Fem-manifesto-ing

by Guest Blogger

Guest post by Susan Hawthorne

This is based on a talk originally given at the SCUM Conference in Perth, Australia on 24 September 2011.

I come to the writing of manifestoes with the interests of a poet and political activist. Political activism is obvious. But poetry? An effective manifesto is one in which the language works, the political position is clear – but above all – it has rhythm and metre. A manifesto is a bit like a poem or a song.

Let’s look at Marx and Engels. The first line of the prologue:

A spectre is haunting Europe–
the spectre of Communism (Marx and Engels 1848/1967: 78).

Or the first line a Chapter 1:

The history of all hitherto existing society
is the history of class struggles (Marx and Engels 1848/1967: 79).

The most disappointing aspect of the Communist Manifesto are the last lines:

WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES,
UNITE.
(Marx and Engels 1848/1967: 79; capitals in original).

But even with this disappointing ending, you can still see the poetry in it.

And then consider Valerie Solanas:

Life in this society being at best, an utter bore
and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women,
there remains to civic minded, responsible, thrill seeking females
only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system,
institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.

You can feel the rhythm in the words when you read it this way. In the world of poetry it comes pretty close to being a verse in iambic pentameter. It’s not perfect but if you emphasise roughly every second syllable and read it out loud, you’ll hear it.

Redstockings Manifesto has a similar feel, but I will write this out as prose.

Women are an oppressed class. Our oppression is total, affecting every facet of our lives. We are exploited as sex objects, breeders, domestic servants, and cheap labour. We are considered inferior beings whose only purpose is to enhance men’s lives. Our humanity is denied. Our prescribed behaviour is enforced by the threat of physical violence.

Because we have lived so intimately with our oppressors, in isolation from each other, we have been kept from seeing our personal suffering as a political condition. This creates the illusion that a woman’s relationship with her man is a matter of interplay between two unique personalities, and can be worked out individually. In reality, every such relationship is a class relationship, and the conflicts between individual men and women are political conflicts that can be solved collectively (in Tanner 1970: 109; also in Morgan  1970: 533; Crow 2000: 223).

WITCH – Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, took seriously the idea that poetry and manifestoes are intimately connected. They used the following form for a leaflet handed out on November 22, 1969.

Pass the Word, Sister

Erika Huggins.
Frances Carter.
Rose Smith.
Loretta Luckes.
Margaret Hudgins.
Maud Frances.

6 sisters in prison.
3 sisters pregnant.
2 sisters almost in labor.
All have been falsely accused
of conspiracy and murder.
None have been tried
or found guilty.

All 6 are black.
All 6 are Panthers.
All 6 are sisters. (in Tanner 1970: 121-2).

The poem continues for two pages and ends with:

WITCH calls down destruction
On Babylon
Oppressors:
The curse of women is on you.

DEATH TO MALE CHAUVINISM (in Tanner 1970: 123; also in Morgan 1970: 551).

In Sisterhood is Powerful (Morgan 1970) the acronym, WITCH is spelt out with this poem as: Women Inspired to Commit History. Other poems include WITCH: Women Interested in Toppling Consumption Holidays and WITCH: Women’s Independent Taxpayers, Consumers and Homemakers (pp. 550-1).

The anthology, Radical Feminism: A Documentary Reader also has some fantastic manifestoes.

The Woman-Identified Woman by Radicalesbians has a great opening line:

What is a lesbian? A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion (in Crow 200 : 233).

The Fourth World Manifesto by Barbara Burris in agreement with Kathy Barry, Terry Moore, Joann DeLor, Joann Parent, and Cate Stadelman puts paid (as do many others) to the notion that radical feminists ignored the issues of race and class. It makes a nod to Marx and Engels in one of its sub-headings “A spectre is Haunting the Left – the Specter of Feminism”. This manifesto comes directly from the activism of women in the left against the war in Vietnam and Indochina and the authors state: But the Women’s Liberation Movement started out from the Civil Rights Movement, Student Movement, and Anti-War Movement” just as in the 21st century there are direct links between the Women’s Movement, the Movement for Land Rights and Indigenous Rights, the Ecology Movement, the Anti-War Movement and the Anti-Globalisation Movement (this list is not exhaustive).

