Saturday, January 20, 2007

The basic problem, in a nutshell

"For now– my reality, my experience, is the reality of by far most of the women on this planet"


the view confining reality to oneself and one's experiences.

The notion that it is impossible ever to know another person, so why bother? This ends up in an absolute egotism a refusal to acknowledge the needs or even existence of others.
The theory that self is the only object of real knowledge or that nothing but self exists.
The belief that no one exists other than oneself.
theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified, or that the self is the only reality.


Ah, but. What happens when the person who espouses the above sentiment swears up down and sideways that she is empathically (ha! nice typo: i meant to type EMPHATICALLY, of course) NOT self-absorbed, NOT an individualist, that she is NOT speaking for herself, that she is in fact working for, passionate about, -speaking for- ALL WOMEN?

I wanna get back to that, because it's related to these recent posts, and what we're rasslin' around with in the comments.

For now, I'll just say that I think it distills down to a few basic transactions. Frame them however you like. They go something like this:

"I'm cold. Put on a sweater."

"I want you to hurt like I hurt."

"I'm Every Woman! It's all in...meeeeeee"

"I am the Cosmos! I am the Walrus! Goo goo ca choob"

"I am you and you are he and he are we and we are come together..."

"You are hurting my fist with your face."

"You are hurting me by existing separately from me."

"You are hurting me by existing at all."

"You don't exist."


belledame222 said...

by the way: feel free to insert "all men" "all members of ___ group/nationality/whatever" and so on for "all women." This really isn't specifically about any one group or ideology; this one just came up as a really handy example.

zw said...

Yes, agreed, but if you're not completely out of your gourd, it's an okay starting point:

"The notion that it is impossible ever to know another person, until you become that person. Temporarily."

It's not always bad. If you recognize that you can only actually know your own existence, then wearing other people's brains is kind of necessary. Kind of like those What Would Batman Do bracelets, only applied to everybody.

(the problem, obviously, is in wearing their brain, rather than attempting to understand someone by forcibly injecting yourself into their head which is doing just fine thank you.)

(or, well, "I'm cold. Why aren't you cold? TELL ME OF YOUR COLD-AVOIDANCE")

plain(s)feminist said...

And another thing that I think is part of this trend:
when radical feminists/lesbian separatists began exploring goddess imagery, ancient matriarchal cultures, women’s culture, women’s spirituality, and so on, they were shunned as “essentialists,” and the dreaded “cultural feminists.” That’s when the erasure really began.

I'm struck by Heart's claim, here. Cultural feminism wasn't about *exploring* these things, it was about the claim that there was such a thing as women's culture and that it was better by virtue of being of women. It was specifically about the shift in focus from a radical feminism that believed that gender was completely socially constructed and that patriarchy caused gender roles, to a much more narrow focus on the preservation and perpetuation of "women's culture," based in an essentialist notion of what a woman is and what a man is. I mean - know your feminist history, dammit! And if you're going to be a cultural feminist - which she is - then claim it!

And further - if one is going to claim that radical feminism can stretch to accomodate cultural feminism (which it has), then it can also stretch to accomodate sex radical feminism (which it has) and transgender feminism (which it has). There are always people standing at the borders with guns trying to keep others out. That doesn't mean that the "others" aren't already inside, as well.

I digress. Anyway - speaking of erasure - y'know, Audre Lorde had a lot to say on this topic to Mary Daly, as I recall. Because cultural feminists appropriated all over the place, and continue to do so (as, to be fair, do most people living in the first world). I realize that lesbians, and women of color, and women, and really, ALL of us are constantly erased by the heteropatriarchy. But it's pretty patriarchal of us to insist on our own visibility by erasing someone else.

I always seem to stray off-topic. Sigh.

Sylvia said...

I know it's bad to cosign, but I cosign what plain(s)feminist said.

(And you didn't stray off-topic; there are a lot of intersections.)

Unsane said...

