Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Feminism of the monstrous"



I like it. And I love this post, and the woman who wrote it.

I am done with traps. I am done with the philosophy of traps, and I am done with the feminism of who owns my body for what cause.
It is time for something that tells you that I am here for blood--my blood, the blood of my loved ones, the blood of the people who have battered themselves against my life and found me still here.

It is time for a feminism of the monstrous.

That is this body. That is this me. That is the voice that says get your names off of my parts and your hands off them too, that says stop colonizing my reality and telling me what I mean without listening to a word I say.

What I say may be in a language incomprehensible, but there is a time for that, and it is right now, because this is a monster's creed. It is for the cobbled-together, the sewn-up, the grafted-on. It is for the golden, the under-the-earth, the foreign, the travels-by-night; the filthy ship-sinking cave-dwelling bone-cracking gorgeousness that says hell no, I am not tidy. I am not easy. I am not what you suppose me to be and until you listen to my voice and look me in my eyes, I will cling fast to this life no matter how far you drive me, how deep, with how many torches and pitchforks, biting back the whole way down. I will not give you my suicide. I will not give you my surrender.

This is for the Lilim, because you forget that the next part after your co-opted icon parts ways with Adam and goes her own way is and she begat monsters, and she becomes terrifying. This is for the Gorgons and the vampires and the chimaeras, for Cybele and Baba Yaga, Hel and Ashtoreth, for Lamia and Scylla, for Kali and Kapo 'ula-kina'u. This is for all of them with teeth...




*************************************


...For the especial duty of God's messengers is to preach repentance, to admonish the offenders of their offenses, and to say to the wicked, "Thou shalt die the death, except thou repent." This, I trust, no man will deny to be the proper office of all God's messengers, to preach (as I have said) repentance and remission of sins. But neither of both can be done, except the conscience of the offenders be accused and convicted of transgression. But how shall any man repent, not knowing wherein he has offended? And where no repentance is found, there can be no entry to grace. And therefore, I say, that of necessity it is that this monstiferous empire of women (which amongst all enormities that this day do abound upon the face of the whole earth, is most detestable and damnable) be openly revealed and plainly declared to the world, to the end that some may repent and be saved.

...[The Empire of Women is
Repugnant to Nature]

And first, where I affirm the empire of a woman to be a thing repugnant to nature, I mean not only that God, by the order of his creation, has spoiled [deprived] woman of authority and dominion, but also that man has seen, proved, and pronounced just causes why it should be. Man, I say, in many other cases, does in this behalf see very clearly. [14]For the causes are so manifest, that they cannot be hid. For who can deny but it is repugnant to nature, that the blind shall be appointed to lead and conduct such as do see? That the weak, the sick, and impotent persons shall nourish and keep the whole and strong? And finally, that the foolish, mad, and frenetic shall govern the discreet, and give counsel to such as be sober of mind? And such be all women, compared unto man in bearing of authority.

...And therefore yet again I repeat, that which before I have affirmed: to wit, that a woman promoted to sit in the seat of God (that is, to teach, to judge, or to reign above man) is a monster in nature, contumely to God, and a thing most repugnant to his will and ordinance. For he has deprived them, as before is proved, of speaking in the congregation, and has expressly forbidden them to usurp any kind of authority above man. How then will he suffer them to reign and have empire above realms and nations? He will never, I say, approve it, because it is a thing most repugnant to his perfect ordinance...

[48]Tertullian, in his book of Women's Apparel, after he has shown many causes why gorgeous apparel is abominable and odious in a woman, adds these words, speaking as it were to every woman by name: [49]"Do you not know," says he, "that you are Eve. The sentence of God lives and is effectual against this kind; and in this world, of necessity it is, that the punishment also live. You are the port and gate of the devil. You are the first transgressor of God's law. You did persuade and easily deceive him whom the devil durst not assault. For your merit (that is, for your death), it behooved the Son of God to suffer the death; and does it yet abide in your mind to deck you above your skin coats?"...

[53]Augustine, in his twenty-second book written Against Faustus, proves that a woman ought to serve her husband as unto God, affirming that in nothing has woman equal power with man, saving that neither of both have power over their own bodies. By which he would plainly conclude, that woman ought never to pretend nor thirst for that power and authority which are due to man. [54]For so he does explain himself in another place, affirming that woman ought to be repressed and bridled betimes, if she aspires to any dominion; alleging that it is dangerous and perilous to suffer her to proceed, although it is in temporal and corporeal things...

..."For woman," says he, "has not her example from the body and from the flesh, that so she shall be subject to man, as the flesh is unto the Spirit, because that the flesh in the weakness and mortality of this life lusts and strives against the Spirit..."

Yea, it is plain, that all [every] woman is commanded to serve, to be in humility and subjection. Which thing yet speaks the same writer more plainly in these words:[60] "It is not permitted to women to speak, but to be in silence, as the law says (1 Cor. 14:34)...

Let the reasons of this writer be marked, for further he yet proceeds, after that he has in many words lamented the effeminate manners of men, who were so far degenerated to the weakness of woman...



--John Knox, "First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women"

39 comments:

super des said...