An issue raised by the Fourth World Manifesto is one that has been pushed aside in recent times. You can see it in the Occupy Movement where feminists have felt the need to go in and create Occupy Patriarchy sites. Here is what they say:

A FEMALE CULTURE EXISTS. IT IS A CULTURE THAT IS SUBORDINATED AND UNDER MALE CULTURE’S COLONIAL, IMPERIALIST RULE ALL OVER THE WORLD. UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE OF EVERY NATIONAL, ETHNIC, OR RACIAL CULTURE IS THE SPLIT BETWEEN THE TWO PRIMARY CULTURES OF THE WORLD–THE FEMALE CULTURE AND THE MALE CULTURE (in Crow 2000: 252; capitals in the original).

We have lost this perspective in the push to be all inclusive which results in nothing to say because the atmosphere is, if you can’t agree then remain silent. Sadly it is radical feminists who are pushed mostly into silence, while the men retain their speech!

Valerie Solanas noticed this. She wrote: No genuine social revolution can be accomplished by the male, as the male on top wants the status quo, and all the male on the bottom wants is the male on top.

The radical feminist manifestoes also have an economic analysis and critiques of colonisation and various kinds of subordination.

Valerie Solanas has an interesting take on subversion: SCUM will become members of the unwork force, the fuck-up force; they will get jobs of various kinds and unwork. For example, SCUM salesgirls will not charge for merchandise; SCUM telephone operators will not charge for calls; SCUM office and factory workers, in addition to fucking up their work, will secretly destroy equipment; SCUM will unwork at a job until fired, then get a new job to unwork at (Solanas 1967: 42).

I can’t agree with everything in the SCUM Manifesto – I don’t share her view that automation is liberating, nor is violence a useful strategy. Nevertheless, it is an inspiring work. She says what many have thought but been too scared to say. I have been inspired by her strength of language, her clarity of thinking, her raw anger at injustice.

I have written several manifestoes. Here are the first three paragraphs of Wild Politics: A Manifesto (1993).

The New Economic World Order is the last of a line of coercive methods of control. Industrialisation has been a process of ever-increasing interference in the lives of people – from structured and alienated work for wages to medicalisation of women’s bodies and souls, now extended to interference with life processes.

Patriarchal capitalism seeks to control the wild elements that have resisted control. We need to develop a wild politics to resist control of these wild elements including: wild seeds, wild land, wild farming, wild peoples, wild women, wild reproduction, wild sexuality and wild markets.

Wild types is a term used in genetics that identifies unregulated genetic structures. Wild types occur in all living organisms and are not the result of human interference through breeding or hybridisation. Wild types are the source of genetic diversity and critical to the continuing biological diversity of the planet.

I have explored writing short manifestoes that touch on other issues.

Rock manifesto

All that is solid is solid. We should know. We rocks. We have seen it all. From the first hurtlings through space to this relatively settled time when all that’s happening is just a bit of heat.

We are the ground on which you stand. Your artworks were pecked and painted into our flesh well before anything else. We are a peaceful lot, but sometimes we have been dragged into the fray and hurled against the enemy.

We are quiet. Come sit with us on a sunny day and feel the warmth we give off. We like to spread out on the ground, sunbake. But you’ll also find us there on days of icy wind with small plants sheltering in our soft parts, trees taking root and reaching for the sun. And when the rivers break their banks you can watch as some of us jump from bank to bank.

In the old days, people had more quiet time, more time to listen. It was then we shared our secrets. If you look, you might find them. Make a journey to rocky places, you’ll find that we guard all the sacred sites whether it’s Kata Tjuta or Jerusalem, New Grange or Angkor Wat. Put your hand on our surface, smell the scent we leave. Curl into our embrace. We don’t mind. We like to hold you, shelter you, even feed you.

Come dance the slow time jig. (2011)

And I have written poems that are really manifestoes, such as my recent poem, slut, but but.

