Listen up and pay attention, you smug obdurate fuckstains. (Hey, we all like this kind of self-righteous ordering about, am I right or am I right? It's good for ye!) Antiprincess has something to say:
For about six and a half years, between 1996 and 2002, I was a coffee-cup feminist. And a good one. Everything I did, said, typed, read, cooked, ate, shit, flushed, purchased, sold, wore, stripped, sucked, fucked, choked on, accepted, rejected, inspected or selected was controlled utterly and totally by my husband at the time.
I've spoken about him before, Mr. AbEx. He's the reason why I know it sucks to have to clean up your own bloody vomit after oral sex. He's the reason why I know that it's sometimes just as dangerous to be a housewife as a prostitute. He's the reason why I lived, and why I almost died.
But that was my life. I was okay with it, for a while. Over time I became less okay with it. Over time I had to do ever more exotic mental gymnastics to bend around and through and over and under the crazy situation I put myself in.
The important thing to know here is that immediately prior to meeting him, I was one out-n-proud queer-ass radical-feminist womyn-with-a-y. Seriously - one day I was pasting up flyers for the Pope Protest (yes, I threw condoms at Pope John Paul II - gives you an idea of just how ancient I really am), the next day I was packing my heels and pearls and teetering off to go be Mrs. America.
But he's the reason I know, deep in my fractured bones and in my damaged brain and in what remains of my shattered heart, that your philosophy will not protect you.
What - you think you can hide under a book? a pamphlet? a manifesto? an idea? You think raising some magic umbrella of consciousness will protect you from a rain of humiliation or a hailstorm of fists?
Feminism did not shield me, because The Patriarchy wasn't beating me. A human being was beating me. He was, his fists were, both true and real. He was not a figment of the collective imagination. He was not a concept, a generalized sort of shorthand to symbolize centuries of suffering. He was a fellow human being.
Do you blame Communism for some mindboggling number of Ukrainians slaughtered in the thirties? No - you blame Stalin, the man himself.
Do you blame Agrarian Utopianism for the slaughter of millions of Cambodians? No - you blame Pol Pot, the man himself.
Nobody blames Nazism-the-ideology, Nazism-the-philosophy, Nazism-the-shorthand for inexpressible evil, Nazism-the-word for the horrors of the Third Reich. We blame Hitler, his lieutenants, his adherents, those willing to take his philosophy and make it real in human terms.
As for me, what's left of me, I blame the Patrick-archy. I hold him personally accountable for everything he's ever done to me. I don't care where he learned it or who he learned it from - other men live perfectly well without learning to be monsters, and women learn to be monsters equally adeptly. I don't care about his illusory privilege or his brother's privilege or his assumed life of plush entitlement that amounted to ring-around-the-collar wage slavery.
...The strange thing is, I felt the same way about my female partner. That's important in this discussion too.
Let me ask you something, all-a-y'all - did you feel it when he hit me? Did somehow his fist hit your face? wrap around your swanlike neck? break your fragile bones? Did his words assault your ears with the force of all the sticks and stones of all the schoolyards of your life? Did my behavior, my striving, my working to please him, PUT A SINGLE BRUISE ANYWHERE ON YOUR BODY?
I can't claim the title Radical Feminist anymore, if even I ever could. Ultimately feminism in all its flavors asks more questions than it answers, at least for me.
But now I'm a woman with a "why". I'm okay with that.
And that brings me to my personal vendetta.
As my husband, Antiprince The Gentle*, often says - "blog comments are often edited to give the appearance of hegemony." (or words to that effect - correct me if I'm wrong, darlin'.)
Often, editing is not even needed, if enough people (six or eight, that few) whomp up enough affirmations in the comments section, it looks like the whole world agrees with the blogger, and only a drooling halfwit or truly reckless vandal would disagree.
I got news.
I disagree. Strongly.
And I know there are others out there who disagree too. So what looks like a personal vendetta is not only a personal vendetta (brought about by allowing myself to get insulted about stupid shit - meh, I am as god made me) but an attempt to make sure all parties are represented. ALL parties.
Feminism, radical or otherwise, is not hegemonic. It just ain't. Too many different people have had too many different experiences to make it so.
What an utterly wacky notion, I know.
And what an utterly strange notion for the woman to talk about her very own shit instead of putting it onto someone else and pretending it was for the other person's own good.
Which, y'know, gosh, I personally wouldn't have blamed her if she were gun-shy of doing it at this point for any number of reason; as we have seen, people who do talk about their very own shit instead of hiding behind a bullshit smokescreen of "you" and "she" and "we" and "Class Woman" and "blahblahTHEORYquackquackEDIFICE" tend to get yet more shit thrown at them.
For, you know, their own good.
Maybe they just shouldn't be so SENSITIVE. After all, it's only a debate, right? Important theological uh I mean ideological shit is being forged here in the fire of rational fucking discouse, right? The fate of the fucking nation depends on your wankery I mean critique going on uninterrupted, right? Even if it's at the expense of someone who didn't ask for your help, right?
Did I mention the part about "fuck you all?"
On edit: Oh, yes, and. The person you've been having the circle-jerk over? If you'd bothered to go back for an update? Says, among other things:
I’ve had 17 sexual partners, only one of which has treated me, what I would call “disrespectfully,” and I hear that’s not because of anything I did specifically; he’s a first-rate fuckjob to everyone.
...It’s funny: Until Rachel and I started discussing the sports corset issue on Saturday night, I never questioned that I was a “feminist.” Until January of this year, I was a card-carrying NOW member and dutifully went to various feminist rallies around the DC area. I’ve always been staunchly pro-choice and I’ve never once worn makeup. I’m not a high-heel wearing woman, either and their sole purpose in my life has been to prevent my pants from dragging on the ground since I’m 5′2″ and pants are, indeed, made for a woman much taller than me.
...I should make it clear: I don’t seen feminism as the enemy of anything except, of course, the patriarchy, the existence of which I note duly. “Feminism” is also too much of a blanket term, encompassing a wide spectrum of ideologies; it would thus be difficult and counterproductive to call “Feminism” an enemy of sexuality.
...’m two days away from the one-year anniversary of the day I decided to leave my husband, move to Key West, and become a writer at a point at which few people even realized I was unhappy with my life. I think it can be extended to the conundrum in which I find myself today, with respect to being Not a Feminist in the minds of so many when I’ve proudly called myself a feminist for so long: That it’s okay to think things and to do things that aren’t popular. This seems like an obvious point. It is an obvious point, but it’s easier intellectualize than it is to assimilate into practice. It feel like the basketball player who wants to sing show tunes.
Okay? Are we quite finished here? I mean, I know it's really exciting to go running to the rescue and/or enlightenment and/or slapping sense into this poor sad deluded consciousness-lowered young bimbo I mean sexbot I mean -we're just trying to help, you're making us all look bad,- but from where I sit she looks healthier and better-adjusted than all y'all (and you know who you are) other-peoples'-navel-gazing wet sacks of neuroses put together.
So maybe, you know, you could consider backing the fuck off and considering whether you might want to turn that harsh white spotlight back on your own sweet selves a bit longer, if you're SO determined to EXAMINE and scrutinize and pickpickpick apart till it's sore and bleeding.
I mean to say:
Speak for your damn selves.
I mean, I'm only suggesting this because I CARE.
Actually, that part is true.
Just not so much about you.
Because all I know about you is that you are acting like GIANT ASSHOLES.