Have you read "The Book of Lillith?"

Renegade Evolution said...

That is fucking brilliant....

Unsane said...

Yes -- we are disliked by the carboard men who project their own innate vulgarity on to us.

queer dewd formerly known as ( ) said...

don't forget Robin Morgan's _Monster_.

JackGoff said...

Ugh. John fucking Knox. Makes Paul look like a little darling.

Although, there's more than just that shite from 1 Cor:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

.
.
.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. - 1 Corinthians Chp 6: 9-11, 18-20


Lovely, eh? XOSSS

JackGoff said...
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JackGoff said...
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JackGoff said...

Piece of shit blogger.

See? WV agrees: oyeeddeq

JackGoff said...

So yeah, I have four multiple posts that I can see when I come into the comment's section, but they don't show up on the actual post page. I got errors each time I tried to post, but now the comments show up...sort of.

Am I just going insane? Blogger is fucking killing me here.

JackGoff said...

Um, croquet. Where is my avatar? Sorry for poo-pooing this thread, BD, but I'm seriously trying to figure out what the hell is blogger's problem.

You can delete my comments as needed, but I just want to test this out.

little light said...

Thanks, BD.
And thanks for the additional material. As it turns out, for a lot of us, whether we're devouring children or just daring to claim humanness, we're monsters.
Very well then, she said, chin up, I contradict myself. I contain multitudes.

It felt like a good idea to look the fuckers in the eye and say bring it.

Rosie said...

Thank you so much for directing me to that post! I have a friend who so needed to read that right now.

And Frida's painting was the perfect graphic.

belledame222 said...

but I'm seriously trying to figure out what the hell is blogger's problem.

You'd be better off trying to figure out the fundamental questions of Life, the Universe and Everything; they'll get resolved about as quickly, frankly.

belledame222 said...

Rosie: you're welcome, and thanks. yeah, i was debating whether to use that one or the one of her as a stag. this one's a bit darker but feels apropos in several ways, yes.

this is one of the other reasons i love blogging: graphics! multimedia! the Net is your oyster!

belledame222 said...

LL: oh, i know the feeling.

i did go back to the Alas thread and post a final missive, but i think at this point, yeah: in that particular thread at least, preaching to either the choir or a brick wall, respectively. still, i felt the need to try to cut through all the bullshit, one last time.

who the fuck is--ah, skip it, it doesn't matter, there're dozens where she came from anyway, i've no doubt. who was it that was saying the quiet rational sounding ones are worse than the obvious Bizarro World refugees like luckywhosis? it's really true. i mean, i guess one has to have those sorts of "arguments," but to me, it's the same (as people were noting) as with the whole same-sex marriage crap: it's not a -debate.- It never was a -debate.- It's just some people being obdurate fuckstains, because it suits their ego/ideological needs, and because they can.

belledame222 said...

super des: no, but it's ringing a bell; tell me more?

Renegade Evolution said...

Um, I dont read amp often, what post?

belledame222 said...

here

via here at LL's.

byrdeye said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
antiprincess said...

don't forget Robin Morgan's _Monster_.

um, yeah. don't forget...

belledame222 said...

who?

belledame222 said...

(eagerly waits for Heart and Heartlings to pounce on that: "you see! you see?! antiprincess is On Our Side! belledame22 DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHO ROBIN MORGAN WAS...")

antiprincess said...

what's cutting through my rising bile -

this great hue and cry of plagiarism is raised by people who don't even acknowledge little light's existance in "Class Woman" - secretly (or not so secretly) they seem to indicate they think she's still a man, baby - I'd think they'd be pleased that a "man" even chooses to read Robin Morgan. which, you know, Little Light didn't.

but maybe now is as good a time as any to reveal my true thoughts on "women's music/art/culture/writing" as imagined in that period between, say, 1970 - 1980.

it was, for the most part, garbage anyway.

notable exceptions abound, however, it was all cut from the same egregious cloth - it might just as well have been plagiarized, for all its lack of creativity, personal investment and variation.

and, you know, there was a fashion for a while of NOT SIGNING YOUR NAME TO ANYTHING you wrote/created/fashioned...thereby assuming the credit belonged to ALL WOMEN now and forever amen...

don't know if Ms. Morgan was part of that "I'm not signing my name" movement or not...just sayin'...

belledame222 said...

what? you mean Helen Reddy wasn't SHEER GENIUS??? say it ain't so!

belledame222 said...

and: oh yea, that's right. individual claims of authorial authority are anti-feminist and anti-Woman (eyeroll). riiiiiiiiiight. Women Aren't Competitive! Ever! And Shouldn't Be! That Is In No Way A Message From The Patriarchy! Too!

but you know, i expect that in fact that is exactly the spirit in which this little excretion was made. As I said: Heart's not all up in arms about literary plagiarism. She thinks something that rightly belongs to Class Woman, of which she, Heart, is a member, and LL, as you say, is not, it couldn't be clearer, is being appropriated. Womens' suffering, womens' narrative, womens'...genitalia. There's not enough to go around, so nyah, nyah, you can't come in the treehouse, Boys Keep Out, This Means You.

