Saturday, September 09, 2006

Stealing this

from pal fastlad, who just put it up himself:


Like beautiful bodies of the dead who had not grown old
and they shut them, with tears, in a magnificent mausoleum,
with roses at the head and jasmine at the feet --
this is what desires resemble that have passed
without fulfillment; with none of them having achieved
a night of sensual delight, or a bright morning.

- Constantine P. Cavafy (1904)


mandos said...

Totally off topic, but I found this comment hilariously funny on TF's blog:

"The job of condescending judgemental patronization dictator, as far as I know, has never been available on this site."

belledame222 said...

Well, of course not; some jobs are tenured for life.

there, mandos, that's gonna have to do ya for today, i'm afraid; have a cigareet for afters and take a gander at some of the other lovely crap i've been trying to change the subject to.


mandos said... mean no more flamewars?

*lip trembles*

belledame222 said...

You'll be sweating and trembling for a couple of days and then you might see bugs coming out the walls but then it'll be okay.

mandos said...

So I guess you don't want to hear about my interesting altercation on Heart's blog. Another episode just happened today, but of course it happened without me.

belledame222 said...

shameless tease. -sigh- did it involve me? or sex? or pudding? or any combination thereof?

belledame222 said...

shameless ENABLING tease.

i've been warned about your sort.

mandos said...

Nothing to do with you. This time, I'll entertain you for real. It had to do with a recent thread she wrote on Michfest and TG/TS:

From rhondda's first post to the end, a post I wrote is referred to, but it has been deleted. It appeared right after rhondda's post. Fortunately, I did not even expect it to be approved, so I saved it, and here it is:

“This is where the conflict is: who decides the parameters?”

Yep. I notice that in your post, you’ve completely defined the transgender experience as something that has been imposed on them by the patriarchy, as in

“It seems to me the patriarchy is at this point deciding and demanding that everyone not in their definition of male is female and must accept their decision.”


“They are very vulnerable, but the fact they are being used in a psychological game is par for the course for the sickness of the patriarchy.”

That is to say that they are transgender because the patriarchy—entirely, on its own—has decided that they are transgender. They are thus also victims. Whereas,

“Yet, on the other hand, if one does not say no, then one has lost the right to define one’s life. ”

WBW identifying as such are people who are defining their own life, in opposition to the patriarchy. Since transwomen are

“males who do not fit the norm of maledom.”

and no man would choose to transition if it weren’t for the patriarchal norm.

Is this a fair assessment of your position, rhondda?

Heart approved the comment, surprisingly, and then removed it a couple of days later when Pony complained that I had viciously attacked rhondda. It's as though I had spat on Andrea Dworkin's grave or something.

Now, I absolutely have no objection to the post being removed. It's entirely Heart's right to do determine the direction of her blog. However, it's the reaction of the other posters to the content of my post that interests me most.

I tried my very level best to write my post in the most neutral tone in order to give Rhondda to clarify her position. Was I too aggressive? How was my post (presumably phallic) "arrows" aimed at rhondda?

I'm assuming that Pony didn't like the clarification that rhondda would have had to give. Not sure why.

belledame222 said...


You know, i'd explain how all of that made perfect sense, but mumbo dogface to the banana patch, 42, fish! hahahahaha

belledame222 said...

how that decision to remove the post and the rationale thereof made sense, that is, obviously.

ahh, Pony, bless her kidneys. and, well, whoever rhondda is, and, yeah. poor piny. probably has a premanent :headdesk: dent in his forehead from going down those particular rabbit holes.

Mandos said...

Jawohl. Well, the decision did make sense, if you didn't like the way rhondda would have had to answer it. ie, I guess they knew that I knew that they knew the problems with what they meant.

I mean, it's an argument. It's their argument. Why don't they just own it? TF is perfectly willing to own her arguments of this type, why not them?

belledame222 said...

i dunno. it's not the first time i've heard Heart accused of let's say autocratic tendencies. including by other radical feminists. mostly people who remember the old "Ms." boards, with some bitterness.

but you know, i'm not as familiar with the commentor makeup of either board right now, but i do think that rightly or wrongly, there is a difference in let's say stakes.

