Radical Feminism Enters the 21st Century

by Guest Blogger

Guest Post by Vliet Tiptree

“…you may hiss as much as you like, but it is comin’.”

                      –Sojourner Truth in 1853 at the Women’s Rights Convention in New York

I am a woman and I’m no superheroine. I don’t have an academic or other institutional connection, the strength behind me of a life-affirming culture, faith, a clear understanding of my situation, or a firm idea what to do. What I do have is an ongoing intolerable experience that this life I and other women live is blighted by male oppression, and that this blight diseases the trunk of our species’ existence, not just the branches, not just the leaves. Every moment of our existence, this blight injures us. It kills our spirits, ruins our bodies, destroys our happiness, twists our children. It has thrived for so long it sometimes seems ineradicable.  This blight has many names: the Patriarchal System, Misogyny, Male Supremacy, Women’s Subjugation. I just call it the System at the moment.

I also have this: the conviction, based on all that I am, that the System can be eradicated.

And I have one other thing: the experience, action, and theory of other women around me now and living before me, who have exposed and attempted to eradicate this blight. Right now, I am learning from and contributing to the RadFem Hub, a new center of thought and action on the Internet for Radical Feminist women and women interested in their work.

Let me briefly describe my background: a hard-working girlhood without much protection in East Los Angeles, California; the feminist ferment of the 1970’s; a first professional job as a civil rights investigator for the federal government; law school; working as an affirmative action coordinator at several universities and colleges; practicing employment discrimination law along with criminal and civil litigation; marriage, motherhood, divorce; becoming a writer of novels and poetry as my second career. My emotional experience as a woman may be like many of yours; from incomprehension and hurt to horror and rage to reformism to despair and denial back to rage and on to comprehension and radicalism as I have gotten older.

I have become radicalized in the 21st century by the realization that the reformist strategies I have devoted much of my working life to are being absorbed by the System as a cost of doing business, that our successes over the last century and a half are being managed and quietly dissolved, and that the System is successfully resisting the changes in the public sphere by tightening its controls in the private sphere: the sphere of personal life, of sexual politics, of cultural mores, of psychology, of socialization of children. A tacit balance is being maintained. As we wrest for ourselves the vote, literacy, access to the legal system, we are brainwashed through the use of social controls into using these rights not for our own benefit, but to continue propping up our own oppression.

It’s an efficient and ruthless adjustment. The System gets subtler, dangles carrots, lets a few women in, gives up some of its most oppressive manifestations, and lets women burn themselves out. Reformist feminists give their money and time to setting up shelters, places for women to lick their wounds and be relatively safe for a little while. They try to get a few more percentage points in the futile effort to fully equalize the pay of women. They use themselves up filing lawsuits that go nowhere. They dilute their resources fighting for other groups who are also oppressed, leaving little for their own liberation. In short, they act as if the System is fundamentally sound. We have been reforming the System for a hundred fifty years in the Eurocentric countries, and we are trying to reform the entrenched System in the rest of the world, but wherever we are, the minute the King magnanimously lets us vote in municipal elections, arrests for daring to drive increase. We save a leaf here, lose a leaf there; the blight rages on.

Some women have always radicalized; they achieved as much as could be achieved then, great steps forward. I think of the Women’s Suffrage Movement in England. It began as an attempt at reform, but it turned radical as it had to. Emmeline Pankhurst in 1913 described women cutting the lines for telegraphs and telephones between London and Glasgow, vandalism, arson, and prison resistance. She said, “Now I want to say to you who think women cannot succeed, we have brought the Government of England to this position, that it has to face this alternative: either women are to be killed or women are to have the vote…”

Some sixty years later, during the upheaval of the Second Wave which similarly resulted in great achievements such as legalization of effective birth control and a renaissance in feminist literature, feminism continued to develop and become more complex as a movement. It was never a question of a hierarchical dynamic; the movement grew laterally. It has been said that Radical Feminists were distinguished in part by their insistence that oppression of women came first, before oppression of workers or oppression based on race. I personally don’t press this point, though I think it’s obvious that in an isolated primitive subsistence economy women had that dubious honor. Whether we were the first group to be oppressed or not, we are by any measure the largest group by far being oppressed, over three billion people.

It is also said that Radical Feminists were, like all radicals, working for a permanent cure, even if that meant the entire System was eliminated. I think that’s about right. Having identified the blight as being fundamental, we are looking for fundamental change. I think it’s also right that we don’t expect such change to take place incrementally. A slow process allows the ever-inventive System to counter each move, and many of us think the System will blow itself up, and us with it, before it can become healthy.

What is Radical Feminism as it enters the 21st Century? I’d say it’s the vanguard in the Feminist movement generally. I’d say it’s oriented to the future as a philosophy. I’d say it’s an ever-increasing global movement among women to live fully and freely, without further ado. We have a superb new tool in that endeavor, namely, the Internet, and we’re beginning to use it. We are seeing much potential in scientific research and related technologies.

I mentioned before that the System doesn’t have a single name. I think Radical Feminists have come to understand that many of these names lead to a mistake in thinking; the disease is not named, only its effect, the subjugation or oppression of women. The disease hides itself even in the name given to it. What causes the blight?

As Sheila Jeffreys has put it, and I think we all agree, it has to start with this: there is something wrong with men. It is a pathology with both physical and psychological features. I personally think it is as old as our evolution as hominids. I think it’s a biological adaptation which is now rotten, dangerous, and vestigial. I think we have to force the scientific establishment to take a clear look at this colossal sick old mammoth taking up all the space in the living room, and make it stop distracting itself with sexy cosmologies and particle accelerators. I don’t quite have a name for this pathology. Let’s give it a real name together.

I have tried to gather some of the issues, attitudes, and methods that distinguish Radical Feminism from other feminisms as we all enter the 21st century, as I see them today in my ongoing process of understanding.

1. Our Tradition.  Eurocentric (or Northern, or Western, or industrial-society, or educated, whatever you want to call them) feminists now have a specific tradition of leaders and visionaries who have moved beyond reformism, including feminist groundbreakers like Sojourner Truth, Emmeline Pankhurst, Susan B. Anthony, Simone de Beauvoir, Germaine Greer, Kate Millett, and many others. For their times and circumstances, they are all great radicals. Women in all parts of the world have our resisters, our sisters who have died or been destroyed in life because they are female. Their names and actions are being retrieved and honored in each culture.

A broad, strong line of thinking has developed from the Eurocentric line through Mary Daly, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Simone de Beauvoir, Shulamith Firestone, James Tiptree Jr./Alice Sheldon, Andrea Dworkin, Valerie Solanis, Catherine MacKinnon, Octavia Butler, Joanna Russ, Sheila Jeffries, Ursula K. LeGuin, Monique Wittig, and many others. Some of these women are philosophers, some are poets, some are scientists, some are writers. Some are, to many of us, giants, like Dworkin and Daly.

There are now countless women working together for fundamental, not just incremental, change all over the world, women scientists, politicians, grass-roots workers, nurses, weavers, students, mothers, and artists. Many who might not identify themselves as radical feminists are nevertheless attacking the System with great courage. We are forming global alliances, and the Internet is key to this work. We have this distinct tradition of action and theory to work from.

2. Our Willingness to Speak the Unspeakable.  So much of the work that has to be done is disgusting, ugly. I call it Cleaning the Toilet. Radical Feminists have rolled up our sleeves. We speak, no, we shout, the unspeakable. We address the taboo subjects that control us at a deep and horrible and soul-destroying level of social control; sexual perversion, incest, rape, the sickness in marriage, the hidden horrors of growing up female. We speak over and over; we de-sensitize so others can stand to speak also. We take on this pain because we have to get close to the sickness to see it and describe it and eradicate it. The RadFem Hub is a crucial part of this endeavor. To speak unvarnished truth is a radical act for women.

The strongest tool of the System has always been the glossectomy, the cutting out of women’s tongues both literally and symbolically. Internet Blogs are more powerful than military hardware in stopping this mutilation. The action of speech includes written journalistic investigation, editorializing, organizing, consciousness-raising, developing strategies, developing theoretical and visionary frameworks, galvanizing, vomiting out the pain, and giving women the strength to resist in their daily lives. Putting all this more simply, we go to the most diseased, carefully-hidden part of the tree, the grim trunk itself without its foliage of illusion, and expose it to the world. We look at basic assumptions, and reading our work in places like the Radfem Hub can be horrifying as we examine the reality of marriage, sexual practices, and male violence. It can also be exhilarating to know that what an individual woman has only intuited before really is in issue, has a name, is discussed. Exposure is a curative act.

3. Our Uncompromising Attitude.  We have given up the polite, diplomatic, politic, earnest, logical, legalistic approach in favor of Realpolitik. We accept revolutionary attitudes and emotions; rage and despair, unflinchingness, uncompromisingness as motivational and curative. We see that compassion, empathy, a willingness to work with men, is seized upon and perverted by the System as it has always been, a weakness when dealing with the amoral. We don’t make the mistake of wasting our energies trying to persuade men to do anything. We are not naïve or idealistic, and we work to avoid falling into denial. There is no romanticization possible of the System. As painful as it is, we choose to act without illusions, especially the illusion that the System can be fundamentally changed from within.

4. Our Emphasis on Fundamental Change.  We have moved beyond palliation (negotiation, mediation, reform, compromise, engagement with the System) to exploring effective means of extirpating male pathology, including being open to biological explanations and treatment of such psychopathy. We are concerned with the overall structure of male oppression. We are open to going wherever the evidence and experience lead us.

In recent years, studies of male hormones and aggression, the development of the science of social dominance theory, primate studies, and genetics have begun in my opinion to take us very close to the etiology of the underlying sickness. This emphasis on looking at the pathology of male hormonal mechanisms is a new kind of “essentialism” that offers hope, because treatments can be developed to mitigate the death-drive of men, their hierarchical psychology, their insensitivity to the pain of living creatures, their pleasure in violence and intimidation, their acquisitiveness, their rape and phallic obsessions. It’s an exciting development, though the science involved it goes hand in hand with new dangers to women which must be resisted.

5. Our Sharp, Clean Boundary/Definition of Oppression that begins and ends with Women.  I feel that our insistence on sharp women-centered boundaries is our most important defense against the inevitable attacks on our work. Boundaries keep us focused and avoid confusion. I think we differ very clearly from other Feminist groups in this. Other feminists do not maintain such boundaries. Reformist, “liberal” feminists, ally with elite men to make intermediate changes, which dilutes their work. Feminists who adopt as their priorities the eradication of colonialism and racism — ignoring sexualized racism as in pornography — ally themselves with previously-subjugated men, and it slows their work for women. Feminists who emphasize the liberation of women’s sexual natures ally with pornographers and male perverts; this alliance taints and undercuts their work. Some academic feminists, still under the sulfurous spell of Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, and other continental psychologists, find themselves in alliance with the Transgender Movement, which converts their theories into supporting what is actually primarily a male issue having little to do with women. Feminists who ally with Marxist and socialist philosophies are, again, promoting men as much as women. All of these different approaches to oppression are worthwhile; but without boundaries, the specific work of women’s liberation is muddied and slowed, and Radical Feminists avoid this ongoing risk and conserve our resources.

6. Our Exposure of Manufactured Confusion about Gender identity vs. Performance of Conditioned Sex Roles.   One inventive strategy of the System has been to encourage the notion that sex, male and female, is entirely culturally conditioned. Some feminist academics, especially in the fields of psychology, philosophy, and literature were duped into following this seductive thread and claiming too much: that women are only social constructs, ignoring the reality that men know exactly who we are and oppress us accordingly.

Underlying this all-encompassing rejection is the fear of an unspeakable potential implication, which Radical Feminists can de-fuse and dispose of, namely, that if sex is fixed and inherent, then women are doomed to eternal subservience and subjugation by their biology. But taking biological differences between men and women off the theoretical table has had two unintended effects.

First, as I understand it, Radical Feminists are open to examining whether sexual differences may be fixed and inherent (what used to be called the “essentialist” viewpoint) and at the same time they agree that sexual roles are highly culturally conditioned and assigned as  social controls.

The notion that sex is entirely culturally conditioned only strengthens the System, because it deprives us of our obvious and conspicuous identity so that we are unable to keep ourselves from being confused and overrun by male spies, saboteurs and fifth-columnists. At the moment, “male feminists” are demanding to be permitted to ally with us. Transsexual and androgynous men are demanding that we ally with them. Women reformists are demanding that we ally with male institutions to seek gradual change. Men and male institutions only have the objective, whether explicit or implicit, of becoming “allied” or “involved” to keep tabs and subtly control, and to bleed off our considerable resources.

Also involved is a naked showing of intimidation by the System, in the ongoing specific attempts to invade our identity. Male camps outside women’s music festivals protesting their exclusion; the insistence of some trans-female people on using women’s restrooms; the ongoing ridicule of feminist groups; the constant attempts to enter conversations occurring on women-centered blogs; many other “small” invasions seem almost funny until they are added up into an overall invasion to keep women from being left to themselves to organize and act as a group. The RadFem Hub is especially effective in stripping away the illusions in which these invasive actions are always cloaked.

7. Our Insistence that Cultural/Personal Control is More Malignant than Legal/Public Control.  Let me introduce my use of this word, “malignant”. It’s a frightening word, isn’t it? It means to me the energy that causes a disease to progress. It is often stealthy, this energy. Radical Feminists are seeing the Malignant. It is metastasizing in a new form, insidious, abandoning the legal system, sneaking into our personal lives in a way we have not seen in our lifetimes. We are subject to it every time we turn on the TV, read about fashion shows or the wedding industry, see girls wearing less and less in the media photographs, see women heroized who announce that their sole purpose in life is to sexually please and be dependent on men for the rest of their lives. The pressure is intense and appears to be a reaction to Feminism’s legal gains.

One mechanism to control women is the pornography industry. It tortures, de-humanizes, and objectifies women, and yet it is being presented today to young women as harmless or even positive. This mechanism extends much more broadly than pornography media in the traditional sense; it includes the “sex-positive” idea, in which women are brainwashed to follow traditional male patterns of sexual objectification and usage. We are conned into sexual enslavement, encouraged to cater to male sex fantasies by publicly appearing in seductive clothing (slutwalks), told to accept multiple male sex partners without adequate protection, told that watching and accepting rape scenes in the media is normal, told to accept heterosexual marriage as our sole route to happiness and satisfaction in life, told to accept that the male definition of sexual satisfaction is the only one that matters, and so on. We are entered in toddler beauty contests dressed and made up as little sex workers. We must wear clothing and footwear that disables and cripples us. Even when we are old we must paint our faces and look “fuckable”. Women all over the world are taught these tremendous perversions of nature even as they are in many countries coerced into sexual intimacy from childhood in forced marriages in which they are bought and sold.

Radical feminists often use the word “Pornogrification” to describe this blighting mechanism of social control. It is so insidious and powerful because it gets confused with something completely different, the need for discovery of our real sexual natures, and for freedom in controlling our own bodies.

In spite of all the laws, women generally and globally are still property, still traded, still checked for reproductive health, still given the vaccines to keep them but not the boys clean, still intimidated on the streets, still kept from control over their own lives by intimidation, by brainwashing, by confusion, by dividing and conquering, by isolating us into private family holes controlled by masters. All feminists work for our full humanity, on our own sexuality, on our own mating choices, if any. Radical Feminists don’t ask for these things. We don’t bargain, cajole, or wait for deliverance.

Radical Feminists are also exposing, in places like the RadFem Hub, the use of new technologies to direct women’s lives. Attempts are being made to remove all control of childbirth from women. Other feminists seem to me to have dropped the ball here. They do not seem to understand the dangers and the need to prevent complete System control of reproductive technology and information.  Again, it is important for women not to be deprived of major involvement in science and technology. Technology can help or harm, and the future will be shaped by the degree to which we use it for purposes of freedom, not control.

8. Our Exposure of Psychological Controls of Women such as Malignant Romanticism/Denial Control Mechanism, Stockholm Syndrome, Intimidation, Divide-and-Conquer, Confusion, Psychological Invasion.  Again, the word “Malignant” is needed to describe these fantastically successful psychological controls on women. Many millions of women on this earth still don’t have more than an uneasy feeling regarding our oppression; we can’t imagine freedom; we love our oppressors. Many of us are attached by strong bonds to boys and men in our families. How to deal with this love and attachment is often a central and painful issue for feminists.

Attempts by women to separate ourselves even partially are met with the usual spectrum of intimidation: social controls, ridicule, hostility, violence. I think we need a reality-based psychology for women that explains and treats these mechanisms rather than training us to accept them. Beyond that, we must continue identifying them everywhere, but not merely to fight each individual manifestation. The ongoing focus of Radical Feminists is to stop them permanently from infecting men’s relations with women as a whole.

9. Respect for Other Strategies Attacking Male Oppression (Legal, Academic, Marxist).  Radical feminists appreciate the work of feminists putting out the fires and relieving the immediate pain. We help when we can. We are all women, and we do want to ally with other women. We are sorry to see English and psychology and philosophy departments of universities still influenced by phallocentric theory, but we also have nothing but admiration for other professors like Donna Harroway and Sandra Harding for investigating the phallocentrism of epistemologies underlying various sciences, for instance, and others for developing some of the scientific and non-phallocentric theories I have mentioned above. White radical feminists support our sisters struggling with racism and sexualized racism, the effects of Eurocentric colonialism on women, and the damage to their cultures. Marxist/socialist feminists are close to our hearts; we do see how the economic systems we are drowning in are closely intertwined with the oppression of women. We aren’t rivals, any of us.

10. Our Development of Inspirational Visions of the Future. One of the saddest and most difficult areas of feminist thought has to do with women’s invisible ancient history. Our failure thus far to dispositively show that woman-dominated societies, or even unoppressive societies, once existed has been a blow. It makes it seem as if such societies could not occur in the future. Reformist Feminists are much concerned with resurrecting this uncertain, invisibilized  past.

Radical feminists, I believe, point to the future. If there are no such societies found, Monique Wittig said, invent them. There were never societies without legal slaves until recently. But legal slavery is no more.

What will the future look like? Radical Feminism is especially prominent in developing many visions of societies in which women are no longer, as Germaine Greer put it, a subjugated caste. Visions and goals stimulate the methods for reaching them. Joanna Russ presented us with an early vision of a woman-only society. James Tiptree, Jr. wrote a story in which the women characters flee earth entirely. Some say an earth with only 10% men will be a safe earth free of oppression. We need more of these visions.

My own personal vision is that women will cure the sickness that ails men and that men will stay around, hunkered in their man-caves playing the ukelele, leaving us in peace at last. As to what that cure may be, my best bet is that what’s wrong with men is that their androgens need genetic modification.

I’m serious about this. If we can do it with corn, men ought to be easy.