did i mention the part about "fuck off, Heart"?

antiprincess said...

well, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Cris Williamson, also Ferron - but because their work spoke to me at a certain place, at a certain time - not because they're Heartbreaking Works of Staggering Genius Emanating From The Womb Of Sacred Creativity.

antiprincess said...

and I do think that the body of work that emanated from the Woman's Movement in the 70s and early 80s was quite relevant, just for the fact that it existed at all. don't get me wrong.

belledame222 said...

oh sure. but "relevant" isn't the same as "must be reverently enshrined as the ForeMothers of Sacred Creativity and Power They Were," as you say.

and as others, LL herself, Kugelmass, have said: dude, all she had to do was say, "gee, that makes me think of Robin Morgan. You've read her, right? Oh, no? Let me take this opportunity to repost her brilliant poetical type poeme right here." That, you know, would have been constructive. But no: she had to make it a nasty power move. Too bad.

piny said...

and as others, LL herself, Kugelmass, have said: dude, all she had to do was say, "gee, that makes me think of Robin Morgan. You've read her, right? Oh, no? Let me take this opportunity to repost her brilliant poetical type poeme right here." That, you know, would have been constructive. But no: she had to make it a nasty power move. Too bad.

No shit. I was gonna post the Frankenstein link for the same reason, but someone beat me to it. I wouldn't have accused Little Light of plagiarism or ignorance or willful ignorance or unoriginality (which I think is the worst allegation here), but pointed her to another inspiring writer using the same pretty damn common theme. Might also have asked if she's seen the last few posts at thegimpparade, come to think of it--Blue looks at disability and body-image from a similar angle.

piny said...

Like, if someone had posted about, I dunno, transition using a death metaphor, I would have brought up Kate Bornstein (similar idea) and Sandy Stone (critique). And maybe that would have started another discussion on how death-as-change is as old as dirt. I would not have posted a snippy little how-dare-she on my blog, without mentioning it to whomever on hers, with the clear implication that this is unfair use.

belledame222 said...

ExCUSE me? Robin Morgan invented "death" in 1976! How DARE you, suh!

little light said...

I gotta say, it would have been very simple for her to send me an e-mail asking if I was aware of Morgan's piece--or leaving a comment--even doing either of these things to say what she said, if the constructive versions were unsuccessful or impossible for her.

I probably would have tracked it down, read it, and appreciated it. It's a good poem, now that--as of today--I've done so. Now it's soured forever for me, which is a shame--I've only ever seen Morgan as a name on book covers, though I don't know how my Women's Studies education missed her, and now it's hard for me to want to read her.

Having read the poem, I see the use of "colonize" metaphor'd, and I can see people looking at that and thinking I was nabbing it, and Hey, There's Another Parallel--but of course I was using it as a goddamn postcolonial feminist steeped in Edward Said and Fatima Mernissi and Gloria Anzaldua, and was using it to pull in some of the race-and-power ideas I've worked with before.

Still, Heart's now claiming that she did things over at her place, not telling me, because she thought it would be more constructive that way. Well, she got Morgan more attention; that's fine with me, it's interesting work. She also helped double my hit count. Shrug.

Too bad there's no point in my asserting this--people already ready to believe I'm a liar and a thief aren't going to start believing anything I have to say when I say I've never read Morgan before.

little light said...

...honestly, part of me is tempted to drop Morgan an e-mail and tell her about my piece in good faith, and see whether or not she thinks it's plagiarized; I'm confident enough in my own original work to know it's mine.
Unfortunately, I don't know much about the woman, and don't know if she'd be reasonable.

piny said...

Still, Heart's now claiming that she did things over at her place, not telling me, because she thought it would be more constructive that way. Well, she got Morgan more attention; that's fine with me, it's interesting work. She also helped double my hit count. Shrug.

Yeah, well, that's either a lie or abysmally foolish. No, really: the polite thing to do is talk to someone in their comments thread, and everyone knows that. What she did wasn't constructive, and the fact that most people didn't react to it well should have been a clue.

piny said...

And didn't you say that you were unwelcome to comment at her place?

little light said...

I was under the impression that she considers her blog a women-born-women only space, with allowances for Nexy so long as she behaves--or at least that she strongly prefers it that way.
I've always had enough respect to honor that. Either way, I'm pretty sure I specifically am not welcome there, as things go.

belledame222 said...

LL: wrt contacting Morgan, I really wouldn't, but that's just me. at least, if she's anything like Jeffreys--she may not be, but somewhere online i saw an exchange between a third-wave feminist writing to ask her for a review of her work, in good faith. it wasn't pretty. and i think she -is- transphobic. anyway if Heart's really that exercised about it she can do the damn legwork herself; or else, you know, shut the fuck up already.

god, i knew she'd end up with the backpedalling and weaselling; but ne'er an apology or even an honest acknolwedgment that she overstepped in sight, of course, not a real one. No.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, right, of course, making not-in-good-faith assumptions about a person's intentions and not bothering to contact her directly is always more constructive. psst, earth to Heart: y'know, passive-aggression is -also- a tool of the Patriarchy, especially for wimminfolk. just saying.

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