Heart, i don't know if you know her background, but it's rather radically different from TF"s. and the work that she does is i would say rather different as well.

whether this makes any difference whatsoever as to why some people feel the need to shut down conversation, that, i couldn't say.

just noting: the dynamics are different in a number of ways, i would say.

belledame222 said...

okay, finally got around to reading the "snide" "flamewar" at IBTP. d00d, that is so not a flamewar. that was a tea party, and it was over well before dinnertime. i do love that i am apparently a high-heeled wearing sexbot, tho'. who knew?

and you TOLD me that you told people about the creamed corn and the creds and you so did NOT.

i feel so betrayed.

just like wubbbawubba or whoever it was, whom i don't see either; or was there another thread? eh, don't answer that, really.

Mandos said...

I did. You are looking at the wrong thread. Now I will be an evil enabler, and point you to the right one. This was a multithread flamewar:

First post. Then wabewawa launches her complaint.

belledame222 said...

Aha. Well. She's quite right you know. You weasel. Weaselly weaselly weasel.

also: ferret, and stoat.

yes. that was very stoatlike behavior. Stoaty stoat stoat stoat.

(on the WELL, some wonky person has installed something called the "weaselometer." the person who writes the word "Weasel" the most times during the year wins.

what they win: i have no idea. and am not sure i want to.

why: if you have to ask, dude...)

belledame222 said...

and, it was creamed corn PITS.

"creamed corn bits" indeed.

that just doesn't make any sense at all.

Mandos said...

I am not properly seated in the throne of creamed corn wisdom.

But innocent little me, weasel? I'm hurt. Now not only is my lower lip trembling, but a single tear is about to roll down my cheek.

Look at what you've done.

belledame222 said...

But you're so picturesque this way.

Mandos said...

What if I told you that my blubber was also jiggling and my nose leaking green mucus?

belledame222 said...


Mandos said...

What intrigues me the most is that luckynkl poster who keeps appearing here and there, including on Heart's and Twisty's blog. Very fascinating mind, don't you think? (Assuming you've noticed her before.)

belledame222 said...

o yes. rather vividly, i'm afraid; some things just stick with you. this is the one who had that lovely quote about women never looking more dignified than when they "have a cock hanging out of their mouth," along with the comparison of blowjobs to coprophagia (the blunter term for this induces my gag reflex even just retyping, sorry).

and another "political lesbian," I understand.

yeah. i think the most uhh whatever they are are the ones who are or were congregating around the now-seemingly near-moribund Feminista! boards. you know, Nikki Craft. istr she's one of 'em, anyway, lucky. also Mar Iguana or whatever her handle is.

yes, i hadn't known much about Nikki Craft, but she's quite the uh character, i am getting, thus far. splosh on the library books in Protest! nudist colonies are teeming hotbeds of pedophiles! okey-dokey, then.

Mandos said...

Nikki Craft has always struck me as the radfem version of an anarchist direct action/street theater demonstrator. I find it charming and am not totally against it.

belledame222 said...

perhaps. however, i am starting to come to this mm theory of online at least: "by their regulars ye shall know them."

(yes, this is also by way of saying i really dig -my- regulars. including you, you weasel).

anyhoo, was googling lucky ina fit of procrastination and came up with this: not with her, but you were talking of TG & Heart? this is illuminating:

very outrageous, apparently, that the state might pay for someone's SRS. because this somehow takes away from women, AND, someone might someday go, say! this is a woman! who killed another woman! which -real- women NEVER DO.

never mind the little note that person apparently also went after another transsexual (nice scare quotes, p.s.--goddam she's...well), which is also what sie's serving time for?

and yeah okay: we don't coddle murderers, no sympathy for murderers; but ya know, it's this sort of thing where i see the fundamentalist roots creeping forth.

