness, and inclusive egalitarianism, typified only by internal equality.

Sometimes I think the reason I lace up my running shoes whenever I hear someone rabbitting on about The People is that I have this impression that people who are always on about the People aren't generally too terribly fond of actual...people.

That's another common pathology, which dates back at least to Orwell's attacks on mainstream communism for being out of touch with the people. One of the running jokes about radicals is how they keep blabbering about The People while being about as close to the average person as the Walton family.

Amber said...

as for the BJ post, look forward to it! or maybe you'll have to post it at someone else's blog as guest blogger or something, to potential employers won't find it. HA!

Heh... is that an offer?

"Your blog or mine, baby?"

Actually, it might not be a bad idea. I still haven't heard from them wrt scheduling the second interview, so maybe I shouldn't take chances.

Amber said...

So I'm the only one here who thinks of it as lying supine on a bed while is curled toward one direction so that her mouth is aligned with my crotch?

Well, that's always a good position, too, but she's not really on her knees that way, is she? (Or is she?)

Lis Riba said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lis Riba said...

I realize this isn't what you were talking about re:egalitarian analogies, but I'm seeing a convenient springboard.

As I've previously blogged about the Flapper book, turn of the last century there were two main strains of American feminism that worked together to achieve women's suffrage.

One group were egalitarians. They thought men and women should be treated as equals.

The other group was a bit more popular, because they played upon the Victorian sensibilities of the times. Women were the fairer and more delicate sex. But that was *why* women needed the vote! Women's place was in the home, but that also encompassed caring for one's neighbors and neighborhood. Likewise, women were thought to be a pacifying counterbalance to the more warlike men.

Of course, after winning the vote, the two groups quickly were at each others' throats again. The latter group passed laws, for example, establishing restrictions on the hours and jobs women could work. The egalitarians thought that if these conditions were so dangerous, workplace protections should apply to both men *and* women.

Needless to say, the radfems remind me more of the Victorians than egalitarians, just a different way of arguing that wimmen are speshul!


One other comment:
Who else are the top bloggers: Alas. He's not mean, I don't think.
Yeah, but a lot of the radfems attack him mercilessly for being too nice, particularly to people who challenge the dominant feminist ideologies (when they're not attacking him for being male and having the temerity to call himself a feminist).

Bitch | Lab said...

@belledame

about google bait: lol

i should have realized that it was slightly opaque.

Lis Riba said...

i was quite tempted to engage in a clinical discussion of the prostate gland, how it is tissue that became the prostate for men and the g spot for women, and how, goshes, for some women, anal sex stimulates their g spot.

Just an aside, but I've gotten more education into anal sex for men from reading slash fiction written by and for women.
Slow stretching with lots of lube, first one, then two, then three fingers, before penetration. And then hitting just that right spot to see *stars* -- it's so common that it's almost cliche. ("One finger, two fingers, three fingers, go!")

In fact, one of the *criticisms* of slashfic from gays is that women are so goal driven. It's handjobs to blowjobs to anal. Few fics climax (pardon the pun) with happy frottage as the be-all and end-all of the relationship, it's always just early gropings while the couple gets comfortable before the relationship gets serious.
[Not to mention how much importance women-written fics place on the male characters wanting to have sex facing one another. No matter how much gymnastics they have to go through to achieve it, it's somehow percieved as more intimate... "I want to see your face..."]

Like I've said, I suspect there's a very interesting research project comparing M/M fics by&for women to M/M fics by&for men to F/F fics by&for men to F/F fics by&for women...

But at least this shows that there's a large subset of women who *are* informed about men's prostates. ;}

belledame222 said...

>In fact, one of the *criticisms* of slashfic from gays is that women are so goal driven.

Ha! That's hilarious, to me, I mean because you'd think it'd be the other way around, if you were to buy certain M/F stereotypes floating about...

belledame222 said...

>But at least this shows that there's a large subset of women who *are* informed about men's prostates.

See, Tristan Taormino *has* made an indelible contribution to society,,,

belledame222 said...

>Needless to say, the radfems remind me more of the Victorians than egalitarians, just a different way of arguing that wimmen are speshul!>

Ding ding ding!

That's what's not popularly understood, I think, when someone says 'Victorian." It's *not* about saying, "oh, y'all are just prudes who get the vapors wehnever someone so much as flashes an ankle." It's the whole insidious attraction of Wimmin R Speshul.

cause goddam, if *anything* should have a critical lens turned on its, wrt patriarchal influences, it's really time for that one to get hauled out again, I think, at least in some circles. The attractions of believing that *somehow*--okayokay we're not essentialists, we know, we know, BUT...*somehow*, Wimmin R Speshul. The pedestal is a powerful and sneaky attraction; it takes many shapes. many many. one up; one down. that's all that is, ultimately. doesn't have to be chivalric or nuthin' like that.

I really do think that's what's behind a lot of this. From "gender trumps race" to the convoluted arguments against transsexuals to the insisting--and insisting--and INSISTING--that blahblah sexually is "bad for women," or "no woman likes blahblah," or whatnot.

Because, from a *Victorian* standpoint, not only are women without sexual desires, the gentler sex, possessed of mysterious "womens' knowledge"--but those are supposed to be signs that *woman are morally superior to men.* Men Are Beasts. Women are Angels.

It's all the same patriarchal (as in Biblical patriarchy-derived) crap, of course, as has been correctly identified, just slightly modified from "women are beasts and men are the only real sex." And certainly the "woman in the house" and "oh, you're too delicate to play outside/vote/whatever" have been thoroughly dissected and trampled by pretty much every branch of feminism, not least radfem.

But ah, what about the seductions of "morally superior?" Particularly when combined with you know, I've never really liked blahblah in the first place?

It's very convenient, you know, the whole "we're being flooded with pressure to become sexbots!!" panic. Well, perhaps; but, how recent is that? And, is that the *only* thing "we're" being pressured to do/be? Take a closer look.

Lis Riba said...

Re:Victorians.

The catch is (and the reason why I've been trying to push people to read the book on their own rather than writing this up myself), I don't know the chain of connections from the suffragists to the sixties.

I certainly *see* resonances, but have no idea whether there's any connection beyond what I'm reading into it.

Maybe it's just one of those cyclical notions that people just periodically think up.

belledame222 said...

Well--you know ideas kind of just stay in the zeigeist, you know, mutating but still there. It doesn't have to be, like, some 60's feminist picked up some documents by eminent Victorian women and went, oh, yeah, that makes some sense. Lemme just change this and this and...

I mean, the whole Victorian influence certainly isn't *limited* to radfem; it just takes on different forms. In a weird way, everyone from the MRA's to the Christian Right to yer average "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" reader sort of buys into it: this basic premise that men are a certain way--specifically, more inherently aggressive, full of uncontrollable lusts, "logical"--and women are a certain other way: *not* inherently aggressive, *not* inherently lusty, not as logical, but filled with some kind of mysterious "womens' knowledge" (i.e. intuition) The main differences lie in, to what degree to you buy this; which aspects of the whole thing do you emphasize most; and, most important, what value judgements do you assign.

And even all of the Victorian shit obviously didn't come out of nowhere, either, obviously. Ideas evolve and mutate the same way species do, I think: sometimes imperceptibly, other times in apparent fits and starts.