I haven’t updated my blog roll in years, and am looking to add. Any suggestions? Throw ‘em my way.
Whenever a man kills women and children in his life, media and the general public say: he was stressed/a nice guy/he was driven to it/he must’ve been depressed/etc. Whenever a man, especially if white (and they disproportionately are white), commits spree killing, mass shooting, serial killing, etc, we say: he must’ve been crazy/what did his mom do to him/women rejected him. Often, these are also used as opportunities to defend johning, as if women in prostitution exist to absorb and can magically transform the aggression and entitlement of these men, and save “good” women and the general public from said entitlement and aggression. Men are violent not because of what they go through in life, or even what they feel (do we think women don’t experience stress, unemployment, being told no, depression, anger, jealously, bitterness, even rage, etc? Do we think men who don’t decide to kill people or strangle or kick their wives or economically coerce, blackmail or otherwise rape women, in and out of prostitution, or gaslight their partners, etc don’t experience these emotions and life events?), but how they think–what they think they are entitled to, what they think the women in their lives (or male partners), or specific classes of women, are there for, if they think they own “their” kids, etc.
Inspired by this post, give it a read too: http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/geoff-hunt-lockhart-family-murder/
Originally posted on Hypotaxis:
I went to college in the early 90s, and I was exposed to all sorts of crazy (albeit compelling) post-modern theory. It was fun to think about, even to apply – to literature, to film, sometimes to politics. But if one had told the nineteen-year-old dyke I was that someday, in the not-so-distant-future, these ideas (best engaged in the hallowed halls of academia) would be applied in very serious ways to women’s existence, lesbian’s existence, I wouldn’t have believed it.
In fact, this is exactly what has happened in the dominant culture. We have taken post-modern theory and applied it to a subjugated class (women). We say, with straight faces, “Anyone can be a woman!” We say, without stuttering, “A man is a woman if he says so.” What we then are to infer is that “woman” is a meaningless term – a concept, a malleable notion, a bit of…
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STILL OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS, REMINDERS, EDITS, ETC
“Freedom of association and assembly for everyone except radscum:” Or, infiltration and other sabotage of activism isn’t just bad when it happens to you
The piece that follows was written with many emotions, including anger.
Along with a few other women (namely Sam, Maya, Lierre, then Trish), I co-organized Radfem Rise Up, held in Toronto July 5-7, 2013. I had previously gone to Radfem Reboot in Portland, thanks to the generous donations of a lot of amazing women, and so felt I should step up in another. We quickly decided (with some different women) that so-called Canada would be a good place due to the Bedford case, and on the east side of the continent (Turtle Island) (for various reasons).
Anyhow, other organizers and attendants, such as Sam, Maya, Smash, thentheysaidburnher, and Orla, have written summaries of the experiences of infiltration, intimidation, impersonation and sabotage of 25 or so women meeting together in Toronto for a weekend of discussion, workshops, planning, etc. What I want to specifically address is the experience of this attempt to destroy a group of fellow activists. How a diversity of tactics should not ethically include the sabotage of activists. This especially hits close to home because some of those who fancy themselves revolutionaries against “cis-supremist,”* racist, colonialist, women in prostitution-hating radscum** were friends of mine, that I had done 2-5 years of activism with, including, in the group AW@L and associated with SOAR, police infiltration of our groups, resulting in a multitude of charges, people separated, activism truncated, jail terms for some in a plea deal, etc.
Let me be clear, infiltration of activists is a POLICE tactic. When you either help organize the infiltration of radical feminists, or take advantage of information gained from it, you are doing the work of the state. You are trying to shut down a movement of women dedicated to ending patriarchy in all its facets and liberating women. You are trying to shut down women whom the state itself also tries to shut down. The same state that we know got women to inform on others in the radical, lesbian, and Marxist feminist groups they were in. Who surveilled those groups. The RCMP did just this in the 70s and 80s, from Rita MacNeil to the Wimmin’s Fire Brigade, and no doubt certain structuralist feminists are still being monitored by the state. Doing the work of the state, because you disagree with our analyses of gender and pornstitution.