Vliet Tiptree is a writer, poet, and ex-attorney blogging at http://vlietfeministpoetry.blogspot.com.

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229 Responses to “Radical Feminism Enters the 21st Century”

  1. This is a well-worked, well-written post, Vliet. :)

    re the womyn-identified focus: I think it is a very important feature of ours and definitely the best defence of our politics: All the rest of the world’s politics are not womyn-centred. We have the only truly womyn-centred politics on earth. We advocate FAAB womyn-only spaces, btw, something men keep trying to infiltrate and destroy…

    re the fact that we are Westerners: Is there really no radical feminism in the so-called ‘third world’? I believe they are currently building strong womyn’s movements there, no?

    re men: yes, they are the problem, and womyn will have to realise this. Men are the carriers of a Y chromosome that makes them the way they are, I believe. Womyn have to be strongly aware of the posibility of men’s inherent sadism and cruelty.

    Heterosexuality is NOT natural for womyn. It has been forced, imposed and indoctrinated upon them via malestream customs and culture. Womyn who want to be free seriously have to consider overcoming heteropatriarchal conditioning.

    As a radical lesbian separatist, I tend to advocate that womyn separate from men as much as they can (either to become lesbians or spinsters). Considering the world-wide gynocides that are currently happening in pornography, prostitution, harmful ‘beauty’ practices of femininity, trans-politics, reproductive technologies, and (in the non-Western world) FGM, abortion of baby girls, etc, it is clear that womyn are safer without men.

    Trust me, you feel a lot better and freer when you practise everyday separatism and womyn-centrism (while keeping an eye on what’s happening in the world). ;) (Of course I recommend this as much as it can be possible within the life of each individual womyn)

    re female biology: It is indeed extremely insane within ‘Academentia’ that the ‘new wave’ of pomo feminists call us ‘essentialists’ just because we acknowledge the obvious: Female experience, that includes female biology, is NOT a “social construct.” This sort of lie is currently allowing many be-penised males who wear dresses to claim to be us (with protection from male laws on their side, btw).

    Womyn have to realise that our own biology (Our unique female herstory of clitoral feelings, of womb feelings, of menstruations, of belly cramps, of childbirths, of labour pain, of menopause, etc, a VERY simple biological fact) is currently being erased from Academic feminist theory.

    I swear it, I was sitting in that classroom (for ‘Contemporary Feminist Debates’) two weeks ago, trying to tell those ‘feminists’ about the biological state of being female (i.e. the capacity to birth children, etc) and they would not acknowledge the very simple fact that most other womyn would recognise as real. Those pomo Academics would simply say to me that women are “social constructs” and that sex is “mutable,” seriously WTF? (to drive you insane really) I don’t blame those pomo fems entirely though. It was obviously the job of male-supremacist society to brainwash them.

    It is the goal of a patriarchal society to erase the female from existence because, of course, when you erase her reality from existence then any harm being done to her is not being recognised as meaningful. :( It is a real breath of fresh air to see radical feminists defending the simple fact that is female biology.

    re vision of a new world- I’ve read The Female Man by Joanna Russ, Vliet. Excellent book.

    Personally, I often imagine that, maybe one day we could all live in an all-female world and we could somehow find a way to reproduce via parthenogenesis (e.g. as in Nicola Griffith’s Lesbian Utopia novel Ammonite, or Katherine V. Forrest’s Daughters of a Coral Dawn, another Lesbian Utopia). There have been compelling scientific proofs that men, because of their Y chromosomes, are doomed to extinction anyway…

    For now, let’s concentrate on getting the truth out there indeed. ;)

    In sisterhood. :)

  2. How very affirming and inspiring this post is; I enjoyed reading it soooo much. Thank you. :)

    And quite a lot to think about, too. I expect a mighty fine comment thread here as I, alone, already have about 14 comments ready to go including this one:

    This post feels like the foundation of a 21st Century Radfem *Mission Statement* (hey corporations are *people* now, so why can’t we be?!) that I hope we all can continue to add to and/or refine. Again, thank you.

    (Whittier Kindergarten, Class of ’72)

  3. i think that if we are going to be intellectually honest always, and commit to going to the ends of our thoughts, we cannot take anything off the table. and that includes biology, and biological explanations for mens sickening behavior. and if this turns out to be the case, then to consider a biological solution. we must consider this. and this past year or so that i and others have been so vocally PIV-critical and committed to acknowledging womens shared experience *as women* around the world, its become so obvious that *biology* is critical to womens experience and its the one place the pomos refuse to go. they flatly deny that there is any such thing as a female-bodied person. even as they are all taking fucking birth control pills (and in the case of transmen, even taking testosterone, which they do not produce enough of on their own for some reason….now why might that be?) could it be that all this denial and willful ignorance about biological femaleness (and maleness) is precisely because the only solution to womens suffering under patriarchy *is* a biological one? that men are biologically, genetically mentally ill, and the only solution to this is a biological solution, and the last thing they want is for us to solve this problem? the problem of them?

    this is absolutely a taboo subject, but it has got to be discussed, and it is being discussed. thanks for this thought-provoking guest post vliet!

  4. Hi, Maggie, glad you found the post good enough to plow through. FCM is a co-author, really; her blog posts have influenced me pretty strongly, and I’m sure a lot of RadFemHub bloggers will also see their ideas reflected here, I hope fairly. I’m really just gathering up and organizing the many discussions I’ve been reading over the past year. Pardon me, I know there are many radical feminists worldwide who may not have followed our eurocentric literary and activist tradition; I’m just too ignorant to mention their names and their traditions. Also you mention separatism and spinsterism as an option. As an older woman I find celibacy/spinsterhood to be juuuussst right! Life is so much freer…yes, The Female Man is such a classic now. I would love to read a Hub essay on science-fiction visions of radical feminism, or even co-write one! As to “essentialism”, it really does seem like a topic to re-open and explore to me — another great topic for an essay!

    Hi, Sargasso, haha, Whittier, yep, East Whittier schools for me too! As to whether this could be re-drafted as a mission statement of some kind, why, I’d be honored to have it just help as a framework for further discussion or added to or whatever if anyone wants to do with it. It really is just a seriously drafty thing, a compendium of others’ work.

    Hi, FCM, many thanks again for working with me on this. I’m so glad that you and others are open to considering a biology-based analysis of what is wrong with men. Here’s another potential essay topic. Your analysis of PIV sex makes me think that we are finally going deep, deep to the bedrock. It’s really astonishing that this insight could be developed at all from inside the culture, it is so “natural” a part of all our lives. It had to be led up to, I think, with a long series of diggings from a lot of directions.

    vliet

  5. tiptree, it was my pleasure working with you. honestly, this article is not anything i ever couldve written, and the parts about biology are not anything that i have even considered before. if i inspired this, then i find that amazing. :) thank you. the feminist sparks, they fly!

  6. I loved this post tiptree. There is so much here to get my teeth into.

    “Underlying this all-encompassing rejection is the fear of an unspeakable potential implication, which Radical Feminists can de-fuse and dispose of, namely, that if sex is fixed and inherent, then women are doomed to eternal subservience and subjugation by their biology. But taking biological differences between men and women off the theoretical table has had two unintended effects.”

    As a mother, point 6 resonates so strongly with me. It was the a radical feminist embracing of the female body that made me realise this is the ideological outlook that is my true home. No, we are not the same as men (thank god) Yes, we are essentialists (or quint-essentialists, as Daly would say) but it’s a hell of a better place to be than in De Nile.

    As a mother, this subject is probably the most painful one to deal with for me. But we have to shine a light on our actual situation, not the imaginary place we wish we could be, and address it ( the PIV argument)

    And as you say, women who ignore the truth of female biology have their head in the clouds, because *men* know exactly how they oppress us. We humans are closer to the animals than we think. And look at animals… primates do NOT do pair-bonding. Females live together in groups, they *are* the community, and men hover around the outskirts fighting and killing each other. Let’s go back to the way it’s supposed to be, I say.

  7. Hi, Cherryblossomlife, I’m happy you found something thoughtworthy here. I sure do agree; we can learn a lot from our animal relatives. I keep thinking that there has been a wrong turn in this ideological rejection of biology. I identify some of it with the false logic that the System is therefore “natural”, that is, that women are born to be subservient. I think we have to turn the logic on its head. It ain’t about women. Let’s assume instead, correctly, that the majority of humanity being female, we are the “norm”. Our biology is the basis of humanity. Now let’s look at what it is in the male sex that drives them to such deviant aggressive behavior as constant war, hierarchies, and strict domination of women. None of these behaviors are adapted to the needs of our modern world. It’s their androgens, to put it simply. It’s not just testosterone, though men have on the average an astounding 14 times the “norm”, that is, the amount women have. What is the “safe” amount of testosterone a human being with an XY genotype can have without causing unacceptable harm to others due to his abnormal aggressiveness caused by this ancient hormonal adaptation to a hunting environment? I won’t go on, but I think it’s a reasonable question, and the answer would indeed lead to a treatment protocol, and then…oh, I know, this isn’t simple, really, but…I think it could easily be established that men are sick with abnormally high levels of aggressive hormones and they can’t run amok like this any longer now that technology can treat this condition.

    Oh, and I don’t think this condition even has a name yet. It’s the Great Unspeakable.

    vliet.

  8. A biology-based analysis of what is wrong with men could help explain why the oppression of women is so global, before the world even became ‘global’. That said, men’s behaviour is certainly socialised as well. I think it would be this aspect that gives men the choice of behaving in a certain way. If it were entirely biological, they’d all be acting in the same horrendous way (and they don’t, although I know women reading RadFemHub might disagree with me). But yes it has often baffled me, how did the entire world come to oppress women?

    On a possible matriarchy, this is something I have always missed and am constantly working on. I often wonder why I am a feminist at all given how women have, and do tend to treat me. I am determined, however, to build my own little female centered utopia. Seeking loyal, reliable friends is where I am beginning.

    Even if we killed off 90% of men, the majority of women left over would do their best to keep the oppressive system. I’d dare say we’d have to kill off all the women too and leave the little girls and radfems to create the utopia.

    Great post. Just what I’ve needed to read to help clarify what exactly Radical Feminism is today.

    x

  9. Fantastic and inspiring post VT.

    The *magic number* to bring the males under control is ~30% of the population (roughly 2 females per male). There are a few countries (like in Africa) where the men have managed to kill themselves off with a lot of warring, then the women get into politics and make a lot of community-friendly political decisions, that benefit the whole community, not just women. So much for the MRA scare tactics of a matriarchy being just the reverse of a patriarchy (supposedly with females being just as self-serving as the males were when in power).

    It was only recently that I decided that there is just something fundamentally wrong with males (the majority of them at any rate, there are a tiny number of exceptions), and not just due to their masculinity conditioning, which I think builds on what is wrong in the first place. I happened to read a year-old interview with Gail Dines which focuses on the brutality of today’s porn, it’s not just that no one (except radfems) cannot see it, it is the fact that this is what males enjoy watching in their porn, utter brutality directed against females. The mindset that would enjoy this type of brutality is obvious – there is something very very wrong with them. Porn stopped the pretense of being about sex somewhere in the 80s, from that point on, the violence and brutality took over (which is where I disagree with Prof Dines, she states just 15 years, I make the transition period closer to 25 years). Certainly porn tells more of the truth about males and not just the lies about females. It is one of those ‘cannot be unseen’ moments when you do see it. If only the average female knew the type of person she is living with and what he thinks of women – frightening.

  10. im not even particularly interested in a world full of radfems…a world without rape is what i am after. everything else would just be gravy.

    okay, i would like a world without forced impregnation, psychiatry/gynecology and patriarchal institutions that attach at the moment a woman becomes impregnated too. that would be good.

  11. This post was nothing short of BRILLIANT. So inspiring, thank you!

    My Vision:

    A world where mothers are in charge, every step of the way, from the (tribal) family unit – where sisters and aunties and grandmothers all help one another and this group of females serves as the loving centre of the family – to the community decision making level.

    A world where males are shunned by everyone & punished severely (outcast?) if they are aggressive or violent.

    A world free of brainwashing and gender stereotypes.

    Where young boys are raised to *feel* empathy and sympathy, to use their tear ducts, to be gentle and loving and express themselves in what used to be considered ‘female’ ways if they want to.

    There is no such thing as war or weapons and violence is absolutely not allowed, so young boys do not play with guns or play violent games. They just play sports, make believe, and enjoy nature.

    Kids use their imagination and creativity is revered. Kids are curious and artistic.

    A world where girls and women are free, free, free in every way. Free mentally, physically and institutionally.

    A world where females are respected & admired for their loving hearts & kindness, not exploited or considered weak.

    p.s. Sometimes I feel inadequate because I am unable to intellectualise these concepts & then articulate those thoughts in a blog post like all y’all smarty pantses.
    But then I think about the most oppressed, vulnerable women in the world – the ones who are deeply brainwashed, or uneducated, and I realise that we need to find ways to communicate these ideas in very simple language that resonates with the less privileged women, at their core. We need to create simple, pithy phrases that can’t be argued with, that will stick in the minds of the most vulnerable women, and plaster them all over the internet. Maybe just create simpler versions of the pictures on the SCUM-O-Rama blog? Because at the moment the brilliant writings on this hub will only be able to ‘reach’ women of a certain level of consciousness/privilege. How shall we plan to reach and convert the ones who need radical feminism the most?

  12. Any technological solution should be decentralized and inexpensive.

  13. Thanks for that post : ) I’m attracted to the idea of a woman-centred world, but in the meantime am really lucky to be able to be a lesbian spending most of my social life (unfortunately not my worklife) with other lesbians and feminist-identified straight women.

    My concern with the biological argument though, although I do have a lot of sympathy for it, is can it be used by men as an excuse? As in: “well, we don’t have to change, it’s in our genes, we’re not going to treat you any better or change anything about ourselves because what we’re doing is on our Y chromosome”. Actually as I’m writing this, I guess that’s what you’re saying? As in, there’s no point trying to change men or work with them? Trouble is with them in power, they can just use it as an excuse if that makes sense? and sadly plenty of women will let them do so because they too think men are just “made that way” and you have to excuse them.

    They already do this anyway – especially in relation to PIV – I’ve heard plenty of comments over the years about how “men have needs and it’s not fair for women to deny them – it’s just biology and women need to deal with it or at least not complain when men get their needs met elsewhere (like with prostitutes) – just like men give women a roof over their heads”. It sickens me – they don’t need more ammunition.

    I think it really is better just to pull up the drawbridge and let them get on with it, sadly alongside all the women who can’t or refuse to see the real picture? Maybe separatism is the only answer? But I can’t help worrying about the women who are left to deal with the men in that scenario….

  14. “I identify some of it with the false logic that the System is therefore “natural”, that is, that women are born to be subservient. I think we have to turn the logic on its head. It ain’t about women.”

    Patriarchy is insane. It has taken us so far away from how we’re supposed to be.
    Aren’t we the only primates where the males of the species routinely commit feminicide?
    Mass femicide is taking place in Honduras now. And look at the two women a week murdered by their spouse in the UK. Or the female fetocide in INdia and China because boys are more valuable!
    HUman males are wiping human females out. HUman females are the only primates who have to put up with cowardly fucking men who kill the females of their own species rather than each other.
    Patriarchies are evolutionarily maladaptive. it’s ridiculous.
    It’s *men* that are redundant due to their high fertility. They should be fighting each other, fighting for the right to pass on their genes: survival of the fittest *man* is how it really should be. WOmen are essential for the continuation of the human race, due to our low fertility.

  15. As in, there’s no point trying to change men or work with them? Trouble is with them in power, they can just use it as an excuse if that makes sense?…

    Developing, yes! It makes perfect sense and that is one of the tools they use against US to silence US; don’t say it because it could be used against us…

    And that is one of OUR biggest problems, is being on the defense instead of being OFFENSIVE. Again.

  16. “My concern with the biological argument though, although I do have a lot of sympathy for it, is can it be used by men as an excuse? As in: “well, we don’t have to change, it’s in our genes, we’re not going to treat you any better or change anything about ourselves because what we’re doing is on our Y chromosome”.

    Developing, men don’t need an excuse, they are just going to do it anyway. Why assume we can talk them out of it? They are killing women and children worldwide, is us lying over evolution really going to make a difference? Ignoring reality will not solve anything. As cherry said, patriarchies are maladaptive and are rare in nature. Chimpanzees are basically patriarchal (ruled by older males) but they have never been a very successful or wide spread species, they are too nasty for true success.
    It is against women’s genetic interests to marry one man especially any male over forty, when his sperm quality is in severe decline, leading to a higher risk of genetic abnormalities. Our XX chromosomes demand reproductive freedom, living with men is being forced to birth their children. Biology dictates that women should live in extended female run, family groups, picking different, though characteristically gifted fathers; so as not to put all our genetic eggs in one basket. This inevitably means that many, especially mean misogynistic males, will just not make the grade. But that is a healthy biological outcome for the species.

    Excellent post Vleit, thanks. One point though, there is an abundance of evidence for pre-patriarchal cultures.

  17. You make some great points and given us lots to talk about, Vliet. This particularly:

    Some feminist academics, especially in the fields of psychology, philosophy, and literature were duped into following this seductive thread and claiming too much: that women are only social constructs, ignoring the reality that men know exactly who we are and oppress us accordingly. Underlying this all-encompassing rejection is the fear of an unspeakable potential implication, which Radical Feminists can de-fuse and dispose of, namely, that if sex is fixed and inherent, then women are doomed to eternal subservience and subjugation by their biology.

    I think biology is absolutely an area that we need to look at in more depth, with more tools, and unflinchingly. Of course biology is a great excuse for men, they’ve been using it all along; our looking more closely at it isn’t going to change that one way or the other. But I’ve seen many radical feminists shy away from talking about it or give the usual academic explanation (it’s ALL just cultural conditioning; for example, that’s the currently popular explanation for claiming that any woman can be a lesbian). We’ve been afraid for just the reason you give (and of course it’s a well-founded fear), but just as you say, we can de-fuse and dispose — but only if we’re the ones investigating and interpreting. The patriarchy has shown itself to be intractable in the face of everything else we’ve tried. Genetics, reproduction, etc. may indeed hold the promise of dismantling it. But we need to be as brave when we’re looking at biology as we’ve been with everything else.