The inability to respect the psychological boundaries of others is very endemic in our sadomasochistic society. There's the tendency to be bombastic, to be blind, to push ones' way forward. The ability to see, to understand, to negotiate or to come to terms has been largely dismissed in western culture, where the irrationalism of market forces dominate. So, critical thinking, too, goes by the wayside, and we celebrate its demise with so-called "reality television shows where social darwinistic lessons are implicitly taught.

Therefore the sociopathic narcissist and her solipsism does not seem out of place with the spirit of the times. She can sufficiently camouflage herself as normal by virtue of her narcissism.

queer dewd formerly known as ( ) said...

i only pipe up to be a pedant and say: we need another word besides solipsism. it just doesn't mean this.

shitbag works. :)

queer dewd formerly known as ( ) said...

Halley located the problem in what she calls the "moralizing" vision of *cultural* feminism (and any theory, though she focuses on cultural feminism.)

i don't like calling it solipsism b/c that's a philosophical position and heart doesn't strike me someone who has really thought about it. and it doesn't make much sense to confuse it all.

an epistemological solipsist is pursposefully so, not hypocritically so.

belledame222 said...

yah, but you know, the whole point is that it is difficult to say how willed it is.

narcissism is closer than solipsism if you want to say that the latter is a consciously expressed idea; but, well, oops, we're back to pathologizing again then. cult, loaded. totalism, loaded. authoritarian...not quite adequate. Fascist? No. Fundamentalist? Maybe, but that's got specific connotations as well. Radical? Hardly. Abusive? Well, yes, but structurally? and then people confuse that with much more concrete examples of abuse and say "but then this can't be that..." And so on, and so on, and so on...

I mean, I really am trying to get at something structural here; yah, she's a shitbag, but the question is, gentlemen, what -kind- of shitbag is she? Why does this kind of shitbaggery happen? I don't think "hypocrite" exactly covers it, you know, when as you say the person is not that conscious;

and then, too, there is a way in which this happens at the -group- level as well.

next up: quotage from Otto Kernberg and a book called "Even Paranoids Have Enemies."

belledame222 said...

"dogmatic," but that's...not enough.

"Ideologue," i suppose. but sometimes this happens when there isn't any particular coherent ideology, certainly not a fully formed political or religious one or whatnot. at that level we just call it "abuse," or "bullying," or, yah, "shitbag."

lack of empathy...but, that brought up confusion as well. I was trying to explain that empathy, too, has very specific connotations: it doesn't have to mean, warm, fuzzy, offers cookies and hugs.

you see what I'm getting at? There's no room for the Other, at all, really, in some peoples' equations, in some standpoints (sometimes people are there temporarily, as part of a group, or as a stage, or when angry, but others i think stay there more or less permanently). We can argue about how someone -gets- there; me, i don't think it is a carefully reasoned out thing; i think the ideology, if one there is, is the end point of, process that happens at a much more primitive level than anything that can be verbalized.

cicely said...

I mean - know your feminist history, dammit! And if you're going to be a cultural feminist - which she is - then claim it!

Actually, she does claim it, plain(s)feminist.

Here is a comment Heart posted on the Michfest board late last year. (I lurk there from time to time, but never post there anymore.)

'I am outspokenly both a radical feminist and a cultural feminist. I would never "hide" the fact that I am a cultural feminist - I am proud of it. Michfest, in fact, is a cultural feminist/lesbian feminist event, celebrating the culture of women born women, it is not really a radical feminist event. This is one reason it is such a home to me, even though I am as much a radical feminist as a cultural feminist - the two are in no way mutually exclusive and cultural feminism is not essentialist in any way. Cultural feminism celebrates women born women, women's herstory, our culture as a people, our Amazon culture and past, our art, herstoric music, writings, spirituality, midwivery, woman-centred birthing and mothering practices, and so on. From my perspective, if we ever needed a revival of some kind of feminisism, it is a huge revival of cultural feminism we need if there is to be any revolution, if the world is to be spared from annihilation at the hands of violent, necrophilic masculinities. Cultural feminism is a feminism of peace, of non-violence, of respect and deep regard for the earth, "Deep Green", as Lierre Keith describes it. We need it badly.'