Women with histories of prostitution WERE there. Women who previously identified as trans and have come to de-transition WERE there. Women of colour WERE there. There are also indigenous radical feminists. Do not erase these women by pretending we oppose them, hate them, want to destroy them. Many of them ARE us. And you helped to intimidate, sabotage, infiltrate, and tried to erase them, too.
Infiltration and intimidation are not just fucked up when the state does it. It does not just hurt worthwhile activism when it happens to your favoured activists. For Fucks sake, neo-Nazis get better tactics used against them by activists opposing them than we did. Several people who I mentioned above¾friends and fellow activists, whom I’ve done controversial and illegal actions with¾I KNOW you said yes on facebook, even went to the “urgent” “revolutionary” storytelling action opposing the evul radfems who hate everyone who doesn’t agree, and it fucking hurts, not just on an impersonal, political analysis level, but deep. You opposed me, who had done a few years of meetings, rallies, parties, lock downs, sit ins, marches, discussions over fears of infiltration and surveillance, court dates with you. You wanted to shut my activism down, and you used the same tactics that had been used against us just three years ago.
I want you to know that it was not only infiltration but intimidation. The above event held in that park on Saturday, was held about 200 metres from where we were holding the conference and sleeping. Not only did it strawwoman our arguments, the only reason the organizers of it knew where we were is an infiltrator calling herself Leah Reynolds who, upon seeing 12 or so women and a baby when she was there, decided to leak our address to the pro-pornstitutioners and genderist*** activists. It is also clear, in retrospect from my conversation with Leah as I was walking with her to the conference, that she and her cohorts still wanted to shut it down, when she asked if the house was “a community centre or something” and was playing stupid about the opposition we were getting. At the time, I just assumed she hadn’t been following the bullshit online. How wrong I was.
Some are criticizing us for calling the cops Friday night after we discovered the counter-event. I want to lay out why we did. NOT calling the cops is dependent upon the community (geographical, chosen, political, etc) *having your fucking back* or at least, refusing to interfere in the work of others and not doing the work of the state against other activists themselves. Further, infiltration and intimidation is abusive behaviour, and women who are being abused by mostly males¾who still have women doing their dirty work for them too¾need for the “community” to not fucking support abusers. This is also just the day after Beaver Hall told us that they feared for themselves, their children, and the housing co-op and gallery due to the mass of threatening emails they received merely for daring to allow a co-op member, a lesbian radical feminist, book the space for our private conference. Women who are being intimidated and sabotaged need the community to support their rights to safety, autonomy, association, etc. Not hold a protest a block away to let those abused women know that you know where they are, you are some of the abusers, and you support the (other) abusers. Furthermore, I honestly believe some at the park wanted to escalate the situation, and confront us in front of the house. (Again, the stated intention of other action was to shut us down.)
You are also adding to the MRA opposition to us, and supporting them. You are doing their dirty work for them. Leah used her position as a female faking good faith interest in radical feminist organizing to insert herself into space that the MRAs and much other opposition couldn’t have gotten into. She let them have information on us they couldn’t have gotten themselves. MRAs have written articles, made calls, written emails against, even picketed radical feminist organizing. A Voice for Men wrote an article on Radfem Rise Up, naming me personally and attempting to call me to account for not kissing MRA feet, daring to engage in radical feminist organizing, and demanding that I respond to their questions. (They are also behind the Agent Orange infiltration of a radical feminist board.)
To add to this, I will stress that radical feminists DO support trans-inclusive and trans-only organizing, however different groups decide to define it. We do not try to stop these various forms of organizing. The only form of trans inclusive organizing that I can think of in recent history that we have opposed is the workshop on “breaking through” the “cotton ceiling” of lesbians’ underwear held by Planned Parenthood Toronto last year as part of a larger conference with a few other workshops (none of which we objected to). Women were angry that the money they had donated, money for necessary¾especially under patriarchy and its mandatory piv¾women’s health services like hormonal and other contraceptives, abortion referrals, and cancer screenings, was going towards transwomen and “genderqueer mabs” discussing how to gain sexual and bodily access to women who didn’t desire them, and how women saying no to this access hurt their feelings. That’s right, it included those who didn’t even identify as trans women, but remained male-exclusive. Females, including lesbian women whom they sought sexual/bodily access to, were excluded. How fucking creepy is that bullshit?