  18. i have heard that even radfems who initially mightve been willing to “go there” regarding and harms to women of PIV backed off after seeing all the shit andrea dworkin was subjected to after writing “intercourse.” that concept — that PIV harms women and fundamentally supports male power — is based in biology, specifically mens deliberate exploitation of female biology (and abuse of their own male power to impregnate us) for their own gain. but its also very obvious. if this is one of the side-doors from which we have gotten to this place — discussing a potential biological solution to the problem of patriarchy — that would make sense. i think we need to go there again and see whats down that road. as noan says, this analysis must be brave, and *we* have to be the ones doing it, not men. we have seen where they take this, and yes, its the conclusion that men have needs that must be catered to, and that women are naturally deficient and subservient to them. i have seen some ev psychs suggest that based on their data that men seem biologically predisposed to rape, that we need extra-stringent social and legal controls on them. but noone is willing to do that, and this solution is kind of swept under the rug. and none of them are willing to go so far as to suggest the male population be reduced, instead of throwing them all in jail. no, they would never *conceive* of a reproductive solution, because they all think they are special snowflakes and that they all individually deserve a chance. well, women — overwhelmingly the victims of mens sickening brutality — may not think thats true, and might actually be willing to do something about it. men just never will.

  19. Just dropping in to say how much I appreciate these comments, which galvanize my thinking. I really like that word “brave”. Love GallusMag’s comment, there’s so much behind that. Love the openness here. Love hearing it said again, we must get off the defensive. Love patriarchywatch’s vision. Love it all.

  20. I agree with you FCM, WE deserve a chance, too! A chance to have our human rights respected.

    A question to Vliet: why don’t you bring up the fact that men are bigger, stronger, heavier and faster? I think that if they were smaller and weaker as males of some species are, they couldn’t cause reproductive damage either even if they still could impregnate because they could no longe use force. Actually it is these things that the non-feminist friends of mine have mentioned when being worried about male violence.

  21. re getting the radfem message out, im not sure thats as big of a concern as it might seem? neither is making it “more simple” so that “uneducated” women can understand it. radical feminist theory is basic and packed with simple, everyday truths that *all* women relate to. thats the thing about having identified women as a sexual class, and a common plight shared by women across time and place: women who dont have access to technological or pharmaceutical harm-reduction methods (like hormonal birth control) know better than any of us what its like when men AS MEN oppress women as women. only “western privileged” women who arent hit full-force with the effects of PIV could ever possibly imagine that PIV was the road to womens liberation, instead of the road to our demise, with womens dead and dying bodies on every side. unlike *those* women, who are living in some kind of la-la land compared to everyone else, most women do know what we are talking about. and some of them are already implementing biological solutions that we are only just now beginning to discuss, like dispatching their male babies immediately after birth rather than investing a decade or two of resources into them before their grown male children end up killing everyone and being killed in generations-old wars started and continued by men.

    this stuff is really basic. i think western conveniences and our fake academented educations only make this shit harder to grasp.

  22. I’m glad Vliet brought up science fiction, because pretty much every scenario we imagine as solving the “man problem” has been written about in that genre by women. Yes, there’s a story about smaller, weaker men and what comes next. (I don’t remember the name; I’ve read many, many dozens of sci-fi stories by women and sadly, I don’t remember all the names or authors.) Writers have explored what the basis for the harm that men cause is beyond just using their physical size and strength for getting their way. In other words, is it really just because they are bigger and stronger or because they have a mentality that no matter what size they are? There’s every reason to believe that they will use any advantage, any tactic, and any means to get to the same place of domination. I know there are a whole bunch of women who want to believe that there’s some way of rescuing the “Y” from its own destruction (and their loss of having males in their lives). That desire is an indication in and of itself what we’re up against. Men manipulate, coerce, and dominate in ways that aren’t always physically violent, but are very effective. That behavior can be as controlling as if they have a gun to your head. And as of right this minute, the only way to be impregnated is with male sperm. As long as they have that kind of control over women’s lives (as in, the woman carries the fetus, gives birth, and is tied to the child), it doesn’t matter how small and weak the impregnator is unless he is kept far away from the society of women and girls, providing only his sperm and then only from a distance.

  23. We need womyn *funded* R&D is all. We need womyn funded scholarships and apprenticeships and lab spaces.

    And I’m not talking about begging for some corner of some basement at some university, obviously.

  24. Women need to stop raising male children. Women who raise male children are digging the graves of other females. Nobody wants to bite that bullet (except lesbian separatists) but it must be done.

  25. i agree mary. although i can only imagine what it might be like to raise girls in this world: kinda like putting all your resources and sincere love and devotion into raising a couple of cows knowing they were going to be eaten eventually, is the best i can come up with? women always say they dont want to bring children “into this world” but its not women who are really given the choice, obviously. which is largely why they are still having babies at all, whether male or female. it occurs to me that a female ob/gyn that was willing to perform sex-selective abortions on male fetuses would be giving a gift to the next generation, and preventing the future generation of girls and women being eaten alive.

  26. yes i *know* i just compared girl-children to cows! if any mothers of girl-children want to chime in here regarding what its really like to raise girls in this world, i hope they might describe what its like. does anyone think they are raising the next generation of amazonian warriors for example? i hope so.

  27. And taking that thought all the way to the end, FCM and Mary, means that we have to be willing to consider not having humans on the planet at all. And to that I say, here, here.

  28. yes i am more than willing to consider that, however this is not an option for most women, who cant even refuse PIV when they want to. if we were to implement this, i guess “western” civilization where *some* women have the power to say *no* would decline first? thats probably as it should be, but its not a global solution is it? unless we want to put something in the water, globally?

  29. Hi vliet, this is a great post! It was a pleasure to read and covers a lot of ground. Thank you so much. I hope you won’t mind if I ask a question about reformism versus radicalism. You said:

    feminists now have a specific tradition of leaders and visionaries who have moved beyond reformism, including feminist groundbreakers like Sojourner Truth, Emmeline Pankhurst, Susan B. Anthony, Simone de Beauvoir, Germaine Greer, Kate Millett, and many others.

    My question is why you consider these women, who may have left their imprint on the system but not destroyed it, “radical” rather than reformist? The suffragettes, for example, fought for women’s right to vote within the existing system. MacKinnon and Dworkin also used well-established legal methods to attack pornography. I agree that the ideas were radical, but not necessarily the methods. So what do you mean by “radical”? And what can we do, today, that *is* radical by your standards without resorting to violence (which I would describe as “using the master’s tools” to dominate the dominators)? Thanks!

  30. re: mary sunshine: if male children are born into this world, which they are (and i don’t see that not being the case anytime soon), it is absolutely women who should be raising them, ideally without an adult male-presence. the idea of men raising male children is one of the worst possible things i can imagine.

  31. hmm. the not raising male children one is difficult one for me as I have one!! I mean, we need female children and I’m so glad I have a daughter. SHe was my first, perhaps I should have stopped at one, but as I was saying on another thread just now I only had my radical reawakening when I was well into my second pregnancy.
    We need to severely curtail male power out there in the world. When their social power is annihilated surely that will count for something. Black men are bigger, faster and stronger than white men, this is obvious, you only have to look at the Olympics to see that, and yet white men have always managed to oppress them. Japanese men are tiny and yet they have completely dominated Asia for a century.
    So I don’t think physical size and strength is the issue here. it’s the *structural* workings of *social* power. Men need to be stripped of their social, economic and political power. The rest will follow.

  32. COme to think of it, Japan the country is also tiny.

    So how did they do it?

    1) Meticulous organization; plans executed to perfection

    2) Subsuming individual will/desires for the greater good; the goals of the group take precedence over personal dreams/aspirations

    3) Leadership.

    They did not have numbers or brute strength on their side.

    Let’s deploy some of these strategies. And women are more intelligent than men, in general, so we have that as well.

  33. the idea of men raising male children is one of the worst possible things i can imagine.

    knowing what men do to female children, i would think that men raising girls is the worst possible thing i can imagine, and men having anything to do with girl children in any setting is a close second.

  34. this of course leaves 100% of the burden of raising both girls and boys on women and mothers, which is a real problem, particularly considering that most pregnancies are either unwanted or ambivalent, and a side-effect of male-centric PIV-as-sex that men demand.

  35. re getting the radfem message out, im not sure thats as big of a concern as it might seem? neither is making it “more simple” so that “uneducated” women can understand it. radical feminist theory is basic and packed with simple, everyday truths that *all* women relate to.

    I can tell you, when I first started reading about radical feminism and the Womyn’s Liberation Movement, I was not college-“educated” or anything. I was just a poor working-class gal, and it all made sense to me. Our texts are very understandable to English-speaking womyn. What I worry more about though is that most womyn on this earth don’t speak English. So, we would need translators, for sure.

    re men (again)- I agree with Zeph. And the ‘Nature Vs. Nurture’ debate is utterly pointless, by the way. There’s a lot of biological explanation regarding the Y chromosome. But, being a student in the social sciences, I will concede that there may be some social factors conditioning some men’s behaviours as well. However, it is not important. I remember reading Sarah Lucia Hoagland (a lesbian separatist) say somewhere that even if men’s behaviour was conditioned, we have no proof that they would want to give it up during their lifetime anyway.

    We certainly shouldn’t try to spend our precious gynergy on trying to ‘change’ men (though we might be able to call them out on their bullshit once we unite more of us together and outnumber them of course, though I don’t think they’ll listen and we would have to fight). We have to think about changing ourselves first, about saving our Womyn species. Our feminism is NOT about ‘equality’; it is about Liberation: the Liberation of Womyn from men’s oppression. And this is what we’ve got to work to achieve. The only form of equality that I see would be relevant to our work should therefore only be about equality between all womyn.

    Mary Sunshine- More importantly, I think womyn need to stop giving birth to any more males…

    FCM: it occurs to me that a female ob/gyn that was willing to perform sex-selective abortions on male fetuses would be giving a gift to the next generation, and preventing the future generation of girls and women being eaten alive.

    Great idea.

  36. [ Sorry: I had to log in to be able to post the rest of my comment. in 2 parts. damn wordpress! ]

    DaveSquirrel: The *magic number* to bring the males under control is ~30% of the population (roughly 2 females per male). There are a few countries (like in Africa) where the men have managed to kill themselves off with a lot of warring, then the women get into politics and make a lot of community-friendly political decisions, that benefit the whole community, not just women.

    This is a good idea, also. I agree that (if our Womyn’s Liberation politics were able to reach the hearts of many womyn), an egalitarian sort of matriarchy would be a solution in the short term.

    I remember something Zeph once said about the Bonobo society being actually matriarchal and egalitarian, because the females can gather together in groups, outnumber the males and make sure that they (males) will behave. Didn’t you talk about something like this, Zeph? Can you please remind me? (and correct me if I’m wrong)

    Also, I like solutions to men’s violence like how womyn in Sweden (who comprised 49% of the parliament there) managed to pass a law that penalizes johns when they try to buy prostituted womyn. It has marvelously worked in terms of reducing prostitution and trafficking in Sweden. This is merely an example to say that I support feminist actions like these to fight against male violence (while men are still on this earth).

  37. [ sorry I have to cut my comment into parts to get WordPress to take it ]

    But, in the end, (as I said before) please don’t forget 2 things, womyn:

    (1) We do not need to worry too much about the overpopulation on earth making it impossible for us to ‘overthrow’ patriarchy completely in the short term. Climate change (i.e. male-created global warming) disasters will inevitably cull a very large number of the human population. Among the womyn survivors, I believe there will be many womyn who will want real justice. Only then, I believe it will be possible for womyn to work for a new, womyn-centred (and matriarchal) society. Yes, it is very sad that many women & girls will die in ecological disasters entirely caused by men. However, I believe that womyn will have a better chance to fight patriarchy after population decline.

    (2) The Y chromosome is deteriorating ; it is NOT a stable chromosome. It is doomed to failure. Men will eventually become extinct. It is unavoidable.

  38. [final part]

    This is why I believe in parthenogenesis when it comes to the vision of a new world. I believe it has existed for womyn, and it will exist again someday, in a new womyn-only world.

    With Mary Sunshine, last summer I managed to download and share two brilliantly interesting papers on human parthenogenesis & womyn’s culture. So I wanted to say as well, if womyn readers here would be interested in reading those two papers on parthenogenesis that I have, please drop me a comment at the bottom of this page here, and I’ll share them via email with you. It’s a very interesting vision. ;)

  39. Thanks for reading, UndercoverPunk. Your letter to the UN knocked my sox off, BTW. My simple thought about the excellent Catherine MacKinnon is that she has put her rep on the line in the sharp clean cause of women. That’s radical; working for laws that will help men, primarily, is not. She has challenged fundamental assumptions of the legal system and attacked Supreme Court decisions. All that is beyond “working within the system”. Of course, she doesn’t have to draw any distinctions between her reformist and her radical work. We all have to find that balance, and with all the pain out there, I’m sure the most radical among us still spends time helping put out fires. What are your thoughts on this?

    About men being bigger, Feuerwerferin…yes, they’re scary…but no need for fisticuffs when there are safe weapons for self-defense out there…every girl must learn self-defense, including a martial art and use of pepper spray and other weapons. Here’s more doublespeak from the System…it is said that women don’t need to protect themselves because big ole men will do that! Can you feel it, the pressure to stay vulnerable? Maybe we can spread the word about where that pressure comes from.

    Like your ideas above, Cherry, about Japan.

    Hi, Zeph, ok, there might have been some matriarchy somewhere in prehistory. I’ve read a lot and don’t feel convinced. Matrilineal and matrifocal don’t cut it for me. The village elders are still male. Open to being convinced, though, I just don’t want to look back too much any more….

  40. there are safe weapons for self-defense out there…every girl must learn self-defense, including a martial art and use of pepper spray and other weapons.

    I agree, Vliet. I remember that Diana Russell, at the end of her book Making Violence Sexy, recommended civil disobedience and self-defence against men whenever necessary. Martial arts can be handy because with them you can manage to defeat an enemy who’s bigger than you.

    And, yes, there used to be matriarchies in ancient times. Amazon societies are an example among many others. Others included Goddess worshipping and female-as-creator-of-life worshipping.

  41. “I remember something Zeph once said about the Bonobo society being actually matriarchal and egalitarian, because the females can gather together in groups, outnumber the males and make sure that they (males) will behave. Didn’t you talk about something like this, Zeph? Can you please remind me? (and correct me if I’m wrong)”

    Yes, this is right Maggie, but bonobo males have much better lives than their patriarchal chimpanzee cousins, and female bonobos love their sons.
    Because females are ultimately in charge of reproduction (even though they appear to mate freely) they have been selecting the best natured, most intelligent males for eons.

    Robert Yerkes, the American pioneer of ape research, contrasted “Prince Chim,” an individual now known to have been a bonobo, with ordinary chimpanzees: he admired Chim’s character and intelligence and said he had never seen an animal the equal of him. Which is why he called him prince of chimpanzees. Female bonobos have crafted fine males, through generations of carefully sifting the seed.

    Sadly, human males have been choosing who mates who, for the last five thousand years! They have a lot to answer for.

  42. “knowing what men do to female children, i would think that men raising girls is the worst possible thing i can imagine, and men having anything to do with girl children in any setting is a close second.”

    100% agree with this. A lot of women these days think feminism means letting the father take over the childcare while they go out to work (SAHDs). IT makes my blood run cold. CHild abusers/paedophiles are overwhelmingly men, and this is shocking when we consider that *men* *spend* *very* *little* *time* *with* *children* as it is. Let’s look at the animals again: males don’t raise the young. More often than not they kill the young of their own species, just like human males do.

  43. In the all-female setting women taking the full responsiblity for child-rearing wouldn’t be a problem. The entire concept of the nuclear family is defunct. Women should live together, pool resources, as the radfem blogs have been discussing for a while… Right now men are raping women with impunity but it would be harder for them to do that if other women were always in the vicinity. In a normal society not all women would decide to risk their life for childbirth. About 40-50% or less of women would probably give it a go, out of curiosity. There would be plenty of aunts, friends, grandmothers, sisters around so the burden wouldn’t fall on the mother, like it does today in patriarchy. [

    The fact that patriarchies force mothers to take on the full burden of child-rearing, when they have the *least* financial resources in society shows again, how defunct and maladaptive patriarchies are. In a sane society time, energy and resources would go to raising the young, not on some old geezer’s prostitute habit.

  44. I agree that women need our own society, and I don’t think that it’s an impossible dream either. Land and homes are dirt cheap right now, if we started fundraising, maybe under a less radical banner of say helping pregnant women, and/or prostitutes, women seeking assylum etc… I think that we would have a lot of support. I think it’s natural for women to live and raise children together. Men invented marriage, tried to force women into it on “moral” grounds, sat around for centuries like a bunch of belching, farting kings being waitted on hand and foot, and then had the nerve to act put upon: drinking, cheating, lying, violence, child abuse…. And women have put up with it all for what? The pleasure of keeping company with these furry, smelly, diseased, beer sucking thugs? Yuck!

    I love this web site by the way!

    For anyone who is interested, I’ve just posted a new blog: http://womensfreedomproject.blogspot.com/2011/10/where-are-all-of-lawyers.html

    Can’t wait to read more Peeps!

  45. Brilliant to read your post vliet. This is the first time I have been moved to reply to anything on this site….which is a fantastic site. I agree that the answer is biological and have been living as a lesbian separatist for over 25 years. Have just read Sonia Johnson’s ‘ The Sisterwitch Conspiracy’ which also focuses on males being The problem. She talks about native american and australian aboriginal cultures both believing that once all was female, and that maleness is a mutation. Like any mutation it is ill equipped to last and that males are dying out, and this too was foretold. Some of these wimmin and Sonia believe that this time is now and that there is actually nothing extra we have to do to bring it about it will happen anyway. We just have to try to survive as best we can to get through to the time of a female planet. I recommend the book.
    She also cites Monique Wittig and invents…she believes that all the images males have made of powerful, flying, intuitive,superstrong,timetravelling,universe travelling beings are actually signs to what females were originally capable of.

    Radiant energy to you all!

  46. Beth, thanks for linking to your fine essay on the legal status of motherhood.

    Just Separating…another great topic for a thread of its own. It’s such a relief to think about just leaving the whole mess and buying the biggest plot of land possible and forming a women’s commune. A lot of us feel so isolated and would love to do this. Some of us worry as said above about leaving women with no ability to escape, but maybe there are ways of helping from a base of peace and power. Maybe it’s the best way, showing by example what freedom looks like. It just feels so good to think about. I immediately think about establishing such centers of women, then starting a sort of Underground Railroad to help women escape all over the world. The main thing to be avoided is to bleed off the women with skills, education, & money entirely. Seems like a lot of you already have made your own mini-centers of power within your communities. Great!

    Sunspinner, I’m putting the Johnson book on my list…thanks for joining in!

    Zeph, it does seem like looking at our close primate relatives, looking at the remnants of paleolithic societies still on this earth, and trying to see our species’ deep past might add up to a vision of who we are meant to be…it’s exciting to be at here now as this knowledge is finally unearthed…

  47. “Matrilineal and matrifocal don’t cut it for me. The village elders are still male. Open to being convinced, though, I just don’t want to look back too much any more….”

    I know the feeling of not wanting to look back vliet. But, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, so I think it is important for women to know who they really are.