I was going to write more about this, but duty calls...back later...

belledame222 said...

well, what she -hadn't- owned before, if i recall correctly, is that she is indeed a full on biological essentialist; she's talked a lot of happytalk about the differences between cultural essentialism and bio essentialism, and sure, she's read her shit, she can talk about this well when she needs to, it sounds plausible enough.

but so now, toward the end of that thread at her spot, she sez:

"For now– my reality, my experience, is the reality of by far most of the women on this planet, the reality of bearing many children in my body, giving them birth, breastfeeding them, losing them. It may not be the reality of most comparatively affluent women in the U.S./Canada/Europe, but it is still the reality of most of the world’s women now living. It is the reality of nobody born male.

So. There you have it.

humbition said...

Maybe relevant, or maybe not, part of a comment I left at the bottom of another thread, here:

[solipsistic quote begins]

The abuser is one who thinks that any system, composed of that person and another, is fundamentally for the abuser. That the other person or people, and indeed, that the system composed of the abuser and the other person or people, has to serve the abuser's needs, or values, in priority to those of the other people within the system, or within the context.

Of course this is injustice, because we believe, as inheritors of the idea of democracy, that no person is of more fundamental worth than another. I certainly believe this with all my heart. All persons have needs, desires, and value, and therefore any system which claims that one person's needs are to be met at the expense of another's, or by suppressing another's, should be changed. Because by what right are the needs of one more valuable than those of the other?

The abuser claims in essence that the system, or context, and the abuser's self, are one and the same. This is a lie and a fundamental arrogance which sets a part of the system above the whole (supposedly as "representing" or encompassing, or even "governing," the whole). So that the other members of the system, or participants of the context, are not to be seen as having needs and desires as important, as valid, or as human, as the abuser's. The abuser's equation is, "I plus you equals me."

...Indeed often we must separate, if we can, or develop the power to separate, in order to escape the tyranny of those who invoke the larger whole only to try to convince us that they are it.

...As human beings we do interact and we do by that interaction create contexts and systems for each other. The question is, how can we do this in a way that none of us see ourselves as entitled to arrogate to ourselves, and for ourselves, the system and the others who are co-participants within it.

Rather, each of us must learn to be for the other(s), as well as for ourselves, as much as we can. This is Buber's I-Thou relationship. It too creates a system, a whole, and a context -- one we might consider as a healthier one.


belledame222 said...

The abuser claims in essence that the system, or context, and the abuser's self, are one and the same. This is a lie and a fundamental arrogance which sets a part of the system above the whole (supposedly as "representing" or encompassing, or even "governing," the whole). So that the other members of the system, or participants of the context, are not to be seen as having needs and desires as important, as valid, or as human, as the abuser's. The abuser's equation is, "I plus you equals me."

Bingo. Exactamundo.

And yep, I am interested precisely because it -does- have ramifications for small-d democracy.

and yah, was also thinking of Buber.

maybe "abuse/abusive" is the best term for now, then. or one of them.

belledame222 said...

can i ask what/where the other thread is?

plain(s)feminist said...

Cicely -
Thanks. I hadn't seen that post.

belledame222 said...

cultural feminism is not essentialist in any way. Cultural feminism celebrates women born women

Um. ...Oh, whatever.

humbition said...

The comment I quoted from is at the very bottom of your thread on "types of power." I often seem to find myself commenting at the bottom, or almost the bottom, of threads.

Thank you for "types of power" by the way. It's an interest of mine.

thinking girl said...

BD - I tagged you. this one's important - come on over and see.

R. Mildred said...

Cultural feminism celebrates women born women

Huzzah! baccanalias for all!

our culture as a people

That'd be a culture of having crotches - CrotchCulture! CrotchFest! CrotchWare! Mighty Crotchulhu, dead but dreaming in a drunken city of O'Rly? Crothulhu Ftghna!