I’m a slut
but but
but I’m not I’m not
I’m a slot
I’m a slut
but but
what what could it mean
am I a slut?
but but
he said you’re a slut
he said look at your butt
you’re a slut
I said
but but
she said she’s a slut
no buts about it
just a slut
all smut
they all said she’s a slut
no doubt about it
but but I said
I said but
I’m no slut
I’m no slit for your bit
I’m not here for you
so fuck off and stop doin me in
he said but but
no slut here
no fear
he said but but
she said but but
they said but but
I’m not the butt of your names
your words are not my words
no fuckin way
so shut up
I’m no slut
I’m no slut walker
I’m a walker but bein a walker
don’t make me no slut
so butt out
get outta my mind
I’ll think what I want
I’ll do what I want
I’ll walk at 3 am if I want
I’ll wear big boots and kick butt
I’ll cut my hair short
I’ll leave it long
but I won’t do pussy on the street
because I’m not here for you
you pussy stalker
cos I’m no slut
you say but but
you look like a slut
you must be a slut
if you’re out a 3 am
if you don’t look girlie
you must be a fuckin feminist
they’re all sluts
that’s what they are
and I say
you got it boy
you got it girl
I’m a feminist
now fuck off
I’m no slut
d’you hear
try again
I’m no slut
they all said but but (2011)

I find the manifestoes of the late 1960s and early 1970s wonderfully direct and clear in their political message. I am inspired by them and their authors. I love the way that poetry and politics mixes and creates another form: the manifesto.

Susan Hawthorne is a publisher, a poet and a political activist, blogging at http://susanscowblog.blogspot.com and http://susanspoliticalblog.blogspot.com/

________________________________________________________________________

Sources

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto with an Introduction by AJP Taylor. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1967.

Valerie Solanas. SCUM Manifesto. Olympia Press, New York. 1967.

Leslie B. Tanner (ed). Voices from Women’s Liberation. Signet, New York. 1970.

Robin Morgan (ed). Sisterhood is Powerful. Vintage, New York. 1970.

Barbara A. Crow (ed). Radical Feminism. New York University Press, New York. 2000.

Websites as indicated.

17 Responses to “Fem-manifesto-ing”

  1. ‘Inclusiveness’ means putting men first second and last. Women as usual continue not to be viewed as human because we are always defined in relation to men and this means women’s socio-economic status is always defined according to whether or not she is paired with a male. Women on their own do not exist in male supremacy system but are viewed as ‘deviants.’

    Why else do men hate lesbian women? Because lesbian women do not put men at the centre of their world but rather put men last. Male Supremacist system has to constantly promote the lie that women cannot exist without the constant presence of men because male domination over women would not exist if men did not believe they alone were the default human.

    The feminist Manifestoes of the late 60’s and 70’s did not attempt to hide the truth about male power over women and instead named the problem. Now once again men have reasserted their male power and ‘inclusiveness’ has become a meaningless term wherein women are divided from other women and male domination over all women continues to remain hidden and instead we are told it is about two equal individuals who are engaged in a private tussle over power. We must not mention the obvious which is how male domination over women operates at both a group and individual level. That is what the authors of the 60’s and 70’s Manifestoes understood and refused to be complicit in hiding how male political power over women operates.

  2. thanks for this post susan, its both timely and interesting. and to get the perspective of a poet on the subject! how cool.

    there is certainly more to writing than choosing accurate words, theres also the way the words look, sound and feel on the page. you can evoke what you are talking about, the feel of it, and convey feeling and experience, rather than just describing it. i posted about that here (with some scans from dworkin on the subject, she was a skilled writer of course and explains this well):

    http://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/words-on-words/

    and of course the manifesto. discussing this as well as tips on how to write an effective one are timely IMO bc “manifesto-ing” requires deep, critical thought and identifying problems and goals, and we are specifically forbidden from doing this (speaking the truth about womens lives, or about men) under patriarchy, or from “within the matrix” if one prefers. you cannot speak about the matrix from within the matrix, thats rule #1. of course, radical feminists do this anyway. we are the only ones who do it but even we get tripped up from time to time or go off on political tangents or tend to feminist emergencies or make concessions with men. a manifesto has a centering and grounding effect and purpose. we have something to look to for guidance, and a historical record of the debates that surrounded making it, so we know what was intended and meant. unlike certain other manifestos from history, a radical feminist manifesto would not be written by slaveowners and rapists.

