Guest Post by Sam from Genderberg
A few days ago I was telling FCM some surprisingly radical feminist factoids about Roseanne Barr I picked up from her latest book, Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm. Since it came up in the context of contributing to Radfem Hub I suggested a book review. Hours later Ms. Barr scooped me on the story with her New York Magazine article.
I won’t bore you with details you’ve now read a dozen times over on various blogs about her Hollywood dramas or sexist coworkers. The Roseanne that captured my attention in Roseannearchy gave anti-porn slide shows, worked in a feminist bookstore, and considers Mary Daly her favorite author.
In her own words, ladies and women, may I present you Roseanne Barr, Radical Feminist:
“Like most thinking women who have ever lived on this planet, I have been asked repeatedly, “’Why are you so angry?’”
“It was a perverted patriarchal world that I grew up in, and one that I wanted and needed to be free of. How I did that—and keep doing it—is my story.”
“With all the talk about the Sexual Revolution in the 60s and 70s, there was something about it that was a lot less tawdry and disrespectful to women than the times we’ve been living though in the last few years. It’s not so much about freedom nowadays as it is pride in sluttery (I think I just made up that word). It’s like slutwear is America’s burka.”
“Since this menopause shit kicked in, I now hate sex. And I’m so glad. I feel liberated.”
“Geraldine suggested that I come to Woman to Woman Book Center on lower Colfax Avenue in Denver, where she had started to hang out. She thought those women would love my act, since they were all feminists and well-read. They did love my act, as it turned out—they laughed and yelled out, “Right on!” and other supportive things like that—and they also encouraged me to go further with it. I loved it and started to volunteer in the bookstore as a receptionist two days a month.”
“Best of all, volunteering at Woman to Woman allowed me to read books that changed me in so many ways. The books of professor Mary Daly affected me more than any others, with the exception of Matilda Joslyn Gage’s Woman, Church and State, which I almost single-handedly kept in print.”
“When I guest-edited the women’s edition of The New Yorker, I insisted that Professor Mary Daly, my favorite author and expert on Latin and theology, be included.”
“The bookstore’s collective began to faction in opinion as to what should be done to counter all the disappearing resources. It got pretty heavy, and one of us wrote an article in Big Mama rag that called for full-on revolution against government.”
“Later we changed out name to WAP, Women Against Pornography, which used a traveling slide show to raise funds to help smash patriarchy…We were hired to go to Wyoming to present the slide show, but when we got there, we found out there were a bunch of men in the audience. Chi, who had the most seniority of anyone in the collective, said, ‘This slide show is not for men; it titillates them, and that is not what we want to do with it. We want to radicalize women by letting them look at the way women’s bodies are exploited so that they will join our struggle.’”
“The new gay bookstore had a lesbian shelf in the back that was marked Feminism, but had no books at all about feminism or working women, just several copies of Our Bodies Ourselves and lesbian erotica, which I admit I read. By the time they get to the licking it’s page 190, and the preceding pages are all about how to enact a rape fantasy while still ‘Feeling safe.’ Christ, same old shit for us gals.”
“Then the transgendered versus the Butch Dyke wars started—to see two of those folks fighting about being female was quite an eye-opener for me. You haven’t lived until you have seen a huge guy with boobs talking about female hormones and deciding to keep his penis, and how that was a feminist issue.”
“I hope they do something to stop the porning of everything. I don’t like it!”
Samantha Berg is an anti-pornstitution writer, activist, and speaker. She co-founded S.H.A.G. (Sexual Health Activist Group) to organize youths for sexual education, and A.P.A.N. (Antiporn Activist Network). Current projects are lobbying locally for prostitution abolition, working as National Coordinator for Stop Porn Culture, and maintaining the anti-pornstitution forum community at www.Genderberg.com.