"Old Job, New Job."


not -real- women.

i'll have to explain that to my friend who's still mourning her (female) friend who, at best, was driven to suicide by her unquestionably violent and unstable ex (female) lover; the not-so-subtext is that she strongly suspects it may be even darker than that, but, well, best keep mum for now, for good reasons.

and all the women i know who've been beaten and otherwise abused by -their- female partners.

no essentialism indeed. riiiiiiiighht.

and oh yeah: "women are the more virtuous sex" is ALSO pretty damn prevalent in fundamentalist Christian circles. tainted by Eve, yes; but -also-, they SHOULD be men's better conscience, because, well, uhhh, mumbo dogface to the banana patch. oh yeah right: Victorian veneer over older misogyny; and here we have yet another layer slapped on top with no real deconstruction at all.

Mandos said...

Oh, and...luckynkl fascinates me because of her reversed reversal technique. I assume that she is trying to emulate her heroine Mary Daly, whose apparent position on parthenogenesis is, I suspect, simply a conscious attempt at reversing what historical male thinkers have thought about women.

belledame222 said...

well, that's what i was starting to get at with the Angela West post; or rather that is West's take on the whole thing, esp. Daly and her ilk. i really need to get back to that one soon.

yeah, theology, formal or otherwise: (epistomology? whatev), that is huge in all this. much bigger than the sex theory imo. or, well, no,'s something that hasn't been talked about enough in these blog circles lately, i think.

Mandos said...

Angela West post? That must be way back in your archives or something. Gotta linque?

belledame222 said...

This one:

Mandos said...

Ah, yeah, I remember that post! But I didn't connect it mentally to Daly and luckynkl. I definitely would be interested in seeing you get back to that :)

For instance, West says that women aren't innocent of history...but how do you square that with the usurpation of women's labour and potential by men? Luckynkl's been posting on TF about how all the big male intellectual names were really just stealing their ideas from women...

belledame222 said...

yah, West refers back to Daly a lot, among others of her ilk.

like i say, i am (still) only just past the halfway mark. i think it's not so much that she doesn't agree with such socioeconomic observations (men usurp womens' labor); it's just not her focus. specifically she keeps coming back to violence, based on her experience at this womens' peace camp.

there's one chapter that if i post it will immediately attract shrieks of "Godwin's Law," but, it's interesting: her examination of why so many women supported the Third Reich. and how their own rejection of, well, a lot of the same things the leftists/feminists (or however the moniker was) of the time somehow led them in this completely other direction...and how -maybe- point o' fact there isn't all that much difference between feminists and their right-wing counterparts after all. less inflammatory is when she draws that comparison between Thatcherites and well-heeled white moderate-to-libfems. (BL would probably point to Hirshman as someone who's already pretty much crossed that line anyway, more or less).

point being, i think: all protests to the contrary, there are in fact BENEFITS as well as oppressions that come with being a woman, at least a particularly positioned woman, in "patriarchal" society, and even righteous feminists are often loathe to give them up entirely, if you really look at it closely. and no, not talking about "pornstitution" and "sexbots" here, either. or, well, not that way.

her chapter on black and white is illuminating as well; i meant to do that one next. but you know: the whole point of the Victorian "lady in the house" bit is that it puts OTHER women in the position of taking up all the unwanted roles: slut, slattern, whore, earth mama.

and that no, in fact, one can't just ignore such things with appeals to "but, the Sisterhood! the Sisterhood!"

not news to people who've been following the various blowups here of course; but she does it rather well.

later, i think.

belledame222 said...


interesting site, p.s. but: comment 13, okay.

"Males are insignificant. So insignificant that we could eliminate 99% of males off the planet and life wouldn’t skip a beat. You’re basically useless pieces of shit taking up space on the planet and destroying everything in your wake like some kind of cancerous virus."

Buncha damn mutants. just you wait! muhahahahahaha!

belledame222 said...


>I, too, think that hetero feminists can be every bit as committed as non-hetero feminists. You can always break up with a partner or divorce him. Most will.

It’s women with sons who I have my doubts about. You can’t divorce your son. It’s understandable that women want the best for their children. So I think it would be near impossible for women not to use the patriarchal privilege bestowed upon her son to give him every opportunity she can. Chances are she will be blinded by love for him and will not be able to see him as a patriarch. And she will sell out other women and feminism in a heartbeat for him.