They and you defend male exclusive space, yet deny it to females. Different LGBT and trans specific organizations hold transwomen, transmen, trans people, genderqueer male, etc exclusive meetings. Yet “cis”* women are denied this. The only way this makes sense is if you posit that “cis privilege” trumps sex based oppression and genderism with females. That even “genderqueer” males are MORE oppressed than dreaded cis women, and so have the right to organize without females, while demanding entry into our increasingly rare and under attack spaces, while we have no right to organize without those males.
Lastly, there was a fake website put out claiming to be Radfem Rise Up, accusing us of wanting to commit genocide against trans identified people, amongst other libel, and a pornographic description/accusation that we’d be sexually assaulting women with speculums. (The extra s site is not ours.) There was also a counter website, putting out details of our initial venue, Beaver Hall, collating actions to oppose us, etc.
I also want to stress that most of the opposition to the conference can be clearly tied back to Maggie’s****. They don’t assist in getting women and others in prostitution out, even when they want it; they make this clear on their own site. Their response to people wanting to exit prostitution is just to reform it a bit. They also invite johns and pimps to events, their group, etc. How many women and trans folks in prostitution do they actually represent? What portion of their supporters and members profit off of the prostitution of others, aka are pimps? This is also who you are also supporting. Capitalism and commodification are not just bad when we don’t get lost in the libertarian, liberal, postmodern mishmash of arguments justifying prostitution. They are not only bad when penises don’t become erect. (For more on this line of argument see my interview with Ruth Jacobs here: http://ruthjacobs.co.uk/2013/01/24/winnie-small-radical-feminist-abolitionist-interview/ )
If you think these actions are at all ethical against women fighting patriarchy, please let me know, so I know to get the fuck away and that you cannot be trusted with women’s activism, space, safety, autonomy. PS, feel free to defriend me or whatever over this, if you think I’m a vile detestable asshole and the intimidators and infiltrators are awesome and did what they were entitled to, giving us what we deserved, because with friends like these…
I am so beyond done with this bullshit and I will not fucking give up radical feminism and autonomous organizing. You scared me that weekend, but it then drove me over the edge and then some. And I am not the only one. Those weeks of fuckery by pro-pornstitutioners and genderists served to push more women into radical feminism, and other women further into it.
*I place cis in quotations because I object to the term cis for females, as it is based upon the faulty assumptions that a) the feminine gender privileges females, b) that femininity is not the oppressed/oppressive half of the oppressive institution of gender which is maintained for those deemed by men both masculine and male, and c) that femininity reflects almost all women’s true selves, that most women are happily, easily and/or naturally gender conformist)
**Seriously, only the term radscum is at all an exaggeration of the accusations against us said in media put out opposing the conference. (And the term is out in full force in general opposition online to radical feminists.)
***Genderism is what radical feminists call the theory, as I explained in my note on cis, that gender is natural and innate. That it is not hierarchical in itself, and the problem lies only in it being binary, and/or not freely expressed. It doesn’t need abolishing, as it is useful, fun, impossible to get rid of, etc. I read an essay online last year, arguing that gender shouldn’t be abolished because we currently fetishize it culturally, sexually, religiously, in dom/sub relations, etc (it didn’t use these terms, but that is what they meant)¾we use gender and gendered symbols to evoke feelings of “prettiness” or “swagger” currently, therefore, we should keep gender. http://www.bilerico.com/2012/11/a_genderless_society_is_not_the_answer.php
****I can provide more information on this point if needed, such as their counter-event on July 2 calling us racist, hateful of those in prostitution, etc.
aka, winnie wrote a tumblr response, and it morphed into an essay. and so I decided to FINALLY write a new post. I’ve also been sitting on my post on Radfem Rise Up for months, just have to reread it/revise it now.
I’m in the middle of this “we don’t hate men” vs “misandry 4 lyfe” division. I love “misandry” as a rhetorical stance (eg satire, showing that men can’t be oppressed based on sex under this system, etc) and I can definitely get behind the hatred of what older males turn younger males into, how psychopathy towards women is basically what men and teen boys indoctrinate younger males into. I don’t think males have one nature as a species (male half of the human species) or sex, but I do think the social meanings men have made of sexed biology plays a role.
