September 22, 2012
Guest post by Maggie H.
This post is the first part of a series of posts based on some of the RadFem Reboot 2012 presentation talk that I gave in Oregon recently on the patriarchal takeover of women’s sexuality.
Warning: This post contains some descriptions of what happens in written pornography. Skip those parts if you feel queasy; read them if you really want to know what some lesbians are writing & reading ‘for fun’ these days.
Disclaimers: By writing this post I would like to make very clear that I am not criticising individual women for having particular sorts of fantasy. I am a former BDSMer myself. I am actually being critical of the pornographic works being published online, and of the patriarchal context within which such stories get written and read in the first place. I believe it is important to challenge the everyday political poisoning of our lesbian communities by BDSM culture. If you read or write those kinds of stories, I am not ‘attacking’ you personally; I am just trying to make a point concerning what you read or write.
I feel the need to talk about fan fiction, as it has become an important part of lesbian culture nowadays in some circles. This includes stories based on the characters of Willow & Tara (from Buffy: Vampire Slayer) and Xena & Gabrielle (from Xena: Warrior Princess) –and there are also lesbian fan fiction stories based on the characters of Stargate SG-1, Rizzoli & Isles or other shows lesbians happen to be fans of.
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August 20, 2012
Please reblog this radical feminist analysis of the Pussy Riot controversy.
Recently there has been lots of noise around the arrest of three members of Pussy Riot, a Russian anarchist female punk band. The media almost unequivocally represented them as the modern heroines of our time, fighting for freedom, democracy, sexual liberation and peace against a dark and ruthless dictatorship (articles are to be found in the NYT, Le Monde. The Guardian, etc.) Feminist groups all over the Western world are sending links and petitions to “free pussy riot”, and demonstrations have even been organised in support of the group by big institutionalised organisations such as “Osez le féminisme” (dare to be a feminist).
Now while I support without ambiguity the liberation of Pussy Riot’s members, it’s worth pausing for a minute to ask ourselves, as radical feminists, what the political dynamics are here. Why would Western media denounce so passionately the repression of feminists in Russia, when it usually only diffuses information that supports male supremacy and patriarchy? Feminism has long disappeared from any malestream media, except when journalists can turn it into male masturbation material, that is pornify either our suffering or our resistance to it. What’s going on here?
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June 26, 2012
As is often the case with misogynists and anti-feminists, the trans horde that took advantage of the “inclusivity” (read: a transwoman helped organize the march, and woe be unto anyone who crosses men who demand access to woman-only space in general) of NYC Dyke March — and others who weren’t even there — don’t seem to have read a word of anything Sheila Jeffreys has actually written. If they had read her, how could it have rationally been said that Jeffreys — a pro-female, pro-lesbian writer — and her work had no place at a lesbian-centered event?
Or, perhaps they read a couple of words, saw something they didn’t like, and threw away the rest? “The rest” being Sheila Jeffreys’s entire life’s work of pro-female, pro-lesbian, PIV-critical radical feminist analysis which spans decades and examines women’s lives from pre-WWI — a body of work from which modern women can draw many parallels, recognize obvious patterns in how women are oppressed by men over time, and call age-old bullshit when we see it, because we are never, ever allowed to see it. Women’s history is routinely erased, and this is a deliberate political strategy to keep women as ignorant of patriarchal context and as oppressed — and as complicit in our own oppression — as possible.
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June 9, 2012
Since when is “Majority Rules!” the battle cry of an oppressed minority?
Recently, male-to-female transgender Joelle Ruby Ryan pointed out how well organized, well-supported and well-attended the 11th annual Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (PTHC) was expected to be, and contrasted that to the relatively tiny and unsupported Radfem 2012 conference which has had to relocate after trans* activists successfully lobbied for its booking to be canceled by London’s Conway Hall.
Which is the David, and which is the Goliath in this scenario?
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March 2, 2012
— FROM THE ARCHIVES —
Phallosopher contemplating his meaningless existence, and how deep his meaninglessness is.
Ok, so I’m currently thinking a lot about the episode of Firefly, Objects in Space. This was the last episode of the TV series before production was stopped. And as such it became one of the most important to the fans of the series. Now I did want to talk about the racism of this particular episode. And I will. I will be focusing particularly on the construction of lust, both in this episode, and in the series as a whole. But first I wanted to talk a little about male philosophy as Wank.
Joss Whedon really loves Wank. That is basically the moral of this episode Objects in Space. I will be referring to Joss Whedon as a Phallosopher throughout this entry. I envisage Phallosophers to encompass all the Great Male Phallosophers throughout the ages. From Aristotle to Camus to Sartre to Whedon. Phallosophy is characterised by self-obsession, misogyny, and a disturbing, yet relentless tendency to produce Wank. Phallosophers are generally Bores. Now, what is common to most Phallosophers is their acute susceptibility to Male Artist Syndrome, as theorized very superbly by Dissenter:
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February 27, 2012
Salon continues their tradition of having a male write on a subject he is less qualified to write about than any of the many women who are experts on the subject that they could have gotten to write the article. Michael Barthel takes on the subject of women in the film industry and does a predictably ridiculous job of it. But don’t take my word for it, here is what he said in this article at Salon: “The Oscars’ woman problem.”
The title and his opening give an immediate glimpse of what’s to come. Using the trope “woman problem” gives his perspective away immediately. As Simone de Beauvoir said in The Second Sex:
“[T]he whole of feminine history has been man-made. Just as in America there is no Negro problem, but rather a white problem; just as anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, it is our problem; so the woman problem has always been a man problem.”
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January 9, 2012
As many Aussies do over the holiday period, I went to the movies to watch some trash. I had a particular film in mind so I went to the website of the local cinema. As per usual every single movie advertisement featured men or male characters front and centre, with long lists of male actors names covering the poster and a few token females thrown in. The only exception to this was the poster advertising the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. On the poster for this movie there is a young woman, stripped to her waist. A man is standing behind her with his arm clenched over her breasts as if she is his possession. This year, as with every other year, women’s role as owned possessions is made crystal clear in Hollywood.
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November 15, 2011
i currently have 3 books going at the same time, which is one or two (or three) more than usual. and i dont have to read any of them. it might be a personal record.
first, i am re-reading dworkin’s intercourse. this one was a game-changer for me the first time, but as i’ve gone on with my work i have started to think that she didnt go far enough. is this possible? the first time around, it was the first time i had ever encountered a critique of intercourse as an institution and a harmful cultural practice; what changed the game for me was dworkin calling attention to the fact that intercourse directed toward the vagina is historically fetishized, and procreative intercourse is historically fetishized. this made me realize that there was a biological component to this practice that hadnt occurred to me before. not that there is a biological drive to do it or any of that ev psych shit, but that there is a reason that women are fucked, and it has something to do with the fact that we are impregnable. hmm!
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October 14, 2011
at occupy wall street, apparently anarchy rules: “dont call the cops unless absolutely necessary” carries the day with these revolutionaries. gee, where have we seen this before? thats right: the 18-year old male anarchist who claims to have kickstarted slutwalk baltimore also believes that the community should reverse-slut-shame people i mean men behaving badly into cleaning up their behavior, instead of calling the cops, lest a historical record be left to inform those not directly involved, and lest any actual criminal sanctions be imposed on criminal offenders. in the case of one man who was observed repeatedly groping women at OWS, the community decided to hand this dood over to the police anyway. the reason? he was giving the rest of the much-maligned protesters “a bad name” by sexually violating women.
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