Tag Archives: language

Video: Gail Dines, “Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism”

7 Oct

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Links: May 10, 2011

10 May

This will be a special “Slut Walk” edition of links. Cuz I’m topical like that.

Woman On A Journey: “‘The sluttier the better’-that’s what men think, anyway”

Guardian: “SlutWalk is not sexual liberation” by Gail Dines & Wendy Murphy

RMott: “The Ultimate Slut”

EasilyRiled: “Slut-Walk. Sigh.”

I Blame the Patriarchy: “Toronto activists take back the slut”

Video from “The Agenda”, featuring Gail Dines (35 minutes).

Audio from “World Have Your Say”, also featuring Gail Dines. Listen online or download the mp3 (download only available for 1 week). Big ol’ trigger warning for victim blaming from (especially from callers and other people who sent in comments to the show).

Video: “Slut Walks and Modern Feminism”

7 May

[Trigger warning for discussion of sexual violence and pornography.]

File this in the overflowing drawer marked “Gail Dines BRINGS IT”.

The video wouldn’t embed, so go watch the 35-minute program on the website for “The Agenda”.

Here’s just a few of my thoughts on Slut Walk and the video:

– Slut is a construct made up by males in order to demean women. Sluts do not exist. You can’t reclaim a word that was never yours to begin with.

-Jaclyn says that slut walk sends the message that “if you call one of us a slut, you have to call all of us sluts”. Yeah. MEN ALREADY DO THAT. They call all of us sluts because that is what most men thing of women.

-The interviewer’s framing is odd at times, and it seems that the pro-slut-walk guests are incorrectly understanding what Gail meant when she brought up male sexuality. She’s talking about porn culture, something that really hasn’t been confronted by liberal feminists.

-Finally, as a younger feminist who is a victim/survivor and who has been harmed by pornography, Gail Dines does speak for me.

[Updated May 10, 2011 to add the following additional comments:]

This whole thing is just so bizarre. I mean, totally in keeping with liberal feminist sex-pozerism, but really… you’re actually calling it a Slut Walk? I was thinking today about what Suzanna Walters says in her “From Here to Queer” article about reclaiming language. Could you imagine something like a “Nigger Walk”, “Kike Walk”, or even “Faggot Walk”? Allies welcome to join! Ugg.

I’m absolutely puzzled as to why the response here to being called a slut is, “Yup, we are exactly what you say we are! You’re right. Women ARE sluts!” As if the police or dudes give ONE shit about your ‘nuance’.

Links: April 18, 2011

18 Apr

Rad Fem Crafts: “Don’t Piss on My Head and Call It Privilege”. . . not only does this post win the Post Title of the Year award, but it also succinctly describes what’s wrong with big tent politics.

Scum-o-Rama: “Tasty Privilege”. . . on the crap that is ‘vanilla privilege’.

We Won’t Submit: A guest post by Bev Jo, “Would A Vulva By Any Other Name Smell  As Sweet?”. . . on male language for ‘female parts’.

Gender Trender has a simple graphic, providing a RadFem 101 lesson: “MOAR Simplr”.

Undercover Punk: “Trans childrens”

Ball Buster: “Imagine”. . . [TW for violence]

Imagine, if you will: If every time a female porn star got beat up, that it would make national news.

FAB Matters: “the problem with fun feminism”:

What the malestream and funfeminism offer women is the same, only the funfem version is more nervous and complicated.

If she chooses to roll with the malestream, in return she will get male approval. If she chooses to roll with funfeminism she will get some (more limited and highly conditional) male approval, quite a bit of male ridicule, and … ?

Not much else.

The Nation: “Will the Justice Department Stand Up for Women Raped in Prison?” [TW for sexual assault]:

[F]or women, one consequence of sexual violence is pregnancy, especially for those who are forced to endure repeated rapes. More than 200,000 women are imprisoned right now, and many more pass through prisons and jails over the course of a year—each one vulnerable to sexual assault, and to pregnancy resulting from it. Despite the years of hearings, testimony and research, the Justice Department’s PREA rules still fail to protect the reproductive rights and health of women in this situation.

A Female Who Doesn’t “Feel Like” a Gender? Privilege!

20 Feb

I do not feel like a woman. Further, I don’t know what in the world that would feel like. I never feel like one when I’m by myself, but I do feel like one when I am interacted with by other people (such as the imposition of “miss” upon me). Interesting, that. It’s almost like gender is a social construct or something.

Now, this little bit about being a female who (more or less) passes as a woman gets labeled as ‘privilege’ in the realm of trans politics. Further, when I say how I don’t feel like a woman, this is interpreted as evidence that I do not see my privilege.

Bzzzzz. Wrong.

Not seeing one’s privilege and not reifying sex-gender roles are different things.

Unexamined privilege is sometimes explained with the analogy of a fish not understanding what water is; the person with unexamined privilege takes for granted that their life, treatment by others, experiences, etc are the norm.

A person not seeing their white privilege, for example, may look like this: “It’s not fair that some black students at my high school started a club only for black students. I’m going to start a white student union club!”

Let’s take for granted that there is such a thing called “cis privilege” that female-assigned-at-birth (FAAB) women have. What does it look like for a non-trans woman to have unexamined privilege? Hint: It’s not her lack of “feeling like a woman”.