I basically think the genesis of patriarchy is organized psychopathy, inspired by domesticating animals and controlling their reproduction, backed up by propaganda/ideology, weaponry & warfare, force towards females, force and tangible benefits and payoffs to males, compulsory heterosexuality, rape, institutionalizing piv, male homosociality and female heterorelationality, etc. While I can accept that some males are born psychopaths (as are some females) or even otherwise deficient at birth (although this can, imo, easily veer into ableism and support for eugenics, and so I find the reliance by some radfems on genetic inferiority and such problematic in itself and in logical application to other “genetic inferiors”) this does not explain how patriarchy became THE social system of the last 500-5000 years, depending of which area of the world.
They needed organization, as mentioned above. And feeding the desire for dominance and harm only creates more desire for the same; Ti-Grace Atkinson called it psychogical cannibalism—the more power over you have, the more you want; the more you harm others, the more you want to harm them. I also think this is where male biology played a role—not in the y, or testosterone, or an inborn universal psychopathy, but on the level of ideology and what men were offered—no males could create, carry life within, and birth, plus as post-pubescents, males generally could not have multiple orgasms. I do think this created in some men a jealousy, which festered and spread over time/generations through males seeing themselves as apart, different from women. I do think some of the non-psychopath males also came to see this, not as recognition of how needed, valuable, powerful, etc women were to their own existence and in enriching their lives (eg though a woman sharing her sexuality) in ways unique to female anatomy, but as something over which they needed to tame, control.
We were doing it to animals, especially and in unique ways to female animals, so why not women? Why not take women’s reproductive, sexual, domestic labour? Humans were doing that to animals. And those “beasts” were being ruled over the same way men could rule women. So I think this knowledge of female abilities that they just lacked, with the practical knowledge that *we were doing it to a population we had Othered for our use* made male control of women *logical*. Othering animals made it possible and practical to Other women, take from and punish our bodies. So those “inspired” males said our reproduction and sexuality made us like those degraded animals, and, through war, colonialism, capitalism, etc spread that message as far as they could. The entire globe. Again, domination just creates the “need” for more domination, and this knowledge of animal domestication plus this male-invented inferiority complex some felt, and subsequently sold to us all as a patriarchal reversal of men being the real creators, worthy, more sexual, etc combined.
This is also where biology is relevant as it was this biological sexed difference that was used by men to cut off men and boys from women and girls and to re-orient males towards men—here’s the class that we are nothing like, and here’s the class who are “made” (by nature or by God) for us to stick our dicks in, control their reproduction, etc. Also very relevant for why it was men who have fucked up the world and women, and not women fucking up the world and men is while women *could* (and in some cultures did, although to nowhere near what we have with marriage by capture, pornstitution, sexology, etc. It was far less organized and not wide spread, due in part to *when women control reproduction there aren’t a lot of people*) sexually exploit men (eg, men owe women orgasms, women are encouraged to be polyamorous while men are expected to be monogamous, men are blamed for female sexual decisions, etc), women simply could *not* reproductively exploit men, because our roles in reproduction were so different. Men simply ejaculated. We experienced menstruation, ovulation, could carry an embryo *within* us, could birth. Their contribution was less than a per cent in the grand scheme of reproducing. There is almost nothing to exploit. (Harvesting sperm would be it.)
This also leads to what I mentioned above: when women control their own reproduction, there is no overpopulation, let alone even a whole lot of people. We know the cost of becoming pregnant and bearing children, and make both decisions seriously. And create social codes based on this, such as long breastfeeding (which supresses fertility), not having piv be common let alone the definition of sex, holding men accountable for where they place their ejaculate, having taboos around piv, celebrating other forms of sexuality and having them be freely practiced, including males as brothers, uncles, etc and having no concept of “fatherhood” (males generally wouldn’t have felt left out as “fathers” because they were uncles to their sisters’ children—they didn’t ”need” to “spread their seed” as their genetic heritage passed through their sister & other female relatives), having extended kinship & community systems in which children had many caregivers, etc. This also reduces how far and to how many patriarchy can spread.