    the SCUM manifesto is available online in full-text for those who still havent read it. the part about life in mens world being an utter bore for women was so spot-on, it stuck with me long after reading it. i am sure the rhythm of the words had something to do with their power, and hadnt thought about that part of it til now. the words themselves are wonderful, and evocative. she couldve written this a hundred different ways and she probably picked the right one.

    heres another “notable manifesto” (according to wiki) just as an FYI:

    When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

    We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the Present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People; unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

    He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

    He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

    He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

    He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

    For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule in these Colonies:

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Powers to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

    He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic Insurrections among us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

    In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

    Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

    its the US declaration of independence.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifesto
    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

  3. When you put the Declaration of Independence back to back with SCUM manifesto and other radical feminist manifestos you really get a powerful view …. HE HE HE HE …. and anytime you hear the HE HE HE on TV, or on radio, you know who you are dealing with.

    Imagine if every woman in America could recite SCUM the way a lot of school children could recite parts of the declaration?
    Imagine if all of these were taught together in a freshman political science class?

  4. yes, and look at all the horrible behaviors, treatments and injustices these men were fed up with, and werent going to take anymore. they named the agent, declared and justified their reasons for separating themselves from the source of all their suffering, THEN THEY SEPARATED. they were separatists. why the vastly differing connotations when women do it, and where they name the agent of harm as MEN, ALL MEN EVERYWHERE? its the truth, but we cannot say it. some of the bullet points in the declaration of independence are identical to our own grievances against men. but if we SAY IT we are the enemy, and men are the victims OF US.

    if you read the other manifestos wiki cites, you will see men all over the world not fucking caring if their oppressors think they are green meanies or not. the american colonists essentially declared war on the crown with this document, and there was a war over it. the colonists were the enemy, until they won the war. then it no longer mattered. they were free. you know, free to do manly things like rape and impregnate women and own slaves, but on their own terms and not on other mens terms.

    women shouldve written the fucking thing. rapists and slaveowners crying about freedom! sheesh. they got what they wanted though didnt they.

  5. It’s often suggested that radical feminists would have an easier time getting their ideas respected if they used less strident language. What the people saying it either don’t know or are pretending not to know is that if it were worded differently, it would then mean something different. Some funfem suggested that rather than saying positioning PIV as the only legitimate form of sex does real, measurable harm to women, I could instead say that I choose not to engage in PIV and extol the virtues of non-PIV sex. I told her yes, I could say that, but that would not be what I mean. Likewise saying, as the funfems do, that some men are a problem to some women in certain circumstances is not the same thing as saying men as a class dominate and oppress women and we are unwilling to accept that.

    I find it impossible to deal with people that can’t seem to acknowledge that the only reason words are ever useful is that they possess clear, mutually agreed-upon meanings.

  6. All men’s wars for freedom are about declaring an enemy, fighting the war, winning or losing it… if the non-nation men declare war against the colonial “motherland” and win, then they are free to build the nation in their own image.
    Or in an existing male state, they might not like the leader or the regime, in that case, they overthrow the Shah or Farouk or Mubarak’s government… they either kill the former head of state, or drive him from the land in exile… Idi Amin comes to mind.
    There is a civil war, or males rape and colonize through forced pregnanc, the women of the enemy ethnic group (Bosnian war of aggression against Muslim and Croatian women, for example.)

    That is what the rebels consider freedom. Anything they do is ok as long as the males win the land, the crown, the country.

    When women propose even a modicom of separatism… we don’t want to kill anyone, we just want to have a place of our own, people, including even lesbian feminists freak out. There is no more hated group in the land than radical lesbian separatists, I can assure you, and right behind us are het women who have had it with men and want them out of their lives, or want their penis forever out of their vaginas. This ideology is viciously or sarcastically attacked by people everywhere, because it is one of the most powerful statements of freedom women can make. It scares the hell out of people.

    Gay men still report to me how terrified and or upset they were when lesbians would throw them out of lesbian bars. Imagine that! Imagine creating women only bookstores… they felt so angry that women kicked the boys out and built their own treehouse.
    When women set boundaries, and say no males allowed, you’d think we’d just killed a thousand Kurds or mustard gassed some marrauding Huns.