JackGoff said...

Crothulhu Ftghna!


cicely said...

A little late with this beause the long comment I wrote last night got eaten by the blogger gremlins. A thousand curses!

Writing as one of many who've been on the receiving end of Heart's ton of feminist bricks and personal distortions (get out from under that lot point by point if you can before you can begin to speak freely), smoke and mirrors, fist in glove, one right way, accusatory style of non-communication (not to mention ex-communication), I must say I prefer to avoid her on an individual basis. Since she must be conscious of how she's being received - after years on the net from what I can gather - I can only conclude that she feels the end justifies the means (her own version of 'I'm a radical feminist, not the fun kind'), or that her view of the world and her moral vision is so clear to her that every expression of feminist dissent is an error that needs to be shouted down or somehow made to disappear. I guess I do think of her as a fundamentalist of sorts ('same churh, different pew', as someone else once wrote, because of her past as a fundamentalist christian). How and why does one become a fundamentalist? I don't know. I guess absolute certainty in the 'rightness' of a set of beliefs is the starting 'action' point though, and a lot of energy and power can be generated from a place of such certainty. Heart has these in spades, whether or not she acknowledges the power part. No-one could say she doesn't work hard on behalf of those she views as 'her' people of women, but that does just happen to exclude a lot of women - and feminists.

I think it's interesting to juxtapose Heart's statement quoted above with this quote from Janet Hally's book- Split Decisions.

'I think I'd better put my cards on the table once again, before attempting the following exposition of cultural feminism. I was a cultural feminist for years, a fact that I confess with considerable shame. Somehow, now, cultural feminism is a deep embarrassment to me...Today cultural feminism is *the* mode of feminist thought and action that makes me feel most warlike, most vigilant, most aggressively oppositional, and most threatened.'

Halley then talks about how sex-positive and postmodernising feminists, apparently opposed to cultural feminism, sometimes still use cultural feminist *reasons* to adhere to their own feminist positions.

This was, she wrote, to preface 'the most sympathetic account of cultural feminism I can', so she could later 'describe how cultural feminism in its governance mode wants to rule the world.'

Suzanne said...

I'll throw my lame 2 cents in here and say that that quote really cracked me up. I know it shouldn't have, but it did anyway. And I thank you for the definitions as well.

cicely said...

Queer dewd - I went over and read your comments about Halley after I'd posted the above comment. (I'd link to you if I knew how and/or wasn't as rushed as I now am.)

Are comments open at your place? A few days ago I saw the word 'comment' at the end of a post, but then it disappeared. I thought I must have seen a ghost.

Mandos said...

The most recent turn of events on that thread on Heart's blog has a more explicit declaration of the idea that trans people are privileged over women, not the other way around.

belledame222 said...

Amazing, innit? All that magical mystical womb moonjuice vajayjay power, and we still are crushed by the mighty sinister forces of the Transsexual Empire.

I Blame The Twelve-Foot Lizard Aliens, myself.

cicely said...

Apologies belledame - for using your blog as a message board - but I just had it happen to me over at Queer dewds again! I went to the end of the 'ideologue' thread and saw 'comments (42)' briefly - and then it melted away...does anyone have any idea what could be going on with my machine?

belledame222 said...

oh. there is this thing that happens with QD's site sometimes, that "melting" thing. i don't know why. i usually just hit "refresh" until it stays put. usually works.

Carpenter said...

Damn I just read about monster-gate. I am behind the times. That sucks.

Is this the normal level of incindiary blogage? I mean, in the last year there was the BDSM shit, the blowjob shit, the anti-trans shit, burqa-gate now this....