Men don’t have that problem. They’ll give their daughters away to some brute for 2 cows and a pig.>

Well, I'm not really seeing the problem here. Is she suggesting that you -can't- bargain away your son for livestock if you really want to? Or is she just not that fond of livestock? I bet you could get a -lot- of soybeans and taters for a healthy boychild; try eBay.

assuming retroactive abortion isn't an option, perhaps early castration might be a reasonable compromise.

hey, we all like pretty singing.

belledame222 said...

...oh. goddam. my...brain...hurts.

curse you, mandos.

who is maggiethewolf, btw?

belledame222 said...

...from a recent IBTP (curses on the heads of your ancestors' parrots) thread, this exchange:

mtw: ...I tend towards Chaos Theory: everything is connected and therefore everything is complex. There are no simple explanations.

lkl: Yeah, I know. I’ve seen Jurassic Park too. You do realize that was fiction, right?


say howdy next time you cross paths, 'k? tell her we are all about the Chaos Theory here, mostly because it is the best explanation for the state of our desk. and frankly, let's not even get to the laundry basket; for that, we need to dig out the String Theory.

especially once the cat's done shredding it.

Mandos said...

I've read most of those quotes. I was amused at the response on eteraz' blog. In my opinion, a lot of Muslim bloggers and commenters tend to be really skilled at a certain form of rhetorical judo. Wonder why.

Obviously, she thinks that women can't sell their children because women are super holy.

Maggiethewolf is a new poster who appears a little naive, but then seems to engage in the same form of judo that I mentioned above. She's interesting and someone to watch.

Oh, and the pile-up continueth on Heart's blog, with Amananta mentioning an incident a while back where I was an evil apologist for the patriarchy (I dared suggest that religious language is an artifact of the time when it was coined). So it's true that I only tend to write about the things I don't agree with and greatly dislike yes-mannery. This irritates Amananta.

Anyway, it's ironic, because if Rhondda had just answered or deflected my question, it would be Over. Now that thread is half about me. My patriarchal work is done. Am I evil for feeling a little frisson of glee? It's actually more delicious that I can't respond---they feel more free to say what they think about me.

Women's space, eh?

belledame222 said...

>Obviously, she thinks that women can't sell their children because women are super holy.

Some people just AREN'T MAKING AN EFFORT.

as i said in the insect thread.


belledame222 said...

>Am I evil for feeling a little frisson of glee?

I'm afraid that's between you and your Saviour.

belledame222 said...

okay, I need to ask:

Jurassic Park: Chaos Theory. Jurassic Park: Chaos Theory.

I saw it too, but uh. oh, right. never mind. "if you have to ask."

Mandos said...

Yeahso, one of the ultrarad set told me that the first oppression is gendered and there could never be any other oppression without basis in gendered oppression.

OK, fine. Then what, exactly, is it about gender that makes it this double special oppression? I haven't asked because I'm not sure it's worth it.

"If you have to ask..."

belledame222 said...

Well, BL's been talking about that for a while now.

as i understand it: the first act of dominance is rape, pure 'n' simple; the "patriarchy" ripples out from there in more symbolic but no less deadly forms of domination.

it's a borrowing and revision of Marxist class analysis; here, though, the idea is that -before- any such animal as actual economic whatever, Class Man seizes power over Class Woman, or the Sex Class.

i am sure i am missing a nuance or six, and that not everyone who styles herself a "radical feminist" will agree with this; but that's roughly what we've been talking about; it is, as we say, in the Manual, or at least a number of prominent theorists' manuals.

hence, the emphasis on "pornstitution" (as opposed to simply not liking it, thinking it's harmful, yadda); because either through literal coercion or symbolic representation (both, usually) of this primal act of oppression, it is part of the -root- of male/patriarchal dominance, which in turn is the root of all other oppressions (that, depending on who you ask, but: as you see here)

and sure, race, socioeconomic class and so forth -matter-, as do such things as appropriation of reproduction, of womens' labor in general, and so on and so on; but y'see those are refinements and more diffuse expressions of that original act of oppression that came -later.- (well, again, depending on who you ask: the childbirth thing is quite big, too: hey, we can't create, we don't have that power; so let's make up this myth about how WE are the creators and punish the actual birthgivers for their creative faculties! keep 'em in line!)

