Sunday, October 29, 2006

"Natural:" NAILED.

La Lubu provides some much-needed ur-commentary on the Eternal Thrashes that plague the feministverse:

Like A Natural Woman

...From the outside, feminism is often critiqued for giving a nod to multiplicity, for not being quick to strictly define and set forth Dogma, the better to separate the Sinners from the Saved. From the inside, too. From where I stand, multiplicity is our strength; multiplicity gives us the room, the skills, and the people to fight for our liberation on many fronts simultaneously. (Side note: liberation. Don’tcha just love that word? It wasn’t so long ago that we used the term “Women’s Liberation”. I like to reclaim that.)

...Frankly, I’d like to see every bone of contention in the feminism world start off with a blunt answering of the question: who holds the key to power here?, and then go from there. I got the impression from my brief look at the “appearance” threads that too many folks were answering that unspoken question, “the individual woman, as a consumer.” And that’s ludicrous.

There is no Natural Woman. Only natural women. All of us. Whenever and wherever and however we enter.

[more at link]


Taihae said...

cheers to that, belle. happy halloween weekend.

fiercelyfab said...

awesome--thanks for highlighting that. Especially after feeling like a fraudenlent feminist lately. Dealing with my own internalized defition and the one I'm trying create while I fight the conditioning...that is definitely right on.

happy halloween by the way.

antiprincess said...



does she have you confused with me again?

belledame222 said...

Shannon's rather a special snowflake herself, I think, actually. I've been a lot more restrained with her than I might have been otherwise. She...doesn't quite tweak some things, I think. but maybe that's the wrong approach, after all. lord knows she's beginning to pluck my nerves.

Hummingbyrd said...

who holds the key to power here?,
Say word on errry thing I love.

Thats how I approach, realtionships, insitutions, conflicts, the news, hip hop...errry thing.

little light said...

Well, as a "fun feminist" with no principles, I'm going to pat myself on the back for not setting anyone in particular on fire, over there. She ever comes over to my place, though, I'm gonna have to figure out how to ban people.

belledame222 said...

please. as a huggly-bear sensitive type, I feel the urge to point out that the proper term for such people is "clue-impaired." and they should be treated with gentleness. mostly because one's arm gets tired swinging the sledgehammer after a while, and it doesn't actually make a dent in any case.

fiercelyfab said...

I just read the comments over at Feministe, most of them.

I like your comment on finding what one likes and then being aggressive, loud while identifying as feminists, girly, fun, choice feminism, or not as something that folks have examine and continue to. Just like I have and in many regards either choose to identify with these labels or not.

If I'm making any sense, I realized after reading into the entries that our worldviews shape how we even interpret labels such as fun feminism, choice feminism, among others that I don't know even exist. We all have had struggles and we can't undermine any of that.

In my mind and experiences associating as a fun feminist just cannot grasp what I am, go through, want to fight for, etc. Fun is needed. Sex. Feeling good. Wanting to attract folks. Feeling sexy. Yes. But for me it just doesn't translate to fun feminism. Know what I'm saying? Having said that--I see how that label gets trashed even though now I'm agreeing that it isn't productive and it alienates folks. We cannot create enemies among our peers. So true.

And I agree completely with you and others that it isn't our job to shame women.

Personally internalized sexism towards ourselves and others, competitiveness sucks and it is real. For me, it is something I struggle with constantly.

belledame222 said...

Well, I think where it comes from, "fun feminism," is that Andrea Dworkin quote, you know,

"I'm a feminist. Not the fun kind."

iow: she's owning and sending up the stereotype of hairy-legged manhater; but she's also of course denigrating the women who -don't- resemble her in looks or (more important) ideology. in her case, of course, (actually, doesn't it always?) this boils down to S-E-X, i.e. one's attitudes toward.

a friend of mine recently coined the retort,

"I'm a feminist. Not the nuts kind."

...which, regardless of how one feels about Dworkin herself (certainly she had far more to offer than a lot of people, mixed bag or not), made me laugh out loud: yeup, I do think that particular comfy shoe fits a few folks out there, at least...

although that assessment has very little to do with whether they shave their damn legs or not, wear pink minis or not, fuck men (or anyone) or not; or how often or how or why; at least as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't.

i tend to go with stuff more like, you know, apparent decompensation in the middle of the public square at the first sign of disagreement; contradicting oneself three or four times in the same sentence without even missing a beat, much less acknowledging that this has happened; an unsettlingly intense focus on other peoples' bodies and sex lives, complete with graphic details/language; apparent inability to distinguish where oneself ends and the other person begins, no matter how politely and carefully this boundary is pointed out and explained; and of course, project! project!! project!!!

none of which, of course, is limited to any particular ideology; it's always just sort of fun when it's settled onto an ideology with which one identifies already.

belledame222 said...

ff, sorry, but do you also go by another handle? at RWOC or elsewhere? I feel like I should know this, but don't.

belledame222 said...

and see, I actually think there's nothing wrong with competitveness per se; the problem comes when it's either embraced wholeheartedly, as it is an expression of mainstream values, or rejected (wholeheartedly) for the same reasons. The problem with the former, too much emphasis on competition, is obvious to us here, I think; what's less obvious is the way in which the desire for competition (which i think -to a degree- is natural or at least inevitable) gets stuffed into the shadow, in certain strains of feminism or any similar branch of leftieism. It just gets submerged briefly and then pops back out in a new form, just warped enough so that it's possible to still pretend that that's not actually what that is.

so, for example: the "more feminist than thou" thing; the "more oppresseder than thou" thing, that weird sort of quasi-downward mobility; and of course, all the little indirect fun and games on a more interpersonal level that we learn as women, as minorities. Horizontal lashing out, or even kick-the-dog, on account of we can't actually get at the real culprit. And of course the "scarcity" mentality that happens as well.

Dan L-K said...

I had a completely wacky notion occur to me today, reading partway through that thread: what if this drive to pick, pick, pick - the relentless criticism in the name of Fixing Other People - is itself wrapped up in stupid quasi-patriarchal gender-role nonsense? You know, as in the old saw that men marry women hoping they'll never change, while women marry men hoping they will?

Maybe that's a stretch; I dunno. But I know that one of the things you pick up in our culture, explicitly stated or not, is that it's the job of women to reign in people who are out of line, or irresponsible, or immoral. Makes it all start to feel almost... Victorian, dunnit?

belledame222 said...

oh, have you been reading the "Deadly Innocence" threads? it's all -about- Victorianism. or well, 19th century (and earlier) leftovers, including, if not limited to, a strong Victorian hangover.

fiercelyfab said...

fabulosamujer, fab--that's me. RWOC yes I'm affiliated--I'm not hiding. I always link to my blog mostly to show that it is me fab, fabulosamujer now fiercelyfab to try and make it tad bit more difficult to hide my real identity from the outside world as much as I can but that probably isn't possible for various reasons. It is not my intention to hide which name I have for the on-line world and in my opinion by having a link to my blog that shows who I am regardless if I'm fiercelyfab or fab.

I guess on the courtesy issue I should make a statement on my blog stating the change.

Anyhow I hear what you're saying and I appreciate the dialogue.

belledame222 said...

hey, that's cool--wasn't suggesting you were hiding or any of that, just was trying to place you in context of previous conversations.

fiercelyfab said...

hahaha...why do I think it's funny that I felt I had to explain why I changed my name? Projections, that's right. M'fing project, project..project.

That explanation was damn long--and it did bring light to what I need to do. Announce changes when they happen.