BTW Heart had a post that I was sure was gonna start a flame war but never did her "Raped Down to Almost White" which was a muddy stew of racial insensitivity(I got seriosly mad), but I think it got overlooked bc of other shit, namely the aftermath of Twisty trans-gate. If I count such near misses in the blogospere

belledame222 said...

well, as with "real life," i think that as the various movements get bigger and the various individuals from this or that faction encounter each other more frequently, it's bound to lead to more eruptions, yes.
also, bigger=higher percentage of fuckwits, and it really only takes a couple of complete fuckwits in the mix to make the already hopelessly tangled whole thing decompensate into a puddle of toxic sludge. so, there's that.

Veronica said...

Ya know, I kind want to toss all the analysis out the window and just proclaim: "They have issues. They have checked out from Realityland where the rest of us live." But, that's probably because I checked IBTP the other day, and I see a wave of conversations about our liberated cybernetic future on the horizon.

Veronica said...

Ooh. I had to check back... yup.

We are all gonna get to hear about the coming power of cybernetic hoo-hoo magic! Just you wait!

belledame222 said...


...o, whatever, then; but how will the magical mystical yoni power women feel about this? i mean, if it's all cybernetic doesn't that kind of ruin the magical mysticalness of it all? isn't that the ev0l male Dr. Frankensteins imposing their sinister ways on the natural goodness of wimminz bodies?

Carpenter said...

yah I guess its true, infact if theres one good thing I got out of the flame wars its links to a a ton of other blogs I didnt know existed. Untill today I didn't know Little Light at all except for the quote on Queer Dewd's blog banner.
So there ya go.

As for the IBTP, you are prolly right about teh comming battle. Firestone's 'Birth giving leads to neccessary subjugation of women due to human societal structure' is where I think the blow up will happen...but I was wrong about raped to white so whaddo I know.

Carpenter said...

Also I'm not sute TF is all about magic yonni power, though some reader might be. She's a hard core anti-mystic atheist, and makes fun of Michfest, and bonobos, and all that. Prolly I'd wager thins nature isnt perfection but patriarchy craps up nature more than it enhances it.

Carpenter said...

'k sorry
I'm the worst typist ever

Veronica said...

Carpenter--yeah, TF is just fucking with them, but, I think for the most part that's really all she does. I mean... robots-uterii destroying the patriarchy? Childhood as an opressive construct?

I'm convinced she only does it to see how far she can push them...

Mandos said...

The robot-uterus thing has been going since very very early in TF's tenure, way back to the TypePad days. I do think she sincerely does believe that biological reproduction itself is a danger to women's freedom, and I, for one, welco^H^H^H^H^Hthink she might have a point.

belledame222 said...

oh yah, TF is totally not a cultural feminist at all, even assuming she isn't a complete troll. which is why i'm sort of intrigued to see what happens when the moonjuice ones currently fapping over at Heart's come across this.

but not enough to give her the hits or energy she's clearly -really really- angling for.

you know, if she really wanted to just go for the jackpot, she could just write a long piece about how Valerie Solanas was right: let's kill 'em all, Pinky! given some of her readership and the proper alignment of the stars and other portents, that could just give her a level of notorieity she never -dreamed- of. and who could ask for anything more than that, really?

Mandos said...

Unlike Heart, she is popular with too many male readers (me included, and of course her real life friends) for her to try something like that.

Carpenter said...

'reproduction itself is a danger to women's freedom'
c'mon really? really? I mean heres the thing, soceity hates women first and then uses whatever it can get its hands on to reinforce that, not the other way around. Beauty standards? when the greeks though mem were more beautiful they used that to hate on women. In the renaissance they used womens superior beauty to ate on women. PPl hate on women not cuz they give birth but cuz they are women. Then they find a way to make birth fit their agenda. Blowjobs dont subjugate women, men find ways to interpret that way cuz they want women to do all this unpaid labor then fuck whoever they feel like. If we could all get his through our skulls half the falme wars wouldn't exist. Mistaking the sympton for the causeNo chicken and egg here.....surely belldame is correct and a flame war shall indeed errupt.

mandos said...