so you attack the root: rape, and sexual domination, control of the woman's body, and so goeth the whole corrupt system.

is the general idea.

so i am given to understand.

i also seriously doubt that even the majority of radical feminists buy this notion wholesale, lock, stock, and barrel, if they've even heard it as such; but, well, when you hear people talking about such stuff as Class Woman and so forth, that's what's meant, roughly. the Sex Class.

probably more emphasis on this aspect among, well for sure among white radical feminists (radfems of color tend, unsurprisingly, to be more likely to look at it as interlocking systems of oppressions; and socialist feminists are people who aren't satisfied witheither the earlier forms of Marxist feminisms or this kind of radical feminism and strive for some kind of synthesis, as i understand it); but also there is the faction that puts more or at least as much emphasis on the God the Father aspect; these would generally tend to be the folks who are more likely to believe in an earlier Matriarchy, or at least matriarchies, talk of the Goddess, and so forth.

Twisty and others who think more along her lines, while scornful of "godbags" and the whole damn patriarchal system of religion, don't seem as concerned with any early matriarchy or any alternate System, certainly not a clearly defined pre-Patriarchal one. just get rid of it all.

but so yeah: in which case it inevitably seems to come back to sexual domination, bottom line.

seriously, though: IBTP and suchlike haven't dropped hints about this notion? why d'you think there's so much talk about not just "pornstitution" but SEXSEXSEXSEXSEX? "gender trumps race"? and so forth?

and yes, there are a number of ways to answer that one, but if you're talking about -ideas.-

belledame222 said...

I mean: okay, what draws you back to such websites? I don't mean just IBTP, obviously she's entertaining and so forth; i mean, you once mentioned that at least you saw something in what VS was saying about alla this; remind me what it was that made sense to you, exactly. I'm trying to remember where you came in, here.

belledame222 said...

and now i am reading the "google women" thread.

and giggling.

did Pony actually call herself and the rest of the blamers the "proletariat?"

and, well, oh, i don't know.

Psst! Maggie! Counter-revolutionaries, over here! We have analysis! We also have doughnuts! and borscht, and kvetching, and creamed corn pits, and all the angst you can eat!! You have nothing to lose but your, um, well...what've you got?

belledame222 said...

...i mean, and this is between my and -my- Savior(s), of course, but it is truly cracking my shit up how people are all like, "you're right 99.9% of the time, but, ermmmm, maybe not this time? Please don't smite me!"

seriously: if this place ever gets to the point where people are making a Big Deal out of disagreeing with me (or anyone else) about frigging -anything,- or, hell, even have to -say- that "yes. we are all individuals. dissent is good. -beep-"--someone please come and kick my ass, hard.

belledame222 said...

and, okay, i have to say something about this (i BLAME YOU for this, Mandos, YOU YOU YOU YOOOOUUUUUU),

>Unlike other things which may be said to approach, in an aesthetic sense, the sublime, feminine ‘beauty’ of the sort that requires ‘tips’ is neither natural, like a sunset, nor ennobling, like the Sistine ceiling, nor useful, like the Golden Gate bridge. It is, aside from its status as the lube that keeps patriarchy all up in your shit, ridiculous, which you know if you have ever seen a man in high heels, a bubble skirt, fake tits, blue eyeshadow, and a tiny handbag.>

bollocks. bolshy bollocky bollocks. "ennobling!!!" now -there's- a radical concept, with or without the "patriarchal" godbagginess of the Chapel itself. "ennobling" towards WHAT, exactly, finally, tell me? There is no God. There is no Father. The Eternal Feminine not only doesn't beckon "us" upward but apparently is an oppressive patriarchal construct to begin with. So, nu?...I think some of us may have a bit more unpacking to do, there, missy.

and "natural," well, don't even get me started. i could go on, but: the whole frigging POINT of -any- art is that it's artifice, which, and...oh, never fucking mind. well, there goes pretty much all of theatre and costume and any other remnant of ritual, however watered-down. Sheila Jeffreys, nothin': the woman's real spiritual ancestor here is Plato. but with comfier shoes.

and exqueeze me, but way to slag on drag queens/TV's on top of everything else, nice. cringeworthy as blue eyeshadow often is, i've seen plenty o' trannies that were not only works of goddam art in themselves but FIERCE and HOT.

so, i guess i DO have a sexbot manifesto at that:

"Ennobling"= lick my five-inch pointy love pumps, mama.

belledame222 said...