    All we have to say is, we want a woman only (fill in the blank). I suggested recently that we have a women only mass conducted by a lesbian bishop… radical, and predictably other lesbians in “ministry” (to whom I wonder) thought this awful… and called it the “S” word, separatist! You get spoiled I tell ya, so easy to shock the hell out of the fun fems, the lesbian sell outs, the PIV lovers, and all men everywhere. Just say you want a woman only (fill in the blank), that is all you’ve got to do.

  7. exactly, precisely, yes mechantechatonne. watering down the LANGUAGE is exactly the same as watering down the MESSAGE. the message is conveyed by the words. to suggest one is to suggest the other, and getting radical feminists to back down politically and recant what we have already said (or to shut up entirely) is the plan. its also an ingenious way, isnt it, of making it impossible for the movement to actually MOVE, or to move forward anyway, bc theres nothing left of our discourse to build on, and no place to start from so that we can go beyond it, to grow, build and mature. or there wouldnt be, if the mainstream had its way. its all deliberate, and very political. silencing radical feminists and making us “take it back” or water it down to the point that there is nothing left thats identifyable as radical feminism is genocidal thinking. this is how rape is used in wartime, to literally wipe out all identifying characteristics of a people and a culture. that we are supposed to just go along with it without recognizing it for what it is and without challenging it at all is extremely telling. it is just assumed and completely expected that we will be lead to slaughter this way. there is no other movement that is targeted in this way, and no other group that is treated this way besides livestock. is there? even slaves are expected to revolt, and expected to at least desire to cling to their heritage, whether or not they are ultimately successful at it. there are expectations of resistance. its insane, and reveals a lot, and is more evidence of just how bad it really is for women, and how important it is that we not capitulate. the context and assumptions here are extremely troubling.

  8. Slaves are expected to revolt or at least hate their owners. Colonized men are expected to at least long for a male state of their own… Palestinian men… of course the UN takes them seriously. Now what would happen if a group of women petitioned the UN to help them create a woman’s state? Let’s say UN law states the rape is a form of genocide, and women from rape states need a homeland…. or women fleeing sexual oppression from men…. they’d need a place to go, passports, housing, and the woman’s state would be a great answer.

    But no, just adding the word WOMAN to any statehood proposal will bring down cries of essentialism, separatism, male hatred… now why would women flee men, well men hate and attack and violate women. I know of no place on earth where thousands of armed women invade a town and torture all the men in the town, or rape all the men in the town.

    You’re right FCM, you can’t back down on language, because this idea that women are central is so powerful, it actually gets men to shut up. What men expect is for women to capitulate… the usual “tone down the language girls and we’ll actually accept you as somewhat human.” Men think that this con is going to work, and in many cases it does. Women will tone it down because they don’t want to lose a boyfriend or even a child. But that’s the trick, get women to tone down… get women to back down on the radical feminist message of freedom. Get those colonists to cut King George some slack, he loves his little American colonies.

    Get women to want funfeminism so they feel they aren’t being raped on the date… con women into pretending consent to avoid rape… so better to be a fun feminist right?

    Mary Daly always said that women can never go far enough. There is nothing to lose actually. I’ve learned this lesson so many times in business. Men thought I’d fall for the bait… be good and we’ll promote you… saw through that con, and created as much space as I could so that they’d have as little power over me as possible. A job is simply about earning a living, nothing more. Focus on income, not promotions…. don’t listen to men, and heck, I even got fired once because I wouldn’t conform, and another woman in management called me back, because I was fired, but the stats showed I was a top producer, and the male boss had no legs to stand on. Production trumped his power play, and had I been angling on male pleasing for a promotion I actually might have been fired and it would have stuck. Interesting enough, I read about this whole scenario in Mary Daly’s brilliant autobiography “Outercourse.” And since I read the book in 1992 when it first came out, and she personally signed my copy!!! well I had advance warning. I believe reading about how Mary outwitted Boston College in 1969 caused me to see my job situation differently, and thus I still have the job today.