Also coming into play is size and strength differences, to the degree they are sexed. Most (I’d guess 66% or so) is created and enforced by men, but some biological difference does exist. Men are biologically, on average bigger and with greater muscle mass, especially in upper body strength (on leg strength, we are pretty evenly matched, NOT TO MENTION THE WARRIOR STRENGTH NEEDED TO GIVE BIRTH), so they can, generally, overpower us. This has little to do with patriarchy as an institution now (with technology, capitalism, the nation state, etc), but it does explain how men more easily overpower women one-on-one, as well as explain how it was part of what was needed to institute patriarchy. In order to get women and kids to submit to ownership by men, men needed to be able to overpower us, have the threat and reality of force.
Where this examination of biology also plays a role is not in the how patriarchy came to be, but in how it is being justified or explained in recent history and the present. I don’t think males are so into existential crisis that they intuitively or magically sensed that what made them inferior or different to women was something they had no concept of, such as the y chromosome or testosterone. Men are in control of the decisions they make, esp those who dominate more and create more power over for themselves, so neither can be blamed for men’s wrongness (dominating, exploiting, violence). Some radfems have posited that while of course men are responsible for their actions, testosterone or that y makes them that way.
I’ve addressed testosterone multiple times (eg on facebook), and will dig up and paste some responses if needed, but studies generally find that testosterone is in a feedback loop with environment, actions, and reactions/responses in men and women, that estrogen also plays a role in aggression and powerseeking (in women at least), and that base level testosterone doesn’t determine/reveal how aggressive men are (eg men with differing base levels will have the same levels of aggression, men with the same levels will have different aggression levels).
On the y chromosome, it is true that it is deficient in comparison to the x. It contains far less information, and far more can go wrong on it (ie genetic disorders). However, this also means, genetically, that men are mostly women, because they are mostly x. Also, the chromosomal formation with the highest level of aggression is actually single x girls (again, I can go into this more with fb copy pastes). The ones who survive to birth, that is—an estimated 99% are never born/miscarry. They also usually have serious health issues. So a single x isn’t enough either. And it seems to me that the best examination of whether it is the y chromosome, would be women and girls with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (I say women/girls because they have vulvas, are labelled and raised as girls, usually spend years believing they are impregnable, etc). This, imo, would be the perfect test of the “it’s the y chromosome” or related hypothesis as they are XY, but alas, I just thought of this a couple days ago and haven’t looked to see if any research has been done yet, and what it is. Do we think AIS women have the same or even similar levels of violence, aggression, powerseeking, johning, pimping, child abusing, etc as do men?
Originally posted on Rebecca Mott:
I, and some other wonderful women, are starting to plan a memorial for missing and dead prostituted women and girls.
It is just at the ideas stage, but I am beginning to believe it is more than a pipe-dream, more than my private fantasy.
It can and will be real – a living memorial that could last until all the prostituted are fully free.
It can and will be real – a living memorial to place all our hurts and griefs for those who could not make.
It can and will be real – for even if and when there is abolition, we must hold in our hearts the waste of so many brilliant women and girls.
That is my dream, that is my mission – that is how I would be proud top leave my mark in this world.
This post is an invitation to all of you who…
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Originally posted on feministnetworkproject:
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Originally posted on Pass the Flaming Sword:
The following is my translation of an article published on the Danish website Politiken.dk on March 9, 2013
Selling yourself is disgraceful, violent and unfree
Tanja Rahm, sexologist and author
Alice Viola, mentor and therapist
Christina Christensen, educator
Lita Malmberg, unemployed social educator
Pia Christensen, cand.mag. (BA in Denmark)
Odile Poulsen, author and psychotherapist
All authors are formerly prostituted women
We are six women who have been in prostitution. In many ways we are similar to the women Politiken described in the series of articles ‘The Brothel – A Workplace in Denmark’. Their words were our words when we were in prostitution.
Five of us told ourselves and the world around us that we were choosing to do it. That we enjoyed sex, earned good money and received lots of recognition. That we were completely in control of what we did.
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Originally posted on GenderTrender:
File this one under “unintended consequences” for Lesbians, Gays, and Women’s Rights advocates living in Ontario. MPP Cheri DiNovo announced Friday that bill C-389, “Toby’s Act”, the 2012 bill she sponsored which intended to protect the rights of transgender persons, actually makes all same-sex gatherings illegal in the province. This will come as some surprise to many lesbians and gays who often exercise their rights to assemble freely in meetings, conferences, and social groups with other same-sex persons. In addition, DiNovo claims the right of Ontarian women to assemble in any same-sex gatherings: whether they be reproductive rights orgs, Islamic faith gatherings, or lesbian support groups- has been eliminated by her bill. She has appealed to the Ontario Human Rights Council to back up her legal position.