("Blamerella" "Bendy Quicker")

belledame222 said...

oh, here, yes you do; Stoner Lizard or whoever gave you a cliff's notes link. actually, this is better:

So the reason "gender trumps race" (for example) is because in this analysis,

1) Women’s sexual and reproductive capacity was appropriated and commodified by men.

...comes before

3) Men learned to dominate other men, institutionalizing slavery, from their practice dominating women.

I wouldn't swear to it, but i -think- some people who put more emphasis on the Ur-Goddess/Matriarchy might suggest that 6-8 (dethroning of fertility goddesses and so forth) came first, THEN the sexual subordination, or at least concurrent with.

anyway you tend to get that impression more hanging around certain pagan types. or i had. shrug.

Mandos said...

So the "creation of patriarchy" stuff and you're explanation proves the "if" part of the statement, but not the "only if" part, if you know what I mean. The usual radfem story is quite familiar:

(1) "If we witness all manner of oppression, then the patriarchy is responsible."

That suffices to describe male oppression as the root of all other oppressions. And the explanation of that is very familiar. It was I who found the Cliff notes summary of the Creation of Patriarchy, and I hinted that I kind of already have encountered that type of explanation.

BUT, certain radfems, like Mar Iguana, seem to be claiming another hypothesis: that it is the ONLY POSSIBLE root to oppression. They say this in response to my suggestion that racial and economic antipathies might form regardless of matters sexual. So we have to amend (1) to (2):

(2) "We witness all manner of oppression if and only if the patriarchy is responsible".

In other words, once again, no other route to oppression is possible.

This strikes me as an impressively pessimistic and essentialist claim, because it implies that there is something defective about maleness, because essentially the male/female biological split becomes the chink in the armor against all oppression. For people who claim quite firmly (as, certainly, Twisty does, though she may not herself belong to the same category as luckynkl and Mar Iguana) to be strong social constructivists, my biggest question is how they square this circle. If gender---presumably, in their view, linked somehow to sex---is the root oppression, and NO other root oppressions were ever possible, it suggests a very limited range of solutions.

However, it is generally not possible to home in on this question with them, so to speak.

I mean, I *can* get on board with the idea that our *current* structure of oppressions does funnel down in large part to gender---and I can follow the logic up to the point were gender is the *root* of our systems of oppressions. But I can't follow how *they* conclude that gender is the ONLY route, at least so categorially as Mar Iguana does.

Mandos said...

As for the ennobling business, that's been a theme since the beginning. I remember when she posted a picture of a vichysoisse she ate and complained about the term "food porn", because "soup elevates humanity".

IIRC (it was a while ago), I suggested that food and food photography appeal to our animal instincts or something or other. I don't remember that going down well.

Thing is, I *do* think that degradation and elevation aren't entirely relative, and I myself am somewhat Platonistic.

belledame222 said...

I'm not quiiiiiiiiiite seeing the distinction you are between 1) and 2), i guess. or, well, off the top: i think you know it's very delicate to hold to 1) without sliding into 2).

but then again: if you look at my very first post on this here blog, i was already using the term "patriarchy," albeit somewhat tongue-in-cheek. if anything, eight months or so of reading all this crap has pushed me slightly in a "t'ain't no such thing" direction.

well, no, not so much;

it's just, you know: none of this shit was news to me. None of it. Sexism on Google! Misogyny in mainstream porn! I Love Lucy is sexist! All kinds of awful fucked-up shit in the world, the overwhelming majority of which does indeed seem to be done by men! Marriage was a rigged game! Rule of the Fathers! And oh yes: there is some sort of ideological basis for all the sexist bullshit! i already KNOW. honest. that's why i was reading there in the first place: it made me laugh with recognition. till i got sick of, well, what i got sick of.

but, so, now what, is my question; and, well, not really finding a good answer over there, or even the beginnings of a real search for one; even putting aside my personal issues with the behavior and so on.