    Off topic a bit, but I believe Mary has the best career advice of any feminist I know of, and also the best practical strategies for defeating patriarchy. She knows its every move, and how to fight back. Just follow her steps. I tribute Daly’s advice to my success battling males in business, and also pirating information for women. It amazes me how many women who are studying theology today just don’t want to credit a lesbian separatist for opening up that field for women in America, just don’t want to do it.
    It was the separatism and radical feminist philosophy itself that gave Mary her vision and power, and then you have fembots moving in wanting to deny or water down the very philosophy that worked. Go figure!

  9. We have nothing to lose at all…….and everything to gain……so more to the point……why have womon not taken land for themselves or started wars with the menz?

    SCUM is the clearest message as a Rad Fem I have ever read along with Daly and Dworkin …but how to put it into action is another matter…..

    i can seperate as much as I want on an individual level I have learnt long ago how to elimate the ‘menz’ and ignore their existence but as a class and a community of womon how do we rally womon when they are so scared and generationally brainwashed….

    I baff at the lipstick fems who wanna be liberated with the help of the nigels…geez I hate to see that and get mad when menz turn up at womons events…..like why? What makes them think menz will have the capacity to down grade their ‘wants’ in favour of liberating womon? Not a chance…anyway they all goes to the pub afterwards and drink gallons of beer…the menz and the menz-fems….boring!

  10. Here-here!

    Has anyone else noticed the double-standard where women are the only “minority” that need to watch what they say? Even radical members of other groups can get away with saying whatever they want, and it’s acceptable because they have it “rough.” As soon as a woman starts to step out of line by using words that are “too strong” it becomes an issue.

    Maybe I don’t want to say “dislike” instead of “hate” because I do hate the system! 1984 had a clear theme running through it that the best way to prevent a revolution is to make sure that there are no words for it and therefore no way to communicate the idea. It’s sick!

  11. “Now what would happen if a group of women petitioned the UN to help them create a woman’s state? Let’s say UN law states the rape is a form of genocide, and women from rape states need a homeland…. or women fleeing sexual oppression from men…. they’d need a place to go, passports, housing, and the woman’s state would be a great answer.”

    Great goddesses. Love your work, SheilaG!

  12. Speaking of 1984 and diluting the message, mainstream feminism has become– as we’ve observed for years now– a clusterfuck of Orwellianism. “Being a housewife, constantly squirting out spawns, and being at the economic mercy of a husband is *empowering*! Throwing away one’s potential, dreams, and freedom to be a good wife and mother is *real* feminism! Being a masochistic for the sake of fashion is a feminist choice! Being “queer” and shoving dicks into every available orifice is revolutionary!” Meanwhile, being a lesbian or a celibate heterosexual woman, speaking the undiluted truth about marriage, motherhood, sexuality, society’s power structure, and being a spinster are “anti-feminist” or “counterproductive”. Oh what a coincidence that the very things that could liberate women and girls have been deemed anti-feminist! Now that’s revisionism.

  13. Well said, Mocha.

    “Oh what a coincidence that the very things that could liberate women and girls have been deemed anti-feminist! Now that’s revisionism.”

    Yeah, and what a coincidence that the very things promoted as liberatory to women are *the most oppressive*! What a coincidence that the enemies and oppressors of women are no longer men but radical feminists who “stigmatise” and “discriminate” other women. Now men can even be more oppressed than women, thanks to trans, intersectionalists, et al.

    Patriarchal reversals all the way.

  14. It’s great to read all the responses. SCUM does say it as it is. I love her concept of unworking the system. In a way, that’s the problem with OWS – it’s not unworking anything. It has inspired some terrific demonstrations and lots of good discussions, but not untangling, unworking, undoing. The comments above on spearatism, yes yes. It is so interesting how women are simply not ‘allowed’ the same political credibility as other oppressed groups. They need our work, housework, emotional work, carework, paid and mostly unpaid work. There was a 24-hour housewife strike in Iceland some years back – whether connected or not, it’s the only country to have an out lesbian elected to head the country.

  15. Obviously I meant separatism not anything to do with spears!!

  16. RANCOM! has some funny graphics and commentary about class-politics that leave women out. its pretty funny, and relevant to OWS and to many things actually. if left to their own inclinations, men will ALWAYS, ALWAYS leave women out, and expect us to do the grunt work to support them, and to completely ignore our own interests just as they ignore our interests. they always do this.

    http://rancom.wordpress.com/

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