Let’s apply this marker of “not feeling like a woman as evidence of privilege” to the previous white privilege example. This would mean that “not feeling white” is evidence of privilege. See how that doesn’t make any sense?

Not understanding that one’s whiteness is socially considered a positive trait and not “feeling” white are different things. Yes? Yes.

So, for the last time. It is not unexamined privilege to lack the belief that you are a gender (or a race, for that matter). It is acknowledgment that gender is meaningless without the cultural systems that enforce it and treat it as a real entity.

Radical Feminist Dictionary: Harm Reduction

20 Feb

Harm reduction: measures taken to lessen harm done by inherently harmful practices, institutions, and systems.

Example: [TW] “Guess that’s right, not much else you’re good for, there, sister. We’ll work on getting you more condoms and bitty alcohol swabs so you can get fucked but keep clean. Here ya go, here’s a coffee and a sandwich and a clean needle. Enjoy your choice.” (via Easilyriled)

[Previous entries: Strip Clubs, Gender, Anti-Prostitution, Alphabet Soup]

Radical Feminist Dictionary: Alphabet Soup

5 Feb

Alphabet soup: 1.) the mish-mash of letters forming acronyms for, usually, ‘queer’-related identity categories; 2.) an acronym used to lump all “non-hetero plus miscellany” people into a category while simultaneously presenting itself as a way of not treating all non-hetero plus miscellany folks as one category.

Example: “GLBTLOLWTFBBQ” (via Lesbian + Women’s Liberationist)

[Previous entries: Strip Clubs, Gender, Anti-Prostitution]

Radical Feminist Dictionary: Anti-Prostitution

15 Jan

Anti-prostitution: the belief that money, hunger, and/or poverty should never be factors in a person’s decision to have sexual contact with another person.

[Previous entries: Strip Clubs, Gender]

Radical Feminist Dictionary: Gender

7 Jan

“‘Gender’: the putrid sum of stereotypes attached to biological sex. Includes gender roles, gendered expectations, gendered socialization, gender inclination, “gender orientation” [. . .], gender fetishes [. . .], sexist norms, sexism in general.”

(via Bluetraveler)

[Previous entries to the Radical Feminist Dictionary: Strip Clubs]

The Revolutionary Words I Would Have Never Read

3 Jan

A year ago today, radical feminist philosopher Mary Daly passed away. A year ago, I didn’t really know who she was. This post on Shakesville featuring her obituary was more or less my first introduction to Daly. Commenters wrote about how liberating her writing was. Other commenters wrote that they were glad she died because she was ‘transphobic’ and a ‘genocidal cis woman’. As ‘trans allies’ learned of the ‘transphobia’, they quickly backtracked and apologized for their writing “rest in peace” in previous comments. Criticism of Melissa’s post continued even after she added an addendum about Daly’s supposed transphobia at the bottom of the post, even after Melissa said how she had been unaware of it before commenters pointed it out. Others apologized because their ‘privilege’ must have kept them from knowing what Daly had written about transsexuality. (I’m certain it wasn’t ‘cis privilege’ that kept her from reading a radical feminist book.)

Luckily, a couple other commenters noted that they would be seeking out Daly’s writing now. Some Shakesville contributors came to Melissa’s defense, noting how baffling it was that some self-identified trans individuals still weren’t satisfied after the post had been altered to reflect their criticism. What more did they want from her? To have not mentioned Daly or her death at all?

*

Before reading anything of Andrea Dworkin’s, I “knew” that she hated all men, was totally against all sex, and was generally someone to be disliked. I thought all of that was true, mainly (and sadly), through “feminist” blogs and websites. Then I actually read some of her work.

Then I read some of Catherine MacKinnon’s work. Then I read Sonia Johnson.

And then there was no turning back.

They all gave me the language I needed for understanding my own life, my oppression, and my liberation. Everything fell into place, one ‘click’ triggering the next, working towards completing the puzzle of how to get the hell out of patriarchy now.

Fewer than a dozen pages into Daly’s Gyn/Ecology, I had the words to describe my yearning to find some ‘pre-patriarchy’ self, to get back to something that I had been robbed of in the first place. . . Background. This is what it felt like to see something else, to see beyond all the lukewarm feminist, ‘queer studies’ texts assigned in my women’s studies courses.

This was going to do something, ignite something, make me finally understand it all. And this was what I have been kept from reading.

I wasn’t supposed to see it because: those angry lesbians, those man-haters, those transphobes, those feminazis, those sex-negative feminists. . .

Those. . . women.

To the extent any of these women have been mentioned in my women’s studies classes, it’s mostly been to point out what not to think and what brand of feminism to avoid. Dworkin came up in a conversation on prostitution, though in the context of our class not being assigned any of her writing. Daly was mentioned in a book for a queer studies course, but only to point out how much she supposedly hated trans individuals. The exception for a positive mention came in a history of feminist theory course, taught by a very politically active ‘second-waver’ (and co-editor of a popular women’s studies textbook). Both Dworkin and MacKinnon were mentioned in a piece by John Stoltenberg that was assigned, in which he details their anti-pornography civil ordinance. Other than this one instance of a positive mention (in more than three years of courses, mind you), all other references were to point out how wrong they were. Usually, though, their existence was just ignored.

So. Here are some women you should not ignore:

Mary Daly

Andrea Dworkin

Catherine MacKinnon

Sonia Johnson

Sheila Jeffreys

Janice Raymond

Start spinning.