Per elevation and degradation and relativity: well, we could talk more about all that, i suppose. for now i'll just reiterate my amusement at the food/sex distinction. fuck, if anything i'd say food is LESS "ennobling," and i am quite a fan of lingual pleasures, believe me. And i am with MFK Fisher (among others, but she does it better than probably anyone in this field) in that food is important because it can be transcendant in any number of ways: the act of breaking bread with one's fellows is spiritual; gustatory pleasure is, well, yes, if you want to call it "ennobling." certainly "elevated," as in "consciousness," sure, that's one way.

But so can sex be, all of those things. And no in fact, it doesn't have to be any particular -way- in order for that, that transendence to happen; you just need to be aware and open to it. Conscious. Of nuance. What you like. Which is one reason why "sex-positive" tends to be uncritical, at least in the sense that this type of feminist would like to think of as "critical." First of all, for heaven's sake, just see what's there!

And food can be just plain fuel for bare survival, unthinkingly gulped down (and often is); and further, ha, further, boy o BOY is it politicized in any number of ways. Including from a feminist persepctive, sure; "fat is a feminist issue," yes, but even putting aside overt eating disorders, well, gosh, there's just a -lot- wrapped up in food, for women maybe especially. The eating, the preparation, the whole notion of -consuming.-

Of being consumed.

Which is not at all unrelated to peoples' "stuff' about sex, of course.

"I don't want to lose control. I don't want to disappear."

Among many other things, but that's one of the most primal levels, I'd say.

But TF doesn't address any of this, that I've ever seen at any rate; when she talks about food she is not speaking as the radical feminist but rather the restaurant critic.

Which, you know: radical revolutionary; restaurant critic.

Well, anything's possible, I expect, sure.

I'd just, you know, maybe hope for a bit more, how you say, -examination- of all-a that, in a radical would-be revolutionary.

Because here's the other thing about food: -unlike- sex, or at least less so, you need a certain amount of socioeconomic privilege in order to truly make a doctrine out of its appreciation.

I mean, yes, it is possible to savor a single potato chip or an apple, Zen-like, sure; (John Thorne, fairly unqiue among most food writers in this, talks a lot about class in relation to his own sensual enjoyment, and his ambivalences, his fears, his resentments); but that's not really what TF is talking about. No: eating soup is "ennobling." GOOD soup, that is.

For which: someone, somewhere, has gathered the ingredients; someone, somewhere, has gone about at least the rudiments of preparing it for eating; someone, somewhere, (unless you are truly self-sufficient here, gardening and maybe farming and so on) has determined the monetary price which you pay for it; -maybe- someone, somewhere has twisted the neck or swung the sledgehammer to release the blood of the animals needed; and so on.

And after all of that, you (one) can simply take one's bowl, retreat to that room of one's own, and savor it in blessed, inviolate solitude; and appreciate the finer nuances of flavor and texture and aroma.

Which is all swell, don't get me wrong; but it's not exactly a pleasure that's available to everyone, at least not in that way.

Whereas, SEX, well, it's often true that one needs a certain amount of privilege to indulge--for one thing, one ALSO needs a room of one's own, or at least a door to close, in this our "we don't want to see THAT thankee, even if it's in a park in the dead f night and we're not seeing it anyway" society (this is why a number of "sex radicals," once one gets beyond the "pornstitution' and boring-as-shit BJ stuff, talk about the notion of "public sex;" P. Califia has a book with that very title that's well worth considering). And sure, perhaps if we are talking about bare SURVIVAL needs--and, you know, i think that for a lot of people who have been severely abused, they are still looking at sex in a "survival" sort of way, as in, first of all they need to shore up the boundaries--then yeah, maybe not so much time and so on for sybaritic pleasures of any sort.

But the thing about SEX, unlike food, see, is: all you need is yourself. Or yourselves. Your bodies, your hormones. And your imaginations, and your passion, and maybe a square of latex or so, assuming you want to be, like, responsible. Comfy cushions to lie on, dim lights, music, toys, and so on, are all very nice and helpful, but not, strictly speaking, necessary.