    The village elders in matriarchal societies are women! Matriarchy does not change to patriarchy overnight there are interim stages, some of these stages have, in some geographical locations, lasted for thousands of years. Anyway it is a vast subject, but here is a link to a short video about a rare still extant matriarchal society who’s island is vanishing under the waves of global warming: http://reallyrad.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/matriarchal-society-vanishing-due-to-global-warming/

  48. We humans, unlike animals, have complete free will as to how to organise our society. Although we have hormones, nothing compells us to reproduce, or to kill, we have an infinite potential of creativity as we have an infinite potential for destructivity – while this freedom may be our power, it is also our curse – but it’s up to us not to use it for destruction. I find it difficult to believe men are hardwired to dominate. They’re just mad that they’re not at the centre of reproduction and creation of life, that their role is so insignificant compared to women’s. The only way they had to overcome their insignificance in order become the centre (which is only a deception anyway) was through the use of force, by transgressing women’s integrity, by violence, rape, by creating a system of domination that would reenact this trangression as an ordering principle of society. That was the only option they had, because no women would accept to lose control over her body and reproduction voluntarily.

    They still havn’t got over this primary shock but it’s time they grow up. If they remain in this state of utter stupidity I’m pretty sure nature will get rid of them pretty soon, and kill them all before they have the opportunity to kill the earth entirely. I believe they are totally capable of stopping, but not unless they receive a Universal Slap in the Face, not until women and nature revolts against their stupidity and destructiveness, not until we wake up and put an end to this craziness, not until we cease to participate (as oppressed class) in this craziness and de-indentify from men’s interest in destroying us and the earth.

    There is no need for there to have been a dominating gene in men’s body – members of a species interact with each other energetically accross the globe – this has been proven with other species. It is perfectly congruent that the male part of the species developed more or less similarly around the world, and this evolution then became ingrained into the memory of their conscience, the memory of their cells, like a disease which can be transmitted from generation to generation. It’s like a form of intergenerational socialisation, but can very well be stop or changed. As to superior size and stength, this is simply due to an artificial genetic selection related to patriarchy -that men systematically choose to mate with (rape) shorter and thinner boned women, which means that over time the discrepancy widened. Some research has been conducted which demonstrates this fact.

    And yes, it’s very good point that revolution has to be quick or otherwise patriarchy will have time to adapt to it. Great post, thanks!

  49. Hi vliet/tiptree2. Glad you liked the UN letter! It was not radical, but I think it was important work nevertheless.

    Honestly? My thoughts are that “reformism” versus “radicalism” is a false, possibly even destructive, distinction. I worry that it discourages women from taking direct, practical action; the results of which could be to improve individual women’s lives OR to marginally “reform” the existing system for the benefit of many women (such as agitating for the right to vote, supporting “victim advocacy” organizations, and proposing legislative bans on pornography). At the moment, I’m not sure how/why one activity is being characterized as “radical” versus another activity that is derided as merely “reformist” or as merely achieving “harm reduction.” In my view, every victory “feminism” has ever achieved is simply “reform” and/or “harm reduction.” Because patriarchy still EXISTS. In fact, I believe that “reform” is the singular option available to us. Maybe I am the only one who does not understand what’s being said, but the distinction seems both clear and important to others.

    Separatism from men, for example, is a principle I live by. Yay! But it’s not radical, I don’t think. I mean, maybe it’s motivated by radical IDEALS, but in practice, it is individualized harm reduction. And most importantly, it is not available to MOST women in the world. So it’s use is very limited.

    Basically, I think it’s important for “reformers” to understand that their achievements, if any(!?), are merely a stop-gaps against the overwhelming tide of male supremacy. We need to be honest about what we’re up against and what we can realistically achieve. We shouldn’t congratulate ourselves too quickly or too thoroughly, because there always more work to do. We must remain constantly vigilant. Still, I think we should encourage women to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to keep doing whatever we CAN do to help each other, regardless of whether it’s sufficiently “radical” or not. If it can improve women’s lives, even marginally, it is worth it.

  50. “They still havn’t got over this primary shock but it’s time they grow up”

    Haha!! brilliant

  51. conservative christians (and fun-fems) can enact harm-reduction methods too, or at least could be worked with in some cases to achieve an ends *we* believe will be helpful to women as a sexual class around the world. our work and our shared work for anti-porn and access to safe and legal abortions immediately come to mind, and radical feminists have worked with both groups toward those ends.

    i dont think anyone could say however that maintaining *our* radical perspective, and remembering ourselves throughout these campaigns has served no purpose or has been destructive.

  52. I think it is not necessarily important that women don’t think S or Y is sufficently radical. The point is to keep growing in your feminist understanding, to keep finding women to talk honestly to. Each generation has back breaking labor… only to have patriarchy reverse the reversals. We keep forgetting that a 5000 year old system is pretty darn slick, and very able to divide women against each other. That’s why I say try radical feminism is for all women, and I see conservative women all the time trying to gain agency in the world, trying to run around patriarchy. What a conservative group of women is doing might not look radical to me, but to them it is.

    So we are all doing our best. I never imagined the true nature of the trans threat, even though I’d read parts of Jan Raymond’s book in 1979. I remember laughing at the title at the time, thinking the trans invasion of women’s land kind of paranoid or just plain weird. Now of course I know better!!

    Also, reading het women’s comments on these blogs made me realize more of what they really experience behind the cheerful facades and made up faces… well not you FCM… :-) What to me looked like barbie brained conformity revealed something else on radfem blogs. And I’m sure the blunt commentary of lesbians on the blogs was an eye opening experience for most het women who don’t have close lesbian friends. The truth telling is radical feminism, the actions radical…derailed… then re-radicalized, generation after generation… the suffrage movement morphs into the fem fem 20s, the second wave of the 60s morphs into fun fems of the 90s – 2000s… it’s a patriarchy strategy, a system… we now can decode and derail it yet again!!

  53. agree that growing in feminist understanding is important. its invigorating and refreshing to read the stuff on these blogs and in the comments, and reading second wave authors too. whereas any and all “harm reduction” stuff i have ever been involved in is draining and exhausting. its intended to be. its intended to waste our energies and “burn us out” and it does. its important to realize this i think. there are so many things women are expected to do in our daily lives that simply are not compatible with life. male-centric sexuality isnt. consumerism isnt. and being deeply engaged in mens politics isnt either. i think we can all feel this as soon as we try to do it. perhaps in small doses it could be made manageable, but is this how we want to spend our time?

    i would also like to note that the letter to the UN could not have been written in the first place without the conversations and work that have taken place on these blogs the past 2 years, where the concepts of “reproductive harm” and the female-specific harms of the penis have been thoroughly vetted and are now clearly understood and taken for granted, even by those of us who have never read dworkin, daly or jeffreys. the work we have done here is directly responsible for that, so i think that suggesting that the “radical” stuff is indulgent and unproductive (to the extent anyone might be suggesting it here or elsewhere) is really rewriting history, and its pretty infuriating because of that. its just not true.

  54. in particular, female attorneys *might* be in a unique position to synthesize radical work into legal reform, due to their credentials and specialized knowledge, and due to the import of both framing the issues and reasoning in the legal context. i dont know, i am still thinking about that part? but the dworkin/mackinnon proposed anti-porn legislation failed in the end. did it fail because they refused to make so many concessions that its bite wouldve been removed entirely? were they asked to make concessions? or would it have failed regardless, no matter how many concessions were made because the challenge to porn in itself was so fundamentally damaging to male supremecy? i still havent read the congressional testimony re the anti-porn legislation, i have it on my shelf. i hate reading about porn. ugh.

  55. Hi, FCM and Undercover punk, I’d like to see women lawyers acting as liaisons and negotiators with the rest of the world after the women have established their homeland…cuz a lot of the attacks at first will be legal… : }

    Ms. MacKinnon is a remarkable innovator, with extraordinary persistence. I’m a total fan. She is a great feminist lawyer. I also know that the System has foiled her work over and over. The anti-porn legislation she and Ms. Dworkin drafted, that was adopted here and there and struck down in a big way in major part, could be said to be an example, I’m afraid. It resulted in a general strengthening of pornography as “free speech” — absurd and horrible, and I would say a blowback of truly titanic proportions.

    She got a judgment of over $700,000,000 for Bosnian female victims — I do have to ask rather sourly, how much has been paid into their pockets? She has made a very creditable attempt to develop a feminist theory of the state and it has crystallized some very effective and overwhelming criticism. She practically invented the concept of sexual harassment IMHO, and I consider her work in that area a triumph. I would love to ask her over coffee about how she deals with the undercutting, the ridicule, the accusations that she is a communist, a classic liberal, a fascist, and everything else negative that could be dreamed up. She has really been through it. To attempt to “reform” political science and law on the scale she has is remarkable.

    Yes, she has worked within the System, and so the work could be called reformist by definition. I would never deride this work. I only point out my personal belief that such work will not result in fundamental changes. Some of us are needed for the purposes I outline above, I believe. Some of us engage in both kinds of work at different times. But I feel a distinction between work to reform the System and work to abolish the System is useful and necessary.

  56. ooh yes, feminist theory of the state. that ones on my shelf too. i really need to read more.

  57. “The truth telling is radical feminism”

    I couldn’t agree more SheilaG. I think this is the *essence* of radical feminism, actually. Because it’s so fucking hard to write the truth,. It is very hard for women to break the silence that Dworkin was talking about. Women such as rmott, who try to write the truth to the best of their ability, with the limited vocabulary we have been given, are radical.

    How many women will wake up tomorrow morning, take a good long look at their marriage, and tell *themselves* the truth about it? I don’T know the answer. Some will, some won’t. But the ones that do allow it to seep to the surface will have no choice but to act.

    Recently, I had to look at the truth of my feelings in order to be able to analyze them. They were not textbook; they were unexpected, and shame-inducing, but there they were, every time I looked. I had to address them. I then learned about the book Loving to Survive (thanks to KatieS), which I have just ordered, and through that I discovered Societal Stockholm syndrome and all these other radical ideas already out there that enabled me to write that BDSM series. These were ideas I would never have come across if I’d been scared to let my own truth surface.

  58. I volunteer for translation, just give me a few more month because rl is busy now. I’ll contact you each at a time later :-) I had already decided to translate your texts anyway (in an anonymous blog and liking to you).
    And thank you for the answers, everyone.

  59. I hear women talking about “radical ideas,” but no ACTION has been identified as “radical.” Maybe the distinction you seek to make is between ideas and action/implementation. Because we are working under non-ideal conditions, we cannot implement our ideals in an ideal way. So ideas can be radical, but actions cannot.

    i would also like to note that the letter to the UN could not have been written in the first place without the conversations and work that have taken place on these blogs the past 2 years, where the concepts of “reproductive harm” and the female-specific harms of the penis have been thoroughly vetted and are now clearly understood and taken for granted, even by those of us who have never read dworkin, daly or jeffreys. the work we have done here is directly responsible for that, so i think that suggesting that the “radical” stuff is indulgent and unproductive (to the extent anyone might be suggesting it here or elsewhere) is really rewriting history, and its pretty infuriating because of that. its just not true.

    Yes, FCM, you have noted that multiple times. I authored many of the posts you refer to, thank you very much. But being a primary participant and driving force in those “radical” conversations does not deter me from asking these questions about “radical action” and whether there IS such a thing.

    Another complication, imo, is that characterizations of “radical” are necessarily contextual. What challenges the status quo is radical. What supports the status quo is not. (maybe you are using a different definition, I don’t know?)

    For example, if the *concept* of “reproductive harm” is “radical,” it is because of our context. You will recall that we’ve remarked many times about how OBVIOUS it is that female reproductive processes are physically arduous and more dangerous than male reproductive processes. It is not advanced intellectual theory. It is the TRUTH (as Cherry speaks about just above). It is how BABIES ARE MADE. Only in the context of patriarchal delusion and insanity could such a basic acknowledgment of undeniable reality be “radical.”

    FCM also said:

    this stuff is really basic. i think western conveniences and our fake academented educations only make this shit harder to grasp.

    Agreed. Maybe anything that “Speaks the Unspeakable” (#2) is radical? That still limits radicalism to the realm of ideas. My question is not about radical ideas, but radical ACTION: what is it? If it is anything that challenges the status quo, as I suggested above, then reform *is* radical.

  60. as vliet suggested, i think a biological solution would be a radical solution. such as dispatching male babies at birth. as for the status quo, and whether some action legitimately challenges it, i guess its a question of how narrowly you are framing/identifying the status quo? for example, the status quo in the workplace in the 1950s could be described in many ways. men touched womens breasts and buttocks. men were sexually entitled to womens bodies in the workplace and everywhere. mens sexual entitlement to womens bodies in the workplace and everywhere was backed up by the threat of violence and male institutional power, including legal power.

    catharine macknnon’s solution to the problem of workplace sexual harassment challenged one of those, for sure. it didnt challenge the others, at all, nor could it. and women would be incarcerated and executed by the legal system for dispatching male babies at birth, if we even tried this as a solution. and its very likely that this is the only solution that would work. this is not a coincidence.

    radical ACTION: what is it?

    this is a good question. lets discuss it.

  61. The danger of talking about “radical action” as being only things like killing all male babies at birth is that we know in our hearts that the vast majority of women will NEVER do that. NEVER. EVER.

    So we can sit back snug in the belief that we know exactly what it will take to be free AND never have to do anything about it. If you want to see how that plays out, spend some time on IBTP — lots of smug women absolutely sure that they are revolutionary radicals while wearing pumps, fucking men, raising boys, and contributing their energy to the patriarchy. They have absolutely no responsibility beyond regularly complaining about the patriarchy.

    If it’s an all-or-nothing proposition, we’re all just masturbating here, because the revolution isn’t coming in on a magical white horse to save us in one grand apocalyptic blaze of glory while we sit back and do nothing but talk, talk, talk.

  62. Great, yes please, let’s discuss what radical action IS!

    FCM, I agree that my status quo suggestion of “radical” is too broad– I just wanted to start somewhere. There are certainly ways of challenging the status quo that are NOT good for women. For example, the pornification of EVERYTHING is a departure from the traditional status quo that dictates sexuality as “private,” yet this change is NOT beneficial to the social status of women. Same for “trans” politics. So challenging status quo for the benefit of females is a better description of radical (though still incomplete).

    “Action” versus “solution” is another important distinction to discuss. I support “reform” despite–or maybe BECAUSE of– the reality that we are literally unable to execute a complete remedy, or solution, to the problem of patriarchy. Maybe we want to say that action (reform) should be *informed* by radical ideals…?

  63. I think the idea of sex-selective abortions on male foetuses was a lot less harsh than ‘killing all male babies at birth’…

  64. The danger of talking about “radical action” as being only things like killing all male babies at birth is that we know in our hearts that the vast majority of women will NEVER do that. NEVER. EVER.

    i said it was ONE example. one. and its not as if no women *are* doing it, because some are. we arent, (“we” meaning the majority or totality of the women who read these blogs and/or even have access to them) and we are specifically prevented from doing that by our legal structure *and* the fact that we would be a tiny minority, an anomaly within our culture to do this, if we ever did it. this gives perspective as to what we are really up against, and how patriarchal institutions function and overlap to benefit men, and to specifically prevent radical change. i think some women are still unsure how deliberate this all is, and how much it benefits men and how it benefits men. but these truths are what inform radical politics.

    and so what if there is no such thing as radical action, or realistic radical action? are you honestly saying that there is danger in speaking the truth? or do you disagree that radical action is limited to things that are practically unspeakable like infanticide? (i didnt say it was limited to those, again it was just one example that was clear). if you have more examples, please list them.

    if something is true there is no harm in saying it, is there? i mean, the danger in *not* discussing things like a biological solution is…it doesnt get talked about. we dont go to the ends of our thoughts. the thing about having a “manifesto” or a radical foundation is that we will know where and how we went off the rails, if we ever started looking too much like the fun-fems for example. what if they were really feminists at one point, and just started making concessions with men and didnt know when to stop making concessions?

    BTW when i saw the concept of “reproductive harm” in the UN letter, my heart leapt with joy. and i wondered whether that was the first and only time that phrase has been uttered to the UN or in a lawmaking context? because i have *never* heard it, outside radfem circles. it was like someone set off a big old radical bomb in the living room. i thought that was awesome.

  65. How about:

    1. Pioneer alternative reproductive techniques that place reproduction firmly and permanently in the hands of women, i.e., parthogenesis, which some say we are very close to. It has already been accomplished in mice. The only glitch was that the resulting were smaller, but this is seen as a fine-tuning problem. Other alternatives: maintain women-controlled sperm banks offering free insemination.

    2. Form an Underground Womanroad, pool funds, and rescue women from conspicuous violence such as stoning for adultery, globally, then publicize these acts. Ignore the laws of the various oppressive governments as needed.

    3. Form a global women’s self-protective organization with a zero-tolerance policy for hate crimes against women, and retaliate using both legal and extra-legal means. Provide young women with free martial-arts and legal weapons training. Form local vigilante groups to ensure street safety (like the Latino Brown Berets in California)

    4. Complete research on endocrinal causes of male aggression; develop a vector to deliver modified genetic material which will reduce pathological male hormones to levels closer to the norm, i.e., female levels. Such treatment can be covert if it cannot be done voluntarily. It will pass to subsequent generations.

    5. Form an organization to remove all women desiring refuge to privately-controlled land from which men are banned. Build on the existing womyn’s lands. Separate and fight any invasion. Use the sacred capitalistic/feudal concept of private property against the system.

    6. Resist noxious laws and actions using techniques such as hunger strikes.

    7. Continue to develop women-centered futures in our fiction, poetry, and essays.

    These are only a few quick ideas. The point is, I speak of radical feminists as future-oriented because radical actions as I define them here have only recently become feasible. Formerly (when women could not control property, read, become lawyers or scientists or doctors, control their own money, and the revolution in genetics had not occurred) we were limited to theory and visions. I agree with the idea that “radical” and “reform” work has been contextual. Getting the vote could be considered either, to me. Perhaps making a distinction between radical feminists and “reform” feminists was of little import in the past. In fact I believe people only started making that distinction recently. As I mentioned, seems like the distinction can and should be made now. It’s not made to keep feminism schismed; it’s made because feminism is developing into a number of different approaches, all worthwhile. Our work is to envision new effective approaches to ending the patriarchal system, and to begin action.

    How to deal with the despair and pessimism – very difficult, but we wouldn’t be on this thread if we had totally given up, would we?

  66. also, my own “gift” or talent if you can call it that is synthesis, and making connections. it is one tool, and one that we will need, i think. i also have good physical balance, and am a licensed driver. :) others share this talent, some have other talents. some talents pay the bills, and have applications on the ground. radical feminist synthesis and innovation is particularly marginalized. if we were men, what would people think of any of our talents, including our ability to use logic and reason, our commitment and passion, our writing ability and everything else we do here on a daily basis? would anyone find it useful? im just asking. BTW my own particular “gift” does not seem to have applications in academia, local government, or anti-poverty nonprofit work. (bahaha) in case anyone was wondering. in fact, those environments seem particularly adverse to my abilities. i wonder why that might be?