DiNovo made her announcement in response to male complaints surrounding a small group of feminists holding a female-only meeting in a…
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Originally posted on RadFem Rise Up!:
Please note: this is the original, authentic website for the RadFem Rise Up! conference that took place in Toronto from July 5th – 7th. A mock website, called RadFems Rise Up! [note the 'S'] has been set up by our detractors. It is full of vicious slander [for example, alleging that we wish to exterminate trans people] and incorrect information. The mock website reveals a lot about the psychology of people who clearly have nothing better to do with their time, but it has nothing to with the actual conference or its organizers.
Welcome to RadFem Rise Up!
The radical feminist conference for womyn who want to get active and smash the patriarchy.
Facebook knows the difference between porn and women’s speech, misogyny and feminism. They censor the latter, and welcome the former. To paraphrase Dworkin, for men, freedom of speech. For women, esp radscum, stfu misandrist/transphobe/censor, or we’ll censor and ban you.
So much agreement with this post. Domestication and animal husbandry is the genesis of it (male rule). capture, control, forcing reproduction, rape, domesticate.
Originally posted on The Arctic Feminist:
* In this piece I use the term “fucking” to refer to heterosexual vaginal intercourse where a penis is put into a vagina.
I will assume that most reading this have an understanding of basic leftism. In my time as a young idealistic communist I learned that there was this magical time where class didn’t exist and that women weren’t oppressed or something. They generally point to the the formation of private property as the turning point by which class society developed. I’m not negating this basic premise with this post, I will however speak specifically about whats left out of this basic understanding: How and WHY did these fuckers (men) enslave women for their own benefit?
Most people who follow this basic theory believe that men were in control of the cattle that became the first example of human property. (Now this would mean there was a sexual division…
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Originally posted on Rebecca Mott:
If we really want to abolish prostitution – then we look into the real cause of it existence.
Prostitution would not exist if men did not demand to have paid sex/rape on tap wherever and whenever they want.
Prostitution would not exist if men did not know they can make a mass profit through selling whatever sadistic sexual practices they can imagine.
Prostitution is driven by men.
Prostitution was invented by men, and with a strong will, it can be destroyed by men.
But the art of prostitution is to make the men disappear, and all the focus and blame heaped onto the prostituted class.
I am sick, I am tired, hell I am pissed off that the men are made invisible.
By refusing to see the men as the issue, you are just giving the men more power to destroyed the prostituted.
By refusing to see the men, you are…
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Originally posted on phonaesthetica:
The trope that women hate women never feels true to me, even though I read the Phyllis Chesler book and I work with teenage girls, who are supposed to be the worst bullies of all. They’re not. Teenage girls experience the gamut of human emotion including a desire for power, which they rarely achieve via any other means but their sexuality — how “hot” they are; what they’re wearing; which guys want to date them. When they behave badly, it’s usually a sane reaction to an insane situation — an understandable response to a toxic culture that ensmallens them; asks them to be sexy but not “slutty,” (i.e. sexual); to self-objectify and see themselves through male eyes. This isn’t news. Have you listened to any mainstream hip-hop lately, the kind they played at my gym this afternoon? Watched any cable TV? Seen what’s new in free online pornography? (Skip the vileness and check out one angry girl instead).
Anyway. The subject of single-sex education…
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Originally posted on some of this must be true:
In the comment thread to this post, FCM makes a distinction between two types of radical feminist: the “there is something very wrong with men and its not likely to ever change” type and the “against all evidence” type – which appears to me to be quite an accurate characterisation of (what appears to be) the split in internet feminism at the moment. Though I rarely read comment threads and I may not have read all of the relevant blog posts and I don’t have off-blog (or even on-blog, in most cases) interactions with many feminist bloggers, so I may be completely wrong about this.
As for my own position on this issue, I presumably sit in the “against all evidence” camp since I do not believe that there is any biological basis for male violence. However, “against all evidence” is not at all a good characterisation of my views…
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