And unlike the eating experience, all living creatures involved, even if there is a profound unsettling merging sort of experience ("the beast with two backs," "the little death,"), can separate at the end and go on with their lives.

So, you know, I always find it curious when someone who claims to be any sort of left-leaning radical says something to the effect that eating is just fine, even ennobling, but SEX, well, is fraught and difficult and degrading and should only be approached with extreme caution.

And at the end of the day, all of which being just yet another long way, of course, of saying, "well, speak for yourself, honey; oh, wait, you pretty much were, weren't you."


belledame222 said...

and then, too, of course, well, sure, Plato, fine; it's just, you know, if we're AGAINST the "patriarchy," well, funny place to look for inspiration, even implicitly.

you know what was on Socrates' epitaph, don't you?

"We TOLD you, you windy old gasbag. 'let someone else get a damn word in or we'll cram hemlock down your throat.' Pompous self-absorbed bugger, wouldn't even give his most faithful sycophants the benefit of a reach-around."

belledame222 said...

o, okay, maybe i see what you mean wrt 1) and 2). maybe.

well, the way i see it is: you are looking at alla this as one possible hypothesis; whereas people like Mar Iguana are looking at is as Gospel Truth.

fundamentalism, iow.

so, not "different," really, but, well...yeah, that is what it is.

belledame222 said...

...and, just speculating further out loud here, you, or one, (I certainly did, I am realizing) would tend to think that as ludicrous as people like lucky and so forth sound, of course TF herself does not fall into the "fundamentalist" camp with all of this, because she is very intelligent and often ironic and sophisticated in a number of ways. and usually talks using much less let's say "extreme" language.

I wonder, though. I know a number of very smart and otherwise sophisticated fundamentalists. Not very many that are -funny,- but it's not impossible.

belledame222 said...

>because essentially the male/female biological split becomes the chink in the armor against all oppression. For people who claim quite firmly (as, certainly, Twisty does, though she may not herself belong to the same category as luckynkl and Mar Iguana) to be strong social constructivists, my biggest question is how they square this circle. If gender---presumably, in their view, linked somehow to sex---is the root oppression, and NO other root oppressions were ever possible, it suggests a very limited range of solutions.>

Well, and again: this is exactly what BL has been fisking for months now. How despite swearing upndown that no, we are NOT essentialists, certainly not biological essentialists, it is, as you say, quite difficult to determine exactly how that circle is squared, given all the rest of it. At minimum, this is, I think it's fair to call it, CULTURAL essentialism.

and btw, this is why personally i tend to look at the "Matriarchy" school of this sort of thinking a bit moree favorably, even if i think it's pretty much bunkum from a literal perspective, and has its own problems. Because at least here there is something concrete to work with; okay, this ISN'T the only possibility, here is an example of what a "matriarchal" (by which people who say this generally mean "egalitarian," a la the bonobos, not some sort of Queen Bee thing) society would look like; and okay, IF it truly ever WAS different then that alone right there seems to lean more positively toward social constructivism; i.e., it didn't HAVE to be this way, it ISN'T, clearly, just because Men Are Inherently Dominating And Awful; it was, at some point, a (collective) choice.

But yeah: it's not, I think, a coincidence that there are so many people like MI and lucky and so forth about who -did- come to the conclusion that, more or less, "men just plain suck; let's do away with 'em, or at least wait gleefully for them to kill themselves off."

I have to say in a way i find it kind of refreshing.

...but it is, again, in the Manual, or at least in a number of manuals.

sort of the same way, you know, there are many ways to interpret Christianity, and indeed there are many wonderful progressive, truly spiritual Christians who take what they need from the Bible and the tradition and all the rest of it and put the rest aside;

but at the same time, it is not just a coincidence that there are a number of fundamentalists who come to these particular conclusions about their doctrine; it's maybe not the ONLY interpretation, but, well, there's plenty of precedent, both for the actual beliefs and the sheer autocratic dogmatism of it all. In the Manual, that is.