  67. Abortion of male foetuses is a relatively better solution. I also heard there are some pre-conception sex selection techniques for het womyn (e.g. Shettles’ method) but I’m not sure if they work well…

  68. Vliet- some great ideas you’ve got here. Thank you for the list. Great stuff to ponder. :)

    Also, I forgot to say, Sunspinner:

    Have just read Sonia Johnson’s ‘ The Sisterwitch Conspiracy’ which also focuses on males being The problem. She talks about native american and australian aboriginal cultures both believing that once all was female, and that maleness is a mutation. Like any mutation it is ill equipped to last and that males are dying out, and this too was foretold. Some of these wimmin and Sonia believe that this time is now and that there is actually nothing extra we have to do to bring it about it will happen anyway. We just have to try to survive as best we can to get through to the time of a female planet. I recommend the book.

    She also cites Monique Wittig and invents…she believes that all the images males have made of powerful, flying, intuitive,superstrong,timetravelling,universe travelling beings are actually signs to what females were originally capable of.

    This is a great comment. Thanks for recommending that book. I have ordered The Sisterwitch Conspiracy. It looks amazing. I wanna read it.

  69. Some interesting ideas, but I do think we need to factor-in the male response to these tactics. Thousands of years ago separatist women withdrew to islands and other remote regions, eventually men found and slaughtered or captured them.

    Pre-sex selection is the best option to lower male population because it involves no killing or suffering, the science is already available and used everyday in farming, plus there are do it yourself recipes for increasing the probability of having girls, which could be improved, scientifically evaluated and used covertly by individual women. Also it is a message we can sell to women (unlike the additional abortions or infanticide methods, already used against us by men) because we can create constructive arguments around it. Such as men cause war, men, along with women and children suffer in wars, if we lower men’s population to 30% there would be fewer wars.

    We could also look at the Y chromosome, try to evaluate if any remaining Ys from war devastated populations correlate to low violence against women and egalitarian societies. We might look at the Ys of American indians, African Tuaregs, and the Mosuo from China. We would be looking at measure rather than nature, but the degree is everything (the difference between a warm bath and a scalding one!) If some correlation could be found (bearing in mind a lot of ethnic people now have the Ys of white warlike men) they could be offered in female run sperm banks, with the consent of both parties, of course.

    One day women will go on alone, without men. But that is a long way off, so we need to look at every possibility to improve our existence in the meantime. Though, as a personal solution, I would love to become a complete separatist tomorrow.

  70. You’re supposed to have sex a few days prior to your ovulation peak if you want a girl. Male sperm swim faster, but female sperm are hardier, apparently. So if you have intercourse when you’re at your most fertile the males will get to the egg fastest. If you have sex three days before your peak the male sperm will have perished but the hardy females will keep plodding up to the egg. :)

    I also heard that oestrogen is affecting males and lowering their testosterone. Some say it is the oestrogen in the water supply from the contraceptive pill, but that just sounds like blaming women to me. Look at all the hormones cows and chickens are with.

    just thinking out loud.

  71. Apart from Telling The Truth, I think the second most radical act is to LIke Other Women.

    Misogyny is so ingrained into us that it is very easy to get frustrated with other women for perpetuating their dire situation and not realizing how oppressed they are. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the focus should be men. Men oppress us, so it’s no good getting annoyed at women for raising boys, although I certainly agree that lowering the male population is important, and I’ll never forget those two midwives who killed every boy baby for decades to prevent the warring between the tribes.That is a hopeful, positive story.

    But liking other women can go a long way. Three days ago I went to a new office and as a young woman served a male collegue and I tea she KNELT down on the floor. A man would never do that, of course. Even my (Japanese) collegue was a little embarrassed. Where is her self-respect? But how I can even feel a little bit of annoyance towards her? SHe’d lose her job if she refused, and maybe she needs her job.

  72. It occurred to me as I’ve been reading this excellent exchange that maybe a look at the word “Resolution”, in its many meanings, to adopt as a sort of one-word touchstone to form our thoughts around; to give this (yes!) synthesis we’re doing here *tone* and a semantic significance.

    “Revolution” is so LOADED with negative connotations that it’s completely toxic and has no meaning, radically, but extreme hardship and suffering for women and girls. Not to mention the that it is based in Latin on *to turn* which rather implies that it’s going to happen again and, well, we know HIStory bears this out.

    Right now it really does feel to me like it IS do-or-time. The First Wave took a lifetime and so did the Second. This one is shaping up to be the same sort of thing (we have big cannons against us as always) and I feel that any and all means necessary, working intra/extra <everything is the only way to go to begin to achieve the numbers we need to crest, again.

    This is getting long, but I propose that everyone read Undercover Punk’s latest post and consider how with just the numbers we *know* we have, and could rather easily rally in the Greater Feminist Neighborhood given the right nudge, for effecting change within the System as per rape reporting.

  73. Ay caramba! The comment box was mean to me!

  74. whatsa matter s4? looks ok to me?

  75. Oh, technical glitch. Bother. As long as my message is clear I guess! :)

  76. There are some great ideas here. I think the starting point might need to be getting some basic infrastructure in place though – in a coordinated way.

    One of the big stumbling blocks to anything radical actually happening is that women need to feel there is some organised approach and that they can be part of something tangible. I think there are more women out there than we realise who would be open to radical feminism, if there was something “real” they felt they could belong to – because let’s face it, they’d be shunned by most of the people in the communities they currently belong to.

    So I’m thinking the first step is to decide, and this is off the top of my head, that there could be known ‘centres’ of radical feminist activity and community, in the same way as feminism, gay rights etc have built up in the past – say concentrate on Sydney, New York, London, San Francisco (just examples…). We’re small in number so far, so maybe need to pool resources more and spend a few years building up a visible presence in a few places, rather than a couple of us everywhere? This includes separatist space and maybe even places to live etc.

    Setting up “enclaves” like that could be step one, and from a strong base we could then start influencing broader society? (how, I’ll admit I don’t know) I really like the idea of a radfem lawyer or doctor for eg stealthily beginning to influence her profession and practice (and clients…) in a coordinated way, from a support base she knows she can go back to when she gets attacked.

    I might be wrong here, but didn’t it take conservative christians in the US a couple of decades to get such a stranglehold on the GOP? We might need to settle in for our own carefully planned long march thru the patriarchy, slowly gathering other women along the way

  77. S4 I like your idea of a “resolution.” And all its meanings.

    And developing, its an interesting thought that this might take some time. As in decades, to implement something radical, on the ground. It could be that the passage of time will increase our gains, this is how compound interest works for example. And women need to make the decision very early on to stick together, save their money and eschew men and male centrism in all its forms. Is it possible that its too late for all of us, and we need to prepare for the next generation of women? What would it look like if that were true? I have often wondered if there’s a point of no return where you are just in too deep and too far down that road etc etc to fix it. My mother and I have been discussing how she and I could work together to better our situations, and we think it will take money, first and foremost. And we have wasted literally decades spending on fuckability mandates and not earning compound interest before we realized this. I don’t know, I’m still thinking on it.

  78. FCM – maybe that’s it – maybe the idea of creating enclaves and eschewing men etc is all our generation can do – kind of lay the groundwork for phase 2 (consisting of the stuff some of the posts above have mentioned) by women who are only girls right now? Give them an option, albeit a small one, outside the current norms – and women who choose the radfem option then take the baton.

    Money really is important though – and not government funding etc with all the strings attached – just pooled resources that nobody can tell us what to spend on…

  79. Well if that’s the case, we could all commit to leaving life insurance proceeds and our own estates to a trust or a foundation with a specific purpose. I imagine we will all be dead in what, 80 years tops? If we could get something together 80 years from now, that’s better than nothing right? 80 years isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things. It’s something to think about? There are probably more exciting and less depressing things to think about too, but it is something.

  80. I really like the idea of compound interest. I think it works with knowledge too.
    My daughter will be inheriting a shelf load of radical feminst books. I know she’ll read them because everything else out there is so boring by comparison. How could a teenager NOT pick up a books entitled Pornland, Pure Lust, Heartbreak, Quintessence, ANti-climax, Beauty and MIsogyny. Just look at the titles for a start.
    I own these books thanks to the internet, internet radfems and Amazon.
    OUr mothers had nothing comparable.

  81. It took DECADES for the suffragettes to achieve their specific, concrete goal: the “female vote.” The movement’s pioneers did not survive to enjoy its ultimate success. And today, almost a century later, we continue to benefit from their awe-inspiring perseverance and tireless (reform) work.

  82. LESBIANS have set a strong precedent for female co-habitation. Many of us *are* separating. We’re *doing* it. Lesbians are living together and pooling our resources and prioritizing EACH OTHER. If women are interested in a male-free existence, they should research the history and experiences of lesbian separatist communities– what worked, what didn’t, etc.

    Further, any utopian enclave of separatism must have clearly defined “community standards” to guide resource-prioritization and other foreseeable disagreements. (I don’t plan to have any money when I die, btw.)

  83. May I suggest you then set up a bursary for an impoverished woman (young, or older, screwed over by the pat) so she can get out of the pink ghetto, and pass it on herself, hopefully. That’s one of the good reasons to have money to leave, when you die, at 107. (Oh the memoir! )

  84. yes the issue of wealth and therefore accumulated wealth is a problem for women everywhere, and for feminists. i do not expect many or any of us to have significant estates when we die, but some of us might, it is possible. the idea for life insurance policies i got from sheilaG and it might make more sense than estate planning when its not expected that we will even have an “estate” of any significance ever. for young people in general, i believe it is easy and inexpensive to purchase life insurance. i imagine the plan would be to leave everything to female children or significant female others, and if everyone dies before you then to have it go towards a worthy cause. figuring out the purpose of any trust or foundation would take some time. reform vs radical goals might be a useful framework for something like that.

  85. Yes to continuing to develop Womyn’s Lands! Put me down for San Francisco!

    I’m on radfemspeak.net, thanks Maggie, I’m on there, excellent site, was wondering how to take some of this private…

    Have been researching Womyn’s Lands and there seem to be a number in the U.S. As Undercoverpunk says, my impression also is that lesbians are the pioneers here. Many more must be under the radar or very small. I’d like to find one for next year, for feminists, men banned, but hets welcome. Temporary camps for women too on the land. The huge attraction for me would be safe land to walk in and enjoy nature. I never feel safe on public trails and am even uncomfortable walking on my own street after dark. I have often fantasized about buying land and moving there alone and putting up a big fence etc, but wow, that would be way too lonely.

    Maybe these would be the bases as others have said.

    So much to say, so little time.

  86. “let’s discuss what radical action IS!”

    Sometimes a radical action is just getting out of bed in the morning. Dworkin said, “Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge.” So any women who “ventures out” is doing a radical action. Truth telling, especially seeing the truth for yourself, is an incredibly radical act.

    Reforming the system is valid work, but it’s not radical. You can create all the beneficial laws, all the protections you want, but it’s only radical when you manage to convince women that they are actually entitled to those rights. “Radical” means going to the root or origin.

    Domestic violence for example, the majority of women are not trapped because they’re under lock and key, they’re trapped because they believe they deserve it or they fear being killed if they leave, or they don’t know how to survive on their own. A “radical” act is when all those seeds you’ve planted finally sprout and they reject everything they believe and take a leap of faith. That’s what a radical action is.

  87. yttik, I agree that telling the truth to oneself is a radical act. And that telling the truth to other women is radical act. I might also say that having the faith or courage to sever ties with abusive situations is radical.

    This framing seems consistent with my suggestion that “radicalism” is limited to the realm of *ideas,* though. Is individual enlightenment the most radical thing we can do? Are we looking for a critical mass of feminist “awakening”? Will everything else just fall into place?

  88. Everything doesn’t fall into place UP. And radical acts connect to radical ideas. What radical feminism has always struggled with is the BIG contradiction. That is the oppressed live with and have PIV with… the oppressor. There is no way around this, and that is why women’s freedom is so difficult to obtain at any price. That is the root of it all. Just how badly do women want freedom? It’s a continuum…. but there is no way around the basic contradiction, or at least it is very hard for women to really grasp this. Unless we get the information out there soon enough, and reach women worldwide soon enough, the so-called “choice” of het PIV servitude will be the default position of most of the women on earth… their youth wasted on this big contradiction.

  89. “{Is individual enlightenment the most radical thing we can do?”

    Well, 95% of women’s oppression doesn’t involve any force at all. Our minds are so screwed with from day one that we tend to grow up compliant. Worse, now days we have these concepts like “consent” and “empowerment,” so many of us actually believe we’re in charge, we’re the ones choosing the porn, prostitution, PIV, pregnancy, whatever. In many places we have abortion rights, access to birth control, laws against rape, but none of these things are really radical. “Radical” would be women becoming enlightened enough to say, no, sorry, this form of sex is too harmful and risky, so we’re simply not going to participate anymore. That would be a hugely radical act.

    I think we are looking for a critical mass of feminist awakening, but that’s not as huge of a task as it appears. It’s been proven all over the world that just the simple act of bringing women’s participation in government up to 30%, changes the entire dynamic and outcome. Those women don’t even have to be feminists, they just have to be women. It doesn’t really matter what they believe or what their ideas are, it’s the dynamic that changes, just from their presence. Men behave differently. Different things get discussed and passed. The focus is different. When that happens, yes, everything else just falls into place. Let’s say that 30% critical mass of women in general contains a 5% critical mass of feminists. We’d go so far beyond “everything else just falling into place,” it’s hard to imagine.

  90. Well, 95% of women’s oppression doesn’t involve any force at all.

    i really do not agree with this at all, unless you mean that only 5% of women are physically restrained or incapacitated either by incarceration, medication, or domestic violence? although even with those qualifiers, this estimate seems a little low. male power, including interpersonal and institutional power over women is backed up 100% by violence and the threat of violence. i am well aware that now that i have said what i have said about “dispatching male babies at birth” for example, that i have probably sealed my own fate and cannot decide in the future to have children: if i have a male child and something happens to it, my words here could easily be used against me to show that i caused it. we are completely oppressed at all times, and the threats of violence are real. the “force” is tangible and knowable, and obvious. it has a chilling effect and silences us. those of us who speak anyway do so at our peril. to deny this reality is telling women we are literally insane and interpreting our situation incorrectly if we “feel” or sense our oppression, and the force and threats of violence behind it, and what is really going on.

    that said, i did give up wearing makeup recently, and havent worn a bra all summer. its been grand. :) if we are talking about little things like that, then i might agree that a little envelope pushing might fly under the radar for some women, some of the time.

  91. “..unless you mean that only 5% of women are physically restrained or incapacitated either by incarceration, medication, or domestic violence?”

    Yep, that’s what I’m talking about. The vast majority of women’s oppression uses a velvet glove approach, more like the brainwashing pedophiles put child victims through. It isn’t necessary to use much force, we’ve already been trained to police ourselves and each other as women. Nobody has to actually force women to wear make up, heels, consent to PIV, etc. Most of us just comply because we know it’s expected. Half the time we’re convinced it was our idea in the first place.

    Of course there’s still plenty of violence out there, and threats and intimidation, but that’s almost the easy part. The really radical work involves trying to enlighten women themselves. Harriet Tubman said, “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

    I’m debating the concept that “radicalism is limited to the realm of ideas.” No, no it’s not. It’s getting to the root or the origin of the problem and acting radically. “Radical” does not necessarily mean “extreme.”

  92. I’m sorry, but I’m still not buying it. Your 5% seems way too low, are you basing that on anything? Or is it just a guess? Are you talking regionally or worldwide?

    And what about those who aren’t restrained currently but have been previously and know only too well how this works and how quickly and easily it happens? Force and violence and threats of same against women are just completely banal.

    I get your point yttik, but I’m not sure why you need to discount the actual force that’s there? Women aren’t imagining it. This is not in their heads.

  93. BTW my own little naturalist rebellion may indeed have had consequences, just nothing I would ever be able to prove. And its nothing I care to discuss here either. I’m just saying. My life actually changed pretty drastically about 2 months into it.

  94. And aren’t domestic violence numbers alone like 20%?

  95. I’m not discounting violence. I simply don’t agree that radical just means talking or having ideas. I’m reading some posts here that seem to be discounting the significance and radicalism of “individual feminist enlightenment”, as Undercover called it.

    Noanodyne mentioned another blog and pointed out, “So we can sit back snug in the belief that we know exactly what it will take to be free AND never have to do anything about it.” What that blog really needs is an infusion of individual feminist enlightenment. What’s missing there is the “radical” part of feminism.

    There are millions of radical things women do everyday. There is no huge, extreme, reformist act we can do to suddenly fix things, because that completely discounts how women have been brainwashed, programmed, to accept their own oppression. First you have to free yourself, then you have to plant seeds that will help to free others. Back to domestic violence as an example, you can write all the laws you want, build all the shelters in the world, it does nothing unless you can convince one woman that she actually deserves to be free. Unless you can do that one radical thing, she’ll just keep going back.

  96. Yes the comparison to ibtp didn’t do anything for me either. And one “radical act” on vliet’s list was to continue writing about it. One.

    Other blogs and other self-identified feminists can’t even do that much. As you say, they haven’t even become aware yet. So while I have no doubt at all that there are some over there involved in harm reduction work, not a single one of them probably understands what they are up against. It’s almost an informed consent framework: if they are going to put so much time and energy into harm reduction strategies and reform work, shouldn’t they know beforehand that it won’t create fundamental change, or that it actually supports the patriarchy in some way like all harm reduction methods do? Before they almost inevitably burn out without seeing it coming or knowing why it was inevitable?

  97. Also, as a result of reading second wave authors and writing about and discussing piv over time, I was able to bring radical change into my own life by ending piv within the context of a het partnership, and compulsory heterosex, which IS piv. I never understood the systemic nature of it, or the ways it obviously and tangibly supports male power. Now I do. I am probably not the only one who has come to this realization and made these changes. And its just made it that much easier to see now male power is supported always, by all men’s institutions. Piv represents the keys to the kingdom, it really does. But you all already know what I think about that. :)

  98. And for those who seem to be saying that the radfem blogs are just intellectual masturbation, was 10 individual Bloggers endeavoring and taking action to create the HUB just more of the same? Is this action not radical, or is it not action? Or what? Writing is an activity, it requires action. I do not understand how or why this is not recognized.

    And what about creating an alternative to the fun fem blogs? We are providing a service, filling a much needed gap. Is this not radical, or is it not action? Building a better mousetrap is action that’s recognized (improving on something that already exists, being innovating) in other contexts, is it not recognized when women do it on behalf of ourselves, to further our own interests? Or is this just worthless when radfems do it? Honestly, this just smacks of misogyny and self hatred to me.