TF is a very strong materialist and believes in following the money (something I support). Childbirth has a tendency to stick women with costs. Costs that men don't have to bear. Many and maybe even most men bear some portion of the costs, but some of them have to be forced through a massive state mechanism that doesn't necessarily work very well.

It may not be possible to achieve a completely fair split. If so, then consequently, women would be always be at a disadvantage due to childbirth.

(Women who do not have children suffer from the social expectation and normativity of such.)

belledame222 said...

mandos: oh, of course. still, it'd be very, how you say, high-concept, as germs for massive flame wars go.

Solanas is actually quite funny, i mean intentionally; anyway we saw a play of hers produced some years back, "Up Your Ass." it's still not clear whether she shot Warhol because he was a tool of the patriarchy so much as because he, like, didn't want to let her play with the Cool Kids.

belledame222 said...

well, and they come from very different backgrounds, do TF and Heart, respectively (although curiously enough both quite conservative, each after their fashion, respectively).

well, TF from what i gather it'd be more truly conservative (the family, that is); Heart i think was a radical reactionary, and as far as i'm concerned still is one, really.

but i mean, TF appeals to the nostalgic past as well, even if it's just mostly the heyday of second wave feminism and not also you know the Great Primordial Matriarchy (i assume she doesn't believe in any such).

i used to think that in a way Heart's worldview was a bit more...constructive, in that even a suffocating sort of "womens'space" was better than no community at all; but, after that last little attack of diarrhea, yeah, misanthropic spinsterhood would be preferable after all, i think. urk.

Anonymous said...

I thought Solanas shot warhol because he wouldnt read her screenplays.

belledame222 said...

PPl hate on women not cuz they give birth but cuz they are women. Then they find a way to make birth fit their agenda.

you know, i'm inclined to say that there definitely is something to the whole womb envy business; it's just that i think the cultural feminists make the same damn mistake that the MRA's and other defenders of the Phallus do: they're far too concrete about it. what's really envied isn't the biology; it's the creative power, -any- creative power. that sort of envy is not limited to any sex or gender, just as the act of creation is certainly not limited to giving birth. i do think that -that- is a very big deal, though. thwarted creativity, in the greater sense.

"what happens to a dream deferred," indeed.

that means a lot of different things, actually.

belledame222 said...

anon: yes. which meant that he rejected her and all her works; which meant that she was out of the Cool Kids Club.

kind of an anticlimax really. i mean, rage against the monstrous regiment of men and patriarchy, and who do you start and end with but frigging Andy Warhol.

(sorry; i'm in a rather mordant humor today)

Carpenter said...

I think the reaction to IBTP will hinge on if the interpretation of the disadvantage of motherhood(noce point about the $) will be from a POV that this society makes motherhood cost inefective, or that every possible soceity would without robot uterii. I strongly disagree with the later(and I am NOT a Michfest cultural feminist).

Carpenter said...

"you know, i'm inclined to say that there definitely is something to the whole womb envy business"

I dunno. Ive thought about this a lot. I have no idea if there is any continuity in how differnt societies regard birth-giving. I'd wager if you hate women, you hate everything they do.....give birth, menstrutate whatev so I could believe that places where women have high social staus, birthgiving or whatev is less stigmatized. As to if it is revered I couldn't say.

belledame222 said...

oh, i'm not saying it's universal or nothin'. or fully conscious. but i mean...well, meh, i'm not up for more squirrelly link hunts at the mo', but there's evidence enow, if you want it. it is also possible that it doesn't really much matter "why" at this stage in the game, of course.

Carpenter said...

"it is also possible that it doesn't really much matter "why" at this stage in the game, of course."

too true. Also in my mind robot uterii sort of converges somehow in spirit with the Linda Hirschman solution, of which TF is also a fan.

Veronica said...

If you go through enough Greek or Roman writing, you tend to occasionally trip on statements to the effect of "It's so not fair that girls give birth to BOYS!! No fair, and ICKY!"

belledame222 said...