  99. And is it only “organizing” when we organize with men, within male centric institutions, spaces and culture? The mental labor, project management and yes organization that has gone into creating and maintaining the hub has been immense. If all of that is basically invisible to outside observers, that means its been an incredible success. I’m just saying. Keeping any kind of group project basically functional is an herculean task. Anyone who has ever done it knows this is true.

  100. Females don’t have to kill baby boys. Just not nurture them. Females are forced to *birth* baby boys, but beyond that a female’s physical actions are her own.

    Males will die without the constant infusion of female energy that they get from our wombs and from our lives. They are perfectly welcome to take the male infants from the hands of the midwife, and what they do with it from that point is *their* decision.

    Females need to not be emotionally and intellectually invested in a male future.

  101. Well, the mother couldn’t retain custody and refuse to nurture if she wants to stay out of jail when the child dies. There are don’t ask don’t tell systems in place around the US where anyone can abandon an infant at a designated safe place, like hospital or fire station, without legal consequences, but surely the children end up being cared for by women anyway. But for individual women who don’t personally want to care for male babies, but ended up with one for whatever reason, that is an option.

  102. And what about creating an alternative to the fun fem blogs?

    Precisely. When all others are fun-, pomo/trans-, BDSM-, xtian- (yes, there *are* “fundamentalist christian feminists”) doing so is both action, and radical as far as I am concerned.

    At the same time, I agree that the Personal Enlightenment *moment* in each wom_n’s life is the MOST radical act of all. We just need a lot more of them.

  103. Yep, radfem bloggers have done good work and of course that’s radical action. No one said it wasn’t and twisting what I said to claim that is ridiculous. What Twisty’s place and this space have in common is some women who are absolutely sure they are “radical” feminists because they have figured out the basics of being anti-porn and anti-prostitution (and even anti-PIV). You may not like the comparison FCM, but there’s a lot of lightweight thinking in radfem circles right now and there’s some in this thread. 2nd wave feminism was dragged down into bland middle-of-the-road liberalism because females wanted to create a big tent and believe that anyone who says they are a feminist IS. And now I’m seeing a trend toward accepting any argument by women who claim to be radical, but who are trotting out all the same old bullshit liberal arguments. That’s a great way for our movement to lose ground as well. And I’m going to call it out when I see it. Some of the statements on here are not only not radical, but they’re derailing an entire discussion about activism.

    Radical feminism needs more individualism? Wait, what? “95% of women’s oppression doesn’t involve any force at all” — seriously? Getting out of bed in the morning and not wearing a bra are radical, but working to get odious laws off of women’s necks is merely “reform” that can be looked down on? If we get 30% more women in government, magic things will happen (despite what we can now see is an ascendant handmaiden movement), but let’s dismiss women who are actually doing something in political arenas? Women can’t be free unless they stare at their navel long enough to recognize their wonderfulness? Please stop!!! Get a grip, FFS, none of that is “radical” no matter how you define the word. They are liberalism re-packaged and it’s stomach-turning to see them on a supposed radical feminist blog.

  104. So add something to the discussion, noan, add what you believe it lacks. I have called out the things I’ve seen and felt moved to respond to, but I don’t see you being specific at all, until now. Please be specific.

    There seems to be defensiveness on both sides, obviously, and that each is looking down their noses at the other. I have endeavored to make a distinction, this post has endeavored to make the distinction. Why is this so controversial? Why can’t it seem to be discussed here or anywhere? If anything, this tells me we need to discuss this more, and that the need is probably urgent.

  105. Again, there is no harm in telling the truth about this, whatever it is. Does anyone think we will become despairing if we conclude that nothing can realistically be done to end patriarchy and male power? Please. If this is true, we will come to terms with it. If its not, we can and should identify the weak spots and how we could best use our time.

  106. And I *also* suspect that creating some understanding here will be useful on the ground, for example in avoiding or contextualizing “burnout” and vicarious trauma that is self reported and observed to occur in many women performing harm reduction and reformist work. As well as in long term strategizing, like trying to figure out the purpose of a foundation or trust that may not exist or pay any dividends until after we are all dead, as in the life insurance stuff discussed above.

  107. And I’m pretty sure I was clear about bras, and the political significance of ditching them: there really isn’t any.

  108. And regarding domestic violence, Dworkin shared her experience of it and of listening to other women who had experienced it, and the issue wasnt that they don’t think they deserve to be free. The issue was that these women had homes that they felt they deserved to live in, that they felt entitled to stand their ground and not be homeless when they had a home and a life that they’d helped to create, and they were standing their ground courageously and not letting a man essentially steal from them. I thought that was interesting.

  109. Stop having sex with men. Stop living with men. Stop talking with men. Stop talking about men. Stop organizing for and with men. Stop engaging with men politically. Stop engaging with men personally. Stop engaging with men professionally. Stop voting for males. Stop buying things made by men. Stop selling things to men. Stop having babies until you can get pregnant without a man involved. Stop doing things for men. Stop using services provided by men. Stop raising boys to become men. Stop being friends with men. Stop listening to men. Stop watching men. Stop reading men. Stop listening to, watching, and reading about what men think, say, and do. Stop disseminating what men say and do. Stop believing that continued engagement of any kind with men will bring about the end of male power.

    THOSE are radical steps. They are not impossible, but they would cause huge hardship in some cases, difficult shifts, massive changes, and tons of support from women. That’s how we know they’re actually “radical” in the sense that nothing would be the same after as it was before. The vast majority of women look at that list and say, no way, can’t be done. The only way it could be done, even on a small scale, is to have our own economy, space, and a way to enforce the boundaries and expectations of that space. I personally do not believe it’s possible to overthrow the patriarchy without a majority of women willing to take those steps. But it may be possible to have small, self-sustaining enclaves. Some lesbians have been doing this to greater or lesser extent for a while now. There is a whole magazine published for women who have their own land and are building community on it and you can move to one of them tomorrow if you want to (I’m not going to put the name of the mag here because I don’t want to send the trolls to it that easily — you can figure it out I’m sure). But even those communities have economic relationships with males.

    All of us do most of the things on that list, it’s damn hard not to without living in a cave in the middle of the desert. But when someone starts their explanation with why she can’t do one or more of those things, we’re saying that it’s not possible. How about if we discuss how each of those IS possible and go from there? AND I fully realize that perfection is the bane of political movements — I was involved in animal rights activism for years and had to come to grips with the fact that doing some radical acts is better than doing nothing (as long as they really are “radical” and not just “different from the status quo.”

  110. Now, are you also willing to be specific about the source of the lightweight thinking on this thread and how it doesn’t go far enough? Or are you happy causing everyone anxiety over whether they are being criticized, while noone learns anything because you won’t elaborate on what you’ve said? Your specifics are wonderful and helpful noan, I wish you were more generous with them.

    I almost said “liberal” instead of generous. Haha.

  111. The root? Ok, well, we can’t GET to the root on a practical level. Only in our miiiinds. So now what?

    From the post:

    Reformist feminists give their money and time to setting up shelters, places for women to lick their wounds and be relatively safe for a little while. They try to get a few more percentage points in the futile effort to fully equalize the pay of women. They use themselves up filing lawsuits that go nowhere. They dilute their resources fighting for other groups who are also oppressed, leaving little for their own liberation. In short, they act as if the System is fundamentally sound.

    No. Attempting reform is not a direct affirmation of the System’s overall value or worthiness for rehabilitation. It could just as easily be an acknowledgement of the depressing reality that we can’t do anything BUT reform. Reformers do the ONLY thing they can do. “Futile effort” and “lawsuits that go nowhere” is insulting to feminist political warriors. THAT is why I asked the question in the first place.

    I don’t think reformists are stupid. I don’t think they necessarily believe they are going to end patriarchy, either. Maybe some do, but not all. Not even MOST. And for those women who are “foolishly optimistic,” who cares?? Let us learn from their “mistakes.” But their efforts are not futile. If this work improves women’s lives, it is valuable to ALL OF US.

  112. Start with me if you’d like.

  113. Sorry, the above was addressed to noan.

  114. When in the “where do we go from here” frame of mind, it pays to remember that two things are developing quickly that profoundly affect the feasibility of possible actions. KatieS and I have mentioned these before: 1. ) the collapse of the money system / social infrastructure and 2.) rapidly progressing climate change.

    Collapse of social infrastructure will change women’s beliefs and imagination of what they can and can’t do really fast. Improvisation will be the way of getting from moment to moment. There will not be opportunities for ideological discussion.

    We will act on split-second decisions, instinct, and intuition.

    We will not be acting en masse but in greatly varying local circumstances. Physical location will be important.

  115. Noan’s is a good list. And it is entirely possible to do *one or more* of those things every single day! It’s easy! Ask Me How! :)

    For me it started with Dude-Free Thursday; to be super-aware-of and avoid contact with men for a whole routine day aside from the private, individual *man* I work/ed for who is not a Nigel. Today, it takes ZERO energy on my part to “avoid” them. It just is, but at the time it seemed “radical”.

    It’s an organic thing. And as such, ideally, it grows.

  116. UP, there’s quite a list being compiled here of acts that might actually be radical. Why do you keep insisting that these are merely ideas? You started the HUB with us, you know how much action was involved, and that our goal was to provide an alternative to the fun fem blogs.

  117. We built a better mousetrap. Successfully, so far. That is action.

  118. FWIW, I experience the Hub and *all* the radfem networking that’s going on now as radical action.

    Are there others? Sure. Some that we know about, some that we don’t.

    Nothing is to the exclusion of anything else. A whole lot of stuff happens simultaneously.

    We have this amazing opportunity now, while the internet is working, so raise a helluva lot of femalesurvival enegy in the hearts and minds and spirits of other girls and women. We are *doing* this now. After 50 years, that energy is back .

    Instead of building within a static, predictable socio-political infrastructure, as the women’s communities did in the 60’s and 70’s, we will be building, and re-grouping, and re-building in the context of (figurative) rockslides , volcanoes, and earthquakes.

    We will take with us the awareness and the spirit that we are developing now.

  119. FCM, the term “radical” is meaningless to me. I already *do* many of the things mentioned here, including blogging–which is important activism. However. Critical mass individualism and dissemination of feminist ideas is not enough.

    We need to attack the System. If that looks like reform, so be it. But the System is not an authentic REFLECTION of “the people’s” needs and desires. If it were, maybe I would be more optimistic about a strategy of individual separatism or enlightenment.

  120. I agree, Mary, those massive changes may just make that whole list a whole lot more do-able in the coming few years. I cross my fingers every day. And if my infrastructure is one that goes down and takes me with it, that’s fine, I just hope there are women who will keep agitating for what now seem like outrageous acts.

    LOL, S4, dude-free Thursdays. I have completely stopped reading things (that I know are) written by men and I refuse to pass on anything they write in places like FB and in my daily life. I think if every single woman stopped reading, buying, selling, purveying in any way, and discussing things men have written, we would see a huge shift.

    As for “lightweight,” I pointed out plenty in that comment. I believe that “radical” means that things are completely different on the other side of what is done than they were to start with. Completely different, not a little bit unlike the status quo, which is another way of explaining what I mean by lightweight thinking — as in, I can take tiny little steps that women aren’t supposed to take and that’s radical. No, I don’t believe that’s any more radical than all the things that have been called “harm reduction” and “reform.” If the same systems that keep women down remain intact, radical action has not taken place. Yes, we have to discuss what steps we can take, but that is the beginning, not the end.

    I also believe that there are many “reformist” kinds of things we can do (and have done) that make women’s lives demonstrably better and whether they are actually “radical” or not (overthrowing whole systems), they are vital to our being able to even survive and thrive long enough to get to a radical solution. We have to have the strength, time, healthy, relative wealth, standing, etc., etc. to even have a platform to launch a radical action. Everyone can’t be the radical actor — perhaps if we could imagine that there are women who are creating and stabilizing that platform, while other women are launching radical actions, that is a more useful distinction.

  121. putting all of this into a survivalist context does help clarify things and helps identify our interests and how to protect them. for example, if the infrastructure as we currently know it collapses, we will need to stay as healthy as possible because we could die from simple infections (with all due respect to herbalist remedies). so PIV, just like drinking dirty water and doing absolutely anything known to cause infection, sickness and death will be right out. the problem of men raping and killing us will obviate the need to habitate without them, to circle the wagons and protect ourselves against them, and to kill them if they get too close. ironically, without the male medical machine, childbirth may actually be less deadly and traumatizing than it is now…but lets not go there for the time being. unless anyone wants to. :) everything would be different, and the crumbs we have now and that we fight to protect — like nice houses (or any permanent structure) and bullshit legal protections that dont protect us at all, like restraining orders and rape law — wouldnt be worth a hill of beans: the beans would be worth more.

  122. FCM, you’ve got it. I’m right there with you.

    One news story I read today was about gonorrhea. It has now mutated to the point where no known antibiotics will treat it. So, they don’t know “what to do” about it. Hah. Well, let’s ignore the obvious. Males all over the world stop sticking their dicks into females. And let’s ignore the even more urgently obvious: females: under no circumstances volunteer your vagina for a male to stick his dick into.

    Survival time is here and now, increasingly, for more and more females on this planet.

    I do all those things that you suggest, Noan. And FCM, yes, I constantly guard my health. Store food and water. Keep myself supplied with tools, equipment, materials. Live under the radar. Scour for information every day. Constantly review and question my own mindset.

    I long for female community, in a survival situation beyond the collapse of the money system. What can I bring to that community, and how, is the story of the rest of my life.

  123. Oh, and we have a full moon tonight. Good time for spellcasting. :-) :-) We’re doing lots of that here. :-) :-)

  124. Our moon is full too and playing through silver-lined clouds. :)

  125. “ironically, without the male medical machine, childbirth may actually be less deadly and traumatizing than it is now…but lets not go there for the time being. unless anyone wants to.:)”

    Not “may actually”, but “absolutely positively, definitely, with hard evidence to back it up”

    sorry, as you were…

  126. There are some things I wouldn’t trust a midwife with, like a medically necessary c section for example. Or being able to identify preeclampsia or liver failure for example, before symptoms are obvious. But for the vast majority who aren’t facing naturally occurring high risk pregnancies or complications yes, being without men’s medicine would make everything better. Completely.

  127. Naturally occurring high risk pregnancies and complications that are preventable I should say. Pregnancy can never be made safe.

  128. but how many C-sections are medically necessary? My midwife not only identified signs of preeclampsia (protein in the urine) but also forced me to strictly examine my diet until we had eliminated the causes. Within two weeks all signs of preeclampsia had dissappeared.

    Many Ob/gyns believe there is no connection between diet and preeclampsia.

  129. you are more likely to die of an unecessary C-section than anything else. The U.S has a sky high maternal mortality rate because the ob/gyns over there love C-sections.

  130. There are some labors that are so obstructed that both the fetus and the woman die. This would obviously require a c section. There are many women and yes girl children who attempt to birth around the world, and they are physically unable to do this. They die or end up with fistulas. That’s what I’m talking about.

  131. Many midwives can and do perform c sections, FCM, in places like Mozambique. Having modern medicine and trained (mostly male) doctors has not really reduced maternal/infant mortality, we’ve contributed to it, especially now days with fertility drugs, multiple births, and excessive c-sections. Childbirth is not necessarily hazardous if conditions are favorable for it. That means no war, poverty, impregnation of children, poor nutrition, too much hard work, poor sanitation, multiple pregnancies, etc. What makes childbirth dangerous primarily is not nature, it’s the man made hardships we impose on women.

    Obstetric fistulas for example don’t happen naturally, they are caused from violent sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, impregnating girls too young, botched abortions, closely spaced pregnancies.

  132. If they are trained surgeons, fine. I’m not adverse to midwives, but they aren’t trained for that here. If they were, I’d say take your chances with the midwife, hands down.

    And even a wanted pregnancy under ideal conditions can kill you. Let’s not deny the obvious. All of men’s institutions are designed to and do make it all much, much worse, but I don’t think there’s any evidence at all that pregnancy can be made safe, and not dangerous to the woman. If there is evidence that this is true, please share.

  133. Well, this is what I mean by radical actions, radical thought, radical ideas. Yes indeed, given the right conditions pregnancy can be made safe. Just because it isn’t today doesn’t mean we must resign ourselves that this is “just the way things are.” We can think outside the box, ponder what the world would look like of we were able to remove the oppressions and conditions that make women’s lives miserable. Nature did not design women to die in childbirth.

    This is the same conflict I have with just accepting that women are biologically vulnerable and therefore will always be in need of protections. Yes a thousand times over, given our current system, but can we not ponder the possibilities if our current system were not in place? Why are we always resigning ourselves to what we claim is just “irrefutable biology,” rather then being bold enough to at least dream of other possibilities?

  134. some animals that give birth to litters of young dont seem to be that much worse for the wear, from what i recall from our cats. of course, there probably are some that have complications, and theres no asking them how they feel about it in any event, or whether they experienced “trauma” or lasting effects or excruciating pain. one reason for the seeming ease of some animal births is that the babies are very small. is this the case with larger mammals who only gestate one large fetus at a time as well? and can we assume that the reality is the same for female humans in any case? i dont know the answers to those questions, i havent looked into it. that might be an interesting research project, although some of that information might be unknowable, like whether it applies to female humans who have evolved to stand erect for example, when our lower backs (and who knows what else?) arent really made for it.

    of course we are free to imagine what things would look like in the absence of male abuse and male institutions that harm us and that multiply and magnify the harms we suffer too. but thats no reason to just speculate that something like pregnancy and childbirth that has real, tangible physical consequences (like pain, whether or not it can be managed) to female-bodied persons could be made to not have any, unless theres some basis for believing this is true. its not essentialist to acknowledge the reality that women are born with female reproductive organs, and that there are consequences to pregnancy, its not being deluded, and not minimizing womens shared experience as female-bodied persons.

  135. Being deluded and minimizing women’s shared experiences is how women are forced to cope with not having a choice, with not even being able to imagine an alternative.

    Just accepting that women have the biological misfortune of being born women seems very limiting to me. Who decided that? Who created the system that insists on keeping us vulnerable? What makes us vulnerable? Pregnancy? Just a couple of days ago a woman completed the Chicago marathon and gave birth. That doesn’t seem like a vulnerability to me, it seems like an example of how incredibly powerful and strong women can be.

  136. Overcoming obstacles and hardships does speak to strength, yes. It doesn’t turn the obstacles and hardships into something else. And I am not framing women’s biology as unfortunate, it just IS. We have to deal with what it is.

    Again, if you have evidence that pregnancy can be made safe for all women all the time, or even other large mammals for that matter, please link to it. I would like to read it.

  137. Also, I can absolutely conceive of a future where a woman dying in the prime of her life isn’t as horrifying as it is now. Currently when this happens, it creates orphans for example. In a future world where a community of women shares all the burdens of everyone else, where individual women aren’t completely responsible for their own existing children, where dying young doesn’t effect the value of your estate, and other massive and profound departures from our current way of life under the P, I fully believe that women dying young would have different connotations than it does now. But unless we are willing to imagine a future where death in the prime of our lives isn’t seen as a negative or as a harm, pregnancy will not escape these connotations.

  138. “I am not framing women’s biology as unfortunate, it just IS. We have to deal with what it is. ”

    How do we know what percentage of women’s vulnerability is related to biology and what percentage is simply related to the system we live under? We don’t know. We are simply assuming the patriarchal definition of female, which means to be smaller, weaker, vulnerable. Pregnancy is then viewed as a disability, a disease, as are all things related to females.

  139. Yttik, that’s not true at all. I’m not saying its a disease. I’m saying it can kill you in the prime of your life, and that some percentage of this risk is very obviously biological. Some. We don’t know how much, that’s true. But it isn’t none. That’s the point.

  140. If you don’t like the word “vulnerability” then call it something else if you like. Call it green eggs and ham, or skip-a-dee-doo. It doesn’t change what it is.

    Can you conceive of a value system in which women dying in the prime of their lives would NOT be considered a harm? Because you are speaking as if you can. If not, then what you’re saying doesn’t make any sense.

  141. heres an article that references an elephant dying in childbirth. granted, she was in a zoo. is this what caused it? i dont know.

    An elderly female elephant has died of grief at an Indian zoo after the death of a close friend.

    Damini, who was 72, had befriended a younger pregnant elephant called Champakali at the Prince of Wales Zoo in Lucknow.

    But she starved herself to death in misery when Champakali died in childbirth.

    Their zookeeper is mourning the loss of his two charges. “It will take me some time to get over the death of my two loved ones,” said her keeper, who goes by the name of Kamaal.

    The two elephants became inseparable in September after Champakali was brought in pregnant from Dudhwa National Park where she had worked carrying tourists.

    Surrogate daughter

    She was in Lucknow for maternity leave, and Damini immediately became her best friend and surrogate mother.

    According to animal experts, this kind of deep attachment is common among elephants, with older ones often taking a mothering role.

    “Elephants are very social animals. They can form very close bonds with others in their social group,” said Pat Thomas, curator of mammals at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.

    But when Champakali died giving birth to a stillborn calf last month, Damini lost all interest in her food and began starving herself to death.

    Zoo officials said she shed tears over her friend’s body, then stood still in her enclosure for days.

    Over the next 24 days she barely nibbled her diet of sugar cane, bananas and grass until her legs swelled up and she collapsed.

    Grass tent

    She then lay still, losing weight and crying, and a week ago stopped eating or drinking her daily 40 gallons of water, despite the hot weather.

    Her keepers tried to keep her cool by building around her a makeshift tent of fragrant grass and spraying her with water.

    Vets tried to save her by pumping more than 25 gallons of glucose and vitamins into her veins, but she died on Wednesday.

    Kamaal has now buried her next to her friend.

    “In the face of Damini’s intense grief, all our treatment failed,” said Dr Utkarsh Shukla, the zoo vet.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/337356.stm

  142. heres one that references a killer whale dying in childbirth. she was also in captivity (at sea world). did that cause it? i dont know.

    http://news.discovery.com/animals/more-death-and-controversy-at-seaworld.html

  143. We’re unlikely to know of female mammals in the wild who have died of complications of pregnancy or childbirth.

    Having been pregnant, and having almost died in childbirth, I would say that being pregnant is more dangerous than not being pregnant. My heart sinks whenever I hear that any particular girl or woman is pregnant.

  144. yes some things are unknowable. thats for sure. and the mere fact of LABOR that lasts a day or more, where you are basically incapacitated and could never run away or defend yourself if you needed to, makes you less safe. because it puts you in danger of predation. this is self-evident isnt it? what am i missing?

  145. “If not, then what you’re saying doesn’t make any sense.”

    Okay fine. People are completely ruled by biology and this is just a fact that we can’t ever operate outside of. I guess women are weak and vulnerable and men are just biologically driven to prey upon them. Childbirth is also innately and horribly dangerous. So reproduction must be a natural system designed to annihilate the human race.

    Or perhaps men have completely screwed with the natural order of things and we now live under a patriarchy? Perhaps pregnancy is not what makes us vulnerable, perhaps the patriarchy does everything it can to make sure that pregnancy becomes a vulnerability?

    Women do not have to die in pregnancy, FCM. We know exactly why they do and we know exactly how to prevent it. We could, if we valued women’s lives and we had the will, make pregnancy as safe as any other natural biological process. To insist that pregnancy is just innately dangerous is to deny all the harm that has been created for the sole purpose of making sure that pregnancy carries great risk so that women will remain vulnerable.

  146. To insist that pregnancy is just innately dangerous is to deny all the harm that has been created for the sole purpose of making sure that pregnancy carries great risk so that women will remain vulnerable.

    FALSE. this statement is untrue. the statements on either side of the “is to” are not equal. so stop saying they are. that would be my only suggestion at this point: just stop saying the two are equal. its ridiculous.

  147. until you are able to state that something that causes temporary incapacity (at best) and death (at worst) is harmless and poses no danger at all to any woman anywhere, then your arguments MAKE NO SENSE yttik. please. all i am saying is that its HARM. not that it negates anything. you are completely making that up.

  148. *or* you would have to realistically dispute that pregnancy, in the complete absence of harmful patriarchal institutions, would likely cause temporary incapacity or death all by itself, even sometimes. is this what you are saying? and if so, what are you basing this on?

  149. FCM you said, “Pregnancy can never be made safe.” Yes it can be made safe because we know exactly what makes it dangerous and we know exactly how to prevent it. We don’t have to settle for mere harm reduction, not when we’re trying to create a rad/fem agenda. Women are entitled to have safe pregnancies and the design of our bodies made that possible. Get rid of the male dominated medical establishment, the fertility drugs, the excessive caesarians, the rape of children, the poverty, the war, the FGM, the forced repeat pregnancies, the lack of access to midwifery, and what is left behind is a biological process that carries very little risk.

    Healthy women are not “temporarily incapacitated” by pregnancy. If you study maternal mortality history, you will observe that every time women start having relatively risk free pregnancies, the patriarchy steps in to return us to a state of vulnerability. First they got rid of midwives, forcing us into hospitals where we started dying from infections we’d never had before. Once that was under control, we began using excessive drugs, forceps, anesthesia. Then we moved on to ridiculously high rates of caesarians which cause hemorrhaging. Now we’ve progressed to fertility drugs and multiple births as if women were designed to have litters.

  150. Thank you for admitting that there is some inherent risk. “Very little” is not the same as none. That’s all I’ve been saying this whole time.

  151. And exactly how much constitutes “very little” is unknown and we could speculate about that, or not.

  152. And I find it bizarre that my statement that LABOR is incapacitating was read by you as the entire pregnancy being incapacitating. Seriously yttik, that is a complete and unnecessary reading comprehension fail. Please read. Please comprehend. Only then can we move the discussion forward. Thank you

  153. Here, FCM, from the original post:

    “One of the saddest and most difficult areas of feminist thought has to do with women’s invisible ancient history. Our failure thus far to dispositively show that woman-dominated societies, or even unoppressive societies, once existed has been a blow. It makes it seem as if such societies could not occur in the future. Reformist Feminists are much concerned with resurrecting this uncertain, invisibilized past. Radical feminists, I believe, point to the future. If there are no such societies found, Monique Wittig said, invent them.”

    How can we do this work, how can we even imagine a different societal structure, if we continue to insist that humans are all about biology and our modern perceptions of what that means?? Whether we’re insisting that women are biologically vulnerable or claiming that men have defective androgens, what we’re really doing is placing limitations on our own imaginations. If we can’t even imagine a world where pregnant women are not at risk, then we can’t create it.

    A while back we were talking about individual feminist enlightenment and building a critical mass. To do that we have to offer women a vision of something better. Telling women that men act like mutants, that PIV is harmful, and that pregnancy is dangerous, is like yeah, no kidding, so what’s the alternative? At the moment there is none, except to stay as far away from men as possible. That’s not possible for the majority of women, so we need to create a vision of what things could be outside of this oppressive system.

  154. Yes, and what you seem to be imagining is a future where passing a fetus is no more risky or dangerous than taking a shit. Which is a male centric vision: if men can’t experience it, then it doesn’t exist, or can be eliminated if we want to badly enough?

    And you already said “very little risk,” have you now changed that to NO risk? Because they aren’t the same thing.

  155. What if this has nothing to do with completely eliminating the risk of pregnancy, and everything to do with creating supportive social structures for women and children that are so functional on every level that if a few of us die, we won’t be missed? That sounds harsh, but if enough redundancy were built in, meaning fail safes and layers upon layers of functional support, our children and our loved ones and our communities could go on without us. That seems more likely to me than removing the harms of pregnancy, which may well be impossible. And this is what many women want anyway: to know their kids will be ok, no matter what, and to have relatively safe and comfortable (ie. protected and supported) lives for themselves and their families. It’s a big reason they partner with men at the moment, which is a terribly inadequate solution to that particular problem.

  156. yes there’s risk to pregnancy. OF course there is. IN a sane society women who survive childbirth would be feted as warriors, thanked for the risk they were prepared to take in the name of the continuation of the species, given their proper place in society WITHOUT putting them on pedestals. Mothers don’t need pedestals; they need apreciation for the fact they were willing to risk their life by having PIV and bringing a child into the world.

    however

    the sheer and utter ignorance surrounding the female body causes many deaths.
    IN countries, such as Brazil and the US where oB/gyns love C-sections, maternal death rate is sky high. Compare it to DEVELOPED countries where drugs are rarely used and women go through labour naturally, and you’ll find a big difference. In developing countries women die for other reasons (malnourished in pregnancy or in adolescence, too many babies too young without enough spacing between them etc)
    Ob/gyns STILL often insist on taking the baby away from the mother in hospital after the birth so she can rest, completely ignoring the fact that if she breastfeeds her womb will contract, thereby preventing heamorradge. IN other words, ob/gyns cause female deaths every day.

  157. “Yes, and what you seem to be imagining is a future where passing a fetus is no more risky or dangerous than taking a shit. Which is a male centric vision..”

    Hmm, well, I can vouch for the fact that the male centric vision actually involves making sure the woman has absolutely no control over the process and is completely dependent on numerous experts who will likely intervene in many unnatural and dangerous ways designed to prolong both labor and recovery.

    Women dared to dream that childbirth really could be almost as simple and safe as taking a dump. Because we did that, we created birthing centers, midwives, breathing exercises, a whole slew of things that make childbirth much easier and safer for women. If we had simply insisted that pregnancy was risky and dangerous, we would never have gone outside of the medical establishment and let women design the system.

    Insisting that women are vulnerable sets us up to need protectors. The alleged need for protectors is what got us into this mess in the first place.

  158. You said almost as safe. :) you did it again. Almost as safe doesn’t mean the same thing as without risk. If you can’t be consistent in your argument, it means you aren’t clear in your thoughts. Which is fine. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I personally will go around and around with you forever though. As long as people want to discuss it, we will continue the discussion, but I’m done for now. Thanks.

  159. from the sea world article:

    “We are very saddened by this loss,” said Chris Dold, vice president of veterinary services for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, in a statement about Taima posted to the SeaWorld Orlando blog. “Although we understand that complications with pregnancy can occur here, just as they do in the wild, the loss of any animal affects all of us at SeaWorld.”

    the spokesperson from seaworld states here that there are in fact “complications” arising from childbirth that occur in the wild. is this person lying, or misinformed? i dont know.

  160. My 3rd pregnancy, which resulted in our daughter The Kid, went like this:

    Alternative Inseminated in a clinical (feminist) environment with pristinely clean seeds from the Bank.

    Natal/delivery care provided by a rotating team of licensed Nurse Practitioner Midwives *legitimized* by one OB/GYN whom I only saw once. I was hospitalized overnight during the first trimester due to “starvation ketosis” caused by extreme nausea which persisted well into the 6th month. This same condition nearly killed me during my second (ultimately terminated) pregnancy as well as contributing to the decision to terminate the first.

    Anyhow, delivery was induced with a seaweed-based *pitocin* at the full 2 weeks overdue mark (I’d been waddling around with her in dropped position for about a month at that point; highly unpleasant) and opted for the epidural (which the midwives agreed to mostly because of some extenuating physical circumstances) which allowed me to nap and rest through 85% of the contractions. The drip button was fully in my control and no one touched me without my express consent; it was all about me first and the baby second as it should be.

    My point is that with my second pregnancy I had ZERO care except one visit to a male ob/gyn (please don’t ask) who saw fit to suggest ipecac syrup as an elixir against extreme nausea caused by pregnancy, so in effect, I had LESS than zero care. And almost died, as I said.

    The third (and last!) I had care which combined the *old* with the *modern* all of which I was fortunate enough to be able to afford, of course. All in all it was as pleasant an experience as it could be for a woman like me.

    Does my hormonal *condition* just cease to be in the absence of patriarchal institutions? Does some underground radfem scientist/visionary usher in the new era of perfectly balanced hormones, painless or *designer* menstruation? Do girls who have no interest in reproduction have the option to forego the whole menses thing in a biologically *healthy* way?

  161. I completely agree S4, female menstruation will continue in the absence of patriarchy. It may be a less intrusive process, but I believe it will continue. And we need to plan for that, account for it, structure our society in ways that will facilitate the natural flow. Ha.

    Witchwind said here:

    We humans, unlike animals, have complete free will as to how to organise our society.

    I think that’s right. Or at least, ALMOST complete free will. :) We do have to ACCOUNT for unchanging physical realities such as female reproductive processes, the human need for sleep, and the absence of fur to keep us warm. Stuff like that. It just IS. These aren’t value judgements, they are facts. But the point Witchwind was making, I think, is that *behavioral* “instincts” and “compulsions” need not dictate our social structure. Humans have creative latitude that animals seem to lack in terms of consciously structuring our interactions to serve the greater good (and even some abstract principles such as “justice” and/or “equality”).

    FCM gets at this here:

    What if this has nothing to do with completely eliminating the risk of pregnancy, and everything to do with creating supportive social structures for women and children that are so functional on every level that if a few of us die, we won’t be missed? That sounds harsh, but if enough redundancy were built in, meaning fail safes and layers upon layers of functional support, our children and our loved ones and our communities could go on without us. That seems more likely to me than removing the harms of pregnancy, which may well be impossible. And this is what many women want anyway: to know their kids will be ok, no matter what, and to have relatively safe and comfortable (ie. protected and supported) lives for themselves and their families.

    HELL YES.

  162. im all for making all of this as safe and as painless as possible of course, meaning as safe and painless as it would be, in the absence of harmful patriarchal institutions and values, and of finding ways to “treat” these things if they become dysfunctional (like disabling pain from menstruation for example which i experienced when i was young). but yes, ideally we wouldnt be popping pamprin and shit for a week a month so we can get by at work. most women i know could do a months work in one week if we had to, so taking a week off a month to relax could be very do-able and not cause much disruption at all. this bullshit 40-hour workweek was built by men who wanted to be out of the house and away from those yukky domestic chores and children for as much time as possible, to bond with each other over rape culture, to network and make each other more successful, and so that they have time and cover under which to have affairs. its not about the work. DUH. women could do twice the work in half the time, like always. we could make this happen if we were in charge.

  163. i absolutely fantasize about being able to menstruate in peace, preferably near a body of water to wash away the blood. no more tampons or blood-soaked sheets to stress about. if thats TMI i dont give a rats ass. i am sick of this shit! i have been thinking about doing a post on toxic shock syndrome for the past few months, then saw that mary daly talked about it briefly in one of her books, either pure lust or gyn/ecology. apparently, they had female doctors sound the warning when the risks of TSS were first made public: these women told other women that even though the risk is there and its known, and its deadly serious, that we should wait until we actually get TSS before stopping tampon usage. yes thats right! only women who actually develop TSS from tampon usage (or by other means too i guess?) are recommended not to use tampons, which are known to cause TSS. that way, as many of us are at risk as possible, we keep spending money on tampons, and tons of us end up getting sick! yay! thanks (ms.) doctor!

  164. yes thats an actual FANTASY of an actual woman-identifying woman! we have fantasies too, just not the kind anyone wants to hear about. and definitely not about porn-soaked male-centric sexuality thats literally not compatible with life, when you are female. DUH.

  165. Actually, I’ve been trying to finish writing a post (or a series of them perhaps is more fitting) on this subject of what the future could/will hold for all of us female menses/reproduction wise and some basic ways to start thinking about getting there.

    There’s a reason that the so-called progressives’ *zero population* movement has traction: maybe the best thing for this planet is for ALL of us to step off for a while? Of course, we know that it’s men and their borg-like idiocy that’s caused ALL of what is negative, destructive and toxic and that that is what truly needs to be resolved.

  166. and ipecac to treat nausea? really? is that like “hair of the dog” or something, or was he *trying* to kill you? or just completely negligent? WTF?

  167. Speaking of periods and the patriarchy — check out Huru. And wouldn’t you just know it, a corporation that makes tampons has inserted itself into this movement. Yet another horrible trade-off.

  168. yes the “girls are missing out on education because of their periods!” campaign. i think tampax is in on this too, or something like it. i believe there was some literature in my last box. of course *one* solution would be to let the girls stay home for however long they want, and give them plenty of opportunities to make up the work. but NOOOOOOO. “put things in your vagina” is the cure for everything isnt it? of course its the CAUSE of a lot of things too.

  169. this is nice. on kotex’s web forum called “girl space” theres a page where young girls can share/confess their most EMBARRASSING STORIES.

    http://girlspace.kotex.com/forum/Embarrassing-Moments/800000002

    theres a whole page dedicated to EMBARRASSING PERIOD STORIES!

    http://girlspace.kotex.com/topic/Embarrassing-Moments/Embarrassing-Period-Stories/700001765

    luckily kotex makes a consumer product to combat this plague.

  170. i like this one. it sounds like it was written by a pedophile.

    Re: embarrassing period stories
    Jan 16, 2011 8:20 AM

    One time I was in math class and I had my period and the teacher wanted someone to come up and put it on the board and I knew I had my period so I had a pad on, but i leaked and of course the teacher called on me to go put it up! There was blood on the back of my skirt! It was awul haha my guy friend told me and I was sooo embarased! haha thats my story(:


    I’m Allie(: If you want to be friends, message me(:

  171. actually, it ACTUALLY DOES seem very much to have been written by a fucking pedo doesnt it? no, i am not kidding. this could probably use some looking into. its a member-only forum. anyone have the time?