"It's so not fair that girls give birth to BOYS!! No fair, and ICKY!"

ah, those wise, elegant classical writers...

Veronica said...

Eh. I'm too lazy to look up exact quotes. Euripides, in particular, went on at length about how "foul" and "tragic" it was that men had to be born of women. He actually had a bit of womb obsession.

Veronica said...

Alright, here you go. Euripides.

A Women! This coin which men find counterfeit!
Why, why, Lord Zeus, did you put them in the world,
in the light of the sun? If you were so determined
to breed the race of men, the source of it
should not have been women.

Men might have dedicated in you own temple images of gold,
silver, or weight of bronze and thus have bought the seed of progeny,
to each been given his worth in sons according to the assessment
of his gift's value. So we might have lived in houses free of the taint of women's presence.

belledame222 said...

I think i liked your translation of it better.

Carpenter said...

Wow, straight up asking "Why Women? Why, God Why?" Thats beyond harsh.

Mandos said...

It's not just the creative power, it's the creative power as a means of self-perpetuation into eternity, which fertile women are assured and fertile men must either trust women or *force* women to assure.

Euripedes is lamenting, fundamentally, that men must go through women in order to achieve their immortality, must negotiate at what he perceived to be a serious disadvantage.

Veronica said...

It's really harsh when you consider that women in ancient Greece were thought of as about on par with cows. So, even with the cow-status, he still thought the ladies had too much of the pie.

belledame222 said...

well and of course there's the whole, they know perfectly well the womb is where they came from, there's the womb-tomb association, helped along by the memory of being at the complete and awesome power of Mother as a child. the whole Bad Mom, "I can MAKE you, and i can BREAK you just as easily!..."
it starts at the personal level.

Carpenter said...

Dude I cannot express how sick I am of womb/tomb, sex/death.

"I can MAKE you, and i can BREAK you just as easily!..."
I'd imagine that if you already hate womenness this would make you feel even worse. Like getting beat by a girl to the nth power. I'd imagine to ich Greeks, loosing one immortality might be second to loosing ones social status as a keeper-of-ones- woman-in-line. But I think Mandos I may have had it out once long ago about the origins of patriarchy (at IBTP yet).

belledame222 said...

well, here we go--I was poring over my long neglected bookshelves just now ("books?" what? no interaction? no mouse? no youtube?) and happened to pull out this one, "The Tyranny of Malice;" and flipping through, quickly found myself at:

Chapter 5: "Suffocation of the Mother--Womb Envy"

The womb has long been considered an extremely dangerous organ. Around 400 B.C., the philosopher Democritus advised Hippocrates that "the womb was the origin of six hundred evils and innumerable catastrophes."

This view has permeated civilized thought right down to modern times. The famous Persian physician Haly Abbas (?--994 A.D.) compared the womb to a "wild animal longing for semen,"...

More recently a gynecologist was overheard, after performing an emergency hysterectomy and holding the newly detached uterus aloft:

"Ah yes, I am pleased. Another small victory in Man's unending battle against the womb."

..Variously called a center of creativity or a furnace of carnality, a biological powerhouse or a suffocating mother, the womb is the focus of both dread and desire.

...Yet unlike the breast, this organ cannot be seen or grasped, nor can its goods be felt or tasted. It is an infolding rather than an outfolding of the body, something dark and secret, readily transformed by the mind into a trap, a lure...Just as the bosom can appear like a cornucopia or a crocodile, depending on mood and circumstances, the depths of a woman can seem like a cavern of contentment or a chamber of horrors...

Such phantasies lay the basis for intense anxieties that the penis has been devoured and digested...