  172. I think women should stop buying both tampons and commercial pads altogether. Tampons can be dangerous (as has been mentioned here). Commercial pads and towels are not hygienic and they end up in landfill or the sea (i.e. very environmentally unfriendly).

    I think menstrual cups and re-usable menstual pads are a lot safer and more comfortable (google about them to find out about where they are available from in your country). We clearly live in a patriarchally capitalist/consumerist society which wants us to keep spending money on commercial menstrual products, instead of us simply buying our own long-lasting sanitary protections and just washing them and re-using them.

  173. i have never used the re-usable pads, but the menstrual cup didnt work for me. i had to go home from work one day and that was enough for me! too risky. interestingly, i found something in my travels that indicated that they are now associating TSS with diaphragms. menstrual cups are the same idea, so i wonder if theres an association there too. not sure.

  174. Well, if some womyn really don’t like menstrual cups, then I will say that re-usable (washable) menstrual pads are the best option then. They’re often made of cotton (& sometimes water-proof materials also), available in many size, easy to wash and are very comfortable to wear (i.e. a lot comfier to wear than the usual commercial disposable pads).

    Here is an example: http://www.moonrabbits.co.uk/
    This is where you can get them from when you live in UK. And those are Womon-made (not man-made, like the commercial stuff). I’m not sure about other country but when you google ‘washable menstrual pads or ‘re-usable menstrual pads’ you can find where they’re available from in your own country.

    There are also a few myths going around about reuasable pads “being dirty,” which is absolutely not true:

    http://www.scarleteen.com/article/pink/eight_myths_about_washable_menstrual_pads_dispelled

    In fact, it’s totally the oposite: commercial disposable stuff is not hygienic and not good. Washable pads are the best, the most comfortable option (even better than the cup). In fact, in the past, before all the commercial stuff came ’round, womyn were pretty much only using reusable pads.

    I hope this helps, FCM and others. ;)

  175. This is why in a female world we have menstrual huts. :-|

    I would never have made it through peri-menopause without super-plus tamp@x and super-long overnite pads. Both at the same time. A rubberized crib pad. And a regular feed of liver and bacon.

    I used a menstrual cup, but only when I didn’t have to go out into public.

  176. This is why in a female world we have menstrual huts.

    Oh, I would love the idea of menstrual huts in a female world. :) I’d bet they used to exist in matriarchal societies…

  177. i believe they have them in patriarchal cultures too….and that they are essentially a cross between medical quarantine and an outhouse. :( but *we* would do it right. i would just lay on the shore of a nice body of water and let the sand and the surf take care of it. maybe sleep in the hut if it was too cold to sleep right there on the shore or if i got sick of being wet. :)

  178. I love talking about the taboo of menstruation! :D Bwahahahaa!

    My mother has always insisted that if men menstruated, there would be one week off per month per worker built into all union and government contracts. Standard.

    FCM, I like your idea of menstruating near water. How lovely. I only wonder if it would attract predators…?

  179. haha! yes indeed it probably would. we could send the men out to check. :) i would stay on the shore in the saturated part of the sand and let the waves do their thing. that way i could bask in the sun at the same time.

  180. I’ve always worried about that, menstrual blood attracting predators, I mean. We’d have to lie on the shore of a LAKE so as not to attract SHARKS, though. Eeeek!!!
    Also? I wonder about cycle-synchronicity of larger groups of women. My wife and I do NOT sync. It’s weird, but I just think we’re both “alphas.” Or something. I’m obstinate in so many ways, no doubt my menstrual cycle would be too. ;)

  181. yes lakes! fine by me. i dont really like swimming in the ocean though so i could use the ocean as well. anyone who wanted to swim and live to tell about it could find their own ocean.

    but seriously, i wonder how that would work? say we were on the ocean and wanted to use one of the beaches this way. how far up and down the coast would be infested with sharks, and for how long? would it become a permanent feeding ground for them and thus never safe for swimming, or if they never got any meat out of the deal would they eventually go away even though there was blood? or what? inquiring minds want to know. maybe we could use this to our benefit somehow. would anyone dare to invade our beach by water if it was infested by sharks? bwhahaha

  182. or how about that inland pond with the waterfalls and natural water slide like on swiss family robinson? or…blizzard beach at disney world? take that, walt.

  183. The daughter of a Second Waver Speaks!:

    Mom was heavily into Native American tradition back in the day and one of the *perks* of being a woman in some groups was that there was a menstrual shelter to retreat to which would be lined with leaves and grasses and other absorbent materials. The women would continue with their (and work begun by others) hand-y-work while those who were not menstruating would provide for their needs.

    This is actually a GOOD way to deal with uninvited animal friends (predators is kind of strong really) too, because the one central location and not spread out all over the place. Beside that, mammals know the difference between menstrual blood and fresh, tasty blood, sisters. :)

  184. yes, and TALKING about it is a good way to GET RID of other kinds of predators. :) i suspect the only MEN reading here anymore are transwomen. and that they are reading because they want to learn how to “pass” better. good luck with that.

  185. i like the idea of continuing other womens projects. a good way to knit something large or to get through something really boring. love!

  186. I like the way you think! feed menstrual blood to sharks, then use our new shark friends as deterrents to invading predators. this is GOLD.

  187. Oh, S4 says sharks do not want menstrual blood! This is actually better, I think. Let us bleed into the ocean, then! While crocheting complex mathematical patterns!

    PS. What about piranhas, leeches, and other aquatic wonders? Can they tell the diff?

  188. i am so going to google that UP. thats a good question!

  189. ok i am linking to this not because it had much useful information, but because its written for female surfers and is the longest blog post i have ever seen. jfc it mustve taken days to write!

    http://coconutgirlwireless.wordpress.com/2007/12/17/sharks-swells-and-stinky-smells/

  190. what if men dont like menstrual blood because THEY are predators and its actually a predator deterrent? i am seeing conflicting evidence about the effects on and reactions by sharks, but some sources are saying that menstrual blood may actually deter them. hmm!

  191. It’s possible to not use anything while you’re bleeding and live exactly the same way you do the rest of the time. I’ve often thought of writing a short book or pamphlet or even a blog about how to do it, but I’ve had various concerns about certain issues. But it’s important that women and girls know that it is possible and I’m very sure I’m not the only woman to figure it out.

  192. how cryptic.

    you arent going to elaborate, are you?

  193. Would love to, but not here, too public.

  194. And if anyone has suggestions about where to explain how to do it, that would be great. One of my dilemmas has been audience and reasons girls and women would want to learn how to do it and what they would go through as they learned. Another concern is how it could be twisted in various ways (it relates to girl’s and women’s bodies, oh noes!!!!!!).

  195. well you could email me, for starters! jfc. i need to know.

  196. or the forum maggie announced earlier.

  197. Tell me, too! marysunshine @@@@@@@@ gmail.com

  198. BTW its not really relevant, but sharks aren’t mammals. They’re fish. :) and so far Google is not forthcoming at all as to whether sharks or anything is actually attracted to, repelled by or indifferent to menstrual blood. Thanks for nothing Google!

  199. Wow,very inspiring post Vliet and great comments everyone.

    I love the thought to have my period and not have to wear pads or tampons but when i’m at my work.o well.

    Since sharks are my favo animals i know a bit about them and there is no evidence of sharks atracted to menstrual blood however since they haven’t test it
    ,they will always advice you not to swim or dive when you have your period because they can sell a little drop of blood miles away.
    But to have my period without pads etc,i love that.

    This blog is an eye opener,thanks.

  200. I’m glad that you noticed that I said “mammals” because I don’t hang around with sharks much but my radfem common sense tells me that sharks, perhaps especially, would know the difference.

    I mean we, as human animals, have reletively crappy olfactory sense and WE can tell the difference, right?

  201. I love the thought to have my period and not have to wear pads or tampons but when i’m at my work.o well.

    I like the idea as well, but when you have to work, go to class, or move through this society (and even sometimes when you stay a long time in bed), you have to wear something, I guess. That’s why I recommend the washable pads. They’re the comfiest, the most convenient, if you need to wear any sanitary protection at all.

    This blog is an eye opener,thanks.

    It is. :)

  202. I know,Maggie,i know.And you are right,sometimes you have to wear something,work etc.

    I just wish that we could do what we want to,period etc.

    Thank the gods,my wife and i have a daughter and not a son.And with the help of an syringe and not PIV.
    Also we had an midwife and not a man and that felt so good really,no men at all.

  203. I have been reading this website and your discussions for over 24 hours and could not drag myself away. What truly wonderful inspirational stuff. As women when discussions happen amongst us like these discussions I have been reading as a species what the hell do we have to worrry about? As women we will find our utopia there is no doubt in my mind about this. Encouraging all women to be involved with banter and open truthful and honest debate and talks like these is the first and always will be the most important step for all woman kind. We have found freedom from attacks on our free speech and this is liberation also.
    I do have one point which I disagree upon and that is that I have a son and because of one forced abortion which I believe was a daughter I could not in no way envisage killing him at birth. I think there are very few women in this world who would willingly do this. I think unfortunately this is just another oppression. It is the nurturing that counts in free society. Thank you so much for this website. In a difficult time in my life I find this brings me much happiness.

  204. How can I stop living with a man when I have nowhere else to go? I have no job, no car, no family to turn to. Every recent job interview I’ve had has gone horribly creepy and wrong: the last one I went to, I was asked if I was married or had children. Creepy man (named ‘John’, no less) prefaced it with “I know this may be illegal for me to ask you, but…” YEAH. AS IF THAT KEPT YOU FROM ASKING ME ANYWAY! Asshole! So, yeah, I am seeking a safe place to live with only other women. And, a job? I need a job, it’s been a year now! Any radical feminist bars looking for a great bartender? LOL

    Any leads or advice would be ever so welcome… :/

    It is hard for me to set boundaries sometimes- I sometimes sleep next to dude (NO SEX, none) when I wake up screaming alone in the middle of the night. I know I must stop doing it, now. I don’t know what it is to feel truly safe or listened to. And, I am totally dependent on this dude for everything. I ask him, over and over: “ARE you really my friend? DO you really give a shit?” I have sent him to radical feminist pages, and he is learning- a little. How lucky that he has only been abusive towards me a few times (always alcohol-related)! /s Seems that ever since I punched him in the face, he’s been more respectful of me… is that really what it takes? I mean, he started it; I finished it. I told him: NEVER AGAIN. OR ELSE. He knows i mean it. I may have a rep in these parts as ‘that crazy woman who punches guys in the face’. Like I’m supposed to feel ashamed of defending myself when a man tries to throw me bodily across a room, calls me an ‘old drunk bitch’ (that was my ex, David- my LAST boyfriend, EVER. I broke his nose. I am not sorry.), tries to grab the steering wheel out of my hands while I am driving, yells in my face that nothing I say ;really matters’, etc. etc ad nauseum. Sorry so ranty…

  205. julia, many women find themselves trapped. thats how this works and its a necessary part of it. if women werent trapped, indeed if they had ANY other options besides homelessness, many of them wouldnt put up with the men in their lives (or with any men period) at all. many women DO choose homelessness anyway. those are the women who leave, and its not necessarily any better because there are men waiting in line to rape and abuse women that arent another mans property (ie common women, vulnerable women and prostituted women). there are some of us here who figure it might be too late for us, but still hope to warn the young uns reading here, before they begin down that road, or before they are so far down it they cant change it. women having no family to turn to is a huge part of this as well, and thats at least partially due to the mandatory PIV that created most of us to begin with. its difficult to accept that many of our families never wanted us and never intended to take care of us, (or cannot take care of us) but its true. mandatory PIV and the unwanted and ambivalent pregnancies and children it creates is vital to maintaining the status quo. so many of us have nowhere else to go and this is 100% critical to male supremecy. others of us could make other arrangements if we could only get our heads around what that might look like. this is also being discussed here and elsewhere.

    the events and values and “choices” that send us down this road start so early in life and SEEM so innocuous as to be imperceptible until its too late. coupled with our ignorance/innocence as well as a heaping helping of denial and belief in male exceptionalism its where most of us end up. its horrifying once you wake up and realize where you are. its happened to me too.

  206. Well, I wish it wasn’t. Dammit. And, just now I find that an ex-roommate who stalked and harassed me for more than a year is badmouthing me, again, on yet another blog. he is calling me Borderline and has posted a picture of me. It never ends. :C

  207. Wow, that third story about male infanticide by tribal mothers in New Guinea to stop endless warfare was amazing! Right here in this current world, war is being stopped by a method that those of us in eurocentric countries would think of as science fiction! And they talk about it openly! I have to ask myself why this seems so astounding when girl fetuses are killed for nothing all over the place — guess it’s because it just blazes out at me as a confirmation that other women in this world who we don’t get to hear from much are so radical and so logical!

  208. yes vliet, i thought everyone already knew about that or i wouldve posted it sooner. its what i meant when i said that some women are already doing this — they are.

  209. doubtless there are other women doing other things in this same vein too, that we will never hear about. this is partially what *imagining* a better future is about: knowing that we dont know everything, and knowing that theres nothing new under the sun. :)

  210. glad someone is still checking in on this thread. :)

  211. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2049938/Stressed-mothers-juggling-home-work-love-lives-likely-girls.html

    Women who are stressed while trying for a baby are more likely to have girls, research suggests.

    A study found that those who were under pressure at home, work or in their love life in the weeks or months before becoming pregnant had higher than usual odds of giving birth to a daughter rather than a son.

    The finding, by Oxford University and U.S. researchers, means the economic downturn could see more women give birth to daughters. The study follows others that have shown the number of baby boys goes down following major upheavals.

    For instance, in the months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the number of boys born in New York plunged, while the economic chaos that followed the collapse of the Berlin Wall saw far fewer boys born than expected in the former East Germany in 1991.

    But the latest study is the first to link the phenomenon to the stresses and strains of everyday life and to rising levels of stress hormones.

  212. and YES to “radical and logical.” the crumbs we get here in “developed” areas come at a terrible price: we are completely under mens control at all times, including their legal system and social and interpersonal controls. there are women who are doing the unthinkable and the unspeakable (it becomes both thinkable and speakable when its identified as rational and logical, and necessary) all around the world, we just never or rarely hear about it. the story about the women in papua new guinea swept the internets at the time, and it was scrubbed from the daily mail LOL cant find it there anymore, but it was there and several bloggers linked to them at the time. surely the MRAs swarmed, believing that a line had been crossed, and that some things are simply not to be thought, or discussed. well, they are being thought, and they are being discussed, and as we can see, they are being done, by women around the world.

  213. 10. Our Development of Inspirational Visions of the Future. One of the saddest and most difficult areas of feminist thought has to do with women’s invisible ancient history. Our failure thus far to dispositively show that woman-dominated societies, or even unoppressive societies, once existed has been a blow. It makes it seem as if such societies could not occur in the future. Reformist Feminists are much concerned with resurrecting this uncertain, invisibilized past.

    Oddly enough this is not an argument used when the subject is “men have always been sexist”. LOL (The next bit would be “and so therefore men will always be sexist”). LOL Anyway, it seems like the only people discussing the radical feminist version of this argument are radical feminists. I think it’s moot. Besides that, it doesn’t prove the conclusion which those radfems assume it does. It actually suggests a different point, that sexism is inherent.

    Think about it. Supposedly, no “woman-dominated societies, or even unoppressive societies, have existed WITH MEN PRESENT and this means egalitarianism is not possible in the future WITH MEN PRESENT”. (The invisiblized part of the argument has been capitalized for emphasis.)

    Apologies if somebody’s already mention that.

  214. Hi, m Andrea,

    I have been reading about the Mosuo and trying to convince myself that we could get along with men if we could seize the means of production which the Mosuo traditionally did, but that ain’t happening in this time and place.

    So. Hmm. No men present. You may be thinking about something more radical, and that’s cool. I go back to the basic vision: the village, spiked sticks surrounding it, women on watch, children and no men in the village. The men outside, bringing their gifts and requesting reproduction. The careful consideration. The control by the women. The men often told to move on. The elephant model.

    Would like to hear your ideas about this. Can there be men visiting, gifting, requesting procreation under the control of the elder women?

    Karma

  215. Hi, sisters, after this guest essay was posted I was targeted for some evil doings by some male doofuses. I decided to bark back. I won’t go into any detail because there’s a lot of MRA talk I had to quote and so on in this takedown, but for those of you willing to expose yourselves to a little of that, check out http://avoiceforcreepymen.blogspot.com/, my new blog. Hope to write another essay soon; it’s been fun.

    Take care,

    Vliet

  216. Hey, Vliet.

    Those men are very obviously salivating and beating their dicks over any suffering they might have caused like the good little sadists they are. If anyone needs proof of men’s hatred of women we have it on your site.

    Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Hope to see you back soon if it should be safe for you.

  217. we have such smart women here. :) love it.

  218. @karmarad 8.06

    There would be no need for the elder woman as children would be brought up without commification and objectification. Young women would be more than capable of making the right decisions themselves, having been taught that the clitoris is the font of all pleasure.

    At what age would young men leave?

  219. Maggie,

    I think that males should be out of there by the age of 6.

    Also, the bringing of another child into the group would have to be a collective decision – that’s where the elders come in. They have decades of observing what is manageable and what isn’t.

  220. That economist article was maddening. What euphemistic language, ‘preference’ for boy children. They manage to report on the large scale murder of female babies and the deliberate prevention of female life through sex selective abortion without ever using the word ‘misogyny’. And they call it ‘gendercide’ to mask the reality that it is pure female hatred. Not femicide, the killing of women because they are women, which is what it actually is.

    And the suggestion that women are killing themselves because they can’t live with the fact that they have killed their female children? Really, is that the only reason? Nothing to do with the fact that a society that hates women enough not to allow them to be born or survive infancy might not be too peachy for women to live in. That living in such female hating society might be too much for some women to bear.

    And the comments! Complaining that nothing is being said about the developed world’s ‘war on boys’ which does not happen to involve large scale DEATH oh it sounds like such a terrible war. Or telling the ‘Western feminists’ to go and sort it out instead of ‘bashing’ the ‘frightened’ Western hetero men. Oh, it must be SO SCARY having almost all the political and economic power, and never facing the constant threat of sexual attack. Funny how it’s always men telling feminists they should be focused on the developing world, while they have no solidarity or help for either women in their own country or those abroad. I have never once heard any feminist from the developing world tell a Western feminist that they are spending too much time on their own problems instead of ‘saving’ the women in their countries, quite the opposite. It’s always Western men who say it.

  221. hi rididill, thanks for commenting. yes teh poor menz are really upset about the terrible worldwide “war on themselves” that doesnt exist. of course, even the poor examples of “misandry” they are able to point to are patriarchal institutions started by and perpetuated by them, not us (they still think “the draft” is an example of misandry for example) to benefit themsevles, not us. pfft. the stupid.

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