...But the womb threatens more than maleness...Greed sustains the impression that the vagina/womb/woman can never be satisfied. This includes the actual greed of the mother, for example, who never gets enough because she never gives enough, and the projected greed of infants and children of either sex who invade their parents with screaming mouths and flailing arms. Rebuff arouses revenge followed by "the perils of the deep." These perils encompass both rapaciousness and oblivion. Rapaciousness leads to a terror of being torn apart, as by sharks in the sea. Oblivion conjures forth fears of falling apart, of dissolving in intrauterine waters, as might occur during a period of regressive withdrawal. The accompanying experience of ego loss or loss of identity has been commonly compared to mental castration."

...and so on, and so on, and so on.

Carpenter said...

"the womb was the origin of six hundred evils and innumerable catastrophes."

Jesus what did they think we did in there? smashed atoms? Bred half-man half shark-alligators? Trapped guys in there and had spiked walls close in?

Also, how is a bosom like a crocodile?

I am amused and over this.

belledame222 said...

"Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

yeah, it's a bit overwrought, but it's still relevant, i think.

shrug. then again, everything is a symbol, really. i wonder if we'd like evolved like birds or seahorses or mollusks or plants if our myths and stories would be different. i expect so...

Carpenter said...

its amazing how the greeks ever developed the narrative of female sexual passivity given all this womby canabalism.

belledame222 said...

well you know. just because you're all toothy and hungry doesn't have to mean you go out and GIT IT. think Venus Flytrap...

JackGoff said...

On a tangent note, have you read this post by ravenmn?

I got more than a little pissed off, especially with the amount of sheer lying that's going on over at Heart's blog, but yeah, she deleted two of my comments towards Rich. Anyway, I'm amazed at myself at how much this is personally affecting me. Whatever. Tonight is the last night spent worrying past 1AM about people who can't even admit that they have white privilege, let alone cisgendered privilege. Tired. Just fucking tired.

Carpenter said...

didnt the greeks also think that the very act of having a penis that enteredthe vagina signify the woman's passivity? Thats why they had strict limits on which man could pentrate which other man, ho old they could be and of what social strata. Or they could just have dualing narratives, god knows we do.

belledame222 said...

Jack, yah. i love you for your passion, i totally get it, but seriously, they are not worth losing sleep over. she's basically torpedo'd whatever shreds remained of her cred, anyway; if she wants to huddle in a corner with losers like Rich and lucky and pony and Mary Sunshine then y'know leave her to it. sometimes the best thing you can do is just spool out more rope, and watch them get on with the self-martyrdom, (see!! i TOLD you They were all Against Us!) you know. little light's now got more (approving) links to that post than Heart even has posters much less supporters in that thread. time to rest.

belledame222 said...

(the very fact that a dreaded Man is allowed in the Womens' Space as long as he says things that please them speaks volumes right there as far as i'm concerned)

Ravenmn said...

Just a note on tactics. If your goal is to recover Robin Morgan from obscurity, don't you think you'd talk more about Robin Morgan?

For instance, when Brownfemipower wants to note WOC who are ignored, she posts quotes, links for more information, etc. Seems like that would be an obvious. If that was your goal, I mean.

OK. Yes. Maybe a hint of sarcasm.

{{{{Jack}}} thanks for the link and the comment.

belledame222 said...

wouldn't you think?

or, you know, amplify, rather than "you STOLED it from her/us!!"

or even, like, ignore the post that has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR ASS*, and redouble your efforts to talk about what -you- think is important?

alas, that might involve actually swallowing your pride and deigning to participate like a human being in some of the larger fora; still, as energy goes, it -might- be a better way to spend it, and even attain actual goals, than y'know, constant whinging about how THEY'RE ALL OUT TO GET ME-US.

*no, seriously. i mean, would -anyone- who had been casually reading the original LL post have gone, "aha! i see it all now! this is why RADICAL FEMINISTS SUXORS!" hardly. on account if it was, you know, like, about other things? like LL's own life, for a start? which really really isn't all about bloody radical feminists?

but NOW we're talking about effing Heart and ever-effing radical feminists, because she -insisted-, basically. and so but she doesn't like the -way- we're talking about her/it; well, you know, too damn bad. you pays your money and you takes your choice.